As the fight for LGBT equality continues, "The Lavender Table" web show strives to keep current issues under discussion.
Creator and host Gary Elgin began the show in 2010 after years of activism with Knoxville Pride and other organizations. Throughout this period, Elgin sought to prevent pertinent topics from being neglected in the media.
"We don't talk enough," Elgin said. "The goal of the show is – as the tagline says – to keep the conversation going."
Unlike programming on a national scale, "The Lavender Table" offers a more personal and relatable context, an attribute Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, recognizes as a highly effective way to reach an audience.
"Gary provides an important voice for equality in Tennessee," Sanders said. "He really takes the time to interview his subjects in depth, and their lives embody important moments in the struggle for equality.
"I think that's really an inviting way for people to understand what's going on in our movement."
Although the web show often interviews local celebrities, more widely recognized guests are proliferating as the show gains popularity. Chaz Bono and Park Overall have appeared on former seasons. Overall's appearance solicited 1,000 views, the show's peak number to date.
As "The Lavender Table" garners a following, viewers from Asia, Europe and Africa have begun to tune in.
"The Lavender Table" will launch its fourth season April 9 with an interview of former UT trainer Jenny Moshak.
Currently a co-plaintiff leveling allegations of inequality against the university, Moshak plans to discuss several LGBT issues as well as equality in relation to sports.
"If we don't talk about it, then people think things are fixed or that they don't exist anymore or that they can just ignore them, and that is not the case," Moshak said.
"There's a lot in the media today where there's equality with the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, with the Defense of Marriage Act scenario being struck down," Moshak added.
"The fact is that equality is a big issue in America today."
In addition to interviews, "The Lavender Table" features comedy, music and entertainment. In its upcoming season, the web show will be adding "Cooking With Lavender," a cooking segment featuring Joseph Lowery.
As a former actor and clown, Elgin said he tries to offer something for everyone while maintaining the web show's serious themes.
"In the days of 'Real Housewives,' 'Honey-boo-boo,' 'Candy Crush Saga,' there are very real things happening in the world: people being burned alive, beaten, imprisoned for just loving who they love," Elgin said. "Equality and human rights do not just happen by accident.
"The more we talk about important issues, the more we understand each other."