LGBTQ Task Force and Resources

Information for people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ).

Page updated on May 26, 2020 at 11:52 AM

Pride Month 2020LGBTQ Pride Month 2020

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month, and the Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force and Alexandria Library invite you to register for Celebrate Alexandria Pride Workshops being offered online June 4-6.

Twelve educational and creative workshops will be offered over three days. Workshop topics range from LGBTQ literature and creative art programming to counseling resources and the changing legal landscape for LGBTQ Virginians and support. Mayor Justin Wilson along with other members of City Council will present the Pride Month Proclamation at the beginning of the legal workshop on Thursday, June 4, 6 p.m. Senator Adam Ebbin and Delegate Mark Levine will also talk about the passage of the Virginia Values Act during the workshop.

Presenters and facilitators include members of the Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force and other local and state partners. Thank you to Alexandria Library, PFLAG Alexandria, Safe Space NOVA, Equality Virginia, Impacto LGBT, Virginia Equality Bar Association, Heard Program, Beverley Hills Community United Methodist Church, 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, and all the organizations and community members who are helping to spread the word.

Those interested can register online for one or more workshops each day by accessing the registration links below. Once registered, participants will receive links to each workshop.

Download and share a flyer for the event.

THURSDAY, JUNE 4

Register for workshops on June 4

Older LGBTQ Adults:  We’re in this Together! | 12 p.m.
Ray Biegun, Terri Lynch, Babs Waters, Alan Dinsmore - Alexandria Aging and Adult Services and Commission on Aging 
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 can become an even more supportive, compassionate, and understanding community.  We promise that attending this workshop won’t make you older, and it might even make getting older seem less intimidating knowing we live in a community that cares.

Taste the Rainbow: Counseling History and Resources for LGBTQ Individuals and Allies| 2 p.m.
Lauren Brown, MA LMHP-R, Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services 
How have LGBTQ people been viewed by the U.S. mental health system over the years? What are the systemic ways in which this history—including medical, social and legal implications—has affected LGBTQ people today? Many people are hesitant to reach out for therapeutic support, and this workshop delves into the specific reasons why LGBTQ individuals have faced extra barriers. Today, there are many affirming and competent counselors in our community. Learn what to look for and what questions to ask when searching for a competent therapist. This presentation is ideal for LGBTQ individuals, allies, friends and family.

The Power of Words ~ Creative Writing and Memoir | 4 p.m.
Alexa Fleming, Heard Program
Hey you! What’s going on in that head of yours? Let’s mobilize your memories and aspirations in this class, taught by a working journalist who draws in elements of storytelling, curiosity and emotional truth to create pieces of personal writing. This hour will remind you that we’re all creative — and we all do it differently.  (No writing experience necessary.)

The Changing Legal Landscape for LGBTQ Virginians | 6 p.m. 
Pat Ruble, Alexandria Office of Human Rights
Alexandra Lydon, Legal Services of Northern Virginia and Virginia Equality Bar Association
Both the City of Alexandria and the Commonwealth of Virginia recently passed historic legislation to protect the LGBTQ+ community. What does this mean for LGBTQ+ Virginians, and how will the new laws be implemented in Alexandria and statewide?  Join us to discuss the addition of gender identity to the City of Alexandria human rights code and the Virginia Values Act, which will go into effect on July 1, 2020. Mayor Justin Wilson along with other members of City Council will present the Pride Month Proclamation at the beginning of the workshop, and Senator Adam Ebbin and Delegate Mark Levine will be on hand to talk about the passage of the Virginia Values Act during the workshop.


FRIDAY, JUNE 5

Register for workshops on June 5

Welcoming All: LGBTQ-Affirming Faith Communities | 12 p.m.
Rev. Deborah Porras, Beverley Hills Community United Methodist Church

What does an affirming faith community look like?  What does it mean to include people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in both the policy and practices of a congregation?  Join Pastor Deborah to discuss these questions and some theological and scriptural affirmations for LGBTQ inclusion.

Building a Healthier Alexandria | 2 p.m.
Nechelle Terrell, Virginia Department of Health
What does a healthy Alexandria look like to you? All Alexandrians should have the opportunity to live their healthiest life. You have an important role in making that vision a reality. The Alexandria Health Department and the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria are facilitating the development of a 2020-2025 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). This community-centered plan has equity at its core and answers the question: What collective actions and structural changes do we need to eliminate differences in health outcomes? In this workshop, learn about the timing and process of the plan, accessing HIV/AIDS testing and services during the Coronavirus pandemic, how to advocate on issues of particular interest to the LGBTQ community, and more.

You are Not Alone: Resources for LGBTQ Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence | 4 p.m. 
Negar Ehsani, Jill Burnette, Monica Huerta and Erika Callaway Kleiner, City of Alexandria Domestic Violence Program and Sexual Assault Center
Right now the world is understandably focused on COVID-19, but sexual and domestic violence are epidemics that continue to affect all of us in some way—as survivors, friends or loved ones.  Join us to discuss the impact of violence within and against the LGBTQ community, barriers to accessing help, and resources for support and healing.

Rainbow Reading: LGBTQ Literature | 6 p.m.
Isaiah West, Alexandria Library
Join Alexandria Library's Isaiah West to discuss LGBTQ+ fiction and nonfiction for all ages and hear about some popular new titles.


SATURDAY, JUNE 6

Register for workshops on June 6

Supporting your LGBTQ+ Teen | 11 a.m.
Beth Morrissey and Julie Lowe, PFLAG Alexandria
Join the facilitators of the Alexandria Community Group of PFLAG to know that you are not alone in the challenges of raising an LBGTQ+ teen (or tween). The facilitators are both working moms of transgender teens who will share their experiences and knowledge of area support groups, resources and addressing issues at school. 

Living Our Truth: Stories from Transgender Virginians | 1 p.m.
Equality Virginia
Join members of Equality Virginia’s Transgender Advocacy Speakers Bureau for a time of community and learning as they share their stories as transgender people living in Northern Virginia, followed by time for dialogue and questions.

Gender and Sexuality Spectrums: What are they and how do they affect youth relationships? | 5 p.m.
Youth Presenters Morgan Atkins, Sara Font and Sofia Sosa, and Facilitator Julie Alexandrin, Safe Space NOVA Youth
In this session, we will explore the LGBTQIA+ Community and delve into how gender and sexuality affect relationships and consent between youth. 

Shake Your Groove Thang! | 7 p.m.
Tina Kantiano, Heard Program 
"Let's show the world we can dance/Bad enough to strut our stuff." This hour is all about us and all about you. Leave your inhibitions in the other room. Bring your fabulousness, your killer moves and be ready to Vogue like you're on the runway. We're here to have fun and dance like nobody's watching—a one-hour celebration of Pride and Empowerment! “Keep dancin,' let's keep dancin!"


Annual Alexandria Pride Fair

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month. To celebrate the month of awareness, the Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force hosts annual Pride Month Fairs. 

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.

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.

The Alexandria Pride 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, contact Erika Callaway Kleiner at erika.kleiner@alexandriava.gov.


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 debra.evans@alexandriava.gov. 

Creating Safety 
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.


LGBTQ Resources


Anti-Violence Resources

General Resources

Resources for Youth and Parents

Education Resources

Health Resources

Older Adult Resources

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