Office of LGBTQ Affairs

Office of LGBTQ Affairs

 

Marsha P. Johnson Monument

Click here to learn more about Elizabeth native and LGBTQ+ civil rights activist MARSHA P. JOHNSON.

Join the family of Marsha P. Johnson to honor her legacy and tonight her work with a monument in her hometown.

Contact

Danni Newbury, Coordinator
Phone: 908 527-4742
Email:  dnewbury@ucnj.org

County of Union Administration Building
Office of LGBTQ Affairs, 2nd Floor
Dept of Economic Development
10 Elizabethtown Plaza
Elizabeth, NJ 07207

About / ContactEventsQueer Empowerment HourYouth OUT LoudLGBTQ ResourcesKnow Your RightsMarsha P. Johnson Our Work (Highlights)

About / Contact

Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, under the Department of Economic Development, was established by the Freeholder Board in 2018 and is the first county government office of its kind in the State of New Jersey – one of four government offices in the nation to support the LGBTQ community, of which only two are county government offices.

Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs offers a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serves as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.

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    Events Hosted by the County of Union


    Queen Empowerment Hours

    Visit the tab above for dates


    Union County Teams up for the AIDS Walk New York

    With team captain Patrick Koslecki, UC LGBTQ+ Ad Hoc Committee member

    Sunday, May 15, 2022

    Central Park, NYC

    Register to walk with the team


    Union County Pride Flag Raising

    Wednesday, June 1 at 1PM – 2PM

    Union County Courthouse (2 Broad St, Elizabeth)


    LGBTQ: Say It gallery exhibit

    Friday, June 3 at 6PM – 10PM opening night

    Atelier Rosal, 74 East Cherry Street, Rahway

    Presented in partnership with the City of Rahway


    SAGE Table Community Lunch  – an intergenerational lunch to share stories and connect our community

    Sunday, June 12 at Noon – 3PM

    Plainfield Performing Arts Center, 724 Park Ave, Plainfield

    Presented in partnership with the City of Plainfield and SAGE

    Registration Required

    Register Online


    LGBTQ+ Trivia Night

    Thursday, June 16 at 6PM – 9PM

    Please note the change of date

    The Tavern at Ash Brook, 1210 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains

    Registration Required

    Register Online


    Union County Pride in the Park, Plainfield – GRAND OPENING OF NEW INCLUSIVE PARK SPACE

    Saturday, June 18 12PM – 4PM

    Tëmike Park in Cedar Brook Park (Plainfield)


    Queer Empowerment Hour: We Say Gay, the impact of anti-LGBTQ+ state laws and patchwork legal protections across the country

    Monday, June 20 at 7PM

    Virtual discussion

    Register Online


    LGBTQ+ Professionals Mixer

    Date changed to Wednesday June 22 at 6PM to 10PM

    The Watt, 1403 Irving Street, Rahway

    Presented in partnership with the Rahway SID

    Registration Required

    Register Online


    Youth Pride Dance (13+)

    Date changed to Friday, June 24 6PM – 8PM

    Warinanco Sports Center, Roselle/Elizabeth

    Registration Required (student ID required at check in)

    NOTICE: all participating students will need to be dropped off and picked up by legal guardian, with consent form.

    Register Online


    Head Over Heels the musical

    Thursday, June 30 at 7PM

    Union County Performing Arts Center, 1601 Irving St, Rahway

    General Admission – Free Tickets Available at 732-499-8226 or ucpac.org

    Presented in partnership with the City of Rahway and Rahway Social Justice Commission

    Community Events

    Click here to submit your events


    Plainfield Pride Flag Raising and Block Party

    Brief flag raising followed by celebration on the Plaza and street. Join us for music, food trucks and Pride!

    Thursday, June 9, 2022 6:30pm to 9:30pm

    Black Lives Matter Plaza, City Hall 515 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey



    Springfield Pride Month Flag Raising

    Wednesday, June 1, 2022 / Rain Date: Thursday, June 2, 2022

    Chisholm Community Center (front parking lot), 100 South Springfield Avenue

    4:30 pm

    More details to be announced. Click here to RSVP.

    Questions? Contact the Springfield Recreation Department at 973-912-2227 or at recreation@springfield-nj.us

     

     

    Queer Empowerment Hour

    A virtual hour-long conversation with some of New Jersey’s dedicated LGBTQ+ advocates, community leaders, and allies. QUEER EMPOWERMENT HOUR will explore LGBTQ+ specific topics and offer stories and discussions involving queer folks from different backgrounds and experiences. All are welcome! Come with an open mind, leave with a new understanding. The QUEER EMPOWERMENT HOURS will be held via the Zoom platform and live streamed on the County of Union’s Facebook page.

