Page 1

October 14 – 15

2017 Pride Guide

Festival Program · Talent Schedule Grand Marshals · Pride Parade Trans and Dyke Marches Out on Film · Community Spotlights


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6 Contributors 8 Welcome Letters

Festival Information

16 Event Staff 18 Committee Information


21 Shirt Guide 24 Sponsors and Partners 29 Festival Schedule 34 Marches and Parade Information 36 First Aid 39 Accessibility and Family Information 40 Before You Arrive: Festival Guidelines 48 Coca-Cola Stage Program 50 Bud Light Stage Program 51 Nissan Stage Program 52 Ty Herndon Interview 56 Nabil Mousa Interview 58 Grand Marshals 70 Community Re-Investment

Community 72 Out On Film

100 Marla Stewart,

104 Vox Atlanta

82 Alison Hastings: Out Sober 88 Planned Parenthood 91 Latino LinQ 92 Amazin LĂŞThi

Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition


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OCTOBER 13-15, 2017

ENJOY RESPONSIBLY © 2017 A-B, Bud Light® Beer, St. Louis, MO


The 2017 Official Atlanta Pride Guide

Editor Jamie M. Fergerson

Contributors Andrew Alexander Ashleigh Atwell Vega Darling Jim Farmer Stacy Fox Cast Iron Studio Alison Hastings Leo Martinez Taylor Trimble

Legal Notice The Official Atlanta Pride Guide Magazine is produced and published annually by the Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization located at 1530 Dekalb Avenue NE, Suite A, Atlanta, Georgia 30307. The editorial content of this publication is the sole property of the Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc., or is otherwise used under license or other express permission by the respective owner. All content contained herein is subject to the copyright protections of the United States. Nothing appearing in the magazine may be reprinted, nor reproduced, either wholly or in part, without express written permission of the Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc. All trademarks, logos, or descriptive terms created by, or on behalf of, the Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc. It should not be assumed by any reader that the inclusion of any individual’s photograph, article, or quotation is indicative of that individual’s sexual orientation. The Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc., assumes no responsibility for the statements or claims of advertisers. Extensive care has been taken in order to ensure that the accuracy of the information contained herein at the time of printing; however, the Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc., assumes no responsibility for any changes in the event layout, program changes or cancellations, or any other effect as a result of the information communicated herein. © Copyright 2017 Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc. All rights reserved. Design by Annika Kappenstein, Amala Design Group. 6


Welcome to the 47th annual Atlanta Pride Celebration! O

n behalf of the Board of Directors, Festival

our elders. It was a beautiful celebration, and this

Committee, Events Committee, volunteers, and

year’s event is on track to break even those records

staff of the Atlanta Pride Committee, I welcome you to

with the parade filling months before it typically does

this participatory celebration of our diverse and

and more community partners and sponsors than

vibrant community. I invite you to engage in this year’s


calls for action and justice. Our team has spent the last year working to bring you a packed schedule of meaningful and enjoyable activities to help you make the most of your Pride experience. This year, Atlanta Pride attendees will see exciting talent, the addition of a third stage, an expanded Family Zone, our third annual Gray Pride area, our second annual Healing Space, our largest ever market and parade, an exhibit on LGBTQ refugees and immigrants, and many other programs that have been developed in response to community feedback.

One of the places in which I’m most proud of our growth is in our community reinvestment funds. Atlanta Pride has made small grants and redistributed funds to organizations with aligned goals in the greater Atlanta community for more than a decade. After the launch of our strategic plan in 2016, we recommitted to growing that program to give back five percent of our annual budget by 2020. After our successful year and seeing increased need in the community following the 2016 election, we escalated the growth of that program and reinvested more than

Last year’s Atlanta Pride events broke records in nearly

$40,000 through community reinvestment and

all categories. We had record numbers of people

microgrants. More than two-thirds of these dollars

marching, attending the Festival and Parade, and we

went to groups led by people who are most

had the most diverse and representative crowds we’ve

marginalized and under-resourced within the gender

ever seen. We also hosted an unprecedented number

and sexually diverse communities including people of

of non-Festival educational, political, and social

color, trans and non-binary individuals, and

events throughout the year highlighting issues from

immigrants (see page 70 for more on community

racial justice, to sex education, to history and honoring



As with all growth, we’ve also had challenges in

in our community that deserves to be seen and held at

figuring out how to grow efficiently and sustainably,

this time. Pride honors our roots of resistance and

and which critical areas to which we should direct our

resilience. This fight is not done!

attention and resources. In 2017, we saw staff transitions and volunteer transitions, along with a growing and learning volunteer team. We’ve also faced an uncertain political environment, constant calls to resist new and renewed threats on our community, and fatigue of so many of our people being on constant high alert due to that climate. It is our hope to practice an ethic of care and beloved community that allows for the collective struggle to continue while also allowing us to care for ourselves and each other.


And yet, I deeply believe that Pride organizations have both a mandate and unique ability to hold this tension between struggle and celebration. I believe that we are a complex and vibrant people, capable of holding anger about injustice while we also celebrate our radical love and commitment to beloved community. I think back to my baby dyke days, remembering the first time I heard someone say, “she’s family,” as a way of identifying someone as a lesbian. Since then, I’ve always loved that term, and I do deeply believe that all members of our LGBTQQIP2SAA community are my kin.

o be honest, I’ve left this letter as the very last

We have shared history and shared interests, and

thing to do in finishing the Pride Guide. As I often

there’s also nothing quite like family to show your

do in this position, I find myself very conscious of

where your growth opportunities are. I also think of

holding the tension between celebrating our wins and

Atlanta Pride as an annual family reunion. Pride was

highlighting the myriad work left to be done – the life

my first foray into the wild beauty of our communities

saving, imperative work of collective liberation. I am

17 years ago, and it always invites me to reconnect with

writing in the immediate wake of Scout Schultz’s

my own commitment to the family.

killing, conscious of Pride’s history deeply rooted in riots and of violence against so many sexual and gender minorities. I also write in the midst of a resurgence of political efforts to reduce transgender persons’ access to jobs and bathrooms, to reduce access to healthcare that so many of our people need, and in the continued epidemic of queer youth homelessness. We are in the middle of ongoing natural disaster that we know disproportionately impact the most vulnerable among us. Many people have just begun to wake up to systemic racism in our country, and many people are just plain tired from having fought against it for generations. There is a lot of pain

As you enjoy the 47th annual Pride celebration, I honor our kindred experiences that make us all family. I also commit to investing in learning about the ways in which we can better care for one another across similarities and differences. It renew my commitment as the Executive Director of Atlanta Pride that we will neither stop celebrating the fabulousness that is our community nor will we stop fighting for justice until everyone achieves full equity because my liberation is inextricably linked with yours. Have a safe, fun, and enlivening weekend, and be sure to let us know what you think of how we’re growing. With Love and Pride,

Jamie M. Fergerson Executive Director


Greetings! As Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District Representative, I am pleased to send greetings and congratulations on the occasion of the 47th Atlanta Pride Festival. This is one of the largest Pride events in the Southeast and is a celebration that welcomes all individuals. In a city home to a history of struggle for civil and human rights, Atlanta is the perfect place to host this event. Over the past few months we have witnessed monumental gains for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community. Our nation is a house divided on the support of the LGBTQ community. You are not alone in this fight; I am here by your side. I have fought too hard, and too long, against discrimination based on sexual or gender orientation. Now more than ever before, each of us must continue to use our hands, our hearts, and our resources, to build and not to tear down, to reconcile and not to fight, to love and not to hate, to heal and not to kill. We are one people, one family, one house, the American family. We are created equal. You have my best wishes for a successful and memorable event.


John Lewis Member of Congress


LOVE AND Health Initiative



Greetings: As Mayor of the City of Atlanta, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our city to celebrate the 47th Annual Atlanta Pride Festival at Piedmont Park. Over the years, the Atlanta Pride Festival has grown to become one of the nation’s largest annual gatherings for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of people annually, is a true testament to Atlanta’s unique ability to embrace people from all walks of life, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or race. Today, our community stands as a beneficiary of the many outstanding contributions of our city’s proud LGBTQ residents. The City of Atlanta salutes the tremendous work of the Atlanta Pride Committee, which has fought tirelessly for the equality and wellbeing of LGBTQ individuals. I applaud your ongoing efforts to celebrate diversity in our community. The Atlanta Pride Festival makes our city a better place to live and visit. On behalf of the people of Atlanta, I extend best wishes to you for a memorable and remarkable occasion.

Mayor Kasim Reed City of Atlanta



Greetings! On behalf of the Atlanta City Council, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 47th annual Atlanta Pride Festival and to Piedmont Park, located in the heart of Council District 6. As a member of the Atlanta LGBT community, I have enjoyed standing proudly alongside my LGBT brothers and sisters for this annual celebration. After many years of incredible strides towards full equality, we now find ourselves facing strong headwinds and a hostile political environment that threatens our advancements. Let us renew our resolve, lean our shoulders in against those pressures, and become even more committed to achieving our goal. The Atlanta City Council commits our partnership in that march. I applaud the Atlanta Pride Committee for the critically important work it does, both uniting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans and promoting positive images in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. Please join them in this effort. Together, we can and will make a difference. Please accept my best wishes as together our community celebrates this special occasion. Warmly,

Alex Wan Council Member, District 6 Atlanta City Council





TAKE ON THE ROAD TO EQUALITY. Always wear your seat belt, and please don’t drink and drive. ©2017 Nissan North America, Inc.


Board of Directors

Trisha Clymore Chair

Glen Paul Freedman Vice Chair

CJ Lewis Treasurer

Event Staff

Taliba Jonelle Shields McKenzie Secretary

Micheal Barber


Jamie GreenFergerson Executive Director

Festival and Events Committees

Russ Cohen


Victor Alexander

Lee Armstrong

Ashleigh Atwell

Vonda BentleyBrummett

Melvin Coleman

Nayasia Coleman

Aaron DeWall

Joshua Dodd

Andrew Dugger

Jeffrey Lofgreen

Taliba Jonelle Shields McKenzie

Delane McKinley

Kim Montgomery

Nabil Mousa

Kathy Thompson

Harrison Thornhill

Adam Turem

James VanHooser

Anna Benbrook

Paul Gibson Operations Manager

Kevin Calhoun

Vega Darling Programs and Partnerships Manager

Gabrielle Claiborne

Sean Cox

Ryan Roche

Taylor Trimble Outreach and Events Specialist

Stuart Blencoe

Matt Boddie

Brian Boring

Travis Brookshire

Mina Brummett

Stan Fong

Tim Garrett

Justin Gavette

Tea Hayes

Rosalyn Jordan

Sebastian Nix

Chris Quackenbush

Chris Ruiz

Chris Santiago

Elaine Marie Serrano

Brandon Bush

Al Shaffer

Medical Director

Lauren Vidure

Jamie Vosmeier

Dr. Jason Schneider


Atlanta Pride is a volunteer-run, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with volunteers divided into a variety of groups:

Committee Information

Accessibility Services Committee Coordinate interpreting services for deaf people. Address accessibility issues for people who use mobility devices, people who are blind, and people

Cultural Exhibit Committee

who have other disabilities.

Develop direction of exhibit. Oversee and edit content

Backstage Security Committee Responsible for providing security for the backstage

of exhibit panels. Coordinate set up and break down of exhibit at the festival. Staff exhibit during event hours.

areas of entertainment venues in the Festival. Handle

Entertainment Committee

any issues that may arise as well as securing artist

Select talent to perform during the Festival. Maintain

preparation areas.

and adhere to the stage schedules for the weekend,

Board of Directors

ensuring that performances occur as designated.

