Diamonds in the rough

Last month at PLAY Dance Bar two interesting new cast members were named. Jamison St. James, former Ms. Tennessee Diamond Diva, and Q-Tip Channel, current Miss Gay United States Femme Fatale, are not your typical Nashville drag queens. In fact, they aren’t drag queens at all.

In a trend that is spreading the country in various forms from region to region, faux queens, bio queens, and our own local Divas bring biological women performing as women to the performance art stage. Much of the history of Nashville’s Diva scene can be traced to local drag icon and community activist Mac Productions. “Often Divas are young women who are girlfriends of drag kings or part of their support system who are inspired by watching kings and queens perform, and are called to the stage themselves,” Mac describes. “Their talents range the same spectrum as other drag artists, and it’s not unusual to find them doing production numbers or even live singing as part of their act.”

Some began as backup performers or in duets with drag kings, and though the local scene rose largely out of a focus on beauty and pageantry, Divas are now mastering the same skills as artists found in a more traditional drag show. “Hair, makeup and costuming are as important to Divas as they are to kings and queens,” says Mac. “And the fact PLAY Dance Bar has expanded their cast to include real girls is a great reflection on the talent professionalism and talent these girls display in their work.”

Pageants are still big in the Diva world, and Sunday, August 11 marks the 8th Ms. Tennessee Diamond Diva Pageant sponsored by Mac Productions at PLAY. Jamison St. James will relinquish her crown in an evening filled with glamour and featuring a superhero theme. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the pageant starts at 8 p.m.. PLAY’s regular show schedule will follow.

Click here to read a Q&A with Jamison St. James, your current reigning Ms. Tennessee Diamond Diva.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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