Story Diversity

‘We Value You’: CSU Support for LGBTQIA Students

Alex Beall

CSU Pride centers help create a safe, welcoming environment for all students.

Photo courtesy Jason Halley/Chico State


The California State University seeks to be an inclusive and inspiring place for all students, staff and faculty to learn and work.

In this effort, CSUs offer a range of resources for its LGBTQIA community, from Pride Month celebrations and Lavender Graduation events to student alliances and Pride centers. The Pride centers, present at a number of campuses, can particularly support students by offering a safe space to gather, counseling services, peer support groups and educational workshops.

“These centers foster a sense of belonging and inclusion by creating safe, welcoming environments where LGBTQIA students are encouraged to be themselves and have a supportive community during their journey at the CSU," says Judith Millsap, systemwide director for Student Equity Strategic Initiatives. “By supporting and advocating for LGBTQIA students, these centers help to diversify the CSU community. They encourage the inclusion of diverse perspectives and experiences in the campus community, enriching the campus culture and promoting a more inclusive, equitable environment for all students."

For Pride Month 2024, learn about a few CSU Pride centers.

A New Home at CSUMB

While Cal State Monterey Bay has offered LGBTQIA resources for some time, the university marked a milestone in May 2024 with the opening of its Rainbow Raft Pride Center.

“We've had resources here, but it's nice to have a dedicated space," said David Reichard, a professor of history and legal studies and advocate for the LGBTQIA community. “Centers like this are needed more than ever. They send a message that says, 'We value you.'" Reichard cut the ceremonial red ribbon at the center's opening celebration.

Group at the Rainbow Raft Pride Center

​​​​From left, Accommodations Coorindator Tyler St. Pierre-Young, Project Outreach Coordinator Betsaida Solis and Professor David Reichard celebrate the opening of the Rainbow Raft Pride Center. (Photo courtesy Brent Dundore-Arias/CSUMB)​

President Quiñones at the Rainbow Raft Pride Center

​​​​CSUMB President ​Vanya Quiñones speaks ​at the Rainbow Raft Pride Center opening celebration. (Photo courtesy Brent ​Dundore-Arias/CSUMB)

​Located in a room off the campus's west lounge, the Rainbow Raft Pride Center will go beyond support services already available, such as the CSUMB Pride Student Group, to create that safe gathering space for students on campus.

“Today, more than ever, we need a place that promotes awareness and respect. We're celebrating how to make sure the Otter community welcomes everybody," CSUMB President Vanya Quiñones said in her ceremony remarks. “Sometimes you need to be in a place with someone like you. I hope everyone will find it to be a safe, welcoming and inclusive space where you can express all parts of your identity and find acceptance."

A Significant Gift for CSUF LGBTQ Center

Since it was first established in 2012, and became a permanent space in 2016, the Cal State Fullerton LGBTQ Resource Center has provided a safe space, as well as support services, for the university's students.

Today, the center hosts a Gender Affirming Closet, where transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming students can access free clothing that empowers them to express themselves. The center also offers ally training, peer educated workshops and a Queer Peer Support Network.

Recently, the center received a large donor gift that will support its many services and gave the center a new name: the Losquadro Keller LGBTQ Resource Center. Alumnus Michael T. Losquadro ('86, B.A. business administration-management) and his husband, Brian C. Keller, announced a $1.5 million gift in 2023, $1.2 million for the center and $300,000 for student scholarships in the College of Business and Economics.

Losquadro and Keller cut ribbon at CSUF LGBTQ center

​​​​​CSUF Interim President Sylvia A. Alva watches alumnus Michael T. Losquadro, left, and husband Brian C. Keller cut a ribbon during the Losquadro Keller LGBTQ Resource Center naming ceremony. (Photo courtesy Matthew Gush/CSUF)

Losquadro, right, and Keller at the naming ceremony

​​​​Losquadro, right, and Keller at the naming ceremony. (Photo courtesy Matthew Gush/CSUF)

“From leadership training and opportunities to the simple, safe place for Titans, this center is vital to vulnerable students as they pursue their degrees and their dreams," Losquadro said. “Cal State Fullerton has stepped up to meet the important social needs of its rainbow students."

“This gift is such a great blessing and honor for the center," said Nat Betancourt Arellano, senior coordinator of the Losquadro Keller LGBTQ Resource Center. “In a time when there is so much uncertainty about the future for LGBTQIA+ people, it is meaningful to have such a significant commitment to our community."

SDSU Pride Center Marks 10 Years

In January 2024, the San Diego State Pride Center celebrated its 10th anniversary. Still housed in its original location at an old fraternity house, the center has grown from a humble space to a vibrant community.

“The Pride Center is known for many things and reaching our 10th birthday is a milestone to celebrate," Pride Center Director Kay Wong said. “Not only does it gesture to the SDSU community that they can be themselves on campus, it signals to the entire Cal State system that transcending boxes, labels and systemic oppression in hopes of creating a world full of belonging and liberation is a value of the institution."

Today, the center coordinates a collection of events like the Trans Week of Empowerment, the Lavender Graduation and the Pride Flag Raising ceremony. It also hosts SafeZones training on creating a welcoming environment, the Pride House peer mentoring program for first-year undergraduate students and the Queer Trans Person of Color Retreat, among other programming.

For its work, Campus Pride named SDSU one of the 2023 Best of the Best colleges and universities for LGBTQIA students and scored the university five stars on its Campus Pride Index.


Explore LGBTQIA resources across the 23 CSUs.