Generation Q celebrates grand opening of Forest Hills location

Generation Q celebrates grand opening of Forest Hills location
By Steven Goodstein

A Queens program for LGBTQ youth has moved to a new, more accessible location in Forest Hills.

Generation Q held a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 28 to celebrate the grand opening of its brand new center located at 107-20 71st Road.

The new Generation Q center, located just off Austin Street, is easier to reach than its previous location and is within close proximity to Queens Boulevard as well as the 71st St-Continental Ave. transportation hub.

For almost 20 years, Generation Q, a program of Queens Community House, has provided a safe, secure environment for the LGBTQ community’s youth as well as their allies and supporters.

Nearly 100 supporters, which included participants and partners, attended the event, along with City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights)and Larry Menzie, who founded the program in 1999.

“I hope that each time a young person walks into this space they feel special and welcome,” Menzie said. “When they are here, it should be a moment they never forget.”

Menzie started Generation Q in his living room back in April 1999 and would actively recruit new young people and invite them to participate in the program. It became incorporated with QHC in 2001 as a once-a-week program by the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee.

In 2004, the Pride Committee asked Queens Community House to take over Generation Q’s operation, based on its extensive experience with youth development programs along with their demonstrated commitment to the LGBTQ community.

Generation Q has been expanded to a five-day-per-week program, now offering a variety of LGBT health, wellness and support services, which include counseling, health workshops, social events, support groups and other beneficial activities.

The new center in Forest Hills is the organization’s only Generation Q location.

The Generation Q center was previously located in the bottom level of a public housing unit on 62nd Drive and Colonial Avenue for nearly a decade.

“I’m excited about this new space, in part because it has so much more accessibility to public transit,” said Ben Thomases, executive director for Queens Community House. “It has huge growth potential and sitting on top of this transit hub, we have the opportunity to bring young people from all over the borough.”

QCH has provided a wide network of comprehensive services to Queens residents, families and communities since its founding in 1975. In total, QCH has 32 sites in 14 neighborhoods across the borough. The organization, which supports 22,000 people annually, is also a member of United Neighborhood Houses.

To learn more about Generation Q, like its Facebook Page @GenerationQRules or visit www.qchnyc.org.

Reach Steven Goodstein by e-mail at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.