Equal OC: Tattoos for Equality

The Tattoo Gallery in Huntington Beach is hosting “Equal OC” on Saturday, August 22nd from noon until people feel like leaving. The event is being held to raise visibility of OC LGBTQ people and allies who love body art, AND the event will raise funds for the LGBTQ Center Orange County! The Tattoo Gallery is offering special pricing on equality tattoos all day and donating the proceeds to youth programs at the LGBTQ Center OC. Jasin O’Blaney of The Tattoo Gallery, the event’s organizer, said “This is a personal celebration of my identity as much as it is a celebration of the progress of the entire LGBTQQ community.  I put this all together because I wanted to raise awareness and visibility in Huntington Beach. After marriage equality passed in the Supreme Court, I felt like it was time to engage with and support the LGBTQ community in Orange County, particularly [...]

Call For Submissions: Chicano Cultural Art

The Brad Brafford LGBTQ Center on 4th is looking for submissions for its upcoming gallery exhibit showcasing and celebrating Chicano cultural art and running from September 5th-June 30, 2015, with the opening night of the exhibit being September 12th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibition will be a celebration of Chicano life, culture, and identity in Orange County and Southern California, and recognition of the strides of Chicano activism and contributions as a community. We invite Orange County and Southern California local artists to submit pieces that celebrate Chicano culture in Orange County and Southern California, and that portray the themes of Chicano political and social identities, community, activism, and representations of LGBTQQ themes within the Chicano community. Artists may email their submission to art@lgbtqcenteroc.org  under the following guidelines: Medium Dimensions A short bio (250 words or less) Your last name and medium in the subject line of [...]

Newport Beach City Council to Vote on Censure of Scott Peotter

Tonight, Newport Beach City Council will vote on whether or not to Censure Scott Peotter for his bigoted comments last month in a communication containing the city seal. Denunciation of his remarks in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on marriage equality would not be without precedent. The council censured fellow member, Dick Nichols, in 2003 for racist commentary. Kevin O’Grady, Executive Director of The LGBTQ Center of Orange County has issued the following call-to-action: “The LGBTQ Center OC is urging all decent people to call upon the council to vote in favor of censure; particularly Diane Dixon, who could be the swing vote.  You can call her office at (949) 287-9211, contact her via her website (http://dianedixon2014.com/contact.php), or e-mail her directly (DDixon@NewportBeachCa.gov). The LGBTQ Center OC is assured that free speech has a home in Newport Beach, but bigotry must not.  Not taking action is akin to acquiescence [...]

“Seen and Heard: Perspectives on Feminism”

The LGBTQ Center on 4th has collaborated with Idiosyncrasy Artist Collective to present “Seen and Heard: Perspectives on Feminism”, a celebration of feminism’s contributions and future.  The exploration of feminism’s effects on society, politics, and beauty standards opens August 8th with a celebration of female empowerment including music from Ali Coyle and Katherine Calligori, spoken word from Meghan Warner, and cocktails crafted by Baxter’s Speakeasy. “Seen and Heard: Perspectives on Feminism” will run from August 8th to September 1st, and includes work from Pamella Susan Rush , Ani Sanati, Sarah V.Wolff , Megan Spatz, and Angels Marie Johnson. The Brad Brafford LGBTQ Center on 4th opened on May 30th in East End Santa Ana, and is the social hub of the LGBTQ Orange County community.  This is the second location of the LGBTQ Center Orange County which has expanded its services to include arts, culture, and adult education in a safe, affirming, [...]

A Tale of Two Cities

At this week's Santa Ana City Council meeting, the LGBTQ Center OC was given a proclamation in recognition and celebration of the Supreme Court victory for marriage equality. All council members but one were present, including Mayor Pulido, and each spoke in support of the recent ruling and the Center. For the first time ever, a rainbow flag flew at City Hall. We are thrilled to call Santa Ana home. Thanks to your faith in love and your trust in the LGBTQ Center OC, we will be celebrating this and many more triumphs to come! Sadly, this is in stark contrast to the views expressed recently by Newport Beach City Councilman, Scott Peotter. Views that forced the city of Newport Beach to distance themselves from Peotter and issue the following statement "The city welcomes and values its citizens, visitors and employees, irrespective of sexual orientation or marital status, and embraces Newport Beach's place [...]

LGBT Center OC’s 2015 Queer Youth Prom!

With all of the excitement following the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality, the July 4th holiday, and some very un-neighborly comments made by Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter, we here at the LGBTQ Center Orange County wanted to make sure that the immense success of our youth program's 2015 Queer Youth Prom was not overlooked.    This year was our most successful prom EVER! We had 154 youth attend the event at our new space, The Brad Brafford LGBTQ Center on 4th (CO4). It was a spectacular blow-out party. So much planning, outreach and set-up went into executing the event. Highlights included a master DJ and fabulous Thai food and iced tea. The most delicious cakes were provided by our friends from the Orange County Imperial Court.    The 154 youth were between 14 and 19 years old and came from ALL over Orange County and beyond. Schools [...]

Talking Points Regarding Councilman Peotter’s Recent Remarks

In light of Newport Beach City Councilman, Scott Peotter’s recent comments to his subscribers, we have crafted the following talking points to help you discuss the matter in productive way. Not only is it disturbing that an elected city official would give voice to such homophobic beliefs, but that his statement appears under the seal of the City of Newport Beach is even more disturbing.  Peotter’s communication acknowledge 5 of 9 “guys” who made this decision – despite the fact that there are three sitting justices who are women – all of whom voted in favor of marriage equality.  He thinks the Supreme Court overturned “5,000 years of Judeo - Christian tradition”, when in fact they solidified the constitutional right of LGBTQ people to marry. SCOTUS does not have the authority to force Judeo-Christian institutions to preform marriages for LGBTQ people. Religious institutions are deciding to do this or [...]

LGBT Center OC Responds to Scott Peotter Remarks and Proclamation from Santa Ana Mayor and City Council

A recent communication containing the seal of the City of Newport Beach was sent by Councilman Scott Peotter to constituents to voice his personal disgust with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. The response of Executive Director of the LGBTQ Center OC, Kevin O’Grady, was to shine a light on the intolerant nature of Councilman Peotter’s remarks as disgraceful for the City of Newport Beach, its constituents, and particularly the thriving LGBTQ community there. The City of Newport Beach issued a statement distancing themselves from Mr. Peotter’s remarks, but fell short of condemning them. “The LGBTQ Center OC exists to champion the equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, still viewed as ‘less than’ by many in Orange County. We are a strong proponent of the freedom of speech and encourage everyone to exercise this right. We simply are fulfilling our mission by shining [...]

2015 Torchbearer Award Recipients Named

LGBTQ Center OC presents the 2015 Indigo Ball SANTA ANA, The Lyon Air Museum will be the site of this year’s Indigo Ball which will be held on Saturday, April 18th. This spectacular event is the primary annual fundraising activity for the LGBTQ Center OC, and will include vibrant entertainment, a fabulous dinner, and both silent and live auctions. The LGBTQ Center OC is proud to announce our honorees and recipients of this years’ Torchbearer Award: Kathy Najimy has captured audiences with her performances in films such as Sister Act and Hocus Pocus; and has expanded her career beyond Actor to Writer, Director, Producer, and Activist. Her social justice advocacy has been recognized with numerous honors for her enthusiastic work supporting women’s, girl’s and LGBTQ rights, AIDS, animal rights, and reproductive rights. Brad Brafford is one of the true LGBTQQ pioneers in Orange County, and like all pioneers he has [...]