The San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center began in April 2011 as the Pasadena Pride Center, formed in response to a nationwide string of LGBTQ youth suicides that had occurred within a short amount of time that year. The first board was a coalition of LGBTQ community leaders.
Our first mission was to provide a centralized point of contact for local community resources. Our website and phone number were available to community members in need. The Men’s Program was our first, launched in May of that year. Shortly after, we launched our monthly PRIDETalk educational forums.
In 2013 we conducted a needs assessment of San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ community service providers. The major finding of that study was the need to create a safe space for SGV LGBTQ people to gather.
In 2014, in collaboration with Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, we secured usage of facilities to host our new programming. We also launched the Women’s Program followed shortly by the Senior’s Program.
In 2015, we secured our second temporary home, Epic Spaces, a shared working space in the heart of Pasadena’s Playhouse District and again, we were provided with a new home for programming. We also conducted the first ever needs assessment specific to SGV LGBTQ community members.
In 2016, the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church transferred the Rainbow Connections LGBTQ Youth Program to The Center. We also secured a permanent home in Prince Erik Hall & Gardens behind Arcadia Congregational Church in Arcadia, Calif. With that move, we began the process of re-branding as The San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center.