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NOV 2011

VOLUME 10 I ISSUE 11

MUSIC C I T Y STYLE

also in this issue interviews with: John Bridges, author of How To Be A Gentleman Paige Burcham Carlton, star of Lifetime’s Glamour Belles Jay Qualls, contestant on TLC's Next Great Baker

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In today’s technology-crazed culture, everybody is a celebrity. While people are afforded a wealth of avenues to share their daily joys and sorrows, it’s often hard to cut through the clutter and get your message heard. For those living on the outskirts of society, especially members of the GLBT community, it’s an even greater struggle to be taken seriously. But one cable network has provided them a platform to express their dreams and ideals while being an example for a marginalized population. Based in Nashville, the second season of Sundance Channel’s hit series Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys features four pairs of participants offering up their privacy for an opportunity to shape the cultural landscape. Billed as an unscripted series that “celebrates and explores the special relationship” between women and their gay best friends, Girls begins airing new episodes Friday, Nov. 18. Tenisha Jackson, an author born and raised in Memphis, and Jared Allman, an actor and model from East Tennessee, accepted the challenge of advancing the dialogue surrounding gays in the South. A couple small-town kids from conservative backgrounds, they suddenly found themselves living very public lives in a more liberal environment. At first it was a difficult adjustment to their new circumstances, but Jackson stresses how easy it is to become comfortable in front of the cameras. “Sometimes we’d be so involved in a conversation that we would forget we were filming. But the best

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MUSIC C ITY STYLE nashville plays host to sundance channel series ‘girls who like boys who like boys’ footage comes from when we were ourselves,” she says. “I don’t have any regrets and I felt very blessed to have this opportunity.” For showrunners, building an audience requires a focus on the angry squabbles and silly arguments of the show’s stars. Case in point: Just before filming began, Allman had broken up with his boyfriend after a fouryear relationship. The dissolution of their union led to some tumultuous moments. “There was one night at Jared’s birthday party where we were drinking a lot and Jared’s ex-boyfriend was there,” Jackson says. “I probably won’t watch that episode.” Though producers often catch them throwing a tantrum or going off on a crying jag, the show’s overall purpose is felt in the more thoughtful moments. Allman acknowledges that part of the show’s audience includes closeted gays who receive insufficient support from their family and friends. “The South has a lot of issues that NYC doesn’t,” he says. “In the South, a lot of times if you’re gay you might as well be a murderer. I felt unique and blessed to be a part of the show, and to get to be who I am with the

NOVEMBER 2011

by blake boldt managing editor

world watching. I’m proud of my accomplishments, and I feel like I’ve come a long way.” As a straight ally, Jackson also feels a responsibility to portray the GLBT community in a positive light. “I do have a desire to be an advocate for gay rights,” she says. “One of the issues we talk about is the problems for gay men and gay women also. Jared had some issues growing up. He had to hide himself. I feel like once he came out of the closet he became a better person. There are other gay people in the world going through the same thing. They’re afraid to be themselves.” Fights between friends are a common occurrence on the reality show circuit, but the unshakable bond between these partners has remained their anchor. “This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime chance to show our friendship to the world,” Allman says. “The first episode is going to be a bit explosive. (Our relationship) is very real on the show. Sometimes we have things to yell about and scream out. We’ve had cameras around us all summer. Sometimes you get lost in your own delusions. REALITY Continued on page 10


LIFETIME NETWORK’S REALITY SHOW ‘GLAMOUR BELLES’ IS ALL ABOUT THE BEST DRESS by STEVEN DISNEY, CONTRIBUTING WRITER sdisney@outandaboutnewspaper.com

In the small sleepy town of Union City there is a dynamo of fashion and hilarity if you know the right place to look. Joann’s Gowns is a rare jewel in the fashion industry with its wide array of pageant prom and formal dresses. Customers are served by a first-class staff, with members full of quick wit and a quotient of Southern charm. These employees help many young ladies to compete in their dreams at some of the most popular and well-known beauty pageant and events. Second generation owner Paige Burcham Carlton makes sure to keep the customers and the workers happy with a “say it as it is” stance and taste that is sure to please everyone. The business has become more prominent in the last year. Joann’s earned opportunity to have a reality show named Glamour Belles on the Lifetime Network. They have taped the first season, airing on Saturdays, and are currently are in talks for another season. The staff of Joann’s had “a wonderful time” taping and showing off their finest outfits to the rest of the nation. While the show was being taped, Carlton was interested in how the film crews from New York and other major cities would adapt to Southern life. This cultural exchange seems to have benefited everyone who worked on the show and the viewers as well. For Carlton, this venture is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. “I was once told that no matter what you do, find something you like to do and that is your job. I get to dress Barbie up each day; every day brings unique situations and keeps it interesting just like lingerie,” she says. Carlton is happy to be able to call Union City home, and if she’s in Hong Kong or Europe at the end of each trip she returns to the house she grew up in. She feels that part of her work ethics is drawn upon by the region where she lives. Stressing quality and good taste for each of her patrons, she makes sure that each bag that leaves her shop has a dress that matches the person who bought it.

Paige Burcham Carlton is owner of Joann's Gowns, featured currently on the Lifetime Network series, "Glamour Belles."

NOVEMBER 2011

The reason for this is simple, she believes that one bad review would mar her work and therefore it is important that each is given the detail needed to be a stylish and pleasing dress for her clientele as well herself. Having such high standards of quality is reflected in her clientele, from Gwyneth Paltrow’s dress in the movie Country Strong to the young ladies that participate in the Miss USA pageant, as well the teen versions of that institution. This is reflected in the personnel that is employed by Joann’s Gowns; the staff of Joann’s are diverse and open as much as their atmosphere, with a welcoming attitude towards all people who wish to visit.“We dress everything from the prom queen to the drag queen and everything in between,” Carlton says.

