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NASHVILLE November/December 2013




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Joey Amato Managing Editor Ben Rock Publisher

Estella Pan Book Reviewer Sebastian Fortino Business Editor A.J. Busé Business Correspondent Michael Burcham Business Writer Dan J. Groover Fitness Editor Mark Allyn Nimmo Food & Wine Editor John Winnett Life & Style Writer Matthew Grant, Kyle Kressin, Caitlin Mitchell Music Editor Ron Slomowicz Political Editor Jim Schmidt Arts & Entertainment Editor

Letter from the publisher The holiday season is upon us and this time of year always brings about plenty of emotions for all of us. Happiness, sadness, loneliness, and joy are only a few emotions one might feel as the holiday decorations become more and more abundant throughout retail outlets and homes in the area. Like many of you, I relocated to Nashville without any friends or family, so the holidays are always a bittersweet time for me. On one hand, I am happy to share this special time with my new friends; on the other, I don’t have the luxury of spending time with family. However, I am lucky to have a family that supports my career and lifestyle. Unfortunately for many LGBT individuals, this is not the case, and my heart always hurts for those who can’t be who they truly are when around family. Having lived in gay-friendly cities, such as New York, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale, I experienced a bit of a culture shock relocating to Tennessee and not being able to hold my partner’s hand in public without receiving some kind of ridicule or snarl from an onlooker. I used to take that sort of thing for granted but now appreciate it so much more when I have the opportunity to do so. On a recent vacation to Orlando, I noticed two women walking hand in hand at a mall, and I stared at them in shock because I had totally forgotten how commonplace this was outside of Tennessee. Nashville is progressing. Due to the support of Mayor Karl Dean, the LGBT community here can be a bit more open than in other parts of the state, but there is still a lot of work to be done before we can enjoy the luxuries our LGBT friends do elsewhere. I encourage you to support the organizations in Nashville and in Tennessee that are fighting every day to help make our city and state a place where anyone can hold another person’s hand regardless of sex, race, or nationality. This holiday season, instead of splurging on that $400 Gucci belt, consider donating to The Victory Fund, Human Rights Campaign, Tennessee Equality Project, Just Us, or one of the other wonderful nonprofit organizations in Nashville fighting to make our lives better. —Joey


Contributing Writers

Caitlin Bloodsworth, Shelby Dillard, Vanita Salisbury Blake Kniffin Sales Director Bruce Pittman Creative Assistant Michelle Kowalczyk content manger Ben Rock Creative Director


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t i e v e i l e B t ’ n a C I . . . e r e h t h Rig

Judy was right! Surprise and excitement, all wrapped up around awesome. It’s the St. Louis you didn’t know. From the coolest clubs in the Midwest to the best cuisine and culture you never expected. Pack for the city that The Advocate called “…the LGBT beacon of the Midwest.” See you soon. Check out our impressive packages at

table of contents


18 22 34 50


16 21 36 54


We believe that diversity shouldn’t mean _____, but rather the _______ that moves (division)


(right angle)




(point A to point B)

Differences don’t make us _____ or (less than)

______ to one another, instead they (not equal)

promote creativity, new ideas and push innovation through the changing _____. (times)








we serve is not about

reaching a _____ or ______ to make ______, (number)



it’s a pursuit __________ the bottom line. (greater than)

______ (equality)



just makes good sense { Fifth Third Bank. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.


Tired of failing at Work-Life Balance?

Try Work-Life Integration Instead! by Michael Burcham, PhD

I suppose somewhere on our planet there is a successful entrepreneur who spends as much time on his or her personal life as on the professional life, but I have yet to meet one. Having worked with (and coached) start-up entrepreneurs now for over a decade, I’m totally convinced these men and women will never achieve the “balance” that we so often read about. I know I won’t achieve it either. Having been an entrepreneur most of my life, I have often become totally consumed by my work. Every time I try to put “balance” back into my life, I found myself “out of sync.” Then, I discovered something really powerful, the fusion of the work and life was a much better option for me. For many people, work has two primary purposes: it is a source of income, and it is a source of “meaning” for their lives. I have found that many people consider the income-generating aspect of their work to be the most important, leaving the meaning part to become optional. When meaning is absent from our work, the only place we can find purpose and meaning is likely in our personal lives, so we look forward to evenings and weekends to fill the void that cannot be found at work. Howard Stevenson, a professor


who started the entrepreneurship program at the Harvard Business School adds this twist. He says we all struggle to live at least seven lives: the family self, the social self, the spiritual self, the physical self, the material self, the avocational self, and the career self. How does one possibly juggle all that without burning out? Add to those the pressure of starting a company—and you’re toast!

A New Paradigm: Work-Life Integration After spending a few days with me, several people have guessed that I have no work-life balance. And they’re right. I have completely abandoned the notion that work and life are two distinctly different things that need to be put on a scale and weighed out in some distinct proportion. Instead, I now use the term work-life integration. I’ve tended to follow this thought from Alain de Botton: “There is no such thing as worklife balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.” Over the past several years, I focused on the parts of my work that give me the greatest joy: teaching, helping someone start a business, coaching young CEOs, and investing. I enjoy my work so much I don’t even

consider it work. As a result, it’s easy to sacrifice some income, a hobby, or time when I’m doing what I love and finding meaning at the same time. I’ve learned to let go of the things I do not enjoy. I’ve purposefully integrated work and life in these ways. Time with Friends. I spend time with friends who have similar goals and aspirations that I have. We talk for hours about business models, the economy, and new ventures. I get lost in time. The work part of the conversation and the life part of the conversation become beautifully fused together because I thoroughly enjoy their company. The Causes I Believe In. I now support causes that help lift people out of their current situations, giving them a shot at creating meaning in their own lives through entrepreneurial endeavors. The fusion of the two allows me to give not just money but time and expertise as well. That’s far more gratifying than simply writing a check at another rubber-chicken dinner. Travel. I’ve found a way to fuse work and life with travel as well. Currently, I’m in Abu Dhabi for work, but I’m having an awesome time talking about entrepreneurship, seeing this beautiful part of the world, and making new friends.

My Family. Even my family is embracing the fusion of my work-life. I have purposely engaged my now-grown children in thinking about what makes them happy and their own paths toward a vocation—doing work they love—rather than simply finding a job. These are some of our best moments together. I use a tool I call my transformation map—a personal planning process that I’ve created to help me make good choices with my time while I work to further integrate my work-life. I’ve set quarterly goals for myself in what are the most important dimensions of my life. I purposefully work to see how I can link these activities to create as much meaning in my life as possible.

Interested in Your Own Work-Life Integration Plan? If the notion of integrating your work and life sounds somewhat appealing to you, here are a few good thoughts to get you started. Ask yourself if you really want the same things today that you wanted last year? Is the reason you started doing “this” (whatever this is) still valid? Most of us get into a routine, and we keep doing things that no longer have meaning. Michael Burcham, PhD, has been called the “Simon Cowell of startups.” As the founder and CEO of The Entrepreneur Center in Nashville, he screens dozens of new business ideas each week and has worked with everyone from a 10-yearold with a briefcase to a single mother with a dream, helping those with the best ideas achieve their goals while coaching others to further develop their aims.

2nd Qtr  

3rd Qtr  

4th Qtr  

My 2014  Goal  

Family &  Friends  

Bucket List  

Spiritual  Life  

1st Qtr  

Professional Skill  –Knowledge  

Causes I  Believe  In  

Work Goals  

Transformation Map

Start thinking about how your life will be perceived after it is over. What will be your legacy? Once you discover what’s truly meaningful and satisfying to you, letting go of the rest gets very easy. Build into your schedule time for the really important stuff—a family night, a date night, a course you want to take. If you don’t build it in, you’ll certainly fill the time with something. Spend some time asking yourself this question: What would you be doing with your life right now if you knew you wouldn’t fail? It’s a tough one, but it will get you thinking about making meaning. I honestly believe that life begins at the end of our comfort zone. Look at the past few years of accomplishments. Think about what you are most proud of getting done. Also, think about the things you wish you’d spent more time doing. Cut out the things that don’t add value to your life. You’ll find they were just noise, and you won’t miss them at all.

Try to work on your own transformation map for 2014. Mine is divided into six dimensions of my life; use it as an example. For the year, I set a measurable goal for each of these 6 areas. It gives me 6 very specific things I need to work on to continue to create meaning. I try to make these as complimentary as possible, all moving me toward my larger goal for the year. It doesn’t have to be perfect— the tool is simply a guide to allow you to infuse purpose into your work, meaning into your life, and start thinking about your own legacy.

Last Thoughts Finding meaning is a deeply personal quest. By linking how we gain fulfillment and purpose in our lives from our work and how we gain meaning and happiness from other parts of our lives, we can begin to understand ourselves a bit better. We are all different, so make your own path.

