KNOXVILLE – When Donna Hankey moved to Knoxville from Chicago , she did what most of us do when entering a new community. She looked for a place to find friends and support from other lesbians. She found it in the Lesbian Support Group (LSG) of Knoxville .
When the group’s leader found she had too much on her plate, Hankey and her partner, Caroline, stepped up. The lesbians of Knoxville continue to be grateful for their steady support and service to the community that began with a Web site and a support group, but that is now much more.
Donna and Caroline have lived and loved together for more than 10 years and continue to find Knoxville to be a supportive community. Hankey works for an organized faith denomination and says her colleagues are open and accepting.
“One of them has two gay daughters,” notes Hankey.
Located online at www.lesbiansocialgroup.com, the couple nurtures groups in various cities. Billed as the network for “well-wyred womyn,” they can be found in Knoxville , Nashville , Johnson City/Tri-Cities, Austin ( Texas ,) and Kansas City ( Missouri .) Local groups in addition to their weekly gatherings include groups for closeted women, businesswomen, singles, and couples.
“Many women don’t go to bars, but want to connect with the lesbian community in an alcohol-free environment,” Hankey points out. The various LSG groups provide venues for those women.
The Wednesday night group is their mainstay. Over the years the venue has moved from various spots in the Old City to spots in the “gay block” of Kingston Pike. They are now meeting at Gourmet’s Market’s Cosmo’s Café,where they reserve the entire bistro for their sometimes raucous and always enjoyable gatherings. The After 5 group has a monthly dinner out on the town and attracts those who identify as closeted professional women.
Their branded LSG radio Web-cast offers listeners a local touch along with some very cool tunes. With a play list from girl heaven, you will hear your favorites like the Tomb Raider soundtrack, Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Melissa Etheridge, Dar Williams, Liz Phair, K’s Choice, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Ellen DeGeneres, and more. Web-casting from 385live.com, LSG radio can be heard via 45k modem from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. Broadband listeners can listen 24 hours a day. They are located online at www.live365.com/stations/296929.
The hottest spot on the Knoxville lesbian Web is the LSG message board where local lesbians can meet and mingle while staying in touch with their community. This board is a communication hub for lesbians looking for friends and community involvement. If you are looking to hook up with women for a more personal connection, that may happen, too.
Hankey repeatedly emphasizes that the groups are for all lesbian and bisexual women who are interested in creating community for women in the greater Knoxville and other areas. Contact Donna and Caroline at [email protected].