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MUSIC CITY COMES OUT

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IN CONTROL Coming out frees Chely Wright on personal, professional levels by joe morris, managing editor jmorris@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Most people come out to family, or friends. Others are outed in very public way, often by those with a harmful agenda. Still others plan the event well in advance, only to find out that the news has been leaked ... to the national media. w ie d a rev a e r That was the o T w ly’s ne , e h C case with country f o d album n a k o music singer/ bo 7. page 3 songwriter Chely flip to Wright, who was enjoying dinner with friends a few days before what she thought was going to be the big announcement. With a new album and autobiography set to release in early May, she’d chosen to reveal her homosexuality at the same time. The best laid plans ... “Imagine that your biggest fear, something that you’ve hidden your whole life because it could affect your work, your social standing, your family status, and imagine deciding to put it out there,”

Wright said. “Then imagine that you know when it’s coming, and you’ve already let the people closest to you know. That’s what I’d done, but I was having dinner with my sister and friends in New York when all of a sudden I started getting weird text messages from everyone in Nashville, things like ‘Perez Hilton? Are you kidding me?’ and ‘Holy shit, have you seen Access Hollywood?’ I knew then that I was probably out.” Her nerves were calmed by the next call, which was from her manager and offered this sage advice: Enjoy your dinner and relax. “It’s a weird feeling, kind of like running down Broadway naked,” Wright said. “But he told me that this was my decision, and to be proud of myself. I took my power back, even though I did it five days sooner than expected. And I can’t even tell you the pride I have for doing this on my terms.” Since her early May announcement and book/album launch, Wright has been everywhere. People magazine, the Oprah Winfrey show, just about every entertainment and gossip website. She’s taking it all in stride, and doing what she

always does: writing songs, prepping for shows, going about the business of life in the music industry. One thing she hasn’t done is hit a stage,

“imagine your biggest fear, something that you’ve hidden your whole life because it could affect your work, your social standing, your family status, and imagine deciding to put it out there.” and so it’s telling that her first major public appearance since coming out will be here in Nashville on June 8, and for Reading, Writing & Rhythm , the Chely Wright Foundation. The event is in its 10th year, and has raised more than $1 million to donate musical instruments to music and arts

departments at schools around the country. This year, in part due to the horrific flooding damage here, and also because she wants to thank the city for a decade of generosity, the funds are staying local. “I want to make certain that the money we raise goes to Nashville schools,” Wright says. “We’re also doing a food drive at the door. We’re putting that money right back into Nashville because schools all over the nation have benefited from the city’s generosity, the support of country fans, and so it’s time to give back to Nashville proper.” As for turnout, she’s leaving that up to fate. “The people who support me, who have always supported me, will turn out,” she said. “Anybody with an issue with my being gay won’t come out to the show, and that’s great too. It’s going to be the best case scenario all around.” In the blitz surrounding her coming out and in planning for the benefit, she’s had to work to ensure that her album and book get the attention she wants them to have. Given that the album arose in large part to her despondency over living a secreted life,

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hot festival day could prompt heat exhaustion Medical officials offer tips on staying cool and comfortable at Pride by O&AN Staff reports Sunscreen and water are two of the most vital items that health care professionals recommend that you use while participating in the annual Nashville Pride Festival. Last year medics with Vanderbilt LifeFlight Event Medicine treated more than 75 people, with many problems originating from the extreme heat. Temperatures that day reached as high as 95 degrees, along with high humidity. That, combined with the large amount of asphalt surfaces, created an extremely hot day for festival goers. “We are encouraging participants to take measures against the heat,” said Leigh Sims, EMT-P, manager of Event Medicine for Vanderbilt LifeFlight. Sims said medics will be on hand again this year, and that Pride Festival officials will provide a cooling misting fan in the first aid tent. Last year medics also treated a large number of blisters and handed

out “quite a bit of over-the-counter medications for headaches.” “We did see several cases of heat

Joey Leslie stopped by the first aid tent at last year’s festival to apply sunscreen. Sunscreen is important so remember to bring and reapply several times during the day. Photo by Jerry Jones

exhaustion last year,” Sims said. “So we are encouraging those attending this year to take proper precautions so that they can go and enjoy the festival.” “Victims of heat exhaustion should

know when to call it quits for the day,” Sims cautioned. “It’s often difficult to go back to pre-exhaustion activities, so it’s best to pace yourself so you can enjoy the all that the festival has to offer.” Heat exhaustion, which is caused by dehydration, is indicated by headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea and cool, moist skin. Heat stroke, the most serious heat emergency, is indicated by a body temperature over 105 degrees, irrational behavior, extreme confusion, dry, hot and red skin, and rapid, shallow breathing. “And don’t forget your sunscreen,” she added. “If you are feeling light headed or dizzy, please ask for assistance to get to the first aid tent or ask for one of our medics to come and check on you,” Sims said. “It’s important to get someone who may have heat exhaustion to a cool area out of the direct sunlight, keep them wet with cool water or wet towels, and turn a fan on to help cool the body. If the person

quickly feels better, it’s likely that no further medical attention is needed.” But once you’ve been affected by heat exhaustion, it’ll take awhile to recover. O&AN

the following precautions can be taken to prevent heat-related illnesses: ➠ Avoid intense outdoor activity from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the hottest part of the day. ➠ Rest frequently in the shade when outdoors. ➠ Wear light-colored and lightweight clothing. ➠ Cover up—wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen of 15 SPF or greater. ➠ Drink even if you don’t feel thirsty. ➠ Know how to respond to heat problems.


MUSIC CITY COMES OUT good sports Local athletes take their best game to events around the nation and the world by scott eldredge, staff writer seldgredge@outandaboutnewspaper.com

When we think of sports, we often think of the competitive aspects, the skills involved and the talent athletes possess. For the GLBT community, sports can also play a community building role while providing a safe haven to be who we are. As the GLBT community celebrates Pride during the month of June, we asked several of our friends and athletes what participating in gay sports means to Tony Brown them, and why it is important to continue to encourage, foster and grow gay and gay-friendly sports leagues. Tony Brown plays basketball and tennis, and also plays outfield and shortstop in the Metro Nashville Softball Association’s softball

league. In August of 2009, Brown traveled with his team to the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association’s Softball World Series held in Milwaukee, and says his experience at the World Series was so positive every softball player should attend. “It was really a lot of fun to have the red carpet rolled out by the city of Milwaukee,” Brown says. “The mayor spoke at the opening ceremonies, which were at a lakeside amphitheater with great entertainment. Besides actually playing games, the NAGAAA events were my favorite activities, along with meeting gay ball players from all over the USA and Canada. For a week, the minority were heterosexuals, which is always a nice flip of the coin! “For me, softball is great exercise, it’s a fun way to connect with other athletic-minded GLBT people, and it’s a healthy social outlet,” Brown added. “I’ve already made friendships with quality human beings both here in

Nashville and abroad. It was just an overall great experience. I hope that everyone who plays softball can play in at least one World Series.” For Stan Schklar, playing such positions as “wing” and “hooker” for the Nashville Grizzlies rugby team and competing in the Chicago Gay Games in 2006 have proven to be life-changing experiences. “I love playing with the Nashville Grizzlies,” Schklar said. “Although I’d Stan Schklar always been active and enjoyed working out, I never really considered playing organized sports. Our club has grown tremendously over the past four years and I never could have imagined all the great friends I would make along the way. “Our club is really close-knit. I think that over time, some gay men may have

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shied away from joining a sports team, feeling that somehow they weren’t good enough or just wouldn’t fit in. We have gay and straight players on our team and we’re all here to play the game of rugby, and whether gay or straight, I think we all see ourselves as ambassadors, with the message that everyone is welcome.” Jay Gondek, a personal trainer and triathlete, has competed in hundreds of triathlons, Ironman competitions and other running events. However, when he first competed in the 2002 Gay Games held in Sydney, Australia, it was like nothing else he had ever experienced. Jay Gondek “What a beautiful experience,” Gondek said. “It was my first games, and I didn’t know what to

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legal eagles

Stonewall Bar Association of Tennessee launches in Nashville by dashawn usher, CONTRIBUTOR dusher@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Earlier this year, a group of law professionals met on the 28th floor of the Pinnacle building, in a boardroom that overlooked LP field and the rest of Nashville. This view from the top exemplifies how far this group of proud and prestigious gay and lesbian lawyers has come in Nashville.

“It is really important to know that gay and lesbian lawyers exist in firms. By putting myself out there more people can come forward,” said James Williamson of Booker & White. “The Stonewall Bar Association of Tennessee will serve as that core network group of social and professional support for those people.” The Stonewall Bar Association of Tennessee (SBA) was formed as an

organization to support GLBT legal professionals, while encouraging and promoting diversity in the legal profession. The name “Stonewall” hails from the notorious New York City Stonewall riots during the late 1960s, and since then ‘Stonewall’ has been synonymous with the GLBT community’s struggle for equality. “My younger brother is gay and I’ve been defending him since we were growing up,” said Jennifer Weaver, of Waller Lansden

INTERESTED IN SBA? The next meeting for the SBA is scheduled for June 9 at Miller & Martin law firm. On the agenda so far are the election of officers, as well as a mixer and program about gay rights and current court cases involving the ongoing struggle for equality for GLBT individuals. For more information e-mail stonewallbartenn@gmail. com, or search for the group’s Facebook page, Stonewall Bar Association of Tennessee. Dortch & Davis. “That is why I joined SBA - to continue on that fight for equality and diversity. I am fortunate to have a proactive law firm that believes in SBA.” Other states have similar GLBT legal associations; the closest organization, in name and proximity, to the SBA is the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia. The group’s existence

is important in that some say Nashville may have lost some great GLBT legal professionals in the past due to the lack of an organization with the SBA caliber. “It is finally nice to have an organization here in Nashville like the SBA. It shows that we as a city have come a long way,” said Jeana Clark of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. “Law students that go to school here in Tennessee no longer have to move to a major city to be accepted and welcomed in law firms. Students that graduate from around the country can come to Nashville.” “It’s important for GLBT attorneys and legal professionals to know that they are a part of a community,” added David Smith of Bass Berry & Sims. “It can be extremely difficult without that support.” The group also is working to recruit in other members of the legal community, both gay and straight. “Membership is open to all GLBT attorneys, judges, paralegals, other legal professionals and all other members of the legal community who support them,” said Sam Felker Sam Felker from Bass Berry & Sims. “We value the support and input from our ‘straight allies’ and they will be a key to the success of this venture.” “Half the battle of being a new organization is to show that we exist,” Weaver said. “This is a huge statement for Nashville, especially since three major law firms stands behind SBA mission.” Those firms include Bass Berry & Sims, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis and Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz. These are just some of the law firms around town that focus on diversity initiatives including GLBT issues, members say. Although the SBA is still in the developmental stages, community support is in full effect. The group was recognized at this year’s Human Rights Campaign Equality Dinner and also at a recent law luncheon. There are currently about

