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September 21, 2020 - 3:51pm

From Erica O'Donnell:

Join us on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. to honor the memory and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg around the Old Courthouse, 7 Main St. Batavia.

Please wear warm clothes, a mask, and practice responsible social distancing.

We will have some candles available, but you may bring your own.

We are honored to have remarks by Judge Amy Martoche, candidate for NYS Supreme Court, Diana Kastenbaum, and other local women.

We will also have a Hebrew Benediction by Hiram Kasten.

All are welcome to attend.

March 23, 2019 - 2:38pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Earlier this month the SAGA (Sexuality and Gender Acceptance) Student Club at Genesee Community College announced it would host the its first-ever drag show, "The Battle in Batavia," on Saturday, March 30, in the Batavia Campus's Stuart Steiner Theatre.

On Friday, the contest judges were named. Presiding over inaugural show will be:

  • Gregory Hallock, Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council executive director;
  • Rachel Kropczynski, owner of Monroe's Boutique;
  • Thomas Priester, Ph.D., GCC associate vice president of Student Success;
  • Kristen Schuth, GCC athletic director;
  • Donna Rae Sutherland, GCC associate director of Marketing Communications;
  • A sixth Drag Show Contest judge is yet to be named.

On Thursday, one of the professional show participants, Cassanova Theking (on left in photo above), was on campus to help to promote the show, and generate awareness of LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Questioning) community as well as support GCC's new scholarship program.

All proceeds from the drag show will fund the College's first and only LGBTQ Scholarship, which will provide financial assistance to eligible students facing emergency situations, or helping to offset financial hardships by covering the cost books, tuition, child care, or other obstacles to academic success. The scholarship will be available to students of the LBGTQ community at GCC facing such hardships and is the first of its kind.

"The Battle in Batavia" will feature a drag queen and king competition where professional drag artists from Buffalo and Rochester will skirmish amongst amateur drag queens and kings from the campus community.

Anyone interested in entering the fun-filled competition under the Amateur and GCC Alumni categories can easily sign up and there is no cost to enter. Click here to sign up.

The show begins at 6 p.m. with a reception in the Lobby of the Stuart Steiner Theatre where attendees can meet some of the contestants already in character. Refreshments will be provided.

At 7 p.m., the battle is on! Each contestant will perform his or her piece to music of their choosing. There will be two acts, and during the intermission a question-and-answer session will allow the audience to interact with the stars of the show.

Purchasing advance tickets is strongly advised! A single advance seat is just $5 in advance or $6 at the door, if available.

Discounted group rates are also available. A group of 10-19 people is $40; and a group of 20 or more people is $75. Tickets are available by calling (585) 345-6836; or emailing Kate Trombley, director of the TRIO Adult Educational Opportunity Center and advisor for GCC's Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) [email protected]; or by stopping by Office D208 at GCC's Batavia Campus.

This show is recommended for mature audiences only as it may include strong language or sexual innuendo.

Those not interested in competing, or unable to attend -- but who would like to support the important cause, can contribute as a sponsor or make a charitable donation. In addition, volunteers are being sought to work at the event and will receive free admission to the show. For further information contact Katherine Trombley, director of GCC's Adult Educational Opportunity Center at [email protected] or by calling (585) 343-0055, ext. 6836.

February 6, 2019 - 2:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in Arbor House, news, Announcements, LGBTQ, FED Talks.

Press release:

Last year, Northgate Free Methodist Church’s South Campus, called Arbor House, successfully hosted a series of "FED Talks" -- Food, Exploration, Dialogue. They are excited to announce a new series for 2019, with evenings of savory meals, exciting talks and group conversations on a series of topics that the contemporary church must address.

Speakers will give talks that challenge, entertain and inspire. Be fed twice -- in body and soul -- as we journey together in discussing how our mission to be hope in the world involves entering into areas of great tension, but also great need.

Thursday, Feb. 21st, from 6-8 p.m., Doug Cullum, vice president and dean at Northeastern Seminary, will be discussing the relationship between the LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transexual/Queer) community and the church.

This event is free and open to the public.

Arbor House is located at 350 Bank St., Batavia. For more information please contact the church office at (585) 343-4011.

