Over the past year, JUST magazine has looked back on SOGIC’s history. We’ve reflected on its creation, its evolution, and what it means to its members and alumni today. Unfortunately, in what should have been a year of celebration, SOGIC as an organization has faced significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ability to gather in one place to work and socialize has been removed.
Our annual Pride week celebrations, for the first time in our history, were cancelled. In July, we also said goodbye to one of our own; Master Rob Muir. A much respected and celebrated member and supporter of SOGIC, Master Muir’s passing was a blow to many in an already difficult year.
For this final anniversary article, I have spoken with recent leaders of SOGIC to look to their own past with the organization, and from it share their hopes for the future.
Adrian Ishak was chair of OBA SOGIC for the 2018-2019 term and currently serves as past chair. “I think the most important part SOGIC played for me as a professional was in allowing me to establish a network of queer legal professionals in all walks of practice,” he said. He also emphasizes SOGIC’s instrumentality in raising awareness about the LGBT community within the OBA and nationally. When asked how he would improve SOGIC, he mentioned our trouble retaining members. “Unfortunately SOGIC is viewed by too many of its members as [only] a social group, which has impacted our membership -- what we see is high involvement in the first several years of practice and then a drop.”
Hossein Moghtaderi has been involved with SOGIC since early in his legal career -- going all the way back to his first year of law school. He served as the OBA SOGIC chair in the 2018-19 term and currently serves as secretary with CBA SOGIC. He points to SOGIC’s diverse membership as a strength – and something that needs to be cultivated. “We need to continue to strive to maintain an inclusive and diverse membership. We should also continue to support and engage students across the country.”