Our Mission Statement
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Kansas City, a community-based organization, helps and encourages activities aimed towards advancing the well-being, positive image, and human rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, its partners, and low to moderate income residents in Kansas City.
History of The Center
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Kansas city, a organization, began during the summer of 1992 through various attempts influenced by the Friday Night Men’s Rap Group at Community Counseling Center. For a number of months the Center’s Board of Directors met in a tiny room at local community Counseling Center, however in July 1993 the Center purchased a small former dentist office at 912 E. Sahara Ave. Not simply was this the Center’s first self-sufficient home, but it was the very first safe community space in Kansas City for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people. That year, the Kansas legislature repealed the state’s sodomy law and the Kansas City gay community rallied to commemorate and devote its new Center on October 15, 1993.
In just a couple of months of opening, this very center provided the city a number of services and programs. It supplied free HIV testing; work place for the Kansas Gay Rodeo Association, the NAMES Project, LAMDBA Business Association, PFLAG, Delta Lambda Phi, Senior Action Gay Atmosphere; and conference space for groups supporting lesbians, gay youth, gay and lesbian mothers and fathers, Hispanics, gay seniors, transgender people-even a gay sci-fi club. In January 1994, this very center backed the very first annual Man and Woman of the Year Awards, known today as the Honorarium.
By 2001, having said that, the Center had outgrown its tiny space and in February 2002 it relocated into a 6,000 square-foot storefront in Commercial Center. A ribbon-cutting and dedication occurred on October 11, 2002 in collaboration with the city’s National Coming Out Day celebrations. Using its membership and community programs expanding as well the Center in June 2006 relocated into a larger space nearby. This enlargement integrated a computer lab, two large meeting/game rooms, an appropriate community room, and Las Vegas’ first LGBTQ library.
In 2007, confronted with progressively more needs on its quest from Kansas City’s burgeoning queer community, the Center launched into a five-year strategic plan to yet again obtain its own building and to improve the scope and excellence of its programs and outreach. By 2012 the Center exceeded its fundraiser goal and acquired the yet another center. After a $4 million dollar remodeling the Center held its fantastic opening on April 6, 2013.
Today the community is still going strong to this day, and what we visioned in the beginning has progressed us to the point where we allowed community members to start providing us with thoughts and recommendations of what can be added to the center to further improve it like we always intend to do.