The Joy of Sax

Joy of Sax sculpture

In October, an anonymous donor gifted Diversity Thrift with a valuable work of art by national award-winning sculptor Susan Geissler. The life size piece titled The Joy of Sax is on display and available for purchase in our Holiday Boutique.

Geissler is recognized as one of the premier designers of human figures in the United States. Her work has been seen and enjoyed by millions of people at top outdoor art events around the United States. Some of her public collections, commissions, placements, and monuments include the George Bush Presidential Library, TX, Disney World Gallery, Orlando, FL, Benson Park Sculpture Garden, Loveland, CO, and Spartan Monument, San Jose State Univ., San Jose, CA.

The piece was originally purchased from the Chasen Gallery in 2005 for $8,500 and is priced for sale in our boutique for $12,000 or best offer.

All year long, our store staff stashes away our very best donations of vintage wares, antiques, silver, fine china, estate jewelry, rare books, vintage clothing, art, rugs, ceramics, and vintage toys for this boutique which is set up in our Iridian Gallery rooms. Your purchases support the programs of Diversity Richmond. We hope you will make time to visit our boutique which is open daily 10am to 6pm through December 23rd. We are closed on Thanksgiving.

Call For Queer and Trans Authors!

Call for writers 1

Diversity Richmond is hosting a Queer and Trans Author Showcase on Saturday, December 3rd from 3:00-7:00pm in our event hall, 1407 Sherwood Avenue, RVA 23220. Participation in this event is free and open to local Queer and Trans authors, published or unpublished. This is an opportunity to introduce yourself and promote your work. We’ll have free refreshments and a cash bar.

To reserve your spot, contact by November 25th, 2022.

Diversity Richmond is seeking a part-time Program Coordinator

Diversity Richmond is seeking a part-time Program Coordinator to provide administrative assistance to our various program initiatives. This position will be responsible for managing our volunteer program, assisting with managing Diversity Richmond’s emergency financial assistance program, management of donor databases to include donor management and communication. This position will also provide support to Diversity Richmond’s management team by providing a wide variety of administrative duties such as assisting with invoicing, payment of vendors and budget tracking.  The ideal candidate must have excellent communication skills, orally and in writing, proficient in Excel, PowerPoint and database management as well as experience being able to update and make changes as needed to our website.  In addition, familiarity with RVA’s LGBTQ+ community and the various organizations that support it is needed.

Interested candidates should email their resume to 

Diversity Richmond is an equal opportunity employer.

Diversity Richmond Names Lacette Cross Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Diversity Richmond has named Lacette Cross, D.Min, the organization’s Executive Director, effective October 17, 2022. 
“We’re thrilled to name Lacette Cross our executive director, to lead our talented staff and to continue the important work Diversity Richmond accomplishes in building a more inclusive and equitable region,” said Chris Moore, Board Chair. “Lacette possesses a truly unique combination of understanding the challenges we face as a community and the impactful ways that Diversity Richmond can serve the LGBTQ+ community, our families, friends and our allies.”
"Diversity Richmond has a rich legacy of being a catalyst, a voice, a place and a resource for Richmond’s LGBTQ+ community," said Dr. Cross. “It is an honor to be chosen as the next Executive Director, and I am elated to join Diversity’s phenomenal board and staff at this pivotal moment for the organization. Together we will link arms to continue building the kind of dynamic, responsive, and equitable organization our community deserves.”
Dr. Cross has more than 15 years’ experience working with regional non-profits in various positions, most recently as VA SIP Strategic Advisor with NEO Philanthropy. She served as interim Executive Director for Side-by-Side during 2021, after serving as their Director of Volunteers and Outreach. Dr. Cross was graduated from Virginia Union University with a Doctor of Ministry, a Master of Theology from Union Presbyterian Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Virginia Union and a BS in Social Work from the Catholic University of America. She was named an Equity + Health Fellow with the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation and earned a Community Trustbuilding Fellowship with Initiatives of Change. She has beenrecognized as an OUTStanding Virginian by Equality Virginia in 2019 and in 2020 by the YWCA of Richmond as an Outstanding Woman.
For more than 20 years, Diversity Richmond has worked to make Richmond a better place to live, work, and visit for the LGBTQ+ community. Key Diversity programs include Diversity Thrift, Virginia Pride, the Black and Bold Awards, Viva RVA, Transgender Remembrance and support, and its community grants program, Diversity Celebrates.

