June is National LGBTQ Pride Month

The ARCS team carries our banner through New Paltz at the 2009 Pride March.

The ARCS team carries our banner through New Paltz at the 2009 Pride March.

LATEST NEWS: View a photo slide show from the New Paltz Pride March and Festival!

June is National LGBTQ Pride Month, and several Hudson Valley communities are carrying on their annual Pride marches and festivals. ARCS participates in these celebrations of diversity and dignity to honor our roots as a spin-off of The LOFT LGBT Community Center, and because of the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis among men who have sex with men (MSMs).

New studies show that MSMs are newly infected with HIV at a rate 44 times higher than other men…and 40 times higher than women. ARCS has responded to these statistics by successfully creating a new program to educate young MSMs of color. We’re especially proud to be offering enhanced HIV prevention services to guys ages 16 through 24 in Westchester as of June 1st – and we are working hard to secure additional funding to expand the program to the entire Hudson Valley.

If you’re out and about at any of the upcoming LGBTQ Pride events, please stop by and say hi!

This June, you’ll find ARCS’ big red tent at the New Paltz Pride March and Festival on Sunday, June 6th and at Gay Pride Rockland in Nyack on Sunday, June 13th. Please stop by to say hello, pick up some free brochures and condoms, and fill out health surveys that help us plot the course of future programs. There are tons of Pride activities all week long at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, (the hosts of New Paltz Pride) so be sure to check them out.

ARCS will also be tabling at the Westchester County LGBT Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, June 9th at the County Center in White Plains from 6:30 to 8:30.

And don’t forget the Valley’s newest Pride event, Hudson Pride! This charming, quirky town has organized its first LGBT Pride march and festival on Sunday, June 20th. The fun kicks off with a sunset cruise on Saturday, June 19th from 7 to 9:30 pm.

For all the latest Pride happenings, be sure to check out our friends at BigGayHudsonValley.com, and for national events visit TheBody.com’s new Pride section.

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