Why the Words Matter

As a contributing writer to Out & About Newspaper for some time now, it has been my honor and privilege to bring news and interesting articles to the readers of this publication. I have had the pleasure of interviewing various people and organizations, and reporting back what they thought, said, and in a lot of cases, fought for. I have been inspired, amused and always interested in what others had to say — especially those people who are actively involved in the never-ending fight for equality.

What is not so widely known is my history with O&AN, and why I am so honored to be a writer for the paper.

I grew up in southern Mississippi, with a father who was a preacher in a cult-like religion. I knew I was different at an early age, of course. Shame quickly became the overriding influence as I grew up, resulting in my becoming a super-macho, slightly homophobic guy who followed all the rules.

Eventually, I achieved the “American Dream.” Beautiful wife, two amazing kids, beautiful historic house — and a pretty cool job as a firefighter. I’m sure you know how the story goes: I was — I am — transgender. And I couldn’t live the lie anymore.

Acknowledging that fact to the ones who loved me and thought they knew me was the hardest thing I have ever done. The second-hardest thing was dismantling the life and family I had.

Towards the middle of 2006, it was clear I would be moving to Nashville. My now former wife had transferred within her company to Nashville, and the need to be close to my children, along with a desire to transition in a new place, decided things.

But, I was going into a new place completely blind. I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know who to turn to for support or help with transitioning. So I began to obsessively search for GLBT related content on Nashville.

That’s when I found O&AN.

To a person blindly trying to find her way in a completely new and topsy-turvy world, it was a beacon. Finally, I had found a map, a guide to help me find my way in a new place and a new life. I found support groups, read articles on what was happening in the GLBT community, and even devoured the ads. I learned who was GLBT friendly, as well as places to avoid and pitfalls to steer clear of. It was my trusted, go-to source before I arrived in Nashville, and ever since.

Some time has passed since those initial “Bambi-on-ice” moments, and I have settled enough into this gorgeous city to truly call it home. But I never forgot the help I got from O&AN. When I saw an ad asking for writers to help contribute content to the paper, I felt it was something I needed to do. A very small way to help repay the assistance I received in that dark and stormy time, I thought.

Instead, it has become an embarrassment of riches for me. To be given such interesting assignments to write about, to help tell your story, my story, our story ... well, it’s gotta be the most fun a girl can have with her clothes on!

To Jerry, Patrick and all the staff at O&AN: Thank you. For everything. Happy 10th anniversary!

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.

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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.

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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.

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