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Center Links - June '11 News....

posted Jun 24, 2011, 8:11 AM by Michael Chanak
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June 2011
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Keeping You Connected!

MLGCC Exceeds Funding Goal!!!


mglcc 2The Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center was in danger of closing in April. 

However, after a month of fundraising, the group said it’s back on solid financial footing after supporters donated more than $60,000.

“Our goal was to raise $45,000 by May 31 in order to continue our current operations,” said Will Batts, the group’s executive director. “We received overwhelming support from previous and new donors, including a very generous matching gift from Dr. Herb Zeman that enabled us to exceed our original goal.”

Rainbow Follows Tornado

From The Wisconsin Gazzette
About a month after  the deadliest single tornado in recorded national weather history, a community is recovering, rebuilding, re-energizing and reaffirming.

With rainbow flags raised, grills fired and DJs spinning, Pride, as scheduled, was set to proceed at Joplin’s Schifferdecker Park on June 11.  

Joplin’s LGBT community joined in search-and-rescue missions, as well as salvage efforts. In jeans and work gloves, people climbed mountains of debris to look for friends, family and neighbors. They helped strangers recover belongings.

One of Joplin’s two gay bars opened its doors early May 23 to provide coffee, dispense supplies and serve as a charging station for people whose homes lacked electricity. Several days later, the Pla-Mor lounge raised disaster relief dollars with a drag benefit that served as a prelude to the bar’s Mr. and Miss Joplin Drag Show on June 10, the eve of Pride in the Park.

For more, click here

The Tulsa Center & Oklahomans for Equality have set up a site up to work with the Joplin LGBT community.

Give online by clicking this link to the fund set up by Oklahomans for Equality.


Ventura County Rainbow Alliance to Close


The Ventura County Rainbow Alliance is closing its doors June 30, but staff members are brainstorming ways to keep the center's counseling services afloat.

Ventura County Rainbow Alliance Executive Director Jay Smith and counselors with the center met Tuesday afternoon to figure out some way to continue to offer counseling to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Ventura County.

New York Center's Safe Schools Internship Empowers Young Leaders to Fight for Equality in Schools

the centerInterns in the Center's Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Program recently finished six months of training in how to make their schools safer spaces for LGBTQ young people. During the Safe Schools Internship, they learned how to start Gay Straight Alliances (GSA's) and how to plan and facilitate monthly Safe Schools Network Meetings, where high school students from across New York City gather to discuss ways to improve their schools. Several participants reflected about how the YES internship made a difference in their lives:

"The first time I realized that my school was transphobic I felt it was my destiny to change the school's idea of trans people. During my Gay Straight Alliance meetings I brought up the issue of transphobia multiple times. Because I educated teachers and students about trans people, they have become more accepting."

"My time as a safe schools intern has been one of the best experiences as a teenager so far. It has taught me how to be a leader and how to use my voice, which has always been hard for me." 

"A staff member at school referred me to the Center because they were offering a paid internship. I jumped at the offer because money was involved. But when I finally got here it became much more than just money. I consider the Center a home away from home, sort of like a safe haven. Now I don't care about the money. I just like to come here to learn something new, and enjoy my time with my new friends. It's a safe environment for me." 

"By working alongside others in the internship, some of whom can't even form GSA's in their schools, I have learned how to help myself and others gain confidence. I want to spread my knowledge. I want to help others, as I have been helped." 

As evidenced from the testimonials above, the Center's YES program not only creates a safe space for LGBT youth, it is also an incubator for a new generation of LGBT leaders. The next internship cycle starts this fall.

Houston Center Celebrates 15 Years

PrideOrganization_slider HoustonIn 1996, a group of concerned activists began to meet at the Montrose branch of the Houston Public Library to attempt to form a community center. By March of that year, they formed a legal entity named the Houston Gay & Lesbian Community Center. 

The Community Center exists “to empower, educate, and nurture individuals of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, generating a sense of community by providing for their social, emotional, and physical well being.” Programs are either organized by the Center or by other individuals or groups who want to offer them through the Center.

Additionally, the Center sponsors a Schools Program, which raises scholarship money for local LGBT youth. The Scholarship Fund is named after John Lawrence and Tyrone Garner, the two Houston gay men whose Supreme Court challenge in 2003 nullified all sodomy laws in the United States.

For more Click HERE

LifeCycle Riders Raise $13+ Million

ALC-ribbon-Stephen-Buskin-Crop 3

AIDS/LifeCycle finishes its most successful year yet, with 2,350 bicyclists and 600 volunteer "roadies". The seven-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles began on June 5th, the exact 30th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS. Riders came from nearly every state and 11 countries.


"I'm enormously proud that AIDS/LifeCycle has set a new fundraising record of more than $13 million," says Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. "Even though the economy is still stagnant, the riders and roadies of the ride rallied like never before, both to support vital HIV/AIDS-related services and to raise awareness about this continued epidemic. Three decades after our nation's fight against AIDS began, we are still fighting to vanquish this horrible disease—and everyone in the wonderful AIDS/LifeCycle community shares a commitment to make a difference in that fight."

For more Click HERE

In The News....

  • Young, Gay and Homeless  
    Recently, the National Alliance to End Homelessness reported that while gay and transgendered youth make up approximately five to 10 percent of the entire youth population, more than 20 percent of homeless youth identify as such. In some locations, LGBTQ youth comprise as much as 40 percent of the homeless youth population.  
    The Oasis Center in Nashville is featured in an article by IPS centering around LGBTQ youth.  For the full article Click HERE.
  • Being gay in Tel Aviv - From Windy City Times
    Everything gay in Tel Aviv anchors around the city's new, multi-story Municipal G.L.B.T. Community Center, known locally as the Proud Center, or, HaMerkaz HaGe'e. The Proud Center is the local version of Center On Halsted, where its monthly calendar of activities is  loaded, diverse and wide-ranging...     For more Click HERE
  • Federal Transgender Employees Protected               Last month the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued three official statements on the appropriate    treatment of trans employees in the federal workplace.      The Administration is continuing to strengthen its commitment to ensuring that the federal government will   hire the best people regardless of their gender identity.      For more Click HERE
  • Susan Stryker takes Ariz. post
    Susan Stryker, a leading scholar of transgender theory and history, has been named director of the University of Arizona's Institute of LGBT Studies in Tucson. For moreClick HERE

National Resource Center on LGBT Aging  Launches New Section on Legal Support and Financial Planning