Knoxville residents will have a number of events in store for them in this year’s upcoming Pride season.

Saturday, June 10, is the target date for the festival on Market Square, but the festivities do not start there. In fact, there are plans for many other events beginning with the LGBT Film Festival planned by members of several Knoxville community organizations. ReelKnox will be the first of its kind in recent memory and will feature a wide variety of films of interest to all, and of particular interest to the LGBT community of color. The events are co-sponsored by the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Beginning on Friday, June 2, ReelKnox will begin with a reception for John Scagliotti, renowned award-winning director, prior to the screening of his latest film, “Dangerous Living.” The famous filmmaker will follow-up with a discussion of his film and the issues surrounding LGBT people in developing nations.

Saturday will highlight two films, “Beautiful Boxer” and “Brother to Brother,” followed by a dance party at the Fairbanks. The series will finish on Sunday with “Saving Face” and “Watermelon Woman.” The latter film is known to many as the spark that ignited a war on the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) by Senator Jesse Helms, reacting to partial funding for the film by that agency. NEA, established in 1965 by Congressional mandate, provides more funding for the arts than any other single source in the United States.

Monday, June 5 is the date for a workshop on GLBT teen suicide, held in lieu of the usual Monday Night Gay Men’s Discussion Group. Drawing from materials offered by the Trevor Project, the workshop will include a film short featuring Ellen Degeneres as narrator. Trevor, the teenaged boy who is the film’s subject, is a 13-year-old who falls in love with his best friend only to find that his peers ostracize him. He falls into a deep depression and eventually attempts suicide. The resilient Trevor finds friendship in a young hospital volunteer and ends the 23-minute film on a hopeful note. Discussion will follow.

PrideFest 2006 on the Square in downtown Knoxville anticipates many entertainers, speakers, and tables for community organizations to increase their visibility and get the word out about GLBT opportunities for activities and activism in the Knoxville and surrounding area. Festivities are slated to begin at 3:00 p.m.

Under the general auspices of the Greater Knoxville LGBTQ Leadership Council, the June celebration will also include the annual Pride Picnic, hosted by the Metropolitan Community Church of Knoxville and Knoxville Cares. Picnickers can relax in the shade, play games, and share food and conversation on the grounds of the Metropolitan Community Church of Knoxville. The church will provide grills, soft drinks, paper products, and utensils. Bring your lunch and some to share. The picnic will adjourn inside the church in case of rain.

Local clubs will also host various special events. Announcements will be forthcoming as soon as the events are confirmed.

To volunteer or to get up-to-the-minute information, visit and be sure to check out the community calendar.
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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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