Advocating for Same Sex Partners Financial and Legal Issues • Estate Protection • Personal Protection • Income Protection • Tax Protection • Investment Protection An industry leader in educating clients, peers, and adult learners in estate planning and wealth transfer, Frank C. Weightman, PH.D., CEP, is a strong advocate for the Nashville LGBT community. His office is located at 341 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 210, Franklin, TN 37067, 615.261.4632. Securities and advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC. Radian Partners is not affiliated with FSC or registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor.


Chamber Chat by Ben Rock Fresh off of the success of Tastefully Unpredictable, the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce is excited to implement more new programs and benefits for its members. “Chamber leaders have designed four programs that will help meet the needs of a growing, diverse membership,” said Lisa Howe, the organization’s executive director. “We are also in the process of updating and automating the renewal process.” In January, Chamber members will receive their NLGBTCC Partner Perks Card. This card will offer discounts from members who are President level or above. Boardroom and networking level members can still offer discounts to other members; however, those discounts will still be found on the Chamber’s website, “The idea of the Partner Perks Card came about because the Chamber has restaurant and retail members who cannot attend early evening networking events or Lunch & Learns,” Howe said. “We know there is a strong desire for Chamber members to be loyal to one another, but having discounts listed only on the website does not make that information readily accessible,” she continued. “Partner Perks benefits can be accessible whether you carry the physical card or download the app in your smart phone. Not only is the Perks Card a tool that will drive business to members, it will also allow the company who is offering the discount to measure its return on investment. The Chamber knows it is important for members to be able to measure their success.”

Developing relationships with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation, The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, and other convention hosts has allowed the LGBT Chamber to provide its members the opportunity to brand themselves in a visitor’s guide that will be available in both downtown visitors’ center locations. These guides will also be given directly to some convention attendees. For example, an LGBT visitor’s guide will be placed in the welcome packet of attendees of the Arts Leadership Convention in April 2014. The LGBT Chamber of Commerce is also developing a Corporate Partner program for larger-revenue members who want to pay one lump sum for greater access to events, the Board of Directors meetings, and the Chamber’s partnerships with influential community organizations and leaders. “The LGBT Chamber continues our deliberate work with the Supplier Diversity Initiative empowered by Waller Law,” Howe said. “The Chamber is working on both sides of the supply and procurement processes to inform LGBT-owned businesses about the advantages and process of being certified. We are informing local and state government and local businesses about the advantages of having a fully inclusive supply chain. “LGBT Chamber leadership is developing relationships with procurement managers who are interested in adding LGBT to their checklists of minority suppliers and those who already do. Providing examples of best practices has been easy with the latest developments at the Small Business Administration and in California with the Transbay Transit Center Project. We are very early into our outreach and have had great experience with Nissan, Cracker Barrel, and the State of Tennessee so far.” Howe encourages Nashville businesses that are at least 51% LGBT owned to contact the Chamber for more information. “The NLGBTCC is committed to serving its members,” Howe said. “The growth, evolution, and improvement of our Chamber is not slowing down any time soon.”





The Nashville Entrepreneur Center 41 Peabody Street, Nashville, TN • 615.873.1267 •

politics While the fight for LGBT rights is gaining ground at both the state and federal levels, LGBT youths remain vulnerable to harassment in school.

Anti-Bullying Bill FACES A HOUSE FIGHT by Santiago Melli-Huber

In 2010, following a prominent string of suicides by gay, bullied teens, Representative Jared Polis (D-Colo) and Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) in the House and Senate, respectively. At the time, the bill failed to make it out of committee, but the two have reintroduced the SNDA during the current legislative session. Modeled after Title IX, the SNDA would add gender identity to federal education nondiscrimination law. Specifically, it would protect students from violence, bullying, and harassment and prevent exclusion from federally assisted educational programs. It would also offer remedies to such discrimination, including a loss of federal funding and a legal cause of action for victims. Despite the bill’s previous failure and opposition by a Republican-controlled House, Brian Branton, Polis’s chief of staff, is optimistic for its passage. He is focused on attaching the SNDA to a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). “With the help of Senator Franken,” said Branton, “we have been successful in attaching it to the Senate version of the bill. As ESEA reauthorization continues to move through Congress, we will continue to ensure that SNDA remains a part of this legislation.” When the bill was first introduced in 2010, Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, said it was “a violation of those kids who want to express opposition to LGBT opinions or behavior.” “It does not violate religious freedom or freedom of expression,” said Branton. He emphasized that the bill “would provide protections for LGBT students and ensure that all students have access to public education in a safe environment.” The bill has over 150 cosponsors in the House and 37 cosponsors in the Senate. President Obama endorsed the SNDA in 2012.

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen


“We have to do everything we can to eliminate bullying and harassment,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, echoing Obama’s sentiments. “We have to create climates that are free of fear where our young children grow up safe...and I will continue to support [Polis’s] efforts.”

Representative Jared Polis

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Though the bill does not protect against bullying outside of school or online, Duncan went on to emphasize the importance of the role parents have in monitoring their children’s behavior.

NAACP, and the Human Rights Campaign. It also has bipartisan support, notably from Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Ros-Lehtinen is a vocal supporter of LGBT rights and is currently the only Republican member of the LGBT Equality Congress.

“It’s so important that we, as parents, adults, and educators, are aware of what our children are doing,” said Duncan. “It’s not just physical bullying; it’s cyber bullying,” he said. “When you’re seeing things on the Internet that are so damaging, so harmful, that folks reach a level of depression and, frankly, desperation, they’re willing to hurt themselves, that’s way beyond anything that begins to be acceptable. So we, as parents, have to hold ourselves responsible.” The SNDA has received support from dozens of organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers, the

“It’s frightening that so many kids feel let down by the very adults who are there to educate and to protect them,” she said, speaking before a House Rules Committee hearing. “We have federal law that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, gender, or religion, but... we don’t do anything to curb discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, so the federal law is failing LGBT students.” The future of the SNDA is anything but certain. It faces a steep battle against the GOP-controlled House. However, public support for LGBT rights continues to rise, giving supporters hope for the SNDA’s passage.



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photo by Ace Photography

countless brides and grooms. Upton and Vavouris cater between 30 and 40 events a month, but their services offer far more than food alone.

Savor the Flavor PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND LIFE by Caitlin Mitchell

Joelle Upton and Eleni Vavouris knew they wanted more than a life in corporate chefdom, and in 2005, this dream became a reality when they founded Savor the Flavor Catering. The two new chef owners previously had good, comfortable jobs in corporate kitchens, but they desired the creativity and independence of their own company. They knew that forming their own business was risky, but it felt like the natural path. For Upton, the choice was simple. “We had to make the decision to go all in or stay mediocre,” she said. “The leap from job security and benefits was scary, but it was honestly an easy decision. We were both ready to be our own bosses and have creative freedom.” Since then, Savor the Flavor has become one of Nashville’s premier catering companies with clients ranging from Vanderbilt University and Mayor Karl Dean to


“Some companies just drop off food, but I don’t think that’s truly catering,” Upton explained. “Other companies, like us, are more about the entire experience. Our clients like the fact that we can be a one-stop shop if they need it. Coordinating the rentals, flowers, alcohol, etc., takes the stress off our clients and allows us to set the tone for the event.” Vavouris works as the executive chef while Upton takes care of the “front of house” presentation, but both women are skilled on both sides of the kitchen and are present at each event they cater. Having been in a relationship for twelve years, the couple had to learn how to run a business together. “It’s awesome to be able to work together and have someone who truly understands exactly what you are going through—joys and stresses,” Upton said. “It also presents the challenge of being around the other person 24 hours a day. No matter how much you love someone, there are days when you don’t like them. Somehow, we make it work. We laugh a lot and really do enjoy each other’s company. We’ve learned how to resolve issues quickly and move on.” Along with their busy catering schedule, Upton and Vavouris also offer a lineup of cooking classes and find joy in sharing their knowledge with their clients. “My favorite thing is when people realize that amazing food is not as hard or as intimidating as it seems,” Upton said. “I love seeing their faces when they try the food.”

Eleni Vavouris & Joelle Upton

photo by Barry Noland

With 10- to 18-hour workdays, catering can be a very stressful and tiring business; however, the women of Savor the Flavor are very clear about the satisfaction they get from the business. “I love that every day, every event is a different challenge,” Upton said. “The food, the location, and the people are ever changing. I love being creative with the food and the setup, and mostly, I love when the client is thrilled with our work. It makes all the blood, sweat, tears, and bruises worth it.”


From Iron Chef to wife to mom, Cat Cora is one of the hardest working women in the culinary world. Since high school, the Mississippi native knew she wanted to be a chef and made her TV debut in 1999 as co-host of Food Network’s Melting Pot with Rocco DiSpirito. She went on to host a handful of shows on the network before becoming the first woman in history to be granted the honorary designation of Iron Chef. In May 2012, Cora stepped out of her chef ’s jacket into a new role as co-host alongside Curtis Stone for the new Bravo series Around the World in 80 Plates. The two hosts traveled with 12 chefs competing in a culinary race across 10 countries in 44 days. Life was not always so easy for Cat Cora. Before beginning her studies at the Culinary Institute of America, she admits she was bullied in high school.

