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GMHC Welcomes Governor Cuomo's New LGBTQ Initiatives


Contact: Cub Barrett | 212-367-1561 |

NEW YORK, NY (June 21, 2018)—Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) today applauded New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of two new initiatives to celebrate and increase the visibility of LGBTQ New Yorkers in honor of New York Pride 2018.

This week, the State’s Office of the Chief Diversity Officer unveiled the New York State LGBTQ Fellowship, to be awarded biannually to one individual who has demonstrated a commitment to fighting for LGBTQ equality and a passion for public service. The Fellow will serve in the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer as a community representative while working to build a network of LGBTQ advocates and policymakers at the state level. The inaugural award will be named in recognition of several of New York’s first trailblazers of equal rights: Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Edie Windsor.

 “We are pleased the Governor heard the concerns of LGBTQ advocates, particularly members of the transgender community, and recognized the importance of direct representation in government,” said Cecilia Gentili, Managing Director of Policy at GMHC. “We need this kind of fellowship to increase the visibility of marginalized communities that are often overlooked in the policy arena. GMHC is hopeful that this initiative will work to amplify the voices of LGBTQ individuals at the state level and lead to tangible policy outcomes.”

Also this week, Governor Cuomo established the 2019 World Pride Ambassadors Competition in preparation for hosting World Pride in New York City next summer. New Yorkers are encouraged to submit video applications, and those selected as Ambassadors will be the faces of World Pride, featured in marketing materials and anti-discrimination campaigns leading up to the celebration next June.

 “As an agency committed to inclusivity and acceptance, we applaud the Governor for creating a campaign to showcase the diversity of LGBTQ individuals living in the State of New York,” said GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie. “We stand in full support of initiatives that embrace and uplift the LGBTQ community, efforts we view as necessary for reducing stigma and improving HIV prevention and treatment.”

 “We want to thank the Governor for these thoughtful initiatives in celebration of Pride Week 2018,” Gentili said. “We hope the State of New York will continue to lead by example as a champion of inclusivity and justice for all.”


About Gay Men's Health Crisis: Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization. GMHC is on the front lines providing services to over 12,000 people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Programs include: testing, prevention, nutrition, legal, supportive housing, mental health and substance use services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal levels with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic. For more information, visit