[OutVoice] Statement from Freddy Freeman on Behalf of Roy's Hideaway concering the Indiegrrl festival

Freddy Freeman acousticub at gmail.com
Fri Oct 9 15:05:02 EDT 2009

Dear Outvoicers;


There has been a lot of stuff going around about the recent events
concerning Indiegrrl and Roy's Hideaway. As the new Events Director , I am
releasing a statement on Roy's behalf. I was not at the event, but based
upon my experiences there and the testimony of Roy, and a number of guests,
I do not believe events occurred as alleged and do not believe anyone's
safety was at risk.  I do however want to make it clear to Outvoice that we
do support the mission of Indiegrrl and are committed to providing a safe
environment for all of our community, and opportunities for all of its
performing artists. 


My Statement Below:


We are so sorry that Vicki Blankenship has had a negative experience in
Tattnall County while holding an event at our facility; however the actual
details of what occurred are unclear, and there have been conflicting
accounts. Our main concern has always been to make sure that all of our
guests feel safe, secure and respected. We have and will continue to work
with local authorities to ensure our guests' continued safety.   

We are aware that there was some confusion over permits and noise levels,
but the engineer was asked to lower the volume numerous times, but did not
comply with the requests. The event was not fully shut down, as performances
continued poolside. Many of the women who attended have expressed how much
they enjoyed themselves despite not being able to have amplified music. 

Mr. McLeroy and other guests did not witness or experience the alleged
harassment, but of course the safety of our guests is of utmost concern. Roy
has met with Tattnall County Sheriff Quinton Rush, who has once again
pledged his support, and also guaranteed permits for future events and even
offered to post two deputies, if requested, at our larger events to ensure
everyone's safety. Mr. McLeroy has spent considerable time developing
relationships with the community and has the full support of the Sherriff's
Office, Magistrates, Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations, who
have all once again pledged their support of Roy's Hideaway.

I have held events at Roy's Hideaway and spent considerable time there
getting to know Roy and his family, and I have also been into the community
with Roy. I have never experienced anything but support and friendliness
from anyone I have encountered. I held a very successful gay men's music
event with a number of musical acts there in August and we all had such a
great time and never once felt threatened in any way. My friend (openly gay)
singer-songwriter Charles K. Brown was even invited to play at the local
Wiregrass Festival in Reidsville and had a wonderful time and was well
received by the crowd. A local straight owned restaurant has also opened its
doors during off hours to accommodate parties from Roy's Hideaway. 

The impression left on me by Roy and his establishment is so great that I am
moving there to join his family and work on creating unique events and
programs for the Campground. I have been involved in the LGBT music
community for 8 years, doing conferences, festivals and other community
activism. I am uprooting my whole life to be a part of his team, because I
feel like it is a great place to build something positive for our community.

We are interested in what we can create for our community. I am looking
forward to the opportunities a place like Roy's Hideaway can give to LGBT
people in South Georgia. In our experience, we are establishing a great
relationship with the surrounding community. Local officials have expressed
their desire to continue to work with us and show their support, so I think
we should all try to turn this into a positive thing for our community.
Please join us in creating positive change for all of us by working with the
County and supporting Roy's Hideaway. LGBT people of Georgia will be better
off if we accept the County's offer of continued support and create new
allies instead of enemies. Roy has worked hard to create something positive
for all of us and I don't want to see it fail because of a misunderstanding,
especially when community leaders are so eager to fix the perceived
problems. Wouldn't it be nice to read articles about how local officials are
supporting an LGBT campground and helping to combat homophobia and any other
form of discrimination? If anyone has any questions about the campground,
the surrounding community or anything else, please feel free to contact us,
or visit our website at  www.royshideaway.com 

Freddy Freeman 
Events and Promotions Director 
Roy's Hideaway Campground 
615 557 2392 
acousticub at gmail.com


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