Creating Vibrant Community
    by helping LGBTQ people along their way





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    760.416.7790 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Hey there,
Letter from a Director
I think about who I was, back in March, having just turned 33, and I know for a fact – the person I am today is completely different than that person. And when I think about our community, which is made up of us, of people, I realize that our community too is different than who we were back then. I think about our grief and I think about our joy, and I think about what we allow ourselves to feel, and how that informs what we allow others to feel.
Despite working from home and spending more time than ever physically alone, I feel so much more connected to my community… so much more intentional about who my people are, and who I am. Facilitating the weekly Social Caring in the Face of Quarantine group on Mondays has been a gift for me to process, out loud, and hear others do the same. Now that I think about it… it’s synchronicity that my intention for 2020, before this pandemic became our reality, was care. If there’s one thing I know I’ve made space for in my life, it’s care. I hope the same for you, for my people.
We’re here for you.
Lex Ortega
Director of innovation & Community Engagement
Video Storytelling Project: Behavioral Health
What we did before in a different way...
Click here to learn more about our We're Here for You Video Storytelling Project
In this time of physical distancing, are you feeling connected?
Yes, I am connected to people I care about and care for me
Yes, I am connected to people
No, I do not feel connected to anyone
No, I cannot connect because of barriers (lack of internet, social anxiety etc.)
No, and I want that connection
Previously, we asked if you had ever accessed therapy and here's how you responded - 30% yes, regularly; 45% yes, briefly, 8% no, but they've thought about it; 10% no, they have no interest; 2% no, because of barriers like cost or language; and 5% answered, other.
Thanks to everyone who participated. Mental health stigma is real, and it can be an important component for care for ourselves. We reached out to the 10% of folks who let us know they haven't had therapy, but either thought about it or experienced barriers, to let them know about therapy through the Behavioral Health Clinic @ The Center.
Upcoming @ The Center
Everything improves with glitter.
The Center's Online Virtual Wreath Auction is just fast approaching on Monday, November 30th. Hopefully you are all busy making your submissions, but it's still not too late to join in the fun. Sign up here or visit here for more details.
We have a special evening planned with pre-show entertainment and a virtual auction like no other. You can even make a reservation @ 849 Restaurant and Lounge and "Dine and Bid" from their beautiful outdoor patio where the event will be screened LIVE!
All your creative wreath submissions must to be at The Center no later than November 13th, so we can photograph them for their web-sational auction debut.
Featured Programs
Tomorrow @ noon
Starts tomorrow
Our virtual space for ALL of our LGBTQ community members to come together, talk with one another, and move through the conversation about race. The space will be facilitated by Lex Ortega, Director of Innovation & Community Engagement here @ The Center. This month’s topic: White Privilege.
Starting Oct 29th Thursdays @ 10am, hosted by Lynn Simonson.
Engage in gentle seated stretches, grounding breath techniques and calming guided meditations
Caring for Those
Who Care
New Program
Starting Next Week
Who Cares? is a peer-led support group for those who are caring for their loved ones. As unpaid care givers, you can gain support from peers and know that we are here and that We Care!
Fridays @ 3PM
Meeting ID: 633304494
These are challenging times to meet and date. The desire for connection is confounded by the need to stay safe. This discussion group is for gay men to get together in a safe space to talk about our challenges, possible solutions and coping strategies. This is NOT a dating, meet-up group, or a therapy group.
Hosted by Dr. Arlen Leight.
More Online Programs
In need of connection? Join us Monday through Friday online in our Zoom Meetings, like Knit Together, Women's Chat, Men's Chat, and more.
Eisenhower Health @ Home Series
Starting Next Week
Good sleep is more important now than ever, too little sleep at night can make you feel more stressed, leading to an exhausting and continuous cycle of counting sheep.
Get helpful tips to help you leave any stress behind before you go to bed.
from Talene Churukian, DO, MPH
Register here.
Wednesday, November 4th
5:30 to 6:30pm
Meeting ID: 975 8966 4971
No Password
November 18th!
