New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the opening of a brand-new WorldPride Welcome Center. The new center will be just steps away from the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
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This new center will be highlighting the state of New York as an LGBTI-inclusive place. It will also be used to promote the various Pride-related events taking place throughout the month of June.
This is the first time that the global event of WorldPride will be held in the United States. The fact the event coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots is especially significant. The Riots kick-started the LGBTI rights movement in NYC.
‘Pride is a special month for the LGBTQ community and for all New Yorkers. And with the Empire State hosting WorldPride this year on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall we have a lot to celebrate and commemorate,’ Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.
‘From the passage of marriage equality and GENDA to our ongoing fight with the Trump administration over critical protections for transgender individuals, New York has been a national leader in the fight for LGBTQ rights. And we will always stand alongside this community that we love so much. As millions of people visit our state this June, the WorldPride Welcome Center will highlight the roots and accomplishments of the LGBTQ rights movement in New York. And promote the state as a safe, welcoming destination with no place for hate.’
‘No person should face discrimination or violence because of their gender identity. Especially in the state that is the birthplace of the LGBTQ rights movement,’ said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochu. ‘We proudly celebrate our diversity that makes us the Empire State. As we mark Stonewall 50, the new WorldPride Welcome Center stands as a pillar of community and equality near the Stonewall National Monument. We will continue to embrace our history as we lead the nation as a state that is welcoming to all.’
What’s at the new Center?
At the WorldPride Center, visitors will have the chance to take pictures with their selfie wall, featuring the rainbow ‘I Heart NY’ logo. The center itself will be decked out in the colors of the Pride flag. Overhead will be a deconstructed interpretation of the Pride flag. The center will also include interactive kiosks where guests can test their knowledge of New York State history.
New Yorkers react
‘The first brick was thrown at Stonewall a half century ago, igniting the global movement for LGBTQ human rights,’ said Sen. Brad Hoylman, the only openly gay New York State senator. ‘Since then, our community has been fighting for equality. Including this year, when we finally assured equal rights for transgender New Yorkers. I’m thrilled to see the New York WorldPride Welcome Center open… to mark the beginning of this international celebration of progress on LGBTQ human rights.’
‘I’m so glad that New York City is hosting WorldPride this year. And even more delighted that the New York State WorldPride Welcome Center will be… in the heart of Greenwich Village. Arguably the epicenter for the LGBTQ rights movement in the United States. While we have much to celebrate, there remains the need for ongoing advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ communities around the globe. It’s a privilege to welcome visitors and activists to my district as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. And continue to strive for LGBTQ equality,’ said State Assemblymember Deborah Glick.
The LGBT Community Center Executive Director Glennda Testone also acknowledges the significance of WorldPride being held in NYC this year.
‘As we prepare to welcome millions of visitors to New York City for WorldPride, it’s vital for destination spots like the WorldPride Welcome Center and The LGBT Community Center to showcase our City’s rich history of LGBTQ rights. And provide the information people are seeking as they celebrate Pride,’ she said. ‘It’s an honor to partner in this work with Governor Cuomo and NYC Pride to establish the importance of safe, affirming spaces for the LGBTQ community.’
For those in New York City for Pride Month, the WorldPride Welcome Center is at 112 Christopher Street.