You are cordially invited to join us for the Second Annual
on Saturday, July 18th from 7 to 11 p on The Rooftop of Center in the Square Downtown Roanoke
Cory Campbell and his Band L I V E Music. Food. Drinks. Raising Funds for Roanoke Pride & The PRISM Foundation Tickets available on EventBrite.com or At the Door! 3
About PRISM Foundation Magazine Published by The PRISM Foundation of Roanoke Pride, Inc. P. O. Box 18121, Roanoke, VA 24014 Roanoke Pride & PRISM Board of Directors Jason Michael Gilmore “Coda Fatts” Angie Parris Michael Lee Smith Timothy Dean Oliver Johnston “Bunny Flingus” Chuk Luvender Will Rye Jonathan Moralde Wayne Swain Todd Nash To Subscribe send your e-mail address with SUBSCRIPTION noted to info@PrismMagazineVA.org
Editor In Chief Jason Michael Gilmore Editorial Staff Michael Lee Smith Timothy Dean Wayne Swain Brianna Wine Director of Photography: Tru Stevens
Special Thanks to Our Many Contributing Writers this Issue!
The views and opinions expressed in this magazine in part or in whole are soley attributed to and are of the original authors and contributors. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent or imply those of Roanoke Pride, Inc., The PRISM Foundation, or the Board or staff of these entities or this magazine.
July 2015 - Volume 1, Issue 2
From the Publisher's Desk ..................................Page 7
Community Service ............................................. Page 37 At Last. SCOTUS Rules Marriage Equality .. Page 10 Floyd Pride Held ............................................... Page 40 VCU Brandcenter & VGLCC ............................. Page 14 Community Member Highlight .......................... Page 42 The Park is Donated to Roanoke Pride ............. Page 18 Park holds benefit show for Pride Month ..... Page 44 3rd Pride Parade Planned ................................. Page 22 Roanoke Drag Brunch Comes “Home” .............. Page 46 Trailer Park Pageant for PRISM ...................... Page 24 First Mister Virginia Pride of America .......... Page 50 2nd Annual Condom Con Held ......................... Page 28 PRISM Column: The Salad Bowl ...................... Page 53 PRISM Column: Transgender Self Worth ...... Page 31 Cody Hall: To Whom It May Concern ........... Page 56 PRISM Foundation Goals Outlined ..................Page 32 More Than Just a Crown ................................... Page 58 SWVA LGBT at Governor’s Mansion ...............Page 34 Roanoke Pride through the ‘90s ...................... Page 60 PRISM Column: The Commodity of Pride ...... Page 36 ON THE CO VER: The White House is lit in Rainbow colors to celebrate the COVER: Supreme Court Ruling for Marriage Equality. (photo courtesy AP)
From The Publisher’s Desk... Each Day can make a Profound Difference... Greetings wonderful Citizens of Southwest Virginia! The last nine weeks since the debut of PRISM Magazine have seen a huge amount of change both on the local level and across the nation in the scope of the LGBT Community as a whole. It has been a very busy time in our community and particularly in the organization of Roanoke Pride. Beyond the new magazine launch in May, we launched our new APP for iPhone and Android phones which is available FREE and covers all aspects of Pride, PRISM and The Park. We are proud to be the first LGBT entity in Southwest Virginia to have our own free APP. Check it out today! May 17th marked a special day in LGBT history for SWVA as The Park Dance Club was officially announced as now being owned by Roanoke Pride. Elizabeth Bower’s generosity in bestowing this business to the community will ensure not only a long life of the entity itself, but new lifelines for our community both through a growing hub and programming. The Park’s General Manager Michael Lee Smith is to be commended on a smooth, easy transition over the last sixty days! The Park remains the Home of SWVA LGBT! I had the pleasure of visiting Governor and Mrs. McAuliffe at the Executive Mansion in Richmond in early June. They hosted a special event in honor of LGBT Pride Month across the Commonwealth. Jonathan Moralde, Will Rye, and Elizabeth Bower joined me in representing our organizations. Be sure and check out the article and photos from this great day in this issue. “At Last”, The Supreme Court of the United States Ruling handed down on June 26 brings a new era not only to our Community but across all the Nation. Let us celebrate Marriage Equality finally winning. Love Wins. May it Always Win. Pride 26 is almost upon us... we’re gearing up! Looking forward to seeing everyone over the next many weeks... EVERY day counts! With love and Pride,
Jason Michael Gilmore President, Roanoke Pride, Inc. Chairman, The PRISM Foundation
Out & About SWVA well Represented in Capital Pride Parade!
PRISM Foundation Magazine is published 6 times annually. Submissions should be made by the following deadlines:
September 2015 Issue (PRIDE Guide) Deadline: August 15 November 2015 Issue Deadline: October 26 January 2016 Issue Deadline: December 23 March 2016 Issue Deadline: February 24 May 2016 Issue Deadline: April 20 July 2016 Issue Deadline: June 23 Article Submissions should be sent to: articles@PrismMagazineVA.org
Jonathan Moralde, Jason Gilmore, Alexis Kennedy Salad-Kelly and Jacob Dillon were among many SWVA community members representing the area in the Washington, DC, Capital Pride Parade held Saturday, June 13, 2015.
Ad inquiries: ads@PrismMagazineVA.org Want to offer help? For General inquiries: info@PrismMagazineVA.org
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We want to hear from YOU! 9
by Mat Reyna-Trent
History is Ma
SCOTUS rules in favor of Marri When the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, the nation celebrated. Millions of people took to the streets celebrating this landmark decision that will forever change the way the LGBT community is viewed in the eyes of the law. Countless corporations changed their logos, adding rainbow effects to reflect support for the ruling, and more than 26 million people changed their social media profile picture to rainbow colors publicly displaying their support for marriage equality. The overflowing joy that filled millions was amplified during the weekend as many of the nation’s largest cities held pride festivals in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. It was a non-stop party that started Friday morning and lasted several days. Just eleven years ago, Massachusetts became the first state to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples. While the first gay Americans were getting married in Massachusetts, much of the nation didn’t consider it an option. It was such a foreign concept, that most of the LGBT community never thought of marriage as a possibility. We as a community were still feeling the scorn from the AIDS epidemic in the 80’s and the general public disapproval of our “lifestyle”. Coming out was a HUGE step and most suffered rejection from loved ones. Over the last decade public opinion swiftly changed and we saw the start
ade in 5-4 Ruling
of mainstream acceptance of the them marriage rights was possible. LGBT community into society. Now a majority of Americans support Chief Justice Roberts who authored the minority dissent stated marriage equality. “Understand well what this dissent is In the majority opinion of the about: It is not about whether, in my marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges, judgment, the institution of marriage Justice Kennedy writes a very should be changed to include samedetailed account of his logic in the sex couples. It is instead about ruling. He gives a brief history of the whether, in our democratic republic, institution of marriage in past that decision should rest with the societies and how they evolved over people acting through their elected the years, adapting to the social norms representatives, or with five lawyers of the times. “The ancient origins of who happen to hold commissions marriage confirm its centrality, but it authorizing them to resolve legal has not stood in isolation from disputes according to law.” In his developments in law and society. The opinion, this was a decision that history of marriage is one of both should have been left up to the continuity and change. That legislative branch and not an issue institution — even as confined to appropriately decided by the court. opposite-sex relations — has evolved All four conservative judges who over time.” Addressing the question were in the minority opinion each of the lack of inclusion of same-sex wrote their own dissent and some marriage in every known civilization chose to use very harsh, blistering until 2001, when the Netherlands was words to attack the court’s decision. the first nation to grant gay couples the right to marry, Kennedy had this “[W]e need not speculate. When the to say “Until the mid-20th century, Fourteenth Amendment was ratified same-sex intimacy long had been in 1868, every State limited marriage condemned as immoral by the state to one man and one woman, and no itself in most Western nations, a belief one doubted the constitutionality of often embodied in the criminal law. doing so. That resolves these cases.” For this reason, among others, many Justice Scalia stated in his blistering persons did not deem homosexuals to dissent, however Justice Kennedy have dignity in their own distinct also addressed this stating, “the nature identity. A truthful declaration by of injustice is that we may not always same-sex couples of what was in their see it in our own times. The hearts had to remain unspoken.” It generations that wrote and ratified wasn’t until homosexuals were no the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth longer viewed as criminals or Amendment did not presume to deviants that the notion of granting know the extent of freedom in all of
its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.” This statement by Kennedy confirms the living Constitution prespective, meaning the Constitution should be interpreted loosely taking into account social and technological advancements since its ratification. This could have effect in future cases resulting in a more liberal interpretation of continual rights and protections. The closing paragraph of Kennedy’s opinion was beautifully written and some believe may make this ruling broader than just marriage rights. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest
Mat Reyna-Trent is a former Resident of Virginia. He travels the World and loves checking out new places. He currently resides in Orlando, Florida.
ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” The last sentence where Kennedy says the Constitution grants them the right of equal dignity in the eyes of the law could be broadly interpreted, resulting in a far reaching effect of how Constitutional protections are interpreted in future cases. While conservatives and many of the GOP’s presidential hopefuls cling to the unconstitutional definition of marriage and some states and counties resist this ruling, the fact is the Supreme Court settled this matter making marriage equality the law of the land. This ruling must be honored across this nation without exception. Time will tell how the majority opinion is interpreted and how far the ripple effect will go but one thing is for certain, we all witnessed history on June 26, 2015.
