Sacramento LGBT Community Center has unique services, community, and events that build community for LGBT for in the Greater Sacramento Area.
Tuesday August 24, 2015 was the Second annual Pride Awards Presented by the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. This was a beautiful fundraiser held in the courtyard of Artist Lofts in Downtown Sacramento with Champagne and Hors d’ Oeuvres. What really made the event exceptional was the Keynote genuine and compassionate speech given by Board Member David Heitstuman. He spoke on the issues that the local LGBT community faces and the center has programs and outreach to address these issues. “The Center provides support to five hundred people every month.”
Mr. Heitstuman works for Speaker of the Assembly, Toni Atkins in Media, Communications, and Events. He has also worked with Gray Davis and on Presidential Campaigns.
While the fundraisers are a great way to support the day-to-day functions and needs of the community and the LGBT center, the real and urgent issues in the community are very serious and very real.
David spoke on how the center was in financial peril when he joined the board in 2011. He worked to develop a full twelve-member board and mixed revenue system to support the center.
The success of this plan and organizing has allowed the center to expand; offering several specialized programs and fundraisers events each year.
“The Rainbow flag on the front porch offers hope to many LGBT people.” Mr. Heitstuman mentioned that often staff finds young people sleeping on the front patio in the morning with no other place to go. The LGBT Community Center has resources and programs to help them. Homelessness for LGBT Youth is an important issue in the community as “LGBT people are about forty percent of the homeless youth” while only being less than ten percent of the general population. Many young people are kicked out of their homes when they come out to family, run away from home, fired or refused employment, or seek refuge from less tolerant places. “Two hundred and fifty homeless and at risk LGBTQ youth are finding a safe, welcoming, supportive environment at the Center each week.”
The LGBT Center also provides services for transgender people that are necessary. “Last week was the fifteenth transgender murder and there is a forty percent suicide rate among transgender people.” The American Medical Association says transition surgery is “Safe and effective,” in addition, “Surgery is not cosmetic….it is reconstructive.” A Williams study found that fully inclusive private coverage of transgender transition surgery cost each member twenty cents per month. The LGBT center provides services and community to help.
The LGBT Center is certified to provide on-site and mobile HIV testing and outreach. They coordinate with CARES in Sacramento that provides treatment to provide outreach to help prevent infection. They also provide community groups, education, and services to help people in the community. “The LGBT center has tested 100 people since May 2015.”
They are also very social; there are three group for young people up to twenty-four years old, a “rest-pit” to socialize and refresh during the school or work-week, Men’s group that goes out to dinner weekly after the meeting, coming out groups, and Senior Services.
The fundraisers and events are also great social events but also crucial to the center’s fundraising. October will Feature the Annual “Red Dress Party” supporting HIV awareness and LGBT health disparity. Many LGBT still face fear and discrimination with healthcare providers. The have an annual LGBT Prom for students, the Pride Awards, a Picnic, Health fare, Sacramento Pride, and Momma’ Makin’ Baccon.
1927 L St, Sacramento, CA 95811
Quotations: Pride Awards Opening Remarks. (2015). David Heitstuman. Sacramento LGBT Community Center Pride Awards 2015.