LGBT History Month, October 2014
Starting in October, each day this video will feature a different LGBTQ icon- check back regularly to learn about a GLBTQ person who has made history. Video created and updated by www.lgbthistorymonth.com.
Gay Alliance Volunteer-of-the-Month
Congratulations to BJ Scanlon for being chosen as the Gay Alliance Volunteer-of-the-Month for October!
This handsome, single, young chap came to Rochester 6 years ago to work with the runaway and homeless youth program at the Center for Youth Services (CYS) as a part of the Rochester AmeriCorps Program. He knew right away that Rochester was for him, and decided to start making it home. The Street Outreach team at CYS made weekly stops at the Gay Alliance's Youth Program. BJ was delighted with the young people at the Gay Alliance and soon found himself learning and using hip new lingo.
In 2009, he began volunteering with the Gay Alliance Youth Program, chaperoning dances and special events. He soon became a regular facilitator for the Friday night Youth Group.
In March of 2012, BJ became a member of the Gay Alliance Speakers Bureau, a merry band of travelers who provide educational workshops and discuss LGBTQ issues in classrooms, corporate settings, and non-profits. BJ has also volunteered in the Gay Alliance offices, at Roc Pride and for the Red Ball.
BJ currently works for the City of Rochester City Council as their Senior Legislative Analyst, and is an avid participant and advocate in local politics. He also likes to have fun in the local comedy scene, with improv teams: The Broken Couch (Loser for City Newspaper's Best Improv Team in 2009), the Monstrossssity; and his current sketch comedy team Canary In A Coal Mine. BJ has also dabbled in stand-up comedy. Most recently he was approached by an old woman from the audience who smiled and politely said, "Nice job" she paused momentarily and as he was turning around she added, "keep working at it," and he will, you bet he will.
BJ is an indispensable member of the Gay Alliance Youth Program and the Speakers Bureau. We are so thrilled to have him as a part of our team. Thank you so much BJ! We wouldn’t know what to do without you!
David Bohnett Cyber Center Grand Re-Opening!
“We are very excited to announce this upgrade to the computer systems that we provide for the LGBTQ community to use" said Scott Fearing, Executive Director at the Gay Alliance. “The David Bohnett Foundation’s generous donation of six computer systems allow The Gay Alliance to provide a valuable service to the LGBTQ communities. From homework to job applications to researching LGBTQ issues the DBCC is here as a resource for those who need safe access to a computer work station.”
The very first David Bohnett Cyber Center opened its doors in 1998 at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. Technology entrepreneur, and foundation chairman David Bohnett’s vision was to provide the local LGBT community with a “wired” hub through which its members could network, communicate, and explore. Such a hub would expand community access to innumerable educational, professional and recreational opportunities. Today, there are over 60 David Bohnett Cyber Centers nationwide, including locations in Atlanta, Tulsa, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Tucson, Seattle, San Francisco, and NYC. They serve as prime examples of the Foundation’s commitment to making leading-edge technology available to the traditionally under-served LGBTQ demographic.
"Without a personal computer — job searches, applications for services, educational opportunities and contact with distant family and friends can be nearly impossible", said Tristan Wright, Office Administrator at the Gay Alliance. "A quarter of Americans still live without high speed internet at home, usually because its simply too expensive. By providing free computer use with broadband internet connections, the DBCC will help provide significant employment and learning opportunities to Gay Alliance members who otherwise might not have access."
“The Gay Alliance is proud to be Rochester's only LGBTQ community Cyber Center,” stressed Fearing, “they are located in a safe and welcoming place and provide an invaluable resource. In today’s internet-driven world a David Bohnett Cyber Center can be a lifeline for many LGBTQ people of all ages.”
The Gay Alliance Cyber Center consists of six computer stations loaded with a broad range of updated programs and software. Four of the Gay Alliance CyberCenter workstations are in the 5th floor Community Room, and two are in the Library, but, all are on moveable work stations allowing them to be relocated for community education and training.
Wright added, “Our new Cyber Center provides a new way for LGBTQ community members to connect with the work of the Gay Alliance as we continue to build upon on 41 years as vocal champions for LGBTQ Rochestarians.”
The Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley envisions a future where all members of the greater Rochester LGBTQ communities, at all stages of their lives, are free to be fully participating citizens, living lives in which they are safe, stable and fully respected.
Unmask Your True Colors at Roc Pride 2014!
Weekend of Events
Friday July 18th: Starting at 5pm, the Rainbow Riders will kick off the opening ceremony by traveling in color formation through the streets of Rochester. Watch for us as we travel through the Neighborhood of the Arts, Park Avenue, the South Wedge and Corn Hill Landing. We will end at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square, kicking off the Flag Ceremony at 6pm, followed by a celebration of Latino/Latina LGBTQ voices and a viewing of the LGBTQ History Pavilion. The Flag Ceremony, Latino/Latina LGBTQ voices and the History Pavilion are free and open to the public.
