On behalf of everyone at Rochester LGBTQ+ Together, it’s my pleasure to welcome you all to the new Rochester.lgbt website, our new home for all things LGBTQ+ in Rochester and Monroe County, New York.
As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on locally, we saw the closure of our largest local LGBTQ+ non-profit community and resource center. As our local small businesses struggled, so too did our LGBTQ+ small businesses. And individual members of our LGBTQ+ community, who are often more vulnerable populations than their straight and cisgender counterparts, demonstrated great need and little to no one to turn to. This was the perfect storm: a major void of community, organizing and resources met by exponentially growing need, isolation and desperation.
My small solution to this big problem was the formation of the Rochester LGBTQ+ Together closed Facebook group, a support and social group for the local LGBTQ+ community and allies. But I quickly realized that this wasn’t sufficient to meet the moment. We quickly expanded our programming, both virtually and in-person. We added a public Facebook page and Instagram account. I also created Rochester LGBTQ+ Mutual Aid group to help members of Monroe County’s LGBTQ+ community with basic human needs, such as food insecurity, housing, transportation, etc.
The next piece of this was the lengthy process to develop this Rochester.lgbt website, which we hope will serve to give greater visibility to our local LGBTQ+ small businesses, allow greater access to information and resources, and build a stronger sense of community among individuals and between organizations. Thank you to everyone who committed time and effort to building this much-needed site.
I want to offer my personal thanks to all of the countless individuals, organizations, and small businesses who have and continue to assist with grassroots fundraising to sustain all of our equally important efforts: programming, mutual aid, events, website, etc. Without you, none of this would have been possible.