Harlem's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is looking for a space to call their own, and one local group has started a petition to garner support for a community center. Harlem Pride, an uptown LGBT group, launched an online petition for what is being called the “Community Pride Center.” Carmen Neely, president of Harlem Pride, told the Daily News the purpose of the center is to celebrate its LGBT residents, offer support and provide programming that caters to the diverse LGBT community in upper Manhattan. “Our time is now. It’s needed in this community. It’s been way too long,” said Neely, who co-founded Harlem Pride in 2010 as uptown’s LGBT community continued to increase in prominence and size. Neely said the center is not a project of Harlem Pride, though the organization is spearheading the effort to gather support. She said the project is a collaborative effort between several LGBT groups and leaders. The center would be the first of its kind in upper Manhattan, Neely said, adding it would offer a space for LGBT youth, office space for LGBT groups and focus on educating the community about issues like HIV/AIDS awareness.
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