October 19th is LGBT Center Awareness Day, a day dedicated to the appreciation of the many organizations around the United States that provide support services to absolutely everyone in need. These centers are an invaluable link in the LGBT community, connecting people and providing a safe, welcoming space to defend rights, find cultural events, look for work, housing and much more.
The holiday was organized by CenterLink in 1994 to bring attention to the incredible work of these centers. On a daily basis, they provide free services to over 40 people, including mental health counseling, educational programs, libraries, support groups, recreational activities, and more.
The creation of these centers was a vital necessity due to the discrimination LGBT people were and still are subjected to, which often denied them access to basic resources and services. The first ones opened in Los Angeles and New York in 1971. The importance of their work was further highlighted when AIDS spread among the gay community in the 1980s and the centers provided a much needed platform to address the issue.
- San Francisco has the highest percentage of LGBT people, with 6.2% identifying as such.
- New York is the largest gay city with 272 LGBT people.
- The United States passed a law in 2007 that prohibited discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation.
- The Netherlands was the first country to officially legalize same-sex marriage.
How to take part
To show your support for LGBT Center Awareness Day, you can visit one of these centers and offer your volunteer help. Those with the resources can also make a voluntary donation to provide the centers with the necessary funds. Finally, spread awareness of the holiday and the work of the centers on your social networks to ensure those in need can find help.
When is LGBT Center Awareness Day celebrated in 2023?
LGBT Center Awareness Day is observed on October 19 each year.