Who We Are
The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity (The Center) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender community in Kern County.
The Center is an easy access hub providing safe, supportive spaces and services to Kern County’s LGBTQIA2S+ community and allies. We welcome persons of all identities and strive toward a goal of creating a feeling of belonging for all persons while serving as a bridge connecting to the greater community in Kern County.
The Center staff, board members, and volunteers are committed to providing sustainable and affirming services to enhance the quality of life for our community members. We listen to our community, and have a deep commitment to supporting the most vulnerable among us.
Every staff member, board member, and volunteer has accepted the following values as shaped by both our founders and the people we serve that help guide every action we take in shaping our organization and services:
Respect - affirming the inherent value and worth of each person in our actions and communications. We will listen deeply and will affirm the lived experience of others.
Diversity - committing to equitable treatment and elimination of discrimination in all its forms at all organizational levels and throughout all programs. We will actively seek new diversity and viewpoints in our hiring of employees and bringing in new volunteers.
Equity - creating a safe space that is accessible and welcoming for all that come to the Center. All visitors, staff, and volunteers will have access to direct or anonymous feedback about potential areas of improvement, and all suggestions will be given careful consideration.
Stewardship - cultivating the resources entrusted to us to promote healing and wholeness. We will use our financial resources wisely and in keeping these commitments to our values.
Growth - providing services and support so that the community that we serve, staff, board members, and volunteers can achieve their full potential. We will seek to grow in ways that continue to allow us to expand our service deliveries within the known unmet needs in our community
Mission & Values as voted by board on 10/11/2021 version
why we are
The Center opened in 2011 in an effort led by understated community leader and philanthropist David Trujillo. As a young man, David found the Los Angeles Center to be an invaluable resource to him when he came out, particularly in connecting with other LGBTQ people. After the 2010 suicide of Tehachapi teen Seth Walsh, David's desire to bring the same resources to Bakersfield's LGBTQ community took on a renewed urgency. He said, "LGBTQ youths need to know that they are okay and that there is nothing wrong with who they are and who they love."
our impact measured in numbers
Conservative estimates put the current number of LGBTQ persons living in Kern County at 36,000 to 50,000 residents. In our first four years, we served about 1,000 individuals per year. Since then, thanks to significant grant funding from the California Reducing Disparities Project of California’s Office of Health Equity. Now The Center serves 250 to 300 individuals a month, with many using The Center weekly or more frequently.
our recent transformation
At the celebration of our sixth anniversary in November 2017, we announced our name change to The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity. Why change the name? In short, our board of directors wanted a name that celebrated the richness of an LGBTQ+ community that continues to evolve and make its varied voices heard. Now all people who identify along the entire spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities can see themselves in the name as well as in its services. We also removed "Bakersfield" from the name because we want to be a resource to ALL of Kern County.
For more information about The Center's new brand, please read the Community Voices article, “What’s in a Name? A Lot of LGBTQ Diversity, That’s What!,” published in The Bakersfield Californian and www.bakersfield.com.