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LGBT Chamber’s Taste of Nashville Again Impresses





How LGBT Citizens Should Prepare for the Trump Administration



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STAFF Publisher: Jerry Jones

Managing Print Editor: James Grady

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CONTRIBUTORS Writers: Julie Chase, Sunny Eaton, James Grady, Lisa Howe, Eric Patton, Amy Sulam, Paige Turner Photographers: James Grady, Julius Greene, Robbie D. Jones, Sinclair Kelly Cover Photograph: Sinclair Kelly Photography National Advertising Representative: Rivendell Media | 1248 Route 22 West, Mountainside, NJ 07092 | 212-242-6863

OPPORTUNITIES Out & About Nashville welcomes volunteer writers, photographers and videographers throughout the year. If you’re interested in contributing to our publication, send an email to with a resume, contact information and samples of your work if available. Our volunteer staff is unpaid, but contributors do receive credit for their work in our print publication and online. Those seeking an internship in journalism or mass communications are strongly encouraged to apply.


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Out & About Nashville strives to be a credible community news organization by engaging and educating our readers. All content of Out & About Nashville is copyrighted 2016 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 representations does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of the person or persons. Out & About Nashville accepts unsolicited material but cannot take responsibility for its return. The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit submissions. All rights revert to authors upon publication. The editorial positions of Out & About Nashville are expressed in editorials and in the editor’s notes as determined by the editor. Other opinions are those of writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Out & About Nashville or its staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged but may be edited for clarity and length. There is no guarantee that letters will be published. Out & About Nashville only accepts adult advertising within set guidelines and on a case-by-case basis.






Wedding Announcement Mr. Eric Ginsberg and Mr. Christopher Todd

We would like to congratulate our Director of Sales, Marketing & Events, Eric Ginsberg on his marriage to Christopher Todd. The service was held at the Congregation Ohabai Sholom on November 13th 2016. They were joined by close friends and family to observe a beautiful and traditional Jewish Wedding. The couple was married under a chuppah, “a Jewish wedding canopy” that symbolizes the new home that the couple will create. Both Eric & Chris to conclude the ceremony, stomped on a glass followed by the attendees shouting “Mazol Tov” as the couple took their first kiss. The breaking of the glass illustrates that marriage is permanent, and love which is like glass, is

fragile and must be protected. We wish them the best of luck in this new journey together! Chris & Eric have known one another since 1997 and are excited to bring a child into their lives in the years to come. L’Chaim!

Kate NelsoN, RealtoR® DIRECT 615 / 268-0319 OffICE 615 / 383-6964 KATE@VILLAGEREALESTATE.COM

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AFTER THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP... hold to the philosophy expressed in my previous column, but I do see the need to stand a vigilant watch for each other’s welfare. The Tribe, which includes courageous allies, must form square and drive off any assault upon her kin... especially the youth who pledged loyalty to the Rainbow flag against all pressure to not do so. We may be going back to step one, but we have been there before, and we know how to climb back out. Do not quit the field of battle just because the job got much harder. We are now Stonewall. We take courage from

from my very liberal spouse and very supportive liberal friends. This loss is now my loss. This fight has now become my fight. I will not run away from it as I did last time. I will now openly stand with my tribe. My wife is one of us; my daughter is allied with all of us. My friends are fellow members of this sacred band. I will now take up the challenge thrown to us by Alt-Right America and redouble my effort to gain full freedom. I will volunteer with HRC and TEP. I will volunteer to campaign for political candidates who fight for our cause. I

future LGBTQI generations now rests with all of us. There can be only one outcome in this coming fight...and that is victory. Victory over bigots, victory over misogynists, victory over homophobes, transphobes and all who wish to turn the clock back to the worst of American history.” I was inspired in my youth by bedside stories of the Battle of Britain and the total defense against total evil. I am also a passionate optimist who subscribes to a belief that demands I have faith in my G-ddess who protects all of us and who inspires me to hope even in the darkest of times. I openly embrace my British heritage, my unrequested blessing, and this positive outlook on life, respectfully encouraging all who are in fear or mourning to please take all this to heart and prepare for better days.

the generation who walked at Selma and fought at Stonewall Inn. We now fight for ourselves, for our friends from different backgrounds, and for the kids who will come out in the years to come. I lived as a closeted bisexual male. I am now an open, loud-and-proud transgender Jewish woman who may be conservative in my politics but who has learned how to embrace my female side

will continue to be open about who I am, who I love and which team I play for. I will do this as a proud, politically conservative writer. Because I love my lesbian wife. Because I love and respect my liberal LGBTQI friends. Because now there is no going back. As Winston Churchill probably would have put it: “Do you hear me? There is no going back! The fate of

Sweat, toil, openness, and pride will be key to our coming victory. I will do my part. I challenge all to do the same. Take courage in who you were gifted to be. Roll up your sleeves, and let’s go to work together. It’s going to be that very long hard slog we hoped to avoid, but love will win. They just cannot defeat and allies together. We are far too strong.


We left Tribe around 11:30. We walked to our car in total silence, a light rain falling upon our heads. Our first date night in twenty-five years had ended as disastrously as our first encounter in college. “Not a great night to be lesbian and Jewish,” I whispered as I unlocked her door. “Not at all,” came the soft reply. We drove home in total silence as the rain continued to trickle. We were both numb. Not afraid, just numb...and mentally preparing for the old days to return. We were both well old enough to remember those times. I don’t think we ever thought for a moment we would see them again...and now we’d no longer be able to hide. Pride again has its price. I can only speak for myself. We did not get lazy. We were fooled into thinking the majority of Caucasian Americans had moved significantly forward on social progress, and we got our clocks cleaned. It only demonstrates that we have much more work to do. We thought we would be the generation that could rest on the achievements of the original Civil Rights movement and the Stonewall generation, and we have been shown to be very much wrong. We are now the new Stonewall generation. All of us, family and allies alike. The battle did not end. The opposition came out of their very dark closet and voted into office those who do not have our best interests in mind. I still

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I know we are all afraid. In light of the recent election and Trump’s impending presidency, we are scared of what may happen to our marriages and relationships, to our parental rights, and to our ability to change our names and important documents. We are terrified of renewed discrimination in employment or housing. I’m not going to lie to you, this could get messy and there are a lot of unknowns. I’ve gotten a lot of calls and emails from people seeking answers so here is what I can tell you: How will it all play out? I’d like to first reassure and remind you that Donald Trump doesn’t take office until January 20th, 2017. I strongly believe that the relationships and marital rights of those already married are probably safe. It is highly unlikely, and from a legal standpoint nearly impossible, for those marriages to be invalidated. For couples not currently married, I don’t think you need to rush out and get married. Any significant changes in our current status and right to marry cannot happen overnight. The Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage will not easily be overturned, even if Trump fulfills his promise of appointing judges hostile to our cause. With that said, I do believe we will see malicious efforts on both federal and state levels to undermine our rights that come with marriage and to add obstacles for those of us trying to exercise the right to marry. It is also possible that the new administration could

trim the respect given by federal government agencies to our marriages. Tennessee legislators made recent attempts to pass several such bills. For example, they tried to pass a bill that would preclude government officials from performing marriages at all, forcing us to seek marriage by clergy members and certainly fanning resentment against us by heterosexuals seeking their own marriages. Married or not, I strongly recommend taking steps to protect your relationships and your wishes in the event of illness or death. This means completing documents such as powers of attorney, advance directives, wills, hospital visitation, and information release forms and financial agreements. Do not sleep on this. No changes in state law can undercut these documents. As far as adoptions, I don’t foresee any efforts to roll back or void what has already been done. I have concerns we could we could see some efforts at the state level to undermine our families, but I see more risks for people going forward than for any adoptions that have already been completed. If you are a same-sex couple raising kids, its IMPERATIVE that both parents have legal ties to your children. If you have not completed a secondparent or joint adoption, you should immediately consult an adoption attorney. Having both names on a child’s birth certificate is not enough to establish parentage in every state, however, court judgments, by and large, must be respected state- to-state and by the federal government. If you are transgender and your

identity documents don’t reflect who you are, it is a good idea to update your documents, including any state-issued IDs, passport and Social Security record before the new administration takes office. You currently have a right to amend educational records to match your legal documents. Given the current attempts at hostile state action towards transgender individuals, if you fall into this category of those who have not yet completed these steps, I recommend you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. If You Need Help: An initiative has begun here in Nashville, similar to strategies in many other cities and states, called the LGBT Legal Relief Fund. This is not a new organization—this is an effort, a resource to help as many people as we can, as quickly as we can. More than 40 attorneys in a variety of legal specialties and in several states, paralegals and notaries have offered their assistance to us in completing paperwork and legal proceedings to protect us and our families during this critical time. We will also be able to provide more in-depth and urgent actions, such as completion of adoptions and name/document changes for trans individuals. Not all of these services will be free. The demand and time-constraints are often too great. However, we will provide as much free help as is practical and possible. Each of the attorneys who stand ready to help, however, have agreed to drastically reduce their rates for LGBT people seeking individual and family services.

Sunny Eaton

In order to aid you in keeping costs down and protecting yourselves as quickly as possible, within the next few days, we will be posting several documents you can complete yourself without an attorney’s assistance to for your free download and use. We have notaries on board who are willing to assist you in finalizing those documents at no cost to you. How Can You Help: In an effort to help offset legal fees, along with court filing fees (which are out of the control of attorneys), costs, and peripheral expenses, such as home studies for adoptions, we have launched a legal relief fundraiser. Donate and ask your friends to donate at: donate. The more we raise, the more we can help each other and lower costs for everyone. Your best protection is to consult with an attorney and complete the necessary documents and procedures. The information provided here is not a substitute for the legal advice of a licensed attorney. Each person and every situation is different. If you have questions, please direct them to

@O U T A N D A B O U T N A S H



When I started encouraging our corporate members to add voluntary selfidentification for their LGBT employees, as well as their employees with disabilities and their veteran employees, I knew I would have to work to educate both employers and employees about the importance and value of this personal demographic data collection. I am passionate about selfidentification because of a personal experience. In March 2015, I testified in front of the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. I testified in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes at the Federal level. It was quite clear that ENDA would not make it through Congress, so the USCCR organized a day long, historic hearing on this LGBT issue, so they would have the testimony needed to persuade President Obama to issue an Executive Order. When I was questioned by Commissioners who were in favor of ENDA, I was asked questions like: How many people lose their jobs based on their sexual orientation or gender identity? What is the economic impact of LGBT discrimination in the workplace? Does research exist where one can find the economic need for ENDA? My fellow panelists and I had personal testimony about the importance of ENDA. We had sob stories about parents who would struggle to provide for their children. We talked about talented individuals who were good at their jobs, but had the rug pulled out from under them when they came out, or were outed, as LGBT. We talked about the dignity of work, and the LGBT community being treated as second class citizens by their states. We gave anecdotal information about diversity and inclusion being good for a company’s bottom line. It was very clear that for this Commission to take this issue to the President of the United States, they needed economic data, not a sob story. I left D.C. with my head down. I felt like I had let down our community. I felt like I had let a huge opportunity go to waste. I use that feeling of failure as motivation to work more effectively for


the LGBT community. Whether it is business decisions or policy decisions, both are made by measuring numbers. Even personal goals require baseline measurement, monitoring numbers, and an end goal that is measureable. Have you ever tried to lose weight without weighing yourself? Have you set a goal to save money without counting how much money you have? If we are going to pass government policies that protect LGBT people, there must be measurement. In addition to policies, the demographic data can lead to budget increases for LGBT employees and initiatives. Locally, this could make a huge difference for our community. For example: Let’s suppose OutCentral applied for HCA’s Day of Giving along with 100 other non-profit organizations, and HCA used data to decide where to commit their limited resources. If HCA could pull up an aggregate measurement that told them 10% of their employees identify as LGBT, it gives them a baseline of measurement that they already have for their female and minority employees. If HCA could pull up an aggregate measurement from an employee satisfaction survey or an employee exit survey, they might find a high percentage of those employees who expressed dissatisfaction or who left the company identified as LGBT. Then, HCA might prioritize OutCentral as a choice, because it is a good way to engage their valuable LGBT employees. Let’s suppose the Launch Pad applied for a grant from Nissan, and Nissan knew that 8% of their employees identify as LGBT. Then, Nissan looks at the demographic make-up of high performing employees, and they find that 35% of high performing employees identify as LGBT. They do not want to lose this level of talent, so Nissan is more likely to invest in causes that are important to these employees. I will be the first person to tell people not to self-identify if it is not safe to do so. Because of my experience, because of my job, and because of my self-perceived role in the LGBT community, I would selfidentify every time I use my debit card, take a survey, or apply for anything. That is how important I think it is. Our members, who do have voluntary self-identification, like Cummins, are very



transparent with why they collect the data, how they collect and store the data, and who has access to the data. I would not expect a person to check a box without knowing this information and neither does the employer. I understand not all people will feel safe voluntarily self-identifying. I do expect our community to embrace being given the opportunity to self-identify. The more LGBT people who get measured, the safer it will be for those who cannot be counted. Until LGBT people are measured like other minorities, we can expect to be left out of decisions, budgets, allocated resources, policies, and more. The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce will continue to educate both employees and employers about the value of voluntary self-ID, and I appreciate this opportunity to do so.

Lisa Howe

Lisa Howe Executive Director Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce Christopher May DC 2933 Berry Hill Dr Nashville, TN 37204 (615) 220-0777

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Phillipe Chadwick’s first love is gardening, and what began as an early obsession has grown and evolved into a wide-ranging career—from gardening and horticulture to floral design. Chadwick has become well known for his show-stopping and vibrant, yet elegant and sentimental arrangements and designs. And this is why he has been chosen by our readers in the 2016 Faves & Raves as Favorite Florist. But the label of florist is complicated by the course of his career and scope of his work. Asking whether he even considered himself a florist invited a complicated response. “That’s a really complicated question for me,” Chadwick responded. “I was always interested in plants and flowers as a child and that interest has only grown as I’ve gotten older. Since college I have been constantly increasing my knowledge of horticulture. Floral design was inevitable as I am obsessed with flowers. I try to keep it simple and just call myself a florist. My knowledge of horticulture definitely shows in my floral design. So I guess I am a landscape architect turned horticulturalist turned florist.” His work in horticulture, and the reputation it earned him, rivals work as a floral designer. After the Nashville native earned his degree in Landscape Architecture from Mississippi State University in 2006, he worked as a landscape architect, managing civic designs for the city of Franklin, Tennessee. In 2009, Chadwick went to work for Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art as a horticulturalist, and sought to elevate the already high standard he found there. He emphasized the need to keep all designs provocative and cutting-edge but at the same time aesthetically pleasing. This spirit breathed life into Cheekwood’s gardens, while also working to provide Cheekwood’s special events with fresh, bright flower arrangements. Some work on the side, at first for


family and friends, helped Chadwick decide to start his own business and to bring that same emphasis on design to events and venues across Middle Tennessee. “I was working at Cheekwood back around 2012,” he said, “when my brother got married, and I did the flowers for the wedding. It was the first time I had ever done floral design for an event. I remember it being kind of nerveracking, not knowing what I was doing making bouquets and centerpieces. From there, I did several friends weddings, and it just continued to grow. After a year I had so much business I had to leave Cheekwood.” Besides striking personal and sentimental cords, Chadwick prides himself on getting people talking, employing his extensive knowledge of plants and flowers to design outside of the box. “I did not start floral design expecting it to become my career: it’s just turned out that way. I definitely utilize all of my education and knowledge I have acquired through school and my past jobs. In college I had a strong education in basic design theory, which I use every day. I really focus on color theory and the importance of texture. I was never formally trained as a florist so I have a style of my own. Everything I’ve learned about floral design has been through trial and error lots error!” He’s also taught some, and his personal experience, and his push for creative approaches, shines through there. “When I’ve taught classes in the past,” he said, “I tell my students to try something they wouldn’t expect themselves to do: they may not like it, and that’s okay! They can always take it apart and make something new. His designs do have their influences, however. “Lots of my inspiration comes from designers like Alexander McQueen and Iris van Herpen,” he said. “I follow several Japanese floral designers: they have the most interesting style and form.” Chadwick has established a strong reputation in Nashville for crafting memorable weddings and impressive visual spectacles for events, including The Antiques and Garden Show, the TPAC gala, and Chukkers for Charity. He has also occasionally hosted Volunteer Gardener on NPT. For Chadwick, his career highlights are fairly easy to highlight. “I got to design the color garden at Cheekwood,” Chadwick said, “which was always my pride and joy.



Phillipe Chadwick

The Antiques and Garden show has been a huge platform for me to showcase my style and intriguing designs. Several years back I made a tree out of a parachute that was lit internally with projections and all made of fabric. I have had six installations at the Antiques and Garden show and will have one this February. Winning the Best-inShow award last year at the Antiques and Garden show is a real high point.” He’s also very excited about his current project, he said, adding, “I have been designing the lobby flowers for the Pinnacle building this year, and I’ve had a lot of fun showcasing my wild designs.” So where does he go from here? “I dream very big, and I create on a huge scale. Currently the business is Phillipe S. Chadwick, but my partner, Nick Maynard, and I will soon be launching Electric Flora, where I will still be the lead designer. I am currently looking into a workshop space for myself which I have wanted for years.” For more information about Chadwick and his designs, and more examples of his work, visit

This year’s field was a strong one— both of this year’s runners up have been featured bartenders in past years’ reader polls. Timmy Harkum, formerly owner of Stirrup and now a regular bartender there, and Joey Newkirk, one of Play Dance Bar’s favorites, were strong contenders again this year.

NIGHTLIFE When it comes to tastes in nightlife, Nashville’s LGBT community and its allies are diverse as Nashville’s everexpanding populace. From the tourist draws of Broadway to the dive bars that dot our neighborhoods, there are any number of LGBT friendly options. And from the Church Street Gayborhood, which hosts Tribe, Play, Canvas, and Blue Gene’s to Stirrup and Traxx on the 2nd/4th Avenue Corridor and East Nashville staple Lipstick Lounge, Nashville’s small group of LGBT bars have strong and diverse followings of loyal regulars. Nashville’s nightlife is constantly changing, and the coming year will bring more change, as Blue Gene’s closes—its owners opening a new location soon—and Stirrup begins its first full year under new ownership. But Nashville remains loyal to its favorites, and there is little doubt that much will remain, thankfully, the same. BARTENDER MAGGIE PRATER, LIPSTICK LOUNGE This year, as last, Lipstick Lounge saw wins in a lot of different categories, and one of its most familiar faces scored a big win this year, as O&AN’s readers chose Maggie Prater as this year’s top bartender. Prater’s own story is tightly knit with that of her bar: “Want to hear a joke? An awkward 18-year-old walks into a bar and asks ‘You need a bar back?’ Okay, so, I lied... There’s no punchline. But, for twelve years now, Lipstick has been my home. Christa and Jonda have treated me as their own kid since day one and instilled in me the philosophy that any good bar is one where you can walk in and be who you are.” So if you haven’t been, go down to Lipstick and let Maggie make you a drink and show you what that means! BARTENDER FINALISTS TIMMY HARKUM (STIRRUP) & JOEY NEWKIRK (PLAY)

Maggie Prater

Joey Newkirk

KARAOKE LIPSTICK LOUNGE Lipstick Lounge’s karaoke nights are legendary. The drink specials are plentiful, the crowd is generally high-energy, and bar owner Jonda Valentine—who has been a professional singer—is legendary for throwing in a few numbers. Check them out on Facebook and head down to join the show! PLACE TO DANCE PLAY DANCE BAR Year after year, O&AN readers continue to vote Play Dance Bar as the best place to dance in Nashville, and there’s a reason, the venue has a great bar staff, top notch drag entertainers, and a group of DJs and VJs that know exactly what the crowd wants. And it goes without saying that there aren’t a whole lot of 18-and-up dance bars that are close to major campuses. Special guests, including nearly every cast member of RuPaul’s Drag Race, often leave lines down the block, and special events, like Student Bodies competitions and postPride foam parties, keep Play near the top of the list of places to party. DISK JOCKEY DEEJAY PHIL This twenty-six year veteran disk jockey is a Nashville staple, and has won favorite in this category more often than not in the last few years. Phil’s career has carried him from 176 Underground in the 1990s to The Chute, and after a break to Tribe and Play. His career in music also included a long stint at Tower Records. And after three decades in the clubs, Nashville audiences still can’t get enough of him.

Timmy Harkum

Deejay Phil

Lipstick Lounge Karaoke

DRAG QUEEN THE PRINCESS Anyone who follows drag in Nashville is familiar with The Princess, who featured prominently on Season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and who became one of Play’s Showgirls shortly thereafter. She was also featured on the September 2014 cover of O&AN. The Princess an audience favorite at Play, often drawing tips rivaling those given to special guests with her striking looks and fan-favorite numbers. If you’re curious about drag and haven’t seen her perform, or @O U T A N D A B O U T N A S H




With NES Project Help, a single dollar can make a difference to those struggling to pay their heating bills this winter. That’s why we partner with NeedLink Nashville to provide temporary energy assistance to neighbors in need. You can give back by adding a dollar or more to your monthly NES bill. All donations go directly to help individuals who qualify for aid. Enroll today at GIVING. A GREAT USE OF ENERGY.


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11/15/16 12:26 PM

if you haven’t been to Play in a while and just need to catch up, choose a night the Princess is performing and head out to the club for the best show in town.

