I think there is a need for an institute that can fight discrimination and build self-esteem among gays and lesbians. People in the gay and lesbian community are realizing that they have to take care of themselves.
We received a strong message when AB 101, which prohibits discrimination, was vetoed by Gov. Wilson. (Gays and lesbians) really felt betrayed when he didn't sign that first (anti-discrimination) bill. People realized that even though we were playing the (political) game correctly, it wasn't working for us. We realized that we have to take care of our own.
The response to the forming of the institute was incredible. People wrote us and called with praise. People sent money--unsolicited--to help support the school. We have incorporated and have nonprofit status. The next step is to become a full-fledged university.