Friday, March 12, 2010

Roanoke Equality Update: We've been busy, busy, busy!

It's been a while since I posted anything about what we've been up to at Roanoke Equality, so I thought I'd bring you up to date. We've got a lot of exciting projects in the works and would love it if any of you would like to to pitch in a lend your talents to the effort.

These upcoming projects are listed chronologically.

April: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal. On March 4th the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced a full out campaign to lobby congress for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), an effort being spearheaded by Sen. Joe Lieberman. I was contacted last week by HRC's Terry McGuire to see if Roanoke Equality would be interested in helping with this grass roots effort right here in the Roanoke and Blacksburg areas.

Terry is in the process of organizing LGBT activists, and military veterans to meet with our elected officials to tell our stories of serving under DADT. Are you up for it?

We don't have the date scheduled yet, but I can tell you this much. The meetings will be held locally in Roanoke and Blacksburg in the first couple of weeks in April, during the work week, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you have the flexibility in your schedule or have an understanding boss who would let you take some time out of your work day to fight against this unjust, homophobic policy, please let me know via my FaceBook page or e-mail me at

April 29th through May 2nd: Philadelphia Equality Forum  Join us as we carpool to, and roomshare in Philly for this annual event. We will be leaving from Roanoke,VA Thursday April 29th and returning Sunday May 2nd.We gladly encourage anyone throughout the region who is interested to join in and coordinate with us.

This event is huge with numerous seminars,speakers, rallies, parties, etc. Philly is a gay friendly, colorful city complete with its gayborhood, wall murals and historic sites. Details about transportation and hotels, a possible discount on hotel rooms (block) will be announced as time proceeds. Please share your thoughts here as you wish. Frank attended this event last year and thought it was a great, energizing and learning experience and had "a way-lot of fun too!" Check out the Roanoke Equality FaceBook page for details.

Strength Through Diversity Discussion Group/Seminar. For decades, the main focus of the LGBT rights movement has been convincing the general public to accept us and grant us our rights, but what about acceptance within our own immensely diverse community?  Does our diversity get in the way of our ability to work together and achieve the common goal of full and equal protection under the law?

Frank House and I have been working with the Conflict Resolution Center to put together and exciting program to help Roanoke's LGBTQIA... community find ways to work together more effectively. We've tentatively scheduled this 2 to 3 hour event for the morning of Saturday, May 8. The idea here is for you to have a safe place to tell your story and share your experiences within our community in order to reach a greater understanding of the patchwork that is our community. We are currently scouting locations and begging donations of time, volunteers, funding and creativity to help us pull this thing off. Please let me know if you want to help.

A free lunch will be provided and we'll have two drawings for a free $50 gift certificate to the Library Restaurant, graciously donated by Lowell Hill, who you may know from his hosting duties at the annual Miss Roanoke Valley Pageant. Thank you Lowell for your support.

2010 Rally for Equality in Elmwood Park. We are planning another rally in downtown Roanoke to commemorate the anniversary of Stonewall at the end of June. This is not a substitute for Pride in the Park. In fact, the Roanoke Pride committee has been very supportive and is excited to take part in this event that will kick off the summer Pride Season with music, guest speakers and local artists and energy. Contact me or Frank via the FaceBook Roanoke Equality page of send me an e-mail.
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks Steve for posting this summary for us. Yes...we stay busy...and we need and want and enthusiastically encourage our rainbow community(and our greater community)to join in and help and/or participate in some way with us. We need and want cooperative and enjoyable coalitions...internally and with the greater community. Think of life as a canvas where you can create and make things...good things benefit all. The sky is not the limit...our minds like to tell us that we cannot do this or that...but it is up to us to simply act before our minds have time to dissaude us from trying... lol... I love my community, as I know many of you do...we can and will forge ahead and celebrate it's continued introspection,realization and growth !! Have a great day, and drop a line or give us a call..540-537-2568;


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