Pacific Center for Human Growth
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 on Telegraph Avenue south of the University of California in Berkeley, California.
The center was founded 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.
In 2001 the Pacific Center was involved in trying to help the city curb cruising for sex by men in Berkeley Aquatic Park by getting the city to set up a support network for men who have sex with men that do not identify as gay or bisexual. However, funding was never acquired.
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.
Operations and location
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.
- Mission and History Archived 2011-01-01 at the Wayback Machine. Pacific Center website. 2011. Retrieved 17-01-2011.
- Dave Weinstein, It Came from Berkeley: How Berkeley Changed the World, Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4236-0254-5, p. 193.
- Hate crime strikes gay and lesbian center. Matthew Artz. Berkeley Daily Planet. 08-10-2002. Retrieved 17-01-2011.
- Dennis McMillan, "BAPHR Awards Grants to 12 Groups," San Francisco Bay Times January 15, 2009, retrieved January 28, 2011.
- Pacific Center Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine, Berkeley Venues, San Francisco Chronicle, retrieved January 28, 2011.
- Harry Britt, willsworld.org, retrieved January 28, 2011.
- About Us - OEBGMC Organization History, Oakland-East Bay Gay Men's Chorus, 2010, retrieved January 28, 2010.
- Tradition of sex cruising at Aquatic Park to end. John Geluardi. Berkeley Daily Planet. 19-12-2001. Retrieved 17-01-2011.
- Same-sex marriage decision greeted with cheers. Raya Bhattarchargee. Berkeley Daily Planet. 22-05-2008. Retrieved 17-01-2011.
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