Tag: Press Release

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition to Open Thrift Shop Benefitting Lancaster’s LGBTQ+ Community

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

December 19, 2023

The Loop Thrift Logo


Lancaster, PA – Lancaster residents can soon shop fabulous fashion and support the local LGBTQ+ community at the same time with the grand opening of The Loop Thrift on December 22nd! Located in the heart of the city at 117 E Chestnut Street, The Loop Thrift is a brand-new thrift shop benefiting Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition.

The Loop Thrift is packed with unique new or gently used clothing and accessories at unbeatable prices, ensuring that fashion is accessible and anyone can help support the local community. The grand opening celebration will feature catering by Soulcialize, so come hungry and ready to shop!

The Loop Thrift will be open Friday and Saturday from 12pm-6pm, and Sunday from 12pm-4pm. Our wider drop-in community center, The Loop, will continue to be open Tuesday-Friday 11am-4pm. Visit lgbtlancaster.org for group times and more information.

Our mission is to build supportive and enriching opportunities for Lancaster’s LGBTQ+ community and those who identify with the community, and we believe that accessible fashion with a community benefit focus is an excellent way to build spaces to help connect people.

The Loop Thrift is seeking donations of clothes, washers & dryers, clothing racks, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, services (extermination, cleaning, landscaping, window replacement), furniture (couches, chairs), and gift cards. We’re accepting clothing and other donations anytime during business hours. Those interested in volunteering their time directly are invited to fill out our Volunteer Engagement Form.

For more information, please visit blog.lgbtlancaster.org or follow Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition on social media.

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition Celebrates 4 Years of Service and The Loop’s 1-Year Anniversary with Community Party

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

October 18, 2023

Lancaster, PA – Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition is pleased to invite the Lancaster community to join us in celebrating four years of service to the Lancaster LGBTQ+ community at our anniversary party on November 12th from 5-7 pm at tellus360. This year, we are also marking the one-year anniversary of The Loop, our physical base of operations and the location of our LGBTQ+ community housing and low-cost clinic initiatives.

Donations made to the Coalition during this time will go toward our United Way Level Up & Launch Grant; we encourage the community to support our work. IMPORTANT: We will not receive the donation UNLESS DONORS MAKE SURE to check the box marked “Apply this gift to your preferred Level Up & Launch fellow” and select “LGBTQ+ Coalition” from the drop down list!

The party will feature light refreshments, music, and opportunities to mingle with other members and supporters of the Lancaster LGBTQ+ community. We are proud to have made significant strides in promoting unity, visibility, and inclusivity within our community, including:

1. Launch of Health & Wellness Clinic: The Coalition established a comprehensive health and wellness clinic that provides a range of services on a sliding scale, including mental health services, and HIV testing and treatment. This clinic has been successful in improving the overall health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community in Lancaster.
2. HEART Program: The coalition launched the HEART (Health, Education, Advocacy, Research, and Training) program, which aims to provide housing, education, advocacy, and support services to the LGBTQ+ community.
3. Name Change Clinic: The Coalition is working with local volunteer law professionals on a name change clinic that will provide legal assistance to members of the LGBTQ+ community who are seeking to change their names to align with their gender identity.
4. Drop-in HIV Testing with Alder Health: The coalition partnered with Alder Health to offer drop-in HIV testing services, providing a convenient and accessible way for individuals to get tested and receive results quickly.

We hope that our community can join us in celebrating this special milestone and contributing to the continued growth and success of the Lancaster LGBTQ+ community. 

Lancaster LGBQ+ Coalition Hosting SLAY Halloween Celebration October 27 at ESOARTS

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

October 13, 2023

Lancaster, PA – Calling all ghouls, goblins, and divas! The ultimate Halloween event is coming to Lancaster, PA, and you won’t want to miss it! On Friday, October 27th from 7-9PM, Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition and ESOARTS will host SLAY, a night of fun, fashion, and fierce ‘fits.

Join us for an unforgettable evening of costume contests, jaw-dropping dancing, and mind-blowing music at our in-person event at ESOARTS; 317 North Queen Street, Lancaster, PA. Get ready to slay the night away with incredible costumes, freaky fashion, and unforgettable performances that will leave you screaming for more!

SLAY is an adults-only celebration of Queer identity, found family, and the upcoming four-year anniversary of ESOARTS. Support the Coalition, learn about our programming and services, and let loose! Pose in your best freak it dress or slay the dance floor!