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MUSIC CITY COMES OUT living the adventure Local triathlete competes in global Gay Games, finds time to help others by scott eldredge, staff writer seldgredge@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Helen Keller once said, “Life is a great adventure, or nothing.” When 51-year-old Jay Gondek decided to pack up and leave his home of 15 years in Santa Fe, New Mexico and move to Nashville, it was Keller’s words he had in his head. One of his longtime personal-training clients was moving to Tennessee, and they wanted Gondek with them. For this man, always driven to push himself in both his work and his athletics, the job offer was another opportunity to reach for a new goal. When Gondek first began personal training in 1984, he admits he was obsessed with size and muscles, but a business venture helped him to broaden his view. “It was a great experience because I learned a lot about bodybuilding and all that,” said Gondek, “and then I opened my own gym, and I realized I needed to be more well-rounded. So, I started running 5Ks and 10Ks, and then the

triathlon became pretty popular.” Always pushing, Gondek committed himself to a rigorous training regimen and

time was a figure skater and when I saw how hard that sport really was, I took it up.” “I’ve been privileged to be there with a few people as they transition from this life, and those, by far, are the best moments of my life. Dying is not pretty. At times, it’s just not pretty, but it is a beautiful thing to be there for, and to honor somebody to be there.” “I decided after the Ironman it was so time consuming and one-dimensional. I needed to study sports, so I decided to take a break,” he said. Jay Gondek finds fulfillment in many physical activities, but However, his break was only from also takes great pride in the volunteer hours he logs with triathlons, as he quickly started taking Nashville CARES and other organizations. his athletic endeavors in new directions. completed several triathlons throughout the While continuing his career as a personal late 1980s and early 1990s. However, after trainer, Gondek started experimenting with completing an Ironman Competition, he other athletic activities. decided it was time to set some new goals. “A trainer needs to know other “I took up figure skating. I was always making sports,” Gondek said, “so I did things like fun of figure skaters, but my boyfriend at the snowboarding, massage therapy and Pilates.”

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At one point, Gondek actually sold his bike and completely devoted himself to a very different sport. “I took up figure skating. I was always making fun of figure skaters, but my boyfriend at the time was a figure skater and when I saw how hard that sport really was, I took it up.” Spending three days a week on the ice, Gondek started competing about a year after he began his training. Gondek however, hated being inside to train, and he eventually moved on to other sports, but not before winning three different figure-skating competitions. Despite his interest in other sports, Gondek wouldn’t stay away from the triathlon forever. He competed in the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney, participating in the Olympic distance triathlon. After completing a 9/10-mile, open-water swim, a 40-kilometer bike ride and a 10K run, Gondek found himself on the podium, winning the gold medal in his age group.

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PHONE/FAX

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outandaboutnewspaper.com 617 Hart Lane, Nashville, TN 37206

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Jerry Jones, publisher

Nashville Pride president welcomes visitors to Nashville

publisher@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Happy Pride Month!

Joe Morris, managing editor

On behalf of the Nashville Pride Board of Directors, we would like to welcome you to the 2010 Nashville Pride Festival! The month of June is going to be exciting and fast paced, with events for everyone, all leading up to Festival day on Saturday, June 19.

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Rivendell Media, 212-242-6863 1248 Route 22 West, Mountainside, NJ 07092 PHOTO CREDITS 'Top Chef' Photos: Justin Stephens/Bravo Vanessa Carlton Photo: Kurt Iswarienko Chely Wright Photos: Michael Granberry Arnold Myint Photo: David Geisbrecht/Bravo Out & About Newspaper strives to be a credible community news organization by engaging and educating our readers. All content of Out & About Newspaper is copyrighted ©2008 by Out & About Nashville, Inc. and is protected by federal copyright law and shall not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. All photography is licensed stock imagery or has been supplied unless otherwise credited to a photographer and may not be reproduced without permission. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published herein is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of the person or persons. Out & About Newspaper accepts unsolicited material but cannot take responsibility for its return. The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. All rights revert to authors upon publication. The editorial positions of Out & About Newspaper are expressed in editorials and in editor’s notes as determined by the editor. Other opinions are those of writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Out & About Newspaper or its staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged but may be edited for clarity and length. All letters sent may not be published. Out & About Newspaper only accepts adult advertising within set guidelines and on a case by case basis.

Riverfront Park will again be the home of the Festival, and we have felt the open and warm reception even more than we did last year from the City of Nashville and the Downtown businesses. The recent events of early May left us reviewing “Plan B” as the park and many of our downtown friends became submerged from the overflow of the Cumberland River. As a native Middle Tennessean it was overwhelming to see Mother Nature take such a powerful hold on our city and state; however, it was even more overwhelming to see strangers become friends and come together to ensure that devastation would not prevail and that those in need were not alone, that Nashville (and all areas of Tennessee) was whole and we would move forward. We never missed a beat and showed our heritage as the Volunteer State. The 2010 Festival will offer some changes from last year and even past Nashville Prides in general: the addition of a second stage, covered seating near the eateries and an admission charge of $5 per person... just to name a few. Yes, you read correctly: A $5 per person admission will be charged this year, with children 12 and under free. The board of directors researched other Pride festivals and admission fees across the country, and discussed the topic in depth. The discussion was settled and a price set that we feel is fair and worthy of the entertainment and festivities of the day. The board of directors works year round in preparing and planning for the festival; the admission charge will ensure that Nashville Pride will remain financially healthy moving into 2011. As a non-profit organization we can no longer rely solely on the support of corporate sponsorship for all financial needs and look to the community at-large to support the largest GLBT celebration in the State of Tennessee. Nashville Pride’s purpose is to maintain a sense of community and awareness of, about, and for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and culture throughout middle Tennessee. Nashville Pride greatly appreciates the support of the following: Tribe and Play Dance Bar (2010 Presenting Sponsors), Bridgestone (2010 Main Stage Sponsor), Millennium Maxwell House Hotel (2010 Host Hotel), Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Bud Light, Svedka Vodka, Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce, Solve, SunTrust Bank, Bristol Development, Fifth Third Bank, Hard Rock Cafe, Signature Transportation Services, Amerigo Italian Restaurant, Dinix, Dolce Tan, Jive! A Digital Print Factory, Arrow Nashville, Vanderbilt Life Flight Event Medicine, Out & About Newspaper, and Cosmo Creations DJ Service; as well as, the countless volunteers, members of the Nashville Pride Core 100, the Stirrup, and Out Central Cultural Center. Dream and dream big, be proud of who you are! Peace, Love, and PRIDE, James Randall Roop, president


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GLBT Chamber of Commerce welcomes Pride visitors On behalf of the board of directors for the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce, I would like to congratulate Nashville Pride for continuing the tradition of celebration for our community in Nashville. The GLBT Chamber is proud to once again be the sponsor of the Pride Marketplace and we hope this year’s festival is a great success. This is an exciting day for our community and we hope it is enjoyed safely by all! We invite you to be a part of something exciting with the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce too! Our new monthly mixers, hosted at member businesses are a fun and casual way to meet other professionals and business owners in the community. There’s never a program or agenda; just a relaxed venue and opportunity to increase your network. It’s catching on, with large crowds and new faces every month. Mixers are the fourth Friday each month from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Monthly mixers are always posted on the Chamber web site. Come join us for the Pride month mixer on June 25 and see what the excitement is all about! Whether you seek to grow your own profession or business or to grow your network of other professionals, the Chamber is a great place to start. Membership is open to individuals who want to join strictly on a social basis as well as various business level memberships with additional benefits to increase your visibility. Give us a try. We believe you will find membership well worth your investment! Yours, John Wade, Chair and President Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce

Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce | P.O. Box 330971, Nashville, TN 3720

www.NashvilleGLBTChamber.org

photo by keith hinkle

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The road to november

State, national races to be game-changers on many levels by joe morris, managing editor jmorris@outandaboutnewspaper.com

With several major GLBT-friendly initiatives on the table and control of both houses of Congress potentially up for grabs, it’s shaping up to be a national election year to watch. To watch, and to get involved in, say local activists who track the major issues for statewide organizations, adding that it’s not exactly a snooze at the local level, either. “Depending on which week you’re watching the news, [the Employee Nondiscrimination Act] is either about to advance in the Chris Sanders [U.S. House of Representatives] or it isn’t advancing at all,” said Chris Sanders, outgoing board

chair of the Tennessee Equality Project. “We have to keep pushing our members of Congress on this, but the bottom line seems to be that this is a critical year for ENDA, and everyone needs to work hard to get it passed.” Fresh off several conference calls on the subject, Dr. Marisa Richmond says the operative word is frustration. “There have been too many delays, and everyone is tired of them,” says Richmond, president of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition. “It’s my understanding that a vote is going to be scheduled soon, and so we’ve been working really hard to solidify support. We’ve only got two votes out of the Tennessee delegation, but we’re working to make sure they are solidly committed. I’m sure that once they have the votes, [House Speaker] Pelosi will schedule a vote quickly.” The battleground that the U.S. military’s

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy has become doesn’t look like it may clear anytime soon, either. “It looks as though the Secretary of Defense has attempted to sabotage any real movement on that this year, but there are signs that Dr. Marisa Richmond Congress may resist those efforts,” Sanders said. “It’s the same situation; keep the pressure up on the president and on the Congress.” Across Tennessee, there are races for the state House of Representative and Senate, not to mention dozens of county and municipal races that will set the political agenda for years to come. These may be the GLBT community’s best chance to get involved, because what happens locally

often moves up the chain to the state house and beyond. “Don’t get distracted by the gubernatorial race,” Sanders cautioned. “The real chance to have an impact on equality in Tennessee is in the legislative races. If either of the very right-wing Republican nominees becomes the nominee, then that’s a game changer, but if it winds up a McWherter-Haslam race then there’s not going to be enough of a difference for us to need to focus on it much.” TTPC is putting its attention on the legislative races as well, Richmond said, but says that the three open U.S. House of Representative seats will merit GLBT attention as well. “If we can replace some anti-GLBT incumbents in Tennessee or in Washington we’re going to do so,” she said. “In the

 NOVEMBER, continued on PAGE 34


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Name Ernie Hoskins Birthday July 11, 1982 Astro ID Cancer I’m Ernie Hoskins, an 8th-generation Kentuckian who loves art and interior design. I am finishing up my last semester of college for my Interior Design degree. I also love to create art, and I’m working on a website at the moment. I’ve modeled on the side since high school and it has allowed me to travel to some amazing places (NYC., Italy, China, etc.) and meet some incredible people.

