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In America we enjoy the


freedom to choose any career that caters to our interests. From professional careers to opening a small business, we can provide for ourselves. With the myriad of career choices available, we should celebrate those individuals that advocate for our community. Some make progress through non-profits, some through commerce. Regardless, they serve all of us. We decided to create the Fenuxe 50 solely as an opportunity for our readers to give praise to those individuals who they felt were deserving. A great list was formed! We salute the individuals who made the list as well as the hundreds more in our community who deserve praise.

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Read through the pages and remind yourself of those you already know. Become acquainted with those unfamiliar. These individuals have chosen to serve you, us, and our community.

William Duffee-Braun


Editorial Senior Writer Patrick Saunders Writers Jack Mauro, Kelley Pounders, Lucy Dixon, Anthony Smith Travel Journalists Dwayne Kinney, Ernesto Francisco

Atlanta Marketing Solutions Consultants Jeff Anderson, Candace Hunziker, Karisha Anderson

Publisher Tyler Calkins Editor William Duffee-Braun ART Graphic Art Director Christopher Barker Graphic Design David Nguyen

National Marketing Rivendell Media 908-232-2021 Published by TW MEDIA GROUP©2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 1123 Zonolite Road, Suite 7B, Atlanta, GA 30306 Phone: 404.835.2016 | Fax: 404.835.2356 Opinions and claims made by advertisers are those of the advertisers only. Fenuxe accepts no liability for any claims made by advertisers. The views and opinions expressed in this issue are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of TW Media Group, LLC.

Special Thanks to Karla Kreitner, Kardon Events, Kardon Technology, The Fenuxe 50, The Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

To Advertise, please call 404.835.2016 email or visit Any photographs of persons are the responsibility of the submitter who expressly indemnifies Fenuxe Magazine (henceforth “Fenuxe”) and its affiliates against claims for any unauthorized use thereof. In conjunction with this indemnity, the submitter expressly warrants that use of any photos submitted is fully authorized by the subject and photographer. Fenuxe reserves the right to publish submissions of photographs or other images without providing credit for images. Fenuxe does not guarantee that credit will be provided for any material. The appearance of subjects and contributors in photographs or editorial matter in Fenuxe is not to be construed as indicative of the sexual orientation or personal practices of any individual. No implication with respect thereto is intended, and none should be inferred.

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THE 2010 FENUXE 50





“I have been in the Army for 7 yrs now. In those 7 yrs I have deployed 4 times. I am willing to go many more times to defend the country I love. I am waiting for that one day I will be able to bring my significant other to a function at work.” -Mike in response to “Obama Administration Appeals Don't Ask, Don't Tell Ruling”





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AUTUMN ESCAPE This mountain oasis has become a popular second home destination for Atlanta gays who want a slice of paradise that’s a bit slower than inside the perimeter. And for those of us who love the city, but would enjoy a relaxing weekend away - there are a variety of hotels, Bed & Breakfast cottages, boutique properties, and beautiful log cabins to choose from. We fell in love with the 4000 square foot multi-level 6-bedroom, 5-bathroom log cabin with breathtaking views we booked through Escape to Blue Ridge ( While Blue Ridge is nestled in a dry county, the city now allows alcohol sales which will help them continue to grow as a premier mountain destination. To stock up for the weekend, head to Buck’s ( They have great selections of meats, fine cheeses, and assorted coffees. They have recently created a


