Letter: Emily April Allen on This Month's Cover

To Those at Out and About Magazine,

I am the photographer of the cover feature in the July issue. As a Nashville resident for the past 8 years and an active member of the queer community, I know that Out and About is a trusted and well-circulated publication. I was honored and excited to be included in this way.

That being said, I do want to express my concern about the phrasing of the cover headline, “Faces of Covid,” that accompanies the photo. I feel that these words, positioned across this joyful photo of siblings ArJae and Munk Foo, unintentionally frame them as representatives of the pandemic and misrepresents the photo (and in turn, the project). Clearly, members of the Black community have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and this a very important and necessary topic - just not one that is centered in the Queers and Quarantine article. The purpose of the Nashville Queers in Quarantine project was to connect and feature queer Nashville during a time of isolation. It is a project that features community, resilience, and also joy.

I understand that the headline was not meant to label this specific photo, but more so to introduce the overall theme of the issue. However, as the photographer of this photo and the featured project, and especially a photographer that constantly is mindful of the impact of her images, I felt compelled to express my opinion.

Thank you again for the opportunity to be featured to the wider Nashville LGBTQ community. Expanding the visibility of this community is the largest motivation of my work.


Emily Allen

*After receiving this letter and hearing these concerns, editor James Grady was very receptive to my feedback and proposed an updated headline, “Facing the Pandemic,” which I feel is more appropriate than “Faces of Covid.” It seems more encompassing of the experiences of the community in a broader sense and does not label those in the photo or those in the Queers and Quarantine project.

National Margarita Day

A lot of us have really picked up an interest in tequila and it's no wonder. Its popularity is soaring in the U.S. and doesn't look like it'll be slowing down any time soon. The only contender would probably be whiskey. Meh, but they have their own day. Now, it's National Margarita Day and we put together some of the best margarita recipes around so you can pick one or maybe even all of them to try.

We have a few surprises in there too. Maybe it's not all about tequila but it certainly has a theme going on. Take a look at some of these great tequila brands and start making some amazing margaritas today!

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Gender-Inclusive Universities and Student Privacy

For many students, attending university is a profound, often life-changing, transition. It is often the student’s first time living on their own without parental supervision. This lifestyle is also accompanied by a period of self-discovery, of defining and redefining a sense of personal identity largely independent of the influence of family and friends from home.

For students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, this rite of passage can also be a deeply empowering one. Indeed, attending university may be the student’s first real opportunity to explore their gender identity in a safe, comfortable, and accepting college.

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José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia agave fields

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I had the opportunity to visit Mexico for an event José Cuervo was putting on, the unveiling of their premium tequila brand, Reserva de la Familia. The trip was all about tequila, how to drink it properly, how to pair it with food, and of course, visiting various points of interest in Guadalajara while tasting tequila along the way.

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