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Network proposed to help LGBTQ community - New Haven Pride Center, Triangle Community Center

Network proposed to help LGBTQ community - New Haven Pride Center, Triangle Community Center | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
Almost six months ago, Patrick J. Dunn, executive director of the New Haven Pride Center, got a call from a 16-year-old who had just come out as gay to his family.

The young man said his parents’ response was to inform him that while he was allowed to come home to sleep, he wasn’t allowed to eat at home anymore and could never be in the house when anyone else was awake.

“Sixteen — he called the center looking for food because he had been sleeping on the street for two days, ” Dunn said. “This is a reality of our state.”

Dunn recounted the young man’s story as part of his testimony Thursday before the legislature’s Human Services Committee on a bill establishing a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Health and Human Services Network. The purpose of the network is to make recommendations to the state about how to “work toward a safer and healthier environment for the LGBTQ community.”

The bill also calls for a $250,000 appropriation to analyze the health and humans services needs of the LGBTQ population.

“We suffer from parents who disown their children,” Dunn told lawmakers. “We like to pretend that doesn’t happen because we are a forward-thinking state… but there are a lot of youths (whose)…parents have abandoned them, which then eliminates them from health care, eliminates them from access to so many resources.”
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New York LGBT Center Under Fire For Hosting Right Wing Event

New York LGBT Center Under Fire For Hosting Right Wing Event | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
The Center, New York City’s LGBTQ+ community center, has raised the ire of New York’s queer community for scheduling an #LGBTTownHall hosted by #WalkAway, a movement founded by gay man and former liberal Brandon Straka. The aim of the movement is to get LGBTQ+ people to abandon the Democratic party in favor of Republicans. The event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 28.

Jason Rosenberg tweeted a screenshot of an ad for the event, which ran in the LGBTQ+ publication Get Out Magazine, on Monday. Rosenberg is a member of ACT UP, the AIDS activist group that has met weekly at the LGBT Center since its inception in 1987.
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Center planning free prom for LGBT teens and allies | Local News | kenoshanews.com

Center planning free prom for LGBT teens and allies | Local News | kenoshanews.com | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
This week's featured group is the LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin. Staff member Summer Valentine Underwood provided the answers.

Q: What is the mission of your organization?

A: The LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin's mission is to be an open and affirming environment for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. We provide support, education, resources and advocacy to achieve a stronger and healthier world for LGBTQ+ people and allies. With collaborative networking in Racine, Kenosha, Walworth County and Northern Illinois we will empower our community to provide a safe space to support and celebrate LGBTQ+ diversity, equity, visibility and community building.

Q: Who are the leaders?

A: The Center's Executive Director is Barb Farrar, and our part time staff include Dale Estes, Sarah Martin and Summer Valentine Underwood. We have 10 volunteer board members as well as about 30 regular volunteers.
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‘We just want a safe space‘: Manager of Raleigh LGBT center comments on assault at Milk Bar | Felton Business News

‘We just want a safe space‘: Manager of Raleigh LGBT center comments on assault at Milk Bar | Felton Business News | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
After two women were arrested and charged with assaulting a 29-year-old transgender person in a bathroom at a popular Glenwood South bar last month, the manager of LGBT Center of Raleigh‘s office said it is an unwelcome reminder.

“I still have this underlying fear and this nervousness about using the restroom in public spaces,” said Kori Hennessey, who is transgender. “All we‘re trying to do is use the restroom. No one is going in to hurt anyone. No one is trying to cause problems. We just want a safe space.”

Hennessey said that news has spread quickly.

“It‘s a reminder that this stuff happens and it will continue to happen,” Hennessey said.
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LGBT Network launches new anti-bullying program

LGBT Network launches new anti-bullying program | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
The LGBT Network, alarmed by a reported rise in hate crimes nationally, is strengthening its anti-bullying efforts and will offer after-school programs to support LGBT students in graduating high school and preparing for college and careers, officials said Tuesday at the advocacy group's annual Long Island youth conference.

More than 600 students gathered for the one-day event, held at Stony Brook University, where the "Pathways to Pride" initiative was announced.

