DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Des Moines Pride Center, Formerly the Gay and Lesbian Resource Center, held an open house at their new location in Sherman Hill on Saturday.
Leaders there say they want more people to know about the resource and help further equal rights for members of the LGBTQ community.
The center is part of the Mickle Center, and organizers say anyone who wants to visit is safe with secure entry and privacy.
“You can come here and know that you’re respected, you are supported, you are very welcome, and you can speak freely. You can come in and learn more about yourself or about the community and others, and not feel intimidated or afraid to be here,” said Pride Center President Tink Harvey.
People who have utilized the center say they’re grateful for the resource, which holds regular programming and meetings.
“It’s a wonderful time to share and just be in an environment where being who you are is okay, and you can be honest with yourself and honest with everyone around you,” said York Taenzer.
The Des Moines Pride Center isn't just a community or a safe space, it's also a place for knowledge. There are thousands of books in the library written by LGBTQ authors and about LGBTQ topics.
“It’s important to have access to that knowledge and those stories, those journeys, the history, and the science, as well, behind what we’re dealing with on a daily basis from our ancestors and our pioneers up to today. Because of what they did, look where we are now,” said Harvey.
But where does the movement need to go? Harvey says the center wants to further the transgender rights movement that has recently been front and center.
“Acceptance is really a huge thing that we’re always dealing with, I think. More acceptance, even if you don’t understand. If we get to that point and when we get to that point, that’s really going to be the key, but I also think that the more we are out there, the more we are part of the mainstream and more people see that we are human beings,” said Harvey.
Harvey says the center will soon open its library online, where patrons can check out books from their computer and pick them up at the center.