Out & About Today Nashville Channel 5
Happening in Nashville
Trending around OUTvoices
Holy untucked! This is going to be a great kiki! This month we had the pleasure of interviewing Nashville’s Barbie Doll herself, Deception! We asked her all the deets on her life and background, and she didn’t hold back a thing. She got really intimate discussing her recent battle with cancer, as well as how she felt growing up trans. We hope that you all enjoy reading this kiki as much as we enjoyed it. So sit on back and get to know this wonderful lady.
What type of problems did you face growing up?
Growing up the only problem I had was knowing that I wasn't the person physically that I was internally. I knew from my earliest memory of about 4 years old thinking I was a girl. I really didn't realize I was a 'boy' until I was about 6. I know that sounds crazy, but I always just though I was one of the other little girls. I had every Barbie Doll and My Little Pony and tried to get anything pink that I could.
It wasn't until I got into the first grade that I started realizing I was a "boy". I would go to bed every night and pray that God would turn me into a girl when I woke up. So my childhood and teen years were difficult internally. That is why I started my transition as soon as I turned eighteen. I do want to clarify that I never have and never will think of myself as ever being a "boy." I just had to use that term to describe the conflict you feel when you are born transgender.
Did you face many hardships coming out? How old were you?
I came out to just close friends while I was in high school, but I came out to my family when I turned eighteen. That is when I started my transition. When I came out the world was much different than it is now, so yes I certainly faced hardships. Discrimination against gay and transgender people was everywhere. Gosh, back then most people didn’t even know the term transgender. Most people just referred to us as transsexuals, and thought it was a choice. I was lucky because I have always been a petite person and passable. So I only faced discrimination if and when someone was told that I wasn't a genetic female, but, trust me, then I certainly got discriminated against.
What advice would you give someone facing struggles with becoming their true self?
This lifetime is too short to live your life for other people. You have to live your true life. Don't waste a minute of it hiding or not being you. There will be hard times in life, but you can’t truly appreciate the good moments in life without surviving the difficult ones. Never give up! A positive mindset is the key to any situation in life.
Michelle Holiday told me when I first started my transition at age eighteen, "Just ride the waves." It took me years to fully understand what she meant. Transitioning has many highs and many, many lows. You have to just ride the waves of the ups and downs, but I am so grateful for the journey!
When did you start doing drag?
I started doing drag when I was eighteen. It was only going to be a one-time thing, of course, but back then you had to compete in a talent night. I won the talent night and was offered a full time cast position that same night. So I started entertaining five nights a week right from the very beginning.
What sparked your interest in it?
I really didn’t have an interest in it honestly. When I was eighteen, I started going out to the local gay bars just to socialize, and everyone thought I was this little lipstick lesbian. When people started finding out I was a "baby tranny," everyone kept telling me I needed to do drag. So I finally said I would do a talent night just one time to shut everyone up. Being eighteen and in college, I took the cast position just so I could have extra money to help pay for my transition.
Explain what drag means to you?
What drag means to me is simply being an entertainer. Since being an entertainer can involve many different aspects, I don't feel that drag is really definable. That is what makes it so wonderful. There are many different types of drag: comedy, dancers, beauty queens, club kid, over the top, female illusion, celebrity impersonators, live singers, drag queens, trans entertainers … the list can go on and on. How wonderful is all of that! People always like to put people in boxes.
What are your thoughts on make-up? Do you criticize others for how they paint?
Well, first things first, I am not a makeup artist extraordinaire. I basically just wear liner, lipstick, lashes, and blush! As I said earlier, there are so many different types of drag queens. For some, their aesthetic is to wear theatrical makeup, or to be over the top with hair and makeup. I absolutely love seeing it on other entertainers. My aesthetic just happens to be more of what I consider female illusion, and to me that means being more realistic in my makeup and hair choices. Some people don't think that is drag. It might not fit into their stereotype of drag, but for me it is my style of drag.
What would you say is the biggest misconception of being transgender and doing drag?
