In the News

Queer Beacon

On a cold December day in 2010, LGBT rights activists, elected officials and homeless youths gathered on the steps of City Hall in New York to protest proposed funding cuts to homeless youth services, particularly street outreach and drop-in shelters. [1] Yet a year before it was Mayor Bloomberg himself who had appointed a commission to study the plight of LGBT youth, and it was the commission's recommendation to increase street outreach and to add 200 drop-in shelter beds. [2] That a city would seek to cut social services to a community in need is unfortunate, but not surprising (especially these days). What is notable is the rising incidence of homelessness among LGBT youth even in such a queer beacon as New York City.

Dunkin' Donuts Riot Response Exposes Rift in Greenwich Village


GREENWICH VILLAGE —Rising crime and a riot at a Greenwich Village Dunkin' Donuts has created a rift between residents demanding increased police patrols — and those who claim extra vigilance is creating an environment hostile to gays.

Some locals say lawlessness is making Christopher Street a no-go area, and it's increased because police and legislators have been too lenient to crowds of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths who hang out in the area.


But critics say targeting the youths could seem anti-gay in a neighborhood that is nationally important to the gay rights movement — and has an historically contentious relationship with police.

4 arrests in ‘donut riot,’ but FIERCE blasts crackdown



Police have made four arrests in connection with the May 16 incident in which at least a dozen young people, some of them transgender, invaded the Dunkin Donuts at 75 Christopher St. and wreaked mayhem. They threw two metal tables and one chair at employees and during the chaos stole pastries and drinks.


On Monday, two of the suspects, Dwayne Jones, 20, and Mark Wright, 19, were indicted for attempted assault, criminal mischief, criminal possession of a weapon (the thrown furniture) and riot. Jones was also charged with grand larceny.


A third individual was a juvenile. The fourth may have been charged with misdemeanors, according to police.


Police say, based on intelligence they received, their investigation took them to the 147 W. 24th St. location of FIERCE, the advocacy group for gay youth of color. A tip to a tips line said a few of the individuals involved attended programs at FIERCE. Word on the street that police got from members of the transgender community was the same.

Alleged Hate Crime Victim Calls Attack Part of a Wider Problem

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

GREENWICH VILLAGE — The young victim of an alleged hate crime at a Village McDonald's shared his story with GLAAD Wednesday, calling the attack just one example of a wider problem of violence against the city's LGBT community.


"This has to stop. Under no circumstance should a person be attacked for their sexual orientation," Damian Furtch, 26, wrote in a statement. "This has been a traumatic experience for me, my friends and my family."


Furtch sustained three punches to the face in the early hours of Sunday morning, when two young men followed him out of a McDonald's at Sixth Avenue and West 3rd Street, according to the NYPD and Furtch.

Shoulder to Shoulder, Ending the Violence

2010 brought what was reported as a "spike" in bias incidents against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) and HIV/AIDS-affected people in New York City. As organizations who work day-to-day with LGBTQ we know that anti-LGBTQ violence has not suddenly increased, but has been rising steadily for decades: LGBTQ people face violence every day. What we did see in 2010 was a spike in the severity of violence that LGBTQ people face, more virulent hate speech from "community leaders," more media attention to LGBTQ youth suicides and violent homophobic attacks in Staten Island, the Bronx, Chelsea and the West Village, and more reports of the dangers that LGBTQ youth face in school.

Advocates Decry Homeless Youth Cuts

A coalition of advocacy groups that work with homeless youth in New York City is expressing its “concern and alarm” over mid-year budget cuts, announced over the past two weeks by the city’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), that will reduce funding for drop-in centers by one-third to one-half and, within two years, eliminate dollars for street outreach to that population completely.

October Declared LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Month in New York City


MUNICIPAL DISTRICT — Following weeks of highly publicized anti-gay hate crimes and suicides by gay youth, young LGBTQ New Yorkers got some good news Thursday afternoon.


Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a proclamation making October LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Month in New York City. Advocacy groups including FIERCE, which serves LGBTQ youth of color, hope this move will help shift public attention toward creating more preventative resources.