The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at

ITHACA, N.Y. — Finger Lakes PULSE is a multi-cultural club for members of the Queer community and our supporters. We joined together in spring, 2017 to express our needs, wants and expectations as active members of the Ithaca and Tompkins County LGBTQIA+ community.

Finger Lakes PULSE’S focus inspires solutions for opportunities to create a safer environment and a more enjoyable experience in Tompkins County for all members of the gay, lesbian, transgender bisexual and non-binary community.  We invite others to Finger Lakes PULSE organizations on Facebook and Twitter.

Tompkins County’s Queer community’s success relies on our own commitment and the support of committed, action-oriented allies who are willing to move through discomfort to solve challenging public safety issues. Our allies respond to safer housing needs and services designed to market to the county’s queer community. Committed allies encourage honest conversations that lead to alterations of policies and cultural beliefs that without intervention would exclude the queer community.

Any marginalized group, as well as their allies may be subject to retaliation even if they act with compassion to break through barriers. It takes COURAGE to work for liberation for people who identify as gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, transgender, or non-binary.  Queer people of color face added challenges and dangers as homophobia and transphobia are compounded by white supremacy, structural racism and white privilege and cultural taboos.

It is with deep appreciation that the founding members of Finger Lakes PULSE acknowledge and honor Leslyn McBean Clairborne as Ally of the Year. We thank her for her lifetime commitment and achievements in making progress at the County level by creating safe zones

Leslyn has insisted on providing tools for County officials and employees to learn about why safe spaces are necessary. Leslyn included a commitment to end homophobia in her comments at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast held at GIAC in 2017. She attended the marriage equality celebrations and encouraged others to understand the historic significance of equal marriage rights. The rainbow flag, a symbol of acceptance and protection proudly hangs inside GIAC because Leslyn took action.

Finger Lakes PULSE is so grateful to Leslyn McBean Clairborne for her leadership in encouraging supportive practices be established in businesses by displaying a Safe Zone emblem, a recognizable symbol that guides the LGBTQ community to where it is safe to bring our business.

Leslyn McBean Clairborne will receive the Finger Lakes PULSE Ally of the Year award on June 20 during the county legislature meeting which will be held at 121 W Court Street, Ithaca at 5:30 pm. The public is encouraged to attend

Featured image provided by Flickr.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.