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‘GENTLEMAN’ SERVES AS INSPIRATION FOR NEW CBS COMEDY SERIES THIS FALL by FREYA POTEMPA, CONTRIBUTING WRITER fpotempa@outandaboutnewspaper.com

“A gentleman is someone knows how to be there when needed and gets out of the way the rest of the time.” That is the slogan of Nashville author John Bridges. 61, John laughs a lot, talks a lot, and knows a hell of a lot about etiquette. Author of the How to be a Gentleman book series, Bridges wrote the book, and then several more, for men. “They don’t tell you how to plan a wedding reception. They’re there to give you basic principles.” Gentleman has been translated into 15 languages, and has had a major update a few years ago to include social media and cell phone niceties. “I think we have more opportunities to misbehave in John Bridge's book "How to Be a Gentleman" was the inspiration ways we didn’t have before cell phones and Internet,” Bridges behind a recent television sitcom on CBS. Photo provided. says. “I think that behooves us to try and pay more attention to our behavior. The basic principles don’t change. Just because you’ve got a cell phone or iPhone doesn’t mean you have a license to go crazy and make yourself the center of attention all the time. Try to remember these things are tools, and in a way they’re privileges.” Although we encounter rudeness from misuse of technology, Bridges thinks people actually do still care about manners. “I do think that I’m finding that with this series that people actually do care about this as a matter of principle,” he says. “Younger people and particularly the mothers and girlfriends of younger people do care how people behave. They understand that it’s going to be helpful to know these things. There remains a concern about doing the right thing.” Proving manners matter, this fall How to Be a Gentleman moved to maybe the most un-gentlemanly of places, prime time television. The series starred David Hornsby as a beleaguered etiquette columnist. Hornsby received the books as a teenager from his mother, and treasured them so much he wanted to turn them into a show. Though the series is only scheduled for a nine-show run, Bridges was elated that his idea was turned into a network television show. “A few years ago, [David] said he has this idea for turning the books into a sitcom, which was amazing to me,” he says. The book series just got a new facelift as well, and by Christmas will be released with all new covers for the rough fellow on your gift list. And Bridges says, it’s really not as difficult to be gentlemanly as we make it out to be. “Essentially a gentleman is someone who thinks about other people. It’s as simple and old fashioned as that.”

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Tennessee same-sex couples data features surprising results

Shelbyville, Red Bank among cities with higher rates of gays and lesbians by RYAN DARROW, CONTRIBUTING WRITER rdarrow@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Nashville led the state of Tennessee with approximately 9.2 same-sex couples per thousand households.

Every 10 years, the federal government wants to know about your household. Censuses have been around since Ancient Egypt and, in this country, since 1790. This data is used, primarily, to help the government decide on congressional districts and program funding. However, researchers have long used census data to understand demographics, make predictions, and study populations. In the past, researchers were forced to make assumptions about that data to try to count the number of same-sex couples in the United States. This changed after 1990, when same-sex couples were allowed to describe themselves as “unmarried partners.” The most recent census in 2010 allowed samesex couples to self-identify as “married” for the first time. Before that, census takers, even if that couple identified as married, changed the information to “unmarried partners.” Although the laws have changed in many states, and many of those gay couples are actually married, the Census Bureau did not change any same-sex couple’s self-

identification. For the first time, gay couples were treated just like every other couple that claimed to be married. According to the Williams Institute, which studies the census to track the gay population of the United States, there were a total of 10,898 same-sex couples living together in Tennessee in 2010. The nationwide total was 646,464. This represents, statewide, approximately 4.4 couples per thousand households. Unsurprisingly, Tennessee was not the gayest state in the country. That state (if you ignore Washington D.C., with 18 per thousand) was Vermont was 8.4 per thousand. Nashville led the state with approximately 9.2 per thousand. Two surprising cities that, statistically, have a higher rate than the overall state are Shelbyville with 7.07 per thousand and Red Bank with 9.28 per thousand. Both Shelbyville and Red Bank are very small towns with less than 20,000 residents). Red Bank is fully enclosed by the city of Chattanooga. Chattanooga has a relatively active gay scene, with several bars and clubs that cater to the area gay population. Shelbyville, however, is a small town in a sea of small towns. Shelbyville resident Micah Chapman describes Shelbyville as relatively isolated for a gay person. “There are a few gay people that I know, but I don’t spend time with a lot of them,” Chapman says. “There is not much to do up here. We only have two bars.” For a gay person in Shelbyville, the options are limited and, according to Chapman, “mostly the gay people go to Play Dance Bar.” “Half of the population here are gay friendly,” Chapman says. “But then you have some that would probably harass you if you walked down the street holding hands with another guy.” This experience and attitude is not unique to Shelbyville. It is clear from the media and national polls that opinions are still divided on gay rights. More opportunities to be visible will continue to aid the gays in both small towns and big cities. Now gay couples, at least, have an opportunity to be visible and for the federal government to recognize them...at least every 10 years. For more information on the Census 2010 data, visit www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute.

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AAF-Nashville luncheon focuses on diversity Representatives from MTV, Bridgestone say inclusion is key in advertising strategy by BLAKE BOLDT, MANAGING EDITOR bboldt@outandaboutnewspaper.com

A recent event hosted by the American Advertising Federation and the Brooks Fund featured discussions on how diversity is becoming an increasingly important part of advertising strategy. The luncheon at Maggiano’s Nashville Oct. 20 included speeches from executives at MTV and Bridgestone, and offered ample evidence that advertising specifically designed for the GLBT community is a smart investment. Logo, part of the MTV Network, became the first cable network for the GLBT audience upon its inception in 2005. Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing Mark McIntire braced for a backlash when the network first began. “When you ride the creative edge, you expect some reaction,” he said. “But when you look across pop culture, there’s such a mixture (of people). The reaction has been very positive. There are obviously some pockets that are not as far along as where we would like them to be, but I’m optimistic about that changing.”

