The Brooklyn Community Pride Center celebrated the grand opening of their new home on National Coming Out Day with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Located on the ground floor of the Restoration Plaza (1360 Fulton) the BCPC offers 3,136 square feet of space to accommodate LGBTQ community outreach initiatives.
BCPC Board Chair, Debbie Brennan said it best yesterday, “We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re staying!”
Executive Director of BCPC Floyd Rumohr, and Lisa Davis from Scott M. Stringer’s Office introduced the speakers; Debbie Brennan, Matt Burgey from CHUBB Personal Risk Services, Colvin Grannum the President & CEO of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Gabriel Lewenstein from Public Advocate Tish James, Matt McMorrow the Senior Advisor of the Mayor’s Office, Carlos Menchaca a NYC Council Member, Floyd Rumohr the Executive Director of the BCPC, Brittney Saunders the Deputy Commissioner of NYC Commission on Human Rights, and David Contreras Turley the Director of Constituency Affairs for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.Gabriel Lewenstein presented Brennan and Rumohr with an elegantly framed proclamation from Public Advocate Tish James.
“Thank you to all of you in the audience today, so many of you are the people who are going to make this center run and the center is an incredible space, but you are the ones who give it life, give it vibrancy, and make it what it truly is,” Lewenstein said as he handed them the proclamation.
Although Gov. Cuomo couldn’t attend himself, he sent David Churley in his place with a letter of support. “On this National Coming Out Day, we thank your center for its role helping to increase the visibility, equality, safety, and wellbeing for the LGBTQ community,” Churley read to the crowd. “Today we celebrate our shared support for the LGBTQ community as well as the diversity of all New Yorkers and I join in applauding your meaningful work and dedication to the health, rights, and freedoms to individuals and couples.”
Colvin Grannum welcomed BCPC as their newest tenant, “As we look to the future we know there is a lot of important work to be done around equity and truly making Brooklyn a place where people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations can feel safe, feel engaged and feel like their lives are worth something at the end of the day they matter and we know that you have an important role to play in a partner with us in that mission.”
The ceremony left the audience feeling hopeful for the future. Everyone was clearly eager to begin working together to accomplish the goals vocalized by many of the speakers.
HIV and STI testing were provided by CAMBA’s Young Men’s Health Project in collaboration with Housing Works Inc. Additional testing across the street made possible by the Watchful Eye Testing, Outreach and Prevention Initiative. BCPC also thanked the NYC Commission On Human Rights for sponsorship and to Citi Community Development for their leadership and support of their expansion.
Community centers such as BCPC are a beckon of hope in the recent darkness of a presidency that does not prioritize LGBTQ rights. Community outreach is vital in combating the issues the LGBTQ community faces daily, and this new location has created more space for that fight to advance towards quality.