Jordan Allen

The Princess

DRAG KING JORDAN ALLEN This year’s favorite drag king is Jordan Allen. It’s not Allen’s first time at the top of this category, and a brief survey of his achievements, and his community involvement, explain why. Most recently, Allen has been involved in activities and causes as diverse as drag pageantry and transgender activism. Allen has also been involved in fundraising events, such as Play Dance Bar’s benefit show for the victims of the Orlando Pulse attack. HAPPY HOUR TRIBE Year in and year out, Tribe remains our favorite happy hour. This year, Tribe remains the place to go for drink specials—and especially drink specials and show tunes— whether it’s after work on Wednesday or Sunday after church, on Church. OVERALL BAR LIPSTICK LOUNGE For a second year in a row, Lipstick Lounge, one of East Nashville’s favorite neighborhood establishments, has carried this category. With its a homey atmosphere, fantastic food, beloved bar staff, and karaoke and theme nights, Lipstick has something to offer almost everyone. LGBT FRIENDLY 3 CROW East Nashville favorite 3 Crow, an easy walk for many who live in the LGBTfriendly enclave, could sometimes be mistaken for a gay bar, especially if you wander in after Hot Mess, or the Grizzlies, have descended after a game or practice. It’s a local and reader favorite, and if you’ve never been, you should check it out. He’s also very excited about his current project, he said, adding, “I have been designing the lobby flowers for the Pinnacle building this year, and I’ve had a lot of fun showcasing my wild designs.” So where does he go from here? “I dream very big, and I create on a huge scale. Currently the business is Phillipe S. Chadwick, but my partner, Nick Maynard, and I will soon be launching Electric Flora, where I will still be the lead designer. I am currently looking into a workshop space for myself which I have wanted for years.” @O U T A N D A B O U T N A S H





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the BBC put it, “The place is a top to bottom testament to East Nashville’s community roots: everything has a story and the theme of preservation runs deep.” If you haven’t already, you owe it to yourself to check out this year’s readers’ choice for best first date restaurant.

DINING Nashville’s food landscape is everchanging, with a hip new restaurant opening every day, or so it seems. Some of those are flashes in the frying pan, and others sustain a loyal following. This year, though, our readers tilted strongly towards perennial favorites, proving that, while new is fun, sometimes you just can’t beat local traditions. But, then, sometimes you can. BEST FIRST DATE LOCKELAND TABLE Lockeland Table Community Kitchen and Bar pays homage to its East Nashville neighborhood roots. It’s reconstructed 1930’s storefront is a portal to a simpler time, but it’s interior and its menu are an elegant blend of tradition and experimentation. As

VEGETARIAN SUNFLOWER CAFE Nashville’s food scene, like that of the South in general, has been largely centered on meats, but a growing number of high quality vegetarian dining options are popping up, and this year’s favorite vegetarian option is Sunflower Café. Known for gourmet veggie burgers and vegan barbecue, Sunflower Cafe also offers a wide selection of vegan and gluten-free options. Variety is the spice of life, so the restaurant has variable daily chef specials and seasonal menus, so be sure to check them out often. FINE DINING, OVERALL RESTAURANT, & LOCAL CHEF MARGOT MCCORMACK Margot McCormack, who was featured on the cover of O&AN in 2013, retains her crown as the purveyor of Nashville’s Best Fine Dining, and retakes the top spot as best local chef and best overall restaurant. Margot Café & Bar has been a fixture of Nashville fine dining for twenty years now, with its innovative, daily-changing menus and intimate atmosphere. Margot has has received accolades from all of Nashville’s major print outlets,

and we have no doubt this will continue into the foreseeable future. So keep track of the restaurant online and on social media so that you’ll be on top of things when your favorite ingredients hit the menu. PIZZA FIVE POINTS PIZZA For an amazing fifth year in a row, Five Points Pizza tops LGBT Nashville’s list of best pizzerias. Located in the heart of East Nashville, Five Points is a great place to grab a slice while you explore this eclectic neighborhood or before you hit your favorite bars. Check it out and you’ll agree that Five Points Pizza is one of, if not, the best pizza in the region.

BRUNCH TAVERN This year, Tavern Midtown unseated traditional LGBT favorite brunch spots— no small feat when you consider that brunch is an LGBT tradition. Tavern has been described as a cool-casual “gastro-pub” concept and is known not only for its divine brunch, but also for dazzling cocktails and innovative menu. So some weekend, wander in late-morning and check out what’s inspired all the hype.

SUSHI RUSAN'S Ru San’s Sushi restaurant is known for its modern take on classic dishes, and is a local favorite in Nashville, and has been recognized for its delicious cuisine, excellent service and friendly staff.

COFFEE FROTHY MONKEY Frothy Monkey—hot local beverage chain—has a drink menu that will make any enthusiast happy, with coffees on tap and rotating seasonal beverages. Frothy Monkey patrons appreciate the cafés for more than coffee though. Frothy Monkey locations have hip, friendly staffs and cozy atmospheres, as well as great food and snacks. Frothy Monkey is a great alternative to the big national chains and our readers love it.

BREAKFAST THE NASHVILLE BISCUIT HOUSE The Nashville Biscuit House is an oldfashioned, southern-style joint that hits the spot. They offer breakfast all day, as well as terrific lunch specials every day of the week! The wait staff is a credit to southern hospitality, so when you’re ready for a hearty breakfast, this is the place to go.

PATIO 3 CROW 3 Crow’s patio remains one of LGBT Nashville’s favorite gather places, especially on temperate afternoons and evenings. This bar’s porch an almost irresistible draw, and it’s a prime Sunday stop for Nashville’s LGBT sporting leagues. With its laid back vibe, it’s a great place to unwind with friends.

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for the world. So here are our readership’s recommendations for the keys to looking and feeling your best—including where to doll up your best four-legged friend!

LOOK GOOD/ FEEL GOOD Looking and feeling your best is an art form, and LGBT community most definitely has distinct ideas about how to best achieve this goal. From fashionistas to stylists and designers, many of our brothers and sisters pride themselves on staying ahead of all the latest curves. And whether it’s shopping in chic boutiques or cobbling together something retro—or a drag look—at a thrift shop, they’ve shown that they have what it takes to carefully construct a look


SHOP FOR NEW CLOTHES H&M H&M takes the top spot this year. Now with two local location—one in Opry Mills and the other in Cool Spings—H&M offers fashionable clothes for men, women, and children for relatively affordable prices. And since the two locations often stock different clothes, you can alter your visits between locations for twice the shopping. The LGBT community adores this place, as any visit to the shop will clearly demonstrate, and that enthusiasm has barely waned since Nashvillians first slept in their cars get in line when the new location opened last year. SHOP FOR USED CLOTHES GOODWILL Thrift shopping offers the sense of satisfaction at knowing you didn’t pay dozens of times more than cost for your latest outfit. Sure it takes some skill to put together an outfit so well that no one realizes you spent $20, and not $200, on your look, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? And, let’s be frank, why should only those with platinum



