The Lesbian Health Research Center thanks the Dorian Fund

The Dorian Fund is the philanthropic legacy of Joseph Gianelli and William Wegele to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. For over fifty years, Joe and Bill built a loving relationship with each other as well as a strong connection to the community through their business, Dorian Antiques. They sought to continue that bond by establishing a charitable foundation with a mission to give back to the community that supported them for so many years. Dorian Fund grants have been awarded to organizations such as the Lesbian Health Research Center, Horizons Foundation, “Out at the Library” by the San Francisco Public Library, Sonoma County’s “Face to Face” and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The goal of the Dorian Fund is to support LGBT service providers and help them reach our diverse community through a wide range of projects.

Bill and Joe forged their relationship during the nascent beginnings of the LGBT community in San Francisco. Civil rights that have been won through the community’s struggle did not exist when Bill and Joe met. Secrecy and closeted behavior were the norm and living an “out” lifestyle was unheard of. Bill and Joe channeled their energies into their antique store, gradually building up a clientele and a reputation for fine art and furniture. Their home was exquisitely decorated and full of memories of their many trips.

Joe and Bill found fellow adventurers in each other. During their years together, they traveled to many places; Egypt and its pyramids was their favorite. Friends tell of their boat trips down the Nile, sipping cocktails, engaging anyone nearby for conversation, and marveling at the historic scenery as they floated by. Photographs show the two, side by side under straw hats and sunglasses, raising a glass to life.

Famously careful with a penny, Bill and Joe did not live extravagantly, and their traveling was their one indulgence. Even though they were very generous with friends and family, it was their parsimonious behavior and careful planning that allows the Dorian Fund to exist today. Traveling the world over, Joe and Bill brought home not only many interesting and valuable antiques, but a love for different cultures, encouragement of thoughtful discourse and an unselfish desire to share their abundance with their community. By establishing the Dorian Fund their wish to support the community will endure for many years and many generations to come.

The Lesbian Health Research Center is honored to be one of the recipients of the Dorian Fund. Our work would not be possible without the generosity of individual donors and foundations such as the Dorian Fund that are committed to improving the lives of LGBT people. The mission of the Lesbian Health Research Center is to enhance clinical practice and inform policy about the health care needs of and delivery of services to lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender individuals through a program of research, post-graduate education and training, and public service. We have come a long way since the days when Bill and Joe were just beginning their life together and there is still work to be done. With help from the generosity of Joseph Gianelli and William Wegele, LHRC will continue to fight for a world in which all people are free from discrimination and able to access the health care that they need.