who we are
The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity, formerly known as The Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield, is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), organization serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender community of Greater Bakersfield.
why we do it
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 youth] 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 residents. In our first four years, we served about 1,000 people per year. In the last two years, those numbers have increased: we are now serving 2,500 people per year.
what we do
Above all, the Center strives to provide a safe, comfortable, and inviting place for the LGBT community to meet, socialize and network.
In addition to providing this positive environment, the Center seeks to improve the well-being of LGBT people in the Bakersfield area by providing social, cultural, and educational programs and activities, as well as an extensive referral network.
Furthermore, the Center seeks to strengthen the connection between the LGBT community and the entire Bakersfield area community by fostering diversity, tolerance, and greater understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
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.