Laughter and conversation filled the TriVersity Center for Gender & Sexual Diversity on a recent Tuesday. There were treats galore and chatter about the spring dance.
President Steven Teague and Vice-President Simone Krause welcomed regulars and visitors.
”The primary mission of TriVersity is to provide a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community living in or visiting the tristate region,” said Teague. “Key to achieving that mission is to have our center offer open hours for folks of all sorts to come hang out, to ask questions, to access the internet and LGBTQ+ media, to play games, and, in summary, to feel loved and welcomed. We are fortunate to have volunteers who give their time to make this space accessible for everyone that needs it.”
Their library continues to grow as members donate their own books, creating a science-based collection about all things LGBTQ.
The center in Milford hosts an open house every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. and noon. It’s a place for members of the LGBTQ community to hang out, have fun, and talk about a range of subjects, from silly to serious. Recently the talk turned serious.
Rabbi Frank Tamburello, who lives in Manhattan, said he’s not used to the pushback against gay people that he sees in Milford.
Others echoed his sentiments.
“But we’ve always had to adjust to everything,” said Rabbi Tamburello. “This is basically how we live our lives.”
When they couldn’t marry, they executed powers of attorney, wrote explicit wills, and put their partner’s names on all homes, land, cars and worldly goods. All present said nothing in their world has been normative, so they’ve always had to adjust.
E.K. Guyre, a candidate for Delaware Valley school board, said several people had asked her to find out why the DV board meetings and their study groups were open for in person attendance, but the diversity study groups were Zoom only. She said she’s trying to find out. She was prohibited from raising her hand and couldn’t post the question in the comments section either, she said. She said she was stonewalled and deliberately left out of the discussion.
Simone Kraus referenced the U.S. Transgender Survey of 2015, the last year of survey information available. It says 65% of family members and friends would turn their backs on those making a transition after age 35. When the transition is made after 50, 89% of those who supported them prior to coming out will fail to support them within two years.
“Why would anyone come out unless it was necessary to define who they are?” Kraus asked. “Why would anyone seek to suffer loss of friends and family if their own psyche didn’t require it?”
“Key to achieving (our) mission is to have our center offer open hours for folks of all sorts to come hang out, to ask questions, to access the internet and LGBTQ+ media, to play games, and, in summary, to feel loved and welcomed.” Steven Teague