Out & About Today Nashville Channel 5
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Joshua Twent was a guy I had run into while out and about with my best friend Shianne at Nashville’s Play dance bar. We bumped into each other one Friday night and exchanged numbers to meet for dinner the next day. We met at Centennial Park at the Parthenon. We walked and talked for nearly an hour before heading to our venue, Chili’s on West End Ave across from Vanderbilt. We somehow managed to find even more to talk about as we ate. Things were going so well until;
“Do you ever want to get married?” he asked giving me a curious look over his rectangle framed glasses. I took a sip of my Margarita (they were two for one so needless to say our table looked like a minibar) before answering.
“Well I dunno. I used to think I was, you know the whole shebang. American dream. House, yard, kids, dog… now I think I’ll be fine with a nice apartment over the park with nice closet space. I’ll still take the dog though,” I added chewing a fry. He smiled at me in his quiet sexy way.
“What about you?” I asked. He took an even longer pause to answer than I did.
“Well after I get divorced I’ll consider marriage again yeah,” he said. I choked on my margarita.
“I’m sorry. After your what?” I said in disbelief.
“After my divorce. I know I told you I was married,” he said looking mirroring my look of confusion.
“No…no you didn’t! I think I would remember that!” I said. And never would have agreed to this date was the thought I kept to myself. Suffice it to say the rest of the date was closed on a much darker note than it started.
It’s been a month and 15 days since the big split from Mr. Diggs. I had talked to several guys here and there since the breakup, none of them quite giving me what I need. Many of the guys I only talked to because my friends (bless them) suggested I do to get over Maurice. Of course this didn’t work. They all ended up too much of something for me to lose interest. Jose, the Weed Addict, was too pushy, Sean, the College Kid, was too interested in me, Fred, the Cop, was too surrounded by drama, and Joshua, the Married Guy, was…well I rest my case. Whatever it was it turned me off instantly and I resolved to never contact them again.
Maurice and I are still talking. We came to a decision in early December that we still want to attempt to try and work it out. Things are different. I get a mixed feeling of joy and anger when I see his face. I want to pull him in close and just kiss the pain away and at the same time Ryu-slap the black off him, but I can’t do either due to distance. It’s hard. I don’t know weather I want to give up or push through it. Not to mention my upcoming deployment (now scheduled for some time in January) made it seem that much more impossible to even attempt to work through anything.
One conversation in particular got me thinking about what our future would hold. It was a normal FaceTime conversation before bed. We smiled, told each other how much we missed one another, and I even got to say hello to his best friend. It was probably the best conversation we’ve had since November. As we were getting ready to hang up he said ‘good night babe’. I paused for a moment. Up until that conversation I hadn’t felt comfortable with him calling me this (because he has done so before). I would always stop him and tell him not to call me that. Tonight, however, I returned the sentiment with a smile, as it felt damn good to hear him call me that. There was a slight pause afterwards where we gazed into each other’s FaceTime eyes. I felt a swooping sensation, like I wanted to say something. I settled for hanging up the phone quickly.
Part of me wants nothing more than to fill up my tank and make the 11 hour drive to Virginia for New Years so that I can run into his arms all Hollywood romance style. The more sensible part of me however, want to go home and run into my mothers arms as it may very well be the last time I see any of my family until the end of the year when I come back to the United States. My emotions are a wreck right now and I don’t know what to make of them, so I turned outward for some advice.
Though I’ve only known him for about two years now, Cory Caldwell has become a great friend of mine. We joined the Army the same day back in 2013, after which he was shipped off to Alaska and I to Texas. He has recently married his beau, a gorgeous Bulgarian in his early 20s so it only felt right that I ask him for love advice.
“How do you know that you really love your hubby? I mean aside from the obvious ring on finger subtext. I know it’s a weird question but I am at this weird point with Moe. It’s like I see him and I feel the words but I can’t bring myself to say them. Some days it’s right on the tip of my tongues and other days it’s like ‘no I hate you’. Idk. It’s hard because we are trying to decide if we can salvage us and the determining factor for me is if I still love him” was the question I text him. It was around midnight for me so I knew he was still up back in Alaska.
“Well I can tell because I know deep down that I couldn’t imagine life without him. Maybe without his bullshit, but we all have baggage to carry and share when needed. I think you still love him because you’re still thinking about if you do or not. I think maybe you’re just trying to see if it’s safe to say you do without getting hurt and to be honest that is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone’s been there. For example, my husband gets on my last nerve and some times I simply don’t like him. But I know for sure that I love him and this is an understanding we had to come to terms with together. Lol…ya dig? Oor nah? I can re-explain if you need me to, haha”
I had a lot to think about. I rolled over and eventually drifted into a restless sleep.
The next day I still hadn’t come to terms with my feelings so I asked my mother over my lunch break at work.
