Queer Santa Cruz

Explore the important contributions, impact, and history of the LGBTQ+ community in Santa Cruz County.

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April 24th, 2020 - April 24th, 2022

History Pod within the 2nd Floor History Gallery

Explore the important contributions, impact, and history of Santa Cruz County's LGBTQ+ community in a pop-up exhibit co-created with The Diversity Center.

Browse archival photographs, flyers, testimonies, and ephemera in this breakout pod within the Permanent Santa Cruz County History Gallery. Learn how the LGBTQ+ community worked to generate empathy and understanding throughout Santa Cruz County and are now working to archive their history in a permanent collection.

Plus, watch and listen to the Trailblazers Oral History Project sponsored by the History Forum's Dolkas-Mertz Award. This collection of oral histories documents the local LGBTQ+ community, honoring the people who championed the movements and empowered the community.

Meet our Collaborators

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The Diversity Center, founded in 1989, is an organization that impacts the lives of tens of thousands of Santa Cruz residents each year. Through the creation of education outreach programs that develop LGBTQ+ youth leaders, promote tolerance towards local trans communities, reduce sentiments of isolation by connecting seniors, veterans, youth and Latinx groups to one another, and providing learning opportunities about the LGTBQ+ community at large The Diversity Center relies on volunteer efforts as well an administrative structure to enact change in Santa Cruz for decades.

Proudly Sponsored By:

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“Pride is about visibility; with visibility comes acceptance...We’re not interested in tolerance from the community, we want acceptance.”

Nahum Rivera, Pajaro Valley Pride Coordinator, 2015

Thank You to All Our Collaborators

  • The Diversity Center of Santa Cruz County
  • Queer Youth Task Force
  • Pat Dellin
  • Rob Darrow
  • Emilio Barajas
  • John Laird
  • Phillip Longo
  • Bristol Cave-LaCoste
  • Students from UCSC’s Queer History Class
  • Wyatt Young
  • Sharon Papo
  • Alex Santana
  • Jerry Solomon
  • Jo Kenny
  • Gloria Nieto
  • Kater Pollock
  • Larry Friedman
  • Lauren Cruz
  • Sandy Stone
  • Stella Moreno
  • Adam Spickler
  • Jane Schwickerath
  • Dan Dickmeyer
  • Stuart Rosenstein

LGBTQ+ is an initialism (an abbreviation) that means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning. LGBTQ+ is used to mean all of the communities within the spectrum. LGBTQ+ community’s story is part of a larger, shared Santa Cruz County history. It is a history that must be preserved.

Save the Date

Queer Santa Cruz may not be open yet, but in the meantime stop by to explore three floors of local art and history.