LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans



An open letter from Tennessee's LGBTQ community to our fellow Tennesseans


As members of the LGBTQ community, we write to our fellow Tennesseans a month after the election and a month before the upcoming state legislative session.


In recent weeks members of our community have experienced grave assaults on our safety and dignity.  A gay, gender nonconforming man was murdered.  A transgender woman’s car was burned. The signs and doors of a church that affirms our community have been vandalized.  A gay couple received a package with a knife sticking out and a message attached urging them to leave the state. 


These attacks upon individuals and institutions have put our lives and safety at even greater risk than usual.  They contravene the welcoming traditions of hospitality for which Tennessee is known.  


The time we have entered is critical.  Many are calling for healing in the wake of a divisive election. Healing is difficult while fresh wounds are being inflicted such as discriminatory state legislation.


So we are speaking out for our safety, dignity, and equal rights under the law.


Our struggle is not against your values, unless you value discrimination.  LGBTQ Tennesseans are your neighbors, your family members, your health care providers, firefighters, grocery clerks, teachers, elected officials, and we fill many other roles vital to the life of small towns and large cities.  Many of us grew up and continue to be active in the same faith communities as you.  


In the long story of our community’s struggles, we have relied on our own strength to sustain us.  We have also experienced the joy of  working with countless allies.  Now is a time for allies to speak out with us and we  invite people of good will throughout the state to build a stronger, inclusive, welcoming Tennessee to meet our state’s common challenges together.

If you share these values and priorities, we invite you to add your name to this letter.

Who's signing

Missy Horesh
Jennifer Bittner
Angel Watts
Laura Howes
Lemesa Jacques
Helen Hurst
Nancy Meyer
Savannah Osborne
Linda Raiteri
Charlette Woods
Tina Patel
1,000 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Jeanine Tobolski
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-12-18 13:41:54 -0600
    Sign the petition: LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans
  • Missy Horesh
    signed 2016-12-18 13:36:59 -0600
  • Mandy Ray Gannon
    signed 2016-12-18 13:36:36 -0600
  • Jennifer Bittner
    signed 2016-12-18 13:10:28 -0600
  • Mandy Graylizard
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-12-18 13:07:34 -0600
    Sign the petition: LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans
  • Mandy Grayson
    signed 2016-12-18 13:06:36 -0600
  • Angel Watts
    signed via 2016-12-18 12:57:18 -0600
    I support equal rights and protection with gays. They pay taxes just like everyone else.
  • Laura Howes
    signed 2016-12-18 12:36:51 -0600
  • Bebbie Minter
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-12-18 12:19:22 -0600
    Sign the petition: LGBTQ open letter to our fellow Tennesseans
  • Elizabeth Minter
    signed via 2016-12-18 12:17:28 -0600
    Years ago, my husband, the kindest person I know, made a comment to me about not understanding the “choice” to be gay. I responded that the only choice my many friends had made, was whether to live a lie, or to live as who they are.

    I also told him that I was open to his “choice stance” if he could describe, in detail, how, when, and where he “chose” to be straight. He looked a little surprised and said calmly, “I didn’t choose; I was always heterosexual.”

    No more myths about choice in our lives together!

    Love, prayers, encouragement, and hope!

  • Stacey Williams
    signed 2016-12-18 12:15:50 -0600
  • Marsha Raimi
    signed via 2016-12-18 12:13:48 -0600
  • Michael Briggs
    signed 2016-12-18 12:05:09 -0600
  • Ray Holloman
    signed 2016-12-18 12:00:35 -0600
  • Lemesa Jacques
    signed via 2016-12-18 11:55:06 -0600
  • Helen Hurst
    signed via 2016-12-18 11:46:30 -0600
  • Nancy Meyer
    signed 2016-12-18 11:41:43 -0600
  • Scott Hilgadiack
    signed via 2016-12-18 11:27:08 -0600
  • Savannah Osborne
    signed via 2016-12-18 11:25:41 -0600
    I stand with this petition as a gay Tennessean and also a member of this community.
  • Rachel Odom
    signed 2016-12-18 11:18:45 -0600
  • Sarah Throckmorton
    signed via 2016-12-18 11:18:09 -0600
  • Carleen Claybaker
    signed 2016-12-18 11:18:06 -0600
    Carleen K. Claybaker
  • Chekesha Colley
    signed 2016-12-18 11:17:14 -0600
  • Ron Snitker
    signed 2016-12-18 11:16:25 -0600
  • Monte Pennington
    signed 2016-12-18 11:09:08 -0600
  • Linda Raiteri
    signed 2016-12-18 11:06:01 -0600
  • Rev. Michael Alford
    signed 2016-12-18 11:04:30 -0600
  • Charlette Woods
    signed via 2016-12-18 10:52:08 -0600
  • Edward Frick
    signed via 2016-12-18 10:46:14 -0600
  • Tina Patel
    signed via 2016-12-18 10:30:58 -0600

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