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Rochester’s Black Pride community advocates for increased acceptance

Written by on February 29, 2020

While acknowledging the strides that its LGBTQ+ community has made toward inclusion and acceptance, Rochester’s Black Pride community also acknowledges the long road still ahead of them. Adrian Elim, Rochester’s Black Pride organizer and activist, reflected on the past five years since Rochester’s Black Pride movement became an organized movement.

As Elim discovered through his efforts to organize the Black Pride community in Rochester, there wasn’t “a lot of space where folks were willing to talk about the intersection of being black and LGBTQ, being black and queer, black and trans.” One of Elim’s advocates is Jonathan Jordan, manager of the MOCHA Center in Rochester. The Center was founded in 1996 as the Men of Color Health Awareness Project, with a goal of supporting LGBTQ+ people of color and providing them resources such as STI and HIV testing.

As Elim continues to advocate for increased acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community, he believes progress will only be made when the community is “able to be openly authentic.” Pinpoints of progress for the local community continue to be made as the national community receives greater support and acceptance. In particular, Elim emphasized the work that still needs to be done to provide more support for the black transgender community.

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