Rainbow Resource Centre began as a student group at the University of Manitoba in the early 1970s. First known as the Campus Gay Club, the name was changed in 1973 to Gays for Equality.
Gays for Equality offered a telephone information line, peer counselling service, and a resource library on the University of Manitoba campus. The group went on to become a leader and an important resource for the gay and lesbian community, providing community services, education, outreach, and political awareness and activism.
In 1983, Gays for Equality moved out of the University of Manitoba to move in with Giovanni's Room at 275 Sherbrook St. Along with this move came a new name: Winnipeg Gay Centre. When Gio's moved to 616 Broadway in 1986, Winnipeg Gay Centre moved with them.
In 1988, the group changed again and became Winnipeg Gay/Lesbian Resource Centre, establishing itself as an independent organization in a new location at Confusion Corner. The Resource Centre was incorporated as a non-profit organization and applied for charitable tax status under the legal name of Manitoba Institute on Society and Sexuality.
The Centre evolved once more in 1999, changing its name to Rainbow Resource Centre. The reason for this change was due to a realization and response to be more inclusive of all members of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities, and thus the Centre’s mission expanded to serve Manitoba’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and two-spirit communities.
In 2008, Rainbow Resource Centre relocated to 170 Scott Street, just a few blocks from its old location.
In 2023, Rainbow Resource Centre relocated to 545 Broadway, in the historic Wilson House.
It is the longest continuously running 2SLGBTQ+ resource centre in North America.