    2022

    Click here to pre-register

    Monday, April 18: Workplace Inclusion (the benefits of acceptance at work)

    Monday, May 16: Intersectionality (a discussion of privilege and discrimination)

    Monday, June 20: We Say Gay (the impact of anti-LGBTQ+ state laws and patchwork legal protections across the country)

    Monday, July 18: Guest Host / Topic TBD

    Monday, August 15: Guest Host / Topic TBD

    Monday, September 19: Family Planning (pathways to LGBTQ+ parenthood)

    Monday, October 17: Policy in LGBTQ+ History (the residual effects of historical laws and policies)

    Monday, November 21: Transgender Awareness (how to be an ally to transgender folks)

    Monday, December 5: HIV/AIDS (overcoming pandemics – end the epidemic and COVID-19)

    2021 Archive

    Youth & Bullying | The effects of bullying on LGBTQ+ youth)

    The “+” in LGBTQ+ | Learn more about different identities

    Mental Health | Mental health professionals discuss LGBTQ+ issues

    The History of PRIDE | How Pride came to be & where we are now)

    Love Makes a Family | Hear from people all of different family structures)

    LGBTQ+ Elders | Get to know the experiences from multiple generations

    Faith & LGBTQ+ | Queer inclusion throughout different houses of worship

    Coming Out | Celebrate coming out & share experiences

    Trans Youth | Learn how to be an ally to transgender & nonbinary youth

    Queer Sex Ed | Healthcare & STI prevention/awareness

    2020 Archive

    Being a Supportive Parent to a Queer Person

    Queer Pioneers and Activists

    Transgender Identity and Inclusion

    Being Queer in the Military

    Ally Talk – Hear from Straight Friends and Advocates

    Faith and LGBTQueer+ Panel

    Youth OUT Loud

    Union County invites you to celebrate National Coming Out Day and participate in the ‘Youth OUT Loud’ poster project organized by the Office of LGBTQ Affairs.

    YOUTH OUT LOUD – The Unity Project: Empowering LGBTQ Youth and Allies to be Visible

    Union County high-school and middle-school youth are invited to help us honor National Coming Out Day and celebrate the strength of our diversity by participating in the YOUTH OUT LOUD – The Unity Project: Empowering LGBTQ Youth and Allies to be Visible organized by the Office of LGBTQ Affairs.

    Design a pencil and ink poster that celebrates uniqueness and amplifies a collective affirming voice for inclusion. Complete the form below to upload your poster design. Please note that the public display of artwork is intentionally anonymous, so we ask that all work submitted to this project does not contain the name of the artist within the artwork when submitted. Please note that accepted submissions will appear on this webpage and will be used in a publication to be provided to local public libraries and public school libraries. By submitting artwork you agree to these terms.

    LGBTQ Resouces

    101

    What does it mean to be transgender? What’s the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity? What does LGBTQ even stand for? The following resources answer basic questions like these in terms that beginners can understand.

    LGBT 101: An Introduction to the Queer Community

    This seven-minute informational video serves as a basic introduction to gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

    LGBTQ | How You See Me

    People have been talking ABOUT the LGBTQ community, so we decided to talk with them to learn from their experiences.

    LGBT 101: An Introduction to the Queer Community

    This seven-minute informational video serves as a basic introduction to gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

    An Ally’s Guide to Terminology 

    The words we use to discuss LGBT people and issues can have a powerful impact on our conversations. The right words help open people’s hearts and minds, while others can create distance or confusion. This guide serves as a resource for new allies who want to support LGBT Americans but aren’t sure how to begin those conversations. 

    Website

    Gender Pronouns, Get Them Right! | MTV Life

    YouTube’s Jake Edwards breaks down the history of pronouns and offers a few solid points on why it’s so important to use a person’s correct pronouns.

    Advocacy

    Garden State Equality

    Garden State Equality is the New Jersey’s statewide advocacy and education organization for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

    973-509-5428

    E-mail

    Website

    True Colors Fund

    The True Colors Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, creating a world in which young people can be their true selves.

    212-461-4401

    Contact

    Website

    Human Rights Campaign

    Information coming soon

    Arts

    Queer-Art

    QUEER|ART is a non-profit arts organization serving a diverse and vibrant community of LGBTQ artists across generations and disciplines. The mission of Queer-Art is to create a diverse and vibrant community through the support of LGBTQ art and artists across generations and disciplines.