Scary-Oke! A Costume + Karaoke Gaylalala

Scary Oke 2022 AD

Scary-Oke! A Costume and Karaoke Gaylalala benefitting Diversity Richmond

Friday, October 28 at 7 PM - 10 PM

Doors open at 6:30
Diversity Richmond
1407 Sherwood Ave. RVA 23220

$1,000 in cold hard CASH PRIZES!
$400 Costume Grand Prize!
Three $100 Costume Runner-ups!
Three $100 Karaoke drawings!

No singing talent required. Everyone who sings gets entered in the karaoke cash raffle. Singing starts at 7:00 sharp!

FREE Admission
Age 18+ welcomed
I.D. required for alcohol
Cash bar serving up craft beer, wine, and cocktails.
$7 Alcohol/ $2 Soft Drinks/Water.

Hosted by Natasha Carrington!

Food for sale by Midnight’s Soul Food Catering.

COVID Safety Measures: Masks are strongly encouraged.

Dress up sexy, funny, politically (in)correct, come-as-you-might-have-been, or just as you are. Let's get Halloween weekend off to a great start and support the programs of Diversity Richmond!

Hosted by Youneek NuYork

pride aug

VIVA RVA! Hispanic Music Festival October 1st

In 2019, Diversity Richmond hosted its first Viva RVA! celebration, commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month and LGBTQ+ Pride. With a goal of welcoming 500 people, the event exceeded expectations with 700 attendees. No one could have prepared for the pandemic. What was founded as a music and cultural festival morphed to coordinating food drives in collaboration with Feed More and partnering with the Virginia Department of Health to host COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics.

In 2021, Viva RVA! partnered with Richmond’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Engagement (OIRE) and the Office of Minority Business Development to host a 15-week Latino Entrepreneurship Academy, during which participants learned from business owners and financial experts in Spanish. This year will see a return to the traditional event, with music, dance and food, and art.  

Viva RVA! is a family-friendly event with free admission from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Due to the weather, we will celebrate Viva RVA! inside the Event Hall that holds 500 guests. Food trucks, vendors and exhibitors will be available, and performers include bomba, plena and salsa band Kadencia; Puerto Rican folk dance group Tradición; Brazilian quartet Quatro na Bossa, Latina Drag Queens, Serenata Duo, Children's Musical Performances, Salsa Lessons, door prizes and more!

Enjoy authentic Hispanic music, food, interactive stations, dance lessons, drag show, children program and exhibitors. The Viva RVA! Hispanic Music Festival is FREE. Eventbrite ticket is required.

More information, follow us on Facebook:


11:30 a.m. Opening Ceremony

1:45 a.m. Quatro Na Bossa

12:15 p.m. Latino Entrepreneur Academy Presentation

12:30 p.m. Quatro Na Bossa

1:00 p.m. Tradición Dance Company and Salsa Lessons

1:40 p.m. Serenata

2:30 p.m. Tony Tunes - Children's Musical Program

3:00 p.m. Presentation of Commemorative El Abrazo

3:15 p.m. Kadencia4:00 p.m. Kendra Ferretti & Friends - Family-Friendly Latino Drag Show

4:30 p.m. Kadencia

5:15 p.m. Closing Remarks

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RAIN DATE Viva RVA! will happen rain or shine! If there is rain forecasted on the day of the event, we will move the performance stage to the Event Hall that holds 500 people. Food trucks and vendors will remain outdoors.

FOOD & BEVERAGES Several local Hispanic Food trucks/vendors will be on-site with food and beverages for purchase. There will also be beer and wine available for purchase. You must be 21+ with a valid ID to purchase alcohol tickets. Wristbands for alcohol will be issued for all attendees 21+ that have a valid ID.NO

COOLERS ALLOWED Coolers with beverages/food from outside the festival are NOT permitted. Please come and enjoy the amazing Hispanic food and beverages from the festival. No alcoholic beverages of any kind may be brought to the event.

DOOR PRIZES All attendees are eligible for entry in the door prize drawings. Please pick up your Door Prize ticket at the Viva RVA! Welcome Table. Door Prizes will be announced during each of the breaks. You must be present to win a door prize.

WHAT NOT TO BRING• Coolers, large backpacks• Alcohol• Bottles/glass containers• Contraband (drugs and weapons)• Laser pointers• Bikes, skateboards, inline skates• Bikes may be parked outside the festival area• Flying objects (drones, kites, frisbees, footballs, etc.)

