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NOV 2012

VOLUME 11 I ISSUE 11

50 Shades

First issue free, each additional 50 cents

of Gay Also in this issue Williamson County starts PFLAG chapter Photos from Nashville AIDS Walk

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The Frist Center for the Visual Arts gratefully acknowledges our Picasso Circle members as exhibition patrons in recognition of their generous support. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Winter Landscape in Moonlight, 1919. Oil on canvas, 47 1/2 x 47 1/2 in. Gift of Curt Valentin in memory of the artist on the occasion of Dr. William R. Valentiner’s 60th birthday, Detroit Institute of Arts, 40.58

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N E W S

STATE

Memphis passes nondiscrimination ordinance by PATRICK ARMSTRONG, MANAGING EDITOR editor@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Memphis last month passed a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes protections for “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” The language of the original amendment only included “sexual orientation,” but confusion occurred because some thought an amendment like this would require voter referendum. The final vote was delayed for 30 days for further research, and then the amendment was brought up again to also include “gender identity.” This passed 9-4. "The TEP Shelby County Committee executed a total campaign to help the Memphis City Council pass the ordinance,” said Chris Sanders, chairman of the board and president of the Tennessee Equality Project. “Our political action committee endorsed and marshaled support for pro-equality candidates prior to the latest effort.” Volunteers found allied labor, faith and community organizations to support the ordinance. Memphis leaders lobbied the Council and drove a high volume of citizen communication to elected officials. “They did it by the book and they sustained their effort over several months,” Sanders said. Knoxville recently passed their nondiscrimination ordinance earlier this year and became the first city to do so after the State overturned Nashville Metro Council’s similar ordinance. Commissioner Amy Broyles from District 2 in Knox County said, “Our new mayor is not only a woman, she’s progressive. She very, very smart. She had her law department craft it in such a way that the state cannot touch it.” She hopes this might help other cities draft similar legislation. And it did. TEP is looking to continue this throughout the state. “Our first priority now is defending our community when the Legislature convenes in January,” Sanders said. “But what you'll see over the next few months is the TEP Foundation starting the conversation about workplace equality in order to lay the groundwork in more Tennessee cities.” TEP will be placing political directors in many county committees to increase capacity to move the ordinances. They are also exploring whether it makes sense to engage professional lobbying assistance in some cases. “It takes a great deal of effort to pass one of these ordinances in Tennessee and we have to make sure the right people and resources are in place.” O&AN

Vanderbilt files lawsuit against Hunt, Wakefield by O&AN STAFF REPORTS

Vanderbilt University filed a civil lawsuit against Jason Hunt and Samuel Cole Wakefield on Oct. 19. for conversion of personal property, intentional misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy and fraud resulting in the theft of more than $500,000. The lawsuit cites Wakefiled and Hunt had fraudulent checks mailed to a unidentified local organization unaffiliated to Vanderbilt and used them to pay for expenses in excess of more than $60,000. Hunt is former Nashville Pride president in 2011. The University seeks compensatory damages for the amount in excess of $500,000, award punitive damages, cost of the lawsuit and further relief as the Court deems necessary. A jury has been requested to try the issues. O&AN

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NOVEMBER 2012

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COVER

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LEGAL

Out & About Newspaper strives to be a credible community news organization by engaging and educating our readers. All content of Out & About Newspaper is copyrighted 2012 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 Newspaper accepts unsolicited material but cannot take responsibility for its return. The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit and submission. All rights revert to authors upon publication. The editorial positions of Out & About Newspaper 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 Newspaper or its staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged but may be edited for clarity and length. All letters sent may not be published. Out & About Newspaper only accepts adult advertising within set guidelines and on a case by case basis.


N E W S

STATE

ACLU -TN disappointed with State Appeals Court ruling upholding Photo ID Law by O&AN STAFF REPORTS

The Court of Appeals of Tennessee today ruled that State and Shelby county election officials must accept City of Memphis library cards that include a photograph as sufficient identification to vote under Tennessee’s new voter ID law. While the Secretary of State’s office argued that only identification cards issued by state or federal entities are acceptable under the state law, the City of Memphis argued that libraries are technically under state supervision and therefore city library cards should be acceptable forms of identification. Though Tennessee’s law establishes a mechanism

for eligible voters who lack state-issued IDs to obtain one, the process is time-consuming and cumbersome. Accessing these free photo IDs is especially challenging for aspiring voters who lack their own transportation and proper documentation or who have inflexible work schedules. The law particularly burdens senior citizens, racial and ethnic minorities, students, people with disabilities and lowincome voters, who are both less likely to have the documentation required to vote, or the means to get it. With library locations with evening hours throughout the city, the City of Memphis’ library ID program is a creative response to the state’s burdensome photo ID requirement.

“ACLU is disappointed with the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the photo ID law because it undermines our fundamental right to vote by disenfranchising a significant number of Tennesseans," said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. "Today’s ruling at least helps Memphians meet the onerous photo ID requirement, but we remain committed to promoting access to the ballot box for all of the Tennesseans whose vote is still burdened by the photo ID law.” O&AN

N E W S

NASHVILLE

Hunt, Wakefield plead guilty

Hunt to serve 22 years, Wakefield to serve 10 by PATRICK ARMSTRONG, MANAGING EDITOR editor@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Former Nashville Pride President Jason Hunt and his partner Samuel “Cole” Wakefield have entered guilty pleas in Davidson County Criminal Court to stealing from Vanderbilt University according to a press release from the Davidson County District Attorney General. Both were set to go on trial Nov. 5 for multiple counts ranging from theft and credit card fraud to aggravated statutory rape. Hunt pled guilty to 17 counts and has an effective sentence of 22 years to serve. His parole eligibility status is 30 percent and will be placed on the sex offender registry. Wakefield pled guilty to six counts with an effective sentence of 10 years with 30 percent parole eligibility. He will also be placed on the sex offender registry. Hunt was an administrative manager at the law school and was using school funds for person purchases. Results of an internal audit confirmed the missing money. The findings were turned over to the Fraud Unit of the Davidson County District Attorney’s office, led by Assistant D.A. Jim Milam, for further investigation. An investigation between April 2010 and October 2011 found Hunt used his procurement card for personal purchases benefiting himself, Wakefield and his friends, totaling at least $291,873. These transactions were not authorized by the university. During that same time period, it was also determined Hunt had checks issued in the aggregate amount of $244,089, for which goods and services were not provided to the university. Many of these checks were issued based on

