OFFICIAL ATLANTA PRIDE GUIDE OCTOBER 10â€“11, 2015 ATLANTAPRIDE.ORG
INSIDE: Kick Off Party Festival Programs Pride Parade Cultural Exhibit Stage Schedules Meet the Grand Marshalls Out on Film Preview Community Spotlight Marriage Equality Dyke March History Trans March Prides of the Southeast
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MARRIAGE TAKES FLIGHT. CELERATING MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS.
CONTENTS FESTIVAL INFORMATION . . . . . 17 Event Staff Committee Information Sponsors Small Business Partners Stride Into Pride Schedule Festival Programming Schedule Marches & Parade First Aid Services & Accessibility Parent Information & Family Zone Guidelines & Services Bud Light Stage Coca-Cola Stage
GRAND MARSHALS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 COMMUNITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Out on Film GA Voice Grady GA Voice Archives: A History of Pride in Atlanta Interview with Honorary Grand Marshal Violet Chachki
2015 OFFICIAL ATLANTA PRIDE GUIDE
Jamie M. Green-Fergerson
Dyana Bagby Buck Cooke Jim Farmer Grady Health System Dustin Shrader Tim Wilkerson
ATLANTA PRIDE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING MEDIA PARTNERS FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS:
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 individualâ€™s photograph, article, or quotation is indicative of that individualâ€™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 ATLANTA PRIDE COMMITTEE, INC., 2015. All rights reserved.
WELCOME LETTER FROM ATLANTA PRIDE COMMITTEE
October 1, 2015
Welcome to the 45th annual Atlanta Pride Celebration! On behalf of the Board of Directors, Festival Committee, Events Committee, volunteers, and staff of the Atlanta Pride Committee, I want to welcome each of you to this celebration of our fabulously diverse community and our vibrant history. Once again, we have spent the last year working hard to bring you a packed schedule of meaningful and enjoyable activities to help you make the most of your Pride experience. When we strike Atlanta Pride this year, I will have been APC’s Executive Director for exactly 108 days. Coming into the this role in the final countdown to the festival has certainly kept me busy, but it has also allowed me the space to reflect on why Pride is important to me and the many diverse communities we serve. I attended my first Pride celebration in 2001. I’d lived in Atlanta for less than a week and was in the middle of trying to come to terms with my own identity and afraid of what my queerness meant for my safety and future. That weekend was nothing short of magical for me. As my best friend Rod and I approached the parade, we caught our first glimpse of a vibrant, diverse, and loving LGBTQ+ community. It felt like coming home, and it was the beginning of my no longer being willing to apologize for who I am. I started volunteering for Pride the next year. In the 13 years since that festival, I have spent time in a variety of roles throughout the organization. When Buck Cooke moved to London earlier this year, I left another job that I loved to jump at this opportunity. I am thrilled to have a professional home where I can bring all of myself – my heart, my family, my mind, my passion for equity and justice, and my love of comfortable shoes - to the table. This sort of unqualified welcome is what I want every person to feel at Atlanta Pride. I want each person to feel valued and represented at the festival, and I want to create a space in which everyone can have a great time. To this end, we have spent 2015 revamping our programming in response to community feedback. For the first time, we will have a Gray Pride area for our seniors, an Outworlders Gaymer space, a more robust accessibility seating area in front of the Coca Cola stage, a Bear Dance, and a Racial Justice Solidarity contingent in our parade. We are also offering expanded programming in The SunTrust Private Wealth Management Family Zone, at the Trans March, a cultural exhibit that highlights the contributions of several diverse community organizations, and more holistic health and wellness programming than ever before. I truly believe that there something for everyone here. Over the 45 years of Atlanta Pride, we have made great strides in diversity, inclusion, and civil right for LGBTQ+ individuals. This year, we have finally achieved marriage equality for same sex couples in the United States. We have also seen increased visibility of transgender people and increased federal protections for transgender individuals. Members of our community have spent their lives fighting for these changes, and it is incredibly important to take time to celebrate these victories. It is also important to remember that we are still coming up short in the fight for full equity and justice. Queer people of color and transgender people are still fighting for their lives on a daily basis. LGBTQ+ young people are still looking for safe places to go when they are kicked out of their homes for being who they are, and LGBTQ+ individuals disproportionately lack access to high quality healthcare. Many of us still risk being fired for being out on the job, and many of us are still looking for community that will know us and love us exactly as we are. It is my commitment as the new Executive Director of Atlanta Pride that we will not stop celebrating the fabulousness that is our community. We will not forget that we each bring something amazing to the table. It is also my commitment that we will not stop fighting for justice until everyone in our community achieves full equity and welcome because my liberation is inextricably linked with yours. Or, as my three year old learned to chant at a recent Trans Liberation Day of Action, “ALL of us or NONE of us!” Whoever you are and wherever you’ve come from to be with us for the 45th anniversary of Atlanta Pride, please know that I am happy you are here. Have a safe, fun, and enlivening weekend. I’m proud to be a part of this community with you, and I look forward to the beautiful work we are going to do together.
With Love and Pride, Jamie M. Green-Fergerson Executive Director
LETTER FROM CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS
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PROUD SUPPORTERS OF YOU BEING YOU! Atlanta Marriott Hotels are a proud platinum supporter of the Atlanta Pride Festival. We welcome our friends in the community and around the world to stay with us, or host your next event at any of our 80+ Atlanta-area properties. We pride ourselves on supporting individuality and encourage all our guests to be themselves. Consider us a true partner. See you at the festival! To learn more or book your stay visit Marriott.com.
ÂŠ 2015 Marriott International, Inc.
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FESTIVAL INFORMATION Event Staff Committee Information Sponsors Small Business Partners Stride Into Pride Schedule Festival Programming Schedule Marches & Parade First Aid Services & Accessibility Parent Information & Family Zone Guidelines & Services Bud Light Stage Coca-Cola Stage
EVENT STAFF BOARD OF DIRECTORS Trisha Clymore Chair
Dustin Brookshire Vice Chair
Jason Lewis Treasurer
Leslie Caceda Secretary
Glen Paul Freedman
Paul Gibson Business Manager
Laura Barton Event Manager
Jamie Fergerson Executive Director
Photos by Tim Wilkerson www.FeedYourEyes.net
EVENT STAFF COMMITTEES Not Pictured: John Whigham, Parade
BACKSTAGE SECURITY BACKSTAGE SECURITY Vonda Bentley-Brummett Mina Brummett
BACKSTAGE SECURITY Kim Montgomery
CREATIVE & GRAPHICS Aaron DeWall
CULTURAL EXHIBIT Daniel Valdez
ENTERTAINMENT Jonathan Duke
ENTERTAINMENT Chris Ruiz
EVENTS Travis Brookshire
EVENTS T.J. Hynds
EVENTS Jeffrey Lofgreen
EVENTS Taliba Jonelle Shields McKenzie
EVENTS Sebastian Nix
EVENTS Peter Nunn
FESTIVAL DONATIONS Chris Quackenbush
FESTIVAL SERVICES Kevin Calhoun
FESTIVAL SERVICES Peter Nunn
HISTORY & LEGACY Stan Fong
HISTORY & LEGACY Wilson Kirkpatrick
HOSPITALITY Brian Boring
LOGISTICS & OPERATIONS Andrew Dugger
LOGISTICS & OPERATIONS Monte Nunn
MARKET Lee Armstrong
MARKET Al Shaffer
PARADE & VIP HOST Stuart Blencoe
PARADE Tim Garrett
VOLUNTEERS Justin Gavette
VOLUNTEERS Elaine Marie Serrano
APC MEDICAL DIRECTOR Dr. Jason Schneider
COMMITTEE INFO Atlanta Pride is a volunteer-run, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with volunteers divided into a variety of groups: ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES COMMITTEE
Volunteers and staff are either deaf or are fluent and certified in American Sign Language. Provide interpreting services for deaf people. Address accessibility issues for people who use mobility devices, people who are blind, and people who have other disabilities.
BACKSTAGE SECURITY COMMITTEE
Responsible for providing security for the backstage areas of entertainment venues in the Festival. Handle any issues that may arise as well as securing artist preparation areas.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Responsible for the organizational sustainability, strategic planning, and fiscal oversight of the organization.
CREATIVE AND GRAPHICS COMMITTEE
Provide graphics input and support for the Atlanta Pride Committee. Design signage for the venue.
CULTURAL EXHIBIT COMMITTEE
Develop direction of exhibit. Oversee and edit content of exhibit panels. Coordinate set up and break down of exhibit at the festival. Staff exhibit during event hours.
Select talent to perform during the Festival. Maintain and adhere to the stage schedules for the weekend, ensuring that performances occur as designated.
Produce year-round events (like Stonewall Month and Stride Into Pride) and Festival events (like the Dyke March, Trans March, and Kids Event).
FESTIVAL DONATIONS COMMITTEE
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. 20
HISTORY AND LEGACY COMMITTEE
Organizes and maintains photograph databases from all Pride related events. Catalogues historical items
Responsible for providing food for over 200 volunteers. Maintain refreshments for the VIP Hospitality Center, stocking with food and beverages.
LOGISTICS AND OPERATIONS COMMITTEE
Responsible for setup and breakdown of all areas of the Festival, from tents to tables to electricity. Work in conjunction with all onsite contractors. Manage inventory of permanent and rental items. Maintain Operations Center. Handle triage of logistical needs, security, personnel, market, first aid, and other requests. Manage deliveries during the Festival and monitors the venue.
Provide load-in and load-out support to Marketplace vendors during the Festival.
Responsible for coordination of and communication with parade entrants. Handles logistics of parade assembly. Responsible for locating judges and coordinating prizes for winners of parade competitions.
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.
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.
COMMITTEE INFO FESTIVAL VOLUNTEER SHIRT GUIDE Look for volunteers in color-coded shirts during the festival if you need assistance as you enjoy the events and programming. Also, please thank them as you see them during the weekend since their hard work makes the festival possible!
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.
The Festival Donations teams wear white shirts with bright teal letters. Please give generously! Half of the money these volunteers collect goes back to their own nonprofit organizations and the other half goes to Atlanta Pride.
The Festival Information team wears bright pink shirts. These volunteers have a variety of knowledge about the event and can help you find your way around the festival grounds. They are equipped with festival maps and programming schedules. If you have questions or need assistance, look for pink!
The 400+ people you see in white shirts with yellow lettering throughout the festival grounds are general volunteers. Some work for 2 hours, some work all week. The Atlanta Pride Committee could not run the event without these folks!
The volunteers wearing blue shirts with white lettering 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 volunteers wear red shirts with white lettering. They work tirelessly assisting vendors from before the Festival opens until it closes.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED WITH ATLANTA PRIDE Volunteers are still needed to produce the 45th annual Atlanta Pride Festival. Visit www.atlantapride.org and complete the Festival Volunteer application online. Shifts vary in length from two hours to the whole weekend.
Itâ€™s been an amazing year! The LGBT attorneys, professional staff and allies of Kilpatrick Townsend are proud to sponsor Atlanta Pride!
www.kilpatricktownsend.com ÂŠ 2015 Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
2015 SPONSORS Atlanta Pride would like to extend a special thank you to our corporate sponsors and our media partners. We appreciate the efforts of these businesses and companies to make our event a success and further the push for LGBTQ equality. Please do you part by supporting those businesses that support our LGBTQ community. For the most up-to-date listing of our corporate sponsors and small business partners, please visit www.atlantapride.org
ALTER A'S N nt
RAINBOW LEVEL SPONSORS
ALTER Aâ€™S N NT
DIAMOND LEVEL SPONSORS
PLATINUM LEVEL SPONSORS
GOLD LEVEL SPONSORS
SILVER LEVEL SPONSORS
NISSAN: DRIVING PRIDE #SameTeam for Equality
BRONZE LEVEL SPONSORS
The Official App Of Atlanta Pride
unofficial but still totall app for finding LGBTQ rest y legit aurants, bars, events and more ar ound
2015 SMALL BUSINESS AND NON-PROFIT PARTNER PROGRAM Atlanta Pride would like to extend a special thank you to our small business and non-profit partners. We appreciate the efforts of these businesses to make our event a success. Please do you part by supporting those organizations that support our LGBTQ community. For the most up-to-date listing of our small business partners, please visit www.atlantapride.org
SAPPHIRE LEVEL PARTNERS
GARNET LEVEL PARTNERS
AMETHYST LEVEL PARTNERS
PEARL LEVEL PARTNERS
COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT Supporting other community organizations is at the heart of the Atlanta Pride Committee’s mission. From 2005-2015, APC has reinvested more than $100,000 in other worthwhile causes through profit sharing from in-parkpark donations and grantmaking from our Community Outreach Fund. The following list is a sample of organizations funded in the last ten years. Action Cycling Atlanta
Breast Cancer 3 Day
GA State Lesbian & Gay Law Students Assoc
AIDS Survival Project
Gamma Lite Softball
AIDS Walk Atlanta
Center for Pan Asian Community Services
Gay & Lesbian Medical Association
Alpha Psi Kappa Fraternity Alphabet Soup Aniz Inc Anti Defamation League Anti-Prejudice Consortium Arthritis Foundation ASCORG Inc. Atlanta Dance Project
Center For Women @ Emory University Central Alabama Pride, Inc Charis Circle Chase Harrison Christ Covenant MCC
Clayton State Gay Straight Alliance
Atlanta Freedom Marching Band
Columbia Theological Seminary
Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus
East Point Possums
Atlanta Interfaith AIDS Network
Emory Alumni Assoc
Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative Atlanta Outworlders
Delta Phi Lambda Sorority Inc
Emory Pride Equality Foundation of Georgia
Georgia Association of the Deaf Georgia Cancer Foundation Georgia Equality Georgia for Obama Good Mews GPC Interpreter Training Society GPC SLIP
Kennesaw State University Foundation Kirkwood UCC KSU Simmit Lady Pride Basketball Association
Lorde Rustin Breakfast Lost-n-Found Youth, Inc. Mary’s Softball Bucket Brigade MondoHomo
No Greater Joy
GT Heros/ H.E.R.O for Children
Northern Colorado AIDS Project
HIV/AIDS Panel Hope Hall Foundation Inc
Northern Georgia Rainbow Coalition
Northwest U.U. Congregation
House of Devereaux
Human Rights Campaign
FTM Foundation, LLC
In the Life Atlanta, Inc.