Everyone knows the smoky and mist-kissed North Georgia mountains provide a picturesque romantic getaway; however, we were surprised to learn just how bright the gay rainbow shines in the tiny mountain town of Blue Ridge. Blue Ridge is a quick side trip from Atlanta with world class food, entertainment, and even a gay “Midtown Mountain.” You have everything needed for the perfect gay mountain escape. fantastic wine section including all your favorites as well as many local and specialty wines you can‘t find anywhere else. While in Blue Ridge, give yourself time to absorb the local culture and visit the local shops. You’ll be astonished at the gay-owned and gay friendly presence. Main street is split into east and west, divided by local shops catering to your gourmet, decorating, artistic, and entertainment needs. Wrapsody in Blue (www.WrapsodyInBlueRidge. com) is one of the first shops you should visit. They have an excellent collection of timeless furniture, unique gifts and home accessories. Partners Jack Morton and Michael Brunson, originally from Atlanta, own and operate Wrapsody in Blue and ensure that each customer receives a personal shopping experience. The

charming duo can suggest everything from the beautiful decorative mirrors to that perfect birthday card for mom. Vacation is one of the best places to explore new avenues in the art world. Multitude Gallery ( has artwork from more than 100 glass artists. Their glass blowers specialize in beautiful, hand-crafted, colorful pieces of art. The Gallery also carries exquisite pottery, jewelry, and paintings from local artisans. The gallery pieces range in price from affordable to inspiring, so no matter your budget, you can take home a piece of Mountain art. With the newfound crisp in the air, a festive stop at Fezziwig’s (www.fezziwigsonline) on E. Main Street is a delightful diversion. The winter holiday shop is gay owned by partners Bradley David and Candelario Chacon, who always have the last word in holiday home fashion and decor. Their Christmas decorations will leave you spellbound in warm holiday memories and their selection is second to none. After a fun day of shopping, you have definitely worked up an appetite, so explore your epicurious at Blue Ridge’s finest restaurant - Harvest on Main ( The restaurant is known locally to have the menu that sets the bar for North Georgia cuisine. Started by husband and wife team Michelle Moran and Danny Mellman, they bring flavorful, local, and seasonal eats to a new level. For your first course you can’t go wrong with the delicate smoked salmon and local trout spread. Combining with the flavors of the fish are red wine, onion, and a playful caper remoulade. For the entrée, we recommend the local trout, coupled with a roasted almond vanilla almondine, served over a bed of green beans placed on garlic mashed potatoes. To lift the palette and accentuate the vanilla fragrance of the trout, try the local Three Sisters Pinot Blanc from

Lumpkin County Georgia. Finally, for dessert, a divine must - the bread pudding which is cut into squares, flash fried in brown sugar and then topped with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel. After dinner, head back to the cabin to relax in front of the fire, snack on varieties from the local delicatessens, look through all of your new souvenirs, and enjoy time spent with your friends and family. Be sure, though, to get enough rest because tomorrow is a full day! To start the new day on the right foot, head to L & L Beanery ( which is a coffee house that now serves delicious southern-style breakfasts. The restaurant is housed in a renovated bank originally built in 1926. Instead of cash, the vaults feature different jellies, spreads, and accessories. Try the Everything Omelet, which includes, well, everything. (Peppers, tomatoes, cheeses, potatoes, mushrooms, sausage and bacon, and lots more.) Make sure to get your souvenir T-shirt before you go, which reads “I’ll have a Mocha, Frappe, Vodka, Xanax, Latte Please.” After breakfast, you’ll want to put on some comfortable jeans and shoes to go apple picking at the south’s finest Apple Orchard - Mercier’s ( Mercier’s orchard is the largest in Georgia, with over 220 acres and 51 different varieties of apples. Their store includes a produce for their apples and other fruits, apple cooking accessories and best of all - a bakery. The bakery employs the finest apple aficionados in the Blue Ridge area, furiously creating new apple treats for your taste buds. Grab an apple pie! So enjoy the season with those you love and make memories that will last forever in Blue Ridge. FENUXE.COM



2010 FEnuxe


This list is the outcome of a voting process in which over 70 individuals were nominated and over 2,500 votes finalized the Fenuxe 50. The Fenuxe 50 is placed in alphabetical order by last name.

