Bronx Community Pride Center (Bronx Pride), the borough's only LGBTQ social services group, is hosting a town hall meeting tonight at Davidson Community Center, 2038 Davidson Ave., from 6 to 8 p.m. All are welcome. It will focus on dealing with the fallout from the anti-gay attacks in Morris Heights in October. Topics will include: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning concerns, building community connections and how we can work together to prevent future attacks. BxNN recently sat down with Dirk McCall, Bronx Pride's relatively new executive director.
Dirk McCall admits he probably could be making two or three times more money working as a political lobbyist of some sort. But what fun would that be?
|Bronx Pride's Dirk McCall|
Yes, heading the Bronx Community Pride Center (Bronx Pride), the only social service organization solely dedicated to aiding the borough's LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) youth, means less pay, more hours and more headaches. But McCall couldn't be happier.
"I wake up every day and thank the lord for this job," McCall said yesterday, in between talking about all the painful cut-backs and belt-tightening he's had to do to get Bronx Pride back in the black.
Born and raised in Georgia (he'll break out an accent when imitating his father), McCall is a widely known and well-respected New York Democratic political operative who most recently worked on the successful re-election campaign of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
But now he's putting all of his energy (and it appears to be limitless) into Bronx Pride, which was thrust into the spotlight in October following the brutal anti-gay bias attacks that played out on Osborne Place in Morris Heights and made national headlines.
In July, when he took the reins of Bronx Pride -- a $2 million-a-year organization that runs a drop-in center and offers other social services for the Bronx's LGBTQ youth population -- McCall inherited an agency with a massive debt load and the possibility of eviction from its expansive space at The Hub on 149th Street.
The boyishly bespectacled McCall is gregarious, loquacious and relentless. If anyone can right the drifting Bronx Pride ship, it's McCall. Most of the money for LGBTQ programs is going to Manhattan organizations, but McCall is working to change that, "politely stalking" everyone and anyone who might be able to help his organization.
Tonight, at the town hall meeting at Davidson Community Center, McCall's group is looking to further the conversation that, unfortunately, began with the Morris Heights attacks. On the plus side, however, it's giving McCall another opportunity to showcase his organization as a vital and important institution in the Bronx's cultural and social landscape.