Chattanooga's hometown Pride
Tennessee Valley Pride (TVP), held in Chattanooga, is one of the last Pride festivals of the season, probably the latest in Tennessee. According to the website, "Just like last year Pride will be held at Ross’ Landing on the river in downtown Chattanooga! The festival will be starting at Noon on Sunday October 4th and will include vendors, games, live entertainment, presentations from the community, and will end with a drag show featuring some of our most talented local entertainers!"
The event is not a huge affair like you will find in Nashville, Memphis, or Knoxville: it is an intimate, hometown celebration of a strong and growing LGBT and allies community in the region. TVP boasts the support of community organizations from PFLAG and Chattanooga CARES to Jewish Congregation Bnai Zion and UTC’s Wesley Fellowship.
TVP 2014 was a true showing of solidarity, because in terms of LGBT rights, Chattanooga had a rocky year last year. After openly gay Councilman Chris Anderson led a 2013 fight to pass domestic partner benefits for city employees, local groups retaliated by organizing a petition to bring the ordinance to a popular vote. The citizens of Chattanooga voted to repeal domestic partner benefits, with a 62.58% support. Additionally, a vigorous campaign was fought to recall Anderson, leading to charges of bigotry against his opposition. Ultimately Anderson retained his office.
But a very healthy crowd of LGBT people and allies turned out to show that the Tennessee Valley is strong and proud. The week leading up to TVP 2014 included an Interfaith Service, kickoff party, and the Nooga Glo 5k: Run For Equality, along with several other community events. The Sunday festival—held at beautiful Ross’ Landing overlooking the Tennessee River in the shadow of the Tennessee Aquarium—featured live entertainment, presentations from the community, and ended with a drag show featuring some of Chattanooga’s most talented local entertainers.
So when TVP returns to Chattanooga this year, you might want to consider taking the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities in our state and show your support for the local LGBT community there. Watch www.tennesseevalleypride.com for more information as summer draws to a close.