Statements of Support for QSpot in Lawsuit Against JSAC



These individuals and organizations have made statements of support for QSpot. If you’d like to add your name/organization to the list, please email

Mark McSpirit
Board President
Pride Center of New Jersey

“If it wasn’t for the center, I wouldn’t be alive today.”  As the President of the Pride Center of New Jersey, I cannot say how many times I have heard this. The fact is, LGBT community centers save lives. Our Centers are a vital part of our community and provide a safe place were members of our communities can feel free to be who they are without fear.
I am proud to announce that earlier this year, The New Jersey Association of LGBT Community Centers was formed. This new group represents all four LGBT community centers in New Jersey.
The Pride Center of New Jersey
QSpot LBGT Community Center
Hudson Pride LGBT Community Center
Newark LGBTQ Community Center
This association is a statewide organization representing the best interests of all four LGBT community centers in NJ. We believe that together we are stronger and together we can fight injustices such as QSpot’s eviction notice.
The Pride Center of New Jersey stands behind John and QSpot. We will do anything that we can to support and fight against their eviction. We urge the Jersey Shore Arts Center to do the right thing and allow QSpot to stay and continue to serve the community.
Thank You!

Dev Gannon
Public Relations Chair
Gay Activist Alliance of Morris County (GAAMC)

Hayden Greyson
Social Justice Chair
Pride Center of New Jersey

Hi, my name is Hayden Greyson.  I am a member of the Pride Center of New Jersey’s social justice group.  I am here today on their behalf to stand in solidarity with the QSpot. The Jersey Shore Arts Center, according to their mission statement, is devoted to engaging community groups in the arts.

Queer folks need a safe space to experience the arts that is queer friendly:  in other spaces, we may face the perception or even the reality of being unwanted. Queer folks are artists, comedians, filmmakers, musicians and more.   We have a deep love of the arts that has often been hidden from history or pink-washed, because our very existence was unwanted.

Let us not have to hide yet again. It is 2016. Let the wonderful resource called the Q Spot, along with its community of queer artists, patrons of the arts and audience for the arts, flourish.  Thank you very much.

Hayden Greyson

John Figueroa
Garden State Equality


Hello my name is Mikell, i am the facilitator of the Jersey shore Transgender S.U.R.F. support group that utilizes the Q-spot facility to help educate and support 40 souls, they are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends and co-workers of transgender individuals. We appreciate that we can do so in a safe and comfortable environment in a clean and well maintained setting. we
are but just one organization that use the facility for the purpose to educate and eradicate social stigmas of varied degrees within the community while also providing social support for the same. this is what we do. this is what we hope we will be able to continue to do. This is what the folks from Q-spot enable organizations like mine to do, but they do more, teaching those that lost they’re way from circumstances beyond they’re control find housing, helping them learn ways to help them find jobs, they organize functions and events and do so without prejudice. i do not personally know every nuance of they’re mission statement and all the things they are capable of just these things i have witnessed, they do it from the heart. they treat folks as they should be treated as fellow human beings. healing broken souls, helping them learn to help themselves one person at a time all while being themselves.
Although i have not personally done so my members have had the pleasure to attend the movie nights and film festivals the facility provides access for. they also have comedy events and appearances from other notable personalities. all in a accepting comfortable venue. Anytime i have been to the q-spot club it has been clean and well kept and well cared for and i have never seen any damage or destruction of property, i have never witnessed any unlawful activity at or around the premises so it seems that they are in compliance of all local, federal
and state statutes. It can only be assumed that a tenant in good standing who has insurance, maintains and keeps up the environment according to the lease, complies with the law, is in good standing paying rent, provides entertainment and has education and support networks in place just as other tenants are required may be being singled out and selectively told that the lease will not be
extended by the landlord simply by virtue of who they are, LGBTQ.
I would vehemently urge you too do the right thing, do the human thing and let this organization continue to do the civil and necessary tasks they are more than capable of doing. to not allow them to do so would be a sin. Please allow them to continue they’re righteous mission of moral and ethical principles
and practices. it is a difficult but necessary purpose. With all my time in living life one thing will stand true and may be hard to believe, if you think
you do not know anyone who or have a family member who is LGBTQ it is because they are ashamed to tell you…..and when or if they do you will be looking for a facility like this for education, help and support. you will not care about movies, comedy, film festivals or the like.
Mikell Be

Ganine Gambale
Board Member
Pride Center of Staten Island

Barbra Casbar Siperstein
Gender Rights Advocacy Association of NJ

Tom Little
Deputy Chief of Staff Asw Downey and Asm Houghtaling

Carol Watchler
GLSEN Central New Jersey

“GLSEN Central New Jersey is grateful for the space at QSpot in the Jersey Shore Arts Center.  We have been very happy to host our Student Honor Award presentations, a film showing, and other important meetings at this welcoming space.  We are most hopeful that the question of a continuing lease is resolved because we foresee additional educational events in the future benefiting our members and the young persons they serve being held at this QSpot location.”

