Hampton Roads Pride convened its first membership meeting under the tutelage of newly elected President Fawn Faulks with newly elected Board of Directors in attendance at the studios of WHRO on Monday, December 4.
While the structure and business of the membership meeting remains, Ms. Faulks made a subtle change to the agenda, renaming the “President’s Report” to the “President’s Message”. In her first message to those in attendance, she made a point of welcoming everyone, thanking past and present Board members, volunteers and recognized first-time Board members for accepting the challenge of serving the community. In addition, she sees a new energy in the membership and invited members to reach out to the Board of Directors and committee chairs to get to know one another and to share time and talent to make Hampton Roads Pride a stronger and more effective organization.
Additionally, under Ms. Faulks and the Board’s direction, Hampton Roads Pride will be engaging in more activities to educate their members and the general public about the issues facing the LGBTQ community in Hampton Roads and beyond. To that end, two speakers during the meeting, Delani Elvis, Petty Officer Second Class, U.S. Navy and this month’s “Partner in Pride” guest speaker. Mr. Elvis shared his powerful journey of coming out as a transgender man and experiences dealing with his family and the U.S. Navy during his transition.
Attorney and Board member David Coffman also gave an overview of the recent circuit court rulings related to the Trump Administration’s ban of transgender members of the military. Three circuit courts around the country have heard cases. Two have ruled in favor of transgender military members with the latest ruling expected late this week. What happens next is unknown, but the U.S. Supreme Court tends to get involved when lower court rulings do not agree as this results in the uneven application of law.
In other business, the following announcements were made at the meeting.
- Introduction of Board members and others serving as committee chairs;
- Meeting of the LGBTQ liaison officers that will take place on Dec. 6 at the Chrysler Museum (if interested in attending, please RSVP to Ms. Faulks or Michael Berlucchi at Hampton Roads Pride);
- Sergeant Craig Lovelace of the Norfolk Police Department warned members about keeping cars locked during the holiday shopping period and to beware of online buying/selling as an opportunity for theft;
- A call for volunteers (and donations of food, etc.) was made by Emily McLean to prepare and serve breakfast at the Judeo Christian Outreach Center (JCOC) in Virginia Beach this Saturday, December 8 at at 8 a.m. If interested in volunteering for this event or for any Hampton Roads Pride committees, please contact a representative via the Hampton Roads Pride volunteer page.
- Larry Sauger of Virginia Knight Hawks invited members to attend the screening of “Tom of Finland” on Dec. 12 at the Naro Cinema. More information here.