    E-mail

    Website

    Business Development

    National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce – NGLCC

    The NGLCC is the business voice of the LGBT community, the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people, and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses.

    202-234-9181

    E-mail

    Website

    New Jersey LGBT Chamber

    973-869-9567

    E-mail

    Website

    Union County Department of Economic Development

    908-527-4802

    Website

    Union County Economic Development Corporation – UCEDC

    908-527-1166

    E-mail

    Website

    Civil Rights

    ACLU New Jersey

    The ACLU of New Jersey works to defend liberty throughout our state. We are involved in litigation and advocacy on behalf of individuals, and we lobby on scores of bills in the state legislature and local councils. In addition, the ACLU is active in many public education and community organizing projects. The ACLU of New Jersey is located in Newark. We implement legal, legislative, public education programs in conjunction with large numbers of volunteers to advance the ACLU’s goals of liberty and justice for all.

    973-642-2084

    Website

    Lambda Legal (National Headquarters, New York City)

    Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. 

    212-809-8585

    Contact

    Website

    New Jersey Division on Civil Rights

    DCR is a part of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General /Department of Law and Public Safety and is the agency responsible for investigating discrimination complaints and eradicating illegal discrimination in New Jersey. DCR is comprised of investigators, attorneys, and professional support staff.  We serve as a fair and impartial forum for addressing claims that the LAD or the Family Leave Act has been violated.  Our main focus is to investigate claims of discrimination in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation (e.g., schools, stores, parks).

    Central Regional Office 609-292-4605

    Northern Regional Office 973-648-2700

    E-mail

    Website

    Human Rights Campaign: State Maps of Laws & Policies

    This resource provides an up-to-date national map of state laws and policies that affect the LGBTQ community.

    Website

    ACLU Know Your Rights: HIV and Civil Rights in the Workplace

    United States law protects anyone with AIDS or HIV from job discrimination. This resource explains the legal rights of HIV-positive people in the workplace.

    Website

    ACLU Know Your Rights: Transgender People and the Law

    This resource provides answers to 28 frequently asked questions about the legal rights of transgender Americans.

    Website

    ACLU Know Your Rights: LGBT High School Students

    Under the U.S. Constitution, public schools have to address any harassment against LGBT students the same way they would address harassment against any other student. This resource goes over the Constitutional rights of LGBTQ students and offers suggestions for how to put them into action.

    Website

    Criminal Justice

    Moving Beyond Bias: How To Ensure Access to Justice for LGBT People

    This curriculum was created by Lambda Legal to provide a model for educating judges, attorneys and other legal professionals about sexual orientation, gender identity and the needs of LGBT people in the legal system. 

    Website

    ACLU’s Know Your Rights: Transgender Prisoners

    Each transgender person’s experience in prison and jail is different, in part because the conditions vary a great deal from one prison to another and change over time. However, the safety and health of every transgender prisoner in the United States is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution no matter where the prisoner is held. This resource explains the rights of transgender people in prison.

    Website

    Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People

    LGBT people are over-represented in the criminal justice system. This series of reports, videos, and info-graphics highlights personal stories of LGBT people impacted by the criminal justice system and spotlights innovative programs, initiatives and organizations from around the country.

    Website

    Lambda Legal (National Headquarters, NYC)

    Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. 

    212-809-8585

    Contact

    Website

    Education and School

    Welcoming Schools (a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

    HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools is the nation’s premier professional development program providing training and resources to elementary school educators to welcome diverse families, create LGBTQ and gender inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students.

    Information coming soon

    GLSEN (Central New Jersey Chapter)

    GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) is a United States-based education organization championing LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990. GLSEN’s mission is to create safe and affirming schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

    Information coming soon

    Resource for Educators and School Administrators – NJ Department of Education Transgender Guidance for School Districts

    State statute (N.J.S.A. 18A:36-41) directs the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education to establish guidelines to provide direction for schools in addressing common issues concerning the needs of transgender students, and to assist schools in establishing policies and procedures that ensure a supportive and nondiscriminatory environment for transgender students.

    Information coming soon

    Employment

    Safe Spaces – Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

    415-694-6500

    E-mail

    Website

    Family, Parenting, Adoption

    Family Equality Council

    646-880-3005

    Website

    Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

    Website

    Children, Youth and Adults with an LGBT Parent (COLAGE)

    Website

    National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Family Protection Project

    Information coming soon

    Human Rights Campaign: All Children-All Families

    202-628-4160

    E-mail

    Website

    Health

    HIV-AIDS, STD Prevention – Hyacinth

    The mission of Hyacinth is to help people live with HIV, slow the spread of the epidemic, and serve as a critical voice in the public debate surrounding AIDS in New Jersey.

