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It's Giving Tuesday!

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

THIS GIVING TUESDAY, HELP US CONTINUE SERVING OUR COMMUNITY! Donate generously and support our mission: providing affordable and affirmative care to LGBTQIA+ community members in Alameda County and beyond. DONATE HERE!


The Center in the 80's

(Citation: Carolyn Newbergh. “AIDS support group survives a crisis, continues mission” The Oakland Tribune. 1989. Courtesy of the SF GLBT Historical Society. Print.)

The 1980s challenged both the Pacific Center and the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole to be even more caring, courageous and resilient in the face of the emerging AIDS epidemic and the need to reckon with systemic inequality and racial injustice.

During the early 1980s, the Pacific Center emerged as a pioneering force as the AIDS crisis took hold and a climate of fear and isolation gripped the LGBTQIA+ community. The Center offered free counseling and training to victims of the epidemic and their families and friends, and took a leading role in the creation of a community-based “safer-sex” approach at a time when abstinence was promoted as the dominant model.

(Citation: Pacific Center for Human Growth. “HOT, HORNY & HEALTHY.” Pacific Center for Human Growth. May 1987. Courtesy of the SF GLBT Historical Society. Print.)

Today, we are proud to offer HIV+ support and mental health programming, as well as to partner with other local organizations to provide HIV testing and prevention measures, while continuing our advocacy for accessible and effective physical and mental health strategies.

(Citation: Pacific Center for Human Growth. “RACISM WORKSHOP FOR THIRD WORLD & WHITE LESBIANS.” Pacific Center for Human Growth. Apr 1978. Bay Area Lesbian Archives.)

The 1980s also saw the Center grappling with broader societal issues related to race and privilege. In its founding mission, the Center aimed to be a support network and resource center for all types of sexual and gender minorities, but there were reports that its predominantly white, gay male climate did not foster a welcoming and comfortable experience for people of color, women and trans individuals.

(Citation: Gwen & Jerene,” November 1979, Bay Area Lesbian Archives, Oakland. Courtesy of Bay Area Lesbian Archives.)

The Pacific Center, and its supporters, sought to address this inequity and build a more diverse, inclusive community through broader programming and regularly hosted performances of music, drama, poetry and other events, designed to engage and uplift the community while promoting queer representation and visibility through the arts. For example, Lenn Keller, an Oakland-based lesbian of color who served as Women’s Coordinator at the Pacific Center, developed a program for lesbian and bisexual women and began booking lesbian of color performers for events to help make the Center more than a hub of white, gay male culture. This tradition continues: At our 50th Anniversary Golden Dreams Gala in June, we were proud to host a performance by SoLauren and Gay Men’s Chorus. See the videos here!

Moreover, in addition to increasing QTBIPOC representation at the staff level, the Pacific Center has made culturally responsive therapy and attention to the needs of QTBIPOC community members a cornerstone of our mission to support healing and liberation for our whole community. As we prepare to open our doors for in-person counseling, peer support groups, and events at our new space, we hope you will support us in delivering critical services to the LGBTQIA+ community for the next 50 years by donating to our fundraiser here!

Are you looking for an opportunity to make a meaningful impact in the LGBTQ+ community? If you are passionate about promoting mental health, consider joining our team. View our current job listings and learn more about the application process.

Accepting New Clients!

We're pleased to announce that we are now accepting new fall clients. If you or someone you know is seeking professional counseling services in a safe and inclusive environment, we are here for you. To schedule a confidential phone screening and take the first step toward improved mental well-being, please register here.

Accepting Clothes for Our Gender Affirming Closet and Book Donations

Our community is stronger when we have access to essential resources. We are accepting donations of new clothes for our Gender Affirming Closet and books for our community library. If you have gently used clothes in perfect condition or clothes with tags still on, we'd love to hear from you. Please arrange a meeting with our volunteer coordinator Kitty/Vanessa at to review your donation. Similarly, if you have books you'd like to contribute to our library, please contact us to set up a meeting for book donations.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date: Annual Mental Health At The Intersections: Please save the date for our Mental Health at the Intersections conference: May 30, 2024 (8:30-4:00 PM PST) at the California Endowment in Oakland, CA. This year the conference theme is empowering youth through wellness. Mental Health at the Intersections (MHTI) is a FREE day-long conference for mental health providers and community workers that centers care & support for those who sit at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. More details to come. Please save the date and we hope you are able to join us.

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