Beta Phi Omega Sorority Inc
GA Perimeter College - ITS
InterPride JustUsATL Kashi Atlanta
Positive Impact, Inc
National Queer Asian Pacific Islanders Alliance
Family 1st Care
Planned Parenthood of Georgia
Legendary Children Exhibit
GSU Alliance for Sexual & Gender Diversity
Atlanta Team Tennis Assoc
Phi Nu Kappa Sorority
Pride School Atlanta, Inc
Grady Chorus Boosters
Peachtree Rainbow Deaf Society
National Center for Civil & Human Rights
Evening for Equality
Atlanta Women’s Rugby
Kennesaw Pride Alliance
Open Hand OurSong Out & About Nashville Outworlders, Inc Panther L/L Inc PDRS
Rainbow Naturist Brotherhood Rainbow Recovery Solutions, LLC
Terrell Wilson Foundation The Armorettes, Inc The Ben Marion Institue The Health Initiative The Journey MCC The Legendary Children The Melodivas The Rainbow Center The Rush Center
Rainbow World Fund
Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority Inc
Real Youth, Inc
Together In Love
Running Lion, Inc Rush Center SAND Savannah Pride, Inc Sigma Omega Phi Sigma Sigma Rho Sorotity, Inc SLC-Atlanta SNAP 2 IT So. Georgia Pride SOJOURN South Georgia Pride, Inc. Stand Up and Represent March Students for Diversity
Touching Up our Roots Transguys Calendar Project UGA Lambda Alliance Unitarian Universalist Church of Atlanta Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North Weslyan College GLBAL Women’s Resource Center Young Democrats of Atlanta YouthPride
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO APPLY FOR ATLANTA PRIDE COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT FUNDS, EMAIL INFO@ATLANTAPRIDE.ORG 26
STRIDE INTO PRIDE SEPTEMBER KICK IT WITH SPARK!
Thursday, September 24, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Phillip Rush Center • 1530 DeKalb Avenue, Suite A, Atlanta, GA 30307 Cost to attend: Free For our September Kick It with SPARK!, we’ll be hosting a screening of Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie). By filmmaker Mikaela Shwer, this documentary chronicles the life of immigrant activist, Angy Rivera. “In a community where silence is seen as necessary for survival, [Angy] joins a generation of Dreamers ready to push for change in the only home she’s ever known—the United States. Hers is the quintessential American success story: Angy is the author of the country’s first and only advice column for undocumented youth, and her YouTube channel boasts over 27,000 views as she comes out of the shadows to inspire her peers.” This event is a collaboration with fellow community organizations and POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series. Visit their website at www.pbs.org/pov for more information on this film and more. For more information: http://www.sparkrj.org/
SWINGING RICHARDS PRIDE NIGHT
Thursday, September 24, 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Swinging Richards • 1400 Northside Drive Join us to raise money for Atlanta Pride! Boy Next Door has provided underwear for your favorite Swinging Richards dancers. Patrons bid on the undies they want to see come off!
TRANS* & QUEER PRIDE CELEBRATION YOGA
Saturday, September 26, 7:00 p.m. with Maha Devi, Amala, Candika and Naga Giri $25 ($20 early registration by 9/19); No one turned away for lack of funds. Kashi Atlanta’s Sonic Yoga and the Trans & Queer Yoga Support Group join forces to bring you a PRIDE celebration of cosmic dimensions that involves yoga with a live DJ, meditation and deep relaxation. In a playful and energetic way we will explore classical yoga poses, gentle breathwork, and simple meditation as practical tools to help manifest balance and wholeness within while taking our ears on a sonic journey. We’ll drop it down for a long, sweet Savasana to soothe the body and mind, and end with a deep meditation to replenish the soul. Let’s get together, create space for each other and allow the path of yoga to illuminate our inner and outer awesomeness! No yoga experience necessary. This event is open to all who self-identify as queer, trans*, or anywhere along the variant sexuality and gender path, as well as their partners, friends and allies.
NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY FIRE PUJA AND MEDITATION WITH SWAMI JAYA DEVI Wednesday, September 30, 7:30 p.m. $14 drop-in; No one turned away for lack of funds.
A fire puja is an ancient ritual designed to ignite the fires of transformation from within. Throw your shame and unworthiness into the fire, asking to be free of anything that keeps you from knowing that you are deeply loved just as you are.
STRIDE INTO PRIDE OCTOBER FTM FITNESS WORLD ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Thursday, October 1 through Saturday, October 3 Ramada Plaza Hotel • 450 Capitol Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30312 Cost to attend events: Fashion Show – $30 Body Building Competition – $30 Full Registration includes Conference, 1 meal a day and all evening events – $150 Combo/ Group prices available Events and times: Thursday, October 1, 6:30 p.m. – Trans Exclusive Fashion Show w/ Code X Magazine Friday, October 2, 6:30 p.m. – FTMFitCon 2nd Annual Body Building Competition Thursday, October 1 through Saturday, October 3 – Workshops World’s leading conference in health and wellness for Transgender individuals, presented by the Brothers of the community. Website: http://ftmfitnessconference.com/
OUT ON FILM 2015
Thursday, October 1 through Thursday, October 8 Midtown Art Cinema • 931 Monroe Dr NE Ste C212, Atlanta, GA 30308 Out On Film returns with a schedule packed with top-notch films and special guests. Website: www.outonfilm.org
LOS MARGARITA’S BRUNCH FOR ATLANTA PRIDE
Sunday, October 4, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Los Margarita’s • 1842 Cheshire Bridge Rd Ne, Atlanta, GA 30324 20% of brunch sales will benefit Atlanta Pride!
Tuesday, October 6, 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta • 75 Fourteenth St, Atlanta, Georgia 30309 Equally Wed’s Master Class | Atlanta offers compelling programming, knowledgeable and entertaining speakers and educates wedding vendors and creative professionals standard LGBT practices, language and more in the sumptuous space of Four Seasons Atlanta. At the end of the one-day learning summit, all registered attendees will receive a diploma and accreditation from Equally Wed’s Business Program as a Certified Equality-Minded Wedding Professional. Website: equallywed.com
PRIDE RIDE AT VIBE RIDE
Thursday, October 8, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Vibe Ride • 950 W Peachtree St NW Cost to attend: $25 Vibe Ride is honored to host a charity ride benefitting Atlanta Pride! Book your bike now at www.theviberide.com for a fun, high-energy, indoor-cycling class with music provided by a live DJ! This 60-minute class will be followed by a happy hour. All proceeds from the class will benefit Atlanta Pride. Space is limited. If you don’t want to ride, still stop by! All who attend and donate to Atlanta Pride will receive special offers from Vibe Ride! Website: www.theviberide.com Social Media: @theviberide
FESTIVAL SCHEDULE Official Atlanta Pride Kick Off Party at Georgia Aquarium Georgia Aquarium • 225 Baker Street NW Atlanta, GA 30313 October 9, 2015 • 7:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Kickoff your Atlanta Pride weekend with over 4,000 of your closest friends at the south’s largest cocktail party! This event won the prestigious event industry ALLIE AWARD for Best Themed Party in Atlanta. This will SELL OUT so don’t delay, get your tickets TODAY. **NEW FOR 2015 – Spectacular Dolphin Show(Included) – 8pm – First Come/First Served This is an amazing way to experience the Georgia Aquarium with special evening hours and exclusive admission pricing just for Atlanta Pride. Imagine exploring the world’s largest, most magical aquarium with dim lighting and the sounds of DJ Brandon Moses fresh from Pensacola and Dallas Purple Party. Atlanta’s very own VJ DIABLO ROJO will be adding to the experience with his signature “visual” sound in our Oceans Ballroom located on the 2nd Level. This space is always breathtaking and the décor is always an assault on your senses. If you are in from out of town, there is no better time to experience the Georgia Aquarium than on this special night. This event will end at 11:30 p.m. and will allow you to attend your favorite bars and continue your Atlanta Pride weekend festivities. For further information, please contact John Walker – email@example.com – Georgia Aquarium Annual Passes are not accepted – CityPASS tickets are not accepted
Event Tips / Useful Information
Please bring cash! Bars are CA$H ONLY. ATM’s are available for a fee and with limited funds General Admission Drink Prices (Smirnoff: $8, Wine/Beer: $6, Soft Drinks/ Water: $4) Once inside, be sure to visit our Oceans Ballroom located on the 2nd Level of the Aquarium for additional gorgeous space to mix and mingle with DJ DIABLO ROJO. Bring a photo ID in order to purchase alcoholic beverages. There will be NO coat check available at this event. Gift Shop will be open from 7:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Cafe Aquaria Food Court will be open from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., serving a variety of foods such as hamburgers, personal pizzas, cold sandwiches and delicious pastries. Entertainment DJ BRANDON MOSES – Main Atrium – 7:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. VJ DIABLO ROJO – Oceans Ballroom – 8:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Jungle Atlanta Presents The Official Kick-Off After Party of Atlanta Pride
Jungle Atlanta • October 9, 2015 9:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. Cover charge: $20 Join us for The Official Kick Off After Party of Atlanta Pride with Grammy-nominated DJ Chris Cox. Don’t wait in line—get your presale ticket now at www.jungleatl.com for express entry!
FESTIVAL SCHEDULE October 10 & 11, 2015 Youth Liberation Space
Piedmont Park Dock • Free Oct. 10 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Oct. 11 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Youth Liberation Space is a space where young queer and trans people (14-25 years old) can hang out, relax, and empower themselves.
Bridge over Lake Clara Meer • 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Gray Pride sponsored by AARP Dockside Visitors Center Oct. 10 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Oct. 11 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Storytelling, entertainment, and historical panels.
Outworlders Gaymer Space
The Bandstand • 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Fan of board games? Card games? Come join the 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! outworlders.info
October 10, 2015 SunTrust Private Wealth Management Family Zone Located near the Piedmont Park Playground and Greystone 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Kids of all ages welcome to come get their faces painted and enjoy the playground. Programming designed and facilitated by Devereux Georgia will take place from 10am-2pm.
Gentle Yoga and Meditation with Kashi Atlanta
On the dock, Lake Clara Meer • 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. • Free
Center yourself on your mat to start your weekend. Kashi Atlanta Urban Ashram presents gentle yoga and meditation for people of all levels of yoga experience. Bring your mat or a towel and meet us on the dock of Lake Clara Meer. This event is a part of Atlanta Pride’s Gray Programming, but all are welcome to attend. Cost to attend event: FREE
FESTIVAL SCHEDULE Taylor Harkness and Tough Love Yoga Present: Shine On Yoga Party
Piedmont Park Meadow • 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. • Free
This all levels yoga class is a celebration of togetherness and community pride! Bring your friends and join Tough Love Yoga and Taylor Harkness, international yoga instructor, for a welcoming and open flow designed to energize and unite all of us for the full weekend ahead. Celebrate your unique light, and shine even brighter by coming together. Feel free to bring a mat, a towel, or simply practice barefoot in the grass! There will also be other yoga teachers circulating to happily assist. All ages are welcome and encouraged to join in to kick off the 45th Annual Atlanta Pride Festival! There will be a group selfie at the end, so costumes are, of course, always encouraged. Shine On!
Car and Motorcycle Show
Roadway inside Piedmont Park between 12th & 14th St. gates 10:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. • Free
Special thanks to Lambda Car Club and The Lost Boys. Come check out this stunning combination of antique, classic, special interest cars, and motorcycles. www.LLC-Dogwood.org
Pre-Trans March Rally
Bud Light Stage • 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Coca Cola Main Stage 1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Join Ricky Simone and our trans march chant leaders to gear up for the march.
Assembly at Charles Allen Gate • 1:45 p.m. • Free
This march celebrates and promotes visibility of the Trans community. The march takes place on the festival grounds and all Trans people and Trans allies are welcome to participate. We encourage individuals to make and brings signs supportive of the Trans community. DJ Automagic will bring the music!
College Fair- presented by Campus Pride
Piedmont Park Greystone area • 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. • Free
Campus Pride represents the leading national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students.
Assembly at Charles Allen gate in Piedmont Park • 6:00 p.m. • Free
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 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 6pm. DJ Automagic will provide the tunes.
Queer your Gender Dance Party
Piedmont Park Bud Light Stage • 6:45 p.m. • Free
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!
Official Women’s Party at MSR
66 12th St. NE. in Atlanta 30309 • October 9, 2015 • 8:00 p.m. www.mysistersroom.com
October 11, 2015 13th Annual Pride Brunch the Official Brunch of Atlanta Pride
Empire State South • 999 Peachtree Street NW Doors 11:30; Service 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. $65 through September 30th; $75 beginning October 1
Celebrate Atlanta Pride at the Human Rights Campaign’s 13th Annual Pride Brunch, the official Brunch of Atlanta Pride! Enjoy two hours of complimentary cocktails and a delicious brunch while watching the Pride Parade from the best location on the route! Enjoy good music, great friends, and guaranteed fabulous time! Tickets include annual HRC membership or renewal. www.hrc.org/atlantapridebrunch
Bud Light Stage 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
DJ Robert Ansley brings the hottest gay house music to the Budlight Stage. Come dance and celebrate post-parade!
ATLANTA PRIDE TRANS MARCH PRE TRANS MARCH RALLY
Saturday, October 10, 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Bud Light Stage 1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Coca Cola Stage Join Ricky Simone and our trans march chant leaders to gear up for the march. Sign making supplies provided.
TRANS MARCH KICKOFF
Steps off: Saturday, October 10, 2:00 p.m. Assembly begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Charles Allen Gate This march celebrates and promotes visibility of the Trans community. The march takes to the streets for the first time this year and all Trans people and Trans Allies are welcome to participate. We encourage individuals to make and bring signs supportive of the Trans community. You do not have to register for the Trans March, simply show up at the Charles Allen Gate no later than 1:45 p.m. We will have a trolley for the elderly, marchers with mobility issues, and families with small children. First come, first served.
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 decency, alcohol, controlled substances, public safety and standard vehicle insurance requirements.
ATLANTA PRIDE DYKE MARCH DYKE MARCH KICKOFF
Steps off: Saturday, October 10, 6:00 p.m. Assembly begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Charles Allen Gate 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 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 6:00 p.m. We will have a trolley for the elderly, marchers with mobility issues, and families with small children. First come, first served.
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
QUEER YOUR GENDER DANCE PARTY
Saturday, October 11, 6:45-9:00 p.m. The Bud Light Stage
Trans March Folks, Dyke March Folks, queers, and allies of all stripes will be getting down to the sounds of DJ Canvas at this free event. All are welcome!
THE ATLANTA PRIDE PARADE PRESENTED BY DELTA AIR LINES PRIDE PARADE KICKOFF
Sunday, October 11, 1:00 p.m. SHARP Assembly begins at 10:30 a.m. on the streets near the 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 on to 10th Street and follows 10th Street to the Charles Allen Gate entrance of Piedmont Park, where the Parade officially ends.
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.
Schedules and locations are subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date schedule information, visit www.atlantapride.org or download the Official Atlanta Pride Mobile App for Android and iPhone mobile devices.
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 knowhow 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 Living with AIDS
NISSAN: DRIVING PRIDE #SameTeam for Equality
Always wear your seat belt, and please don’t drink and drive. © 2015 Nissan North America, Inc.
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 medications and various bandages for minor mishaps. For those festival-patrons who may need more urgent attention, Grady Health System will handle transports to the closest emergency room.
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 have, such as sensitivity to the sun, or negative interaction with alcohol. UBER and SafeRide America are also available to assist you.
It is recommended that patrons use sunscreen, even in cooler temperatures.
DRINK PLENTY OF NONALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
The first aid tents see many people each year for dehydration; many have to go to the ER. Most people do a significant amount of walking during the festival and lose a tremendous amount of fluid from sweating. Free water is available at First Aid locations and other locations throughout the park.
ENJOY IN MODERATION
Alcohol intoxication can make the Festival much less enjoyable if it leads to nausea or vomiting, falls, passing out, or even DUI. If you intend to consume alcoholic beverages, please do so in moderation. We encourage festival-goers to have designated drivers or take public transportation.
