Equality Loudoun is a non-profit organization that advocates, educates, defends, and builds community to support LGBTQ+ equality in Loudoun County.
Equality Loudoun envisions an inclusive community where LGBTQ+ people and other marginalized groups are fully embraced by active allies and can live safely and openly.
Inclusion is the first step to creating change. While advocacy can be comprehensive of all of our efforts, within Equality Loudoun the principle of Inclusion is aimed at bringing the outside community of allies, groups, and organizations together to create a network of advocates that will defend equality.
Our business community is comprised of thousands of engaged and equality-minded leaders, employees, and groups. From showing their spirit at Loudoun Pride to partnership events, we've worked with hundreds of businesses to create an advocates network. Learn more...
The SMB Guide to Success in the LGBTQ Market- 2023
The LGBTQ market is one of the fastest-growing sectors out there, and it’s becoming an increasingly valuable customer base across all industries. In fact, according to GayStar News, a conservative estimate on the size of the global LGBTQ market is $3.7 trillion – that’s a huge market that could be left out of your customer base unless you take the right steps.
FAITH AND PLACES OF WORSHIP
When searching for a faith community, it is important to know you will be welcome for all of who you are. Most of the world’s religions can be boiled down to the edict to love one another. In that spirit, we hope to help you find spiritual homes that are affirming and welcoming. The resources on this page also link to national organizations to help find faith communities outside of Loudoun (great for travel and kids headed to college!) and online resources for support. Equality Loudoun is working to reach out to Loudoun County Faith Groups to compile a list of affirming and welcoming places for spiritual growth.
THE INSTITUTE FOR WELCOMING RESOURCES: IWR's mission is to create resources that support the unconditional welcome of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and their families in the church home of their choice. Denominational representatives of the Welcoming Church Movement created IWR in November 2002. The purpose of this ecumenical group is to provide the resources to facilitate a paradigm shift in multiple denominations whereby churches become welcoming and affirming of all congregants regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. IWR wants to help build church homes that are truly welcoming and nurturing, where everyone knows “they're okay, just like they are.” In early 2006, IWR became a program of the National LGBTQ Task Force, through a formal merger. Learn more...
KESHET: Keshet envisions a world in which all LGBTQ Jews and our families can live with full equality, justice, and dignity. By strengthening Jewish communities and equipping Jewish organizations with the skills and knowledge they need to make all LGBTQ Jews feel welcome, we work to ensure the full equality of all LGBTQ Jews and our families in Jewish life. We also create spaces in which all queer Jewish youth feel seen and valued and advance LGBTQ rights nationwide. Learn more...
GALVA 108: This website is provided by the Gay & Lesbian Vaishnava Association, a nonprofit religious organization offering positive information and support to LGBTI Vaishnavas and Hindus, their friends, and other interested persons. GALVA-108 is an international organization dedicated to the teachings of Lord Caitanya, the importance of all-inclusiveness within His mission, and the Vedic concept of a natural third gender. Its purpose is to help educate Vaishnavas, Hindus and the public in general about the “third sex” as described in Vedic literatures. This knowledge will help correct many of the misconceptions people hold today concerning LGBTI people--lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and the intersexed. Learn more....
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN RELIGION & FAITH RESOURCES: Faith is a core part of civic life. Around the world, people look to their faith as a source of guidance, hope and inspiration — and LGBTQ+ people, as well as our families, friends and allies, are no different. In times of trial and in the face of rejection, LGBTQ+ people of faith have held onto our beliefs and traditions — and at times have formed new ones. We belong in every faith tradition across the world. Learn more...
THE TRANSFORMING HEARTS COLLECTIVE: The Transforming Hearts Collective represents a vision of a world in which queer and trans people can show up fully as ourselves in all of the places we call home. We support spaces for LGBTQ people to access resilience, healing, and spirituality, and we resource faith communities and other groups for the work of radical inclusion and culture shift. We are queer, transgender, non-binary, and cisgender people of many races, classes, abilities, spiritualities, and ages. We are change agents rooted in a vision and goal of liberation for all. We move the margins to the center, we lead with love, and we transform hearts, not just minds. If your faith community is serious about welcome and culture shift, we are serious about helping. Learn more....
MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
The health of the individual, both mental and physical, are the keys to long-lasting happiness and growth. We work with a variety of mental and medical health providers who operate using the principles of acceptance and inclusion. Our Equality Allies program is adding new providers every month, from therapists to provider groups and beyond.
1111 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201
500 N. Washington St. #200, Falls Church, VA 22046
1204 W. Main St., Charlottesville, VA 22903
Washington, D.C. (multiple locations)
NON-PROFIT & COMMUNITY PARTNERS
We simply cannot provide the support, prevention, advocacy, and services needed by our community. As a representative organization of the intersectional individuals who identify as LGBTQ+, the queer community in Loudoun County has a variety of racial, religious, and socioeconomic needs that are already provided for by our partner organizations. We work with these organizations to bridge the gaps that helps improve the outcomes of all community members.
Community is what picks us up and keeps us going when we fall down, from the friends we make to the families we unite and build. Through a combination of social support, opportunities to meet others like us, and chances to celebrate what makes us each unique and wonderful, we can find the value in ourselves and our community.
We strive to create community by providing a diverse group of events that help reach all of our LGBTQ+ neighbors and friends. From family-focused events like the Pride Festival to adult-centric parties like Hallo-Queen, we really aim to create inclusive places everywhere we go. As an intersectional community, we know that people come from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds, differing abilities, and a diverse set of experiences- so we aim to ensure proper planning, different cost levels, and accessibility are part of every event's consideration. Some events may not work for some people, but we're sure everyone can find something to enjoy. Check out our full events calendar...
Queer Lit Book Club: The Queer Lit Book Club is a partnership between Birch Tree Bookstore and Equality Loudoun. Borne out of a love of reading and curated by local librarians, teachers, and queer-lit aficionados, you're sure to find your latest page turner. We also purchase a set of books each month to benefit those who cannot otherwise afford the book and to benefit our local book sellers. This club is open to queer book lovers of all stripes. For more information, email us.
LGBTQ+ Awareness Tabling: From March until November, you'll find us setting up the Big Purple Tent all over Loudoun County at events to help bring awareness of the Queer Community and our work to address the issues. We strive to go all over with events like SterlingFest, Claude Moore's Apple Fest, the One Loudoun Block Party, and more. Interested in having us table with you? Just email us...
Loudoun Pride Festival: The Loudoun Pride Festival is back and bigger than ever for 2023! This year we are ready to welcome nearly 3,000 attendees and over 100 businesses to share in the fun celebrating the Queer community in Loudoun County! With our headliners soon to be announced - we will be hosting incredible music to celebrate to, amazing local food to enjoy, fun activities for all ages, and so much more in store. Learn more about the Loudoun Pride Festival.
Get Lucky! Drag Bingo: Every March, get ready to have some good, not-quite-clean fun for a good cause! Join us for Drag Bingo, some dinner, drinks, and of course performances by your favorite local queens! Did you know Loudoun is the home of several members of Drag Royalty? In 2023, we'll be playing 4 games for a cash prize of $125 each. Each ticket includes everything you need to play, We'll also have a 50-50 raffle, Pride merch, and fun mini-games - so you'll have tons of chances to Get Lucky all night long!
Hallo-Queen Scream: In October, Hallo-Queen Scream is the perfect place to let loose and enjoy a night of fun and frivolity! Featuring live music by 90's cover band Crash the Limo, a full drag show featuring Loudoun's Drag Royalty, a Blackout Party Room feat. Repeatable DJ, and so much more! Candy Bars, photo booths, glow in the dark body paint station, a $250 costume contest prize, a $500 minimum 50/50 raffle, and so many more surprises are in store. Plus, all proceeds will go to support the LGBTQ+ advocacy efforts of local non-profit organization Equality Loudoun!
We simply could not do all that we do each year without incredible teams of volunteers helping us along the way. From tabling to event setup to leadership, there are options for every person, every situation, and every level of engagement. We want to make volunteering with EQLOCO fun, meaningful, and easy. Check out our Volunteer page for information on how to get involved.
