With 4.5 million people expected to partake in NYC Pride and WorldPride this month, the state has opened a rainbow-colored Welcome Center to teach visitors about New York’s role in the LGBTQ rights movement.
At 112 Christopher St., just steps from the Stonewall National Monument, the space features a deconstructed pride flag on its ceiling and rainbow colors across its shelves and in its lighting. Visitors can take a picture at a selfie wall with an LGBTQ-themed "I Love NY" logo, too.
But it’s not just about the colors. The center will have a timeline gallery that includes information about everything from the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis during the 1950s to the Stonewall uprising in the ’60s and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing the state’s Marriage Equality Act in 2011.
"Our state is a beacon of progress because, as New Yorkers, we celebrate diversity and ensure that our laws reflect our values," Alphonso David, counsel to the governor, said in a statement. "The WorldPride Welcome Center, which pays tribute to the activists who fought for LGBTQ equality, embodies this great spirit of perseverance and unity."
Visitors can test their knowledge in I LOVE NY kiosks and create a travel profile that recommends Pride-themed attractions based on their interests.
There are hundreds of events planned to mark the month, including marches across boroughs, barbecues, art exhibits, concerts and much, much more.
The center, which was created in partnership between the state, NYC Pride/Heritage of Pride and the LGBT Community Center, opened officially on Saturday.
"This needed Welcome Center will provide important information to educate visitors on the Stonewall Uprising, our rich history, and the varied destinations throughout New York City and State," Chris Frederick, the executive director of NYC Pride, said in a statement. "We encourage everyone to visit the WorldPride Welcome Center in the heart of the West Village and begin your journey to one of what will be millions of moments of Pride this historic year."