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Joe Rhymer gives his Testimony

Testimony Videos

By Adam Bink

We met Joe at Netroots Nation last weekend. He’s an organizer with the Tennessee Equality Project, fighting against the “don’t say gay” bill and the new law outlawing protections for LGBT people. The stories he told us about how people are treated are just incredible. Women who are stopped by the side of the road and told to lift their shirts up because police want to check if they are men or women. I have been through, and have a lot of friends, from Tennessee, and it really is a whole separate world compared to what most people think the “gay lifestyle” is about. My friends just keep or kept their heads down to survive.

Joe’s story is the kind we are collecting for the Dustin Lance Black challenge. If you haven’t signed up, please do so here. Give your Testimony so others can learn.


  • 1. B&E  |  June 24, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Great post Joe. Growing up just south of you in Erwin, TN I know what it is like to experience the unnecessary discrimination that LGBT persons experience in East TN. I moved to Nashville to get away from the closed mindedness in that area. Nashville is a diverse city, however not as diverse as other cities across the nation. I love TN, it is a beautiful state and I too will not be driven from it just becuase the evangelicals are currently in legislative power. We must do all we can to stand together and fight against all types of discrimination.

  • 2. Ann S.  |  June 24, 2011 at 7:42 am


  • 3. rick jacobs  |  June 24, 2011 at 11:47 am

    As a fellow East Tennessean, I understand the difficulty of public Testimony in that part of the world. We met Joe at Netroots Nation. He connected us to his colleagues at Tennessee Equality Project. They are amazing.

    Thanks, Joe!!

  • 4. Glenn  |  March 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Just saying hello tonight 3/4/12 @ 8:57…Glenn

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