COVID-19 presents some particularly difficult challenges for our community.

Many in our community have unique health issues that place them at higher risk.  Many of us were struggling with joblessness, homelessness, isolation, stigma, and depression before COVID-19 arrived.  As a cojmmunity, we have usually managed our way through past crises by banding together.  That is a isn’t easy to do right now.   We offer some links and resources below. Stay well.  Reach out.  Care for someone forgotten.

Combating Depression & Suicide

  • Asheville: Our Voice Crisis Hotline: 828-255-7576  | Website
  • National: Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 | Website LGBTQ Support PageAyuda En EspañolCOVID-19 Coping Tips  | Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889
  • Safe Space: Website Online tools and links for emotional support.
  • Lifeline Chat: Website  Web chat service connecting individuals with counselors for emotional support and other services.

What You Can Do … Beyond Basic Health Precautions

  • Phone a Forgotten Friend: We’re good at checking in on close friends and people who are well-networked.  Think of someone who might be overlooked right now.   Check on them.
  • Reach Out to a Group: We have created a directory of many Welcoming Groups in our region.  While most aren’t meeting in person right now, many have some form of virtual outreach.
  • Restore Your Faith:  We have compiled a database of over 60 Welcoming Communities of Faith in Western North Carolina.  Though they, too, are meeting less often, many are finding creative ways to sustain a supportive community. 
  • Fight Stigma: NC Public Health emphasizes that no group, ethnicity or population in the US is more likely to get or spread COVID-19. Fighting stigma is now a matter of public safety.  It will be harder to contain the spread of COVID-19 if people are afraid to seek testing and assistance.
  • Volunteer: If it is safe to do so.    If it isn’t, remember that you are providing a benefit to everyone in North Carolina by remaining in isolation and quarantine.
    • Sign up to received COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunity alerts from the United Way.
    • Manna Food Bank is in need of healthy volunteers with a lot health risk profile for 2-hour shifts to fill food boxes for the needy [link]. Manna is a key supplier to many community groups, including Loving Food Resources.  (If you volunteer at Manna, add #BlueRidgePride to the remarks field.  We’d like to track our community’s engagement.)
    • Asheville Survival Program – a Facebook page established to help us overcome social distancing and to support the community.

COVID-19 Resources

Suggested additions or edits?  Please use the button below.

  1. 12th Annual Blue Ridge Pride Festival & Welcoming WNC Procession

September 26, 2020 | 10 am to 7 pm

Pack Square Park | Asheville NC

FESTIVAL AND COVID-19

We are still planning to hold the festival in September and are accepting vendor, sponsor and entertainer applications.  However, we are preparing for a variety of possibilities:

  • If the festival is cancelled owing to COVID-19, we will issue full refunds.
  • If other festivals and organizations lose important summer dates, we may choose to partner with them.  Beyond getting through COVID-19, our greatest priority is to re-build our community together.

Anyone with comments, inquiries or suggestions should direct them to our Executive Director.

Days

Welcome!

This site will evolve quickly this spring.  We are launching a virtual LGBTQ Center for western North Carolina and nearby communities in Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina.  LGBTQ people in rural communities struggle, not only with the isolation and insecurity brought about by social ignorance and prejudice, but also with the isolation of geography.  We have many wonderful organizations, companies, and groups that welcome and support our community.  But they, too, find rural geography a challenge.   How to connect everyone? … That is our goal.  We hope you’ll join us.  We are growing a community .. together.

Community Calendar

This calendar was designed with our community in mind.  Visit our calendar home page to find more events and to post events of your own.

News

2019 Sapphire Sponsors

Thank you to our 2019 Festival and Program Sponsors and Patrons

For helping us to build a vibrant and welcoming community!

Emerald Sponsors

Gold+ Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Patrons of Pride

Media Sponsors

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Customer Feedback Form

Please use this form to report issues and errors and to provide feedback and suggestions.  This site relies heavily on volunteer support.  Please allow us time to respond.

  • Thank you!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

User's Guides - Welcoming Groups

Tips suggested by users

  • Prepare. There is no save-and-resume button, so have all the information on hand. (But you can return to edit it.)
  • Recurring Events. Powerful, but a little confusing the first time:
    • To enter a meeting on the same date each month (e.g., the 5th), select “on the same day”. 
    • To enter a meeting on the same day and/or week (e.g., 1st Monday), select “on a different day”. 
  • Categories. As a rule, you will want to select at least three categories, one from each of the following.
    • Event Type
    • Target Audience
    • Welcoming Pages
  • Venues / Organizers.
    • Enter the name of the organizer and location. 
    • If it is already in the database, the calendar will populate your event with relevant contact and location information. 
    • If you have to add a new organizer or venue, please fill in all the fields.  It will help others.
  • Review. Once you submit an event, it will be reviewed before appearing on the calendar.

Help Us

We find the calendar pretty intuitive. Please use the feedback button to suggest tips to add here.

Give us feedback!  And, please be patient.

This is our pilot release.  We will assemble user feedback to guide our second release in 2020 Q2.

We encourage and welcome donations.

We welcome everything from modest donations to immodest endowments. If active users and directory listers kick in a little something each year, we think that we can sustain and build this virtual center for the community.

Relevant to our local LGBTQ and allied communities.

This includes western North Carolina and nearby communities in contiguous states (e.g., eastern Tennessee, northwestern South Carolina, northern Georgia, southwestern Virginia. It also includes groups based outside the region that have a local presence.

No offensive content

This includes language and visuals that are considered hateful, threatening or inappropriately graphic.  Bear in mind that this site is accessible to minors.

No content that poses a threat to people’s privacy or to copyright laws.

Do not share names, photos or contact information without appropriate authorization or consent. 

No embedded funding appeals and links.

Why?  We don’t allow these because we don’t have the resources to monitor such links. You are welcome to link to pages on your site that include these. 

Mark Your Calendars!

 

12th Annual Blue Ridge Pride Festival & Welcoming WNC Procession

 

Saturday, September 26, 2020
10 am to 7 pm | Pack Square Park

 

Applications Now Open

(Click Below or From Festival Menu)

Weekly Community Calendar

TARGET AUDIENCE: LGBTQ Community, Allies and Friends

[tribe_this_week layout="horizontal" count="12" category="lgbtq-community-allies"]

Apply for a Grant

Complete these four steps to submit your application.  If you like, you can save your work and return to it within 30 days.

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This is so you can return later and edit your entries. It also helps to protect our community.

You only need to do it once.  Thanks!

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Help us grow our community ... together

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Virtual Community Center

Oral History Project

Community Events

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