Nashville Gay 'Picknickers' Charge Metro Harassment

From the Nashville Banner, June 27, 1977:

While thousands marched in support of homosexual rights in cities across the country Sunday, Nashville had a comparatively low-key demonstration of its own — the first “Gay Pride Picnic” at Centennial Park.

About 40 persons attended the event, which was organized by the Rev. Thomas Bigelow’s Metropolitan Community Church. Their enthusiasm was dampened, however, in a dispute with the Metropolitan Park Patrol involving signs and placards set up at the picnic site.

Shortly after the event began, a park patrolman approached the group and said the signs — bearing such slogans as “The Lord is my shepherd, and He knows I’m gay” and “I’m straight, I’m enlightened, I think gay is OK” — would have to be removed.

Bigelow told the patrolman it was his understanding that both Metro police and city park officials had been contacted and had told members of the group that signs could be posted on the site but not carried (picket fashion).

As this discussion was going on, two other park patrol units and four other officers arrived. Bigelow said he was told that the director of parks had ordered the signs removed since park regulations forbid “signs for advertising or political reasons” in the park.

“They thought this was a political gathering. Obviously, we do not,” Bigelow said. Bigelow agreed to remove the signs, and the picnic continued. Members of the group were not happy, however.

“If this were a First Baptist Church gathering, there would never be any park police to come by and say anything about this,” said a participant who asked not to be identified.

“This is the kind of harassment we get — it’s not out-and-out, but it’s enough to keep people insecure, from coming out,” Bigelow said.

He estimated that there are 50,000 gays in Nashville, but said only 2,500-3,000 feel free to publicly display their preferences in local bars and nightspots. He said he hopes events like the picnic will grow in attendance and generally encourage other members of the community.

Source: Nashville Banner Archives. Copyright: Nashville Public Library

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

The Best Cannabis Edibles for 2023

Disclaimer: Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I think we’ve all been there back in the day when we smoked our first joint, and then some, (sorry mom)–hacking, coughing, and choking on the herbaceous weed. Nowadays, there are several products on the market that produces the same effects but without a sore throat like the popular cannabis edibles.

Keep readingShow less
a person holding a padlock in front of a window

As an LGBTQ+ patient, you should be able to expect the same high-quality care provided to all patients. Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily always prove to be the case. There remains a notoriously significant disparity in healthcare outcomes for LGBTQ+ patients, often related to issues with discrimination among providers.

Even when you find a good physician, this doesn’t mean that everyone interacting with your healthcare information will be as respectful or responsible. It is, therefore, important to be vigilant about how your data is handled. You have a right to privacy just as you have an expectation of fair treatment.

Keep readingShow less

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!

Keep readingShow less