Q: Who and what is Out to Innovate?

A: Out to Innovate is formerly known as National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals or  NOGLSTP (pronounced nah’-goal-step). We are a membership-based professional society of gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, queer and transgender people — and their allies — employed or interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. We educate people on LGBTQ+ issues in science and the technical workplace, and foster mentoring and networking among our members. For a closer look at who we are, visit our Out and About Photoarchives section.

Q. Why and when did you change your name to Out to Innovate?

A: We rebranded in 2020 to have an all inclusive name so that all LGBTQ+ people in STEM will know that they are welcome and included in our advocacy and programming.  The name "Out to Innovate" is inspired by the name of our signature event, the biennial "Out to Innovate Career Summit for LGBTQ+ People in STEM".  Technically -- for IRS, financial matters, and contracts -- we are NOGLSTP doing business as Out to Innovate.

Q:What's with your original name, NOGLSTP?

NOGLSTP was originally an organization called National Organization of Lesbian and Gay Scientists (NOLGS), born in January 1980 from a workshop at an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting to address issues of homophobia in the scientific workplace. For a brief NOGLSTP history, follow this link.

Q: Are bisexual, pansexual, asexual and transgender people welcome as Out to Innovate members?

A: Absolutely!  That's one of the reasons our public facing name was changed from NOGLSTP to Out to Innovate. Although these words were not in our name, we have always welcomed people of all sexual orientations and gender identities — gay, lesbian, pansexual, asexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and yes, even heterosexual allies.

Q: What do you mean by LGBTQ+?

We mean “LGBTQ plus”. Perhaps we also mean “LGBTQ positive”. This is our way of including everyone who identifies with or supports our community. As time passes, queerfolk adopt different labels for themselves.  By saying "LGBTQ+" we aim to include all queer identities.

Q: Do I qualify to become Out to Innovate member?

A: If you support our goals, you are welcome to join the organization. Although most of our members are queer technical professionals and science educators, we welcome all allies, regardless of profession, sexual orientation, or gender identity. For your convenience, you may join on-line.

Q: I am a student, studying {science, engineering, pre-med/nursing/vet}. Do I qualify for membership?

A: Not only do you qualify for membership, we have a special discounted dues category for students. For your convenience, you may join on-line. 

Q: What are the benefits of Out to Innovate membership?

  •  ubscription to our quarterly newsletter, Out to Innovate Bulletin
  • access to and permission to reproduce/distribute NOGLSTP / Out to Innovate copyrighted materials
  • networking opportunities with other members via our membership directory (and more to come)
  • mentoring and protege opportunities via our Out to Innovate Mentoring Project
  • organizational and (very modest) financial support for local Out to Innovate activities you organize
  • an open invitation to attend any reception or meet and greet we sponsor in your locale
  • an opportunity to participate in Out to Innovate governance, leadership, and infrastructure

Q: I joined the NOGLSTP e-list a long time ago. Doesn’t that make me an Out to Innovate member?

A: The NOGLSTP e-list is something we put together in the 1990’s, and is a legacy that we have phased out. If you are still on the e-list, it’s unlikely that your dues are current. To be considered an Out to Innovate member, you must pay annual membership dues (or become a life member!).

Q: I gave a donation to NOGLSTP. Does that make me an Out to Innovate member?

A: That depends.

  • If you give us a donation designated to support a specific program, all of the money you give us is used for that specific program. In this case, none of the money is applied to your dues.
  • If you give us a donation accompanying your dues and renewal form, part of what you give us is applied to your dues, and the remaining amount is applied as a donation.

Q: Does Out to Innovate have a newsletter?

A: Yes, there is a quarterly newsletter available to members -- the Out to Innovate Bulletin. The newsletter discusses relevant information to the LGBTQ+ and scientific communities, as well as our organization, affliliate and program project news. Its default delivery form is by email. Members have the option to surface mail delivery as their preferred delivery format. Back-issues of the Out to Innovate Bulletin and the NOGLSTP Bulletin are available for your enjoyment. Hopefully, you will be so impressed with our news that you will immediately join our organization.

Q: Where do membership dues go?

A: Membership dues support the Out to Innovate Bulletin, our membership management platform, and a very modest outreach program. We depend on additional donations to support some of our current program goals.

Q: Anything besides newsletters and outreach?

A: Out to Innovate (formerly NOGLSTP) has organized workshops, scientific symposia, and poster sessions for presentation at the Annual AAAS meetings. Each of these symposia involved educating the scientific community about LGBTQ+ issues. Some recent symposia have been:

For a chronology of workshops, symposia and poster sessions, visit our Past Meetings page.

Other projects that involve your dues money — as well as donations — include the following:

  • The Out to Innovate Mentoring Program, a collaboration between Out to Innovate, industry LGBTQ+ employee resource groups, and academia to mentor undergraduate and recent graduate LGBTQ+ scientists and engineers. (Right now our focus is on recent scholarship recipients, but we plan to expand the program in the near future).
  • Sponsor an LGBTQ+ reception/mixer at the annual meetings of the professional societies of our majority professions: chemistry, engineering, and biology. So far, we do help sponsor a reception for the chemists at the American Chemical Society national meeting each fall, and have been sponsoring a reception at the AAAS Annual Meetings since 1994. In 2005, we started sponsoring a LGBTQ+ Meet and Greet at the annual meeting of the Society for Women in Engineering, as well as the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. Very recently, we have developed relationships with American Geophysical Union and American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and Great Minds in STEM, so expect to support LGBTQ+ activities at their conferences.
  • Continue to bring visibility and honor to LGBTQ+ scientists, engineers, and educators, as well as the institutions who support us, with our annual recognition awards.
  • Promote academic excellence of talented LGBTQ+ students in STEM career paths with our Scholarship Program.
  • Support the Out to Innovate™ Career Summit for LGBTQ+ People in STEM.

Q: You manage to do all that on dues from members?

A: Frankly, we need more money than just your dues. We also count on the generosity of corporate supporters and thoughtful donations from our members to fund our projects. To learn more about how you can make a donation go to our Donations Section.

Q: Why haven’t I seen Out to Innovate exhibit at my professional society annual meeting?

A: Time and money. First, we have no paid staff, so anyone representing us at a meeting is there on their own time (and often their own dime). Our representatives are activated volunteers who are willing to step forward at their professional society meetings on behalf of LGBTQ+ people and our organization. Second, the cost of an exhibit booth at most professional society meetings is 4-5 figures. Without a major grant or benefactor, spending this magnitude of money to have a presence at all the professional society meetings would be unsustainable. If you wish to represent us at your professional society meeting, contact the us to make arrangements to have flyers, banners, and swag delivered to your conference hotel.

Q: Where can I get more information about Out to Innovate?

A: Check out the rest of this website, or reach out to someone on our contact page.