FDNY celebrates LGBTQ members, community leaders

The new tradition will recognize the contributions of the department's firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics

NEW YORK — The FDNY is hosting the first ever FDNY Pride Month celebration on Monday evening at the New York City Fire Museum.

"I’m excited to announce this new tradition of honoring members of the LGBTQ community — including individuals who proudly serve within our department as well as community leaders and groups that have made a tremendous impact in our city," Daniel Nigro, Fire Commissioner said. "Every day, we are becoming a stronger organization through our improved diversity which includes the growing number of LGBTQ firefighters, EMT’s, paramedics and civilians in the FDNY.”

In the wake of the June 13 mass shooting in Orlando, Nigro stated, "We have witnessed this kind of hate before, including when our city was attacked 15 years ago. For those of us in the FDNY, we lost many good friends and colleagues that day. And while the goal of the haters is to stop us from celebrating who we are and what we believe, that's not going to happen. It didn't happen 15 years ago, and it won't happen now. We respect the rights of all people to be who they are — and we celebrate all that that means, including diversity in race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and fender identity." 

A FDNY fire truck bearing a
A FDNY fire truck bearing a "Happy and Safe Pride" sign. (Image courtesy FDNY)

FDNY will honor Deputy Assistant Chief Lillian Bonsignore, Chief of EMS Training; the Marble Collegiate Church, a diverse, inclusive church in Manhattan; and Tanya Koifman, the clinical social worker at Harvey Milk High School in Manhattan.

In October, 2015, FDNY debuted its first "It Gets Better" video, in support of the It Gets Better Project. The Project's mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth around the world that life gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to improve quality of life for them.

In the FDNY-produced video, twelve active FDNY firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs discuss the challenges they faced throughout their lives and the success they have found both as adults, and as FDNY members. Several participants in the video will be attending the Pride Celebration. 

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