Centre LGBTQA Support Network (CLSN) is gearing up for its second annual State College Pride event to celebrate the local LGBTQA+ community during Pride Month.

This nonprofit was founded in 2014 when a group of community members discussed reviving another organization, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and decided to form an organization focused on enhancing the lives of LGBTQA+ members, as well as their friends and families.

Cat Cook is the Director of Operations at CLSN as well as their first employee. She has been with the organization for almost one year and wears many hats during her day-to-day routine.

“I field emails from those looking for support and connect them with resources, handle our social media, provide content for our monthly and quarterly newsletter, connect with other organizations to collaborate on events and activities, search for and write grants, and much more,” said Cat.

CLSN offers a variety of services and programs to not only the LGBTQ+ community but to the broader Centre County community. To name a few, it offers support and social groups, community education and resources, and hosts youth events and State College Pride. CLSN is even involved with State College Area School District as a part of its LGBTQ workgroup.

Being involved with CLSN is important to Cat and makes her feel like what she is doing makes a difference, especially through the services and programs the organization offers.

“To be able to work for an organization that cares so deeply about those they serve by providing support and advocacy to the LGBTQ+ community and their families is something I am proud to be a part of,” said Cat.

“Shortly after I was hired, one of the first events I worked on was for National Coming Out Day. It brought to our attention that the youth in a more rural area needed support and a committee was put together to ensure that we could provide that for them. The event was so full of love and support, that’s what CLSN provides to the community.”

Pride Month means a lot to Cat and the staff at CLSN, and Cat believes it’s a time worth celebrating.

“Pride Month is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community and is a way to honor those who fought for rights and equal justice. There is still much work to be done but Pride allows for the communities all around the world to come together and celebrate the LGBTQ+ individuals within their communities. CLSN serves as motivators to bring our own community together in celebration and support,” said Cat.

CLSN is celebrating Pride Month with their second annual State College Pride event on June 11. From a “Pride Ride” parade to an after-party, those at CLSN have been working hard to get ready for this year’s celebration.

“I have met so many wonderful people in our community who will also be involved [with Pride] and I am excited to see what the Pride Committee has been working on all these months come to fruition,” said Cat.

CLSN encourages anyone to reach out regarding support, resources, events, education, and more.

“I want to spread the word that CLSN is an organization that is dedicated to the community we serve and that our doors are always open,” said Cat.

Visit CLSN’s website to get involved or stay up to date with their latest news, events, and more.