“[T]he right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them.” “It is so ordered.” - Justice Anthony Kennedy
by Justin Ayars, JD
the Virginia Gay & Le L Creativity. Culture. Commerce. These words represent This past semester, Professor Kelly O’Keefe encouraged three different worlds. Yet there is one place where they VCU Brandcenter students to take on another project all come together. VCU Brandcenter. within the LGBT community—this time with the newly formed Virginia Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (VGLCC). What is VCU Brandcenter? In January, a team of five students volunteered to work with the VGLCC and, in so doing, began an exciting journey into uncharted territory. The task of developing a comprehensive marketing strategy for a statewide LGBT chamber seemed particularly formidable when considering the Commonwealth’s diverse population, expansive geography, and the significant role it plays on VCU Brandcenter is committed to driving the the national stage—economically, historically, legally, communication industry to embrace and foster the politically, and socially. changing media landscape through creativity, commerce, and culture. Graduate students spend two years working In its pitch to VCU Brandcenter students, the VGLCC in teams learning that creativity isn't simply a beautiful explained that its mission is to diversify and strengthen image or a witty line, but part of a larger expression of Virginia’s economy by uniting the LGBT business powerful ideas that impact media, shape culture, and community and integrating that dynamic demographic into the state’s broader marketplace through advocacy, generate commerce. collaboration, and education. Students were tasked with Over the years, VCU Brandcenter has earned some distilling the VGLCC’s multifaceted mission into a single, clear, and compelling marketing message designed to impressive accolades: • Top 60 design business schools in the world – cultivate a diverse membership base across the Commonwealth. Business Week • #1 digital media and marketing school in the country The VGLCC met with its Brandcenter Team every week – Advertising Age • #1 advertising school in the world – Creativity throughout the semester to answer questions, provide guidance, and serve as a sounding board. Each team Magazine member lived up to the school’s stellar reputation and How Did Virginia’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce Join proved that they will have no problem uniting the concepts of creativity, culture, and commerce in their Forces with the World’s #1 Ad School? Each semester, students are granted the opportunity to post-Brandcenter careers. To see the team’s work, keep create advertising for clients on a pro bono basis. Last an eye out for the VGLCC’s future marketing campaigns. year, students developed a campaign for Richmond Region Tourism designed to brand the former Capital of “When approached by the VGLCC, we were so excited the Confederacy as an LGBT-friendly travel destination. to jump at the chance to produce work that would be used The “OutRVA” campaign—www.richmondisout.com— not only for the real world, but also for a great cause. From was so effective it got a nod from The New York Times. bouncing ideas around in brainstorming sessions with Founded in 1996 as the VCU Adcenter, VCU Brandcenter was the first graduate program in marketing communications to combine business-oriented brand management and strategic tracks with a creative program for art directors, writers, and technologists in an agency setting.
VCU Brandcenter Takes On esbian Chamber of Commerce Lesbian the VGLCC to producing prints, brochures, and social media concepts, this entire experience has been both rewarding and memorable for all of us.” –Brandcenter Team
Meet the VGLCC Brandcenter Team Perry Lowder – Creative Brand Management (Team Leader) - I find the VGLCC's vision and mission extremely important. Joining the VGLCC team allowed me to work on a passion project. The potential for the VGLCC is huge. I hope our work enables it to reach a wider audience and grow its membership base, which will allow it to better unite and integrate the LGBT economy into Virginia's larger economy. Additionally, I see the VGLCC as a template for other states and a model for a much bigger economic movement nationwide. Sara Carr – Art Direction - Working with the VGLCC gave me the opportunity to make real work for a worthwhile cause. I hope our campaign increases awareness and support for the VGLCC.
The VGLCC Brandcenter Team
Mike Stango – Copywriting - Working with the VGLCC was a nice change of pace. Being able to do real work for a real client was awesome. I hope our work helps the VGLCC reach its goals and, eventually, help it serve as a blueprint that can be used nationwide. Victoria McGoogan – Art Direction - I joined the team because supporting LGBT rights and equality is important to me. My hope is that our work will help the VGLCC educate the public about its goals and communicate its mission. Katherine Tiambeng – Copywriting - I joined the team because I loved the idea of creating real work for a real client. I hope our work allows the VGLCC to gain recognition as the economic voice for Virginia’s LGBT community.
Justin Ayars, JD is the President & CEO of the VGLCC. The VGLCC will launch in the summer of 2015 with offices in Richmond, Tysons Corner, and Charlottesville. As the chamber expands into markets across the Commonwealth, the VGLCC will connect diverse communities through shared values and the language of economics. Join the VGLCC and the New Virginia Economy. To learn more visit www.vglcc.org.
Monumental N Nation to own and oversee their very own dance club and meeting/events facility. What better fit than the two main LGBT social entities working hand in hand for the common good of our area?
Virginia Delegate Sam Rasoul (r) was a special guest at the Chili Cookoff where the Announcement of The Park being donated to Roanoke Pride was made by Jason Gilmore (l) and Elizabeth Bower (center)
Roanoke Pride, Inc., was ever prideful to announce the receipt of the monumental donation of BE Investments, LLC, dba The Park in its entirety. The Park as a business entity will continue to run as it has for the last 18 plus months under new management and will continue to be Southwest Virginia’s Hottest Dance Spot and Special Events Venue! This donation comes soley through the generosity of the previous owner Elizabeth Bower.
collaboration of the two longest existing LGBT entities under one umbrella. The Park represents a 37 year history in the Roanoke Valley and Roanoke Pride is entering its 26th Year of programming, events and its annual Pride in the Park Festival here in Southwest Virginia.
The Park as an LLC remains a complete, intact legal business entity under ownership by Roanoke Pride, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit Incorporation. This is the first This new duo serves as a great known Pride organization across the
Regarding the long term picture, Roanoke Pride President Jason M. Gilmore commented “Not only is this huge for Roanoke Pride, but it is huge for our overall community as every dollar of profit which derives from The Park will be returned to help further community projects, initiatives and events. What better way to have fun and see the monies of such come right back into one’s own community to help everyone? The entire Board of Directors is proud to be ‘gatekeeper’ of what will now forever be a Community Owned Entity.” The garnering of this business for Roanoke Pride will also facilitate a physical hub for the recently established PRISM Foundation for LGBT Youth which helps with displaced citizens in the region as well as job and education intiatives for our Youth. This downstairs of the facility will be transformed in time
Bower makes Grand Donation for Community
THE PARK is Donated to ROANOKE PRIDE
News Announced during UAC Chili Cookoff and will allow for development of even more programming, events and education initiatives in the coming months and years all while growing a bigger Community Hub for SWVA LGBT. Finally, this element makes for a “complete array”, so to speak, for Roanoke Pride with a social oriented business to generate regular income, a community service board facilitating events throughout the year, a Foundation to help its citizens as well as its own publication called PRISM Magazine and a newly launched phone APP to keep everyone in the know of happenings of all these elements! Roanoke Pride and The Park are looking forward to bigger and better things in 2015... and beyond-TOGETHER.
The Park is now TRULY a Community Club.
Alexis Kennedy Salad-Kelly, Miss Gay Virginia 2014-15 hugs The Park’s General Manager Michael Lee Smith during a special number after the Announcement was made.
