Where Are NYS’ LGBTQ-Friendliest Places?

Where Are NYS’ LGBTQ-Friendliest Places?

Do you love your neighborhood? Is it LGBTQ-friendly? If so, New York State wants you to let it be known.

LGBTQ folks who live in the state are being asked to submit a three-minute video explaining why they are proud of their local area and the state — and why queer visitors should visit that area.

Winners will serve as ambassadors for WorldPride 2019 and will be featured in “I LOVE NY” WorldPride promotions and in anti-discrimination educational campaigns by the state Division of Human Rights. They will also win free transportation to the June WorldPride celebration in Manhattan.

Competitors must answer five questions in the video: What area of New York do you live in? Which section of the LGBTQ community do you most identify with? What about your city/ town or state makes you proud as an LGBTQ New Yorker? What in your region would you show off to LGBTQ visitors as part of a dream vacation in New York? Lastly, why do you feel you would be a good WorldPride ambassador?

“The WorldPride Ambassadors competition is the perfect opportunity for New Yorkers from across the state to showcase the best we have to offer as we extend an invitation to LGBTQ travelers from around the world,” said Empire State Development president Howard Zemsky.

Among those working with the state on the initiative include Heritage of Pride, which organizes the annual Pride March and related celebrations in Manhattan. “By working with New York State to identify these dynamic and inspiring WorldPride ambassadors, we hope to showcase the wide array of diversity that makes us proud to call ourselves New Yorkers,” said Heritage of Pride managing director Chris Frederick.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed a series of LGBTQ rights bills earlier this year — including transgender rights bill GENDA and a ban on so-called gay conversion therapy practiced on minors — praised the ambassador program. “Together with our WorldPride Ambassadors, we will show that there is no place for hate in our state as we celebrate the LGBTQ community and continue to fight for a safe and equal nation for all,” he said.

The Pride events this year are expected to be particularly festive since the international WorldPride celebration is being hosted in New York at the same time as the city marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall protests.

The “I love NY” website features an LGBTQ travel guide specifically made for WorldPride. That guide includes several parts of New York City, but also features a number of areas outside of the city including Niagara Falls, Fire Island — historically known as a safe haven for LGBTQ people — and other locales in each of the state’s major regions.

There’s still plenty of time remaining to shoot your video before the March 31 deadline. Submit your clip at iloveny.com/lgbt/lgbt-ambassador-application.