cards get to look like that? From everyday low prices to daily deals and frequent shopper programs, Goodwill is again our favorite place to pull it all together—and the proceeds still people who otherwise may have trouble finding work. Win-win. HAIRSTYLIST DERRICK LACHNEY, FRESH SALON For the second year in a row, Derrick Lachney topped the best hairstylist category. Working at Fresh Salon on Demonbreun, Derrick has styled for celebrities like Kelly Pickler, Kacey Musgraves, and Hillary Scott. He’s been doing hair for over fifteen years—since graduating high school—and most of that career (besides a stint in DC) has been in Nashville. Derrick is most well-known for his skill as a colorist—last year he also won Nashville Lifestyles’ Best Colorist this year too!” His customers can’t stop raving about his work, and in a town known for its “blondes” that’s saying something. Derrick loves his job and his clients. Last year he told us, “I really enjoy being with and working with different people every day. Some of my clients have been with me over ten years and building that relationship is one of my favorite things.” Aside from his work, Derrick is also active in the LGBT community as the

founder and organizer of the HotMess sports leagues, for which he and some of his team were featured on the July 2014 cover of O&AN. TATTOO SHOP ALCHEMY NASHVILLE Located on Fatherland in East Nashville, Alchemy Nashville is this year’s readers’ favorite for getting that body art you’ve always wanted. There is perhaps no other category where word-of-mouth is more important. Sure, you can get a bad haircut, but for the most part you can grow that back out—laser removal is not so simple. Alchemy is Tai Orten’s private studio and operates by appointment only, so get in touch with them when you’re ready for a consultation. MASSAGE THERAPIST DALE PARKER This year, our readers chose Dale Parker, founder of Athletic Performance Massage, as their favorite massage therapist in town. GYM DOWNTOWN YMCA Two years ago, the Downtown YMCA tied with Planet Fitness, to whom it barely

lost last year. This year the YMCA took back the top spot, thanks to its excellent facilities (including a rooftop pool), prime location, and, in all likelihood, the prevalence of gym eye-candy. Oh, and the classes and programs, from spin to nutrition education, are top notch! PET SERVICES THE DOG SPOT The Dog Spot is again our favorite place to make sure our four-legged friends also look and feel their best. It has been named “Best of” by the Nashville Scene on a number of occasions as well. The Dog Spot offers professional dog grooming, daycare, and boarding services, and with three locations—East Nashville, West Nashville, and Mount Juliet—they’re also conveniently located. For you overprotective owners, webcams allow you to look in on your pooch when you can’t be with them!


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PLACES What are our readers’ favorite places to go relax, see a show, catch a movie, or find a good book? This year, as in the past, it seems that we prefer our old favorites! LIVE MUSIC VENUE RYMAN AUDITORIUM When it comes to music venues, none in Nashville have the history, the ambience, or the attraction of The Ryman Auditorium, it seems, as the “Mother Church of Country Music” again tops our readers’ poll. Revamped as a premier performance hall after reopening in 1994, and subsequently declared a National Historic Landmark in 2001, the Ryman continues to host the “Opry at the Ryman,” but its offerings have diversified to included shows as varied as Amy Grant and Vince Gill on the one hand and 2Cellos on the other.

PLACE TO TAKE VISITORS FIVE POINTS For the second year in a row, our readers chose Five Points in East Nashville as the best place to take visitors. Like last year, East Nashville is a heavy favorite in many categories, home to our favorite restaurants from Margot to Five Points Pizza to one of our favorite places to play, Lipstick Lounge, so it’s natural that it would be where we’d want to take our friends to eat, play, and shop. And filled with unique local shopping experiences like East Side Story (a bookstore featuring ONLY Tennessee authors) and many others—it is a uniquely Nashville neighborhood. SPIRITUAL PLACE HOLY TRINITY COMMUNITY CHURCH Holy Trinity Community Church is one of Nashville’s most LGBT-affirming houses of worship—a role they’ve worn publicly for years. A regular presence in our community, and a visible presence at Pride for a number of years, Holy Trinity is our favorite spiritual place this year! BOOKSTORE MCKAY USED BOOKS Year after year, we can’t get enough of this place. Tennessee’s first McKay’s location opened in Knoxville in 1985, and then arrived in Nashville in 2007. Now it’s hard to imagine how we ever lived without it! From its bargain basement prices on

HOTEL HOTEL INDIGO Hotel Indigo is a hip, modern hotel housed in a former bank building on Printer’s Alley, and again it is our favorite hotel. Yes, it’s a chain, but this chain’s shtick is developing hotels around local themes, so our location features no less than a printerthemed lobby and a speakeasy inspired lounge. And located as it is less than a mile from the Country Music Hall of Fame and other downtown attractions, Hotel Indigo perfectly combines atmosphere with utility.




everything from CDs and DVDs to comic books and great literature, it is a paradise of personal entertainment shopping. MOVIE THEATRE BELCOURT The Belcourt is classic theater, and its classic design was long a throwback to another era. How many movie theatres still feature honest-to-goodness stages? This Nashville institution brings the best independent films to Nashville, while serving up classic movies (and cocktails from the bar) in various genres and hosting cultural events, such as Nashville’s Jewish Film Festival. After its recent renovations, however, the Belcourt’s look has dramatically changed. The new exterior features some of the classic elements but the restoration gives the alley a whole different look, and the changes run deep. If you haven’t visited since the update, check it out, and let us know what you think!






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COMMUNITY In Nashville’s diverse and active LGBT community, there is always something going on, often leaving us with hard choices about which of three events we’ll attend on a given night. This year’s faves include a diverse and powerful slate of community organizations and representatives that remind us how much we have to be proud of, and how much we have the opportunity to do. NON-PROFIT NASHVILLE CARES Nashville CARES, which has since the early days of the AIDS crisis brought essential CARE to those suffering from HIV, is truly one of Middle Tennessee’s most important organizations, not only for the LGBT community but for every community and individual touched by the epidemic. After three decades, the organization remains committed to its mission: “to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Middle Tennessee. We work to achieve this through education, advocacy and support for those at risk for or living with HIV.” CARES serves thousands of people in Middle Tennessee yearly, offering testing services, support and mental health care, as well as food and bill assistance. In addition to this, CARES is an essential organization in providing preventative options, from condoms to PREP services. COMMUNITY GROUP LGBT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Nashville’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, helmed by Lisa Howe, has expanded rapidly in recent years. The organization provides opportunities for building connections within the LGBT business community locally and nationwide, and for building brides with LGBT-friendly companies we want to support. Event’s like TASTE not only fund this mission but facilitate it, providing opportunities to

COMMUNITY EVENT NASHVILLE PRIDE Nashville Pride, this year’s favorite community event, was by far the largest in the event’s history—even before the last minute expansion to add dozens of new vendors—and on the heels of this success it’s set for an even bigger footprint next year. The new location around Public Square Park allows room to grow and has proven an ideal location for the expanding festival We look forward to next year’s Pride, as the community comes together with new strength as it faces new and unexpected opposition. As the fight for equality shifts, Pride may just be able to return to its roots in resistance. Only time will tell. LGBT SPORTS TEAM HOTMESS LEAGUE HotMess Kickball League, which was featured on the cover of O&AN in July 2014, has hundreds of members, making it one of the largest of LGBT Nashville’s social groups, and definitely our largest local LGBT sporting league. It provides an essential opportunity for our community to gather, play, and party. Plus, with so many members, they have a huge built-in voting bloc! From its roots in kickball, the league has expanded to include both dodgeball and volleyball, and thus provides year-round activities. If you haven’t checked them out, you might want to give it a try, or at least crash the post-game festivities at the bars!

