NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Focus Middle Tennessee launched with a coming out party at The Lipstick Lounge in Nashville for its “Coming Out” issue on Friday, June 23.
“Everyone was excited about the magazine that we spoke with that night. We have received nothing but positive feedback about the magazine. People were saying that this is what we need,” said Selena Haynes, franchise co-owner and associate publisher.
A franchise of Memphis-based Focus Mid South, Focus Middle Tennessee features stories from Middle Tennessee’s LGBT community. Focus is a full-color, 32-page magazine printed every other month and distributed for free. The website will be updated frequently at FocusMidTenn.com.
The launch party was attended by all three business partners — Haynes, Ray Rico and Lauren Means — Focus model DL, food and beverage columnist Chef Jay Kill, LGBT ally Laura Bohling, and a couple of recording artists’ agents.
The evening also featured Nashville band Fame & Fiction for their Pride Kick off Party. The six-piece band wowed the crowd with its alternative rock. The band is made up of Leah Shipchack (vocals), Lauren Horbal (vocals, guitar) Kristen Ford (vocals, lead guitar) Owen (vocals, bass) Trish Noe (drums) and Kelsey Von Strantz (cello, violin).
Other guest bands and performances were provided by Von Strantz and Hudson K. Haynes added Fame & Fiction are featured in the magazine’s music section in the July/August issue.
Those in attendance received copies of the magazine, hot off the presses, as well as T-shirts, koozies and stickers. Haynes and magazine leadership continued their generosity at Nashville Pride, where they staffed a booth and passed out goodies during the two-day event.
The launch party celebrated Focus Middle Tennessee’s inaugural edition, which was aptly named “The Coming Out Issue.”
The issue featured stories about Davidson County Judge Rachel Bell, Tennessee Equality Project Director Chris Sanders and MTSU trans advocate Morgan Hunlen.
“We want to fill the void so that LGBT and allies in the Middle Tennessee area know about resources, businesses, services and products, not only in Nashville, but smaller towns too,” Haynes said. “And, we can’t forget our allies. Focus is for them, too. There will be feature stories about our allies as well to recognize them for their outstanding support.”
In future issues, Focus will offer news, arts & entertainment, travel, community, life, and trending topics content. To assure comprehensive coverage, Haynes and Managing Editor Michelle Willard collaborate with LGBT individuals and allies, along with LGBT-focused groups like OutCentral.
The free print version can be picked up at businesses in the Middle Tennessee area, or readers can subscribe for mailed copies at $25 per year on the website focusmidtenn.com.