A video and report from a tiny town in southwest, rural Virginia:
Floyd County is west of Roanoke, south of Blacksburg and north of Winston-Salem, NC. There is only one stoplight in the county that I can recall. Last evening Floyd PFLAG sponsored the first public LGBT event, probably in the history of the county, several counties would be more accurate. “Light One Candle” and made a video of the chorus which has so much meaning for me…one of the many messages that surfaced in the vigil, teen suicide.
There was a grandmother who wanted to send a photo of herself holding a Marriage Equility sign for her lesbian granddaughter, the organizers of the new Roanoke Diversity Center came, straight allies who have helped start a suicide prevention coalition drove up from Patrick County. Our PFLAG President, Wolf Cherrix held up a sign with the photo of his husband who still lives in England because Wolf cannot sponsor him as long as DOMA is the law.
Several of us sang along with a Vic Damone recording of “Our Love is Here to Stay,” especially meaningful to me after surviving a 30 year heterosexual marriage and feeling more than lonely. There were young gay, lesbian and straight families and children, all supporting ‘marriage for all.’ Also there, one high school student who avoids school because of the bullying. Teachers, nurses, local shop owners and lots of motorists honking in support of Marriage Equality.
At one point we sang “you’ll never walk alone.” ”This little light of mine,” and yes, “Jesus Loves Me” for the forlorn fellow carrying a sign with the Ten Commandments. I took the opportunity to give our invited police officers the latest news from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
We met so many new allies and several new PFLAG members. The vigil served several purposes, salient was simply visibility. All the county offices and news papers knows about PFLAG now. Most had never heard of DOMA, PROP 8 or knew what LGBT meant. Lots of golden opportunities here. Desperate opportunities. And we sang lustilly!