Western North Carolina is home to an estimated 35,000 people who identify as LGBTQ. Family values run deep in our community. Roughly 10,000 of us live with a committed partner. A fifth of these are raising children together. We are a community that values education, in spite of the barriers we face. A recent survey at UNC Asheville revealed that a third of the students don’t identify with conventional binary, heterosexual stereotypes. We lack statistics on LGBTQ joblessness,homelessness and poverty, but we know that our community is particularly hard hit, especially the estimated 6,000 transgender people living in our midst.
In rural communities, people who are stigmatized face an especially challenging and lonely life. They are doubly isolated, by their identity and their geography. It can be hard for them to find support, safety, and friendship. There are many organizations and groups that seek to serve them, but they face a similar problem: they tend to be small in scale and budget. How to reach their audience? How to garner the resources they need? Blue Ridge Pride seeks to support this community in partnership with the many wonderful people and organizations who are only too eager to help.
To promote equality, safety, and quality of life for western North Carolina’s LGBTQ and allied communities, working as a united community through advocacy, celebration, education and service.
An inclusive community, where people are embraced for who they are and feel welcomed to engage and contribute.
How We Operate
- Community-Building Events
- WNC Virtual LOGBTQ Community Center
- Community Partner Fund
- Community-Building Projects
Blue Ridge Pride Center, Inc. was formed in 2009 by a group who saw the need for a community-driven organization that would appeal to the diverse LGBTQ communities of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. In October of 2009, we held our first festival at Asheville’s Martin Luther King Jr. Park . Approximately 2,000 people came out to the event on a rainy day to celebrate and to learn more about our community and the resources available to us. During the next 10 years, the organization focused chiefly on two annual events, the fall Pride Festival and the annual Miss Blue Ridge Pride Pageant.
In 2018, the board voted to expand the organization’s mission and programs. It briefly attempted a partnership to establish a brick-and-mortar LGBTQ Community Center in downtown Asheville. Unfortunately, such centers demand an endowment far beyond our resources. What is more, a physical center can only serve those living close to Asheville. What of the rest of WNC?
The Fine Print
Legal & Financial Records
Blue Ridge Pride Center, Inc. is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and with the Secretary of State of North Carolina. (Employer Identification Number: 26-4272258).
Recent IRS Filings: