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3.6.13 #39

TODD GLASS Opens Up About Comedy, Coming Out The Dream Duo of

Paul Rudd & Tina Fey Catching Up with

Sandra Bernhard

CHARIS BOOKS

Enlightens Atlanta

Tom Goss Finds Hope In Music


m o r f e t o r N o t i A the Ed 3.6.13 Issue #39

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Going Smoke-Free

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s we’re going to press for this issue, Heretic has announced that, aside from the Pub Bar area, the club is going smoke-free. With this announcement, Heretic joins Jungle, Cockpit and Mixx as Atlanta’s smoke-free (or smoke-limited) gay bars. As a non-smoker, I applaud the decision that these bars are making, not because of health concerns—I admit, sometimes I want to go to a bar because of the smoky environment—but because it provides all of us with more options. At both Heretic and Jungle, smokers aren’t banned from smoking outright. They’re just limited in where they can smoke. I’m sure anyone who’s been burned by a cigarette from someone on a dance floor will be glad to have that particular hazard disappear. What do you think of the increasing presence of smokefree bars in Atlanta? Be sure to let us know, either by emailing me or by sending comments to Bitch, Please! Sincerely,

Elijah Sarkesian The content of this Publication is for your general information and use only. It is subject to change without notice. The opinions expressed by any writer, advertiser, or other person appearing in the Magazine are not necessarily those of the Publication, its management or staff. The information and materials appearing in the Magazine are not guaranteed or warranted as to accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness, or suitability of the information and materials found or offered for a particular purpose. It shall be your responsibility to ensure that any products, services, or information available through this Publication meets your specific requirements. The Publication is not responsible for claims made by advertisers, content of information, changes, events, and schedules. The Magazine contains information and material which is owned by or licensed to the Publication, including but not limited to articles, advertisement, design, layout, graphics, and logos. No part or portion of this Publication may be reproduced in any way without the prior written consent of the Publisher. Unauthorized use of this Publication may give rise to claims for damages and or criminal offenses. Your use of the information or materials in the Publication is strictly at your own risk.


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TOC

3.6.13 Issue #39

Cover > Todd Glass Paula Rudd & Tina Fey Sandra Bernhard

16 20 26

Feature > Opinion: Cheshire Bridge Charis Books Tom Goss

14 40 46

Seen@ >

16

Burkhart’s12 Atlanta Eagle 30 Heretic58

The Rest >

20

the Scene  34 Bartab36 Datebook37 Protect Your Monster 54 Fairyscopes  56 Classifieds  57 Bitch, Please!  60

COVER: PHOTOGRAPHER Abel Cruz/Photo Studio Miami MODEL Yadier Rodriguez BRIEFS Stud 10 // davidatlanta.com

26

46


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OPINION

By Taylor Trimble

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ocated in upper Atlanta is a bird’s nest of strip clubs, dive bars, gay clubs and adult-oriented stores affectionately known as Cheshire Bridge Road. A manifested mecca of adult outlets, Cheshire Bridge has always held some significance and stake in the history of LGBT community of Atlanta, having been the location of several legendary bars and clubs. However, recently there has been a threat to Cheshire Bridge Road and all of its rawness. An effort to gentrify Atlanta’s self-realized red light district has been looming over our heads for the past decade, but now the effort, increasingly led by fellow gay Atlanta city council member Alex Wan and company, has been drawing ever more near. The end goal of “cleaning up” the Cheshire Bridge Road district is, best described as, making the area more palatable and appropriate for families to live in. The plan also includes restrictions, new laws, and new ordinances to police and alter the community already formed along the famed road—including the many adult outlets that we all enjoy. The image of a gentrified Cheshire Bridge Road would include tearing down abandoned or unnecessary buildings and erecting large scale, luxury apartments and condominiums—which would lead to higher property values and would cause a major flux in the way the Cheshire Bridge Road area operates now. And just as there is a very passionate force to see this change come to life, there is an equal, if not more 14 // davidatlanta.com

passionate, fight against this change coming to fruition. Those who wish to leave the Cheshire Bridge Road district as it is cite its purpose and creation as justification alone of not needing to alter it. They emphasize that its existence is a true manifestation of human sexuality and desire and that, historically speaking, when that kind of outlet is challenged or eliminated, negative reactions ensue. If the Cheshire Bridge Road area is to be “cleansed” and gentrified to make it family-friendly, where will people go for sexual expression? What will the people who work there take up once their business runs dry? The issue is not with the Cheshire Bridge Road area in itself. The issue, rather, is within many representative groups in Atlanta imagining a new vision of Atlanta, without consent from the citizens. As usual with politics, they only serve a certain faction of opinions and that is why the political landscape of Atlanta is warped and constantly making decisions that don’t reflect the majority of their constituency. The reason why this issue such a heated one is because it’s once again an encroachment by higher-up and out-of-touch Atlanta representatives upon a culture and community that was born out of rebellion, out of expression. LGBT folks’ local histories and community state are at stake if the Cheshire Bridge Road district is to be “sanitized” in any way, shape, or form. Sexual expression is a key part to most of humankind. So why try to alter that for the sake of condominiums and apartments?


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Inside the

‘Glass’ House Comedian Todd Glass Opens Up About Coming Out By Ian Aber 16 // davidatlanta.com


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omedian Todd Glass, probably best known for his appearances on the second and third seasons of Last Comic Standing and his own podcast. The Todd Glass Show, will be making his way to Atlanta’s Laughing Skull Lounge in March to bring his brand of funny to the Midtown masses. After over 20 years as a stand up comedian, Glass recently came out of the closet publicly on comedian Marc Maron’s WTF podcast in January 2012. This event has been described as “a cultural watershed moment disguised as a podcast” in its raw honesty and frankness. David Atlanta got to catch up with Todd Glass to find out what makes him laugh, what audiences can expect to see when they see him live, and check in on how life outside the closet has been treating him. You’ll be in Atlanta Thursday March 14th - Sunday Match 17th appearing at the Laughing Skull Lounge. Any remarks on the venue as this is your third or fourth visit to it? I have always had a theory, no offense to Atlanta but it is the clubs that make the crowds great, not necessarily the city. If you have a club that does not train the audiences that comedy is not some place to go heckle or celebrate your bachelorette party, then it shows in the quality of the audience. That is why I love the Laughing Skull, because they are one of those clubs that gets it right in those regards, and the audiences are excellent. Also, all of the acts I have worked with at the Laughing Skull, the local talent that emcees and guest on the shows, I have really enjoyed them. That is why I don’t bring anybody with me because every other city I go to I bring my own opening act but it is fun to work with new people and I trust Laughing Skull to provide the best local talent for the show.

