The Pride Center is an essential hub of the LGBT community in Lexington. It is the primary source of info about organizations and events. It has and continues to provide resources for a wide range of people and groups including youth, transgender people, and others who may otherwise feel desperately isolated. It provides a physical space for many groups to meet in safety and confidentiality. Some of the folks who have sustained the center over many years are heroes in my mind.
While the GLSO does provide a few services, including a very nice book and video library, its main functions are not very prevalent in the community. As a matter of fact, the facility needs a complete overhaul of strategy and offerings for the gay community. While some have had very pleasant interaction with the facility, I fail to see how and where they got them unless they were part of the clique that makes up the so-called administration of the center. True, many of us need to volunteer or give more money, possibly, but there is enough revenue from a newsletter that is printed in color, but in a poor manner and on cheap paper. Not the quality newsletter a city like Lexington, Kentucky should be publishing. Furthermore, other than Insight and maybe another group there are very for activities for the community. Yes, there’s going to be the 2nd Gay Pride Festival which sounds fantastic – but that alone does not make a GLSO center. And by the way – how was the money spent from last year’s festival and events? The center should also be located in a more central location so that all of the gay community could participate – young and old alike. Being closer downtown would probably draw a larger crowd of UK students and young people from the community. Older adults who frequent the bars and restaurants would also probably pay the center a visit. But to make it viable, it must have quality programs, a friendly staff, and some consistency. As far as I am concerned Insights is the only thing that has been positive for me.
Although the GLSO Center seems to be very helpful in terms of resources, such as social and support groups; I didn't feel like I fit in well very. By this I am referring to the Insight group, the only gay social and support group that I've had exposure to. I've attended several meetings and felt very isolated. There seemed to be a lack of activities that the group participated other than movies and potlucks in the center. Perhaps topical discussion, games, and outings should be incorporated within this social and support group. A second comment refers to the availability, or rather lack of availability, of social and support groups at the GLSO Center. There seems to be a lack of social and support groups for younger people, particularly younger professionals and college-oriented students. Perhaps I would be more inclined to support the GLSO Center if such a group were available. My last comment refers to the location of the GLSO Center. Though the Waller Street does not seem like a poor location relative to other locations within Lexington, I believe a more central location of the GLSO center should be considered and may even perhaps be beneficial to the gay community in Lexington and within the Bluegrass Region at large. A downtown location, for example, may help increase the visibility of an active gay community within the city of Lexington and its surrounding communities, especially because our city's downtown is very vibrant, active, and a magnet for both residents within the city and residents within surrounding Bluegrass Region.