Cat Cora



“Everybody has their reasons for bullying others,” said Cora, who lives with her wife and four children in Santa Barbara, California. “Usually bullies have been bullied themselves at some point. They aren’t happy with themselves and more than likely this is what causes them to bully others.” Surprisingly, Cora was not bullied for being gay but for being part of a popular cheerleading group in high school. She found strength and support from her family and urges others facing similar issues to do the same. “I want everybody to know that it really does get better. Seek out a friend, parent, or relative for support,” she said. “Don’t internalize it. Many people contemplate suicide—and I’ve been there—but don’t take the easy way out.”

Cora came out as an openly gay woman in the early 1980s when the education and acceptance of LGBT individuals was extremely lacking. Being of Greek decent, her parents were a bit concerned with her sexuality because they believed she would never get married or have children. However, Cora proved them wrong when she and her wife, Jennifer, entered into a domestic partnership in 2000. They are now the proud parents of four lovely children: Thatcher, Nash, Zoran, and Caje. In an interview with the Huffington Post in 2009, Cora explained the intricacy of her and Jennifer’s pregnancies. “Jennifer carried my embryos, and I carried hers. It’s like surrogating, but obviously all of our kids are equal,” she said, also explaining that all four children are from the same donor. “Being a mom is truly my greatest accomplishment!” Although they have been together for over a decade, Cat and Jennifer only recently got married. “We had a big beautiful wedding in Napa Valley where we both wore wedding dresses,” she said. “We always felt married, but now we formally made it legal. It felt amazing.” Cora is the author of three books, Classics with a Twist, Cooking from the Hip, and Cat Cora’s Kitchen, and she has also started her own line of cookware. Furthermore, she owns multiple restaurants around the globe, including The Ocean Restaurant at the S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa off Singapore. The 63-seat restaurant is inside the world’s largest oceanarium and offers breathtaking views of deep-sea wildlife from every table.

If anyone really wants to get the best Cat Cora experience, she recommends going to Kouzzina by Cat Cora located at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. “It’s an absolutely beautiful building with great food, great service, and a sophisticated yet inclusive atmosphere.” Cora is also the founder of Chefs for Humanity, an organization committed to promoting nutrition education, hunger relief, and emergency and humanitarian aid to reduce hunger around the world.

Cat in Ethiopia

photos courtesy of ID PR

“I felt like I was doing a lot for charity, but there wasn’t an organization out there run by a chef to help fight hunger,” she said. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Cora and her team were some of the first responders to help those in need. “I wanted to create the Doctors Without Borders for the culinary world. Events like Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the earthquakes in Haiti brought devastation to many. Helping to ensure immediate and reliable access to water, food, and nutrition is one way Chefs for Humanity provides help to others in time of need.” Cora is no stranger to Nashville. She has visited the city on numerous occasions, serving as celebrity chef at a recent CMT Awards after party at the Hutton Hotel. “There are a lot of great restaurants popping up in Nashville right now. I can’t wait to return and go on a culinary tour,” she said. In the meantime, you can catch Cat Cora on season 13 of Iron Chef America on the Food Network. Cat with Jennifer and their children



photo courtesy of Southern Living

Sometimes your path in life isn’t at all what you think it will be. Take Jay Qualls, for example. The West Tennessee native and Fairview High School graduate had a long and successful career in health care management, beginning as a medical tech at age 20 and working his way up the leadership ladder. It was a job he loved and a career path he thought he would never leave—until the day he was let go due to a staff reduction. That sent Qualls into an understandable depression that lasted for months. Then one day, his former partner, Will Langston, sat him up, looked him in the eye, and asked a very important question, “If you could do anything in the world that would make you happy, what would it be?” Qualls’s response was “I want to bake cakes.” That figurative kick in the ass changed his life forever. It all began in 1992 when Qualls baked and decorated his first cake to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday, setting up the annual tradition that would later become his obsession. In 2005, at age 36—incidentally, the same age as Martha Stewart when she started her catering business—Qualls opened Maples Deli & Bakery near the square in downtown Murfreesboro, with no experience in cooking, baking, or running a restaurant. However, sometimes passion and determination trump experience, and Maples became a local success with its delicious soups and sandwiches, yummy cakes, and a decadent Lord Have Mercy bar containing 15 ingredients. Qualls soon realized, though, that something had to give; the hard work and long hours of

running a restaurant were taking their toll. He knew he needed to renew his focus on wedding cake design, but he wasn’t content with just baking pretty cakes for pretty brides. “I wanted to create a full experience for the bride with fully decorated displays, mood lighting, real china, silverware and glassware,” he explained, wanting the brides-to-be to have a full sensory experience that would mimic their actual wedding receptions, right there in his shop. “They could touch it, smell it, taste it, experience it.” It was the first of its kind in Middle Tennessee, and it rocked the wedding cake industry in this area.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT His attention to detail and personalized design soon brought Qualls national attention, something he says was unexpected. In 2009, Qualls got a call from the staff at Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. They had seen his web site and wanted to feature one of his designs in the January 2010 15th anniversary cake issue, alongside some of the most respected designers in the country. “That’s where I learned all about professional photography and the importance of presentation,” Qualls said. “I then used that in promoting my business.” Qualls soon found himself being cast for the premiere season of Cake Boss: Next Great Baker on TLC, making it all the way to the final four of the elimination competition show. This appearance, supported by his entertaining personality, led to him being cast in the upcoming second season of The Taste on ABC. This notoriety also led

Jay Qualls CAKE BAKER AND DREAM MAKER by A.J. Busé to him being named one of the Top 100 Cake Designers in Brides magazine and being featured on the cover of the fall 2012 issue of Southern Living Weddings.

and fondant tools to place his focus on teaching.


Along with traveling nationwide to teach and inspire others, Qualls is now busy pitching his own TV show ideas, exploring endorsement options, and considering his own line of cake products and accessories. His focus is on helping cake designers and other small business owners be their best.

Remember the question about life’s path? After starting a successful cake business, being featured in national publications and on national television shows, designing personal cakes for celebrities like Jo Dee Messina, Kelly Pickler, Martina McBride, Hillary Scott, Patrick Carney, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert, and even creating the Sweet 16 birthday cake for Duck Dynasty’s Sadie Robertson, you might think Qualls would be set in his career as a well-known wedding cake designer for many years. Not so. He has put away his icing bags

“I want to inspire people to find their passion and be good at it,” he said.

“I live a rigid, blessed, charmed life,” Qualls quipped.

To see Jay Qualls and other contestants from the first season of Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, visit next-great-baker. For information about The Taste on ABC, visit http://abc.


Cyndi Lauper BANDS, BRANDS, AND BROADWAY by Joey Amato

Cyndi Lauper is undoubtedly one of the most successful women in the music industry. She has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and holds a countless number of awards, including Grammys, Tonys, and Emmys. Now, with a hit Broadway musical, Lauper is on top of the world...again! It’s somewhat hard to imagine that the bubbly young woman who only wanted to have fun in the 1980s has become a media titan, earning respect from industry peers and critics alike. Lauper’s debut album, She’s So Unusual, spawned five top 10 singles and earned her the two top female vocalist awards presented at the American Music Awards in 1985 along with Best New Artist at the Grammys that year. In the years to follow, Lauper collaborated with international superstars, including Sarah McLachlan, Shaggy, and Jeff Beck, and toured the country with Cher. In March 2010, Lauper appeared on Celebrity Apprentice, ultimately coming in sixth in the competition. During this time, she was also promoting her Memphis Blues album, which remained in the number one spot on the Billboard Blues Album charts for 14 consecutive weeks. Given her busy schedule, Lauper said her biggest challenge has always been time.


