LGBTQ student have no fear: Albany is here and queer

Trisha O’Connell
Staff Writer

Waterworks Pub is an open and inclusive space for anyone within the LGBTQ community. PHOTO BY JULIO RODRIGUEZ | The Hudsonian Student Newspaper

Waterworks Pub is an open and inclusive space for anyone within the LGBTQ community.

The capital region is queer and it’s been that way for a long time.

The Capital District Gay & Lesbian Council and community pride center was the first gay and lesbian community center in the entire country. They opened their doors in the early 1900s.

Gay and lesbian pride was not the only up and coming phenomenon on the scene. Albany was also the home to one of the first Transgender groups way back in the 50’s. Granted, the groups were not free from prejudice, injustice and cruelty within the area. However, Albany was at the helm of that change.

In 2014, according the the Huffington post, who looked to the Vocativ’s Queer Index as evidence, Albany was reported as the 7th most LGBT friendly cities in the United States. Albany also ranked number 63 on the number of gay bars per capita and the number of same sex hookups off of craigslist.

Being apart of the LGBTQ community in Albany seems like a breeze when the numbers are laid out. Liberal arts student Aisha Davis shares her experience as an out lesbian living in the capital region.

Davis’ prefered pronouns are she and her. She identifies herself as a proud Lesbian.

“I came out fully my senior year,” said Davis. Davis is a freshman this year, so her translucent pride within her personality hasn’t been there for long. Davis’ coming out story wasn’t an overly dramatic one. She “announced it to the world,” and just wanted to be accepted like the rest of us.

However, Davis opened up about her experience with bullying as a newly outed teenager in high school. “I was called a liar…” She explained, “It was because I dated boys.”

Davis laughed and said, “I was once called ‘a mockery of God’s creation!’”

Davis feels comfortable with who she is and with whosoever she chooses to love. Her safety has never been a fear in her mind.
Davis said, “I always knew I was gay, I kinda just didn’t do anything about it.”

At Hudson Valley, the HVCC Pride Alliance welcomes anyone within the community looking to get involved or to just make friends with anyone in a similar situation.

The capital region is home to a plethora of LGBTQ friendly resources. There are bars, clubs, organizations and so much more directed towards the community. The Capital Region Pride Parade and Festival, the Black & Latino Gay Pride celebration on the Albany riverfront in June, and the Big Gay Cruise along the Hudson River are a few worth noting.

Waterworks and Pub & Rock located on Central Ave and Oh Bar! on Lark St are some of the big name gay bars in Albany. Both of which are on Central Avenue, or Oh Bar! on Lark Street.

The Hudson Valley campus and Albany in general are places where the LGBTQ does not have to feel like a minority. Pride flourishes is the Capital Region! Who knew Albany was so queer after all?

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