David Kilmnick, the LGBT Network's president and chief executive, said the new program will provide tutoring, training in life skills and with handling financial matters, internships, and summer jobs assistance for high school students. He said it is launching immediately.

The network noted that an increase in bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals has been documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Alabama-based organization that identifies hate groups and tracks bias crimes.

"It's to make sure that no matter what our students are facing in school, there is a pathway to pride," Kilmnick said at a news conference. "There is a pathway to the future. There is a pathway that you will be able to do whatever you want to do."

The program will be available to students in Nassau and Suffolk counties either at the LGBT Network's centers or through the Gay Straight Alliance organizations that are at many schools.

Pathways to Pride will include coaching, guidance and dropout prevention measures, as well as a range of programs for graduates to help LGBT youth find employment, Kilmnick said.

Logan Malfer, 17, a senior at Connetquot High School who is president of the school's Gay Straight Alliance, said during the news conference that the new effort will benefit LGBT individuals, including those who are looking for work and their employers.
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SMYAL's Sultan Shakir: If you're sexually active, get tested. Here's why.

SMYAL's Sultan Shakir: If you're sexually active, get tested. Here's why. | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it

Two weeks ago, I was admitted to George Washington University Hospital following three days of what I would describe as a slight pull behind my left eye and degenerating eyesight.

It wasn’t until after an emergency optometrist appointment, a five-hour visit to the emergency room, and an MRI that the optometrist diagnosed me with a papilledema, or a swollen nerve in the back of my eye. The cause? Syphilis.

What followed was a four-night stay in the hospital, continued tests, more MRIs, a painful lumbar procedure where they pulled fluid out of my lower spine to rule out a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, and, now, two weeks of carrying around a backpack with a machine administering penicillin every four hours.

I consider myself well-informed on all facets of sexual health; arguably more than your Average Joe (or Jane). I’m an educated, 38-year-old, African-American, cisgender gay man, living in a metropolitan city with a supportive LGBTQ community and resources and services all around me. As the executive director of SMYAL — a local nonprofit supporting LGBTQ youth in the Washington, Maryland and Virginia areas — I lead a team of incredible professionals who educate and provide sexual health resources and services to this community.

And yet here I am, with a PICC line pumping antibiotics straight into my heart for the next two weeks because of undiagnosed, and thus untreated, syphilis.

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Bay County LGBTQ Center Re-Opens

Bay County LGBTQ Center Re-Opens | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
The LGBTQ Center of Bay County located at the St. Andrew Episcopal church has reopened.

Room six, where members meet, was badly damaged during Hurricane Michael and needed to be repaired before opening again.

The center wants everyone to know that people of the gay and lesbian community are ordinary people living ordinary lives and are simply seeking to be treated with equality and kindness. The center is also the only organization within one hundred miles that specializes in assisting members of the LGBTQ community ages thirteen to eighteen.

"Those are critical years, those are the years we see the highest rates of suicide, the highest dropout rates, and the highest violence. So, we focus on those kids, but we also value and affirm the adults in this community who have been closeted, left in the dark and kept out of the public eye for the most part. Most people don't want to come out in Bay County because they're scared of what's going to happen to them," said LGBTQ center of Bay County president, Cindy Wilker. 

During the reopening, the LGBTQ center was awarded a check from an anonymous donor in the amount of $10,000. That money will be used to serve the teens that need their services.
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OUTMemphis picks Molly Rose Quinn as new executive director

OUTMemphis picks Molly Rose Quinn as new executive director | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it

OUTMemphis has chosen a Memphis native as its second executive director, replacing longtime director Will Batts.

Molly Rose Quinn will start work immediately during the 30th year of operations for the organization that serves the local LGBTQ community.

Quinn said the LGBTQ community in Memphis is "incredibly important" to the way she sees the world and understands herself.

"I feel just very thrilled to bring my heart, my energy and my administrative leadership to this organization that is in a real growth phase in terms of providing a range of services to groups and the community as a whole," she said. 