FAQ Regarding Roanoke Pride owning THE PARK... How can a nonprofit like Roanoke Pride own a for-profit business like The Park? The same way a nonprofit can own a building. A building is an asset. A business is no different, it too is an asset. The Park becomes a for-profit subsidiary under Roanoke Pride. So Roanoke Pride and The Park are one and the same now? No. The Park will become a subsidiary of Roanoke Pride. This means it operates separately from Roanoke Pride with its own management and operating procedures. Three members of Roanoke Pride Board of Directors will oversee its operation and will be considered separate from the Board of Directors for intents and purposes of oversight. To reiterate: The Park is now owned by Roanoke Pride. However, Roanoke Pride and The Park are separate legal entities. Won’t individual Roanoke Pride Board of Directors profit from this arrangement? No. Roanoke Pride is the sole owner of The Park. Any profits derived from The Park will go either towards improvements for The Park or into Roanoke Pride’s coffers to help pay for Pride in the Park, The Prism Foundation, and other events throughout the year. Our bylaws specifically cover this and have been amended to cover oversight of The Park LLC as a completely separate legal entity. I thought The Park was a limited liability corporation. It is. Roanoke Pride just happens to be own the entire membership of said LLC. Isn’t it unsightly for a non-profit to be operating a bar? While this is a matter of perception, we disagree. The Park is a community hub for the LGBT population of Southwest Virginia and we plan to expand on this. Our mission is “to promote acceptance, visibility, and a sense of community in the Southwestern Virginia Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community by organizing educational and social events and Sunday, providing opportunities for outreach” and we believe purchase of The Park will help us achieve that mission. Will The Park still be able to sell alcohol? Yes, As long as The Park continues to meet the requirements of the VA ABC. The Park as an LLC earned this license and its purchase by a separate legal entity does not change the license. Where did Roanoke Pride get the money for this purchase? From a very generous donor. What are some of Roanoke Pride’s plans for The Park? Naturally there will be some minor changes to ensure profitability, but The Park will stay The Park you know and (hopefully) love. There are no major changes on the horizon at this time. What happens to Michael “Mr. Microphone” Smith and the staff of The Park? Michael will remain the general manager of The Park. Members of the staff will remain employed if they choose to continue working for The Park following the change of ownership. No employee will be displaced during this transition except by their own choice. Isn’t Michael serving on the Roanoke Pride Board of Directors a conflict of interest? No. Michael is employed by The Park. He does not have any ownership in The Park. Were this the case it would be a conflict of interest. His position with The Park is wholly separate from his position as VP of Festival Coordination with Roanoke Pride, just as The Park as an LLC and Roanoke Pride as an incorporated 501c3 nonprofit are and will remain separate legal entities. For any further questions or clarifications, please contact us at email@example.com
Roanoke Pride Week & Fe
hird ird ever RoanokePride Parade Planned
estival to see Return of Parade
by Oliver Johnston
Trailer Park P
Annual Event raises funds for PRISM Kings and Queens in the Roanoke area have been competing in various pageants for charity for many years and have raised thousands of dollars to better our community. There is one pageant however that has been around for 5 years strong and each year the pageant chooses a different community entity to support. This pageant is commonly known as the Trailer Park Pageant. The Trailer Park was located at the Backstreet Café from 2010-2012 until the Kings and Queens packed up their trailers and moved their home to the SWVA LGBT community’s home, The PARK. The pageant was originally started by Seanica (a local drag queen) and all proceeds went to the Drop-In Center. After 2010, Seanica handed the pageant over to a fellow queen Bunny Flingus where she has held the reigns for the past 4 years. Since Bunny Flingus took over, the Trailer Park family has been raising 100’s of dollars each year. For the 2015 pageant, the family chose to donate all the proceeds to the newly forming PRISM foundation. The PRISM foundation, once up and running will be a safe haven for the homeless LGBT to find shelter and support. Each year a group of Kings and Queens put together a runway outfit in which they dress down and a talent number that typically falls in the genre of Country. Their goal is to please the audience so that they receive the most tips. Throughout the entire night they walk around the
park with their own bucket and try to collect more money while they are not on stage. This year, there were a total of 7 contestants. The queens were Cherry Poppins, Danika Deluna, Vanessa Allure, Coralyne Chloride, and Patsy. The Kings were Huntin Wood and Oliver Klausoff. Each contestant brought all their enthusiasm to the Trailer Park to raise money for the PRISM foundation. That evening the newly crowned Trailer Park Queen was Cherry Poppins raising $120 and her newly crowned King was Oliver Klausoff raising $73. We cannot forget the previously crowned kings and queens because without them the Trailer Park family would not exist. In 2010, the crowned king and queen were Milton Laycock and Bunny Flingus. In 2011 they were succeeded by C-Lo and Sinister Abbey. Laiben Haze and Brycan MI became a part of the royal court in 2012, and in 2013 Anton Black and Mona Lottz became the reigning king and queen of the Trailer Park. Last, but not least, the 2014 winners were Byron Cage and Buelah May Lee who joined the family in true Trailer Park style. Get excited, as the Trailer Park Family is diligently putting together their very own Christmas Family Reunion on December 18, 2015 and all are invited to ring in the Christmas spirit! At this reunion the family will once again be raising as much money as they can for PRISM!
Every Wednesday- THE PARK Karaoke- Doors Open at 8Karaoke from 7p- ? Every Wednesday- 7p- RDC Holds RAINBOW CHAT- topic decided by attendees Every Thursday- 7p- Earth Spirit Meditation at RDC Third Mondays Each month- Pride 99 Cent Bowling- 7p at Leehi Lanes on Apperson Drive Third Thursdays Each month- 7p- Roanoke PFLAG meets at Unitarian Universalist Church, 2015 Grandin Rd. SW. Saturday, August 1st- Forever Miss Gay America in Review Show at THE PARK. Cocktails at 7p. Show at 8p. Sunday, August 2nd- Miss Gay East Coast America Pageant Registration starts at 2p. Showtime at 8p. Sunday, August 16th- Roanokeâ€™s Sunday Drag Brunch with Enya Salad, Kayla Kelly, Mona Lottz and Makayla O'Riley at THE PARK. Doors open at 11a. Seating at 11:30a. Show 12 Noon until 1:30.
September 6-13th: Roanoke Pride Week Sunday, September 6th: Roanoke Pride Pageant at THE PARK Monday-Thursday Events TBA. Friday, September 11th- Roanoke Pride in Review Show and Pride Weekend Kickoff at THE PARK. Saturday & Sunday, September 12th & 13th- 26th Annual Roanoke Pride in the Park- Elmwood Park.
Calendar Listings? Info@PrismMagazineVA.org Oliver Johnston is a Graduate of Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia. He recently relocated to the Roanoke Area and was recently elected to the Roanoke Pride Board of Directors as Treasurer.
Condom-C When most people think of superheroes, they think of Superman, Spider-Man, Batman or Wolverine, but there are those among us, without powers, doing more good for society than any costumed superhero ever could. Sunday, June 28, 2015 The Park Dance Club and Drag Showbar and Roanoke Pride were proud to host the second annual Condom Con. Geek Mob and Roanoke Doesn’t Suck LLC assisted with promoting the event and facilitating vendors to participate. In an unlikely alliance, they teamed up with Roanoke Gaming, Pixel Freak, The Tipsy Trivet, Sentimental Twilight, and Fantasies/52 Weeks of Romance to raise money for The Drop-In Center to expand HIV/AIDS awareness. In February 2005, the Drop-In Center opened its doors in the Roanoke valley. Since then, they have worked tirelessly to help provide education about HIV and AIDS, and prevent the further spread of virus. The Drop-In Center provides free condoms and testing at their facilities in Roanoke and at their satellite campus in Radford. Being a nonprofit organization, they depend mostly on funding from the
state of Virginia; funding that isn’t enough. In order to help the DropIn Center, The Park and Roanoke Pride extended a hand to the local community, asking for help to aid their fellow organization-that call did not go unheard. For the last two years, Roanoke Gaming has been at the forefront of aiding LGBT youth, providing them a safe and accepting environment to be themselves and game. Nationally, “Gaymers” are coming to the forefront, becoming more alive, and expressing themselves through cosplay and roleplay, ignoring gender roles and race. Recently, the most conservative of gaming platforms, Nintendo, revealed that several of their upcoming games will include the options for same sex relationships, including several of their simulation games and Fire Emblem: Fates. At their side was Pixel Freak, a business that makes perler bead art. Though they make mostly gaming pieces, they have begun to expand to other arenas, including LGBT art. Some of these Items include rainbow flag key chains, pink triangle magnets, and even Mario Brothers themed mushrooms with
rainbow caps. Check them out at www.facebook.com/PixelFreakVa. Also in attendance was another longtime supporter of the LGBT community: 52 Weeks of Romance/ Fantasies. They are Roanoke’s leading provider of adult toys, novelties, and costumes. Check out www.52fantisies.com for more information. Last but not least, are two businesses, run by sisters, which graced Condom Con this year. First, the Tipsy Trivet specializes in hand made coasters and goblets. Anything and everything you could want put on a coaster can be yours. Make your next dinner party fabulous by checking out www.TipsyTrivet.com. The other is Sentimental Twilight; a business that specializes in hand sewn jewelry and wears. From beautiful stitched necklaces to hand crafted bow ties, Sentimental Twilight has what you are looking for. Go online to www.etsy.com/shop/ SentimentalTwilight. Along with the vendors at this year’s Condom Con, were the performers. The star-studded Bunny Flingus, tantalizing Cherry Poppins, scrumptious Kristy Kreme,
Con 2015 by Skye Barbour and vivacious Mona Lottz, gave marvelous performances, entranced their audience, and raised money for a good cause. These super heroines gave it their all and didnâ€™t disappoint! This year there was also an unexpected guest star: Melissa Douty. Melissa recently returned from the Limestone Comedy Festival and the World Series of Comedy. Not expecting to perform, Mr. Microphone put her on the spot and in the spotlight, where she brought down the house with her comedic styling. To learn more about her, look up www.TheMelissaDouty.com. Condom Con was a success. Without the vendors, performers, Roanoke Doesnâ€™t Suck LLC, The Park and Roanoke Pride, another champion of our community would have fallen and many more lives would have been lost to HIV/AIDS. Heroes come from the community, not the cape. The question is, do you have the courage and the pride to stand with them?
Top to Bottom, Left to Right: The Condom Con Crowd watches the special Super Hero Show. Contestants in the Super Hero Costume Contest. Bunny Flingus gives a real POW Performance! Mona Lottz Super Hero Number during the Special Show.
