Keith Watts PhotoBy Keith J. Watts

As a recent transplant to Richmond, and as a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Diversity Richmond has been nothing short of a resource. And while thankful for the enormous strides our community has made over the years in effecting the societal and cultural changes that have made my life as an openly gay man conceivable in any way, spaces such as Diversity Richmond are still often difficult to find. In the nearly two years that I have now lived here, Diversity Richmond has been a space for me to access a spiritual community, engage in research projects, volunteer and participate in fun events such as Drag Bingo, attend public book readings from authors as well as events honoring local LGBTQIA+ advocates–such as the “Black and Bold Awards”–and to thrift for some really unique fashions! Diversity Richmond has become a ‘one stop shop’ for most of my community needs!

Being a gay Black man, I am no stranger to the marginalization that so many LGBTQIA+ people of color experience within our community, and that is what makes the culture of inclusivity that clearly exists at Diversity Richmond so remarkable. Living up to its name, I have connected with folks from all walks of life through this organization, and that alone has provided me with opportunities to develop the relationships, mentorship, and support that were crucial to me feeling affirmed and at home here in Richmond. Doubtlessly, there is much more work to do on the road to equality, but it is truly encouraging to see organizations like Diversity Richmond taking the lead in this mission. I continue to be inspired by the work that Diversity Richmond does with the local community of LGBTQIA+ people and allies, and the indelible impact it has had on so many of our lives. This is what Diversity Richmond means to me.

I also hope that you will join me for our Sunday Social Hour Men’s Group on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month at 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm. It’ll be a treat! The group will be meeting in the Classroom (Door Entrance #2). If you would like additional information, please feel free to email me at . Hope to see you there.