If someone was going to decide to help spark a relaunch of Atlantic City N.J.’s LGBTQ+ community, who better than hometown favorite/author Laurie Greene? Not only is Greene a noted author (her book Drag Queens and Beauty Queens: Contesting Femininity in the World’s Playground is a must), but she is both a Stockton University Associate Professor of Anthropology as well as a board member to the newly minted AC Pride. As an organization “dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of the diverse LGBTQIA+ community in the greater Atlantic City region”, AC Pride has a three pronged series of initiatives; Meet-Ups & Social Events, Visibility & Commemoration Initiatives, & Community Outreach & Health Initiatives. Truly lofty goals for an area, like Asbury Park before it, with a vibrant LGBTQ community ready to bring thriving community back.
Greene also has some of Atlantic City’s most high-profile LGBTQ community members working along side her on this initiative. Nightlife luminaries like Sandy Beach, Morgan Wells and Joy Marnier add their own sparkling take on Atlantic City’s LGBTQ history, and are joining some of the other ‘Originals’ like Mortimer Spreng & Ten’e Long on stage, reuniting for Easily Offended?-Get Out Now! on October 22nd to celebrate AC’s LGBTQ history and its roots in the Gayborhood bars on New York Avenue. (The recent official kick-off for AC Pride was at Anchor Rock Club with the iconic Lady Bunny DJ’ing and providing her own classic dose of hilarity)!
For Greene, preserving the elder voices in our community is a crucial part of her own passion, as well as AC Pride’s. She told The Press Of Atlantic City “collecting video diaries and narratives from older people in the gay community to talk about their experiences,” she said. “Part of the reason that’s so important as restorative history is one, because marginalized communities don’t often get to tell their history, but also because AIDS wiped out a good part of the generations here in the city and there’s a sort of hole in younger gay people’s knowledge about their community and the contributions it’s made”
Speaking of Ocean Casino Resort, they’re dedication to the LGBTQ community continues, with events coming up in 2021 such as the Off-Broadway smash My Big Gay Italian Christmas making a splash at Ovation Hall on 12/18 (tickets available here). From Ocean Casino Resort’s perspective, partnering up with AC Pride was a natural fit. Liza Costandino, Ocean Casino Resort’s Director of Public Relations & Social Media says “With it’s dedication to preserving the rich history of Atlantic City’s LGBTQ community as well as looking toward its bright future, Ocean Casino Resort is proud to partner with AC Pride. We look forward to working more with them on their various community initiatives and are excited to continue outreaching to and working closely with with New Jersey’s LGBTQ community.”
For more information on Ocean Casino Resort, check out their website
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