The NBA finally has an openly gay player, thanks to Washington Wizards center Jason Collins coming out story on Sports Illustrated's website this morning.
Collins jokes in his piece about a parlor game called "Three Degrees of Jason Collins" since he's played for so many teams that everybody knows somebody who has played with him at one point or another. Collins even played 31 games with the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2007-2008 season. In his piece, Collins mentions that former Grizzlies player Mike Miller once sold him a dog.
Collins is the first person to come out in a major American team sport. Collins writes that he finally decided to come out after the Boston Marathon bombings made him realize that things can change in an instant and that he should live truthfully.
To read more about Collins' decision to come out, click here.
On Thursday, April 25th, select Memphis restaurants will be giving a portion of their proceeds to local HIV/AIDS organization Friends for Life as part of the national Dining Out for Life event.
Friends for Life is a nonprofit that provides housing, wellness education, support services, and more to Memphians living with HIV/AIDS. They also provide free HIV tests and prevention services to the region.
Some restaurants are giving a portion of all sales, while others are only giving a portion of sales from one meal. Some are including alcohol sales, and others are not. And the percentage that restaurants choose to give varies. Here's a breakdown of who is giving what:
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen — Dinner only
Imagine Vegan Cafe — Lunch and Dinner
Rizzos Diner — Dinner only
Stone Soup Cafe and Market — Breakfast only
Alcenia's — Lunch only
Alchemy — Dinner only
Bari Ristorante — Dinner only
Beauty Shop Restaurant — Dinner only
Blind Bear — Dinner only
Cafe Eclectic-Downtown — Lunch only
Cafe Eclectic-Midtown — Lunch only
Cafe' Society — Lunch and Dinner
Celtic Crossing — Lunch and Dinner
Cooper St. 20/20 — Dinner only
Cortona Contemporary Italian Restaurant — Dinner only
Cozy Corner BBQ — Dinner only
DeJavu — Lunch only
eighty3 food and drink — Lunch and Dinner
Erling Jensen — Dinner only
Evelyn & Olive Restaurant — Lunch only
Felicia Suzanne's — Dinner only
The Four Way Restaurant — Dinner only
Grawemeyer's — Dinner only
The Green Beetle — Lunch only
Hog and Hominy — Lunch and Dinner
The Mad Earl — Lunch and Dinner
McEwen's on Memphis — Dinner only
Memphis Pizza Cafe (Overton Square) — Dinner only
Mollie Fontaine Lounge — Dinner only
Mulan Asian Bistro — Lunch only
Napa Cafe — Lunch only
R.P. Tracks — Lunch and Dinner
Restaurant Iris — Dinner only
SkiMo's — Dinner only
Sweet Grass — Dinner only
Table 613 — Lunch only
Central BBQ (Central) — Dinner only
Central BBQ (Downtown) — Dinner only
Central BBQ (Summer) — Dinner only
Senator Stacey Campfield's infamous "Don't Say Gay" bill failed to pass in the Tennessee General Assembly before the legislative session ended on Friday. To celebrate, the Tennessee Equality Project is selling "We Say Gay" t-shirts.
For years, Campfield has been pushing "Don't Say Gay," which would prevent any discussion of homosexuality in kindergarten through the 8th grade in Tennessee's public schools. The bill has become the butt of jokes in the national media, including this funny dissection of the bill by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.
In Campfield's most recent version of the bill, teachers and counselors would be required to tell a student's parents if they suspected that student to be gay.
Overall, the Tennessee Equality Project is declaring a legislative victory at the close of this session. Not only did "Don't Say Gay" get defeated again, but a bill aimed at eliminating Vanderbilt University's non-discrimination policy also failed to pass. A bill that would have prevented public universities from hiring or designating a diversity officer failed to gain a House sponsor.
One pro-LGBT bill, the "Dignity for All Students" Act, a bill that would add sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to the state's school bullying policy, was sent to summer study.
To order a "We Say Gay" t-shirt, click here.
Get your smart phone cameras ready. The first annual LGBT Scavenger Hunt and Family Day is set for Saturday, April 20th at Overton Park.
Anyone who wishes to participate should arrive at the park at 9 a.m. for muffins and juice and a briefing on the hunt rules. The scavenger hunt will begin at 10 a.m. All members of each team must fit into one vehicle, and each team must have one camera.
Participants will snap pictures of items they find throughout the hunt, and each photo is worth five points.
There are some opportunities for bonus points as well. The hunt is open to all ages. Winners will be chosen at the end of the event. Prizes include certificates, trophies, and a Makeda's Cookies.
For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.
Dan Savage, editor of Seattle's The Stranger alt-weekly newspaper and the co-founder of the "It Gets Better" campaign, will speak at the University of Memphis tonight as part of "Respect Me, Don't Reject Me" week.
In 2010, Savage and his husband Terry Miller launched the "It Gets Better" video campaign, which features celebrities in a series of viral videos encouraging LGBTQ youth to stick it out and not commit suicide because life gets better as a gay adult.
Savage will speak at 7 p.m. in the U of M's Rose Theatre tonight (April 9th).
The U of M Student Activities Council-sponsored "Respect Me, Don't Reject Me" week focuses on combating bullying.
The April installment of "Cherry" — a monthly party for lesbians and their friends — will feature live music by local singer/songwriters Kait Lawson and Melinda Milligan.
"This talented woman [Lawson] reached out to 'Cherry' to introduce herself to more LGBT folks, so let's show her that we really are the best fans to have," said Julie Wheeler, host of "Cherry."
As usual, the party will feature drink specials, food, and a $50 tattoo giveaway from Underground Art. It all goes down this Saturday, April 6th at Cafe Society (212 N. Evergreen) beginning at 10:30 p.m. (doors open at 9 p.m.). Cover is $10.
Christin, a Bartlett mom of two girls, wants to meet other LGBT parents for conversation. So she's launching a family group for LGBT parents with kids.
The group's first informational meeting will be held on Saturday, April 6th from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and they'll have another info meeting on Saturday, April 20th at the same time. Both meetings will be held at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) at 892 S. Cooper.
The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center is now offering free HIV testing two days per week, thanks to a grant from the Mid-South AIDS Fund.
Previously, testing was only available at the center on Wednesdays, but they began offering the tests on Mondays beginning this week. Testing is open from 6 to 9 p.m. on both days and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Results are available in 20 minutes.
According to Martavius Hampton, HIV Services Manager at MGLCC, “Since January, the official month that our very first HIV grant and testing program was put in effect, MGLCC has administered more than 80 HIV tests. We can see from the demographic results that we are successfully reaching those at risk populations most affected by HIV, which is one of the primary goals of our HIV testing program.”
Justice Edwin Cameron, who was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court of South Africa by President Nelson Mandela, will lead a talk on why gay rights are civil rights on Wednesday, April 3rd at 7 p.m. at Rhodes College.
Cameron has served five years on South Africa's highest court, the Constitutional Court, and he's an internationally renowned human rights advocate.
His talk is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Blount Auditorium in Buckman Hall.