On the first day of Autumn, as dusk began to settle, the myths once more rose from the dusty shelves of history. They came to the Parthenon, these Greek Gods, to honor and celebrate the heroic measures of those who had changed the lives of so many mortals.

The Tennessee Equality Project struck a pitch-perfect note when it named its fundraiser after the home of the Grecian gods of mythology. In a bacchanalian atmosphere punctuated with food, wine and music, the toga-wearing warriors came together under the watchful eyes of Athena and celebrated a year of battles waged and victories won.

The Tennessee Equality Project honored several of those friends and allies who have helped tirelessly fight for GLBT equality:

  • The Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center — for its vital role in supporting gay and transgender youth in Memphis as well as its focus and HIV testing and prevention. The Memphis Gay and Lesbian Center’s mission is to “build safer spaces within ourselves and in our community.”
  • Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County — for adopting two inclusive non-discrimination ordinances in 2009 and 2011.
  • Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero — for her efforts in helping pass an inclusive non-discrimination ordinance in Knoxville. A measure which, incidentally, was the first non-discrimination ordinance to pass unanimously.

“This evening is a clear indication that Tennessee's LGBTQI population is hungry for the kind of change that TEP works for,” said Hg Stovall, TEP board member. “I am delighted to see so many of our supporters and allies here tonight as we prepare for the state legislature to return in January.”

It’s clear that the often Sisyphean struggle for equality is never far from the minds of those who have taken on the solemn duty to work for progress. Still for a few brief moments on that first day of Autumn, there was wine, and dancing, and a moment to reflect on the hard-won victories so valiantly fought for.

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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