Transgender Self Wor th by Riley Chattin It is exciting to see in the news of Caitlyn Jenner coming out as transgender. This after so many others, such as actors or actresses, priests, lawyers, baristas, teachers, sales clerks, musicians, artists and so on. We can now add to our list of great transgender people, an Olympian who received a gold medal. I have watched the past few days the countless articles, posts and comments in the news following Caitlyn Jenner finally able to release the lioness that has been hiding in a dark cave all these years. Like many of us who identify as transgender, it has been an awareness she has carried since childhood. It is amazing and I am brought to tears of joy, to see the comfort and relaxation in Caitlyn's face, after all these years of wearing a tense mask. This is the same experience I have when anyone comes out as transgender. I intensely understand and have felt that relief of finally being able to look in the mirror and see what I have always known and the relief that I do not have to go back into hiding again. The excitement to then be able to let others see the beauty that has been hidden away. That feeling we feel that rushes over us, I imagine is like that of a bird high in a tree top, stretching outward as far as wings can reach, stepping out of the nest to swoop into the jet stream into the horizon of freedom. I send peace and courage to each transgender person in discovery and in coming out. Although we are talking about it more, it does not mean the steps of self acceptance of being transgender is any less challenging. There is so much to understand. This is evident in the past days, where there have been articles about the validity of Olympic medals that Caitlyn Jenner earned, then her bravery was challenged or more likely questioned, though later rescinded by the original author Terry Coffey, whom after learning the images he chose to use were from a severely beaten cross-dresser, has that compassionate self awareness to open
his heart and mind. I have read about Caitlyn having financial comfort and the criticism around the assumed ease in her transition and most important I have also read of allies providing support. The one thing that has not crossed my path are the articles or posts on how so many of us have gone through a similar experience of turmoil in accepting we are transgender. The torture of carrying for so many years an inner knowledge that we are afraid to speak outwardly about of being different than how people perceive us. I see so much of my own journey from female to male, toward acceptance and coming out as Caitlyn has shared. I question if the reason nobody has comparing their journey of coming out to what Caitlyn has shared, because our being transgender could not match up with the same turmoil of an Olympian. The perception that in some way Caitlyn had it more challenging because of being in the public eye or having an image to uphold or as I said before that it is financially easier for her to undergo treatments and surgeries. These actions discredit her struggle, just as our own struggles may not have been given outward validation or acceptance. Just like Caitlyn, I know transgender parents who have struggled with coming out because they have children. There are also transgender people who have struggled in relationships because of being transgender. For myself the struggle I felt was in coming out to a long term partner whom I had committed to in a Holy Union in 2002. These are all similar stories many transgender people possess. I have not sat down to talk with Caitlyn, nor would I turn away an opportunity, about how she feels about her journey. I would suspect, she feels about as humbled and honored as any of us do, when we take those first steps unleashing our hidden identity. There will be people who will stay, people who will drop off the face of the Earth and others who will slowly walk away. Just like any
of us Caitlyn Jenner will find her true friends, those who will stick with her through nearly anything. Caitlyn will celebrate the hormonal body shifts, excitement of looking in the mirror or at a selfie and maybe gender affirming surgeries. Just as much as she may encounter doubt, fear and uncertainty. We have different experiences in life, simple as that. Though with our different experiences, knowledge and resources, we cannot discredit our own personal experience of being transgender. Doing so only adds to the discrimination that unaccepting nontransgender people already impose. Our path is our path, it is no less or no greater than what anybody else experiences. Often we lose our own value in not feeling worthy enough as transgender people. That is possibly what we have learned while trying to live up to the imposed gender expectations others have set upon us. The important factor we forget to mention, is to find our self worth where we are without the hormone replacement therapy and surgeries. Those things are to make it easier for everyone else to accept our gender identity that we have already accepted. Those things only outwardly affirm who we are and who we are is equally worthy because we have the courage of accepting our path of being transgender.
Riley Chattin has been an active member of the LGBT community since the early 90s. He has had pieces published in many regional magazines and The Advocate and continues to strive to empower the LGBT community. You can find him between issues around town, on You Tube and his Blog, "I Am Finding Riley" www.iamfindingriley.blogspot.com .
PRISM Foundation outlines pr ogr amming Short and Longterm Goals in Place The PRISM Foundation by Roanoke Pride, Inc., was founded last Fall. While still in its infancy, the mission is to work toward ending homelessness while facilitating Education & Job Initiatives for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth community in Virginia. Through those efforts, we strive to create a world in which young people can find acceptance of theirselves and by their community.
the launch of this publication, a BiMonthly Magazine entitled PRISM Foundation Magazine launched.
Longterm Goals in the works include General Counseling & Substance Abuse Counseling for youth, adults, and families; A 24 hour crisis hotline to help with bullying issues as well as all other related issues which can arise for community members; and Working with the largest LGBT Library in the Commonwealth of Virginia to Current Programming which has al- insure proper historical records are ready been established as well as kept of our regional LGBT History. Short Term Goals for new programming in the near future include Peer Finally, we are working to establish to Peer Counseling, Working with an "Out of the Closet" clothing proLocal and Regional existing entities to gram for displaced community memhelp facilitate Housing Placement, bers and specifically for providing Education Assistance and Initiatives proper attire for job and education infor Job Placement, as well as On site terviews; and Counseling, Seminars Job Training in fields of business, and onsite assistance to potential Fosmanagement and restaurant/serving ter Families for hosting displaced skills through Roanoke Pride's The youth. Park Dance Club & Community Center. This December we will be found- Ultimately we look to the day where ing a Christmas Angel Tree Program we can found The PRISM House as a and for the Spring we are working to- freestanding structure Community ward a Scholarship Program for both Center and hub for all of these curTeen and Adult Education. rent, goaled, and additional programming. Last year we founded a Community Recognition Program called PRISM Interested in helping PRISM? Contact us Awards recognizing excellence in via email at Jason@RoanokePride.org or Youth and Adult assistance to the Coda@RoanokePride.org or call us at overall community and in May with 310.743.3083.
Jason Michael Gilmore is President of Roanoke Pride, Inc., and Chairman of The PRISM Foundation.
by Jason Michael Gilmore
Southwest Virginia LGBT well represented at Governorâ€™s Mansion for LGBT Commemoration Go vernor pr oclaimed June LLGBT GBT Pride Month acr oss Vir ginia Governor proclaimed across Virginia Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy hosted about fifty LGBT Leaders from across the Commonwealth on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, for a Reception honoring LGBT Pride Month at the Executive Mansion in Richmond. The Governor gave a most rousing speech at the end of which he proclaimed the entire month of June in honor of our Community across Virginia. (Proclamation shown at right). A host of SWVA LGBT Leaders from the RDC as well as Ladies & Gents of the Blue Ridge were in attendance with representatives of Roanoke Pride, The PRISM Foundation and The Park. Jonathan Moralde, Will Rye, Elizabeth Bower and Jason Gilmore proudly represented the later entities and were honored to be in attendance at this monumental event. Thank you Governor & Mrs. McAuliffe for being such great Allies of our Community!
Jonathan Moralde, Will Rye, Elizabeth Bower and Jason Gilmore with LGBT Leaders and Governor McAuliffe.
by Riley Chattin
The Commodity of Pride Summer brings two things into my world that bring me much joy, one is baseball, the other is June which brings the start of LGBT pride celebrations around the world. There are two similarities I see between baseball and LGBT pride, that comes with the ownership in a shared identity. There are even two kinds of baseball fans and those that celebrate their LGBT pride. The snap of a ball hitting a glove or the crack of the bat are sounds so iconic they can bring back a flood of memories. The first type of fans are the ones who played or play ball, holding onto a love for the game. Those fans go stay immersed in the game and often show their allegiance with what seems to be an understated baseball cap. Then there is the fan who rides the tide, has the jersey from all the big players over the years, pennants and probably the lucky cap worn to every home game win or lose since they first hopped on the wave. They are out showing the team pride and cheering the team on. In many ways, one feels the grit of the game more than the one that looks like the grit of the game. They know what goes into the game, they have dug in putting long hours on the field, cleaned dirt out from under their nails, dusted themselves off more than once and celebrated a grand slam. Though it may not seem like it, it is a group effort with both fans and they both are a part of the game. However, the difference is that without the one that has been or is in the trenches there cannot be
the other. The LGBT community is similar to the baseball fans, because there are the ones that wear all the pride gear and hang out at all the pride events. Then there are the ones that dig in or have dug into do the hard work toward equality or LGBT awareness. The unforgettable feeling of remembering the sights of the first time seeing a sea of rainbows or being a part of a several hundred people chanting "we are here we are queer, get use to it". These and many first steps in a pride parade are remembered each year when the season of pride rolls around. For many there is still the memory of there not being an option to be able to outwardly show their pride. It can often seem from the outside looking in, that many of the LGBT groups are all the same. The same faces in different places with different roles, because so few people in 2015 realize there is still a long way to go in gaining LGBT equality. People can still be fired in 29 states for being openly gay and in 33 states if openly transgender. Then many people still think being bisexual means that people cannot openly admit to being homosexuals.
Talking about and wearing pride does not make pride happen. There is a need for all sides of the LGBT community, just as there is the need for all the fans in baseball. A civil movement is different from a game. The difference that the LGBT community has is that when pride is for sale it makes it easy to be a passive participant in the LGBT movement. It makes it easy to think change happens without effort, when it takes a lot of constant effort and action. Pride is not a commodity, it is a feeling. That feeling comes from experiencing and knowing there is discrimination, inequality and bigotry to overcome. The feeling of pride comes from being able to come out and be out to join a group to be a part of making a positive change. There is a different feeling in being an active part in shifting the awareness of the LGBT community, no matter how big or small the participating role is. Without the people willing to be a part of all the different LGBT groups, the LGBT movement would not have moved beyond that before the Stonewall Riots and it would still be unsafe to OUTwardly show our pride.
Riley Chattin has been an active member of the LGBT community since the early 90s. He has had pieces published in many regional magazines and The Advocate and continues to strive to empower the LGBT community. You can find him between issues around town, on You Tube and his Blog, "I Am Finding Riley" www.iamfindingriley.blogspot.com .
Community Ser vice There are many ways to Contribute The word community has several different meanings depending on context. Community can refer to a group of people living in the same locality, a group having common interests or forming a distinct segment of society, and even to society as a whole. Regardless of how you define it, one thing is true regarding all communities; a community can only grow stronger if all of its members contribute. Southwest Virginia has a thriving LGBTQ community and there are several organizations that need your support, and just like community, support can take different forms as well. Participate Participate. One of the easiest ways to give back to your community is to participate. All year long the LGBTQ organizations in Roanoke host numerous events for the community. Whether you attend a movie night at the Roanoke Diversity Council, Sunday service at the Metropolitan Community Church of the Blue Ridge, or a chili cookoff to benefit Unity Across the Community, there’s certain to be an event to interest you. The good news is that most of these events are free! Participating in an event is a great way to learn more about your favorite organizations and the work they’re doing. It also allows you to make connections within your own community and foster new friendships. Not sure what’s going on? Contact a member of an organization you’re interested in to obtain a calendar of events. Better yet, follow your favorite organization on Facebook or another social media site so you can stay up to date with everything they do.