What can audiences expect when they come to see Todd Glass? That is the hardest question. Someone said it is good if you can’t explain your comedy because if it is explainable, then how different could it be? I do have a silly act, I like being silly on stage. Another way to answer would be to say what my comedic sensibility is and if you like that you’ll like my act. In your opinion, is there a queer comedic sensibility based on our shared experience? Say that again? (Laughs) I don’t think in our DNA that we are programmed that differently. I think when you grow up with the problems that society throws upon you, you can sometimes, as a result, develop a specific sense of humor. I am working a book that will be coming out soon that I do say that I went through the world as sort of a secret agent because the majority of people didn’t know so I would get a glimpse of how they really felt. In that sense, it did give me a different kind of perspective. What makes Todd Glass laugh? For television I love Family Guy, Larry Sanders and 30 Rock. Super Troopers is my favorite movie. I have lot of favorite newer comedians. I am a big fan of Rory Scovel, he’s a newer guy. I like Blake Wexler, he’s a newer comedian. A couple of my favorite Atlanta-based comics are Ben Evans and Caleb Synan. How did you get started in stand up comedy?

With a career spanning over 30 years, what has changed in stand up? Good audiences have not changed at all. They are there to see comedy and haven’t really changed that much. Comedy morphs over the years, just like music does. Comedy has changed, but that is good. Since the beginning there have been shitty comics and good comics. I do feel we are in a period in the last five years where there is an influx of great comedians out there. I have been to every major city and I am impressed that there are a lot of really funny new comedians out there in these scenes. The best piece of advice I have for new comics: hang out with the positive people—that has a lot do with the kind of person they are. @DavidAtlantaGA // 17


I was living in Philadelphia and was in high school and there wasn’t really a comedy club in every city like there is now. Back then, comedy clubs were in New York and L.A., and then they started opening in other cities and I went down to a club called the Comedy Works. I already loved stand up comedy, but all I had done was see stand up comedy on television and never live. I had just turned 16 and was seeing comedians like Richard Lewis, Gilbert Gottfried, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Roseanne Barr, Stephen Wright and Eddie Murphy, who would all come in from New York. Then I heard those inevitable words “If you think you are funny, our open mic night is on Wednesday,” and that is where it all started.

naked and vulnerable and doing things that are crazy. It’s the same thing with comedy; if that drive is not there to get on stage and bare your soul, then you won’t do it. That is why when I meet someone who I think is funny but see them two years later and they are still thinking about getting into stand up comedy, I know they are never going to do it because the drive is not there for them. If you could write a letter to your 13-year-old self, what would it say?

That’s a great question. (Long Pause) Don’t take your What was the first joke you told, or the moment dad’s car without a license. you knew you were funny and could make people laugh? As you may or may not be aware, Atlanta has a burgeoning queer comedy scene with an Well, I knew that from hanging out with my friends, but it emergence of queer comedians and comedy is a different thing onstage then just cutting up with your shows targeted to LGBT audiences. Any advice buddies. I did alright my first time onstage, which a lot of to up-and-coming LGBT comedians ? comedians have that story for some reason, but I knew it was for me right away. I compare stand-up comedy History, if anything, will always teach us right from wrong, so whatever your experience is, make it from to sex in that it is all about the drive. If you don’t have a unique perspective. Don’t do every drudged up joke the drive to have sex, the crazy insatiable drive to have sex, then you are not going to have sex. Because if you that everybody has heard before. Hit the premise from a unique perspective, do something from your view. break it down, without the drive then sex would just be a hassle; taking your clothes off, baring your soul, you’re Every group of people that gets into comedy does this. If

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you notice all the women comedians that are great now broke out of the “men do this and women do that” and are just funny as themselves not as a representative of a group. As we have a new group of comedians, the LGBT comedians, entering the scene that may have not traditionally taken on the role in the past years, really focus on a slant or perspective that the audience has not heard of before. You came out publicly in January 2012 on comedian Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, which was fueled by the growing number of suicides committed by gay youths. Can you comment on where you are a year out of the closet? I was very surprised that coming out in that manner resonated with not just gay people but straight people. The old adage that the only illness that we have is the secrets that we keep comes to mind. I have had people come up to me after shows and tell me that hearing that podcast helped them admit to a drug problem and while I don’t compare homosexuality to addiction, I could see how it helped them to identify it that way. At the nugget of it here we talking about keeping secret and the toll of those secrets. When people say the world is falling apart, I think we are on our way to being a better world because it seems like we are moving away from the secrets of society. Back then, it wasn’t just just gay, it was things like mental illness, addiction and unwed mothers that were hidden away and all the suppression has had a price. All the troubles we are having right now, in this generation has nothing to do with the kids of this generation, they are making it better. It has to do with all the crap, and to any older person that is blaming the generation today, go fuck yourself. So when I came out, I was glad and very happy it resonated with other people. When I listen back to the podcast, it sounds like I am going to tell people I have cancer, but that is where I was with it at the time in a state of dread over it. At the time, I was nervous and had a stomachache but am so, so glad that I did it. I have always been a happy person and enjoyed life and love stand up comedy but I am so glad that I did it. At the time and immediately afterward, I wasn’t so sure I would be happy about it. However, I don’t push anyone else to do it until they are ready, because inevitably we all come out the exact same day and that is the day they are ready. Todd Glass will be performing at the Laughing Skull March 14–17, and his autobiography will be coming out later this year. Ian Aber will be hosting the March 14 show. @DavidAtlantaGA // 19


photos: Focus Feature

Paul&T ina: Dream Duo Admission stars talk new film’s acceptance theme, first jobs and shower scene By Chris Azzopardi

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hey say dreams come true, and that one where Tina Fey and Paul Rudd act (and shower) together on the big screen – it’s really happening. Two of the most charismatic, gay-loved actors team up for Admission, about a college admissions officer (Fey) and her could-be biological son who she meets through an old classmate (Rudd). “It’s a movie about chasing acceptance. That formal outward acceptance shouldn’t be valued as much. That’s the message: Just be who you are,” says Fey, a GLAAD winner for 30 Rock who recounted her gay musicaltheater origins in her Bossypants memoir. Rudd’s career started, and still is, just as queer: besides Clueless, he starred as Jennifer Aniston’s best gay pal in 20 // davidatlanta.com

The Object of My Affection. And that’s just the beginning of his homo happenings. “Yes, it’s true. It’s really true,” he says, reflecting on the increasingly gay apex of his career at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, seated next to Fey. What does he have to say about that important message of self-love and acceptance, then? Surely something gay, right? In goofy Rudd-style, just what you’d expect: “Lily Tomlin’s in it!” he quips with his sly smirk, referring to the comedian’s role as Fey’s mother. “There’s your answer.” What did you see as the biggest challenge of taking on these characters? Tina: For me, it was just trying to do a good job of what I felt was the dramatic arc of the movie. There were certainly scenes that were more emotional than anything I have ever had to do before. Paul: Just doing it – that was the challenge. (Laughs) That


you buy me in the part and it works in the context of the story, and that the conflict seems legit and the character is not one-dimensional – all those things that I think kind of existed in the script. The challenge is just bringing the material to life. Oh god, did I just say that?

Tina: I made cheesesteaks at a swim club snack bar so that my mom could have free access to the pool. (Laughs) My brother did it for a year, and then she transitioned me into doing it so she could continue to have employee access.

Tina: You did. Paul: Forgive me.

As an actress, and even more so as a writer, what do you think the secret is to great comedy?

Can you relate to the admissions process? Tina: I wasn’t growing up in some kind of private-school world where it was expected of you to try to get into an Ivy League school or something. I think there are people who grow up in a family where it’s like, “If you don’t get into Harvard or Yale or Princeton, you’re done!” I think that’s craziness.

