T.K. “Thunder Kellie” Hampton to receive Mark Manasco Nashville Pride Community Services Award

T.K. Hampton, who works as an HIV/AIDS facilitator for Street Works, will receive the Nashville Pride Mark Manasco Community Service Award during the Nashville Pride Festival June 23-24.

The Mark Manasco Award is presented annually to a community leader who demonstrates devotion to community services and equity in the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Street Works is a non-profit organization providing education, prevention and care to those affected by HIV/AIDS in Nashville.

Hampton, a former, long-term teacher in the Nashville Davidson County School District, is widely known throughout Middle Tennessee as an HIV/AIDS advocate. Diagnosed with the disease more than 20 years ago, Hampton has spent years advocating a healthy lifestyle for gay men.  

“When I was diagnosed in 1997, most people thought that you were at death’s door,” Hampton said. “I decided that I would spend the rest of my life living responsibly and teaching others to do so. ”  

Hampton has worked at Street Works for 2 years.

“There are many challenges that a black, gay man faces that other gay men do not, “ said Hampton. “When you add living with HIV/AIDS on to that stigma, it is extremely challenging. I have used my survival and the fact that I have a  full, rich and meaningful life to help and inspire others.”

Even before joining Street Works, Hampton volunteered as a mentor in the community, hosting workshops and programs on HIV/AIDS.

“This disease still disproportionately affects those in economically disadvantaged communities. I am one voice,  but I am a loud voice trying to help save others,” he added,

“We are proud of T.K. and the work that he does at Street Works and in the community to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDs,” said Sharon Hurt, Street Works Executive Director. “We already knew that he was a star. Now, the world is finding out.”

Hampton is founder and director of “You Shall LHiV  2 O”, a musical theatrical production that presents methods to promoting living healthy with HIV/Aids. The production has been presented at various community organizations and area churches.

“Part of my living is having frank and direct conversations about HIV/AIDS. I view it as an important  part of my life and a way for me to give back.”

Hampton recently received the Black Excellence Activism Award from Black Nashville Honors and the Live, Love, Lead Organization.  Both are student-based organizations at Tennessee State University.