CONSIDER YOUR LIMITATIONS.
Many attendees have limitations in their ability to walk long distances. The festival is large and covers a lot of ground. If you think you might need assistance, consider renting a wheelchair before coming to the 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.
FIRST AID 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 parking rates. MARTAâ€™s Art Center station is the nearest 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. Accessible seating is located in the meadow near the Coca-Cola Stage for you and your guests. 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, please go to a Medical Services tent. A certified ASL interpreter will be provided if needed.
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.
All performances on the Coca-Cola Stage are interpreted in American Sign Language. For a complete schedule of interpreted events, or to request onsite interpreting services, please visit: atlantapride.org
PARENT’S GUIDE TO PRIDE FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY! Helpful Information
Parking – Parking recommended at Sage Parking Deck, Colony Square, and Grady High School. Baby Changing stations – Located throughout the park in the portable restroom areas – see the Festival Map available in the park October 10-11 for final placement. Ear Protection – recommended for children in the areas surrounding the stages. VIP Festival Passes – VIP Festival Pass holders are welcome to bring children under 13 into VIP Hospitality Center and VIP Seating Area. All children 13 and up must have their own VIP Festival Pass.
Enjoy these family-focused events on Saturday, October 10: SunTrust Private Wealth Management Family Zone
with programming by Deveraux Georgia Located near the Piedmont Park Playground and Greystone Saturday, October 10 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Kids of all ages welcome to come get their faces painted and enjoy the playground. Programming designed and facilitated by Devereux Georgia will take place from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Fun during the whole weekend: Pride Marketplace
10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. throughout the park Visit over 200 market vendors ranging from nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and large corporations.
Youth Liberation Space
October 10, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. October 11, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. The Youth Liberation Space is a space where young queer and trans people (14-25 years old) can hang out, relax, and empower themselves. This event is hosted by the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition at the dock at Lake Clara Meer near the 12th Street Gate.
The Education Garden at Piedmont Park
A Partnership with Chipotle Mexican Grill Have you seen Piedmont Park’s garden? The north end of the Meadow is home to a thriving organic garden that Piedmont Park Conservancy uses as an educational tool. The garden demonstrates how the food we eat grows and what the plants that produce it look like. Originally developed for EnviroVentures Summer camp, the garden has grown over the years both in size and variety.
Car and Motorcycle Show
10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on the roadway between 14th Street and 12th Street gates
Atlanta Pride Trans March
1:30 p.m. assembly at the Charles Allen Gate. The Trans March has a first come, first served shuttle for people with mobility issues, elders, and families with small kids.
Campus Pride College Fair
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. near the Piedmont Park Playground and Greystone Pool House
Atlanta Pride Dyke March
5:30 p.m. assembly at the Charles Allen Gate. The Dyke March has a first come, first served shuttle for people with mobility issues, elders, and families with small kids.
Schedules and locations are subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date schedule information, visit www.atlantapride.org or download the Official Atlanta Pride Mobile App for Android and iPhone mobile devices.
you’re ready for this chapter and the next.
At PNC Bank, we understand everyone’s financial goals are unique. Whether you’re focusing on today or planning for the years to come, we’re dedicated to providing tools, services and guidance that can give you the insight you need to achieve the goals you want through every stage of life.
©2015 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC
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PRODUCING PARTIES WITH A PURPOSE AND CHANGING THE WORLD ONE EVENT AT A TIME FOR OVER 15 YEARS
THANKS FOR CHOOSING BILL KAELIN MARKETING FOR THE BEST OF ATLANTA 2015
Sun., Oct. 11, 2015 | 11:30 a.m. - Cash Bar Opens, 12:30 p.m. - Open Bar Opens Empire State South | 999 Peachtree St., N.W., Atlanta, GA Celebrate Atlanta Pride at the Human Rights Campaign’s 14th Annual Pride Brunch, the official Brunch of Atlanta Pride! Enjoy two hours of complimentary cocktails and a delicious brunch while watching the Pride Parade from the best location on the route! Enjoy good music, great friends and celebrate this year’s victories. Tickets: General Admission (includes annual HRC membership or renewal): $75 VIP Admission (includes access to reserved seating and annual HRC membership or renewal): $125 Host Committee (2 VIP Tickets that include guaranteed seating, annual HRC membership or renewal,
as well as your name on our event website, social media and day of signage): $350
VIP Table (10 seats): $1,250 Featuring
For sponsorship inquiries or other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Buy tickets today at www.hrc.org/atlantapridebrunch THANKS TO OUR COMMUNITY SPONSORS
THANKS TO OUR CORPORATE SPONSORS
*sponsors as of 8-17-15
for the fearless and the afraid Sarah E. Meng, MS, LAPC, NCC Sarah@InMindCollaborative.com Trauma * Depression * Anxiety * Trans Issues Something's Gotta Give Divorce * Grief * PTSD Health At Every Size Poly & Kink Aware Healing is for everyone. Sliding Scale Available
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU ARRIVE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: Alcoholic beverages are sold within the festival grounds. You must present proper
identification to 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 distribution. Outside alcohol in quantities deemed greater than that for personal consumption will be viewed as “intent to distribute” and confiscated.
NO PETS ALLOWED: Per the City of Atlanta’s ordinance, no pets are allowed in Piedmont Park
during Class-A festivals, including Atlanta Pride. Patrons attempting to bring animals onsite are subject to ticketing by the Atlanta Police Department. Service animals are exempt from this policy.
TENTS: Lawn chairs and umbrellas are encouraged. Tents are allowed in specified areas of
the park, but may not be staked. Sandbags or water weights may be used to secure tents. Any personal effects left on the grounds overnight (including tents) will be discarded.
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.
NO SMOKING: Per the City of Atlanta’s ordinance, no smoking is allowed in
Piedmont Park. Patrons attempting to smoke onsite are subject to ticketing by the Atlanta Police Department.
PRIDE INFORMATION: Information, including maps, is available throughout
the park. The Atlanta Pride App may also be downloaded for free and contains the most up to date schedule and park information.
RULES TO REMEMBER:
— Use of bicycles, vehicles, skateboards, scooters or skates/roller blades is prohibited on the festival grounds during the Atlanta Pride Festival. Bike Valet stations are located in the Meadow near the BeltLine and inside the 12th Street Gate of the park. — Unauthorized vendors are prohibited from selling or giving away items and from conducting surveys or solicitations while on the festival grounds. No roaming vendors are allowed. — 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 AND 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: 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. To qualify for VIP seating, visit atlantapride.org/vip
ATMS: Located throughout the Festival Grounds. 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 soliciting, to designated areas.
Communities are like families When everyone comes together, wonderful things can happen. This event is the result of a lot of hard work by many talented people. The spirit of community is alive and well, right here and now. Atlanta Pride, you represent the heart and soul of true community.
wellsfargo.com ÂŠ 2015 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. 121840 09/15
Kashi Atlanta is a welcoming, interfaith spiritual home for everyone.
Yoga Classes Meditation Classes Pranayama (Breathwork) Trans* & Queer Yoga Support Group Spiritual Growth Yoga for Addictions with 12-Step Meeting Pain-Free Postural Alignment Community Service Classical Yoga Teacher Training
Our Spiritual Director and Founder, Swami Jaya Devi, is honored to serve as Grand Marshal in the 45th Annual Atlanta Pride Festival Parade. She invites everyone at Pride to come visit Kashi Atlanta. Mention this ad for a free class! Regular yoga or meditation class, for new students.
Urban Yoga Ashram 1681 McLendon Avenue 路 (404) 687-3353 路 kashiatlanta.org 路
STAGE LINE-UP SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2015 12:45 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . Ricky Simone 1:45 p.m. . . . . . . . . . Shantavia Stewart 2:30 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . Pale Clear 3:15 p.m. . . . . . . . . French Chevelle 4:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . Steff Mahan 5:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . JLINE 6:45 p.m. . . . . . Queer Your Gender Dance Party with DJ Canvas Pale Clear
Shantavia Stewart French Chevelle
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015 4:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . Bear Dance with DJ Robert Ansley DJ- Robert Ansley
Schedules and locations are subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date schedule information, visit www.atlantapride.org or download the Official Atlanta Pride Mobile App for Android and iPhone mobile devices.
STAGE LINE-UP SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2015 2:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . Maria Gabriella Band 3:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . Wesley Cook 4:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . Gurufish 5:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . Avan Lava 6:05 p.m. . . . . . . . . . . . R. City* 6:55 p.m. . . . . A Great Big World* 7:50 p.m. . . . . . Rachel Platten* 8:45 p.m. . . . . . Sister Sledge
Maria Gabriella Band
Gurufish A Great Big World*
*Sponsored by Power 96.1 and Radio 105.7 (iHeartMedia) 48
STAGE LINE-UP SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015 4:00 p.m. . . . . . . . Michel Jons Band 5:20 p.m. . . . . . . . DJ Citizen Jane 6:10 p.m. . . . . . . . . . DJ Kemit 7:20 p.m. . . . . Starlight Cabaret
Michel Jons Band
DJ Citizen Jane
SunTrust is proud to be a Corporate Sponsor of the 45th Annual Atlanta Pride Festival. suntrust.com/shine
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC.Â ÂŠ2015 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SunTrust and How can we help you shine? are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc.
眀眀眀⸀爀愀搀椀漀 㔀㜀⸀挀漀洀 刀䄀䐀䤀伀 㔀㜀
COMMUNITY PROFILE Latino LinQ Mission: To provide supportive services to Latin@s of any sexual orientation and any gender identity. Services / Programs: - Discussion and mutual support group in Spanish (Grupo de plática y apoyo mutuo en español) - Referrals: help accessing needed services (Referidos: Ayuda para acceder servicios necesitados) - Health education workshops (Talleres educativos de salud) - HIV prevention (Prevención del VIH) - Immigration rights education (Información y educación sobre derechos de inmigración) - LGBTQ cultural proficiency training for service providers (Entrenamiento para proveedores de servicios sobre asuntos culturales LGBTQ) Accomplishments: Incorporation in 2015, establishment of support group, and implementation of two educational workshops Website: www.LatinoLinQ.org Contact information: 678-744-LINQ (678-744-5467) | LatinoLinQ@gmail.com | www.facebook.com/latinolinq
Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, Incorporated Mission: To improve the quality of life for all Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming community members; by providing access to HIV/AIDS prevention, risk reduction education, creating safe spaces, quality programs, self-empowerment tools, in addition to ensuring access to economic and social services resources. Services / Programs: Advocacy, Consulting and Social Services Referrals Accomplishments: - Collaborated with Atlanta Police Department to develop Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which specifies how APD Officers and Employees should respond when interacting with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming people while on duty. - Collaborated with the United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service “Law Enforcement & The Transgender Community” to train local and surrounding Law Enforcement jurisdictions on how to effectively interact with Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming people. - Represented during the White House Trans Women of Color Briefing and briefed the White House on “Employment & Economic Equity” to determine how the inequities affect Trans women of color. Website: thejct.org Contact information: Tracee McDaniel | email@example.com
Counter Narrative Project Mission: The mission of the Counter Narrative Project is to build power among Black gay men through community education, messaging and mobilization. Services / Programs: - Arts and culture - Advocacy - Community building Accomplishments: - Partnered with HIV Prevention Justice Alliance to convene a webinar and a blog series elevating voices of black gay men in the South through a campaign called “We Are Here.” - Convened series of community engagement events called “The Blueprint Series” in conjunction with Georgia Equality. - Worked with STATICC Art and Life and MAC to host staged reading and discussion of the play Choir Boy - Partnered with Actor’s Express and Georgia Equality to engage black gay men around the play Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet 52
COMMUNITY PROFILE - Partnered with HIV Prevention Justice Alliance and Positive Women’s Network to convene webinar to raise awareness around HIV Criminalization and the case of Michael L. Johnson - Hosted twitter chat to commemorate the 60th birthday of black gay writer, editor, and activist Joseph Beam Website: thecounternarrative.org Contact information: Charles Stephens | firstname.lastname@example.org
Pride School Atlanta, Inc. Mission: To provide LGBTQQIAA students, families and educators a safe, fun and rigorous learning environment free of homophobia and transphobia- a place that honors their identities so they can be themselves, find themselves, and find friends and mentors who can help them navigate the challenges of life and education. Services / Programs: Pride School Atlanta, serving youth ages 5-18, will provide students with an individualized education in a democratically operated school, allowing them to explore and define their education and career path with the support of parents, educators and community mentors in an openly affirming space. The school will have rolling admission and homeschooling students may attend 3-5 days per week. We also connect educators and families with each other and services and provide training for schools, businesses, and faith communities to make their spaces more LGBTQQIAA-supportive. Accomplishments: Formed in May 2014, Pride School Atlanta, Inc. has created powerful networks of LGBTQQIAA (Allies included!) educators, parents, youth, business owners, and faith communities where everyone can be themselves. In just over a year, we have created Pride School Atlanta and prepared it for a fall 2015 launch. With major media coverage including The Georgia Voice, WABE, GPB,Project Q, Michelle Meow, The Daily Beast, HuffPost Live, The LA Times, Gay Parent Magazine, WXIA, WSB, CBS, and more, we have reached millions locally and around the world who are seeking support and education for themselves and others. We were invited to and attended the White House LGBTQ Regional Summit in May 2015. We are especially proud of our 2015 Atlanta Pride Community Reinvestment grant for $1000, which will enable us to have a booth and more at Pride and provide outreach to thousands of families at the festival. Website: www.prideschoolatlanta.org Contact information: Christian Zsilavetz, Director | email@example.com
Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence Mission: Our mission is to create a society in which domestic violence no longer exists. We strive to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the diverse community of battered women and their children with programs that promote safety, compassion, connection, advocacy, and prevention. Services / Programs: We offer programs that promote safety, compassion, connection, advocacy, and prevention, including a 24-hour domestic violence hotline, confidentially-located safe house, legal advocacy, support groups, community-based advocacy, financial education, supervised visitation, child and family advocacy, prevention programming with youth and community education. Accomplishments: This year, our agency’s programming was featured in the national documentary series A Path Appears by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. We were chosen because of our successful and innovative approaches to challenging family violence. One such program is Camp PEACE (www.CampPeaceAtl.org), our violence-prevention summer camp for children who have witnessed and/ or experienced domestic violence. This summer was our second year of camp and it has tremendous results helping children learn to manage their emotions, form healthier relationships, and peacefully solve conflicts. Website: www.wrcdv.org Contact information: (404) 688-9436 | firstname.lastname@example.org 53