Tina: Oh gosh. Obviously try to surround yourself with people who are really funny and good at it. Like Paul. Paul: Aww. Tina: Yes! And trust your own instinct. Was it hard to shoot the shower scene?

Paul: I never grew up with that at all. I didn’t apply to any of those schools – mainly because I know I wouldn’t have gotten in. I was just out to lunch when it came to all that stuff. Living in New York City, I’m certainly much more aware of it now. I’m much more aware of it having friends that went to those schools and even having young kids and seeing how they’re being groomed for these schools. What was it like to come from Kansas City and head to New York to become an actor?

Tina: There are so many built-in humiliations in a thing like that. We shot that shower scene very late in the evening. Paul: And it was cold. Tina: Just out of frame, I’m wearing a rolled-down bikini top they gave me; they’re like, “We have a skin-colored one just in case.” Then jams and Crocs. So it’s already ridiculous. We don’t need to add to it.

Paul: Well, I wasn’t born in Kansas City; I was born here. I lived in Kansas and then California and then went back to Kansas. Nobody in my family did this, but it felt normal to me because I was pursuing what I wanted to do. I had as much false confidence as I possibly could muster, because my parents told me as a young kid that I could be anything I wanted to be – and I actually believed them. Were you doing the waiting tables thing, then? Paul: I was working in the kitchen at a Bennigan’s. I didn’t even get to wait tables. I was in the back expediting and making salads. You also DJed. What records were you playing that got the girls and boys on the floor? Paul: MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” was pretty popular, and Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” was a huge crowd pleaser. There were those two, and then there were classics like “Mony Mony” and “What I Like About You” by The Romantics. I’ve been out of the bar mitzvah DJing game so I don’t know if those are still popular, but they were big hits when I was spinning. Do you regret not having those experiences, Tina? @DavidAtlantaGA // 21


Paul: I didn’t have the rolled-down bikini top, but I did have the jams – and I think I might’ve had the Crocs, too. Tina: Because it was, like, not clean.

person, said, “People think we really want to say ‘no’ to everyone when really what we want is to be saying ‘yes.’” Their happiest moments and their goal was to be able to say “yes” to as many kids who they think will thrive.

Paul: No. We were in a barn!

What makes a comedy a classic?

Tina, do you see this as act three in your life now that 30 Rock is done?

Paul: It has to be really funny, and funny over a long period of time. If it was funny 10 years ago, it has to have been funny 20 years ago.

Tina: I see it as a series of increasingly larger grifts that I’m running. 30 Rock was more of a shell game; this is more of a Ponzi scheme. This happened while 30 Rock was on a summer hiatus, and it felt like a really lucky thing to be offered to do – a part that always made sense. I’m always pleased when I see a part where people speak intelligently and speak like adults and also, I go, “College admissions lady – do I look like that?” Yeah, I look like that more than, perhaps, Denise Richards would. Yet you got called “cougar” in the movie. Tina: It’s in my contract.

Tina: I saw Trading Places on TV recently, and Eddie Murphy in the first five minutes of that movie, where he’s pretending to be homeless – so funny! That holds up. Clueless is still popular with the teens. Paul: Well, I have no perspective on that one! (Laughs) What would you tell a kid who’s going through the admissions process?

Tina: Do your best, but also know that the results don’t define your value as a person or your future as a student Did you talk to anyone in admissions? or an adult in the world. It does not define what you’re gonna be. It’s interesting because I think there are so Tina: I did. Jean (Hanff Korelitz), who wrote the book, many kids who do all the right things to get on the right worked in admissions and I met her many times, and I did track now, and there are just too many of them on the talk to one or two other people who worked in admisright tack. As the schools make a genuine attempt at sions. One thing that was interesting: Someone who diversity, I think some kids are taking the old-school path wasn’t connected to the movie, who was an admissions and getting bumped out. Hopefully that shuffling will 22 // davidatlanta.com


make them more interesting people on a more interesting path. As a woman who’s able to get movies made in Hollywood versus the indie world, are you getting the offers you want? Tina: Sure, yes. Because I don’t expect to be the person who’s like, “Let me see my offers today.” A part like this, I feel so lucky to have been offered. There are a lot of real movie stars in the world, and I’m always thrilled any time the phone rings. Ahem … no one from Anchorman 2 has called, so if you could pass that on. How do you juggle everything, Tina? Doing this movie, writing scripts, taking care of children … Tina: Well, I mean, I try to take care of my children, yeah. (Laughs) But I have help with that. I wasn’t writing anything at the same time (as doing Admission) because I wanted to make sure I was focused. But you just take as much help as you can get and go to sleep whenever anyone’s not looking.

@DavidAtlantaGA // 23


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Catching Up With

Sandra Bernhard Comedian takes on Jodie Foster, ‘disgusting’ reality shows and voices in the night By Chris Azzopardi

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andra Bernhard has never been one to mince her words. The saucy comedian – who’s been performing her audacious standup since the ’70s – wasn’t about to change her ways during our interview, where she says gay people need to get over Jodie Foster’s emotional coming-out (or whatever it was) and why she’ll never do a reality TV show. In a review for your current show, The New York Times says the “meanness has largely evaporated.” Is that true?

I just think it’s transformed. As an artist and performer, you constantly transform your emotions in a different way. Certainly I’m still fueled by the same things that I have always been concerned about or fascinated by, but you just can’t stay locked in the same mentality your entire life. That just shows absolutely no evolution as a person. So the meanness isn’t completely gone. I don’t think I’ve ever been mean, per se. Some people who are intimidated are gonna think I’m mean or scary; other people are just gonna think I’m ballsy. In terms of being strong and forthright and saying what’s on my mind, I don’t think that’ll ever change. Is writing standup now easier than it was at the beginning of your career? No. My material has always just come from casual conversation. It just comes to me in a very melodic way. I don’t sit down and write material that way. A lot of my ideas are off-the-cuff, and I develop them from there.

photos: Kevin Thomas Garcia 26 // davidatlanta.com

Of all your passions – music, comedy, politics – is there a specific one that you find most fulfilling?


Everything is in tandem with the others. Being a mother and being in a relationship with somebody for almost 14 years is sort of my bedrock. And my dog George, who’s a rescue pup. These are all things that anchor me day to day, and then I kind of go out from there. If you don’t have a solid base for your life, the rest of it doesn’t even have any impact after a certain point. So I think all that stuff melds together and it’s all exciting to me. It’s exciting to me that I can go out into the world and talk about all of it and experience it and retreat from it. I think that’s what keeps people sane and healthy.

Yeah. I think black people haven’t progressed very much in film and television, either. I just think it’s a white person’s medium, and unfortunately, a lot of people never get to experience the success they should. If you were to play Nancy now, in a time that’s much more progressive than it was in the early ’90s, would her character be different?

I still am.

No, that wasn’t Roseanne’s take. They lived in a small town and it was all about what happened in a small town, and things have changed in small towns. I don’t think Roseanne could exist anymore on TV, so I don’t think Nancy would have a place. The way Roseanne presented small-town life doesn’t even make sense anymore.

Is it difficult to find roles or are you just picky?

How long do you see yourself doing standup?

