Wednesday, February 04, 2009

[NY]: Long Island LGBT Center Vandalized

This very disturbing report was passed along to the community by Florence who runs Long Island's bisexual social & support group Getting Bi that meets twice a month at the Long Island LGBT Center:

I came in today to find that The GLBT Center here on Long Island had been vandalized. This was no random act. Every window on the van was smashed. The mirrors were mangled. The front door was repeatedly smashed until it was broken through. This was and is being investigated as a hate crime. Please see the statement from David Kilmnick (CEO Long Island GLBT Services) below.

Peace,
Florence
Social Work Intern
The Long Island GLBT Center

--- On Mon, 2/2/09, David Kilmnick, CEO wrote:
From: David Kilmnick, CEO
Subject: LI GLBT Community Center Vandalized
Date: Monday, February 2, 2009, 3:18 PMA

MESSAGE FROM DAVID KILMNICK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Dear Long Island Community Member;

This morning, LIGALY, Center and SAGE-LI staff members arrived at work and were forced to face the terrible realities of homophobia and transphobia (ed. and biphobia) right here on Long Island. At some point between late Saturday and early Monday, The Center's front door was smashed to pieces and our van's windows were broken, mirrors mangled and all the tires were slashed. As soon as we encountered the damage, it was reported to the Suffolk County Police Department and to the Suffolk County Bias Crimes Unit. We believe this was an act of bias and hope that The Police Department continues its investigation looking at this as a hate crime.

This was not a simple case of vandalism, but an attack on our entire community. We are thankful that this act happened while The Center was closed and therefore no one was physically injured, but this was a clear attempt to instill fear in GLBT people throughout Long Island. I want all Long Islanders to know that we will not stand by and allow anyone to terrorize our community. We will use this heinous act to raise awareness of the discrimination and hatred that GLBT people are all to often a target of. The glass will be cleaned and the van will be back on the road soon, but ultimately it is my hope that we can make this a turning point for GLBT people.

Damage to the van, which transports more than 50 youth a week to The Center for support and leadership programs, is estimated at over $4,000, while additional damage to the front door is estimated at over $1,000. Please make a donation to The Center today and be part of our anti-violence effort to maintain The Center as a safe space for Long Island's GLBT community.

Your donation will help The Center re-bound from this hateful vandalism and support the purchase and installation of a security surveillance system. This system will not only help to prevent further vandalism, but will also help to identify those who do commit these hateful acts. Your support will also help to get our van, that transports GLBT youth to and from programs three times a week, back on the road as soon as possible. Please stand up to hate and make a donation to The Center today.

In Solidarity and With Pride,
David Kilmnick, PhD, MSW
Chief Executive Officer
Long Island GLBT Services Network
34 Park Avenue, Bay Shore, NY 11706
631.665.2300
www.liglbtnetwork.org


Getting Bi, Long Island’s only social discussion group for bisexuals, provides a safe, bi-positive environment for Long Island bisexuals to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. Aside from regular meetings, Getting Bi also hosts events where Long Island bisexuals can meet one another in a confidential and non-judgmental atmosphere. Meeting topics vary and all are welcome to participate.

Getting Bi meets on the first and third Monday of the month from 7:30-9:00 at The Long Island GLBT Community Center located at 34 Park Avenue in Bay Shore LI.


For more information contact Florence at 631.665.2300 or via email florence@liglbtcenter.org