“That’s my biggest struggle...not having enough of it. I work and travel so much, I just don’t get to be with my family as much as I want to,” she explains, referring to her marriage with David Thornton and their son, Declyn Wallace Thornton. Having always been a strong advocate for LGBT equality, Lauper cofounded True Colors Tour for Human Rights in 2007, sponsored by Logo. Attendees received purple “Erase Hate” wristbands from the Matthew Shepard Foundation and enjoyed performances by Deborah Harry, Erasure, and Margaret Cho. A dollar from every

ticket sold was donated to the Human Rights Campaign. The following year the tour grew and featured more of Lauper’s friends and LGBT allies, including The B-52s, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the Indigo Girls, and Deborah Cox. In April 2010, Lauper’s True Colors Fund launched the Give a Damn Campaign to encourage straight people and the LGBT community to stand up together against discrimination and to highlight the problems that LGBT students face in school

from verbal and physical bullying and harassment. “Be yourself first and foremost. Be proud of who you are,” she says, offering strong words of encouragement for those experiencing any form of bullying. “If you are struggling, seek out someone that you trust, be it a family member, a teacher, a guidance counselor—someone you feel comfortable with. If there is not anyone like that in your life, then you can call the National Runaway Safeline at 1 (800) RUNAWAY or the Trevor Lifeline at (866) 488-7386 if you need immediate help. There are people here to help you. You are not alone.” After she learned that up to 40 percent of all homeless youth are gay or transgender, Lauper and the True Colors Fund launched the Forty to None Project. “I was shocked and pretty furious. These kids are getting

photo by Gavin Bond


photo courtesy of Fly-Life Inc.

kicked or forced out of their homes at an alarming rate,” she says. “After really examining the problem, we learned how we can hopefully fix it, so we start ed the Forty to None Project, the first national organiza tion whose sole focus is to help bring an end to this epidemic. From helping to get the Runaway and

Homeless Youth Inclusion Act introduced in Congress to helping homeless youth providers across the country provide safe and affirming care for gay and transgender youth, we are working to shake things up and really help these kids. We need all of the help we can get, and people should check out to learn how they can get involved.” Lauper has been re-imagining her Give a Damn Campaign, which has been helping people, especially those in the straight community, become informed and involved in advancing equality. The campaign just passed the 100,000 member mark this summer and is preparing to relaunch this winter. Along with writing her simply titled book A Memoir, Lauper has also expanded her brand by experimenting in different media. “I have been very fortunate that I have been able to act, write a

book, and score a musical,” she says. “I never set out to diversify my brand, but I always set out to test my boundaries and go after things I really am passionate about doing.” Based on the motion picture and co-written with Harvey Fierstein, Lauper’s musical, Kinky Boots, is about a struggling shoemaker and his drag queen business partner. The original production of Kinky Boots opened in Chicago in October 2012 and made its Broadway debut on April 4, 2013. The musical garnered 13 Tony nominations and earned 6 awards. “Harvey Fierstein got in touch with me, and I was in after just one phone call,” Lauper explains. “I have always wanted to work with Harvey but never thought it would be something as big as a Broaway musical. We felt pretty good about it when we first started on the project. We were hoping it would do well and are just over the moon on how the audiences have responded.” After 30 years in the business, most artists become stagnant, but Lauper has no plans of slowing down. In the early stages of a new music project slated for release later next year, she has found ways to reinvent herself and reach out to new audiences while maintaining her close relationship with her fans that grew up listening to her music. “I can’t believe, after all these years, ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ is still an anthem...” she says. For more on Lauper’s projects, visit

1501 Ensley Blvd 12:00 PM - 3:00 AM 615.742.8856


Victory Fund Champagne Brunch

photos by Joey Amato



cookbook FEATURE



• 2 bunches green onions • 1 can black-eyed peas • 1 can black beans • 2 cans shoepeg corn • 1 can Ro-Tel Tomatoes, undrained • 2 cans petite-diced tomatoes • 1 small purple onion • Zesty Italian dressing

Directions: courtesy of Bruce Pittman Inc.

Mix all ingredients together. Add Italian dressing to make desired consistency; if you leave in the refrigerator overnight, it will become more liquid in consistency, so don’t add too much dressing at first. This salsa is better after it has had several hours to allow flavors to mingle.

photo by MyL Pac for MPack Photography


Burger Up's Jack Daniel's Maple Ketchup

Ingredients: ½ cup Jack Daniel’s whiskey 2 cups ketchup ½ cup high-quality maple syrup

Directions: Over low heat in a saucepan, reduce whiskey by ¼ or less (the alcohol burns off*). Remove from heat and cool. Next, mix ketchup and maple syrup in with the reduced Jack Daniels; stir well before storing or serving. *Use caution when cooking with alcohol; it is highly flammable.

photo by MyL Pac for MPack Photography


"A Devil of an Egg"

cookbook FEATURE

with Benton’s Bacon Jam


Benton's Bacon Jam

• 24 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled • 1 cup mayonnaise • 4 tbsp sweet pickle relish • 4 tsp prepared dijon mustard • Salt and pepper, for taste • 1 tbsp roasted garlic

Yields 2–3 cups


• 1 1/2 pounds sliced Benton’s bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces • 2 medium yellow onions, diced small • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled • 1/2 cup cider vinegar • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar • 1/4 cup Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup • 3/4 cup brewed coffee

Directions: In a large sauté pan, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine. Cook on medium heat in a pan, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, about 15–20 minutes. Once the bacon mixture is complete, remove from a pan and store in a mason jar.


Directions: Halve the eggs. Remove yolks and place in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients into the food processor and pulse until combined and smooth.Place the yolk mixture into a piping bag and pipe the yolk mixture into the hollowed out part of the egg. Top with Bacon Jam. Available at Mason’s at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

S R E T a w N h A Jo mas t s i r h C

This critically-acclaimed one-man show from

JohN waTERS (Pink Flamingos, hairspray, a Dirty Shame)

pokes fun at the holiday season with adult-appropriate humor, putting the X in Xmas!


8:00 p.m.

On Sale Now



301 6Th avENuE NoRTh, NaShvillE


W wine

winter wines by John Winnett Through the window panes light flakes gently fall onto mounds of bright white snow. You shiver as the feeling of coldness wraps your body. You know a glass of warm, hot cocoa would make things better, and yet you really yearn for a glass of wine instead. Selecting the right winter wine is not as much about the vintage itself but rather how well it pairs with food and the surrounding temperature or weather. During the winter, we introduce heartier food options likes stews, soups, casseroles, and roasts, so you should look for the same depth and richness in your winter wines—usually deep, strong reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Zinfandel.

Seghesio Zinfandel Alexander Valley Home Ranch 2009 ($38) The complex blend of blackberry, raspberry, and dark cherry in this Zinfandel will awaken and tingle your taste buds with every sip. A hint of cherry pie with smoky cracked pepper at the finish will leave your palate eager for another.

Januik Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2008 ($30) This Cabernet Sauvignon’s toasty oak undertone blends perfectly with the rich notes of plum, blackberry, cocoa, and black currant. If you think you tasted crème brûlée at the finish, you may be close. A warm and savory finish with a slight hint of sweet vanilla is to be expected.

Dehlinger Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2008 ($50) With deep aromas of plum and red currents, this full-bodied Pinot Noir incorporates a perfect blend of Asian spices, bitter cherry, and black raspberry sweetness. Every sip incorporates intense bursts of flavor with a slight floral finish.


Efeste Syrah Yakima Valley Jolie Bouche Boushey Vineyard 2008 ($36) This Syrah will take your taste buds on a roller coaster ride from a takeoff of plum and pomegranate to a finish line of dark chocolate, coffee, and char. The wine is a perfect balance of sweet and savory.

A Simple Winter Entrée Red Wine Pairing Guide Duck—Red Burgundy, Tempranillo & Zinfandel Ham—Beajolais Nouveau, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo & Zinfandel Prime Rib—Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Tempranillo & Zinfandel Turkey—Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Syrah & Zinfandel If white wine is a must for you, consider Gewurztraminer, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc, or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Ten Great Wines under $25

1) Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel Ribera del Duero de Restia Crianza Selected Harvest 2004 ($18) 2) Georges Duboeuf Morgon Jean Descombes 2009 ($16) 3) Schild Shiraz Barossa 2010 ($20) 4) Can Blau Montsant Blau 2009 ($12) 5) Eberle Syrah Paso Robles Steinbeck Vineyard 2010 ($24) 6) Romero & Miller Rioja Rentas de Fincas Reserva 2005 ($18) 7) Domaine de l’Olivette Bandol 2008 ($17) 8) Château Tanunda Shiraz Barossa Grand Barossa 2008 ($18) 9) Descendientes de J. Palacios Bierzo Pétalos 2009 ($22) 10) Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2010 ($24)


Music City Center 615.254.6744 217 A. Sixth Ave. North Nashville TN

The Pinnacle at Symphony Place - 615.259.0444 150 Third Ave. South (Main Lobby) Nashville TN



outcentral HOSTS EXHIBITION by Estella Pan


OutCentral Cultural Center is excited to present a solo art exhibition featuring paintings by Nashville artist Chasen Igleheart, running through December 14 with closing reception from 7 to 9 p.m. that Saturday. Viewings are available during normal business hours, Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. Chasen is interested in where process can lead and how reality extends our ideas. “In my work, this is both freedom and limitation,” he said. “Using exploratory techniques and aesthetic solutions, my making becomes thinking. I discover my own story and awareness, pulling inspiration from my travels to the Middle East and Asia, as well as my upbringing in the Southern cultures of the United States. I relate to other living organisms as having their own histories and stories and find solace in the convergent relationships between them.”

Symbiosis (right detail)


Chasen recently graduated from Western Kentucky University and works as an educator in the Martin Art Quest interactive gallery at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts. He has shown works in different parts of the United States and several local galleries. Last fall, he exhibited a solo show at 40 AU gallery in The Arcade and is featured in the upcoming Artist Spotlight for Gallery One this spring.


Filmmaker and cult icon John Waters will bring an unforgettable night of holiday mischief to Nashville when his critically acclaimed one man show, A John Waters Christmas, plays Nashville’s historic War Memorial Auditorium on December 11.

