Balloons, soul food, a giant game of Jenga and a cut ribbon signaled a celebration near the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and Arlington Ave. in Leimert Park on Jan. 11. The opening of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s new 5,500-square-foot Center South facility in South LA is a huge stride for LGBTQ people of color who have often found themselves steps behind the queer Center milestones in Hollywood and West Hollywood.
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable,” Martin Luther King, Jr. once said. “Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle, and the tireless excursions and passionate concerns of dedicated individuals.”
So said Mario J. Perez, Director of the LA County division of STD and HIV programs, commemorating Center South, funded in part by the Department of Public Health. “It is our hope and commitment that the Center’s new programming will further advance efforts to stem the tide of HIV and STDs and help eliminate stubbornly persistent health inequalities.”