Please join Jon Colbert, NP for a discussion to help demystify the HPV virus and how to use preventative care to help prevent cancer.
Find out what you can do to help decrease your chances of getting HPV and the different types of cancer linked to it. You will get answers to common questions about HPV, HPV infection, and how HPV testing is used.
Register here.
Wednesday, November 18th
5:30 to 6:30pm
Meeting ID: 975 8966 4971
Get Resources
The Community Food Bank @ The Center
The Community Food Bank @ The Center is located at 610 S Belardo Rd, Palm Springs and is open for distribution every Thursday from 5PM - 7PM.
Regular hours for Food Bank donation drop-offs are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am to Noon.
NEW! - Curbside drop off hours: Thursdays from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Collecting barrels will be available in front of our food bank facility for easy drive by - drop and go!
Get help with rent
If you’re a Riverside County resident in need of rental assistance due to COVID-19, the application for help is still open. Applications can be submitted at any time between now and the end of November.
Take Action
Your help is needed tomorrow!
Please join an online focus group to discuss the more pressing health and social issues in our community.
We want to learn about broad needs in our community as well as needs specific to the LGBTQ community. This work is being done for a community health needs assessment being conducted by the Desert Healthcare District, in partnership with HARC.
The focus group will be held on October 29th, from 12pm to 1pm.
Get tested for COVID to help our County!
Because our county's COVID numbers are not where they need to be based on state guidelines, once again some indoor operations of businesses are being forced to close. Read more about the news here.
You can help decrease transmission rates by following public health guidance, and confirming your status by getting tested for COVID at these locations.
Testing is for everyone, regardless of immigration status or insurance.
Reasons to VOTE #3 & # 4
NEXT WEEK TUESDAY IS ELECTION DAY! Our friends at Actionlink are counting down to the election by sharing reasons to vote.
There’s a lot at stake for the LGBTQ+ community, so let's make sure we're represented well at the polls. Please make sure you exercise your right to have your voice heard in shaping a future that's kinder for us all. #GetCentered #LGBTQVote
Business Partners
Support those who give!
Please help support the businesses who support The Center, the work we do, and who give back so generously to our community. Click here for a list of Business Partners with The Center.
Community Events
Dia de Los Muertos this weekend!
Dia de Los Muertos is rooted in Mexican and indigenous traditions, and a day that reunites the living and the dead, through the creation of ofrendas and altars that honor and celebrate deceased loved ones.
This Sunday, November 1, 2020, you can take part in local Dia de Los Muertos events and cultural traditions throughout the Coachella Valley. Check out these two events in Palm Springs and Coachella by clicking on the images below.
PS Pride Run/Walk, Nov 6-8, 2020
The Palm Springs Frontrunners & Walkers are bringing the spirit of the Palm Springs Pride 5K Run & Walk 2020 virtually! The Race/Walk cannot occur as in years past, but you can still make a HUGE impact by running, walking, skipping or dancing to help raise funds for The LGBT Community Center of the Desert!
At this year’s virtual event, you choose your own 5K route, your own starting time, and your own pace! And best of all - anyone around the globe can participate. Just run or walk your 5K between November 6th and November 8th - and optionally upload your results by the end of day on the 8th.
You can join our Team (The Center) or register as a team/individual! Let’s make this year’s event the most colorful ever!
Brothers of the Desert presents
their 2nd Annual Wellness (Virtual) Summit
Saturday November 14th, 9:00am - 12:30pm
in response to COVID-19 Brothers of the Desert will conduct its 2nd Annual Wellness Summit virtually, focusing on Black gay men called “Still We Rise, Our Stories Matter,” centered around the theme of resilience. it will look at how Black gay men, along with the support of allies, partners, friends, and family, find and access strength, hope, support and creativity around three topic areas:
  • Coming out and becoming our authentic selves;
  • Embracing intimacy and relationships in all forms;
  • Accessing and building support through troubling times.
Featured speakers include renowned spiritual leader, author and award winning gospel music artist, Bishop Yvette Flunder, social justice advocate and CEO of Tru Evolution, Gabriel Maldonado, motivational speaker and CEO of Life Maximizer Donnie Hill, Former Palm Springs Mayor, Ron Oden and will be hosted by Coachella Valley TV personality Bryan Gallo.