Founded in 1989 and previously called the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, OUTMemphis offers social gatherings, sexual health services, cultural events and more. Headquartered at 892 Cooper St., the nonprofit also has plans to break ground on the city’s first LGTBQ youth-specific emergency shelter this spring.

Quinn was chosen after a 7-month search. She graduated from Occidental College and Sarah Lawrence College. From 2010 to 2017, she worked for arts, cultural and social service institutions in New York City, including as director of public programs for Housing Works Bookstore Cafe.

In 2017, Quinn returned to Memphis where she supported the founding of the Center for Southern Literary Arts and its inaugural Memphis Literary Arts Festival. She also currently leads the Literary Network.

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Ruth Ellis Center plans new housing for LGBT youth in Detroit

Ruth Ellis Center plans new housing for LGBT youth in Detroit | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
A Highland Park-based nonprofit wants to build a $15 million mixed-use development in Detroit to provide subsidized living and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young adults who may otherwise become homeless.

Armed with $1.48 million in Michigan low-income housing tax credits and Peoria, Ill.-based Full Circle Communities Inc. as its development partner, Ruth Ellis Center Inc. aims to create 43 units of housing on top of health care, entrepreneurial and community space in Detroit's Piety Hill neighborhood west of Woodward Avenue and north of New Center.

The project would take shape on a Clairmount Avenue property marketed by the city last year. Detroit is currently reviewing its site plan and exterior elevation, said Jerry Peterson, executive director of the Ruth Ellis Center. Construction would follow, pending approval, in fall or next spring.
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Deloitte BrandVoice: The Workforce Of The Future: The Skills Challenge Becomes More Apparent

Deloitte BrandVoice: The Workforce Of The Future: The Skills Challenge Becomes More Apparent | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
Since 1983, New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center has been empowering the most underserved members of the community with one of a kind programming. Offering health and wellness, family support and cultural events, the downtown building is home to reliable resources for LGBT youth. Over the years, The Center  has maintained a legacy of support and enrichment for the community  that continues to reach new heights.  In celebration of 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising, the  organization has teamed up with veteran shoe designer, Louis D’Arienzo, to give a young artist the opportunity to design a pair of shoes for his eponymous line.

The design contest that selected Michael Nieves' wining graphic also coincides with the 30th anniversary of  The Center's 1989 art show, which presented the site-specific works of emerging artists like Keith Haring, Leon Golub, Kenny Scharf, David LaChapelle, Martin Wong, Barbara Sandler and Nancy Spero, which are still on display to this day. The Payador Pride Contest took online submissions from LGBT youth and was reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges that included the organization's executive director, Glennda Testone. Louis D’Arienzo's slide shoe in celebration of pride is  a feat for the 20-year-old artist and a testament to the power of investing in young talent.  
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New resource for SJ's LGBT+ community

STOCKTON — Young people in the LGBT+ community who may be struggling now have a new resource at their fingertips to help them know that they are not alone.

The San Joaquin Pride Center unveiled the debut of the “I Am” mobile application during a news conference Friday morning at Stagg High School.

Managed by California’s Office of Health Equity and funding from the Reducing Disparities Pilot Project grant, Pride Center Executive Director Nicholas Hatten said the app is designed to connect San Joaquin County LGBT+ youth with services and information that can reduce the rate of bullying and act as a safe place.

“The idea came from Stocktonians,” he said, “It took five years to get us here today, and I’m really proud that we can oversee the idea through and now we’re finally able to execute it within our community.”

Among the features of the free app include users to socialize with other county LGBT+ students, promote and showcase local activities, report bullying, information on how to create their own student club on campus, and suicide and depression support.

“We don’t want our students to feel alone, feel like they don’t have resources and nobody to go to,” said Reyes Guana, Stockton Unified assistant superintendent of educational support services. “This app provides them a network that they can lean on and never feel alone again.”

The challenges that face LGBT+ youth either at home, at school or in their community can be staggering, Hatten said, and LGBT+ youth are most at-risk of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse and homelessness.