Sue Fulton
Monmouth Freeholder

Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster
Board Chairs
Ocean Grove United

Many allies of the LGBT community may not be here today but are very supportive of QSpot.  There was a very diverse presence at the QSpot Memorial for the Orlando victims. It is becoming apparent that some of the terrorist attacks are directed specifically at the LGBT Community. Orlando was one and there is evidence that the Chelsea neighborhood was targeted by the recent NYC bomber because it is a gay neighborhood. It is more critical than ever that the entire community stand by their LGBT neighbors to show their support. Evicting QSpot from the Arts Center is exactly the wrong message to send. 

Carol Rizzo
Neptune Committeewoman

I am here today with a heavy heart. After all the progress we have seen in this state on marriage equality and civil rights, I would not have believed that I would be standing here today in support of one of the most enriching arts programs and community centers in NJ;  Qspot. All they want is to renew their lease here at the Jersey Shore Arts Center.

In just 4 years, Qspot has developed a rich history of presenting performances by musicians, comedians and spoken word performers; it sponsors the annual NJ Gay film festival and provides educational opportunities and training for some of our communities most at risk youth. 

One would think that the Jersey Shore Art Center would be proud to have QSPOT as a resident. After all, the mission of the Jersey Shore Arts Center is… And I quote from their mission statement which you can find on their web site.

“The Mission of the Ocean Grove Historic Preservation Society, Inc. is twofold: to save and restore the beautiful and historic building (the “old” Neptune High School) that is currently home to the Jersey Shore Arts Center, and to operate the Arts Center in support of local artists and arts educators. The Jersey Shore Arts Center provides professional opportunities and work space for artists, educators and community groups who in turn develop opportunities for the broader Jersey Shore community to experience and engage with the Arts.”

I am calling on Mr. Herbst and the board of the Jersey Shore Arts Center to reconsider their decision;  to recognize that Qspot  is completely in keeping with the Ocean Grove Historic Preservation Society’s stated mission, and that the Jersey Shore Community is enriched by the presence of Qspot. I respectfully ask that the Jersey Shore Arts Center renew the Qspot lease.

– Carol

Lillian G. Burry
Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders

…I am fully supportive of the efforts set forth at the QSpot. It is truly an asset to both the community and the arts community.

June Colaicovo
Former QSpot Board Vice Chair

Chris Generoso
Former QSpot Board Treasurer

“I’m standing here today as a former board member and still volunteer and supporter of this wonderful center. I wanted to tell you of the toil and sweat put into making this space our home (broken fingernails and all) but I was stopped in the other room and asked where all the youth are. Here then, is my answer to that.  They are out doing what all youth do, partying and enjoying their freedoms which were won on the backs of our predecessors, who put their selves on the line to gain those freedoms.  As they grow older and the party/bar scene gets old also, they will be looking for those programs we are now putting into place and a place to attend those programs, etc. That then is our legacy to them, to have a safe place to join with people of like minds and hopefully become a more active member of the community center. Thats all we can hope for. Those comng out, regardless of their age need a place to experience that safety, answer questions and help in any way we can.  We have been diligent in following the guidelines presented to us under our current lease, paid our rent on time and even promoted the arts (Qfest, showcasing local artists, etc). The reasons cited for the eviction from our center are not true and we need to do all we can to stand firm and hold JSAC’s feet to the fire. I am behind John and the board 100% and will do whatever I can to support our fight to Keep the center.  John, I have your back. Lets show them that we are together in this.  Thank you for listening.”

Robyn Gigl
Board Member
Garden State Equality

MaryAnn Vitiello
QSpot Co-Founder

Lauren Albrecht
Monmouth LGBTQ Democratic Caucus

Pamela Renee
Neptune City

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