The first Murfreesboro Pride will take place on August 27 on the public square in Murfreesboro. The event is the result of a great deal of work on the part of LGBT advocates, who have long worked to establish a foothold in Rutherford County. Expected to draw over 500 participants, the festival also known as Boro Pride will include information booths, activities, and musical and spoken word performances.
“The Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) established a committee in Rutherford County in the late 2000s,” according to Chris Sanders, TEP’s executive director, “but it had not been active on a regular basis until the fall of 2014 when Brendon Holloway took over as chair.”
Since 2014, however, work has been in earnest under Holloway’s leadership. “He has established monthly meetings and outreach to community organizations,” Sanders said. “That committee was instrumental in organizing the turnout of almost 100 advocates in red at the Rutherford County Commission earlier this year.” Under pressure from those advocates, an anti-marriage equality resolution was gutted by amendments.
Sanders credits some of the progress to changing demographics. “Given the significant population growth in Rutherford County, we have found improved participation in our efforts there,” he said.
The TEP has said that they will have a significant partnership with MT Lambda in the event, and that many Nashville-based LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations will also participate, as well as candidates for office.
According to organizers, this has also resulted in an increased interest in having an event like Pride. Enough interest has been shown by businesses and organizations that most of the approximately 70 booth spaces may be filled. “Once we confirm participation with those organizations,” Sanders explained, “we will open up the remaining spaces to other interested vendors and organizations. Those interested should watch for announcements on the Facebook event page.”
Tennessee Equality Project Rutherford County Committee Chair Brendon Holloway notes, "The community has expressed so much enthusiasm and so many volunteers have come forward that I know we will have a fun event for LGBTQ people and allies. It's a huge opportunity to show our strength in Rutherford County."
For more information on Boro Pride, be sure to check out their Facebook event page.
An LGBT pride festival for Murfreesboro