Hometown London, KY Current Town Knoxville,

I feel the most confident when: I’m dancing around at home in my underwear. When you hear “Palin for 2012” what do you think? The Apocalypse My greatest achievement has been: Seeing the world. What do you hope your next greatest achievement will be? Getting my art website up and running.

I’ve been on the planning committee for Knoxville PrideFest, for two years running. I also am a member of HRC and a member of the Knoxville Human Rights Group.. I am a total introvert until I get to know you then look out, I’ll talk your face off. I’ve never really been the one to go up and start a conversation with someone that I don’t know, but I swear I’m a really nice person and

Boxers or briefs? Briefs or boxer briefs. If you won $1 million (tax free) and had to give half of it away, who would you give it to? My Momma, of course!

very friendly.

Things that make me ticked— Republican senators, religious fanatics, traffic, people who wear flip-flops with socks, and the Kardashians—UGH!

Photo by Ethan James • ethanjamesphotography.com

13 TN


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volunteer state

TEP hopes to get GLBT community involved in local, regional races by joe morris, managing editor jmorris@outandaboutnewspaper.com

As Tennessee’s political landscape continues grow more conservative, the Tennessee Equality Project hopes to keep GLBT-friendly legislators in both chambers at the state Capitol, as well as in municipal and county offices. And while that’s a tall order the group, which works with legislators of both major parties on legislation regarding hate crimes, adoption, education and other issues of concern to the GLBT community, its leaders say it’s doable. “I’m really rejuvenated as we begin a new organizational year H.G. Stovall with the most diverse board of directors we’ve ever seen,” said H.G. Stovall, president. “The board, the executive

committee, is the most regionally diverse group we’ve ever seen, and that will lead to the best representation of the state we’ve ever seen.” Having people plugged in across the state will allow for committees to be continue grow in Tennessee’s major metropolitan areas, and also to spring up in the smaller cities and rural areas. That, in turn, leads to more volunteers for campaigns and other efforts going into the fall, Stovall said. “We’ll be able to empower those people, and they know their hometowns better than anyone else,” he said. “We’re going to give them all the tools that TEP as a whole has.” Becoming more engaged with local candidates will also lead to a heightened awareness of GLBT issues as election-time topics rather than issues to be dealt with once in office, added Jonathan Cole, TEP’s incoming board chair. “What we’re seeing in areas where we have an established presence is that very enthusiastic, committed people are

getting the word out about local issues and statewide initiatives,” Cole said. ‘We’re getting engaged with campaigns for the primaries coming up in August and also for the general elections in November.” TEP’s growing Jonathan Cole clout means that it has been able to draw in members of groups ranging from the Davidson County Young Democrats to Friends for Life, an HIV and AIDS social-service organization in Memphis. The group also benefits from longtime political mentors both within and outside its ranks, getting valuable input on multiple different issues. “It’s exciting going into this statewide election because we have those gurus,” Stovall said. “This gives us a new wave of

credibility, and so if Tennessee’s elections continue to trend in the manner they have been, our door is wide open to partner with our more conservative friends who are like-minded on our issues.” TEP’s successes in recent years include expanded protections for sexual orientation and gender identity at the local-government level in Memphis and Nashville, and the group hopes to continue to press that issue, and many others, in cities across the state as well as at the Capitol. “We want to be busy in lots of places,” Cole said. “Our political action committee involvement means that our supporters can watch what we’re doing, but we also want to pitching with some of our candidates who have fought for us in the past. Whether Democrat or Republican, we’re going to assist those candidates in any area where we can.” O&AN


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one city, two prides

Bringing together the GLBT community one event at a time This year will mark the 22nd year of celebration for Nashville Pride and the eighth consecutive year for Nashville Black Pride. A few people may ask why there are two pride celebrations in Nashville. Even more may ask why there is a pride at all. The simple answer for both questions is that gaypride celebrations have served an important role in by dashawn usher, contributor dusher@outandaboutnewspaper.com

bringing together the GLBT community, through a variety of activities such as parades, festivals, workshops and, of course, the parties. Throughout these festivities participants usually possess an internal pride that then begins to be highlighted and expressed externally. The celebration of pride can take place any day, but when it happens in a city, during a set time frame, the events are larger, grander and quite frankly more fun.

Despite there being two prides that occur in Nashville, both Nashville Pride and Nashville Black Pride have worked together over the years to make each pride inclusive and welcoming to the entire GLBT community. There is no sense of competition in Nashville, which can usually exist in other pride cities. Timing may have a large part to do with it: Nashville Pride has traditionally occurred in June and Nashville Black Pride takes place the last full weekend of October. “The Brothers and Sisters United (BASU) organization has always worked with Nashville PRIDE. In 1997 we began hosting a G’MAWOCS (Gay Men and Women of Color Social) event during the then-weeklong celebration at various locations like Nashville

Nashville Black Pride’s fall date and indoor venue give it a totally different feel than Nashville Pride’s outdoor, summer event.

CARES, The Chute, The Gaslight and the Connection,” said Dwayne Jenkins, president and founder of Nashville Black Pride. “We would easily pull in more than 100 people and noticed that many of these same individuals, for one reason or another, wouldn’t come out to the actual festival in the park. With this in mind, we assembled a group of volunteers that included members of Nashville Pride to address some of the reasons why some events weren’t as diverse as we knew that they should be. Later in 2002 we were approached by the International Federation of Black Prides organization to charter an event in Nashville, and our first official Black Pride celebration occurred in 2003.”


MUSIC CITY COMES OUT PROUD HISTORY Nashville Pride looks back on lessons learned, works to grow festival and related events From a modest gathering of 125 activists, to what is now a month-long celebration culminating in a downtown festival, the pride of Nashville’s GLBT community has flourished over the past 22 years. And it continues to be increasingly visible. The 2010 Nashville Pride Festival is set for June 19, and new attractions coupled with traditions and history will converge throughout the city to produce one of this year’s most anticipated events. A series of events led to the birth of Nashville’s first Pride event in 1988. In The previous year, following organizing that resulted in the founding of T-GALA (Tennessee Gay and Lesbian Alliance), two chartered buses took members of Nashville’s GLBT community and their supporters to Washington D.C. to participate in by mindy parker, staff writer mparker@outandaboutnewspaper.com

the pride of nashville’s GLBT community has flourished over the past 22 years. the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. That same year, Stewart Biven and Jeff Ellis began publishing Dare (later Query), Nashville’s first GLBT publication. With the lines of communication now firmly in place in the form of Query, members of the local community, with the help of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, were able to put together Nashville’s first Pride March in June 1988. A mere 125 people met at Fannie Mae Dees (Dragon) Park that year with signs, and walked through Vanderbilt University and then across West End Avenue into Centennial Park. Jim Hawk, now a board member at OutCentral, hosted the first Pride Ball at the Parthenon in Centennial Park, an event that helped raise the thousands of dollars necessary to turn Pride into a week-long celebration. More than 100 volunteers worked with the newly created board on planning fundraisers and booking entertainers, and quickly the standard for Nashville Pride was set. After two years at the helm of the Nashville Pride Board, Hawk handed the duties over to Linda Welch and Brad Beasley. In 1995, Pride co-chairs Welch and Beasley moved the event to Riverfront Park. Raising the bar again that year, enough money was raised

to provide an officer on each street corner to block streets allowing for horses, motorcycles and floats in Nashville’s first true Pride Parade. An estimated 8,000 people attended Nashville Pride that year. Since Nashville Pride is organized solely by unpaid volunteers, there has always been a cycle of highs and lows for the event during times of turnover and change on the Pride Board. Pam Wheeler, community activist and co-host of Out & About Today TV on NewsChannel 5+, got involved

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with Pride in early 2000, a time when Nashville Pride almost didn’t happen. It was nearing time for the annual event but no one knew who was in charge of planning. “A group of community leaders realized nobody was planning a Pride event in 2000,” Wheeler said. “So, some of us decided to step up and quickly get involved to avoid a lapse. We discovered the existing organization was no longer active after checking with the Secretary of State’s office.”

