About Us

Our Community

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.

Our Mission

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.

Our Vision

An inclusive community, where people are embraced for who they are and feel welcomed to engage and contribute.

How We Operate

Our goal is to serve as a valued partner, collaborating with WNC’s many community service organizations and companies that welcome and serve our community.  We seek to build the connective tissue that will enable this diverse and far-flung community to build a better future together.
This model poses certain challenges.  Sometimes, our partners want us to take particularly strong positions on issues.  We view our role as complementary to theirs: we seek to create spaces, projects and channels that invite connection and foster constructive dialogue. We hope that, by doing so, we enable them to amplify their voice.

Our Programs

  • Community-Building Events
  • WNC Virtual LOGBTQ Community Center
  • Community Partner Fund
  • Community-Building Projects

Our History

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:

Form 990EZ: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 |Form W-9 | 501(c)(3) Letter


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User's Guides - Welcoming Groups

Tips suggested by users

  • Prepare. There is no save-and-resume button, so have all the information on hand. (But you can return to edit it.)
  • Recurring Events. Powerful, but a little confusing the first time:
    • To enter a meeting on the same date each month (e.g., the 5th), select “on the same day”. 
    • To enter a meeting on the same day and/or week (e.g., 1st Monday), select “on a different day”. 
  • Categories. As a rule, you will want to select at least three categories, one from each of the following.
    • Event Type
    • Target Audience
    • Welcoming Pages
  • Venues / Organizers.
    • Enter the name of the organizer and location. 
    • If it is already in the database, the calendar will populate your event with relevant contact and location information. 
    • If you have to add a new organizer or venue, please fill in all the fields.  It will help others.
  • Review. Once you submit an event, it will be reviewed before appearing on the calendar.

Help Us

We find the calendar pretty intuitive. Please use the feedback button to suggest tips to add here.

Give us feedback!  And, please be patient.

This is our pilot release.  We will assemble user feedback to guide our second release in 2020 Q2.

We encourage and welcome donations.

We welcome everything from modest donations to immodest endowments. If active users and directory listers kick in a little something each year, we think that we can sustain and build this virtual center for the community.

Relevant to our local LGBTQ and allied communities.

This includes western North Carolina and nearby communities in contiguous states (e.g., eastern Tennessee, northwestern South Carolina, northern Georgia, southwestern Virginia. It also includes groups based outside the region that have a local presence.

No offensive content

This includes language and visuals that are considered hateful, threatening or inappropriately graphic.  Bear in mind that this site is accessible to minors.

No content that poses a threat to people’s privacy or to copyright laws.

Do not share names, photos or contact information without appropriate authorization or consent. 

No embedded funding appeals and links.

Why?  We don’t allow these because we don’t have the resources to monitor such links. You are welcome to link to pages on your site that include these. 

Customer Feedback Form

Please use this form to report issues and errors and to provide feedback and suggestions.  This site relies heavily on volunteer support.  Please allow us time to respond.

  • Thank you!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Weekly Community Calendar

TARGET AUDIENCE: LGBTQ Community, Allies and Friends

[tribe_this_week layout="horizontal" count="12" category="lgbtq-community-allies"]

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This is so you can return later and edit your entries. It also helps to protect our community.

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Help us grow our community ... together

Your support helps us to fund projects and programs that build our community

Virtual Community Center

Oral History Project

Community Events

Community Partner Fund

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