Heartland Equality was founded out of the vision of four friends that came together in the Spring of 2019 to work to create Heartland Equality Pride Festival (then called Western Kentucky Pride Festival). As the founders worked to create this historic event for the Heartland Area, it became apparent that there was greater need and the Idea for the Paducah LGBT Welcome Center was born. Exactly one month (September 24th 2019) after the Western Kentucky Pride Festival the Paducah LGBT Welcome Center opened, being the 13th such welcome center in the nation. Located at 413 Broadway in Paducah's historic downtown district. The Welcome Center served as a LGBT visitor, and resident resource center. The Center quickly evolved into a greater calling. It was soon realized that the greater community needed more than basic resources and visitors information. With the onset of the COVID-19 and an ever growing and changing commmunity dynamic The Paducah LGBT Welcome Center re-branded to become Heartland Equality on May 1st 2020. The Rebrand came as Heartland Equality saw a greater calling and call to service in the surrounding communities. Under the re-brand Heartland Equality encompasses 7 counties in Southern Illinois, 5 counties in Southeastern Missouri, 5 counties in Northeast Tennessee, and 17 counties in Western Kentucky. In October of 2020 it was annnounced the Heartland Equality would open the Heartland Equality Event Center located in the historic Weille & Sons Building located at 409 Broadways to offer safe, all ages groups, classes, and events.
Current Programs and Services Provided by Heartland Equality
Kaleidoscope Youth Group for ages 9 to 19
Q Chat Space a 24/7 Resource for LGBTQIA+ Youth
Youthlink from Centerlink
Heartland Equality Transgender Alliance
On Site clothing room - free onsite clothing and basic needs resource
Referral Services - Community Wide LGBTQIA+ business referral serivce
Rhythm of the Heartland Discount Program
On Site Computer Lab
Free Wifi and charging station
Programs and Services Being Developed
QTIPOC Group (Queer and Trans People of Color Group)
Domestic Abuse Victims Group
Sexual Abuse Victims Group
Parents of the Alphabet group – Group for Parents Raising LGBTQ+ youth
Rainbow Systers – Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender Womyn, and Womyn questioning their identity
Friendly Visitor Program – To decrease isolation, and increase socialization for LGBTQ+ adults who are homebound, at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or any other senior facility.
Nature Group – Monthly OUtdoors group featuring camping, hiking, and more.
Parents Group – A group for LGBTQ+ parents
Singles Group -
Arts & Crafts Group -
Heartland LGBTQ Chorus
Heartland LGBTQ Sports League
On Site Therapy, and Health Screenings
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
We have the unique privilege of offering in house made merchandise, and we are adding new exciting apparel, totes, puzzles, and face-masks be sure to check back often.