Annual Community Tree Lighting celebration set for Saturday, Dec. 5

The Annual Community Tree-Lighting Celebration benefiting the Tennessee Equality Project and sponsored by OutLoud! Books will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m.

Everyone is invited to join in the celebration, which welcomes participation from all faith traditions and spiritual journeys. Participants are encouraged to create their own ornament to put on the community tree. Children are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

From 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., Santa will be around to hear everyone's wish list. Kids, pets, singles, couples, friends and entire families are encouraged to get their picture taken with Santa for $5 a print. All proceeds will go toward the OutCentral Cultural Center.

There will be an opportunity to mingle and to shop with 10 percent of all purchases during the celebration going to the Tennessee Equality Project.

TEP is a statewide organization dedicated to promote and sustain the equality of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons in the State of Tennessee through the establishment of fair and equitable laws protecting these rights and the elimination of laws that would seek to counter this effort.

Washington D.C.-based musician Tom Goss will be performing at OutCentral Cultural Center beginning at 8 p.m. Goss is a singer-songwriter whose muscular style and sensitive spirit has earned him a growing national following.

With an acoustic guitar (and sometimes piano), he moves from powerful pop to beautiful ballads as he sings of love, loss and longing. Tom has released three albums since 2006; he is just back from a 58-city US tour in support of his latest "Back to Love." The video for 2008's "Rise" soared to #2 on MTV's LOGO and the video for 2009's "Till the End" created an instant buzz, generating more than 100,000 views on YouTube and Facebook. The concert will begin at 8 p.m., and is free to the public.

OutCentral is a community hub that welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and intersex individuals and their friends and families into a positive energy-filled environment where organizations can collaborate, where enduring relationships can be created, where there is integration rather than isolation, and where recreation and education flourish.

OutLoud! Bookstore is located at 1703 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37203.

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