Responsible for the organizational sustainability,

Events Committee

strategic planning, and fiscal oversight of the

Produce year-round events (like Stonewall Month and


Stride Into Pride) and Festival events (like the Dyke

Creative and Graphics Committee

March, Trans March, and Kids Event).

Provide graphics input and support for the Atlanta

Festival Donations Committee

Pride Committee. Design signage for the venue.

Recruits, schedules, and coordinates nonprofit groups to collect donations during the festival. Creates and maintains a safe area for groups returning with money.


Festival Services Committee Provides information to festival-goers, ranging from maps of the Festival to the history of the Atlanta Pride Committee and Festival.

History and Legacy Committee Organizes and maintains photograph databases from all Pride related events. Catalogues historical items

Hospitality Committee Responsible for providing food for over 200 volunteers. Maintain refreshments for the VIP

Market Committee

Hospitality Center, stocking with food and beverages.

Provide load-in and load-out support to Marketplace

Logistics and Operations Committee

vendors during the Festival.

Responsible for setup and breakdown of all areas of

Parade Committee

the Festival, from tents to tables to electricity. Work in

Responsible for coordination of and communication

conjunction with all onsite contractors. Manage

with parade entrants. Handles logistics of parade

inventory of permanent and rental items. Maintain

assembly. Responsible for locating judges and

Operations Center. Handle triage of logistical needs,

coordinating prizes for winners of parade

security, personnel, market, first aid, and other


requests. Manage deliveries during the Festival and monitors the venue. 

VIP Host Committee Act as hosts for the Friends of Pride, VIPs, and Sponsors who visit the VIP Hospitality Center and the VIP Viewing Area. Staff both areas during the festival.

Volunteer Committee Responsible for recruitment and retention of volunteers. Coordinate scheduling of volunteers for event. Handle all volunteer requests during the Festival, placing volunteers in areas where they are needed most. Work in conjunction with all other Committee Co-Chairs.



Festival Volunteer Shirt Guide

Event Staff Festival Committee, Event Committee, Board of Directors, and Staff wear black shirts marked “EVENT STAFF” on the back during the Festival. Committee and members of the Board of Directors volunteer their time year round for Atlanta Pride and are great resources for information.

Look for volunteers in color-

Festival Donations The Festival Donations teams wear green shirts. Please give generously! Half of the money these volunteers collect goes back to their own

coded shirts during the festival if you need assistance as you enjoy the events and programming.

nonprofit organizations and the other half goes to Atlanta Pride.

Also, please thank them as you

Festival Information

see them during the weekend

The Festival Information team wears orange shirts. These volunteers

since their hard work makes the

have a variety of knowledge about the event and can help you find your

festival possible!

way around the festival grounds. They are equipped with festival maps and programming schedules.

General Volunteers The 400+ people you see in yellow shirts throughout the festival grounds are general volunteers. Some work for two hours, some work all week. The Atlanta Pride Committee could not run the event without these folks!

Lead Volunteers The volunteers wearing blue shirts devote a minimum of 24 hours during the event and serve as “point people” for the Festival Committee. They are in at least their second year of volunteering and are great leaders!

Market Market volunteers wear red shirts. They work tirelessly assisting vendors from before the Festival opens until it closes.

Security Atlanta Pride’s volunteer security teams wear purple shirts. They maintain secure areas around our stages


and lane closures as well as keep their eyes and ears open for safety issues in the Festival and Parade. Paid security and law enforcement officials also work the event and are in uniform. 21

Bursting with Pride! Kilpatrick Townsend is proud to support the 47th annual Atlanta Pride Festival. Š 2017 Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP







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Festival Schedule Family Zone

The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt

Saturday, October 14 · 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Saturday, October 14 · 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sunday, October 15 · 2:00 – 7:00 pm



Honor those in our community lost to HIV/AIDS at the

Kids of all ages welcome! The Family Zone offers a safe

display of a portion of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

space for families with face painting, crafts, games,

Rain date: Sunday, October 15.

bounce houses and more.

Car and Motorcycle Show

Literary Block

Saturday, October 14 · 10:45 am – 4:00 pm

Saturday, October 14 · 12:00 – 2:00 pm

Roadway inside Piedmont Park between 12th and

Nissan Stage

14th Street gates

Experience the literary works of local authors and

Special thanks to Lambda Car Club and The Lost Boys

slam poets.

Motorcycle Club. Come check out this stunning

Yoga and Live Music with Kashi Atlanta Saturday, October 14 · 10:00 – 11:30 am

combination of antique, classic, special interest cars and motorcycles.

Oakhill Join 2015 Atlanta Pride Grand Marshal Swami Jaya Devi Bhagavati for an all levels yoga class on the lawn with live music from the Kashi Atlanta Kirtan Wallahs. Bring a towel or mat if you have one; a limited number of loaner mats will be available. 29

Trans March and Rally Saturday, October 14 1:30 pm: Assembly and Rally 2:00 pm: March steps off Charles Allen Gate See page 34 for more information.

Comedy Showcase Saturday, October 14 · 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Bud Light Stage Join us for the Comedy Showcase hosted by Julie Osborne featuring local comedians: Ian Aber, Brent Start, Alyssa Barnett-Schott, Andrew Markle, Powell and Bob Killough.

Dyke March and Rally Saturday, October 14 5:30 pm: Assembly and Rally 6:00 pm: March steps off Charles Allen Gate See page 34 for more information.

Queer your Gender Dance Party Saturday, October 14 · 7:00 – 9:00 pm Bud Light Stage Dyke March folks, Trans march folks, and queers of all stripes will be getting down to the sounds of DJ Canvas at this free event. All are welcome!


Youth Liberation Space Saturday, October 14 · 12:00 – 6:00 pm Mayor’s Grove The Youth Liberation Space is a space where young queer and trans people (14 – 25 years old) can hang out, relax, and empower themselves.

Cultural Exhibit & Interactive Art Saturday, October 14 · 10:00 am – 7:00 pm Sunday, October 15 · 10:00 am – 7:00 pm Marketplace Atlanta Pride partners with local artists and immigrant groups throughout the marketplace. See our Festival Information team for details.

Gray Pride sponsored by AARP

Youth Performance Block

Saturday, October 14 · 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Sunday, October 15 · 3:30 – 6:00 pm

Sunday, October 15 · 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Nissan Celebrate Equality Stage

12th Street Gate Visitors Center Gray Pride is an area where programming and

NoH8 Photos presented by Nissan

entertainment is catered to the 50 plus population, but

Sunday, October 15 · 3:30 – 5:30 pm

all are welcome. The Visitor’s Center is programmed by

Nissan Booth near 12th Street Gate

AARP and community partners.

Outworlders Gaymer Space Saturday, October 14 · 10:00 am – 7:00 pm Sunday, October 15 · 10:00 am – 7:00 pm The Bandstand Fan of board games? Card games? Come join the

Nissan Proudly hosts a NOH8 Campaign photo shoot at Atlanta Pride. The first 250 people in line will receive a free NoH8 photo courtesy of Nissan (first come, first served).

OutWorlders and play a game. Strategy, social, card, parlour: you name it we probably have it! Come play an old favorite or learn a new game, or just watch. Everyone is welcome!

Healing Space Sunday, October 15 · 3:00 – 7:00 pm Mayor’s Grove Take a break from the activity of the festival and visit the Healing Space. In keeping with our commitment to trauma resolution, we will offer a number of self care practices and support in the tent. It can also serve as a quiet space for those who need it.

17th Annual Official Atlanta Pride Brunch Sunday, October 15 Doors 11:30 am · Service 12:30 – 2:30 pm Empire State South · 999 Peachtree Street NW (corner of 10th & Peachtree) Celebrate a victorious year for LGBTQ equality in Atlanta, and Atlanta Pride at the Human Rights Campaign’s 15th Annual HRC Atlanta Pride Brunch, the official brunch of Atlanta Pride! Guests will be treated to 2 hours of complimentary cocktails and a delicious Southern brunch catered by Empire State South while watching the Atlanta Pride Parade from the best location in the city! Enjoy good music, great friends and celebrate this year’s victories.


Join Macy’s as we celebrate Family + Friends + Love + Life + Equality + Respect We are proud to join the parade across America in honor of National Pride Month. We think it’s really something to celebrate. Plus, join us in our continued support of The Trevor Project! The Trevor Project provides life-saving crisis intervention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.





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Our Family of Businesses


Trans March Atlanta Pride Trans March The Trans March celebrates and promotes visibility of the Trans community. All Trans people and Trans allies are welcome to participate. We encourage individuals to make and brings signs supportive of the Trans community. Trolley will be available for folks with limited mobility.

Assembly and Rally October 14 · 1:30 pm Charles Allen Gate

Atlanta Pride Dyke March

March Steps off at 2:00 pm.

The Dyke March with its focus on women, unites to create an atmosphere of inclusion and community. The march is open to all women loving women (trans-inclusive) of any race, culture, orientation, ability, health, socioeconomic

Dyke March

level, family structure, faith, or age. You do not have to register for the Dyke March, simply show up at the Charles Allen gate no later than 6:00pm. Trolley will be available for folks with limited mobility.

Assembly and Rally October 14 · 5:30 pm · Charles Allen Gate March Steps off at 6:00 pm.

The 2017 Atlanta Pride Parade is presented by Delta Air Lines 34





10 TH ST







8 TH S T

Atlanta Pride Parade Kickoff Sunday, October 9 · 12:00 pm SHARP Assembly begins at 9:30 am on the streets near the

4 TH S T

Civic Center MARTA Station



The Atlanta Pride Parade will step off from the Civic Center MARTA Station. The parade merges off of Ralph McGill onto Peachtree Street and travels


north. It then turns east onto 10th Street and follows 10th Street to the Charles Allen Gate entrance PIEDMONT AVE




of Piedmont Park, where the Parade officially ends.

Security Please be advised that the Atlanta Police Department is responsible for enforcing all applicable state laws and local ordinances during Pride events. Such statutes


may include, but are not limited to public decency, alcohol, controlled substances, public safety, and



standard vehicle insurance requirements. R ALP H


Schedules and locations are subject to change without notice. For the most up-todate schedule information, visit or download the Official Atlanta Pride Mobile App for Android and iPhone mobile devices. 35

First Aid Services There are First Aid stations located conveniently throughout the event site in case of illness or injury. Paramedics and EMTs from Grady Health System staff these stations, which carry over-the-counter

have, such as sensitivity to the sun, or negative

medications and various bandages for minor mishaps.

interaction with alcohol. UBER and SafeRide America

For those festival-patrons who may need more urgent

are also available to assist you.

attention, Grady Health System will handle transports to the closest emergency room.

Enjoy In Moderation Alcohol intoxication can make the Festival much less


enjoyable if it leads to nausea or vomiting, falls,

It is recommended that patrons use sunscreen, even in

passing out, or even DUI. If you intend to consume

cooler temperatures.

alcoholic beverages, please do so in moderation. We

Drink Plenty Of Non-Alcoholic Beverages The first aid tents see many people each year for

encourage festival-goers to have designated drivers or take public transportation.

dehydration; many have to go to the ER. Most people

Consider Your Limitations

do a significant amount of walking during the festival

Many attendees have limitations in their ability to walk

and lose a tremendous amount of fluid from sweating.

long distances. The festival is large and covers a lot of

Free water is available at First Aid locations and other

ground. If you think you might need assistance,

locations throughout the park.

consider renting a wheelchair before coming to the

Take Your Prescription Medications If your doctor has prescribed medications for you, remember to bring them with you if you will be at the festival during the times you normally take them. Also be aware of any side effects your medications may 36

festival. Many people are fine when they arrive, but find they have difficulty getting back to the car upon leaving. The Atlanta Pride Committee and First Aid staff cannot provide rides or transportation to your car, so please plan accordingly.



