SVGLA Celebrates 4th Annual Valley Pride

Brent Finnegan -- July 26th, 2010

Yesterday was Gay Pride Day, and the Shenandoah Valley Gay & Lesbian Association (SVGLA) celebrated with fundraiser for the Valley AIDS Network, a private drag show on Saturday night, and a public, family-friendly picnic at Hillandale Park on Sunday.

Organizers said the fourth annual Valley Pride in the park event was intended for networking, and to make their presence known in Harrisonburg.

From the News Leader:

“When you’re around straight people all the time, as we are, and many people who aren’t out … you’re kind of anonymous around straight people and listening to the ‘fag’ jokes and objecting, it’s just important for us to be together and to 100 percent lose the fear of rejection,” said association board member Linda Royster. “The whole idea is just to come out be together show ourselves out in the community as queer … and celebrate who we are.”

Jeremy Hunt reports in today’s Daily News-Record:

Though the central Valley is a conservative stronghold, [SVGLA board member Steven] Sisson and [VP Rob] Johnson said substantial social progress has been made for tolerance and equality in just the last decade.

“People are more sophisticated now,” Sisson said.

Some larger companies, such as MillerCoors, where Sisson works, and Merck have gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups for employees. MillerCoors and Merck were sponsors of Sunday’s picnic.

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7 Responses to “SVGLA Celebrates 4th Annual Valley Pride”

  1. Emmy says:

    Glad that some of the localbusinesses are showing their support. I hope more follow suit.

    • Bazrik says:

      …agreed Emmy – especially traditional, large companies like MillerCoors (wow!) and Merck. Very pleasant surprises.

  2. republitarian says:

    Well, I’m sorry that I missed the drag race on Saturday night. They should have advertised better to local motorsports enthusiast.

  3. republitarian says:

    And when did the Blue Dog turn gay. Last I talked to him he was married and we were dining together in Martinsville…and I’d never have guessed he played for the pink team.

  4. kuato says:

    I wish I had heard about this in advance – although perhaps it was very well advertised and I somehow just missed it. I am all for community and inclusion, and I would have liked to offer my support.

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