During Transgender Awareness Week, the Council announces historic funding of two brand-new Council Initiatives: LGBT Community Services and Trans Equity Programs

 The Trans Equity Program is the first Council initiative solely benefiting the transgender community.

 Queens, NY – New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the Council’s Finance Committee Chair Daniel Dromm on Thursday announced $3.8 million of Council allocations in Fiscal Year 2019, for LGBTQ initiatives across the city. Speaker Johnson and Finance Committee Chair Dromm announced these initiatives at the Queens LGBT Center (Q-Center) in Long Island City. These allocations will go toward the LGBT Community Services Initiative and the Trans Equity Program Initiative.  The LGBT Community Services Initiative was awarded $2 million which supports health and human services for LGBT adults. The Trans Equity Program Initiative was awarded $1.8 million to sustain education programs, legal guidance, employment services, workforce development, and healthcare services for transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals. The Trans Equity Program Initiative is the first initiative benefiting solely the trans community. In total, 13 community-based organizations are the recipients of these Council designations.

Speaker Johnson, Finance Chair Dromm and Council Members gathered alongside community organizations and advocates at the Q-Center to celebrate this groundbreaking funding during Transgender Awareness Week.

“New York City is the home of the LGBTQ community, and today we tell all LGBTQ adults, families and transgender and gender non-conforming individuals they will always be taken care of here. This is an historic day for this city, and I am so thankful to everyone who made this funding a reality, especially Finance Committee Chair Daniel Dromm, the Council’s Finance Division and all the advocates,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

“Thousands of LGBTQ people in all five boroughs will be positively impacted by this funding. This $3.8 million allocation brings the Council’s financial support of LGBTQ-dedicated services to historic levels. Because of this funding, services will reach the most marginalized and traditionally underserved members of the LGBTQ community. I thank Speaker Johnson for his leadership which has moved our city forward by leaps and bounds. As a long-time gay activist who has been fighting for our community’s fair share of funding for many years, I am thrilled by how far we have come. Together we have demonstrated a real commitment to achieving full equality for LGBTQ New Yorkers,”  said Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Finance and Chair of the Council’s LGBT Caucus.

“It is our duty to provide members of our LGBTQ community with the City services and resources needed to thrive. I am proud to have worked with Speaker Johnson and my LGBTQ colleagues to help secure the funding in this year’s budget for vital LGBTQ organizations and programs across all five boroughs. At a time when our rights and identities are under attack by the federal government, we must stand united against hate and do all that we can to empower LGBTQ youth. I will not rest until all people, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity, can live their lives free from discrimination,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

“Under the bold leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson and Finance Chair Danny Dromm, the investment in LGBT communities throughout all Outer Borough’s demonstrates the unwavering commitment to equity and support for LGBT families by the New York City Council. This funding will facilitate a full range of coordinated programs and services for LGBT people and families, including youth and immigrants, and it will send a strong message that no matter what neighborhood you live in, whether that be Far Rockaway or Flatbush and everywhere in between, you will have access to safe, affirming services and can be proud to be an LGBT New Yorker” said Dr. David Kilmnick, President and CEO of The LGBT Network.

“The Center applauds Speaker Johnson’s leadership, as well as the successful advocacy of the LGBT caucus of the Council, for securing a unique allocation of funding to support the diverse LGBTQ communities of New York City. This courageous leadership and support of our entire city’s LGBTQ communities, as well as the explicit focus on TGNC individuals, will enable us all to better serve the community, by providing culturally competent and affirming services to those in need.  It’s an honor to do this important work with partners across the city,” said Glennda Testone, Executive Director of the LGBT Community Center. 

“GMHC celebrates the New York City Council for this historic allocation of funding for the Trans Equity Coalition. With the constant attempts by the federal government to erase our community, we need, now more than ever, to stand with our trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary siblings. With this funding, the City of New York is making a powerful statement of support by ensuring that our community members are getting the services they need,” said Cecilia Gentili, Managing Director of Policy and Public Affairs at GMHC. 

