LGBTQ+ Trailblazers

The Diversity Center embarked on the LGBTQ+ Trailblazers History Project in 2013 to document our local LGBTQ+ history and to honor the people whose vision, efforts, dedication and courage created and sustained the movements and institutions that enabled progress for our community. The first Lifetime Achievement Awards  were presented at the Trailblazers Reception during Pride weekend 2014. Pride weekend also featured a Trailblazers booth at Pride, a contingent of “Original Trailblazers” (people who were active in the Santa Cruz LGBTQ+ community in the 70s and 80s) in the Pride parade, and an In Memoriam wall honoring members of our community who had passed away.

Continuing The Work

Recent work for the Trailblazers History Project has focused on selecting publications, documents, photos and other memorabilia from our local history and donating them to the Museum of Art and History (MAH) for inclusion in their archives. The Diversity Center was recently awarded the Dolkas History grant by the MAH to help us videotape and distribute the stories of some of our trailblazers.

2014 & 2016 LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Reception

There was a reception for all Trailblazers, including Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients from every decade and our "Original Trailblazers" – people who were out and about, organizing for our rights, in Santa Cruz in the 1970s and 1980s. We had tasty appetizers, music by Patti Maxine (who performed at our first Pride in 1975), history and photo displays, and dessert at the Center St. Grill.

Click here to view photos from the 2016 Trailblazers Reception.