John Waters

PUTTING THE ‘X’ IN ‘XMAS’ by Joey Amato

“I always love visiting Nashville,” Waters mentioned. “I have some wonderful friends here. It’s great to get a taste of the city every time I visit. The people are so amazing.” In his show, Waters pokes fun at the holiday season with adult-appropriate humor, effectively “putting the ‘X’ in ‘Xmas’,” developing a show for the open-minded and slightly left-of-center audience. “I already have my Christmas material written. I’ve been doing this for five or six years now, so I try to change it up every year,” he said. Waters loves to go on the road around the holidays and compares himself to Santa Claus, bringing the gift of laughter and joy to audiences around the country. Waters is a native of Baltimore and gained much success for his now-classic Broadway musical, Hairspray, in 1988. Claiming his playful nicknames “Pope of Trash” and “Prince of Puke,” he maintains his image through his filmmaking and his personal presentation. Regarded as a shocking entertainer, Waters carefully chooses his material and exploits it through a dirty lens. “It’s my obsession with Christmas: what I want for Christmas, what you should want, how to handle every holiday disaster,” Waters said.

photo courtesy of TPAC


His rapid-fire monologue explores and explodes the traditional holiday rituals and traditions as he shares his religious fanaticism

for Santa Claus, and an unhealthy love of real-life holiday horror stories. Delving into his passion for lunatic exploitation, Christmas movies, and the unhealthy urge to remake all his own films into seasonal children’s classics, the Pope of Trash promises his show will be like no other. Waters, an avid supporter of LGBT rights, is also a highly accomplished writer and photographer. He has published two volumes of his journalistic exploits, one screenplay collection, and a great big book of pictures he took of his television. His latest book, Carsick, recounts his hitchhiking adventure across the United States. Beginning in his home state, Waters crossed the country hopping from car to car, crossing paths with the likes of 20-year-old Myersville, Maryland councilman Brett Bidle and rock band Here We Go Magic before ending up in San Francisco. Of course, Waters is most wellknown for breaking boundaries of acceptable filmmaking. Drugs, queers, abortion, religion—nothing is sacred in his field of vision. When asked about it, he said, “Secretly, I think that all my films are politically correct, though they appear not to be. That’s because they’re made with a sense of joy.” For a man much in the public eye, Waters is the first to admit that he is a bit overexposed. “I want to be harder to reach,” he said. “Let the public think they know everything about me. I like to keep some secrets to myself.” However, it is no secret that Waters’s goal with his show is to lift people’s sprits. “Christmas time is a time when you are either really up or really down, so I encourage everyone to forget their problems, stop whatever they are doing for the day, and come see the show.” For tickets, go to www.wmarocks. com.


Kayne Gillaspie MAKING IT WERQ by Santiago Melli-Huber

Many people know Kayne Gillaspie as the popular, red-haired Project Runway contestant famous for his gowns. A top-five designer in season three, Gillaspie is perhaps best remembered for designing the evening gown for Tara Conner as she represented the United States in the 2006 Miss Universe pageant. Flash forward seven years, and Gillaspie has established his women’s wear brand, Johnathan Kayne, in Nashville. While remaining true to his evening wear specialty, Gillaspie has expanded his reach to include lingerie and shoe lines. “Before I was on Project Runway, I had a clothing store in Oklahoma,” said Gillaspie. “At that point, I was just selling other designers’ things in my store and making one-of-a-kind custom pieces, so I wasn’t selling my pieces in anyone else’s retail store. “After Project Runway season three, I ended up designing a small collection of evening gowns that I made... and ended up selling to about 30 stores.” From there, Gillaspie was hired to design for two companies: Wow Prom, a prom company, and Benjamin Walk, a formal footwear brand. He no longer has a retail store to call his own, but his dresses can be found in about 400 stores across the United States and in 11 other countries, including the Nashville stores Glitz Bridal, Petals and Lace, and Stanton Adcock. His shoes, on the other hand, are in about 3,000 stores and around 40 countries.

photo courtesy of Kayne


He reflects on his style from his first time on Project Runway as including “over-the-top gowns,” and since

then, he’s focused on tweaking his designs to sell to the masses without diluting his aesthetic. He describes his collection as geared towards a fashion-forward, feminine customer who is unafraid to stand out. Recently, he hired Joshua McKinley, a fellow Project Runway: All Stars designer, to collaborate on a collection. According to Gillaspie, it is the first time two Project Runway alums have done so. Gillaspie describes the collection as “fashion-forward, elegant, and edgy” and geared towards a 25- to 45-yearold demographic. While he alludes to timeless pieces that women of almost any age can wear, he qualifies it as a “Real Housewives-type collection.” He hopes to work with additional Project Runway contestants in the future. Venturing into ready-to-wear, Gillaspie is currently working on a small collection of jersey separates, which he plans to launch next year. He hopes to include more ready-to-wear clothes in his collection in the future. He referenced Vera Wang as a role model, citing her prominence in an überniche market of bridal wear while also expanding into other

areas, such as ready-to-wear, home decor, and fragrance. Aside from growing in the fashion industry, Gillaspie is taking a stab at starring in his own reality show. Working with Nuyorican Productions, Jennifer Lopez’s production company, he filmed a pilot, which VH1 bought. The show focuses on Gillaspie and his family. He describes his father as “one of the biggest rednecks you’ll ever meet in your life” and the show itself as “a mix between Duck Dynasty and The Kardashians.” By the time of publication, no decision had been made whether the show would be picked up for series. He says the show establishes him as the “go-to red carpet designer of the South.” Underlining this sentiment, Gillaspie highlighted some of his upcoming red carpet contributions, including dresses worn to the CMA Awards on Wednesday, November 6, by Maggie Rose, Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square, and others. Despite reaching for more national prominence for himself and his Johnathan Kayne brand, Gillaspie expressed pride in his Southern roots and continues to design for the demographic he knows and loves.

ART Name: Clayton Reynolds Age: 33 Medium: Colored Pencil and Acrylic on Canvas What made you want to become an artist? From the time I was a child to the present day as an artist, I always paid attention to details and pattern. Throughout the years, I have gone through phases, some that I would consider collective hobbies along with my journey into the art world, from nostalgia, design, geometric pattern, and dimension. The beauty, admiration, and symbolism is what has always attracted me to painting.

Where is your work exhibited? Currently, you can view my work at the Tennessee Art League and Gallery and Canvas Lounge.

What has been your biggest obstacle in life? One of the biggest challenges that I have endured and conquered over the last decade is having the talent that is required to gain exposure in the art world. This has led to numerous exhibition opportunities. It takes time for one’s creativity and fine arts career to take effect. For some, it may take months, others even years, but I am proud to say as a fine artist that I knew that the visual arts would be my calling. By planning my intuitive options as to how I would use my skills, I knew that someday it would lead to success.

What is your vision for next year? As a visual artist, I am looking forward to new marketing opportunities in regard to selling my artwork both publicly and through digital sales. In addition, I would like to begin showcasing my work not only in the greater Nashville area, but in other cities both nationally and possibly internationally.


photo courtesy of Clayton Reynolds

How do you draw inspiration? As far as subject matter that influences my creativity, I consider exotic and unusual subjects, such as animals, botany, human form, and even food, as a spectacular and unique way to show my desirability. Color and pattern have always drawn my eye. By covering the picture plane, it has allowed me to see more than just one form of subject matter but rather several assorted objects, much like the “Where’s Waldo?” pattern of a quilt or puzzle that draws the eye to move around. It can be challenging and sometimes difficult for the eye to focus from all different directions in the work itself. My patterns are in a way like solving a scientific or mathematical problem, it allows both the artist and viewer to think on different or similar applied, conceptual, and spatial levels.

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Rockwell &

30 Americans

OPENING AT THE FRIST by Estella Pan Triple Self-Portrait by Norman Rockwell

Bird on Money by Jean-Michel Basquiat


photos courtesy of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts will simultaneously present two stellar exhibitions. The first, 30 Americans, is an exhibition surveying works by many of the nation’s leading African-American artists. Often provocative and challenging, the exhibition explores how artists relate their own sense of self to ideas within history, popular culture, and contemporary mass media central to American society. 30 Americans includes more than 75 works by 31 emerging and established African-American artists working within a variety of mediums, from painting and sculpture to photography and video. The exhibition offers a dynamic and thought-provoking intergenerational dialogue by presenting well-known and influential figures, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Glen Ligon, and Carrie Mae Weems, alongside younger ascending artists, such as Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, and Hank Willis Thomas. To coincide with 30 Americans, the Frist will also present American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell, an exhibition organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, which will be on view through February 9, 2014. Guests will have the opportunity to examine the legendary American illustrator’s working process and career through his oil paintings, iconic Saturday Evening Post covers, posters, photographs, and correspondence. Representing 56 years of the artist’s career, the works in this exhibition span from folk heroes and frontiersmen to the turbulent events of the 1960s. A reporter at heart, Rockwell told visual stories with meticulous detail and went to great lengths to achieve precision in his studio. However, he has been equally recognized for his trademark idealistic tint, affection, and humor. Signature works, such as No Swimming (1921), Christmas Homecoming (1948), and Triple Self-Portrait (1959) will all be on display, yet even Rockwell aficionados will find something new among the original works of art and Saturday Evening Post covers in this exhibition. Photographs, correspondence, and the artist’s own newspaper clippings used for research provide a glimpse into Rockwell’s creative process. A 14-minute film narrated by one of Rockwell’s sons is also included in this exhibition. For more information, visit

