Hampton Roads nonprofit serving the transgender community with innovative programing

A newly-founded non-profit is serving the transgender community is already making a big impact through its mission of “spreading trans joy by providing direct aid, connecting LGBTQIA+ folks and allies, and promoting inclusive spaces.”

Founder Thea Ross, herself a pioneering trans woman, describes the Calos Coalition as “a diverse group of trans and queer individuals dedicated to spreading joy and positivity in a world that can be hostile or uninformed.”

“We’re your co-workers, family members, friends, and neighbors,” she said. “Our collective includes a board, sponsors, partners, members, donors, allies, and participants who are creators, professionals, advocates, and caring individuals.”

Ross notes that while the organization is still in its fledgling stage and faces the inherent challenges of fundraising and volunteers, they have implemented several innovative programs.

Among them is the Hampton Roads Transgender Care Storehouse Project.

“The Storehouse’s primary goal is to establish a secure, compliant storage facility stocked with essential transgender medications, particularly HRT, accessible to those in the community who need it the most,” Ross said.

Other programs include a Trans Story Book project which aims to collect and archive trans stories; regular dinners for the trans community; an online Trans Wish List, an open free forum where trans community members can post their needs; and development of a Transgender Safe Space list of businesses and organizations committed to creating a safe space for transgender people.

Ross says fundraising right now is Calos’ biggest hurdle.

“Our overhead is tiny despite ambitious plans as we develop these systems, and any help at all securing funding is sorely needed as we apply for and wait to hear on several grants,” she said.

Beyond financial support from individuals and business, the Calos Board is looking at several economic development grants and the potential of utilizing their store program to aid us in getting a physical space for Operations and Support Groups.

“We are also looking for partnerships of all types to help us expand services and membership benefits,” said Ross. “This includes nonprofit partnerships, restaurant and event partners for our Trans Family Dinner Program and other events, as well as merchandise sales partnerships with businesses and creators.”

If you would like to help The Calos Coalition, you can donate items or cash, become a member or a sponsor at their web site.

Little Theater of Virginia Beach launches Pride Night performances to benefit local LGBTQ organizations

The Little Theater of Virginia Beach kicks off a series of five Pride Night performances this Thursday, November 30, with a special performance of A Gentleman’s Guide to Murder. Each Pride Night performance serves as a fundraiser with a pre-show reception in the lobby with raffle prizes and a cash bar to benefit Stonewall Sports Norfolk, Hampton Roads Pride, and the LGBT Life Center. The series continues through the 2024 season with Pride Night performances and dates as follows: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder | Thursday, November 30, 8:00 PM When the low-born Monty Navarro finds out that he’s eighth in line for an earldom in the lofty D’Ysquith family, he figures his chances of outliving his predecessors are slight and sets off down a far more ghoulish path. Can he knock off his unsuspecting relatives without being caught and become the ninth Earl of Highhurst? And what of love? Because murder isn’t the only thing on Monty’s mind…. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is a murderous romp filled with unforgettable music, and non-stop laughs. A Raisin in the Sun | Thursday, February 8, 2024, 8:00 PM Set on Chicago’s South Side, Lorraine Hansberry’s celebrated play concerns the divergent dreams and conflicts in three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis, and matriarch Lena. When her deceased husband’s insurance money comes through, Mama Lena dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. Hansberry’s portrait of one family’s struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration. A Murder is Announced | Thursday, March 28, 2024, 8:00 PM An announcement in the local paper states the time and place when a murder is to occur in Miss Blacklock’s Victorian house. The victim is not one of the house’s several occupants, but an unexpected and unknown visitor. What follows is a classic Christie puzzle of mixed motives, concealed identities, a second death and a determined inspector grimly following the case’s twists and turns. Fortunately, Miss Marple is on hand to provide the solution – at some risk to herself – in a dramatic final confrontation. The Outsider | Thursday, May 23, 2024, 8:00 pm Ned Newley doesn’t even want to be governor. He’s terrified of public speaking; his poll numbers are impressively bad. To his ever-supportive Chief of Staff, Ned seems destined to fail. But political consultant Arthur Vance sees things differently: Ned might be the worst candidate to ever run for office. Unless the public is looking for… the worst candidate to ever run for office. A timely and hilarious comedy that skewers politics and celebrates democracy. Kinky Boots | Thursday, July 25th, 2024, 8:00 pm Charlie Price has reluctantly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair find that they have more in common than they realized… and discover that when you change your mind, you can change your whole world. More about Pride Nights and tickets are available on the Little Theater of Virginia Beach web site.

Chrysler Museum of Art announces Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm


The Chrysler Museum of Art announces the Dec. 5, 2023, opening of the major exhibition Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm, comprised of 250 of his curated images. This exhibition runs through April 7, 2024, at the Museum, One Memorial Place, Norfolk with Dec. 5 and 6 being member-only days.