forged check approval requests as well as forged e-mail correspondence in order to bolster the authenticity of the fraudulent expenditures. The total amount of both check and credit card theft from Vanderbilt University is at least $535,962 according to the press release. The investigation also determined some of the payees of the forged checks written by Hunt were cashed by two 17-year-old males, with whom both Hunt and Wakefield had sexual relations. Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Beth Fortune said in a statement, “The university appreciates the efforts of the investigators and office of the district attorney for bringing the criminal case to a swift and fair conclusion.” As a result, Hunt was ultimately indicted on 60 counts, ranging from theft and credit card fraud, to forgery and aggravated statutory rape. Wakefield was indicted on 19 counts, also involving theft, credit card fraud and aggravated statutory rape according to the press release. After being placed on administrative leave by the university, both left Nashville and opened a business in Mexico. They returned when the business failed. Hunt was arrested in January in Arkansas by federal marshals and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department deputies. Wakefield was arrested in Nashville shortly later. Hunt pled guilty to: “Ct. 1 – Theft over $60k, 12 years. Ct 2 – Fraudulent use of a Credit Card, 10 years, to be served consecutively to Ct. 1. The remaining counts are to be served concurrently to each other and to Ct. 1. Cts. 4, 5, 8, 12, 20, and 25 – Forgery, three years each. Cts. 10, 26, and 28 – Forgery, five years each. Cts. 47, 50, and 58 – Aggravated Statutory Rape, two years each. Cts. 33, NOVEMBER 2012

40 and 43 – Aggravated Statutory Rape, Best Interest Plea, two years each,” according to the release. Wakefield pled guilty to: “Ct. 1 – Theft over $60k, 10 years. The remaining counts are to be served concurrently to each other and to Ct. 1. Cts. 32, 46, 49, 51, 53 – Aggravated Statutory Rape, two years each,”according to the release. O&AN

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N E W S

NASHVILLE

Winnett resigns as Nashville CARES Chief Development Officer Winnett will take new postion at Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee by O&AN STAFF REPORT

John Winnett announced last month via email he will be leaving Nashville CARES as chief development officer. Winnett has been in the role for two years and said, “Nashville CARES really makes an impact in OUR community as a whole and especially for the 2,400 clients living with HIV/AIDS that receive a full array of services. I am proud to have served as part of this team.” However, Winnett will remain working in Nashville at the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee as the new chief development & external affairs officer. Nashville CARES will be taking applications to fill the vacated position until Nov. 8, but will continue the search until the right candidate is found. Details regarding the position can be found at www.nashvillecares.org. Nashville CARES offers HIV prevention education to more than 50,000 youth and adults, 17,000 free HIV tests and support services to 2,400 men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. Recently, the organization has held successful events such as Bar AIDS and the Nashville AIDS Walk and Run. On Saturday, Nov. 10, they will be presenting Under The Big Top: Avant-Garde Redux. This 1800’s circus themed event will be held at Marathon Music Works with circus acts and an avant-garde “live circus animals” fashion component. Models will wear over the top costumes and makeup. Tickets can also be reserved at www.nashvillecares.org. O&AN

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N E W S

LOCAL

Growing Tomorrow

Glasgow earns President’s Volunteer Service Award by JESSI GIBSON, DIVERSITY EDITOR jgibson@outandaboutnewspaper.com

David Glasgow is passionate about trees. Really, really passionate. When he starts listing the benefits that trees bring to a community, his fervor is unmistakable. He can work in interesting facts about them — like 60 percent of rain that hits a tree’s leaves in the first hour is absorbed before it ever hits the ground — scattered with various quotes while explaining how trees make everything better. By planting trees you create shade, he explains. Shade makes the area more temperate, which leads to more people being outside more frequently, which leads to stronger community connection and less crime. Trees filter out air pollution and ground pollution, making the environment cleaner. Greener, stronger neighborhoods? It all starts with the tree. He is fond of the old Greek proverb, “A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit.” For Glasgow, planting a tree is not the end of a long and sometimes tedious process of gathering all the necessary surveys, permits, grants and volunteers to place a tree in the ground. That is the beginning. The magic happens later, slowly, as the tree begins to grow into its space and work its alchemy on the surroundings. For him, the planting of a tree is a vote in the future of the community where its roots are nestled. Perhaps it is not surprising he also coaches the Grizzlies rugby team. When he

Williamson County starts official PFLAG chapter by JOSEPH BROWNELL, CONTRIBUTING WRITER jbrownell@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Coming out can be a difficult process. Anyone who has had to come out to their loved ones knows there can be sleepless nights agonizing over how people will react, tough decisions about who to come out to first and the overwhelming fear of rejection. While it is a monumental task for the person coming out, it can also be a trying time for the parents, friends and loved ones who must sort through their feelings and come to terms with the coming out process on an entirely different scale. Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays, known nationally as PFLAG, has a long standing tradition of being a resource for the friends and family members seeking information about our country’s diverse sexual population. According to their website, PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society;

discovered rugby, he had never participated in any type of organized team sport. “I was timid, mainly because I wasn’t sure what I — what my body — was capable of,” Glasgow said. “As I learned more and got more into the sport, I found that I was more confident not just on the field, but in almost every other part of my life as well.” Now, volunteering as the head coach of the Grizzlies rugby team, he helps other gay men grow into confident and successful players and people. “You can just see them change from those first timid times that they come out to practice, to how they become more comfortable in themselves and with others,” he said, in a tone similar to when he talks about the importance of trees. If it sounds like a lot of time spent volunteering, it is. In 2011, between planting trees, coaching rugby and other projects throughout the year, David donated more than 500 hours of his time. When asked about how he got into volunteering, he wryly quotes Lily Tomlin, “I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” His commitment to volunteering was recently honored by President Barack Obama, who bestowed upon Glasgow “The President’s Volunteer Service Award.” The signed letter reads in part, “Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise. Thank you for your devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great Nation.” He is quick to point out he couldn’t do what he does without the help of all the other volunteers who work with him throughout all of his various projects. For him, maturing has meant letting others show what they can do and how they accomplish things, rather than insisting it be done “his way.” Glasgow also encourages others to volunteer. “You can pay more in taxes and let someone else do it, or you can roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Anything you do in the community matters. Whether it’s picking up that piece of trash and putting it in the trash can, or going to the nursing home to entertain, or building a playground, whatever you do. It all matters.” O&AN

