CLAGS and the Graduate Center Bid Farewell to Paisley Currah

On Friday, May 11, 2007 CLAGS members, staff, and board members gathered in the Skylight Room of the
Graduate Center to send off out-going Executive Director Paisley Currah. Those who made toasts to Paisley noted
his humility despite his outstanding work for CLAGS over the past nine years. Paisley’s four years as a director were
preceded by five years of an extraordinary board member during which he put together the Futures of the
Fields conference, a stellar event that led to his recruitment as ED. Paisley’s other accomplishments
include setting up the CLAGS website; bringing in nearly a million dollars in grants, endowments,
memberships, and individual donations during his tenure; raising all the funds for the
Silvia Rivera Award every year. Furthermore, Paisley has overseen the implementation of the
IRN website, a project that he inherited, effectively realizing the wishes of three hundredplus
people from around the globe while preserving the democratic spirit of its origins. He
oversaw the start of the CLAGS/Frameline Film Series and the expansion of CLAGS’s most
successful program, the Seminars in the City reading series. As ED he also planned another
extremely successful conference—the TransPolitics, Social Change, and Justice Conference,
which is the first gathering designed to address national legislation around trans issues.
These are only a few of the many accomplishments that were mentioned by distinguished
and devoted CLAGS members who spoke about Paisley including Deb Amory, Martin
Duberman, Sarah Chinn, Jonathan Ned Katz, Amber Hollibaugh, Polly Thistlethwaite,
and Gus Archilla and Elmer Lokkins.