Diversity fuels our stories. Divergent ideas, life experience and expertise make us stronger as a company and a community. Inclusion means empowering individuals and their voices. All of them. Turner is proud to support Atlanta Pride.

Old, New, Foreign, Domestic, Sports, Luxury, Economy, Perfect, Rough

If you like cars, you will love the Lambda Car Club The Lambda Car Club is America's largest car club for Gay men and women. Lambda Car Club is a group of people who share an appreciation of the automobile as more than mere transportation. 38

We hold monthly events tailored to the auto enthusiast. Our activities include how-to clinics, car shows, road rallies, private collection tours, weekend excursions, and much more. In addition, we sponsor a cruise night on the third Sunday of each month.

Accessibility Services Traveling To The Park There are numerous parking spaces designated as accessible parking in the SAGE Parking Deck located next to the park. There is wheelchair access from the deck directly into the park. These parking spaces are


first-come, first-served and are subject to standard

Family parking recommended at Sage Parking Deck,

parking rates. MARTA’s Art Center station is the nearest

Colony Square, and Grady High School.

train station to the festival. If possible, please consider using the rail line in order to reserve accessible parking spaces for those with limited stamina or mobility issues.

Enjoying The Event There are accessible, portable rest rooms (with floors flush to the ground) located throughout the site.

Baby Changing stations Located throughout the park in the portable restroom areas. Please see the Festival Map for final placement.

Ear Protection Recommended for children in the areas surrounding the stages.

Accessible seating is located in the meadow near the

VIP Festival Passes

Coca-Cola Stage for you and your guests.

VIP Festival Pass holders are welcome to bring children

If you need to recharge your mobility device, we are happy to provide access to electricity in the Volunteer Check-In Center. If you have a medical emergency,

under 13 into VIP Hospitality Center and VIP Seating Area. All children 13 and up must have their own VIP Festival Pass.

please go to a Medical Services tent. A certified ASL

Baby feeding

interpreter will be provided if needed.

Parents and caregivers are welcome to feed their

Enjoying The Parade The Atlanta Pride Committee does not have reserved parking for the parade, as our permit only covers the streets. However, there are numerous pay lots along the parade route. If you have an emergency while on the parade route, find the nearest Atlanta Police officer to request assistance.

Interpreted Performances All performances on the Coca-Cola Stage are

babies anywhere in the park. If you need a quiet and shady spot for breast, chest or bottle feeding, check out the Family Zone, the Healing Space, or the Gray Pride areas.

Family Zone

interpreted in American Sign Language. To request onsite interpreting services, please send an email to 39

Things To Know Before You Arrive

Tents Lawn chairs and umbrellas are encouraged. Tents are allowed in specified areas of the park, but may not be

Alcoholic Beverages

staked. Sandbags or water weights may be used to

Alcoholic beverages are sold within the festival

secure tents. Any personal effects left on the grounds

grounds. You must present proper identification to

overnight (including tents) will be discarded.

purchase alcoholic beverages. Beverages purchased at the event must remain onsite and open containers may not leave the festival grounds.

Bottles, Cans And Coolers Policy Bringing beverages, coolers or food into the festival grounds is discouraged. The money generated by our onsite beverage booths goes toward keeping the Atlanta Pride Festival FREE for all attendees. Glass bottles are prohibited on the festival grounds. Individuals may not bring in food or beverages for

Weapons Please leave your weapons, including firearms, at home.

No Grills Or BBQs Per the City of Atlanta’s ordinance, no grills or BBQs are allowed in Piedmont Park during Class-A festivals, including Atlanta Pride. Patrons attempting to bring grills or BBQs onsite are subject to ticketing by the Atlanta Police Department.

distribution. Outside alcohol in quantities deemed

No Smoking

greater than that for personal consumption will be

Per the City of Atlanta’s ordinance, no smoking is

viewed as “intent to distribute” and confiscated.

allowed in Piedmont Park. Patrons attempting to

No Pets Allowed Per the City of Atlanta’s ordinance, no pets are allowed

smoke onsite are subject to ticketing by the Atlanta Police Department.

in Piedmont Park during Class-A festivals, including

Pride Information

Atlanta Pride. Patrons attempting to bring animals

Information, including maps, is available throughout

onsite are subject to ticketing by the Atlanta Police

the park. The Atlanta Pride App may also be

Department. Service animals are exempt from this

downloaded for free and contains the most up to date


schedule and park information.


No Bikes, Skateboards, etc.


Use of bicycles, vehicles, skateboards, scooters

ATMs are located throughout the Festival Grounds.

or skates/roller blades is prohibited on the festival grounds during the Atlanta Pride Festival (except assistive devices). A Bike Valet station is located in the Meadow near the BeltLine.

Notice The Atlanta Pride Committee, as the event organizer, reserves the right to decline admittance to anyone who violates the reasonable policies established for


public safety or to restrict activities, such as vending or

Unauthorized vendors are prohibited from selling or

soliciting, to designated areas.

giving away items and from conducting surveys or solicitations while on the festival grounds. No roaming vendors are allowed.

Law Enforcement Please be advised that the Atlanta Police Department is responsible for enforcing all applicable state laws and local ordinances during Atlanta Pride events. Such statutes may include, but are not limited to: public decency, alcohol, controlled substances, public safety, and standard vehicle insurance requirements.

Lost Children ¡ Lost And Found We do not operate a lost and found service for items or people. Lost children should be taken to the Coca-Cola Stage and every effort will be made to locate the child’s parent or guardian.

First Aid First Aid is available on site and qualified medical personnel will assist you. If you are feeling ill or get injured, please seek help at one of these locations.

VIP Viewing Area Located in the Meadow in front of the Coca-Cola Stage, this gated seating area is available to festival-goers who have purchased a VIP Festival Pass. Purchase passes online before the Festival or onsite if they are available.



Sun., Oct. 15, 2017 | Empire State South

999 Peachtree St., N.W., Atlanta, GA

10:30 AM Doors Open, Cash Bar Available • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Open Bar 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Brunch Service • 2:00 PM Event Ends Celebrate Atlanta Pride at the 16th Annual HRC Atlanta Pride Brunch, the official brunch of Atlanta Pride! Guests will be treated to two hours of complimentary cocktails and a delicious Southern brunch catered by Empire State South - while watching the Atlanta Pride Parade from the best location on the parade route! Join us for fun, music from DJ CANVAS, brunch, cocktails and more - as we celebrate our PRIDE! 100% of the proceeds benefit HRC’s essential work in Georgia and around the country. Tickets: Each ticket includes brunch catered by Empire State South, bottomless cocktails and annual HRC membership or renewal. Early Bird Deadline expires 8/10. General Admission: $100 - Includes admission. (Early Bird $75) VIP Admission: $150 - Includes reserved seating, $20 Lyft credit to or from the event and an exclusive HRC gift bag. (Early Bird $125) Host Committee: $400 - Name recognition on all print and digital marketing + reserved seating, $20 Lyft credit to or from the event and an exclusive HRC gift bag. VIP Table: $1,500 - 10 Vip Tickets w/ Premier Seating (Early Bird $1,250) Tickets are transferable, but non-refundable. Please contact with any questions.


*The Atlanta Pride Parade will pass by the event beginning at approximately 12:30 p.m.

For sponsorship inquiries or other questions, please email

Buy tickets today at


Corporate Sponsors Presenting




Community Sponsors


A hotel for every occasion Whether it’s an overnight stay, couples getaway or honeymoon, business trip, or a once-in-a-lifetime experience, our family of hotel brands with nearly 5,200 properties in almost 100 countries provides the perfect hotel for every need. For more information or to book your next reservation, visit IHG® proudly supports the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival and its vision for a united, visible and equal world.


*IHG® Rewards Club not applicable to Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants; to be included at a future date.

you’re prepared for what’s ahead.

At PNC Bank, we understand everyone’s financial goals are unique. That’s why we offer products and services relevant to every stage in life. No matter who you are or where you’re going, our tools and guidance can provide the insight you need to help take you there, today and for years to come.

©2017 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC MULTI PDF 0415-0118-191501


limited edition pride pin available at Hard rock atlanta a portion of the proceeds will be donated to atlanta pride

located on tHe corner oF andreW YoUnG intl & peacHtree St.


©2014 Hard Rock Cafe International

join hardrockr ©2016 2017 Hard Rock Cafe International (USA), Inc. All rights reserved.

46 UNT425AT14_Atlanta Directional Posters_Rock Shop exit_11x14.indd


With 44 4,000 em ploy ees, U PS kn o w s the pow er of diversity. U PS is pro ud to s up port A tla nta Pride!

#UPSpride |


The Pointer Sisters

Rita Ora Jason Maek & Zaena MAX

Hero the Band DJ Tracy Young

DJ Nick Ayler

Michel Jons Band

Madison Beer

48 Ty Herndon

Arrested Development

DeJ Loaf

Coca-Cola Stage


2:00 pm Hero the Band

3:00 pm Jason Maek & Zaena

3:55 pm Madison Beer*

4:50 pm MAX*

5:45 pm Arrested Development

6:55 pm Rita Ora*

7:45 pm DeJ Loaf*

8:50 pm The Pointer Sisters


3:30 pm Michel Jons Band

4:40 pm Ty Herndon

5:40 pm DJ Nick Ayler

6:35 pm DJ Tracy Young

7:30 pm Starlight Cabaret

*sponsored by iHeart Media All times subject to change, please check the Atlanta Pride app for the latest performance information. 49

DJ Canvas Tangina Stone


Johnathan Celestin

Chelsea Shag


DJ Mark DeMarko


11:00 am House Music

12:00 pm Comedy Block

2:10 pm Tangina Stone

3:00 pm Johnathan Celestin

3:50 pm Prisca

4:40 pm Norwood

5:35 pm Chelsea Shag

6:40 pm Queer Your Gender

Bud Light Stage

Dance Party with DJ Canvas Sunday

2:30 pm House Music

3:30 pm DJ Mark DeMarko All times subject to change, please check the Atlanta Pride app for the latest performance information.



11:00 am House Music

12:00 pm Literary Block

2:20 pm Heather Mae

3:10 pm Evan Greer

4:00 pm The Cover Girlz

4:50 pm MonteQarlo

5:40 pm TOMBOi


2:30 pm House Music

3:30 pm Youth Block

The Cover Girlz

Nissan Stage

Evan Greer

Heather Mae




listen to very little country music. Outside of a few

Thankfully, Herndon had a great support system,

recognizable names like Dolly Parton and Johnny

something a lot of people consider a rarity for

Cash, I know very little about the genre. I approached

Southerners. According to the Alabama native, that’s

this interview with Ty Herndon with trepidation but in

misconception. “People always say ‘that’s so unusual.’

less than a minute, we were gabbing like a couple of

I think there’s a lot of affirmation coming from the

cousins sipping sweet tea on someone’s porch. His

South but the people who disagree scream louder,” he

Southern drawl and hearty laugh would make anyone

said. He believes that homophobia and intolerance

feel at home.

is a problem, regardless of location. “There’s also a lot

He is forthcoming and while many stars say they’re a supposed open book, Herndon means it. After all, he has quite the story.

of families all over the United States and all over the world whose children are killing themselves because they’re not affirming and they’re thrown out of their houses, churches and families.”

Herndon made history when he came out in 2014. It wasn’t an easy decision. He knew that coming out as a gay in an industry that promotes a more traditional type of masculinity was risky. “Being a man in country music was a little bit different. People might say it’s a little bit scarier to come out as a guy but I really had to get myself in a place where I needed

Ty Herndon

to be in my most authentic skin,” said Herndon. He was aware that leaving the closet could ruin his career and it was a sacrifice he was willing to make. Being in the closet proved to be stifling. “If that meant I didn’t get to do music, country music, that was okay with me. I was willing to sacrifice that because it meant more for me to be as authentic as possible for the rest of my days.” Herndon also credits the example of his “dear friend” Chely Wright, another country star that came out in 2010. Seeing Wright live happily after her revelation inspired his own.


