David Juehren - and Me - As seen at the LOFT's Spring Garden Party on June 5th. David was recently honored by Westchester County's Board.

David Juhren - BGHV's Stephan - As seen at the LOFT's Spring Garden Party on June 5th. David was recently honored by Westchester County's Board.

For David Juhren, June is a great time to get people talking about issues dear to him — and remind them that gay people are important members in the community.

They are among the doctors, lawyers, nurses, pharmacists, teachers and other professionals so important here, yet are still denied some basic human rights, said Juhren, executive director of The LOFT, a nonprofit serving the Lower Hudson Valley.

“It’s about visibility. We are not a visible minority, but we’re all over the place,” Juhren said. “At least it keeps people talking.”

June is LGBT Pride Month and it’s an opportunity to celebrate the pride movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, he said.

It was born out of the Stonewall Riots in 1969 when demonstrators protested, some violently, an early morning police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.

“It was basically our shot heard around the world,” Juhren said. “We’re celebrating how far we’ve come, but also how far we have to go.”

Since this community is still denied benefits and rights afforded to other minorities, it’s important to keep issues such as gay marriage, equality and basic human rights in the public domain, he said.

The Westchester County Board of Legislators recognized members of the LGBT community at the reception on June 21st.

With a theme of “Working Together with Pride,” the board will present members of Westchester Pride Coalition, an umbrella group of the county’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community with a proclamation.

The board’s event is all about celebrating the historic achievements while recognizing the impact such individuals have had on the world, said Tara Martin, spokesman for the county board.

By Gerald McKinstry, Reprinted from the Westchester Journal News, June 21st