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It's that time again—time to get untucked and behind the gaff/binding of another legendary performer.
This month we had a great kiki with former Mr. USofA Jordan Allen! He has been a big dog on the Nashville scene for years, gathering a huge following and even larger drag family! He is a no B.S. kind of guy and takes his art just as seriously as the next King or Queen. Few know much about his personal life unless they know him in his everyday life, which is why I wanted to kiki with him and see what ‘T’ he could spill for our readers. This is one untucked you don't want to miss, so sit back and unbind with this drag king edition of Nashville Untucked!
What were some hardships you faced growing up?
You got all day? I have experienced all types of abuse—abandonment, rape, bullying, mental illness in my family. I have been disowned by most of my family. I have faced a lot of hardships in life, but it made me who I am today, and I am stronger for it.
How would you explain being transgender to someone who may not understand it?
Sexuality is who you are attracted to. Gender Identity is what you identify as. I just explain that being trans is not a choice. Living in a body that does not match your insides is like being in prison, and transitioning is getting a pardon from a life sentence. And I ask them to imagine having the body of the opposite gender they identify with and how that would make them feel.
Do you find yourself more attracted to men, women, or both, and why?
I am attracted to women, although after transitioning I am more open to understanding that love comes in the form of a human and gender is not as important.
What is the biggest misconception about being transgender?
That it somehow makes us less of a man if we are a transman, or less of a woman if you are a trans woman. We are viewed as lesser than cis men and woman, even in the LGBTQ community.
What do you think has been the hardest part of transitioning?
I would say not having insurance that covers the medical attention that a trans person needs is the hardest part. So having to cover it all out of pocket has been a struggle. I definitely think that our insurance in this country needs to really be addressed for the trans community.
You had top surgery awhile back: do you feel as thou it has made you more complete? Why?
Absolutely! It changed so much about my life. It was like that is what I needed for me to feel whole and for the world around me to accept me as the man I am. To feel rain on my skin, to swim with no shirt, to just feel okay with the body looking back at me in the mirror. It made me so much happier after surgery. I felt like I was finally normal.
What advice who you give to someone who feels they may be transgender?
Research, research, and more research! There is a ton of info available these days. So go research and talk to trans people. These are permanent changes, so you have to be sure before starting any treatment to transition.
What do you feel was the hardest part of coming to terms with being transgender?
Worrying about how the people I loved and cared would take it… Some were supportive, and some decided they did not want me in their life anymore.
How do you feel that the Nashville community feels about transgender individuals? How does that make you feel?
I feel some people are amazing. But as a whole we have a long way to go. I see such disrespect and belittling happen to trans people all the time, treating them like they are not men or women, like they are less than somehow… Saying hurtful things about them… Using the wrong pronouns and acting like it is no big deal… I think that education about trans people in our own community would be helpful. We cannot want equality yet treat our own community the way some do.
Is there ever any shade between trans kings and your everyday drag king? If so why do you think that is?
Yes, because some feel it is not as hard for us to give the illusion since we transitioned. But I disagree. We have challenges as trans kings that are the same as theirs and some new challenges as well.
What would you say makes a king a good entertainer?
You have to have a desire to learn and grow all the time. Listen to those around you, take advice and critical criticism and to pass on the knowledge you have learned to others.
What in your opinion is the biggest mistake drag kings today make as performers?
I would say not costuming and taking time to learn how important makeup is. That or they become cocky and big headed but again that is any entertainer's mistake to be that way.
So you are a former Mr.USofA: any other national crowns you have your sights set on?
I have a few.... You will just have to stay tuned to find out!
What advice would you give to the kings out there that want to win a national title?
Compete! You will grow so much more by competing and putting yourself out there. And remember what you do off stage is just as important as on stage. People are always watching, so be a professional and stay humble!
What is the hardest part of pageant preparation? Why?
The money! Pageants are expensive as heck. I spent ten grand on my quest for my national title. It is the hardest part for sure.
What are some big things we can look forward to seeing from you this year?
I am emceeing a lot of events coming up. I am emceeing some pageants, as well as the LGBT ball. I will be hosting USofA Nationals for Diva, Classic and Male Illusion. And I might have a few other things up my sleeve… Shhh!
Where can our readers keep up with you?
My Facebook and my Instagram. You can also catch me on ladies’ night every Thursday at PLAY!
Photo: Trysh Gauvin, KK Photography
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.