• Hudson Pride: Serving the LGBTQ+ Population in Hudson County

    Written by:

    June is Pride Month nationally, so there’s no better time to shed some light on a very important non-profit in Hudson County: Hudson Pride, located in Jersey City. Hudson Pride is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community-based organization located in Jersey City, which is also home to the largest LGBTQ community in New Jersey. Established in the 1990s, this wonderful organization serves as an advocate and social service provider for both the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities in Hudson County. 25 years later, they continue to deliver necessary and unique services, programs, and events to help the community. We got to sit down with the head of Hudson Pride, Elizabeth Schedl, to learn more.

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    About Hudson Pride

    Situated in Jersey City, one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in this country and home to the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community in New Jersey. According to its website, Hudson Pride was established in the early 1990s to serve as an advocate and social service provider for both the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities in Hudson County at a time when few organizations in our area were willing and able to do so. They offer a ton of programs to LGBTQ population.

    Hudson Pride’s Current Programs

    Some of these programs include:

    • – Social/educational groups for LGBTQ youth and for LGBTQ seniors;
    • – Specialized support groups for transgender individuals and for gay/bisexual men;
    • – HIV prevention support group for women of color (of any sexual orientation);
    • – Linkage to HIV care services for HIV-infected men who have sex with men, transgender women and women of color who have fallen out of HIV medical care or have never accessed such care;
    • – HIV treatment adherence counseling for HIV+ men who have sex with men, HIV+ transgender women and HIV+ women of color (of any sexual orientation);
    • – HIV Pre-Exposure Prevention (PrEP) counseling and linkage to PrEP healthcare services for HIV-negative gay/bisexual men and transgender women delivered in either English or Spanish;
    • – Transgender-affirming counseling for accessing necessary documentation for gender marker changes, hormone replacement therapy and gender affirming surgical interventions;
    • – Brief (4 session) support counseling for LGBTQ individuals to assess their counseling needs and to allow time to secure linkage to on-going counseling with a matched LGBTQ-affirming provider;
    • – LGBTQ-affirming service referrals, mentoring, and career development;
    • – LGBTQ intern program for BSW and MSW students and other disciplines, as appropriate;
    • – LGBTQ-focused community programs and events (e.g., delivering student-targeted HS and college presentations, hosting our annual LGBTQ youth prom, open-mic nights or monthly Lez-Fest gatherings, tabling at local cultural festivals, co-sponsoring Jersey City Pride and Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil, arranging HIV Testing and Health Screen events, etc.);
    • – LGBTQ youth-focused education focusing on issues related to HIV/STI prevention, alcohol/drug prevention, intimate partner violence, LGBTQ history, Healthy Relationships and Anti-bullying;
    • – LGBTQ-focused continuing professional education programs for health, academic and social service providers on topics such as Human Sexuality in LGBTQ-Affirming Care, HIV Care & Prevention, Minority Stress & Health Disparities, and LGBTQ Stigma and Oppression.

    Upcoming Pride Events 

    June is Pride nationally and August is Pride Month for Hudson County. Elizabeth notes that while the center has a ton of events throughout the year, in both June and August there are even more. “Our LGBTQ+ Youth Prom was held on June 15th at the Hudson County Culinary Arts Institute in Jersey City. This is an event for Queer youth and our allies to come and celebrate prom in a safe space with the date of their choice and in the attire of their choice.” The event is free and open to all youth ages 15-22.

    “Kids come from all over the state and sometimes even New York,” Elizabeth explains. Hudson Pride is also marching in the New York Pride March on June 30thand have slots open if anyone wants to march with their organization {email elizabeth@hudsonpride.org}. For August Hudson County Pride, Hudson Pride is working with cities throughout the entire county on flag raisings and pride events.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    Hudson pride loves having volunteers, especially for their events. You can apply online www.hudsonpride.org. Currently they are looking for volunteers to help with events for the most part — with tons of opportunities coming up for Hudson County Pride.

    How can LGBTQ+ allies help locally?

    Allies can help by becoming educated about LGBTQ+ culture and people, Elizabeth says. “Respect our gender identities, pronouns, and sexuality, and learn about our needs and the disparities we face in our community, our state, and our nation.” While we have made so much progress in our county over the last 50 years, we still have a long way to go in the fight for equality.

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    The Hudson Pride center also has a toiletries drive that they host continually — toiletries are needed on a regular basis for LGBTQ youth and adults who are homeless and in need. They  can be dropped off or contact the organization for a way to connect and get them to those who need.

    Written by:

    Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hoboken Girl. She started the site to discover and share the wealth of things happening in Hudson County. Her roots in the area extend to her maternal grandparents, who owned two textile factories in Weehawken and North Bergen. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event/volunteer project or editing her life away, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog + rescue pup, or watching the latest murder doc on Netflix with her husband.