Whether you protect us on the streets, entertain us in our seats, or advocate for us when we need a hand, everyone in our community has a vital role to play. Each person on the Fenuxe 50 list has used their own diverse and unique talents to benefit our community. Although these individuals could never do it alone (and there are thousands more who deserve recognition), these are the top movers and shakers of Atlanta’s LGBT community that you have chosen to be recognized for their important contributions to the community this year. Whether it is from inside the chambers of the State Capital, the conference room of one of Atlanta’s many non-profit groups, or working tirelessly behind the scenes—these individuals have made a difference for our community. They represent the best that Atlanta has to offer and their contributions are as diverse as Atlanta’s thriving LGBT community.



The Volunteer

Dynamic Director

Actor’s Express is

When you feel

one of the most electrifying theater houses in town, and a big part of that is due to the work of artistic director Freddie Ashley. Each season’s plays are bound to include content appealing to the LGBT community, and Ashley is proud to make it happen.

truly at-home in Atlanta’s LGBT community, you (hopefully) try to give something back. Luckily Wes Berry does. He’s passionate about his work on the board of Joining Hearts and especially with AV200, which benefits the Emory Vaccine Center.

How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life?

How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life?

This is something to which I haven’t really given a lot of conscious thought. I think that we are shaped by so many of the details that make us who we are. I would say, based on my experiences, that treating every person you meet with respect and civility is one of the most important things. We’re all in this life together regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, economic class, political affiliation or religious tradition. Why don’t we focus on that common humanity we all share and celebrate those differences that make each person unique?

I would like to say that being gay hasn’t shaped my outlook on life and I don’t really notice that I am gay or different from other Americans, but unfortunately over the years I realized that isn’t the case. As I became more aware of the issues within our community, the misunderstandings that others have of our community, and the prejudices still facing our community, it made me more aware of what it means to be gay and, being the problem solver I am, look for ways to help. I realized that these issues aren’t other people’s issues; they are everyone’s issues.



SIMONE BELL The Representative

Becoming the first African-American

lesbian to serve in a U.S. state legislature is a notable accomplishment. But Simone Bell isn’t content to sit still with her hands under her lap accepting accolades for making history. She’s a born fighter with years of community organizing and activism in her blood, and she’s taken that spirit to the political world.

“To be engaged is how we can help ourselves. We have to be part of the conversation.”

After serving a partial term after winning last year’s election, Bell was unopposed this time around and begins her first full term as a state representative. And she’ll continue to stand up when needed, ready to be the voice her district—and our community—needs. Why did you become a community organizer and activist? Helping people period and helping others who don’t have a voice. That’s always been a part of my makeup. If things are happening, we gotta do something about it. I’m really a cause person. I feel like there’s a place to share love. What do you wish LGBT individuals would do more of to better themselves and their community? To be engaged is how we can help ourselves. We have to be part of the conversation. It doesn’t mean that everyone has to be out on the streets, everyone can do it in a different way. We can’t give up. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit






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Robert Annas & Douglas Shaw, Christie Ayotte & Kindra Baer, Kevin Bleasing, Ken Britt, Jeff Cleghorn & Kevin Kirby, DeWayne Colquitt, Michael Crandall, Andrew Greene & Billy Eiselstein, Sam Harp, Paul Horning, Joyce Kitchens & Jerry Barnes, Randy New & Russell Tippins, Chris Morter, Madeleine Ponder & Trina Queen, Kirk Rich, Sumner Riddick, Mike Wright & Bob Glascock


Anonymous (2), David Allred, John Bagwell, Michael Baker, Dan Bloom & Barry Golivesky, Jay Brown, Jeff Deardorff, Bill Denton, Tracy Elliott, Brian Ettelman & Christopher Doyle, Charlie Frew, Michael Grover, Douglas Gurley & Joel Bulit, Trey LaFave, Michael Lappin & John West, Dennis McKinnie, Thomas Philpot & John Burger, Anthony Piazza & Tim Goodwin, Joe Porter & Carter Elliott, Sally Ringo & Juli Buckingham, Sharon Semmens, Charlie Stadtlander, Chuck Stephens & Daylon Lutzenberger, Barbara Rubin, Dana Williams & Tom Woodward, Kathleen Womack, Marc Yeager & Roger LeVine, Mike Zinsmeister & D.J. Dammann


