For those not familiar with Stephanie Rice, she is a Texas-born musician and recent contestant on the the NBC Series "The Voice". During her audition for The Voice, Stephanie revealed that when she came out at the age of 18, her family disowned her.
Despite what Stephanie endured, she went on to attend school at the University of Houston. Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and graduated with honors. She went on to conduct research involving HIV, and has even been published in The Journal of AIDS.
After being a contestant on The Voice, Stephanie learned about Equality Texarkana. She wanted to know more about the organization and after some initial conversations with us through social media, she decided to visit us in person.
During her visit, Stephanie was made an honorary member of Equality Texarkana, and she has since helped Equality Texarkana to broaden our reach, and has helped us get in contact with national LGBTQ+ organizations like GLADD.
When Stephanie heard that we were planning an event for Pride, she told us that she wanted to do anything she could to help out. Stephanie was kind enough to donate her birthday to us through Facebook, which helped us to raise just under $4,000. The real surprise came when Stephanie asked if we would like her to perform at the event. Without hesitation, we said Yes!
In large part thanks to Stephanie, we believe that our upcoming Day of Pride on June 9, 2018 is going to break all previous records for attendance at one of our events.
We look forward to working with Stephanie in the future to realize our shared goal of making Texarkana a more welcoming place to be LGBTQ+.