With a drive and passion for advocating for the LGBTQ community, Marshal Peralta and his wife, Lauren, have started a Pride Center in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“I’m trans(gender) and pansexual, and my wife identifies as a lesbian,” Peralta said. “We’re both very passionate and have both worked in the (LGBTQ) community for years.”
The Peraltas have enlisted the help of two friends, and together, they hope to offer a space for the LGBTQ community and its allies, dedicated to diversity, inclusivity and pride in oneself.
With the diversity in their own board, the SCV Pride Center hopes to create a space that brings each facet of the LGBTQ community together, making sure it’s all-inclusive, something they feel has been lacking in the community.
“The goal of the center is just to be inclusive,” Peralta added, whether that be sexuality, gender or even race related. “We just want you to walk into our center and be you.”
The SCV Pride Center is set to provide education, resources, support and advocacy, with programs and workshops currently being developed by the board members.
In addition, the board is excited to welcome the LGBTQ community’s allies — whether they simply want to learn, ask questions or join the fight in advocating for them — an aspect of their organization they hope helps build a bridge in the community.
“We just want to bring people together,” Peralta added. “We’re really trying to build that community.”
The board is also fundraising for a building able to house the organization and become a “safe space” for the LGBTQ community, as well as other groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon and other 12-step support groups.
The SCV Pride Center is unrelated to the SCV LGBTQ Center, another local organization with similar goals for the LGBTQ community.