Donations made to the Coalition during this time will go toward our United Way Level Up & Launch Grant; we encourage the community to support our work. IMPORTANT: We will not receive the donation UNLESS DONORS MAKE SURE to check the box marked “Apply this gift to your preferred Level Up & Launch fellow” and select “LGBTQ+ Coalition” from the drop down list!

The SLAY branding, designed by Ellie Cochran, has received a Health and Wellness Design Award from Graphic Design USA, further solidifying the event’s reputation as a standout celebration of Queer identity and self-expression.

So mark your calendars and get ready to SLAY it at ESOARTS on October 27th! For more information, visit our Eventbrite page.

EsōArts is more than just a gallery & boutique. Featuring over 60 local artists a month, EsōArts also provides space for public events, live music, and more with Permanent Inc Tattoos just above the showroom floor. Located on the historic 300 block of Queen St, EsōArts is made up of artists Andrew Silvius, Annie Roth, and Zach Walter and entrepreneur Chris Dreisbach.

Behavioral Health & Wellness Clinic

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

July 13, 2023

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition is gearing up to launch a new behavioral health and wellness clinic; a much-needed addition to Lancaster’s healthcare community! Here’s some more information about the partnerships we’re forging and the health resources we’re planning to have on-site:

In partnership with Touchstone Foundation, we have the opportunity to offer therapy on a sliding scale. Funds will go directly to the clinician.

Valley Youth House will offer case management and housing services for LGBTQ+ youth up to age 24 one day per week!

We’re also thrilled to begin offering free walk-in rapid HIV testing provided by Alder Health starting September 18th!  Walk-in testing will be available from 2-6pm. From then on, we will continue to offer walk-in testing on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month:

  • September 18th
  • October 2nd and 16th
  • November 6th and 20th
  • December 4th and 18th

In partnership with Family Health Council, we will launch our Sexual Health and Wellness Program starting with our Prep program. The Prep program will focus on health education and outreach for LGBTQ+ teens.  

Finally, In partnership with AARP we will host a “Coffee and Conversation” series! Join us July 30th for Death Cafe: discussion around end of life planning and presentation from Melissa Ressler, Death Doula and ED of Lancaster Downtowners. Stay tuned for more info soon!

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition Receives Generous Grants to Support Operations

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

June 28, 2023

The Lancaster LGBT Coalition is thankful and overjoyed to honor the following organizations who have granted funding to the Coalition’s cause for a more equitable Lancaster community.

We’d like to recognize the following organizations for their generosity:

  • Acts of Generosity
  • United Way’s “Level Up and Launch” Grant Program
  • AARP
  • And we’ve received joint funding from:
    • United Way
    • City of Lancaster
    • And others!

Combined, these organization have granted us over $125,000 dollars! These contributions will continue to provide the local Lancaster LGBTQ community with our Emergency HEART Housing program, Social Groups, and general operations!

To continue our efforts to creating a more equitable Lancaster consider Donating here!

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank these organizations and our community for their support. Through their combined generosity, we’re able to keep our doors open and our care flowing.

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition Announces Final Week of Pride Month Events

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

June 26, 2023

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition is excited to announce the final week of Pride Month events! The Coalition has been celebrating Pride Month all June long with a variety of events, and we’re excited to wrap up the month on a high note.

On Monday, June 26, A Concrete Rose Bookbar and Blazin’ J’s are hosting a fundraiser for the Coalition in Downtown Lancaster! $5 from every meal purchased will go to the Coalition! We’re also offering a limited-edition “Flamin’” tee shirt and Fuego de la Vida Margarita for purchase. Attendees can pre-order a meal and limited-edition shirt at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/662476744777

On Tuesday, June 27, the Coalition is celebrating National HIV Testing Day with Walgreen’s at 1262 Lititz Pike. Free HIV testing and more will be available!

All week throughout the end of June, Decades Lancaster is offering a limited-time Pride Daquiri Cocktail Pouch! $1 from every drink sold will go to the Coalition.

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition’s Executive Director Has Been Recognized in the PA Pride Power 100!

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

June 1, 2023

We’re so thankful to City and State PA for naming our Executive Director K Foley as number 69 in this year’s Pride Power 100! This is K’s second year in the listing and we couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to represent Lancaster and our LGBTQ+ community.