Volunteer Volunteer. Another way to give back to your community is to volunteer. Remember all of those events I mentioned before? Well none of those events would be possible without volunteers to help set them up, clean up after they’re done, or folks just spreading the word about these events so everyone knows they’re happening. Volunteering is free of charge, the only thing it’ll cost you is your time. For most of us, our time is our most precious commodity, but even if you can’t find an hour a week (or even an hour a month) to give to a deserving organization, why not spread the word about what they’re doing? The best way to find out what volunteer opportunities are available is to contact the organization directly. Donate Donate. Money makes the world go around, and this is even truer for our community organizations. Most of these are non-profit organizations, so they survive on the generosity of others. Even if you can’t afford a donation yourself, there are other options available. My employer, CVS Health, offers volunteer grants. Just by volunteering my time and turning those hours in to my employer, I was able to obtain a $1,000 grant for Roanoke Pride last year. Your employer may not offer the exact same benefit, but the only way to find out is to look. Check your company’s HR website. If you can’t find anything there, reach out to an HR representative by phone or by email. There are many different reasons to give back to your community. Some do it for self-fulfillment, others just do it for fun. One of the
most important reasons to give back to your community may have nothing at all to do with you. Many of the LGBTQ organizations in Roanoke offer services to the community that you may never need, but there are others within the community for whom these services could be life changing. Whatever reasons you can find for becoming involved in your community I encourage you to get out there and get active. Your community is depending on you!
by Wayne T. Swain
Wayne T. Swain is a Member at Large of the Board of Directors of Roanoke Pride. He is also an Editorial Assistant for PRISM Magazine.
Floyd PRIDE 2015 celebrates th by Jim Best
All of the people around us to say Can we be that close Just let me state for the record We're giving love in a family dose, yeah! Chorus We are family I got all my sisters with me We are family Get up everybody and sing. 40
With boomboxes blaring we began our march on 27 June 2015, down Main Street in Floyd, Virginia, proclaiming our truth in the Blue Ridge Mountains and around the world. Although this third year of FloydPRIDE, sponsored by Floyd PFLAG, began as in previous years from the parking lot of the post office, we marched in a different world from our first PRIDE in 2013. In some ways it was a victory march in celebration of the Supreme Court decision making same sex civil marriage a national standard. When many of us had stood in front of the Floyd County Courthouse to hold a candle light vigil pending the Supreme Court's judgment on DOMA in March 2013, none of us would have believed that two years later we would be celebrating marriage equality across the nation. This year was different because of our recognition and visibility in the community. Despite the forecast for 95% rain, new and old allies joined us to march into the future painfully recognizing how much work we had yet to do: our gender nonconforming high school students are still not recognized in the anti-bullying public school policy, in most of these United States one can still be fired for being LGBT, our state and federal legislators still have not passed the Safe School Improvement Act ( SSIA) or the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA), transgender Americans are the most at risk of any group for hate crimes and suicide, and with
only one exception all the congregations in Floyd County adhere to some version of "love the sinner but hate the sin," refusing to publicly welcome LGBT people. Our first press conference, organized by Mara Robbins, took place in the post office parking lot with interviews aired on WDBJ-TV that evening. At the end of our jubilant March, Rev. Linda Motley opened our Welcome Program in the Farmers' Market pavilion with an invocation pleading for unity and understanding. We were welcomed by John MacEnhill of the Chamber of Commerce who moved us with his own personal history. Jason Beckner, a graduating senior from Floyd County High School who had directed the Laramie Project, witnessed his personal rejection from family and church as a result of his participation in bringing the story of Matthew Shepard to Floyd County. The innovative rhythms of Another Roadside Attraction fit the occasion perfectly, eliciting the child in all of us. Edna Whittier was recognized for her fundraising and organizational leadership as PFLAG person of the year. She delivered an insightful poem written for the occasion. FloydPRIDE 2015 was enhanced by strengthened relationships with Roanoke PRIDE and leaders from the Roanoke Diversity Center. Will Rye spoke to us about the September plans for Roanoke PRIDE. The program was closed by joining hands in a circle to
â€œWe Are Family!â€?
he Core of Community sing "Shalom Chaverim." The meaning of "Shalom"--peace and wholeness and family--was keenly tangible in the pavilion under the stormy sky. Last year Chloe Schwenke, one of the two transgender appointees to the Obama administration, filled the Community Room at the Jesse Peterman Memorial Library for her presentation. This year the room was filled to participate in a panel discussion by local leaders from Floyd County and Roanoke: the mother of a local transgender youth, the minister from the local Lutheran Church, the director of a youth camp for LGBT teens, the pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of the Blue Ridge and LGBT parent, the county corner and for moderator one of the first out LGBT appointed judges in Virginia. We recognized that no matter what progress occurred in the nation and around the world that we had much pressing work to do at home to gain safety for our children, equal employment protection, and recognition of LGBT people as equals in our faith based communities. Since last year the Presbyterian Church US has endorsed same-sex marriage. The week before our event the regional conference of United Methodists meeting in Roanoke recommended rescinding language from the Book of Discipline stating that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Puerto Rico has endorsed same sex marriage, and the news today announced that the
Episcopal Church in the United States has endorsed same-sex marriage. The work of the Family Acceptance Project lead by Dr. Caitlin Ryan was featured in our press release. The study documented that even marginal acceptance in the home created a significant improvement in school performance, attendance, reduced illicit drug use, reduced promiscuity and reduced risk for suicide. The rate of suicide among LGBT youth in rural areas is four times greater than their straight peers. Because family values are often greatly informed by religious institutions, Floyd PFLAG and other allies have begun a year round outreach to religious communities in Floyd County to invite discussion, provide information, and make allies for the continued needs of our LGBT citizens.
The following resources have proved invaluable in preparing for these discussions and in shedding light on traditional beliefs, biblical interpretation and providing examples of growing support among evangelical groups in America. The Reformation Project Kathy Baldock, Canyon Walker connections David Gushee
Where were you born? raised? Buena Vista, VA What brought you to the Roanoke area? Roanoke is very LGBT friendly. I come from a small town where it seems like everything is black and white. And you feel like you can't fully express who are as an individual without being judged. It feels like people are quick to reject the unfamiliar. But Roanoke is like a breath of fresh air for me. Almost like an escape. It's so diverse. I love it! I feel completely comfortable and open with myself here. Plus, I love the city. I've also met some pretty amazing people here in Roanoke. How long have you lived in Roanoke now? I haven't moved to Roanoke yet. But, I do plan on moving here sometime soon. What are your 5 favorite things you like about this area? 1. The variety of restaurants compared to where I live. Who doesn't love food? 2. More job opportunities. 3. You don't run into the same people everyday...well at least not for me. 4. The PARK Dance Club And Drag Showbar! 5. The LGBT-friendly environment. What is the one thing that stands out to you most about this area? Well, coming from a small town, there's so many things that stand out. It's hard to pinpoint just one specific thing. But, the first thing I notice, is how diverse the people are and the traffic of course. If you could improve just one element about Roanoke in general what would it be? Well to be honest, I like Roanoke just the way it is. I can't wait to call it home. If you could help accomplish anything for our SWVA LGBT Community what would it be? I really like helping others on an emotional level. So I would like to help those who are struggling with coming out or just need someone to talk to and allow them to vent. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? I really like being there for my friends and spending time with them. Whether it be going out or going for a walk. I also love watching movies/tv shows, mainly horrorthemed. When I get the chance, I'll read a book. I also try to stay active.
Casual Chat with Citizens of our Area
Community Member Highlight Jonny Lee Ayers What is the meaning of friendship to you? I believe that a friendship isn't always based on sharing common interests or personality traits. A friendship is a connection you have with someone who will probably know you better than any significant other. They're someone you can be your complete self with and share your darkest secrets without having the worry of being judged. You know the saying 'It's always darkest before the dawn'? Well a friend is someone who can help you through those dark times before the dawn comes! Even though friends come and go throughout our lifetime, this connection is what helps make life a little bit easier. What is the meaning of community to you? I believe a community is a group of individuals that come together and help to, not only improve, but also provide for the area or group they are a part of. How would you define the ultimate relationship? Definitely nothing seen in a Nicholas Sparks or Disney movie that's for sure! Haha unfortunately as much as we wish for those kind of scenarios, it's not realistic. I believe you have to feel comfortable with yourself and the other individual. Just like a friendship, you have to feel like you can be your complete self with that person otherwise you're not being real. You also have to have a mutual connection. You have to be able to trust the other individual and gain their trust as well. In order for the relationship to be healthy, you have to be able to talk things through and not be afraid to express how you truly feel. The ultimate relationship will overcome any obstacle. You both may frustrate each other time after time, but, it's how you overcome your differences that makes the relationship stronger. Also, both you and the other individual can accept each other, even with the extra baggage that each one may carry. What are you ultimately seeking in life both short and longterm? Well I'm all about setting goals for myself. So right now, for the short term, I'm striving to reach them. I generally want to be happy in life. So I'm choosing careers that I love to do. I also have a very optimistic attitude. Also, no matter how well I may know myself now, I still want to continue to find myself. I feel there is no limit to how much we can improve upon ourselves as individuals. As for the long term, I would still continue to strive for the goals I've set for myself. I would love to be independent for a little bit, just to know that I can take of myself. But, along these journeys, I would also like to meet guys and eventually find someone to spend the rest of my life with. Ultimately, I just want to grow up to be happy. Tell us something completely random about you I have a birth mark under my right eyebrow.
