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The Diversity Center

Organization Mission

Celebrating three decades of work in Santa Cruz County, the Diversity Center advocates for, supports, and celebrates our area’s LGBTQ+ community. As the only LGBTQ+ community center on the Central Coast, we remain committed to advancing the causes and priorities of the thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning men and women we serve.

The Big Idea:
Camp OUT: Summer Camp for LGBTQ+ Kids

Did you or someone you love go to an LGBTQ+ Summer Camp as a kid? Nope, neither did we. If we were lucky and our parents could afford it, we went to a camp that reinforced gender stereotypes. Boys learned survival skills, girls did craft projects.

The Diversity Center is changing all that. We are offering a camp where LGBTQ+ kids help each other put up their tents, learn how to cook, share their struggles around the campfire about coming out as LGBTQ+, and find other campers, just like them, usually for the very first time.

LGBTQ+ youth face a far greater risk than their non-LGBTQ+ peers of suicide, mental illness, depression, bullying, assault, and substance use. It’s our goal to help our community’s youth feel connected to one another, build self-confidence, experience emotional and physical safety, be inspired as future leaders, and have fun! Our programs are run with the guidance and compassion of savvy adult mentors.

We reach approximately 10,000 individuals a year through onsite programs, outreach and education events, and work with schools, thanks to individual donations and hundreds of volunteers. Please join us as the need is growing for LGBTQ+ support.

Camp OUT was really beautiful. It’s a place for us to be free from the judgement of the outside world. It is such a blessing.


Michael, Camp OUT participant