CASH & CREDIT CARDS Admission and parking to Viva RVA! Music Festival are FREE. Food, beverages, and vendor goods can be purchased with cash or if the vendor accepts debit/credit cards. There is an ATM inside Diveristy Richmond's Event Hall.

PARKING Parking is FREE. The festival will be outdoors in the Diversity Richmond parking lot. You can park in available spaces in the Diversity Richmond lot off of Cummings Drive, or you can park in the streets surrounding Diversity Richmond.

RESTROOMS Restrooms are available inside the Event Hall at the Diversity Richmond building.

PETS Pets are allowed in the outdoor areas only of the Music Festival. No pets will be allowed inside Diversity Richmond. Remember that restrooms and alcohol will be inside the Event Hall. Also, please be mindful of cleaning up after your pet.

SECURITY There will be on site security to support the festival activities.

SEATING Outdoor seating will be available near the food vendors. Indoor seating will be available in the Event Hall. Bring your lawn chairs and set up near the stage to enjoy the music and dancing performances.

LOST AND FOUND Viva RVA! is not responsible for lost or stolen items. However, any lost items can be requested at the Viva RVA! Welcome Table.

ACCESSIBILITY Viva RVA! is wheelchair accessible.Your Presence is Your Permission: Special photographers and videographers have been hired by festival organizers to document the event. Some images may be used in later promotional materials. Your presence at the event is seen as your permission for such promotional use by the non-profit organizers.

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HMF 363


VA Pridefest returns to Brown's Island after three year hiatus!

VA Pridefest, presented by the Virginia Lottery, and one of the largest celebrations of the LGBTQ community in Virginia, will return to Brown’s Island from Noon-8:00 pm this Saturday, September 24 for what organizers expect to be the most well-attended event in its four-decade history. The free event will feature entertainment on two stages, 10 food trucks and more than 120 non-profit and merchandise vendors.
Headline entertainment on the Truist Main Stage includes the Queen of Bounce, Big Freedia, Leikeli47, a rap artist with ties to Virginia and Celebrity Drag Queen, Rosé from RuPaul’s Drag Race. The jam-packed line-up includes local bands and regional acts, DJs, drag performances and much, much more. The CarMax Youth Pride Pavilion will offer a full day of entertainment, activities and vendors for LGBTQ and allied youth and their families from a second stage.
“After three long and challenging years, we are so excited to be back on Brown’s Island for Pridefest,” said James Millner, Director of Virginia Pride. “Our team has been hard at work for months to plan and organize an event of which our community and this city can be proud and that truly celebrates diversity, inclusion and kindness.” VA Pridefest is supported by a record 35 corporate and business partners this year including the Virginia Lottery which signed on as the presenting sponsor in 2021. Other supporters include Tito’s Handmade Vodka and some of the Richmond region’s largest employers such as Capital One, Truist, CarMax, Bank of America, Altria and Amazon.
“There is simply no way we could do what we do were it not for the support of our corporate partners and those that work for them,” Millner explained. “They’re the reason Pridefest is free. And while we use Pridefest to thank our sponsors, the partnership we have with them endures 365 days a year and goes far beyond a financial donation. We are beyond grateful.”
What to Expect:
• VA Pridefest is one of the largest outdoor festivals in the Richmond region. It features local, regional and local entertainment acts on two stages, one of which is for youth and families.
• The event is free to attend with food, drinks (including alcohol for those 21 or over), and merchandise for purchase.
• The McShinn Foundation will host a safe, sober, alcohol-free lounge for those who are in recovery or that do not consume alcohol.
• ASL interpretation will be available on the Main Stage throughout the day.
• The event will begin at Noon, Saturday, September 24, and end promptly at 8:00 pm.
• Parking is a challenge, and we encourage attendees to rideshare or carpool, especially if you plan to consume alcohol.
• Attendees are allowed to bring two unopened bottles or one refillable container of water with them into the event. Bags are subject to search by security.
• More information is available at or on VA Pride’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
VA Pride is a program of Diversity Richmond

Diversity Richmond awards $78,000 in grants

On September 8th, Diversity Richmond hosted Diversity Richmond Celebrates, an awards program that recognizes organizations doing outstanding work serving Richmond’s LGBTQ+ community.