    Plainfield 908-755-0021

    Hotline 800-433-0254

    Regional Office Website

    HIV-AIDS – Iris House

    Iris House saves lives through comprehensive support, prevention and education services for women, families, and under served populations affected by HIV/AIDS and other health disparities in a safe, family-centered environment by passionate, professional and culturally competent staff.

    Plainfield 908-561-5057

    E-mail

    Website

    Mental Health

    Information coming soon

    Substance Abuse

    Information coming soon

    Mental Health / Suicide Prevention – The Trevor Project

    1-866-488-7386

    E-mail

    Website

    Homelessness

    Runaway – National Runaway Safeline

    The National Runaway Safeline is there to listen if you are thinking of running away or already have. The Safeline, available by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY, text at 66008, or instant message on their website, can help connect you to resources for runaway youth in your area.

    1-800-RUNAWAY or 1-800-786-2929

    Online Services

    Website

    Youth Shelter – Community Access Unlimited Union County Shelter and Runaway & Homeless Youth Shelter

    The Union County Runaway & Homeless Youth Shelter has a vision to halt the cycle of homelessness by offering various programs that will enable youth to move forward to a safer, healthier, and more productive lifestyle within the community.

    908-354-3040 Extension 242

    Toll Free 908-354-3096

    24 Hour Access 908-413-4261

    Runaway Hotline: 1-800-RUNAWAY

    E-mail

    Website

    Housing – Union County Department of Human Services Continuum of Care/Homeless Unit

    Union County offers a wide array of housing options and services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including: emergency shelter, permanent housing and supportive services; street outreach, engagement and case management; and prevention strategies. This resources provides more information on how to access services.

    908-527-4874 or 908-527-4861

    E-mail

    Website

    Youth Shelter – Covenant House

    Covenant House provides trauma-informed, resilience-focused housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness – offering a safe shelter for LGBTQ and trafficked youth.

    Elizabeth 908-354-4750

    Newark Crisis Center 973-621-8705

    E-mail

    Website

    TIP Sheet: Working with Homeless LGBTQ+ Youth

    If you are working with homeless youth, you are almost guaranteed to encounter a client that identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ). This resource explains some of the unique challenges homeless LGBTQ youth face and includes a list of additional resources.

    Information Coming soon

    Youth Shelter – RAIN Foundation (Essex County)

    The RAIN Foundation is a 501(c)3 non profit that provides emergency shelter services to address the emergent need of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals experiencing crisis leading to homelessness. Our programs promote self-sufficiency and independence to enhance our residents’ ability to function within their communities. Our programs aim to help adolescents lead healthy, productive and meaningful lives.

    973-675-6780

    Website

    Monarch Housing Associates

    29 Alden Street, Suite 1B Cranford, NJ 07016

    908-272-5363

    Older Adults

    SAGE: Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders

    National Headquarters in New York City 212-741-2247

    Contact

    Website

    SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline

    1-888-234-SAGE or 1-888-234-7243

    E-mail

    Website

    Union County Division on Aging and Disabilities Resource Connection (ADRC)

    Information coming soon

    People of Color

    Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) Mental Health: Rest for Resistance

    QTPOC face a variety of unique challenges when seeking mental healthcare. Rest for Resistance is a blog with articles written for and by QTPOC on a variety of mental health topics.

    E-mail

    Website

    Intersectional Mental Health Directory: Concerns of LGBTQ & POC Communities

    This resource is a directory of existing articles that address mental health through the lens of POC, trans, queer and/or disabled trauma-survivors and others living at intersections of oppression. 

    Information coming soon

    Resource for Providers of Service – When Health Care Isn’t Caring: LGBT People of Color and People of Color Living with HIV

    This report examines experiences with refusal of care and barriers to health care access among LGBT People of Color. The report also offers key recommendations for organizations and individual service providers.

    Information coming soon

    Transgender-Specific

    A Legal Guide for Trans People and Their Advocates

    Within this Transgender Rights Toolkit, readers will find answers to many questions that transgender people and their advocates may ask as they navigate through life. This toolkit is meant to be a resource and advocacy tool designed to educate and empower a community often left outside the walls of power.