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Though the focus of Logo is largely on the adult population, the network has found ways to delicately handle the difficult subject of teen suicide. “We were worried at first about being accused of ‘recruiting’ kids,” McIntire admits. “Our network is more for adults. We do support a lot of parent causes. One thing we have developed is a campaign against bullying. We’re hoping with our relationship with Lady Gaga that we can work on a project Bridgestone has been a leader in its industry by targeting the Hispanic, African American and GLBT audiences in advertising campaigns. Michael Fluck, Director of Brand and Retail Marketing, says that the first advertising efforts for the GLBT community might have been well-intentioned, but often lacked a distinctive look. “In the early going, we weren’t doing as much custom creative. We had to recycle a lot of old images,” Fluck says. Now that Bridgestone’s campaigns have progressed, the number of people expressing their displeasure has dissipated. “When we started, we got a lot of emails from the American Family Association, but after a while they stopped,” Fluck says. “I would say we had four or five times more positive emails than negative emails. We get just as many emails about mainstream ads.” LOGO’s Most Popular Original Programs: The A-List: Dallas (2011- )

The A-List: New York (2010- )

The Big Gay Sketch Show (2007- ) RuPaul’s Drag Race (2009- ) RuPaul’s Drag U (2010- )

LOGO also airs reruns of Absolutely Fabulous, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The L Word, and Queer as Folk, among other syndicated programs. Episodes of The Golden Girls and Will & Grace will begin airing in 2013.


Nashville Pride begins Festival planning with new board Expanded roster includes former Belmont soccer coach Lisa Howe by BLAKE BOLDT, MANAGING EDITOR bboldt@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Is bigger better? The leaders of Nashville Pride believe so. One of the city’s chief GLBT organizations added to its board last month, doubling the size of its voting body as the group begins planning for the 2012 festival. The current board approved a slate of eight new board members at their September board meeting. A diverse lot of GLBT community members and allies, it includes experts in the fields of public relations, marketing and accounting. Increasing responsibilities for the organization dictated these additions to an already impressive roster. In 2009, the board moved the festival from Centennial Park to Riverfront Park in downtown Nashville. With support from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Mayor’s Office, the organization has undergone a slow but steady expansion. “With the growth of Nashville Pride and the Nashville Pride Festival, combined with a financial resurgence, our organization was at a critical junction strategically,” says Jason Hunt, president of Nashville Pride. “To continue that growth trend, provide a bigger festival and increase our presence in middle Tennessee, it was necessary to have a board as diverse in talent and experience as our GLBT community.” Though the Pride Festival remains the pinnacle event on the organization’s calendar, the board creates events throughout the year to heighten awareness. To that

end, Nashville Pride will roll out a new event Friday, Nov. 4 to introduce its new season. Cocktails & Cabaret, the sister event to last spring’s Martinis & Jazz, will offer an atmosphere of fun and fellowship. “We consider it a primary responsibility to keep GLBT rights topof-mind in the community all year long, not just one month or one day out of the year,” Hunt says. “While the Pride Festival is certainly an important, beautiful celebration of tolerance and acceptance, our hope is to create many opportunities for GLBT people and their allies to to be active throughout the year.” According to Hunt, enhancing the city’s GLBT culture takes effort from all corners of the community. As the season progresses, Nashville Pride will Former Belmont University soccer coach and gay-rights advocate Lisa Howe is one of eight new members of the form relationships with other prominent Nashville Pride board. Photo provided. organizations citywide. “We are continuing to expand our presence in the community through partnerships with other organizations including The Nashville Film Festival and many others,” Hunt says. The new board members are: Joey Brown, Co-Owner of Play Dance Bar; Aaron Campbell, Tennessee Government Affairs Specialist for Youth Villages; Joseph Conner, Director of Publicity for Lotos Nile; Allen Gonce, Senior Buyer for Metro Public Schools; Lisa Howe, Owner of Howe About Consulting; Brent Meredith, Marketing and Communications Director for Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College; Nora Spencer, Director of GLBT and Women’s Studies at Vanderbilt University; and Milton White, Director of The Fashion Office. Returning board members include: Teryl Brake, Christy Ikner, MAC and Joseph Woodson. Nashville Pride will hold “Cocktails & Cabaret” Friday, Nov. 4 at the home of Jeff Rymer. The event is $25 (free for Core 100 Members) and will feature live music from Nashville singer/songwriter Sarah Brown, light hors d’oeuvres and signature cocktails.

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REALITY Continued from page 4 The world may see you in a certain way that you don’t. I’m excited mixed with nervous. “ Music industry veterans Sherrie Austin, a singersongwriter with four Top 40 country hits to her credit, agreed to participate in support of her gay best friend Shane Stevens.With songwriting credits for Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and George Strait, Austin also built a successful career as an artist for Arista Records. Stevens earned success by co-writing Lady Antebellum’s No. 1 hit “American Honey,” as well as penning songs for Kellie Pickler, Jordin Sparks and Sara Evans. It’s hard to be the subject of a reality show without at least a little thirst for the spotlight, but Austin was surprisingly shy about opening up for the cameras. “We did try to have fun with it, but there are times that we opened up and that touches some place that you don’t realize,” Austin says. “There was one day when they were interviewing me, and I was talking about my Uncle Pat who committed suicide and all those memories that I hadn’t dealt with. (This experience) has kind of been like therapy to me.” “It’s a great therapy,” Stevens adds. “It’s made me think about a lot of things that I would have differently, like the relationship that I’m in. It’s made Sherrie and I closer. We’re not dramatic people, and in those type of situations we run the other way.” Austin, a native of Sydney, Australia, grew up with a number of gay friends and family members. Her goal for the show was to prove that gay men are normal, everyday people. “One of those things that really intrigued me about this was the chance to gay people in the South,” she says. “In a way, Shane and I are loosening up the buckle of the Bible Belt. This is an opportunity to challenge the way people think about homosexuality in the South. It’s just gonna be really fascinating to get people having a conversation and trying to break some stereotypes.” According to Stevens, attitudes about gay people are often kept quiet within the country-music industry. Acceptance can vary from one fellow artist to the next. “As a whole for the most part, people in the music business are pretty accepted and open-minded,” he says. “The thing you have to worry about is if you’re writing country songs as an openly gay man writing to hard-core staunch Republicans. They probably don’t want to know you’re a gay guy, so that might pose a bit of a challenge.” Girls will also serve as a showcase for Austin’s career, which hit a major roadblock in 2003 after a few failures at country radio. Though she’s bounced back with a new album, Circus Girl, her on-air partner voices his displeasure about the sexist undertones of Music Row. “Women are still being treated differently (in the industry),” Stevens says. “If you’re super-independent as a woman, many think of you as a bitch. Sherrie is just a normal everyday girl trying to be successful.” Both partners ultimately relished the opportunity to strengthen their unique bond and also grow as individuals. “The producers were really good about it. It’s more of a documentary/reality show,” Austin says.

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Interested parties must wait for a few weeks to see how the drama unfolds, but they can expect a few treats from this case study of flawed, conflicted individuals. “This concept definitely makes for entertaining television. You have eight different people that know each other, so there’s a lot of fun and a lot of drama,” Allman says. The new season debuts with back to back episodes on Friday, Nov. 18 at 9 p.m. Beginning Friday, Nov. 25, one episode will air every Friday at 9 p.m. The first episode will be premiering at Tribe at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. All episodes will play at Tribe each Friday at 8 p.m.

Number of gay characters on TV declines in 2011-2012 season

Fox is the leader among the Big Four broadcast networks by O&AN STAFF REPORTS

The number of gay characters on broadcast TV shows is down, according to a recent report from GLAAD. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance’s “Where We Are on TV” report found that the overall number of GLBT series regulars on scripted TV is down to 2.9 percent. It was at 3.9 percent during the 2010-2011 season. Statistics of the Big Four networks and cable broadcasters:  Fox, the home of GLEE, has 6.8 percent GLBT series regular characters. In 2007, GLAAD said the network had zero. Now out of 117 total series regular characters, 8 are GLBT.  BC’s percentage is down to 3.4 percent of A characters being GLBT compared to 2010’s 7.2 %.

NBC continues to decline. Only 3 out of their 154 characters are GLBT.

 The CW features one GLBT series regular characters out of 67. “Everyone’s intentions seemed to be honest and truthful. If I felt uncomfortable about something and didn’t want to discuss, I just stopped the cameras. They said they weren’t exploiting us, but wanted to have genuine moments.” In recent years nothing quite captures the foibles and the failures as dramatically as a reality show. NOVEMBER 2011

 C  BS also only has one GLBT character out 134 total series regulars.  The number of scripted GLBT series regulars found on “mainstream” cable networks has also fallen to 29, down from 35 in 2010. However, there are 25 recurring GLBT characters on cable.

The 2011 broadcast season features no transgender or African American gay characters.


Walking in Memphis, under a rainbow flag

Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center moves forward with new plans for 2012 by SAM JONES, STAFF WRITER sjones@outandaboutnewspaper.com

MEMPHIS - On South Cooper Street passers-by might notice a rainbow flag. But they might not know its history. The rainbow flag waves from a flagpole in front of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC). The rainbow flag is a very visible symbol of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community. Two years ago, the community center’s rainbow flag became the scene of a crime. No one had to call the police to report the crime that evening, though. Officers were walking by in plainclothes. The community center is safely positioned within a mile of a police precinct. Two Years Ago The officers saw two men, who were students at the University of Memphis, setting fire to the rope that held the flag. “I imagined they thought it would be like some Road Runner cartoon where you set a match and it immediately flames up,” said Will Batts, the community center’s executive director. The flag was spared. Only a few inches of the line became charred because Ross Burton, one of the students, began fighting with the officers. The other student fled. The incident attracted national media attention. But the media did not follow-up on whether people felt safe at the community center. The MGLCC Today Because the police had immediately intervened, Batts now says, “Nobody that I talked to felt unsafe coming to MGLCC after the flag burning. They were angry. But

nobody ever felt unsafe.” A regular deluge of harassing phone calls is the worst that the executive director of the community center faces these days. And Batts is a strong man who holds it together. He spoke stoically as he recounted the messages, as though he had heard them so many times that he had become impervious to the hostility. No tears from this executive director. “You are going to hell,” one of the messages said. Batts lets the messages roll off his shoulders. But he does encourage volunteers at the center to be vigilant. “Always be aware of your surroundings,” Batts tells volunteers. The community center is located in the Cooper-Young District, a diverse association of residents who endorsed the withdrawn Memphis non-discrimination ordinance. Batts says that today the center hosts gay kids who don’t have to think twice about whether it is safe to hold hands in public. They walk, holding hands, under a rainbow flag that waves in the wind. The flag and its slightly charred rope morph into new meaning: Memphis police protect the GLBT community. A Building For Students There is no freestanding building for GLBT students at the University of Memphis. Batts emphasizes that there are no freestanding GLBT community centers for students in the southern core of the US. Batts fields calls from Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. He tries his best to help, and he has been instrumental in helping the Stonewall Tigers, GLBT student organization at University of Memphis with an office in a large campus building. M.J. McAuliffe, the president of Stonewall Tigers and a sophomore at the University of Memphis, says that the MGLCC is a safe place for students. “You can be yourself there, and no one is going to judge you,” she says. McAuliffe bursts with joy when she speaks of the community center. And its rainbow flag is meaningful to her and the Stonewall Tigers. “We see that and we just feel happy, especially during sometime like Pride,” McAuliffe says. McAuliffe remembers when she was younger, and she wishes she could have been involved in the community center before becoming a student at the University of Memphis. She says she didn’t see PDA-public displays of affection-between gay and lesbian youth before going to college.

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To L i v e F o r e v e r h a s b e e n o r g a n i z e d b y t h e B r o o k l y n M u s e u m . Shabty of Amunemhat (detail). From Thebes, Egypt. New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Tuthmosis IV to reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1400–1336 BCE. Painted limestone, 10 5/8 x 3 1/8 x 2 in. Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 50.128

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Freedom fighter TTPC president Marisa Richmond educates and advocates for her community and beyond by JESSICA GIBSON, CONTRIBUTING WRITER jgibson@outandaboutnewspaper.com

As the president of Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, Marisa Richmond is a tireless advocate for transgender equality. Before the founding of TTPC, she also founded a much needed support group for transgender individuals in 1992, the Tennessee VALS-a group still vibrantly supporting the GLBT community.

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She has garnered much attention, both for her lobbying, and for her trailblazing life as a transgender woman. Her accomplishments include becoming the first transgender person to be elected in Tennessee when she was elected as a delegate to the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Democratic Party-a position she has held since March of 2008. On June 29, 2011, Richmond was invited to attend the White House LGBT Pride reception, where she met with President Obama and Vice-President Biden. Her status as a towering figure in Tennessee’s LGBT culture owes much to her childhood experiences. Growing up, Richmond recalls the time her parents hosted Stokely Carmichael (the Trinidadian-American civil rights leader credited with coining the phrase “Black Power”). Her parents were involved in politics, and instilled a love of all things political as she grew up. That passion finds its full expression as she lobbies

NOVEMBER 2011

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition president Marisa Richmond met with President Obama and Vice President Biden (pictured) during a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Democratic Party. Photo provided.

on behalf of transgender people, and as she uses every opportunity afforded to her to educate others on what it means to be transgender and why more equality is necessary. Richmond demonstrated dedication from an early age. Her high school career was of such quality that she was accepted in Harvard. Soon, however, she tired of the wicked winters in Boston and headed west, earning her master’s in history at UC Berkeley. In typical understated fashion, Richmond describes how she then became a curator of human space flight exhibits for the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum: “Well, I just kind of talked my way into the job!” While staying in Washington, she also earned her doctorate in History at George Washington University. Richmond’s life as an advocate for transgender people had its nexus within a tragedy: In 1996, her friend Christian Paige, a well-known entertainer in the Nashville area was murdered in Chicago in a brutally shocking hate crime. Paige, who had recently moved to Chicago to save up for gender reassignment surgery, was beaten, strangled and then stabbed by an unknown assailant who then set fire to the apartment to destroy evidence. Christian was brought back to Nashville and buried at Woodlawn Cemetery. Her death sparked a passion in Richmond. There at the gravesite, Marisa promised to Christian that she would do everything within her power to make things better for others who were like them: transgender, marginalized, and dying for no better reason than the fact they were different. When the Federal Hate Crimes Law was signed in October 2009, Marisa went back to the grave of her late friend. Here was proof that in some small way, Christian’s death was not in vain. What does the future hold for Richmond and the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition? Nothing is certain, of course, but one thing is clear: Ms. Richmond has captured the attention of many, and she will certainly continue to fight for equality and justice for all LGBT people. She will continue to root for her beloved Titans. And she will help change the world.


Baking a big success

Creative cakes by Tennessee native Jay Qualls land him in the national spotlight by BLAKE BOLDT, MANAGING EDITOR bboldt@outandaboutnewspaper.com

A Middle Tennessee business owner gained greater exposure last winter on a TLC reality television show that sought out the next great baker in America. Jay Qualls, the owner and lead designer of Maples Wedding Cakes in Murfreesboro, was chosen to compete as one of 10 best bakers in America on Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker. The show debuted on TLC in December 2010. For five weeks and up to 18 hours a day, Qualls and nine other contestants taped the series. Qualls advanced through six rounds of eliminations before being sent home in a controversial decision. Still, the native of Fairview, Tenn. has much to celebrate. Since 2005, he’s been one of the most popular bakers in Middle Tennessee, making wedding cakes for numerous celebrities. Before the television show, Qualls’ cakes had been featured in several national wedding magazines. Here’s our Q&A with the culinary expert:

Designing a cake is like painting on a blank canvas. The sky is the limit and your imagination is the only limitation. I found that the biggest challenge for me is making sure that I set myself apart from everyone else. I learned to take inspiration from many different sources and to not look at other designers for inspiration. You will subconsciously mimic their designs in some fashion and not even realize it which prevents you from being unique. The biggest challenge is coming up with a new way of creating something out of sugar as a medium. Trying to do something that has never been done before. That is probably my biggest challenge. For those who might be a little timid about baking, what 2-3 tips would you give to them? And tell us why your classes are such a great way to get started in the process. Well, baking and decorating are two very different things. I’m more of a designer/decorator than I am a

baker. Don’t get me wrong, I can bake a mean cake! But I prefer to design and create to baking. Baking is a science. Follow the directions exactly. Experiment many times to develop your own successes. Again, setting yourself apart. And remember, “A well baked cake, is a well decorated cake.” I believe my classes are so successful because I make students feel comfortable in my classroom. I tell them that I don’t expect them to achieve perfection on their cakes in the classrooom. It is more important to me that they understand grasp the concept or method that I’m teaching in that class. Think about how long it took us to be able to learn to write with a pencil. You can’t expect to pick up a pastry bag and pipe with it perfectly the first time in a 6 to 8 hour class. Many of the methods I teach take many, many hours to practice and to perfect or master. If you truly invest the time into it, you will be successful. QUALLS Continued on page 20

What kind of opportunities have been afforded to you since you were featured on television? What’s your biggest takeaway from that experience?

Being on television changed my life in ways I could have never imagined. That experience certainly helped me determine what I was made of. With the exposure of television and good editing I have been able to travel all over North America teaching my method of cake design and educating people through consulting about running a cake business or small business in general. I have also been given the opportunity to design and produce historical cakes for MTSU, The City of Murfreesboro, and HRC just to name a few. I have been invited to be featured on Canadian television and be featured in national magazines. I have auditioned for a movie recently with Cameron Diaz and auditioned for bit parts on national TV ads. I’ve been asked to endorse products as well as create my own new products such as Fondant Fabric. What’s the greatest joy in creating these wonderful works of art in the kitchen? What’s the biggest challenge? NOVEMBER 2011

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Have a laugh

‘Girl on Girl Comedy,’ Nashville’s newest comedy group, offers a platform for female and GLBT performers by BLAKE BOLDT, MANAGING EDITOR bboldt@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Christy Eidson, the producer of “Girl on Girl Comedy,” has been in show business for over ten years. She’s founded a number of sketch comedy groups in Nashville, studied with the Groundlings in Los Angeles, and currently travels the country performing standup routines. Her success has enabled her to share the stage with such comics as Chris Rock, Nick Swardson, Ty Barnett and Mo Collins. Notice the famous names listed in that illustrious roster, all male. Females are a rare breed in the world of comedy, and Eidson has set about doing her small part to correct that imbalance. “Girl on Girl Comedy,” a comedy group for Christy Eidson, a veteran of the comedy circuit, has developed female and GLBT performers, has flourished since its humble "Girl on Girl Comedy," a comedy beginnings last fal. series featuring female and GLBT performers. Eidson, weary from seeing recycled routines on the comedy circuit, felt it was her duty to support local female talent. “I started the show because I was tired of seeing comedy shows that were primarily male driven with guys just doing jokes about masturbating and playing video games,” Eidson says. “It seemed like the same old-same old with all the comics just blending into each other. I was also tired of how underrated female comics are. I set out to prove that females can go toe-to-toe with the boys and to prove that females are good comedians not just ‘comediennes.’ The only males that are allowed to perform must be gay.”

“Girl on Girl Comedy” has introduced an element of community service to their series by producing benefit shows as well. In May, they hosted “Girl on Girl Comedy presents: Doggie Style!” The event benefited Nashville Pittie, an organization that provides free spay/neutering in Nashville. All performers in the show were pit bull owners. The response to this endeavor has been rewarding for Eidson, who believes her performers are speaking to a niche market that isn’t always addressed in the world of comedy. “I’ve been so surprised with how well the show has taken off,” Eidson says. “I think it’s servicing an audience that has until now been untapped. It’s a great forum for the gay community as well as a fabulous girls’ night out.” Free from the constraints of big business, Eidson is allowed to push the envelope with the show’s material. “This show is able to get away with more than we would at a typical comedy club,” she says. “It’s a bit more raunchy than other standup shows and a lot more fun, so we are giving all our shows an R rating. I like to think of it as the ‘Ab Fab’ of standup comedy.” For more information on “Girl on Girl Comedy,” visit their new website at www. GirlonGirlComedy.net, featuring shows, photos, promo reel, and more. Online Appointment Scheduling 24 / 7

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EXPOSED er ic wil l i a m m c ki n n ey Birthday

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all about eric

One thing I can’t leave home without:

Boxers or briefs:

Whats your favorite food?

What do you hope your next greatest achievement will be:

My iPod, because music is what gets me through each day. My taste buds are always changing, but currently, it’s a toss-up between Zaxby’s Wings & Things meal or a big juicy hamburger covered in portobello mushrooms and swiss cheese. If you want to skip the main course and go straight for the good stuff, it’s a slice of cheesecake covered in raspberry sauce. I feel most confident when:

I have just finished a good run --- heart pounding, blood flowing strong, lungs sucking in air. Or, when I’ve just finished several hours of intense shopping and I’m heading back to the truck with a bulk of shopping bags on my arms. Greatest achievement has been:

Learning to be comfortable in my own skin.

Boxer briefs

Given that there has been a writer dwelling inside me since early childhood, one achievement to hope for is publishing my writing and the opportunity to see my work displayed on the shelves of a local bookstore.

Nashville represented at Gay Softball World Series Four city teams competed in Chicago tournament held Aug. 29 - Sept. 3

by BLAKE BOLDT, MANAGING EDITOR bboldt@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Metro Nashville Softball Association (MNSA) sent four of their 16 teams to the Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) in August, an important milestone for the improving league. Though each team struggled with the heavy competition during the Series, the opportunity allowed them to test their skills against the best players in the country. In the C Division, the Force (2-6) and the Fury (0-6) competed for the championship. The Pink Panthers (3-6) and the Sting (0-6) were participants in the D division. Chicago was the host city for the 35th annual edition of the event from Aug. 29 - Sept. 3. The tournament, which is the largest annual LGBT sporting event, will welcome more than 170 participating teams. Over 4,000 athletes and fans are expected to attend the week-long tournament. “The weather in Chicago was amazing, and of course the city is one of our nation’s best for many reasons including a large LGBT community,” says Kevin Riddle, incoming commissioner of the MNSA. “The competition was really tough. We didn’t have a great showing this year,” he adds. Things turned around at an MNSA invitational tournament Sept. 17-18. The Force went undefeated to win the C division, while the Fury finished third. In the D division, the Blaze scored second place and the Pink Panthers took fifth. “Our teams didn’t do as well as expected in Chicago, but got back on track at home,” Riddle says. For more on the MNSA, visit www.mnsa.org.

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Inaugural UT-Knoxville LGBTIQ conference a success

First-ever event educates individuals about equality on the campus and in the community

by ERIC MCKINNEY, CONTRIBUTING WRITER emckinney@outandaboutnewspaper.com

The University of Tennessee held its first LGBTIQ conference on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Knoxville campus. In partnership with OUTstanding, the free public seminar was open to all identities and backgrounds including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) and ally-identified college students and community members. Lauren Hill, a program administrator in UT’s Office of Research who helped organize the historic event on campus, welcomed everyone to the conference, encouraging those in attendance to “take what you learn from this seminar and pass it on.” She shared that she and her fellow classmates intended for the conference to help in making both the Keith Boykin, CNBC TV host and a speaker at UT-Knoxville's first campus and the community a “safe space.” LGBTIQ conference held Oct. 22. A national voice for the LGBT community and the Executive Director of Campus Pride, Shane Windmeyer kicked off the day’s events with a discussion about destroying bias and developing straight allies. “Timing in our movement is everything,” Windmeyer challenged the crowd, “And the South is ready to be pushed harder when it comes to creating visibility and change.” In providing advice for how to make the college campus a safe place for LGBTIQ students, Windmeyer pointed out the importance of institutional commitment. “It is is the responsibility of the campus,” hesaid, insisting that the movement cannot be led by LGBT students alone or it will never take roots. First, he encouraged them to create visibility, by sending a message that the LGBT lifestyle is a normalized and standard part of the campus community. Next, he urged the university to start taking responsibility and ownership in free speech, by promoting civil and respectful discourse as an appropriate way to talk about issues. Finally, he challenged the university to create and demonstrate a climate where students can feel welcome, safe, valued, and supported. “Colleges encourage students to come out,” said Windmeyer, “But what we really need is for the college itself to come out as LGBT supportive.” After Windmeyer’s motivational opening, those in attendance were given the opportunity to choose three different sessions to attend throughout the next four hours of the day. Some of the various topics covered in these breakout sessions included the

QUALLS Continued from page 13 What upcoming projects can you share with us? What are you looking forward to in 2012?