Well, it’s kind of a combination of both. There are certain things that I just wouldn’t be happy doing. But there are just not that many roles that are right, either. I also have completely new representation in the last year that is really on top of it in a different way, so I’m feeling much more confident. In fact, I just did a guest-starring role on The Neighbors.

Forever.

When we spoke four years ago, you mentioned looking for a regular TV gig.

Some comedians, like Kathy Griffin and Joan Rivers, go on to do reality shows. Does that interest you at all?

No. You think they haven’t asked me to do that a million times? Absolutely not. From day one, that was destined to How about for the rest of the year? Any major TV be crap. I don’t want to exploit my life or my family. It’s not gigs in the works? what I got into this business for. You keep those two worlds separate. To show it in this disgusting, exploitive way – what Yeah, I’m looking at them. It’s pilot season now, so as soon is that? It’s nobody’s business how I live my life. I protect my as that kicks into high gear, I’m sure I’ll be auditioning for daughter and my family at all costs. They’re not there for exseveral different roles and hopefully landing something – and ploitation. My daughter didn’t choose to become exploited on hopefully that show will get picked up. It’s a big process for television in some sleazy show. It’s just out of the question. all that to happen. I don’t think people realize that. No, they don’t. They think it’s all magic. As one of the first gay characters on television as Nancy Bartlett on Roseanne, what do you think of the strides we’ve made on TV as far as inclusivity? It’s kind of stalled out. Some of it’s grotesque. Modern Family is fabulous and fun; The New Normal is over-the-top and awful and stupid and doesn’t really hit anything important. Which is ironic, because it’s Ryan Murphy – who’s gay! I know. That’s my point. They’re usually the worst perpetrators of that – Stereotype? @DavidAtlantaGA // 27


I know you have an opinion about everything, so how do you feel about Jodie Foster’s speech at the Golden Globes? I just think that it’s terribly sad that she’s spent her whole life holding down her emotions and repressing them, and of course I find it totally absurd that when you finally decide to tap into them, it’s in front of the entire world at the Golden Globes. Have your catharsis with your therapist and the people who are important to you, and then bring the results of that to the world. I don’t think that (the Golden Globes) is the place to work it out. I don’t like maudlin in front of large groups of people. But I don’t think she thought about it. I just think it all came spewing out. I guess it’s all people who are in her life. I mean, her life has been the movies since she was 3 years old, so I don’t think she has much connection to reality, in a certain way. When you came out it wasn’t so much an issue for you, right? I’ve never really come out. That’s never been my thing. I never made a definite statement about my sexuality. Obviously, I’m the torchbearer for people just to be comfortable in their own skin, and that’s what my whole philosophy has always been. I never needed to come out, because I came out as a person with many different facets to her personality since the beginning of my career. And that’s what I stand for. I remember a YouTube video you shot encouraging people to just be who they are.

forthright with who you are? I was just always that way naturally. That’s how I was as a kid and as a teenager, and I kept evolving over the years as I peeled away layers of myself – the onion that I live in. We’re all peeling away things as we go through life and revealing more of ourselves to ourselves and to those around us. If you stay grounded in the world and in your life, you’re just gonna keep evolving and also enjoying your life as you go. I mean, otherwise, what’s the point? Do you think Jodie’s speech warrants all the fuss from the gay community? Do you think we’re being too persnickety? What was the response from the gay community? Some people say it’s too little too late. I mean, does it really matter? Do we need Jodie Foster to legitimize our cause? I mean, who fucking cares? We do. You know how we look to other people in the gay community as examples. Ah, I know. That’s what I don’t like. Don’t expect any one person to be the role model for the entire community. Everybody needs to do that for themselves. That’s always been my point of my view. If you don’t feel confident, if you don’t feel good, then you figure it out. Don’t wait for somebody else to do it for you.

Yeah, and fortunately or unfortunately, now you sort of have to beat people over the head with the obvious. My whole point of view has been subtlety, nuance and sophistication – We look for that’s just not the world we’re living in anymore. Maudlin is all these other the end of civilization. voices to speak for us. Rupert Everett is making news again for restating that gay celebrities shouldn’t out themselves Yeah, I know, if they want to maintain a successful career in I know. These the entertainment business. What’s your take? voices that come Do you think coming out affected your acting to us in the night. career? Did you miss out on roles because you’re I know. gay? You mean to No! I’m still an actress. I think my attitude and my kind of tell me you approach to who I am as a performer has affected it more never have than my sexuality. People perceive me as being tough and voices come one-note, and sometimes that’s limiting – but hopefully you to you? find that role that breaks the cliché. I don’t think anybody cares about the sexuality aspect, to be honest with you. I tell them to shut up and I go back What helped you gain the confidence to be so to sleep. 28 // davidatlanta.com


30 // davidatlanta.com


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theScene 1

10th & Piedmont 991 Piedmont Ave. NE

14 Cowtippers

27 Las Margaritas

40 Tripps

2

Amsterdam 502 Amsterdam Ave. NE

15 Daiquiri Factory

28 Manifest 4 U

41 Urban Body Fitness

3

Atlanta Eagle 306 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE

16 Einstein's

29 Mixx

42 Woof's

4

BJ Roosters 2345 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

17 F.R.O.G.S

30 Oscar's

43 XS Ultra Lounge

5

Blake's 227 10th St. NE

18 Felix's

31 Opus 1

6

Bliss 2284 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

19 Flex Spa

32 Roxx

7

Boy Next Door 1447 Piedmont Ave. NE

20 Friends

33 Sam's Hair Salon

Le Buzz 585 Franklin Rd. SE Marietta, GA

8

Brushstrokes 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE

21 Gatsby's

34 Southern Nights

Mary's 1287 Glenwood Ave. SE

9

Bubbles Salon 1579 Monroe Dr. NE

22 Gilbert's

35 Ten Atlanta

My Sister's Room 1271 Glenwood Ave. SE

10 Bulldogs

23 Heretic

36 The Den

Rush Lounge 2715 Buford Hwy. NE

11 Burkhart's

24 Hobnob

37 The Fifth Ivory

Sister Louisa’s Church 466 Edgewood Ave. SE

12 Capulets

25 Joe's on Juniper

38 The Hideaway

Swinging Richard's 1400 Northside Dr. NW

13 Club Eros

26 Jungle

39 The Model T

The Bar Fitness 908 Bowen St. NW

893 Peachtree St. NE 1492 Piedmont Ave. NE 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE 2219 Faulkner Rd. NE

1600 Piedmont Ave. NE 889 W. Peachtree Str. NW 1077 Juniper St. NE 931 Monroe Cir. NE 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE 76 4th St. NW

1842 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

1931 Piedmont Cir. NE

2103 Faulkner Rd. NE

500 Amsterdam Ave. NE

1492 Piedmont Ave. NE

2425 Piedmont Rd. NE

1510 Piedmont Ave. NE

708 Spring Str. NW Not Shown: Cockpit 465 Boulevard SE

1086 Alco St. NE 1824 Cheshire Bridge Rd.

736 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE 931 Monroe Dr. NE 219 10th St. NE