    Legal Guide

    Why Pronouns Matter For Trans People

    A person’s gender is always valid. Even if you don’t understand. Remember, when it comes to pronouns it’s about respect. 

    New Jersey ID Document Change Laws and Procedures

    A link to laws and procedures on how to get a legal name change in New Jersey and update your name/gender on state and federal IDs and records.

    Procedures

    Resource for New Jersey School Districts – Transgender Student Guidance for School Districts

    This guidance was prepared by the New Jersey Department of Education after a review of policies and guidance from other states and organizations, and in consultation with educators, counselors, school psychologists, advocates, and parents. The intended purpose of this guidance is to help school and district administrators take steps to create an inclusive environment in which transgender and gender nonconforming students feel safe and supported, and to ensure that each school provides equal educational opportunities for all students, in compliance with N.J.A.C. 6A:7-1.1 et seq.

    Guidance

    Resource for New Jersey School Districts – Resources and Professional Development Opportunities for School and District Staff

    Information coming soon

    Youth

    HMI: New Jersey – Hetrick-Martin Institute

    HMI: New Jersey provides free year-round programs and services for LGTBQ youth and allies ages 13-21 … HMI: New Jersey is located in Newark, New Jersey and serves youth from Essex, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties, and is the only LGBT organization contracted with the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency Department.

    212-674-2400

    Contact

    Website

    Mental Health / Suicide Prevention – The Trevor Project

    A national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.

    1-866-488-7386

    Contact

    Website

    Safe Spaces

    Information coming soon

    LGBTQ Employment / Workplace – Safe Spaces

    Information coming soon

    Know Your Rights

    Union County – Safe Space for LGBTQ Individuals

    Union County – Safe Space for LGBTQ Individuals
    On October 11, 2018, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders declared by resolution Union County a safe space for  LGBTQ individuals, further noting that the County of Union has had a longstanding policy against discrimination, and this policy is incorporated into the Administrative Code of Union County insofar as it relates to County employment, contracts, and other activities.

    NJ Division of Civil Rights: Know the Law
    NJ Law Against Discrimination (LAD)

    NJ Law Against Discrimination (LAD)
    The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (N.J.S.A. 10:5-12) (LAD) makes it unlawful to subject people to differential treatment based on race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex (including pregnancy), familial status, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for military service, and mental or physical disability, perceived disability, and AIDS and HIV status. The LAD prohibits unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, places of public accommodation, credit and business contracts.

    Public Accommodation under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD)

    Public Accommodation under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD)
    The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibits an owner, manager, or employee of any place that offers goods, services and facilities to the general public, such as a restaurant, hotel, doctor’s office, camp, or theater, from directly or indirectly denying or withholding any accommodation, service, benefit, or privilege to an individual because of that individual’s race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability. Further, individuals accompanied by a guide or service dog are entitled to full and equal access to all places of public accommodation.

    NJ Division of Civil Rights Sexual Orientation Fact Sheet

    NJ Division of Civil Rights Sexual Orientation Fact Sheet
    The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination based on sexual or affectional orientation. Federal law does not extend protection in this area. This means that it is against the law for you to be treated differently or otherwise denied the rights and privileges extended to others on the basis of sexual orientation. The law also forbids discrimination on the basis of ‘perceived’ sexual orientation, meaning that the Law protects you if you are subjected to discrimination because someone makes an erroneous presumption about your sexual orientation.

    Garden State Equality FAQ: Transgender Student Rights in NJ

    Garden State Equality FAQ: Transgender Student Rights in NJ
    This resource provides answers to several frequently asked questions about the legal rights of transgender students in our schools.

    ACLU Know Your Rights: LGBT High School Students

    ACLU Know Your Rights: LGBT High School Students
    Under the U.S. Constitution, public schools have to address any harassment against LGBT students the same way they would address harassment against any other student. This resource goes over the Constitutional rights of LGBTQ students and offers suggestions for how to put them into action.

    ACLU Know Your Rights: Transgender People and the Law

    ACLU Know Your Rights: Transgender People and the Law
    This resource provides answers to 28 frequently asked questions about the legal rights of transgender Americans.

    ACLU Know Your Rights: HIV and Civil Rights in the Workplace

    ACLU Know Your Rights: HIV and Civil Rights in the Workplace
    United States law protects anyone with AIDS or HIV from job discrimination. This resource explains the legal rights of HIV-positive people in the workplace.

    Human Rights Campaign: State Maps of Laws & Policies

    Human Rights Campaign: State Maps of Laws & Policies
    This resource provides an up-to-date national map of state laws and policies that affect the LGBTQ community.

