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One Year After New York State OK'd Marriage Equality, Gays in Harlem Sense Growing Acceptance

New York Daily News
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June 25, 2012

As recently as four years ago, Harlem resident Damian Jack says he felt unsafe holding his date’s hand above W. 110th Street.

“I was like, ‘Get off me! I don’t want to get killed up here,’ ” says Jack, 32, the general manager at Melba’s, a restaurant on W. 114th St. and Frederick Douglass Blvd. that is one of a growing number of gay-friendly establishments in Harlem.

Now, Jack says it’s becoming more commonplace to see couples along the streets of Central Harlem openly displaying their status.

“I was like, ‘Whoa! there’s a guy crossing the street holding his boyfriend’s hand in Harlem,’ ” Jack said, recalling the time when he began to notice the change.