Artist Edie Love will show her work in an exhibit entitled "LOVE" at 492 S. Second Street during the monthly South Main Trolley Tour.
The one-night-only exhibition of sculpture, photography, video, and ceramic work focuses on themes of anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, and universalism. Or as Edie likes to say, "Isn't it easier to just say LOVE?"
The show will also feature work by artists Frank D. Robinson, Karen Capps, Candace Canerdy, and Harris Quinn, as well as a cello performance by Tamar Love and a dance performance by Chris Reeder. It runs from 6 to 9 p.m. For more, see the event's Facebook page.
My editor Susan Ellis blogged about this annual event on Hungry Memphis, but I don't want anyone to miss Dining Out for Life. Excuse my double-dipping.
Every year, local restaurants will offer a portion of their proceeds to Friends for Life during the nationwide Dining Out for Life event on Thursday, April 28th. Some will only offer dinner proceeds, while others are offering money from lunch and dinner. Donations range from 10 to 20 percent of sales, depending on the location.
Here's a list:
The Beauty Shop
Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Central BBQ (Central)
Central BBQ (Summer)
Mollie Fontaine Lounge
Molly's La Casita
Lunch & Dinner
Lunch & Dinner
Lunch & Dinner
Last night, the state House of Representatives passed HB600, dubbed the "Special Access to Discriminate Act" by equality advocates. It marks the first time since 2005 that anti-gay legislation has passed the Tennessee House.
If signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam, this bill would prohibit local governments in Tennessee from extending LGBT-inclusive workplace protections to the employees of government contractors. According to the Tennessee Equality Project, the act would repeal the recently-passed Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance in Nashville. Shelby County does not offer protections to employees of government contractors, but it does have a non-discrimination policy for county workers. The city of Memphis has no protections in place for LGBT employees or contractors.
Colorado enacted similar legislation prohibiting governments from passing non-discrimination ordinances in 1992, but the legislation was overturned after costly court challenges.
Click here to sign a petition protesting the passage of the "Special Access to Discriminate" Act.
Stonewall Uprising, a documentary on the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, will air tonight (Monday, April 25th) on WKNO (Channel 10) at 8 p.m.
Sponsored by the Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, the screening will give locals a first-hand look at the pivotal event that launched the modern-day gay rights movement. The documentary features drag queens, street hustlers, journalists, police detectives, and even a former New York mayor talking about the day the LGBT community fought back against police aggression, during a raid at the mafia-run gay bar, Stonewall Inn, on June 28, 1969.
Back then, homosexual acts were illegal in many parts of the country, and homosexuality was widely considered to be a form of mental illness. Gay men and women from across the country had begun fleeing to New York in search of sanctuary, and many of them found safety at the Stonewall Inn. So when police raided the bar, its patrons banded together to fight back.
The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) is facing a budget crisis, and now they're appealing to the community for help. After 22 years of serving the local LGBT community, the center may have to close its doors if sufficient funds aren't raised, according to a recent email newsletter from its board of directors.
The center has trimmed as much as possible from its $125,000 budget, and their only remaining option is to lay off executive director Will Batts. Batts is the only paid employee at the center, and the board contends that laying him off "would greatly diminish our ability to function in the way that our community needs and expects."
The center has set a goal to raise $45,000 by the end of May. If that goal is met, the center will remain open and Batts should be able to keep his job. To make a donation online, click here.
Over the years, the MGLCC has offered support to the local LGBT community through workshops, support groups, potlucks, concerts, art programs, and more. They also launched a safe haven program last year, providing temporary homes to homeless or abused LGBT youth. The MGLCC also offers gently used clothing and food to LGBT people in need.
The annual Outflix Film Festival is scheduled for September 9th through the 15th, but the fund-raising has already begun.
Tonight (April 21st), you can help raise money for the city's only gay film fest while chowing down on grub at Chili's. From 4 to 9 p.m., Chili's in Cordova (1260 N. Germantown Pkwy.) will donate 10 percent of it sales to Outflix.
Knoxville Representative Stacey Campfield wants a $1,000 retainer fee to debate his "Don't Say Gay" bill with Sordid Lives writer/director/creator Del Shores. But the Tennessee Equality Project says no way.
Shores, who also produced Queer As Folk, had a Facebook exchange with Campfield, asking him to debate SB0049, which would prohibit the teaching and furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8.
Here was Campfield's response: "I will happily debate you. I require a $1,000.00 (sic) retainer fee and all expenses covered. You can do with the rest all you want."
The Facebook exchange posted on the vibinc blog does not mention where the debate would have taken place, but you can read the full story there (and see screenshots of Shores' interaction with Campfield).
Shores contacted the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) to seek help in raising Campfield's retainer fee, but TEP's Jonathan Cole wrote this in response:
TEP cannot justify raising money for an event that would financially benefit Sen. Campfield in his pursuit of anti-LGBT legislation to its donors. The fact that Campfield refused to debate his bill or homosexuality and the Bible without a $1,000 retainer fee plus expenses demonstrates to us that his only purpose is to use LGBT issues to fund his political and personal ambitions. His request for a fee may violate ethics rules. Sen. Campfield is a public servant who is paid by the State of Tennessee for his time as a legislator which includes debating his proposed legislation.