COMMUNITY PROFILE Solutions Not Punishment Coalition Mission: Anchored by the Racial Justice Action Center, La Gender and (Trans)forming the SNaP Coalition (SNaP Co) is working to build power among those who are targeted by the Atlanta Police Department—especially Trans* and gender non conforming folks of color, current and former street level sex workers and formerly incarcerated people—and transform the way the City of Atlanta crafts and implements its policies, practices and laws related to street level sex work. Services/Programs: - Trans Leadership Connection - a paid internship and leadership development program for trans and gender non confirming people of color in Atlanta. - Membership Meetings, campaign work, related actions Accomplishments: Traveled to Seattle and Washington, DC with key stakeholders and city officials to study law enforcement assisted diversion programs. Pushed East Point and Atlanta Police Departments to implement more progressive Standard Operating Procedures. Continue to build a powerful membership led coalition for trans justice led by people of color and for an Atlanta that reimagines public safety that centers justice for everyone in the city! Website: www.rjactioncenter.org/snap Contact information: 2861 East Point St, East Point, GA 30344 | email@example.com | 404-458-6904
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) Mission: The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT AAPI groups, develop leadership, promote visibility, educate our community, enhance grassroots organizing, expand collaborations, and challenge homophobia and racism. Services / Programs: - Annual Leadership Summit of LGBT AAPI organizations: This weekend long training focuses on networking, learning about current issues, sharing strategies, building local organizational infrastructure, and forging collaborative programs. Prior convenings were held in Honolulu (2013), San Jose (2011), Chicago (2010), Denver (2008) and Oakland, CA (2005). In 2014, we are doing a series of Regional Summits. - National Conference: This conference brings together grassroots LGBT AAPI activists from across the nation. Prior national conferences were in Washington, DC in 2012 (350 attendees) and Seattle in 2009 (250 attendees). New York’s 2004 conference (400 attendees) helped lay the groundwork for NQAPIA’s initial convening. The next conference is set for Chicago in summer 2015. - LGBT Immigrants’ Rights: In collaboration with local LGBT AAPI groups, we are spearheading an educational and advocacy campaign on immigrants’ rights that includes local actions, community forums, media hits featuring LGBT AAPI immigrants and a national postcard campaign. - Multilingual Visibility Campaign: NQAPIA aims to improve the visibility of LGBTs in the mainstream AAPI community and of AAPIs in the broader LGBT community. This multilingual education campaign includes outreach to the Asian ethnic media and educational pieces translated into several Asian languages. - Capacity Building Resources: This includes a descriptive directory of all of the nation’s LGBT AAPI groups, organizational tool kit with best practices and model documents, fiscal sponsorship, and special trainings/workshops. - A Voice in Current Issues: NQAPIA promotes LGBT AAPI engagement in current policy issues. NQAPIA is the only LGBT member of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, the coalition of national AAPI advocacy organizations. And we add a racial justice lens to current LGBT issues. Accomplishments: - Released multilingual video PSAs in ethnic media markets showcasing parents of LGBT AAPIs expressing their support and acceptance of their children. 54
COMMUNITY PROFILE - Organized the first gathering of LGBT AAPIs in the South for a weekend of workshops and gatherings to help build a network for LGBT AAPI organizing in the South. Website: www.nqapia.org Contact information: NQAPIA; 233 Fifth Avenue Suite 4A; New York, NY 10016 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Project AFFIRM Mission: Project AFFIRM is a study that aims to learn more about the identity development and health of people who identify as transgender, transsexual, or gender non-conforming across the course of the lifespan. Our goal is to learn more about transgender identity development in order to foster resilience and reduce stigma and discrimination among members of the transgender community. We believe that by developing a better understanding of transgender identity development, findings from Project AFFIRM will help to reduce the known and purported health inequities among the transgender community. We hope that findings will inform the development of future intervention strategies aimed at reducing stigma and promoting the health and well-being of the transgender community. Services / Programs: - In Phase 1, we are conducting in-depth, qualitative interviews with 90 eligible participants, each of whom will be compensated $50 for their contribution to the project. The Phase 1 interview will focus on each participant’s experience of gender identity development over their lifetime. - In Phase 2 (beginning in early fall 2015) we will conduct 480 quantitative surveys with eligible participants, who will be compensated $40 for their participation. Those who complete the Phase 2 survey will be contacted once a year over the course of 3 years, with increasing compensation for each additional survey completed (Initial survey : $40. Year 1 : $45. Year 2 : $55. Final survey : $75). Accomplishments: Project AFFIRM aims, upon completion, to be one of the largest and most diverse studies of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer and gender non-conforming individuals ever conducted. Project AFFIRM’s inclusion of genderqueer and gender non-conforming individuals ensures that non-binary experiences of gender can be heard and treated with equal respect. Project AFFIRM was designed from the ground up to ensure that racial and ethnic minorities are well-represented within our study. Website: To determine if your eligibility, please visit our eligibility screener at projectaffirm.org/participate, or call 404-969-6029. For more information, please visit our website at projectaffirm.org. Contact information: Evelyn Olansky, ATL Outreach Coordinator | email@example.com
QueerBOIS Mission: Queer B.O.I.S. promotes and provides visibility to self-identified bois, butches, tomboys, studs, transmen, androgynous and masculine of centered women in the LGBT community. Through our website, blog and other various social media sites, we empower and encourage this segment of our community to excel, grow and support one another while representing their communities via fashion, business and their own brand of opulence and lifestyle. Please take some time to explore what we have to offer. We thank you for your time and support. Services / Programs: Community Partners include, the Atlanta Dream, Atlanta Pride Lost and Found, Sistah Sinema, BlackOUT. Blog Intern Program, Queer Youth Education, Member Spotlights, Southern Comfort Conference, Atlanta Black Pride, Ladies at Play, Charis Books. Coordinated Information sessions with Piedmont-Health and Alphabet Soup, Whose Beloved Community, Accomplishments: Featured articles and mention in GA Voice, The Fab Femme, DapperQ, David Website: www.QueerBOIS.com Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org | twitter@QueerBOIS | instagram.com/queerbois | 678.379.8960
OUR MOVIES • OUR STORIES • OUR LIVES What is Out on Film?
Out on Film is Atlanta’s own LGBT film festival. We’re in our 28th season. Out on Film was created in 1987 to inform, entertain, educate and enrich the regional LGBT community by recognizing the creative work of LGBT artists and professionals.
What films will be shown?
Out on Film selects a variety of films for our LGBT audiences, including comedies, dramas, romances and documentaries. In addition, we screen multi-racial and multicultural films.
Where is the event?
The majority of films are shown at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta GA 30308. Additional screenings will be held at other local venues.
Atlanta’s LGBT Film Festival Celebrating Pride at the Movies
October 1 - 8, 2015
How do I buy tickets?
Tickets can be purchased at www. outonfilm.org, the Landmark theater, and online at the Landmark’s website. For more ticket information please visit www.outonfilm.org.
Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
Just a sample of this year’s more than 80 films.
How can I learn more?
For details about films and schedules, including trailers, special events, and volunteering go to
Yes. Out on Film schedules opening and closing night parties plus events before and after select films, including Q&As with filmmakers.
OUT ON FILM ADDICTED TO FRESNO
OUT TO WIN
GRAND MARSHALS AGLCC Swami Jaya Devi Bhagavati Stefani Blackmon LaTrina P Jackson Ulester Douglas Raynaeâ€™ Jones Gus Kaufman Tracee McDaniel SOJOURN Daniel Pierce Trans and Friends Charles Henry Stevens Honorary Grand Marshals
(ATLANTA GAY AND LESBIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE) Committed to LGBT Community and Business The AGLCC (Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) exists to promote the economic growth and advancement of our LGBTQ and allied business members, our non-profit organizational members as well as our corporate partners and their employees, through advocacy, leadership, education and support. We serve our community by helping to grow and advance LGBTQ businesses, and to educate and develop LGBTQ professionals in being the best they can be in their professional lives. The more successful we are at building the LGBTQ business community, the better equipped our community is as a whole to generate jobs and advance equality for all LGBTQ community members in Atlanta.
We are so excited to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2015 Atlanta Pride Festival. As an organization dedicated to LGBT business, we are thrilled to celebrate with Pride all the accomplishments local Atlanta LGBT business has achieved.
Photo ÂŠ2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
SWAMI JAYA DEVI BHAGAVATI Spiritual Director, Kashi Atlanta
I believe every person on this earth deserves civil rights and equality. As a spiritual leader in the Atlanta Community, this means taking a public stand for all LGBTQ people. Everyone deserves equal access to health care, marriage, job security and community respect. For an urban yoga monk this also means sending a message to everyone of all faiths and traditions that LGBTQ folks have equal access to God and spirituality. It means celebrating humanity’s diversity, beauty and wildness. I see this as a continuation of the legacy of my guru, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, who was an extraordinary AIDS and LGBTQ activist. Personally, it means I get to wear my love and support for the LGBTQ community on my sleeve and hug every adorable outrageous person that I see, honoring their uniqueness. For in the words of Ma Jaya, “there are no throwaway people.” Swami Jaya Devi Bhagavati is the spiritual director and founder of Kashi Atlanta, a nonprofit Urban Yoga Ashram that has served the spiritual needs of the LGBTQ community for 18 years. Swami teaches weekly classes and weekend immersions to predominately LGBTQ students on how to consume the world and live from the deepest realms of the heart. Swami’s formal work with the LGBTQ community began in 1995. Faced with the tragic impact of HIV/AIDS, she created the first immune yoga, meditation and breath class in the Southeast at the Grady Infectious Diseases Clinic, teaching patients, doctors and nurses. Shortly after, Swami created Kashi Care Team to provide assistance for those in the final stages of AIDS. In 1998 Swami founded Kashi Atlanta, where she taught weekly AIDS/HIV+ Yoga Classes. She began focusing her teaching on spiritual growth, creating a spiritual home for many LGBTQ seekers. Two years ago Kashi started its Trans* & Queer Yoga program. Swami Jaya Devi is a monk in the lineage of Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati and the Kashi Foundation. Kashi Atlanta has been voted Atlanta’s Best Yoga Studio by Creative Loafing every year since 2000, and Swami has been voted Best Yoga Instructor since 2006. Photo ©2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
STEFANI BLACKMON Teacher, Hillgrove High School in Cobb County
Being selected as an Atlanta Pride Festival Grand Marshal solidifies my continued commitment to teaching tolerance. This recognition gives me a stronger voice and access to more resources as an LGBTQ ally. The highest praise a teacher can receive is to have the message in class make its way home. Hearing from students and their parents that I in some way helped to navigate them through the tumultuous teenage years, is a wonderful gift. When students comfortably vocalize their status as a member of the LGBTQ community in my class, I know I am doing my job. I am inspired by their bravery and honored to teach them.
I am a wife, a mother and an educator living and teaching in the Cobb County area my entire life. Approaching my 20th year of marriage with my high school sweetheart in 2016, my 20th year of teaching in the fall of 2015, and my son’s 16th birthday in August, this is a time of reflection. All people should be allowed to feel the power and wonder of a family united not just by love, but also by law. After years of LGBTQ advocacy within my classroom, I am happy to co-sponsor the Hillgrove High LGBTQ+ club with my colleague, Kelly Colvin, after she was asked by students for sponsorship. We are the “plus”. We are their allies. LGBTQ are just letters until someone points out the face and the name of the person representing each symbol. This person sits beside you in class. This is my role. When our club signs are taken down, we replace the signs. When we get complaints over our rainbow club shirts, we walk with a bigger and brighter rainbow. We must be the catalyst for awareness. What type of teacher would I be to do otherwise? I am honored to be this person.
Photo ©2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
LA TRINA P. JACKSON Teacher and Human Dignity Advocate
It is a distinct honor and privilege to serve as a Grand Marshal for the 2015 Atlanta Pride Festival, as it will likely be the first celebration after Marriage Equality. I am an unashamedly Black, Muslim, Same-gender loving, differently- abled and a female-bodied Woman. I swell with pride at this opportunity to represent a cross section of Atlanta communities in this way. I stand on their shoulders. And it is true gift to be borne up by communities of love, justice, and mutuality.
La Trina Jackson, a Georgia native, serves as a board member and community leader/ imam for her local mosque, Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) Atlanta chapter. She also serves on the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation an integrated, interfaith, intergenerational, and international peace and justice organization. Trina is a teacher/human dignity advocate as a public high school science teacher in Atlanta, GA. She will begin doctoral study of Educational Policy and Social Foundations at Georgia State University in the Fall 2015. Her other community activating/agitating work includes growing justice in the US criminal justice system through challenging the policies of mass incarceration and the death penalty. Her work also raises awareness about why #Black Lives Matter and its connections to Palestine/ Israel and other U.S. sanctioned violence and imperialism. Her spiritual/philosophical roots are sown deep into both mysticism and naturalism that foments her passion for inter-religious peacebuilding, and local food security. Trina lives with her spouse, Kim, on a local urban farm raising food, goats, chickens, and bees.
Photo ÂŠ2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
ULESTER DOUGLAS Executive Director, Men Stopping Violence
I am thrilled and honored to be selected as a Grand Marshal for the 2015 Atlanta Pride Festival. I have received numerous awards in recognition of my leadership in social justice work movements; this is one of the most gratifying. Ulester Douglas is executive director of Men Stopping Violence (MSV), a nationally acclaimed organization dedicated to ending male violence against women. He is also a psychotherapist and community organizer with extensive training and experience working with individuals, families and communities marginalized based on social status including gender, race, sex, class and sexual orientation. Ulester completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has received numerous awards including a National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship; Second Sunday of Atlanta Community Service Award; the National District Attorneys Associationâ€™s Stephen L. Von Riesen Lecturer of Merit Award; The Ford Motor Company Freedom Unsung Award; and Unity Fellowship Church Atlanta Community Service Award. He has authored and co-authored curriculum, book chapters and peer reviewed articles on family violence. He has been interviewed by national and local media including The New York Times, CNN, PBS, TV One, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, CBS 46 Atlanta, 11 Alive, WSB TV, V103 and the AJC. Ulester serves on the board of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and was recently appointed by the governor to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.
Photo ÂŠ2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
RAYNAE’ JONES Executive Director, South Georgia Pride, Inc.
It is a great honor! The 2007 Atlanta Pride was the first Pride Festival that I had ever attended. When I came back home I was inspired to get involved in our local LGBTQ community and to make a difference.
Raynae’ Jones, 44, was a late bloomer and came out at the age of 32. At that time she was a mother of three. Since then she has been lobbying for LGBTQ rights. Raynae’ is the Executive Director of South Georgia Pride in Valdosta, GA and has been volunteering with the organization since 2010. She has been involved in the coordination of their Pride Festival that is held every 3rd Saturday in September. Equality is her passion and she looks forward to the day when she can legally marry her partner of twelve years, Holly Jones. Raynae’ lives in the small town of Stockton, just outside of Valdosta, where her partner is a beekeeper. Their “Lesbian Honey” is a popular treat at festivals. However, Raynae’ has many jobs, but out of all she does, being a Mama is her favorite. The couple shares a beautiful two-year-old daughter, Ayla, as well as Raynae’s other wonderful children, Loretta, Dianna and Grady. She also loves being a Nana to her three grandchildren. Raynae’ knows that all the hard work she puts in will pay off. She looks forward to when her children will be able to live in the rural south where every family is legally protected.
Photo ©2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
GUS KAUFMAN, Jr., Ph.D. Psychologist / Social Activist A very great honor, as I love the GLBTQQI community and the Pride parade. I’ve been marching many years. It gives such a festive, positive, life-affirming experience of our variety and zest!
