The Long Island Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Network will open its first East End center at the Old Whalers Church in Sag Harbor on Saturday.
The G.L.B.T. center will offer year-round programs for students, adults, and families, and it has been predicted that over 1,000 East End residents will participate within the next year.
The opening comes 10 months after the suicide of a 16-year-old East Hampton High School student, which helped build support for a local center. It will make it easier for East End youth to take part in the network’s programs, obviating the need to travel over 120 miles round trip to Bay Shore.
“David Hernandez Barros’s suicide was an urgent reminder that has mobilized hundreds of people to say we cannot wait any longer. We need a gay center of our own now,” said David Kilmnick, the founder of the Long Island G.L.B.T. Network.
An opening reception, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, will feature talks by Edie Windsor of Southampton, who was the plaintiff in the recent Supreme Court case that found same-sex marriage to be constitutional, and by Carmita Barros, the mother of David Hernandez Barros.
The center will be based at the church until such time as the organization is able to raise enough money for a stand-alone, state-of-the-art community center, Mr. Kilmnick said.