LGBTQ History Month
of October as LGBTQ History Month, the LGBTQ Task Force is sharing information
about queer history in Alexandria and around Northern Virginia. Did you know
that Alexandria was the first locality in Virginia to extend protections to gays
and lesbians through its human rights ordinance? Or that the owner of a gay bar
in Alexandria successfully sued to overturn a Virginia law that had prohibited bars
from selling alcohol to gays and lesbians?
The Office of Historic Alexandria has published several Out of the Attic columns and social media posts on these and other compelling aspects of local LGBTQ history.
Gay Fairfax, a public access cable television program that aired in the early 1990s, sometimes covered news in Alexandria. In 1991, Gay Fairfax covered the opening of the French Quarter bar at 808 King Street. The segment includes interviews with owners and patrons. https://youtu.be/E58Y7v0STBQ?t=115 Photo: In 1991, the Washington Blade published on its front page this photo showing patrons at the French Quarter bar in Old Town celebrating after a federal judge determined Virginia’s ban on serving alcoholic beverages to gays and lesbians was unconstitutional. An owner of the French Quarter, then the only gay bar in Northern Virginia, had initiated the suit shortly after opening the establishment at 808 King Street. Credit: Copyright © by the Washington Blade, photo by Doug Hinckle.
Gender Nonconforming Entertainers Perform in Alexandria Theater
Photo Louis Diggs Courtesy AFRO American newspapers
Remarkable Visibility of Hannah Nokes, a Transgender Woman in Jim Crow Virginia
Photo: Hannah Nokes in Rural Electrification News, courtesy University of Michigan Library, reproduction by Robert Pfaff.
Virginian Bruce Scott Challenges Federal Government for Disqualifying Gay Civil
Approves Changes to Human Rights Ordinance to Extend Protections to Gays and
Complaint After Being Kicked Out of Old Town Bar for Dancing Together
Gay Bar Opens
on King Street, Successfully Challenges ABC Prohibition on Selling Alcohol to
Gays and Lesbians
ban on serving drinks to Gays,” Washington Blade, October 25, 1991
Space in Northern Virginia
Mapping the Gay
Guides: Understanding Queer Spaces in Pre- and Post-Stonewall America
Alexandria Adds Gender Identity and Transgender Status to City Protections
Pride Month in Alexandria
The City offered residents a variety of events and opportunities to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month in June and to recognize LGBTQ+ people and their contributions to Alexandria’s diverse community and the nation. The month kicked off with Celebrate Alexandria Pride workshops, and included the events below. Residents were also encouraged to access and share resources for individuals in the LGBTQ+ community and those who support them, including anti violence, educational and health resources as well as resources for youth, parents and older adults.
- Lecture: Mapping the Gay Guides: Understanding Queer Spaces in Pre- & Post-Stonewall America
Dr. Eric Gonzaba discussed his digital project, which aims to understand the often-ignored queer geographies through an interactive web application and digital public history project. Drawing on and making accessible the Damron Guides, an early but longstanding travel guide aimed at gay men since the early 1960s, this online mapping project explores different dimensions of American gay life through time, from bars and nightlife, bookstores, cinemas and churches. Fee: $6.
- LGBTQ Pride Month With Alexandria Library
Throughout the month, the Alexandria Library hosted a variety of events for all ages, including craft workshops, story times, book clubs, writing workshops and more. View or download a full list. Also, visit alexlibraryva.org/lgbtq for books, audiobooks, resources and more.
Progress Pride Flag
This year, the Progress Pride Flag will be displayed at Market Square in front of City Hall (301 King St.). A 2018 redesign of the Rainbow Pride Flag, the Progress Pride Flag is designed by Daniel Quasar and highlights black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), transgender and nonbinary communities. The flags will be displayed throughout June to show support for Alexandria’s LGBTQ+ community and the City’s ALL Alexandria commitment to reduce and eliminate disparities and inequities experienced by all residents, especially those in communities of color and other groups who have been historically and systemically marginalized.
Virtual Workshops Held for the LGBTQ+ Community, Friends and Loved Ones, and Service Providers
The Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force and Alexandria Library hosted the Celebrate Alexandria Pride Workshops June 3-5. Twelve workshops were offered over three days. Some workshops were creative and some were educational, but they all celebrated the resiliency and beauty of the LGBTQ+ community in Alexandria.