The Honorable Karla Drenner, Commissioner-elect Joan Garner, The Honorable Pat Gardner, The Honorable Mike Jacobs, The Honorable Margaret Kaiser, The Honorable Mary Norwood, Senior Patrol Officer Patricia Powell, The Honorable Alex Wan, The Honorable Cathy Woolard

INVITE YOU TO A FUNDRAISER BENEFITING THE Servicemembers Legal Defense Network to support SLDN’s work to protect LGBT military personnel and to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Saturday, November 13, 2010 6:30 – 9:30 pm

The Home of Randy New, Esq. and Dr. Russell Tippins 4 Polo Drive, Atlanta, GA 30309 SPECIAL GUESTS

SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis and SLDN’s Board of Directors and Military Advisory Council Suggested minimum donation $75

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The Boy Next Door

Gay-owned businesses

are crucial to the makeup of a gay community, and one of our most high profile ones is menswear boutique Boy Next Door. Owner David Boswell not only loves running a “fun, exciting, sexy, unique place to shop” but is also proud of the money, gift certificates and merchandising they have donated for countless fundraisers and events over the years.




Atlanta’s Gay Godfather




of service to Atlanta’s LGBT community, Ken Britt’s gay resume is too long to list here but he has a mission statement focused on three areas: helping those living with HIV/ AIDS, getting full LGBT equality, and helping underprivileged LGBT youth. After retiring last year from Alston & Bird, Britt is now able to focus full time on his community service mission.

What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years?

How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life?

I do hope that the economy and the nightlife in our city gets back on track in five years—or sooner! Whether you go out or not, a vibrate nightlife helps our city and community in many ways. More money into the bars, restaurants, and shops helps keep businesses open, jobs in our community, and visitors coming back to our town.

Being LGBT has given me a purpose, a family and a community. It’s made me self-reliant, resolute, independent, strong and hardworking. Because I’m gay, I’ve learned to welcome differences, celebrate life’s little pleasures and be very thankful for the many blessings I’ve been afforded. I’m incredibly proud of what LGBT people have accomplished individually and as a community and I embrace our culture, with all of its differences, with joy and amazement.





and we’re probably forgetting a few other slashes. Barry Brandon is Atlanta’s renaissance man, a whirling dervish of a promotional machine with a gift for getting the word out. His goal? “I want to be the male version of Oprah—but with a music career,” he says. You won’t find many who would bet against him.

“I think the most important thing about negative experiences is realizing what a role they play in my happiness.” 20 FENUXE.COM

We learn from all our experiences, both good and bad. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from. I, like most other people, have had my share of negative experiences—parents divorcing, surgeries etc. I think the most important thing about those negative experiences is realizing what a role they play in my happiness. Without all the bad things happening my life right now wouldn’t be as wonderful. If you were stranded on a desert island, what’s the one book you would want with you? A book full of photos of family and friends…or maybe a copy of Vogue. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit

Stonewall Politico

The Network President

When you’re president

of the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, you need to stay as visible as possible. It’s a role that suits Ted Bruner just right, and with him at the helm the AGLCC is growing by leaps and bounds. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? I’m fortunate because I was very clear at an early age about who I was; I also had a very supportive family growing up. As a result, I’m very comfortable with where I am today. I never wonder about things like “what would I be like had I been born straight?” It’s not even a question for me and I have a very positive outlook for my future. We have so many great resources within our community to help the youth who may be struggling with their identity. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit

He describes his

role in our community as “just a mere activist” but Tim Cairl has taken a vital role in several successful political campaigns involving gay or gay-friendly candidates over the last several years, including Simone Bell’s run for State House and Jason Carter’s run for State Senate. He’s currently chair of the board of the Atlanta Stonewall Democrats and after finishing graduate school he plans on going full time into public service. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? Opened my eyes to a whole other world that most of the majority of Americans never sees—those who live in the shadows, those who work tirelessly day-to-day for other people, and the amazing and wonderful kaleidoscope that is our great city. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit


So much of LGBT equality is about having a presence, about people seeing what we’re really about, and out lesbian Melissa Carter provides that much-needed presence five days a week as co-host on Q100’s wildly successful The Bert Show. Carter has such an impact because she doesn’t make her sexual orientation a big deal, but she also isn’t afraid to jump in and voice her opinion when it comes to LGBT issues. It’s all very matter of fact—a mention of her girlfriend here, a story about their quest to have children there—and simple. She’s just being herself. And that’s all she needs to be to help us keep moving forward.

