Orange County Information
The Center OC
The mission of The Center Orange County is to advocate on behalf of the Orange County LGBT community, and to provide services that ensure its well-being and positive identity.
Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club
They have formed the ERDC to work with allies and within the Democratic Party and allies so that LGBT people shall be fully and equally represented within the community and the national body politic. ERDC is open to all who subscribe to our goals and purposes, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Laguna Outreach is a nonprofit, all-volunteer social and educational group serving the gay and lesbian community in Southern California's Orange County area. They provide social alternatives to the bars and clubs, including regular monthly activities and special events throughout the year. At their bimonthly general meetings they present distinguished speakers, panel discussions, and other programs of interest to members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community and their friends and families. And as a member of the Orange County Federation, they are networked with nearly fifty GLBT and AIDS organizations serving every conceivable need.
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center provides a broad array of services for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The Center offers free and low-cost health, mental health, HIV/AIDS medical care and HIV/STD testing and prevention.The Center also offers legal, social, cultural, and educational services, with unique programs for seniors, families and youth, including a 24-bed transitional living program for homeless youth.
ACLU Southern California
The Constitution and Bill of Rights set the ground rules for individual liberty, which include the freedoms of speech, association and religion, freedom of the press, and the right to privacy, to equal protection of the laws and to due process of law. The ACLU was founded to defend and secure these rights and to extend them to people who have been excluded from their protection.
Orange County Human Relations Commission
OC Human Relations provides programs in partnerships with schools, corporations, individuals, cities and foundations to eliminate prejudice, intolerance and discrimination.
Orange County Historical LGBT Timeline
The OC Historical Timeline Project highlights important people, organizations, and events that are related to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community in Orange County. The project was started in 1995 by Barbara Muirhead, who was providing background information to participants of the Orange County Federation of Lesbian, Gay, and HIV/AIDS support organizations.
Queer life in Orange County centers around Laguna Beach. The Koffee Klatch on PCH is a good place to start. West Street Beach is also a popular hangout in the summer. Costa Mesa has the Tin Lizzie Saloon. Christ Church of Laguna in Lake Forest is a non-denominational, LGBT affirming church.
Long Beach is the fifth largest city in California and home to a vibrant gay community. It's only 25 minutes from UC Irvine during non-rush hour times. There are many bars and clubs as well as LGBT run businesses and a community center. The Library, a popular coffeehouse, is a good starting point. Executive Suite hosts ladies night on Saturdays and Ripples has a weekly drag show.
Los Angeles is approximately 40 miles from Irvine (under an hour in good traffic). Most of queer Los Angeles centers in the neighborhoods of West Hollywood and Silver Lake. The Abbey and A Different Light Bookstore are popular destinations in WeHo along with Akbar in Silver Lake.
San Diego is approximately 84 miles from Irvine (1 hr 20 mins). Queer San Diego centers in the neighborhood of Hillcrest. Grad students have recommended Bourbon Street, Lei Lounge, Flicks, and Numbers in Hillcrest. The adventurous go "au naturale" at Black's Beach near UCSD.
Palms Springs is a popular desert resort that's only 93 miles from UC Irvine (1-2 hours). It's great place to visit for the weekend or for spring break and a good place to avoid in the summer unless you're willing to risk melting in the desert sun.