According to the Pride Center, a national study of minors in grades 7–12 discovered that those who identified as lesbian, gay, and bisexual were twice as likely to have attempted suicide than their heterosexual peers.

Substance abuse was also high, as much as 190 percent higher for LGBT children than for heterosexual youth, and 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT. Additionally, 75 percent are forced into sex trafficking.


“Every LGBT youth in San Joaquin County should be embraced and celebrated by their families,” said Hatten. “But we know at times, due to the conservative nature of our community, they’re not. This app will go a long way in providing the support and acceptance that every young person deserves.”

Mayor Michael Tubbs hopes the app is utilized and said it shows the strides that Stockton is making to build an inclusive community where everyone is welcome.

“The app is a good first step, there’s a lot more that we can do,” Tubbs said. “This app can’t solve everything, but this app aggregates all resources and help folks who may need it.”

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Staten Island Patrick's Day parade denies Pride Center of Staten Island again

Staten Island Patrick's Day parade denies Pride Center of Staten Island again | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it

Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day parade organizers have again denied an LGBT advocacy group’s request to march under their own banner.

Read More: Timeline of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade’s LGBT controversy

Carol Bullock, executive director of Pride Center of Staten Island, told NY1: "We understand this parade is really important to Staten Island and all of the Irish who live here.

"We just want to be a part of that and celebrate."

The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) organizes the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is scheduled for Sunday, March 3, this year.

This is the second time that Pride Center of Staten Island has applied to march under their own banner, and the second time they’ve been denied.

Bullock told NY1 that AOH chapter president Larry Cummings said that the Pride Center of Staten Island banner "promoted the homosexual lifestyle" and that it "goes against the tenets of the Catholic Church."

"You're pushing us right back in the closet," Bullock reflected.

Last year, Cummings told the Irish Voice: “Our parade is for Irish heritage and culture. It is not a political or sexual identification parade.”

Now, the local Staten Island community is banning together to appeal the AOH’s decision to prevent the group from marching.

In a statement co-signed by several Staten Island businesses and organizations, Pride Center of Staten Island said: "We believe that ALL Staten Islanders deserve to proudly participate and celebrate their whole selves.”


On Twitter, Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo said it was time to include Pride Center of Staten Island:

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Police Investigate New Evidence About The 2009 LGBT Youth Center Shooting In Tel Aviv

Police Investigate New Evidence About The 2009 LGBT Youth Center Shooting In Tel Aviv | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
Israeli police may have found a clue in the currently unsolved Tel Aviv LGBTQ Youth Club shooting from 2009.

According to the Times of Israel, a former criminal gave information to Tel Aviv police about the identity and motive of the killer in the 2009 case. The criminal wanted to give over the information for money and benefits with the police, according to an Army Radio report.


The report does not state if the police accepted the offer, but they are looking into the claim.

On August 1, 2009, a masked person dressed in black entered the Bar Noar center. The shooter then murdered two people, 16-year-old Liz Trobishi and 26-year-old Nir Katz. Ten other people, mostly minors, were injured in the shooting. Two of those who were injured are now permanently disabled.

Unfortunately, the attacker was never found.
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Pride Center of SA launches project to facilitate transgender...

Pride Center of SA launches project to facilitate transgender... | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it

Passports, drivers’ licenses and birth certificates all have names and genders on them, but when transgender individuals wish to change their legal information on any of those documents, it can be a difficult and expensive process.

The Pride Center of San Antonio is trying to change that by holding its first free clinic Saturday in order to ease that legal process for the transgender community.  

It’s a process that Jamie Zapata, a transgender woman, said is important for her community.

“I started around 10 years old, and then I completely came out as female when I was 14,” Zapata said.

Zapata was born a male. After she went through the transition of becoming a female in her preteens, she was forced to drop out of high school because the school wouldn't let her identify as female.

She said she has faced many obstacles as a transgender woman, including being assaulted by a bouncer at a nightclub after she presented her ID, which marked her as male.

“He tried to run me over in the parking lot, so my life has been threatened because I was outed because of my ID,” Zapata said. “It definitely puts us in harm’s way.”