education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. When her son came out over five years ago, Sharon Collins would drive from Franklin, Tenn., into Nashville to attend PFLAG meetings. Collins and her husband found the organization very helpful but over time the late night winter drives became hard. This spurred Collins to begin investigating how to start a chapter closer to home. “I had been retired and thinking about doing something for people other than myself,” Collins said. “But Williamson County is a pretty conservative, southern suburb … not a progressive area, but the more I thought about it, I thought [Williamson County] really needed a chapter.” Last year, Collins began working closely with the Nashville chapter and this past month Collins and the Williamson County chapter celebrated their one-year anniversary of hosting PFLAG meetings in downtown Franklin. But there’s still much work to do. “Children are coming out in middle school and middle school is a difficult time for anyone,” Collins said. “There are about 18,000 children the public schools of Williamson County and if you estimate that five percent of the population is GLBT then that means there are nearly 2,000 children struggling with their sexual identities ... and that means thousands of more NOVEMBER 2012

parents.” While Collins recognizes fear can be a driving force in accepting a GLBT family member, Collins hopes that her experience and others like her can help communities overcome the fear. “Not only do we provide a judgment-free space for family and friends to speak but we also have speakers who are members of the GLBT community so that parents can see that it does get better … because it does.” Collins and the Williamson County chapter meet the second Monday of every month at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in downtown Franklin from 7-8:30 p.m. Collins urges parents, friends and family members who are looking for resources to realize that there is one in their own backyard. For more information on PFLAG-Franklin contact via email pflagfranklin@gmail.com or by phone (615) 591-5324. O&AN O U T A N D A B O U T N E W S PA P E R . CO M

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N E W S

NATIONAL

AIDS Activist launches social networking, dating website for HIV+ men by O&AN STAFF REPORT

Los Angeles — “Positively Sexy Guys.” That’s the tag line that’s meant to attract a host of members to the web’s newest HIV-positive social networking site, Volttage.com. But sexy, HIV+ men aren’t the only things that separate this website from others - its creation is meant to combat stigma and to create a database of information, support and resources for gay men who are a part of the international HIV-positive community.

As a first-of-its kind social networking website, Volttage.com will offer gay men living with HIV a place to develop and foster friendships and relationships with other members, while also learning about HIV/AIDS, medical advances and other relevant, up-to-date health and lifestyle information. Similarly to other sites like it, Volttage.com certainly offers the possibility for romantic encounters. “Sex sells,” said Jack Mackenroth, who will appear on the site with other HIV+ models. “But we

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are much more than a hookup site. We provide an alternative for HIV+ men who often feel stigmatized and discriminated against on the other sites. As the site develops and grows, we will incorporate features like forums and blogs that will strengthen a sense of community and acceptance.” Volttage.com is also different from other sites with sexual content because it does not ask members to divulge their HIV status though it is clear that the site is for HIV+ men and their supporters. “We take the stance that everyone should assume their partner is HIV positive and proceed accordingly,” Mackenroth said. “Asking someone their status is rather pointless, as people may not know or even lie about it to avoid rejection. We encourage members to be out and proud but we understand that the stigma can be prohibitive so members control all of their own content. I hope that the sense of community will help members ‘come out’ about their status over time.” With free profiles on Volttage.com, members will have the opportunity to communicate with like individuals. Volttage.com will include desktop and mobile versions of the site and use geo-location, to help members find similar individuals nearby. A staff physician, New York-based Dr. Frank Spinelli, will answer frequently asked health questions and update monthly blogs. To learn more about Volttage.com, visit . For more information about Mackenroth, visit www. jackmackenroth.com. O&AN


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A R T S

HOLIDAY

Nashville in Harmony announces holiday concert ‘Naughty & Nice’ by O&AN STAFF REPORT

nashvilleinharmony.org

Nashville in Harmony (NiH) announces its holiday concert event “Naughty & Nice” to be held Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at TPAC’s Polk Theater. Tickets are $20 and available through the box office at TPAC as well as online purchases via www.tpac.org . Seating will again be reserved due to the tremendous growth of NiH and the overwhelmingly positive response from its loyal fans to the move to TPAC over two years ago. Join NiH for a one-night only holiday treat for you and your family. You’ll enjoy the fantastic harmonies and experience the fun and surprises that earned Nashville in Harmony the #1 choice among Nashville choruses (voted #3 among all Nashville musical ensembles) in the 2012 Nashville Scene readers’ poll. You’ll hear contemporary adaptations to holiday favorites as well as world music and pop. You might even learn a foreign language or two in the process. Nashville in Harmony is Middle Tennessee’s first and only city chorus purposefully comprised of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) and straight people with the mission of using music to build community and create social change. Under the direction of Don Schlosser, the 120-member chorus continues into its 9th year of reaching out to people of all communities. With its incomparable musicality and its commitment to community service to those who may not be able to attend the season concert events, Nashville in Harmony is an integral part of the Nashville arts scene and a unique asset to Mayor Carl Dean’s vision of a better Nashville. NiH will also appear on Sunday, Nov. 25, at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts followed by a performance on Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Renaissance Center in Dickson, Tenn. For more information about Nashville in Harmony, visit www.nashvilleinharmony.org O&AN