“Thank you to Speaker Corey Johnson, Danny Dromm, and City Council for their leadership investment in NYC’s growing LGBTQ+ community. Brooklyn Community Pride Center serves the City’s largest borough and this funding will enable us to hire professional staff to increase essential programs and services to LGBTQ+ folks who need them most. We are particularly excited to collaborate with the LGBT Network/Queens LGBT Center, Pride Center of Staten Island, and The Bronx through activities that leverage the important work of NYC’s outer borough centers,” said Floyd Rumohr, Chief Executive Officer of Brooklyn Community Pride Center. 

“Transgender people have been leaders in the fight for LGBTQ rights, as the historic events at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco and Stonewall here in New York illustrate. But the transgender community, especially in our current moment, is also the most vulnerable population in the LGBTQ community. For this reason, the Pride Center of Staten Island will be using this new City Council funding to support and empower transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary Staten Islanders by implementing a case management program and several support groups. These programs will also connect TGNC individuals with resources that are vital to their health and wellbeing. We are so proud to be able to support the transgender members of our community with this new funding. We thank the City Council for the opportunity to further help those in our community who are in need,” said Carol Bullock, Executive Director of Pride Center of Staten Island. 

“The Ackerman Institute’s Gender & Family Project is honored is to be included in the NYC Council’s Trans Equity Initiative. We are grateful for the Trans Equity Coalition leaders to have advocated to prioritize transgender health. The Gender & Family Project joins the effort to support transgender youth and their families. Together, we are ready to expand NYC’s capacity for family services and empowerment,” said Jean Malpas, Founder & Director of The Gender & Family Project. 

“Huge thanks to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Daniel Dromm, and all who have made transgender issues a priority in our city “This critical funding will help improve the lives of the transgender people we serve and those served by the other members of the Equity Coalition. This is a huge boost for our communities,” said Dolph Goldenburg, Interim Executive Director of Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF). 

“This crucial funding will allow TLDEF to expand our community based trainings and conduct surveys within the transgender community that will help us identify and provide additional legal services in partnerships with our strong pro bono networks. As a proud black transgender woman it was an honor to meet with council members and speak about the disparities and marginalization that happen within my community. I know firsthand what that looks and feels like. It was a privilege to be a part of this groundbreaking achievement with the Trans Equity Coalition,” said Tabytha Gonzalez, a founding member or the Trans Equity Coalition who represents TLDEF in the group. 

“Through the generous support of City Council funding for LGBT Community Services, ACQC can further extend our supportive services to the LGBT youth community specifically, the transgender community by connecting transgender individuals to medical and social services that assist with healthcare, mental health, harm reduction, immigration, job readiness and social groups that allow a safe space for growth and advancement.  Our service deliveries focus on improving quality of health through decreasing social isolation and increasing empowerment through peer led support groups with a holistic approach that is centered on the mind, body and spirit,” said Rosemary Lopez, CEO of AIDS Center of Queens County (ACQC). 

“BOOM!Health is thrilled to be a recipient of the extraordinary City Council funding for LGBT Community Services.  This funding will further enhance the provision of services for the LGBT and transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) community in the Bronx and a great support to fully actualize our vision for health and safety for all,” said David Lopez, Vice President of Prevention Programs at BOOM!Health. 

“The City Council’s targeted investment in programs that promote equity and well-being for our transgender and gender non-binary communities as well as funding for coordinated health and human services for the LGBTQ community throughout New York City is a tremendous step forward. Speaker Corey Johnson, Councilmember Danny Dromm and their colleagues on the City Council are promoting health, economic security and equity for our communities at a time when our federal government is seeking to create barriers to healthcare access, erase our identities and push us back to the margins of society.  Callen-Lorde is honored to be awarded funding through the Trans Equity Program initiative, and we will continue to do everything we can to fight for health justice for our communities,” said Wendy Stark, Executive Director of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

“The Bronx now has an LGBT Center that is Trans led thanks to funding from the NYC Council.  Destination Tomorrow can now offer free GED prep, job readiness, financial literacy and can hire from within the community.  Our Bronx community members no longer have to leave their borough to access a safe, affirming space. Pride has been restored in the Bronx!” said Sean Coleman, Executive Director of Destination Tomorrow. 

“Hunter College is grateful for the support of City Council Speaker Johnson for our LGBTQ Public Policy Center and we thank him for his leadership in promoting policy research and programming,” said Jennifer J. Raab, President of Hunter College.