Campaign for Southern Equality

The Campaign for Southern Equality is working to build a South where LGBTQ people are equal in every part of life. A South where your zipcode doesn’t determine your rights. Where all of us are free to be who we truly are and love who we truly love. Through our Legal Equality, Community Health, Southern Equality Fund and Southern Equality Studios programs, we are working toward a South where everyone thrives.


The South is changing due to the courage and strength of the LGBTQ community. We’re working to accelerate that change by:

  • Funding and training grassroots organizers and activists to support a new generation of LGBTQ leaders.
  • Providing easy access to resources and direct services for LGBTQ folks in the South.
  • Engaging in rapid response organizing in response to immediate political threats and building political power through through long-term strategies.

Our work is rooted in empathy and in commitments to equity in race, gender, and class.

Our current work includes:

Legal Equality Program: This program focuses on achieving legal equality by striking down anti-LGBTQ laws, passing pro-LGBTQ policies across the South, and building political voice and power for every community on the margins in the South. We advocate for racial equity, economic justice, health care for all and immigration reform. CSE does this work through litigation, public education, voter registration, community organizing and direct action.

Southern Equality Fund: Through the Southern Equality Fund (SEF), CSE empowers local LGBTQ leaders across the South to promote equality in their hometowns. We believe that the organizers on the front lines of the Southern LGBTQ movement can transform our region—but they need the funding and support to do so. Through the SEF, we provide grants, trainings and support. Starting in 2018, CSE will increase our grantmaking to 10 percent of our organizational budget, creating a practice of organizational tithing. We accept applications on a rolling basis and also offer rapid response grants in response to emerging issues.

Community Health Program: Here, we respond to the acute and widespread need for direct services and resources for LGBTQ Southerners. Current programs include our digital toolkit, which provides information about concrete ways LGBTQ Southerners can protect their rights and access support; free Pop-Up clinics that provide direct services and resources on topics such as name changes and family rights; our new Southern LGBTQ Health Initiative,  a partnership with Western NC Community Health Services to increase access to LGBTQ-friendly care at Southern Community Health Centers; publishing the Trans in the South Resource Guide, with annual updates; and providing training and funding to support front-line providers of culturally-competent direct services. Since launching, CSE has run more than 140 free LGBTQ legal and resource clinics across the South, serving more than 4,000 people.

Telling A New Story About the South:  We also focus on lifting up the voices and experiences of LGBTQ Southerners to tell a new story about LGBTQ life here. We do this through earned media, op-eds, and original content.


Service Areas: All / Not Applicable

Community Notes

Equity and Inclusion (Uncertified): >25% Employees LGBTQ, >40% Employees Women, >40% Employees Minority
BRPC Supporter: Festival Exhibitor, Welcoming WNC Procession Participant
Other: Spearheaded campaign to pass local Non-discrimination ordinance.

Scroll to Top

Mental Health Providers

Eric Davis  MS, LCPA, NCC, Counselor

Willow Wellness and Recovery, PC 9 All Souls Crescent  Suite B, Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 490-4137 | Website I am a firm believer in empowerment and self-determination. In the past, I have worked well with folks experiencing a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, substance-use, sleep disturbances, relationship issues, and issues unique to the LGBT community.

Scott Thomas,  Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LCAS

Silver Lining Therapy 70 Woodfin Place  STE 21, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 705-3084 | Website I believe humor can be a powerful tool for healing and seek to incorporate this into our time together. Unique to my practice is an approach that truly puts you at the center of the counseling experience, and I draw from a wide variety of techniques to help you see and experience real change in your life. To see if therapy might be a good fit, I offer free phone consultations.

James Harrison, PhD Psychologist

12 Westridge Dr , Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 348-6300 | Website I enjoy helping people achieve physical and emotional intimacy whether they are young or old, straight or gay, in healthy, responsible, and mutually affirming ways. I also enjoy helping people improve their earning and manage their assets. And I like working with older people. I offer free phone consultations.

Judy Maris, Counselor, LPC, LCPC, MA, MS

Maris Psychotherapy 41 Clayton St, Suite 301, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 537-4489 | Website We can explore troublesome patterns that tend to repeat themselves in your life or look at new issues that have just come up. The important thing is for us to work together to get to the bottom of your difficulties and resolve them. I will assist you in becoming more aware of what you are feeling and thinking in the present moment. The untapped wisdom within you is a powerful healing force. Let me help you gain access to your full inner resources. I offer free phone consultations.

Elizabeth Heaney, Counselor, MA, LPC 

166 E Chestnut Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (520) 447-3319 | Website I work with individual adults with concerns like: family history issues, relationship concerns, life satisfaction issues (related to jobs, living situations or relationships), anxiety and depression. I’ve had a particular focus on working with couples, addressing every aspect of relationship challenges – relationship dissatisfaction/boredom, affairs, sexual/intimacy issues, etc. And I was a civilian counselor on military bases for several years, so I have a clear understanding of the unique pressures and challenges facing service members and families. I offer free phone consultations.

Siljoy Maurer

Holistic Perspectives P.O. Box 333, Enka, NC 2872  Phone: (828) 333-0103  | siljoy@me.com or  www.HolisticPerspectives.com For many years now I have been mentoring men and women from all walks of life. It continues to be my greatest joy to accompany someone from “just being ok” into thriving! As a Mentor & Healer I partner with my clients in creating authenticity, wellness and deep contentment, in whatever area of their lives they are seeking change. The combination of giving very practical, livable tools for direct “next steps” while “holding the big picture” and then manifesting that big picture often feels like this: a new client brings me their life or life situation in a jigsaw puzzle box, they lost the lid and forgot what the picture on it looked like. I am good at knowing that picture and then guiding my clients/mentees to put all the puzzle pieces together.  

Community & User Requests / Feedback

[gravityforms id="16" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]

Email: Hello@BlueRidgePride.org

MailPO Box 2044, Asheville NC 28802-2044

Packages: 33 Coxe Avenue, Unit 2044, Asheville NC 28801 (note different zip code).

Phone: 828-423-0655 (via Google Voice)

Program / Project Emails
General Emails
Festival / Event Emails