KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – June is National Pride Month and we are celebrating with the ones who have a story to tell.

Aaron White, hairstylist at Culture Salon, is excited to be celebrating another year of Pride in East Tennessee.

White came out as gay to his friends and family 25 years ago in Knoxville. This was after he had lived in California and certain parts of Europe. White felt that Knoxville offered resources, good people, and acceptance, which is why he chose to unveil his true identify here.

Since then, White has become an advocate and alliance within the LGBTQ+ community. He encourages many to look past someone’s sexuality and focus on how they choose to live their life. “No one is ever going to see eye-to-eye, it’s unrealistic.” He understands the divide in our world and doing his part to alter the way we think and not see people for their labels.

Since he was a little boy, Aaron has always had a fascination for fashion, beauty, and cosmetics. White has turned his passion and love into a purpose. He has allowed Knoxville to enjoy the finer things in life as he organizes and directs various runway shows each year. The local response has been huge, with many leaving his shows feeling as if they weren’t even in Knoxville.

Aaron has single-handedly brought top luxury designers to Knoxville Fashion Weeks, and continues to keep strong relationships with the high-fashion world in New York, California, and even London.

Despite being in the fashion and beauty industry, Aaron says that being gay is not part of the picture. He says you can be anything you want to be despite your sexuality, because that is not what defines you. He believes everyone should celebrate pride because it is less about sexuality and more about community alliance.