First ever “Pride Ball” to be held at Taubman Museum of Art Friday

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 12:05 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The first ever “Pride Ball” will kick off at the Taubman Museum of Art Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event kicks off Gay Pride Month in the Roanoke Valley and is part of a five-day fundraiser for the Roanoke Diversity Center.

“You’re going to see history, you’re going to see a part of the LGBTQ community that very few people actually know about and actually the timeline of how it started. Five designers are going to be participating, about 25 models that we have, four drag performers from Downtown Divas will be performing, the fashion show, and we’re going to have an amazing performance from the Iconic House of Ninja who came down from New York, Chicago and L.A. and we’re having a ball,” said Garland Gravely, founding father of the Roanoke House of Expression.

The celebration will include performances from the “Iconic House of Ninja” and “Fashionista Roanoke.”

“To do this, it’s very beautiful, to spread the love and to spread the knowledge that we have done all over the world,” said Javier Madrid, with the Iconic House of Ninja.

A special part of the performances includes Ballroom, which has a long history in the LGBTQ+ community.

“Very few people know about ballroom culture, which was started by Black and brown LGBTQ people, particularly Black and brown transwomen,” said Gravely.

It’s a time to celebrate how far the LGBTQ+ community has come.

“I grew up in a hard time that we had to be very secretive, and hide ourselves and to live through all that, and being bullied in school for who I was. And now to be accepted and to share my my story with new kids that are going through similar lifestyles, we can help them and find themselves and help them be themselves,” said Madrid.

This event is 18-years-old and up and it’s $20 online and $25 to get in at the door.