The Center is an LGBTQ Community Center in Greenwich Village. In addition to other resources and programs for the greater LGBTQ community, The Center provides youth programming for young people between the ages of 13-21. The Center not only offers leadership programs and support services for its youth community, it also gives LGBTQ youth a safe and inclusive place where they can be themselves, make friends, and have fun. Photo by Travis Dubreuil.



We need to develop inclusive spaces that welcome youth from every background and allow them to be free without fear of being shamed, bullied, or harassed for their identity. We must acknowledge how certain groups have been historically oppressed and continue to be excluded. This includes but is not limited to youths who identify as a person of color, woman, LGBTQIA, low-income, homeless, immigrant, non-English speaking, religious minority, and/or person with disabilities. We must create spaces that center the experiences of those who have been systematically marginalized. At a minimum, an equitable public space would be free of cost with free or affordable amenities, would not have any pre-requisites for entering (like being above a certain age, having membership within an institution, being a resident of a specific neighborhood or building, or limiting the number of people in a group), and open late or never closes. In addition, to create a truly socially just place for youth, the city needs to put an end to broken window and zero tolerance policing.