Hampton Roads Pride 2018 Board Nominee Profile: Juan Alonso, Sr.

Name: Juan Alonso, Sr.

Juan Alonso

Home: Virginia Beach

Qualifications:

  • Pridefest, Absolut Tent volunteer, 2014.
  • Fundraiser Sky Bar Hilton, Set up crew, 2015
  • Scope Block Party, Set up crew, 2015
  • HR Pridefest Sponsorship Tent, Bartender, 2015
  • HR Pridefest break down, clean-up and storage crew, 2015
  • Virginia Beach Polar Plunge, participated with HR Pride Plungers, 2016
  • Fundraiser Croc’s, ticket sales and check-in volunteer, 2016
  • Norfolk St. Patrick’s Day Parade float decorating crew and parade float member, 2016
  • Block Party & HR Pridefest Committee Lead for Beer, Alcohol and Beverage tents, 2016
  • HR Pride Fest Volunteer of the Year Recipient, 2016
  • Annual Launch Party, Brock Center Virginia Beach, 2016
  • Virginia Beach Polar Plunge, participated with HR Pride Plungers, 2017
  • Norfolk’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade float decorating crew and parade float member, 2017
  • Block Party and HR Pridefest Committee Lead for Beer, Alcohol and Beverage tents, 2017

Why I want to serve on Hampton Roads Pride Board:

My name is Juan Alonso Sr. I retired from the Navy with 20 years of service and live in Virginia Beach.  I’m Puerto Rican, born and raised in Connecticut and am a father of three and grandfather of seven.  My granddaughter came out to me two years ago while at Busch gardens during Hollow Scream – of all places.  I hugged her and welcomed her to my other family!  That very same day I “came out” to her.  She is the first person I came out to in my family besides my wife Cindy. 

Since my youth, I’d join clubs during school and in the military, yet never felt like I fit in. I always felt like I was outside looking in.  Not until I volunteered for my first HR Pride fest 2014, and received a complimentary membership did I start going to the monthly meetings.  I felt welcomed, like I belonged.  I can’t describe the feeling of accomplishment and of feeling ‘safe’ to be me. 

As a Bi-Sexual man married to a heterosexual woman, I’ve always been on guard and would always leave a group when people started to be curious of my awkwardness.  I’ve been married to my accepting wife Cindy for 42 years and for once in my life, I’m part of an organization that totally accepts me.  It would be an honor to have a seat on the board as I am dedicated and love being a part of an organization promoting for all LGBT people.

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