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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
December 2, 2005

Cleveland center celebrates
30 years with a new name

Cleveland--The city�s LGBT center on November 17 announced its new name, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Greater Cleveland, at a reception at Asterisk Gallery in the Tremont neighborhood.

The center�s new logo was also unveiled at the event, a celebration of the organization�s 30th anniversary.

Created by Lori Lapsinkas of Big Girl Shoes Advertising and Design, who donated her efforts, the logo is a six-pointed asterisk, with each arm another color of the rainbow.

It is the third name the organization has had. Founded in 1975 as the Gay Education and Awareness Resources Foundation, or GEAR, it became the Lesbian/Gay Community Service Center of Greater Cleveland in 1988.

Now, that name has once again been expanded to reflect greater inclusiveness.

�With the number of threats LGBT people face, the only way we can hope to achieve victory is through unity,� executive director Sue Doerfer said. �Inclusion was the main factor community members shared with us in what they thought our new name should be.�

The center asked for proposals for new names, and the vast majority were in line with what was finally adopted.

�We will always be referred to as �The Center,� but it is important that our formal name spells out who we serve,� Doerfer noted. �It makes a statement whenever we attend meetings at the city, county or state level.�

�We wanted a new logo that got people excited about being part of Northeastern Ohio�s LGBT community,� she continued. �We serve people both inside and outside of our facility. In fact, you could argue that we serve more people who don�t come to the center regularly because of our public policy and advocacy work.�

�We will always be a place for the community to meet and mobilize, but we also felt it was time to update our look to reflect the fact that we are an agent of change in Ohio and beyond,� she concluded.

According to Doerfer, the changes are more than cosmetic. With the addition of bisexual and transgender to the name come new groups and initiatives to serve both populations.

The center is also participating in Cleveland Bridge Builders and Leadership Cleveland, two civic organizations that try to foster new community leaders and create positive change in the city.

�These groups �get� that LGBT people are an important part of the community. You can�t improve Northeastern Ohio�s outlook without working with us, and they also see the center as an agency that can light a spark,� she said.

The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland has a new web address as well, However, the old web address,, can still be used.

The address and phone are unchanged at 6600 Detroit Ave., Cleveland Ohio 44102 and 216-651-5428.����������


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