Knoxville activist says 'It's OK to Say Gay'

Knoxville resident Gary Elgin recently began a photo campaign on his Facebook page, asking all of his friends and their friends to post photos of themselves with the message "It’s OK 2 Say Gay!" across their mouths.

It's just the latest in his series of endeavors designed to improve the lives of numerous LGBT individuals in the state. Elgin has been a fixture in Knoxville’s creative and LGBT communities since 1992. He has served as Director of Knoxville Pride on two separate occasions (1993-96, 2004) and also engineered a large citywide celebration for National Coming Out Day in 2005.

With over 2,600 fans on his Facebook page, Elgin has accumulated a forum who shares his enthusiasm for the cause. As an activist and respected member of his community, he feels a sense of responsibility to assist others who are less fortunate.

"I am very fortunate that I am able to live my life with very few restrictions on my personal liberties," Elgin says. "To be honest, it has been a conscious decision on my part to not allow it. For others, it is has and continues to be, not so easy a struggle. It is because I have it so relatively easy, that I believe it is my duty to assist others with their fight for identity and freedom. As an artist and activist, I feel I have a duty to those around me."

More than ever, Elgin expresses dedication to changing hearts and minds through his community service. His disappointment with the current political landscape is a prime motivator.

"Today our legislators local and state have a responsibility to listen and learn from those around them," Elgin says. "It is not a matter of 'special rights.' I hear constantly that we are included under existing laws and protective orders. It is painfully obvious to most everyone that this is not the case."

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

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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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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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