The Park Benefit Show ra by Coda Fatts
On June 19th, The Park Dance Club and Drag Showbar brought to the stage a special show to benefit Roanoke Pride and the Prism Foundation. This was a chance for entertainers to get together and donate their time and tip money back to the community for the Prism Foundation. Coda Fatts, Vice President of Pride and the Prism Foundation helped put together a show cast of entertainers full of diverse talents on the stage. Michael Mr. Microphone Smith hosted the event and welcomed a great crowd for the night to see this special show. Showcasing their talents for the night was a huge lineup including the return to the stage of a former Mister Roanoke Pride MI and former National titleholder as Mister Unlimited MI, the country King himself Maccon Haze. Maccon returned to the stage after a two and a half year absence from performing to help support Pride and The Prism Foundation. He was the special guest for the night and it was obvious how much he was missed due to the crowd response when he hit the stage. He performed 3 country numbers and close to the end of the night a special duet with Coda Fatts. They performed a song called “Turn The Page: done by Jason Aldean and Bob Segar and this marked the first time they had been on stage together in five years. Friends for more than 20 years it was their hope to show the community it was time to “turn the page” and move forward being positive towards all in the community. Performing along with Maccon and Coda were the outstanding talents of Mr. Roanoke Pride Baby V’lentino Knight Adams, who came all the way from North Carolina to be a part of this show. He performed a bit of country and pop and was a true entertainer on the stage, He brought the crowd to their feet and showed why he is a true professional and titleholder. Miss Roanoke Pride Roxanna Hardplace was also present to showcase her many talents as she hit the stage performing her signature live singing rap songs. She brings something unique and special each time she performs and the crowd loves her. She is known for her versions of the likes of Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea. Also joining them was the newly crowned Miss Gay Roanoke Kayla Kelly, who traveled from Charlottesville to Roanoke, to perform on the Park stage for the first time since being crowned. She is part of a long history
aises money for PRISM
of Miss Gay Roanoke titleholders now and the crowd truly loved seeing her perform. Bunny Flingus was also in the house performing her well known for theatrical and comical tunes that often revolve around Broadway . Bunny is well known in the area and brings such different costumes and looks each time she performs. We also welcomed back to the stage after a one and a half year absence femme performer Laiben Haze. She brought to the show a bit of country and a bit of who Laiben is all the way around. Laiben is also a former Miss Gay Roanoke Pride. She is a crowd pleaser and it was nice to see her back in action after a break. All these entertainers participated in two separate shows. The crowd was very receptive to the diverse talent in each. At the close of the second show a special appearance was made by Moo Moo Maâ€™am performing the song Feel Like A Woman. Michael Smith created the camp drag persona of Miss Moo Moo Mam and his performance was nothing short of hilarious. The crowd went up with applause and laughter as Moo Moo hit the stage and put on a great show for everyone while collecting tips from the audience. The comedy of the performance was outstanding. Following the performance Moo Moo was joined onstage by Bunny Flingus and they competed in a drag lip sync for your life to the tune of I Will Survive. As they battled it out on stage literally by dancing, dragging each other, climbing on each other
and throwing one another around, Moo Moo then put Bunny on her shoulders to continue the fight. Following this they each went into the crowd and danced on the tables for the audience. What a sight this was to see and the crowd was overjoyed and full of laughter. The other entertainers joined them on the stage towards the end of the song doing a little dance as the battle came to a close. This night was filled with fun, great times, wonderful memories, and the coming together of the community to support the Park, Roanoke Pride and The Prism Foundation. The Park would like to thank all the entertainers for their time and donations to help support the entire community and coming together to show everyone that we can all work as one. Together we raised $665.00 for The Prism Foundation so we believe the night was a huge success. Once again thank you Roanoke!!!
Coda Fatts aka Angie Parris is Former Mr. Tarheel Unlimited, former King of Kings, former Mr. Gay US, and former coordinator for GUS pageantry. Current VP of Roanoke Pride and The Prism Foundation.
by Enya Salad
Roanoke Dr ag Brunch Comes “Home”
Are your Sundays a drag? Well, ours are!! Roanoke Sunday Drag Brunch has moved to its new home, The Park! We will be offering a monthly Sunday morning show featuring locally and nationally known entertainers. With seating and service beginning at 11:30am and the show starting at noon, it'll be a great way to end your weekend. This event is nothing like your typical brunch. We offer an incredible menu and selection of cocktails (the pineapple mimosa is like nothing you've ever experienced) but where else can you get food like this for $10, no cover charge and an incredible show? We do recommend reservations but walk ins are always welcome! Plan your next birthday party, anniversary, shower or any special event and we will guarantee to make it a time you're surely not to forget! If you need to make reservations for an event, please contact Michael or Angela at The Park! For more brunch info e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The pictures are from our first brunch at The Park, thank you to Kristy Kreme, Eureka O'Hara and Jacqueline St. James for partying with us!
Ryan Lineberry & Michael Smith present Enya Salad with a cake celebrating Enya’s 15th Anniversary as an Entertainer
Showing You the Way...
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Be sure and check out
the April Edition of Informative Q Magazine at www.InformativeQ.com!
Coy Asbury (540)524-8921 email@example.com 3621 Manassas Drive Roanoke, VA 24018
First Mister Virginia Pride of America Crowned by Coda Fatts On May 31st, the Park welcomed a new pageantry system to the Southwest Virgina area called Pride of America. This new systemâ€™s CEO and President Michael Bell aka Ashley Adams aims at having two divisions to focus on, having three categories which all bear the same amount of total scoring, and having two national titleholders that choose one national charity to give back to. This system also allows titleholders the opportunity to give back to their community as an entertainer, but more importantly using their charity as a platform to truly make a difference for everyone. The basis for this pageantry system is to bring together the entire LGBT community across the country together as each contestant can show their pride not only through entertaining, but through their community service to give back to the community they so love and live within. Having only two divisions to focus on, Mr. and Miss, allows for less requirements as a competitor.
The typical requirements regarding weight, height, and the actual physical body donâ€™t exist within this new system. The Mr. division allows for born male entertainers as well as male impersonators to compete against one another, while the Miss division allows for the opposite. This promotes the same and equal opportunity in each division to compete against one another fairly, leaving the only requirement being age. Competitors must be 21 years old to participate in this pageantry system. Pride of America has taken off in its first year, growing quickly with multiple preliminaries being sold across the country. Michael Smith, also known as Mr. Microphone, decided this system would bring a new opportunity to many in Southwest Virginia and surrounding areas. He chose to become a preliminary owner and brought the first Miss Pride of America pageant to the Park on April 12th crowning Miss as its very first Miss Virginia POA. Michael
also owns the Mr. Virginia Pride of America preliminary and this is the paegant he brought to the Park on May 31st. Both of these preliminaries are direct qualifiers for the national competition. The Park welcomed the emeritus and current national titleholder, Mr. Jason Elliott, as well as the emeritus and current national titleholder for the Miss division, Miss Mercedes Alexander to the stage for a night of new pageantry. Joining them as entertainment for the pageant were the current and newly crowned Miss VA Pride of America, . Also performing was the current show cast director of The Park, Bunny Flingus. All performers brought their style, stage presence, professionalism and many diverse talents to the stage and truly showcased who they are as performers and as titleholders. The chosen national charity for the national titleholders this year is The American Cancer Society. Mr. Jason Elliott sold raffle tickets throughout the night with all proceeds going to the Cancer Society. Jason has decided to sell two different tickets at each preliminary prior to Nationals and these ticket sales will decide whether he will cut off his famous long hair of golden locks or if he will shave it at nationals. This has been a huge part of his mission and currently the sales of the tickets to cut his hair off are in the lead. So keep purchasing those tickets if you want him to save it or shave it by the time nationals gets here. On this night, we welcomed two contestants Jonny D. and Oliver Klausoff. They started the competition during the day in their first category which was a panel discussion or group interview. This allows a moderator to ask the contestants questions and the judges can listen to their responses and see how well
The First Mister Virginia Pride of America is Awarded to Jonathan Moralde by Mister Pride of America Jason Elliott . At Right, Jonathan with Mister VA Pride of America Promoter Michael Lee Smith (center) they react in a group setting and their ability to communicate. This also allows the contestant the chance to discuss or debate a question based on their own views or opinions. The contestants are scored on appearance, confidence, ability to communicate, and confidence in their answers. The next category was Pride Wear. This category is a clothing and modeling category and allows the contestants to showcase their creativity and how they present it on stage. Each contestant must use at least 3 of the 6 Pride colors in their outfit. No other colors are allowed. Their creativity, modeling ability, makeup, hair, and accessories are all scored by the judges. The next category is talent and each contestant is allowed up to 6 minutes for their talent. This can be a solo talent or production talent and backup dancers and props may be used. They are scored on costuming, stage presence or choreography, lip sync or live vocals and the overall en-
tertainment value. The Mr. Virginia contestants each brought a different package to the stage. In pride wear Oliver Klausoff presented a boyish look while wearing a shirt that spoke to his pride and the transgender community, while Jonny D. presented the look of a red nosed playful clown with ballons in the opening. The talent portion then began with Oliver Klausoff doing a mix of songs that began with him in a handsome black vest and pants with black shoes. The vest came off and displayed a pair of suspenders made of chains as he went into the song “Chains” by Nick Jonas. Jonny D. then began his talent in a full suit and hat dancing to the tune of “Time of My Life” then coming out of the jacket and hat putting on an apron and turning into a waiter to the tune of “I Got Bills”. Both contestants were very entertaining and put on a great show for the crowd. As the crowd awaited the results Jason Elliott showcased his final
number of the night. The results were in and winning all categories as well as being crowned the first Mr. Virginia Pride of America was Jonny D. This allows him the opportunity to compete at the National Competition and also allows Oliver to compete as well as he was the first alternate. What a great first Mr. Virginia. Pride of America pageant night it was. The Park, Michael Mr. Microphone Smith, and the entire community wish both Jonny D. and Oliver Klausoff the best of luck at the national level. We look forward to seeing everyone back next year for the second Mr. Virginia Pride of America pageant and thank everyone for the support of this great pageantry system. We hope to see everyone soon at our next pageant event. Coda Fatts aka Angie Parris is Former Mr. Tarheel Unlimited, former King of Kings, former Mr. Gay US, and former coordinator for GUS pageantry. Current VP of Roanoke Pride and The Prism Foundation.