Presenters and facilitators included members of the Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force and other local and state partners. Thank you to all partners: Alexandria Library, Safe Space NOVA, Center for Black Equity, Heard Program, Virginia Anti-Violence Project, Drag Queen Story Hour, Equality Virginia, Impacto LGBT, Virginia Equality Bar Association, Commission on Aging, Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Office of Human Rights, Department of Health, Department of Community and Human Services, Aging and Adult Services, Sexual Assault Center, Domestic Violence Program, Commission for Women, Visit Alexandria, Alexandria City Public Schools, Alive!, and all the other organizations and community members who helped to spread the word.
Info about anti-violence work in Virginia and advocacy from an intersectional, multicultural lens. Resources for LGBTQ+ survivors and loved ones in Virginia.
SUN’S OUT, BUNS OUT!
Tina Kantiano, Heard Program
A dance break! If you were vaccinated and you know it, clap your hands! And stomp your feet! And werk, werk, werk that arm! Shake it from our mask-free faces, to the tips of our safely pedicured toes. We are here, Ms. Summer! And we’re coming to slay.
LIVING AUTHENTICALLY: STORIES FROM TRANSGENDER VIRGINIANS
Sara and Dani
Transgender advocates brought a time for community and learning as they shared their stories as transgender people living in Northern Virginia, followed by dialogue and questions.
TOWARDS RACIAL EQUITY AND SHARED HUMANITY: REFLECTING ON WHITE PRIVILEGE IN LGBTQ COMMUNITIES
Tom Suydam and Ray Biegun, Alexandria Community Members, and Dr. Gregory Samantha Rosenthal, co-founder of the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project
This workshop stimulated white participants to reflect on their experiences of being both LGBTQ and white and consider the impact of those experiences on their motivation to support the cause of racial justice in America.
THE CHANGING LEGAL LANDSCAPE FOR LGBTQ VIRGINIANS
Alexandra Lydon, Legal Services of Northern Virginia and Virginia Equality Bar Association and Pat Ruble, Alexandria Office of Human Rights
It’s been a big year for LGBTQ Virginians at the state and federal levels. Info was shared about city and state legislation that affects the community. Alexandria City Council members kicked off this session by reading the Alexandria 2021 Pride Proclamation, and Senator Adam Ebbin spoke about his legislative work for the community.
Beginning in 1991, DC Black Pride began as a way to provide Black LGBTQ+ people an alternative to the largely white mainstream LGBTQ+ movement. Info from those beginnings from one of the founders of the movement and leaders from the Center for Black Equity.
OLDER LGBTQ ADULTS - WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER!
Ray Biegun, Alan Dinsmore, Bob Eiffert, Terri Lynch, Babs Waters - Alexandria Commission on Aging and Aging and Adult Services
What are some of the challenges facing older LGBTQ members of our community? We may not have a partner. We may not have close relatives or children. We may be alone. Do we have a support circle? Join a conversation about how we are part of a supportive, compassionate and understanding community. This workshop didn't make anyone older, but it made getting older seem less intimidating, knowing we live in a community that cares.
AND THE CATEGORY IS! SPOKEN WORD WITH C. THOMAS
Using the TV show Pose as a backdrop, participants listened to original poetry (and created their own) and identified the importance and relevance of LGBTQ artists and how their work has inspired others to live their truth.
QUEERING THE MEDIA: LGBTQ REPRESENTATION IN BOOKS, TV, AND FILM
Isaiah West, Librarian and Bookstagrammer: @thequeerbrarian
For those looking for a good, queer character to fall in love with, Join Isaiah West discussed LGBTQ+ representation in books, television and film.
DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR WITH CITRINE
What do drag queens and children have in common? They love dressing up and all things sparkly and fancy! Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children ages 3-8 in libraries, schools and bookstores. .
HOW TO SPOT MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS IN LGBTQ+ YOUTH
Safe Space NOVA Executive Director, Jordan L. Costen-Sumpter and Denisha Johnson, LCSW
Mental health concerns plague the LGBTQ+ community at an exceedingly high rate. Even worse, symptoms--the early signs that there are mental health concerns--are overlooked, ignored or misdiagnosed. The purpose of this training was to provide parents and caretakers with signs of mental health concerns so that they are better equipped to identify them in children and provide helpful resources.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR THE COMING OUT PROCESS - GUIDANCE FOR FAMILIES, PARENTS/CAREGIVERS, AND SERVICE PROVIDERS
Safe Space NOVA Executive Director, Jordan L. Costen-Sumpter
The coming out process of understanding and accepting a sexual orientation and/or gender identity can be difficult with the response of close family members and friends playing a huge role. With this training, parents and caretakers received the information and resources needed to properly navigate the process.
