The Gay Callers Association (GCA) is an international organization consisting of individuals who participate in and promote gay and lesbian square dance activities.
The GCA is an affiliate member of the IAGSDC, admitted 01 Jul 1989 as an Associate member.
The purpose of the GCA is to promote the development of gay callers and to promote square dance, round dance, and western dance as a recreational activity, provide mutual support among members, and to further the education,interest, and participation of the members in the art without prejudice to gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, age, race, or belief.
Membership in the GCA is open to everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, ethnic background, or sexual orientation. The GCA consists of experienced and beginning callers, class instructors,and other professionals who promote square dance activities in the gay and lesbian community.
The GCA sponsors the GCA Caller School which is held in conjunction with the annual IAGSDC convention. The GCA also maintains a directory of members who call during the IAGSDC convention and at various square dance events throughout the year.
The GCA annual membership meeting is held during each annual convention. The members present elect executive board to serve a two-year term.
The GCA produces The Call Sheet, a quarterly publication, which keeps members updated with current topics in the square dance community.
The GCA web site can be found at http://gaycallers.org/
In 2021 Ken Ritucci, Chairman of the Board of CALLERLAB presented the IAGSDC and the GCA with the CALLERLAB Chairman's Award
Caller workshops were held at several early conventions.
At the first convention, All Join Hands, Elmer Sheffield and Paul Marcum and Chris Phillips led a session titled "Introduction to Sight Calling", out of which grew the idea of a callers organization that would promote gay callers.
At the first Portland convention, an informal caller school was held, taught by Paul Marcum
No formative action was taken until 1988 at Cross Trails In The Desert, when Harlan Kerr and Anna Damiani met with Bill Eyler and Chris Phillips to get the idea rolling again. At the following Denver fly-in, Harlan and Anna decided to start a group by doing a newsletter, "The Call Sheet" in early 1989.
In early 1989 the first newsletters ("The Call Sheet" and "Lambda Calling") were published respectively by Anna Damiani and Harlan Kerr.
Immediately prior to Peel The Apple, the first (official) GCA Caller School was held, taught by Harlan Kerr, Anne Uebelacker, and Joe Uebelacker.
A PDF of Issue 1 (April 1989) of The Call Sheet can be found here.
A PDF of Issue 1 (May 1989) of Lambda Calling can be found here.
Anna Damiani remembers: The first meeting of the GCA was held at the 1989 convention in New York. Anna Damiani remembers the room as being "pretty full", and people being very excited. "It seemed like it didn't take long before it (the GCA) took on its own life as a real organization. The first caller class I remember being held was in a small hot room in New York. And despite the size and temperature of the room, WE WERE CALLING! And a few years later, I was at a convention, and there were all these gay callers! It was wonderful! And now dancing to GCA Callers has become part of the convention, and it's fabulous! Back then, a lot of straight callers wouldn't call for us, and we had to grow our own. And now look at us--straight callers are clamoring to call for us!"