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Despite evolving community attitudes, the realities of prejudice, bias and violence against members of the LGBTIQ community continue to pervade our society. Other countries around the world have made great strides toward the attainment of all rights for the LGBTIQ community. But the United States seems to be lagging behind. It makes one wonder what thoughts the authors of the Declaration of Independence or other historians who focused so much on the attainment of freedom would have on the freedoms of all people?
Regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, everyone should have access to all rights described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Everyone has a sexual orientation and a gender identity. When someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity does not conform to the majority ideal, they are often seen as a legitimate target for discrimination or abuse. Even today millions of people across the globe face execution, imprisonment, torture, violence and discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. But the very consideration of this issue is seen by many U.S. states as a threat to the core principle of the universality of human rights.
Laws criminalizing homosexuality encourage the dehumanization of lesbians, gay men, bisexual people and transgender people, as well as those who are intersexed and questioning their gender. Amnesty International considers the use of "sodomy" laws to imprison (usually) men for same-sex relations in private to be a grave violation of human rights, including the rights to privacy, freedom from discrimination, and freedom of expression and association - all protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Amnesty International includes in its definition of prisoners of conscience those who have been detained or imprisoned solely because of their sexual orientation.
Paul Hunt, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, notes in his report to the 60th session of the Commission of Human Rights: "...sexuality is a characteristic of all human beings. It is a fundamental aspect of an individual’s identity. It helps to define who a person is. The Special Rapporteur notes the abiding principles that have shaped international human rights law since 1945, including privacy, equality, and the integrity, autonomy, dignity and well-being of the individual. In these circumstances, the Special Rapporteur has no doubt that the correct understanding of fundamental human rights principles, as well as existing human rights norms, leads ineluctably to the recognition of sexual rights as
human rights. Sexual rights include the right of all persons to express their sexual orientation, with due regard for the well-being and rights of others, without fear of persecution, denial of liberty or social interference."
The oppression of LGBTIQ people – as well as the stigma often attributed to LGBTIQ people – is such that homophobia often motivates other allegations. Politically motivated allegations of homosexuality can be used to suppress criticism, shut down organizations, and silence political opponents.
Though they are different concepts, gender identity is closely linked to sexual orientation as a category of experience and as a reason for abuse. Non-governmental organizations, including Amnesty International, have documented how law enforcement officers or members of the public who target LGBTIQ people do not make distinctions between whether their victims are (or are perceived to be) lesbian, gay, bisexual or any part of being transgender. They aim their violence not so much at categories, but more at conduct.
People are targeted if they do not appear to conform to gender "norms" – they are marked as different by their behavior, dress, or appearance. Transgender people may be targeted because their abusers infer sexual conduct from their gender nonconformity. Understanding how certain terms are used is essential to understanding LGBTIQ individuals. It is important to recognize the difference between sexual orientation and sexual behavior, as well as the differences among sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender roles.
Heterosexuality is the attraction to persons of the opposite sex; homosexuality, to persons of the same sex; and bisexuality, to both sexes. Sexual orientation can be seen as part of a continuum ranging from same-sex attraction only (at one end of the continuum) to opposite-sex attraction only (at the other end of the continuum). Someone identified as a gay man has significant sexual and/or romantic attractions to other men, or identifies as a member of the gay community. At times, "gay" is used to refer to all people, regardless of sex, who have their primary sexual and or romantic attractions to people of the same sex. Someone identified as a lesbian is a woman who has significant sexual and/or romantic attractions to other women, or who identifies as a member of the lesbian community.
A person (male or female) who has significant sexual and or romantic attractions primarily to members of the opposite sex is heterosexual. A bisexual person (male or female) is someone who has significant sexual and or romantic attractions to both males and females or is someone who identifies as a member of the bisexual community.
Different sexual orientations and gender identities have existed throughout history in every culture. Some famous lesbian women and gay men include Aristotle, Michelangelo, Virginia Woolf, Rudolf Nureyev, Yukio Mishima, and Martina Navratilova. There are LGBT people of every age, race, religion, education level, and socioeconomic class. But neither of the previously mentioned categories has a strong connection to the idea of gender identity and gender expression.
Sexual behavior alone does not define orientation. A personal awareness of having a sexual orientation that is not exclusively heterosexual is only one way a person identifies herself or himself as an LGBTIQ person. Or a person may have a gender identity that differs from his or her biological sex – that is, a person may have been born a male but identifies and feels more comfortable identifying as a female. Sexual orientation and gender identity are two independent variables in an individual’s definition of himself or herself. Sexual identity is the personal and unique way that a person perceives his or her own gender expressions.
Biological sex is the biological distinction between men and women, but it can vary among the gender norms. Gender is the concept of maleness and masculinity or femaleness and femininity. One’s gender identity is the sense of one’s self as male or female and does not refer to one’s sexual orientation or gender role. Gender thus is that which is between the ears and has been described as mind sex, which can differ from biological characteristics of a person at birth.
Identifying as transgender involves the concept of one’s gender role – this refers to the behaviors and desires to act in certain ways that are viewed as masculine or feminine by a particular culture. Transgender is a general term that is used by individuals that do not conform to the gender role expectations of their biological sex. It is also used by persons who may clearly identify their gender as the opposite of their biological sex. Transgender can also be used as a general term to include transsexual people.
Transsexuals are those with the biological characteristics of one who identifies himself or herself as the opposite gender and have also had some type of surgical alteration and/or hormone treatments that change their bodies’ appearance in alignment with their identity. Cross-dressers or transvestites, whether full or part time, wear clothes usually worn by people of the opposite biological sex. They do not, however, completely identify themselves as having a gender identity different from their biological sex or gender role. The vast majority of transvestites are heterosexual.
Intersexed people are born with aspects of both female and male genitalia, often referred to as “ambiguous biological sex characteristics.” Intersexed people may later grow up to have gender identities that are the opposite of their biological sex at birth and have feelings similar to transgender or transsexual individuals.
Some progress has been made on these gender issues in the U.S., but they still remain a controversial avenue for some. Rights regarding these complex issues are, for the most part, overlooked, even in areas where rights have been restored by specific laws. The struggle seems to be never ending – some steps toward attaining rights are being taken, while at the same time setbacks and reversals occur everyday. Such is the case even today for the entire LGBTIQ community.
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.