The "Reconstructing the Rainbow" conference starts Thursday at University of the Pacific.
The purpose of the conference is to build leadership among students, examine common issues of health and community building, and the political and legal battles still to fight.
UOP Director of Women's Resources Corrie Martin says much has changed for the gay community but much remains the same.
"My own experience, 5 and 10 years ago, I never would have imagined I could be married, I could be raising a child and yet all those things could happen in my life, at the same time, the challenges, the bias, the violence, all of those things are still very real," says Martin.
The keynote speaker will be the mother of Matthew Shepard - the 21-year old who was beaten and left to die because he was gay.
Steve Grand will perform. He's the first openly-gay male country singer, whose song "All American Boy" went viral.
Stories from Stockton
Seven candidates are vying to be Stockton's next mayor -- one of them held that same position more than 50 years ago.
Proponents of a measure to allow four medical marijuana dispensaries in Stockton have turned in a petition with more than 8,500 signatures. That’s almost 3,000 more than what are needed to put the initiative before the voters.
Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva touched on finances, safety and the future during the 18th State of the City speech. The mayor addressed a packed house of about a thousand people.
Stockton Police and other law enforcement agencies made a major sweep of criminals and guns as the city faces a major rise in homicides and shootings in the city. More than 50 alleged gang members were taken off the street on Wednesday.
A rising number of homicides in Stockton is a cause for concern for police. So far this year, 17 people have been murdered. Last year at this time, there had been nine killings.