Online Workshops Kick Off Alexandria LGBTQ Pride Month

Page updated on May 19, 2020 at 1:21 PM

Pride Month 2020June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month, and the Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force and Alexandria Library invite residents to register for Celebrate Alexandria Pride Workshops being offered online June 4-6.

The event is being held in lieu of the annual Alexandria Pride Fair, which was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Since we couldn’t gather at the Fair,” says Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force Facilitator Erika Callaway Kleiner, “we decided that holding virtual workshops would be a good way to celebrate, inform the LGBTQ community, and keep us connected.”

More than 10 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:

  • Taste the Rainbow: Counseling History and Resources for LGBTQ Individuals and Allies
  • The Power of Words ~ Creative Writing and Memoir
  • The Changing Legal Landscape for LGBTQ Virginians
  • Welcoming All: LGBTQ-Affirming Faith Communities
  • Building a Healthier Alexandria
  • You are Not Alone: Resources for LGBTQ Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Rainbow Reading: LGBTQ Literature
  • Supporting your LGBTQ+ Teen
  • Supporting your LGBTQ+ Teen
  • Gender and Sexuality Spectrums: What are they and how do they affect youth relationships?
  • Shake Your Groove Thang!

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 recent passage of the Virginia Values Act, historic legislation that extends non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Virginans

Presenters and facilitators include members of the Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force and other local and state partners. For more information about the workshops, presenters and how to register, visit alexandriava.gov/LGBTQ

The event comes at a crucial time for people who identify as LGBTQ, says Callaway Kleiner. 

“LGBTQ people are facing unique challenges due to the pandemic,” Callaway Kleiner explains. “Many people in the community have jobs in industries that are getting hit hard economically or were already underemployed. People in the community also tend to lack access to adequate healthcare and have higher rates of food insecurity--issues that are compounded by the current crisis.”

In addition, people in the LGBTQ community often lack family support, says Callaway Kleiner. “Many older LGBTQ adults are isolated and do not have family support during this crisis, and youth in the community may face rejection from their families and are living in unsupportive and possibly unsafe environments.”

All of this is made even more challenging, says Callaway Kleiner, because people who identify as LGBTQ suffer discrimination and are sometimes denied public support and services altogether. Further, LGBTQ people of color face compouned risks and barriers to accessing help.

“This is a time when our LGBTQ community members need support,” says Callaway Kleiner. “Everyone involved in this event cares deeply about creating safe, inclusive, and affirming spaces and building equity for people who identify as LGBTQ. We want all LGBTQ residents to know that we are here to serve and support them.”

Workshops are being offered at no cost. Learn how to register at alexandriava.gov/LGBTQ. View and share a flyer about the event.

LGBTQ Pride Month is recognized each year to celebrate LGBTQ people and the influence they have had around the world, as well as raise awareness of current issues faced by the community. June was chosen because it is the month the Stonewall Rebellion took place in 1969.  Stonewall is considered by many to be the birth of the modern LGBTQ movement for equality.

For more information about the Alexandria LGBTQ Task Force, Pride Month and resources for people who identify as LGBTQ, visit alexandriava.gov/LGBTQ.

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