Gus B. Kaufman, Jr., Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and longtime social activist. He cut his teeth as an activist writing and editing for the Great Speckled Bird underground paper, and went on to co-found five nonprofit organizations, including Men Stopping Violence and The Rainbow Project, devoted to ending abuse in LGBT relationships. As a professional his areas of expertise include healing and preventing abuse and trauma, and related to that the use of body signals in psychotherapy. He has worked to bring these together with his passions for justice and authenticity—all tied to his work on gender and sexual orientation. Gus is a former national vice-chair of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a one hundred year old peace and justice group. He has trained workers in prisons, schools, the armed services and professional organizations on these issues and has received the First Existential Congregation’s Susan B. Anthony award, the Rainbow Center (now Sojourn—Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender & Sexual Diversity)’s Rainmaker award and the National Association of Social Workers Stone Soup Award. Gus loves nature and people and is an out, proud, single gay man.
Photo ©2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
TRACEE McDANIEL Executive Director/Founder, Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, Incorporated My selection as Grand Marshal means that younger Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming people that identifies as and look like me will see someone that represents them being celebrated and welcomed at Pride. We are more alike than we differ.
Transgender Advocate Tracee McDaniel is motivated by a strong desire to ensure that all transgender and gender non-conforming people also receive Equality, Justice and Human Rights protections. Tracee was the first transgender person invited to deliver a key-note speech at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in 2007 has lobbed the United States Congress to support a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and to increase HIV/AIDS funding. Tracee founded Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, and organization that provides fundamental services to the transgender community including transitional and emergency housing. JCT is also is the official organizer of the Atlanta Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) celebration, the annual vigil that memorializes transgender and gender non-conforming people who have been lost to murder or suicide. Additionally, Tracee has served on the Atlanta Police Department’s L.G.B.T. Advisory Board, Mayor Reed’s Working Group on Prostitution (WGOP), and is a member of the Board of Directors for Transgender Health and Educational Alliance. Tracee is also a Vetted Trainer for the United States Department of Justice and faciliates transgender cultural compentency trainings for law enforcement agencies. Most recently, Tracee briefed the White House on how economic inequality affects transwomen of color. Photo ©2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
(SOUTHERN JEWISH RESOURCE NETWORK FOR GENDER AND SEXUAL DIVERSITY) Originally founded as The Rainbow Center in 2001, the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity (SOJOURN) became an independent agency in 2013. SOJOURN promotes increased understanding and acceptance of individuals across the entire spectrum of gender and sexual orientation in the Southeast through education, outreach and advocacy, inspired by Jewish and universal ethics and ideals. SOJOURN works throughout the South, training mental health professionals and school staff members in LGBTQ-specific suicide prevention programs, assisting Jewish communities across the South to ensure their communities —including every single Jewish institution—synagogues, camps, schools, and more— are truly welcoming to all people, and in the political advocacy arena, training clergy in grassroots activism and engagement, including this past year’s fight against the so-called “religious liberty” legislation. SOJOURN is a relatively young organization and this honor really is a testament to the incredible work of our volunteers, staff, and supporters. We are committed to increasing understanding and acceptance for people across the entire spectrum of gender and sexual orientation throughout the southeast and in the Jewish/faith communities, and being recognized by our colleagues at Atlanta Pride shows that we’re on the right track. We are thrilled to be a part of this year’s celebrations and look forward to continuing our sacred work together to make the South more welcoming for all.
Photo ©2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
DANIEL ASHLEY PIERCE Student, Kennesaw State University
I am so honored to be part of Pride as a grand marshal. I am ecstatic to be part of such a fun celebration. I hope by being a part of pride we can continue the momentum for equality!
Daniel Ashley Pierce is a Lost N Found Youth success story. He is a student at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw Georgia. He is a resident of Acworth Georgia just a few miles from his hometown of Kennesaw. He has a wonderful partner and a Chihuahua. Daniel was a subject of a viral YouTube video last August that shocked the LGBTQ community worldwide. He was featured in The Advocate, Huffington Post, CNN Doctor Drew, Georgia Voice and Project Q. He was blessed with the love and support of millions that sent comments, letters, emails, donations and more love he could ever ask for. He found his family in the friends that came around him and helped him through. He joined the board of directors for Lost N Found Youth. He is honored to be one of Atlanta Prideâ€™s Grand Marshals for Pride 2015.
Photo ÂŠ2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
TRANS* AND FRIENDS Psychologist / Social Activist For over a decade, Trans* and Friends has met at least twice a month. Without recognition, we’ve maintained our group because we know how critical it is to the lives of the people who attend. This recognition from Atlanta Pride is symbolic of the group’s importance not just to individuals, but also to community. Trans* and Friends is excited to reach out into the LGBTQ community at such as festive time to invite folks to join us throughout the year in discussing gender related issues and resources. Courageous conversations are instrumental in supporting individuals and aspiring allies in a world full of on-going transitions.
Trans* and Friends is a youth-focused group for trans* people, people questioning their own gender, and aspiring allies. We provide a facilitated space to discuss gender, relevant resources, and activism around social issues. Whether silently or aloud, we ask folks to consider their own gender in a transient world. This is a project of the Feminist Outlawz. We meet on the first and third Mondays at Charis Books and More. Mr. Jesse McNulty Sr., M.Ed., co-founder/co-facilitator of Trans* and Friends, is a 19 year veteran teacher of at-risk youth, a co-founder of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition, and sponsor of the newly formed GSA at his middle school, a 1st in Dekalb County. Known as Sir Jesse [SJ] among progressive communities, he is an advocate for LGBTQQIA+ and queerly situated youth. Sarah Meng, MS, LAPC, NCC, has been a co-facilitator of Trans* and Friends since 2006. A mental health counselor in private practice, Sarah specializes in issues related to identity development. Her work with the Trans Resilience Project has been published in academic journals and presented at professional conferences. Sarah is also an active volunteer with Georgia Safe Schools Coalition and a co-director of Tiny Doors ATL. Photo ©2015 Tim Wilkerson | www.FeedYourEyes.net
CHARLES HENRY STEVENS US Navy, Retired
Pharmacist’s Mate First Class Charles Henry Stevens of Philadelphia served aboard the US Navy’s brand new Haven-class hospital ship USS Repose (AH-16) during the final bloody days of the Pacific campaign in World War II, and continued his service during the Korean Conflict, amassing an admirable number of 13 medals, including the rare China Service Medal when the Repose was stationed on the Whangpoo River in Shanghai. Many years later, during the battle to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that barred gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the US military, Charles Stevens rebuffed the claim by then Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos that “his” Marines would be better off without the “distraction” of gay men who would “undermine unit cohesion in combat.” “When I was putting Marines back together again, and they were screaming for their mamas,” said Stevens, “they didn’t seem to care a whole lot that I was gay.” Charles’s argument became one of the most effective justifications in defeating DADT: wounded US service members are better off having their lives saved by a gay medical technician than by dying on the battlefield because the medic had been kicked out for under DADT. Charles would be deeply touched and very grateful that his incredible generosity and leadership had been honored, but would have denied any pleasure in the recognition with humility, charm, and humor. — Danny Ingram 69
HONORARY GRAND MARSHALS Sam Brinton
Whether he’s walking the halls of Congress to help educate the Hill on the differences in nuclear reactors or belting out his favorite tunes with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, it is hard to miss Samuel Brinton’s bright red mohawk. The signature hairstyle started as a dare in graduate school and continues to turn heads and start conversations. As the Clean Energy Fellow at Third Way, Sam is concentrating on projects near and dear to their heart: nuclear energy policy. From advanced nuclear reactor guides for Congress to education on nuclear waste storage options, Sam is bringing a fresh perspective on licensing, investment strategies, and policy improvements in the field of atomic energy and waste management. When not intently studying nuclear physics papers, Sam is an ardent activist against the dangerous and discredited practices of LGBT conversion therapy. His work consists of a plethora of trips to universities across the country to share his experiences and to educate on how to pass legislation banning the practice. He has spoken before the United Nations, Google Headquarters, and Congress, and has also been featured in interviews with TIME, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Washington Post, The Guardian, New York Daily News, and many others. You might not expect a nuclear scientist from Kansas to have a bright red mohawk, but that is part of the reason Samuel has it. Having a chat on preconceptions is right up his alley. Whether it’s on technical topics or social issues like supporting LGBT survivors of conversion therapy, Samuel is always willing to have the tough conversations with an open mind.
Esera Tualo Esera Tavai Tuaolo was born on the Island of Oahu and now resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a retired National Football League player, musician, author, activist, and father. Esera shocked the world in 2003 when he announced on HBO REAL SPORTS with Bryant Gumble that he is part of the LGBT community. Being Gay does not define the type of person Esera Tuaolo is; being an incredible human being does. Though he has thought of walking through the valley of death a million times by trying to commit suicide, he was freed by three words “I AM GAY.” As an advocate, Esera has appeared on many shows from Oprah to Good Morning America. He traveled the country educating people on homophobia and sharing his life-long experiences of a gay athlete living in a masculine world of football, hoping that his life story will help save lives. Esera’s message is: “Hate in any form is wrong.” He is also a father of two beautiful twins, Mitchell and Michele. Esera now works to end bullying and discrimination against people of all nationalities, orientation and genders as the Founder of Hate In Any Form is Wrong. The organization’s mission statement is to help address the issues and minimize the negative impact that hate has on our society. Esera wants to bring awareness to the bullying epidemic that is sweeping our nation, end bullying, and create a safe environment for all of our children. 70
COMMUNITY Out on Film GA Voice Grady GA Voice Archives: A History of Pride in Atlanta Interview with Honorary Grand Marshal Violet Chachki
Over the course of the last 28 years, Out On Film has grown to become one of the major LGBT film festivals in the country. 2014 was the most attended in the organization’s history and we are looking to set another record this year. We run this year from October 1 – 8 at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema and have some terrific films and guests. Stop by and see some great films – and then get ready for an amazing Pride weekend. Our website (www.outonfilm.org) and app have our complete schedules! – Jim Farmer, Festival Director
54: The Director’s Cut
Mark Christopher’s “54” has been newly restored and is available as a new Director’s Cut. It has been re-edited to include 30 minutes of never before seen footage, much of it gay-themed. Set against the backdrop of Studio 54’s party lifestyle that made the club infamous in the 70s, the Director’s Cut explores in greater depth a love triangle between a bartender, a coat check girl and a busboy. Shane, a Jersey boy with big dreams, crosses the river in hopes of finding a more exciting life at Studio 54. When Steve Rubell, the mastermind behind the infamous disco, plucks Shane from the sea of faces clamoring to get inside his club, Shane not only gets his foot in the door, but lands a coveted job behind the bar—and a front-row seat at the most legendary party on the planet. Starring Ryan Phillippe, Neve Campbell, Salma Hayek and Mike Meyers.
Addicted to Fresno
“Addicted to Fresno” stars Natasha Lyonne (“Orange is the New Black,” “But I’m a Cheerleader”) and Judy Greer (“Jurassic World,” “Tomorrowland”) as two co-dependent sisters—a lonely lesbian and a recovering sex addict—working as hotel maids, whose lives gets further complicated by a dead body. The dark comedy co-stars Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”), Molly Shannon, Ron Livingston and Clea DuVall. It’s directed by Jamie Babbit, whose credits include “But I’m a Cheerleader,” “Looking,” and “Drop Dead Diva.”
David Gold, 36, a pathologically immature former child actor, has never been able to get over high school. Today, he was just diagnosed with skin cancer and got fired from the last acting gig he could get. Desperate for money and with nothing else to lose, he fakes his resume, and gets a job as a high school guidance counselor. The students of Grusin High love him—it might be because he drinks and smokes with them. But this is just the beginning of his downward spiral. When he meets Jabrielle, a teenage outcast who’s just as screwed up as he is, he might learn that in the company of teenagers, sometimes you can go too far, especially when it comes to committing a ridiculous crime.
How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)
The poor outlying districts of Bangkok are a world where you grow up very quickly. After both their parents die, 11-year-old Oat, his little sister and his older brother Ek move in with their aunt. Ek works in a bar for male prostitutes. His relationship with Jai, the son of rich parents, began when he was still at school. Their uneven love for one another is put to the test when the day of the annual conscription arrives; this is when a lottery decides who must do military service and who can stay at home. Told from the younger brother’s point of view, the film takes a refreshingly unadorned and impartial look at an essentially loving environment where social conditions are governed by venality, corruption and false ideals. Based on the stories from the bestselling book “Sightseeing,” the film is set in the economic fringes of Bangkok and examines the joys and challenges of growing up in contemporary Thailand.
In the Grayscale
Bruno (35) is an architect who has a perfect life: Married, with a son, a nice house, a nice car, and his own architectural firm. But Bruno has a deep sense of unease with his life. He decides to leave his wife and spend some time along to find himself. A businessman offers him an opportunity to build an iconic landmark in the city of Santiago. Excited by this professional challenge, Bruno feels this may provide the spark he needs in his life. But as part of the project, he starts working with a young history teacher named Fer (29) who is energetic, captivating and gay. It is the beginning of an unexpected, intense and passionate romance, leaving Bruno full of conflicting feelings, and forcing him to make big decisions about his future.
Out To Win
Out To Win
From the director of Small Town Gay Bar and Continental, “Out to Win” is a documentary film that serves as an overview and examination of the lives and careers of aspiring and professional gay and lesbian athletes from all over the world. Chronicling the present, and framed within the historical context of those that came before, this film highlights the experiences of athletes who have fought and struggled, both in and out of the closet, to represent the LGBT community and their true selves. Featuring interviews with trailblazers including Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Jason Collins, Brittney Griner, Billy Bean, John Amaechi, and more, this film is told through the voices of pioneers, present day heroes, tomorrow’s superstars and the people who’ve helped them get to where they are.
Portrait of a Serial Monogamist
A forty-something lesbian, and accomplished breakup artist, leaves her long-standing girlfriend to pursue a younger woman, only to discover that her new love interest might not be interested in a relationship. Toronto is the backdrop for this romantic comedy about a woman forced to confront herself and the possibility that she broke up with the one she was meant to be with.
Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story
With Falcon Studios, gay porn mogul Chuck Holmes built an empire on flesh and fantasy—the gay Hugh Hefner. From 1972 to 2000, Chuck fought the FBI, vice squads and an epidemic to document the emerging gay culture, and provide gay men across the country with a vision of life that was unashamed and celebratory. Chuck’s business brings him fortune beyond imagining, and powerful friends, but when he attempts to channel his millions into a gay rights movement of the 90s, he finds that his money is sometimes more welcome than he is. “Seed Money” is the story of Chuck Holmes, one of the gay rights movement’s most unlikely pioneers.
The Summer of Sangaile
Winner of the World Directing Award at Sundance, “The Summer of Sangaile” follows 17 year-old Sangaile, who is fascinated by stunt planes. Afraid of heights, she has never dared to even enter in one of the cockpits. At a summer aeronautical show, nearby her parents’ lakeside villa, she meets Auste, a local girl of her age, who unlike Sangaile, lives her life to the full with creativity and dare. As the two girls become lovers, Sangaile allows Auste to discover her most intimate secret, and finds in her teenage love the only person to truly encourage her in flying.
