The Long Island GLBT Network Relocates Its Nassau Center to Woodbury
These are very exciting times for the Long Island GLBT Network (The Network) and for the community. The Network is always working on ways to expand services and widen their reach, many of which we will be shared in the coming months. But focusing their attention to the immediate future, The Network announced that their Nassau Center has relocated to Woodbury.
When The Network opened The Center at Garden City in 2011, they signed a 33 month lease. Their vision was always to have a stand-alone center, but felt the need in Nassau County was so great that after a 2 year search, that began in 2009, they could not wait and moved forward with leasing what became known as The Center at Garden City.
In the short span of just under 3 years, thousands came through The Center’s doors for life saving programs, to get tested for HIV/STI’s, take part in exhibits, arts and cultural events, attend a national LGBT Conference, volunteer, celebrate the launch of the nations first and only Gay PTA and build a stronger and more united community. It is hard to believe that it was only 33 months in Garden City with so much being accomplished.
For the past 18 months, The Network had been tirelessly searching for a permanent home and was on the verge of obtaining one in Hicksville. David Kilmnick, CEO of The Network, said, “We had all intentions of moving there when our lease at Garden City expired March 31st. Unfortunately as the process moved along road blocks were encountered. Legal hurdles arose as the Town of Oyster Bay Planning Commissioner was placing nearly impossible conditions to be met in order to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.”
While The Network did its best to overcome these road blocks, a point was reached in mid-March where it became clear that the communities support and their resources would be better utilized elsewhere. Hicksville was no longer an option and The Network had three weeks to find a space that could house and continue all the programs and services that were currently offered in Nassau County.
The Network’s new space, which is only fifteen minutes from their previous location, is located on Crossways Park Drive North in Woodbury. This new space will allow The Network to sustain and grow their services in Nassau while continuing to explore possibilities of buying or building their own stand alone center.
The Center at Woodbury is located at 20 Crossways Drive North, Suite 110, Woodbury, NY 11797. It is right off Exit 14E of the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway and accessible by all of Long Island’s parkways.
LIGALY’s 2014 Night of Noise a Huge Success
Over 160 GLBT Youth and Allies Pack the Center at Bay Shore
Every year, schools across Long Island (and the country) participate in Day of Silence, a national movement where students take a vow of silence to protest the silence that is forced upon GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) youth.
While the Day of Silence typically occurs in schools, LIGALY (Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth) created its own Night of Noise several years ago, which is held on the evening of Day of Silence. This year over 160 youth packed the LIGALY Center at Bay Shore for the 2014 Night of Noise block party. Youth from across Nasasu, Suffolk and the East End spray painted a Wall of Hate, had a SpeakOUT, a pie eating contest, face painting, photo shoot, LGBT Auditions and a DJ dance party.
According to Robert Vitelli, Chief Operating Officer of The Long Island GLBT Network (The Network), Night of Noise “captures who we are in terms of being visible, and telling people what’s going on.” Students are invited to come together at The Long Island GLBT Network’s Suffolk Center at Bay Shore, gain a voice, and express what Day of Silence has meant to them. The idea behind Night of Noise is to be able to let students to break their
silence and empower them to be able to do something about the barriers GLBT youth face.
Vitelli explained that one of the most powerful activities during Night of Noise is the build up and then destruction of a large cinderblock wall. This year, youth lined up by the dozens and patiently waited to spray paint on the wall words that they have either been bullied with, or heard others be bullied with. As youth kneeled down and painted the words fag, sissy, freak, and other words they are called each day, they were met with an embrace from the next person in line to let them know that they are not alone and have all the support they need. Then, in a positive and supportive environment, the youth broke the wall with a sledgehammer to signify the breaking of the silence, as well as breaking the bullying that so many youth face each day.
The overall and important message LIGALY aims to convey is clearly that remaining silent while witnessing an act of bullying can be just as bad as actually being a bully. It is important to remember that even one voice can save a life. On this night, over 160 youth made sure their voices were heard across all of Long Island.
