Oasis - About Us
Jim Toy's Bio - Page 2
Jim struggled for many years to accept the burden, challenge, and blessing of being gay. He finally acknowledged to himself his sexual orientation and continued his self-liberation by coming out of the closet publicly - the first queer person in Michigan to do so - during a speech at an anti-Vietnam War rally in Kennedy Square, in Detroit, in April 1970. At the rally Jim was representing the Detroit Gay Liberation Movement, of which he was a founding member. He was, as well, a founding member of the Ann Arbor Gay Liberation Front. In 1971 he helped establish the Lesbian-Gay Male Programs Office at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This staff office, created to respond to sexual-orientation concerns, was the first to be created in a United States institution of higher learning, and was presumably the first of its kind in the world. Jim served as its Co-Coordinator from 1971 until 1994. In 1972 Jim became the co-author of the first official "Lesbian-Gay Pride Week Proclamation" by a governing body in the United States; namely, the Ann Arbor (MI) City Council. Jim presently works at the University's Human Resources/Affirmation Action Office as Diversity Coordinator in the Office of Institutional Equity.

In 1971 Bishop Richard Emrich of the Diocese of Michigan (Episcopal) appointed Jim a founding member of the Diocesan Commission on Homosexuality. The group created a paper entitled Report and Recommendations of the Commission on Homosexuality (1973), one of the earliest church documents in this country to advocate for the support of homosexual people. Since 1975 Jim has served as the Secretary of the Diocesan Church and Society Committee. He is a co-author of the Diocesan Human Sexuality Curriculum and a founding member of the Diocesan Committee on LGBT concerns and the Diocesan Oasis LGBT Outreach Ministry.

After what we term "HIV/AIDS" had become a matter of public knowledge Jim helped found (1986) Wellness Networks/Huron Valley (now HARC, the HIV/AIDS Resource Center/Washtenaw County). He became the first Co-Coordinator of HIV/AIDS Education
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