This new LGBT+ community centre aims to improve queer mental health
It’s easy to think of the LGBT+ community as being omnipresent across the capital, with its many gay bars and clubs. Yet, the fact remains there is no distinct safe space for London’s queer community – but plans are afoot.
An LGBT+ community centre is in the works, and trust us that it is no shot in the dark – the concept of bringing the community together in one physically defined space has already worked internationally.
Cities including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin and Zurich boast successful gay community centres.
The shared space will encourage intergenerational support and education, as well as acting as an events hub for everything from musical entertainment to LGBT+ talks and support groups.
There is no space confirmed for the community centre yet, which was announced at a public launch with the backing of politicians Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn. There is currently a Crowdfunder campaign underway to raise the £50,000 required.
New York’s Gay Centre has wide corporate backing from Microsoft, Diageo, Barneys and Goldman Sachs and has supported and represented the community since 1983.
The Center run their own Trailblazer Award which hooks in national and international press annually, who in return raises the profile of the supportive work of the Gay Center.
So as well as nurturing the LGBT community, through commercial and corporate partnerships and awards ceremonies the centre generates a wider interest in queer culture.
The model has been a triumphant success internationally, though London’s last queer community centre lasted under a decade.
In 1986 the Lesbian And Gay Centre opened to a fan fare led by Ken Livingstone who declared that “in a hundred years’ time, when I’m forgotten, the charter [for the new LGBT centre] will still be seen as one of the most significant documents of its time.”
Sadly, inter-group factions pulled the group apart and in the early Nineties the Tory cuts led the building to cease no more.
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