Profiles

Read the true life stories of our LGBT+ advocates, youth, seniors, allies, and trans community in Middle Tennessee.

Lauren Means

Fighting Stigma One Conversation at a Time

Stigma. It’s something that people with HIV/AIDS have dealt with for decades. Even with all the education available now and the public awareness campaigns such as U = U (undetectable equals untransmittable), the stigma is still there.

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Margo Hall

Connecting the Distance with the T-Vals

In the Middle Tennessee area, there’s a group that has been around for quite some time and is showing no signs of slowing down. To keep up and to keep going, the group has switched from in-person meetings to online meetings and activities. They call themselves Tennessee VALS (T-VALS) and they are a transgender support and community group.

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Lauren Means

Camping Out Loud

While many events have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our youth still have some options for virtual camping this year. We’ve highlighted a few LGBT+ camps that are hosting virtual events.

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Lauren Means

Sherri Gray: There Will Be Rainbows

“Besides, we know that after the storms, and the sludge, and the toil, and the troubles… there WILL be glitter…and glam…and music…and dancing… and Rainbows — lots and lots of Rainbows!!!”

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Joan Allison

Terry Vo: Empowering Youth

Terry Vo’s Nashville story begins in an unexpected way – working for the Japanese government, the first foreign government to hold a consulate in Tennessee.

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Lauren Means

Melissa Bean: Creating Ripples of Hope

She’s a fierce advocate for the LGBT+ community and has no plans to back down. This is evident in her work with Upper Cumberland Pride (UCP) and bringing Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) to Tennessee.

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Lauren Means

Hope Jackson on Finding Her People

Jackson’s journey to her truth was not a loud coming out at all. “There were no announcements made but there was a lot of fear inside of me about the consequence of living my life as openly queer,” says Jackson. Looking back she wishes she had been loud and much more visible for the kid who needed to see someone living their truth and to know there was someone just like them, a community to welcome and accept you.

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Buick Audra playing guitar with Friendship Commanders
Lauren Means

Buick Audra: Showing Up, Staying Hopeful

Sometimes an ally goes a step further and advocates for or against particular policies that affect the community. Buick Audra is one of these allies. A musician originally from Miami, Buick has lived in Nashville for close to 12 years with her husband and two cats.

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