Well, I’m very excited about my Fondant Fabric. It is a great concept. We are working out some of the kinks with packaging etc. I’m working on concepts for a line of tools for the cake designer/decorator. I’m also working on a dessert recipe book, a coffee table book with all my original designs, sketches, inspiration, and finished product. I’m designing my new line of cakes for the 2012 brides. They will be released on my website in late January. I am producing online classes as well. You can register your email at my website www.jayqualls.com and pay a small fee

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NOVEMBER 2011

discussion of gender and sexuality on the internet, in the classroom, and within the Christian Bible. In one specific workshop titled “Teaching for Tolerance,” the Special Education Faculty of the University of Tennessee outlined how they are preparing future and current educators to adequately address the effects of intolerance and exclusion on children’s opportunity to fully participate and achieve. “Silence means agreement,” said faculty member Stacey Chiak. “If you do nothing, you are allowing it to happen.” During lunch, guests were given the opportunity to watch a short film entitled Finding Voices. The film was created by Drew Harvill, a University of Tennessee graduate student who identifies himself as an ally for the LGBT movement. Using only a chalk board and a camera, Harvill provided a creative lens that would give viewers a closer look at the experiences of LGBT students on the UT campus. Describing the passion and excitement of the students who participated in his film, Harvill said, “They already knew what they wanted to say, because it wasn’t something that they had to think about. It was like the words were just bottled up inside of them.” Once the sessions were finished, attendees participated in a discussion between the public and a panel that consisted of students, faculty, and community members. The focus for the panel’s discussion was based on the question, “Where do we go from here?” Renee DeLapp, a local LCSW with a focus on LGBTIQ clients and families, encouraged the group to remember that every single person can help with creating a future of safety and equality for the LGBT community, simply by sharing your story with friends, family and the people around you. “Knowing someone is the single largest way that you can change someone,” said DeLapp. Further emphasizing on the need for those who identify as LGBTIQ to share the positive moments of their story as well. “When you see someone loving their life, and not loathing it, that makes a big difference,” stated Andrea Tucker. Keith Boykin delivered an inspirational closing to the conference, telling highlights from his own personal journey and reading a special poem from his upcoming book. An American broadcaster, author and commentator, Boykin was a special assistant to President Clinton and a veteran of six political campaigns. “Knowing the right thing to do is not the same as doing it,” said Boykin, as he opened his talk by stating that a revolution has already begun in this country and that each person must choose whether or not they possess the courage to be a part of it. Recognizing that Knoxville was located in the heart of the Bible belt, Boykin identified the church as “the most homophobic institution in the black community” and declared that members of the LGBTIQ community must challenge religious bias. Quoting several verses from the Christian Bible, he drew attention to the Bible’s use in our country’s past to support the oppression of women and African Americans. With a tone of respect and sincerity, he asked, “How do we unlearn the fear we have been taught and relearn the love with which we were born?” Boykin’s answer to this question involved challenging the church to shift its current fear and condemnation to a better focus on love and respect. In his closing remarks. “When we have the courage to be open and honest about who we are, people will not only accept us, they will respect us more,” Boykin said. For more information or to get connected, OUTstanding can be found online at outstandingseminar.wordpress.com or by emailing outstandingutk@gmail.com. and have access to free demos and full classes forever. You can learn my method of decorating and design from the comfort of your own home and watch it as many times as you want and create your own educational library. I also have some very good exposure that I can’t discuss in the Spring of 2012 and I continue to travel and teach and do business consulting. I’m also working on a few other projects that I can’t talk about right now. But, there is a lot more to come from me. I believe 2012 will be a great year for me and I’m excited to see what it holds for me. Qualls’ website is www.jayqualls.com and his store website is www.store.jay. qualls.com. Follow him at Facebook and Twitter.


Q&A: Indigo Girls

Grammy Award-winning duo gets ready for their performance at the Ryman by BLAKE BOLDT, MANAGING EDITOR bboldt@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Grammy Award-winning duo Indigo Girls will headline Ryman Auditorium Nov. 17 in support of their upcoming album, Beauty Queen Sister. Folk singer- songwriter Brandi Carlile serves as the opening act. In an interview with Out & About Newspaper, Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls riffs on gay rights and the duo’s secrets of success.

process. I used to think it was all about when the muse hit you, but that’s wrong. (laughs) So now I make sure and sit down five days a week. It’s like a job. This is our art, but it’s also a job and you have to keep working at it. After being on the road, it’s kind of hard for me to write and start back to my discipline, but I do it. To what do you owe your career longevity? I think it’s a combination of the audience being really great, and passing the music along for us. There’s word of mouth and we’ve developed a loyal, core following. And new people have come on board, too. We’ve really done it in a grassroots way. Radio is important to us when it happens, and we love it when we’re on the radio, but we don’t have to have it. On a business level, we’ve had the same management, same booking agent, kind of the same team since we started. They keep things going for us.

After being on the road together for 26 years, how do you keep things fresh? A lot of it is changing the set list every night, and it helps when we have new records. Also, the people we play with, the musicians or the opening band, they’re a constant source of inspiration for us. I think also that we tour in short segmentsThe Indigo Girls will perform at Ryman Auditorium Thursday, Nov. 17, with Brandi Carlile serving as the --three weeks on, five days off---that keeps it opening act. interesting. I think if you tour so much there are some nights where you’re inevitably going through the motions and it does a disservice to the audience.

