Saturday’s rain didn’t stop a number of Virginia gay couples from throwing BBQ’s in support of Marriage Equality. And while their unions might not be legally recognized by the state, many of the married couples involved in the festivities celebrated their love anyway.
Abby Waller (middle) and friends
“It was a little bit thrown together, trying to keep organized between Dollars for Daughters and my full-time job, it wasn’t as rehearsed as I would have liked it to have been,” said Abbey Waller. Waller is the brains behind Dollars for Daughters, a fund-raising group that thew a BBQ in Richmond’s Randolph neighborhood. Over 20 people, some strangers and some old friends, came out to the event thrown by Abby and her wife Jessie. “It worked out, we had a great response and we raised $210 for Equality Virginia”
Waller’s event was a mixed crowd of LGBT people and allies. Her good friend and house-mate Steven Graeff helped cook and prepare for the event. Graeff said he’s been a long time ally since his grandfather came out as gay. “The idea of gay equality and gay rights has always been a thing for me.” His passion over the issue was reignited after he saw his close friends, Abby and Jessie, struggle with getting their marriage recognized here in Virginia.
Garcia and Jessie Waller enjoying the afternoon.
Another straight ally, and a friend of Waller’s, Rosy Garcia, came out to show support at the BBQ. Garcia said she has several gay family members and believes their struggle for equality really hurts those she cares about. “I’d love for them to be happy with who they are, and not be sorry for it. I’m not sorry for who I am, yea know?” Garcia jokingly added, “and everyone should be equally unhappy in marriage.”
Waller was most pleased with the new faces she saw and welcomed into her home. “It’s so awesome when someone comes to an event you planned and they come strangers, but they leave friends.”
Equality Virginia boasted more than 50 BBQ’s around the state, and you can see photos from the events on EV’s Facebook pagehere.