Trans Community Fears Backlash With Focus On Nashville Shooter’s Gender Identity

Tennessee's trans community waits in fear as police and media focus on the Nashville shooter's gender identity.
(image via Depositphotos)

Shortly after the deadly mass shooting at a Nashville elementary school on Monday that left 3 children and 3 adults dead, police announced the shooter was transgender.

Within minutes, far-right politicians and activists began blaming the deadly incident on the suspect’s gender identity. And now, Tennessee’s trans community waits in fear. Continue reading “Trans Community Fears Backlash With Focus On Nashville Shooter’s Gender Identity”

My Favorite Thing Today: Jeremy Ryan

You are not ready for Jeremy Ryan dancing with himself (screen capture)


What do you do when you’re a fabulous creative artist hit with 2 devastating events in the course of just a year?

You create in order to keep from losing your mind. And that’s just what photographer/director/lighting & set designer Jeremy Ryan did.

In the past 12 months, Ryan’s husband left him, and then the coronavirus pandemic hit and the world erupted.

To cope with the bad hand that life has dealt him lately – and to keep busy during self-isolation – he rolled up his sleeves, got to work, and did what he does best: CREATE!

“Art has been my saving grace,” says Ryan. “My therapy. My path to healing. My gateway to vulnerability. I’m finding new ways to express it every day.”

Pouring his heart and soul into self-expression, Ryan posted these videos, the fruits of his labor, on YouTube. It’s important to point out that everything you see was created by Jeremy by himself – set design, build, lighting, videography…everything.

Before I write anything else, hit the first play button. Warning: you are not ready for this.

Sharing that disco-tastic dream vision on Facebook, Ryan wrote, “Just me dancing alone in my loft having my own dance party.”

But wait! There’s more!

“What do you do when you’re stuck in quarantine alone for weeks in your loft that’s also your studio with tons of gear?” asks Ryan. “Well, you set up a stage, slap on some heels and program a stage light sequence and dance your heart out to Celine.”

Ryan’s unabashed, unfiltered joy here is undeniably irresistible.

I have to add the videos were sent to me from a friend in Nashville, and I clicked play thinking I was previewing a new singing artist. What I got was a whooooole lot better 🙂

When not dancing in the dark with himself, Ryan’s work as a creative director includes artists like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Emily West, Jamie Lynn Spears, Chingy, Keb Mo, Kelsey Ballerini, and more.

If you click over to his website, you can check out his amazing portfolio of work.

You can follow Jeremy Ryan on Instagram here, and on YouTube here.

NYC Cop Pleads No Contest To Burglary, Using Racial Slurs

Michael Reynolds, a 25-year-old New York City police officer, is accused of breaking into the home of an African-American family and screaming racial slurs while on vacation in Nashville, Tennessee, this past summer.

Reynolds has pleaded no contest to charges of aggravated burglary and three misdemeanor assault charges

From NewsChannel 5 in Nashville:

Michael Reynolds, 25, pleaded no contest to his felony aggravated burglary charge and three misdemeanor assault charges.

The break-in happened around 2:30 a.m. on July 9th, 2018 at a 12 South home in Nashville.

The homeowner, Conese Halliburton, said she felt traumatized reliving the incident in court today. Reynolds was on vacation and staying at an Airbnb with friends one door down from Halliburton’s home, and police say he was under the influence of alcohol when he broke into the house.

“He knows what he did, it’s on video, there’s audio. There was people there so how can he not plead guilty and say this is what you did and stand up and be truthful. You’re an officer,” Halliburton said.

When the incident occurred, Halliburton told Metro officers Reynolds kicked in the door and started yelling at her and her two sons who had not went to bed yet. A surveillance camera captured part of the exchange and a man’s voice shouting, “Try to shoot me, I’ll break every bone in your f(expletive) neck. You f(expletive) n(expletive).”

Reynolds faces sentencing on November 7.

Country Radio Host Interviews Mayor Pete, Bosses Say Chat Can’t Be Aired

Radio host Blair Garner interviewed Mayor Pete Buttigieg for his syndicated radio show, but bosses later told him the segment couldn't be aired
Country radio host Blair Garner interviews Mayor Pete Buttigieg (image via Twitter)

Blair Garner, whose syndicated country music radio show is heard in nearly 200 cities, was recently contacted by the presidential campaign of Mayor Pete Buttigieg requesting an interview.

Garner openly admits he was “stunned” by the request considering his radio show isn’t political, and most country music fans tend to be on the conservative end of the political spectrum.

But the veteran radio host also says he was “extremely flattered” by the approach.

“One of the few truly viable candidates in the race raised his hand and asked for a place at the table,” says Garner. “I was willing to give him that seat.”

Garner shares, via social media, that his only condition was that the Buttigieg campaign “value and appreciate our listeners, and never treat them as pawns.”

You’ve got to give it to Mayor Pete – he’s not leaving a single vote on the floor.

But after recording the 20 minute chat, Garner was told by his bosses at Cumulus Media he couldn’t share the interview on air.

“I was proud of it,” says the National Radio Hall of Famer. “But in the end, I was told I couldn’t air it.”

Cumulus issued a statement explaining their decision was based on the “large number of political candidates” currently running and the FCC’s Equal Time Rule, which requires media companies to provide equal airtime to all candidates.

Cumulus Nashville’s programming managers made the decision not to air Blair Garner’s pre-recorded interview with Mayor Pete Buttigieg because of the large number of political candidates currently in this race. The decision was made by local programming management based solely on concerns related to the application of the FCC’s Equal Time Rule. The effects of the FCC’s Equal Time Rule are widely understood and considered whenever these types of issues arise.

Garner says he would “GLADLY” welcome other serious candidates as a guest but “nobody else reached out.”

