The monthly installment of Cherry, a party for lesbians and their friends, is dedicated to love this Saturday, February 16th at Cafe Society.
There will be a dating game with a free date as a prize. Plus, Kitty Wompas, Anne Tag-a-Knee, Foxy Fairmont, and Passion Fruit will offer a burlesque performance. And host Julie Wheeler will surely crack a few jokes and sing a ditty or two.
Plus, there's complimentary hors d'oeuvres, $5 drink specials, and post-show dancing. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the cover is $10.
GenQ, the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center group for college-aged LGBT people and their straight allies, is hosting "Dinner for the Hill" on Friday, Feb. 15th at MGLCC (892 S. Cooper) from 7 to 9 p.m.
The Mom Corps will be cooking recipes from my cookbook, Cookin' Crunk: Eatin' Vegan in the Dirty South. Donations will be collected at the door to help GenQ pay for an upcoming trip to Nashville where they'll be participating in the Tennessee Equality Project's "Advancing Equality on the Hill" Day.
During "Advancing Equality on the Hill," equality advocates meet with elected officials to discuss concerns and voice support for LGBT-friendly legislation.
After the Hallmark cards and boxes of chocolate have been exchanged, couples looking for something a little deeper will have a chance to get away this weekend for a Weekend Gay and Lesbian Couples Retreat.
Held at the Nelson Woods Retreat Center in Millington from February 15th through the 17th, the event will be led by Elaine Blanchard, the city's resident "master storyteller" and spiritual retreat leader. There will also be workshops on breathing, stretching, and relaxation techniques led by Leah Nichols of Evergreen Yoga.
For more information, email Elaine.
The annual Tennessee Equality Project Gumbo Contest and Mardi Gras Celebration will be held this Sunday, February 10th from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Earnestine & Hazel's.
The $10 entry fee makes you a judge in the People's Choice contest. You can sample gumbo from each of the 13 teams and vote for your favorite. A panel of judges will also rate the gumbos.
Judges this year include Patricio Gonzalez of Youth for Youth, Memphis City Councilman Lee Harris, Memphis-Shelby County School Board Commissioner Tomeka Hart, Cafe 1912 owner Glenn Hayes, and Rizzo's Diner chef/owner Michael Patrick.
Funds raised in the competition benefit Tennessee Equality Project's work to advance and protect the equality of LGBT people and their families in Tennessee.
Full disclosure: I'm entering my vegan tempeh gumbo in the contest. It's probably unethical for me to be writing about this, but hey it's all for a good cause.
The city's LGBT cycling club, the Rainbow Riders, will host another combination biking and lunch event this Saturday, February 9nd. An event was held on February 2nd, but many were unable to attend due to threats of winter weather.
The group will gather at Republic Coffee at 10 a.m., ride to Shelby Farms along the greenline, and then lunch at Cheffie's on the way back. The trip should be about 15 miles, and cyclists will be traveling at around 10 mph.
The event is free and open to the public. Bring your bike. For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.
Described as a "drag comedy musical," George's Truck Stop and Drag Bar centers around a truck stop diner where a cast of drag queens have taken refuge after the only drag bar in Krisco County burned to the ground.
The queens attempt to solve the mystery of who set fire the Krankshaft Lounge as they take over the greasy spoon.
There are four scheduled performances at Evergreen Theatre (1705 Poplar) this weekend — 7 and 10 p.m. on both Friday, Feb. 1st and Saturday, Feb. 2nd.
To find out more or buy tickets, go here. There will be a cocktail hour before each show.
Knoxville Senator Stacey Campfield is at it again. His "Don't Say Gay" bill, which bans talk of homosexuality in schools for kids in kindergarten through the eighth grade, died with the adjournment of the Tennessee General Assembly last year. But now he's reintroduced the bill, and this time, it's getting personal.
The new "Don't Say Gay" bill, SB 234, would require that teachers or counselors tell parents of LGBT students that their child may be gay.
Or as the bill's wording states:
A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal from counseling a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well-being of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student’s parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred.
A blog post on ThinkProgress. org points out that LGBT kids often face family rejection upon coming out to their parents and that 40 percent of homeless kids are gay. Those homeless youth have either been kicked out of the home or have chosen to leave a hostile environment.
"LGBT youth who experience family rejection are at high risk for depression and suicide," the blog post states.
For a more in-depth analysis of Campfield's latest "Don't Say Gay" bill, read Jackson Baker's latest Political Beat post.
Gay couples (and unmarried straight couples) who share a residence may now join the Germantown Athletic Club with a family membership.
The city-run gym previously defined "family" as a "husband, wife, and the children for whom they have legal custody." But after a gay couple and their children were denied a membership this past weekend, they complained to the club's membership sales advisor. On Monday, the city of Germantown decided to update their family policy.
