Photo: Courtesy of Lester Echem
Though the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals have advanced significantly over the years, there haven’t always been the as many safe, inclusive spaces for them in the city. This is exactly why The LGBT Community Center or The Center was created—to support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in NYC.
Founded in 1983, The Center’s Second Tuesdays kicked off their programming, bringing prominent figures in arts and politics directly to the community. Since then their offerings have expanded to include everything from family and youth services to career resources to events that celebrate their progress. The space itself can also be rented out for meetings or gatherings.
Pride Month entails a lot of extra fun and informative events from The Center. So far, they have thrown at garden party, had a special gathering for veterans of the Gay Liberation Front and hosted a musical event with New York Festival of Song Artistic Director Steven Blier. They also have a family-friendly Pride picnic happening at the end of the month.
The space recently unveiled two new LGBTQ+ exhibitions on location as well as a permanent mural by AIDS activist/artist community Gran Fury. They are also honoring the history of LGBTQ+ activism in partnership with Google with a digital monument called Stonewall Forever. The online experience features a wealth of archival content detailing the Stonewall Riots through firsthand accounts. Visitors can also add images and messages to it to further flesh out the monument.
Those who are interested in supporting The Center can donate online, offer to volunteer through one of their programs or attend events supporting their efforts. More about them can be found on their website.