The New York-based LGBT organization Harlem Pride has launched a petition calling for the creation of a Community Pride Center in the uptown Manhattan neighborhood, as reported by the online magazine ELIXHER. Harlem has been home to many of history's most iconic LGBT African Americans, and the neighborhood is the current residence of New York City's second largest LGBT population outside of Brooklyn. Harlem Pride was founded in 2010 to celebrate the lives of Harlem's LGBT residents, and the contributions they have made to the community's rich history. A Community Pride Center in the neighborhood would not only support this mission, but also provide an array of supportive services to address issues such as HIV/AIDS, homeless youth, needs of the LGBT elderly, transgender support, and more.
Harlem Pride President Carmen Nealy spoke about the importance of a local Pride Center, saying, "We launched this initiative because we feel it’s time we have a center to serve the diverse needs of the [same gender loving] SGL/LGBT community uptown. We want something that celebrates our illustrious cultural history and works to alleviate the many issues that affect us as SGL/LGBT people of color.” Carol McDonald, a 53-year-old lesbian and Harlem resident, added, “Had I had access to a Community Pride Center growing up in Harlem, it would have been much easier for me to know my roots – the roots that are anchored in the Black LGBT experience.”
Several local organizations are supporting Harlem Pride's initiative toward establishing a Pride Center, which the group plans to finance through private contributions, fundraising, matching government grants and foundation grants. You can support Harlem Pride too by signing the petition here.