Two Gay Advocacy Organizations Expand Services in Harlem
By Gustavo Solis
“Things are expanding for our community here in Harlem,” said Carmen Neely of Harlem Pride. “I think a lot of people think Harlem was not welcoming for the gay community but I don’t think that’s the case.”
Many of the figures of the Harlem Renaissance were gay and bisexual, she added.
The neighborhood has been very receptive so far. People have stopped to ask about their organization and welcome them to the neighborhood. The young people have been taking advantage of the free condoms they distribute, said board member John Reddick.
Harlem Pride, which started in 2010, has never had a permanent home. For the last four years they have been operating at various community spaces, including SAGE Harlem, Reddick added.
Their new center on 42 Macombs Pl. in October will allow them to be move involved in the community and hopefully have more events throughout the year.
They will have their housewarming party Nov. 21.
"It's a great time to be a part of Harlem's LGBTQ community," said Kira Garcia of SAGE Harlem.
SAGE, which offers services to gay seniors, moved into 127 W. 127th St. Thursday. The new space is three times as big as their old spot on Adam Clayton Powell and will let them expand their services, Garcia said.
“It’s wonderful to be able to walk into this large space and see there is plenty of room to grow,” Garcia said. “No one is going to be turned away and that feels fantastic.
The new space also has a kitchen, which will allow SAGE to distribute free lunches to all SAGE members during the week.
Thursday’s opening was the first opening of SAGE’s city-wide expansion. Although no dates have been set, they plan to open similar centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island, Garcia said.