Our Grand Opening Celebration!
After months of planning and dreaming, Charleston’s first LGBTQI+ hub is now open! Closet Case Thrift and the Equality Hub celebrated our grand opening in the community as the first and only dedicated LGBTQI+ building in the Lowcountry.
The building, located on Reynolds Avenue, resulted from a partnership between us and our neighbors Alliance for Full Acceptance and Charleston Pride. The hope is that the combined group presence will increase outreach and further our growth in the community. The Equality Hub will serve as a resource and a meeting center and We Are Family will operate the Closet Case Thrift Store, which will provide a judgement-free space for gender neutral shopping.
During the event, We Are family provided information about the new GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) coalition project. Cora Webb, our programs director, led conversations to the community about the importance of this project in schools. While the conversations were flowing and people were entering the new space, one of our youth sold their pickled veggies while another youth helped shoppers at Closet Case Thrift find new items for their closets and check out.
An hour into the hype of the event, it was time to cut the official red ribbon!! North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey joined the event in the summer sun to cut the ribbon. “It is a great day in North Charleston for this Historical event.” Mayor Keith said while holding the golden ribbon cutting scissors. “We are honored to have the first LGBT hub in North Charleston and are excited for the growth to come”. The ribbon was cut, and the hub officially opened and the celebration continued! While people shopped at Closet Case Thrift, the offices of AFFA and Charleston Pride provided people with information about the AFFA survey and the upcoming Charleston Pride. People had time to view artwork from local LGBTQI+ artists while being served pronoun cookies.
All in all, we are proud to be part of this community and to provide an inclusive space for all to enjoy, feel safe, and call their hub. “It just means creating visibility and having a place where people can come for refuge if they need to,” Nijeeah Richardson, executive director of We are Family says.