Festival Committee Chair
John Perkins has lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast all of his life and currently lives in Waveland. He serves as Board Secretary and Festival Chair. John became an activist for the LGBTQ+ community due to the bullying he faced in school for being gay. This is something he wants to help end so no other child has to face the same discrimination.
In 2013, he co-founded The Rainbow Center, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group here on the coast. The Rainbow Center worked to bring change and support to South Mississippi. Since 2014, he has produced the Facebook page CAYA which stands for "Come As You Are." CAYA is a news and information page that supports and promotes diversity. Since 2015, he has served as Social Media Director for The Mississippi Stonewall Democrats, an LGBTQ+ political group.
John is a founding member of Gulf Coast Equality Council. He served as President of the organization from 2017-2019. During this time, under his leadership, the organization grew from an idea to become what is today, a driving force for LGBTQ+ equality here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This is something he is very proud of.
He has served as Festival Chair of Gulf Coast Equality Festival since its organization in 2017. This is a yearly event to support equality and diversity for the LGBTQ+ community and our allies. John and his committee members have put on very successful events each year. He hopes the festivals will be bigger and better.
John is very skilled in organizing and planning. He is always ready to help with any events of the council and with the community. He has taken part in events with The Campaign for Southern Equality, Mississippi Rising Coalition, HRC of Mississippi, and ACLU of Mississippi. Over the years he has helped organize, and taken part in, several major events for the LGBTQ+ community here in the state of Mississippi which include the following:
2013 We Do Campaign for Marriage Equality - Hattiesburg
2014 We Do Campaign for Marriage Equality - Jackson
2014 Waveland LGBTQ+ Resolution
2014 National Gay Blood Drive - Gulfport
2014 Steven Palazzo Marriage Equality Protest - Gulfport
2014 SB2681 Religious Freedom Bill Rally - Jackson
2014 We Are Rally Mississippi Religious Freedom Bill - Jackson
2016 Pulse Memorial - Biloxi
2016 HB1523 Rally Religious Freedom Bill - Gulfport
2016 HB1523 Rally Religious Freedom Bill - Jackson
2016 No Hate in Our State Rally - Bay St Louis
2016 Bay St Louis LGBTQ+ Resolution