Have a news story or tip? Email us: editor@outandaboutnewspaper.com

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A R T S

MOVIE

Riddlehoover embarks on new film by ELLEN ANGELICO, CONTRIBUTING WRITER eangelico@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Matt Riddlehoover knows a thing or two about making a movie. His “Scenes from a Gay Marriage,” available Nov. 27 on DVD/VOD exclusively at TLAvideo.com, has been called “witty,” “winning,” “clever” and “like a gay-themed ‘Manhattan Murder Mystery’ minus the murder.” His as-yet-untitled next film is a comedy, but it also deals with many serious issues. And “many” may not be quite strong enough. Throughout the film, the characters deal with civil rights, hereditary illness, addiction, bullying, family dysfunction, unwanted pregnancies, living in a bilingual home, religion, love, and just in case that wasn’t enough, there’s a power outage. “Timing is crucial,” Riddlehoover said. “In one scene, there's a heated argument, but it's also meant to be quite funny, and then something that would normally be really devastating happens. For me, the trick is to keep the story moving. A movie, like life itself, is too short to dwell on tragedies.” Tragedies such as, movies being super expensive to make? “So much goes into making a movie, truly,” Riddlehoover said. “Location fees, set decoration, equipment rentals … it all adds up very quickly.” So for this next film, Riddlehoover is taking it to the streets. He’s doing an Indiegogo campaign (an online fan-funding platform similar to Kickstarter) and asking people to help him get things off the ground. “I’ve had folks write in regards to ‘Scenes from a Gay Marriage,’ saying if they’d known about the production in advance they would have helped us out.” Riddlehoover’s $25,000 goal is ambitious, but if it is reached, “We will definitely be able to move into post production much more quickly and get through things much more smoothly.” Riddlehoover has until Nov. 9 to his his goal, and he’s already making steady progress. Funders of his project have left comments on the page bemoaning their inability to give more to the project and asserting the importance of supporting independent filmmaking. In addition to supporting the project, funders can also receive a variety of rewards from being thanked in the credits to signed DVDs or even a free trip to the set location of the funder’s choice and a chance to meet the cast and watch the camera roll. Watching Riddlehoover’s Indiegogo video, it’s clear they will be able to keep the mood of the movie light. Actor Jared Allman, with a part in the new film and in “Scenes from a Gay Marriage,” says this next film is a “cast of friends.” Actor Devin Walls, also in “Scenes from a Gay Marriage,” had nothing but great things to say about the friendly vibe that Riddlehoover creates. “I loved working with Matt and the rest of the crew. So much

so that I stayed on set for almost the entire shoot, even though my part was filmed in a day.” Walls is local to Nashville and if you send him an email asking about the film scene in Nashville, he will write you an enthusiastic novel that you will have to abridge for print, even though you love how enamored he is with the town. “The film scene here is incredible. There’s a lot of high-profile talent coming to town to make films.” He cites Park Chan Wook bringing in Nicole Kidman as an example, as well as Harmony Korine and Josh

NOVEMBER 2012

Chris Crocker and Josey Greenwill to star with local talent in new film. Contributed photo.

Danger’s Giantkiller Productions. Additionally, several scenes from Riddlehoover’s film will be shot in our very own Murfreesboro. O&AN

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by BETH ROTH, CONTRIBUTING WRITER broth@outandaboutnewspaper.com


“It has helped me to look at things I have often seen as taboo … realizing that it is differences we as the gay community need to be embracing since we are often shunned and considered to be taboo.” — Roger Dale

BACKSTORY

Welcome to the 66th annual Tony Awards, or as we like to call it, 50 Shades of Gay,” quipped Neil Patrick Harris in a nod to the best seller “50 Shades of Grey” by British author, E.L. James. “50 Shades of Grey” is the book that captured the imagination of readers around the world and has been the subject of online memes, sitcom jokes and late night TV monologues since it’s release in late 2011. Here’s a quick synopsis of the story. A beautiful, soon-to-be college graduate named Anastasia Steele interviews a sexy, successful businessman named Christian Grey. She is a naive virgin. He could have any woman but is attracted to innocent and adorably clumsy Ana. He is, of course, damaged and emotionally unavailable and yet, something about Ana changes him. Ultimately, at least in the first book, she decides it just won’t work out and leaves poor Christian brokenhearted. Even though “50 Shades of Grey” doesn’t end with happily ever after. Remember there are two more books in the trilogy. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s pretty much the plot construct of every romance novel. Boy meets girl. Boy has problems that only the love of a good woman will fix. She fixes him. This is an overused trope in popular fiction, but it’s overused because it sells. Romance novel sales topped $1.3 billion in 2011. There is a significant reason this story is different from the ubiquitous bodice rippers that feature Fabio on the cover. The reason?

Photo by Kevin Barnett with model Spenser Schwartz.

IT’S KINKY … AND POPULAR

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his book is seriously kinky, y’all. It provides an insight into the world of hardcore BDSM slave and master relationships complete with floggers, butt plugs, nipple clamps and detailed contracts that include stipulations on everything from hygiene to diet. He has a “red room of pain” full of “toys” and devices or torture. Even though she starts the book as a virgin, Ana quickly finds herself both repulsed and aroused by the sexual predilections of Christian. Apparently the same could be said for many of the women reading this book, often described as “mommy porn.” The saucy bestseller and its sequels, “50 Shades Darker” and “50 Shades Freed” have found themselves atop of the New York Times list for months now. All three of James’ books are in the top 10 and have been there for over eight months. Back In June, Hoda and Kathie Lee from “Today” talked “50 Shades,” the new boom in rope sales, and fondled Ben Wa balls. Yeah, that happened. “50 Shades of Grey” is now part of the collective consciousness.

WHY HAVEN’T YOU READ IT?

A

nd why is that? The fact is that an erotic book centering on heterosexual sexual exploration just doesn’t appeal to many in the GLBT community. One gay man I asked said simply, “I’m not into mommy porn. Now, daddy porn ... that’s altogether different.” Not that there’s anything wrong with it. If straight people want to get their kink on, that’s fine with the average gay man. He just doesn’t have any desire to read about it. In Nashville, Hustler Hollywood anecdotally reports a significant bump in their bondage toy sales as the “50 Shades” hype reached fever pitch. Adult entertainment companies like SmittenKittenOnline.com reported 100, 200 and even 300+ percent increases in sales for items such as Kegal balls, paddles and other BDSM products, reported AZCentral.com. Part of what seems to have suburban women blushing in their minivans is those titillating sadomasochistic sex scenes (and the books are full of the sex scenes). Christian Grey is not into vanilla sex. Handcuffs, chains, and whips, oh my! Soccer moms everywhere are slipping into their local adult bookstore and buying sex toys. They’re asking their husbands to tie them up. They’re opening their eyes to a whole new world of sexual escapades. “I have many clients who’ve read this book ... women in

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their ’30s through early ’50s,” said Adam B., a Nashville hair dresser. “They like the romance part and they really like the kinky part.”

