In the News

Council Candidates Get FIERCE

In an August 28 Friday Forum hosted by FIERCE, a Chelsea-based advocacy group for LGBTQ youth of color, District 3 City Council candidate Yetta Kurland repeatedly signaled her personal identification with the struggles those young people face.

One of her opponents, Maria Passannante-Derr, who has at times clashed with the group in her role on Community Board 2, voiced her respect for FIERCE’s goals, even as she challenged them to aggressively seize opportunities already available to impact policy debates.

Taking Back the Piers

Mantattan's Pier 45 -- more fondly known as "the Pier" -- is a place where LGBTQ youth go to relax, hang out with friends and form family. For me, the pier is a place where I can feel affirmed in who I am as a young queer woman of color. It's a place where I know I will find others who look like me. I can relax there. I can breathe knowing that no one will look at me funny -- try to stare me down with disapproval, or figure out why I'm a "girl" wearing "boy's" clothing. For many LGBTQ youth, being out means losing their biological families, even their homes. The pier is a place to create chosen families -- to find people who become siblings, aunties and parents. It's a place that, for years, youth with nowhere else to go have found other people going through the same thing. It's a place where folks can be taken care of and take care of others. The pier is special and one of a kind. But within the past eight years, it has moved drastically towards becoming a place that is no longer queer friendly.

Gay youth want seat at park table, as in appointing directors

FIERCE, the organization of lesbian, gay and transgender youth who have traditionally found refuge on the West Village waterfront, delivered a strong message — backed up by a new report — to the Community Board 2 Waterfront Committee on Monday. They said they wanted to reform the Hudson River Park Trust to make sure that public open space takes precedence over commercial development in the 5-mile-long riverfront park.

FIERCE-LY Seeing Safe Harbor on the Waterfront


Joseph “Jojo” Edwards, 21, first joined the youth organization FIERCE a year ago, while looking for emergency housing for a friend who had been kicked out of her family home after coming out as a lesbian.

During a recent presentation by FIERCE of recommendations for the redevelopment of nearby Pier 40, Edwards gave voice to a community for whom the Hudson River piers mean more than just a place for recreation and enjoyment. “What about those with no place to call home?” he asked. “Do they just fade away into darkness?”

At a Pier to Be Redone, Gay Youth Seek a Haven


STANDING in front of a banquet hall in Greenwich Village packed with more than 100 young people on Monday evening, Glo Ross tailored her pitch to the audience.


“So we all just went on a date with the Hudson River Park Trust,” said Ms. Ross, who is an organizer with Fierce, a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender minority youths. “But you know, we’re a little fed up.”