At the event, held in person for the first time since 2019, Diversity Richmond awarded $78,000 in grants to fifteen organizations to both recognize and help deepen their community impact.

Luise “Cheezi” Farmer, Diversity Richmond’s board chair emeritus, said, “Diversity Richmond exists not only to serve the LGBTQ+ community, but to uplift others who serve the community as well. Diversity Richmond Celebrates is one of the most important nights of the year for us.”

Since 1999, Diversity Richmond has made over $1.2 million in grants to LGBTQ+ organizations and organizations doing transformational work in the LGBTQ+ community. The fifteen organizations recognized on Thursday evening were:

Black Men Can Cook


Iridian Gallery


Metropolitan Community Church (MCC)

Minority Veterans of America

Nationz Foundation

Patchwork RVA

Rainbow Souls

School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC)


Sylvia's Sisters

Twin Oaks Community, Inc.

Virginia State University Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board

Women of Essence

Pictured are representatives from these organizations.

Iridian Gallery call for exhibit proposals

IG Call for Proposals Aug1

The Iridian Gallery at Diversity Richmond is now accepting proposals for work in all media for our 2023 exhibition calendar. As the only LGBTQ gallery in the south and one of the few in the nation we strive to serve the queer community and amplify the voices of its artists. While preference will be given to LGBTQ+ artists, work by allies that speak to the experiences of our community will also be considered. Iridian is especially dedicated to presenting work by artists who intersectionally identify with other underrepresented groups. We encourage artists of diverse races, nationalities, ethnicities, beliefs, genders, ages, and abilities to apply.

You may apply for a solo show, with a group of artists, or propose an exhibition that you would like to curate. We may also choose to group selected artists when deemed appropriate. Evaluation of proposals and curatorial decisions will be made by representatives of the Iridian Gallery committee made up of local artists, arts educators and leaders, and community members.

Our proposal deadline for Calendar Year 2023 is October 15, 2022. Any proposals received after that date will be considered for the 2024 Calendar Year. The exhibition committee may choose to meet at other times to review applications as needs arise. After proposals are reviewed all entrants, chosen or not, will be contacted.

Please send all proposals and questions by email to:


Submission Guidelines:

The Iridian Gallery at Diversity Richmond is committed to fostering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+ artists and their community by exhibiting their art as well as work that relates to their experience.

Format Requirements:

All proposals will be submitted by email only and must be in the formats described below.

  1. 1. Include up to 10 images of your best work. The submission should ideally include images of work you would include in your exhibition. If this is not possible, the images should represent works that are comparable to those that will be featured in the exhibition.

These images should be JPGS no larger than 1024 x 768, 72dpi, preferably under 1MB.

They MUST be named in this format:




  1. 2. If applicable, send videos of specific works which will be included in the exhibition. Videos should be shared via web link, Dropbox or other ftp service. Please do not email videos.
  1. 3. Prepare a one-page statement describing the concept of the exhibition. The file should be a PDF, RTF, or Word document.
  1. 4. Supply an image list providing an inventory of the images submitted. Include number, artist name, title, year, medium, and dimensions. This must be a PDF, RTF, or Word document.
  1. 5. Your resume and the resumes of any prospective collaborators.

Proposals that are incomplete or fail to meet the above requirements may not be reviewed by the jury.

After the October 15, 2022 deadline, Iridian Gallery continues to have an open submission policy for art exhibitions. We accept proposals via email at all times.

Amazon donates $135,000 in merchandise!

Amazon recently donated 24 pallets of merchandise to Diversity Richmond worth an estimated $135,000, bringing the total value of their donations to us in the last year to more than $250,000. These donations are the largest ever received in our 23-year history. We are working with local social service organizations and other community groups to ensure this donation directly benefits those in need, including children, families, people in recovery and those experiencing or coming out of homelessness. Every bit of the value of this donation will be put right back into the Greater Richmond community. We are very grateful to Amazon and its associates for making this possible!amazon crew pic
amazon mini forklift
amazon truck interior pallets

Diversity Richmond Celebrates September 8th!

Please join us for Diversity Richmond Celebrates, an event honoring individuals and organizations for their meaningful contributions to Richmond’s LGBTQ community.

Thursday, September 8, 2022 at 7PM

Diversity Richmond Event Hall

1407 Sherwood Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23220

Refreshments will be served. ID required for alcohol. Doors open at 6:30