Tab Hunter Confidential
In the 1950s, Tab Hunter is number one at the box office and number one on the music charts. He is Hollywood’s most sought-after star and America’s boy next door. Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds and Sophia Loren are just a few of the actresses he is romantically linked to. Nothing, it seems, can damage Tab Hunter’s career. Nothing, that is, except for the fact that Tab Hunter is secretly gay. Now, Tab Hunter’s secret is out. In “Tab Hunter Confidential,” directed by Jeffrey Schwarz (“Vito” and “I Am Divine,”) we meet, for the first time, the real Tab Hunter as he shares with us the whole story of a happy, healthy survivor of Hollywood’s roller coaster.
HOLLYWOOD ’S ALL AMERICAN BOY HAD A SECRET.
TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL ALLAN GLASER PRODUCTIONS in association with AUTOMAT PICTURES presents TAB HUNTER DEBBIE REYNOLDS ROBERT WAGNER JOHN WATERS GEORGE TAKEI CLINT EASTWOOD PORTIA DE ROSSI “TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL” Director of Photography NANCY SCHREIBER, ASC Edited by JEFFREY SCHWARZ Original Score by MICHAEL “THE MILLIONAIRE” CUDAHY Titles & Animation GRANT NELLESSEN Associate Producer JON GLOVER Line Producer PATRICIA BISCHETTI Executive Producers CHAD AND GINNI DREIER SHARON BRADFORD LEANNE REES Co-Producer JOHN BOCCARDO Produced by ALLAN GLASER NEIL KOENIGSBERG JEFFREY SCHWARZ Directed by JEFFREY SCHWARZ
On Manhattan’s gilded Upper East Side, a young painter, Charlie, finds the man of his dreams in an older pianist from across the globe. If only Charlie weren’t secretly in love with his own manipulative best friend, Sebastian, who is embroiled in a financial scandal. In the wake of Sebastian’s notoriety, their tightknit group of friends must confront the new realities of adulthood.
“Those People” Director, Joey Kuhn 74
CELEBRATING 45 YEARS OF ATLANTA PRIDE By Dyana Bagby The 45th anniversary of Atlanta Pride ushers in a new era of LGBT equality—the right for same-sex couples to legally marry in every single state of the U.S. When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the ruling on June 26, 2015, to legalize same-sex marriage across the country, dozens of couples in metro Atlanta lined up at their local courthouses to receive their marriage licenses and then marry— finally—in their home state. That afternoon, hundreds gathered at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta to listen to speakers and activists who were on the frontlines of the battle for this major victory in Georgia and the nation as they cheered over and over, “Love rules.” Hundreds more people gathered later that evening at the gay crossroads of Atlanta—at 10th and Piedmont—to continue the celebration well into the night, waving flags and screaming with joy as motorists honked their horns in solidarity. It was a great day in Atlanta, a great day Georgia, and a great day in the U.S. And it guarantees a great weekend of festivities during Atlanta Pride. But while marriage is a major victory in the LGBT movement, there are so many more battles to be fought for full equality for all people—and what better place to savor our victories while also rejuvenating ourselves for the fights ahead than at Atlanta Pride. “As with all anniversaries, the 45th Atlanta Pride observance is a good reminder to look back at our history,” said Jamie Fergerson, who became Atlanta Pride’s executive director on June 29. “We remember the progress we’ve made and those people who fought for advances in equality and justice. With recent federal protections for transgender people and marriage equality, we have a lot to celebrate this year. Anniversaries are also a time for looking forward,” she added. “There is still so much work left to be done in the equality movement,” Fergerson said. “We still need to address employment protections, violence against people of color and trans people, and problems facing LGBTQ youth among many other issues. We still need to work on making sure that our own movement is inclusive and allows room for all voices to be heard.” For U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a strong LGBT ally who marches— actually he runs—in every Atlanta Pride parade, the 45th anniversary of the fest and the legalization of same-sex marriage is a pinnacle in the LGBT equality movement. But more must still be done. “I am grateful to Atlanta Pride for its ongoing work to organize, mobilize, educate and inform the people of this state during the last 45 years,” Lewis said. “The work of its activists has helped to move our country forward, and this year they have so much to celebrate. The Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage is the culmination of a great deal of sacrifice, struggle, and persistence on the part of groups and individuals all over the country,” he added. “Their vision and the action they took has helped to bring this nation closer to the day when equality will become a reality for all of the citizens of this country.”
HOW IT ALL BEGAN The victory for the freedom to marry could not have been on the minds of the dykes, gay men, drag queens and gender nonconformists at the Stonewall Inn in New York who, finally tired of police brutality, fought back in the summer of 1969 and started what has become known as the Stonewall Riots. That stand against discrimination became the catalyst for the modern-day LGBT rights movement. “Forty-five years ago, as I was readying myself to graduate from high school and ending years of living in a closet to survive there, the Stonewall Rebellion occurred, giving all of us in the LBGT community the hope that we were about to see some real changes in our lives that would make them more livable and giving rise to the origin of Pride events and celebration,” said Cheryl Courtney-Evans, an Atlanta trans woman and founder of Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth. “Additionally, the most recent SCOTUS decision has given us proof of just what perseverance, unity and determination can accomplish,” she added. “However, while we herald back to the Stonewall, we must not forget the transgender individuals of color—contrary to what some would have you believe—who played integral roles in that event, and commemorate and honor their participation by utilizing that same concentration of effort in improving the lives of the entire LGBTQ acronym; we must remember that marriage equality is not the end of struggle, but merely a signpost on a continued journey for our community,” Courtney-Evans stressed. In 2009, Atlanta Pride held its first Trans March to ensure visibility to transgender people who are, as Courtney-Evans noted, oftentimes overlooked by many in the LGB community. Dozens marched in that first march that took place inside Piedmont Park among the Pride revelers. By marching through the park, those in the Trans March made sure they were seen and heard. In 2014, the Trans March attracted more than 300 people and, for the first time, the march took place outside the park and along Peachtree Street, bringing more visibility to trans people and their fight for equality. A group of protesters heckled and berated the marchers as they made their way back into the park at the Charles Allen entrance, but their slurs and signs were drowned out by the pride of vocal trans participants. Marching in that 2014 Trans March were Sabastion Mikel, 21, and his mom, Renee Yawn. They were wearing matching shirts and carrying signs that read, “I love my Trans Son” and “Trans and Proud.” “I’m involved in a few parent support groups and we talked about marching in the Trans March and we all hooked up to participate,” Yawn said, saying they planned to be back in 2015. For Mikel, having the support of his mom is something he holds close to his heart. “Not a lot of trans people have their mom’s support. It’s very empowering,” he said. Yawn says while Mikel “may not have been the child I thought I had, he is my child.” And, she says, the protesters put her into “Mama Bear” mode. But not even hecklers would diminish their excitement of being surrounded by so many of their friends and supporters. “This weekend gets me through the entire year,” Yawn said. “This weekend is so amazing. There is so much love and bravery; it’s beautiful.”
“The bar owners in those days played a central role in the community, acting as social worker, confessor, bail bondsman, giving financial or medical support and helping in so many ways as best they could,” Robison said.
PRIDE’S EARLY YEARS The June 1969 Stonewall uprising is widely viewed as launching the modern gay rights movement, igniting a more radical approach than the fledgling “homophile” movement that was already quietly underway. By the next year, cities began hosting rallies and celebrations to mark the anniversary of Stonewall, creating the Gay Pride events that continue to this day. In 1971, the Gay Liberation Front was founded in Atlanta and the organization sponsored the city’s first “Gay Liberation Day” march down Peachtree Street to Piedmont Park. Berl Boykin, a gay activist who helped organize that first march, said about 125 people participated. But Atlanta, dubbed “the city too busy to hate,” refused to grant a permit for the march. That forced the marchers to stay on sidewalks and stop for traffic lights. “But there was a great spirit and zeitgeist and panache,” Boykin said. In 1972, the Pride march attracted some 250 people while also drawing coverage in the media—and even some blowback from those within the gay community itself. Dave Hayward, founder of Touching Up Our Roots, an Atlanta LGBT history project, recalls gay bar owners kicking out people wanting to distribute flyers about the upcoming Pride march. “We had the unmatched experience of being thrown out of two gay bars for leafleting about Pride! Direct quote, ‘We don’t want any of that radical shit in our bars!’ unquote,” Hayward recalled. Gil Robison announced the formation of the gay political group the First Tuesday Democratic Club, that later became the First Tuesday Association for Lesbian and Gay Rights, at the 1977 Pride. He was heavily involved with Atlanta’s Gay Pride from 1975 to the mid 1980s—the years he calls “ASBA, After Stonewall, Before AIDS.” “In those days the active gay community was smaller, and most of us knew or knew of each other. Though Pride attracted people from all walks of life, there were three main constituencies,” Robison explained. There were the political activists who were the main organizers of the march and rally. “Many of us had come out of the civil rights and [Vietnam] antiwar movements, were leftists of one sort or another and brought those sensibilities with us, often differing with each other as leftist do, when envisioning a more perfect world,” he said.
“Getting them involved in Pride during that time was a challenge, but opened the way for so many more to participate in it. The march—and in those days it was a march, not a parade—usually started with several hundred and sometimes even a couple of thousand gathering at the Civic Center parking lot and making their way up Piedmont Avenue or more often Peachtree Street,” said Robison. At that time, marchers and rallies focused on issues such as: repealing the anti-sodomy laws; raising awareness of the many kinds of discrimination against gays and lesbians and even perhaps ending it; stopping police brutality and their entrapment of gay men, Robison said.
TAKING ON A MEGACHURCH PASTOR Robison recalls a specific moment in Pride’s early history. “One year as we approached Rev. Charles Stanley’s First Baptist Church on Peachtree Street, guarded by armed horsemen and off-duty Georgia State Patrolmen, a young dewy-eyed lesbian innocently asked one of the parade marshals if she could use his bullhorn,” Robison remembered. Rev. Charles Stanley is also founder of In Touch Ministries. “He agreed, she pointed it at the church and led the crowd in a rousing chant of ‘Burn down the churches! Bring back the goddess!’ The happy exuberance of transgression let out of its cage once a year,” he said. In 1976, Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson issued a “Gay Pride Day” proclamation much to the dismay of the group “Citizens for a Decent Atlanta,” a group of anti-gay residents who called for Jackson’s resignation.
The second group was the more moderate or conservative gay and lesbian religious groups whose focus, while political, was less so than others, Robison said.
In 1977, Mayor Jackson takes a step back and instead issues a “Human Rights Week” proclamation rather than a “Gay Pride” proclamation. This year, about 1,000 people attend Pride. It was this year that Robison announced the formation of the gay political group, First Tuesday.
RECRUITING GAY BARS
THE GAY AGENDA
And the third group was the bars, a group largely untapped until maybe the early 1980s. “Some may find it hard to believe today, but at the time the bar owners, entertainers and many who frequented them didn’t quite know what to make of Pride and those of us active in it,” he said, agreeing with Hayward’s recollection. “The bar owners, older and more hardened by years of anti-gay bigotry, had learned to survive and thrive as best they could by keeping low profiles and trying to remain invisible, unseen by the police, unfriendly neighbors and moralistic church goers,” he said. The gay bars were such an important part of gay culture in the early days of the LGBT movement, and their participation in Pride was to become crucial.
In the early years, the rallies in Piedmont Park featured speakers from the various gay and lesbian groups, setting out agendas and visions. “After some years a proclamation from the mayor’s office or City Council would be read, reasonably, even cautiously, worded, but even that was usually attract public criticism from some business and church leaders,” Robison said. “It was a time of great diversity of opinion of who we were and where we should go. Gays in the military and same-sex marriage were issues barely on the horizon, and were controversial, sometimes criticized as assimilationist, and supporting our oppressors,” he added. 77
“In short it was the adolescence of our movement, striving to search out its own identity, and laying the groundwork for the many victories we have seen in recent years,” said Robison.
AIDS, ALFA AND ACTIVISM Anti-gay crusader and orange juice spokesperson Anita Bryant came to Atlanta in 1978 to give a keynote at the Southern Baptist Convention. Gay activists shifted gears from a Pride celebration to a June 11 protest some 2,000 people strong at the World Congress Center, where Bryant was speaking. With the onset of AIDS, Pride soon becomes a place to bring awareness and in 1983 the first “Stop AIDS” banners appears in the march. This is the first year of the Dyke March, organized by the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance. From an ALFA newsletter dated June 18, 1983, announcing the Dyke March: “Yay! It’s time to get out your favorite dyke T shirt, buttons, etc., and take to the streets. [W]e are having our very own Lesbian Pride March. It will be a candlelight vigil starting at Candler Park, continuing down McClendon to Little Five Points and finishing with a rally…” That same ALFA newsletter also mentions the Pride march set for June 25 and starting at 12:30 p.m. Participants who can’t be out are encouraged to wear bags over their heads. “The march begins at the Civic Center on Ralph McGill Blvd…This year, persons not able to be identified as queer for whatever reasons are asked to participate in either march by wearing a bag over their heads,” states the newsletter. “This tactic has the two-fold purpose of increasing our numbers and illustrating our oppression.” But the community would soon face a challenge that made the previous struggles pale in comparison. In 1981, the Georgia Department of Human Resources began tracking AIDS cases in the state, with three reported. “At that time, what we had was a movement for queer liberation, and it was essentially derailed by AIDS. The focus had to shift because people were dying,” Maria Helena Dolan said in an interview five years ago. She began helping organize Pride in 1977. As the 1980s drew to a close, AIDS remained prominent. The 1988 festival theme was “A Celebration of Life”—a poignant reminder of when funerals were common and the time between diagnosis and death was often measured in months. The activism surrounding AIDS did result in setting the foundation for more LGBT activism, centered on the Pride events every year. The 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1989 raised the profile of gay rights enough to lead Mayoral candidate Maynard Jackson to openly campaign for gay votes at Pride. Attendance continued to grow at the Pride celebrations, with some 30,000 people attending in 1991. That year, Cheryl Summerville was named a grand marshal after she was fired from Cracker Barrel for being a lesbian. This is also the year Atlanta Pride officially incorporates as a nonprofit organization. The 25th anniversary of Atlanta Pride has the theme, “From Silence to Celebration,” and 78
attendance is estimated at 120,000. The Atlanta Pride Committee hires its first employee and AIDS Survival Project takes over organizing the Pride AIDS Candlelight Vigil. The Indigo Girls headline their hometown Pride at Piedmont Park in 1996, attracting a record crowd of 300,000 people. A somber note falls over Atlanta Pride in 1997 after the bombing of the Otherside Lounge, a gay bar. Security is tightened at the festival and organizers again record a record attendance of 300,000 people. Atlanta Pride honors the 30th anniversary of Stonewall in 1999 and this is the first fest for Buck Cooke. Cooke was the executive director of Atlanta Pride from 2012 to July 9, 2015, before moving to London to marry his boyfriend. “I was shocked because I had never seen so many LGBTQ people in one place before! It was overwhelming, scary, and incredibly empowering!” Cooke said of his first Pride. “Many of the thoughts and emotions that I experienced in 1999 have been present with me through much of my work with the Atlanta Pride Committee as the executive director, along with a huge sense of responsibility to our LGBTQ and allied community and all of the people who haven’t even come out yet,” he said. The Supreme Court ruling overturning anti-gay sodomy laws on June 26, 2003—the day before Atlanta Pride begins—turns up the celebration of the fest several notches. The following year, though, a more political tone is urged as an amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Georgia looms on the November ballot. The amendment passes with 76 percent of the vote. In 2008, Atlanta Pride is forced to move out of Piedmont Park and relocate to the Atlanta Civic Center from Piedmont Park due to a major statewide drought. The fest is also held over the Fourth of July weekend. Heavy downpours, a new location and a different date lead to major financial losses for Atlanta Pride and the organization’s leadership is shuffled. Atlanta officials allow Atlanta Pride to move back to Piedmont Park in 2009, but must be held over Halloween weekend. The opening night party is held at the Georgia Aquarium for the first time and the inaugural Trans March takes place. Organizers say Atlanta Pride is well on its way to a financial recovery. The Atlanta Pride Committee celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010 by moving the fest to midOctober to coincide with National Coming Out Day. Each year since, the fest and parade take place the same weekend as National Coming Out Day. And now, as Atlanta Pride enters its 45th year, the fest is ready for another 45 years and longer. “We have grown our programming to truly offer year-round opportunities to engage our constituents and build community and we have endeavored to make our organization more sustainable through strategic planning,” Cooke said. For Fergerson, the 45th anniversary of Atlanta Pride is an exciting time to head up the organization as it celebrates a major milestone while looking forward to many more years. “It is a great responsibility to be entrusted with continuing the social justice work that so many people have sacrificed their lives for, and I am grateful for the chance to do whatever I can to advance the struggle for LGBTQ equality,” Fergerson said. “With the work of the entire Atlanta Pride team and others in the Pride movement, I believe that we will see as many advances in equality in the next 45 years as we have seen in the last 45,” she said. “We simply cannot become complacent, and we must continue to work until we have realized fairness and equality for all people.”