January 24, 2019 - 3:18pm
posted by Allison Lang in LGBTQ, food, christianity.
Event Date and Time: 
February 21, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Join us for our first talk in our second FED series! Join us for evenings of savory meals, exciting talks, and group conversations on a series of topics that the contemporary church must address. Speakers will give talks that challenge, entertain and inspire. Be fed twice in body and soul, as we journey together in discussing how our mission to be hope in the world involves entering into areas of great tension, but also great need. This week, Doug Cullum will be discussing the relationship between the LGBTQ community and the church. This event is free of charge, all are welcome.
June 16, 2017 - 11:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in LGBTQ, courts, news.


As part of Gay Pride Month, the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission of the New York Courts is sponsoring a speaker series in courts in the state to help train judges and others in the courts system about gay rights and LGBTQ issues.

Today's speakers in the County Courthouse in Batavia were Brooke Barone, a plainteiff in a landmark case that expanded the rights of non-biological parents, and her attorney, Margaret Canby.

Marc Levine, executive director of the commission explained after the meeting (I had other business to finish and didn't make it on time for the speakers) what the commission is about and about the progress the LGBTQ community has made in the courts over the past 15 years.

"We went across the state doing things and it was beautiful to see the changes in the court system," Levine said.

Levine started a volunteer alliance in 2003 and the commission was formed at the start of this year and during that time, he said, he's seen more people in the court system come out and seen more judges, clerks, and administrators appointed to top positions.

Yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo named the first openly gay man appointed to the Court of Appeals, Paul Feinman.

"This is something we thought was going to be so far off, we didn't even know if we'd live to see that happen," Levine said. 

There were judges from throughout the region at the event, including every full-time judge from Chautauqua County.

The turnout was both significant and important, Levine said.

"Sensitivity Training is a beautiful thing," Levine said. "It's one thing when you look at someone in a textbook; it's a completely different thing when you come and you see people and you listen to them and they become real and you get to see why it's important, and you care and you take that out into the courts with you and set a tone that the courts know that people need to be treated with respect. They are sensitive to the needs of the community."

Levine is clearly a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ. I asked him one question and he spoke uninterrupted for nearly 10 minutes. Here's the full audio (mp3).

Photo: Judge Edwina Mendelson, left, Margaret Canby, Brooke Barone, Marc Levine, Judge Paula Feroleto, Andrew Isenberg, district executive for the Eighth Judicial District.

October 26, 2016 - 4:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, Stafford, LGBTQ, Office for the Aging, veterans.

Press release:

The Genesee County Office for the Aging is proud to partner with the Rochester Gay Alliance SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) program to bring an event to our County!

The Traveling LGBTQ Potluck & Program will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, located at 6188 Main Road in Stafford.

Meet! Greet! Eat!

All are welcome. Meet news friends.

Featured program is "Gay Pioneers."

Bring a dish to pass.

Also, Rochester Gay Alliance SAGE is looking to connect with LGBTQ veterans and people who served in the military regardless of discharge status.

Learn more about what SAGE Vets & ROC Vets can do for you!

Contact: [email protected]

September 28, 2016 - 8:36pm

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) will be holding a pair of focus groups on the concerns of LGBTQ individuals with disabilities.

Have your voice heard! This is a call for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) and living with a disability (i.e. physical, sensory, mental health, or co-occurring disability) to take part in a focus group and to be heard about current services, programs -- or lack of services -- to help define your needs as a person with a disability living in our communities.

Besides taking a step to have truly appropriate services considered, participants will receive a light meal on the day of the focus group. The first group will meet beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, for a maximum of two to three hours, at the ILGR office, 113 Main St., Suite 5, just west of Center Street, in Batavia. Materials will be offered in accessible formats, if needed.

Space is limited to 20 people and the first LGBTQ individuals to apply will participate. Please register soon! The second focus group will be scheduled subsequent to the first as need be.

For more information, and to sign up, call Donna Becker, at (858) 815-8501, ext. 411,* or email [email protected] with the subject line of “Focus Group." Please RSVP by Oct. 14. We look forward to your feedback to help us learn the services you are receiving and/or need.

The Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies offers an expanding array of inclusive and affirming services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

*This is the correct extension; the original press release provided by the agency included the wrong extension number and it subsequently asked for the correction.

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