Louis Licitra

Louis Licitra

Louis was born in Syracuse, NY and came to New Hope in 1978. He said he was “amazed at the sense of community and diversity and decided that this was a great place to set roots.”

Louis met his husband Ken Black, in the fall of 1978 and decided to move here. Ken and Louis were introduced by “Maggie” (a/k/a Mark Eosko); a mutual friend they first met at The New Prelude. He said, “Maggie will always have a special place in our hearts.”

Louis held various positions including management and customer service. He and Ken finally opened their own title insurance agency, Rainbow Assurance, Inc. Louis said their goal was “to serve the LGBTA community and give back to it”. He said his vision “was to be able to become part of a community of acceptance and with people of similar interests.  My aspiration was to contribute what I can in time and energy to assist in making New Hope a vital place for LGBTA people and its diversity”.

He feels his biggest accomplishments were, “Becoming a big part of New Hope as Board Member and then President of the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce at its peak, as well as serving on the board of F.A.C.T. Bucks County for many years and then presiding as President of that great organization. Working with New Hope Celebrates and Visit Bucks County and having a thriving title insurance agency, allowed us to contribute even more to some of the needs of the community.”

Louis remembers hanging out at The Raven, The Cartwheel, The New Prelude and Chez Odette’s. Karla’s is their favorite quintessentially New Hope place to hang out in town.  Fine dining includes Marsha Brown’s and The Black Bass.  He added, ”The Bucks County Playhouse is one of the best in the area for consistently good performances.  Bob Egan at the Piano at Bowman’s Tavern is always a fun event too.  Bicycling through the beautiful countryside as well as a vigorous walk is always a treat.”

His favorite memories are of course meeting Ken and having “forever friends.” Now retired in Florida, Louis said, “We had and still have a large group of friends both in New Hope and in our new home in Fort Lauderdale, FL, where many of our Bucks County area friends have also retired.  The entire town of New Hope was our playground; where most accepted and respected LGBTA people.”

Louis said New Hope “has changed dramatically since I had moved to the area over 40 years ago.  It used to be that hidden place that took a while to get too; not because of traffic issues, but because it was a drive through countryside roads that got you there.  With that said, some changes have been very good, some, not so much; too much residential building and easier access changed the dynamic of a hidden gem, but maintained New Hope as a beacon for LGBTA people.  Overall the beauty of the area has remained intact.  A drive along the river was once described to me as having a “Tuscan” feel; I have to agree with that.  The canal and river areas are truly beautiful; especially in the spring and fall; and the reason many artists have depicted this charming area for so many decades.”

He feels being chosen as a history maker is, “A great honor indeed.  I assume it is because of the time and energy given to the community and specifically in respect to LGBTA persons.  Hopefully, as a role model to others, I can encourage them to “pitch in” and continue to keep New Hope a thriving community and LGBTA destination”

Louis considers himself “an activist of sorts; not just for Democracy but for LGBTA rights and awareness.  People still struggle, especially LGBTA people.  New Hope “works”; somehow, with all the great people, it works in its LGBTA acceptance and continued diversity.  It’s not only encouraging, but enlightening.  This special place has been a true beacon to so many.  It has also allowed many to spread their wings and attempt to bring that same feeling to other areas of the world.  New Hope proves that Love is Love and the world is better for having this special place exist.  If you believe in it, then it can happen everywhere.”

He added that New Hope “always amazed me” and “is the true sense of the word “community”; the coming together of so many caring people to help others in need.”

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