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Nashville voters will go to the polls beginning July 18 (for an August 7 election) to elect, among many of the spots on the ballot, a new representative for the Tennessee House to represent District 52.
District 52 stretches from Madison/Inglewood/East Nashville and runs along the east side of downtown to Green Hills, then jumps deep into South Nashville. It’s a large district with a heavy GLBT population (covering zip codes 37206, 37216, 37204, 37215).
Eric Stansell and Mike Stewart – both Democrats – have run a good race for the seat of former state representative Rob Briley.
Both candidates have sought the GLBT vote and appear that they will well represent our community.
Out & About Newspaper has taken the unique stance of endorsing both candidates. We think our readers will be well served by either candidate and we encourage you to read their answers to questions we submitted, talk with the candidates and make an educated vote.
O&AN: What do you want the GLBT community to know about you?
Stansell: From the very beginning of my campaign, I have expressed my desire to represent everyone in the district as best as I can, regardless of their geographic location, socioeconomic status, race, sex or sexual orientation. The central message of my campaign has always been that I want to start the process of restoring the People’s faith in government by giving average citizens a voice, rather than just listening to a few wealthy individuals and corporate interests. I have promised to listen to and work with those who feel that they have not been heard in the past and feel marginalized. Ultimately, I think that my desire to make certain that everyone is heard should be very desirable to the GLBT community and exactly the kind of representative that is needed in our state legislature.
I would also note that I was the only candidate for public office or current officeholder who had a booth at the Nashville Pride Marketplace last month. Some who are seeking office have suggested that they, too, were in attendance, but I was the only person who went so far as to actually set up a booth and make myself available to speak with anyone who wished to come by and talk with me. I think that this should evidence my commitment to listening to and working with the GLBT community to improve our district, city and state.
Stewart: I have walked door to door speaking directly with voters in the 52nd district almost everyday since early April. My campaign has about 500 yard sign locations and support for my candidacy is growing. I have received endorsements from CWA and MNEA publicly, with others committed privately. The campaign team has held coffees in all parts of the district in an effort to connect with voters who may wish to speak with me (no fundraising at these events). My campaign has raised about $75k to date. I have a campaign manager and a data professional. I have numerous supporters including five district council members that know my dedication to this district, good public policy, and care for people from all walks of life. I have voted consistently for Democrats for many, many years and given time to Democratic candidates (including travel to Florida and Iowa for John Kerry and Al Gore). Both my campaign manager and I spent time talking with attendees at the recent Pride Festival at Centennial Park.
How do you feel about a ban on gay couples from adopting children?
Stansell: In my mind, the only question that should be asked when discussing the adoption of any child is “What is in the best interests of the child?” Presently, there are more children waiting to be adopted than there are couples wishing to adopt such children, and there is no doubt that permanent placement in a loving home—whether with heterosexual or homosexual parents—is preferable to temporary placements or staying in a state facility. As such, I would strongly oppose any attempts to ban unmarried, cohabitating couples from adopting children in the State’s custody.
Stewart: I would have strongly opposed the 2008 legislation to ban adoption by gay couples. I believe that all loving families should be able to adopt children in need of care. I, myself, am adopted and my wife and I have one adopted son.
Would you support a hospital visitation bill that would allow a person to be a part of what the hospital considers “part of your family”?
Stansell: If the question is whether or not an adult should be able to designate an individual not legally related by marriage or blood to be considered an immediate family member, then I would definitely support such legislation.
What would you do to strengthen laws to protect the GLBT community from hate crimes?
Stansell: Before strengthening laws to protect the GLBT community from hate crimes, I would seek data to see whether or not the present laws were being properly enforced. In my mind, there is little need to “strengthen” laws if the laws are not being properly enforced. If the empirical data and anecdotal evidence should suggest that enforcement might not be adequate and/or relatively uniform law enforcement were not enforcing the statutes statewide as intended by the legislature, I would seek legislation the would require better enforcement by tying future funding to metrics that measure proper enforcement.
If/when I were satisfied that the present laws were being enforced properly and sentencing being carried out according to the law, I would work with the GLBT community to identify areas in which the law might need to be changed and work to affect changes where needed. For instance, it has come to my attention that there appears to be a need to pass legislation that would add the category of gender identity for sentencing enhancement in Tennessee’s hate crimes statute, and I would vote for such legislation if it comes up for a vote.
Stewart: Crimes based on personal qualities are an extremely serious threat to our society and should be specifically addressed in our criminal code. I would be very open to discussion on legislation to address this problem.
Would you support a move by the state to add a non-discrimination policy to protect GLBT state employees?
Stansell: I would vote for legislation that would add a non-discrimination policy to protect GLBT state employees.
Do you want the endorsement of Out & About Newspaper?
Stansell: Yes. I would appreciate the endorsement of Out & About Newspaper, as I believe that it would show those within the GLBT community, as well as those not directly associated with the community, that I am the kind of person who would work to represent every person in the district, regardless of their respective backgrounds.
Stewart: Yes. I would appreciate your support very much.
In what part of town do you live and how long have you lived there?
Stansell: I live in East Nashville on Cahal Avenue, near the Nashville Auto Diesel College. I have lived in my present home for almost four years, and I lived in the downtown area for two years before moving to my present home.
Stewart: East Nashville. We have lived on 16th Street since 1994.
Additional information offered optionally:
Stansell: I am presently single and have no children
Stewart: I am married to my wife, Ruth, and we have three children – Will (13), Joseph (4) and Eve (2). Will attends public school and we are members of East End United Methodist Church. Ruth is a family physician at Meharry Medical College and VU. I am a UT law grad and practicing attorney, veteran, and former neighborhood association president. I am a long-time resident of District 52 and very dedicated to our city and state. I hope to continue to work for our city and state as a state legislator.
O&AN urges readers to head to the polls. Early voting runs July 18 through August 2 at Davidson County Election Commission Metro Office Building (Next to Howard Office Building) 800 2nd Avenue South.
Friday, July 18 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, July 19 - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Monday, July 21 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday, July 22 - 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 23 - 8 a.m. To 6 p.m.
Thursday, July 24 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday, July 25 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, July 26 - 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Monday, July 28 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, August 1, 2008 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, August 2, 2008 - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The following early voting sites will be open for the last five (5) days, July 29 through August 2.
• Belle Meade City Hall, 4705 Harding Road
• Bordeaux Library, 4000 Clarksville Pike
• Edmondson Pike Library, 5501 Edmondson Pike
• Madison Library, 610 Gallatin Pike South
Those sites will be open the following dates and times:
Tuesday, July 29 - 8:00 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 30 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, July 31, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, August 1, - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, August 2 - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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.