The LGBT Center OC Blog

/The LGBT Center OC Blog/

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 LGBT Center OC exists. [...]


Have you heard what Happened in Houston?

Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was intended to provide protection for its LGBTQ 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 LGBT 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 LGBT 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 LGBT 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 LGBT 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 LGBT 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 LGBT 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 LGBTQ 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 LGBT 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 LGBTQ campaign? [...]


Youth and Advocacy

For six weeks over the summer, youth ages 14-24 attended twice-weekly sessions as part of the LGBT Center OC’s Color me Equal Leadership Bootcamp. Through the program, they learned leadership skills and core elements of organizing and campaign development through a social justice lens. The goal of the bootcamp is to train youth to become knowledgeable advocates in their schools, so that they, in turn, can advocate on behalf of the LGBT members in their communities. Courses focused on cycles of oppression, power analysis, base building, campaign strategy, LGBT Pride organizing, Gay-Straight Alliance development, and restorative justice. In August, 15 new students graduated, ready to put into practice the skills they learned. On August 22nd, community member and tattoo artist, Jasin O’Blaney, hosted Equal OC at The Tattoo Gallery in Huntington Beach. With the ethos of “Change starts from within” he was able to throw quite the shindig, offering equality [...]


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 LGBT people and allies who love body art, AND the event will raise funds for the LGBT Center Orange County! The Tattoo Gallery is offering special pricing on equality tattoos all day and donating the proceeds to youth programs at the LGBT 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 LGBTQ 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 LGBT community in Orange County, particularly [...]


Call For Submissions: Chicano Cultural Art

The Brad Brafford LGBT 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 LGBTQ themes within the Chicano community. Artists may email their submission to  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 LGBT Center of Orange County has issued the following call-to-action: “The LGBT 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 (, or e-mail her directly ( The LGBT Center OC is assured that free speech has a home in Newport Beach, but bigotry must not.  Not taking action is akin to acquiescence [...]