    Lambda Legal

    Lambda Legal
    Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

    Marsha P. Johnson

    Community Support / Contribute Today

    Click here to donate today


    Marsha P. Johnson

    Visit ucnj.org/mpj


    Public Art Opportunity – Call for Submissions

    Project Summary
    The family of Marsha P. Johnson, the City of Elizabeth, the County of Union, and Garden State Equality are proud to announce plans to honor Marsha P. Johnson with a public monument in her hometown, celebrating both her roots in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and her pivotal role in the vanguard of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement.

    Monuments are an important aspect of a city’s identity—they can honor historic moments or significant individuals, act as city emblems, or add a distinctive sense of place. The Marsha P. Johnson monument will be the first in the state of New Jersey to honor a member of the LGBTQ community and the first trans woman of color to be honored this way. This effort is a resolve by local elected officials and activists to line our streets with statues and monuments that represent all of America.

    Profile of commissioning institution
    The Marsha P. Johnson monument project is a vision of the family of Elizabeth native and LGBTQ rights activist Marsha P. Johnson.  With the support of the City of Elizabeth, Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Garden State Equality and generous donors this monument project will become a reality and stand as a symbol of LGBTQ influence in our American history’s fight for civil rights.

    Marsha P. Johnson is perhaps best known as one of the main instigators of the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn, widely considered to be the event that kicked off the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

    Johnson found joy as a successful self-made drag queen in Greenwich Village, infamous for her unique design and costume creation and touring the world with the drag theatre company Hot Peaches. She was a prominent fixture in the community, known as a “drag mother” helping homeless and struggling LGBTQ youth. After the Stonewall riots, Johnson and her friend Sylvia Rivera co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), which provided services and shelter to homeless LGBTQ people in New York City, Chicago, California, and England throughout the early 1970s.

    Johnson was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1945, and lived there until she graduated from Thomas A. Edison High School in 1963. After leaving home for a short stint in the Navy and then for New York, Johnson remained in constant communication with her family. She often returned home to Elizabeth for the holidays, inviting wayward people along the way to join her family for a hot meal, arriving with trinkets for her nieces and nephews and flowers for her mother.

    Site Description
    The established site for the Marsha P. Johnson monument is specifically lot #8 along the Scott Park Freedom Trail, which is located approximately on the corner of Dickinson St and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, across the street from the Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy. The reserved site is a prominent public location in a walking park near Elizabeth City Hall. The City of Elizabeth guidelines for statue placement in Scott Park along Freedom Trail are as follows:

    • The height of the proposed monument shall not exceed 10 feet in height as measured from the finished grade to the top of the monument.
    • Design of fence surrounding the monument shall attempt to remain true to the iron fencing surrounding existing monuments along Freedom Trail.
    • All perimeter fencing shall not exceed a height of three feet and four inches (3’-4”) as measured from finished grade to the top of the perimeter fence.
    • The proposed footprint of the monument, fencing and any other permanent fixtures shall not exceed 12 feet by 12 feet area which is equal to 144 sq. ft. unless written permission is given by the Director of the Department of Public Works and/or their designee.
    • The design of the monument shall include a base upon which a designed statue or bust shall be installed.

    Design Criteria
    Artist shall have previous professional experience in sculpture artistry, and include documentation of previous work for reference in the proposal. The monument shall be constructed of durable material suitable to the outdoor environment, such as granite, bronze, copper, iron, limestone, marble or compatible materials. All materials should be enduring over elements of weather, time and require minimal maintenance. Knowledgeable persons qualified in the field of architecture and preservation/maintenance shall be consulted to determine structural soundness and durability and to assure that the commemorative work meets high professional standards.

    Budget
    The total budget for the project may range from $100,000 to $200,000 – this includes artist fee, production (including material from concept to creation), and installation of the monument.

    Project Timeline
    The proposed timeline for this project is as follows:

    • October 1 – December 15: design submissions (as a public park, the established location for the monument is accessible to artists for independent site visits as needed)
    • December 15 – December 31: committee review and decision
    • January 1 – January 31: final design development
    • February 1 – May 31: fabrication
    • June 1: installation
    • June 28 (52nd anniversary of Stonewall Riots): dedication

    Proposal Requirements
    Digital proposals must be submitted as one PDF file containing complete details of the proposed design concept. Proposals shall include: artist statement of intent, description of project, concept and approach, proposed schedule or timeline for design and fabrication, budget, site plan or analysis, schematic drawings or sketches, models or CAD presentations, material and maintenance proposals.

