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NEPA's first LGBT center opens its doors
Citizens' Voice ^ | February 24, 2014 | MATT BUFANO

Posted on 02/24/2014 12:16:24 PM PST by Phillyred

Andrew Krech / The Citizens' Voice About 150 people attended Sunday's grand opening of the LGBT Center of NEPA in the Fox Ridge Plaza in Plains Township.

PLAINS TWP. - Touted by agency officials as a "milestone" in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the LGBT Center of NEPA on Sunday made its grand debut.

More than 100 onlookers gathered for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at the center, which was nice and all - but now, the work starts.

"Today, we celebrate the opening of the center but tomorrow, we get back to building that … vision that everyone up here shares," NEPA Rainbow Alliance executive director John Dawe told the crowd.

The vision, according to NEPA Rainbow Alliance co-chairman Carl Halkyer, is the center becoming a significant meeting spot for the LGBT community.

"It's like your grandmother's house that everybody comes to, it keeps everyone together," Halkyer said. "It's about having a central place that we can build and grow."

In his address to the crowd, Dawe asked attendees to try volunteering their time to the center, which is what Robert Brodbeck, of Wilkes-Barre, said he plans to do.

Brodbeck, 89, grew up in the area, but moved away in 1952. When Brodbeck returned to Wilkes-Barre in 2006, many things had changed - including the attitude toward gay and lesbian residents.

"We've come a long way," Brodbeck said. "I hope this center really takes off because I think this is going to be really nice. It looks fabulous."

In the past week, the center has transformed from an empty space to a comfy, one-story area complete with freshly painted white walls, furniture, fluorescent lighting and art donated by local artists. When walking into the center, the first thing that may catch your eye is a photo collage-style poster that reads "The Center that COMMUNITY Built."

Halkyer said the feedback he received from Sunday's attendees - about the appearance of the center and the group's cause - was all positive.

"They love it. They think it's beautiful," Halkyer said. "They think it's going to be a great place for people to come together to form a cohesive community."

With Sunday's temperatures peaking near 50 degrees, nice weather kept the people walking in, to a tune of an estimated 100 to 150 attendees.

Halkyer and NEPA Rainbow Alliance board secretary Kelly Novakowski shared their shock-and-awe at how successful the grand opening turned out to be.

"I'll be honest, my crazy, type-A personality was thinking, 'Nobody's going to come. What are we going to do?'" Novakowski said. "But I never expected this many people to be here right at the beginning."

Novakowski said the large turnout represents the community wanting, needing and being ready for the center.

With the opening of the LGBT Center of NEPA, The Fox Ridge Plaza - which also houses Twist Bar, the largest gay bar in Luzerne County - is home to the first center of its kind in Luzerne, Lackawanna or Wyoming counties.

Novakowski said many gay residents of Luzerne County leave for larger cities with more resources and larger gay communities, but he is hoping the center will start to change that.

Brodbeck shares that hope, pointing to people in the crowd and saying: "Look at the people here, they are quality people. You're going to attract great people that will be fighting to be in here."

mbufano@citizensvoice.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda; zimbabwe

1 posted on 02/24/2014 12:16:24 PM PST by Phillyred
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To: Phillyred

What is NEPA?.................


2 posted on 02/24/2014 12:18:08 PM PST by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: Phillyred

Huuuhhhh, and that is what I thought gay bars were for...who knew.


3 posted on 02/24/2014 12:18:29 PM PST by areukiddingme1 (areukiddingme1 is a synonym for a Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer and tired of liberal BS.))
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To: Phillyred

Who is paying for this? Is taxpayer money involved?


4 posted on 02/24/2014 12:21:05 PM PST by detective
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To: detective

I don’t think that one guy is LGB & T


5 posted on 02/24/2014 12:21:55 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Red Badger

It’s where all that NEPAtism goes on...


6 posted on 02/24/2014 12:22:56 PM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: Red Badger

North East Pensylvania.

Who made for this and what could it possibly do?

If there is money to be given out, I’m gay and so is my wife.


7 posted on 02/24/2014 12:23:52 PM PST by AppyPappy
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To: Red Badger

Seriously, I’m going to take a wild guess that it is an unnecessary acronym for NorthEastern PennsylvaniA.


8 posted on 02/24/2014 12:23:59 PM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: AppyPappy

Who PAID for this


9 posted on 02/24/2014 12:24:38 PM PST by AppyPappy
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To: Phillyred

I had to LOL, as the guy was quoted as saying the center looked fabulous. The use of the word fabulous by the gay community is somewhat of a running joke with lots of people here on Free Republic...............


10 posted on 02/24/2014 12:27:55 PM PST by Dilbert San Diego (TH)
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To: Phillyred
An "LGBT" Center.

Where "LGBT" people can get together to engage in "LGBT activities"?

I hope the building's interior is designed to be cleaned by being hosed down...

11 posted on 02/24/2014 12:27:57 PM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: Phillyred

Seems like it would be a convenient pick-up spot. Let’ the young mingle with the old, just the way NAMBLA likes it.


12 posted on 02/24/2014 12:29:58 PM PST by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: Phillyred
It's like your grandmother's house that everybody comes to

Yeah, my grandmother's house looked a LOT like this:

13 posted on 02/24/2014 12:33:00 PM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Phillyred

Sounds like an AIDS spawning pit


14 posted on 02/24/2014 12:36:53 PM PST by Viennacon
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: detective

I am still trying to figure out how this idiot can be a lesbian, a gay, bi-sexual as well as a Tranny?

What a dumb title.


16 posted on 02/24/2014 12:40:26 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Phillyred
the LGBT Center of NEPA on Sunday made its grand debut.

Yes - Its located in the men's room of the Flying J rest-stop, just off exit 31 on Highway 476....

17 posted on 02/24/2014 12:45:18 PM PST by PGR88
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To: Phillyred
"It looks fabulous"

You know, there's a reason why stereotypes exist.

18 posted on 02/24/2014 12:49:49 PM PST by wbill
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To: WayneS; AppyPappy

Never-Ending Parasite A$$holes?...................


19 posted on 02/24/2014 12:54:35 PM PST by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
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To: detective

Well, no, actually, she did not...

;-)


20 posted on 02/24/2014 1:04:35 PM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: AppyPappy

Bwaaaahhh laughout f#cking loud


21 posted on 02/24/2014 1:08:00 PM PST by South Dakota (shut up and build a bakken pipe line)
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To: GeronL
“I am still trying to figure out how this idiot can be a lesbian, a gay, bi-sexual as well as a Tranny?”

I like when a tranny says, “It's not my fault, I was born this way.”

Yea right. You were born with your sexual organs surgically altered and with artificial breast implants.

22 posted on 02/24/2014 1:08:37 PM PST by detective
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To: Phillyred

THis is freaking offensive, comparing my grandmother’s house to a “LGBT” - no Q? - pervert palace.


23 posted on 02/24/2014 2:03:15 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Phillyred

There is not enough sanitizer in the world to get me to go into such a place. Hotel rooms are bad enough.


24 posted on 02/24/2014 2:04:03 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Red Badger

No External Penis Anymore?


25 posted on 02/24/2014 2:04:57 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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