Rainbow Richmond in the Twenty-First Century
Much progress has been made in the years since Stonewall, but even now many challenges remain. Virginia is a conservative state and there are always new battles,and new indignities and new injustices to fight. The Twenty-first century has given LGBTQ Virginians first a law and then a constitutional amendment that prohibits the recognition of our relationships. The legislature remains conservative and most recently Virginia elected leaders who seem to be trying to take us backwards. Our community is strong, and better organized than ever. Two of the strong assets the community has now are the Gay Community Center of Richmond and the Central Virginia Rainbow Partnership.
GCCR is Virginia's largest LGBT agency and is dedicated to supporting LGBT people and the groups that serve our community.
CVRP is a coalition of more than twenty agencies and groups that serve LGBT people. Founded in 2008, it is the first effort of its type in Virignia.
Virginia is a conservative state. Its lawmakers - and its voters - are often hostile to LGBT people. We fight hard, even when odds are against us.
The new decade brings more challenges, in the form of elected officials openly hostile to our community. But, new allies are appearing, and activism is surging.
Thanks and Recognition
The staff at the Gay Community Center of Richmond is dedicated to helping to record and preserve the LGBTQ history of Richmond. The history of a community helps define its future. In addition, it is easy in our day to day operations to get caught up in the business of doing business, but we must never lose touch with the reason that we are here: the LGBTQ community of Central Virginia.
The Gay Community of Center would not be where it is today without all of the hard work of our predecessors, fighing for our opportunity to have a voice, or without the day to day support of our community.
Equality Virginia is the political arm of the LGBTQ community in the state of Virginia, and is located here in Richmond. Last year was its 20th anniversary and EV recognized twenty OUTstanding Virginians. Today, GCCR also acknowledges these twenty, most of whom have been involved in some way in advancing LGBTQ rights or visibility in the Richmond area.
We give special recognition to Beth Marschak, our friend, our supporter, our historian, our archivist. This project would not exist without all of her hard work and dedication to the community; indeed the community would not be all that it is today without Beth's activism and vision. In addition to being a valuable resource of the oral/folk history of Richmond, Beth's name peppers the articles in this exhibit because she has been involved in so much of our history since Stonewall. Beth was acknowledged by the Richmond Gay and Lesbian Pride Coalition in 1988. At the time she was involved in "a group of progressives working for change in Virginia that grew out of the Jesse Jackson campaign." She worked with Womensbooks, the Richmond Lesbian Feminists, the Human Rights Coalition and the Women's Political Caucus at the state and national levels, and on the board of the YWCA and the Richmond Lesbian and Gay Pride Coalition. And she pointed out those are just the things she did when she wasn't working. My head spins just to think about it. Beth continues to be an active force in Rainbow Richmond!