Social media plays in important role in being, well, social. At the core of community is being able to form friendships, make connections, and find mentors. Our social media platforms are meant to share awareness on important issues and the steps we can take to take action. They are meant to bring people together using common values and representation. And they keep us informed on important events, needs, and activities going on in Loudoun County.
Defense is the last line of protection for the LGBTQ+ individuals and can often be the most critical. As discrimination against the queer community continues in areas such as employment, name changes, legal filings, fair housing, and more, there needs to be an equal push to fight back and bring equality to the table. We will be that last line of defense.
With an organization of this size and scope, the funding is fundamental to our success. We work to apply for a variety of grants open to eligible non-profits such as ours that focus on social support, educational opportunities, business development, and anti-discrimination efforts that benefit our local community.
Grants Awarded To Equality Loudoun
2020 - The Southern Poverty Law Center Frontline Grant ($1,500)
2021 - The Lainoff Family Foundation Grant ($10,000)
2022 - Loudoun Chamber Foundation Grant ($4,000)
2022 - The Lainoff Family Foundation Grant ($5,000)
Your home is your castle. Whether it's finding the perfect home in an accepting area or finding a rental process free of discriminatory practices, we use a combination of Fair Housing practices, LGBTQ+ best practices, and general knowledge to inform and educate local public officials and housing markets specialists on how to protect you.
Equality Loudoun began participating as representatives of the LGBTQ+ community in 2022 for a regional initiative by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government to address Fair Housing Act standards. One way that COG is helping local jurisdictions meet fair housing requirements is through collaborating on a Regional Housing Equity Plan (also known as the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice or AI). Learn more...
Federal and state fair housing laws protects people from discrimination when trying to rent an apartment, buy a house, obtain a mortgage, or purchase homeowner's insurance. Fair housing requirements apply to all housing providers: property managers, owners, landlords, real estate agents, banks, savings institutions, credit unions, insurance companies, mortgage lenders, and appraisers. Learn more...
Now more than ever, our community has to wade through a bevy of legal challenges from name and gender changes to navigating marriage laws while safeguarding against discriminatory practices. We work with a network of legal experts on helping you understand your legal rights, best practices for various legal services, and connecting individuals to pro bono providers.
LSNV is the largest legal aid organization in Virginia, helping thousands of clients each year in civil legal matters. We partner closely with other legal aid organizations, state and local bar associations, as well as the courts to serve the region’s low-income and neediest populations. LSNV provides services in Consumer Law, Elder Law, Family Law, Human Trafficking, Housing Law, Public Benefits, Child Advocacy & Education Law, Veterans Law Project, Support for Re-Entry , and Return to Communities. Staff and volunteers provide legal advice, brief services, and representation in administrative hearings and in court. They also deliver community legal education and partner with other community agencies, task forces, and coordinated response teams to find innovative solutions to broader problems.
Despite recent progress toward acceptance across America, the LGBTQ community in the Deep South continues to face significant barriers to equality, as few states offer protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In each of the Southern states, for example, employers may fire or refuse to hire a person because of their sexual orientation – and no Southern state prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ people in public accommodations or housing. In addition, LGBTQ youth often encounter harassment and bullying in school, and the community is frequently victimized by violent hate crime. We’re working in the courts to ensure that LGBTQ people achieve full equality under the law. Our work has a national reach but is focused primarily on the Southeast, where relatively few organizations advocate for the LGBTQ community. Learn more...
Both the progression and regression of our legal rights start and stop in the legislative arena. While Equality Loudoun does not affiliate or align itself with a political party, we do work to understand and educate those elected officials working to impact the LGBTQ+ community. We bring awareness to legislative concerns, changes to existing rights and laws, and advocate for improvements.
Every year, Equality Virginia monitors LGBTQ-related legislation introduced to the Virginia General Assembly and advocates on behalf of Virginia’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. We work to introduce and support pro-equality legislation and to oppose bills that move us backward. Equality Virginia amplifies the voices of the LGBTQ community by engaging thousands of Virginians in grassroots advocacy and connecting constituents with their legislators. Learn more...
