In Nashville’s diverse and active LGBT community, there is always something going on, often leaving us with hard choices about which of three events we’ll attend on a given night. This year’s Faves include a diverse and powerful slate of community organizations and representatives that remind us how much we have to be proud of, and how much we have the opportunity to do.
Non-Profit — Oasis Center
Oasis Center has long provided essential services to youth, including LGBT youth, including the JustUs program. The organization’s mission reads: “At Oasis Center we work to create a loving community where all young people are safe, valued, connected with caring adults, and prepared for productive and fulfilling lives. Therefore, our work each day finds us providing emotional and physical supports now, as well as leading social change that will improve the odds for greater success for more youth in the future.”
Community Group — LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Nashville’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, helmed by Lisa Howe, has expanded rapidly in recent years. The organization provides opportunities for building connections within the LGBT business community locally and nationwide, and for building brides with LGBT-friendly companies we want to support. Event’s like TASTE not only fund this mission but facilitate it, providing opportunities to market to the LGBT community and to network.
Community Event — Nashville Pride
Nashville Pride, this year’s favorite community event, was by far the largest in the event’s history—even before the last minute expansion to add dozens of new vendors—and on the heels of this success it’s set for an even bigger footprint next year. The new location around Public Square Park allows room to grow and has proven an ideal location for the expanding festival We look forward to next year’s Pride, as the community comes together with new strength as it faces new and unexpected opposition. As the fight for equality shifts, Pride may have to return to its roots in resistance. Only time will tell.
LGBT Sports Team — HotMess League
HotMess Kickball League, which was featured on the cover of O&AN in July 2014, has hundreds of members, making it one of the largest of LGBT Nashville’s social groups, and definitely our largest local LGBT sporting league. It provides an essential opportunity for our community to gather, play, and party. Plus, with so many members, they have a huge built-in voting bloc! From its roots in kickball, the league has expanded to include both dodgeball and volleyball, and thus provides year-round activities. If you haven’t checked them out, you might want to give it a try, or at least crash the post-game festivities at the bars!
Leader / Outstanding Citizen — Phil Cobucci
Phil Cobucci is a well-known business and community leader in Nashville, who most recently served as president of Nashville Pride. He is Pride’s immediate past president, and will continue to advise the organization’s leadership as it moves forward. Phil, we know it isn’t easy, and Nashville’s LGBT community recognizes your hard work!
Local Politician — Mayor Megan Barry
Last year Nashville voters, proving that we are a true blue beacon in this decidedly red state, elected Megan Barry as our first woman mayor. In the year since, Barry has cemented her place as LGBT Nashville’s favorite local politician. This year she was also voted our most outstanding citizen, for her continued advocacy for our community—a role she takes seriously not only our of ideological commitments but also as the daughter of a gay man—and for her solid leadership, as well as the diversity of her appointments.
LGBT Musician — Sunny St James
This year’s LGBT musician of choice is … Sunny St. James, who also was recognized as this year’s top choice for Drag King. St. James petitioned followers on social media for votes, and they delivered! Congratulations on a double win this year!
LGBT Artist/Actor — Terry Demars
After fifteen years in the corporate world, Terry Demars went back to school to study art. Since then, he has become well-known in Nashville as an artist who has supported many great causes, and this year our readers recognized him as our favorite artist.
FAVES & RAVES 2017: Nightlife
FAVES & RAVES 2017: Dining
FAVES & RAVES 2017: Look Good, Feel Good
FAVES & RAVES 2017: Places
FAVES & RAVES 2017: Community
FAVES & RAVES 2017: Professional & Business Services
FAVES & RAVES 2017: Weddings