Citywide Self-Defense Classes Offered for LGBT New Yorkers; Hate Crimes Forum Planned

City and state officials are reacting to the recent spate of anti-LGBT hate crimes in New York City by offering citywide self-defense classes and taking up the issue in a public forum.

March_quinnCity Council Speaker Christine Quinn's office announced the self-defense classes, via press release over the weekend:

The trainings will empower New Yorkers by teaching violence prevention strategies and safety tips to the LGBT community.  The kick-off class, led by the Center for Anti-Violence Prevention, will be held on Saturday, June 8th in Room 101 of the LGBT Center at 4:00 PM. An additional evening class has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 12th at the Hudson Guild Elliot Center at 7:00 PM.

Participants should reserve their space by calling (212) 788-5613 or by e-mailing

“No one should be made to feel unsafe because who they are or who they love,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The spate of bias attacks against LGBT New Yorkers in recent weeks is unacceptable and must end now.  Our free self-defense classes will teach violence prevention strategies to New Yorkers and will provide the community with the tools they need to stay safe.”

“These classes will empower men and women who might otherwise feel helpless at time when our City is experiencing an increase in attacks against our LGBT brothers and sisters,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “No one should be persecuted or attacked for who they are or who they perceive to be. By giving New York City’s LGBT community self-defense training we are providing the necessary tools to help every New Yorker feel safe within their own neighborhood. Together as a community – unified as one – we will continue to take a stand against hate crimes in a City that is known for equality, acceptance and diversity.”

Additional self-defense classes in Brooklyn and Queens will be announced in coming weeks.

And New York State Senator Brad Hoylman announced there would be a public forum on June 14 at the Senate Hearing Room "to assess the efficacy of New York State’s Hate Crimes Law, how state and local government agencies are implementing and enforcing the Law, and whether amendments should be considered to expand the data collection, statistical reporting, law enforcement training requirements and/or otherwise further the Law’s goals."

Those who wish to attend the forum must complete a form HERE.