It’s only a 15-second video, but it meant a lot to the leader of Tennessee’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group.
The Tennessee “Titans would like to join the Tennessee Equality Project and wish you a happy National Coming Out Day. It’s a great day to be yourself,” says the video released by the team today. The video features three Titans cheerleaders, including one of its male cheerleaders.
“The climate for LGBTQ people can be tough in Tennessee and it’s a real boost for our community to have a positive message from from the Tennessee Titans today,” Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, told Outsports.
Just last month in Coffee County, Tennessee, 16-year-old Channing Smith took his life after his family said he was outed and bullied on social media for being bisexual.
The political climate in the state is not supportive of LGBTQ people, Sanders said.
“One of the biggest issues we face is the number and intensity of anti-LGBTQ bills in the Legislature,” Sanders said.
“This legislative session we faced adoption discrimination bills and anti-transgender student bathroom legislation. So the political climate is tough, particularly for youth. You may have seen the story of Channing Smith, the student in Coffee County who took his life as some peer outed him as bisexual. All that underscores the profound need for positive messages.”
It’s in that light that the state’s NFL team wishing a happy National Coming Out Day means something.