LGBT ARTIST/ACTOR CHUCK LONG This year’s favorite LGBT artist is actor Chuck Long, co-host of Out & About Today on NewsChannel 5. Long is an active force in Nashville community theatre as well. His resume is extensive. Long was in Next Fall, in which he played Adam, one of two men in a committed relationship that is ultimately troubled by faith and religion conflicts. He played barfly Peanut in Southern Baptist Sissies, Del Shores’ story of four gay boys growing up in the Southern Baptist Church and how they each deal with the conflict between the teachings of the church and their sexuality. He also played Brother Boy, the lead role in Shores’ Sordid Lives. Long also played Mickey in the memorable and moving local production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, and Countess in Lilies, a play depicting the confession of an aging prisoner to a bishop, during which we learn that the bishop and the prisoner were part of a gay love triangle. Long is currently in rehearsals for Actors Bridge Ensemble’s production of Hand to God, set to run at the Darkhorse Theater December 8 – 18. It’s a Nashville premiere and recent Best Play Tony nominee. The play is a hilariously twisted piece about love, faith, the ties that bind us—and demonic puppets! Long will be playing the role of Pastor Greg.

Bryon Rice

Chuck Long

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LOCAL POLITICIAN & OUTSTANDING CITIZEN MAYOR MEGAN BARRY Last year, Nashville voters, proving that we are a true blue beacon in this decidedly red state, elected Megan Barry as our first woman mayor. In the year since, Barry has cemented her place as LGBT Nashville’s favorite local politician. This year she was also voted our most outstanding citizen, for her continued advocacy for our community—a role she takes seriously not only our of ideological commitments but also as the daughter of a gay man—and for her solid leadership, as well as the diversity of her appointments. LGBT MUSICIAN BYRON RICE Byron Rice was this year’s top choice for LGBT musician. Rice previously performed as Christian recording artist Byron Keith, but has since moved on to work as an Americana-Folk singer and songwriter. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Rice can often be found performing locally. @O U T A N D A B O U T N A S H


is locally owned and operated, with its charming and comfortable office located in historic Hillsboro Village. With their commitment to providing an unparalleled level of customer service, it’s no surprise our readers chose Carney this year! DENTIST EAST SIDE SMILES One of the first things people notice about a person is her or his smile. And for the fourth year in a row, East Side Smiles has been chosen by our readers as the place they trust the most with their smiles.

PROFESSIONAL/ BUSINESS SERVICES With the new shift in national politics, and the rise in open hatred and discrimination, LGBT people often face questions when choosing professional services—will this business accept me as a customer, will the serve my family? Anti-LGBT discrimination is still legal in this state, and we can be denied service with little warning. So it’s important to celebrate our favorite providers of business and professional services, so that other people know who they can trust during tough, or important, times. It’s great to know that our community has such high-caliber people and institutions it can turn to when necessary. LAWYER LOY CARNEY This year, our readers chose Loy Carney as their favorite lawyer in Nashville. Carney works at Rudy Title and Escrow, a full-service title insurance company located in Nashville but serving the entire state of Tennessee. Established in 1999, Rudy Title

HEALTH SERVICES VANDERBILT UNIV. MEDICAL CENTER If Nashville weren’t Music City, chances are good it would be Hospital City, and of the many fine choices available, Vanderbilt is certainly one of the best known and most respected, and for years it has remained our readers’ favorite. REAL ESTATE AGENT BLAKE SAMPLES, KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY An Alabama native and graduate of the University of Alabama, Samples moved to Nashville for work after graduating and fell in love with Nashville’s “big city, small town feel.” He lives in East Nashville, and is a well-known face in our community. Our readers continue to trust him to handle some of the biggest transactions they’ll ever make, and to recommend him to others through word-of-mouth and with their votes! BANK BANK OF AMERICA Bank of America is one of the nation’s largest and most respected banking institutions. The company has a long-

standing LGBT employee network and has specific diversity programs in place to expand inclusion. In the past year, the bank has also taken a visible public stand against discrimination. As the largest corporation in the state of North Carolina, it has stood up for trans rights and against Governor Pat McCrory’s discriminatory legislation. Our readers have obviously taken notice. PHARMACY RIVERSIDE VILLAGE PHARMACY Riverside Pharmacy is a friendly local establishment providing essential services, like compounding, health programs, and bargain-basement rates on medications that might not be covered by insurance, such as non-branded alternatives to Viagra. Check out this independent local business for more information. LGBT-OWNED BUSINESS LIPSTICK LOUNGE The Lipstick Lounge takes top honors in this category yet again. As you can see from the fact that it has again won numerous honors in other categories, this LGBT-owned business truly revives that sometimes-forgotten community spirit of openness and welcome for all people, LGBT or otherwise. As they say on their website, “Come as you are, no matter what you are. You’re part of the human family, and this is your home.” And the story of this year’s winning bartender proves that it’s more than a motto. LGBT­OWNED NEW BUSINESS ALCHEMY NASHVILLE This year’s favorite tattoo parlor is also our favorite new LGBT-owned business. Owned by Tai Orten, this private tattoo studio has a lot of great buzz!

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him to help couples design and implement the perfect event for their special days. In addition to weddings, Ron Sanford Productions organizes a wide variety of other events, so if you’re looking for someone to help you organize your next soiree, he’s your man according to our readers.

2016 is the first full year of nationwide marriage equality, and even in solidly red states like Tennessee LGBT marriage has taken off. After years of missing out on all the LGBT marriage revenue, local service providers are now reaping the rewards of a more open and just society, but our favorites are, for the most part, tried-and-true allies who supported our community, or were part of it, long before marriage equality. WEDDING VENUE CHEEKWOOD Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art is one of Nashville’s most beautiful natural venues, and its interior event spaces are top notch. Cheekwood offers unique indoor and outdoor spaces, including from its botanical gardens to the Museum of Art, that allows any couple with the budget to craft their dream wedding. This year’s favorite florist and cover model, Phillipe Chadwick worked at Cheekwood before branching out on his own, as well. WEDDING COORDINATOR RON SANFORD Ron Sanford is a character, and knows how to be an individual—and this allows

WEDDING FLORIST PHILLIPE CHADWICK Phillipe Chadwick is a wedding florist of exceptional caliber, having worked as a horticulturist at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens where his design acumen helped shape the direction of the gardens. Check out our feature on Chadwick—this month’s cover model—for more information!

REHEARSAL DINNERS PINEWOOD SOCIAL Pinewood Social is a beautiful venue with great food, great drinks, and a great … retro bowling alley? That sounds like a great recipe for a fun and memorable rehearsal dinner. It might also be a great way to kick of the night of your bachelor or bachelorette parties. Nashville Sweets

Bacon & Caviar

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER MYL PACK Myl Pac is one of Nashville’s best known LGBT photographers, and he has often devoted his time and services to LGBT causes in town. He has appeared as a special guest on Out & About Today, and volunteers his services to events, such as TEP’s Olympus. For the second year in a row, our readers have named him the photographer they’d trust to shoot their special day by voting him Best Wedding Photographer both years this category has existed! BAKERY NASHVILLE SWEETS Our readers again chose Nashville Sweets as their favorite place to get a wedding cake. Founders Brittany Pulley

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Myl Pack

Photo: Robbie D. Jones


CATERER BACON & CAVIAR This year’s favorite wedding caterer is Bacon & Caviar, who have prominently featured in many of the biggest LGBT events of the year. A local barbecue joint, Bacon & Caviar also has a gourmet catering wing that’s sure to please at your event.

and Danielle Worley “believe every sweet can be art and should be beautiful, delicious and made with a whole lot of passion, care and laughter. Their creations reflect the style and personalities of their clients. Creative challenges and new projects are always welcome!” From simple but elegant to art deco themed, they can design a cake for any wedding style. Also it’s a great place to pick up a comfort snack.