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ATLANTA COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT GRADY For more than 123 years, Atlanta’s Grady Health System has been the cornerstone of health care in the north Georgia region. Opened in 1892 with a mission to serve all in need, Grady is today one of the one of the largest safety net academic health systems in the United States. Grady consists of the 953-bed Grady Memorial Hospital, six neighborhood health centers, Crestview Health and Rehabilitation Center, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding, which is operated as a Children’s affiliate. With its nationally-acclaimed emergency medical services, Grady has the premier level I trauma center in the Metro Atlanta region and serves as the 911 ambulance provider for the City of Atlanta. Grady’s American Burn Association/American College of Surgeons verified Burn Center is one of only two in the state. And the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center is a Joint Commission designated Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center. Other key services include Georgia’s first Cancer Center for Excellence, the Avon Breast Health Center, the Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, and the Ponce de Leon Center - one of the top three HIV/AIDS outpatient clinics in the country. Grady’s Regional Perinatal Center with its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Primary Care Center, and the Rape Crisis Center, are also notable components of the health system. The state’s only Poison Center is housed at Grady as well. Recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the Healthcare Equality Index 2014 report, Grady has a long history of providing services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients, as well as advocating for their right to be treated with compassion, dignity and respect. Grady is proud to have successfully met all Core Four criteria for two consecutive years. To insure that our philosophy of non-discrimination is transparent, our patients’ bill of rights clearly defines our policies of equitable, high quality care for LGBT patients. That transparency also extends to our visitation policy for same-sex parents, caretakers, partners, spouses and significant others of LGBT patients. We are pleased to again be a sponsor of Atlanta Pride. We wish everyone a safe and fun-filled experience.
A LOOK BACK AT WHERE WE’VE BEEN Celebrating 44 years of Atlanta Pride and who we are This year marks the 44th annual Atlanta Pride festival. And what a long, fabulous trip it’s been to get here. In 1968, when lesbians, gay men, drag queens and gender non-conformists fought back against a police raid at the New York Stonewall Inn, they had no idea they would be kick starting a movement that continues to this day, one that spread throughout the nation and the world. October marks LGBT History Month and it is crucial we remember our history and honor those who came before us. 1970 On the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, about 100 activists march down Peachtree Street. The march received no media coverage, and no known records remain. 1971 Democratic party activist Bill Smith legally incorporates the revolutionary Gay Liberation Front, following the trend of GLF groups springing up around the country. GLF sponsors Atlanta’s first “Gay Liberation Day march down Peachtree Street to Piedmont Park. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covers the march and estimates attendance at 50; GLF estimates 125. 1972 Over 300 march in the next Gay Pride, which is covered widely by local television. GLF again sponsors the event, but dissolves the next year. Charlie St. John is appointed by Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell to the city’s Community Relations Commission. He is the city’s first openly gay appointee. Pride is viewed by some gay businesses as too radical, and two large gay bars throw out activists distributing Pride fliers. 1973 Gay Pride continues to grow, although some marchers wear paper bags over their heads to demonstrate the dangers of coming out. Gays picket the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after Charlie St. John is fired from his job as a copy carrier for distributing Gay Pride fliers. The GBI searches St. John’s apartment on drug charges many believe to be fabricated. 1974 The Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance, formed in 1972, fields the first openly lesbian softball team to play in the city league, and helps coordinate Lesbian & Gay Pride Day. 1975 Local gay media outlets founded in the year before now cover Pride, with attendance estimated at 600. The Barb bills itself as “the groovy newspaper covering Atlanta and the Southeast”; Cruise is a gay bar guide. 82
1976 Gay Pride celebrates the theme “Christopher St. South” with 1,000 marchers. Mayor Maynard Jackson issues a “Gay Pride Day” proclamation. Angry conservatives form Citizens for a Decent Atlanta, call for Jackson’s resignation. The Gay Pride Planning Committee renames itself the Gay Rights Alliance. 1977 Stung by controversy from the year before, Mayor Jackson issues a “Human Rights Week” proclamation instead of “Gay Pride.” About 1,500 attend Pride, in which the Gay Rights Alliance carries a banner calling for national gay rights legislation and an Atlanta gay rights ordinance (not passed until 1986). At Pride, Gil Robison announces the formation of a gay political group, First Tuesday. 1978 Anita Bryant visits Atlanta to give the keynote address at the Southern Baptist Convention at the World Congress Center. A protest at Bryant’s June 11 visit takes the place of the usual gay Pride celebration, and police estimate 2,000 march on the World Congress Center. 1979 Pride is put together by those helping organize the First National March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights. Ten years after the Stonewall Riots, Pride’s theme is “Lavender Anniversary.” Estimated attendance ranges from 700 to 1,000. 1980 A new decade brings a new name for Gay Pride, now dubbed “Lesbian Gay Transperson” Pride day—the “LGT” is sometimes also interpreted as “Let’s Get Together.” Over 1,200 attend. The Gay Atlanta Minorities Association sponsors a rap session on “Black Lesbian/Gay/Transperson survival in the ‘80s.” Pride’s theme is “International Gay Solidarity Day.” 1981 LGT Pride attempts to advertise on MARTA. The fundraising and publicity committee reports that initial discussions are “positive,” but MARTA officials later refuse to allow the words “lesbian, gay, transperson” and suggest “free-thinking, free-spirited persons” instead. LGT Pride events include a street festival on 7th Street and a march from Piedmont Park to City Hall; an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 attend. The Gay Atlanta Minorities Association boycotts Pride, citing racism. The Georgia Department of Human Resources begins tracking AIDS cases in the state, and three are reported. 1982 Pride’s theme is “Stonewall Then, Atlanta Now,” and 4,000 participate in a rally at the State Capitol; there is also a carnival on Peachtree Place. The Atlanta City Council issues a Lesbian Gay Transperson Pride proclamation without the signature of Mayor Andrew Young, who contends approval is not needed for “private sexual practices.” 1983 Pride theme is “Out Front, Out Loud, Outstanding,” and the first “Stop AIDS” banner appears in the march. Attendance appears to drop, estimated by police at 2,000. The Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance hosts a candlelight Dyke March from Candler Park to Little Five Points; the event will be resurrected 10 years later. Headline in the June 26, 1983, issue of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Gays becoming key factor in city politics.” 1984 Lesbian/Gay Pride parade and rally takes place on July 3, with the theme “Once more, with feeling.” This time, Mayor Andrew Young obliges with a “Gay and Lesbian Civil
Rights Day” proclamation. Speakers include Sonia Johnson, an ex-Mormon feminist and third party presidential candidate. Attendance estimated at 1,500. 1985 Mayor Andrew Young proclaims first Gay Pride Week in Atlanta; the first community memorial for those who have died of AIDS is held. 1986 Pride theme is “Forward Together” as speakers gather on the steps of the state capitol; most of the organizers are also working on the Second National March on Washington, which takes place the next year. Coke reportedly offers two trailers for the rally, until the company finds out the subject; then Coke offers to donate ice cream, safely without the corporate logo. (Ten years later, in 1996, Coke will become a major corporate sponsor of Pride). The week’s events include a statewide gay rights conference, picnic in the park, women’s softball, and gay church and atheist events, but only about 2,000 participate on the actual Pride day. 1987 Pride organizing is a last-minute effort, with only about 500 showing up for a rally on the steps of the state capitol. Speakers include Leigh VanderEls, a lesbian mother who lost custody of her son and, with her partner Christina Cash, founded Southern Voice. 1988 In the midst of the AIDS crisis, Pride theme is “A Celebration of Life.” About 1,000 march from the Civic Center to Piedmont Park. The first Pride Prom, a gay dance, is held. 1989 On the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Pride theme is “Stonewall: Reasons to Remember.” Mayoral candidate Maynard Jackson campaigns for gay votes at Pride, although once elected, he doesn’t appear the next year. 1990 Pride draws 5,000 to Piedmont Park, as a billboard reading “Gay America Loves You” is erected over Interstate 75/85 during the summer. Of the 14 invited speakers, only four are gay or lesbian—most are politicians seeking votes. In a reaction to the problem, Pride later enacts a policy prohibiting candidates from speaking from the Pride stage, but the policy creates its own controversies in later years. 1991 Theme is “Be There, Be Aware, Be Counted,” and Pride attendance makes its first giant leap, to an estimated 30,000. Grand marshals are Charlie St. John and Cheryl Summerville, who was fired from her job as a cook at Cracker Barrel for being gay. Fourth Tuesday hosts a lesbian and gay business event during the first weekend of Pride. The Atlanta Pride Committee officially incorporates as a non-profit with 501(c)3 status. Front Runners hosts the first Pride 5K Run/Walk. 1992 Pride takes another huge leap: An estimated 60,000 attend in Piedmont Park. Theme is “Take Pride: Celebrate Your Individuality.” Controversy abounds: AIDS activists protest a comment by a Pride co-chair that they interpreted as AIDS-phobic, while supporters of Samantha Claar, a lesbian running for state legislature, launch a “Let Samantha Speak” movement to protest Pride’s policy against political speeches. 1993 Pride is dedicated to the memory of Venus Landin, an African-American lesbian who dies as the victim of domestic violence. Theme of “It’s Time to Tell America” builds on excitement of those who attended the 1993 March on Washington. Also building on a successful March
on Washington event, Atlanta holds the “Dyke March” on Saturday night. Pride gains its first major, national corporate sponsor: Bud Light. Overall Pride attendance grows to 100,000, but Pride organizers prove to have been too ambitious in purchasing t-shirts and other merchandise to sell to the crowds. Perhaps due in part to excessive rain over the weekend, Pride is left with thousands in unsold merchandise, a huge debt and eventually a lawsuit from an unpaid t-shirt manufacturer. A settlement is eventually reached, with the Pride Committee getting a year to pay back the tab. 1994 Pride’s theme is “From Stonewall to Atlanta,” with events scheduled two weekends early so that Atlantans can attend the Stonewall 25 and Gay Games in New York City. Attendance estimated at 150,000. Pride Committee brings in enough revenue to pay off 1993 debt and 1994 expenses. Pride schedule expands to include Friday night, for a total of three days of events in Piedmont Park. 1995 Atlanta Pride celebrates its 25th anniversary with the theme “From Silence to Celebration.” Attendance estimated at 120,000. For this festival, the Atlanta Pride Committee hires its first paid employee, part-time executive administrator Hubert Alexander. AIDS Survival Project takes over responsibility for organizing the Pride AIDS Candlelight Vigil. 1996 Atlanta’s own Indigo Girls headline the Pride stage in Piedmont Park, setting a new attendance record of 300,000 for the festival. In keeping with the 1996 Olympics, beginning later in the summer, Pride theme is “People of the World: Listen, Think, Act.” For this festival, Pride hires its first fulltime executive director, Donna Narducci. 1997 Pride celebrates theme of “Generations of Pride,” but a more apt theme might be “Triumph Over Fear”—the bombing of the Otherside Lounge, a gay bar, in February has security tight and many participants on edge. Stage speakers repeatedly warn those attending to keep coolers, backpacks and other personal items with them and report any suspicious activity, but no incidents are reported. As people turn out perhaps to send a message to the bomber, organizers say attendance again hits 300,000. 1998 With the theme “Unity Through Diversity,” Pride draws an estimated 220,000 to the park. But extreme heat throughout the weekend prompts some participants, and later organizers, to seriously consider moving the festival to the fall or changing the Sunday afternoon parade to a night parade. But organizers later decide to keep the festival where it is, on the anniversary of Stonewall; for the time being, the parade remains at noon. 1999 Theme is “Prideful Past, Powerful Future.” The last Pride of the century—and the 30th anniversary of Stonewall— brings rain, with attendance estimated by organizers at an ambitious (and disputed) 200,000. Pride includes a greatly heightened focus on families and children, with a “Children’s Kamp” and a series of workshops and child-related activities scheduled throughout the weekend. For this festival, Pride hires two part-time employees, a festival director and a finance director.
campaigning for gay votes than ever before. All three major contenders for Atlanta mayor—including Shirley Franklin, who won in November with strong gay support—stumped during the festival, along with at least a dozen City Council candidates. 2002 Pride celebrates the theme “The Power of Pride” and draws counter-protesters for the first time in recent memory. About a dozen members of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas — led by Rev. Fred Phelps, famous for his “God Hates Fags” website and picketing Matthew Shepard’s funeral — turn out Sunday morning to jeer at the beginning of the Pride parade. In response, members of local MCC churches pray and take communion on the opposite street corner from the Phelps clan. 2003 This year’s theme of “Freedom to Be,” selected months before the festival, gains added significance when the U.S. Supreme Court overturns anti-gay sodomy laws in a landmark June 26 decision—the day before the Pride festival begins. 2004 With the ultimately successful amendment to ban gay marriage in the Georgia Constitution looming on the November ballot, Pride celebrates the theme of “Equality = Justice,” and organizers predict a more “political” tone to the festivities. But heavy storms dampen more than just the politics of Pride: Friday night’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert and Sunday night’s closing Starlight Cabaret are rained out, as are many other performers and activities throughout the weekend. Attendance estimated at only 100,000. 2005 Atlanta’s own Indigo Girls return to the Pride stage for the first time since 1996, packing the park for their Friday night set. Organizers estimate 30,000 attended the Indigo Girls’ show, Pride’s largest Friday night crowd ever; they estimate total attendance throughout the weekend at 320,000. 2006 Atlanta Pride celebrates its 36th anniversary with the theme “Pride 365: Live. Love. Be.” For the second time in three years, weather is the main story: Friday events are called off after a storm topples the main stage shortly after opening ceremonies; Saturday night’s entertainment is cut short by rain; storms start during Sunday’s parade, canceling the rest of the festival. 2007 This year’s theme is “Our Rights, Your Rights, Human Rights” and the first Human Rights Exhibit that shows the fight for LGBT equality across the globe becomes a part of the festival. U.S. Rep. John Lewis gives a rousing speech from the Coca-Cola stage and attendance is estimated at 200,000. 2008 A presidential election is months away and the theme this year is “Your Vote, Your Rights, Your Future.” Due to a major statewide drought, city officials ban all large festivals from Piedmont Park. Atlanta Pride is forced to move to the Atlanta Civic Center and is held over the Fourth of July weekend. The venue and date change as well as heavy downpours leads to very low attendance and the fest suffers severe financial losses leaving it in bad shape for the following year. Executive Director Donna Narducci resigns and James Parker Sheffield is named the new director.