By Ashleigh Atwell

“I went from this vibrant kid to very shy and withdrawn child. I became broken in an instant and it lasted well into my adulthood.”

In addition to his family, Herndon had his longtime partner, Matt Collum, by his side. A public coming out and lifestyle can be detrimental to a romance doubly so if both partners had to come out to someone. While Collum was out to his family, his coworkers were still in the dark. Thankfully, they were also supportive. The couple continues to thrive and Herndon jokes that Collum tends to take the spotlight. “The first red carpet we did, there were 250 flash bulbs and I said, ‘I don’t think they’re taking my picture babe, they’ve seen me before ‘I think they’re focused all on you,” he said with a laugh. “He just gives them his pretty smile and that’s it.”


hile Herndon’s life has been a happy one since coming out, he has had his share of trouble

including two failed marriages, an arrest and addiction. Like many LGBT folks, Herndon’s struggles began as negative messages with little to no examples to contradict them. “I went from this vibrant kid to very shy and withdrawn child. I became broken in an instant and it lasted well into my adulthood,” Herndon admitted. Nonetheless, he has no regrets. If anything, his past drives his passion for helping others and forwarding what he calls “the fight.” For this crooner, music is a unifying force. “I am finding out that music is universal, especially country. We’re singing about everybody’s lives,” he said. “I write a song about my life and when I sing it, people are like “gosh man, that song was so much about my life.” And I’m like “that’s just what we have in common.”



I AM HOPE. 27 th Annual AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run October 22, 2017 Register at: Tweet @aidswalkatlanta #AWA5K #Packthepark

Presented by:


“We were seen as dangerous” A conversation with artist Nabil Mousa by Andrew Alexander


his September, Atlanta artist Nabil Mousa revisits

4:00 p.m. and September 11

his interactive work Judgement Day, inviting

from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at

viewers to commemorate the events of 9/11 by helping

which times viewers are invited to

to fill several panels of a movable wall with their

come add thoughts, names or images to

thoughts and reflections. The work-in-progress was

the panels, with various art materials on

originally begun in 2012 and is meant to help create


understanding and dialogue between different cultures in an often-divisive environment.

Among the participants will be refugees from his native Syria, recently relocated to the Clarkston area.

“After 9/11, a lot of attention was brought to people

“Since 2012, the work has taken a whole new

from the Middle East and not in a positive way,” says

meaning,” he says. “Things have gotten a lot worse.

Mousa, who was born in Syria but who grew up in the

The refugee crisis has gotten out of control. When we

United States. “All of a sudden we were seen as

talk about 15 million refugees worldwide, it’s such a

dangerous. It really became a problem. I had never

big number, nobody can connect with it. It’s too much

experienced that kind of racism before . . . I wanted to

to take it in. If I can bring it to a personal level.” Mousa’s

do the project to bring people together so they can

own family emigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s when he

meet people from the Middle East. People need to

was 12 years old, fulfilling his parents’ longtime dream

understand we’ve lived together for thousands of

of coming to this country in search of a better life.

years, and we’re all connected in one way or another.”


The work consists of several panels collaged with pages from the Bible, Torah and Koran, which will

ousa acknowledges that his work is bound to evoke any number of responses from

participants. “Some people are going to come in who

eventually form two separate walls measuring 10 by

are angry and some will be compassionate,” he says. “I

50 feet each. Open gallery hours will be held at

feel it’s important to have both. If we’re catering just to

Atlanta’s Gallery 874 on September 10 from 12 p.m. to


the people who are understanding, then the project is useless. I feel it’s important to have the people who disagree with us to meet here and work on the wall and to write what they want. The goal is for

This article was originally published in, a non-

them to meet the people they disagree with or are

profit organization that

afraid of and hopefully walk away with a completely

promotes a healthy and

different feeling.”

vibrant arts community

The eventual goal is to have the finished panels travel as an exhibition. “I’m optimistic,” says Mousa about the


in metro Atlanta. Photo by Nabil Mousa.

potential for projects like his to bring people together. “I believe if we focus on the positive it will happen. No matter how bad things get, something can always rise above it all in the end. It’s everybody’s job to make sure we’re doing what we can to make it happen quicker.” 57

Grand Marshals

We honor people who have been in the struggle for decades and those who have answered recent and pressing calls for justice. A special Thank You to Cast Iron Studios for photographing this year’s Grand Marshals



he Atlanta Pride Committee has a mandate to capture and compliment the wide range of

diverse activists among us. The Pride Festival is a celebratory space, and our community deserves to be celebrated, but the work of a Pride organization is more than throwing a party. The selection of Grand Marshals not only allows us to recognize the people and organizations who have made and are making contributions to the Atlanta LGBTQ community; it also allows us to enact Atlanta Pride’s mission by bringing attention to the causes that are important to our organization and community.

Grand Marshal Nomination Process Nominations from the community were accepted for 2017 Atlanta Pride Grand Marshals. Nominees do not have to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. We welcome heterosexual allies as nominees.

This year, among our Grand Marshals, we are so proud to name people organizations, and causes as diverse as the rainbow we represent.

Nominees of all gender identities and expressions are welcome. They are not required to be political in nature. Individual nominees must reside in Georgia. Organizational nominees must be based in Georgia. We encourage the nomination of individuals or groups that have ties to our local and state communities. We do not accept nominations of individuals currently campaigning for political office, as this may give the appearance of an endorsement. 59


amie Roberts is a native of Griffin, Georgia. Her father was thirty-year employee of Delta Airlines

and her mother was a homemaker and bookkeeper. Jamie graduated from Griffin-Spalding County High School in 1990 where she was captain of her Academic team among other things and found her place in the precarious social climate of secondary education as a crucial link between the nerds, the geeks, the popular kids and the athletes. She began her college career at Gordon College (known to Griffinites as 13th grade), later transferring to Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville where she majored in Psychology, binge drinking, and substance abuse

Jamie Roberts She / Her / Hers

while quietly struggling with her sexual orientation and gender identity. Several arrests and a marriage and divorce later she got her law degree at the University of Georgia where she began a 17-year career as a public interest attorney and public defender. She lives now in East Lake in Dekalb County with her beloved partner Becky Rafter and their three cats in a Co-Housing Community.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2016 Atlanta Pride Festival? It means that I must be doing something right, that myself or one of the organizations for which I volunteer has touched someone’s life for the better, and that I should keep doing what I’m doing. It means that I’ve served my community to a degree that people noticed and responded favorably. It fills me with feelings of love and validation from my beloved community. What is one issue that you are passionate about, and how does that inform your work? I’m a native Georgian who came to Atlanta to actualize and express myself in my full humanness, like many other folks who come here from all over the south and the nation. I’ve been lucky to have access to the resources I’ve needed to help me in that journey, and over time I recognized in many ways that others


who come to Atlanta for the same reasons are not so lucky. I feel that our state, our cities, and our well-off citizens can do a lot more to provide much needed resources to make sure everyone who comes here for a better life gets what they need in terms of material resources like housing, health care, food, and supportive services. How can Atlanta Pride best support your efforts in the community? Pride is the time of year when we come together as a family in the same physical space in a way that doesn’t happen at any other time of the year. It’s a powerful platform to inform folks about the mission of Trans Housing Atlanta Program and to provide the validation and credibility we need to gain more trust from the broader community.


avid Cowan, Freelance Deaf Interpreter, resident of Atlanta, Georgia since 1998. Been interpreting

at Atlanta Pride, Black Lives Matter protest, Anti-Trump protest, Orlando Pulse Vigil at Center for Civil & Human Rights, and the Women’s March. Graduated from Gallaudet University, the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the world, located in Washington, D.C. Worked for Gallaudet Interpreting Services for 8 years. I’m also an actor for ASL Films Company, the name of the movie is called “Beyond the Embers”. When I am not working or volunteering, I enjoy spending time at my lakehouse at Norris Lake, boating and water-skiing. Also traveling to San Francisco and Hawaii.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2016 Atlanta Pride Festival? I am so honored and humbled to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival. It really touched my heart that the Atlanta Pride Committee and the Gay community does recognize my work as Deaf Interpreter for several years. What is one issue that you are passionate about, and how does that inform your work? I’m passionate about language accessibility. ASL (American Sign Language) is our native language. My work is about translating from English to ASL. My passion is to reduce the language deprivation by providing accessibility to ASL. How can Atlanta Pride best support your efforts in the community? In order to support my efforts to the Deaf Community, please bring back the set up area for Deaf people to the front of the stage. It has been in the front of the stage for several years. For some reason, someone decided to push the space back and put a large TV screen which made it difficult to read the fingerspelling. The large TV screen has very poor quality. The stage and the interpreters should remain in the same area. It’s impossible to watch the interpreter on the screen and watch the performance on the stage at the same time.

David Cowan He / Him / His


What does it mean to you to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival? I am honored that someone(s) in our community thought of me and appreciates the work I have been doing for the past eight years both locally and around the country. I feel special. What is one issue that you are passionate about, and how does that inform your work? I am passionate about de-colonizing how we live, including how our mainstream LGBT movements function, and who they uplift. I aim to bring more visibility for LGBT Native Americans/two-spirit people and make strong connections between them and Black LGBT people. How can Atlanta Pride best support your efforts in the community? Have an indigenous person open the ceremonies in the park with a invocation (welcome to the land).


oliday Simmons, MSW is a Black Cherokee transmasculine two-spirit activist, athlete, and

lover of babies, soccer, and the ocean. He has a background in Social Work, Education, and Performing Arts & Activism. Holiday is currently the Director of Community Education and Advocacy at Lambda Legal where he focuses on transgender rights, police violence, Black resiliency, and LGBT Native Americans and two-spirit magic. He is a proud Southerner based out of Atlanta, GA.

Holiday Simmons He / Him / His



HRC is a

communitybased wellness

Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition

organization committed to promoting health and dignity by reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, STI, and Substance Use within vulnerable communities. In 1994, AHRC grew out of concern about the high rate of HIV transmission among Atlanta’s injection drug users (IDUs). AHRC was formally incorporated in 1995 with the goal of educating IDUs and non-users, community leaders, public health, safety, and elected officials, and other organizations about the effectiveness of harm reduction strategies to reduce the transmission of HIV/ AIDS. AHRC is the only organization in Atlanta that focuses specifically on promoting harm reduction strategies not only to affected populations, but also to the broader community. Building trusting relationships between AHRC outreach workers and active drug users is the foundation upon which behavioral changes are built. AHRC is a prevention and wellness agency that is dedicated in serving IDU, multi-substance users, sex workers, and other marginalized population throughout counties of DeKalb and Fulton. Currently AHRC has several comprehensive programs, which

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival? As an organization, we are very proud to be a Grand Marshal for the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival. Our organization has been serving queer communities and communities of color since 1994 and we continue that mission today.  To be selected as a Grand Marshal means that the work we are doing with these communities have been validated and affirmed as positive reinforcement for the work that we do.  Our connection to these communities will always be a priority and we have been happy to serve in the past, we continue to work hard in the present, and strive to be innovative with the future, as we persevere in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. What is one issue that you are passionate about, and how does that inform your work? Our goals are to lower the rates of transmission of HIV, Hepatitis C, and other infections, by implementing harm reduction techniques.  Most people know us because we are one of the only organizations that has a syringe exchange program.  However, we provide much more than that.  Not only do we do free testing, we help people get linked to care, educate, and prioritize advocacy efforts that help our communities survive and thrive.  This has all been learned by seeing the devastation on our communities throughout the 80s and 90s and the current HIV epidemic. How can Atlanta Pride best support your efforts in the community? Atlanta Pride can best support our efforts in the community by highlighting the work we do and setting us up as a primary organization for testing, linkage to care, and harm reduction amongst queer communities and communities of color.  Our recent funding from the CDC has further attested to the work that we are doing and how well we are doing it.

include Syringe Exchange, HIV Prevention, Hepatitis C Prevention, Overdose Prevention, and Linkage to care. 63

VOX Teen Communications


OX Teen Communications is Atlanta’s home for uncensored teen publishing and self-expression.

