Tysons, VA

Juneteenth Rally in Vienna — “A rally will take place outside the First Baptist Church of Vienna Friday evening on Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.” [Tysons Reporter]

ICYMI — Government offices in Fairfax County and the City of Falls Church are closed today due to Juneteenth. [Tysons Reporter]

List of LGBTQ+ Books — Fairfax County’s public libraries have a variety of LGBTQ+ books for tweens available in the digital collection. [Fairfax County]

Library Parking Plans Move Forward — “Vienna Town Council members on June 15 approved an agreement with the Fairfax County government for the design and construction of a parking structure at the soon-to-be-renovated Patrick Henry Library.” [Inside NoVa]

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For roughly 500 kids in Northern Virginia, the annual Pride Prom hosted by Tysons-based NoVA Pride was a time where they could have fun and connect with their peers.

Though COVID-19 has put a damper on in-person Pride celebrations this year — and led to Pride Prom’s postponement twice — NoVa Pride is still working to support members of the LGBTQ+ youth community. Pride month is meant as an inclusive, celebratory event commemorating Stonewall.

Amy, the director of youth outreach for the group, said they decided to set up virtual activities where participants can connect with their friends.

These kids need extra support in the age of COVID-19 since LGBTQ+ youth may not have as much support at home, according to Amy, who added that a lack of peer support and contact could put them at risk.

“Many kids rely on schools for affirmation and validation,” Amy said. “They’re the ones who are experiencing more social isolation.”

The digital events, which Amy said are held every other week, include Netflix parties, Q&As with student leadership and an Instagram chat option.

Anyone who wishes to get involved with these events can check out NoVA Pride’s website and social media.

For the next meeting, NoVA Pride will be teaching a DIY drag tutorial, according to Amy.

Though many of NoVA Pride’s events are aimed at kids in ninth-12th grade, the organization also works with adults, serving as a resource to help connect new community members with LGBTQ-friendly churches and groups.

“From what we’ve seen, adults aren’t really looking for anything online,” Amy said.

Regarding the Black Lives Matter movement sweeping the country, Amy said she wants people to remember that Pride festivities were inspired by the Stonewall Riots, which were sparked by transgender women of color and other members of the LBGTQ+ community in response to police raids.

NoVA Pride’s mission is “to cultivate and grow a coalition to educate, advocate and celebrate in service to the [LGBTQ+] community of Northern Virginia and our straight Allies.”

“Nothing we have done has changed, we are a very diverse and inclusive organization in general,” Amy said. “The same youth leaders who are serving as Pride Prom leaders are the ones in their communities advocating for racial justice and racial equity.”

For anyone struggling with their identity, depression or social norms, the Trevor Project aims to prevent suicide and self-harm in LBGTQ+ youth across the country, according to its website. Though it has no official affiliation with NoVA Pride, Amy said it is a wonderful resource.

Currently, Pride Prom is scheduled to be held in August but Amy said it is unclear if they will be forced to cancel with how quickly things seem to be changing with COVID-19.

Photo via Allie on Unsplash

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tysons Reporter also complied a list of the upcoming holiday events, for those seeking festivities.

Tuesday (Nov. 26)

  • LGBTQIA+ Night — at 6:30 p.m. at Victory Comics (586 S. Washington Street) — This gives people a chance to gather and talk about LGBTQIA+ characters in comics and hear from illustrator Melanie Gillman.
  • Salsa Classes — 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. at The Palladium (1524 Spring Hill Road) — This free event allows people to come by and take a free salsa lesson from Cecilia Villalobos at 8 p.m. before the opportunity for social dance.

Wednesday (Nov. 27)

  • Trivia Night — 7 to 9 p.m. at City Works Eatery and Pour House (1640 N. Capital One Drive) — Community members are invited to stop by for an evening of trivia. Prizes will be awarded to winners and topics vary. This event is free.
  • Comedy Cornucopia — 7:30 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 E. Maple Avenue) — This comedy event invites people to gather and enjoy some humor while raising money for Food for Others. Tickets range from $10-15. Comedy content may contain adult material and anyone 17 or under should be accompanied by an adult.

Thursday (Nov. 28)

  • Live Music with Nick Tierra — 6 to 8 p.m. at Settle Down Easy Brewing (2822 Fairfax Drive) — This event will allow people to gather and enjoy a drink while listening to live music from Nick Tierra. There is no admission fee for this event.

Saturday (Nov. 30)

  • Beer, Wine and Cider Festival — 1 until 6 p.m. at the Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — This event offers guests a chance to try over 50 different drinks before the Biergarten closes and relocates. Tickets are $10 online or $20 at the event.

Photo via Tysons Biergarten/Facebook

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The editor in chief of the Falls Church News-Press released a book earlier this month exploring a gay perspective on feminism.

Author Nick Benton released his book “Gay Men in the Feminist Revolution: Articles, Pamphlets and Reflections on My Gay Activist Days in San Francisco, 1969-1972” on Sept. 17 through Amazon. Benton told Tysons Reporter that he hopes it will educate people on the power of feminism in politics.

Though this isn’t his first book discussing perspectives from the LGBTQ+ community, Benton released his latest book for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969.

“This is my two cents in terms of what happened 50 years ago,” Benton said.

Benton began his career in the San Francisco Bay Area writing for different gay media outlets and spent several years as an LGBTQ activist before moving to D.C. to become a White House correspondent.

Later in his career, he decided to set up shop and start a newspaper in Falls Church to cover a local news gap.

Benton told Tysons Reporter that he thinks feminism will be important for switching up the political culture in 2020 and hopes his readers will walk away with a more comprehensive background through historical documentation.

Readers might be surprised about “the depth of the commitment to feminism by gay men,” he said, adding that people often think about the topic as “one-dimensional,” but in reality, the gay community is very thoughtful and supportive when it comes to feminism.

When asked how people in the City of Falls Church will react to the book, he referenced the former FCNP column “Anything But Straight” saying that LBGTQ perspectives were well received by readers and he expects the same for his book.

During the writing process, Benton said he struggled to find the time and energy to complete the book, adding that much of it is based on extensive research he did himself.

The “Stonewall 50” event, hosted at the Falls Church Episcopal Church back in June, inspired him to finally finish the book. The event attracted several dominant figures in the larger community who spoke about the importance of LGBTQ advocacy, Falls Church News-Press reported.

Going forward, he hopes new generations will learn from and engage with his book.

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(Updated 4 p.m.) — A same-sex “power couple” from McLean has helped to push through new legislation in Virginia that streamlines the surrogacy process.

When an out-of-state judge denied Jay Timmons and Rick Olson parental rights for their newly born son, Jacob, through surrogacy, they decided to do something about it.

The couple, who are both Republicans, lobbied GOP lawmakers in Richmond with the help of Timmons’ one-time boss, former Virginia Gov. George Allen. Their efforts helped a new surrogacy bill pass.

More on the bill from WUSA 9, above, and from the Washington Post.

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