This piece is by the Travelin’ Cousins, a little blog about the travel adventures of a couple of cousins.
by Elisa Valentino
March 22, 2019
The Bronx LGBT Expo – A Celebration for the Community
You know what I love about The Bronx — the spirit and sense of pride
of its residents in being from The Bronx, regardless of their gender,
race, ethnicity, cultural background or sexual identity. So it is no
wonder that a few members of The Bronx LGBT community have decided to
come together to plan the first-ever Bronx LGBT Expo. The event will
bring together local businesses, entrepreneurs, talent and artists
from The Bronx under one roof in celebration of World Pride 2019 and
the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and a half-century of
The Expo itself was originally conceived by Alexandra Maruri, Bronx native and founder of Bronx Historical Tours, as a local Bronx reception for WorldPride. However, in working together with fellow Bronx native, Jose Ramón of Parkchester, photographer and creator of The White Shirt Project, they realized that assembling Bronx LGBT business-owners, professionals, entrepreneurs and talent under one roof would benefit the community at large, focus on the similarities that unite Bronxites, and making The Bronx LGBT Expo an event for People From The Bronx for The Bronx.
In Ramon’s own words, “what started as a reception, morphed into an expo.” Additionally, this one day event will highlight the mental health issues of PTSD and depression which affect people of all orientations, and is particularly prevalent with members of the LGBT community.
Having personally struggled with both of these conditions, Jose Ramón, is quite passionate about making these issues a focal point of the expo with a mental illness panel as an integral part of this one day event, scheduled to take place in the morning.
Additional festivities for the day include musical entertainment, dancing and a deejay.
The Stonewall Inn uprising is one of the most significant events in the struggle to bringing acceptance to LGBT individuals and as a collective group. The uprising included a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community and allies against a police raid which took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.
From an historic standpoint, the 1960’s were a tumultuous time, filled with a growing sense of awakening for equal rights and the demand for human decency towards all people regardless of skin color, gender and sexual preference. America was at its infancy when it came to the idea of embracing differences and leveling the playing field for blacks, women and gays, both in the workplace and in social settings. The Stonewall Inn uprising was one important first step in standing up for equality for those within the LGBT community, that would enable generations to come to take pride in who they are and their individual uniqueness.
The Expo will run from 11am to 8pm and event sponsors currently include Montefiore Hospital, thisistheBronX, DBOM, Mott Haven Historic Districts Association, Bronx Barx, LOUD, Gefface Photo Booth, Recoveries R Us, Bronx Historical Tours and NYC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. More sponsors are welcome in order to expand the scope of the educational initiatives and offerings of the day.
Ad space is also available in their brochure for local businesses looking to build awareness within the community.
On a personal note, I am not a member of the LGBT community. I am neither an activist nor involved in political issues or advocacy. I am a writer, a blogger and a member of the human community who likes to believe that everyone is entitled to respect and acceptance with their own unique gifts for making the world a little brighter.
I think the more we can focus on similarities, shared joys and struggles, the basic desire we all have for living a happy life, and supporting each other to that end,the better our world will become.
Elisa is co-founder of Travelin’ Cousins travel blog, A native New Yorker, Fordham graduate, and world traveler, she is passionate about The Bronx as a travel destination for locals and tourists.
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