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LGBT Resource Center expands gender-affirming clothing closet

LGBT Resource Center expands gender-affirming clothing closet | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
Sunlight streams into the LGBT Resource Center, in its new fifth-floor suite at Bird Library, through several large windows overlooking the Syracuse University campus. The light washes over a rack of dresses, jackets and other fashion pieces in calm blues, deep purples and fiery reds. Another rack filled with empty hangers stands next to the full one, ready to display more gently used items of gender-affirming clothing.

Berri Wilmore, one of the center’s half-dozen student assistants, was struck with the idea for a gender-affirming closet when she realized how many items in her own wardrobe she rarely wore. The freshman communication and rhetorical studies major has since spearheaded the closet’s development, working towards creating a space for queer people exploring their gender expression to feel validated and affirmed.

While Wilmore said the closet hasn’t gained much student attention, she’s hoping that’ll change after the center’s clothing swap event. On March 29 from 6-9 p.m., students can come in, look through, try on and take home available clothing. They are encouraged to leave items behind.

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New safe space for LGBT+ youth opens in Louisville | Community | wdrb.com

New safe space for LGBT+ youth opens in Louisville | Community | wdrb.com | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
Mayor Greg Fischer, Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith and the group Ignite Louisville cut the ribbon to the newly renovated Louisville Youth Group center.

Louisville Youth Group has been a safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth in Kentuckiana for over 20 years. It "promotes personal and community growth through relationship building, leadership development, and social justice activism," according to the group's website.

The redesigned and renovated area will provide a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth to interact with peers and work with social platforms. 

"The programming network focuses on giving them the skills and the experiences that help them thrive outside Louisville Youth Group now, but also when they age out, as they become adults and leaders in the community," Executive Director Jason Peno said.

Ignite Louisville also goes out into the community to teach leadership skills through a six-month program.

For more information on the Louisville Youth Group, click here. Fore more information about Ignite Louisville's program, click here.
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Dave Garcia to Return as Affirmation’s Director

Dave Garcia to Return as Affirmation’s Director | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
Ferndale, MI – Former Affirmations Executive Director Dave Garcia is returning after five years of working for Los Angeles LGBT Center in California.  Garcia left affirmations early in 2014 to take the lead of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which has six locations, a budget of over $100 million, and over 700 employees.

“I left Affirmations in a strong position five years ago.  I’m a better Executive Director now because of the experience I’ve had the past five years here,” Garcia said, speaking on the phone from LA.

Garcia served as the Executive Director from 2011 to 2014. Since that time the organization has seen many challenges with leadership, including turnover in the director position.  In November, Intrim Director Lilianna Reyes left to work for Ruth Ellis Center, and the Board of Directors did not immediately fill the position.

“Over the last few months, the Board embarked on a discovery and listening tour to understand what the community wanted in the next Executive Director,” explained Mike Flores, Affirmations Board President in a statement early Wednesday morning.

“The community expressed a strong desire for the next ED to have an intimate knowledge of the Michigan LGBTQ+ community, other stakeholders requested the next ED have a proven executive track record, and the Board envisioned an ED with foresight, strategic thinking, and strong administrative/development skills. Dave Garcia is a known leader that meets all these requirements, and we are excited to welcome him back to Affirmations.”
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LGBT Network hosts annual Long Island conference

LGBT Network hosts annual Long Island conference | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
On Tuesday, the LGBT Network and the Suffolk County executive launched a major-anti-bullying initiative at the network's largest annual conference where more than 600 Long Island students gathered at the Charles B. Wang Center at SUNY Stony Brook.
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The Center’s new director focuses on funding, visibility

The Center’s new director focuses on funding, visibility | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it

John Waldron came to Las Vegas at age 14. He didn’t want to be here, was mad at his parents for making him come here, and had no idea after arriving here where he wanted his life to go.