    Submission Deadline and Contact
    Artist submission deadline for the Marsha P. Johnson monument concept is December 15, 2020.

    For more information contact Danni Newbury, Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs at 908-527-4742, DNewbury@ucnj.org or visit ucnj.org/lgbtq.

    Our Work (Highlights 2018 – Present)

    In 2018, the County of Union became the first county government in the State of New Jersey to establish an office dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community. The Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs is one of only four government offices of its kind in the country. Here are some highlights of the work we did in our first year:

    We brought together more than 40 professionals who provide services and programs for the LGBTQ community at the first LGBTQ Networking Roundtable.

    On Tuesday, February 20, the Office of LGBTQ Services organized and hosted a roundtable with over 20 leading LGBTQ advocacy and ally organizations that serve Union County and New Jersey.

    More than 40 participants met to discuss LGBTQ-related programs, services, issues and priorities for 2018. The event encouraged conversations about the many unique challenges of the LGBTQ community including: access to healthcare services; state policy recommendations; safe spaces for LGBTQ individuals and allies; access to resources and information; and achieving safety, permanency and well-being for LGBTQ youth and families. Participants also offered strategic thinking toward building culturally-appropriate programs and partnerships that affirm the dignity and human worth of LGBTQ people and supporters.

    We engaged LGBTQ and ally youth to celebrate inclusion through art.

    On March 15 and 16, the Office of LGBTQ Services offered an LGBTQ affirming poster making workshop at Union County’s Teen Arts event collecting over 60 poster artwork by Union County teens to support their peers in an project designed to ‘give LGBTQ youth and allies a voice.’ The project will conclude with the creation of a book of affirming artwork submitted anonymously by LGBTQ youth and allies, which will be distributed to public libraries and schools throughout Union County.

    We hosted a number of workshops and training sessions to increase awareness, building inclusion and accelerate acceptance.

    On Tuesday, April 3, Union County hosted Garden State Equality’s ‘Pledge & Protect’ entry-level workshop “Introductions to the HealthCare Needs of the LGBTQ Population” free for organizations and professionals serving older LGBTQ adults. The session was presented in collaboration with the Union County Office of LGBTQ Services and the Division on Aging and Disability Resource Connection.

    On April 11, Union County partnered with the Elizabeth Public Library to host Garden State Equality’s Youth Caucus social justice driven advocacy workshop for youth ages 12 to 19.

    On Friday, September 28, Union County hosted GLAAD Media Institute’s Engagement 101 Telling Your Story: Messaging and Media Tools for Today’s Activists LGBTQ accelerating acceptance training course free and open to the public. Participants learned how to get a message of inclusion and acceptance across effectively in the mainstream media narrative about the LGBTQ community.

    On Friday, October 19, Union County hosted GLAAD Media Institute’s Engagement 202: Telling Your Story through Social Media accelerating acceptance social media training courses free for anyone who wants to build the core skills and techniques that influence positive cultural change through social media.

    We increased community LGBTQ inclusion supporting local family programming.

    On August 21, Union County partnered with the Friends of the Rahway Public Library and the City of Rahway to Drag Queen Story Hour, a national children’s program that raises awareness of gender diversity, promotes self-acceptance, and builds empathy through an enjoyable literary experience. The inclusive event was covered by CBS 2 News as well as the Home News Tribute and other local reporters.

    We supported LGBTQ business owners and managers seeking to partner with corporations to advance diversity initiatives.

    On Wednesday, September 12, Union County collaborated with the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce on their second annual ‘Out For Business’ Breakfast – a business and networking event designed to connect LGBTQ entrepreneurs with key contacts and decision makers from various businesses and Fortune 500 companies in New Jersey. Guests had the opportunity to meet and discuss strategies that meet the diversity needs of companies such as PSEG and Prudential, as well as educational institutions such as Rutgers, Princeton and University Hospital.

    Photos coming soon

    We supported Union County’s Colleges first ever LGBTQ+ History Month events.

    As the Coordinator of the Office of LGBTQ Services, Danni Newbury played a key role in Union County College’s first LGBTQ+ History Month events including as the Keynote Speaker at the kickoff event at Union County College main campus on October 23.

    On November 6, Union County partnered with Union County College to present a special screening of ‘Love Wins’ followed by a discussion with filmmaker Robin Kampf, and co-stars Jan Moore and Emily Sonnessa, whose love story influenced marriage equality in the state of NJ. The screening marks final event of UCC’s 2018 LGBTQ+ History Month celebration – the first in the college’s history.

