Bigots will often say, “Why do they need a whole month to parade around their sexuality, etc.?” They fail to realize, however, that pride month is about so much more than sex or sexuality. It’s about authenticity. It’s also about honoring those who have passed due to LGBTQIA+ violence or during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, building community, and so much more.

Queer and queer-allied community is powerful, especially in a state like Tennessee. Here are some ways to build LGBTQIA+ community during and/or outside of pride month:

  1. Go to Nashville Pride! The parade is fantastic and everyone is so kind. This year, we will have a booth at Nashville Pride, so please do come say hi! Pride will be June 22 & June 23, 2024!
  2. Our friends to the south, the city of Franklin, are also having a pride festival! Last year, my colleagues and I had a booth there, and we will again this year. Franklin Pride will be June 1!
  3. If you can and want to travel, visit other cities’ pride festivals!!
  4. Attending drag shows are a fantastic way to build community. You can catch these at many places across the city.
  5. Visit and engage with pro-LGBTQIA+ establishments. For instance, if you like yoga, go take a class at Shakti Power Yoga on Music Row! They are a lovely, pro-LGBTQIA+ yoga studio.
  6. Utilize online methods of building queer community, such as Bumble-Bff! 7. Participate in LGBTQIA+ and LGBTQIA+-allied recreational sports leagues!
  7. The Trevor Project’s 2023 National Survey tells us so much, including the importance of community. According to their findings, “LGBTQ young people who had access to affirming homes, schools, community events, and online spaces reported lower rates of attempting suicide compared to those who did not” (Trevor Project, 2023). Half of survey respondents reported having a supportive school environment, and the respondents who did reported lower levels rates of attempting suicide (Trevor Project, 2023).

What does this tell us? Community matters, especially when it comes to protecting the wellbeing of LGBTQIA+ youth. The city of Nashville has many ways to find queer community as we approach pride month. It’s vital that we celebrate pride month, now more than ever. Governor Lee and the supermajority can pass all of the hateful legislation they want to, but they cannot take away the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and freedom of speech that will take place at Nashville Pride.

As I mentioned at the top, pride month is also about honoring our queer ancestors. We have lost far too many to violence and the AIDS epidemic. This blog post is in loving memory of my mom’s dear friend, Mike, a gay man who died of AIDS during the epidemic. I never met Mike, as he passed before I was born, but my mother tells me he was a beloved human and talented speech pathologist. May he rest in peace, and may his memory be a blessing.


The Trevor Project. (2023). 2023 U.S. national survey on the mental health of LGBTQ young people. [PDF]