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.
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