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Central Coast LGBTQ+ organizations support each other

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Ten nonprofits serving the LGBTQ+ communities on the Central Coast have joined together to say they support each other.

The ten organizations released a joint statement Wednesday in recognition of Pride Month, which is observed in June, and their commitment to the LGBTQ+ communities in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties.

The joint statement highlights the need for multiple organizations to help serve the diverse needs of the LGBTQ+, Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander, and other communities on the Central Coast.

"We understand that it takes all types to come together and create a world where LGBTQ+ people can be free," read the statement. "And this Pride Month we are reminded that no matter where we are from, and no matter the story of our lives ... we are united."

The statement recognized that different organizations address different needs in those communities.

"Some of our organizations are empowering our youth. Some are engaged in the work of harm reduction. Some are telling our stories and changing narratives. Others are providing direct support services, creating art and preserving culture, or building spaces for our community to celebrate, connect and thrive. As event creators, nonprofit organizations, and community projects of the 805, we understand that there is no on way to be queer."

The initiative to release a joined statement was led by Chief Esparza of and the organizers of the upcoming Santa Barbara Pride & Joy weekend happening in October.

Vivian Storm, one of Santa Barbara's premiere drag queens and the host of 'Glitter Brunch' at the Wildcat Loungue on Sundays, said one organization cannot be expected to serve everyone.

"Each and every one of those organizations that are doing this great work needs to support each other, because although we're doing very similar work, there [are] some things that are missing in those cracks."

Storm said sometimes, communities of color and the transgender community get overlooked or not addressed by larger nonprofits, and these smaller organizations help address those cracks.

The ten organizations coming together for this join statement include; SB Pride & Joy, ColorBloq: The Stories of Us, The Rainbow House Inc., Carp Pride, House of Pride and Equality, Santa Ynez Valley Pride, and Pacific Pride Foundation from Santa Barbara County. Oxnard LGBTQ+ Community and Diversity Collective VC from Ventura County and Gala Pride and Diversity Center from San Luis Obispo County.

Organizations wishing to join in the joint statement of unity can email Allies to the LGBTQ+ community can also join.

Santa Barbara Pride & Joy weekend is October 5 - 8 in Santa Barbara.

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Santa Barbara Pride

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