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PRIDE

Where Are NYS’ LGBTQ-Friendliest Places? Competition asks state residents to submit video touting their neighborhood

offer as we extend an invitation to LGBTQ travelers from around the world,” said Empire State Development president Howard Zemsky. Among those working with the state on the initiative include Heritage of Pride, which organizes the annual Pride March and related celebrations in Manhattan. “By working with New York State to identify these dynamic and inspiring WorldPride ambassadors, we hope to showcase the wide array of diversity that makes us proud to call ourselves New Yorkers,”

said Heritage of Pride managing director Chris Frederick. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed a series of LGBTQ rights bills earlier this year — including transgender rights bill GENDA and a ban on so-called gay conversion therapy practiced on minors — praised the ambassador program. “Together with our WorldPride Ambassadors, we will show that there is no place for hate in our state as we celebrate the LGBTQ community and continue to fight for a safe and equal nation for all,” he said. The Pride events this year are expected to be particularly festive since the international WorldPride celebration is being hosted in New York at the same time as the city marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall protests. The “I love NY” website features an LGBTQ travel guide specifically made for WorldPride. That guide includes several parts of New York City, but also features a number of areas outside of the city including Niagara Falls, Fire Island — historically known as a safe haven for LGBTQ people — and other locales in each of the state’s major regions. There’s still plenty of time remaining to shoot your video before the March 31 deadline. Submit your clip at iloveny.com/lgbt/lgbt-ambassador-application.

metal detectors in the school and lack of enforcement of the state and city anti-bullying laws. On that latter point, Cedeno, whose mother had complained about her son being bullied for years, seems to agree. Standing with his mother and sister after the proceeding, Cedeno said, “Just after this incident, another gay boy in the school tried to hang himself in the staircase. These are the things that

are happening. People don’t like to admit it.” Cedeno’s Bronx school was closed after the incident, and, citywide, more students are being made aware that they are entitled to transfers when a school environment becomes intolerable for them. Defense counsel say that they are ready to go to trial and that the DA is responsible for the repeated delays.

City News, Williams, then vying to become City Council speaker, voiced his support for marriage equality and said his previous positions were due to religious beliefs stemming from his childhood. By now, he boasts a very clear pro-LGBTQ platform, as evidenced by the “LGBTQ” section on his campaign’s “On The Issues” page, as well as his strong push in video advertisements and mailings to market his queer-friendly work. His Council office has allocated tens of thousands of dollars in total to a variety of LGBTQ groups over the years, including the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, Gay Men of African Descent, SAGE, and the LGBT Community Center. He also has been a rare voice among city lawmakers to repeatedly speak out in support of

transgender women of color, who he says have been “dying with impunity” at a time when they have been disproportionately affected by violence and other forms of abuse. How Williams plans to advance LGBTQ rights in his new position is not immediately clear, but he could run into challenges in his quest to move the needle on a number of issues. The role of public advocate is viewed as significant because the officeholder is second in line to the mayor, can propose legislation, and serves as a voice for the people against the mayor and other powerful figures in government. But it is also very limited: The office’s budget is just $3.5 million, the public advocate cannot vote on legislation, and there is little other power beyond the bully pulpit.

BY MATT TRACY

D

o you love your neighborhood? Is it LGBTQ-friendly? If so, New York State wants you to let it be known. LGBTQ folks who live in the state are being asked to submit a three-minute video explaining why they are proud of their local area and the state — and why queer visitors should visit that area. Winners will serve as ambassadors for WorldPride 2019 and will be featured in “I LOVE NY” WorldPride promotions and in anti-discrimination educational campaigns by the state Division of Human Rights. They will also win free transportation to the June WorldPride celebration in Manhattan. Competitors must answer five questions in the video: What area of New York do you live in? Which section of the LGBTQ community do you most identify with? What about your city/ town or state makes you proud as an LGBTQ New Yorker? What in your region would you show off to LGBTQ visitors as part of a dream vacation in New York? Lastly, why do you feel you would be a good WorldPride ambassador? “The WorldPride Ambassadors competition is the perfect opportunity for New Yorkers from across the state to showcase the best we have to

➤ CEDENO TRIAL, from p.4 power to order Rubenstein, who accompanies Ms. Dennis to the proceedings, to do anything. Ms. Dennis, speaking after the proceeding with her attorney, said, “I’m anxious and depressed, but I have to be strong. I have to represent my son. I am my son’s voice.” Rubenstein is basing his suit on the lack of

➤ JUMAANE WILLIAMS, from p.8 also includes his 2014 abstention from a transgender rights bill that would have eased the process for people looking to change the gender marker on their birth certificate. He said he abstained because of his concerns that the measure listed midwives among those who could sign off on the change. (The need for any health professionals’ sign-off to make such a change was subsequently removed from city law altogether.) Amid all the controversy over those positions, Williams has never voted against LGBTQ rights legislation and has worked diligently in recent years to rebrand himself as a champion for the community. In a 2017 interview with Gay

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MICHAEL LUONGO

The Empire State Building lit up in rainbow colors during last years LGBTQ Pride Weekend.

February 28 - March 13, 2019 | GayCityNews.nyc

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Gay City News - February 28, 2019  

February 28, 2019