The LGBT Center OC Blog


🍀 March is Here! 🍀 Dear Friends, As we foray into an early spring, we take note of all the changes happening around us. we've already done so much this year, and month 3 of 2019 is looking great. Join us in celebratingwhat the OC LGBTQQ community has achieved so far! In January, the youth leaders of our Youth Empowered To Act (YETA) team were able to attend the Creating Change Conference, the largest LGBTQQ youth leadership conference in the nation. They flew all the way to Detroit for a meaningful weekend of workshops, networking, and education opportunities. On February 12, we participated in Love Is Giving Day, a collaborative fundraising campaign with 7 other non-profit organizations in Orange County. Together we were able to successfully raise funds to support healthy teen relationships and health education here in our very own community. Sips & Giggles 2019 was a HUGE [...]


Laugh, Learn, and Educate With Us This February! Dear Friends, February is always an exciting time of the year here at the LGBTQ CenterOC. We're thrilled to invite you to attend one of our most popular events of the year, along with some new and exciting opportunities that we just can't stop talking about! On February 12, we are partnering with OC Community Foundation and 6 other organizations for Love Is - Giving Day. For this year's Giving Day, we are focusing on promoting healthy teen relationships.  The LGBTQ Center OC serves over 3,000 youth each year, providing safe spaces, education, support, empowerment, and health connections.There is currently an STI epidemic in Orange County, with chlamydia and gonorrhea rapidly on the rise. Our FREE HIV AND STI SCREENING services help thousands of community members per year get access to better answers and faster results. Help us continue providing these crucial services to the community by joining us on February 12. Your donation and [...]


Happy New Year, from Your Friends at the LGBTQ Center OC Dear Friends, 2018 was a record-breaking year for us in more ways than one. Not only did our capacity grow by 25%, but we also had the opportunity to introduce new members to our LGBTQ Center OC team. Let's take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments we achieved together in this past year: 2018 saw the release of Udoka Nweke and Jason Nsinano, two gay African migrants seeking asylum, from ICE custody. They are now on the path to American residency and have been given the freedom to live their truths. This is a huge victory for the LGBTQQ and immigrant communities! We served over 12,000 community members in Orange County, with almost 3,000 visits to our youth programs alone. We had the opportunity to have almost 300 new youth join the Center's activities and programs. We [...]


Dear Friends, 'Tis the season for love and gratitude! And this year, we surely have a lot of it. As December greets us with the crisp air and a promise of good cheer, we at the LGBTQ Center can't help but reflect on all of the incredible stories and experiences we've shared this year. Each event held, each moment shared, and each life touched has made 2018 our most impactful year to date. And we couldn't have done it without you. Because of the incredible support and outreach within our community, we were able to change the lives of over 12,000 individuals right here in Orange County. We want to celebrate some of our biggest accomplishments. This year, we have had over 2,835 visits to our dynamic youth programs, which includes 290 new youth getting involved with the Center. We have trained over 1,750 Orange County individuals to be LGBTQQ affirming in their [...]

An Introduction and a Reminder of Why I’m Here

Have you ever had a moment so powerful that it reminds you exactly why you do what you do? Have you ever been faced with an event so big that you want to reinforce your passions and work even harder to change the world for the better? Such a moment has recently happened to me. Allow me to tell you my story. Real Beginnings On August 1st, I became the new Marketing Coordinator here at the LGBTQ Center OC. And how quickly my dream has become a reality! It is an honor to get involved with an organization so compassionate, so helpful, and so important to the community that it drives me to work harder and be better every single day. This is the beginning of my life’s work. Being able to utilize my skills and resources to help other members of the LGBTQQ+ community across all marginalized intersections [...]

Hate Mail

Well, it happened. We got a piece of someone's mind. In response to the year-end letters requesting tax-deductible donations by December 31st, we got the following response. Spoiler alert: It is, in fact, hate mail. It was pretty "Allful" in many ways. Maybe "Cal schools" didn't teach grammar or spelling back when s/he was a 5th grader. At least they asked nicely - they did say "Please". Twice. But, no. So many quotes and text underlined with THREE different colored highlighters. At least this person knows they can't spell hypocrite, not as much can be said for "bullys". Too bad they think only one woman wants equal rights. Our guess is that, behind closed doors, s/he writes angry, nonsensical, hate-fueled letters without the aid of a dictionary or the benefit of logical thought, fantasizing/thinking about what others do behind closed doors, swathed in self-hatred. This is why the LGBTQ Center OC exists. [...]

Have you heard what Happened in Houston?

Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was intended to provide protection for its LGBTQQ community, and failed this past Election Day. A campaign shrouded with lies caused a striking majority to disagree with protection against "discrimination in city employment and city services, city contracts, public accommodations, private employment, and housing based on an individual’s sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or pregnancy". The policy affording these protections had been put in place by city council, challenged in a successful lawsuit, which resulted in the removal of basic human rights by the vote. A travesty of justice like this is not unfamiliar to Californians (Prop 8, anyone?). …it’s not Just Happening in Houston. What is troubling about this to us, here at the LGBTQ Center Orange County, is that right now, signatures are being gathered for a [...]

The Collective Voice of the LGBT Center Orange County Continues to Resonate

Last week, the LGBTQ Center Orange County parted ways with its Executive Director, Dr. Kevin O’Grady. His activism and leadership these past three years complemented the organization’s 44-year history of providing life-changing and life-saving support programs. We are grateful for his years of service. As always, our focus remains on the LGBTQ community of Orange County. The strength and passion of our staff, community and allies have shaped messages and accomplished real change. Our collective voice is the one you will continue to hear in the face of bigotry, adversity and inequality. Despite monumental victories this year, there is still work to be done and nobody else doing exactly what we do. The LGBTQ Center OC proudly and openly fights homophobia, transphobia and hate in Orange County. Be assured that our robust programs will continue without interruption for the thousands we serve, and those we have yet to serve. We [...]

What’s Trans*piring

There are some new offerings as part of our Trans*itions health and wellness program that we could not be more excited to share with you! As you’re likely already aware, we offer access to renowned physician, Dr. Vierregger, for hormone replacement therapy. As a compliment to this service, we have teamed up with Select Staffing to offer our Trans* clients job training workshops in English and Spanish. We are also working with Select Staffing’s clients to provide Trans* sensitivity training to increase the number of affirming work places. Also new to Trans*itions is our Legal Name Change Clinic! Longtime supporter, Steven Hicklin, has teamed up with the LGBTQ Center OC in an official capacity to offer guidance on the process for legally changing your name. Where do homeless and housing insecure Trans* folk sleep? Shelters and crisis housing are often gender-specific or family-oriented. There are currently no beds in Orange [...]

After Peotter

You heard from us a number of times after Scott Peotter’s comments about the LGBTQ Community. Many of you responded, for which we are so grateful. The Newport Beach City Council meeting open to public comment on the issue was uplifting and overwhelmingly supportive of the LGBTQQ community. That is why we were stunned into utter silence after Newport Beach City Council did not vote in favor of censure. This decision did not seem in line with the most recent censure vote after a council member’s racially insensitive remarks. We were deeply disappointed and left scratching our heads about how to respond. A boycott seemed unreasonable in light of the numbers of LGBTQ people and allies employed by the city and who own and operate businesses in Newport Beach. Then, an idea began formulating… What if we were to approach the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce with a LGBTQQ campaign? [...]