Freedom Press Publishing and Lipstick Lounge, with OutCentral and other local organizations and businesses, are again sponsoring a food drive for Second Harvest. For the fourth year on National Coming Out Day, October 11, the Coming Out to Help food drive will culminate with an evening of live entertainment at Lipstick Lounge from 6-8:30 p.m. The Thursday evening event will have no cover charge, a cash bar and a menu available.

Artists set to perform include: Steff Mahan, Tammy Fowler, Freddy Freeman and Friends, Chris Mitchell and Tim Toonen and Abby McDowell. With great music and with the good feelings of donating to Second Harvest, which does such wonderful work for the whole Middle Tennessee community, the evening will mark the day set aside to celebrate “coming out.”

National Coming Out Day celebrations have taken place around the nation every October 11, since 1988. NCOD had its beginnings the previous year. In Washington, D.C., on the 11th of October 1987, the second LGBT demonstration occurred in the nation’s capital. Amazingly, a half a million people attended. The energy from the “March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights” carried over, and four months later about 100 LGBT activists from around the nation met. The result was the decision to have a day that would celebrate “coming out.” One major reason for that decision was a recognition that the LGBT community was frequently on the defensive. Organizers asked, “Why not turn that around? Rather than defending who we are, why not celebrate it?”

For the fourth year, one local celebration of NCOD is the Second Harvest food drive. Food donations can be brought to the NCOD celebration, but they can also be dropped off at the distribution points identified below. The NCOD evening celebration will be followed by one last opportunity to contribute, at Out on the Deck / Purple House Concerts on October 13.

Most needed items, according to Second Harvest: canned fruits and meats, dried beans and rice, macaroni and cheese and peanut butter. Monetary donations (cash or checks, payable to Second Harvest) will also be accepted.

NCOD: Coming Out and Helping Sponsors and donation drop off points (in the order received, to date): Freedom Press Publishing, Lipstick Lounge, OutCentral, Planned Parenthood of East and Middle Tennessee, OutLoud (drop off), Tennessee Equality Project Foundation, Mac Productions, Purple House / Out on the Deck (drop off, October 13), Linda Blackstone with Neighborhood Realty East, Community Advisory Board of the Comprehensive Care Center, Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition and the Nashville HRC Steering Committee.

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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