June 5: The Day of Acceptance

Warwick. Hosted by the Warwick Valley Community Center’s Living Well program and the Gay Straight Alliance, the event celebrates LGBTQ Pride month

| 18 May 2021 | 08:31

The Day of Acceptance event welcomes the community to Stanley Deming Park on Saturday, June 5, from 5.30 to 8.30 p.m.

Hosted by the Warwick Valley Community Center’s Living Well program and the Gay Straight Alliance, the event celebrates LGBTQ Pride month with a Day of Acceptance, including speakers, performers, art display, craft tents and music.

‘One of the most impactful tools to society’

Being accepted is one of the most important challenges facing youth who identify as LGBTQ – Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, said Ellie Hanson, high school senior and current President of the Community Center’s Living Well G.S.A.

“I think that acceptance is one of the most impactful tools to society,” Hanson said. “We’ve seen statistically that by simply accepting each other and showing compassion we can decrease suicide rates in Queer teens by 37 percent.”

Every 45 seconds

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, according to a 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with LGBTQ youth being four times more likely to seriously consider or attempt suicide than their peers – that’s one 13-24 year old every 45 seconds in the U.S., according to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people under 25.

Supportive and accepting communities are less likely to have youth who engage in harmful behavior. The Warwick Community Center, supported by the Orange County Youth Bureau and the Village and Town of Warwick, provides an important support network for young adults with a range of youth leadership programs, opportunities for public service, and involvement in arts events.

Each year, Wickham Works, whose re-use Maker Space is located at the center, designs art projects to engage creatively with its Youth Advisory Board and G.S.A.

“Just being able to come together and socialize while doing something creative with your hands can create that safe, inclusive space, giving teens a sense of community and well-being,” said Creative Director Melissa Shaw-Smith. “This season, we’re using the excess number of bubble mailers flooding into our homes to make colorful art to display in the stores on Main Street and at the Day of Acceptance.”

‘Illuminate Pride’ at 8 p.m.

Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard will officially “Illuminate Pride” by lighting the art display at 8 p.m., followed by dancing.

“I am so pleased that we are beginning to be able to have events,” the mayor said. “The Day of Acceptance is a wonderful celebration as it helps give voice, speaks of acceptance and empowers our LGBTQ community. It is so vital, especially after the alienation of the past year we can remind ourselves of the importance of connection and inclusivity.”


All are welcome - youth and family friendly. Rain date is Sunday, June 6. The event will follow state guidelines regarding masks and distancing.

“Acceptance is, from my perspective, a complete gain: it costs nothing to do, and can help both your community and your own personal state by adding positivity to people’s lives. Through the amazing queer organizations I am honored to represent, we have always sought to advocate for a safe haven for all. I believe that in the past three years of my involvement we have been successful in providing senses of love and safety for all of our participants, and I am overjoyed to see the legacy of love and acceptance not only continue, but grow.”
Ellie Hanson, high school senior and current president of the Warwick Community Center’s Living Well Gay Straight Alliance.