They are a 24 year-old youth-development organization and are committed to providing a safe space for teens to explore the issues they care deeply about. VOX Teen Communications represents over 40 different schools throughout the metro Atlanta region, connecting teens to a safe and affirming space, resources and content written by teens and for teens as well as place to plug in and cover their community. They also partner with other organizations to amplify the voices of teens throughout Atlanta including Athena’s Warehouse, the Latin American Association, Kate’s Club and more. VOX is deeply committed to providing a safe space for teens to discuss the issues that matter to them including sex, sexuality, gender, identity, love, relationships, health and so much more in an environment that is inclusive and radically loving. 64

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival? VOX Teen Communications is Atlanta’s home for uncensored teen publishing and self-expression. We are a 24 year-old youth-development organization and have always been committed to providing a safe space for teens to explore the issues they care deeply about. To be recognized by our larger community as a place where LGBTQ-identifying teens find a safe and supportive space to explore their identities and experiences means so much to us as an organization. We will continue to grow as a result of this recognition in how we reach and support all of Atlanta’s teens. What is one issue that you are passionate about, and how does that inform your work? VOX Teen Communications is passionate about including the voices of teens in all that our community does. We believe that a healthy community not only includes but amplifies the voices of youth, especially young people who are often marginalized. Thus, VOX believes in giving a platform to teens to express their own experiences, explore their identities and develop as the leaders that they are. How can Atlanta Pride best support your efforts in the community? Atlanta Pride is supporting us by highlighting our work and giving us a further way to amplify the voices of the teens we serve. We are grateful for this opportunity. In the future, we would love to be connected to other organizations that are invested in supporting Atlanta’s teens.


andy Lane was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, but grew up a citizen of the world, living in a dozen US

states and half a dozen countries. She studied at the University of Hawaii and graduated from the University of Arizona ‘With High Distinction’. Sandy married Tom Lane in 1958 and during the 60s their family grew to include children, Sherri and Mark. Later they embraced daughters-in-law, Carolyn and Christine, and granddaughters, Allison and Ana, and numerous rescued dogs, cats, birds and

Sandy Lane

various rodents. Sandy has a strong sense of justice and fights passionately for causes she

She / Her / Hers

believes in– mostly in the civil rights arena. She taught about math and life to teenagers in Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Saudi

Arabia. For the past 24 years she has advocated for LGBTQ rights as President of PFLAG Albuquerque, State Chair for PFLAG New Mexico, Charter President of PFLAG Blairsville, and surrogate mom for anyone needing a mom’s love.She is all about creating unconditionally loving environments in homes, schools, churches, businesses and communities. Sandy has been awarded the Courageous Love Award by the Georgia Mountains Unitarian Church and recently, PFLAG Blairsville established a scholarship in her name to carry on her vision of safe places for LGBTQ youth to learn and thrive.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival? I am surprised and humbled by this honor. It is heart-warming when the people you volunteer with believe you are worth of recognition for doing the things you care about deeply. It means that I can share with many more people my vision for the North Georgia Mountain communities and hopefully enlist their support.

What is one issue that you are passionate about, and how does that inform your work? I am passionate about civil rights. During the 50’s and 60’s I was active in combatting racial inequality. When my daughter came out in 1981, I was ill-prepared to understand her experience as a lesbian. An early pre-PFLAG group that met at Druid Hills Unitarian Universalist Church in Atlanta helped educate me. Those experiences taught me that civil rights are not possible without education that replaces misinformation about minority people with accurate information. I approach

the task of educating the misinformed with a non-judgmental, generous, loving spirit that respects where they are and gently helps them question the accuracy of their prejudice. How can Atlanta Pride best support your efforts in the community? You already support our efforts by letting us participate in your PRIDE Parade. Perhaps, you could send a speaker to one of our monthly meetings to talk about PRIDE.



erry Gonzalez is the founding and current Executive

Gonzalez is a native of Laredo, TX and received his B.S.

Director of Georgia Association of Latino Elected

in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University

Officials (GALEO) and the GALEO Latino Community

in 1995. He completed his Master of Public

Development Fund. GALEO was founded in 2003 and is

Administration with a Nonprofit Administration

a 501 (c) (6) statewide nonprofit and non-partisan

emphasis at the Andrew Young School of Public Policy

organization; its mission is to increase civic

at Georgia State University in 2005. Gonzalez was an

engagement and leadership development of the

active student at Texas A&M with diverse interests

Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia. The GALEO

including the Society of Mexican American Engineers

Latino Community Development Fund is a 501(c) (3)

and Scientists (MAES), the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band

nonprofit organization affiliated with GALEO.

(clarinet), and the Corps of Cadets. After graduation, Gonzalez served on the MAES National Board of Directors as a Regional Vice President.

Jerry Gonzalez He / Him / His

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival? It is a both a humbling experience and a great honor to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival.

Now, more than ever, the GLBT community must be visible and engaged in our policy matters to ensure elected and policy officials know we exist and are an integral part of many diverse communities across the country. Being out is one very important way to do that 66

and speaking about the issues that we care about is also important. Now is not the time to be silent, nor is it a time to be invisible and go back into the closet.  Thank you for the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival for the honor and for the inclusion in this year’s celebrations. What is one issue that you are passionate about, and how does that inform your work? Much of my life’s work has been dealing with immigrant rights.  We must always remember our nation’s roots as an

immigrant nation and always move towards embracing that history and ensuring our nation’s policies reflect our values of inclusion and acceptance. Our current immigration policies do not reflect our values of inclusion, respect of labor and contributions of immigrants, nor the rule of law.  We must continue to work to reform our immigration policy to ensure these values are upheld and we move forward with an effective and robust immigration policy that embraces our values. How can Atlanta Pride best support your efforts in the community? Atlanta Pride is still important to bring diverse community members together and celebrate who we all are.  Everyone who will be coming out to celebrate with us should also be encouraged to engage, act and participate in our democracy to ensure our voices are heard at all levels of government.  We do live in uncertain times in the world today where gays are openly being persecuted and tortured in Russia and elsewhere around the world.  Here at home, there are efforts to undermine the successes our movement has had towards greater GLBT protections for our families by sowing division and discord.  Now, we must all work together to be out, to be proud, to be engaged, to be vocal about who we are, and to demand respect for our families and communities.  So, the Atlanta Pride community can help encourage and challenge all of us to engage in ways to ensure our voices are heard.

Planned Parenthood Southeast


lanned Parenthood Southeast (PPSE) is a trusted healthcare provider, skilled prevention educator, and passionate advocate, delivering

vital reproductive health care and sex education to thousands in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Their mission is to provide voluntary family planning services and education that enhance personal and social understanding of human sexuality. They advocate for public policies that guarantee reproductive rights and access to health care. And, we support and encourage advances in reproductive technology. They believe in the fundamental right of each individual to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, or residence. PPSE’s story began In 1930, when a Planned Parenthood affiliate was created in Birmingham, Alabama, the oldest in the Southeast. Then, in 1964, another affiliate was opened in Atlanta, Georgia. Services were added in Mississippi in 1989 and all three states joined forces in 2010 under the name Planned Parenthood Southeast. Planned Parenthood Southeast (PPSE) meets the healthcare needs of more than 16,000 women and men in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2017 Atlanta Pride Festival? It is an honor to be recognized by our community as a Grand Marshal for the 2016 Atlanta Pride Festival and we are delighted to participate! What is one issue that you are passionate about, and how does that inform your work? We recognize that the LGBTQ community has unique health needs and at PPSE, we are committed to providing nonjudgmental care to everyone, regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, age, religion, disability, residence, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. How can Atlanta Pride best support your efforts in the community? Atlanta Pride can best support us by helping us make connections with other like-minded organizations so that we can support one another’s missions. .


OUR SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY IS OPEN TO EVERYONE. Atlanta Marriott Hotels proudly support the LGBTQ community as a Rainbow sponsor of the Atlanta Pride Festival. With over 80 Atlanta area hotels, no matter where you stay, count on Marriott to welcome your individuality with open arms. #LoveTravels

Learn more at



Community Reinvestment


upporting other community

organizations is at the heart of the Atlanta Pride Committee’s work. Since 2005, APC has reinvested more than $175,000 in other worthwhile causes

DeKalb Fostering Love & Grace Association

Pride School Atlanta, Inc

Delta Phi Lambda Sorority Inc

Relationship Equality Foundation

East Point Possums

Rustin Lorde Breakfast

in cash, event sponsorship, and

Georgia Equality


festival assets in the last year

In the Life Atlanta, Inc.

including the recipients of the 2016


Indivisible Georgia Sixth District

Southerners on New Ground, Inc.

ITLA Parade

South Georgia Pride, Inc.

Jerusalem House

Southern Fried Queer Pride

through profit sharing from in park donation and grantmaking from our Community Outreach Fund. These organizations are some of the recipients of more than $40,000

election rapid response grants.

ACLU of Georgia Ahimsa House AID Atlanta Alphabet Soup Angkor Resource Center Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta Leather Pride Atlanta Philharmonic Augusta Pride, Inc. Black Lives Matter Atlanta BWMT Atlanta Center for Pan Asian Community Services Charis Circle Columbus Pride 70

Justaposed Center for Transformation Lation LinQ

Queer Moxie

Southern Unity Movement, Inc

March for the Gurlz Stop Killing Black Trans Women

The Bellies to Babies Foundation


Education Alliance

Partnership Against Domestic Violence

Wonderroot Atlanta

The Gentlemen’s Metro Atlanta Association Foundation of Professionals THRIVE SS, Inc National Queer Pacific TILTT, Inc. Islander Alliance Tiny Doors Atlanta ONYX Southeast Trans Housing Atlanta OurSong Program Inc OutlantaCon Transgender Health &


Out On Film

OUT ON FILM Atlanta’s LGBT film festival returns this year with a bang — its landmark 30th anniversary event, scheduled for 11 days: September 28 – October 8, 2017, at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema and Out Front Theatre Company. Here are some of the highlights You can check out the entire schedule at 72

After Louie “After Louie” follows Sam (Alan Cumming), an artist and activist from ACT UP who lived through the early years of HIV/AIDS — a man scarred and still struggling with survivor’s guilt. Cemented into an oppressive past, he is bewildered by a younger generation of carefree gay men with their uninhibited use of social media, sexting, and seeming political indifference. But when he meets the seductive young Braeden (Zachary Booth) at a bar late one night, their pants quickly come down and, eventually, so does Sam’s ossified guard. As the pair become increasingly intimate, an intergenerational relationship blossoms between them-one capable of reawakening Sam’s artistic soul and reviving his wilted heart.

A Date for Mad Mary “A Date for Mad Mary” tells the story of “Mad” Mary McArdle, returning to Drogheda after a short spell in prison – for something she’d rather forget. Back home, everything and everyone has changed. Her best friend, Charlene, is about to get married and Mary is maid of honor. When Charlene refuses Mary a ‘plus one’ on the grounds that she probably couldn’t find a date, Mary becomes determined to prove her wrong. But her attempts at dating are a disaster and she winds up feeling more alone. until she meets Jess and everything changes.

Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall Todrick Hall launches his most ambitious project yet: the full-scale original musical, Straight Outta Oz. From a small town in Texas to big-time show business, comes an inspiring documentary of grit, perseverance and the redemptive power of art. We watch him struggle to write songs about growing up gay and black in small-town Texas, his difficult relationship


with his mom, and the harsh realities of trying to make

“Chavela” is the captivating portrait of barrier-breaking

it in show business. With limited time and budget the

Mexican ranchera singer Chavela Vargas whose

odds are against him, but Todrick’s passion and his

international fame peaked after a triumphant return to

team of talented performers overcome all obstacles to

the stage at the age of 71.Born in Costa Rica in 1919,

bring this story to the world.

Chavela Vargas ran away to Mexico City as a teenager to sing in the streets. By the 1950s, she had become a household name, delivering her performances with a raw passion and unique voice. Just as influential were her cultural contributions; Chavela was a bold, rebellious, sexual pioneer who defied gender and sexuality stereotypes at a time when being “out” was often dangerous.”Chavela” centers around a 1991 interview--the singer’s first public appearance after 15 hard years lost to alcoholism and heartbreak. In the final years of her life, Chavela rises into her momentous third act, achieving international fame, a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, and becomes a muse to many, including filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar.


God’s Own Country Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor) is a young Yorkshire sheep farmer who is emotionally shut off through drink and the necessity to keep his family’s farm going after his father is partly paralyzed with a stroke and his grandmother is too old to work. When lambing season comes around, his father and grandmother organize help in the form of Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe Ionescu (Alec Secareanu)

Hello Again Ten lost souls are followed through 10 periods in New York City history, falling in and out of relationships with each other. The film stars Martha Plimpton, Audra McDonald, T.R. Knight, Rumer Willis, Cheyenne Jackson and is directed by Tom Gustafson of “Were the World Mine” fame

Saturday Church 14-year-old Ulysses (Luka Kain) is a shy and effeminate teen being raised in the Bronx raised by his strict Aunt Rose (Regina Taylor). He finds escape in a rich fantasy life of music and dance, and soon with a vibrant transgender youth community called Saturday Church. Damon Cardasis’ directorial debut is a rousing celebration of one boy’s search for his identity.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson Who killed Marsha P. Johnson? When the beloved, self-described “street queen” of NY’s Christopher Street was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992, the NYPD called her death a suicide. Protests erupted but the police remained impassive and refused to investigate. Now, 25 years on, director David France (How to Survive a Plague) examines Marsha’s death — and her extraordinary life — in this new film. Marsha arrived in the Village in the 1960s and teamed up with Sylvia Rivera. Together, the radical duo fought arrests, condemned police brutality, organized street kids, battled the intolerant majority within the gay community, and helped spearhead the Stonewall Riots. 74

The Fabulous Allan Carr Armed with a limitless Rolodex and a Benedict Canyon enclave with its own disco, Allan Carr threw the Hollywood parties that defined the 1970s. A producer, manager, and marketing genius, Carr built his bombastic reputation amid a series of successes including the mega hit musical film “Grease” and the Broadway sensation “La Cage Aux Folles,” until it all came crashing down after he produced the notorious debacle of the 1989 Academy Awards.

Princess Cyd “Princess Cyd” follows 16-year-old athlete Cyd Loughlin (Jessie Plinck) while visiting her novelist aunt (Rebecca Spence) in Chicago over the summer. Eager to escape life with her depressive single father, Cyd falls for a girl in the neighborhood, while she and her aunt gently challenge each other in the realms of sex and spirit. From director Stephen Cone, who also directed the award-winning films “The Wise Kids” and “Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party.”

I Dream in Another Language A young linguist travels to the jungle of Mexico to research a language on the verge of disappearing. Once there, he discoverers its last two speakers clashed 50 years ago, and have refused to speak to each other since. Attempting to reunite them, the researcher discovers a secret past—and a forbidden gay love story.


Tom of Finland Award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture. Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II, but life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. He finds post-war Helsinki rampant with homosexual persecution, and men around him even pressured to marry women and have children. Tokuo finds refuge in his liberating art, specializing in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhabitations. His work – made famous by his signature “Tom of Finland” – became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution.

Signature Move “Signature Move” is a comedic and heartfelt look at

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

modern families and the complexities of love in its

“The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin” examines the

many forms. Zaynab (Fawzia Mirza) is a Pakistani,

life and work of one of the world’s most beloved

Muslim lawyer living in Chicago who begins a new

storytellers, following his evolution from a

romance with Alma (Sari Sanchez), a confident

conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights

Mexican-American woman.

pioneer whose novels have inspired millions to claim

Zaynab’s recently widowed mother Parveen (Shabana Azmi) has moved in and spends her days watching Pakistani TV dramas while searching for a potential husband for her only daughter. Zaynab tries to keep her secrets from her mother, who knows more than she lets on.

their own truth. Jennifer Kroot’s documentary about the creator of “Tales of the City” moves nimbly between playful and poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. With help from his friends (including Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, and Sir Ian McKellen), Maupin offers a disarmingly frank look at the journey that took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the bathhouses of 70’s San Francisco to the front line of the American culture war.



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Coming Out Sober by Alison Hastings


came out the summer Hurricane Katrina barged in and almost everyone in my life celebrated. My

mother, playing it cool said, “I’ve always known you were queer. You’ve been obsessed with Joan of Arc

calms soon as its Monday … Nope. As soon as

since you were 5 years old. You like girls who dress like

I came out, all the levees broke.

boys.” My best friends, most of whom were straight, propped me up and pledged allyship in the form of enthusiastic trips to My Sister’s Room, loving words and a little pink triangle sticker that mysteriously ended up on the bumper of my Mitsubishi Mirage. My Italian Catholic grandmother called from Long Island to say as long as I’m happy, she’s happy. Coming out was a breeze.

I came out the summer Hurricane Katrina barged in. And I was an alcoholic. It took until October 24, 2006 to finally get sober. I’m not sure where New Orleans was in its recovery by that point but I image we were similar. Soggy, broken, disoriented with just the slightest bit of sunlight starting to shine through the cracks. While I could never imagine the kind of devastation people experienced during this hurricane,

I came out the summer Hurricane Katrina barged in

hitting bottom is its own kind of storm. It was time to

ready for change. My heavy drinking phase will end

come out again. Do they make cute little stickers that

now that I’ve left my husband (15 years of heavy

signify clean livin’? One to match my pink triangle?

drinking is still considered a phase, right?) and I’ll

Coming out sober was...not like coming out queer.

finally stop self-medicating. I’ll be free to be me. I’ll

Friend: “You can’t even have one glass of wine?” Me: “If

sober right up and help the victims of Katrina like the

I drink a glass of wine I’ll steal your drugs and have sex

rest of Atlanta. I’ll stop drinking two bottles of wine

with your boyfriend. Or girlfriend. Or both.” The people

with some whiskey to wash it down immediately! … as

around me got really paranoid. I mean, I was the one

soon as I don’t need it to digest all of that suffering in

with a drinking problem … why were my friends acting

New soon as I finish celebrating my

so strange when they order a drink in front of me? “Can

divorce … as soon as my brand new beautiful queer

you still eat tiramisu??” I left my cis-gender husband of

relationship stops being so intense … as soon as work

over a decade to be with a transgender performance


I WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT GRADY. I BECAME INFECTED WITH HIV 28 YEARS AGO. A year later, it converted to AIDS. Ten years later, I was given 30 days to live. I moved to Atlanta and connected with the Grady Ponce De Leon Center, Infectious Disease Program. That’s where it happened for me. I found there was this army of people who not only had the clinical know-how to save you; they also showered everyone with compassion and respect. These people are really heroic. It’s an amazing place to get well.

Peter Byrd


artist who was 10 years my junior and me not drinking is weird?!? Over time, gratefully, this dynamic shifted. The strangeness of my sobriety became normal and then the normal became appreciated and then the appreciation became reverence. 11 years this month and I’m still sober and the life of the party more now than I ever was before. It doesn’t mean I don’t do crazy things. It’s just that I now remember all the crazy things I do. In my early days of not drinking I

Proud to be a sponsor o f t he Atlanta Pride Festival

said to a friend, “I’m afraid I’ll be boring.” With her

We share your goal to improve the lives of those who live and work in our communities.

people I met a long the way. “You’re gay?!?” and “You

southern lilt she replied,” Ali, if you’re bored, you’re boring!” I took that as a challenge and have cultivated a life full of spirituality (in the form of yoga), creativity (in the form of theatre and writing) and love (in many forms). To me, being sober and being queer have the same flavor. Both feel rebellious and like a responsibility. Queer sex and sober sex are equally earthshaking. And both at the same time … *swoon*. I insist on talking about my queer femme identity and my sobriety because if I don’t, who will? Much like my queer identity, my sobriety comes as a surprise to new don’t drink?!?” are not unfamiliar questions. I enjoy being the most sober person in the room AND the person with the loudest laugh (probably doing something ridiculous). I’m also amused and satisfied when, after meeting me, I witness a person process the reality that queer people can “look” surprisingly familiar to them. Not quite the girl next door but something along those lines. Living queer and living clean. Proud to do both.

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Grady neighborhood centers of fer adult, senior, family and pediatric care. Pharmacy, lab, and x-ray services available at most locations.

To schedule an appointment, call (404) 616-5800 85

The Rocky Horror Show Oct 19 - Nov 5


Pride Safety Tips Travel with a buddy or in a group Whenever possible, try to travel/cruise with at least one other person.

→→ Legal Name

Make sure you have their number(s) written down and in your wallet or on your arm/hand in case your phone dies or is confiscated.

→→ Birthday

Some folks wear matching hats, or color coordinate for fabulousity and for ease of finding each other in crowds.

→→ Medication that I am on in case of emergency or arrest

Traveling/cruising together is also a way to pool resources and create more safety when getting to and from pride. Have a Safety Plan Make sure your crew knows the following information about you and you know the following information about your crew:

→→ Name

→→ Gender marker on my documentation

→→ Health Needs (e.g. diabetic, allergies)

→→ Emergency Contact Name and Number (in Case of Arrest or medical emergency) Your safety plan can also include: →→ Things you may need in case you experience harm or are triggered during the pride events (e.g. making sure I have water and move me to a quiet space).

→→ Folks who you are in conflict with and who you do not want to engage with (e.g. if so-and-so shows up, please just stay next to me and encourage me to keep moving away from them). Have a Designated Meet up Spot Have a spot that is somewhat removed from the inside of the pride festivities that you can all go to in case you are separated. It is a good idea to meet there beforehand so folks know how to find this spot. A nearby coffee shop, or a corner on a less busy intersection, somewhere where you can find each other easily and quickly. Carry Quarters on your Person Have a plan for getting home in advance

© Transgender Law Center


We March

By Staci Fox, President and

for LGBTQ Rights

Chief Executive Officer at Planned Parenthood Southeast

No Matter



wish you could have been with us at Planned

LGBTQ community and allies were rioting in the streets,

Parenthood Southeast the day we heard we had

standing up to police brutality and pushing back

been chosen as a Grand Marshal in this year’s Pride

against systematic discrimination, affirming everyone’s

Parade! Our offices were overflowing with joy, dancing

right to be themselves, safely and proudly. And today,

and happy tears. Celebrations like these are especially

the fight for full civil rights rages on.

meaningful, because it was just 48 years ago when the


Many people have since found the courage and support

We’ve been fighting for health care access and equity

to be their most authentic selves because of these

for 100 years and we will continue to fight until all

brave pioneers who came before them. And yet despite

people are treated fairly in health care and beyond.

the recent gains made in marriage equality and the

Today, we reaffirm our commitment to building a world

increasing visibility of LGBTQ people in American

where no one experiences discrimination because of

media, athletics, and politicshg, LGBTQ rights remain in

gender identity, gender expression, or sexual

the crosshairs. In the South especially, we face constant

orientation - NO MATTER WHAT. And on October 15 - we

attacks from politicians who are determined to strip

promise to bring the happenis and revulvalution all

away LGBTQ rights and push them back into the

decked out in pink to Atlanta Pride. See y’all at the

darkness of the closet.


