Ever since Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy spoke out against gay marriage in favor of "the biblical definition of the family unit" (his words to Baptist weekly newspaper, The Biblical Recorder), social media has been afire with LGBT equality advocates vowing to boycott the fast food chicken chain.
The Jim Henson Co. even pulled its Muppet toys from Chick-fil-A kids' meals. Mayors Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Thomas Menino of Boston told Chick-fil-A the chain wasn't welcome in their cities.
Now, equality activists have organized a National Same Sex Kiss Day in response to Cathy's public disapproval of gay marriage. On Friday, August 3rd, thousands will gather outside Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country to kiss same-sex partners and friends.
The Memphis protest is planned for 6:45 p.m. in front of the Chick-fil-A at 1980 Union Avenue. For more information or to RSVP, check out the event's Facebook page.
The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) is among the honorees at the first annual Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) "Olympus" fund-raiser on Saturday, Sept. 22nd at the Parthenon in Nashville.
The honorees, which also include Metro Nashville and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, were chosen for their role in advancing equality in the state.
Since 1989, the MGLCC has provided programs and support for LGBT Memphians, and it partners with other agencies for free HIV testing. The organization also has a strong program for helping LGBT youth.
Rogero was chosen because she led the effort to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that protects Knoxville city government employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and ethnicity. That was the first such ordinance to pass unanimously in Tennessee.
Metro Nashville is being honored for passing two inclusive non-discrimination ordinances — one in 2009 protecting Metro government employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
identity and another in 2011 protecting employees of Metro contractors from discrimination
based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The "Olympus" fund-raiser runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person or $500 per table. For more information, go here.
It's hotter than hell outside, but the folks from Mid-South Pride are offering a way to cool off with the "Ice Cold" party at the Pumping Station on Friday, July 20th.
Beginning at 10 p.m., the party features a frozen underwear contest and bobbing for ice. Plus, there's a $2 liquor luge on the patio and $1 Jell-O shots. The event is a fund-raiser for Mid-South Pride.
For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.
The University of Memphis is conducting a study of the characteristics of people who are supportive of the LGBT community, and they need research subjects to volunteer.
They're asking LGBT people to identify up to three people who supported them after they transitioned or came out. If those people agree, they'll be given a short survey to identify the qualities of supportive people. The purpose of the research is to determine what qualities people need to do a better job of being supportive of LGBT people in the future.
For more information, email here.
Ice cream and equality go together like ... well, they just do. At least that's the case at the annual Tennessee Equality Project's Ice Cream Sundae Social.
This year's event is scheduled for Sunday, July 15th at 2 p.m. at Kingsway Christian Church. Besides ice cream with all the fixins, there will also be games and activities for kids, including face painting and balloons with Magic Mr. Nick.
For information about the event, check out its Facebook page.
Christy Beck, a researcher at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, is conducting a study on lesbian women's beauty standards in relation to their breasts. And she's looking for a few Memphis women to participate.
The study will explore how lesbians view mainstream beauty standards, as well as standards within lesbian subculture. Participants will be asked about their feelings on breast development, sexuality, gender identity, feminist identity, romantic relationships, media messages, and the lesbian subculture.
Participants must be lesbians (or women with same-sex attractions who may not label themselves as lesbians). They must have been living a lesbian identity for at least two years and be between the ages of 18 and 30.
To find out how to participate, email Christy here.
Shipping giant FedEx recently donated their services to another giant — the 54-ton, 1.3-million square-foot AIDS Memorial Quilt.
In late June, the world's largest living folk art began a journey from Atlanta to Washington D.C. for two major exhibitions, and FedEx donated a lead truck to carry the first set of quilt panels 610 miles to the National Mall. FedEx Custom Critical also provided a deep discount for the rest of the shipping from Atlanta to Washington D.C.
Here's a few fun facts about how much work went into hauling the massive quilt, which represents more than 94,000 lives lost to AIDS since the epidemic began:
* It took more than nine months to retrieve all the quilt panels on loan to community groups across the country.
* It took 17,000 hours of staff and volunteer time to identify 48,000 blocks of panels for display, packing those blocks, and loading the trucks.
* It took more than 200 crates to hold all the quilt panels and five trucks to ship each way.
Local singer and comedian Julie Wheeler is hosting "Cherry," billed as a new "monthly party for lesbians and their friends," on Thursday, July 5th at Sky Grille.
The event, which begins at 8 p.m., features music by DJ Raja with special guests Martha Hample and Tori Tollison. Drag king performers include Will Ryder, FreakNasty, Jack Rock, and Shane Santangilo. Admission is $10.
For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.