RuPaul’s Drag Race Hour
Nekki Shutt is a lawyer and LGBT rights activist who has been involved with South Carolina’s LGBT rights movement since the start. She designed and prepared the publicity packet for the very first South Carolina Pride March in 1989 and was a founder of USC School of Law’s first gay-straight alliance in 1994. She was one of the founders of SC Equality in 2002, for which she served as its first chairperson and served on its board for more than a decade.
Nekki currently serves on the SC Equality PAC board, which vets and endorses state, county, and municipal candidates who support LGBT rights. Most recently, Nekki and her law partner, Malissa Burnette, led the team of pro bono lawyers who won marriage equality in South Carolina last year.
Malissa Burnette is a partner in the Callison Tighe law firm in Columbia. She graduated from the USC School of Law in 1977. She specializes in employment law and cases involving discrimination, civil and constitutional rights.
Ms. Burnette has been involved in several ground-breaking civil rights cases, including representing Latta, SC Police Chief Crystal Moore, and as one of the attorneys for Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley in South Carolina’s marriage equality lawsuit.
Petra “Petie” Bradley, a 40 year resident of Columbia, started life as a military child and has lived in many places with diverse cultural backgrounds. She holds a degree in accounting from the University of South Carolina. Professionally, she has been a real estate agent since 2002. Prior to that, she served as a loan officer and multiple office branch manager with First Union National Bank. Serving as the Guild President since 2013, she has enjoyed being a part of and watching the changes that are happening with the Guild. She and her fiancé, Sherry Maw, are also involved in many LGBT activities throughout the State.
Masters of Ceremony
Longtime gay activist Tony Snell served as president of SC Pride for several years. During that time, he was one of the community’s most articulate spokespeople in the Statehouse and public forums, organizing many initiatives and demonstrations over the years, including the infamous trip to the art museum at Bob Jones University, which had prohibited gay alumni from visiting campus. In 1998, Snell was interviewed along with Harriet Hancock by The New York Times in a ground-breaking story about gay and lesbian political organizations in South Carolina.
DJ Trevor D
Born and raised in Charleston, Trevor Donovan has been DJing since he was 19 years old. With his partner, Marhsall Morris, he has been the official SC Pride DJ for four years. He is very active in the LGBT community and is founder of Takeover Charleston and Big Gay Beach Day in Charleston. Starting out as strictly a club DJ, Trevor D now does weddings and other events.
Ed Greenleaf has dedicated his life to helping people and making communities across South Carolina better places to live, work and raise a family. Ed was born in Georgetown and was raised in Florence. He learned the values of hard work and public service from his parents, and he has volunteered his time, resources and talents for countless charities, causes and non-profit groups across the state. After marriage equality came to South Carolina, he married his husband Michael on their 30th anniversary day. The newlyweds live in Columbia.
Speakers & Guests
Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin
Steve Benjamin was elected Mayor of Columbia in April of 2010. He has worked very actively in community initiatives with numerous public and private organizations dating back to his years at the University of South Carolina, where he served as President of the Student Government and as Student Bar Association President at the USC School of Law.
Since moving to Charleston 10 years ago, Chase Glenn has been involved in both statewide and local LGBTQ organizations. He has served as a volunteer with We Are Family, raised money for Trans* Love Fund, and designed the SC Equality license plate. Chase currently serves on the board for SC Equality and is the Chair of their TransAction Committee. He is also the current Chair of the Charleston Pride Festival.
A native of Columbia, Andy is the Executive Director of the Nickelodeon Theatre. Under his leadership, the Nickelodeon moved to the renovated Fox Theater in the heart of Columbia’s burgeoning Main Street, doubling its annual attendance and growing its budget to over $1 Million annually. Columbia Business Monthly named Andy to its 2014 “50 Most Influential People” list and Free Times named him one of “50 People who Get Things Done” in 2015. Andy Smith announced his intent to run for Columbia City Council at Large.
Special Thanks to our Festival’s Interpreters for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing!