On June 28, 1970, on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the first Pride marches were held in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Thousands of LGBTQIA+ people gathered to commemorate Stonewall and demonstrate for equal rights. The events of Stonewall and the liberation movements that followed directly resulted from prior decades of LGBTQIA+ activism and organizing. In particular, Pride traditions were adapted from the “Reminder Day Pickets” held annually (1965-1969) on July 4 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Today even small college towns in Virginia are holding events in solidarity to celebrate the movement and peacefully engage in activism and community awareness.
In the Charlottesville area, our pride events are typically held in the fall to accommodate UVA’s celebrations for the LGBTQIA+ student community. The Cville Pride at IX Park festival will be on September 17th where you’ll find a packed day of family fun, community resource tabling and giveaways, aligned spiritual organizations, and evening activities for adults like karaoke and outdoor film screenings. You can learn more about the event from this link here. Charlottesville also has year-long resources and meetings available to the LGBTQIA+ community. At Partner for Mental Health, our goal is to connect individuals to helpers who meet folks where they are in their recovery and journey of life no matter their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. These are just a few of the organizations offering affirming care and community in Central Virginia:
- On Our Own: Peer Support. Support groups are offered both in-person and virtual as well as a food pantry twice a week. Services are all free! Every Wednesday evening virtually at 6PM EST, Kay (community navigator at Partner for Mental Health) co-hosts Queer Support with On Our Own’s director, Eli, and Media Manager/Peer Recovery Specialist, Nina. Click here to see their groups at a glance for zoom links.
- Region Ten: The Blue Ridge Center reopened this spring and offers support groups and substance use help; including smoking cessation, safe medication storage, and Acudetox. All services and groups are free. Every Thursday morning at 11AM they offer an LGBTQIA+ Support, Empowerment & Processing Group. Check out their calendar here.
- The Women’s Initiative: The mission of The Women’s Initiative is to provide ALL women with effective counseling, social support, and education so they can transform life challenges into positive change and growth. The Women’s Initiative offers groups and individual services to meet the healing needs of Black, Latinx, People of Color, LGBTQ+, individuals with refugee status, and women who have survived gender-based trauma. Groups are offered virtually via Zoom, outdoors, and in person. These offerings are always free. The C’ville Trans Women Circle of Support meets Thursday evenings with a hybrid format both in person and virtual from 6-7:30PM. For more information and to register (preferred names or initials are fine), email email@example.com.
- Blue Ridge Health District: Recently there has been a rise of new HIV infections in the district and BRHD is stepping up to help and fight the stigma. They offer sexual health education, testing services, PrEP, and condoms. To learn more about these services click here.
- Outside of town but still close by community resources: Diversity Richmond, Shenandoah LGBTQ Center, and Side by Side Virginia (youth programs and services).
For more up to date information on events and local community resources, check out our Instagram page.