The work of DignityUSA on April 18, 2015 could have been sponsored by you. Click here for more information.

Why I Never Miss a DignityUSA Convention

By Gary Kayler, Dignity/Indianapolis, Requiescat in Pace

Recently, Lewis Tanner, DignityUSA Secretary, and I were discussing DignityUSA’s Convention 2009 in San Francisco next summer. He asked me to write a few words about it and why I never miss a convention. Like the rest of you, I haven’t received the latest information about details. However, with registration come some free meals, a dinner-dance and loads of fun.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Share your room with others. I have had as many as four people in my room. Granted two people per room works best, but if finances are a problem—and nowadays aren’t they for us all—four may work better.
  • Those of you living close enough can carpool.
  • Central U.S. and East Coasters might want to use frequent flyer miles. Just book far in advance.
  • Consider flying into Oakland Airport, which has airfares often less expensive than those to San Francisco Airport, and has just as good access to San Francisco.
  • A car isn’t necessary in San Francisco. Both airports are easily accessible by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains, and San Francisco has extensive service on its Muni transit system.
  • If you need a cab, share one. No place is very far.
  • You can do what I always do—ride the historic street cars and cable cars. The streetcar which passes in front of our convention hotel goes to both the Castro and Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • Eat in less well-known restaurants which many times are even better than those resting on their laurels and reputations.


I joined Dignity three weeks before Convention 1983 in Seattle, WA. There was insufficient time to arrange a trip there; otherwise, I would have gone. What really upset me was that my local chapter members kept telling me I didn’t need to join national. I refused to consider any other option.

As a collection of members and chapters, DignityUSA is positioned as a stronger Voice of challenge and support, and able to respond more quickly as the need arises. Working within networks of national and international groups and allied organizations, DignityUSA, as a national organization, promotes and assists in the development and consensus of human and social justice values beneficial to the GLBT community and community at large.

My first DignityUSA convention was held in New York City in 1985. I told Lewis I never miss a DignityUSA convention, nor Call To Action Conference, because I experience another family reunion. You people are now and have been for many years my family, and I love you.

Please consider coming to San Francisco for Convention 2009. Join our reunion and celebrating DignityUSA’s 40th Anniversary. You’ll see what you have been missing.

Filed under: