Organizers want the event to be a safe space for the LGBTQIA community they say Chesapeake lacks.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Two Chesapeake residents are hoping to bring some pride to the city this weekend.
“We just want to connect people with each other,” said one of the organizers, Amber Bowmer. “That’s our ultimate goal.”
Bowmer and co-organizer Jeremy Rodden plan to connect the LGBTQ+ community to resources at Courtyard Park in Chesapeake on Saturday. It’s called Pride in the ‘Peake, which they hope will start a new tradition of pride in the city. It’s a dream that Bowmer says is finally coming true.
“A lot for young people, in particular, are in dire need of support and love…just to feel welcome and seen,” Bowmer said.
About 20 organizations will be seated near Chesapeake City Hall to share their resources with people. They want to provide space for the community to celebrate Pride closer to home.
“We spoke to so many families, who were thrilled to find that they don’t have to go to Norfolk or Virginia Beach or Portsmouth or Suffolk to find a space that accepts them as they are,” said Rodden.
Rodden said it was necessary for many families, especially his own.
“As a parent of a trans teenager myself, it was something that I saw as a personal need for my own family, not just other families,” he said.
Rodden hopes this event will educate and provide a safe space, but he also wants everyone from every part of the city to come together and meet.
“They don’t know a family in Western Branch doesn’t know there’s a family in Greenbrier that’s going through a lot of challenges,” Rodden said. “If we can connect them, it can be infinitely valuable.”
The event starts at 1 p.m. Organizers said volunteers and vendors are always welcome.