SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16 | 4:30 – 7 PM | PIPKIN BLDG ON THE FAIRGROUNDS
by Chris Sanders, TEP Executive Director
TEP’s annual Mardi Gras gumbo competition draws large crowds who support the LGBTQ community of the Mid-South and draws many public and elected officials. But what does your ticket get you, besides delicious gumbo? TEP President Chris Sanders tells us the top 5 things TEP was able to do in the last year because of YOUR appetite for gumbo.
OFFICIALLY CLARIFIED THAT TN HATE CRIME LAWS COVER TRANS PERSONS
In 2018, TEP noticed an opportunity to get Tennessee’s hate crimes law officially declared ‘trans-inclusive.’ TEP reached out to Rep. Mike Stewart to see if together, they could formulate the right question to the Attorney General. The answer came in February 2019 when the AG opined that Tennessee hate crimes laws include hate crimes against transgender people. Tennessee is the first state in the South with a fully inclusive hate crimes law!
CLEARED THE SLATE OF HATE — WITH HELP FROM TAYLOR SWIFT
TEP had received great media coverage of its growing list of Tennessee faith leaders opposing the Slate of Hate in the Legislature. Taylor Swift took notice and gave us a big publicity boost. She made a generous contribution to support TEP’s work. Her support made it easier for major corporations to take a stand against the bills.
SLOWED DOWN THE SLATE OF HATE AGENDA IN THE TN LEGISLATURE
By working with national and state partners, extensive media work, and professional and citizen lobbying, TEP slowed down, stopped, or got the anti-LGBTQ bills amended this year. Many will be back in 2020, so TEP will have to keep fighting.
GARNERED THE TENNESSEE TITANS’ SUPPORT ON NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY
As National Coming Out Day was approaching, TEP asked the Tennessee Titans if their organization might do a short video of support. They did, and ‘Outsports’ reported that they were the only team in the NFL to acknowledge this important day for the LGBTQ community.
BUILT THE STATEWIDE TEP NETWORK
TEP started a new TEP committee in Northwest Tennessee based in Martin, and TEP pushed more resources into Memphis, Knoxville, Morristown, Murfreesboro, Athens, Johnson City, and Sevierville. Regional expansion equips TEP to fight harder in the Legislature.