WHO WE ARE
The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity (The Center), formerly known as The Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield, 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 the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, and serving as a bridge to the greater community in Kern County.
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.