The Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, which was founded in 1981 and is the oldest continuously operating LGBTQ organization in Virginia, is officially expanding its mission and activities to the neighboring city of Alexandria and Fairfax County and is changing its name to Equality NoVa.
A statement released last week by AGLA President Daniel L. Hays says the organization’s board of directors voted unanimously to begin operating as “AGLA now known as Equality NoVa,” with plans to transition in about five months to operating as “Equality NoVa formerly known as AGLA.” Hays told the Washington Blade that in about a year, following community engagement events, including a town hall meeting, the sole name of Equality NoVa will likely be adopted.
At that time, Hays said, the group will change its longstanding registration with the IRS and the state of Virginia as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to reflect the new name. “This decision was not made in haste, but rather in recognition of where LGBTQ+ organizations stand in Northern Virginia,” according to Hays’ statement released on March 25. “Since the organization’s founding in 1981 it has helped to form similar groups in Alexandria and Fairfax County among others,” the statement continues. “The organizations in Alexandria (the Alexandria Gay & Lesbian Community Association) and Fairfax County (Equality Fairfax) over the past decade have ceased to operate due to a number of factors, including the inability to sustain active boards,” Hays’ statement says. “We have been going as the Arlington-Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Alliance for roughly 7 years to ensure Alexandria has had representation,” it says. “The 2023 board of directors wanted to make sure we are operating as we