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By Charley Burton for Charlottesville Tomorrow
When I was 18, I was afraid to speak up because I was a lesbian. Living in Charlottesville was tough; living in Charlottesville while Black was even more challenging. The hub of life for Black people in Charlottesville is the church. I grew up in a rural area called North Garden and the church was where everything happened: food, fellowship, summer vacation, Bible school. I didn’t have a clue about being gay, let alone trans. But I knew I was a little boy, and I knew I would get in trouble for saying so.
The only thing I knew about gay life in Charlottesville was from the books I would sneak off and read at the Gordon Avenue Library.