We know that our LGBTQ patients face greater obstacles to obtaining and benefiting from sexual and reproductive health services. Those with layering


lanned Parenthood Southeast (PPSE) provides high-quality, affordable healthcare to women,

men, and teens in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.

identities — whether as a person of color, a person who

Our experienced and caring health center staff gives

may be low income, and/or someone who is

each client honest information and personal attention.

undocumented — can face even more barriers to care. It’s why at Planned Parenthood Southeast, we take pride in providing high-quality, compassionate health care in our communities, including vital health care services like cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment and birth control — regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity.


eyond direct health care services, we also know that LGBTQ youth lack accurate andqueer-

inclusive sex education. In light of that disparity, we strive to provide safe and supportive educational environments that allow everyone to get the information and support they need to make healthy decisions and feel comfortable in their identities. Here in the South, hostile political attacks have been

Our legacy began in 1930 when a Planned Parenthood affiliate was created in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1964, our Atlanta, Georgia affiliate was founded followed by our Mississippi health centers in 1989. In 2010, all three states united under name Planned Parenthood Southeast and continue our commitment to the health of women, men, and young people in the deep south. PPSE believes in the fundamental right of each individual to have access to regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, faith identity or immigration status. Our mission is to provide comprehensive sexual health care through the provision of reproductive health services, education and advocacy.

our reality for years. But in the past two years, we have seen some truly appalling bills and rhetoric targeting transgender and gender nonconforming people. These senseless “bathroom” laws invent a nonexistent issue and lead only to more discrimination and harassment. Atlanta’s Pride Parade is the perfect time for our city to stand firm against those who would seek to deny rights or services to anyone simply because of who they are or who they love.



In from the Storm by Leo Martinez


s I reflect on our current hurricane season, I see

We are determined to make the most of any situation

the parallel with what our community has lived

that is thrown at us and we are willing to make

through this year. The ghost of mega hurricanes is

sacrifices. Many of us are immigrants and know

looming for friends and family members and so is the

hardship. We suffer the rejection of our families and

uncertainty created by the current political climate. For

friends for being who we are, just as anybody else in

the Latinx LGBTQ community it has been a tumultuous

the LGBTQ community. Homophobia and transphobia

season. We seem to be getting it from all fronts, just

are part of our culture just as much as other cultures.

like going through a hurricane.

Not one bit more, not one bit less.

Our community has been affected by the recent rescission of DACA; by the systematic erasure of transgender folks in the military, in schools and other


co-founded Latino LinQ after working with folks in our community and finding that there were not

many resources available for those at the intersection

settings; by the ever increasing presence of racists and

of many identities: immigrant, transgender, gay,

bigoted groups in the wake of Charlottesville; by the

Latinx, etc. And some of the ones available were not

increased persecution of immigrants in all corners of

treating people right, and so we suffer from lack of

our nation; by the everyday micro-aggressions from

language access (a civil right protected by law!),

folks that we care about; and the list could go on.

increased new HIV infections, lack of access to

The intersectional nature of our community at times gives us oppressions, and at times privileges. However,

healthcare, lack of cultural competence by providers, rejection at shelters among other challenges.

the balance between the two it seems often times to

We are constantly pushing for a place at the tables of

hang in the negative. Our community is resilient. If

conversation and we are constantly rejected, but we

there was ever a way to describe the Latinx LGBTQ

are resilient and we will keep battling the storm. The

community, that would be it.

reason we do this is because, from time to time, we find allies that understand what we’ve been through and provide support in our journey. Our hope is that we can find more allies along the way and that the weather starts clearing up for us soon.


Amazin LêThi was born in Saigon and left in an

and language barriers that can keep them from getting

orphanage by her mother. As a young adult, Amazin

help. Anti-bullying programs particularly within the

was homeless for a period of time, moving in and out

school system empowers students, teachers and

of different shelters. While at her lowest point and

educators with the knowledge and tools to end

contemplating suicide, Amazin revisited her passion

bullying before it begins.

and love for sports and the arts, which she has used

How do you implement mentorship with youth?

and credited to this day as the driving force for helping her gain confidence and achieving her many goals and

It’s important that communities take an active role in

accomplishments. It was from this personal journey of

supporting LGBTQ youth and a large part of my

homelessness and her passion for sports that the

community work is about engaging not just community

Amazin LêThi Foundation was born to lift our most


by Vega Darling

Founder, Amazin LêThi Foundation · Global Ambassador: Athlete Ally marginalized youth out of poverty and integrate them

and business leaders but also governments and cities

back into society, and become leaders and mentors

to play a part in supporting our youth leaders and

through sports and educational programming.

mentors of tomorrow. Mentorship provides both

What prompted you to start your organization that focusses on sports and education? Sport is a slice of life, a language that everyone understands. It brings people together and is a powerful platform for social change. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for my involvement in sport as a bodybuilder and athlete. You learn invaluable life skills with sport that

professional and personal enrichment. Mentorship and storytelling from business and LGBTQ community leaders is a very big part of the Leadership Sports and Education Program I launched in Vietnam. It provides a source of inspiration and mirror image of the person that the youth can become and that’s important not just for LGBTQ youth but all youth.

you can apply to every area of your life. I’m using the

One of our collaborative partners from the program

platform of sport to advance LGBTQ equality in the

that we launched in Vietnam was Usher’s New Look

Asian community and to lift LGBTQ youth out of poverty

based in Atlanta. Mentorship to me also means

and homelessness.

bringing different youth groups from different global

Why are anti-bullying programs so important? Out of all ethnic groups Asian youth are bullied the most and it’s a double whammy for Asian LGBTQ youth who suffer racism and bullying from within the LGBTQ community by white LGBTQ, as well as, from the wider community. Many Asian American Pacific Islander youth who are bullied face unique cultural, religious, 92

communities together to share experiences and through the power of technology we were able to do that with the LGBTQ youth in Vietnam and Usher’s New Look youth in Atlanta and I hope to continue our collaborative partnership with them with our program in Vietnam and for when we launch in Atlanta.

Why is HIV/AIDS education necessary? We still haven’t got to an AIDS-free generation when adolescents (10-19) are the only age group among whom AIDS-related deaths are increasing. Almost 4 million young people aged 15-24 are living with HIV, many of whom do not know their HIV status. It’s so important that we keep educating youth and minority groups on sex and HIV/AIDS education. When we

“I suffered a tremendous amount of discrimination and bullying as a child and into my teenage years. I don’t want any youth to experience what I’ve gone through.”

normalize the issue only then will we begin to end the social stigma and discrimination that many people living with HIV suffer on a daily

LêThi and Vietnam Relief Services basis. Minority groups and refugees face cultural, religious, and language barriers that can make it difficult to learn about their HIV status and seek support so it’s important that HIV/AIDS education is made available to everyone.

How does sports tie into the other goals of the Amazin LêThi Foundation? Sport and physical education has shown to play an effective role in the fight against HIV/AIDS, homophobia, transphobia and anti-bullying. HIV/AIDS is considered in many minority communities as a taboo subject and by using sports as a platform to create a safe an informal space to discuss HIV/AIDS prevention through sports and games allows youth to learn about HIV/AIDS and the measure that they can take to protect themselves from risky behavior that could lead to an increased chance of HIV transmission. Sports coaches and mentors also


play a vital role in the fight against HIV/AIDS and

What’s next for you?

ending homophobia, transphobia and anti-bullying as

I’m speaking at True Color Fund 40 To None Summit on

they can offer support and guidance.

the 3rd of October on how we can use sports as a

You’re expanding to the US, why Atlanta? I plan to setup the organization’s global office in Atlanta. If you can change the South you can change America. I met quite a few homeless LGBTQ shelters in New York and my NGO is a friend and partner of Cyndi Lauper’s True Color Fund I learned from my discussions with them and the shelters that many of the youth that arrived in New York travelled from or through Atlanta and I thought why wait for them here when I could take my program to the heart of the problem. There are less programs in the South and the Asian LGBTQ voice is almost non-existent. I can create the most impact with my programming to support homeless LGBTQ and Asian LGBTQ youth by launching my program in Atlanta and another big advantage is it’s an amazing sport city and there is no current program in Atlanta for LGBTQ youth and sports.

platform to end LGBTQ youth homelessness. I’m also currently in talks with the City of New York and LGBTQ Institute in Atlanta to hold an event in summer of 2018 around using sport as a platform to advance LGBTQ equality in the Asian community. I’m also speaking to other cities across the US and numerous countries to tour with this event as this is a very important discussion within the community that hasn’t been had as yet as to why athletes like Jason Collins and Michael Sam are able to come out and have LGBTQ advocates and allies rally around them but why still we still don’t have a well known openly out AAPI athlete or AAPI allies raising their voice. Sports is a powerful platform to advance LGBTQ equality and when the AAPI community doesn’t see its AAPI athletes raising their voice or coming out this can have a negative impact on Asian LGBTQ youth struggling with their gender identity and sexual orientation and feeling alone and isolated on and off the playing field. We need to have this discussion out in the open to address the cultural barriers Asian LGBTQ face in the community.

Amazin LêThi with the former Vice President of the USA Joe Biden and his wife at a private reception at his home


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“As an organization, our passion lies in helping marginalized communities, such as Black folks, trans communities, and young Black men who have sex with men, as well as many others.” by Vega Darling

Marla Stewart Board Member of Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition


tlanta Harm Reduction Coalition is a community-

includes syringe exchange, HIV testing and STI testing.

based wellness organization committed to

As an organization, we have a long history of working

serving the most vulnerable populations in Atlanta.

in Vine City and English Avenue with our harm

AHRC’s mission is to serve the needs of individuals who

reduction focus. Heroin epidemic has been bad there.

require a higher level of care. AHRC promotes health

Syringe exchange helps alleviate HIV and Hepatitis C

and dignity to its clients by reducing the stigma and


impact of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, STIs, and substance use. AHRC offers comprehensive wrap-around services including STI testing, safer sex supplies, linkage to care, needle exchange, narcan kits, Healthy Meal Initiative brown bag lunches, counseling, support groups, direct services, KISS (Keeping Individual Sex Workers Safe), Mothers on the Move (services for mothers who need assistance departing from domestic violence), a Mobile Health Unit, as well as aiding in policy and research.

What does Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition do? AHRC is a community-based organization that helps people get back on their feet. We practice harm reduction, meaning that was use strategies that lower the risks associated with drug use and other self-endangering activity. This harm reduction 100

AHRC strives to help POC and marginalized communities in a holistic approach by offering access to those who lack access. Services AHRC currently offers includes, but is not limited to: testing for HIV/STIs, Healthy Meal Initiative, syringe exchange, mental health services, counseling about HIV/STIs and drug addiction, resources for sex-workers, and removing ‘gatekeepers’ for marginalized communities in terms of access to jobs, housing, food, IDs… the amount of services AHRC offers would be difficult to fully list here.

Who do you serve? We serve the most marginalized. We have historically been found in vice-ridden communities like The Bluffs, English Avenue, and Vine City. We also historically have served underserved, underrepresented communities, like transwomen of color, men who have sex with men, sex workers, drug addicted people.Who

we serve is not static, however. A large portion of the

touch with the needs of the communities they serve

ideals behind AHRC focus on being connected with

with outreach via social media, community hotspots,

what the most underserved populations need. We are

finding places where MSM are hooking up, reaching

extremely responsive to the changing social climate in

out to social spots across the city. This organization has

our communities.

been very receptive to the community reaching out and

How do you handle the stigma of HIV? Just as an example, The Bluffs have been devastated by vice. The revitalization of these areas goes back to finding strong voices to speak against these things.

educating people at queer events on many diverse and important issues. AHRC just has to ask the right questions, and seeking out community partners is the way to go about that.

