Safe Spaces Save Lives Campaign

Campaign History

When the Hudson River Park Trust fenced off and redeveloped the Christopher Street Pier in 2001, LGBTQ youth who have historically built a safe space on the pier and in the West Village, weren't invited to be part of the negotiating process or have a say in how the piers would change.

In 2003, we saw the direct impact of our absence. The redeveloped piers closed at 1am, which limited access for LGBTQ youth, who often face unsafe environments at home and in school. And this was just the beginning. The Hudson River Park Trust also began charging medical service vans a $25,000 permit fee to park on the pier, and started closing the pier bathrooms early.Save tha Pier

In 2005, FIERCE launched our Safe Space Saves Lives Campaign to ensure the needs of LGBT youth of color were not forgotten in the wake of this redevelopment process.

Our demands were simple:

  • acknowledge that LGBTQ youth of color are an important part of the West Village community
  • allow our voices to be heard in the pier development process.

 

Current Work

Violence, deteriorating resources and limited access to safe public space in our neighborhoods are dangerous and challenging realities.   FIERCE continues to organize through our Safe Space Saves Live Campaign to ensure that the piers and surrounding West Village remail safe for LGBTQ youth.

Relationship Building

FIERCE is building and expanding our relationships with the Hudson River Park Trust, Community Board 2, merchants, residents, organizations and elected officials in the West Village.  Through our work, we hope to generate sustainable, impactful changes in the commuinty that center the needs of LGBTQ Youth and involve us in the process, especially when it comes to safety and resources. FIERCE also meets with 6th Precinct to hold NYPD accountable to their treatment and interaction with LGBTQ youth.

Summer Programming on the Pier

FIERCE continues to maintain free summer programs on Pier 45 & 46 for LGBTQ Youth, including movie screenings, artistic nights and a mini-ball with the Kiki Coalition.  Stay tuned to our website for more information.

 

Campaign Victories

FIERCE members have worked hard over the past two years to gain a seat at the negotiating table over the future of the pier. FIERCE was once seen as a group of unwelcomed outsiders. Through consistent attendance at Community Board 2 meetings and building relationships with LGBTQ organizations and West Village residents, FIERCE members have transformed that image into one of shared commitment; we are seen as strategic young people who have a real voice and stake in shaping public policy. With this hard work has come concrete victories

FIERCE has successfully:

  • Eliminated the $25,000 fee charged to mobile service vans doing outreach on the pier and our campaign platform has been endorsed by 21 LGBTQ organizations across New York City.
  • Stopped the proposal to shut down the pier at 10pm.
  • Prevented the barricading of LGBT Youth from Christopher Street at 1am.
  • Secured free LGBTQ programming on the pier since 2009. FIERCE has launched over 10 events in the past 3 years.
  • Secured an appointment to the Hudson River Park Trust Advisory Council

 

Campaign Updates

FIERCE Applauds District 3 City Council Candidates' Commitment to Include a 24-hour LGBTQ Youth Center on Pier 40.

September 4, 2009

On Friday, August 28, 2009, FIERCE hosted a forum for District 3 City Council Candidates to specifically address concerns facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth. Speaking before a full house at FIERCE’s Chelsea office, City Council Candidates Yetta Kurland and Maria Passannante-Derr reaffirmed their commitments to include a 24-hour LGBTQ youth center in the redevelopment of Pier 40 and vowed to restore city funding for LGBTQ youth services if elected.

LGBTQ Youth of Color Speak Out about Homelessness and Violence at Public Hearing Held by Mayoral Commission.

December 17, 2009

Today, dozens of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth of color testified at the first public hearing for the New York City Commission for LGBTQ Homeless and Runaway Youth. Drawing attention to the urgent needs facing LGBTQ youth across the City, FIERCE Members —LGBTQ youth of color between the ages of 13-24—shared their experiences with homelessness and its effects, and talked about why they are engaged in a campaign to open a 24- hour LGBTQ youth center in the West Village.

Join FIERCE in Proclaiming October LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Month!

October 19, 2010

Now is the time to take action with LGBTQ youth leading the fight for our safety, our community, and our lives!

Over the past several weeks, we’ve felt the impacts of one tragic event followed by another. We’ve experienced the heartbreak and sadness of losing youth members and leaders of our community to suicide, bullying and harassment. We’ve experienced outrage and fear caused by homophobic anti-gay attacks on our community in New York City. These recent incidents highlight serious issues that countless LGBTQ youth face everyday. We know that for every one story heard on the news, there are dozens more that go unreported to police, unnoticed by school officials, and ignored by the media.

LGBTQ Youth, Elected Officials and Allies Speak Out about Youth Suicides and Anti-Gay Violence

October 21, 2010

(New York, NY) Today, nearly one hundred youth, advocates, allies and elected officials gathered on the steps of City Hall as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth spoke out about the recent suicides and anti-gay attacks impacting their community. Youth member leaders of FIERCE, an LGBTQ youth of color-led organization, were joined by the Mayor’s Office and other elected officials, to release an official proclamation declaring October LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Month in New York City, this year and for all coming years.

LGBTQ Youth of Color Organization— FIERCE — Demands Immediate End to the Targeting and Harassment of LGBTQ Youth in the West Village

June 3, 2011

(New York, NY) – Over the past two weeks, LGBTQ youth members of FIERCE and other LGBTQ youth of color have been targeted and harassed by the NYPD 6th Precinct in the West Village and Chelsea as part of a newly launched NYPD “Quality of Life” Initiative.

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Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events, but check out our past events!