K is our co-founder and executive director, and has overseen the launch of the Homelessness Emergency Assistance and Response Team (HEART) program in February 2021 and the Loop community hub in June 2022. Our latest initiatives include an emergency overnight clinic and a behavioral health and wellness program with pop-up clinics in partnership with Planned Parenthood and Alder Health.

City & State’s Pride Power 100 – compiled by freelance writer Jeremy Rodriguez – recognizes the people in the state who are making strides to create safe spaces and remove the limits for current and future generations. 

Local Organizations Celebrating Pride are Invited to Apply Today for a PA Pride Community Grant!

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

May 26, 2023

We’re excited to once again share the opportunity for local organizations to apply for a PA Pride Community Grant!

These grants, provided by the PA Tourism Office and administered in partnership with Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, are to provide funding to uplift LGBTQ+ Pride festivals and events across the Commonwealth.

Any organization presenting an event from May 1 to September 10, 2023 are eligible. Applications must be returned by June 10, so apply today!

Many thanks to the PA Tourism Office for their partnership with the Coalition! The Office is beautifully aligned with the Coalition’s mission and we’re thrilled to be a partner in this initiative.

Editorial: Trans Day of Visibility

K Foley

March 31, 2023

Today on Transgender Day of Visibility, there are 455 known anti-human rights legislative bills in 27 states targeting the LGBTQ+ community. The biggest target of these bills are our transgender and non-binary children. 

As a non-binary trauma therapist for the LGBTQ+ community I promise you this: no amount of conversion therapy, no denial of sports inclusion or lack of access to gender affirming care will “change anyone’s minds.

It will, however, succeed in killing us.

To every politician, health care provider, or hospital leader who feels like “playing both sides” by making deals with politicians who propose/support anti-LGBT legislation is acceptable: it is not. 

To every parent, guardian, or pastor who believes that Queer identity is – generously speaking –  “just confusion” or “the devil”: it is not. To every school administrator or board that thinks our childrens’ identities and basic rights are fair game for a school board to debate: they really are not. 

I guarantee: If you do not step it up and enact swift policy changes, you will be responsible for our statistics:

  • More than 1.8 million LGBTQ+ youth in the U.S. seriously consider suicide each year 
  • At least one LGBTQ+ child attempts suicide every 45 seconds in the U.S. 
  • Over 51% of transgender people have attempted suicide

As the Executive Director of Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, Trans Day of Visibility is even more important than ever because nobody seems to want to collect data and statistics about trans people while we are still alive. I struggle to prove the need for access to healthcare and housing because people aren’t asking. You know what stats we have plenty of statistics about? Our deaths: hate crimes, suicides, mass shootings. 

Let’s change that. On May 1, 2023 We are launching an LGBTQ+ behavioral health and wellness program, an expansion of our subsidized housing program and an emergency overnight shelter. We are also seeking to include intergenerational communal housing because of the definite lack of affirming shelters or retirement communities in Lancaster.

We have been delayed long enough. We need funding for an accessibility ramp and a sprinkler system for our space. More than anything we need to own our building to have autonomy and ability to expand. 

I am sure we can all agree that ALL children deserve a loving home, to play sports, to be called by their name, loved for who they are, and to not be shot in schools. Right?

The time of hiding hate behind so-called faith is over. Religious freedom can no longer be used as a veil for blatant discrimination. We deserve to love ourselves, our lives, and our partners without fear. We demand better from our society.

Lancaster’s GAYLA to Celebrate Community Changemakers is Back!

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

March 13, 2023

2023 Gayla: STARDUST RHAPSODY May 13th 2023

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition will celebrate Queer identity, found family, and the progress we’ve made at our 2nd GAYLA at the Holiday Inn Lancaster on the evening of Saturday, May 13th.

Our theme this year is STARDUST RHAPSODY. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in their celestial best starting at 6:00 pm. Michelle Johnsen will be on-site assisting with photography, MAJOR VIBES will provide the tunes, and an exclusive signature cocktail and mocktail will be available all night long. Awards ceremony ticket holders will join our Galactic MC Chi Chi Lazaro once again as we honor changemakers in the Lancaster community.

At 10:30 pm, everyone is invited to our cosmic jamboree at The Imperial!

Tickets are available for purchase here.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for this in-person event. Masks are highly encouraged, especially ones that are on-theme!