E

KEEP AN OPEN MIND

ven still, there are some in the gay community who have read the book. Eric W., 27, a Nashville hairdresser picked up the book after hearing about it from clients. “I wanted to see what the hype was about, why all of these women were reading this book.” Much like his clients, Wright was soon swept up in the story. “I wanted to be Ana! I wanted to be the one to save Christian,” he laughed. “How come she gets to meet this sexy guy and have all this hot sex?” Topher F., 29, describes himself as an avid reader and plans to read the book. “I’ve heard good things. I’ve heard it’s a good story and sexy. Love and sex sells.” And, don’t forget the simple appeal of romance. For some, the idea of a couple who meet and begin a complicated relationship is enough to pique their interest. Randy S., 42, said, “I heard it’s good and I’m a sucker for a love story.” “As we explore, we become more open to making decisions regarding our sexuality and desires,” said Roger Dale, 32. “Too often in the gay community we have a tendency to run from relationships because of our lack of trust that is developed as a child.” Regardless of whether you’ve read the book or not, the phenomena of “50 Shades of Grey” seems to have accomplished one really positive thing: It has successfully opened up a dialog about being more open-minded about sex and trying new things. Dale has been reading the book for a few weeks and can’t put it down. “‘50 shades’ has opened the Pandora of human sexuality. As we grow older we come to find ourselves within boundaries and start to explore. We explore and become more open to making decisions regarding our sexuality and desires.” He has have been able to look at the under tones of the book and look at different areas of his life. “It has helped me to look at thinks I have often seen as taboo … realizing that it is differences we as the gay community need to be embracing since we are often shunned and considered to be taboo.” In America, where being sexually repressed has always sort of been our thing — AKA the Puritans — even a book with gratuitous bondage may move us closer to the idea that two consenting adults can do whatever they want behind closed doors. And that’s a good for everyone. But always, be safe! O&AN

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50

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by MICHAEL KIMMEL, BEYOND THERAPY mkimmel@outandaboutnewspaper.com

s a gay psychotherapist, I have been curious why the book “50 Shades of Grey” is so popular. Let me hazard a guess: it’s about great, exciting sex. All of us want to have great sex, but the “ingredients” often seem elusive. Great sex requires elements of both aggression and tenderness. Some say that men have too much aggression and women too much tenderness, but that’s a stereotype; not true for many individuals. Can you express your healthy aggression? Can you allow yourself to enjoy it? These are questions that “50 Shades” repeatedly asks us. Unhealthy aggression – on the other hand – usually shows up as passive-aggressive punishment or revenge, that’s not what we’re talking about here. We all have a healthy need to “conquer,” “win” and “be the best.” The only question is how in touch with it we are. When there is too much aggression, you can easily feel that sex is one meaningless conquest after the other. There’s little emotional connection: basically, you’re just using someone else to get off. Too much tenderness, on the other hand, leads to a kind of mushy, messy enmeshment where it’s hard for me to tell where you end and I begin. It’s great for intimate friendships and parental relationships that demand a lot of love and empathy,

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Shades

of Excitement but it’s not so helpful for great sex. How do you find the right balance of aggression and tenderness? Awareness and curiosity help a lot. There is no one way to do this; each person/ couple has to find his/her/their own way on this path. It’s not so hard, however, to tell if your balance is off. If your sex life feels empty and emotionless, you need some tenderness. If your sex feels energyless and boring, you might benefit from some healthy aggression. Healthy aggression is a way of expressing your sexual energy; at its best, it’s playful and passionate. There is a mutual consent component; both sex partners need to be OK with how aggression is expressed. Both sex partners need to be able to say, “No, that’s too much” or “I really don’t like that” and the aggressive behavior can be modified or stopped, depending on what the partners agree upon. Healthy sexual aggression isn’t necessarily like the sex scenes in “50 Shades of Grey,” or, it can be. Your way of expressing it may be different than your best friend’s. You may like to take your sex partner’s clothes off roughly and push them over the sofa for passionate sex. One couple I worked with has a set of clothes that they “rip off each other”. Another couple I worked with like to alternate the aggression. Some times partner A is the one who initiates sex and calls the shots; at other times, the roles are completely reversed.

NOVEMBER 2012

On occasion, they may reverse the roles in the middle of having sex: for example, one guy was the “naughty schoolboy” being punished by his “teacher.” But the schoolboy got bored with this sex play, so he spontaneously reversed the situation, took control and became aggressive with his “teacher”. A lesbian couple I worked with had a lot of fun with healthy aggression. One day one of the women took on the role of the “sexy plumber” and when one finished, she surprised her partner by letting her do the same to her. In long-term relationships, a bit of healthy aggression can keep your sex life alive and throbbing (sorry, bad joke). Familiarity is great for feeling safe, secure and loved, but it’s not great for excitement and eroticism. In my experience as a GLBT couple’s counselor, too much familiarity isn’t conducive to great sex. If you and your lover are “joined at the hip.” your sex life may be suffering. Great sex requires some unpredictability; this is where “50 Shades of Grey” and healthy sexual aggression fits in. If your sex life has plenty of tenderness but not enough “juice,” talk with your partner about adding some healthy aggression. If your sex life has plenty of action but isn’t very fulfilling, ”try a little tenderness”, as the song goes. Find the right balance and get ready for some great sex. Maybe it’s time for a little “50 Shades of Grey” done your way! O&AN

Photo by Kevin Barnett with model Spenser Schwartz.


