Lisa and Dorothy are one of the couples featured during this month’s “Hot Healthy Love” campaign.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day – a campaign by Safe Harbor this month spotlighting healthy couples features three from Richmond’s LGBT community.
“Hot Healthy Love”, a weekly series on Safe Harbor’s web site, will, throughout the month of February, profile Richmond couples in healthy, loving relationships. Angela Verdery, Safe Harbor’s Public Information Manager, says that while Safe Harbor didn’t set out specifically in search of LGBT couples, during the nomination process they quickly found stories they couldn’t pass up. “It was really exciting to get such a huge cross-section of our community, including several couples who are members of the LGBTQ community,” said Verdery. “They had great love stories, and we wanted to tell them.”
In a state like Virginia, which has passed various pieces of anti-gay rights legislation in recent years, Verdery said LGBT couples may face unique challenges keeping a relationship strong and healthy. “Any time that there are things that don’t recognize your relationship… that can make it difficult,” she said. “The more legal standing they have… it eliminates the barriers for folks.”
Verdery said that, in addition to promoting healthy relationships, the LGBT couples included in the feature could also help people unfamiliar with the gay community alter their perceptions. “I think it’s always helpful, if you have limited knowledge about something, to get a different viewpoint of it,” she said, “I think it just gives people a different window into a world and into relationships they may not understand… it’s just really cool seeing healthy, happy, committed couples.”
Safe Harbor offers comprehensive services for survivors of sexual and/or intimate partner violence. More information is available at http://www.safeharborshelter.com/.