June 12, Candlelight Memorial held in memory of the victims of the Orlando Shooting. Click on the link to watch KYMA news report:
Hundreds of people took part Friday in what many here are calling a major milestone for the local gay community: the grand opening of the Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center.Among them was Imperial resident Luis De La Cruz, who clearly remembers the wide support Proposition 8 had received in the Valley during the November 2008 state elections.He also clearly remembers feeling embarrassed for the county in 2010 after a local elected official took part in defending the same-sex marriage ban, which had been challenged in federal court and was ultimately struck down by the U.S.“In less than 10 years we went from Prop 8 to opening the very first LGBT center (in the Valley),” he said. “It seems like a giant step forward.”Since word had gotten out that the resource center was in the process of opening its doors here in El Centro, De la Cruz, who is openly gay and a volunteer at the center, said it has received an outpouring of support from a wide range of local individuals, agencies and organizations.Among those initial supporters was Lisa Solomon, an Imperial Valley College history professor and adviser to the campus’ LGBTQ Club. Friday’s grand opening allowed her and those same advocates to both step back and enjoy as well as be awed by the fruits of their labor.“I really did not think this would happen,” said Solomon, who is a board member of the resource center. “I don’t think I’m walking completely on the ground.”Aside from helping the Valley’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer community access services, as well as providing a much-needed venue for the LGBT community to call home, the center will also provide a platform from which it can combat prejudice against the gay community through education and advocacy.Already the Valley has three high schools with clubs specifically formed in support of the gay community, Solomon said, noting that she is also one of two openly gay candidates that are vying for a seat on the Imperial County Office of Education Board of Trustees.“Lots of attitudes are based on lack of information,” Solomon said. “Education takes away that element of the unknown.”Friday’s grand opening kicked off with a performance by local band Sweetie Darling, and featured various presentations by supporters of the local LGBT community.
News about the Imperial Valley LGBT Resource Center have begun to highlight how far the center has come in a short time. The Center has been featured in multiple news articles, News Programs and podcasts listed below!