“It takes a hold of you and for the most part you feel that connection with them in which you eat, breathe, and go to sleep at night thinking of that person. That person is first in your mind. That’s part of knowing,’ she tells me over the phone.
“Well mama I think about him all the time. When I wake up, while I’m at work, before bed. I pray for him when I pray for ya’ll. Even when he gets on my damn nerves (which is a lot) I still feel this way,” I responded. She paused for a moment taking this in before continuing.
“Are you in love?” she asked me.
“I think so,” I answer after thinking about it. There was an even longer pause on the phone.
“Well son, if ‘think’ is used along with that question then the answer is no, you are not there yet,” she returned. I love my ma. Always giving me the honest truth. We continued our conversation discussing my plans for New Years before I went back to work feeling a little closer to an answer.
After work that day I went home and ran myself a bath, something I don’t often get to do in this busy Army life, but as it is the holidays, I decided it was in order. I sat in my lavender scented bubbles mulling it over. Do you love this man? Do you love Maurice Diggs? Can you love each other through this? I thought back on when times were good. We were so carefree, so crazy for one another. Back before the reality hit us. We were states apart and it would be costly, more costly than either of us could afford to see each other every month. Was distance and money really the only things standing in the way of our relationship? An old question posed by my father popped into my mind then.
I was moving from Ft. Hood to Ft. Campbell when we had this conversation. He called me up to see how things were going with the 13 hour drive. I was about 2 hours into and still in Texas. We talked about what I could expect at Campbell before he turned the conversation to my dating life. He didn’t do so very often, as I can tell it’s still difficult for him to stomach my sexuality, but he does his best.
“I feel like you lookin’ for something. What are you looking for out there boy?”
This question was so very simple. Simple and yet I had trouble answering him right away. SO many things came into my mind but none of them seemed to stick. He sensed my conflicted emotions and continued.
“Well whatever it is, I want you to know that I love you. Me and your mom both love you,” he said.
Today I decided to ask my father his opinion on love.
“Well son, we go through this time and time again. It’s like every time you…lust we end up right back here. So let me explain that lust is the physical. You need their touch. Love is within the heart. You CAN’T look for love. You will never find it. It finds you one day. After time that other person is all you need. You can argue and fuss, but you still need that person in your life, and because they make you feel good. Look at anyone you know in love. They get mad but work it out. If you’re in lust it doesn’t work like that,” he answered irritably. I rolled my eyes and bit back the retort that all gay men don’t LUST after one another. That would’ve been too adolescent of me.
As my bubbles slowly disappeared in my bath I did think on these words however. They seemed to take over everything else. The fact that I am still here contemplating us spoke volumes.
“If this isn’t love, well what in the fuck is it?” I quizzed to myself out of frustration.
New Year's Eve saw me at my grandmother’s house in my traditional New Year's sweater-and-jean combination to bring the countdown in with all my family. I had made the decision to rob Peter to pay Paul and get my behind back home to see them one last time before leaving. It was a great decision. Seeing my family and just being near them did wonders to ease the anticipation and anxiety I felt. None of them discussed my imminent departure though I knew we all thought about it. I usually like to address issues at hand but this time I was content with them showing me strength in their silence.
My plan was to split the holiday equally with both family and friends. Since the majority of my friends were military as well and all with their families as well, we agreed to bring the actual countdown in with our respective families and come together afterwards. We were rarely all back home at the same time, so we were not about to let each other go leave without seeing one another. I love that about us.
Before long it was a minute till the 2015. We had all congregated in the kitchen to watch Taylor Swift perform just before the countdown began. After she turned it back over to the countdown, my phone rang in my pocket as the clock hit 30 seconds until. My stomach did a sort of back flip flutter kick as I read “Moe-FaceTime” on my screen. I answered unable to hide the smile from my face.
He was as handsome as ever. He was also celebrating, out and about with his friends. I doubt either of us could hear one another, but words weren’t necessary at this point.
We both began laughing as we stared at one another.
My eyes began to water as I had joined the countdown to stem their flow as I knew what was coming.
2...1...HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It wasn’t traditional, it wasn’t a fairy tale, but it was a moment I will not soon forget as we both puckered up to the front cameras on our iPhones; the moment I had my very first (cyber) New Year's kiss. It felt just like I imagined it would. I wanted to stay there with him in that moment forever, but my sister reminded me I still had to get changed to get over to my friends place by 12:30 for the party. So I said my reluctant good-bye, changed into a rather revealing New Years outfit and headed out to the party.
As I drove I couldn’t help but think back to my father’s question a year ago. I thought that if he asked me that question again today my answer would be simple and immediate; It would be love. I am looking for a love that loves no matter the trial. Looking for a love that can withstand distance. I am looking for a love that can fend off doubt. I’m looking for a love that communicates. A love that isn’t afraid to admit when it’s wrong. I’m looking for a love that trusts. I’m looking for a love that can love unconditionally.
Tonight, I think, I may have taken a few steps closer.
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.