The Community Center

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TCC Open sign.

Early Formation

In August of 1983 an ad-hoc committee gathered together to discuss the formation of a new gay and lesbian organization that would facilitate communication between the rest of the disparate organizations in the LGBT community.

MaryEvelyn Smith: One of the five original founders who is still active in the community.

It took the community four months to finish the process. In September they voted to form The Community Center during a meeting that took place at Al's Restaurant in Boise Idaho. In October an interrum board of directors was elected that consisted of five individuals from the community: Dennis Barrett, Don Carroll, Kay Saro, MaryEvelyn Smith, and Mykel Stanger.

TCC 1994 PRIDE pic.

Finally, in December of that year The Community Center: Resources For Gay and Lesbian People, Inc. was formally incorporated in the state of Idaho.


One year later The Community Center published the first edition of what was to become the longest running LGBT specific newspaper in the state and in the Northwest United States. Originally called "The paper," and then "Out!", today "Diversity" is published and sent to three states on the West coast.

Cover of the April 2010 issue of Diversity


Today The Community Center maintains a safe space for individuals in the community who need it. There is meeting space for LGBT events, a library that holds LGBT specific books and DVDS, and a small amount of office space on site for both LGBT groups and other LGBT friendly groups in the community. The center acts as a resource information center for other organizations in the community, and points individuals in the direction of needed counseling services, and organizations that can help meet their specific needs.

Even though the center has never been a counseling center, a social service organization, or a political action group, it has encouraged those activities and assisted in their formation by providing meeting space, organizers who are familiar with the community, and providing access to Diversity at a pro-rated scale.


  • Virta, Alan "The Founding of TCC", Diversity, January 2004.
  • "A history of The Community Center", Diversity, January 2004.