HELP LGBT Health and Wellness Center cut the ribbon on its new facility in Arlington on Dec. 1.

The DFW Metroplex has long been known for having one of the most well-organized and effective LGBTQ communities in the country. And nowhere is that more obvious than in the plethora of successful organizations addressing HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ equality found here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Here’s a recap of what some of those organizations have been up to in 2021:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to hit minority communities especially hard, Abounding Prosperity Inc. expanded its reach to serve Black trans women and other underserved minority communities — expanded its reach once again in 2021. The agency had started holding food and clothing drives for people impacted by COVID, and in July this year, the agency received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to ramp up efforts to get more people in underserved communities vaccinated against COVID-19.

Also in 2021, The Vision Community Foundation, headquartered in Atlanta, recognized Myers for his role as leader of Dallas Southern Pride, the organization that produces am LGBTQ Juneteenth celebration each summer in Dallas and Dallas’ annual Black Pride celebration each fall. The Vision Community Foundation also honored Abounding Prosperity Inc. for its work fighting HIV/AIDS.

After a groundbreaking just before the pandemic in 2020 and a fire on the same property later that year, AIDS Services of Dallas in October this year was finally able to begin work on its new independent living facility. What was supposed to be just a renovation has become mostly a rebuild. But that allowed for the addition of amenities such as a washer and dryer in each unit. Outside, the complex will feature additional seating area, and parking will be laid out more efficiently.

Even though The Hidden Door, the bar owned by the Anthony Bobrow Trust, was closed for most of 2020 and well into 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, co-trustee Harvey Meissner, who is also president and general manager of Hidden Door, announced in February that the Trust would still be presenting donations to local beneficiary organizations.

By the end of April, Meissner, on behalf of the trust, had presented donations totaling $250,000 to Legacy Counseling Center (now Legacy Cares), AIDS Services of Dallas, Dallas Hope Charities and AIN. The Bobrow Trust had made smaller donations earlier in the year totaling about $10,000.

Black Tie Dinner officials were thrilled in announce in June that the annual fundraiser would return to a live, in-person dinner in November of 2021. With co-chairs Brad Pritchett and Terry Loftis at the helm, Black Tie this year brought in a stellar line-up of guests and award recipients that included Shangela, Bobby Berk, Niecy Nash, Todrick Hall, Michelle Visage, and Dana Goldberg. Local luminaries Veletta Lill and Chris Luna received the 2021 Kuchling Award.

This month, officials announced that this year’s event brought in a record-breaking $1.45 million that was distributed to local beneficiaries and the Human Rights Campaign Fund at the Wrap Party on Dec. 9.

Tamika Perry was named the new executive director of Dallas Hope Charities in August of this year. Dallas Hope Center is a transitional living center for LGBTQ youth, ages 18 to 24, that opened in November 2020.

Former Dallas Hope Charities executive director Jason Vallejo developed two programs that are the foundation of ElevateNTX — a hotel voucher program to provide LGBTQ people 18-24 years old with safe emergency shelter and a host program to give them longer-term housing. Since opening in September, ElevateNTX has been able to help more than 50 young people.

Dallas businesswoman Stacey Stevenson in early March was named CEO of the national group Family Equality, which she is running from Dallas. Family Equality supports LGBTQ families by offering a state-by-state resource guide on everything from creating a family to holding LGBTQ family weeks in Provincetown to supporting pro-family legislation and litigation.

The HELP Center for LGBT Health and Wellness provides services for Tarrant County residents affected by HIV/AIDS as well as working to provide education to aid in the fight against anti-HIV/AIDS discrimination and stigma. On Dec. 1, the staff and supporters of HELP turned out in force to celebrate World AIDS Day by cutting the ribbon on HELP’s new, larger facility at 602 E. South St. in downtown Arlington. In addition to office space and a clinic providing PrEP, testing for HIV and syphilis, counseling, and other health services, the new HELP Center will contain a 2,500-square-foot community space for meetings and events — the first physical home for the LGBTQ community in Arlington.

Human Rights Campaign fired President Alphonso David in early September after reports surfaced that entangled David in the sexual harassment scandal that eventually led to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigning.

David had helped the governor in fighting those allegations.

David, for his part, denied any wrongdoing.

The agency that started out providing counseling for those with HIV/AIDS and hospice care for those HIV/AIDS in their final days this year changed its name from Legacy Counseling Center to Legacy Cares to reflect its broader mission. Housing is currently the largest portion of its work. And Melissa Grove, Legacy’s forever executive director, announced she is retiring within the next year. Brooke Henderson has been named to replace her. Henderson ran Legacy’s Founders Cottage for years before a short stint at Baylor. But she’s back to direct the cottage, counseling, Homebase for Housing, Grace Project and more.

Prism Health North Texas moved its headquarters in March from Jefferson Avenue in Oak Cliff to a building near the Baylor campus. And just a block away, they acquired a three-story building that so far is being used for drug and vaccine trials. The expansion of drug trials meant COVID-19 vaccines for trial volunteers months before any vaccine was approved for the rest of the population.

Resource Center has been hard at work raising the funds necessary to get its new senior housing project in motion, and, by October this year, the agency had passed the $2 million mark. The Center has partnered with Volunteers of America and developer Matthews Southwest to purchase property near Inwood Station to build the 84-unit building on a two-acre site. The overall project budget is approximately $23 million. In addition to funds from the capital campaign, the project is expected to be financed by public funds from state and local sources and private mortgage financing.

Dallas couple Steven Rayl and Scot Presley, saying they wanted to be able to have and see a real impact within their lifetimes, donated $500,000 to the Center’s capital campaign.

In other news, Resource Center officials announced in October that Gaybingo, which has been on a forced hiatus due to COVID-19 since early 2020, is starting its monthly events back up in January, with Patti Le Plae Safe coming in from Arkansas as special guest host.

And as the year came to an end, Resource Center hosted its Red Ribbon event at the community center on Cedar Springs Road at Inwood Road on World AIDS Day, Wednesday, Dec. 1. The following weekend the Center’s UBE program revived its Red Tie Affair, adding a Kiki Ball, to mark World AIDS Day.

Officials with Texas Pride Impact Fund announced in October that not only was the agency handing out $120,000 in grants to 21 beneficiary organizations around the state, but TPIF would also be receiving a $525,000 ViiV Healthcare grant that TPIF will distribute the funds over the next three years “to fuel and incubate grassroots innovations that support the transgender community, primarily Black and Latinx transgender and MSM (gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men) communities in Texas. The ViiV Healthcare grant is part of ViiV’s Positive Action AMP Grant program.

Each of the 21 beneficiary organizations receiving TPID grants in 2021 received between $4,000 and $10,000.