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Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition takes next steps

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“It is profound to witness the outpouring of excitement for our opening,” Karen Foley, president, The Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, tells The Central Voice.

Nov. 12, 5-7 p.m., the coalition will have its Launch Party at Tellus360.

“This will be our Queer We Are! event to publicly introduce the coalition,” Foley explains.

Music will be by DJ Salinger, catering by Cracked Pepper Catering, photography by Michelle Johnson and Sirena Hildebrandt designing a super gay photo booth.

Nov. 19, 5-7 p.m., the coalition will host a Keystone Business Alliance Mixer at their headquarters at 342 N. Queen, Rear, Lancaster. 

“As the voice of LGBTQ+ business in central Pennsylvania, we at Keystone Business Alliance are so excited to partner with the coalition, and thrilled by the work they’re doing to advance LGBTQ+ equality in Lancaster,” says Harry Young, Alliance executive director.

“Their work highlights our region’s vibrant and diverse communities, and their dynamic leadership and vision is a testament to what we can achieve collaboratively,” Young says.

Nov. 20, noon, the coalition is holding a Transgender Day of Remembrance flag-raising ceremony at Lancaster City Hall. Jessi Purdy, lead organizer for Lancaster’s July Pride event, and The Coalition designer, Ellie Cochran, will speak. 

Purdy says, “From the very beginning, the founding members of the coalition sought to create an organization that intentionally makes space for, serves, and uplifts the voices of Lancaster's transgender community.”

Inclusion is important to Purdy.

“To be part of this amazing organization as we remember the lives of my transgender siblings lost to violence and hate fills me with a profound sense of pride and hope,” she says.

Purdy, also a Diversity Trainer and HR Consultant, adds, “Our presence at Lancaster City Hall on Transgender Day of Remembrance, as we mourn and honor our lost, shows our community that Lancaster City is committed to our right to life, dignity and security.”

Anyone looking to jump into the action?

Volunteers can help the coalition raise funds during the The Extraordinary Give, a nonprofit fundraising event held annually. This year’s event is Nov. 22. The coalition will host a party 5 p.m. to midnight at Springhouse Taproom and a phone banking pizza party at coalition headquarters, 342 N. Queen St, Rear, Lancaster. 

Jumping right into the greater Lancaster area, the new organization is providing Cultural Competency trainings for Lancaster General Hospital, the Lancaster Health Center, and the United Way.

“We’re grateful for all of the support,” Foley said, “and we look forward to connecting and strengthening our community.”