On June 26, 2018, the Hampton Roads LGBTQAI Interfaith Group held their 6th Annual Interfaith Celebration as part of Pride Week. The group is made of local faith communities “who are part of and/or supportive/welcoming/affirming/friends/allies of the LGBTQAI Greater Community.” Unlike many interfaith celebrations that only feature various Christian denominations and cisgender white folks, this event is always truly diverse. Besides the Christians, there was representation from the local Pagan community and a Jewish Rabbi also spoke at the event. There were People of Color and even a Transgender soloist / guitarist. The event was held at the New Life Metropolitan Community Church of Norfolk.
A rally is set to take place tonight, June 26, 2018, at the Norfolk City Government offices in support of the Hershee Bar. The Norfolk City Council voted to purchase the Hershee Bar as part of the city’s revitalization plan for the Five Points neighborhood. The Hershee Bar is set to close its doors on October 31. In the meantime, the bar is looking for a new home.
The Rainbow Flag, also known as the Pride Flag and Gay Pride Flag, is a symbol of LGBTQ pride. The colors reflect the diversity within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community, and the flag is often used as a symbol of pride in LGBTQ rights marches and parades. The Rainbow Flag was originally designed and hand dyed by San Francisco artist and drag queen Gilbert Baker in 1978. It first flew in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978.
Three Branch River Grove ADF performed its annual Summer Solstice Ritual at Mystic Moon of Norfolk on June 23, 2018. Druids Linda Sager Kazalski and Wes Jolly presided over the ceremony which celebrates the Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer. The Summer Solstice is the longest day and the shortest night of the year.
As a solar observance, solar deities are often honored. For this particular ritual, the goddess Brighid and the god Lugh were invoked and honored. Cornmeal, tobacco, birdseed, oil, silver, and other offerings were made to the deities, ancestors, nature spirits, and outdwellers.
Hampton Roads Pride kicked off its official Pride week activities with an evening at the Chrysler Museum on June 21, 2018. The event took place as part of the Chrysler Museum’s Third Thursday programming. The party included socializing, a selection of food, a cash drink bar, and music. Musical guests included Melody & Company, Ju Ju Drum, and other performers. Folks could tour the museum, make their own mini Pride flags, and get their picture taken by the LOVE sculpture in front of the museum. Other props, masks, and signs were spread about inside for folks to create their own photos. Bhav Brigade Hampton Roads was on hand to support Pride and International Yoga Day with an all-levels vinyasa flow on the Chrysler Museum lawn.
The Radical Faeries (also known as the Rad Fae) is an LGBTQ Pagan movement that came out of the 1970s. In 1979, Harry Hay, his lover John Burnside, and a few others organized a spiritual conference that kicked off the Radical Faerie movement. Harry Hay was also a co-founder of the 1950s Mattachine Society. This movement originally incorporated hippie, Neopagan, eco-friendly, and feminist ideals, but has since become so large and diverse as to be undefinable.
This year’s official Pride activities extend beyond the typical week. Unofficially Pride month kicked off with the LGBT Life Center’s Reel It Out Queer Film Festival, June 7-10, will reach a climax at the official Hampton Roads PrideFest on June 30, and will be capped off with our own Alternative Pride Picnic on July 7. In between, there are a number of Pride month events - both official and unofficial.
Is it a Pride week, a Pride month, or a Pride fortnight? We’re not really sure, but here’s your guide to this year’s official and unofficial Pride events. We’ve also included a few other causes and LGBTQ events of note that are happening during this time.
For more details on each event and to see a comprehensive listing of LGBTQ and other “alternative” events in Hampton Roads , please check out the calendars on the Alternatives HR website (www.alternativeshr.com). We’ve been maintaining our calendars since 2013.
Wicca is the most commonly known Pagan religion. Usually the religion is called “Wicca” and most Wiccans practice spells and that practice is called “witchcraft.” It’s basically good witchcraft. Wiccans have a law called the “Wiccan Rede.” The short version pretty much says “Do as you will, but harm none.” They also believe that anything bad you do to anyone else will come back to you three times. They call this the “Law of Three.” Wiccans worship a Goddess and a God. They generally believe that all gods and goddesses from various cultures and mythologies are just different aspects of one ultimate Goddess and one ultimate God. Wicca is generally considered a feminine religion. Modern Wiccans are more likely to focus on the Goddess than the God. Some paths focus on the belief in male-female polarity, especially related to something called “the Great Rite.” This Rite is basically the sexual union of male and female - whether practiced as a genuine sex act or symbolically. In some circles there’s debate about how LGBT people fit into the whole polarity thing. LGBT folks tend to have both masculine and feminine polarities within, rather than being exclusively one or the other.
Hampton Roads LGBT Life Center will kick off LGBT Pride month with their 5th annual Reel It Out Queer Film Festival June 7-10, 2018. The festival celebrates “the lifestyle, struggles, joys, and hardships of the Queer community through the world of film and media.”
Films are chosen to reflect the Queer community, and not to accommodate mainstream audiences or to cater to the “status quo.”
Mainstreaming is the act of incorporating a social or cultural group into the mainstream society, but it is also the adopting of mainstream values and sensibilities by that same social or cultural group.
The modern LGBTQ movement is said to have begun with the Stonewall Riot that started on June 27, 1969. At the time, it was common for gay bars to be raided by police and it was also common for those who frequented those bars to have their lives destroyed when their names were printed in the newspapers the following day. On that particular night at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, a handful of Drag Queens, Transgender people, sex workers, and other folks resisted the police and a movement was born.
Gentrification is the process where upper and upper-middle income individuals, organizations, and businesses assert upper and upper-middle class values, standards, and expenses on a neighborhood or community, often displacing low income and marginalized individuals, organizations, and businesses.
LGBTQ gentrification benefits from and perpetuates the myth that all LGBTQ people are affluent, cultured in the arts, and unhampered by the costs and responsibilities of raising children. This myth worked well to garner support from corporate America looking for untapped markets of potential customers. While this myth may be true for some, the privilege doesn’t extend to a large number in our community.