The Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley has championed LGBTQ rights in Rochester and the surrounding areas for more than 40 years. Founded in 1971 as the Gay Liberation Front, a student organization at the University of Rochester, the agency became the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley when it incorporated as a charitable non-profit and moved off campus in 1973.
The organization’s programs and services break down into three main categories: advocacy, education and celebration.
The GAGV is probably best known for hosting the annual Rochester Pride activities, which are among the largest in the state and draw several thousand attendees each year. The agency also boasts the longest continuously published LGBTQ publication in New York—The Empty Closet, now in its 43rd year. In 2013, the Smithsonian Museum added a sizable collection of the Empty Closet to its archives.
The GAGV operates the LGBTQ Cultural Competency Academy, a nationally recognized education program that provides workshops and consultation on a wide variety of topics related to the LGBT communities. The most requested workshop is SafeZone Training, which teaches different organizations—including schools, corporations, unions, law enforcement and social services—how to create and maintain supportive and safe environments for LGBTQ individuals. The agency tailors all presentations to meet the specific needs of each client. The GAGV also operates the LGBTQ Speakers Bureau, a group of trained speakers who foster greater understanding by sharing their personal stories in presentations and on panels throughout the region.
The agency provides several other services:
- Rochester SAGE: A social and educational group for LGBTQ people over the age of 50;
- Youth Program and Trans Youth Program: These programs help empower and offer support to LGBTQ people ages 13 to 20 through social activities and leadership opportunities;
- Adult Families of Trans Youth and Families and Friends of Trans Adults: These two peer-support groups are for non-transgender individuals who have a transgender friend, child or loved-one;
- David Bohnett Cyber Center: Open daily, the center has six state-of-the-art computers with Windows OS, high-speed Internet and printing; and
- The Gay Alliance Library & Archives: The library is home to more than 6,000 LGBTQ fiction, non-fiction and youth titles.
Scott Fearing is the executive director of the GAGV, which has three full-time, two part-time, and 20 volunteer staffers. The organization is headquartered on fifth floor of the Auditorium Center at 875 E. Main Street. The website is gayalliance.org, and the GAGV maintains a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Financial Record Year ended Dec. 31, 2013
Contributions, events and grants $434,119 83
Advertising and education 85,362 16
Other 6,178 1
Total revenue $525,659 100
Salaries and benefits $188,773 43
Professional services 101,880 23
Office expenses 50,397 12
Occupancy 49,849 12
Other 45,378 10
Total expenses $436,277 100
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses $89,382
Board of Directors
- David Zona, president
- Jessica Muratore, vice president
- Bruce Gorman, secretary
- Peter Mohr, treasurer
- Jason Barnecut
- Emily Jones
- Jeff Lambert
- Bill Schaefer
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