2000 With the B-52s as Sunday afternoon’s headline band, the 30th annual Pride festival sets a new attendance record, with organizers claiming 400,000 attended the weekend events. A mixture of sweltering sun and cooling drizzle greet revelers at Pride’s new location in Piedmont Park’s meadow, and a dazzling rainbow arcs over the park Sunday night to send the event out in memorable gay style.
2009 Atlanta Pride returns to Piedmont Park but must be held over Halloween weekend. Rainy and chilly weather keeps attendance low. This year’s theme is “Pride Begins with You.” This year also marks the first year the Friday opening night party is at the Georgia Aquarium rather than the park and attracts hundreds of people. The Trans March becomes a part of the fest. Organizers say Atlanta Pride is regaining momentum and is back on track financially.
2001 The Pride parade is the largest in the event’s history, with over 150 entries. Although the weekend’s theme is “Educate, Celebrate, Participate,” it could have been “Gay Political Power,” as the weekend drew more candidates
2010 Atlanta Pride returns to Piedmont Park but is held in mid-October to coincide with National Coming Out Day and continues to be held during the weekend of National Coming Out Day. Pride organizers claim the 40th anniversary of the
fest is the most financially successful one in its history with number of attendees returning to pre-2008 numbers. 2011 Controversy rocks Atlanta Pride this year—the fest conflicts with Yom Kippur and there is outcry from the city’s LGBT Jewish community. Also, Dan Matthews, a senior vice president of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, publishes an opinion piece on Huffington Post saying Pride’s kickoff party at the Georgia Aquarium was a bad call because the event is “a celebration of freedom in a building that creates captivity” and the loud noise from the music also harms the animals. Despite the hiccups, Pride is considered a major success with huge crowds and the largest parade to date. 2012 The Atlanta Pride Committee hires Buck Cooke as the new executive director for the weekend fest. Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls rocks her hometown crowd on the Coca-Cola stage. This year’s parade is even larger than 2011, making it the largest ever with more than 200 entries. Some 4,000 people attend sold-out Georgia Aquarium kickoff party. Actress Jane Lynch calls for Pride to move its kick-off party out of the Aquarium on behalf of PETA and a planned protest by PETA fizzles with only a handful of protesters showing up. 2013 PETA continues its attacks against Atlanta Pride’s kick-off party at the Georgia Aquarium with fashionista Tim Gunn this time asking the party be moved. However, the party continues to sell out each year. A muddy Music Midtown in Piedmont Park shortly before Atlanta Pride causes some worry, but the LGBT fest goes on but with several areas of the grounds blocked off due to damaged greenspace. 2014 A powerhouse entertainment lineup highlights this year’s Atlanta Pride with Meghan Trainor, whose number one single in the country “All About That Bass,” kept people dancing all year; dance music icon Amber; chart topping singer Colbie Calliat; and also Lea DeLaria of the hit Netflix show “Orange is the New Black.” Protesters heckled those in the Trans March, but were drowned out by participants as well as a downpour of heavy rain. And the United Kingdom is the first foreign government to march in the Atlanta Pride parade.
2015 How will you make this your most memorable Atlanta Pride? —Sources: Laura Douglas-Brown; Georgia Voice archives; Dave Hayward; Maria Helena Dolan; Atlanta Pride Committee.
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THE REAL VIOLET CHACHKI COMES THROUGH By Dustin Shrader Avant garde. Beautiful. Complex. These are only a few of the ABC’s to describe the incomparably talented Violet Chachki. Known to the world as RuPaul’s Drag Race’s reigning queen, she is known to us in Atlanta simply, as our very own hometown starlet who dominates the international stage. With just a few years of drag experience under her belt, her rise to global superstardom is a true testament to the greatness Violet embodies. No longer chasing her dreams, but having her dreams chase her, the statuesque “lady miss” has been on a chaotic, sensational tour since snatching the crown. She’s danced the houses down all over the U.S., breezed through Paris for an impromptu photo shoot, slayed her fans in London and Ireland, only to circle back and do it all over again. Yet, there is so much more to Violet than Drag Race’s Next Superstar fame and her renowned corseted waist. The 23-year-old is articulate, intelligent, sophisticated and wise beyond her years; an epitome of the classic stars she admires and channels. On one of her rare days off, Violet took the time to open up and shed light on the real & true Violet Chachki—an earnest beating heart with an unyielding passion for her craft and the humanity surrounding her. She’s eager and willing to discuss her representation of genderqueer in the mainstream, the longevity of a career that is on fire and shows no signs of fading and what Pride means to her. David Atlanta: Since Atlanta is home for you, how does it feel to be selected to participate in Atlanta Pride this year? Violet Chachki: It feels incredible. The first time I ever went to Atlanta Pride I went in drag, daytime drag, fetish pumps in Piedmont Park. I think it was the first year they switched over to having it in October because of the drought or whatever. It was freezing cold, I looked like Elvira running around the park in fetish pumps. It was really, really fun. We went and saw the parade. I went with one of my really good trans friends, so it was the first year I ever went. Ever since then, I’ve been going in drag continuously or working at Starlight Cabaret or doing various Pride events. It’s a lot of fun. I love it, and this year is going to be amazing. DA: I’m sure. Have you got anything big planned yet, or have you started thinking about that?
VC: Yeah, I’m super-excited to be performing at Starlight Cabaret. I’m super excited for the parade. There’s a bunch of
parties. I think I’m doing something at the Eagle on Saturday night. Vicki Powell has a party on Sunday night. A lot of my friends are coming into town. It’s going to be crazy. I’m so, so excited. It’s always lots of fun, but it’s going to be especially fun this year. (laughs) DA: This must be a whirlwind coming off RuPaul’s Drag Race. How did you feel when you returned home after filming wrapped last year? VC: There’s a period you go through when you get back from Drag Race where you’re so creatively drained. It’s weird because you…I duuno, you come back, and it was the hardest thing you’ve ever done, and you’re broke because no one can know yet, so you haven’t really been getting any bookings. You’re so creatively drained that it was rough coming back and having to go back to work. DA: I can’t even imagine how hard it must be. VC: It’s a lot less glamorous, and it’s a lot harder than people think it is. The only time there’s really any amount of glamour is when you’re on the stage for those four or five minutes. DA: So, what does being genderqueer mean to you and how it’s changed your life since you embraced that path? VC: I would say when I discovered it; I think I always felt fluid. You get to a point where you just become proud of who you are, and the point of discovery is when you just stop giving a f**k. That happened for me really early on, so I’m really grateful for that actually. I remember growing up and constantly being told that I’m too feminine or I should be more masculine. There was always these gender roles put on me and rules and regulations. I went to Catholic school, so there were really strict visual rules for uniforms and your appearance. I use drag as a way to explore my identity and be fluid and embrace my feminine side to the fullest extent. I’m so grateful that I do drag and I had that opportunity, and that I was so strong at such a young age. DA: When did you really start embracing drag? It was just a few years ago, right? VC: Professionally three years ago. I really was like, “Okay, if you are going to do this, then let’s do it,” and really started working hard to make it into a career. Prior to that, I had been dressing in drag almost my entire life, playing in makeup, trying on my mom’s clothes when she wasn’t home, going out for Halloween as MaryKate Olsen, making lip sync videos on my MacBook in my bedroom at four in the morning at 16 years old. Professionally and actually trying to make it into a career and a business, three years ago.
DA: You have become known for your strong confidence, did that stem from your upbringing or your self-discovery? VC: Yeah, I think so. I don’t know if I would say it was my upbringing or anything. I think it’s just an internal thing. I got to a point where I was sick of being told what I should and should not look like, wear, or act like, and I just really stopped caring. I wasn’t going to let anyone really stand in my way of my own happiness. That’s really where confidence comes from. It’s knowing what you want and going for it, and knowing what makes you happy. DA: Are you heavily involved in Legendary Children? VC: I’ve worked with them for a long, long time since they first started. I’m sad because I’m traveling so much, I don’t really get to hang out with them. It’s really my friend group here and my queer family. It’s just sad. They had a queer prom at the Heretic with Laganja Estranja, and I couldn’t go. I was so sad. It felt like I really was missing out on my real prom again. DA: Did you start with Legendary Children when you first began your drag career? VC: No, Legendary Children came along because there was a resurgence in the drag community, and I was a part of that. A lot of other artists were embracing the drag scene locally, a lot of photographers. We would all find ourselves in the same place doing creative things, so we formed a collective. It’s your queer family and a collective, and it also becomes other creative businesses at a certain point, and you become party promoters or event promoters. You create a safe space for queer people to go and enjoy themselves that’s all inclusive, and it’s a lot of fun. I love what we do.
DA: How has your life changed since taking the crown? VC: I am working a lot. I’m working really hard all the time. I’m never home. I’m exhausted. It’s super, super gratifying, and a lot of my dreams are coming true in front of my eyes, but it’s super exhausting at the same time. DA: What’s been the most exciting experience you have had thus far? VC: Being able to fly to Paris and do art, just be creative, and get recognized. Creating my own EP was very rewarding working with Tommy Lee. There are lots of opportunities that are just on the horizon for me. It’s really great. It’s a great time. DA: What does the coming year look like for you? VC: There are lots of things. There’s not a whole lot that’s set in stone right now, but there’s a ton of things in the works, really, really exciting stuff. I don’t want to jinx it. DA: Do you have a follow up for your debut EP? VC: I definitely have ideas. The EP was really rushed. Like I said, you get off of Drag Race, and you really are creatively drained, and you need to take a couple of months to assimilate back to society before you can do anything creative or get your wits about you again. My next music project is going to be a lot longer of a process than this past one was. I have a lot more connections now, and a lot more influences, and a lot better idea of what I can do and what I like to hear, so I’m super excited. DA: I saw in an interview, after you won in which you stated you want to separate yourself from previous winners and queens in the past as a true fashion queen. I was just wondering what exactly that meant for you. VC: I really would love to be taken seriously in the fashion industry. It’s a whole other ball game. I’ve almost hit a plateau. You do something and you reach your goal, and then you’re like, “Okay, well, what’s my next goal?” Now, it’s like starting all over again just like starting doing drag. You start from the beginning and learn and work your way to the top just like in the music industry, just like in the fashion industry. It’s like starting all over again. That’s definitely one of the goals is to be taken seriously in the fashion world. DA: Have you had any thoughts towards a fashion line or currently working towards one? VC: Yes, definitely, definitely, definitely. It’s just a matter of finding time. I’m never home. I’m designing on airplanes. Then there’s lots of legalities and manufacturing, and there’s a lot of things that go into actually creating the garments, but it’s definitely on the horizon. 92
DA: You do have so much creative control over your aesthetic and genre. Where do you see your drag career going in the long run? VC: I don’t really want to do drag past a certain age. I don’t know what that age is exactly, but I like the idea of ‘bowing out when you’re on top’ kind of thing. For me, it’s really give it your all now and at a certain point put your heels away and move onto something new whether that be the fashion world, the music industry, creative directing, styling, real estate. Who knows? I will always have a soft spot for drag, but I’m going to get to a certain age where it’s like, “Okay, enough’s enough.” DA: For sure. I can definitely see you as a Valentino or something like that along the lines, when you get done with drag. VC: Oh wow! Thank you so much. DA: You’re welcome. You’re not only a talented designer but a talented althlete, as well. When did you begin performing aerial acrobatics? VC: I’ve only really been doing aerial for about two years. My good friend Melissa, she’s a jack of all trades. She does aerial silks, trapeze, ropes & chains, and full whips, fire breathing, burlesque, and latex designing. She’s just amazing! I met her through my drag mom, Dax, and she really got me turned on to it, and I’ve taken classes from her. DA: Is there anything specifically you’d like to say to all of your Atlanta friends and fans? VC: Oh wow, just that I’m so honored to be y’all’s queen. I want to give a special thanks to all the girls who came before me, all the legends that have inspired me, Charlie Brown, Nicole Paige Brooks, Phoenix, Trinity, Sonique, Mariah. Atlanta has a really amazing history as far as drag is concerned, and I really learned from all of that. All those experiences that happened within this city helped me get to this point, and I’m so, so grateful.
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2015 PRIDES OF THE SOUTHEAST INTERPRIDE MEMBERS The International Association of Pride Event Planners www.interpride.org Augusta Pride Augusta, GA www.prideaugusta.org
Hampton Roads Pride Norfolk, VA www.hamptonroadspride.org
Ocala Pride, Inc. Ocala, FL www.facebook.com/ocala.pride
South Georgia Pride Valdosta, GA www.southgapride.com
Blue Ridge Pride Asheville, NC www.blueridgepride.com
Kentuckiana Pride Foundation, Inc. Louisville, KY www.kypride.com
St. Pete Pride St. Petersburg, FL www.stpetepride.com
Central Alabama Pride Birmingham, AL www.centralalabamapride.org
Knoxville Pridefest/ East TN Equality Council Knoxville, TN www.knoxvillepridefest.com
Pride Community Center of North Central Florida Gainesville, FL www.gainesvillepride.org
Charlotte County Pride, Inc. Port Charlotte, FL www.charlottecountypridefl.org Charlotte Pride, Inc. Charlotte, NC www.charlottepride.org Come Out With Pride Orlando, FL www.comeoutwithpride.com Destiny Foundation/Pride New Orleans New Orleans, LA www.destinypage.net
Pride South Florida Fort Lauderdale, FL www.pridesouthflorida.org
Stonewall Summer Pride Boca Raton, FL www.stonewallsummerpride.com Tennessee Valley Pride, Inc. Chattanooga, TN www.tennesseevalleypride.com
Mid-South Pride Festival Memphis, TN www.midsouthpride.org
Pride â€“ SWFL Estero, FL www.pride-swfl.org
Nashville Pride Nashville, TN www.nashvillepride.org
Roanoke Pride Roanoke, VA www.roanokepride.org
The Family Tree Community Center, Inc. Tallahassee, FL www.tallahasseepride.com
New Orleans Pride New Orleans, LA www.prideneworleans.com
Sarasota Pride Sarasota, FL www.sarasotapride.org
Upper Cumberland Pride Cookeville, TN www.facebook.com/UCPride
North Carolina Pride Durham, NC www.ncpride.org
Savannah Pride Savannah, GA www.savpride.com
Upstate Pride SC Boiling Springs, SC www.upstatepridesc.org 95
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