Grey Woodhouse, the founder of the center, said that the center is named after Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transgender woman. She was the first person to throw a brick at Stonewall Inn in the 1960s, playing a large role in the progression of the gay rights movement over the last several decades.
“We decided to name it after her because (she’s a) person of color, (and she’s) queer,” Woodhouse said, “It perfectly encapsulates everything we want to do. We want to start movements, things like that, and we’re really excited about that.”
The name, according to Woodhouse, is meant to emphasize that the center as a place to hang out a little more under the radar. Woodhouse hopes the center will fit in with the town as the community grows more aware of it.
Weekly meetings at the center also started — following the original announcement of the center — to prepare for its opening in January 2021. These meetings take place every Thursday at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.
In recent weeks individuals in attendance spent time painting the walls of the center. Soon they will clean out the basement and move in furniture. Woodhouse explained that they also plan to launch a website in a couple of weeks.
She explained how the amount of support and coverage the center has gotten so far has been crazy.
“So many people want to report on it,” Woodhouse said. “Like, I’m going to be doing a radio interview with a radio station in Colorado this weekend. The amount of support we’ve had on the GoFundMe is crazy. GoFundMe itself chose us as a fundraiser that touched their hearts so they donated money as part of their Gives Back program.”
The GoFundMe has reached almost $6,000, a number Woodhouse didn’t think would ever be possible as her original goal was $1,000.
“There have been a couple times I’ve genuinely cried,” Woodhouse said. “And I mean like tears streaming down my face. It’s an overwhelming feeling of happiness. The amount of support is something I know will change the lives of so many people and that is something I never thought I’d see here.”