Anu Iyer

Anu Iyer

Volunteer Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers They/Them/Theirs

Anuradha (Anu for short) is the Volunteer Coordinator at OUTMemphis and is working closely with Neal Holmes, Director of Community Services to create community partnerships and help best utilize our volunteers’ efforts.

“I was born in South India and moved to Nashville, TN when I turned 5. As a kid, I was known for my unrelenting curiosity and need to be outdoors as much as possible. Not much has changed. These attributes are most clearly reflected in my degree, a double-major in Anthropology/Sociology and Environmental Studies with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies from Rhodes College.” Anu’s first engagement with OUTMemphis was as a front desk volunteer, after which she began peer-facilitating for the GenQ Youth Group. Over the years, Anu has had extensive involvement with Memphis queer advocacy, including leading the Rhodes College GSA, volunteering with MidSouth Pride and Friends for Life, “and most importantly, stepping into self-exploration of my own sexuality and gender identities”.  

“I am proud to call myself a work-in-progress, a ph(r)ase that isn’t really allowed in a label-affixing world. I identify as queer and non-binary, for the time being, and I take deep comfort in knowing I am allowed to continue exploring those and other labels for as long as I need. I believe vulnerability to be a synonym for courage, and my personal contract to myself promises to take risks, remain authentic, and bring a growth mindset to every opportunity. Easier said than done, but that’s where the work-in-progress part comes into play.”

Anu hopes that her work as the  Volunteer Coordinator at OUTMemphis will bring folks within the LGBTQIA+ community and allies together in a safe, inclusive, compassionate environment. Her goals are to center intentionality behind community service, to ask what makes a good volunteer and how our facilities can be a desirable volunteer space, and to reinforce or forge relationships with community partners across Memphis.  

In her free time, you’ll find Anu reading books at Overton Park, spending way too much money at Goner Records or Electric Tiger Tattoo Studio, or Velcro-ed to her rescue pit, Peanut. She recently also discovered a hidden talent for portraiture painting over lockdown, which she is honing slowly but surely. You might also find Anu in the kitchen with her mom, from whom she still has so much to learn about South Indian cuisine. Arms deep in chappatti dough or grating their own coconuts is how their Sunday cooking lessons are spent, and she wouldn’t trade the memories and senses for anything else.

Contact: [email protected]

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