Pride St. Louis will open a new LGBT Community Center in its office building at 3738 Chouteau Ave., near Grand Boulevard.
The community has been without a meeting and education space for nearly three years, after the center on Manchester Avenue in The Grove area shut down.
The local LGBT population needs a physical space in which to gather and share resources, according to Pride St. Louis secretary Landon Brownfield.
“This marginalized community — the LGBT community, and especially LGBT people of color — it’s really important for all of us to be united and to be able to support each other and we think that the Center will facilitate that,” Brownfield said.
‘People are a little bit scared’
Pride St. Louis is known for its annual PrideFest and parade. Brownfield and others came up with the idea, in part, to ensure the organization would more involved in the community all year long.
The Center will open Jan. 9. That’s almost three years after the area’s last such facility closed in April 2016, and other efforts to open a new facility fell through.
Pride leaders have been discussing the idea for six months. Brownfield said its opening is timely because many in this population are anxious after the presidential election.
“The climate is that people are a little bit scared and that’s why this is really important for the community,” Brownfield said.
The Center has over 1,000 books on hand, many from the former facility, on topics relating to LGBT topics, feminism, gender, and race. But it needs bookshelves and couches, as well as monetary donations, according to Brownfield.
Pride St. Louis is also looking for volunteers to work in the Center and respond to phone calls. Organizers are still figuring out which days and hours the Center will be open.
Pride St. Louis rents its building and is currently operating under a two-year lease.
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