New Hampton Roads LGBT Community Center
Shopping for furniture, painting, renovating – it’s been a busy couple of weeks for De Sube. As coordinator for the new LGBT Community Center of Hampton Roads, she’s preparing for the center’s opening this month.
Residing in the Hampton Roads area for over 35 years now, De Sube has a vast knowledge of the region. Having been an advocate for the LGBT rights for years, she said her new position is a great fit to reach out to the community.
“When I was younger and trying to find myself as a transgender person, I felt very alone and isolated. This was before the internet came into being. I could not find any resources, nor could I find any support,” she said.
This personal experience drives De Sube to provide support and a helping hand to help guide younger LGBT who think they have nowhere to turn.
The new center is located at 247 W. 25th Street in Norfolk in the heart of Ghent – an area similar to Richmond’s Fan. In downtown Ghent, the new center will be within a fifty mile radius of the entire Hampton Roads area making it accessible for all.
In May 2006, De Sube created New Life Transgender Outreach which would later become Gender Expression Movement – a place for people to go to for resources and support. She says this new center is the next step toward organizing the entire community. The new facility has been over five years in the making.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Board of Directors at ACCESS AIDS Care; grants from the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Advocates for Youth; and by the many wonderful volunteers and advocates who had the same vision, the LGBT Center of Hampton Roads is a reality,” De Sube said.
She said the success of the center relies on their efforts.
“The Center’s vision is to enhance the lives of all of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning people who live in Southeastern Virginia,” De Sube said.
The center will offer resources including mental health counseling, social-peer support groups, and educational and social programming
With the closest community center in Virginia located in Richmond, De Sube said this new center will be a big step in the right direction for Hampton Roads.
“We have also received and confirmed volunteer requests from a diverse number of businesses, organizations, and individuals.”
Hampton Roads is the the second largest Metropolitan area in the state and has one of the highest military populations in the United States.
De Sube said before “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed, the community was invisible to many. “Individuals and organizations met in bars and in homes where they felt safe,” she said. ”The center will be a place that the disjointed LGBT community of Hampton Roads can call home.”
The Center’s first event is set for June 12 as part of Hampton Roads Pride’s open LGBT “Town Hall” meeting. An open House is planned for the near future.
For more information on the LGBT Center of Hampton Roads, visit the Facebook page. Photo courtesy of De Sube.
Sydney hails from Virginia Beach and is a rising senior at Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in media studies.
Today in the Hampton roads area, the Hampton Roads Business Out Reach and Equality Virginia are joining forces for the Equality Means Business Expo. The event aims to connect the LGBTQ community with business leaders in the hopes of learning more about one another. “HRBOR is an affiliate chamber of the national gay and lesbian [...]July 21, 2016
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