This intimate and very personal exhibition drawn from McCartney’s private archives shares photographs from December 1963 through February 1964, as the momentum of Beatlemania began. McCartney used his Pentax camera and captured the Fab Four— himself, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr–as they rocketed from being the most idolized band in the United Kingdom to the most popular musicians in the world.

The Museum has been fortunate to have McCartney’s photographic curator and archivist, Sarah Brown, to collaborate onsite with Chrysler Museum Senior Curator Lloyd DeWitt as they complete the installation of this once-in-a -museum’s-lifetime exhibit. McCartney, Brown and the National Portrait Gallery’s Rosie Broadley carefully selected the images for Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm for its debut earlier in 2023 at the National Portrait Gallery in London and now at The Chrysler Museum of Art. Brown will be onsite to meet with media, answer questions and lead tours through the exhibition before it opens to the public.

Visitors to this distinctive exhibition will encounter an immersive experience from the Eyes of the Storm with 250 photographs and video footage. Included ​are photographs McCartney captured of him and his bandmates at Liverpool and London gigs to The Beatles‘ perspective as they experienced in real time “The Ed Sullivan Show” in New York, a historic appearance that drew a record 73 million viewers.

“Every picture brings back memories. I can try and place where we were and what we were doing to either side of the frame. Pictures of us with the photographers bring back memories of being in New York for the first time and being taken down to Central Park, the New York hard-bitten cameramen shouting out, ‘Hey Beatle, hey Beatle.’ We’d look at them and they’d take the picture. ‘One more for the West Coast.’ I remember all those stories,” said McCartney when interviewed by Christie’s last September.

Local Transgender Day of Remembrance vigils to take place on Monday

Two Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) vigils on Monday will take place at New Life Metropolitan Church and at Old Dominion University. TDoR takes place every year on November 20 to commemorate those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia not only in Hampton Roads, but around the world. TDoR was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence,” said founder Gwnedolyn Ann Smith. “I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.””

The vigil at New Life Metropolitan Church is Monday at 7 PM in partnership with the Transgender Assistance Program (TAP), Southeastern Transgender Resource Center, the LGBT Life Center, and Mudita Cafe and Bar. The vigil at Old Dominion University takes place in the North Cafe of Webb University Center at 6PM and will be followed by the first ever TDoR Community Dinner.    

Randy Rainbow for President Tour coming to Norfolk March 29

Randy Rainbow, the beloved musical satirist, is embarking on an extended leg of his Randy Rainbow for President Tour, adding 26 new dates to his “campaign trail”. Produced by Live Nation, the tour now includes a stop at Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, VA, on Friday, March 29, 2024. The four-time Emmy and GRAMMY-nominated singer, comedian and New York Times Best-Selling author will take on the hottest topics and skewer politicos of the day as only he can, bringing his most viral video song parodies to life onstage. Featuring live accompaniment by Broadway musicians, the show will also include live audience interaction and original songs written by Rainbow with Marc Shaiman (Hairspray, Mary Poppins Returns) and Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast). Tickets will be available starting with an artist presale on November 8 at 11 am with additional presales throughout the week. The general on sale begins on November 10 at 11 am. All tickets available at Ticketmaster.  

Equality Virginia PAC celebrates the re-election of a pro-equality Senate

Today, Equality Virginia PAC, the elections arm of the Commonwealth’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) equality, released the following statement celebrating the re-election of a pro-equality Senate, giving LGBTQ+ Virginians a strong voice in Richmond and a crucial check on Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s policies. Amongst the many victories for pro-equality candidates was the election of Danica Roem in Senate District 30 as the first openly transgender state senator elected in Virginia’s history. “Across the commonwealth, Virginians came out in droves to vote for pro-equality candidates, preserving a vital pro-equality majority in the Senate, which will continue to be a strong, important check on the anti-LGBTQ+ actions of Gov. Glenn Youngkin, his administration and his allies in the House of Delegates,” said Narissa Rahaman, executive director of Equality Virginia PAC. “These results show what we already knew: extremist, anti-equality candidates don’t win elections.. But, we still have work to do. Equality Virginia was proud to endorse the pro-equality candidates elected to the General Assembly and we are ready to work with them in this upcoming legislative session once again to secure our progress and protect our lives and livelihoods. On the heels of a session in which lawmakers introduced the most anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the legislature’s history, it’s more important than ever to fill the halls of the General Assembly with champions. Our work continues.” This session, Equality Virginia tracked over two dozen anti-LGBTQ+ bills that directly targeted LGBTQ+ people, and in particular, transgender Virginians. Of the 12 transgender-related bills that were introduced this year in Virginia, all were defeated by the Virginia Senate.