Saturday, April 07, 2018

Founded Today In 1973, The Pacific Center in Berkeley, CA

The Pacific Center for Human Growth, or simply the Pacific Center, is a community center focusing on LGBT people. The center operates from a Victorian house south of the University of California in Berkeley, California.

The center was founded today, April 7, in 1973, as a response to a brutal gaybashing in downtown Oakland, a major city that neighbors Berkeley. Often referred to as the Berkeley LGBT or gay Center, it is the oldest LGBT community center in the Bay Area and the third oldest in the country. Will Roscoe campaigned successfully in 1976 for United Way membership for the Pacific Center, the first LGBT agency to achieve this.

The Oakland-East Bay Gay Men's Chorus was founded under the auspices of the Pacific Centre in 1999 before becoming an independent organization.

In 2002 the center was vandalised with anti-gay and neo-nazi-themed tagging considered a "hate crime" by the center. Flyers on the bulletin board at the entrance to the center were vandalized with the anti-gay slur "fag" and a swastika.

When California legalized same-sex marriage in 2008, the youth group at the center marched around the neighborhood with the rainbow flag to celebrate the victory as the center was actively involved in campaigning for equal gay rights.

The center, along with Berkeley and the larger surrounding region is known for their eclecticism and liberalism and the Pacific Center is not different. In the past it has offered drag-quit smoking classes, transsexual film screenings, and young queer women's groups among other unique initiatives.

Today the center offers peer support groups alongside mental health counseling for LGBT people from the community. There is also a drop-in after school program for LGBT, Questioning, and Intersex youth.

For more information, go to the center's Website at

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