RARA meets the needs of the LGBT community. Our purpose is:

  • To promote the Amateur Radio Service
  • To foster friendship and goodwill
  • To educate members and the public about amateur radio operations, skills, and licensing
  • To offer support and a sense of community to all individuals who are supportive of sexual minorities and their lifestyles, and who share a common interest in Amateur Radio

In the mid 1970's, a gay ham from 6-Land placed personal ad's in 73 magazine asking gay hams to contact him. He had responses and CW skeds on a 40M frequency was established. In the early 1980's another ham member who was gay had placed ads in the 'Advocate' and in mid 80's formed the LAMBDA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB. The ARRL refused personal ads in QST for LARC; (one was placed by mistake by the ARRL in late 80's). The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund went to court against the ARRL on behalf of LARC. The court ruled ARRL violated Connecticult's anti-discrimiation laws and could not refuse the monthly ad.

In 1995, leadership in LARC proposed that LARC be politically aggressive for LGBT hams in general. But, the vast majority of members wanted LARC to focus on existing as a social club for gay and non-gay hams. The results were that those current LARC leaders had selected the future of the club. The many LARC members who did not agree with this direction formed the RAINBOW AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCCIATION in 1995 to operate as a social organization.

Today, the club is international in scope with about 300 members in 11 countries around the world. RARA's annual meeting is held when members gather at the Dayton Hamvention each May.

The membership in RARA is very diverse. Our club is comprised of a wide range of age groups. We have students, retirees, and those working in both technical and non-technical careers. Our members are friendly and enjoy interacting with one another. The club has several affiliated chapters:

  • Sunshine Chapter - Central and South Florida
  • Finger Lakes Chapter - Rochester and Western New York
  • Lonestar Chapter - Dallas and surrounding areas
  • Great Lakes Chapter - Michigan, Ohio and surrounding states
The roster is confidential and distribution outside of the membership is prohibited.

RARA is definitely a "fun" club. Here are some of our events:

  • Several weekly on-air HF and VOIP nets
  • An Internet Message Board and members-only Yahoo! email. We also have a private Facebook group.
  • Occasional operating activities
  • Service recognition and achievement awards
  • Hospitality Suites at major hamfests
  • Dinners/gatherings at major hamfests, including the Dayton Hamvention and the Orlando Hamcation

By joining RARA, you will join a family of good friends who share a common interest in Ham Radio and other technically related hobbies.

An amateur radio license is not required for membership (however, it is a prerequisite for Board Members). You must be at least 18 years of age to join RARA. Annual membership dues are $10 for individuals, $15 for you and your partner/spouse. Donations are always appreciated. You may send a check for dues and/or donations, or use one of the PayPal buttons at the top of this page. Our mailing address is:

RARA
PO Box 18541
ROCHESTER NY 14618-0541, USA

For more information, you may send your inquiry to the above address.

Or, if you're ready to join, complete our online membership application. Processing of applications make take up to 30 days, depending on date of submission.