Being a GLBT activist in the state of Tennessee is a very tiring job these days, especially the last two. With everything that’s been going on, we are surprised if they have any free time. So here are some gift suggests we feel are perfect for that advocate in your life.

Every activist needs to have a megaphone so they can project their message. There are two options to pick from. The first is an old-school cheerleading megaphone. These things are huge and they also can be decorated however you like.

The second kind is the electric one. They might be small, but they sure do project your voice for longer distances, and maybe even miles. Just make sure to follow noise and music level guidelines for the city you are in. You may have free speech on your side, but this one is overlooked a lot by activists.

An activist can never have enough poster boards and markers. You don’t want them to reuse the same signs over and over again. Maybe even consider a gift card to Jo-ann’s or Hobby Lobby so they can really jazz up their signs.

Now don’t make this not-so-obvious gift mistake when shopping for an activist: buying GLBT activist gear. Lord knows they already have all of the T-shirts, buttons, stickers and signs from NOH8 to FCKH8 and beyond.

So why not give them a relaxing day at the spa or an hour-long massage? If you want to splurge some, take a weekend trip out of the state — trust me, we all want to get out of here as often as possible.

Short drives are Louisville, Atlanta and St. Louis, and they all have plenty of attractions and nightlife to provide for an entertaining retreat. These will totally help to relax the fighter in your life and help make theirs less stressful.

But if you decide to go with a completely different gift, make sure you check the HRC Buyer’s Guide. This will help you identify which businesses have the best practices toward workplace equality. Don’t be caught giving them gifts from places that have low scores because you might not be around much longer if you do!

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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James Mai

Many of us have made resolutions and pledged ourselves to transforming some aspect, or aspects, of our lives. For some, these resolutions will involve career, budget, home ownership, etc., but for a LOT of us, they will involve various health, exercise and fitness goals.

Often, these resolutions are vague, like “lose weight” or “exercise more”, and way too often they begin with a gym contract and end with Netflix and a bag of takeout. Getting specific can help in holding yourself accountable for these commitments, though. So we thought it might be interesting to talk with a local gay trainer, James Mai, about his fitness journey, his work as a trainer and how he keeps himself motivated, and get some of his suggestions for carrying through on this year’s fitness resolutions!

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