'Inclusion Tennessee' looks to connect LGTBQIA+ resources in Middle Tennessee

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 19:57:04-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — When Olivia Hill came out, finding a sense of connection was something she sought.

"It's hard for me to look back and think just three years ago I did a full transition medically, socially and everything," said Hill.

Now, three years later, she's finding that sense of connection through "Inclusion Tennessee."

"That's one of the reasons I want to do this, is to help people when they come out," said Hill. "So that people have a place to reach out and ask for help too."

The organization just launched after nearly two years of planning and research.

"There's a lot of smart people in Nashville in the community, and this is a way to connect those people together and have shared information," Hill said.

"Inclusion Tennessee" is the result of a 2019 Nashville Pride Community Visioning Project. More than 2,500 people gave input on what they wanted out of the local LGBTQIA+ community.

"We had people who felt like they were connected to resources," said founder Phil Cobucci. "We've had people who didn't feel like they belonged to anything, and then we had people where their stories were that they couldn't come out."

He said "Inclusion Tennessee" will offer wrap-around services like healthcare, affordable housing and respite care all under one roof.

"But I think the most exciting thing for us is that we have this goal of building a brand new community center here in Nashville and we want to do that in the next three years," said Cobucci.

Previous attempts for such a center have failed, but advocates think this time will be different.

"So, the need has always been there, but now the push is there, and I think the drive is there, and I think that it's something that will truly succeed," said Hill.

"Inclusion Tennessee" is volunteer-run. If you would like to volunteer or donate, head to the Inclusion Tennessee website.