Somewhere in that big multi-camera set in the sky, The Golden Girls star Bea Arthur is still being a friend.
A donation from Arthur’s will has helped build a new homeless center for LGBTQ youth in NYC, which you can find in the East Village if you go down a road and back again.
Arthur, whose heart is true, raised a significant amount of money during her lifetime for the Ali Forney Center — the organization responsible for building the new Bea Arthur Residence. She first heard of the Center in 2005, when a friend told her it was suffering financially. Arthur had long been an advocate for the LGBTQ community, and was known for hosting well-attended parties filled with famous closeted queer men like Rock Hudson.
Carl Siciliano, who is the Ali Forney Center’s executive director — in addition to being its pal and confidante — called the opening of the Bea Arthur Residence a “momentous occasion.” The 18-bed facility, which was officially unveiled November 30 at a party to which Siciliano invited everyone he knew, will prepare LGBTQ youth for successfully living alone.
The shelter “marks an important shift in the way that we are able to house and care for young people who have been discarded by their families simply because of who they are,” he said.
We are not ashamed to say … We hope it will always stay that way.
Arthur, whose favorite charities were “mostly about innocents,” served as an honorary PETA director at one point. In addition to winning multiple PETA humanitarian awards, she campaigned against the fur trade, force-feeding of ducks for foie gras, and KFC’s ongoing cruelty towards chickens.
Bea Arthur, if you’re listening: Thank you … for your donation.
Sincerely, Friends of Dorothy.