Waldron laughs. “If you could see that 14-year-old kid at Chaparral (High School) and tell anybody back then that he would earn a doctorate and head an organization as executive director, the laughter from people in my life would have been overwhelming.”
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But Waldron acclimated well to Southern Nevada over the years and even grew to love the place. Last month, his Southern Nevada roots grew even deeper when he became executive director of The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, which for more than 25 years has been providing a raft of services — from counseling to support groups to free HIV testing — to Southern Nevada’s LGBTQ community.

For Waldron, it’s the latest stop in a career path that has seen him serve in management and leadership positions at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where he was director of advertising operations; the nonprofit Opportunity Village, where he was director of organizational development; and Boyd Gaming, where he was manager of learning and development.

Waldron, 54, was born in Queens, New York, and grew up on Long Island. His mother was a certified nursing assistant at a nursing home and his father worked for Timet. When his father was transferred to Henderson’s Timet plant — which produces titanium for use in aviation and other industries — the family moved here.

“It was horrible,” Waldron says. “I was so mad. That’s the best way I can describe it. I was just mad that our parents uprooted us and took us out West.”

“And everybody made fun of my New York accent, which is why I lost it very rapidly. But when I get on the phone with my mother, it comes out.”

After graduation, he served in the Army, returned home and, at 25, landed an entry-level job in the ad operations department of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Waldron says it was a life-changing job that gave him a sense of direction, introduced him to mentors that would help him along the way and inspire a continuing interest in leadership development.

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LGBT Network Plans to Expand East End Social Offerings

LGBT Network Plans to Expand East End Social Offerings | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
The LGBT Network works hard to make sure as many people have access to them as possible. “Our philosophy is, no matter where we have the centers, we don’t expect people to come to us; we have to go to them,” Kilmnick says. “On the East End, you can feel even more isolated than other parts of the island. There’s a lack of transportation, for example. We now have a van on the East End, thanks to Legislator Bridget Fleming. We’re able to pick people up, so [LGBT people] can feel a sense of community. We talk about gay life on the East End; how one feels part of the LGBT community and movement. Our job is to have things at the center but have it be accessible to all.”

One of Kilmnick’s long-term goals is to expand the Network’s social offerings, and he’s started by extending the annual Long Island Pride events to include more of the island. “We’re the operators at Long Island Pride, and this year we’re expanding it to two weeks,” Kilmnick explains. One of the events Kilmnick is most excited about is Pride in the Vines on the North Fork. “Pride in the Vines is going to be a really cool event! It’s going to be in wine country. That includes bringing other folks to see the beauty of the East End. That’s going to be on June 25. We’re going to do something in the Hamptons. It’s also for our allies, friends and family members.” Kilmnick is looking into opening a satellite center on the North Fork to complement the work of other centers.

Upcoming centers include a large location in Hauppauge, as well as a new spot in Patchogue. Kilmnick understands the importance of expanding the social programs across the board. “I’m 51 years old, and I grew up in a time where you developed community by meeting other people out in clubs—not necessarily through drinking, but through being social. Those social type of places need to exist. We’re looking at that as our next model,” he says. “People are meeting through social media now. It’s so different from when I grew up. There’s been a lot more requests for us to do social things at our center. It brings people together in a way to have fun, to celebrate and feel like a part of the community. That’s how we’re approaching the changing world for LGBT people and the community.”
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Hall in LGBTQ center in Nyack dedicated to Hillary Clinton

Hall in LGBTQ center in Nyack dedicated to Hillary Clinton | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it

NYACK -
A newly finished hall in a building undergoing construction in the Hudson Valley has been dedicated to former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The 19th century historic three-floor brick building will soon be home to the Rockland Pride Center. Hillary Clinton made a rare public appearance Thursday in the Hudson Valley to advocate for the LGBTQ community in Nyack.

The center will offer counseling, support and medical services to the LGBTQ community.

The Hillary Rodham Clinton Hall of Social Justice is the first part of the center that has been finished, and Clinton's appearance at the hall is part of a capital campaign to raise money to complete the building.

Advocates say it was Clinton's will and fight that helped them move forward, making their dream of a social justice center a reality.

The building is slated for a grand opening this spring.