Volunteer with The Network
Looking for a great way to spend your free time? The Long Island GLBT Network (The Network) is always looking for volunteers to help with special events, day-to-day operations and light office work. The Network relies on its enthusiastic volunteers to serve Long Island’s GLBT community. Being a volunteer for The Network you are part of a group of kind, compassionate, generous, and hardworking individuals who affect tremendous and far-reaching change in the community.
Becoming a volunteer for The Network is fast and easy. Potential volunteers can fill out an online application or visit any one of The Network’s three community centers located in Woodbury, Bay Shore, and Sag Harbor. They can match you with a volunteer position that best utilizes your time, skills, and interests.
One of the best ways to volunteer is by signing up to help at this years’ Pride Parade and PrideFest. The 2014 Pride Parade and PrideFest will take place on Saturday, June 24th starting at 12pm. Here are the many fun and exciting activities you can be a part of:
• Help with the Morning Set-up
• Assist in the Parade Line-up/Parade Marshalls
• Tend the Information Booth
• Be a host/hostess in the Beer Gardens
• Volunteer in the TD Bank VIP Lounge
• Keep an eye on the Stage or assist the
• Help keep the Children’s Area a safe and fun space
Volunteers are invaluable to the success of The Network in our Long Island community. By getting involved, you can meet new people, greet and help many community members that walk through our doors, assist with programs and special events and much more.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, The Network will be holding several Pride Volunteer Orientations:
Wednesday, May 7th from 7-8:30pm @ The Center at Woodbury
Friday, May 16th from 7-8:30 @ The Hamptons GLBT Center
Tuesday, May 27th from 7-8:30 @ The Center at Bay Shore
Wednesday, June 4th from 7-8:30 @ The Center at Woodbury
Tuesday, June 10th from 7-8:30 @ The Center at Bay Shore
Pride 2014 Preview
Proud People, Fun Times!
The Long Island Pride Parade traces its origins to over 23 years ago when Long Island’s Gay Pride Freedom Committee founders approached the Town of Huntington to grant a permit for the first Pride Parade. The first Pride Parade was held on June 9th, 1991 and since that time, the Pride Parade has grown into one of the largest parades outside of New York City. Every year, community organizations, businesses, and school-based Gay-Straight Alliance clubs proudly march along Main Street to the cheers of thousands of spectators.
This year’s Grand Marshall for the Pride Parade is Edie Windsor. Edie has been a strong advocate for the rights of the GLBT community through her inspirational fight in single handedly taking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Following the Parade down Main Street is PrideFest. For the past two years, Long Island PrideFest has been the highlight of the year for Long Island’s GLBT community. From 1pm to 6pm, PrideFest rocks Heckscher Park with all-day live entertainment from top performers and local talent. This event has something for all 15,000+ participants. PrideFest features beer gardens, the TD Bank VIP Lounge, a health pavilion, information booths, the KJOY 98.3 Kids Zone, delicious food and much, much more.
This year PrideFest 2014 is bringing top-notch performances from pop stars and local talent. Read on to learn more about this years performers.
Taylor Dayne stands out as one of music’s most dynamic artists of all time. Her unique vocal style has earned her numerous best-selling gold and platinum albums, which produced many Top 20 singles, among them number 1 hits such as “Tell It To My Heart”, “Love Will Lead You Back” & “Prove Your Love To Me”.
Kristine W has proven herself an Olympian and lasting talent in the rarified and cutting edge realm of the dance music diva – where singers have to hit and deliver notes that thrill, truly touch hearts and souls with the words they sing and compel bodies to find the mighty groove out on the dance floor.
Prince Poppycock, the witty and glamorous, with his powerful trained voice, has opened for bands like the Dresden Dolls and The Sounds; performed at extravagant events like NYC’s Dances of Vice; and opened for performance art legend Ann Magnuson at LA’s prestigious Redcat Theater. He was also a contestant on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
Joe Murena is an “out” and proud singer songwriter from Long Island and is honored to be returning to the pride concert lineup. Joe is most commonly known as Long Island’s first finalist to appear on the hit reality show American Idol (Season 4 with Carrie Underwood).