The new policy allows for household memberships, stating: "...household membership which includes 2 adults living under the same roof, and the children in the household that one or both of those adults are legally responsible for. Couples membership will now become a joint membership for 2 people living in the same house that would like to join their facility."
On Tuesday morning, the Germantown Athletic Club posted its new membership form, with the amended language, on its website.
The Tennessee Equality Project praised the city of Germantown for embracing the need for change and the couple who brought the matter to the city's attention for speaking up: "Raising your voice in the face of discrimination can bring positive change. The Germantown Athletic Club deserves praise for demonstrating a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equality and fairness."
In the locally made film Tennessee Queer, a gay Tennessee native returns to his rural hometown after spending a few years up north in New York, only to find that nothing has changed there with the treatment of LGBT teens.
Eager to help the teens boost their self-esteem, Potts helps them put on the town's first gay pride parade. But a conservative city councilman and a closed-minded minister plot to round the teens up and send them to a straight camp.
Mark Jones' comedy will screen on Thursday, January 24th at Studio on the Square as a fund-raisier for the annual Outflix Film Festival. Tickets are $10, and all sales go toward the film fest. Tickets can be bought in advance at the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center (892 South Cooper). Remaining tickets will be sold at the movie theater on the 24th starting at 6PM.
Lez Go, a social group for lesbians, hosts monthly activities, such as hiking, camping, basket weaving (no joke), and water volleyball.
But this weekend, the Lez Go ladies are headed to the bowling alley. They'll meet at Billy Hardwick's All Star Lanes on Sunday, January 20th at 2:45 p.m. Lez Go needs an RSVP in advance, so they'll know how many lanes to reserve. Call 808-640-1647 or 901-485-4998 to let them know you're coming.
The cost is $9 for two hours of bowling, plus the cost of shoe rentals.
Want to help a kid in need? Become a foster parent. The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center is hosting an informational meeting on foster parent requirements on Thursday, January 17th.
Representatives from Youth Villages will be on hand to talk about their fostering program. Snacks will be served. The meeting runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at 892 S. Cooper.
The first Cherry party of the New Year promises to be the biggest yet. The monthly "lezzie shindig" features a burlesque performance by Kitty Wompas, Kissame Suga, and Lady Doo Moi. Also, Foxy Fairmont and Passion Fruit will present their 50 Shades of Gay number.
The party is scheduled for Friday, January 12th at Cafe Society at 10:30 p.m., but doors open at 9 p.m. There's a tropical tiki theme, so beach and Hawaiian attire is encouraged. Host Julie Wheeler will act as the MC as always. And there are drink specials ($5 martinis and $5 glasses of wine) and complimentary hors d'oeuvres. The cover charge is $10.
With miles and miles of new bicycle lanes added over the past two years, it's safe to say that Memphis is now a bike-friendly city. But is it really safe to ride in the streets?
The Memphis Rainbow Riders, the city's LGBT cycling club, is hosting a free "Bicycle Safety In the Streets" workshop on Saturday, January 12th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kyle Wagenschutz, the city's bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, will lead the workshop, which will cover safety tips for using the new bike lanes and other bike paths. Afterward, the group will move outdoors for a hands-on bike safety lesson, weather permitting. Attendees who want to participate in the interactive component will need to bring their own bikes and helmets.
The workshop will be held at First Congregational Church (1000 S. Cooper). Use the rear entrance next to the playground. Look for a red set of double doors.
For gay couples in Tennessee, where marriage rights are denied, medical emergencies can bring about unwanted conflicts if plans aren't made in advance. Family members of the person in need of medical attention may be asked to make decisions, but what if you'd rather leave that up to a partner?
You can legally designate a specific person to act on your behalf for medical decisions, and the Rev. Ayla Heartsong will lead a free workshop on how to go about making that designation on Saturday, January 12th at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC). "Your Wishes, Your Choices: A Presentation About Advance Healthcare Planning" runs from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
MGLCC is located at 892 S. Cooper. For more information, call 901-326-8861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's almost time for the Tennessee Equality Project's annual Gumbo Tasting Competition and Mardi Gras Party. Registration is now open for gumbo-cooking teams.
The event will be held on Sunday, February 10th at 4:30 p.m. at Earnestine & Hazel's, but teams must register by February 1st. Registration is limited and teams will be assigned on a first-come basis.
Gumbos are judged by professional chefs, restauranteurs, foodies, and other public figures on the basis of aroma, consistency, taste, and after-taste. Teams can be any size, but at least one team member must be present to serve their gumbo. Non-seafood and vegetarian gumbos are allowed.
The $25 entry fee benefits TEP's work to advance and protect LGBT equality in the state.
Click here to enter.