Unite To Reject Bigotry And Homophobia

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Anti-gay rhetoric promotes stigma and isolation that drives lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth to take their own lives and it encourages violence such as the horrific acts of torture that took place in our backyard over the weekend.

[Op-Ed: Bronx Hate Crimes]

As We Are the Bronx Fellows and Alumni, we feel compelled to respond to the recent alleged hate crimes that have taken place against the LGBT community in the Bronx.

We are a group of individuals who work in a wide range of community, faith-based, and social service organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life and access to services in the Bronx through partnership and capacity-building.  We can state collectively and confidently that these acts of torture and hatred are not representative of the Bronx, and will not be tolerated
by the wider community.

We also support the LGBT advocacy and anti-violence groups to come together across the city and beyond to pool resources and strength, and to provide a connection for individuals who may feel threatened or unaccepted due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or lifestyle.

There have been altogether too many reminders in the media lately of the very real presence of hate in our society, and the potentially dangerous consequences of such hate. Anti-gay rhetoric promotes stigma and isolation that drives lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth to take their own lives and it encourages violence such as the horrific acts of torture that took place in our backyard over that weekend. The LGBT community, unfortunately, has not been the only target.

An increasing wave of anti-Hispanic and anti-Muslim violence also has occurred across the city, and as concerned citizens we cannot stand silent and watch. It is not acceptable to intimidate, suppress, and deprive another of basic universal rights, or take away their sense of safety to live their own lives in their own community. 

We must all of us ask ourselves what we are doing to create change.

We commend the Bronx Community Pride Center, SAGE, Marriage Equality, Brainpower, Boogie Down Pride, BAAD!, Pregones Theater, Green Chimneys, the NYC LGBT Anti-Violence Project and numerous community based organizations, as they work along with us to support the lives, dignity and creativity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in the Bronx.       

We stand by the LGBT community as they respond to this cruel act. We also call out for programs and partnerships that highlight the Bronx’s diversity in response to the recent violence, to show the media and the world that the Bronx is not represented by acts of hate; we are represented by the dedication of individuals and organizations who struggle to make our communities safer, healthier, and more beautiful every day.


List of organizations endorsing Op-Ed: Brainpower, Bronx Borough President’s Office, Bronx Christian Fellowship, Bronx Clergy Task Force, The Bronx Guild, CAUSE-NY/Jewish Community Relations Council of NY, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, City Year - New York, Contemporary Ballet Theatre, DreamYard, Dress for Success, The Garifuna Coalition, Gloria Wise Community Center, Hostos Community College, JASA, JBFCS, Mosholu Preservation Corporation, The Multicultural Music Group, New York City Department of Probation, New York Griot, Phipps Community Development Corporation, THE POINT, South Bronx United Soccer Club, Urban Health Plan, Inc., Voices UnBroken, and Wabi Sabi Productions, Inc. 

If you would like to sign on to this statement, please contact Monica Merlis at mmerlis@jcrcny.org or 212-983-4800 x122.

We Are The Bronx Fellowship is a project of the Center for Bronx Non-Profits (CBNP).


"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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