In 2015, a child of two of the founders came out to them as transgender. The founders looked into the local community to find therapeutic and/or social resources for their child to be their true authentic self without fear. For themselves, they looked for groups to guide and encourage them on how to navigate their own journey in providing support for their children. They found Dutchess County to be lacking in this area, with absolutely no resources within a reasonable travel distance. When the parents of two other teenagers came out as TGNC and found no local support, all parties decided that this void needed to be filled.
In January 2018, Dutchess County Pride Center was born, and the first social and support groups for LGBTQ+ teens and TGNC youth began. The community came out in force asking us for more services, and the founders soon realized that the need for community was much greater than they anticipated. Within that first year, DCPC’s programming more than doubled. This programming included groups for LGBTQ+ adults and more social events for teens, families and adults.
From the beginning, Dutchess County Pride Center's goals included supporting, educating and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, including LGBTQ+ youth. We wanted to accomplish this through outreach, support groups and social events. The vision was to become a true community center, with a focus on LGBTQ+ issues, where everyone feels free to be who they are.