by Enya Salad
The Salad Bowl So, who can say that at some point in their lives they didn't want to take home a little Italian (or for some of y'all, a bigger one lol) but that's a discussion for a different day...
Today we're talking about one of the hidden gems of Have a great downtown Roanoke, Leonore's Food Prep to Share? Restaurant at 128 Campbell Ave Send submissions to Southwest. firstname.lastname@example.org You can find them online at www.leonorerestaurant.com or www.facebook.com/ LeonoreRestaurant . Mouth-watering appetizers such as the usual garlic knots, cheese bread, and brushetta can be found as well as some more interesting items including bacon flatbread (Homemade flatbread, drizzled with maple syrup topped with bacon and cheddar cheese). I know it sounds a little odd, but once you get the first bite, you'll be wanting more! Enya Salad is your Ms. Gay Roanoke Classique 2015 and heads up the Divas & Drinks Brunch Group here in Roanoke
Moving on to entrees, you'll definitely love their homemade pizzas, strombolis and calzones or feast on delicious lasagnas (this is the first restaurant where I've tasted chicken lasagna and
it's delicious), florentines and alfredos. I have not tried their Venezuelan offerings yet, but that is definitely planned for the next trip! Now, onto my favorite part of any restaurant experience, dessert!! (Some of y'all probably thought it was going to be staring at the hot waiter lol, but not when it comes to cheesecake lol.) How can you choose between homemade eclair cake, tiramisu or cheesecake? It's not possible!! (So, we've had to eat here several times and trust me, I'M NOT UPSET ABOUT THIS!!) Leonore's also offers a variety of other desserts which if they are half as good as any of the others I've tried so far, you will not be disappointed! So, now you know what I think about this restaurant, I'd love to know what you think... Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com and let me know. Is there a restaurant you enjoy that I need to check out? Is there a recipe or style of food you want featured? You know how to reach me. Now back to taking a little Italian home... bye y'all lol. 53
An open letter addressed to those who oppose Ma
To W by Cody Hall To Whom It May Concern: Having lived in a couple different parts of the United States in my 28 years and traveling the country these past 14 months, coast-to-coast and back again, has allowed me to witness the beautiful thing we have as a nation that we call freedom of religion. I was raised in upstate New York in dairy farm country. I went to school in Rochester, NY then moved to Roanoke, VA for 4 years. I finally landed in the metropolis of New York City after a brief 5 month stint in Charlotte, NC. Portions of this country take their right of religious freedoms more liberally than others. Unfortunately, all too often, those who lean towards the self-identifying religious side of the spectrum take this as an understanding to be able to preach hate and use their beliefs as a reason to openly and non-violently discriminate and then hide behind their constitutional freedom of speech when people try to hold them accountable for their words. Think Westboro Baptist Church. These are the kinds of people who choose which portions of the bible they live by and use other portions to morally allow themselves the ability to spew hate. Was it not God’s teaching to love everyone no matter what your differences are? Well what happens when those same laws you use to try and protect yourself with when you are pleading that your religious freedoms are being curtailed also protect me with freedom FROM religion? The Bill of Rights states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” The government cannot weigh in on a religious fueled debate and therefore your only argument that is completely religious based, is blatantly unconstitutional. For someone who is hell bent on convincing me that it is morally reprehensible for a man to lay with a man, morally you are violating the constitution by trying to prevent me from having the same rights as you. I never realized the feeling of burden I had been carrying around with me for these 28 years until it was no longer there. It didn’t even click with me until later that afternoon on the day the Supreme Court’s decision was handed down when I was walking through the streets of Boston. For those of you that know me, this may come as a sur-
Any “you” r prise, but I finally walked around and held my head up high. I made eye contact with people. They smiled. I smiled back. I realized that I had been projecting myself in a totally different way all this time when I was in a city I didn’t know. Before I would keep my head down and get from point A to point B allowing others to pass before me, do what they needed to do, put myself after them and somewhat try to blend in with the crowd. What I thought was out of respect and manners, suddenly clicked was because when I was in places that weren’t known to me and I didn’t know how people would generally respond to my gay I would hide it in any way possible. I changed who I was to be accepted by covering certain tattoos, removing jewelry, and even to go as far as removing my gay Disney pin so I would not get any looks. TELEPHONE If your only reasoning for your disdain against marriage equality is that the bible said it is morally wrong, I pity you. Not because I think less of you, but because you are incapable of thinking on your own in enough of a way that you can deviate from the archaic teachings of an interpreted scripture and you rely on this belief in something so intangible that it can only be described as a feeling. A belief is just that, something you believe in. You can’t touch it, but you believe it exists. I believe the earth orbits the sun. That belief is backed by science. (Conspiracy theorists stay out of this) Your belief? Backed by a book. Or many books, depending on which religion you choose to devote yourself to. More so, your belief is based on an ancient game of telephone. You know the one I’m talking about. Get a bunch of kids in a circle and think of a phrase and whisper it to the first one. They in turn whisper it to the next child, who whispers what they heard to the next, and so-on, and so-forth. By the time you get to the last child they tell you they heard, “There’s a bathroom on the right!” when you originally said, “There’s a bad moon on the rise!”. The bible is not the word of God. It is the word of man. In it man is retelling a story or a collection of phrases. As we all know, stories (or phrases as proven by my telephone example) change depending on who you tell and what they think they hear, what they themselves believe,
arriage Equality on the stance of religious based morality.
Whom it May Concern
referenced is only intended to speak to the “ you" in generality and no one person specifically. and not what you actually say.
marriage, the “wife” was also deemed the “husband’s” property. As you are well aware, this no longer exists in BORN THIS WAY our culture. Much like the ban on interracial marriages, If you would like to live in a place ruled by religion rather same sex marriage bans have now unravelled and fallen than a democratic areligious government state, I hear to the wayside allowing the world to see that we, as a nathere are a couple countries in the Middle East that have tion and a culture, have evolved yet again. some space available for you. If not, then you need to accept the fact that we exist and treat us with respect as equal THE EDGE OF GLORY members of this society much like we have done with Since it was only a few days ago I have no problem reyou for all these years. calling the feelings I had when the courts decision was read. I was sitting in our bed at our hotel in Boston folYou feel that you believe in God. I feel that I believe in lowing along on a live blog online and read that marriage love. You feel that you love God. I feel that I love another equality was a thing now, moments before Wolf Blitzer man. See how that works? We all have beliefs and things popped up on the TV echoing the same message. I sat their that we love. You have a wife, I have a husband, she has a with my fiancé, a tear or two was shed out of pure joy and wife. The common thread that unites us doesn't have to a feeling of relief. be whether or not we even believe that any higher power exists, but it can be about our common understanding of On that walk around Boston I mentioned earlier I hit love. many parts of the city as I explored for almost 4 hours. It wasn’t until almost 8 hours after I heard the decision that Many people have had to hide who they truly were, of- for the first time in 28 years I felt validated as a human ten pretending to be like the one thing that stood in their being. It was one I reached into my pocket to grab my way and prevented them from being themselves. You. I spare change to give to the homeless man standing by the know I have. Sometimes unconsciously doing it, some- bodega I walked by when I felt something. It was my gay times purposely altering my appearance as to not be no- Disney pin. I pinned it on the strap of my back pack right ticed. You probably don’t understand the feelings associ- before I dropped the change into his cup. He smiled, I ated with my side of the issue since you probably haven’t smiled back, he thanked me and said, “Nice pin. Congrats.” been privy to the ostracizing that occurs when you are and walked away. viewed as a 2nd class citizen. Sincerely yours, BLOODY MARY Cody L. Hall You want a law put in place to ban marriage equality because “The Bible says that marriage is between one man and one woman.”? Nope. Actually, it is defined as a union between one man and many women. Do you accept that? Probably not, since culturally, we have evolved beyond that. Remember, this book that you are basing your choices on was written thousands of years ago. Marriage, by any formal and current definition has been around for at least 700 years and the accepted definition of it changes based on many influencing factors like time and culture. If you want to argue that the definition of marriage is between a husband and wife or a man and woman then I will challenge with the fact that when those quantitative terms were placed in the definition of
Cody Hall is currently traveling North America with Broadway's smash hit musical, Disney's NEWSIES. Reach out to him at FB.com/Hall.Cody.L or @Hall_Cody_L on Twitter.