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video shoot channels dolly

McKendree’s remake of ‘Jolene’ puts new twist on classic by dan sadler

Church Street got the star treatment on May 11, when video trucks and equipment piled up in front of Vibe club to remake a Dolly Parton classic. Local artist McKendree shot his cover of ‘Jolene’ inside the club, making a video that is both energetic and hot. Music and lights pulsed as smoke rolled across Contributor

“My erotic interpretation puts to rest the story of jolene, where dolly is victorious in her fight to keep the temptress from getting her man.”

the stage, and the steamy remake of the classic song by Dolly Parton, with a slight retelling of the story, is bound to turn some heads - and program some DVRs. “My erotic interpretation puts to rest the story of Jolene, where Dolly is victorious in her fight to keep the temptress from getting her man,” McKendree said. The song is produced with a fantastic dance track and vocals that is sure to get plenty of club play here and abroad. And if the video is half as much fun as the shoot, it will be a must see. The Dolly Parton role was played perfectly by Danielle Hunter of Orlando, Fla. She is beautiful, and exudes the charm and grace of Dolly herself. It was difficult to count the male models appearing in the video, but it seemed to be around 40. Two massive, leatherclad men stood watch over the stage as McKendree sang. Cameras rolled on

band. He has toured the world since, and now calls Nashville his home base. McKendree’s story is fascinating. From his beginnings as the son of a Pentecostal preacher in Arkansas, to his early days in Nashville, and his string of hits and world tours, his life is McKendree’s video of “Jolene” is a risque twist on the Dolly Parton classic. worthy of a book we tracks where bar patrons usually dance. hope to see some day. If anything can be described as too much For now, we can enjoy his latest album fun, this was it. to be released in June, “McKendree McKendree is prolific songwriter with Mania Volume 1” produced by Peter more than 1,000 titles to his credit. He Brazier, a tour de force in the music is currently signed with Ten Ten Music industry. We should be able to view in Nashville. His first gig was a Chevy the video soon at his website, www. commercial at age 14, and by 16 he was mckendreemania.com. It is definitely touring the United States with a country worth a listen, and a look. O&AN


MUSIC CITY COMES OUT  HISTORY, continued from PAGE 17 Soon thereafter, an ad appeared in Xenogeny, the GLBT weekly newspaper now known as InsideOut, calling for community members to get together to discuss saving Pride. An estimated 70 people attended the meeting, Wheeler said. With just 90 short days for planning, then Pride President Raney Pollos, with help from community leaders Keith Hinkle, Matthew Strader, Wheeler and a few others, successfully pulled off Nashville Pride 2000 at the Bicentennial Mall. Approximately 2,000 people and 30 vendors attended the event, up about 1,000 visitors from the previous year when volunteerism had lagged and the success of Pride dipped below the norm, Wheeler said. Over the next few years under the leadership of Wheeler and subsequent presidents Mikhail Brown, Michael Basham and Todd Grantham, volunteers and/or board members David McKinnon, Brent Meredith, Marty Sewell, John Wade, Pamela DeGroff, Jason Adkins, Emily Benedict, Pat Finn, DeMarko Smith, Anthony Mollo, Jeanna Emert, Mac (Mca-

doo), Doug Sladen, Josh Baker and dozens of others joined Nashville Pride with a desire to help take it to the next level. Most of these volunteers had been to Pride in other nearby cities and wanted to

information and ticket prices for Pride events can be found on the pride website at www. nashvillepride.org. see their hometown Pride grow and thrive. They meshed their experiences together to create Pride events unique to Nashville and spent months planning the event, running TV and radio ads and bringing in new local and national sponsors. The crowd grew exponentially through the early 2000s and reached the volume most people recognize as Nashville Pride today. This year’s Pride Festival is sure to mark

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another successful year. According to Jack Davis, this year’s President-elect, “The Nashville Pride Board is always looking to improve the festival each year, and this year new additions include a second stage that will feature local and up-and-coming artists.” To expand the festival and created more shade along with additional seating and food vendors, this second stage will be under a large tent. The week leading up to the 2010 festival also includes several big events around town. Some of the new events include a comedy show at Zanies featuring Ian Harvey and Barb Neligan at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 14th, Drag Queen Bingo at Mad Donna’s in East Nashville on Tuesday, June 15th at 9 p.m., and “Pride Rock” at the Hard Rock CafÈ downtown from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, June 18th. Information on ticket prices for these and all events can be found on the Pride website at www. nashvillepride.org. O&AN

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HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU 'CAME OUT'? 10-15: 6% 16-21: 24% 22-29: 42% Over 30: 18% Not out yet: 12%


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panning out just fine

Arnold Myint takes his cooking expertise to Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’ Anyone who’s ever eaten at PM, ChaChah or Suzy Wong’s House of Yum is quick to say that chef Arnold Myint is tops in their book.

by joe morris, managing editor jmorris@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Now it’s time for him to sway the judges on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Myint’s a contestant on the popular cooking-contest show’s new season, set to begin airing on June 16. The finale date hasn’t been set, but will likely run sometime in September. And although the contest’s already wrapped up, Myint’s guarding the outcome like a good cook guards a set of secret ingredients. “I have been a fan of the show since it started, and I auditioned for season three and then two more times before I finally got on,” Myint said. “I can’t talk about what happened, but I was really glad to get to be in the competition.” Having grown up in a family of restaurateurs, Myint knew what he was getting into when he began opening his own eateries. That frantic pace he is still very much hands-on in the kitchen at all three sites - more than prepared him for the various challenges “Top Chef ” threw his way, he said. “I had PM for seven years, and ChaChah for a year and a half and then added Suzy’s as the newest member of my family, so basically I just took what I do with all the restaurants, focused on experimenting with the food and creating concepts for people to enjoy. I’m definitely in the industry I want to be in, and I think that shows.” Having been a professional figure skater, event planner and dabbled in various other professions, Myint’s also able to bring more than just a chef ’seye view to the kitchen and cuisine. “The really cool thing now is the direction where dining is going,” he said. “It’s not so formal any more; people are very busy with their lives, and don’t want to commit to a two-hour sit down from beginning to end. I’m working on concepts with a more casual type of feel, where people can choose their own adventure in terms of their dietary specifications, and have portions and prices that are a lot less than they have been.” His enemy? The “$30 plate of protein, starch and vegetable. You can still have refined, highstandard food, and do it in a casual setting.” However “Top Chef ” plays out, it’ll bring attention to Myint, his restaurants and to the Nashville food and GLBT communities. And that’s just fine with this Music City native, who confesses to some frustration upon his return from New York a few years ago when it came to educating local palates. “The whole motivation behind my doing the show was to make Nashville a destination for food,” Myint

said. “I want people here to be more receptive to more progressive ideas, and I hope through the show that will happen. I want to bring my own food philosophy into this town, and to bring other people here to see what we are all about.” As a member of the Nashville Originals, an indie-restaurant group, he also plans to use this and Arnold Myint any other platform he gets to promote local cuisine, the ‘mom and pop’ setups that often disappear due to chain-restaurant competition. Keeping it local is also why there’s no franchise plans for Suzy’s, PM or ChaChah in the works, at least not for now. “With any kind of business, you look at the long term,” he said. “You focus on your plan, you do your homework and you throw yourselves to the wolves. I was raised in this business, my whole family is in it, and so I know the daily beast inside and out. I don’t look to branch out more right now, but the time may come when I look into doing that.”

The cast of this season’s “Top Chef” on Bravo.

That would mean letting go of some control, something else he already does. “I enjoy cooking with other people, having other hands in the kitchen besides my own,” Myint said. “I’m spread a little thin now, so it’s good to be able to standardize some things, have what everybody’s doing be a reflection of what I’m all about.” That’s not to say that he’s taking a rest from creativity. “I just acquired an ice-cream machine, and I’m having a good time making different flavors and sorbets,” Myint said. “I’m going to use that a lot this summer, and explore new versions of classic cocktails. It’s a really fun toy to have.” O&AN


MUSIC CITY COMES OUT B&C melrose serves it up Latest entry onto Nashville’s BBQ scene looks to set itself apart dimension to its existing repertoire. It’s also a really short commute for the The Memphis in May barbecue owners, who live just a couple of blocks away. competition typically is a fun way for “We like being in the neighborhood friends to enjoy the summer festival and and having new things to offer our loyal show off a little bit of their home-grown customers who are also our neighbors,” barbecue skills. But for Paul Johnson and Johnson said. Ed Smith, participation in this tradition led Extended hours, a spacious and relaxing to what became a Nashville-based catering patio, an appetizer menu and beer, along with company and two restaurant locations. the new 50-cent wing night on B&C Melrose BBQ Mondays, are all additions that serves Nashville from both they were not previously able the Farmer’s Market and to offer at the market location. its Melrose location, and And with a neighborhood feel business is expanding as the and an inviting atmosphere, locations, and their menus, Melrose is quickly becoming a are becoming increasingly local staple. well known around town. The Farmer’s Market, As with a lot of local along with B&C’s outpost restaurant owners, both there, was greatly damaged Johnson and Smith began by the flood last month, and their careers in the corporate that location will be closed arena, but quickly tired of for a few months as cleanup B&C Melrose BBQ's a hit at its the “rat race” and began to main location and also for its and repair operations are look elsewhere to satisfy catering services. undertaken. Johnson said their entrepreneurial their first priority is to re-locate their urges. As friends encouraged their culinary employees to the Melrose restaurant, which talents following their participation in the is now their catering headquarters and only Memphis festival, the idea for a business physical location. quickly came to fruition and the two Very committed to the well being opened their catering company, Bacon & of their staff, he and Smith say they Caviar, in 2005. Their services were a hit plan to make the necessary changes to for office lunches, weddings, house parties accommodate their needs in the short and other local events, and according to term, and as soon as the market location Johnson, catering the Nashville CARES’ opens again, proceed with growing the annual Artrageous event really “put us on business both at the Melrose location and the map.” perhaps other neighborhoods around the As the business expanded, the B&C Nashville area. Market BBQ, located in the downtown Voted one of the “10 Best New Patios” Farmer’s Market, opened in 2008. Their by the Tennessean, B&C Melrose BBQ catering company was moved to this is certainly a place to visit for fantastic location, and the new restaurant in the barbecue and a relaxing, fun atmosphere. market was the perfect outlet to reach out Whether it’s to enjoy some southern to a large lunchtime crowd. cooking or relax with a beer to watch “Our goal was to provide down-home a game on the patio (or perhaps both), Southern food with an upscale twist for the Melrose is a place to visit this summer. catering business, and then to target local Visit the restaurant/catering company patrons at the Market location,” said Johnson. at 112 Franklin Pike, and check out Business has been booming on all fronts, www.baconandcaviar.com for more and now B&C has opened a new location, information. O&AN Melrose BBQ, to add a brand-new by mindy parker, staff writer mparker@outandaboutnewspaper.com

