Domestic violence stretches beyond the stereotypical image of a husband beating his wife. As Domestic Violence Month comes to a close, LGBT victims are speaking out on how violence within relationships has impacted their lives.
The program, "Stories of Courage: Loud and In Color," at Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center tonight will feature a guided dialogue with members of the LGBT community whose lives have been affected by domestic violence. The event is jointed sponsored by MGLCC, the Family Safety Center, and the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.
Local organizations will be on hand to share information on services available to help victims of domestic violence.
"Stories of Courage: Loud and In Color" is free to the public. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m.
On Saturday, October 26th, Friends for Life will hold its annual Halloween party benefiting the organization's educational, housing, and wellness programs for people living with HIV/AIDS.
This year's theme is "Night at the Museum" because the event will be held at The Memphis Pink Palace Museum for the first time. The party has been held at Bridges for the past several years.
The Memphis Flyer has two tickets to the party to giveaway. To enter, leave a comment below letting us know what you plan to wear for Halloween this year. We'll choose one commenter at random at 10 a.m. on Friday morning. The winner must be able to pick his or her tickets up at the Flyer office at 460 Tennessee Street by 5 p.m. on Friday.
Tickets are $40 at the door or $80 for VIP (includes drink tickets). The party runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
On Thursday, October 24th, Dr. Kevin Mumford, a history professor at the University of Illinois, will deliver a lecture on African-American gay history.
In “Beyond the Closet: Reinventing African-American Gay History, 1963-1988,” Mumford will discuss how the experience of out African-Americans has changed over the years. Before the AIDS crisis began in the 1980s, gay African-American men, many of them activists, writers, and artists, would gather in churches and clubs as a way to network and socialize with their peers. Mumford will discuss the lives of some of these activists.
Mumford is the author of several books on race, politics, and sexuality in modern America. His books include Interzones: Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century and Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America.
The free lecture begins at 6 p.m. in the University Center. A reception will precede the event at 5:30 p.m. in the theatre lobby. The lecture is sponsored by the University of Memphis African and African-American Studies Program and the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change.
For the second year in a row, Rhodes College is hosting a cabaret drag show benefit for charity.
The show starts tonight (Tuesday) at 8 p.m. in the Rhodes College BCLC ballroom. Proceeds will be divided between the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center, Friends for Life, and Rhodes Queer Advocacy's annual service trip to Chicago.
Last year, the show raised $500 to split between the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center, Memphis Area Gay Youth, and Choices.
Tickets are $5 at the door. But VIP tables for eight may be reserved for $100. The VIP tables come with free merchandise and refreshments. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
This morning, four same-sex couples, all of which were legally married in states that allow gay marriage, filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Nashville challenging state laws that prevent Tennessee from recognizing their marriages. One of those couples and one of the attorneys involved is from Memphis.
The lawsuit argues that Tennessee's laws prohibiting the recognition of these marriages is a violation of the Constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.
Ijpe DeKoe, an Army Reserve sergeant, and Thom Kostura are the couple from Memphis. The other couples are Dr. Valeria Tanco and Dr. Sophy Jesty of Knoxville, Kellie Miller and Vanessa DeVillez of Greenbrier, and Matthew Mansell and Johno Espejo of Franklin.
The attorneys representing the couples include Maureen T. Holland of Memphis, Regina Lambert of Knoxville, Abby R. Rubenfeld, William Harbison, Scott Hickman, Phil Cramer and John Farringer of the law firm of Sherrard & Roe in Nashville, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
"Fairness and equality are the guiding principles of our government, and as a member of the armed forces, I have fought and will continue to fight for those principles," said DeKoe, who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. “After returning to Memphis with Thom, I was saddened to learn that Tennessee law does not live up to those ideals in the way it treats married same-sex couples.”
This week, Knoxville became the second Tennessee town to offer domestic partner benefits to city employees.
In August, the suburb of Collegedale near Chatanooga began offering such benefits to domestic partners. Knoxville is the first major Tennessee city to do so.
City employees with domestic partners, regardless of sexual orientation, would be required to prove their relationship status through financial documents and a signed affadavit of commitment.
One year ago, the Memphis City Council passed an ordinance to ensure that city workers would not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. On Thursday, October 17th, the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), one of the main backers of that measure, is hosting a one-year anniversary celebration for the ordinance at Grawemeyer's on South Main.
The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m. and will feature appetizers and a cash bar. TEP is dedicating the event to Duanna Johnson, the transgender woman who was beaten by a Memphis Police officer in 2008, and her family. Johnson's mother, Hazel Skinner, recently settled a lawsuit against the city that was filed after the incident. She has named the Tennessee Equality Project Foundation as a beneficiary.
Mid-South Pride celebrates "Decades of Pride" this year with a nostalgic theme honoring the LGBT equality movement through the ages. The annual parade kicks off at Fourth & Beale at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 12th.
The festival, which features live music, vendors, nonprofit booths, concessions, and other attractions, will take place in Robert R. Church Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The entertainment lineup includes CoCo Montrese, JC Jones, Brody Ray, She-and-She, and Charlie Hawks.
New this year is "Roasting on the River," a barbecue contest with cash prizes for the best pork shoulder, pork ribs, and people's choice. The contest runs from Friday, October 11th to Saturday, October 12th in Robert R. Church Park.
Also new this year are VIP access tickets. Entrance to the parade and festival are free to the general public, but for $50, guests can have VIP status, which includes two top-shelf drinks from the Pumping Station, food and liquor (including a signature Mid-South Pride cocktail) in a private parade viewing area, and a goodie bag.
For more information on Mid-South Pride, the barbecue contest, or to purchase VIP tickets, go here.
The Memphis School of Servant Leadership is hosting a class on diversity within the church on Thursday, October 3rd from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (892 S. Cooper).
According to the class description for "Finding Grace In Diversity: Race, Orientation, & Power," the class will we "bring forth and define our call as Christians to witness to the 'Yes in Christ,' the good news of God's gracious love toward all. This love has been shrouded for gays, people of color, and those made poor or marginal by both the Church and the larger culture."
The class will be led by Felicia Oglesby and Barbara Vann.