Pride Month celebrates the LGBTQ community.

For local pride organizations, its bringing attention to the fact that there really isn’t a place for members of the LGBTQ community. 

What You Need To Know

  • More funding is needed to sustain festivals long term

  • CNY Pride and Black Cuse Pride are working together to provide that space

  • Pride organizations will be meeting with Mayor Ben Walsh next week to see if they can find a location

Working together, pride leaders hope to build a new resource that offers support year-round.

“There are no places really for you to go unless you know where to go,” said Black Cuse Pride founder Rahzie Seals.

Rahzie Seals, inspired by New York City’s ‘The Center’, wants to bring a place like that to Syracuse. As the founder of Black Cuse Pride, she doesn’t even have a place of her own. 

Syracuse has a Q Center, a place for LGBT youth, and Sage Upstate, but she says there needs to be more. 

“For us to have a center, it’s a safe space," said Seals. "It’s a safe space for folks to come in, to talk about any concerns, to be connected to different types of resources.” 

Working with CNY Pride, they're already taken steps to make it happen.

CNY Pride President Mike Leonelli says they’ve teamed up with a consultant to put together a strategic plan.

"We are a completely volunteer nonprofit [organization],” said Leonelli. “We really do have all the urges to make a difference but with 10, 12 people really pushing for all this, it’s difficult.”

Leonelli says they’ve been saving money from pride festivals, but they’ll need more funds to sustain something long term.

He says before a center opens up, they want to start offering LGBTQ centered programming.

“We’re really trying to change this from, we for a festival once a year, to how can we make a difference in the community," said Leonelli. "I think the march/rally we pulled off last weekend really goes to show that we are committed to it, we just need a lot more help than we have right now to get this from being a once a year party to an all year long support system."

Both organizations will be meeting with Mayor Ben Walsh next week.

They hope they can work together to find a location and get more access to funds.

In the meantime, they have started a GoFundMe page that can be found here.