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finding his niche

From trials recruitment to counseling and support, Sorrell works to increase HIV awareness In a landmark moment for Vanderbilt University, the HIV Vaccine Trials Program (HVTP) recently notched its 1,000th volunteer, an example of Nashville’s deep commitment towards the cause. There to help that happen was Vic Sorrell, the HVTP’s newest community educator. Perched at the forefront of Nashville’s fight against HIV, Sorrel has extensive experience in HIV prevention and education programs, and is well suited to his latest task: to further inform the Middle Tennessee community about current vaccine trials and create awareness for HIV research. In his previous post, Sorrell served the Nashville community as Coordinator of GLBTQI HIV Prevention Education at Nashville CARES. A graduate of Belmont University, he’d previously worked in marketing and promotions in the countrymusic industry, but a recession-induced layoff in 2008 allowed him to reevaluate by blake jonathan boldt

bboldt@outandaboutnewspaper.com

his priorities. “I’d always had the desire to do something philanthropic, something that served my community, whether that be the gay community, through HIV work or just diversity in general,” Sorrell said. In September 2008, a personal friend told him about a possible job opportunity at Nashville Vanderbilt’s HIV Vaccine CARES. When he Trials Program and Nashville CARES both interviewed for the benefit from Vic Sorrell’s position, Sorrell was strong commitment to outreach and education. convinced that he’d found the right professional outlet for his ambitions. “There was such an interesting energy in the room,” Sorrell said. “It was one of the few times in my life where something felt so right.” Upon his hiring, Sorrell’s background in public speaking and event coordination,

honed by years in the music business, was invaluable when addressing groups and performing other outreach activities stressing the importance of HIV prevention. His tenure with the organization became perfect preparation for taking part in a national movement such as HVTP, he said. Thanks to HTVP, Nashville remains one of the leading contributors to HIV research, even compared to major metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Sorrell, a former volunteer in the study, suggests that a strong sense of community makes Nashville a key contributor to the cause. “The city is smaller and it’s easier to reach people here,” he said. “They’re willing to listen to our message and help where they can. In many other cities, people are hit all the time with these causes; in Nashville, this is a unique opportunity to help.” The HVTP has recently begun a nationwide study, “Hope Takes Action,”

designed to yield limited information on the effectiveness of a preliminary HIV vaccine. This spring the organization also designed an aggressive media campaign on numerous social-networking sites in an effort to target potential participants. The study is currently seeking men who have sex with men to participate in a vaccine trial. All participants must be between 18 and 45 years old and HIV-negative. “My hope is to have Nashville as the No. 1 city in the trial,” Sorrell said. “Right now we’re about midway down the list - I’d like to see us represented at the top.” Though he’s fully committed to his new role, Sorrell retains a part-time position with Nashville CARES, focusing on HIV testing and risk counseling, so he can keep his hand in on that side of the issue as well. “My personal goal is to contribute to something that is groundbreaking in the gay community, in the HIV community and in the community as a whole,” Sorrell said. O&AN


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For the latest details and for newly added events and activities, visit www.nashvillepride.org.

JUNE 13

JUNE 4

Beer Bust for Pride 9 p.m. $2 draft beer all night long The Stirrup 1529 4th Ave. South Nashville, TN 37210 stirrupnashville.com

JUNE 6

Gospel Night Play Dance Bar 8 p.m. $10 admission 1519 Church St. Nashville, TN 37203 playdancebar.com

JUNE 8

Pride Roller Disco 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. $7 admission Hosted by the Nashville Grizzlies (grizzliesrugby.org)

Brentwood Skate Center 402 Wilson Pike Circle Brentwood, TN 37027 skatecenter.com/Brentwood

JUNE 11

Splash! A Pride Pool Party Fashion Show 10 p.m. - Midnight $5 admission Mad Donna’s 1313 Woodland St. Nashville, TN 37206 maddonnasnashville.com

Conductors’ Night 9 p.m. The Stirrup 1529 4th Ave. South Nashville, TN 37210 stirrupnashville.com

Pride Pageant 8 p.m. Play Dance Bar 1519 Church St. Nashville, TN 37203 playdancebar.com

JUNE 14

Laugh Out Proud Comedy Night with Ian Harvie 7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30) $15 admission Zanies 2025 8th Ave. South Nashville, TN 37204 nashville.zanies.com

JUNE 15

Drag Bingo 9 p.m. Mad Donna’s 131 Woodland St. Nashville, TN 37206 maddonnasnashville.com

JUNE 16

Spirituality Night 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Scarritt-Bennett’s Wightman Chapel 1008 19th Ave. South Nashville, TN 37212

JUNE 17

Living True Tour 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Ray Boltz and Azariah Southworth, two former key players in the Christian music world, will give a live performance of their music. Covenant of the Cross 752 Madison Square Nashville, TN 37115 www.facebook.com/event. php?eid=400189285585

The Velocity of Pride 6 p.m. Velocity Clubhouse 320 11th Ave. South (in the Gulch area) Nashville, TN 37203 Admission to this mixer is free and open to everyone.

JUNE 18

Rock with Pride Pre-Party 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hard Rock Cafe

JUNE 19

Nashville Pride Festival Riverfront Park

JUNE 20

Rainbow Run 7 a.m. Centennial Park Abby Dees Book Signing 1 p.m. OutLoud 1703 Church St. Nashville, TN 37203

JUNE 25

Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce Mixer 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz P.C. 211 Commerce St., Suite 800 Nashville, TN 37201 nashvilleglbtchamber.org

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PRIDE VENDORS 2010 Pride Vendors as of 5/21/10 ACLU TN AIDS Clinical Trial Group Ashley Furniture Home Store Ava’s Adult Bank of America Barefoot Wine & Bubbly Ben & Jerry’s CASA Nashville Covenant of the Cross Dell, Inc. Dixie Homecrafters/Gutter Guardian Dolce Tan and Dinix LLC Donut King, Inc. Fifth Third Bank Greater Nashville Prime Timers Human Rights Campaign Hustler Hollywood International Academy of Design - Nashville J&L Mobile (Food) Jive Digital Print Lambda Media Lesbian Social Club - Nashville Mankind Project of Nashville Metro Nashville Police Department Metro Public Health Department Middle Tennessee Unitarian Universalist Church More Light Presbyterians Nashville Black Pride Nashville CARES Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce Northshore University Health System Office of LGBTQI Life at Vanderbilt University Out & About Newspaper OutCentral, Inc. OutLoud Bookstore Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee Tribe and Play Dance Bar Turnip Truck SMRA State Farm Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) Tennessee Repertory Theatre Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition Tennessee Vals Victory Fund Village Property Management Village Real Estate Services YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee

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MUSIC CITY COMES OUT PRIDE 2009 photos by keith hinkle

The Nashville Pride Festival saw one of its most successful years ever in 2009, and is poised to make 2010 another one for the record books. From the parties and community-building events all the way through the festival day and beyond, it's a chance for all Nashville and Middle Tennessee's GLBT community to come together.

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FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT...

MUSIC CITY COMES OUT 2010 PRIDE BOARD AND COMMITTEE

Bridgestone Main Stage Line up

11:00 a.m. DJ Lenny 11:45 a.m. Knowing Me, Knowing You (ABBA Cover band) 1:00 p.m. Space Capone 2:00 p.m. Mr. and Miss Pride 2:15 p.m. Drag Kings and Queens 2:30 p.m. DJ Ron 2:50 p.m. Megan McCormick 3:40 p.m. Kaci Battaglia 4:30 p.m. Vanessa Carlton

Scott Ridgeway, Rob Sikorski, Keith Hinkle, Joseph Woodson, Eric Armour, Jack Davis, Christy Ikner, Jenn Garrett ,Erica Rubinsky, Mac, Joey Leslie, Jason Hunt, Randall Roop Not Pictured: Kirby Duncan, Debra Hylsop, Pam Wheeler, Joey Brown From left to right:

PRIDE THANKS... Presenting Sponsor Tribe and Play Dance Bar Main Stage Sponsor Bridgestone Gold Barefoot Wine and Bubbly Silver Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce Bud Lite Bronze Suntrust Bristol delvopement DINIX/Dolce Fifth Third Bank SVEDKA Media Out and About Newspaper iOut Nashville Scene Diamond Solve Solutions Millennium Maxwell House Hotel Sapphire Cosmo Creations Amerigo’s Turnip Truck Ruby Signature Transportation Services

Vanderbilt Life Flight Event Medicine Jive Print Factory Alice Crafts Bone McAllester Norton Metro Nashville Mayors office Athens Distributing Ajax’s Turner Classic Party Rentals Cha Chah (Arnold Myint) Geppe Hernandez Jon Glassmeyer and Scott Ridgeway Flyte CMT Lipstick Lounge The Stir up Mad Donnas Daisy Rae Welch The Grizzlies Velocity Ms. Kitty Kincaid Greg Bullard Milton White Josh Baker Barb Neligan OutCentral Outloud! Tennessee Equality Project


MUSIC CITY COMES OUT DOWNTOWN BREAKDOWN Where to eat, play and more during Nashville Pride by O&AN Staff reports

OUTCENTRAL COMMUNITY CENTER It’s a hub of activity for the GLBTQIF community offering a variety of game nights, movie nights, workshops and other special events each week. The first of its kind in Nashville, the center also offers meeting space where groups can meet and collaborate to build strong relationships within the community. 1709 Church St., Nashville, 37203. Visit outcentral.org to see what they have in store during Pride Week!

SHOPPING OUTLOUD Located at 1703 Church St. in the heart of Nashville’s GLBT entertainment row, OutLoud! bookstore is a great place to shop and relax. OutLoud! is a combination book, music and gift store. What better

way to unwind after a busy day of Pride partying in the park then with a GLBT book or video? Check out their selection at outloudonline.com.

THE GREAT ESCAPE The Great Escape is a little store nestled in the heart of Nashville off Broadway. This store has a little bit of everything for the pop culture junkie. Looking for a rare Madonna bootleg? Trying to find that “Watchman” comic #5 to complete your collection? The Great Escape will be your new favorite place to shop. You can find everything here from movie posters, vinyl records, rare comics and CD bootlegs to vintage toys. Let your inner pop-culture geek have a field day at 1925 Broadway. thegreatescapeonline.com.

