A Look at Florida’s Gay Communities
by Picincu Andra

Gay community or LGBT community defines the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender subculture and the additional identifiable “sub-communities”, such as the leather community, the Bear community, the chubby community, the lesbian community, the bisexual community, the transgender community, the drag community, the rave community, and many others. The sexual minority cultures represent a sub-demographic of the “gay community” at large, as the concept includes several conceptual and empirical problems, such as heterosexism, homophobia, sex-negativity, and conformist pressures. Most of the members are organized in gay villages, known and sometimes referred to as “gay communities”, whose goal is to promote pride, diversity, individuality, and sexuality.

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida recently decided to make a new movement, at 2040 North Dixie Hwy, to a multimillion-dollar, six-acre campus with a waterfront view and Wilton Manors address, in order to provide the proper neccessities and rights of an increasingly assertive and growing gay community.It has been purchased on June 27 for $4.75 million, without including the future demands of a vibrant community center.

”Sexual orientation and gender identity are relevant issues for every human on this planet,” said Paul Hyman, executive director of the GLCC. “We want this new campus to be a resource of not only the [gay] community, but an environment of safety and fairness for all people.”

The’campus’ of the gay community will include several activities and services, such as a cybercafe, HIV counseling center, methamphetamine treatment center, theater and conference center and a catering kitchen conceived to have the capacity of serving up to 200 people. In addition, there will be a real organization of memorial services and weddings, along the Middle River riverfront, a church – Church of the Holy SpiritSong.All the religious groups will be accepted, without making any difference between them.

”In addition to social needs and healthcare needs, we want to address spirituality,” Hyman said.

”This is a blessing,” declared the church’s Rev. Leslie Tipton.

It will take up to 9 months for the members of the community to develop the features and renovations that are neccessary, considering a 35,000 square feet of office spaces, and population: there are at least 51,000 same-sex households in the state and third of them are in South Florida.The GLCC has grown fastr than it was expected, expanding far beyond its first home in the early 1990’s – a Victoria Park home’s garage.

‘It’s hard to figure out if people are just here for five years to `rest and recharge’ before moving to Chicago or New York,’said Michael Emanuel Rajner, a gay activist.

The gay community has a budget of $900,000, that is expected to grow, reaching $1 million in 2009.

”We need this new center to respond more effectively to the need and to provide our groups more space that’s needed,” Rajner said.

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