This is where those powerful sex-worker voices, strong

What is AHRC’s hope for the future?

transwomen of color voices would be the loudest. We

Leaders in the community need to be shame-free,

handle stigma by surviving, we handle stigma by using

without stigma. In all our communities. We don’t have

our loud voices to advocate for policy change, to

enough examples of that in our LGBT community. We

advocate for those whose voices are too quiet.

have plenty of cis-black heterosexual HIV positive

Destigmatizing HIV is a main goal of AHRC. AHRC

women be vocal, but no HIV positive man/

understands the struggles of marginalized

transwoman, etc. Transwomen sex workers have

communities, and AHRC gives these folks the tools to

voices, but they never get hired consistently to talk

deal with their own situations. Some people just can’t

about their experiences… they just don’t get hired. We

quit using drugs. We meet our clients where they are,

want to prevent the HIV the best way we can

without judgment. Handling the stigma of HIV is

individually, and if it does happen, we’d like to help

complicated. HIV is no longer a death sentence, but

connect you with services to help you. Glasses, food,

social opinion is not as quick to change as science.

housing, whatever you need.

How does AHRC stay on top of the changing needs of the community?

How can you help AHRC help our community?

Currently, young black MSM and black transwomen are

Volunteering at AHRC, seeing the experience of folks at

two groups that lead in HIV transmission. AHRC stays

AHRC. A lot of people don’t understand their

true to their goals by actively changing their programs

circumstances, and don’t practice empathy until they

to continue to serve folks best. AHRC also

meet someone who has been adversely affected.

acknowledges the power of community members

Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition really lives by the

working within their own communities. AHRC has

motto: “See what people are going through. Don’t

recruited from within communities to best reach

judge or shame them. Just listen.”

marginalized communities. AHRC works with transwomen and men, men who have sex with men, sex-workers… anyone with a need. AHRC also stays in

Donating money is always welcome, because grants fall short. Pitching in to community driven organizations like us so that we can better our own communities. Educate yourself on public health crises here in Atlanta. Lawyers, think about advocacy and policies that can facilitate change. Join the AHRC board to make decisions about the direction of the organization. Referring others to AHRC for needs. For further information go to 101

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HIV Tried Me. It Lost: My First Year In College By Kaleb Anderson


he pediatrician said you need to come to the office immediately,” my mom quivered over the phone.

Hearing “immediately” commanded my heart to double time, and my stomach felt like it was being flushed down the toilet. The week before, I’d had a routine physical, and the doctor noticed large, swollen lymph nodes around my neck and in my groin area and that I had started to feel dizzy after standing up for more than 30 seconds. We

“I’m fine,” I replied with a smile on my face. Since I saw that my mother and now my doctor were on the edge of erupting with emotion, I was forced to be strong for them. And tears? Who has time for that. “Oh, OK, that’s good. Well, this is my first time delivering this news ,so I apologize if this does not come out the best way,” he said as his right hand

arrived to my pediatrician’s office 20 minutes later, and

braced his angsty, shaky left hand by the wrist.

he quickly guided us to a room and handed me a paper

“Well, your test came back positive for HIV. We didn’t

gown. He was acting almost like he had to get this news off his chest. My doctor at the time was finishing his last year of residency, and he was still learning how to handle tough news. This was my first check up with him since the pediatrician I had known for years had moved to another office. Changing in front on my mother that day seemed worse than any other day. First my hat, shirt, pants, then underwear — every layer came with an expectation to be vulnerable and accountable for whatever this “news” was my doctor

get enough blood for the test, but we still ran it. So, I want to draw more blood to confirm the test, and I will refer you to the Infectious Disease Clinic.” My mother’s eyes darted to me and she gushed out a fountain of tears. Everything felt colder, and I could not move or even emit a facial expression to react to the news. My mind sped back to those salacious, quick nights of lust. I remembered every house, hotel and condo I had visited during the past two years. I had

had for me.

been trying to cope with my actions without being

“Hey Kaleb, so how are you feeling?” my doctor asked

escape this anymore, and that realization numbed me.

with tears cradled in his eyes.

accountable for them in that moment. Now, I couldn’t Remembering every man that I gave my body to consolidated my stillness.


My mother stayed with me in the hospital for a week and supported me through two weeks of home treatment. Being diagnosed less than two months before I started college was depressing. I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation until I was in the hospital. If I would have gone off to college in the Midwest without being diagnosed, the winter would likely have killed me. Large doses of penicillin being pushed into my bloodstream by the hour made it hard to eat. Every time I ate, it felt like someone was inside of me pushing the food back up. I thought that giving up and dying from this stigmatized virus would be easier than waking up each day to fight for my life. “Come on Kaleb, let’s do this,” my mom said as she raised my hospital bed. “Can I just go back to sleep?” I responded as defeat consumed the little motivation I had to get out of bed to walk or to even shower. “No, you need to eat. I’m not going to let you give up.” She opened the tray of nauseating hospital food. Watching her spread ketchup on the hamburger bun was worse than the smell of it. She stabbed the lettuce doused in Italian dressing making sure to pick up a tomato and carrot on the way to my mouth. Her need to see me be healthy inspired me to get better for my loved ones, even if I did not feel like I was worthy enough to live.

The real fight starts now


wo months later, I arrived to campus 50 pounds heavier, with a 90-day prescription of meds and angst that this

transition into independence and accountability would be smooth. August 20, 2016, was the longest day ever. When I finally reached for the navy sheets, comforters and my Power Rangers pillow to make up my dormitory bed, it was 11:47 p.m. I bolted to the nearest bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos and bottle of water on my desk, punched the bag open to scarf down a couple chips and sprinted to the dresser to get one of my pills. This is what many nights at college would be like — almost forgetting to take the medicine that was keeping me alive. I also had to make sure every meal was balanced in proportions and included vegetables, and each week I had to schedule an hour or two to exercise. All of these tasks that are instrumental to living a healthy life seemed so tedious on top of adjusting to 105

predominantly white spaces, rigorous courses, and a

mind. The election of Donald Trump was a direct attack

suffocating, new social environment. At the dining hall

on my identity, and the bills and orders his

with friends, I was afraid to take my medicine at

administration would enact would further oppress

dinner, because I knew they would question me. Most

that identity. Trump’s election to office was a war

of my friends on campus were black, and I was aware

declaration. This instantaneous shift encouraged me to

of the stigma and stereotypes thrown on those in our

think about more than just surviving but how to thrive

community living with HIV. I knew my identity as a

in an environment expecting to see me whimper and

black man in Indiana would be under attack, but

assimilate. I not only needed to be strong for myself

adding that I am gay and HIV positive, I struggled with

but for other people of color.

being my authentic self in the first few months of college. After one too many nights of forgetting to take my medicine, I set a daily alarm on my phone at 10 p.m. to

HIV, back off of me


started hosting workshops on sex positivity and healthy relationships in an organization on campus

called Queer Students of Color. My role to educate

remind me. I also started leaving my room in the

others within my community was important to

morning with one pill in my book bag so when the

understand the plight of one another and in learning to

alarm went off, I would not have to sprint across

support each other in these tumultuous times. I was

campus to take it.

invited by a multicultural fraternity to share my story as

The more I accepted myself and my health improved, I

a person living with HIV.

started feeling comfortable taking my pills in front of

I also decided to run for the executive board of student

my friends. One night at my crew’s normal 7 o’clock

government. This election was starkly different from

dinner, someone new came and sat with us. I took my

ones in the past because a great number of students of

pill out, ready to take it, and she asked, “What do you

color were running. When we discovered that we were

take medicine for, Kaleb?” Everyone darted their eyes

all candidates, we met in the student union and

my way, and I responded saying, “I have HIV.” I had

planned to advertise together, posting each other’s ads

swallowed all that stigma along with my pill and I was

on our own social media platforms and promote the

able to open up about my status to my friends.

candidates through the Association of African

Shockingly, one of my friends responded, “Thanks for

American Students. A week later, the seats were filled

being brave to tell us. Is there any way we can support

in our great hall on campus for election debates. We

you?” In that moment I felt finally comfortable with my

sat together, and the audience was filled with other


people of color representing their organizations and

The aftermath of Trump’s election


beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain.” I walked out of my political science class

the day after the presidential election and was stunned to hear “America the Beautiful” blasting from a white fraternity house. As I neared the house, students were

showing their support. After the votes were tallied, the executive board of our student government now has a people of color majority. Seniors cried as we took our election pictures, and that night history was made. This allyship among people of color was rare, and together we fought for solidarity and for representation.

waving a “Make America Great Again” flag and the U.S

My story does not represent the plight of all those

flag. They were having a party, a celebration for the

living with HIV. My story is one of redemption and

newly elected president. I stood in the courtyard

victory, not shame. I tell it to reduce the stigma and

watching them rejoice and flail their bodies to Chance

encourage others living with HIV. I tell it to educate and

the Rapper, and a charge of confidence spiked in my

expand the social consciousness of those not living


with HIV. I went into my first year of college with little

uplift you and be patient with those learning the

doubt that I would be dead by the end of my first

terminology and the quirks to our condition. Set an

semester. Every day I wake up reminding myself that I

alarm to remember to take your pills daily, get tested

am worthy of living the life I am building for myself. I

for other sexually transmitted diseases every three

fight for that every day.

months, and if you ever have any questions reach out

To those teens living with HIV, you deserve to live. Some days will be hard and you may feel guilty

to your doctor or health educator. You will thrive! I believe in you.

because of your condition. Know that forgiving yourself and embracing your plight will make you stronger, and nothing will be able to stop you.

Read more stories at

Surround yourself with friends and family who will 107

Yoga and Live Music on the Lawn with Swami Jaya Devi from from Kashi Atlanta Urban Yoga Ashram


oin us for a deeply nourishing yoga class with 2015

life changes, from overcoming panic attacks to finding

Atlanta Pride Grand Marshal Swami Jaya Devi

the strength to stop smoking. Yoga impacts more than

Bhagavati. This is an all levels yoga class with live

your physical body — it untangles your stress and

music from the Kashi Atlanta Kirtan Wallahs.

anxiety and, without those complicated feelings in the

You may be thinking, “I can’t do yoga, I can’t even touch my toes.” The only real flexibility required to practice

foreground, you find your Self, and your depth, coming forward instead.

yoga is the flexibility of your mind. The incredible

Come and win 6 months of unlimited yoga!

physical benefits of yoga are just the beginning.

Saturday, October 14 · 10:00 – 11:30 am

Regular practitioners of yoga describe a multitude of

Oakhill (next to the AIDS Quilt display)


Urban Yoga Ashram 1681 McLendon Avenue · (404) 687-3353 · · 108



When she wins, everyone does. Join the movement at

180 people living with HIV criminalized in the US from 2008-2013 No criminal intent No scientific plausibility No evidence of transmission required.

#EndBadHIVLaws 109






Know your status. And be ready for what’s ahead. VISIT AND TALK TO A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER

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PRIDE Official Atlanta Pride Kickoff



$30 Tax $30 Advanced Advanced // $40 $40 Door Door (if (if available) available) Plus Plus Tax Portion Portion of of Proceeds Proceeds Benefit Benefit Atlanta Atlanta Pride Pride

Purchase Purchase Tickets Tickets Online Online At: At: This event will SELL OUT, Get your tickets TODAY! This event will SELL OUT, Get your tickets TODAY!

2017 Atlanta Pride Guide