“Almost dying is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? I’m more open to helping others and thinking outside myself, since that is what I ask of others in order to help the LGBT community. We learn from all our experiences, both good and bad. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from. My fight with kidney disease. This life-threatening condition has allowed me the opportunity to live life more fully and not waste any moments. Even when I’m bored or frustrated with things. Almost dying is the best thing that has ever happened to me. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit





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The Party Starter

The man with his name

all over some of the most high profile gay nightlife events in town is Chris Coleman. His goal is to take the typical gay scene to another level and the next step is in the works—a major circuit party weekend in Atlanta in 2011. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? Conducting business with other members of the community is like doing business with your friends. We are all one degree of separation and having a business in the LGBT community is similar to doing business with family or friends.  I worked in the retail mortgage industry for over 10 years and not once did I feel as though I was among friends.  This positive experience that I witness day in and day out not only has shaped my outlook on life, but it’s made me a more tolerant person, a better partner and a better friend. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit




The Boy Activist

He’s owner of a media

company called Max The Boy Lion Media and co-owner of a real estate team called The Corwell Group, but Max Corwell is an activist at heart. He was one of the organizers of a rally protesting the Eagle raid and he raised over $15,000 for AID Atlanta through his work with this year’s Atlanta Cotillion. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from. I grew up in a very conservative town, where I was consistently ridiculed and beat up for being different (even though I wasn’t out as a gay male). It was hard, and easily one of the most negative things in my life, birthdays were lonely, and many nights were spent crying. However, it does get better. Keep pushing through, find people who support you (Youthpride!), and work to make a difference. Don’t give up! FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit


‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Crusader

When we asked Jeff Cleghorn what his hobbies

are, he said “Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal.” It gives you an idea of why there is no one in Atlanta (or perhaps the country) fighting the good fight against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' as fiercely as he is. In-between appearances as a military analyst on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, the decorated Army veteran works for the rights of LGBT families as a partner at the law firm Kitchens New Cleghorn, LLC. Tell us about a negative life experience you've had that you learned a valuable lesson from.

“My father taught me to stand up for my beliefs, to fight for what is right, and to always work harder than the next guy.”

I know firsthand the deep personal hurt that comes from having my country tell me that it is okay for me to risk my life in service to country, that it is not okay for me to be honest about being gay. This is an insult, and it fuels my passion to help right this wrong. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? My father was a Southern Baptist Deacon and a factory worker with the Ford Motor Company. He taught me to stand up for my beliefs, to fight for what is right, and to always work harder than the next guy. Since coming out, I have tried to embrace my father’s values in living my life with dignity, as well as in using my personal experience to promote gay equality through education and advocacy. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit


  

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Longtime activist

Betty Couvertier brings our stories to the airwaves with her show on WRFG Radio, “Alternative Perspectives.” She’s busy with the show and her spot on the Atlanta Police Department’s GLBT Advisory Board—both natural fits for Couvertier considering her past work with the Human Rights Campaign, Georgians Against Discrimination and countless other organizations. What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years? Unity. I see the Atlanta LGBT community building relationships, having dialogue, and joining our hetero-counterparts on the job, at home, and school. I see a lot of support from our allies and I really believe that the interaction that is happening today will lead us to a better world. Our youth will be our salvation and they will lead us to a much better place.

