Sense of Community: Turned Inward by the AIDS Crisis
While many political activities continued, the AIDS Crisis had an incredibly strong, at times debilitating, influence over the actions of the LGBTQ community during the mid 1980s through the mid 1990s. The LGBTQ Community continued to grow, more people found their voices and came out, but the voices were often muted or drowned out by the overwhelming facts of the AIDS Crisis. Yet new voices were coming to the forefront and activism took on two new channels: Virginians for Justice committed to work within the legislative system and OUT! Virginia dedicated to direct actions including civil disobedience and active protests. Meanwhile the social outlets continued to grow.
AIDS Consumes the Community
Every gay and lesbian publication had multiple articles every month addressing the community's and the nation's reaction to the AIDS crisis. Several AIDS service/care organizations sprang up in Richmond; in addition, Fan Free Clinic which had started out as a general clinic with an outreach in regards to sexually transmissible diseases, began to see more and more patients infected with HIV and their services were more focused in that area.
Read more: AIDS Consumes the Community
The Billboard Project and Guy Kinman, Jr.
In 1985, the Richmond Virginia Gay Alliance became the Richmond Virginia Gay and Lesbian Alliance (RVGLA). In 1987 RVGLA sponsored a major billboard project, designed to let the public - and our community - know that Richmond's LGBT people weren't invisible. Guy Kinman, Jr. was the chair at the time and and this project was a milestone for him personally, and one for our community.
Read more: The "Billboard" Project and Guy Kinman, Jr
Rainbow Richmond Community Continues to Develop
Social, cultural, support and sports organizations continued to be important and the early 1990s saw the formation of a number of new organizations, some of which continue to have a strong impact today. Despite the burden of dealing with the AIDS Crisis, the community continued to develop in many areas.
New Voices of Activism: Virginians for Justice and OUT! Richmond
The end of the 1980s and early 1990s found the Richmond Virginia Gay and Lesbian Alliance struggling to survive, but several new political groups formed.