I think the biggest misconception for some people is simply them not understanding why a transgender person is doing drag. People want to lump both things into one category. In reality, they are two separate things. Being transgender is who a person is: we simply were born one way but identify another way. Drag is a form of entertainment.
Why do you think some drag performers get upset about trans women doing drag?
I don't think a lot of drag performers have issues with trans women doing shows. The ones who do might think we have an advantage simply because we have breasts and hips. However, breasts and hips do not make an entertainer. Being a great entertainer is about stage presence, skill, talent, gaining experience that translate onto stage. So being a trans woman has nothing to do with being a good entertainer in the slightest. Some of my all-time favorite entertainers are NOT trans women, and some are.
Have you competed in any pageants or won any titles?
Yes, I have competed in many pageants throughout my career, and won, but I don't consider myself a pageant girl by any means. Some of the titles I have won that have special meaning to me are Miss Knoxville, Miss Tennessee National, Miss National Most Beautiful, Miss North Carolina Continental, and Miss New York Continental.
Miss Orlando has a very special meaning to me because it is the 3rd oldest pageant in the United Sates. Also one of my Drag Mothers, Danielle Hunter, and my Drag Grandmother, Carmella Marcella Garcia, won it, so it’s kind of a family thang. I was also runner up for Universal Show Queen in Honolulu, Hawaii.
What makes pageants difficult?
I think the most difficult part in pageant preparation is managing the team you assemble for your pageant package…. Typically, you hire different people to create talent or presentation costumes, music mixes, design and sew a custom evening gown, and style hair and choreograph your talent, as well as a team of backup dancers. Preparing for a pageant essentially becomes a business, and you are the CEO of it. So that is the most challenging.
Who would you say has been the greatest supporter of your drag career?
The biggest supports of my drag career have always been my wonderful friends. Friends pushed me into doing it. Friends have given me advice or supported different decisions I made in my entertaining career. My mentors, Michelle Holiday, Danielle Hunter, Carmella Marcella Garcia, Sable Chanel and so many others taught me different tricks of the trade in the art form of female illusion, as well as the business aspects of it. And for the last 7 years, the owners of PLAY, Joey Brown, Todd Roman, Keith Blaydes and David Taylor have been so supportive, encouraging and pushing me to go above and beyond what I thought my abilities were. I am forever grateful to them for elevating my skill sets both on and off stage.
What is the best advice you could give?
The best advice I give is to develop a drag persona, just like an actor creates a character. Create something and market yourself. Your drag persona is the figurehead of your working business.
You have been successful as a drag performer for many years. What would you say has been a factor in that longevity?
There are several things that have played a factor in my career’s longevity. As I mentioned earlier, my career really was the result of a snowball effect of things. But once I started doing drag, I listened to more seasoned entertainers that came before me. I created a character and marketed myself as that. I put myself out there and competed in pageants, which lead to my being known all across the country. I invested back into my craft with professional costumes.
I have always stayed true to myself and never did performances that were not true to who I am as an entertainer. I highlighted my strengths, and I minimized my weaknesses. And more importantly, I have always handled my drag career as a real business. I have never gone a day without being a full time working cast member on a show cast, since the first time I did my first show.
We all know about your battle with cancer: how has the recovery process been?
The recovery from cancer has been a wonderful journey. It taught me so much about myself. I always thought of myself as a weak person, but it really showed me what I was made of. I am full of determination, and I never give up on anything: that is important to me.
You would think I would have already known that about myself through all the years of my transition, but it took cancer to really make me understand that. I come from a long line of strong southern women, we are breed to be tough and endure! Cancer taught me that an optimistic attitude about everything in life is key to making the best of any situation, and that is a lesson so valuable.
It also taught me that people are inherently good. My wonderful parents and wonderful friends gathered around me and never left my side. I can’t thank my Momma and Daddy, and especially Joey Brown and Todd Roman for never leaving my side.
I am still humbled and thankful to the Nashville community for coming together to support me and encourage me. I will always be indebted to the Nashville community and so thankful to you all. I am in full remission, so being a cancer survivor is something I am so very proud of and just another plot twist in my storyline.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.