June is known as Pride Month, the anniversary of the Stonewall event in Manhattan and the culmination of a series of movements to fight for equal rights for LGBTQIA+ people in America. Pride Month is not simply a parade with colorful six-color flags but a sacred observance for the LGBTQIA+ community. For so many people, it’s an opportunity to recognize and celebrate everything that’s been fought for and achieved in the face of prejudice and suppression of equal rights.
While Pride Month puts a spotlight on four weeks of the year, we wanted to highlight five organizations across Virginia that are doing important work in this space throughout the year.
Founded in 1989 as Virginians for Justice, Equality Virginia is the leading advocacy organization in Virginia seeking equality for the LGBTQ+ community. It works to educate, mobilize and empower Virginians to ensure all LGBTQ+ people are free to live, love, learn and work. The organization advocates on behalf of the community during the General Assembly and helps to facilitate storytelling within the community to help educate partners and bring an increased visibility to important issues that impact LGBTQ people. You can support EV and learn more about here.
NOVA Pride bills itself as a young, grassroots and 100% volunteer-run organization. Joining the efforts of other organizations, NOVA Pride carries the goal of building an increasingly inclusive community. Its work focuses on bringing a sense of community to families, youth and people of all backgrounds and sexualities through its year-round activities, including an annual festival every fall. To support the work of NOVA Pride, you can volunteer or donate here.
The Virginia Anti-Violence Project
With the hope of “Creating Safe Spaces and Combating Violence Against Our Communities,” the Virginia Anti-Violence Project, or VAVP, focuses not only on LGBTQ+ equity, intersectionality justice and language justice but also family and relationships. Individual, community and cultural change are inseparably linked, and VAVP’s hope is to ensure that all our people have access to equitable resources. To learn more about VAVP, here is where you can support it.
Founded in 1970 and based in Richmond, Virginia Pride seeks to unite LGBTQ communities throughout the Commonwealth. Virginia Pride reaches out to the community through awareness, networking and education programming with a focus on promoting and celebrating civil rights to make Richmond a better place for the LGBTQ community to live. Follow its efforts and support Virginia Pride here.
Us Giving Richmond Connections (Black Pride RVA)
With the theme “Pride with a Purpose,” the inaugural Black Pride RVA event was hosted by Us Giving Richmond Connections back in 2018. The UGRC focuses on promoting the health and wellness of Black LGBTQ persons of Greater Richmond through celebration, education and empowerment. You can learn more or volunteer here.