Shores' response showed his disappointment, though he agreed Campfield's retainer fee was "inappropriate." Here's part of Shores' letter to Cole:
So you are basically turning down an opportunity for huge nationwide exposure and coverage to benefit your organization because of his request for $1,000, which I agree is inappropriate, but this is something that could be used in every press release, every interview, every article for more exposure of his true self. And if it violates ethics rules, why wouldn’t you want that scandal and possible investigation?
The moral to the story? Well, you decide. Comment and let us know what you think.
Three decades ago, HIV/AIDS was a brand-new disease. No one really understood it. There were blatant misconceptions about how it could be spread. People were infected in massive numbers.
Thirty years later, many of those original HIV/AIDS victims have passed away, but hard lessons have been learned from their sacrifice. A new photography exhibit by Kimberly Vrudny — 30 Years, 30 Lives: Documenting a Pandemic — chronicling the lives of 30 people in South Africa, the United States, Mexico, and Thailand who have been touched by HIV/AIDS opens today.
The show runs from April 15th through July 31st at the Church Health Center, Methodist University Hospital, and St. John's United Methodist Church with an opening reception at Church Health Center Wellness scheduled for Thursday, May 12th at 4 p.m.
“AIDS has become a disease of the poor,” said Church Health Center executive director Dr. Scott Morris. “Telling the story of AIDS through art is a powerful witness to the suffering this virus causes and the hope people of faith can bring to those affected. The Church Health Center is proud to be involved in this exhibit.”
Oil painter Martha Kelly has branched out into the world of printmaking, and she'll be displaying a few of her prints tonight (Thursday, April 14th) in an opening art reception at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (892 S. Cooper).
Called "Beyond the Cross," Kelly's show features woodblock and linoleum block prints with an emphasis on simplistic strong lines and texture over color. Kelly was inspired by nature and scripture when creating her work.
Said Kelly: "I find a compelling beauty in our surrounding area: in the open fields, spreading skies, dominating oaks, and magnificent rivers."
The opening runs from 7 to 9 p.m.
"Religion" and "sexuality" are rarely used in the same sentence, at least when the reference is to Christian religions. But the Stonewall Tigers are hosting a panel discussion tonight looking at the relationship between the two, as well as where race fits in.
The discussion, which features influential voices from local communities of color and faith, begins at 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, April 12th) in the University Center ballroom on the University of Memphis campus.
After being withdrawn for lack of support in the Tennessee House Subcommittee on Commerce, a bill prohibiting cities from requiring contractors to treat LGBT employees with equal respect is back up for a vote. The subcommittee is scheduled to vote on HB600, dubbed the "Special Access to Discriminate" Act, on Tuesday, April 12th.
The Tennessee Equality Project is asking the bill's opposition to sign this petition on Change.org. As of this posting, the petition had garnered nearly 300 signatures.
David Fowler of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, one of the group's pushing the bill, sent this crazy video attempting to connect pedophilia with protections for gender identity and expression to FACT supporters:
Cyber bullying, gender bullying, and what parents can do to stop it will be the focus of an anti-bullying panel discussion this weekend at Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church (7350 Raleigh Lagrange).
The panel, hosted by Neshoba's Social Justice Committee, begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 9th. Breakfast will be served for a $5 donation to Neshoba's youth groups.
For more information, call 266-2626.
The annual On Location: Memphis International Film & Music Festival kicks off this week, and there's at least one gay-themed film on the roster.
On Saturday, April 9th at 9:30 p.m., the festival will show the film, Weekend, at Malco's Ridgeway Four Theater. U.K. director Andrew Haigh's latest feature centers on blossoming love between a couple of men, Russell and Glen, who meet at a gay club. What was supposed to be a one night stand develops into something deeper. The film recently garnered the Emerging Visions’ Audience Award at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival.
For a full On Location festival line-up, go here. The festival runs April 7th-10th.
Memphis Loves Gays posted an interview with Center City Commission (CCC) president Paul Morris as part of their "Straight Ally Spotlight Series." In it, Morris talks about making downtown safer, engaging the arts community, and his mission to "show downtown off as gay-friendly." To watch the full video, click here.
Morris, who claimed he once helped hang a rainbow flag over the G.E. Patterson rail trestle for a gay pride-themed South Main Art Trolley Tour, said, "If you want to create a vibrant, diverse, densely-populated area in this city, in this country, in today's times, you have to be open to the gay population."
In the video, Memphis Loves Gays blogger Michael Hildebrand commended Morris for the support he received from the CCC when he organized the March for Gay Rights back in October 2010.
And Morris had this friendly piece of advice for any homophobes: "You can't be intolerant and be successful."
Go Paul Morris!
On an unrelated note, Morris makes clear in the first few minutes of the video that he's not the same Paul Morris who recently wrote a letter-to-the-editor of the Memphis Flyer in support of strip joints. :-)