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TOURIST ATTRACTIONS THE FRIST CENTER FOR THE VISUAL ARTS Located in Downtown Nashville and features many concurrent exhibits. During Pride week there’s Chihuly at The Frist, an amazing exhibit of the glassmaker’s art, and The Golden Age of Couture, fashion from Paris and London 1947-1957 (this one’s really popular, so be prepared to wait a bit before getting in). The adult entrance fee is normally $7 but the galleries are free on June 20 with a special coupon in the June edition of O&AN. The Frist is located at 919 Broadway. fristcenter.org

THE RYMER GALLERY Open Tuesday through Saturday (11 a.m. - 6 p.m.), the Rymer Gallery is the

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largest contemporary gallery in the heart of Nashville’s arts district. Continuing the legacy endowed by The Betty Rymer Gallery at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the gallery supports the best of what the contemporary art world has to offer. During Pride, Southern Organic, works by Michael Brown, Jonathan Ferrara and Erin Anfinson, is featured. The Rymer Gallery is located at 233 Fifth Avenue North. therymergallery.com

NASHVILLE GHOST TOURS Want a reason to cuddle up next to your partner? Nashville Ghost Tours will have you hearing that “bump” in the night. They have four tours led by period-dressed guides: Downtown Nashville, Haunted Taverns, Cemetery and Carriage Rides. The downtown tour takes you on a 90-minute journey led by lantern light to

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the most historically haunted areas. The Tavern and Cemetery tours take you to targeted locales of eerie and supernatural lore. The Carriage Ride consists of an hour-long trip complete with tales of Confederate ghosts and hauntings. Reservations required. Call 615-884-3999 for more info. nashvilleghosttours.com.

ENTERTAINMENT BELCOURT THEATRE The Belcourt Theatre is a lasting symbol of the tradition of the neighborhood theatre. This is no multi-plex. The theatre showcases some of the best films of decades past, as well as new independent features and live music. Their concession stand consists of your typical movie fare (popcorn and soda) but also includes a fully stocked bar. How could you have a better moviegoing experience than to sit in a historical theatre, sipping your favorite liquor or beer, while enjoying a classic film? The Belcourt is located at 2102 Belcourt

LODGING

Avenue. belcourt.org

THE HOTEL PRESTON Heading into Nashville for Pride and need a place to stay? Your Pride oasis awaits at the Hotel Preston. Located just outside of downtown, they offer a “Gaycation” package which features all the things you will need to round off your stay in Nashville. You will enjoy pink champagne in the Pink Slip Lounge where local artists will keep you entertained. When it’s time to head to bed, a romance gift set will be waiting. You must be 21 to enjoy this special package. The Hotel Preston is located at 733 Briley Parkway. Give them a call at 877-361-5500. hotelpreston.com

HOTEL INDIGO If you are wanting to stay downtown for Pride, then book your room at one of two Hotel Indigo locations. The Music Row hotel is at 1719 West End Ave, a 10-minute walk to Church Street, the heart of gay

Nashville. But with all the amenities, you may never want to leave. There are two eateries, The Golden Bean (a casual coffeehouse) and Phi-Bar (a gourmet bistro) and a fully equipped gym. The downtown site is at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Union Street. Call 1-877-8-Indigo to make your reservation. hotelindigo.com

DOUBLETREE HOTEL Just up the hill - literally - from the Nashville Pride Festival, the Doubletree has long been a hotel of choice for out-oftown visitors as well as locals looking for an affordable weekend getaway. Call (615) 244-8200 for specials and rates, or visit them online at doubletree1.Hilton.com.

BARS & NIGHTCLUBS THE LIPSTICK LOUNGE The Lipstick Lounge is famous throughout the south as the bar to visit when in Nashville. Lesbian-owned and founded in 2002, the “Lounge” is a popular nightspot

for all walks of life. The friendly staff, events and daily food and drink specials make Lipstick a home away from home to anyone who enters. With a mix of live music, karaoke, and pure hip-hop dance music, every traveler is sure to find something to enjoy at this bar. The Lipstick Lounge is located at 1400 Woodland Street. thelipsticklounge.com

PLAY DANCE BAR If you’re in a dancing mood after the day’s festivities have come to a close, you won’t want to miss out on Play Dance Bar. Nationally known as one of the hottest places to shake your groove thing, Play offers a massive dance floor, constant laser lightshow and multi-level bar. And let’s not forget the Playmates. The bar’s everentertaining cast of drag queens take the stage in the show bar each night Wednesday through Sunday at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Play is located at 1519 Church Street. playdancebar.com


MUSIC CITY COMES OUT TRIBE NASHVILLE Located just next door to Play is its sister bar, Tribe. A big-city type video bar, Tribe offers up a variety of top-notch drinks in a sophisticated setting. Tribe is located at 1517 Church St. tribenashville.com

BLUE GENE’S Want a casual evening with one of the best jukeboxes around? Then stroll back down Church Street to 1715 and step into Blue Gene’s. This neighborhood-style bar is a meeting place for the locals, and out of-towners quickly find themselves at home here as well. bluegenes37203.com.

VIBE NIGHTCLUB Still need some more Church Street? Next door to Blue Gene’s is Vibe NIghtclub, one of Nashville’s most fun dance and entertainment destinations. Open Saturday evenings from 9 p.m., shows usually begin around 11 p.m. 1713 Church St.

THE STIRRUP From the ashes of the legendary Chute came The Stirrup ... at least the name, and the bartenders/owners Mikey and Timmy. Neighbors meet up here to have a drink and catch up, and it’s become the home bar for the Conductors L/L club and the

HOW MANY OTHER PRIDE FESTIVALS DO YOU ATTEND EVERY YEAR? None 75% 1: 25% 2-3: 0% 4-5: 0% I do the whole circuit: 0%

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Middle Tennessee Bear Alliance, and just about every sports team in town has been known to show up on the patio for a keg or two from time to time. 1529 4th Ave. South, stirrupnashville.com

DINING SUZY WONG’S HOUSE OF YUM Located right next door to Tribe on Church Street, Suzy’s has become one of the hottest meal tickets in town. Chef Arnold Myint (a contender on this season’s “Top Chef”) named the joint after the popular 195’s novel, The World of Suzie Wong, the story of a beautiful Asian “lady of the evening” falling in love with an American diplomat (played by William Holden in the camp classic 1960 movie.) Get ready for, in Myint’s words “a brothel of epicurean delights.” suzywongsnashville.com.

MARCHE ARTISAN FOODS Marche Artisan foods is a Europeanstyle cafe and marketplace rolled into one. You can dine on the savory dishes from their menu for brunch, lunch and dinner throughout the day or be adventurous and buy the trimmings necessary to create your own menu. You can call in special orders

for the raw ingredients to make your own international cuisine at 615-262-1111. The cafe offers wine and changes up its menu from month-to-month so you can find something to new to enjoy every few weeks. Marche is located at 1000 Main Street in East Nashville. marcheartisanfoods.com

NUVO BURRITO On any given day, there is a place where you can get a “Margarito,” watch the “Nuvo Network” and relax with friends while enjoying a freshly prepared “90210 Ques-Idea.” Where, you ask? Right in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood, at new hotspot Nuvo Burrito. The Americanstyle burrito and quesadilla menu is only second in popularity to the “Glee” parties every week. 1000 Main St., Nashville, 37206. nuvoburrito.com.

LAS FIESTAS CHARRAS If you’re looking for a gay-friendly Mexican restaurant to

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enjoy good food and good times at, look no further. Las Fiestas Charras, which has been open for a few months at 3935 Gallatin Pike in Inglewood, offers a comfortable atmosphere, great service and good food (and yes, you can get your copy of Out & About there). (615) 227-2374.

MAD DONNA’S Across the street from the Lipstick Lounge sits Mad Donna’s, another East Side favorite. From burgers to more upscale fare, this neighborhood restaurant can suit just about any taste. And for more fun, head upstairs for Drag Bingo and other weekly activities. 1313 Woodland St., Nashville 38203. maddonnas.com


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 NOVEMBER, continued from PAGE 12

REGIONAL PRIDE FESTIVALS by O&AN Staff reports

Knoxville Pridefest

Market Square June 26 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. knoxvillepridefest.com

Tennessee Valley Pride (Chattanooga)

tennesseevalleypride.com

 TRIATHLETE, continued from PAGE 7 Hoping to repeat his success, Gondek is currently training for a trip to the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany later this summer. As part of his training, Gondek recently participated in the Country Music Marathon here in Nashville. “I wanted to race faster, so I did the half instead of the whole,” he said. “I tried to do it at under seven minutes a mile, and I did. It was a great training vehicle to get me in shape for the Olympic distance race.” As always, reaching for personal goals is at the heart of Gondek’s efforts. Wanting to finish in the top 10 for his age group, Gondek actually came in third out of 725

Mid-South Pride/ Memphis Gay Pride

October 16, 2010 midsouthpride.org

Kentuckiana Pride

Louisville June 18-19 kentuckianapride festival.com

guys with a time of one hour, 30 minutes. While Gondek’s passion for sports and athletics has given him hobbies, a career, a business, friends, and travel, it also opened up avenues for him to help others. Gondek has always done volunteer work, but when he opened his first gym, he noticed he was training a lot of wealthy clients and saw an opportunity. “I was raising money for a black-tie dinner for AIDS Services of New Mexico, or raising money through art auctions similar to how they do with Artrageous here in Nashville,” Gondek said. “Then finally, I thought, ‘I work with people best one on one,’ and I wanted to get involved with something else.” Through his volunteer work and his massage therapy, Gondek was approached by a local hospice in Santa Fe to work with some of their patients. “I had been studying with a Native American teacher, and I do sweat lodge and vision quest which is all about the lifecycle and natural rhythms of life, and I felt very comfortable

Nashville Black Pride

October 29-31 brothersunited.com

Atlanta Pride Festival

Piedmont Park October 9-10 atlantapride.org

when I went into it,” he said. Gondek recently began volunteering at Alive Hospice here in Nashville, and he says it’s the most rewarding and important thing he has ever done in his life. “I’ve been privileged to be there with a few people as they transition from this life, and those, by far, are the best moments of my life.” Gondek said. “Dying is not pretty. At times, it’s just not pretty, but it is a beautiful thing to be there for, and to honor somebody to be there.”

state house we still want to advance our hate crimes and birth-certificate bills, and so we’re looking for progressive, inclusive candidates to support.” Richmond and Sanders both note that the newly seated Tennessee State Legislature will be in charge of redistricting, so whichever party controls the Capitol will draw the maps in their favor - and they’ll stay drawn that way for 10 years, barring court challenges. “If things don’t go well, then we’re going to be fighting defensive battles for at least 10 years,” Richmond said. “That’s one reason why these elections are so important. We hope that everybody across the state gets involved in these campaigns, and doesn’t just wait to see what happens. We have to make a difference.” O&AN

HOW MANY NASHVILLE PRIDE FESTIVALS HAVE YOU ATTENDED?