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The Nashville LGBT Chamber hosted over 300 guests at TASTE, a benefit to raise funds to support the chamber’s mission, on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Nissan Stadium, with the iconic downtown Nashville skyline in the background. Event proceeds will provide education, resources, and advocacy for LGBT business owners and professionals. The Chamber’s signature annual event, TASTE, featured more than two dozen food and beverage vendors this year. Some of the samples offered included shrimp & grits, lamb chop, braised pork belly, strawberry margarita, fish tacos, and so much more. Awards were presented in 9 different categories:

Photos Courtesy of Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce

Best Food Presentation Trattoria Il Mulino Best Booth Decor Boundry Catering & Events Best Beer - Bell’s Beer Best Wine - The Chef and I Best Cocktail Short Mountain Distillery Best Appetizer - A Catered Affair Best Dessert - Jeni’s Ice Cream Best Entree - Gringo’s Tacos People’s Choice - Sinema

“I was impressed with the commitment from the vendors,” said Lisa Howe, Executive Director. “We could not have this event without them, and they brought their best dishes, high energy, and added to the beauty of the room. The food and beverage vendors are the stars of this event.” Greg Cason, the event’s chairperson, added, “TASTE allows us to raise money for our Foundation, but it also allows us to accomplish our mission as the Chamber by connecting LGBT-friendly businesses with potential customers, clients, and partners. Guests and vendors leave the event trusting these brands and wanting to do business with them and spend money with them.” Carrie Crawford, from People’s Choice Award winner, Sinema, said, “We get more return from this event than the larger tasting events. We keep coming back to TASTE because of its authenticity, and we get to interact with patrons who are truly appreciative of our presence at the event and support of the community.” TASTE: A Benefit for Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce was organized by Greg Cason (chair), Lisa Howe, Clayton Klutts, Amy Parker, Ron Sanford, Jennifer Austin, Jerry Callaghan, Ron Snitker and Joe Woolley. Nissan was the presenting sponsor of TASTE, and other sponsors include Anode, Classic Events and Tent Rental, Comcast, and Dell.




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Soulmate and I waited until our daughter was twelve to spill the beans about ourselves. She had been raised Jewish and educated by the local day school so we did not worry over acceptance, but my transition from male to female would require some very careful planning. If we were both cisgender girls with a curious young child, of course we would have done some things differently, but we were not... and consequently had the time to set the coming scene appropriately. We waited until after our daughter’s bat mitzvah to come out at West End Synagogue. The staff and congregants were fantastic and most openly welcomed the news. We very quickly agreed upon a simple and practical solution to the washroom issue that would benefit all: turn one of the washrooms into a unisex/family washroom with a lockable door. The Orthodox congregation down the avenue had no problems with this solution either. I use the women’s room in a private part of their synagogue accordingly, and I will be sitting with my soulmate in the women’s section the next time we visit. I am a woman in both synagogues. Soulmate is my wife, and I am hers. Facts were accepted on day one, with no explanations necessary...and we solved a tricky problem with a handshake. Why did I agree to this washroom solution you may ask? In an everyday situation where adults and children are forced to mix, a family washroom serves the same purpose as the teacher’s washroom in elementary school. Teachers are taught on day one to minimize their chances of being put in a potentially compromising situation involving their students. I tend to follow that advice as a reasonably

law-abiding transgender adult too. It just makes sense on all levels when dealing with public establishments and children if there is a private option available. There is nothing wrong with prudence. In a place that does not normally deal with kids, it’s a different story. We are all adults there and should act accordingly. I use the women’s washroom every single time. If there is any person cis or trans who is acting like a jerk inside a washroom or wherever, they should be swiftly shown the door. No need to agonize over it. Behave, or out you go. Trans people do not have much patience for fools either. Transgender people of all ages belong in the washroom that they will be most comfortable using. Adult transgender people, however, do need to take into consideration the children factor in child-friendly environments, in my opinion, if a safe alternative exists. We’re winning, but we need to be smart. I am aware of this country’s history of segregation and cannot fathom what that must have felt like for a huge chunk of America, but what I am describing is merely prudence and not surrender. Time, place and situation dictate the proper response. No one can, or should, legislate which washroom someone may use, but when we have choices, we need to use our heads. Beginning the evening of the December 24, our daughter will again light the menorah candles, recite the traditional prayers...then proceed to clean our clocks with the loaded dreidel she keeps hidden for the game played on these eight special nights (we discovered it by accident a few years back). She will again go happily bounding up the stairs with her jackpot of chocolate gelt, while both parents contemplate their Vegas-style losses

Illustration: Melissa Gay

Eight lights, eight nights - the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, beginning this year on the evening of December 24, symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness. The candle-lit menorah is a symbol of freedom. Freedom from oppression, freedom to be Jewish...freedom to be ourselves. It is a celebration of freedom for all who desire it. You do not have to be Jewish to enjoy the fruits of this holiday. We are more than happy to share the bounty.

and inability to fully understand how special this holiday is for her. You see, we didn’t grow up this way, but our daughter is growing up. She gets it, and will likely pass it on to someone special down the road. Jewish culture and tradition is just as alien for Soulmate and I as the LGBTQI world is for most folks outside of our unique tribe. But our daughter grew up with both and is doing just fine. As LGBTQIness goes further mainstream, so will most of the next generation. We light eight lights over eight nights… to remind us that miracles happen no matter the odds…

to remember our freedom was fought for and must be cherished... for allies who embrace a people they may never fully understand… for soulmates who were just as scared as we were... and to be thankful for our unrequested blessings. Happy Hanukkah.

Julie Chase is the pen name for a local 40-something trans woman. A graduate of The University of the South at Sewanee, she loves butterflies, strong women and the Austrian School of Economics. @O U T A N D A B O U T N A S H



Bob the Drag Queen, along with Rupaul’s Drag Race stars Milk, Kim Chi, Trixie Mattel, Chi Chi Devayne, Pearl, Roxxxy Andrews, and Acid Betty will be taking over TPAC’s James K. Polk Theater for a Christmas Drag-stravaganza sure to make even the Grinchiest BahHumbugger gag with glee. In preparation for the show, Bob the Drag Queen talked with Out and About Nashville about the show. When asked about her inspiration for drag, it was an easy answer. “Bebe Zahara Benet. She really inspired me. She seemed like such a reflection of me, which really inspired me.” Bebe was on the first season of Rupaul’s Drag Race. Her drag is very outgoing and campy. It’s easy to see the inspiration. They share a lot of similarities, although Bob is much funnier. For those who watched the season Bob was a part of, the audience was privy to one of the more memorable feuds in drag race her-story. Derrick Barry, the iconic Britney Spears impersonator, was a contestant on this season. Things stayed nasty all season with catty remarks and quick-witted repartee. One of Bob the Drag Queen’s most memorable lines was “Is Beyonce scared of Britney? Then Bob ain’t scared of Derrick.” Barry was a very heavy hitter, with a Vegas gig already under her belt, but he couldn’t stop the moving force that was Bob the Drag Queen. The fighting was some of the most delicious we’ve ever seen on the show. Things must have cooled down quite a bit though. In our interview, she tells me this about their current friendship: “Derrick is a good friend of mine. I love Derrick, a lot actually. We don’t get to work together a lot, unfortunately. But I think Derrick is a really great performer.” Bob the Drag Queen has gone on to be a successful music video performer. The most popular (written with friend of O&AN James Wilson of The Paisley Fields) is a wildly catchy electro-pop dance number that is just a ball of fun. It features Toddrick Hall and several other familiar faces, including Tennessee native Kip Patterson (drag queen Luxury). “The idea for the video was me brainstorming with the director. It was


