Nashville Pride celebrates local leaders, activists and volunteers


Nashville Pride will honor several local community leaders with new awards on Thursday, June 16, at the Pride Rocks! Pre-Party at the Hard Rock Cafe. 

The Mark Middleton/Bianca Paige Pride Volunteer Award will be awarded to Keith Hinkle and MAC, two pride volunteers who embody Mark Middleton’s passion for and commitment to the GLBT community and Nashville’s annual Pride Festival. Middleton, who passed away on June 4, 2010, and was perhaps best known as Bianca Paige "The Pantomime Rage," donated his time and talents to many GLBT groups including Nashville Pride, Nashville CARES, Vanderbilt’s HIV Vaccine Trials, Vanderbilt Children with AIDS, The Conductors, Human Rights Campaign and the Comprehensive Care Center. He also served as spokesperson for "The Bianca Paige Awareness Network," an organization dedicated to AIDS awareness and prevention.

The Mark Manasco Community Service award will be given to the board of directors of OutCentral Community Center, who demonstrate Mark Manasco’s devotion to community service and GLBT organizations. Manasco, who passed away this year on January 12, was a long-time member of the choral group Nashville in Harmony and a board member of the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce.

Nashville Pride awards Heather Thomsen with the Pride Rising Star award for her outstanding efforts and dedication to the success of the June 18 festival and Pride’s mission to educate and maintain a sense of pride, community and awareness of, about and for GLBT people and culture in Middle Tennessee.

Nashville Pride will also be honoring Mike Curb with the Ally Award for his stance at Belmont and his history of inclusion, thoughtfulness, and fairness in his business and the community.

Visit to read more about each of the award recipients.