From the outside, there’s nothing remarkable about 147 West 24th Street. Walk the block between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, and you’re more likely to notice the 99 Cent store or the Hampton Inn hotel. Those looking for a sense of purpose and community, however, will find it — and not just at XES Lounge (a gay bar, at 157, with a similarly nondescript façade that belies the activity within).
A quick elevator trip at 147 reveals that the building is home to a unique community of activists. From the third floor to the sixth, the facilities are dedicated — in one way or another — to advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people.
With the elevator providing direct access to each of the organizations’ offices, there is a constant flow — of people and ideas — throughout the building. Many of the groups have overlapping membership, and some of them are collaborating on city-wide projects (a building meeting is held each month so the organizations can stay abreast of each other’s activities).