2000 Cheshire Bridge Rd. 2205 Cheshire Bridge Rd. 990 Piedmont Ave. Ne

2069 Cheshire Bridge Rd. 1551 Piedmont Ave. NE 1049 Juniper Str. NE 2115 Faulkner Rd. NE

2135 Liddell Dr. NE 794 Juniper Str. NE 1544 Piedmont Ave. NE 699 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE

Bar/Cocktails

Retail

Dining

Billiards/Darts

Dancing

Dancers

Non-Smoking

Leather

Hair/Beauty

Fitness

Drag

Baths/Spa

34 // davidatlanta.com


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Bartab

MONDAY

BLAKE’S Game Night - Brain Freeze Trivia & Family Feud back to back 11:30pm BURKHART’S Blue Monday Karaoke w/ Angelica D’Paige 11:30pm COCKPIT  Big Red Cup All Day, specials EAGLE Music Videos with Scotty FELIX’S  Free Pool FRIENDS DJ opens at 2pm Gilbert’s Half Priced Entrees 5-11PM HERETIC Play w/ Eddie 4pm-11pm HIDEAWAY  $2.50 Domestic Beer hobnob Date Night 19.95 3 course dinner for two 5-11PM JUNGLE Stars of the Century Show 11pm MODEL T Monday Night Madness 9pm OSCAR’S Midtown Martini Club 4pm. Service Industry Night 9pm swinging richards Hip-Hop Night, Sponsored by Hennessy 6:30pm TRIPP’S Monday Night Madness 9pm WOOF’S Texas Hold ‘Em Poker 8pm

TUESDAY

BLAKE’S POP! Karaoke with Princess Charles & Suzanne Gleeson 11pm BURKHART’S Trivia Tuesday Karaoke w/ Angelica D’Paige 11:30pm COCKPIT  80s Party 9pm, specials 5-8pm EAGLE Tuesdays w/ Tony FELIX’S  Smirnoff Martini Night FRIENDS Let’s Make a Deal 6pm Gilbert’s Industry Night (complementary pizza after 10pm) HERETIC 2-Step Tuesday, dance till 11pm HIDEAWAY TEAM Trivia w/ Will 9pm HOBNOB Trivia 8:30 JUNGLE Camp with Ruby Redd 8pm MIXX Piano with David Reeb at 8pm MODEL T Texas Hold’em Poker 9:30pm OSCAR’S Show Tune Tuesday 8pm SWINGING RICHARDS 1/2 Price cover TRIPP’S Ladies Night 9pm WOOF’S Industry Day Free Wii 5pm

WEDNESDAY

BLAKE’S 5-9pm Doug’s party pop hits, The “Lust and Bust Show”11 pm BURKHART’S Humpday Karaoke w/ Darlene Majewski 11:30pm COCKPIT Balls Deep Karaoke 10pm EAGLE Underwear Night with Tony Friends Team Trivia 8pm Gilbert’s Karaoke 10pm-2am heretic  25¢ Keystone Light ,No Cover! hideaway Trivia w/ Will 9pm jungle All-Stars Competition with Phoenix 10pm 36 // davidatlanta.com

got an upcoming event? calendar@davidatlanta.com

model t Karaoke 10pm oscar’s ReBooT Retro 8pm swinging richards 2-4-1 VIP Room tripp’s Free Taco Bar 5pm xcess ultra lounge Raquell Lord’s Talent Show @ 10:30pm, Sophia Mcintosh & Fab 5 +1 @11:30pm, 18+ woof’s Food Special, Trivia 8pm

THURSDAY

blake’s Texas Hold’Em Poker 7pm, Shawnna Factor Show 11pm - $5.00 burgers all day BURKHART’S Twisted Thursday w/ Phoenix 11:30pm cockpit  Dirty Boy Bingo w/ Ruby Redd eagle Balls Deep Karaoke w/ Mikey felix’s Karaoke w/ Brett & Tyler 10pm friends  Girls Who Like Girls Meet Girls Gilbert’s Wine tasting 6-10pm heretic  3 Legged Cowboy Night 9pm hideaway  Service Industry Night hobnob Live Music 8-11PM jungle Sing For Your Life with Barry Brandon 8pm mIXX Mens Night with Aaron & Matt at 6 pm model t Party-Time 9pm oscar’s Thirsty Thursdays with Eric 8pm swinging richards 2-4-1 VIP & Entry tripp’s Spotlight Karaoke 9pm xcess ultra lounge Turnt Up Thursday woof’s Food Special, Country Music 7pm

FRIDAY

10th & piedmont Live DJ 10 PM blake’s 5-9pm TGIF, Charlie’s Angels w/ Charlie Brown 11pm BURKHART’S Fab Five w/ Angelica D’Paige 11:30pm cockpit  DJ Diablo Rojo, guest VJ/DJ’s eagle DJ Dance Party friends Happy Times with Kelly & Ken heretic no cover B4 11pm hideaway  After Work Martini Madness jungle The Other Show with Edie Cheezburger 9:30pm; Jungle POP 11pm mixx Grown & Sexy Dance 10pm model t Saturday Night Live 9pm oscar’s 80’s Retro Vidz 8pm swinging richards T-Shirt Review, $10 tripp’s Afternoon Delights 4pm woof’s Atlanta’s Best Social Night 6pm

SATURDAY

10th & piedmont Live DJ 10 PM blake’s opens 1pm, Daring Divas 11pm BURKHART’S Extravaganza w/ Shavonna

B. Brooks 11:30pm cockpit  DJ Diablo Rojo, guest VJ/DJ’s eagle DJ Dance Party felix’s Karaoke w/ Brett & Tyler 10pm friends Afternoon Party with D.J. Noon - 6pm Gilbert’s All you care to eat brunch (cooked to order) 11-4pm heretic Varies: Club Night or 3 Legged Cowboy Night - 10pm jungle Foreplay with Lily White 9:30pm; Club Night, Various Guest DJ’s mixx Guest DJ’s Dance 10pm model t Sunday Dinner 3:30pm oscar’s Total Request Videos 8pm swinging richards T-Shirt Review $10 tripp’s Afternoon Cookout 3pm xcess ultra lounge 25+ FREE til 12am woof’s Game Day All Day

SUNDAY

10th & piedmont Bellini Brunch 11 AM & T-Dance 4 PM blake’s Open at 1pm - High Energy Music & Video w/ Bill Berdeaux & Daryl Cox BURKHART’S Armorettes Drag Show club rush Hip Hop w DJ Truz, no cover cockpit  PBR Beer Bust felix’s  Bloody Marys & Mimosas friends Smirnoff B Mary Bar 12:30pm Gilbert’s All you care to eat brunch (cooked to order) 11-4pm and Karaoke 6-11:30pm hideaway  Bloody Mary Bar 12:30pm HOBNOB Brunch - $15.00 - Bottomless Mimosas 11 AM-3PM plus 1/2 price wings 4-11PM Jungle  The Day After with Knomie Moore 12-3pm; Sweet T with Bubba Dee and Wild Cherry Sucret 7pm las margaritas All You Can Eat til 3pm mixx Old School Sunday Dance 7pm model t Sunday Dinner w Ron 3:30pm tripp’s Buffet 3pm; Karaoke pm woof’s Bloody Mary bar, PBR special


Datebook

theRundown Dragamaki

March 6 • 8:30 p.m. • Ten Atlanta (990 Piedmont Ave.) The legendary drag show makes its grand return to Atlanta, now at Ten Atlanta. Kitty Le Claw hosts. For more information, visit tenatlanta.com.

