“Grace and Frankie” star Lily Tomlin joined comedian Kathy Griffin at Sunday’s block party celebration to help ring in the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s new campus.
After breaking ground nearly two years ago, the Anita May Rosenstein campus is said to be the world’s first intergenerational LGBTQ facility, serving both LGBTQ seniors and youth. The Campus includes drop-in centers for both youth and seniors as well as 100 beds for homeless youth. The Ariadne Getty youth academy provides educational services. Phase two of the project, set to be completed in a few months, will include 99 apartments for seniors.
“It’s just amazing how this place thrives and grows year after year,” Tomlin told Variety at Sunday’s ribbon cutting celebration in Hollywood. “This is a welcoming place where kids are welcomed. They’re made to feel good about themselves. They’re given the tools and the support to pull themselves out and grow. It’s a rich rich community to be a part of.”
Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Rep. Adam Schiff, Councilman David Ryu and Mayor Eric Garcetti all delivered remarks on stage to thunderous applause.
“The message this sends here today, whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, whether you’re housed, or un-housed, whether you’re young or not as young, no matter what color you appear, and no matter what religion you practice, in Los Angeles and in this world, you belong,” Garcetti said. “Los Angeles is a city of belonging, and you own this.”
Griffin shared in Garcetti’s sentiment, praising the LGBTQ community for pursuing change in the midst of a discriminatory presidential administration.
“Our colleagues on the other side of the aisle might think it’s okay to discriminate against the gay community. Our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, might think it’s okay to have a vice president who’s clearly closeted himself and yet wants to engage in conversion therapy. But that’s not okay.” she said. “As a community you guys get together; you legislate; you get stuff done; you get bills passed like no community I’ve ever seen — that’s why I’m proud to be your ally now and forever.”
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a block party celebration included campus tours, a number of live performances and a beer garden. Music artists such as VINCINT and Betty Who took to the stage with acoustic renditions of some of their most popular songs alongside the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles and “Transparent” star Alexandra Billings.
Supporting the new campus are more than 350 capital campaign donors, including 15 seven-figure donations led by Anita May Rosenstein’s gift of $8 million through the Anita May Rosenstein Foundation, Wilbur D. May Foundation and the Anita and Arnold Rosenstein Family Foundation.
In the future, the facility will also serve as the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s flagship facility, replacing the the center’s current headquarters, which are set to transform entirely into a health center. The center will also mark its 50th anniversary with a gala and concert on Sept. 21 at the Greek Theatre.