What are your thoughts on the current state of gay rights in the United States? So much has happened since we started in the Eighties. And then there are people that came before us that paved the way. The conversation has definitely evolved. Talking about gender has kind of been separated from sexuality. The transgender (movement) has given us even more dialogue. There’ve been the openings of so many doors, but also the closing of doors. We’re changing communities little by little. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was such a big thing because the military has such an impact on what happens in our community. There’s so much access to resources now where people didn’t have resources and it helps them to understand more of who they are. People are more confident about their sexuality, with the internet, gay media, gay-straight alliances in schools, PFLAG. There are more opportunities for younger people, and even people who are coming out at a later age. But still there are a lot of people who have the pain of not knowing who they are. There’s a lot of work to do, but we’re making progress.

Since June 2010, you’ve had a live album, a holiday album and now the new studio album, Beauty Queen Sister. Why has it been such a prolific period for you? I don’t know. A lot of it is people that keep us inspired, people that we collaborate with. Like with our holiday record, we had a good group of musicians and we had such a good time that we wanted to use them for our regular songs, too. We write separately, so that gives us a different perspective. Any great writer has to do the work. I’ve had talks with songwriters and read books, and it’s so much about the

Tickets range from $28.50 - $49.50 and are available for purchase through Ticketmaster and the Ryman box office.

OutCentral to award ‘Autumn Honors’

Ceremony highlights special contributions of Nashville’s GLBT community

by O&AN STAFF REPORTS

As part of its third anniversary celebration, OutCentral Cultural Center is hosting Autumn Honors to observe recent cultural achievements of GLBT Nashvillians. Autumn Honors will take place from 6:30-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9. The evening’s festivities will recognize individuals and organizations who have made — and continue to make — a difference in Middle Tennessee through visual and performing arts, literature and journalism, fashion, cuisine, philanthropy, education and athletics. Past winners have included recording artist Mary Gauthier, chef and restaurateur Arnold Myint and news anchor Scott Arnold. This year’s honorees are: · The Nashville Opera, for its ongoing community education and outreach efforts Covenant of the Cross, for its food pantry serving the GLBT community·

 am Sheffer, whose work with GLBT youth at the Oasis Center has led to the P creation of the Just Us program

Your last Nashville appearance was at Cheekwood in August 2010. What will it be like to perform here again? Well, it’s at the Ryman, so it’s such a historical, gorgeous venue. It’s so intimate. Our last album was actually made in Nashville, so we spent some time there, and it’s great to go back to the city where you created the music. We have lots of great memories. The city, I feel, is really coming alive in the last five years.

 ichael McDaniel, whose work with the Community Foundation continues to M provide community-advancement opportunities

 ill Tedder of the Smoky Mountain Rodeo Association, for ongoing community B support J im Schmidt, whose work on behalf of the Victory Fund helps qualified GLBT candidates seek elected office

 elly Fussman, Autumn Honors’ first youth awardee, who began the No H8 Club K at Hendersonville High School J ason Fletcher and Julia McAninch, former board members, who are being recognized for their service to OutCentral

Wresch Dawidjan, OutCentral’s Volunteer of the Year

“OutCentral exists to promote LGBT culture,” says OutCentral board chair Del Ray Zimmerman. “By honoring the people that strive to make Nashville a better place to live, we all realize what’s possible through creativity and hard work.” The event will be held this year at OutCentral (1709 Church St.) and will include hors d’oeuvres from several local restaurants and a signature cocktail. The 2011 drink sponsor is Cuestion Tequila. Tickets for Autumn Honors are on sale for $20 each and may be purchased online at www.nowplayingnashville.com, through OutCentral’s board of directors or at the door the night of the event.

NOVEMBER 2011

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November 24 – 27 Thanksgiving Weekend Traditional menu and a gathering of great friends. Gobble-Gobble G0-GO Dance Parties Friday and Saturday nights!

December 2 – 4 10th Annual Christmas Open House Weekend Our gift to you to thank you for a great year! Drop in cocktail supper and open bar on Saturday evening at the Tavern. Annual Santa Bear and Sexy Elves Party at the Tavern. Bring a wrapped Christmas ornament for the ornament exchange. 30% discount on all rooms for the weekend.

Come visit us in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. 2240 Van Hill Road Greeneville, TN 37745 FOR RESERVATIONS:

423-234-0833 1-800-437-0118

NOVEMBER 2011

O U T A N D A B O U T N E W S PA P E R . CO M

25


KITCHEN

46

HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING if it’s too hot in the KITCHEN turn down the air conditioning.

DIVERSE CITY PAGE

249 35th Avenue N | Nashville TN 37209 hardar586@gmail.com

615.399.0618

WORK S

5111 Maryland Way Brentwood, TN 37027

ior p aint in

g at AARP

Network with Nashville's GLBT

JIM BOLEN

pric

es

BROKER, GRI

direct 615.352.7046 office 615.373.2044 jimbolen@comcast.net www.jimbolen.com http://jimbolen.crye-leike.com

Frannie & Paula 615.391.5941 anton-lavoy@att.net

Proudly Serving Davidson and Surrounding Counties

Movers & Shakers

G

at our Fourth-Friday Mixers.

R

EA

L

E

PAIN T

cust om in ter

DARYL HARRIS

TER

NASHV

IL

Social Club for Mature Gay Men www.tnprimetimers.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION NashvilleGLBTChamber.org

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medical care for your entire family 615/376-8195

Bradley Bullock, MD Cool Springs Internal Medicine & Pediatrics

Billy

LMT

7 days a week 11am - 7 pm 60 minutes – $70

deep tissue, sports & more

615 / 604-9207

new clients 10% off

1607 Westgate Circle Suite 200 Brentwood

615-269-3263

The key to your real estate needs...

Nicole A. Coppersmith, ABR

$500 from every sale donated to Helping Healing Hearts

(615) 300-8809 soldbycole@aol.com

Forest Hills Realtors 2002 Richard Jones Road, Suite 202B Nashville, TN 37215 (615) 383-8880

Psychotherapy Individuals & Couples

John Waide, PhD, LCSW 615/400.5911

waide@psychotherapy-and-psychoanalysis.com

Barbara Sanders, LCSW 615/414.2553

BarbaraSandersLCSW@gmail.com

Music Row / Vanderbilt Area


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O&AN November 2011  

The November issue of Out & About features reality TV stars from Nashville. Based in Nashville, the second season of Sundance Channel's hit...

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