Branded Head by Hank Willis Thomas



Ov erco m i n g YOUR DENTAL FEARS by Michael Atchley, DDS

Dental phobias are very real and have been experienced by millions throughout time. These phobias have kept many people from visiting the dental office and receiving care. Avoiding care only leads to more serious conditions, requiring more expensive care. Phobias can stem from many fears. For those that find dental treatment to be unpleasant, a simple technique could be all that’s needed to overcome that fear. This technique could be as simple as listening to your favorite music through sound-canceling headphones. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) inhaled through a mask can also cause a feeling of euphoria and relaxation. For those with more intense fears, dental sedation can be used. A couple of pills taken an hour before the appointment gives a lasting level of grogginess and produces a level of amnesia during the procedure. For those who choose to sleep through the procedure, a dental anesthesiologist can administer “sleep” drugs through an IV, and the treatment can occur while the patient is comfortable and asleep. The patient is closely monitored and remembers nothing. The patient feels as if the entire procedure took only moments. However, both types of sedation require a driver to escort patients to and from the office. With so many options now available for those who suffer from dental phobia, there has never been a better time to get the treatment you need. Explore your options and know you are not alone. Dental phobia is very real, but treatment is available to make your dental procedure as easy as possible.

Michael Atchley, DDS, is the owner of Dental Bliss, located in Franklin and in Hermitage. Dr. Atchley’s ownership will ensure the level of dental excellence that patients have come to expect for over 30 years and continue to experience in the future. This level of service has become the gold standard of Dental Bliss. To learn more about your solution, contact Dental Bliss at (615) 794-8810.


photo courtesy of Dental Bliss


Soul Food by Brian Hooper, MDiv, PsyD

photo courtesy of Brian Hooper, MDiv, PsyD

Psychology literally means “the study of the soul.” That definition may come as a surprise to some, especially in this era of rapidly growing data about the brain—how it processes ideas and how repeated ideas and actions in turn affect the brain. Although we can applaud much about the latest in brain science and cognitive and behavioral therapies, many of us sense that what it means to be human extends beyond electrical impulses, neurochemicals, and bundles of neuronal connections. For all its esteemed value, a clinical approach alone seems soulless.

Thoughts for Food What exactly is the soul and how do you feed it? I’ll begin by offering some “thoughts for food.”


The answer to the first part of the question has about as many responses as there are schools of philosophy and theology. Presuming that all are to some degree correct, we also can accept that none is adequate by itself; however, somewhere in the dialogue between Plato, Jesus, Buddha, Jung, and others lies the concept of the unvarnished you. Yet the mystery of you cannot be reduced to a summary description. Doubt that claim? Just ask yourself how often an online dating profile and picture have matched your projected expectations. Sure, we can note your family background, education, accomplishments, wins and losses, adventures, loves, and fears. We can even say that who you are is shaped by and expressed by these things. Still, these qualities alone don’t let us see your soul, for soul has to do with what you make of all this—how you understand, wrestle with,

are wounded by, rejoice over, push up against, transcend, and metabolize all of this. Said differently, who you are is not shown by your statements but through your relationships. It is in the breaking of the bread of mutual dialogue, tasting the salt of each others tears, and drinking in the wine of compassion that we know one another, and we meet our truest selves in that sharing.

Food for Thoughts In a world of overbooked schedules, fast food, and instant messages, the soul starves. We need time alone to take stock of what is in the cupboards of our hearts. We need time to be present with each other without distraction. If we indeed are what we eat, then a steady diet of “image” and “impression management” will result in malnutrition of the soul. If we dare to share who we are at our core, that very sharing paradoxically feeds the soul.

From Fasting to Feasting Starving and fasting are two different things. I suggest that part of preparing a feast for the soul begins with a fasting from the false self. The false self contains both necessary skills and worthy accomplishments as well as masks that obscure our truest selves. When our personal conception rests solely on the false self, the soul starves. When we acknowledge this lack and get curious to learn who we are at our core, we offer an appetizer to the soul. In the gay community, we often miss a feast for the soul for various reasons. Two of those reasons are fear of rejection and fear of involvement. In the first, we sacrifice our soul at the altar of another’s judgment. In the second, we fear that sharing who we are will signal a kind of interest, often romantic, that we do not intend. In both instances, we are anticipating and entering into the other’s head and not staying in our own experience. Among my dearest friends are three individuals with whom I had a couple of dates and recognized that we would make great friends but not partners—either because the romantic piece was missing on my part or theirs. Just today, one of them called me. His father died suddenly earlier this morning. This experience will not be the first deep wound we will have shared with each other, but on the journey of life, we will once again laugh and cry and break open the bread of dialogue. Somehow, God knows how, our souls will be fed. In the desert of personal grief, an oasis will emerge, and a feast will be set. We dared to be vulnerable long ago, and in that vulnerability we continue to share soul food. Brian Hooper, MDiv, PsyD, is a licensed pastoral psychotherapist with a private practice in the Belle Meade area of Nashville. He invites you to visit his website

by Matthew Grant


vance nichols music

photo by Hatcher & Fell Photography

Vance Nichols got a laugh from his recent title as America’s Newest Piano Showman. “Well, I guess that’s a step up from always being called the Country Music Liberace,” he says. Having begun teaching himself piano at three years old and learning the songs of his country music icons Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and Barbara Mandrell, Nichols was playing full time for his local church in his Crossville, Tennessee, by the time he turned 12. He set his sights on Nashville not long after graduating high school. While most move to Music City to be a country music singing star, Nichols simply wanted to play piano for anyone who would listen. Nichols recalls walking into a church a week after moving to Nashville and asking the church board if they knew of anyone hiring for pianists. The board members stared at him blankly as they had just voted to place an ad in the paper for a new pianist. “‘So did I get the job?’” Nichols remembers quickly responding with a laugh. After that, he began playing piano and performing all over the South in historic theaters and venues like the Ryman Auditorium. “I just wanted to play,” Nichols says, at the time not caring if he performed for 20 people or 2,000. “I knew God drove me to that church right after I moved here, and it wasn’t by mistake. I wasn’t lost I just needed to find people to play for.” In 2010, Nichols was invited to work with his idol, Dolly Parton, but not in the way he expected.

“My dream was to one day work with Dolly,” he says. “How great would it be to play piano for your idol? Well, that hasn’t happened, but I got asked to help rhinestone and make some of her outfits. Isn’t it every little boy’s dream to rhinestone Dolly Parton’s dresses? I can’t tell you how much advice and love she has given me.” With Dolly’s encouragement, Nichols began pursuing his own solo career as pianist, picking up small engagements throughout the state. While playing at the Fontanel Mansion, he caught the attention of country music icon Barbra Mandrell along with that of iconic star maker Dale Morris, who had helped launch the careers of Kenny Chesney, Alabama, Martina McBride, and others.



With Morris’s help, Nichols was quickly signed to Periscope Music Group. He has spent the past year recording at Tracking Room Studio with producer Dan Mitchell and has a two albums scheduled for release this month, Sentimental Holiday and When Country Was Cool.


“I got asked to be in my hometown Christmas parade on December 14 to promote my Christmas album,” Nichols says, “and I get to do a show there the week after at the Palace Theatre. I could not think of a better way to release my albums than right where I started dreaming.”

Special thanks to all of our Table Hosts, Captains and Sponsors, Eddie Mannis and Michael Burcham.


We are Out To Win in Tennessee!

For more on Vance Nichols, visit For tickets to Nichols’s Christmas show at the Palace Theatre in Crossville, Tennessee, at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 20, visit

Paid by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Contributions or gifts to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund are not tax-deductible.


the label 2nd anniversary party

photos by Mike Willett of MWCreative Group


outcentral autumn honors

photos by of Joey Amato


jesse does new york by Vanita Salisbury In an exclusive interview, Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson talks about his love affair with New York City, the place where he and his partner, Justin Mikita, were married earlier this year. Age: 37 Current Residence: Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California

photo courtesy of Michael Rosenthal

Occupation: Actor/Activist/Professional Redhead


Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? I never met him, but I wish I could have known Joe Papp. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York? The chicken dinner at the Nomad Hotel. Holy Moly! In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? I memorize other people’s words and speak them back to a camera that records me talking. What was your first job in New York? I worked at a Broadway gift shop called Actors Heritage on 44th next to the St. James Theater. It’s now called Theater Circle. I worked there, too. What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway? I don’t know. Pippin, I think What’s your drink? I am into gin martinis right now. How often do you prepare your own meals? I try to cook at home four or five times a week. We have a garden in Los Angeles, so it’s fun doing that. What’s your favorite medication? Propecia Which do you prefer: the old Times Square or the new Times Square? I have to say the New Times Square. I miss the old Coke sign though. What do you think of Donald Trump? I wish he had a better sense of humor about himself. He has nice hotels. What do you hate most about living in New York? I hate having to put everything you need for the day into a bag. My back always hurts. Who is your mortal enemy? Christian Fundamentalists Times, Post, or Daily News? I only buy the Times in LA, but I’ve been known to read the Post. It’s easier to read on the subway. Where do you go to be alone? The bathroom What makes someone a New Yorker? The first time you run for the subway yelling, “Hold the door!” What are you promoting right now? Tie The Knot…it’s an organization I founded with my partner, Justin, to advocate for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans and to look damn good while doing it. We partnered with Patricia Michaels, the runner up in last year’s Project Runway, to design the bow ties. All proceeds from the sale of the ties will go to various organizations advocating for LGBT rights.




