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Early voting in the state of Tennessee will begin on October 13 and the general election will take place on Nov. 2. After careful consideration of the candidates and their positions, Out & About Newspaper is making the following endorsements.
No endorsement. It’s hard to know whether to be more discouraged by Democrat Mike Wherter’s waffling on the adoption ban legislation our community routinely faces or Republican Bill Haslam’s fundraising efforts for Rep. Stacey “Don’t Say Gay” Campfield who is running for the State Senate. We’re not aware of any open, concerted effort to reach out to our community on the part of either candidate.
Districts 1 through 4: No endorsement. There’s not even a remote chance that a pro-equality candidate will win any of these seats.
5th District: Congressman Jim Cooper. Cooper has a record of support of mainstream equality legislation by co-sponsoring the hate crimes law passed in 2009. He is also a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. His opponent David Hall in contrast openly supports the Federal Marriage Amendment which would write discrimination into the Constitution. He has also tried to make Congressman Cooper’s support of equality a negative issue by conducting push polls against him on gay rights. The choice is clear.
6th District: No endorsement. It’s too bad Ben Leming didn’t win the Democratic primary. The winner, Brett Carter, hasn’t taken any public positions on equality issues. In fact, he recently brushed off a question about same-sex marriage during a forum. He also angered progressives in the district by calling for the resignation of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. His chief plus is that he isn’t Diane Black, his opponent. As a state senator Black famously tried to dodge constituents who wanted to meet with her about the adoption ban legislation filed in the General Assembly.
7th District: Greg Rabidoux. Despite running in an uphill battle against incumbent Marsha Blackburn, Rabidoux has campaigned aggressively in the sprawling 7th district. Backed by labor groups, he has embraced Tennessee’s progressive community. Blackburn, in contract, tried to block marriage equality in Washington, D.C. She opposed the hate crimes law and has shown no support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
8th District: No endorsement. Neither Democratic state Sen. Roy Herron nor Republican opponent Stephen Fincher has taken a significant stand on equality issues. Fincher makes a passing reference to supporting “traditional marriage” on his website, but that is sadly standard fare for Tennessee politicians. Nevertheless, the absence of anti-gay campaigning leads us to recommend a vote for Herron, but we don’t have sufficient information for a full endorsement.
9th District: Congressman Steve Cohen. Cohen has been a co-sponsor of the hate crimes law, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and safe schools legislation. We would love to see him and Congressman Jim Cooper cosponsor the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, but given the choices we have this election cycle, both Cohen and Cooper are head and shoulders above their opponents.
State Senate Races
7th District: We offer a non-endorsement in this Knoxville seat recently vacated by former Senator and now Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. State Rep. Stacey Campfield, the notorious sponsor of the Don’t Say Gay bill, is running for the seat. He has also been openly critical of OUTReach: the LGBT & Ally Resource Center at the University of Tennessee. We call on equality advocates in Knoxville to cast a vote for anyone but Campfield. His Democratic opponent is Randy Walker.
21st District: No endorsement. We miss Jeff Yarbro. He and 58th district House primary candidate Steven Turner set the bar really high in terms of outreach to the Nashville GLBT community. When members of our community have met with incumbent Sen. Henry about important policy issues, he has not shown much interest in dialogue until recently when he attended the celebration of the anniversary of the Metro non-discrimination ordinance. He is said to have become more progressive on the adoption ban legislation over the last two years.
His Republican opponent Steve Dickerson noted his own support of adoption by gays and lesbians in a recent interview. Henry is likely to win reelection. We hope he learned from his close call in the primary that progressives in his district are eager for a new direction in the 21st. If that means Sen. Henry develops a constructive relationship with Nashville’s GLBT community, then that’s a positive outcome.
29th District: Senator Ophelia Ford. Sen. Ford is a co-sponsor of the bill that would add gender identity and expression to the current state hate crimes statute. We need all the support we can get in the Senate for that bill and we hope that voters in the 29th district do all they can in terms of volunteering and fundraising to return her to the Senate.
State House Races
28th District: Representative Tommie Brown. Dr. Brown was one of seven members of the TN House of Representatives who voted against the marriage discrimination amendment to the Tennessee Constitution. She has also spoken out in the House k-12 education subcommittee against the Don’t Say Gay bill.
45th District: Dr. Charles Ihrig. Dr. Ihrig has run an aggressive campaign and reflects a more progressive alternative to Rep. Debra Maggart who famously attacked adoption by gays and lesbians in 2007.
49th District: Rep. Kent Coleman. Rep. Coleman is chairman of the important House Judiciary Committee and a co-sponsor of the hate crimes bill.
50th District: Rep. Gary Moore. Rep. Moore helped secure the support of the Nashville Firefighters for the Metro non-discrimination ordinance.
51st District: Rep. Mike Turner. Turner’s GLBT constituents report a positive, constructive relationship with him.
53rd District: Rep. Janis Sontany. Sontany’s GLBT constituents report a positive, constructive relationship with her as well.
55th District: Representative Gary Odom. A few years ago, Rep. Odom spoke out against an effort to remove sexual orientation from a bill involving employment at Watts Bar Marina. His district includes a large GLBT constituency and he has consistently had an open door to the community.
56th District: No endorsement. Although Democrat Matt Kenigson has campaigned hard and reached out to progressives, incumbent Rep. Beth Harwell, while not always agreeing with the GLBT community, has had an open door for constituents. She is likely to win the seat and there is no reason for her GLBT constituents to abandon their efforts to continue to build a relationship. She may be in the run for Speaker if Republicans maintain control of the House.
59th District: Representative Sherry Jones. This is one of those races where the choice of our community should be unanimous. Rep. Jones has worked against discriminatory adoption bills, while her opponent Metro Councilman Duane Dominy worked against the Metro non-discrimination ordinance. He has shamefully asked where Rep. Jones was during the May floods. Rep. Jones was doing her job in the Legislature fighting for the people of her district including flood victims. The voters in the 59th should not be fooled. Dominy is opportunistically using the May flood to attempt to secure a spot in the Legislature so that he can govern from the far Right.
60th District: No endorsement, but a recommendation. This race pits two Metro Councilmen—Sam Coleman and Jim Gotto against each other. Both voted against the Metro non-discrimination ordinance that passed in 2009. However, there is an important caveat. Both sponsored an alternative ordinance that was first amended to include sexual orientation but not gender identity. Then it was amended to included gender identity. Gotto voted against the version that included gender identity, but Coleman stood by the bill, even though it was made inclusive against his wishes. He has subsequently reached out to the GLBT community, while Gotto has not. So we recommend a vote for Sam Coleman and remain hopeful that he will continue to grow in his support of our issues.
64th District: We offer another non-endorsement. Republican candidate Sheila Butt has written a children’s book against same-sex marriage. She also touts her membership in the American Family Association and Concerned Women of America, two anti-gay organizations. We urge voters in the district and volunteers throughout Middle TN to work against her election. Her Democratic opponent is Rep. Ty Cobb.
85th District: Rep. Johnnie Turner. Rep. Turner has spoken out against the Don’t Say Gay bill and she has a good relationship with the Memphis GLBT community.
89th District: Rep. Jeanne Richardson. As the House sponsor of the hate crimes bill and the bill that allow one to change the sex designation on a birth certificate, Rep. Richardson is one of the leaders in the Legislature for equality.
93rd District: Rep. Mike Kernell. Rep. Kernell has also been the sponsor of pro-equality legislation and he has been a consistent ally.
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.