Sisters Night

March 7 • 7 p.m. • Woofs (2425 Piedmont Road)

Join the APD’s LGBT liaisons as they plan for their first Pride float, as part of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s monthly Thursday night fundraiser at Woofs. For more information, visit woofsatlanta.com.

New Faces Friends on Ponce brings several up-and-coming drag queens from Atlanta together for their monthly New Faces showcase. Hosted by Regina Simms and starring Aqualencia Litré, this monthly exhibition of drag has given early attention to breakout performers around Atlanta, including Miami Royale and Violet Chachki. Who will be next? Find out Sunday, March 10 at 10 p.m., with special performances by Nina Bo’nina Brown, Miss New Faces 2012, and February’s winner, Cayenne.

International Women’s Day Atlanta Resource Celebration

March 8 • 7:30 p.m. • Charis Books & More (1189 Euclid Ave.)

If you believe that gender justice and feminism are for all people, join Charis at this gathering of queer and feminist organizations. For more information, visit charisbooksandmore.com.

Southern Coastal States Leather

March 8-10 • Roy’s Hideaway (268 Catfish Lane, Collins)

The competition begins for the titles of Mr., Ms. and boy with a slew of events throughout the weekend at Roy’s Hideaway. For more information, visit royshideaway.com.

Jersey Party/Beer Bust March 9 • 4 p.m. • Heretic (1069 Cheshire Bridge Road)

The Hotlanta Softball League is raising funds for their upcoming tournament play. For more information, visit hereticatlanta.com or hotlantasoftball.org.

Indigo Girls

March 10 • 4 p.m. • Friends School (862 Columbia Drive, Decatur)

Tom Goss Soulful, sexy singer-songwriter Tom Goss appears live in concert at First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta on March 9 in support of his most recent album, Turn It Around. His appearance also benefits the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as they raise funds for their grant fund. The show starts at 6 p.m., with tickets available for $20 donations ($35 for VIP entrance). To find out more about Tom, check out our interview with him on page 46.

The Indigo Girls are performing to benefit the Friends School of Atlanta. For more information, visit friendsschoolatlanta.org.

Diva Drag University

March 11 • 10:30 p.m. • LeBuzz (585 Franklin Road, Marietta) Think you’ve got what it takes to be the next big thing in drag? Diva Drag University pairs a diva and a budding drag queen each week, all in preparation for the Atlanta Rising Diva 2013 Pageant. For more information, visit thenewlebuzz.com.

@DavidAtlantaGA // 37


Charis Books and More Celebrates Nearly 40 Years of Enlightenment By Emma Harger

I

n November, Charis Books and More will celebrate its 39th anniversary as the South’s largest and oldest feminist bookstore—and as the oldest feminist bookstore in all of North America. The lilac-colored house on Euclid Avenue in Little Five Points is full of books of all sorts: cultural studies, feminist, children’s, LGBTQ fiction and nonfiction and much more.

At first, Linda Bryant and Barbara Borgman opened Charis as a community bookstore that stocked non-sexist and non-racist children’s books, books by and about women, books from local writers and theological books. (Sara Look and Angela Gabriel co-own the store today.)

Bryant and Borgman envisioned Charis as a gift to the community—Charis is Greek for “gift” or “grace”—as well as a place where curious minds could come read Authors from all over visit for readings and signings. There are groups for writers to help strengthen their work and discover new things. They had both been part of the Christian Young Life movement and Charis’ first retail and raise their voices. The store also has a non-profit called Charis Circle with a mission: “to foster sustainable space on Moreland Avenue was actually previously occupied by Young Life as a teen center. feminist communities, to work for social justice and to encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized Bryant was a young teacher, but felt unsatisfied in her voices.” role. She wanted to know people, talk to people and Charis is doing so much in the community and has been discuss big, real ideas. She dreamed of a bookstore full of enlightening books, people and cups of tea. Even though for almost 40 years now. she had her doubts about being able to run a store, she found nothing but encouragement from people she talked In the early days of Charis back in the 1970s, lesbian to about the idea. Borgman offered right away to take feminists in Atlanta, many of whom lived communally and focused on political activism, flocked to the budding care of finding and stocking children’s books that were not racist or sexist. new store for a few reasons. One was simple enough, yet so very important: it was nearby. Another was that The two of them didn’t have much business sense at the women ran the store and provided important books and knowledge to the community. They liked the idea of giv- time, but they had faith and they had an idea. Feminist bookstores were opening all over the country at the ing money to and supporting women in their ventures. 40 // davidatlanta.com


same time, in cities like Washington, Boston and San Francisco. One store, Minneapolis’ Amazon Bookstore Cooperative—no relation to Amazon.com—had actually started on the front porch of a women’s collective household. (Amazon, established in 1970, was considered the oldest feminist bookstore in North America, but closed due to financial difficulties in 2012.) As Atlanta’s lesbian feminists began to patronize Charis, the identity of the store evolved over the first few years into a feminist bookstore with lesbian leadership and literature included. Bryant and Borgman happily welcomed all who wanted to come to the store and would take suggestions from customers about what books should be stocked in the future. Just as Bryant imagined and wanted, she was talking to people and discussing those big ideas. Gay and lesbian clients requested that Charis add books reflecting their life experiences and they did just that, even though conservative friends of Bryant and Borgman’s disagreed with what they were doing. To this day, Charis will still happily order books for customers if they don’t have them in stock. The bookstore also became a community center for the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance, which was founded in the early 70s as a response to feeling left out by the more male-dominated Atlanta’s Gay Liberation Front. (ALFA later disbanded in 1994.) Women could go there to learn about the activities and events that ALFA put on, buy tickets to concerts in the area, look for places to live and meet new people. Maya Smith, who identifies as bisexual, bought into Charis and joined the leadership as a partner in 1977. Her expertise in lesbian feminist books was valuable to the store. Two years later, Julia Strong started to work at Charis and was the first woman who was out as a lesbian when she joined the staff, though Bryant had been out for about a year after previously identifying as heterosexual when Strong came on board. However, Smith and Strong resigned in 1981 after a conflict on the store’s collective advisory board about the identity and mission of the store.

“What we are and want to be is a bookstore and a nonprofit that exists to promote and honor and celebrate feminist values of mutuality, independence, and compassion. We used to say we wanted to ‘create a world in which all oppressions cease to exist,’ and that is still our vision – we just want to put it into more concrete terms,” Bryant explains in a first-person narrative about the store’s history on its website. The store also started to evolve even more in the early 1980s: responsibilities of board members were more clearly detailed, board membership was restricted to people who were actively involved in the store and Charis itself moved from being a nonprofit to being for-profit— which is a huge process in and of itself. Charis even sponsored Judy Chicago’s famous “The Dinner Party” exhibit, an ornate 48-foot triangular table with customized place settings for 39 historical and mythological women plus a floor with 999 further names on handmade tiles, when it visited Atlanta in 1982. The exhibit was at the Fox Theatre, so Charis opened a popup store (before pop-up stores were really a thing) right next to the Fox and drew interested exhibit-goers who wanted to talk, think and open their minds. Though Charis got some competition when Outwrite came to town in 1993, the two stores moved in different but equally valid ways: Outwrite attracted a lot of men and women looking to hang out, get coffee and meet new people, plus men who liked Outwrite’s different focus. Charis concentrated on social justice and queer programming. Like Minneapolis’ Amazon Bookstore, though, Outwrite also closed their doors for good in 2012.