Cheekwood Botanical Garden 1200 Forrest Park Drive (615) 356-8000 Frist Center for the Visual Arts 919 Broadway (615) 244-3340

OSHi Flowers 150 Third Avenue South (615) 259-0444 217 A. Sixth Avenue North (615) 254-6744

The Renaissance Center (615) 740-5600

Rubenfeld Law Office, PC Abby Rubenfeld 2409 Hillsboro Road, Suite 200 (615) 386-9077

Ryman Auditorium 116 5th Avenue North (615) 889-3060 Schermerhorn Symphony Center 1 Symphony Place (615) 687-6400

BOOK RETAILERS Barnes & Noble 2501 West End Avenue (615) 343-2665 Hope Diamond Collection, Inc.

CREATIVE SERVICES b-kreative, llc (615) 870-4545

EVENT PLANNERS Amos Events (615) 481-7900

EVENT SPACES Scarritt-Bennett Center 1008 19th Avenue South (615) 340-7500

FINANCIAL SERVICES Capital Financial Chris Robinette 8 Cadillac Drive (615) 309-6468 Edward Jones Jeremy Garner (615) 665-4474 Fifth Third Bank Fifth Third Center 424 Church Street, Suite 700 (615) 687-3115 Radian Partners 341 Cool Springs Boulevard (615) 261-4632



MEDICAL SERVICES Toyos Clinic (Eye Care) 600A Frazier Drive, Suite #110, Franklin (615) 764-1999 1800 State Street, Nashville (615) 327-4015 Dr. Bradley Bullock (General Care) 1607 Westgate Circle, Suite 200, Brentwood (615) 376-8195 Dr. Brian Hooper (Psychotherapy) (615) 485-5923


RESTAURANTS Batter’d & Fried 1008-A Woodland Street (615) 226-9283 Beyond the Edge 112 South 11th Street (615) 226-3343 East Side Drifters 1008-B Woodland Street (615) 262-2776 Watanabe 1400 McGavock Pike (615) 226-1112

RETAIL The Label 2222 12th Avenue South (615) 915-0722

SALONS/SPAS Elan Hair & Skin 3756 Hillsboro Pike (615) 269-0222

Play 1519 Church Street (615) 322-9627

Studio BBC 1219 17th Avenue South (615) 473-6954

Tribe 1517 Church Street (615) 329-2912

Studio Gaven 100 International Drive, Franklin (615) 503-9788

NON-PROFIT The Community Foundation 3833 Cleghorn Avenue, Suite 400 (615) 321-4939 Prime Timers (615) 269-3263

TRAVEL Cruise Planners (615) 953-9516 Tropicana Evansville (800) 342-5386

REAL ESTATE Realty Trust Residential Laurie Sheinkopf (615) 497-4012 BancorpSouth Mortgage Steve Gaunt (615) 419-7566 United American Mortgage Kimber White (954) 306-3553 Village Real Estate Lon Hurst (615) 946-3177

Be a part of the UNITE Magazine LGBT business directory. Email for more information.

photo by MyL Pac for MPack Photography



Gaven Smith


With 19 years of experience and success in Nashville’s hair industry, Gaven Smith is certainly no stranger to the community. As a certified Redken colorist and platform artist, an educator, and a salon owner, Smith is also a very busy man. The son of an entrepreneurial builder and born into what he calls a “very Southern Baptist family” at Nashville’s Baptist Hospital, Smith learned the value of hard work when he was a child. “My mom tells me often that many days, instead of being a kid, playing all day, I would rather have gone to work with my dad,” he said. As a home builder, Smith’s father, Milford, erected over 100 homes a year and treated all people, from the bricklayer to the banker, with the same level of respect. Smith was raised to understand “no one is different from anyone else” and has carried that philosophy with him throughout his personal and professional life. Milford died shortly after Smith became a teenager, and his mother, Judith, was left to raise three boys with little assistance. With a new, normal routine consisting of school and band practice followed by work at the local grocery store, Smith quickly learned to keep track of his own finances at age 14, buying his own clothes and his first car. When Smith came out to his mother shortly after graduating high school, she was a little surprised but not in the way one might expect. “She said, ‘Hmmm...I hadn’t thought of you being gay,’” Smith explained. “‘You always have

such pretty girls around you.’” Smith says that to this day, his mom is and has always been his biggest fan. “Being gay wasn’t a way of life but a small part of my life,” he continued. “It offered me the confidence to know I can do anything I set my mind to.” His childhood preferences for toys with motors over his GI Joe or Lone Ranger toys led Smith to a brief career in the trucking and banking industries. He then obtained his degree in cosmetology after working 80 hours a week between school and his job. Starting off, Smith was met with some economic challenges, but he dedicated all his energy to become successful. Smith was able to buy a home and land in East Nashville. After flipping many houses, he self-financed his own business. Now the Studio Gaven company has 60 employees spread across its two locations, and Smith says the key to his success is passion. “I’ve been called a ‘crazy salon owner’ at times,” he said. “At that point, I take a step back and think, let’s not get confused between crazy and passionate. “I believe more in my team than they believe in themselves. Some have been told they will never have anything in life. Being told ‘no’ seems to be the norm. I coach people to focus on ‘yes’ and defy those who say they can’t succeed. There is just too much pushing people down these days, and my goal is to try to build them up.”



What Books Would a Gay Writer Give

as a holiday gift? by Sebastian Fortino

It’s almost time to exchange holiday gifts with friends, partners, spouses, and relatives. They always say you can’t go wrong with food or a bottle of wine as a gift, but I think books make a great go-to gift. When you give a book you love, you’re sharing a big part of your personality. I asked a few literary friends of mine what book they would most like to give this holiday season.

Marten Weber The Recognitions by William Gaddis First published in 1955 “It’s the most exciting book about art, life, originality, and success ever written, by the best and most overlooked American writer of all time. Read it and discover yourself.” Weber is a novelist and winner of a 2011 Rainbow Award for Benedetto Casanova: the Memoirs; the sequel will be coming out this holiday season. Learn more at http://www.


Joe Openshaw God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage by Gene Robinson First published in 2012 by Random House, a division Alfred P. Knoph “We just finished a book study at church on Bishop Gene Robinson’s book God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage. We liked it so much we are giving a copy to everyone who attends our wedding reception. Although the book was published in 2012, not many around here have read it, and the book study group, made up of mostly straight people, raved over the book.” Joe Openshaw is a writer, LGBT leader, and Southern gentleman based in Bessemer, Alabama. He is the writer of Those Others: Navigating the “Riddle of Homosexuality” in 1965.

Tony Adams Inside by Charles L. Ross Published in September 2013

“I think I’d give the just released Inside, a novel by Charles L. Ross about sex and power at a high-end shelter magazine very similar to Architectural Digest where the author was art director for several years. It’s delicious—and captures the late ’70s gay work and social life of decorators, designers, photographers, and their cute assistants in LA, NYC, and Fire Island.” Tony Adams is a travel writer and guide with HE Travel ( and senior features correspondent with South Florida Gay News.

Paul Hagen Happy Accidents: A Memoir by Jane Lynch with a foreword by Carol Burnett First published in 2011 “Jane Lynch looms so large— both in stature and pop culture—that it’s inherently funny

to think of her as a nobody. But in her lovely memoir, she happily returns to the depths of her least recognizable days. Lynch handles all the essentials of a memoir with deft ease: she hits and quits drinking and an intriguing long-term relationship with nighttime sleep medication while transforming from a “Who?” to a “Who’s Who.” The milestones along her meteoric rise are thrilling to revisit, including the role that cemented her track-suited cultural prominence of Sue Sylvester in Glee. Though it comes from a time before the tragic loss of Cory Monteith and Lynch’s divorce, it is all the happier because of it.” Paul Hagen is a contributor on the podcast, The Focus Group with Tim Bennet and John Nash; he is editor-in-chief at MetroSource magazine and an award-winning playwright. He is also very, very funny.


out of the closet by Caitlin Bloodworth & Shelby Dillard

Fendi shows off designer fur for holiday.

