A look into the LGBT Life Center

The recipient of Spectrum’s Drag Ball donations puts money
toward LGBT cause

The LGBT Life Center of Hampton Roads is somewhat of a hidden gem in the Hampton Roads area that is continuing to grow as it reaches more and more people in the local LGBT and HIV positive community.

CNU’s heavily attended Drag Ball, which is put on by Spectrum every year,  donates the funds raised from the event to the Center, which provides a myriad of services to help individuals in the area who are LGBT and HIV positive.

Drag Ball invited both amateur and professional drag queens and other performers from the Hampton Roads area as well as student performers from Christopher Newport, such as a group of dancers representing Hypnotic Control.

This year, the $1,173 raised from the event will directly benefit the LGBT Life Center and the community that it provides for. 

Stacie Walls-Beegle, the Chief Executive Officer of the organization, said, “our organization started in 1989 as an AIDS service organization that served women and children, but today we’ve grown into an LGBT organization that provides services to those who are LGBT and we serve through our traditional HIV/AIDS programs as well.”

Stacie Walls-Beegle, the Chief Executive Officer of the organization, said, “Our organization started in 1989 as an AIDS service organization that served women and children, but today we’ve grown into an LGBT organization that provides services to those who are LGBT and we serve through our traditional HIV/AIDS programs as well.”

In order to navigate the changing landscape of the population that the organization wanted to serve, they changed their name from Access AIDS Care to the LGBT Life Center in 2017.

Now, the Center provides all kinds of services to individuals in need through various programs and outreaches.

The main offices for the organization are in Norfolk, with big plans to expand to a building in Hampton that the organization just purchased later this year.

According to Walls-Beegle, the goal for this space is to create a large LGBT community center, a place for individuals to have access to housing assistance, support groups and case management, as well as health care.

Patients will be eligible to receive both physical and mental health care, including access to an on-site pharmacy, HIV and STD testing, counseling services and “pretty much anything that’s needed for someone who is LGBT is HIV positive.”

They will either receive these services for free or on a sliding scale, depending on an individual’s need and their income level.

The new community center is expected to open this summer, as construction has not yet started.

The proceeds from Drag Ball “will go to the biggest need,” Walls-Beegle said. “The money that you guys raise will definitely go towards helping people who are LGBTQ.”

The donations will most likely go towards services such as LGBT youth groups that meet at the Center, which are in need of continued funding.

The LGBT Life Center welcomes volunteers in various areas of service, such as fundraising, administrative and office work and working events such as the Dining Out for Life event which is held every year.

Spectrum has volunteered with the organization in the past, and other students and community members are encouraged to consider volunteering as well.

~Anna Dorl, Lifestyle Editor~



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