For LGBT Pride Month we asked members of Citi Habitats and the local LGBT community what Pride Month means to them, and what makes NYC a uniquely special place for our LGBT friends – from the historic (the birthplace of the modern pride movement) to the edgy (the many artistic and cultural developments that have developed from our city’s talented residents.) We are thrilled to share some thoughts from a few members of the Carey Larsen Team (all proud members of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals) and Amber Ferrer, our Field Marketing Coordinator.
Eighteen years ago I came to NYC from Nebraska, on a short trip, a graduation gift from my mom. The trip happened to fall on Pride weekend. For the first time in my life I felt the power of being part of a community. I was immediately accepted and cared for by complete strangers. I was surrounded by people who would fight for me and my right to be equal. I ended up never leaving, I was home and I’ve been here 18 years making friends and expanding my family circle!
Living and working in NYC is full of amazing opportunities. The services specific to the LGBTQ community are countless. My home state doesn’t have housing or employment protection for LGBTQ people. In New York I live with all my rights in place and have countless organizations making sure any service the community needs is accounted for, we take care of each other!
Working in real estate I meet people moving to NYC from all over the world. Whatever it was that brought them here I always feel good knowing in NYC there is a space for everyone to be themselves, find support, love, and acceptance from a community of people like them.
For me, working in Real Estate, it’s the city’s grit, the high strung disposition, the voice of New York demanding that we give more of ourselves than any other denizen of another city. Every other New Yorker hears that voice too. Regardless of creed or sexual orientation, It is in this that I can find community, even as a Gay Asian who has lived in a Polish neighborhood for more than a decade!
Writer E.B. White states the three types of New Yorkers are: 1) the native 2) the commuter and 3) the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these 3 bustling populations, I along with tens of thousands of New York Queers identify with the last populace. Growing up a queer minority in a quiet conservative Midwest town, I knew there was no way I was going to make it there. Having read books of New York and the grit and art scene that thrived, coming to New York for me was a goal. The city was a place to explore, learn, develop, destroy, and fulfill myself.
What I feel connected to is the New York City AIDS Memorial. An ex-boyfriend of mine was part of this honorable, beautiful project at the site of St.Vincent’s Hospital, and he cited that it was in part to me giving him the book “And The Band Played On” (Randy Shilts), that piqued his desire to honor a place of historical importance.
Having the freedom to choose who you love, marry, grow a family with, and share your time with, is a freedom that all decent people deserve. As a native New Yorker and educated, professional, queer Latina, I love living in a city that celebrates diversity, tolerance, and inclusion. During the month of June, every borough hosts a variety of Pride events gathering the LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones together to highlight efforts past, present, and future in the movement toward equal rights.
For the past few years I have had the opportunity to attend a wonderful reception celebrating Pride at the Gracie Mansion. The event brings together decision makers and prominent people throughout the city to discuss, commemorate, and rally on what efforts are being made to enhance the quality of life of those in the community, and their families. This year’s spotlight was on an amazing youth support program called The NYC Unity Project, which is taking action to ensure that all young people—regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression—are empowered to build great lives, are safe, feel supported, and stay healthy. Unfortunately, this is still a huge challenge.
Our city is a great example of what actions, places, and services should exist to ensure that we do not stop working together until “equal” includes everyone. It makes sense why people from around the world and all walks of life make a home in NYC! There are so many supportive groups, educational resources, safe spaces, and an abundance of recreation for those in the LGBTQ+ community to come together.
During Pride month it is important to reflect on all of the progress that has been made, listen to stories, tell your own story, and find out what you can do to be part of the solution.