AVP’s 40 Change Makers

To commemorate the last four decades, we have called on our founders, community members, clients, visionaries, and supporters to be in conversation with us. Throughout the year, we are releasing 40 profiles of individuals who have engaged our services, worked alongside us, and have strived for a just world.

Tom Duane

Tom Duane

Former Board Member

Tom Duane was the first openly gay and openly HIV+ member of the New York Senate and has been integral to legislative reform in the state to better protect LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected people. A former AVP board member and hate violence survivor, Tom’s legacy includes sponsorship of same-sex marriage legislation and the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) in New York State, as well as the passage of the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act.

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Chanel Lopez

Former AVP Staff

When Chanel Lopez was approached by AVP’s Client Services department, she immediately became interested in the opportunity to work as a counselor with LGBTQ survivors of hate, intimate partner, and […]

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Cecilia Gentili

Community Partner

For a decade, Cecilia Gentili has been an ongoing collaborator and community partner with AVP. Working at the intersections of sex work, transgender women’s rights, and incarceration issues, Cecilia Gentili has helped shape critical forums with AVP.

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Thomas von Foerster

AVP Founder

In 1978, Thomas Von Foerster moved to New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood as a 37-year-old gay man in search of others like him. He soon found community in the Chelsea Gay Assocation (CGA), a social group for gay men. His involvement in the association quickly grew, and he became treasurer as well as the editor of the monthly newsletter with over 1000 members.

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