Notes from an impromptu marriage rally

Mere hours after the Supreme Court issued its long anticipated ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, Joe Woolley, the Executive Vice President of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, organized a impromptu rally to celebrate the announcement of nationwide marriage equality.

When I asked Woolley why he planned the event, he explained, “Jim [Woolley’s husband] and I were sitting at home today, crying, hugging each other. I was seeing the Facebook posts roll through, the text messages come in, and all of a sudden we realized that we hadn’t organized anything here to show our happiness in front of our state capital. I posted on Facebook, ‘Let’s celebrate officially,’ and picked Legislative Plaza, and here we are. To me, it’s just incredible.”

Camera crews and reporters from local news stations were there, filming the group which stood on the steps of the plaza directly in front of the state capital, as Joseph Woodson, a past president of Nashville Pride, led them in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Many drivers passing by honked their horns when they saw the U.S. flag, the state flag, the gay pride flag, and an HRC flag all flying.

Not long before this, Woodson had told me, “I can’t believe this has happened. Growing up, I always felt like my pursuit of happiness was limited,” and that it’s an odd but welcome feeling finally seeing this come to fruition.

Soon after, Representative Mike Stewart (D - District 52) arrived to show his support.

“Well, look, the Supreme Court has spoken,” Rep. Stewart replied when I asked for his thoughts. “I think what they have said reflects the views of the people. It was a very big, momentous decision, and I think they just decided it’s clearly the right decision. It’s time to make that declaration and give people marriage equality. And I just think it’s a great day.”

To my follow-up question—“Do you foresee any difficulties with the implementation of this ruling in Tennessee?”—Rep. Stewart answered: “Well, we’re going to hear about that today. I’d like to think, even though I’m sure there will be people who disagree with the decision, you know, we’re a nation of laws, and historically people abide by the law. And I think, no, generally speaking, this will become the law. It will be enforced, and in Tennessee and elsewhere, it will go forward without any difficulty. I’m very optimistic.”

To support Rep. Stewart’s optimism, news arrived near the end of the rally that the Davidson County Clerk’s office had begun issuing same sex marriage licenses at noon, and that the Shelby County Clerk’s office issued its first such license around 11 a.m.

As I walked back to my car, I listened to the recording I had made of Quincy Acklin’s comments about the impact this ruling will have on LGBT people: “It means equality. That I have the same rights that everyone else has. That I can have what my parents had.”

Just as important as that, Acklin’s other comments hinted at how this sea-change will reshape the coast of social expectations.

“Growing up gay is not an easy thing,” he said, “and I always felt like I was out of place. And even when you come out and meet other gays, society still tells you you’re not equal, [not] the same, as everyone else. I wanted to be able to do everything everybody else could, and now I can. And I feel awesome about that.”

For once—as I think about the much brighter, more inclusive future that children who are LGBT will have now that none of us is a second class citizen—I don’t mind The LEGO Movie’s theme song being stuck in my head.



WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less