Open Letter from LGBT+ Community Centers

An open letter from LGBT community centers on the Orlando shooting:

Our hearts break for the LGBT community in Orlando and for the families, friends, and loved ones of those who were killed. While we are still learning many facts about the shooting, one thing is clear: this attack targeted LGBT people, particularly the many LGBT Latinx people attending Latin night at the Pulse nightclub. As community center leaders, we see the vast work that remains to eliminate homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, racism, and many other forms of bigotry from our communities; after Sunday, what is visible every day to us has now become clear to all.

LGBT bars were the original community centers; they were often the place where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people could be themselves, find support, and meet other like-minded people. For over four decades LGBT community centers have been dedicated to creating safe spaces where people find sanctuary from hostility and find acceptance not available to them elsewhere. Like Pulse, LGBT community centers are places where people gather and build families of love.

Read more ...

Gathering to Cope

To say it has been a tough week is a gross understatement. Since the massacre took place in a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning, it has been all hands on deck at The OutCenter. To recap, our fearless leader and executive director, Mary Jo Schnell, was helping a community in Traverse City organize opening their own LGBT center. She made us all proud. She kept in touch with LGBT centers across the state and beyond and kept us all posted via FaceBook. OutCenter board members stepped in and organized a vigil for Sunday night that featured speakers Todd Dockerty, OutCenter board chair and the Reverend Eric Stricklin, UCC pastor. Forty-nine candles were lit in honor of each life lost and those who attended felt comfort and resolve to turn our outrage into action. The political rhetoric of those who vote against gay rights and against automatic gun control continues to infuriate us and their condolences ring hollow. We are buoyed by the bravery of Senators who filibustered through the night until a vote on gun control was agreed to. And we are grateful to a true Prince for putting his support behind the LGBT community.

Read more ...

The OutCenter Welcomes New Additions to the Board

The OutCenter extends a warm welcome to the new members of the Boards: Marci Weber, Beth McCree, Brian Savage, Marian Tripplett and Ronda Collier.

Read more ...

Queer Prom: A Success Story

After weeks of planning and preparation, the OutCenter in conjunction with Lake Michigan College's Gay Straight Alliance hosted the third annual Queer Prom! The event was held at the Oakroom at the Citadel on April 16 frm 6 pm to 9pm. This year was a definite success for the OutCenter and the teens they serve. More than 16 cities and towns were represented and students from more than 13 schools attended the prom making this the largest turnout Queer Prom and the Teen Pride Program has seen! 

Read more ...

NOH8! Teen GSA Meeting

This month's Teen GSA meeting's curriculum was built upon the NOH8! Campaign, a charitable organization that promotes LGBT rights such as LGBT marriage and gender equality.

Facilitated conversations about bullying, hate, and the need for positive and creative responses provided great examples of ways teens can be leaders on this issue in their every-day lives.

Teens also participated in the FIRED UP! Water Street Glassworks program yet again! The youth had the opportunity to make beautiful art pieces with fused tiles.

Later in the afternoon, Beth Haire-Lewis, an OutCenter Board member and CARES educator, did an educational presentation on HIV/AIDS and the dangers of unsafe sex. She also educated attendees about the discrimination faced by people who have HIV/AIDS, their needs, and resources in the area such as CARES' services and programs


MakeDonation box2


JoinMailingLIst box2


ReadNewsletters box2


Cake Cutting CTC

Search This Site