FIERCE Gets Fierce Over Battle for Pier 40 Redevelopment


The aptly-name GLBT advocacy group FIERCE is protesting hard to help determine the fate of Manhattan’s Hudson River Park. In a White Paper jointly released yesterday with the New York’s Urban Justice Center, FIERCE is calling on the State of New York to expand access to Pier 40 — a popular hangout for GLBT youth, particularly kids of color.

In the FIERCE proposal, part of Pier 40 — where Houston Street meets the Hudson — would be transformed into a 15,000 square foot community center dedicated to the needs of GLBT kids who frequent the area. Along with giving the kids a place to hang safely — the center would also serve as a retreat from local law enforcement types, whom the young Queers claim harass them. It would also offer education counseling, job referrals and services for homeless GLBT kids. And a place to seek refuge after the Pier’s 1am curfew.

At the moment, Pier 40 needs more than $50 million worth of repairs, according to the Hudson River Park Trust, which manages the area. Repair bids are currently being accepted from private development firms, with FIERCE demanding that any eventual upgrade plans include the proposed community center.

Over the past year and one-half, FIERCE has both held protests (as seen above) and collected thousands of signatures from local residents and business leaders in support of its cause.

With their close proximity to Christopher Street, Pier 40 — and the Westside Piers in general — have been a haven for Queer teens and young adults for decades. Indeed, they served as a dominant backdrop for cult-Queer-youth-of-color films, such as 1990’s Paris is Burning.

Both the debate — and the FIERCEness — will rage on.


One Response to “FIERCE Gets Fierce Over Battle for Pier 40 Redevelopment”

  1. […] NEW YORK TIMES: Copying Us Again! It’s been nearly a week since we told you about LGBT activist group FIERCE’s battle to have part of Manhattan’s Pier 40 […]

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