Garner did ask for, and received, permission to post the interview on his Soundcloud account.

You can listen to the chat between Blair Garner and Mayor Pete below.

As I was writing this post, I realized the third man in the photo below is Garner’s husband, Eric.

I’m not a political guy. My radio show isn’t political, nor does it aspire to be. I’m just the host of a syndicated Country music program who loves his country – both the amazing land in which we live, and the outstanding music from today’s Country artists. The phrase, “I love my Country” is one that I state proudly and without reservation. I mean it to my core. I was stunned when we were contacted by Mayor Pete’s team requesting an interview. Absolutely stunned. Since Country music tends to lean in a conservative direction, I was surprised. But more than surprised, I was EXTREMELY flattered. One of the few truly viable candidates in the race raised his hand and asked for a place at the table. I was willing to give him that seat. I would have also given a seat to any other viable candidate, from both sides. The only condition? They must also value and appreciate our listeners, and never treat them as pawns. Nobody else reached out. I assume nobody else even thought to reach out. The interview is twenty minutes in total length. I was proud of it. But in the end, I was told that I couldn’t air it. Again, I would have GLADLY welcomed any other viable candidates to be a guest, especially President Trump. To my thinking, the best way to a reasoned, thoughtful position on any topic, is to hear from both sides. Regardless, the interview was killed. I did, however, ask for permission to post the interview on my own personal SoundCloud account. I was given that blessing, and I am happy to share it with you there. (Link in Bio) #buttigieg #petebuttigieg #mayorpete #pete #peteforamerica #presidentpete #chastenbuttigieg #warren #democraticprimary #firstgent #biden #peteforprez #bootedgeedge #harris #election #beto #iowa #joe #sanders #bernie #runningforpresident #nextgeneration #policies #democracy #hope #youthvote #democrats #partywithpete #mayorpetebuttigieg
A post shared by blairgarner (@blairgarner) on Jul 19, 2019 at 12:30pm PDT

Nashville Gay Bars Receive Ominous Hate Mail With Images Of Donald Trump & An Assault Rifle

NewsChannel 5 in Nashville, Tennessee, reports that a disturbing flyer with an image of a gun has been sent to at least several gay bars in the city.
(screen capture via NewsChannel 5)

NewsChannel 5 in Nashville, Tennessee, reports that a disturbing flyer with an image of a gun has been sent to at least several gay bars in the city.

Melvin Brown, owner of the bar Stirrup, told the local news channel he received the flyer in his mail last Thursday.

The flyer depicts the letters “LGBT” but instead of representing ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender,’ above each letter are images of the Statue of Liberty, a gun, a beer bottle and Donald Trump.

On the back of the flyer was a stamp of the word MAGA, the common Trump campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again,’ and a return address that led reporters to a vacant lot in downtown Nashville.

“When you put a picture of an assault riffle on there, which was used in the Pulse shooting, and you mail it to every LGBT bar in Nashville – that is coming from a hateful place,” said Brown. “To say that it’s disturbing is an understatement.”

The flyer, which some are calling ’targeted hate mail,’ didn’t mention or appear to be associated with any particular political campaign, but Brown says he believes it was inspired by the midterm elections.

“The midterms are right around the corner and I think somebody is trying to incite a reaction,” Brown added.

At least four gay bars in the Nashville area have reported receiving the flyer.

Watch the report from NewsChannel 5 below.

Naked Nashville Waffle House Gunman Taken Into Custody

Travis Reinking

UPDATE: Nashville Police say they have arrested shooting suspect Travis Reinking in a wooded area near the apartment complex where he lived.

According to reports, he was wearing a backpack with a loaded handgun and ammunition when he was taken into custody.


A shooting at a Nashville Waffle House has left four people dead as the naked gun man remains at large.

From The New York Times:

The shooting happened around 3:25 a.m. at a Waffle House in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville. A patron wrestled away the gunman’s rifle, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said on Twitter.

Three people died at the scene and one person was declared dead at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the police said.

Jennifer Wetzel, a spokeswoman for the medical center, said one wounded victim was in critical condition and the other was in critical but stable condition.

Two other victims were treated for minor injuries and discharged from TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center in Nashville, said Katie Radel, a spokeswoman there.

The police said they had identified a vehicle registered to a 29-year-old Illinois man they described as a person of interest and said he was later seen wearing black pants and no shirt.

Twenty-nine year-old Travis Reinking of Illinois is being sought as a person of interest in the shooting.

Nashville Mayor joins Mayors for The Freedom To Marry

Nashville’s Mayor Karl Dean joined the right of history today by publicly stating his support for marriage equality. Said Karl:

“I believe that all people should be treated fairly and equally and that their individual dignity should be respected.

“Embracing and celebrating our growing diversity makes our city stronger.

“Nashville needs to continue in that direction, and it’s my hope that joining this effort will help us do that.”

Nashville Metro Council passes domestic partnership benefits

Last night, Nashville’s Metro Council approved domestic partner benefits for all city employees by a vote of 27-7.

The result was expected, but some council members spoke out strongly against the policy before the vote.

Councilman Bill Pridemore said his and his constituents’ values would be “compromised” by the idea, and Councilman Phil Claiborne moved to defer the final vote indefinitely, citing budgetary concerns. But Councilman Lonnell Matthews moved to table Claiborne’s motion, and the council agreed.

Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling said the financial impact of the policy would be small — $450,000 or so — within the $1.89 billion operating budget the council had passed moments earlier.

After the vote, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean called it a “big day” for the city: “If we believe that each person has value and we treat each other with respect, then I think this city will be in fine shape. I’m proud of the effort, I’m proud of our city and I’m proud of you all.”