We were pondering the 21 questions y’all asked at the beginning of the year, and realized reader Lisa D. had one that’s perfect to address during Pride Month. Lisa wanted to know about opportunities to connect + meet with other members of the queer community, as well as volunteer.
It just so happens there’s a brand spanking new resource not only for folks in Asheville, but throughout WNC: nonprofit Blue Ridge Pride’s Virtual Pride Center. This searchable database is a one-stop shop for community services, businesses, churches + social and professional groups and programs. What’s more, the Center is a community-based effort, meaning visitors can register with the site and have the license to add groups and businesses, announcements, events + more.
Why a virtual spot, rather than a brick and mortar? Physical locations can be hard for some folks (like those without public transportation or a vehicle of their own) to access. This is especially true for folks in rural areas, who are more likely to be poor and lack access to services. Residents of rural areas may also be less comfortable visiting a physical location, particularly in small communities where there is less anonymity.
ProTip: if the new virtual program is up your alley, Blue Ridge Pride is also creating the Blue Ridge Pride Business Alliance Initiative. Created to foster equity + inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community, it will not only act as a safe space for folks to network, but boost economic development and ally partnerships. Want more info? Contact the org here.