At that time, when Charis’ identity and future was being debated, Bryant decided that her focus regarding Charis was clear as day: against the patriarchy, encouraging feminist voices, inclusiveness, helping men free themselves from the patriarchy, always asking questions and rethinking assumptions. She doesn’t want Charis defined in limiting terms, even though they might be or sound accurate, simply because those terms are in direct opposition to the wholeness and inclusiveness for which she stands. @DavidAtlantaGA // 41


In 1994, Charis moved into the location it is in today, still in Little Five Points but in a renovated house on Euclid Avenue. They considered returning to nonprofit status in the mid-1990s because other feminist bookstores were doing the same, but instead created the nonprofit Charis Circle and placed its office inside the store. In addition to hosting the programs and events for their areas of focus, the Charis Circle space is also Atlanta’s only community feminist space that is open seven days a week—just like how the store served as a community center back in the early days.

what you really want by shopping at Charis using that wish list. This is especially important because one of Charis’ biggest challenges has come from Amazon.com.

The store offers ongoing program series with Charis Circle, including Writing With Intent, a group focusing on constructive criticism and support for writers of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction; T&F Transitionz: A Project of the Feminist Outlawz, for people under age 30 to discuss social issues, gender and activism; and Cliterati Open No-Mic, an open-mic and reading series. Every month, Charis co-hosts more than 15 events and programs with Charis Circle.

Plus, just as it was in the early days, they can always use some volunteer help in the shop. Buying local and supporting local businesses helps the community in many ways and will keep Charis strong for many more years to come.

Even though feminist bookstores are becoming increasingly rare in this day and age—there were more than 100 in 1995, but today that number has dwindled to fewer than 15—Charis stands strong despite the advent of the Internet as a place for people to meet one another and to buy books of all sorts. They also continue to support their fellow independent feminist bookstores by linking to every single one of the stores they know of, both in America and Canada. The website also includes a large selection of e-books. Charis is making sure their past is preserved for future generations in many ways. In 2004, the store started to send all the memorabilia from community programs, celebrations and author reading and signing events up to Duke University’s Sally Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture so they can take care of archiving. Two different women have also written about Charis in their doctoral dissertations, one at Emory University and one in Texas. Over the years, many notable authors and important names have paid visits to Charis, including Alice Walker, bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Howard Zinn, Meshell Ndegeocello, John Lewis, Dr. Maya Angelou, Karin Slaughter, Jennifer Baumgardner, Melissa Etheridge and so many more. To keep their future strong, Charis also has a few ways that people can get involved with them. The first one is easy: go to the store. Bring friends. Go to events and programs. Do what Bryant loves and talk to new people. Buy books, give gift certificates, create a wish list on Indiebound.com and let your friends and family get you 42 // davidatlanta.com

The store will help teachers, professors and other organizations buy the books they need for their classes or offices and is open to having a book table at conferences or events. In fact, they already stock all the books needed for classes at East Lake Early Learning Academy and take 10 percent off the prices, then donate 10 percent back to the school.

Many thanks to Charis and to the Southern Spaces journal for providing a wealth of information.


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True Believer Tom Goss Finds Hope in Music By Van Gower

photos: Julian Vankim

I

t has to be said for the sake of blunt honesty: Tom Goss is so beautiful it’s almost too difficult to look at him. One runs the risk of going blind, an effect much like what staring directly into the bright sun might cause. But the risk can be easily negated by closing one’s eyes, donning a pair of stereo headphones, and pressing play. That’s because the 29-year-old Kenosha, Wisconsin native happens to be one of the most sublimely talented, multiple award-winning indie singer-songwriters out there right now. A former college wrestler, Goss entered the Catholic seminary in 2004, but his dalliance with the cloth proved short-lived. Following an unpleasant

46 // davidatlanta.com

experience there, he left seminary to pursue what would be his higher calling: music. Flash forward, and Goss is continuing to draw raves for his third CD of infectious folk-rock ditties and love songs, Turn It Around. A hard-working touring musician as well, he comes to the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta on March 9 for a show benefiting the grant fund of the drag group the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. We chatted with Goss about his past and his present and surviving it all.


So, I have to ask: how does a guy go from being a wrestler to a Catholic seminary student to a singer-songwriter? I’ve heard of changing careers, but that’s a new one!

I’m not sure really. I think the simple answer is that I write the music that speaks to me. Dance diva music doesn’t speak to me. I’m not saying that it’s not good. I’m simply saying that everyone is drawn to something different. A lot of folks dislike my music and I’m fine with that. I can’t Ha! Yeah, I guess so. I’ve never been the kind of person please everyone. I’m just grateful that my music speaks to be afraid to pursue what I am passionate about. I to some folks. I have great listeners, fans and friends that guess that’s taken me in some very different directions. have supported me from the beginning. I’m just glad I can continue to reach out to them. Was it painful or was it liberating for you when you left the seminary? What singer-songwriters and musicians inspired you when you were growing up and It was very painful. I truly believed I was in it for the learning your craft? long haul. Being in seminary and taking promises is a very serious thing. Furthermore, there was a lot of Well, I’m going to use the term “growing up” loosely drama around my leaving and there were others that because I didn’t really start listening to music until I were asked to leave as a result of my situation. For was 17. I started playing the guitar at 18. At that point, me, I found the seminary to be very predatory. I think it was pretty much because I was obsessed with Dave folks can read between the lines. By the time I spoke Matthews Band. Once I got my guitar, I started learning up about what kind of relationships folks were trying every Dave Matthews Band song ever written. That’s how to have with me, it was too late. Mentally and spirituI learned to play. I would go to tons of shows and pretty ally, that is. I had lost my faith along with my passion much only listen to DMB. I have hundreds of bootleg to become a priest. Walking away from seminary and CDs in my basement still. It wasn’t too long after that I choosing to stay in DC also meant that I was leaving my started writing songs. Oh man, they were horrible. Dave only friends, my only support structure. It was the loss Matthews has a very distinct and complicated way of of faith, community, friendship and stability that was the playing the guitar and writing songs. I spent years trying painful part. Still, in a way it was liberating. I knew there to write songs like him, and years writing horrid songs. was nothing tying me anywhere anymore. No vows or practice schedules, families or friends to be accountable Eventually I started listening to David Gray, Damien Rice, to. Ben Folds, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and a handful of other folks that approach songwriting much more simply. The Catholic Church has been a foundation Especially David Gray. I started to understand and apfor so much anti-gay sentiment, while at the preciate the power of simplicity, both in chord movements same time so many of its priests have histori- and lyrics. As a result, my songs started getting better. cally been entrenched in sexual molestation There is no doubt in my mind that David Gray saved my controversies. Now there are the recent sepa- songwriting career long before anyone knew I was going rate gay-related allegations surrounding Pope to be a songwriter.   Benedict and the U.K. cleric Cardinal Keith O’Brien. Have you been following the stories? And of course you gotta know us boys are totally loving the video for “Make Believe!” The I don’t really follow the stories that closely. I don’t con- whole time-lapse nude body painting thing is sider any of this news. In my experience, the Catholic sexy and creative and cute. It’s a perfect match priesthood and seminary is at least 50 percent gay, if to your buoyant, cheerful song. What was it like not over 70 percent. My house was over 90 percent. making that video? People should stop pretending that it isn’t. The church also has a history of protecting and covering up for Making “Make Believe” was a blast. I spent 12 weeks sexual predators. This is really disgusting. Obviously straight on the road for my spring tour last year. By the that should stop.   time I got home I was burned out and just ready to relax. No videos, no recording, no performing. I just wanted Your music is really terrific! I’ve been digging to be totally domestic, do the dishes, have a husband. I the happy, upbeat, strong guitar oriented pop- got home from a long night of driving – from Georgia, if I rock vibe. So many – if not all – gay musical remember correctly – and slid into bed. For some reason entertainers offer the usual synthesized dance this idea of taking time-lapse to an extreme and coupling floor stuff, so can I say it’s very refreshing to it with body painting popped into my head. My plans hear performers like you who rock out? Why changed pretty quickly. are you a rocker instead of a dance diva? @DavidAtlantaGA // 47


