NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The New Haven Pride Center is getting a fresh start at a new location. The office is moving just a block or so away on Orange Street. Although the move is short in distance, it is symbolic of something far greater.
From a basement without windows to a space occupied for more than 20 years by an art space at 50 Orange Street. The space is ground level with plenty of windows to see inside and out. The pride flag is already on display at the new location.
However, the organization recently dealt with a criminal threat. In late September, someone emailed in a bomb threat during the annual New Haven Pride Festival.
“That was, like intended to try to scare us. And to be able to give this response, like you wanted us to hide and we’re just gonna come out even louder and prouder. That’s like the perfect way to battle any kind of hate,” New Haven Pride Center Executive Director Juancarlos Soto said.
Soto said that the incident is behind them.
“It’s important for us to be visible. It’s important for organizations like ours to be visible. We’re one of two community centers state-wide for LGBTQ individuals. So it’s really important for us to be out and proud and visible. Especially in a time where there’s an increase in attacks on the LGBTQ community,” Soto said.
Soto praised New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and the city. Soto said their long-term plan is to work with the city to bring funds and grants to make sure they have a bright and inclusive future.