also born out of necessity. Seeing what we had and what we could do with it. I mean it was so awesome. We even used my real life personal assistant. And it was funny. All of my power came from that purse.” On the show, we learned that Bob is very politically active. Bob’s social activism landed her in jail at one point as well. Her and a handful of other drag queens were protesting for gay marriage in New York City. They held up traffic and unfurled a large banner and held up the traffic. They had tipped off local press, so police were there ready with zip ties. Though the jail time wasn’t that long, it stirred something that keeps the activist fires burning. Our interview was conducted the Thursday before the election, and being an avid gay rights activist, Bob had some thoughts. “I wish I could say that it has surprised me, but it hasn’t. It’s pretty much where the world is. It’s not shocking that Trump has risen to popularity. It’s not shocking that this election has been a complete circus and quite embarrassing on the world stage. What I did find shocking is the number of undecided voters. There have been more undecided voters this year than ever before in the history of voting.” However, Bob is coming to Nashville to spread holiday cheer. Being on tour around the holidays can be taxing, but Bob seems to be rolling with the punches. “Starting touring, or well, to be honest, I’ve never been off tour really. The show really has opened me up to a whole world of people who would have never known I existed in a million years. I have family in Nashville. People forget that I’m really a Southerner. I grew up just down the road in Columbus Georgia.” On who she’s most excited to perform with on the tour coming through Nashville, she said, “Acid Betty is one of my all-time favorite drag racers. She’s one of the most amazing, underrated queens out there. So disgustingly talented in so many more ways than she’ll ever tell you because she’s one of the most humble people I’ve ever met.” The show is set for December 16 at 8 PM. You do not want to miss this. You can purchase tickets at or by calling the box office at 615-7824000.





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December 9 – 11

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SNARKOLOGY: MERRY CHRISTMAS, YOU FILTHY ANIMALS DISCLAIMER: Amy Sulam is a comic, and not everyone thinks she’s as funny as she does. We condone nothing she says, particularly not if you decide to take the following seriously. It should not be taken as such.

AMY SULAM | @Amysulam

Well this is going to be an awkward holiday season for many LGBT people—that magical time of year when we get to hang out with our family members who voted for Trump. But for those of you who are going to sit down at dinner and be enraged to hear from family members who voted for Trump, I’d like to point out a few things. A lot of what I’m seeing about Trump reversing marriage equality is overblown. Trump said he thought marriage equality should have been handled on the state level. He disagreed with the fact that the federal government had to step in, but when questioned about it agreed it’s done and settled. I’m not defending Trump, and I was definitely not a Trump supporter. In full disclosure I was a Bernie Sanders supporter, however that’s getting off topic… A lot of people are all over Trump about how he doesn’t like Mexicans and Muslims. In all fairness, whether you came from Russia or Columbia, if you’re here and causing social problems, definitely if you’re here illegally, he wouldn’t want you here. Donald Trump wants to get rid of drug dealers and rapists who are here illegally and people who come from other countries that want to blow us up? Okay, that’s kind of legit. I mean, granted, the Oklahoma City bombing was performed by an AngloSaxon Protestant, but still, I get it. And so what if he wants to have Hillary investigated? At the risk of having a pitchfork-wielding mob formed against me, in my opinion, Hillary Clinton and the entire Clinton family are, in fact, criminals. I don’t even want to see a Clinton running a marathon—whether it’s Chelsea, Bill, Hillary, or the grandkids—much less for office. Yes, Donald Trump has said some crazy things. Yes, he can be a bit of a bully. I know plenty of people that, if you get the right amount of drinks in them, will tell you terrible things about women and minorities.


Now, is it a good idea? No. But it doesn’t make you a bad person, not really. I mean, at least Trump has the decency to rip off his own mask, to be only himself rather than hiding behind that mask, like Hillary. The guy’s not pretending to be somebody he isn’t. You see Donald Trump and think, “That guy’s an asshole!” And you’re right, but he’s not trying to hide it.

The safety pin thing in its intent is cool, and I get it that’s nice that that’s what you want to do, but the fact that people of color are offended by this movement on the whole should let you know that it’s probably not a good idea at all. It makes them feel marginalized and as one of my friends so eloquently put it, “Thank goodness we have these benevolent white

He is so unapologetic that I almost have to give him a standing ovation. That brings me back to the safety pin thing. Liberals can’t help but get it wrong. The safety pin works under the assumption that everybody is a bigot, and so you’ve got to wear a safety pin to differentiate yourself from the bigots. Maybe I’m just a jerk, but I tend to work off the assumption that everybody is not a bigot and until you prove to me that you are, I’m going to go with that.

people to show up and save the day!” I posted an article about people of color not liking the safety pin movement and finding it insulting, and white people on my page lost their minds. Basically the general consensus was, “Hey, brown people, we’re doing something nice for you. You should appreciate it. Why aren’t you being grateful? Safety pin, safety pin, safety pin…” Blew my mind. Let’s move onto Melania. Now, no, I’m not saying she’s the most qualified



person to be First Lady, but then again she’s not necessarily unqualified, since basically the only qualifications are being married to the president. People want to post her naked pictures and say she was in softcore porn: I don’t care about that and neither should you. A woman’s body belongs to her, and she may do with it whatever she likes. If she wants to pose nude, fantastic! I’ll grant that, had Michelle Obama posed nude, oh my God, the right would’ve lost its mind! And unjustly so, I say. We need to stop being such a rape-culture, sexist country and embrace the fact that women can do whatever the hell they want with their bodies. I find it completely ironic that lefties will say, “Oh, the country is sexist! They didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton because they didn’t want a woman in office.” Then they go post nude photos of Melania or in some other way slut shame her? Do you not realize what a giant hypocrite you’re being? You’re being sexist: It’s hypocritical and you know it. Look a lot of this is based on assumptions. We assume Trump supporters are small minded people—you know, the way people assume gay men are demonic. It sucks when people make assumptions about YOU doesn’t it? So maybe don’t do it to them. All of this is enough to make me throw a “mazel tov” cocktail at the entire internet ... for Hanukkah. We’re going to have to live together, so maybe if we stop making assumptions about each other and stop being hypocrites, this thing can work. You can’t pick your family, and they may be largely not cool, but the option to provide a teachable moment and be the bigger person is still there, if you get off your high horse. Politics aside, try to remember your parents love you and are doing their best.  Also, just in time for Christmas and Hanukkah, I’m happy to share with you all I’m expecting a baby in June, thanks to science!

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O&AN | December 2016  

Faves & Raves! The results are in on our annual readers' poll. What to do after the election of Donald Trump. A drag queen Christmas comes...