God. Three little letters that can stir emotion, cause debate or even start a war. The way I see things, the gay culture has four avenues when discussing the topic. Either you search for God, believe in God, do not believe in God, or you just say the name in bed.

For me, I am in need of guidance and am searching for God. With a lofty goal of earning a PhD, worried about layoffs at work, and ever more growing concern for my mother who has cancer, I have become more determined to seek God out because of my frustration and to ask the eternal question of "Why?" in regards to my personal strife. Whether the outcome of my quest will have any long-term benefits is yet to be seen.

The first steps of my quest, led me to West End United Methodist church. With dark blue stained-glass windows, a cathedral style ceiling and a pipe organ fit for the "Phantom of the Opera," I felt a little overwhelmed (maybe that’s because my church back home could fit into the entire sanctuary). However, once everyone settled down, I found a friendly and outgoing congregation willing to assist me on my journey. A petite gray-haired lady and her husband sat behind me and before Dr. Watson gave the welcome speech, she had already introduced herself and gave me tidbits about Nashville. The lady even tried to assist me in finding a Sunday school class while the choir filled the sanctuary with their heavenly voices.

Though an hour and fifteen minutes for some people may be too long of a service, I found Dr. Watson to be captivating. A Britain, who occasionally quotes Monty Python during sermons, demonstrates that if God is truly out there, then he has a interesting sense of humor. What was even more surprising to me was the fact that Dr. Watson discussed with his congregation that homosexuals should not be discriminated against. After the years of not finding support from my family, local church, old friends, and colleagues, a feeling of guilt felt as if it had lifted off of my shoulders. Though the message of sermon eludes me, I can tell you this is the first time in my life I have felt as if a church could accept me for who I am.

Though this is not the only gay friendly church in Nashville, it is the first church which I have ever felt the possibility of being accepted in. The only other church, which I may attend, would be Holy Trinity Community Church. With outreach programs focusing on Habitat for Humanity and Nashville Cares, one can truly see a commitment of assisting others in our community. Also, their Web site mentions events like writer’s night, movie night and volleyball. One aspect I can attest to is their involvement with the Metro Nashville Softball league.

When my team played Holy Trinity, I was appalled by their fans because of their lack of sportsman-like conduct during the game. However, the players and representatives of the church redeemed themselves after the game. Some of the Holy Trinity team came over to apologize to us about their fan’s behavior. Even toward the end of the season, the Holy Trinity softball team rallied for us and further supported the league by doing the little things that some of us take for granted like having their minister bless the food at our banquet and even the unexpected such as placing my mother on their prayer line. 

The last few months I have complained about the lack of leadership and support for one another in our community. Perhaps, I have been looking in the wrong areas of Nashville to make a strong connection with our community and leap of faith was needed.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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Post-Covid travel planning

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:

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