Miss Gay East Coast America
More than just a Crown by Timothy Kelley, aka Kelly Brooks, Miss Gay East Coast America 2015
Timothy Kelley, aka Kelly Brooks, is Miss Gay East Coast America 2015
The Miss Gay East Coast America Pageant is Sunday, August 2 at THE PARK! 58
On August 2, 2015 The Park Dance Club and Drag Showbar hosts the 2016 Miss Gay East Coast America Pageant, an official preliminary to Miss Gay America 2016. When I was crowned last year, I had no idea of the sparkling experiences I would have. The official preliminary crown is beautiful and each rhinestone represents female impersonators before me who paved the road to what the Miss Gay America Pageant stands for. “A symbol of excellence” is the standard by which we live. A couple months after I was crowned the winner for 2015, I went on to represent The Park and the Miss Gay East Coast America Pageant at the 2015 Miss Gay America Pageant in Memphis, Tennessee. The friendships I formed during my reign have meant so much more to me than I ever expected. The promoter for Miss Gay East Coast America, Michael Smith, has been such a supporting and loving friend. The Park has been a second home to me. The fellow competitors I met at Miss Gay America are now life-long friends. Everyone involved in the Miss Gay America
organization has made a positive impact on my life in one way or another. Join us at The Park on Saturday, August 1st for a Miss Gay America Review show starring the current reigning Miss Gay America, Blair Williams. Also joining the cast will be Tiffany Bonet (Miss Gay America 1992), Coti Collins (Miss Gay America 2011), Jessica Jade (Miss Gay America 2014) and myself…Kelly Brooks, Miss Gay East Coast America 2015. On Sunday, August 2 join us for an exciting evening of pageantry. The Park will host the 2016 pageant and we will crown the new Miss Gay East Coast America. Although I have mixed emotions about giving up the title to a new winner, I hope he will find the crown an inspiration as I do. And I know in my heart they will be as loved by THE PARK as I am. To me, the crown is more than rhinestones, it symbolizes excellence, hard-work, dedication, loyalty, community service, and professionalism.
Second in a Series:
The Nineties see Growth A History of Roanoke Pride The next Pride in the Park was scheduled for Sunday September, 10, 1995. On Saturday evening, September 9, the Community auction was held. It once again proved to be an incredible fundraiser in providing the necessary funding for the expense of Pride. The keynote speaker was Rev. Mel White, who delivered a message of inspiration. The Sunday festival began at noon with wonderful performances by Marolyn St. James, Jacqui Singleton, Suzy Berger and music & comedy duo Romanosky & Phillips. The midway drew long lines to the vendors and exhibitors. Myer Reed presented the Community Service award to Gerry Jennings.
Charlotte Eakin served for many years on the Roanoke Pride Board of Directors and was instrumental in the formative years of the organization. She was presented a PRISM Award for her Community Service Work in 2014.
In August of 1996, a controversy erupted over the location of Pride in the Park VII. The Pride chairperson and some of the committee members decided to move the festival from its original location in Wasena Park to The Edge, which was at the time, a new LGBT nightclub. There was also a threat, according to the chairperson, that there would be a group, intending to crash Pride by making an unwelcome appearance and disrupting the committees decision to not present any drag performances on the Pride stage. When a number of people; members of the Pride Committee as well as non-members objected strongly and acted to thwart the decision to move Pride, the chair resigned and a reformulated committee postponed Pride for three
weeks. The site did change to Highland Park because Wasena was flooded by the remnants of a hurricane. Pride in the Park VII came off quite well and benefited from some of the plans already put in place by the former chairperson, as well as ideas and the actions of others. Most comments about Highland Park were favorable as there was a permanent stage there and the committee would not have the expense of renting the cityâ€™s portable stage. The resigned chairperson was presented in the spring of 1996 with a difficult task: the planning and production of Pride VII in accordance with the guidelines established by ALGO; Prides official sponsor. ALGO had not been a vital group for a few years. It existed then in the form of a bank account and a few interested individuals who helped with previous Pride events. It was only when the Pride chair made a decision not to the liking of some of these influential people that the chairperson found out what the guidelines were. This was not fair to the chairperson, who was expected to operate by rules which no one had defined. Pride in the Park VIII was scheduled for September 21, 1997. This year, three people were chosen as Chairpersons; Joey Driscoll, Jessie Shires and William Persinger. The weekend festivities kicked off on Friday
evening with the Community Auction held at the Patrick Henry Hotel. Over 60 people attended and there was something on the block for everyone. On Saturday evening a masquerade Ball was held at Club 1010. The Pride festival started at noon in Highland Park with performances on two stages. Jane Powell was the headline performer with Michelle Rose & Common Bond, Kid Sister, and Marolyn St. James & Company. For the first time in our Pride history, there was a children’s area hosted by LGBT parents group. Another first-was a pet show for those who came with their four legged furkids. The Lambda Service Award was presented to Wayne Slusher, founder of the Roanoke AIDS Project and longtime volunteer with Roanoke City Health Department’s anonymous HIV testing site. A new tradition was also added; the Community Service Award recognizing an organization which has made an outstanding contribution to our community. The year’s award was given to the Fellowship Bowling League., which has raised funds for almost every group in the valley and as brought many people together in a positive social setting. The weekend concluded with a special guest show at The Park.
The Pride IX committee decided early in the process to make some changes. We had many new faces on the committee. We focused on improving the festival and make it a family oriented event. Input was received from past attendees and we used our own experiences to determine our course of action. We adopted a statement of purpose and set our goals with integrity as our basis. We created sponsorship contract packages on different financial/product support levels. We reached out to the greater Roanoke community and received positive response. We personally contacted many different types of vendors for the midway.
By the end of 1997, Pride in the Park officially separated from ALGO to become an independent organization. Future plans include; becoming incorporated and non-profit, obtaining corporate sponsorship from major corporations, bringing big name entertainers to the festival and holding a film festival. A capitol campaign would be implemented in the spring.
We choose to plan events over a three day period, September 18-20-1998 to promote as many aspects of our diverse community as possible. On Friday evening the Park hosted The Show. Anita Mann not only served as host, and entertained the crowd, but was the organizer of the event as well. Many local female impersonators performed as well as a lesbian trio. The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the
well choreographed and talent packet show. On Saturday a picnic and softball game in Highland Park were well attended as we tried to reach out to the sports minded individuals. On Saturday evening, the Community Auction was held at the Unitarian Church. A large crowd engaged in bidding wars over the many items displayed. Dale Weddle proved to be a wonderful auctioneer. A portion of those proceeds were donated to two non-profit organizations; The Roanoke AIDS Project, and the Blue Ridge Lambda Press. On Sunday at noon, the festival began in Highland Park. Vendors were given spots along the tree line and along the park road towards the Gish House. Local bands entertained the crowd and The Fellowship Bowling League surprised the crowd when they appeared wearing nun habits andproceeded with their rendition of “Sister Act”. PFLAG held a raffle. The Rogues Leather/Levi Club hosted the Children’s Space. Some dressed as clowns; they read
stories, painted faces and played games. Each participating child received a raffle ticket and at the end of the day, the winning ticket holder received a new bicycle courtesy of The Rogues. Joey Driscoll presented The Park and Dale Thomasson with a plaque for 20 years of continuous service to the gay community. The Roanoke AIDS Project received the Community Service Award for their community wide efforts. The Lambda Service Award was presented to Dale Weddle for his service and commitment and involvement in numerous gay organizations. The success of Pride in the Park IX left all with a renewed incentive to work even harder on preparations for the ten year anniversary. We vowed to strive to promote the unity, fellowship and pride among all participants. (I proudly say â€œweâ€? as I was honored to be a part of the committee for the first time.) Pride in the Park X was held September 17-19, 1999. Some of the committee members left but we still had the core group of individuals that made Pride IX such a success. We
continued forward with a plan to make this the best Pride ever! The committee members made the decision early in the planning stages to make financial donations to many of the local organizations during the Sunday festival. The Park hosted the Kick-Off Show on Friday evening. Numerous entertainers from our diverse community preformed during the two-part show. A packed house was treated to a variety of musical renditions. Performers included the current Ms. Gay Roanoke, Ashley Adams, the current Mr. Gay Roanoke, Tim Fitz and the outgoing Mr. Gay Roanoke, Will Aldridge. The Park generously donated a portion of the proceeds to Pride in the Park and became the first Diamond Sponsor in the recorded history of Pride. At 11am on Saturday, Pride sponsored a Charity Bowling Event that was held at Viking Lanes. Participants paid an entry fee and the better scores took home a prize. All of the proceeds were earmarked for the community charities. On Saturday evening, the Community Auction was once again held at the Unitarian Church. The comedic efforts of the auction staff; Dale Weddle, Jim Ferrell, Mary Turner and Jennie West
entertained the audience as well as enlightened the audience with their presentations. The hot items of the evening included numerous rainbow themed donations and wooden furniture from another generous benefactor, Barewood. The bidding was rapid and frequently punctuated by laughter as pink triangles popped up around the room. The results were the best auction in our Pride history.
Next Issue: A New Century Greets Roanoke Pride... A Community Changes Forever
Published on Jul 15, 2015
A LGBT based magazine hubbed in Roanoke and Southwestern Virginia which covers all arenas of style, entertainment, fashion, the arts, politi...