    We became the first county government in the State of New Jersey to proclaim June PRIDE Month during the first ever Union County PRIDE Flag Raising Ceremony.

    On June 4, the rainbow flag flew for the first time at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as Pride month. Union County’s Flag Raising Ceremony – the first county government entity in New Jersey to host such a ceremony – featured a performance by Elizabeth’s Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy Acapella Chorus, a presentation of a resolution to the MERCK Rainbow Alliance in recognition of their achievement of receiving a 100 Corporate Equality Index rating from the Human Rights Campaign; guest speeches by prominent Union County LGBTQ advocates Danielle King of Hyacinth Aids Foundation, Union County Sheriff Office LGBTQ Liaison Officer Tamiko Brooks, Hannah Lieberman of PFLAG North Jersey, and Maria Z. Carvalho, President of the Elizabeth Board of Education, who presented a resolution on behalf of the Elizabeth BOE proclaiming June as Pride Month, the first time in the school district’s history.

    Photos coming soon

    Photos coming soon

    We hosted the first TEEN PRIDE event to bring together LGBTQ and ally youth from Union County and the surrounding area for a night of dancing and entertainment.

    On June 15, in collaboration with the Union County Performing Arts Center, Union County hosted the first TEEN PRIDE event for LGBTQ Youth ages 16 and older. According to Human Rights Campaign, four out of ten LGBTQ youth say they live in a community that doesn’t accept their sexual orientation. With in-kind contributions from throughout the community, the inclusive evening for LGBTQ youth offered an exciting celebration of individuality in a welcoming environment that affirms who they are – regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation, how they dress, or any other reason. The event included appetizers and light refreshments, DJ, drag queen emcee, the crowning of the rainbow court, selfie photo booth, candy table and more.

    We hosted our second annual Union County PRIDE event celebrating family, equality, diversity and community.

    On June 16, Union County hosted the second annual Union County PRIDE event. An inclusive celebration of family, equality, diversity and community, the event featured live music, a variety of arts and crafts (featuring the “LOVE Makes a Family” poster making), lawn games inflatable bounce houses, and much more. More than a dozen New Jersey LGBTQ advocacy and ally organizations offered information, support and networking resources throughout the event. Two highlights of the event include a ‘Trash to Fashion Show” with Drag Queen Harmonica Sunbeam presented by the Elizabeth Public Library, and an Equality Rally with special guest speakers and performances.

    Photos coming soon

    Photos coming soon

    Union County became the first county government in the State of New Jersey to proclaim October LGBTQ History Month and hosted an inaugural event highlighting the LGBTQ and Social Just Activism of renown athlete Billy Jean King

    On October 23, Union County hosted the inaugural LGBTQ History Month event, featuring a screening of the 2017 Billie Jean King biographical film ‘Battle of the Sexes’ followed by a discussion about women’s rights and equality in the 70’s and today with NJ equality advocates and civil rights panelists Aggie Roncagleo and Benn Meistrich, Esq. from the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, and LGBTQ Attorney Bill Singer of Singer & Fedun, LLC in Somerset.

    This year, we initiated a strategy for fostering inclusion and accelerating acceptance by recognizing specific LGBTQ community awareness and remembrance dates. The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders – either through a Freeholder statement or resolution – publicly recognized several LGBTQ awareness days most notably:

    • Proclaimed by resolution June as Pride Month throughout Union County (the first county government in New Jersey to do so);
    • Proclaimed by resolution October as LGBTQ History Month (the first county government in New Jersey to do so);
    • On National Coming Out Day (October, 11, 2018) the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders proclaimed by resolution October 11, 2018 as National Coming Out Day throughout the County of Union and further declared Union County ‘A Safe Space for LGBTQ Individuals’ during the Freeholder Board mobile meeting in Plainfield.  The County observed National Coming Out Day and participated in the one-day campaign that engages communities to take a stand against the discrimination, violence, harassment, and bullying of LGBTQ people by coming out in support of safe spaces for LGBTQ individuals and allies.

    In July 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy hosted the first ever PRIDE reception at Drumthwacket, the Governor’s mansion.

    During the reception Freeholder Rebecca Williams was honored for her work and contributions to the LGBTQ community. She was joined by LGBTQ office Coordinator Danni Newbury.

    Faces of Pride

    Office of LGBTQ Services coordinator, Danni Newbury was selected by USA Today to represent New Jersey in their 2018 Faces of Pride feature.