Tour Event

Y’all Come Out: Affirming LGBTQ+ Youth in the South

If you joined us live or watch the archived stream for Y’all Come Out: Affirming LGBTQ+ Youth in the South, please help us improve the development of future content and events by taking this brief survey.

The South is home to an increasing number of LGBTQ+ people – one in three, according to recent surveys. For LGBTQ+ youth, Southern living means more obstacles and risks than their peers in other parts of the U.S. They are more likely to face family rejection, homelessness, discrimination, bullying and harmful practices such as “conversion therapy.” What is the mental health impact on Southern LGBTQ+ youth who must be extra resilient in order to live their truths? Join NPT, GLSEN Tennessee, Metro Nashville Public Schools Gender & Sexualities Alliance (GSA), and a group of counselors, young people and advocates as we seek understanding, equality and Well Being for LGBTQ+ youth.

About the Host 

LaTonya Turner, NPT Producer and Journalist   

LaTonya Turner is an award-winning journalist and senior producer for Nashville Public Television whose work includes cultural and historical documentaries as well as the American Graduate and Aging Matters programs. Her recent work includes Facing North: Jefferson Street, Nashville and Aging Matters: Disparities & Health Equity. Her career began in broadcast news in Louisiana and continued at Nashville’s WSMV-TV. After leaving news in the mid-2000s, she worked as an independent video producer. LaTonya’s work has won several regional Emmys and been recognized by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the regional Edward R. Murrow Award. She is a member of NABJ. LaTonya is a wife and mother of three children.  

About the Panelists 

Rev. Dawn Bennett, The Table  

Rev. Dawn Bennett is the Pastor Developer at The Table in Nashville, Tenn. The Table centers on the lived experience of LGBTQIA+ people as well as those impacted by poverty and incarceration. In her role as a community activist, she works at the intersections of faith, religious trauma and non-affirming spaces. She is passionate about advocacy and education as viable pathways to improve the lives of those on the fringe of community resources. For her, it is imperative that we collectively seek to restore the breach and harm by institutional powers and work toward a more healthy and equitable resolve for all persons. Pastor Dawn resides in Nashville with her three fish Mo, Larry and Curly, but admittedly knows not who is whom. 

Aly Chapman, GLSEN Tennessee 

Aly Chapman serves to protect and champion the voices of LGBTQ youth, children and mothers living through Aly Chapman serves to protect and champion the voices of LGBTQ youth, children and mothers living through substance abuse and recovery. As a consultant and passionate advocate in public health policy, keynote speaker, an accomplished researcher and educator, Aly confronts the stigma and systematic barriers that lead to mental illness and addiction in our most vulnerable populations. She is currently co-chair of GLSEN Tennessee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating safe, inclusive K-12 schools for LGBTQ+ youth, where she has served in a number of positions over the years. Aly received her Master of Science and Master of Public Health Policy degrees from the University of Tennessee and is passionately driven by relationship building and bipartisan policy work. 

Joseph Clark, Program Manager, Just Us at Oasis Center

Originally from Michigan, Joseph Clark, M.S., serves as the Program Manager for the Just Us collection of youth programs and community trainings. With over 10 years of positive youth development experience, Joseph strives to create a safe and affirming space where LGBTQ+ youth feel empowered to explore and celebrate their identities, build community, and express themselves authentically.  Beyond providing direct youth service, Joseph also creates and delivers trainings to current and future educators, counselors, and community organizations to ensure that all LGBTQ+ people have equitable access to services and can thrive in their communities.

Christopher Goodwin, Social Justice, LGBTQ+ Advocate & Minister 

Chris Goodwin is Supervisor of Community Health Initiatives at the MOCHA Center in Rochester, NY. The MOCHA Center, in partnership with Trillium Health, offers social events and other programs focused on improving the health and wellness of LGBTQ+ people of color. Chris is a Nashville native and previously worked with Nashville Cares as an HIV Counseling Specialist and an LGBTQ advocate for various organizations. They have an associate degree in psychology, a B.A. in Bible/Theology and pursuing a master’s degree at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Chris is a mentor at the Avenue Black Box Theatre in Rochester, which uplifts voices of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ young people and will soon premiere Chris’ original male drag musical called “Identome,” about issues he has faced in seeking identity as a gay, Black man from the South. 

David Plazas, Opinion and Engagement Director, USA TODAY Network at The Tennessean 

David Plazas is the Opinion and Engagement Director for the USA TODAY Network Tennessee. He has written award-winning columns on issues ranging from affordable housing to government accountability. He oversees the opinion team and strategy for multiple large and small publications across the state including The Tennessean. He also leads The Tennessean’s Civility Tennessee campaign on civic engagement and delivered a TEDx Talk in 2020 on the art and science of public disagreement. He created the “Tennessee Voices” podcast, featuring conversations with leaders, thinkers and innovators statewide that has produced more than 200 episodes since March 2020. Plazas chairs The Tennessean’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which has led efforts to create more equity in coverage and the newsroom.  

Amiee Sadler, Student Social Worker 

Amiee Sadler is the Education and Training Manager for people3, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm. She is passionate about issues affecting LGBTQ youth. She was a founding member of the Gay Straight Alliance and served as an international officer for the United Methodist Youth Organization. Aimee is on the board of Nashville LaunchPad, which serves homeless LGBTQ youth, and is joining the AWAKE Nashville board. She was a nominee for the Nashville Business Journal “40 under 40” and Young Leaders Council “Young Leader of the Year.” Amiee holds a Sociology degree from Columbia State Community College and is pursuing a BSSW at the Univ. of Tennessee, where she serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council, the Coalition of Black Social Workers, and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. 

Related Resources

About The Tour

The Well Beings Tour is making its way to cities across the country, hosted in partnership with local public media stations to present impactful experiences that connect audiences with mental health resources in the local community, strengthen community connections, and destigmatize mental health challenges. The Tour features moderated public discussions that share information and volunteer opportunities from local community and national organizations. The Tour is fostering new conversations about mental health through these local events — live or virtual, based on local public health conditions.

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