Categorized | A Conversation With

David Kilmnick

Posted on 10 April 2013

David Kilmnick

By Annette Hinkle

David Kilmnick, Chief Executive Officer at Long Island Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Services Network, who is spearheading an effort to build a GLBT Community Center on the East End.

Who would an East End GLBT Community Center serve?

The primary focus initially would be teens and their families — parents, siblings and other members of their support system. There would also be a wider network including one serving seniors as well, which we currently do in the Hampton Bays senior center.

 

What sort of support and activities do you envision a GLBT facility offering?

A couple things – including some youth leadership. We would bring some of our programs in Garden City and Bay Shore to the East End. It doesn’t matter what sexual orientation a youth is, we want to get them involved in anti-bullying efforts and be part of our safe school team and get actively involved in change in our own community and schools. In the past couple years, there have been a dozen East End youth who wanted to take part but couldn’t travel to Bay Shore.

Now that they see this as a real possibility, it’s a movement, if you will. There are also lots of volunteer opportunities for members of the East End community, and arts and cultural programing as well, such as poets and lectures.

 

What can teens get from a GLBT center that they aren’t getting already from the community right now?

They’ll be able to get a safe space to just be themselves and hopefully just be a teen and not a life of choosing where to be out and where not to be out. It takes a lot of energy to hide. That energy could be better spent in developing leadership, focus on their health  and the decisions they make — as well as community engagement which they’re not able to get now on this level.

We also find the parents on the East End are itching to have a place to get involved on different levels. These are parents who want to be active. We have the only chapter of the gay Parent Teacher Student Association currently in Garden City and Bay Shore which we will extend out east. Parents can get involved on the support level or in individual and group counseling. Also important is HIV prevention and testing services.

 

Do you have any sense of numbers of potential clients who might use the center?

When you go across the age spectrum probably our client base would be a couple thousand in the first year — and I think there would be some focus on the migrant and immigrant communities that have been reaching out in a desperate voice.

 

What would be the ideal location for such a center?

I would say the Southampton/Bridgehampton area — it’s easily accessible by all of the East End and the North Fork as well.

 

So have you started checking out potential real estate yet?

We’re not at the point of looking at buildings. We want to make sure we have enough resources for three operating years — employing people, the building and economic development initiatives as well. We’d be hiring at least three people to keep the center open and manage volunteers – with that we’re looking to raise $1 million from the get go which would then give us the opportunity to apply for grants. It’s a relatively modest amount.

 

How have you see the need for a GLBT evolve over the last couple decades?

LIGALY [Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth] just celebrated 20 years. It’s a group I founded and from the get go I’ve been traveling to the East End to talk in schools. I see greater need than ever before for a center. Some people may not understand it. We ended ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and have marriage equality in New York. These are important equality measures, but that doesn’t get rid of homophobia and transphobia. Kids are still be thrown out of their homes and there are still some religious institutions that demonize GLBT folks.

The adults fighting for these rights forget what the kids are going through in schools and in their community. Some of the same challenges there 20 years ago are still there. The need to come out, to make healthy decisions and all aspects of their lives. For example, HIV is on rise again among young gay men on Long Island. It’s been 20 years and we’re kind of mirroring a little of the health crisis again. While we’ve seen things improve and more people are out, there are a lot more people reaching out who say ‘I want a place.’ Twenty years ago we said ‘It would be nice to have a center.’ Now it’s ‘We need a center.’

This Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m., the East End GLBT Center Advisory Committee meets at Southampton Town Hall (116 Hampton Road) in the lower level meeting room. All are invited to attend. Reserve by contacting Chris Scarpati at (516) 323-0011 or cscarpati@liglbtnetwork.org.

 

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One Response to “David Kilmnick”

  1. Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui says:

    Same-sex marriage is an injustice, a tyrannical ploy being perpetrated upon our society, the pernicious consequences of which are simply mocked and laughed at by its supporters. Ignorance and prejudice have taken the place of knowledge and reason. Caprice and passion substituted for prudence and virtue. The happiness of society, the good of all families, and the welfare of mankind fall victim to the injustice of selfish love, which calculates every thing for itself while taking no notice of a child’s best interest or the public advantage of a government promoting ONLY the traditional family unit.

    In the eyes of a child, same-sex marriage appears adulterous by nature. Someone is not present in his/her home who is his/her true mother or father. No good can come from adultery, only broken homes and broken hearts. At best, an adoptive virtuous heterosexual man and woman can soften the evil sustained by children of adultery, but same-sex proponents want their adulterous families to be considered normal and “equal” to a monogamous heterosexual marriage — which study after study has proven to be the best environment for child-rearing. There is simply no virtue in ignorance, or in denying truth.

    Here are two truths regarding marriage: (1) A man creating a family with another man is not equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.

    Same-sex marriage is unconformable to the state of a rational social being, it is defective in principle, and has ONLY a deceitful appearance to young and old because it defies Natural Law. All babies grow up to eventually understand that it takes a man and a woman to bring a new life into the world.

    At school, those kids who have two mothers or two fathers will be different, and the other children will notice that the child of a same-sex couple is different in many ways. Besides the obvious exclusion of either a mother or a father at home, a same-sex-marriage child is deprived of one necessary gender role model at home, and will undoubtedly interact differently than other children of his/her gender, and especially with regards to interacting with the opposite sex of his/her same-sex parents. It is without a doubt that these children will be recognized to be different by the children who have a mother and a father at home, and especially when they have both of their biological parents at home.

    In order to protect the child of a same-sex marriage from any perceived harassment, that child will become a special protected class in the eyes of the government. School officials will have to punish and “re-educate” any child who “offends” the protected-class child by simply expressing that it seems strange that the child of the same-sex marriage is missing a mother or a father, or that the child acts in a manner unusual to his gender contemporaries.

    This unjust punishment to subvert the natural sensibilities of children is evidence enough that same-sex families do not adhere to core principles of Natural Law, and because same-sex marriage defies Natural Law, pernicious consequences are inevitably. To punish a child for simply saying what he knows is true (all children have a mother and a father) is nothing less than a tyrannical oppression of children who instinctively rely upon Nature’s Laws to help them understand life and natural consequences. Children will be coerced to accept as “natural” what are unnatural behaviors, and this challenge to their instinctual knowledge of right and wrong will result in confusion. A morally-confused child is more susceptible to evil and perversion than one who is confident in his knowledge of right and wrong. Evil-doers know this, and will thrive in a society that indoctrinates its children to see no inherent evil in disregarding Natural Laws. Alas, those who support same-sex marriage have apparently fallen too far into the depravity of tolerating licentiousness themselves to realize or acknowledge the harm and injustice same-sex marriage imposes upon our children and thus our society. Society institutionalizes marriage to enforce the natural rights and obligations of the organic family.

    Marriage was instituted to protect the Natural Rights of children. Same-sex marriage ignores nature and tramples those rights in the name of “equality”.


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