Partners in the Tennessee Equality Project’s Tennessee Open for Business program are committed to providing excellent service to all members of the community and dedicated to non-discriminatory policies and practices regarding their employees and guests. These businesses are listed on the TEP website and can also be recognized by the decals in their storefronts.
Here are a few queer-friendly date ideas with Open for Business partners in Knoxville to consider with Valentine’s Day coming up next week.
-For a low-cost and crunchy Valentine’s experience, Ijams Nature Center is open 9-5 and the forecast is currently predicting cloudy skies with temperatures up to 57°. Trail maps are available for $1 in the visitor center and don’t forget to pick up some snacks along the way. Three Rivers Market offers the best organic and local produce and snacks.
-If you’re more interested in artistic endeavors, check out Knoxville Symphony Orchestra‘s Timeless Romance performance on February 14 or 15. Tickets are available online and at the Tennessee Theater box office. Get downtown early for Coffee and Chocolate and a stroll around historic Market Square.
–The Tomato Head is a perfect casual date spot. They use fresh, environmentally-conscious ingredients to make delicious pizzas, hummus, sweets, and more. They offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan options at their two locations – one in Market Square and one near West Town Mall. If you check out the location near the mall, don’t forget to stop in at Planet XChange right next door to search for the gently-used retro t-shirt of your dreams.
–The Casual Pint boasts multiple locations, but here’s what their website doesn’t tell you: When you’re at the Farragut location, you can order fresh crêpes from The French Market next door to be delivered straight to your barstool.
-As it turns out, The City of Knoxville herself is a proud partner of Open For Business. Mayor Madeline Rogero is an outspoken advocate for the LGBT+ community. So check out any local parks, greenways, or dog parks safe in the knowledge that Knoxville has your back.
Remember to tip your servers, bartenders, and Uber drivers when you go out this Valentine’s day. Of course, whatever happens after the date is between you and your partner; just remember to engage in healthy conversations about boundaries, enthusiastic affirmative consent, and safe sex. Planned Parenthood offers STD testing and always has free condoms available.
Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and remember that love should be celebrated all day every day, not just on February 14.
Written by Helen Rose on February 8, 2019