With the current landscape of COVID-19 and the increasing awareness of the impact of systemic racism, our summit focus on how building and sustaining resilience is vital for our continued survival and growth as a part of the Coachella Valley community.
Register here
For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Check out these virtual events from
Gay Desert Guide
LGBT Secrets of the Louvre Museum, and more. Check out their list of events on their Facebook page here, or sign up for their weekly newsletter here.
In the News!
Change is in the air...
If you've driven past The Center during the past five months you will have noticed scaffolding and construction work.
Mike Thompson, CEO of The Center, recently chatted to CV Independent about the changes that are coming.
Read all about it here
Introducing a new feature in our newsletter to uplift the stories of the many dedicated volunteers here @ The Center. We value their time, energy, commitment and passion. They help remind us that the world is really full of good people, doing good, and we wouldn’t be here without them. 
Perry Wiggins
“The Caregivers Caregiver”
Meet Perry Wiggins. Perry is the facilitator for Who Cares? Caregivers Support Group here at The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert.
A Southern Californian, through and through, Perry was raised in Redlands and attended the California State University San Diego before becoming a United Methodist Minister for 25 years. When Perry left the ministry, he began working for the next 15 years with LGBTQ seniors in various settings, including time as the Mature Adult Program Manager at The Center on Halsted in Chicago, as the Senior Services Manager at The Center Orange County, as well as time with the Alzheimer’s Association, where he ultimately retired from.
Nearly four and half ago years ago, the previous facilitator for the Caregivers Support Group had to bow out to care for his own husband, and a call was put out for a new facilitator. Perry saw the request, reached out, and now, to this day, he shows up week after week to care for the caregiver. Who Cares? is a safe place for non-professional caregivers to share their pain, isolation, frustrations and all the varied feelings that come with caregiving. There is laughter, crying and emotional support that only those who have the experience can openly and freely share. Peers share information and resources with each other, making it known they are not alone in their need for information and emotional support. His facilitation of this peer-led group makes sure that everyone has the space and moments to share and shine, and for some, it can be the only such space to do so.
The group met in-person at The Center for years on Friday afternoons. Then, when COVID-19 became a part of all of our lives, Perry and the group shifted right into the world of virtual meetings into Zoom. One might say this group, and taking care of the caregiver, is all the more important now, because of the isolation that has exacerbated since the pandemic. Perry’s joy is sharing all the resources available to caregivers, resources that many new and experienced caregivers don’t know exist. 
They were here, and they were ours
Introducing a new section in our weekly newsletter, where we honor the memory of folks in our community who have passed.
Ed Drysdale (1944-1993)
Ed and I met while I was a lifeguard at Boy Scout camp in Lake Arrowhead and he was an Explorer. He had a great career with Geary's and Macy's. He died in 1993. I miss him! - J.A.Tuttle
Henrik Schutz (1951-1992)
I met Henrik at the San Francisco YMCA in the gym. We enjoyed rock music and went to concerts together. We spent many evenings disco dancing at the I-Beam. He died of AIDS in 1992. I miss him! - J.A.Tuttle
Ken Fletcher (1939-1986)
Ken Fletcher and his partner, Bob Dougherty, were my roommates and gay “mentors” in my early San Francisco days. I learned a lot from them! They died of AIDS in 1984 and 1986. I miss them! - J.A.Tuttle
If you'd like to submit a name for inclusion here, please fill out this form.
Submissions received by 5PM Friday will be included in the next week's newsletter, for two consecutive weeks.
  • The LGBTQ Community Center of The Desert

    The McDonald/Wright Building

    1301 North Palm Canyon Dr, 3rd Floor
    Palm Springs, CA 92262

    760.416.7790 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Open Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm

    The Center is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) public charity
    EIN # 33-0937301

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