Saturday, July 19th: The Family Fun Festival begins at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square with free activities and entertainment from noon-3:30pm! At 3pm the Roc Pride Parade kicks off from Park Ave and Buckingham Street, making its way down Park, across Alexander and onto East, ending at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square Festival grounds. We turn up the heat at 4pm for the second half of the festival, including live entertainment, music, drag shows, food, vendors, beer garden, dancing and more! Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate after 4pm.
Sunday, July 20th: Join us for the Pride Picnic Fundraiser from 1-7pm at Genesee Valley Park. Don't miss out on this wonderful tradition that has been celebrated for over 40 years! Tickets bought in advance are $10 for entry/$15 for entry and food. Tickets bought at the gate are $15 for entry/$20 for entry and food.
All weekend long: Roc Pride Games are back with an ice hockey tournament at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex and roller derby bouts with Roc City Roller Derby, but this year we’ve also added bowling, rugby, softball, volleyball and kickball!!! The goal of the Roc Pride Games is to continue to promote adult LGBTQ and LGBTQ friendly sports, adding an additional family friendly layer to the weekend, and bringing in visitors to celebrate and participate in the Pride festivities. For more information or to register to participate visit: ROCPrideGames.com.
For updates, vendor information, registration forms, volunteer registration and more, check us out at: rochesterpride.com
* * Artwork by Michael Pish, MSP Productions LLC
RIDE FOR PRIDE 5
GAY ALLIANCE BIKE RIDE FUNDRAISER
Thank you to our Ride For Pride Bikers:
Paul Allen, Stefan Baer, Alice Steed Carver-Kubik, Adrianne Chesser, Joseph Doty, Chuck Dye, Les Eisenberg, Scott Fearing, Alicia Fioco, Brad Flower, Edward Freedman, Hayden Freedman, Jeanne Gainsburg, Aaron Gorelick, Shimona Gorelick, Bonnie Hallman-Dye, Kerry Hanratty, Dustin Hilton, Pete Horrocks, Dawn Johncox, Matthew Krueger, Brian Managan, Karen Managan, Wanda Martinez, Maya Polashenski, Pamela Polashenski, Ronald Pratt, Steve Santacroce, Ryan Stickney, Natalie Turner, Jonathan Wetherbee, Owen Zacharias, Sara Zacharias and David Zona for taking the time to fundraise, train and ride! You rock!!!
Thank you also to our friends who fundraised for us, but did not ride: John Braun, Bruce Ingersoll, Jodie Judd, Bekka Lebowitz, Lucky Summer Light, John Lukach, Leann Michael, Peter Mohr, Terrance Nichols, Manuel Pena, Craig Ronald, Kellie Ronald and Noah Wagoner. You’re awesome!
Thank you to our amazing Ride For Pride support staff and crew
Home base/Party Central: Kellie and Craig Ronald
Sag Hags: Joe Yokajty, Tallis Polashenksi and Brad-the-Boyfriend
Breakfast Rest Stop: Walter Polashenski and Sue Delp
Lunch: Bruce Ingersoll, Michelangelo Gonzatti, Manuel Pena and Sue Delp
Party Food: Todd Gordon, Scott Fearing and Kellie and Craig Ronald
Party Central Assistants: Alan Metelsky and Deb Hartman
Beverages: Walter and Pam Polashenski and Sara Zacharias
Cheerleaders/End Line Pics: Kat Wiggall, Jeff, Nakita, Jason, Steve & Martha
Interpreting: Tristan Wright
Mapper: Emily Johnson
Road Painters: Ed Freedman, Owen Zacharias and Maya Polashenski
Ride Photographers: Owen Zacharias, Manuel Pena and Joe Yokajty
Thank you to our official Ride For Pride sponsors
Amiel’s Original Submarines
The Bachelor Forum
Bostwick House B&B
Crazy Dog T-Shirts
Freewheelers Bicycle Shop
Long Acre Farms
Mark Groaning Studio
Marshall Street Bar and Grill
Mike Kelly Massage
Rochester Kink Society
Thank you the over 400 people and businesses who supported our riders through donations, including:
Kellie and Craig Ronald
Scott Fearing and Todd Gordon
Pam and Walter Polashenski
Jeanne Gainsburg and Ed Freedman
Century Liquor and Wine
Park Ave Bikes
Special thanks to our top fundraisers
Jeanne Gainsburg, Scott Fearing, Pam Polashenski, Aaron Gorelick, David Zona, Ed Freedman, Maya Polashenski, Adrianne Chesser, Kerry Hanratty Matt Krueger, Jonathan Wetherbee, Hayden Freedman, Brad Flower, Bruce Ingersoll and Sara and Owen Zacharias
* Thank you to Pete Horrocks, our rider in white, who represented all of the people who cannot show their true colors and live authentically.
Support Us in Workplace Giving
If you work in for an employer who runs a workplace giving campaign such as the United Way, Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) or NY State Employees Federated Appeal (SEFA) you can designate the Gay Alliance to receive your gift. See the graphic below for the necessary code numbers to use.