Advancing Equality Month

Most everyone in America agrees with the Declaration of Independence’s statement that “all men are created equal...that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is a given. There are some who are unwilling to extend those same rights to the GLBT community, sadly, is a reality. There are educators who refuse to address the rise in school bullying targeting GLBT students is an epic tragedy.

Within the last several months in Tennessee, there have been incidents of gay students ending their lives after years of bullying. School boards have refused to allow the creation of Gay-Straight Alliances. Students attempting to start GSAs have faced harassment from their principals. In Madisonville, a student wearing a pro-GSA shirt was allegedly assaulted by the principal. A yearbook faculty adviser who allowed a “pro gay” tribute to a graduating senior faces not only the ire of a school board member, but the threat of an “investigation by school administration and law enforcement.” This is Tennessee after all.

Some legislators don’t want you to say “gay,” others threaten to “stomp a mudhole” in anyone using a dressing room that they suspect to be transgendered or transexual, and Senator Stacey Campfield calls bullying “the biggest lark out there.”

It seems that some in Tennessee believe the pursuit of an education in a safe environment is not a priority for gay kids and that the life, liberty, and happiness of an GLBT student is not unalienable.

To address the growing bullying epidemic and GLBT discrimination, the Tennessee Equality Project announced that September will be Advancing Equality Month at the School Board.

When local school boards meet, most offer time in their agenda for citizens to speak for up to three minutes on a topic. TEP is asking citizens statewide to find out when their School Board meets in September and speak during the open forum time on the need for inclusive anti-bullying and non-discrimination policies, the importance of GSAs and the problem of bullying.

"Advancing Equality Month at the School Board gives citizens in every part of the state an opportunity to volunteer and raise their voices for equality and safe schools,” said Chris Sanders, President of TEP. “Given the sad developments in Cheatham and Smith Counties in which students took their lives after being bullied, incidents of principals discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students, and School Boards refusing to let students start GSAs, we think it's time for us to initiate these important conversations rather than wait to respond after something bad has happened."

To learn more about the upcoming Advancing Equality Month at the School Board including how to determine your school board’s meeting time, visit the TEP website: or check out their Facebook page.

National Margarita Day

A lot of us have really picked up an interest in tequila and it's no wonder. Its popularity is soaring in the U.S. and doesn't look like it'll be slowing down any time soon. The only contender would probably be whiskey. Meh, but they have their own day. Now, it's National Margarita Day and we put together some of the best margarita recipes around so you can pick one or maybe even all of them to try.

We have a few surprises in there too. Maybe it's not all about tequila but it certainly has a theme going on. Take a look at some of these great tequila brands and start making some amazing margaritas today!

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Gender-Inclusive Universities and Student Privacy

For many students, attending university is a profound, often life-changing, transition. It is often the student’s first time living on their own without parental supervision. This lifestyle is also accompanied by a period of self-discovery, of defining and redefining a sense of personal identity largely independent of the influence of family and friends from home.

For students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, this rite of passage can also be a deeply empowering one. Indeed, attending university may be the student’s first real opportunity to explore their gender identity in a safe, comfortable, and accepting college.

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José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia agave fields

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I had the opportunity to visit Mexico for an event José Cuervo was putting on, the unveiling of their premium tequila brand, Reserva de la Familia. The trip was all about tequila, how to drink it properly, how to pair it with food, and of course, visiting various points of interest in Guadalajara while tasting tequila along the way.

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