So, what’s next? Gondek continues to work for the clients that brought him to Nashville, while at the same time looking to expand his training business and learn what is needed in the training world. After competing in the Gay Games in August, he says he plans to compete in the Ford Ironman Louisville event in 2011. After that, Gondek plans to conquer the tennis court. “I’ve really met some great tennis players here that play in gay events, and I’m going to start training for tennis after I get back from the Gay Games.” O&AN To keep up with Gondek and his travels, visit his website at www.jaygondek.com.

This year will be my first one! 0% 1–2: 25% 3-4: 0% 5-6: 50% 7 or more: 25%


MUSIC CITY COMES OUT CONFRONTING STEREOTYPE Vanderbilt’s male nurses say sexual orientation, gender no hindrance in their career by andrew tamburin, staff writer atamburin@outandaboutnewspaper.com

When Tony Smith decided to go into nursing in 1988, he found himself in the middle of a familiar stereotype: that nursing is a gay man’s world. “As soon as I decided I was going into nursing, automatically I was labeled,” he said. Smith, who is a chief flight nurse with Vanderbilt’s Life Flight in Tullahoma, was 15 when he took a job in a hospital to raise money for a car, and encountered stereotypes despite the fact that he was not yet out. In the 1980s, the general dearth of male nurses helped strengthen the stigma for

Tony Smith

the few men who pursued nursing. Smith was one of three men in his bachelor’s program. Over time, he said, this sentiment has slowly evolved. “I don’t think it’s as stereotypical now,” he said. Todd Griner, a Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse manager who’s worked his way through various areas of nursing and now oversees administrative issues, credits Vanderbilt for the inclusive environment that helps him to feel comfortable as an out gay man in the

Todd Griner

nursing profession. “Gay employees are completely whole in the Vanderbilt community,” Griner said. “I feel like I am working someplace that I can endorse and support with my entire self.” Griner said that hospitals like Vanderbilt that are intertwined within a university community can help to create an environment hospitable to several minority communities, including the GLBT community.

“gay employees are completely whole in the vanderbilt community ... I feel like i am working someplace that i can endorse and support with my entire self.” “Working at a university brings all sorts of benefits, and one of them is a feeling of inclusiveness and openness,” he said. “It’s

celebrating diversity in all aspects.” Smith attributes some of this diversity to the widely acknowledged job security and the broad spectrum of work available within the large nursing field. “Once you have that nursing degree, there’s so many avenues you can go down,” he said. “It’s not only about science. It’s also an art - the compassion, the empathy.” Brian Widmar, a nurse practitioner at Vanderbilt, sees being gay as an aspect of his life that doesn’t necessarily overlap with his profession. He says his colleagues, many of whom know about his partner, share that low-key sentiment. “I’ve never had a peer make my sexual identity an issue in the work environment,” he said. “There really are so many things to know about me aside from my sexuality ... Honestly, I don’t Brian Widmar think it matters one way or the other to my teammates. I’m at work every day to care for others, to be part of a team that cares for others. I think my peers like me being part of that team.” Smith echoed Widmar’s sentiments, describing nursing as a professional environment in which you’re judged by the quality of your work, not the person you go home to. “As long as people know that you know what you’re doing and, you’re doing your job, people will accept you as who you are,” he said.

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Ironically, it was this emphasis on professionalism that helped him to come to terms with his sexual orientation in the beginning of his career. “It helped me build that confidence to say, ‘This who I am,’” he said. “If I can do everything that I do on a day to day basis as a nurse, I can have that confidence as who I am.” O&AN


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MUSIC CITY COMES OUT THE WHOLE PACKAGE

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With new album and book, Chely Wright presents multimedia picture of herself The best track on Chely Wright’s exceptional new album, Lifted Off the Ground, is the ! dark comedy “Notes REVIEW To The Coroner,” sung from the perspective of a woman who’s recently passed. Written in a black notebook at her bedside is the self-described “official cause of death;” a broken heart born from a life’s worth of sadness and regret. “Be sure to read it,” she insists, “it’ll tell you everything.” by blake jonathan boldt

bboldt@outandaboutnewspaper.com

As will the literary equivalent to Lifted, Wright’s memoir, Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer, a revealing glimpse at her transformation from small town Kansas girl to newly-out country star. Unlike many tell-all books, Like Me is an even-handed account about the author’s secret past. Wright doesn’t abuse her ability for storytelling and atones for a number of her missteps along the way, including her ill-fated affair with country music’s reigning male vocalist, Brad Paisley, whose myopic views about the gay community say much about the conservative culture of Music Row. Wright takes mild swipes at flirty radio

DJs and homophobic country star John Rich, but more often than not she turns the heat on herself. Her literary voice lends a fresh perspective to industry politics and sexuality in America. As a child, Wright learned early on that being gay wouldn’t gain her entry into the Grand Ole Opry, so she denied her sexual identity upon arriving in Nashville to pursue her country-music dreams. She carved out a modest career on Music Row under tight constraints, earning a No. 1 hit with 1999’s Single White Female. Even during her commercial heyday, Wright stood as a welcome contrast to the lighthearted pop country divas that dominated the airwaves, a freethinking woman in a genre where singers are often forced to trade in clichÈs for a place on shrinking radio playlists. Behind the scenes, Wright performed a tightrope act to boost her fledgling career. That she crumbled under the weight of that enormous pressure comes as no surprise. For months after releasing her fine 2005 album, The Metropolitan Hotel, she remained a near-recluse -”a big ball of pain and pajamas” as she describes in

Notes - while spilling out her turmoil into songs that had little in common with her country-music past. That creative rush coaxed her from the shadows. With the guiding hand of friend and mentor Rodney Crowell, Wright shaped her experience into a batch of songs that form Lifted, all steered by her rich, expressive alto. At its apex is a song enigmatically titled Like Me, a wrenching ballad where Wright chides an ex for hiding her sexuality. In a tender, no-fuss tone, she throws doubt on her ex’s future - “Who’s gonna end up holding

your hand?/A beautiful woman or a tall handsome man?”- and rues her own messy love life. She closes with a doublebarreled question, equal parts empathy and impatience: “Will anyone ever know you like me?” Once she’s past that crisis point, she doles out a healthy dose of anger. Alt-rock daggers like Damn Liar and Object Of Your Rejection recall the mid-90s angst of Alanis Morrisette and Sheryl Crow. Lifted’s mood of loss and longing is tempered with uplifting numbers, including a folk-inspired call for freedom (That Train) and a popgospel ode of gratitude (Heavenly Days). The decidedly non-mainstream music on Lifted means that country radio will likely be hands off, but Wright seems most concerned with Music Row’s moral support in the wake of her announcement. What role she plays in Nashville after this tricky turn - industry trailblazer or shunned outsider - is anybody’s guess. Either way, she’s delivered one of the strongest albums of the year and an inspirational story for American sons and daughters who are just like her. O&AN


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CONSIDER THE IPAD

It’s pretty amazing, but does it live up to the hype? by CUrt bucy, gadget guru cbucy@outandaboutnewspaper.com

The iPad has been launched

on the United States. It was met with drooling, lust, and also some doubt. I’ve spent some time with the iPad and have some things to tell you. Some people have

called it a giant iPhone ... well, that’s not far off. It looks like an iPhone, it does most of the things that an iPhone does - but instead of the smaller iPhone screen, it has a gorgeous, 9.7-inch LED backlit display. In fact, it kinda is a giant iPhone ... that is, if it had a phone. Or a camera. And

was much more inexpensive. But I digress ... Let’s talk about what I like. The screen is AMAZING. It works just like an iPhone, so if you are familiar with the interface (or spent 5 minutes with someone else’s), you already know how to use it. That, in itself, is pretty awesome. You can surf the web, get your email and download your music and videos to it. Also - there are more than 250,000 apps. There is no keyboard, just the virtual one like the iPhone. I have no problem with the keyboard as I’m accustomed to using one on my iPhone. Currently six versions of the iPad are offered. The WiFi-only format (can only connect to the internet when there is a wireless connection) is available in 16GB ($499), 32GB

The iPad is stunning, but after I few minutes I began to notice it seems heavy. It’s 1.5 pounds and .5 inch thick. I know this doesn’t seem that heavy, but after a few minutes, my wrists could tell. Second thing - it doesn’t have a camera. That seems so silly to me. Why not put this capability on a device at this price?! I’m sure Apple will correct this on the second version. Hey - you have to hold some things back to keep people coming, right? Third - the data plan is expensive and in my opinion, you need it. Although WiFi is available in many places, free WiFi isn’t easy to come by. Therefore, if you want to be able to use your iPad all the time and no matter where you are, then you need the 3G. I wasn’t able to test a

($599), and 64GB ($699) models. There is a WiFi/3G model as well - it is available in the same sizes but can connect through WiFi or over AT&T’s 3G network (for a fee, of course - $29.99 a month for unlimited data). These models are priced at $629, $729 and $829 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, respectively. The iPad does have an electronic book reader app called iBook (Apple’s own of course). This will give Amazon’s Kindle a run for the money, and I would expect to see the Kindle drop in price soon because of it. People won’t pay exclusively for a book reader when they can have a book reader that does a million other things for a couple hundred dollars more. As you may remember, I’ve been reading electronic books almost exclusively for five years now. The iBook reader is nice. The books look great and the selection seems very extensive. Book prices vary depending on the book. Now on to what I don’t like.

