Health Awareness in PRIDE Event at North Bergen Library

Written By Pedro Garcia

June, as we all know it, is the month that celebrates Juneteenth, the newly established federal holiday which pays tribute to the emancipation of the African slaves that had been freed from the grips of slavery. It is also PRIDE month, the celebration of the LGBTQ community and the acknowledgement of its struggles and triumphs to be recognized in mainstream culture. 

The Health, Wellness and Resource Center at the newly- installed North Bergen Library located on 13th street and John F. Kennedy Blvd., was running its annual event on Saturday to help promote safety and well-being in the community. The four-hour long event ran from 12pm – 4pm and its guests included representatives from the Hudson Pride Center, Save Latin America, P.A.C.O. and other organizations. 

“Gay Pride means for me: fierceness, ferocity, love and acceptance and equality for all,” proclaimed Gabriella Gomez, the HIV outreach assistant for the Hudson Pride Center, who coordinates HIV testing events and provides testing opportunities for all who are interested.  She continued with, “When you get tested, you get a $15 Amazon discount card at the end of the process.” A great way to incentivize healthy living! 

The event had a total of 15+ non-profits that wished to serve the community of North Bergen. “We [Hudson Pride Center] have partnered with the North Bergen Library in the JFK branch to bring collective resources to the community members to help bridge the gap between them and the resources they need,” explained Elvis Guiracocha, the Community Health Programs Manager, who came to support PRIDE month. In honor of PRIDE month, they have provided free tests to the community, and they will host Drag Bingo, a fun game to wrap up the event. 

PRIDE month is a month of acceptance and love, but it should be told that it is a month of awareness of one’s health, both mentally and physically.