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The nation's only lesbian literary organization—the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS)—announced winners of the 14th annual literary awards at a ceremony in Las Vegas early this month.
The mission of the GCLS is "education and the promotion and recognition of lesbian literature." The award ceremony took place on the final evening of the organization's week-long lesbian literary conference. Pam Stewart, Chair of GLAAD’s Board of Directors, emceed the ceremony at Bally’s Hotel Las Vegas, where over 350 attendees and sponsors celebrated lesbian literature across all genres.
Author R.J. Samuel received the Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award for An Outsider Inside. Ann Bannon is the author of a series of five lesbian pulp novels known as “The Beebo Brinker Chronicles.” Written from 1957 to 1962, the books were bestsellers when they were first released, and have had remarkable longevity, especially for genre fiction. They have been published in five different editions and in several languages and are often taught in women’s studies and LGBT studies courses. Ann was the winner of the first GCLS Trailblazer Award in 2005.
Ann McMan for An Outsider Inside received the Tee Corine Award for Outstanding Cover Design, which sets a professional bar for the look of lesbian books. The award provides recognition for artistic work that contributes to the promotion of a quality product, and honors cover designs that create a beautiful representation of the story and put a professional face on the lesbian genre. Tee Corinne was a photographer, author, and editor notable for the portrayal of sexuality in her artwork. This award is named after her to honor a trailblazer for lesbian visibility and give the award prestige with those who recognize how daring she was in her art and quest to make lesbians visible to the world.
Judy Comella was honored with the Directors’ Award. The GCLS Directors’ Award is presented to a single GCLS member in recognition of contributions made to the Golden Crown Literary Society during the past year and/or to the ongoing mission of the organization over a longer period of time. Comella has volunteered with GCLS since 2014, working as the organization’s conference manager. Mary Phillips, executive director of GCLS said of Comella, “She works tirelessly as the Conference Manager, keeping all wheels in motion, and spends endless hours all year long working behind the scenes.”
Elana Dykewomon received the Lee Lynch Classic Award for Riverfinger Women, presented by Lee Lynch. The Award specifically recognizes books that convey meaningful lesbian experiences with influential historical value to the lesbian community, recognizing that individual perceptions of classics will differ. Lee Lynch started writing lesbian fiction and non-fiction in the 1960s when she was a frequent contributor to The Ladder, the only lesbian publication at the time. Since then she has published novels and essays, her stories have appeared in a number of anthologies, and she has written reviews and feature articles for The Lambda Book Report and many other publications. Lee’s syndicated column, "The Amazon Trail," has been running in papers across the country since 1986. Lee's book, The Swashbuckler, was the first winner of this award in 2012, and the award is named after her.
Lynch said of Dykewomon, “Elena’s characters travel the world. She encouraged us to live our true stories. She’s practically a myth herself now. Riverfinger Women is utterly lesbian. The books language is wall to wall poetry. This powerhouse of a writer wrote lesbian truths.”
In her acceptance, Dykewomon said, “it’s an honored indeed to be valued by your peers. I have always been a lesbian since I fell in love with my nursery school bus driver. At twenty-one, I decided to write a lesbian novel with a happy ending. It’s not novel, but it was at the time.”
Dorothy Allison received the GCLS Trailblazer Award, presented by author Karin Kallmaker. Kallmaker said of Allison, “She is for me the original firebrand. She didn’t write for approval, she wrote to survive. She is a firebrand, truthteller, and trailblazer.”
Allison describes herself as a feminist and working class storyteller who writes to change the world. She’s a National Book Award Finalist, bestselling author with many awards. The Trailblazer Award is granted for a lifetime achievement and is presented each year to a single author in recognition of the contributions made to the field of lesbian literature. The author must have published a significant body of work over a period of at least 20 years and written lesbian-themed works that have had a positive impact upon the growth and visibility of the field of lesbian literature.
Allison said in her remarks, “I regret that I will not live long enough to bring this country to account. I am what you get when you educate the working class. I am what you get when you model justice but do not deliver it. Let yourself accept being appreciated. It’s very hard for someone like me. I’m a nasty piece of work.”
The GCLS Literary Awards focus solely on lesbian content. Content in all categories must include significant lesbian characters and/or themes and meet one of the following criteria: (1) the main character identifies as a lesbian; (2) the main character is or ends up in a lesbian relationship; or (3) the theme or plot deals with lesbian issues or lesbian life.
“Did you know that the GCLS Literary Awards Program,” said executive director Mary Phillips, “is the only awards program in the nation that recognizes the best in lesbian literature? We are truly a community of like-minded women who come together every year to discuss books about women loving women. I’m deeply grateful to work with a team of dedicated and talented volunteer Board and committee members who are helping to grow GCLS and share our mission with more and more women every year.”
Sponsors for the 14th Annual GCLS Conference included: Lynne Pierce, LesFic Unbound, Bywater Books, Bella Books, Sandy Thornton, Georgia Beers, Melissa Brayden, A.L. Brooks, Bold Strokes Books, Badger Bliss Books, Cheryl Pletcher and Lynn Ames, Sapphire Books, Rosa Moran, and Regal Crest.
14th Annual Golden Crown Literary Society Award Winners
Debut Author Awards:
Bend by Nancy J. Hedin,
Frame by Frame by C.J. Murphy,
Marriage of a Thousand Lies by S.J. Sindu, and
The Road to Wings by Julie Tizard
Our Happy Hours: LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars By S. Renée Bess and Lee Lynch (Story Collectors)
Grief Map by Sarah Hahn Campbell
Contemporary Romance Short:
Bait and Switch by Blythe H. Warren,
Echo Point by Virginia Hale, and
Unexpected by Jenny Frame
Contemporary Romance Mid-Length:
Night Voice by C.F. Frizzell,
Right Here, Right Now by Georgia Beers,
Sidebar by Carsen Taite, and
The Butterfly Whisperer by Lisa Moreau
Contemporary Romance Long:
Perfect Rhythm by Jae,
Vacationland by Susan X. Meagher, and
Who’d Have Thought by G. Benson
Her Best Friend’s Sister by Meghan O'Brien
Goldenrod by Ann McMan
The Price of Cash by Ashley Bartlett
The Sniper’s Kiss by Justine Saracen
Genuine Gold by Ann Aptaker,
Lethal Care by Claire McNab with Katherine V. Forrest
Little Dip - Garoul Series Book V by Gill McKnight
The Girls with Stone Faces by Arleen Paré
A More Perfect Union by Carsen Taite
Into Thin Air by Jeannie Levig,
Lucy’s Chance by Jackie D.
Erased by Robbi McCoy,
Shattered by Lee Winter,
Spark by Catherine Friend
Girls Like Me by Nina Packebush
About the Golden Crown Literary Society:
The GCLS was founded in February 2004 to bring authors, readers, and publishers together for the betterment of lesbian literature. The first annual conference was held in 2005 and has continued every year. Since its inception, the GCLS has grown tremendously, added many programs and services, and become a registered 501(c)3 corporation whose mission is education and the promotion and recognition of lesbian literature.
Photo credit: Laura Pena
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.