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A R T S

Nashville Opera welcomes Noah E. Spiegel as Chief Operating Officer

NOW HIRING

by O&AN STAFF REPORT

Advertising sAles MAnAger The position of Advertising Sales Manager at Out & About Newspaper will be responsible for actively increasing sales revenue and accounts as well as managing more than 100 current accounts for Out & About Newspaper and its Internet component, www.outandaboutnewspaper.com. This position will report directly to the publisher and work closely with the editor, contract ad production artist and contract designer. This person will be a member of the senior staff and assist with planning and future growth plans. The Advertising Sales Manager is expected to be an active member of the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) community. JOB desCriPtiOn: • Perform direct selling on list of accounts through telephone and face-to-face meetings with advertisers and potential advertisers • Assist publisher in developing and meeting advertising revenue goals • Provide issue closing numbers via spreadsheet to editor, contract designer, and publisher for layout and production • Provide thorough paperwork for ad submission to the production department to ensure error-free ad production • Develop sales campaigns as required for print, standard web and classified/marketplace web advertisers • Keep publisher informed as to significant advertising opportunities and issues • Assist in collections on accounts as necessary • Attend community business and civic group meetings to drive name recognition and increase advertising sales • Help determine promotional approach for selling special sections or editorial material • Create a quarterly report for the publisher including general advertising trends, overall competitive market analysis, and staffing issues • Evaluate rate structure relative to competition and market needs • Be available by telephone during production to answer ad-related questions • Establish strong relationships with clients and advertising agency personnel HOUrs And lOCAtiOn: Advertising Sales Manager must be energetic, organized and self-motivated as this is a work-from-home position. Additionally, there are evening business networking, tradeshow and company events requiring attendance as well as a monthly staff meeting. sAlArY: The position is an exempt commission-only position and based on current history of sales, expected commission is $24,000 to $30,000 per year. Commission is paid on the following rate: • 10% commission rate will be paid on all “house” accounts and renewals (accounts originally secured by previous employees) and shall be paid monthly, within 15 days after the issue sold has been published • 20% commission rate will be paid on all “new” accounts secured • Monthly bonus structure also in place for meeting sales goals set by publisher

Nashville Opera announced Noah E. Spiegel has joined the 14-person staff as its Chief Operating Officer. An opera industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, Spiegel will oversee all of Nashville Opera’s finance, marketing and development efforts, as well as work closely with John Hoomes, the company’s recently promoted General and Artistic Director. Spiegal was selected during a year-long national search initiated by the Board of Directors when the outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Carol Penterman, announced in August 2011 that she would be leaving the organization once a suitable replacement was identified. He most recently served as the Director of Production for Tulsa Opera, where he produced the Oklahoma premiere of Rachel Portman’s “The Little Prince” and notable company premieres of “Dead Man Walking,” “The Cunning Little Vixen” and “Eugene Onegin.” Spiegel has enjoyed a high-profile stage management career at some of the nation’s leading performing arts institutions. Highlights include a production of “Die Fledermaus” directed by Charles Nelson Reilly (Dallas Opera); the Sandra Bernhard remount of the Mansouri production of “Tosca;” the New York premiere of Adamo’s “Little Women” and the remount of the Live from Lincoln Center production of “A Little Night Music” whose revival cast included Jeremy Irons, Juliet Stevenson, Claire Bloom and Anna Kendrick, directed by

no phone calls please. Please send your resume to: jjones@outandaboutnewspaper.com Out & About Newspaper is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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OPERA

NOVEMBER 2012

Scott Ellis and choreographed by Susan Stroman (NYC Opera). In 2009, Spiegel was recognized by Tulsa Business Journal as one of “40 Under 40” professionals to watch in Tulsa. In 2010, he was named “The Visionary” by Tulsa People for their article on change agents in Tulsa. He served on the Leadership Team for Tulsa Young Professionals Diversity Crew for 2010 and 2011. This year, he created the TYPros Arts Initiative, which connects young professionals with the arts and culture industries. Spiegel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine Portland-Gorham and received a master’s from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a member of American Guild of Musical Artists. “Noah Spiegel is a highlyregarded member of the opera world community,” Hoomes said.


Halloween PARTY

2012

Photos by David Lazarus

NOVEMBER 2012

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A R T S

MUSIC

Hinson returns to hometown stage at Nashville AIDS Walk by STEVEN DISNEY, CONTRIBUTING WRITER sdisney@outandaboutnewspaper.com

With a voice that is soulful and reminiscent of Yusuf Islam — better known as Cat Stevens — Jimbeau Hinson returns to the Nashville music scene as proof that passion and determination can conquer anything. Some may remember Hinson from his successful career as a songwriter for the likes of Brenda Lee, Patty Loveless, Steve Earle or the Oak Ridge Boys. The highlight of his career came during the mid ’90s with the success of the song “Party Crowd.” Hinson should have been on cloud nine, but instead he was suffering with the secret of being HIV positive. The following year he went into a coma and had to spend over two months in the hospital. Through the years his health has improved and now Hinson is staging a comeback in the Nashville scene. “I think the entire world has

opened up more since the early ’70s when I came out, as the first ever openly bisexual singer/songwriter in Nashville,” he said. “In 1996, when my near death forced my secret HIV infection from out of the shadows, the hospital waiting room was filled to capacity with people from the industry.” As further proof these years later, it was shown at the Nashville AIDS Walk & 5K Run, he was invited to perform for the participants of this event. When he was asked about the event and how he felt about his ties to it he said, “Brenda and I lost most of our gay friends in the mid ’80s and early ’90s. We've been out of the loop there since we settled down to a life of monogamy in 1983, when they figured out it was sexually transmitted.” They were way too busy standing by dear dying friends bedsides and keeping him alive as well as staying under the radar concerning the infection in order to protect his wife's family

business. “If you recall, they were burning children out of neighborhoods and schools back then. I had already sacrificed my artist career to live openly and honestly,” Hinson said. “I was not about to lay waste to my wife and her family's business where they all worked. We were literally forced to keep it to ourselves.” Since Brenda has continuously tested negative for the last 33 years, they thought the whole world was smart enough to know better than to be out there exposing themselves in this day and time. “Any opportunity to speak about the completely avoidable spread of HIV to yet another generation is a welcomed one. It was great to stand on that hometown stage and speak openly for the first time ... about my infection,” Hinson said. In addition to this opportunity, he

has also released a new album titled “Strong Medicine.” It’s a soulful collection of songs, the lyrics are moving and make for a very pleasant listening. “I want people to hear and see themselves in my music ... to know they are not alone... that we are all in this together,” Hinson said. If you would like to hear “Strong Medicine” and find out more about Hinson, visit his website at: www.jimbeauhinson.com, or www. wrinkledrecords.com. O&AN