Annual Alexandria Pride Fair
Typically, the Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month by hosting annual Pride Month Fairs; due to the pandemic, the Task Force hosted three days of virtual workshops in 2020 in place of the fair and will do the same this year.
Previous Fairs have provided information about LGBTQ-inclusive services in Alexandria, free and confidential HIV testing, LGBTQ Family Storytime, light refreshments and LGBTQ Pride swag. The Fair is sponsored by the Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force, Alexandria Domestic Violence Program, Alexandria Sexual Assault Center and Alexandria Public Libraries. For more information or to register your organization as an exhibitor at a future fair, contact Erika Callaway Kleiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1970, the month has been celebrated in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which precipitated the first major demonstrations for LGBTQ rights in America. On June 28, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village, but bar patrons fought back. This resistance is now viewed by many as the beginning of the LGBTQ rights movement in the United States.
LGBTQ Task Force
The Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force is a space where LGBTQ people and allies gather quarterly to network, share ideas, and plan training and community events. The goal of the Task Force is to create safe and inclusive service provision to LGBTQ people in the City of Alexandria.
The Task Force began in 2007 as the Alexandria LGBTQ Victim Services Advisory Board and has always been supported through the Alexandria Domestic Violence Program and Sexual Assault Center. The Task Force has partnered with a number of City agencies and community organizations to train thousands of service providers on how to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ community members. Service providers include law enforcement, social workers, counselors, advocates, attorneys, teachers, administrators, supervisors, clergy, healthcare professionals, firefighters, and other City employees. What began as a goal within the sexual and domestic violence programs has grown into a City-wide effort. The overarching aspiration continues to be improving services and access to services for LGBTQ people throughout the City. The Task Force trains service providers and also organizes local awareness events geared to LGBTQ community members.
For more information or to join the Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force as a community member or service provider, please contact the Division Chief for the Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program, Debra Evans email@example.com.
People who identify as LGBTQ often face additional barriers to accessing services. For example, research shows that intimate partner violence exists in LGBTQ relationships at the same rate as in heterosexual and gender conforming relationships. Abusive LGBTQ relationships have similar dynamics of power and control as other abusive relationships; however, abusers can also take advantage of a heterosexist and homophobic society. For instance, some abusers threaten to "out" the survivor to parents, friends or employers, which could have detrimental consequences for the survivor. In addition, people who identify as LGBTQ are often targeted for sexual violence and hate crimes perpetrated by family members, acquaintances, partners or strangers. Since many service providers have historically not been culturally competent and equipped to serve LGBTQ survivors, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and hate crimes against LGBTQ people have frequently gone undetected and unreported. The Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force is working to help remove barriers to services and create emotional and physical safety for all people in Alexandria, including LGBTQ people.
If you or a friend have survived or are surviving sexual or intimate partner violence, please call our trained hotline staff for support.
- Virginia Anti-Violence Project
- Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance
- National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Power and Control Wheel
- National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (LGBTQ Publications Page)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
- FORGE - Information, training, and technical assistance about transgender survivors of violence
- Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault
Alexandria Police Department LGBTQ+ Liaison: Captain Shannon Soriano | firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.764.1985
- AGLA: Serving Northern Virginia LGBTQ and Allies
- Transgender Education Association of Greater Washington
- Equality Virginia
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Sylvia Rivera Law Project
- Human Rights Campaign
- Transgender Law Center
Resources for Youth and Parents
- PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) | Metro DC PFLAG | Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on local chapters and support groups.
- Safe Space NOVA
- The Trevor Project - The leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth
- Side by Side (formerly Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth ROSMY)
- Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), Washington, DC
- Helping Families Support Their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Children - A brief by Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Director of
The Family Acceptance Project
- Coming Out in Middle School - NY Times Article
- Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
- Teaching Tolerance
- Welcoming Schools
- Trans Student Educational Resources
- LGBTQ College Student Guide
- Transgender College Student Guide
- LGBTQ Youth Guide
- Gender Spectrum Education and Training
- Alexandria Teen Wellness Center
- Alexandria Health Department Getting to Zero
- Rainbow Tuesdays Clinic
- HIV/AIDS Services
- Virginia Department of Health Transgender Health Services and Support (including Virginia Transgender Resource and Referral List, updated regularly)
Older Adult Resources
- National Resource Center on LGBT Aging
- National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys: Referrals to attorneys who are familiar with planning documents for elders and people with disabilities
- SAGE: Advocacy and Services for LGBT elders
- City of Alexandria Aging and Adult Services
Livable Communities: Highlights
the work of AARP in advocating for communities that are friendly to people of