Hampton Roads Pride and the Unitarian Church

By Akeem Pitts.

The Unitarian Church of Norfolk, from: https://www.ucnorfolk.org/connection-2/visiting-us/

“Hi Everyone my name is Akeem Pitts. We are at the Unitarian church that has been monumental to the LGBT community. From blood drives only for the gay population in Norfolk, to being a church that accepts everyone and does not leave them to fend for themselves. In the 1970s there was a burst of Gay liberation. From this it birthed many organizations to help celebrate what it meant to be gay and what they stand for. Also, to protect them from harm way while letting them know they are not alone. The Church and Our Own press created this advocacy for the community.

“Imagine how you would feel if you were a gay male and was being attacked by the police because of your sexuality. Today I will be talking about the original meeting of the Hampton road gay alliance, but is now known as the Hampton roads pride.  This meeting on January 19,1988 was called to unite the gay community and the police force. At the time, the LGBT community felt that the police force was targeting gay men. The police force was being highly aggressive with gay men. They were arresting them mainly for no reason and being rough with them. With this meeting, they evolved different strategies to build a bond with the community and police force. They were inviting them to the events they were having so they could be more aware of what was happening in their community. They had frequent meetings to build their alliance. Shortly after it because natural to both. As of recent the Hampton roads area has developed a LGBTQ community liaison with the police force. All cities in this area now has one. The purpose of the liaison is to be a spokesperson and advocate for the organization they are a part of and the community they are communicating with. From this meeting, the Hampton Road alliance was formed and now is called Hampton Road Pride, their mission is to unite the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and allied communities in support of inclusion, dignity and equality of all people. With this they provide a plenty of resources for the LGBT community such as hotlines for different issues that may come up. They also have places that people can receive free testing. Overall from the meeting to forming an alliance and to finally becoming a huge organization that supports the people they serve, similar to how the Unitarian church during that time.”

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