6727 charlotte pike | nashville, tn 37209 | 615.352.3838 | HolyTrinityCommunityChurch.com

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AIDS WALK 5K RUN 2012

Photos and video by Patrick Armstrong

NOVEMBER 2012

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L I F E

FASHION

Fits over trends ... What a concept! by RENEE LAYHER, CONTRIBUTING WRITER rlayher@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Last month I spoke about my philosophy on style, addressing the most common dilemma for men and women. What are trends for the season and are they actually going to look good on me? I have good news for all of you! The first wonderful bit of news is the trends for this fall are gorgeous, using dark rich colors such as navy, black, gold and brown. These colors suit most any skin tone and take us back to a more classic feel — always handsome. In addition, a touch of masculine prints in paisleys and florals are very prominent in ties and shirtings for men and also look great on women. A touch of print can be used to update most everyone’s wardrobe. The second bit of fall trends is it’s all about classic looks with modern fits … not trendy fits, which is quite refreshing. When styling any of my clients — celebrity or non-celebrity — my best advice is finding the perfect fits over trends any day. You will always look your best with the right fit for your body type, and then you can add the color of the season or the print of the season, if you choose. It is about expressing who you are through what you wear. So relax, and don’t feel that you need to look like everyone else. Find out what works for you, and ROCK IT!

If you have trouble getting the right fit, or are not sure even where to start, get some advice from a professional in the clothing world. As a wardrobe stylist, I take measurements on each client and then have them try on clothing to show them what works best for their body type. Once you have the formula for your body, you will always look your best. And for those of you that already have created your basic wardrobe, start adding in luxurious prints, add a leather piece for the fall, long blazers and overcoats (very “Mad Men”), and, if you feel like you want a little more, shearling trims on coats are very in style right now. I also suggest investing in a great pair of boots to fit your specific style. You can also never go wrong

with a terrific scarf or a fabulous fedora — both of which are easily updated and can completely change your look! I hope to see these handsome, classic looks spill onto the Red Carpet. I am definitely working in all of the rich colors and prints on my male celebrity clients. I am dressing all of my female clients to exude and elegant and classic look as well, which in turn inspires men to dress the part. So in all for this Fall, dress up your basic wardrobe with rich colors, elegant prints and classic coats and don't forget to strut your stuff. Renee Layher is a stylist to the stars and owner of the menswear boutique, The Label, located at 2222 12th Ave. S. in Nashville. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Personal styling is available. For private appointments, please call (615) 394-1541.For more information, visit www.thelabelnashville.com or email info@ thelabelnashville.com. O&AN

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Rev. Greg Bullard, Pastor | (615) 612-5040


L I F E

SATIRE

Gossip from the Parthenon by JESSI GIBSON, DIVERSITY EDITOR jgibson@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Were you at the Parthenon last month? Did you meet an interesting person who may have seemed ... different? Rumors have been swirling around certain circles since the Olympus fundraiser held by Tennessee Equality Project last month. Hushed whispers, and overheard snippets of conversation along with “confidential” gossip speak of something rather irregular. “What did you think about...” “She made things interesting.” “She was so BEAUTIFUL!” Not a big deal on the face of it, of course. Easy to dismiss if you hadn’t been at the Parthenon that evening. But there have been several reports of a “mysterious woman” who slipped in and out amongst the patrons. Her direct questions to various people there were followed by a fierce, almost hungry attention as she listened to the answers. No one seems to remember exactly what she looked

like physically, although each witness remarked specifically about how big and hypnotic her eyes were. It seems, if the reports are to be believed, that she promised each person spoken to that she would return soon, “while the earth still sleeps, yet after these omens three.” Again, easy to dismiss and forget about. Until a strange email landed in the inboxes of staff members for O&AN on Oct. 16. It was simply titled “Omen 1.” It reads in full: “Olympus is pleased to announce and welcome a new member into its Pantheon. With the passage of a non-discrimination ordinance for city employees, including sexual orientation and gender identity protections, the City of Memphis takes its place in the Pantheon of Equality alongside sister cities Nashville and Knoxville. Greatly aided by warriors in the Tennessee Equality Project, and the efforts of the Shelby County Committee, Memphis rises to its rightful spot in Olympus as a champion of humanity, dignity, and acceptance.

“Additionally, Nashville and Knoxville confirm their pride in their sister’s decision to ascend to her rightful place in this elite group. “Further, we wish to encourage other cities to take up the challenge of granting fairness and equality and gaining membership in the Pantheon of Equality. We recognize the challenge inherent in such undertakings, and send a call out to all those who would battle, labor, and sacrifice to help others achieve what these cities have accomplished. “Our warmest welcome to the City of Memphis. We acknowledge the great efforts and fierce determination shown by her loyal lieutenants in helping her achieve this highly prized victory.

NOVEMBER 2012

In the absence of any further information at this time, we are going to label this a developing story. Stay tuned. O&AN

A Preview of Olympus 2013

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I’m the grandson of a butcher so it has to be steak. My greatest achievement has been:

Making some of hte best friends of my life here in Nashville over the last 3 years. You know who you are. :) Boxers or briefs?

Briefs

NOVEMBER 2012

What do you hope your next greatest achievement will be?

Maybe an appearance on broadway who knows...

What’s one item you can’t leave home without?

Burt’s Bees Chapstick, I’m addicted.

If you won $1 million (tax free) and had to give half of it away, who would you give it to?

I would put half of it in my family’s scholarship fund for college students going to school for medicine.


Oct. 20 2012 The Grizzlies Red Dress Rampage took place in the Five Points area of East Nashville. The watering holes were Beyond the Edge, Lipstick Lounge, Red Door Saloon East, Edgefield Sports Bar and Drifter’s.

Timberfell Lodge

timberfell.com November 9 – 11 Harvest Weekend Special 10% discount on 2-night stay.

November 22 – 25 Thanksgiving Extended Weekend

Photos by Keith Hinkle

Traditional menu and a gathering of great friends. Special GobbleGobble GO-GO Dance Parties Friday and Saturday nights!