The H.E.A.T. Map™(Hate, Extremism, Antisemitism, Terrorism) is the first-of-its-kind interactive and customizable map detailing specific incidents of hate, extremism, antisemitism and terrorism by state and nationwide. This interactive map lets you read details on specific incidents, better understand tactics extremists use, compare activity by type and/or state and access and download raw data. Learn more...
During the 2022 legislative session dozens of states will consider LGBTQ legislation. Some bills will seek to advance the comprehensive nondiscrimination laws that LGBTQ people so sorely need, while others will almost certainly attempt to single out and target LGBTQ people for unfair and unequal treatment. Freedom for All Americans is tracking each piece of LGBTQ legislation in our Legislative Tracker, in partnership with the Equality Federation. This resource can help you find all 2022 legislation related to LGBTQ discrimination, including school policy bills, youth medical care bans, and youth sports bans. Learn more...
Education is the key to everything we do. What has been shown time and again is that first-hand knowledge and understanding that comes directly from the LGBTQ+ community can radically change the perception of queer rights issues. Once someone has the misinformation replaced with truth, fear with understanding, and bigotry with friendship- then real change is possible.
Getting the information into the hands of those who need it is critical. To accomplish this, we work to provide both specialized training options on LGBTQ+ and anti-discrimination topics for businesses, agencies, organizations, and groups as well as free public educational content for the general public. Using a combination of research and best-practices, we can create trainings that inform and improve the community.
Our community lives in a digital age and with it comes a responsibility to meet people where they are to learn and find resources. We generate infographics, videos, trainings, and publicly accessible content on a variety of pages and platforms to educate the public on key LGBTQ+ issues. Bringing awareness of the issue is the first phase in our plan to help the public understand.
Our training program is one of the most important tools to providing learning and education to groups in a specialized manner that meets them where they are. We work with a variety of experts that include librarians, doctors, lawyers. scientists, and parents to generate our comprehensive curriculum offerings.
The core of any organization is it's ability to get things done. While events like Pride are incredible, a huge amount of contracting, storage, fundraising, and web development go into it. Every part of our organization relies heavily on a group of behind-the-scenes individuals who help the Equality Loudoun run it's day to day operations.
President: ever day presents new challenges, opportunities, and operations that require a dedicated team who can continue to tackle each obstacle. Our President is responsible for overseeing the organization and it's volunteers, while also representing the community, guiding program development, and running our Operations Team.
Vice President: Achieving awareness of LGBTQ+ issues is one of the core facets of achieving social and legal changes that protect our vulnerable community. Our Vice President works to ensure that LGBTQ+ issues and Equality Loudoun's offerings in tackling them are heard front and center in the rooms where decisions are made.
Secretary: Despite our organization's 20-year history, we began our journey anew in 2021 by filing as an incorporated entity and achieving our non-profit status. Along with that comes requirements for governing documents, policies, and procedures that guide our volunteers. Our Secretary ensures our governing documents, licenses, and other requirement are all met.
Treasurer: All of our programs, services, and offerings are orchestrated on a backdrop of fiscal responsibility and public trust. As we have grown exponentially in the last 2 years, that growth requires careful stewardship. Our Treasurer is responsible for ensuring our programs are financially in line with mission scope, tracking our daily income and expenses, filing annual reports, and ensuring our fiduciary responsibility is met.
COORDINATION & RESEARCH
Our Operations Team is made up of individuals with a variety of skill sets, including marketing, legal review, governance, web development, and more. We utilize this team of highly skilled individuals in an administrative fashion to ensure the organization and it's volunteers are secure by worrying about things like insurance, legal protections, permits and licenses, administrative requirements, contracting, fundraising, and more. Guiding this effort is our Operational Coordinator and others who organize, plan, schedule, file, collate, and get those TPS reports done every day of the week, and sometimes on Saturdays.
The most important principle of education is truth. In the modern age, anyone with a few dollars and bad intentions can spread misinformation to millions of people online. By utilizing the work of the best and brightest experts in their fields - including psychologists, scientists, medical professionals, researchers, and more - we put together a collection of critical information about LGBTQ+ topics based on proven research, work, and specialists. By spreading the truth, we can fight misinformation campaigns that threaten LGBTQ+ equality.