What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years? My hope is that Atlanta’s LGBT community continues to grow and diversify over the next five to 10 years, and that we also become more engaged. I think the Atlanta community is on the cusp of change right now, and my hope is that we turn more towards activism than apathy. It is easy to be comfortable here, but in some ways it is a tenuous comfort, based on atmosphere but not supported by laws and policies to guarantee our full equality. My hope is that in the next 10 years that will change for Georgia. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit

KARLA DRENNER The Original Trailblazer

The year 2000 doesn’t seem that long ago, but 10

years is a lifetime in LGBT equality years. It was four years before an overwhelming majority of our fellow Georgia citizens voted against marriage equality. It was nine years before the Eagle raid.

The year 2000 doesn’t seem that long ago, but 10 years is a lifetime in LGBT equality years.

That’s why it’s even more historic when you consider that 2000 was the year Karla Drenner became the first openly gay member of the Georgia General Assembly. The Avondale Estates resident defeated a four-term incumbent in the primary election on the way to her spot as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Drenner faced some early challenges to her seat but held steady and is now preparing to run for her sixth term. She’s clicked with her fellow openly gay House member Simone Bell, cheering and giving each other high-fives on the good days, sharing in the disappointment on the bad days. But while she remains a vital gay voice in the State House, she’s also wellknown as a champion for Georgia’s environment, drawing on her experience in the environmental health and safety industry. The devoted mother and published author marched in this year’s Pride parade and was one of the “Legislative 40” group of grand marshals. She looks poised to nab that sixth consecutive term in the Georgia House, keeping a vital and active presence alive in one of the highest offices in the state. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit




As editor and cofounder of GA Voice, Laura Douglas-Brown is dedicated to chronicling the multiple communities within our larger LGBT community. She’s been doing so for the last 13 years and it’s made her become one of our most trusted figures.

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The Gayor

Atlanta Black Gay Pride is one of the largest Black Pride celebrations in the world, and to find out why, a good place to look would be in Raymond Duke’s direction.

The tireless Duke is all over the community, first and foremost as president of In The Life Atlanta (the official organizer of Atlanta Black Gay Pride), but also as a member of the HRC’s steering committee and as an associate minister at Tabernacle Baptist Church.

“The most valuable love is the love you have for yourself. Love you unconditionally, and others can deal with their hang-ups.”

How would you define your role in Atlanta’s LGBT community? My friends call me the Gayor (gay mayor) of Atlanta’s LGBT community. I define my role as a community leader, activist, and advocate for positive change and unity in the community. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? It’s taught me not to be as judgmental as I once was, that everything isn’t about me, and it helped me to see life clearer and embrace the value of reaching out to others. It taught me to be passionate about service to my community and man/woman kind. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit

TRACY ELLIOTT Epidemic Fighter

The threat of HIV/AIDS in our community is still very real, and as executive director of AID Atlanta, Tracy Elliott is devoted to keeping us engaged in the fight. Elliott guides the ship on several of Atlanta’s biggest fundraising events, including Cotillion and the AIDS Walk, which just celebrated its 20th year on a sparkling Sunday afternoon. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from.

“When I did finally come to terms with myself, I could call upon that strength to develop an authentic, truthful life.”

I’ve lived a very fortunate life to date and have had very few significant negative experiences. Even though I had an ideal childhood in many ways, growing up knowing that I was somehow different left me feeling alienated and alone oftentimes. Initially, and for a long time, the “lesson learned” was to hide who I was and “act” what I assumed was appropriately. This alienation and the fear of what I was as my consciousness of my sexual orientation emerged oddly caused me to be stronger and more internally resourceful. When I did finally come to terms with myself, I could call upon that strength to develop an authentic, truthful life. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? It has made me, as a white male with privilege, more understanding of and empathetic with oppression and injustice and much more determined than I would otherwise be to build a just society. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit






The Right Voice

Children’s Superhero

If you’ve been

to the Toy Party or Backpack in the Park, then you’ve got an idea of why Jorge Esteban is on this list. Esteban is president of For the Kid in All of Us, and he and the rest of the dedicated members are responsible for putting on the immensely successful fundraisers every year. Mark your calendars for December 5th—Esteban and For the Kid are gearing up for an even more spectacular Toy Party at Americas Mart 3! How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? Having been married to my high school sweetheart for 7 years and father to 2 amazing sons, I was faced as a “late bloomer” to make a fateful decision. Little did I know that I would meet the man of my dreams...caring, accomplished, loving, hard working, devoted, cute, funny as heck, faithful... he was my 7 year itch! Well I’m still scratching as we just celebrated our 21st year together! FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit

He serves on

the board of Georgia Equality and YouthPride, but Jamie Ensley’s probably best known as president of the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans and national secretary of the Log Cabin Republicans. He’s also taken an active role in the fight against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by testifying in the federal trial in which Judge Virginia Phillips ruled the policy unconstitutional. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from. I was bullied as a child, but it finally stopped when I filled my Scooby Doo lunchbox full of rocks on the playground, and hit the bully upside the head with it when he tried to bully me again at the bus stop. I ran into him at the Home Depot in my hometown a few years ago and his front tooth is still crooked. I learned that sometimes if you can’t turn the other cheek, you just have to open up a can of whoop ass.


LINDA ELLIS Health Care Queen

It’s no surprise Linda Ellis likes to remodel homes in her spare time. She went from building up YouthPride as its first executive director, and is now putting those same skills to use at the helm of the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative. We learn from all our experiences, both good and bad. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from.

“i see my most important role in our community to be one of constancy and support.”

Coming out to my parents was one of the hardest experiences of my life. I was raised conservative Southern Baptist, and there was nothing in my parents’ world to help them embrace a lesbian daughter. But they also raised me to have a strong commitment to and reliance on family. We stuck it out and it was worth it. I can’t imagine my life without that circle around me. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? I don’t know anything else, so it’s somewhat hard to separate my identity as a lesbian from the whole of me. I believe that I carry with me both a greater distrust for those who are presumptively given the power in our society, and a corresponding affinity for those who find themselves at the edges of a community.




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Name a gay-related non-profit in this town

and Glen Paul Freedman has dedicated his time to it: Atlanta Pride Committee, Georgia Equality, For the Kid in All of Us, etc. His latest high-profile gig is serving as board chair of the newly formed Atlanta Police Department GLBT Advisory Group. When he’s not consumed by his volunteer work or his job as executive assistant to Lisa Borders, Freedman enjoys a night out with friends at his favorite club, Mary’s. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life?

“I cannot imagine living in any other way than as an ‘out’ gay man.”

My senior year in high school, I came out to my family and friends and since then have never hidden who I am. This decision, as well as simply being gay, has impacted the way I see life. From personal experience, I know we must stand up for ourselves and be visible if we want to obtain full equality under the law. I also understand how hard other groups have had to fight to get to where they are and I respect and support their journeys. I cannot imagine living in any other way than as an “out” gay man. In addition to my father who is gay, I’ve had two other fantastic, supportive role models: my father’s life partner of 36 years, Ira, and Allen Thornell, both of whom passed away this past year. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit


After prevailing in an August runoff election and running unopposed in the November 2nd general election, Joan Garner officially secured her spot as the first openly gay member in the history of the Fulton County Commission. The win followed a long record of LGBT activism for Garner, who looks to continue fighting for us and her constituents for a long time to come. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from.

“I have been out before it was in to be out.”