The holiday season is fast approaching. In the middle of shopping for last minute gifts and planning that trip to (insert joyous/dreadful family get-together in the middle of nowhere where no one can hear your cries of laughter/judgment), the planning of an appropriate outfit for mingling may be the last thing on your mind. However, with a couple of simple changes, you can go from a business party to a laid-back friend’s backyard bonfire in lightning speed. Lucky for you, this year is all about emerald green, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find this on-trend color in your favorite store this holiday season. And be sure to ignore the saying “don’t wear white after Labor Day” this season. A crisp winter white was seen all over the runways during the Fall/Winter 2013 fashion shows, especially at the Versace show this season, and would be a great addition to any piece.

element to the fur. The coats become the centerpiece of the whole outfit and keeps the look interesting without yelling in your face, “I’M SO COOL, LOOK AT ME.” Leather on leather (on leather) is also another way to give your winter wardrobe a more edgy look. Many shows this season paired outfits in all leather, from laser cutouts to different textures that make the outfit stand out. At the Chanel show, there were many pleats and textures galore and, in true Karl Lagerfeld fashion, combines most of the fall trends into his show.

To a business party, wearing a structured jacket or blazer will be key. The sleek lines of the blazer will keep your outfit underneath appropriate, yet trendy. Take a note from the Alexander Wang show this Fall season. Looking past the beanies and full arm-length mittens, the structure Wang uses is what you should keep in mind when buying a more professional outfit. If you’re daring, an outfit with cutouts is sexy yet sophisticated, depending on where the cutout is (a la Angelina Jolie’s leggy moment at the Oscars).

In Nashville, a couple of places come to mind when shopping for on-trend pieces for this winter season. UAL, a store in the West End area, offers designer apparel at consignment costs. With brands ranging from Stella McCartney to Marc Jacobs, the store will most certainly have an on-trend, statement piece of this holiday season. If you want to do some good and give yourself a good conscience, there is a new store in the Brentwood area that combines charity and fashion called Couture for a Cause. When someone comes into the store to donate their items, they get to choose which charity a percentage of the money goes to. When shopping at Couture for a Cause, you’ll get to know that you are going to be helping people this holiday, which will wipe away any buyer’s remorse you might have.

Another on-trend item this season is the unlikely fur coat. Now, I would pair this with a more casual piece, where you can use simple pieces underneath to balance the whole outfit. Whether it is a Sopranos-esque big fur coat or a striped mink vest, anyone can make a statement in one of these pieces. In Lanvin’s show, there is definitely a punk

Always keep in mind that simplicity is key when creating a holiday outfit. Combining too much of these trends might overwhelm the whole look. When choosing what to wear for your holiday party, pick one standout item and work around that piece, making it the focal point and letting it have a major moment, as any special item should.


Fur is back this season.

As seen in Lanvin’s show, let the fur be the centerpiece without taking over the outfit.




boston by Joey Amato

Growing up in New York City, Boston was always an arch nemesis, especially when it came to sports. Yankees versus Red Sox, Jets versus Patriots; the rivalries are endless. No wonder it took me 33 years to visit the great city. I discovered Boston is a city steeped in culture and tradition, even more so than New York. Known for its legendary battlegrounds, the city is also home to some of the most iconic figures in American history; Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Elizabeth Poole all called the area home. Architectural highlights are abundant throughout the city, from the Massachusetts Statehouse to the Cathedral Church of St. Paul to Paul Revere’s home; Boston is a history junkie’s paradise. One of the best ways to experience the city is aboard the Boston Duck Tour. The land and river excursion will show you the major highlights on land, including the golden-domed State House, Bunker Hill, TD Garden, Boston Common, and Copley Square, before seamlessly turning into a boat and talking passengers on an adventure along the Charles River. Boston’s culinary scene is an experience in itself. Foodies will be delighted by the array of authentic restaurants in both the North End (Little Italy) and Chinatown areas of the city. I suggest spending the afternoon admiring the Chinatown Gate and enjoying a traditional dim sum lunch at one of dozens of eateries in the neighborhood. For the less adventurous types,


Boston is also home to a realm of high-end establishments, most notably The Palm. Start off your meal with an order of Bacon Wrapped Scallops or Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with seaweed salad, pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy vinaigrette. The fish is extremely fresh thanks to Boston’s seaside locale. Follow up your appetizer with the Beefsteak Tomato Capri salad prepared with sliced tomatoes, basil, and imported mozzarella di bufala. Entrees are limitless at The Palm. Even though beef reigns supreme, I recommend the Signature Palm Surf ‘n’ Turf. Guests can add a half lobster to their choice of any USDA Prime corn-fed beef selection on the menu. If you saved room for dessert, go for the Bag of Warm Doughnuts dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with chocolate and raspberry sauce. After a long day exploring the city, you deserve it! Hotel choices are abundant. Two properties I recommend are The Liberty Hotel and Nine Zero. The Liberty is one of the most unique properties I’ve ever stayed at. Once home to the legendary Charles Street Jail, the hotel now boasts 300 guest rooms, a 24-hour fitness center, and business center. Do Not Disturb signs are actually replicas of cell keys; I even took one as a souvenir. Furthermore, guests at the Liberty can dine at Clink, a restaurant featuring modern American cuisine prepared by classically trained chef Joseph Margate. Each dish reflects his intense focus on flavor and dedi-

cation to seasonal, sustainable, and local ingredients. Vestiges of original jail cells create cozy nooks for dining, and an open kitchen displays the theater of cooking as each stylish dish is prepared. Warm gold leather seats, butcher block tables, and granite accents add contemporary style to the dining experience. Another option is Lydia Shire’s newest restaurant, Scampo, which exemplifies contemporary Italian cuisine and design with a 38-seat private dining room, an outdoor patio, a house-made mozzarella bar, and an open kitchen that prepares brick-oven pizzas.

located across from Boston Common, steps from Beacon Hill, and is surrounded by the city’s top theaters, restaurants and shops. The views from any of its corner rooms are absolutely breathtaking, so be sure to request one if available. Internet access is complimentary at the property, which means more money to enjoy the nightlife.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Nine Zero is a swanky boutique hotel, offering signature Kimpton Hotel hospitality and acclaimed style in the heart of downtown Boston. The property is centrally

Overall, Boston is a wonderful city that deserves four to five days to really experience everything it has to offer. I’m definitely not waiting another 33 years to visit again.

Boston offers a plethora of LGBT bars and clubs. From The Alley to Fritz Lounge to dbar, the choices are almost endless, and there are nightspots for every taste and budget.









• Walking distance to Vanderbilt, Music Row & restaurants • Delicious on-site catering & reserved dining facilities • Ask about our scrumptious holiday luncheons! 615.340.7500 • RESERVATIONS@SCARRITTBENNETT.ORG • 1008 19TH AVE S • SCARRITTBENNETT.ORG

photo courtesy of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

Scarritt-Bennett is a non-profit education, retreat and conference center with a strong commitment to promoting racial equality, cross-cultural understanding, the empowerment of women and spiritual renewal. Your support through the rental of our historic facilities and donations helps us to offer programs that continue this mission.


new at the zoo

Nashville Zoo’s new Kangaroo Kickabout opened in mid-September with 17 red kangaroos in its walkthrough exhibit. Red kangaroos are one of four species of kangaroo and are native to the open plains of inland Australia. Though they are named for their red fur, males have a much richer red coloring than females, which are often more gray. You can distinguish a red kangaroo from others by the white stripe extending from the corner of the mouth to the base of the ear. Red kangaroos are considered the largest living marsupials, with males reaching a height of nearly five feet and weighing as much as 190 pounds. They move by hopping on their large lower legs, using their strong tail for balance. Their legs are so powerful that kangaroos have been known to reach hopping speeds of 40 miles per hour.


photo by Amiee Stubbs




1519 CHURCH ST | 615.322.9627 | PLAYDANCEBAR.COM

& 1517 CHURCH ST | 615.329.2912 | TRIBENASHVILLE.COM

American Chronicles: The Ar t of Norman Rockwell has been organized by the Norman Roc kwell Museum, Stoc kbridge, Massac husetts.

This exhibition is made possible with the generous suppor t from National Endowment for the Ar ts, American Masterpieces Program; the Henr y Luce Foundation; Cur tis Publishing Co.; Norman Roc kwell Family Agency; and the Stoc kman Family Foundation.




The Frist Center for the Visual Ar ts gratefully ac knowledges our Picasso Circle Members as Exhibition Patrons.


Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission

This exhibition is suppor ted by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Ar ts and the Humanities.

DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE 919 BROADWAY FRISTCENTER.ORG Norman Rockwell. Freedom from Want (detail), war bond poster. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 6, 1943. Š 1943: SEPS. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections

Ben Rock for UNITE Nashville, November/December 2013  

Managing editor. Contributing writer for "Chamber Chat." Creative direction. Brand development. Content strategy.

Ben Rock for UNITE Nashville, November/December 2013  

Managing editor. Contributing writer for "Chamber Chat." Creative direction. Brand development. Content strategy.