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Pride Center Coordinator's Podcast puts focus on LGBT people of color | Centre Daily Times

Pride Center Coordinator's Podcast puts focus on LGBT people of color | Centre Daily Times | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it

BURLINGTON, VT.
Guests on the "Brown 'n Out" podcast answer two questions:

What does black and brown queer culture in Vermont look like to you?

When do you feel most brown 'n out?

Reggie Condra, a health and wellness coordinator at Burlington's Pride Center, launched a "podcast about LGBTQ People of Color in Vermont" in February 2018.

Condra, 31, identifies as black and gay. He often felt the talking heads for the LGBTQ+ community were cisgender, white males.

So he started "Brown 'n Out."

The podcast, uploaded on Podbean, features a range of voices. Condra said people labeled him an activist. He does not disagree.

"But then also, I don't think it's so radical," he said. "Like it shouldn't always be an act of activism to just highlight people of color or queer people."

Condra likes to build a rapport with his subjects, getting coffee before the interview. His episodes typically begin with a funny snippet embedded in the conversation.

"I never just want to ask, you know, a person kind of blanketly about their identity," he said. "I want them to talk to me about things that they're interested in."

Condra acknowledged these topics might have nothing to do with their identities. He has published 26 of these conversations.

Since the podcast launched, he found himself taking it more seriously.

"It was always a super personal endeavor and one that no one was ever checking for — like I don't have a boss ..." he said. "I would like to say over time I'm just tightening it up a bit more and kind of learning how to be a professional podcaster."

He does not listen to many podcasts. However, he felt "Brown 'n Out" could be served through the medium, which he described as current and democratic, explaining anyone can make a podcast and it can be consumed on-the-go.

He considered the launch during Black History Month last year a "happy coincidence."

"It wasn't unintentional that it came out in February," he said. "But I'm also very aware that February and only February is a time that a lot of media outlets, organizations — even nonprofits — like to roll out all of their black, or QTPOC, or POC-centered content in that month and sort of think ... That takes care of the rest of the year."

"I would say that I had advanced taste as a youth," he said. "I was always absorbing any queer culture or what looked like queer culture, that I could possibly find. Like on the low, though."

Condra's mom allowed him to paint his nails, shop at Claire's and took him to movies like Candy Man. They went to his first concert together: Korn.

"I liked that I was like the kid that was different," he said.

He listened to staples of the 1990s — Prince, Lil Kim, Madonna, Michael Jackson. But he also loved rock: Marilyn Manson, Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

He felt it was more common for his white friends to like hip hop in St. Louis, where it was somewhat embedded in the culture, than for kids of color to like rock.

Condra grew up around a mix of races. St. Louis is 45 percent white and 47 percent black.

Burlington is 84 percent white and 5 percent black.

Condra explained that while St. Louis was segregated, his neighborhood was relatively diverse — including black families, white families and refugees from Vietnam, Bosnia and Eritrea.

He felt white people were more comfortable around him because he is biracial.

"It does allow you to hold space where other folks, who otherwise are your family members, couldn't," he said, such as his father, who is black.

Condra pointed out his hometown does not sit far from Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was shot by a white police officer in 2014. However, he felt more at risk of homophobia than racism. He explained spaces available to LGBTQ+ members in St. Louis — like clubs — would likely not have been accessible to him since he was underage.

Condra moved north to attend Lyndon State College (which later merged with Johnson State College to form Northern Vermont University), where he studied psychology. He was excited to move to Vermont, which he perceived as relatively LGBTQ+ friendly. He was familiar with the northeast, visiting family in New Hampshire throughout his childhood.

When asked which aspect of his identity — race or sexuality — was harder for people to digest in Vermont, Condra knew his answer.

"The black one."

Condra enjoys hiking when it's warmer; grabbing food, at places like Gaku Ramen and Honey Road; and supporting local music. He and his boyfriend recently saw Julia Caesar at The Monkey House.

Condra doesn't visit Missouri, but his mom comes to Vermont. He also sees his family in New Hampshire.