December 7 – 9 11th 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. 30% discount on all rooms for the weekend. Annual Santa Bear and Sexy Elves Party at the Tavern. Bring a wrapped Christmas ornament for the for the ornament exchange.

December 21 – 25 Christmas Holiday Gathering Join our family for a memorable celebration. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

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 2012

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E T C

 

Nashville ‘gaymers’ create GLBT and friends Facebook page

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by ELLEN ANGELICO, CONTRIBUTING WRITER eangelico@outandaboutnewspaper.com

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?

a Voice for the Voiceless

I think the best word I’ve ever seen is “gaymers.” You know exactly what I’m talking about now, right? It’s a great word. Now if they could only make a word that says, “don’t shut that door!” in one snappy, short syllable But back to the gaymers. In case you couldn’t tell, it’s a clever amalgamation of “gay” and “gamer” — as in “World of Warcraft,” “Dungeons and Dragons” and other such nerdy pursuits. Just as the thought escaped my head, however, Josh Norman — who runs the Nashville GLBT Gaymers and Friends Facebook page with his boyfriend Justin Hosford — corrected me. “At one point games were relegated to being for nerds and geeks. There was a stigma attached to it,” Norman, who has an 8-bit Mario tattoo on his arm, explains. “But over the last decade it has really grown into something that a lot of people do in one form or another. Between Facebook and iPhone apps, I'd wager that a majority of people spend at least a couple hours a week gaming.” In fact IRL, (In Real Life, for those of you not as “hip” and “with it” as I) Norman and Hosford are in their 30’s, grew up south of Nashville, and work at Vanderbilt. Hosford explains, “We do the same as other people- drinking and carousing, going to the movies, trying new restaurants, running 5ks.” In talking to them, I became curious

about what it’s like to be a gaymer. Norman said, “Being gay and a gamer still has the issue of having to deal with the homophobia that shows up in online games and forums — the people that use racial, homophobic and misogynistic slurs and call it ‘trash talk.’” Hosford said, “Many of our straight followers, especially women, like having a group of gamers they can associate with that doesn’t participate in the trash talking Josh mentioned.” The gaymer culture is a small but growing group of gamers. “I believe there is a lot of potential for the gay gamer subset to really organize, but its something that many people haven’t thought to do until recently,” Hosford said. Reddit is abuzz with gaymers (reddit.com/r/gaymers) and their Facebook group is taking off. Members of the group even meet IRL! They said, “It's been a lot of fun meeting different people who have similar interests. We started the page because we wanted a gay-friendly group of gamers. Since then, the people that we meet, both gay and straight, have been welcoming and really embraced the page and a small community is developing.” Whether you’re into big storyline games like “L.A. Noire” or tiny puzzle games on your iPhone, check out the Nashville GLBT Gaymers and Friends Facebook group at facebook.com/ NashvilleGlbtGaymers and get to know a bunch of great people. O&AN

Patricia Snyder Attorney-at-Law The Law Office of Patricia L. Snyder 2401 White Avenue / Nashville TN 37204 615.279.4411 phone / 615.523.1179 fax pat@psnyderlaw.com / www.patriciasnyderlaw.com No ChArge for INItIAL CoNSuLtAtIoN ALL PhoNe CALLS PromPtLy returNed general Practice, Landlord-tenant Law, Personal Injury Criminal Law: Felonies & Misdemeanors duI, Sex offenses, Internet-Based Crimes State & Federal

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TODAY WATCH LIVE FRIDAYS AT 10 p.m. ONLY ON


E T C

OPINION

Activist are needed in small towns by DAVID SHELTON, CONTRIBUTING WRITER dshelton@outandaboutnewspaper.com

Not too long ago, someone asked me why I didn’t move away from Clarksville and go to some place more “accepting” for gays — like California, New York, or someplace like that. After all, there’s still quite a bit of resistance in this area for someone who’s openly gay. I’ve had this question posed to me by both friends and members of my family. In fact, I was told a few months ago that certain people in the community still tell others to not do business with me because I’m gay. Why would I continue to subject myself to such petty, blatant, rank discrimination (especially from people who were the object of similar discriminatory practices fifty years ago)? Simple: Because running from injustice and bigotry only encourages it. I stay because here is where the message of equality is needed the most. I stay because this is my home. I stay because there’s too much to do. After all, what good is it to push for GLBT equality where it already exists? I stay because I’m always looking for the best in people, and I look for a reason to push forward. It’s not easy, and the ground still must be tilled so that equality can truly grow. There are no gay-straight alliances in the schools. There is no PFLAG chapter (not for the lack of trying). There’s little GLBT community to speak of. Sadly, those who support me and/or equality, often do so in silence — with whispers. They’re the real reason I stay. Because no one hears the whispers. Someone’s got to do the shouting. Even still, it’d be nice to get a few extra voices backing me up. It’s because of those whispers that I stay — because the whispers are muted by their own fears. With each new voice,

we stand a little taller, a little louder, and a little more of a chorus. It’s here — in this medium-sized city of Clarksville with its population of 120,000, that I’m needed the most. It’s here in Clarksville where people are most likely to believe vitriol spewed by people like Bryan Fischer, who declared recently that he is a “prophetic voice” against the “gay agenda,” as if he’s appointed by God to destroy the rights of GLBT Americans, and will work tirelessly to defeat us. “(Christians) cannot give an inch, we cannot give one centimeter, we cannot give one millimeter to the forces of homosexual activism. We cannot accommodate, we can’t compromise, we can’t find middle ground, they cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be compromised with, they cannot be dialogued with, they can only be defeated,” Fisher said in an article on rightwingwatch.org. People like Fischer, Tony Perkins and other anti-gay hate group leaders have a huge fan base in this area. What they say matters — and it’s critically important to counter their lies with reasoned truth. With every bit of vitriol that’s designed to pull our neighbors further away from equality, it’s essential that we temper their hate with genuine facts and and personal stories to remind our neighbors that we are real, honest, hopeful, and decent human beings that happen to love someone of the same sex. After all, if we live life only so that we can have it easy, those rewards are incredibly shallow. When we rise above our struggles, and accomplish our goals — over greater opposition — then they are rewards not only worth celebrating, but shouting about! Who’s with me? O&AN

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O&AN November 2012