By Leah Wright | Photo By HN James
Mathu K. Potts is one of those Nashville fixtures who, even if you don’t know his name, you’ve probably seen around. His stainless steel colored locks have been a fixture behind the bars at various LGBT+ friendly venues for several years. You’ll currently find him at 4 Corners Bar and Grill in Antioch or busy in his duties as owner of White Rhino Design Productions. He’s involved in several local organizations, serving as the Sheltering Lead for the Nashville Area American Red Cross and a “Sainted” friend of the Music City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, in addition to volunteering with others.
“Mostly all of the organizations I work with and support are those that do not have any form of prejudices toward anyone and are only trying their hardest to lift others up, help them in some way, and give them their place within the community where they feel welcomed as they are,” says Potts.
Fitting in is something Potts has struggled with himself. He’s been the victim of brutal beatings simply because he’s gay and spent time living on the streets when he’s had nowhere else to go. He’s been helped back on his feet by others and began volunteering as a way to give back. He sees a need and he does his level best to fill it. He readily urges people to become involved and make a difference in the lives of others.
Potts is most proud of the annual events he is involved in each summer. On July 1, the Second Annual Miss Americana Pageant, created by Veronika Electronika will be held at TRAX and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to a local charity supporting the LGBT+ community.
The annual Queeracanoeza will take place on Aug. 4. The trip down the Harpeth River is said by Potts as being a day of complete freedom, bonding, and literally the most fun ever. The event is 100% family and dog-friendly.
Potts ends his summer fun with his most cherished event, Bianca Paige Day. The event was established to remember and honor the legacy of The Pantomime Rage, Bianca Paige, one of Nashville’s most revered and cherished activists and queens. Bianca passed away in 2010 after a battle with lymphoma. In her time as a drag queen in the city, Bianca raised more than $1 million for HIV/AIDS research.
This year’s Bianca Paige Day festivities will be held at TRAX on Aug. 25, with the assistance of Ron Sanford Productions and the newly formed Bianca Paige Awareness Network. Nashville’s gay bars, entertainers, local businesses, and organizations join together each year to make this one of the city’s best and most fun LGBT+ fundraising events. The event includes drag shows, musical performances, comedy sets, and more.
Despite the many ways he helps others and support the local LGBT+ community, Potts remains humble. “I don’t feel that I need any recognition for the work that I do within our community, but I appreciate it to the fullest.”