Roanoke groups organize event to honor LGBTQ+ pioneers

“Ballroom Black History Maker Award” slated for February 22

ROANOKE, Va. – A first-of-its-kind event coming to Roanoke will honor pioneers and icons of the LGBTQ+ community.

On Thursday leaders of the Roanoke Branch of the NAACP and representatives for Roanoke College and the Roanoke Diversity Center gathered to announce the first “Ballroom Black History Maker Award” event, presented by the NAACP.

The online event will take place Tuesday, February 22 at 7pm.

It will bring together founding and influential figures in the ballroom scene, which is a social and creative movement started by LGBTQ+ people of color in New York City in the early 1970s.

“The ballroom community is about family,” said Garland Gravely, chairperson of the Roanoke NAACP’s LGBTQ+ committee. “House of Expression, so many other houses is about family. You know LGBTQ family, allies as well, when you don’t have a family, you have this community that will love and embrace you.”

Monet Ebony, a legend in the ballroom scene, joined Thursday’s announcement virtually.

The House of Expression Facebook page has more information about Tuesday’s event and how to access the link to watch.

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