I called my friends Aram Vartian and Michael Patrick Key, who make my videos, and told them about this wild idea I had. They didn’t shoot it down and so of course I took it further. Eventually, “Make Believe” was born. It was quite a whirlwind. The take that made it was our third full take. What you don’t see is a crew of ten people all around the table, making all the cogs work. It was quite a production. Every second in the video is 30 seconds in real time. Just watch the clock, it keeps track of it all.  

of Perpetual Indulgence. How did you come to hook up with the good sisters?

Well, I met Gary Sisney, owner of Woofs, when I played at The River’s Edge in 2010 and we’ve been chatting back and forth for years. He’s a sweetheart and has been introducing me to folks on and off. Eventually he introduced me to B’Yonda with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and we chatted about doing a fundraiser. I’ve always loved the Sisters, I’ve met them at my shows all over the Then you go and aim for the heartstrings with a country – sometimes in habit, sometimes not – and have lovely ballad like “You Know That I Love You.” been impressed by what they stand for. I’m really pumped It’s probably one of the sweetest, most genuine to be working with them on such an official event. Bring songs about being love that I’ve heard in a long your wallets, purses, European carryalls folks, let’s raise time. Is it about anybody in particular or is it a some money for charity! composite of past relationships? Tom Goss appears live in concert at First That’s about Mike. Almost all of my love songs are about Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta (470 Candler Mike. When I think about Mike and our love, I can’t help Park Drive NE) on March 9, beginning at 6 p.m. but glimpse into something that’s far greater than…either Tickets are available for $20 in donations, or $35 for of us. I told myself at a very young age that I was never VIP. Proceeds go to the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual getting married, never being in a relationship even. For Indulgence Grant Fund. For more information, visit me, relationships were poison; they only hurt the people atlsister.org or tomgossmusic.com. in them and the people around them. Mike changed that for me.   You married your husband Mike in 2010, right? Congrats! What has married life been like for you? Did it change your outlook on life in any ways? Marriage is great! But dating was great and being engaged was great. It didn’t really change those things. For me, it’s just another step in building the kind of relationship that is strong and long-lasting. It’s another step in becoming the kind of man I strive to be.   I know that you’ve said you don’t feel like you fit in with the mold of prevailing gay culture, but you’re unabashedly an LGBT activist and you’re involved with LGBT organizations in Washington, DC. Also, your lyrics and music videos are heartfelt, honest depictions of same-sex love. What moves you to be so involved in the fight for equality? I only speak about things I know, and work for causes and movements that move me. It’s as simple as that. I’m lucky enough to really know what it means to be in love, to be married. I want to share that. Furthermore, I have, and always will, work for injustice. I suppose it’s in my blood.  You seem to tour everywhere, and now you’re coming to Atlanta on March 9th to perform a gig that will raise funds for the Atlanta Sisters 48 // davidatlanta.com


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fairyscopes ARIES (March 20 – April 19): Your own interests can

LIBRA (September 23 – October 22): Your playful

take care of themselves for now—you need to help out a friend or coworker! Your selflessness does not go unrewarded, and everyone is better off as a result.

energy is turning heads all around the neighborhood— or wherever else you find yourself! Enjoy the attention and make sure that everyone gets a little piece of you.

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20): Your health should

SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21): You’re in the middle of a situation that doesn’t seem to offer you a winnable option. If you find a way to give in without giving up ground, you can come out ahead in the very long run.

be at the top of your mind this week—if it’s not, something is likely to happen to remind you in some small way. Schedule a checkup or start a new, positive health habit.

GEMINI (May 21- June 20): You are bursting with good energy lately—or you should be. If you can’t feel the love, you may need to shake things up at work or in your other routines to ensure that you’re in the right place.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 20): You are in the middle of something big and strange, and you might need to be explicit about what exactly you want out of life. Once that’s past, you should find a straight path to your goals.

CANCER (June 21- July 22): You should take a little greater care with saying “yes” to new projects—you never know what might come of them any day this week. Your energy is better spent clearing your inbox, anyway.

CAPRICORN (December 21 – January 19): You’re

LEO (July 23 – August 22): You and your partner, or a best friend or business partner, need to hash out some old feelings. That isn’t as painful as it sounds, though, as after a brief moment of awkwardness, it turns into something positive.

AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18): You some-

VIRGO (August 23 – September 22): You and a partner need to buy something together—though if you don’t have someone that close, you may still want to pool resources with someone you trust quite a bit.

PISCES (February 19 – March 19): Someone owes

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times stand back in social situations—not because you’re shy, but rather because you want to see the big picture and how it fits together. This week, you’re better off just getting in the thick of it.

you big, and now is the time to get them to pay up. It may not be fun, but your backbone is reinforced this week, and they should at least be able to get you some portion of what’s yours.


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So you think everyone who is positive is a whore or a slut? You obviously are incredibly ignorant.

East ATL drag = dumpster diving on a rainy day at the dog pound. I always wonder what the fuck is wrong with the people who put their relationship status as “It’s Complicated” on Facebook.

Dear tops, please wash your ass crack good! When I’m teabagging your nuts and sucking your dick, all I want to smell is fresh! Don’t fuck with the bartender. You won’t win! 60 // davidatlanta.com

Gurl, get off the cross and get you some wood!

There’s nothing wrong with a man with retirement plans, but life’s about give and take. If you aren’t willing to give a little, then your retirement will be spent alone.

I don’t want a boyfriend, I just want a blowjob. I long for the days when queens lived like “absolutely fabulous.” We had trendy lofts, designer clothes, sports cars, and threw lavish soirees. Now we share rentals, wear Macy’s sales rack, drive a used Sebring, and serve box wine. It just isn’t fair.

I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers to let you know how I feel right now. *This page reflects the bitchiness of the community not David Atlanta or its publisher (although we’re bitchy too!)



David Atlanta Issue 39