Another benefit concert for Tennessee’s imperiled queer community is coming to Nashville. Set for March 21 at 7 p.m., one day after the “Love Rising” event at Bridgestone Arena, “We Will Always Be: Celebrating Queer Voices” promises an intimate night of songs and storytelling with curated songwriters’ rounds, plus performances by Aaron Lee Tasjan, Katie Pruitt, and Mary Gauthier.
City Winery Nashville will host the event, which zeroes in on the strengths of Nashville’s singer-songwriters. Apple Music Country host and Rolling Stone contributor Hunter Kelly will present a songwriters’ round featuring Chris Housman, Izzy Heltai, Brady Riley, Harper Grae, and Brody Ray, while Black Opry will present a round with Autumn Nicholas, Jett Holden, Carmen Dianne, Josey, and Ally Free.
“You can’t eradicate queer people. We just are. We always have been, and we always will be,” Kelly said in a statement. “We claim this space to celebrate the queer community’s creative light, which our fellow Tennesseans are trying their best to extinguish. They’ve tried this before, but we’re still here. They can’t and they won’t succeed this time either.”
“As an organization run by queer people, it has always been an integral part of our mission to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion and intersectionality,” added Black Opry Founder and Co-Director Holly G. “We are proud to take a stand along with Hunter Kelly, City Winery, and all of the performers involved.”
Local Nashville drag queens Britney Banks, Dee Zastris, Portia, Trinity Monroe, Vivica Steele, Cya Inhale, Justine Van de Blair, Shelby La Banks, Vidalia Anne Gentry, and Jaidynn Diore Fierce will also perform during the evening. Additionally, Nashville favorites Aaron Lee Tasjan, Katie Pruitt, Mary Gauthier, Kaitlin Butts, Lilly Hiatt, She Returns From War, and the Shindellas will take the stage for their own performances.
Tickets will go on sale at 12 p.m. local time on March 10 via citywinery.com and will benefit the organization Inclusion Tennessee, which connects LGBTQIA+ people to services and resources all over the state.