3G one but I’m told that the service is as reliable as it is on your iPhone. If there is 3G in your area, then the service is pretty good. Personally, I don’t have many issues with my AT&T service in Nashville. So, is it worth the money? If you love your iPhone and want to marry it, then yes. You will be thrilled with the iPad and it’s much easier to read while lying on your couch at home. Personally, I think I’m going to wait on the second generation and see what they can add to it for the same price. I have a laptop (Macbook Air), a Kindle book reader, a Sony eReader, and I have an iPhone, so I don’t need it. After seeing what they can add in version 2, I bet I’ll need one. If you don’t want to switch to AT&T phone service, and you’re thinking about getting a laptop anyway, you might want to consider one. It is pretty cool, after all. O&AN More information about the iPad can be found at www.apple.com/ipad


MUSIC CITY COMES OUT  WRIGHT, continued from PAGE 3 and that it and the book chronicle some very dark moments, it’s important to her that all these projects continue to move forward as a unit. “Putting out an album is tough, and putting out a book is tough,” she said. “I had to work with two different companies, and everyone did an incredible job making sure that they could launch at the same time. They go together, and represent the audio and written word of what I used to call a breakdown, but now really know was a breakthrough.” And the former book-report whiz, high-school newspaper editor and crack songwriter also learned a thing or two

about the long-form written word along the way. “I had much more confidence in my writing than I should’ve,” Wright admitted. “I didn’t’ realize how difficult a book was going to be until I had about 100 pages, and realized that my agent and publisher weren’t going to get me a ghost writer. “I love language, I love grammar, I have the knowledge of how to use words and syntax,” she continued,, “but I have been schooled. I have been humbled. People who write books, the real journalists and authors, need to be lifted up and carried through the streets and confetti needs to be thrown on them.” That newfound gratitude made songwriting even more of a joy for her, and now that she’s living more openly she is eager to see how that informs her craft

going forward. “The songs for this album were like an infected splinter coming out of me,” she said. “There was no cognitive activity going on. The next time I write a record, I’m wondering how all this will play out ... how will this truth, this new freedom, find its way into my music? I’m curious and quite excited to know how that’s going to reveal itself, because I’ve never gotten to write with the thought of making a record with no border.” Whether or not the country music industry, its practitioners and its fans, embrace her remains to be seen. But being a fairly well known entertainer and one who’d already achieved no small measure of success on Music Row, should help. “It was going to take someone they already knew, somebody they already liked, to make a difference,” Wright said. “I never thought it would be me. I cannot tell you how many times I swore to God it wouldn’t be me. But here it is, and the response so far has been incredible.” In major metro areas, her coming out might merit a shrug. In her native Wellsville, Kansas, not so much - and that’s a good thing. “The whispers, the rumors, they still happen in small-town America,” Wright said. “They don’t have gay publications. They don’t have a big gay community. In my hometown this was big news, and this may lead to intelligent conversations about being gay at country music stations, on the air. And I was told that three kids in Wellsville went to the principal’s office on the day I came out and they did as well. That is no small thing in that community.” At the end of the day, Wright’s wellpublicized flirtation with suicide was the tipping point for what has become the rest of her life. And now she looks forward to reaping the rewards, and learning what will likely be some hard lessons, along an open and free journey. “You know what’s best?” she said. “I have made sure that no one will ever use the word ‘lesbian’ as an insult to me ever again. You can call me ugly, stupid, whatever, but you’ll never use that word to insult me again. And that feels really good.”O&AN

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MUSIC CITY COMES OUT BOLTZ-SOUTHWORTH TOUR LAUNCHES IN NASHVILLE Openly gay performers are well-known in Christian Music circles by allen mcalister, spiritual writer amcalister@outandaboutnewspaper.com

When Ray Boltz and Azariah Southworth perform in concert at Covenant of the Cross in Nashville on June 17, 2010, they will kick off a national tour as well as an affirmation of their status as openly gay Christian music artists. “We are excited to host two outstanding people who have so much to say about loving God and being true to themselves,” said Pastor Greg Bullard of Covenant of the Cross says of the “Living True: The Tour” event. “We are sure their stories will continue to free more people to find and connect to Jesus in a powerful way.” Over the course of 15 years in the Contemporary Christian Music Industry, Ray Boltz acquired three Dove Awards, two gold albums, one gold video, 12 NO. 1 singles, and sold more than 4 million units of product. After 30 years of marriage, four children, and a career most Christian artists only dream about, Ray Boltz came out to his wife and children. Ray read every book he could find on the topic, and outside of a Christian counselor, told no one about his struggle. According to Ray, “After 30 years of trying to overcome this, I finally realized this would never change. Being gay is not something I do, it is who I am.” Two years ago, Ray came out. After coming out to his family, he says he felt the need to come out in a public way as well. Why? There were two reasons. First, when Ray came out to his family, it put them in the closet. According to Ray, “I had a good marriage. People never suspected there were any problems. So if my kids were asked why we separated, they couldn’t be honest. By coming out publicly, they could be honest and authentic.” The second reason Ray came out is because over the years, Ray had been visiting a variety of Metropolitan Community Churches and other gayaffirming churches. “These churches were no different from the churches I had sung in for the past

30 years,” he said. “They were seeking to worship God in a way they see fit.” Fortunately, they began asking him to sing. “I knew if I was going to do that, then I

Azariah Southworth

had to be completely honest and authentic about my life,” he said. Azariah Southworth grew up in a Pentecostal home where Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, Paul and Jan Crouch, and Oral Roberts were the standards in television viewing habits. At the age of 13, Azariah begin seeing a Christian counselor to cure his homosexuality. The counselor’s perspective was that Azariah could be delivered from this sin. If he was close enough to God, if he was devoted enough and prayed enough, God would hear his cry for help. Additionally, Azariah began seeing a second counselor. This more secular-based counselor was going to teach him to understand and live with this homosexuality. However, after five years of seeing two counselors, guess what? Azariah was still gay. Years later, when Azariah had moved to Nashville, he pitched the idea of hosting a Christian Music program to the right individual who edited the pilot, called it The ReMix, and the show went into production for 18 months. The show was syndicated to more than 128 million homes and watched by more than 200,000 per week on one network. Though he

was still closeted at work, Azariah had the opportunity to interview some of the leading names in Contemporary Christian Music: Avalon, Jars of Clay and Building 429 just to name a few. However, he lost everything after announcing he was ready to live his life “authentically and honestly” in April of 2008. “I am looking forward to touring with Azariah Southworth during 2010,” Boltz sid. “We both ‘came out’ publicly at the same time and we both have experienced acceptance from people who understand, and rejection from some of those who don’t. We hope by being “true” to who we are, we can make a difference for others in the same situation.” Southworth added, “Ray’s and my story are very similar. On the tour, we will share our stories through the performance of spoken word and songs. As I share

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my stories in segments, Ray will play his new and old songs which convey the joy, heartache and healing we have experienced. This tour is our two stories

GETTING THERE The Covenant of the Cross is located at 752 Madison Square. The concert begins at 7 p.m. on June 17. Admission is free; however, a love offering will be taken.

which contain one message. That message is the hope and healing there is to be found by living true.” O&AN


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 SPORTS, continued from PAGE 5 expect. When I hit the streets, it was like this overwhelming feeling that the planet had shifted and instead of it being 10 percent gay in population, it was 90 percent gay and 10 percent straight. It was so cool. It wasn’t a circuit party. It was athletics and teams. The spirit of the games is so contagious and so beautiful. To see 12,000 athletes and 50,000 spectators get together for friendly competition, you can’t beat it! There’s nothing like it in the world. The Olympics doesn’t have 12,000 athletes, even in the summer games. “And the triathlon, you know, you get a medal if you can chase guys in their Speedos,” he added. “Can you think of a better sport than that? If you catch them, you get a medal. I Tonya White love my sport!” At 37 years old, Tonya White has been playing softball for 32 years. In August of 2009, White played shortstop for the Nashville Players as they won the D division

at the NAGAAA World Series by beating out 39 other teams from around the country. “My favorite part was winning! Really, it’s so hard to pick a favorite part,” White said. “It was awesome from Opening Ceremonies to Closing Ceremonies. There were more than 4,000 gay people that came to the World Series, so it was just ... I loved it all. Everything about it. “Where else can you just go to the middle of a city and, everywhere you turn, gay people are holding hands and walking around and it being just OK and normal? I would say it’s important, just for that reason, to be who you are and in a city from the mayor on down being accepting, and just, ‘hi y’all’ and, ‘Woo-hoo! The World Series is here!’” Partners Keith Little and Sam Felker are track and field athletes that have competed in the Montreal and Copenhagen World Outgames as well as in the Amsterdam, Sydney and Chicago Gay Games. In addition, the pair plans to travel to Cologne, Germany, this summer to participate in the 2010 Gay Games. For Little, participating in the Gay

 LEGAL, continued from PAGE 6 75 people on the mailing list who have expressed interest in the SBA. “I am encouraged by the overwhelming support and interest from the legal community, especially our ‘straight allies’ in the bar,” said Felker. “I am also looking forward to partnering with the OutLaw student group at Vanderbilt Law School. I believe our groups can work together quite effectively to promote diversity and provide visibility for GLBT legal professionals in Nashville.” With the start of any new organization, setting future goals are important to move it forward. These key aspirations give an organization and its members a foundation that keeps them engaged in the long run, and the SBA has crafted its own set of marching orders and priorities. “In five years, I hope that we will have established SBA within the fabric of Nashville and state of Tennessee legal community. In doing so, Nashville will be more attractive to attorneys, firms, and diversity,” said Smith. “I would like to get to the point when

you hear the National Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association, you won’t think twice about the Stonewall Bar Association,” Clark added. “In the future I hope that the SBA receives statewide recognition that advances GLBT issues and one day can provide pro bono services within the GLBT community,” said Kendrick Vaughn of Bass Berry & Sims. O&AN

Keith Little and Sam Felker

Games and Outgames offers something he can’t find in the world of straight sports. “Sportsmanship is by far the best [at the

gay games] vs. everyday sports,” he said. “There are lots of good-spirited people. I wasn’t used to that.” Felker says his real motivation comes from participating in the gay games. “It’s so affirming to see people of all ages, from different countries, all there to celebrate that you’re gay or lesbian and participate in sports,” he said. “It really helps to meet people from all over the world, to hear their experiences, how they live. It’s uplifting for me.” O&AN



O&AN June 2010