Pride leadership shares why they [heart] Pride

Organizing Nashville Pride is hard work—truly a labor of love—and we imagine that everyone who takes a leadership role in the event must wonder occasionally (each day) why it is they agreed to this. So we decided to give them a boost coming in to Pride month and help them remind themselves why they love this festival so much. Here are some of the responses we received.


Joey Leslie, President Elect

The Equality Walk has grown so much in a short time and it was amazing to see several people get overwhelmed with emotion during last year’s walk. It’s a great feeling to be a part of something so special and meaningful to so many people for so many reasons.


Matia Powell, Secretary

My favorite moment from 2014 Pride was watching my best friend Claudia Huskey perform at Turnabout. Pride is about love, understanding, and celebrating our differences. Turnabout challenges performers to step out of their comfort zone and experience life—even for a moment—from a different prospective. I am sure Claudia was nervous, but she stepped out on the stage and owned it like a BOSS! Her performance definitely encouraged me to perform in this year’s event.


Matthew Gann, Treasurer of the Board

This past year was my first year attending Nashville Pride. I volunteered as a Gate Captain and I really didn’t know what to expect. My favorite memory has to be seeing the amount of happy families, both gay and straight, that came through my gate. The kids were excited to be there and the parents were proud to support the community. I think that’s what makes “Nashville Pride” completely “Nashville.”


Jack Davis, Festival Director

The Equality Walk for me is always the best way to kick off our Saturday festival. The bands that perform, the diversity and excitement of the festival attendees is also a huge highlight for me, as a culmination of all of the work that goes into planning the festival and concert throughout the year.


Lisa Howe, Equality Walk Coordinator & Board Member

The Equality Walk, hands down. We had participation from corporations with banners and matching shirts, non-profit organizations, and social groups from Facebook with signs. When over 1000 diverse people share that experience for equality, publicly and proudly, it is very impactful.


Joseph Woodson, Past President

We’re Music City, and music should be a huge part of our celebration  for diversity—and last year it definitely was! My favorite memory from 2014 was watching Bettye Who ignite the crowd into a dancing frenzy less than one hour before the festival was over. Seeing Nashvillians of all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, ages, and orientations jumping up and down singing “Somebody Loves You” to one another really struck a chord in me. It was a music magic Nashville Pride moment I’m very proud of!


Phil Cobucci, Marketing & Communications Chair

Last year was my first year working with Pride as a volunteer and sponsor. Overall the experience was thrilling and a highlight of my year, I think back to our People of Pride photos that we took for Nashville Pride social media channels. I look back at those pictures at least once a month, to remind myself of who we, as the Nashville Pride board, do this for. Whether a member of the LGBTQ community or a straight ally, all of this work is to celebrate equality with our community, that is truly special to me.


Jeff Yarbro, State Senator & Board Member

The move to Public Square Park—City Hall’s front yard—symbolized to me both the progress that’s been made and the ambitions going forward.





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