Looking back, he felt people perhaps tolerated rather than accepted him during college, realizing meeting someone could mean introducing them to the first person of color they've encountered. While Condra felt Vermonters are comfortable championing LGBTQ+ rights, he does not sense the same sentiment is always extended to race.

There was a point Condra considered leaving Vermont: He worked at a library for seven years and said people asked what his plan was. He questioned his trajectory, considering further education. He was always interested in fashion, arts and entertainment — and even took classes in accounting at the Community College of Vermont.

"But right now, I'm happy that my career path looks like social justice work," he said.

We asked what being brown 'n out meant to Condra.

"It means self-advocating a lot. It means not always being able to find someone to stand up for you and taking it upon yourself to claim your existence. It looks like — when you do finally find community — the best feeling ever."

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Jan Huebenthal named Ohio University LGBT Center assistant director

Jan Huebenthal named Ohio University LGBT Center assistant director | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it

OHIO’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion announced that Jan Huebenthal will join Ohio University as its first assistant director of the LGBT Center. He will officially begin his duties March 18, 2019

As part of this new position, Huebenthal will help to further the LGBT Center’s mission by providing support to its administrative, communications and outreach efforts. He will also assist with the continuing development, implementation and assessment of OHIO’s LGBT programs and efforts, both on and off campus.

Huebenthal shared that he can’t wait to begin working alongside, and learning from, the campus community.

“I'm thrilled to be joining the Ohio University’s LGBT Center as its first assistant director,” said Huebenthal. “During my time on campus, I met with several students whose wit, spirit and fierce commitment inspired me, and I know that combined with my passion for creating learning spaces that affirm each person's lived experiences, we will, together, build a solid foundation for the LGBT Center as it evolves.”

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LGBT Detroit looks to raise $1 million for vision as gathering place

LGBT Detroit looks to raise $1 million for vision as gathering place | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it

Nonprofit LGBT Detroit is seeking $1 million to complete what its founder dubs the biggest African-American-led lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender center property in North America.

The organization, which is focused on support, education, health and awareness for Detroit's LGBT residents, bought a building next door to its 3,800-square-foot center in the Murray Hill neighborhood.

The nonprofit is expanding its footprint by two-thirds in an effort that requires $150,000 to get the second building operating, but a total of $1 million by mid-2020 for its total vision of an event and community space, said Curtis Lipscomb, founder and executive director.

LGBT Detroit, a group with origins as an LGBT media company in 1994 and which gained nonprofit status since 2003, estimates on its website that it serves 800 people annually. It launched a campaign called Safe Brave Space in 2016 to fund its move from small quarters in Midtown to its building at 20025 Greenfield Road.

Then LGBT Detroit bought the building next door at 20021 Greenfield in May for $50,000, according to city property records. With that purchase, Lipscomb said, the two-building campus became North America's largest black-led LGBT resource center property.

But that second, 2,600-square-foot structure isn't in use yet and it's a long way from becoming a destination hub. Thus, the million-dollar goal.

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GLCCB changes name to Pride Center of Maryland

GLCCB changes name to Pride Center of Maryland | LGBT Community Centers | Scoop.it
The board of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB) voted on Feb. 7 to officially change its name to the Pride Center of Maryland.


The name change is part of a long-term effort from the Pride Center to be more inclusive.

Established in 1977, the Center was first known as the Gay Community Center of Baltimore Limited.

“But as years progressed and our identities as a community continued to grow stronger the word ‘gay’ was not enough to represent the entire community,” the Center wrote in a press release.

In 1985, the word “lesbian” was added to the Center’s name. In October 2000, so were “bisexual” and “transgender.” And in 2012, the Center began using the term “sexual and gender minorities” instead of the LGBT acronym.

“LGBTQIA did not represent everyone,” the press release stated.

Despite these changes, the Center continued using “GLCCB” as its name. Twelve days ago, the board voted to change this, too.

“While recognizing and celebrating the diversity of our community within our mission statement was great, leaving the branding of the center the same did no one justice,” the Center wrote.

In the future, the Center and all associated logos and products will be recognized as the Pride Center of Maryland.
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