Visiting Rainbow Community Center for the first time was immensely meaningful to me as a 14-year-old. I was so grateful to connect with LGBTQIA+ youth, counselors, peers, mentors, community leaders and staff who embraced me, acknowledged me and believed in nourishing my potential to continue the legacy of Rainbow Community Center.
Being a youth program participant at Rainbow Community Center really piqued my interest in learning about the art of philanthropy, volunteering and program creation. Seeing my LGBTQIA+ community suffer through multiple system infrastructures has pushed me to involve community members and leaders to build more services that meet the needs of people who identify under multiple intersecting identities.
Before accepting the executive director position at Rainbow Community Center, I served as the Adult and Family Program director by overseeing four programs: Older Adults, HIV/STI Prevention, Food Pantry and Volunteers. With more than a decade of programming, outreach and community engagement, some of my previous focuses include project planning and implementation that covered multiple programs such as HIV/STI prevention, mental health, youth programming, fundraising, trainings, food pantry services, social media content creation, volunteer services and older adults programming.
I am eager to continue serving our LGBTQIA+ community in Contra Costa County while collaborating with our talented staff and board of directors. Part of our strategic plan is to continue leading through partnerships, and I am so thankful for all the support Rainbow continues to receive from community members, volunteers, donors, businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Here’s what board president Robyn Kuslits said about me: “I am very excited the board of directors chose to hire Christian. Nobody is better at building relationships, a crucial skill needed as we pursue our strategic plan to lead with partnerships. Christian has experienced Rainbow at all levels: client, volunteer, manager and director, and brings these perspectives to his new leadership role. His commitment to Rainbow and its mission is unmatched. I am so proud of Christian and can’t wait to see him lead Rainbow as we expand to meet the needs of our community.”
Interim executive director Dodi Zotigh had this to share: “I’m honored to be passing the baton to Christian Aguirre and so glad that the board of directors and staff have recognized his steadfast leadership. Christian is poised to take on this new role at Rainbow, where he can grow as an LGBTQIA+ community leader. During these times where the rhetoric against our community continues to increase in vitriol and anti-trans legislation is at an all-time high, we need folks who understand what is at stake, have empathy, ask the right questions, pull in and uplift the talent of our community, and who are willing to push through challenges even when they seem insurmountable – that’s what Christian will do. No one knows how to throw shade and get it done like a drag queen. So when needed, he has his drag persona, Bella Aldama, to lean into as well. I’m so excited to have Christian step into the executive director shoes. I know he’ll wear them with style, poise and fierceness.”
Rainbow builds community, equity and well-being among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex (LGBTQIA+) people and our allies. We envision a society that advocates for and celebrates gender and sexual diversity, racial justice, safety and liberation for all through healing centered engagement.
To learn more about our services or to give a gift to support Rainbow Community Center’s essential work, visit our donate page at https://www.rainbowcc.org/give. Please direct questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.