ALEXANDRIA, VA – Are you wondering how you can support pride month? One way is by grabbing a donut for yourself, or a couple dozen for your next office meeting at Elizabeth’s Counter in Alexandria. “Eat a Donut. Change a Life,” says Safe Space NOVA’s Executive Director, Jordan Costen-Sumpter.
“We are grateful to Rob Krupicka and his team at Elizabeth’s Counter in Old Town who are partnering with Safe Space NOVA in an effort to help end social stigmas, bullying and other challenges facing our LBGTQ+ youth in Alexandria,” says Sumpter.
For the month of June, Elizabeth’s Counter, 904 N. Henry Street, is showcasing their Donuts for Good initiative with proceeds going to support Safe Space NOVA’s LGBTQ+ youth programming. For 2021, Safe Space NOVA is developing a sex health program and expanding its mentorship series to provide local youth with the tools and guidance to grow and develop in a safe and accepting environment.
Pride month is celebrated every June to recognize the struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ community throughout history around the world. Parades, parties, rallies and other demonstrations are held globally in which LGBTQ people and allies not only dress in rainbow colors and celebrate, but also perform, give speeches and more to continue to push for cultural and political change.
“Even if you are someone who is not a member of the LGBTQ community, Pride Month presents a chance for you to express your support for your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors or other LGBTQ people in your life,” says Sumpter. “Navigating how to appropriately be an ally can be tricky, but your support can help LGBTQ people feel heard and safe as well as be used to amplify LGBTQ voices as they advocate for social change.”
Safe Space NOVA, a local Alexandria nonprofit, was founded in 2016 as a way to fill the void with regard to LGBTQ+ youth support services in Northern Virginia. After years of volunteering, Executive Director, Jordan-Costen Sumpter began to wonder if there was a program specifically geared towards helping questioning, confused or isolated youth. He contacted other local groups, but discovered that there was no organization specifically for teenagers questioning their sexuality or gender.
“And at that point I said, I will take up that charge,” Costen-Sumpter said. “I will see what I can do to bring these youth together and let them know that there are adults who have been where they’ve been, and made it to the other side, and that there are other youth in the same position.”
For more information on Safe Space NOVA’s events for the month of June and what you can do to support, visit www.SafeSpaceNOVA.org