Pride Month Edition of Meet Your Neighbor: Richard

“I was there when there was a demonstration of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activist Alliance back in Times Square where there were a lot of arrests going on at the time. We went down to the precinct involved on 30 something street and from there, we wound up walking all the way to 8th street and 6th avenue, heart of the village. And when we arrived there, it was summertime. We partied in the streets! Cops wanted us to clear the street, but we didn’t want to go so it turned into a little riot. My first gay riot. I noticed some provocateurs who would throw things at the cops. I also noticed the police, in retaliation, would just grab whoever was closest to them and beat the crap out of them. I saw the blood on the ground. And that cemented me to the community and the gay liberation community and as a member of The Gay Activists Alliance.

My advice for young people is just do it. Virtually my whole work career, post monastery, I’ve been out of the closet, including at work. I would talk about this and people would say ‘well look who you’re working for, you can be out.’ I said, you really have it reversed. I have jobs like that because I am out. I was the founder of the archive at the lesbian and gay center. I’m certainly not going to leave that off my resume! That’s why they should hire me.”

- Richard, Queens Center for Gay Seniors Program Participant

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