I have experience in a number of civic settings being “the only”: The only woman, the only black person, the only out gay person. While it can sometimes be difficult being The Only, I have learned the value of being myself. What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years? The more we are involved in civic endeavors across the board, the more we create opportunities for ourselves and for others. We need to show up for our neighborhood association meetings, for the school PTA and more. More and more people will begin to see that our sexual orientation and gender identity are just parts of who we are; those things do not solely define us. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit


Agendas // Business: 11/04–11/17 Thursday, 11/4

Buckhead Business Association, Anthony’s Restaurant, 7:30AM Friday, 11/5

Atlanta City Sales Club, Petite Auberge, 12PM Tuesday, 11/9

Metro Atlanta Chamber Leads to Business, Metro Atlanta Chamber, 8:30AM AGLCC Business Builder Luncheon, Kirkwood Public House, 11:55AM American Business Women’s Association – Onyx Chapter, Doubletree Hotel – Buckhead, 6PM St. Mark UMC Job Network, St. Mark UMC, 6:30PM Wednesday, 11/10

AGLCC Business Builder Luncheon, SOHO – Vinings, 11:55AM Thursday, 11/11

Out & Equal Atlanta Corporate Roundtable, UPS Corporate Office, 6:30PM Decatur Seekers, Clairmont Presbyterian Church, 7PM Tuesday, 11/16

AGLCC Business Builder Luncheon, Hudson Grille – Brookhaven, 11:55AM St. Mark UMC Job Network, St. Mark UMC, 6:30PM Wednesday, 11/17

Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce North Fulton Alliance, Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, 7:30AM AGLCC Business Builder Luncheon, Doubletree Hotel – Northlake, 11:55AM Metro Atlanta Chamber Businessto-Business Mixer, Smart Grid Technology Center of Excellence, 5:30PM AGLCC Networking Events The AGLCC packs the schedule with four networking opportunities at fabulous restaurants and hotels. Don’t let it pass you by! FENUXE.COM


Agendas // Cultural: 11/04–11/17 Thursday, 11/4 The Supreme Pleasure of Being Salvador Dali, High Museum of Art, 7PM Jeanine Davis lecture, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 7PM Richard Hutton reading, Outwrite Bookstore, 7:30PM Atlanta Opera singer Susan Nicely, Cook’s Warehouse – Midtown, 7:30PM Cirque Du Soleil presents: OVO, Atlantic Station, 8PM (OPENING NIGHT) Mozart & Dvorak, Atlanta Symphony Hall, 8PM “The Stench Who Stank Up Christmas,” Agatha’s, 8PM Friday, 11/5 Martinis & IMAX, Fernbank Museum, 6:30PM “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” The Fox Theatre, 8PM The Mustache Party, High Museum of Art, 8PM Introducing the Next Generation, 14th Street Playhouse, 8PM The Second City, Alliance Theatre, 8PM Saturday, 11/6 Grow Your Own Pharmacy, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 10AM 2010 Decatur Wine Festival, Decatur Square, 1PM Fall Auction Fundraiser, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 7PM “Proof,” OnStage Atlanta, 8PM (FINAL NIGHT) Film: House, High Museum of Art, 8PM Sunday, 11/7 With Malice Toward None, Atlanta History Center, 12PM (FINAL DAY) Atlanta Day of the Dead Festival, Atlantic Station, 12PM Monday, 11/8 Demystifying Bread class, Cook’s Warehouse – Brookhaven, 7PM Tuesday, 11/9 Boxwood Garden Club, Habersham Gardens, 10:30AM Atlanta Botanical Garden Tours, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1:30PM Amy Sedaris lecture & book signing, Atlanta History


Center, 7PM

Garage, 8PM

Wednesday, 11/10 Poetry Reading, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 8PM “Lobby Hero,” 14th Street Playhouse, 8PM “Nacirema Society Requests...,” Alliance Theatre, 8PM

Tuesday, 11/16 Not Your Grandma’s Thanksgiving, Cook’s Warehouse – Midtown, 7PM Wednesday, 11/17 “Albatross,” Actor’s Express, 8PM

Thursday, 11/11 Katherine Smith lecture, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 6:30PM “You Can’t Take It With You,” Mary Gray Munroe Theater (Emory), 7:00PM Haydn & Shostakovich, Atlanta Symphony Hall, 8PM Wonderroot’s Local Filmmaker’s Night, Plaza Theatre, 9:15PM Friday, 11/12 Martinis & IMAX, Fernbank Museum, 6:30PM Film: Saddest Music, High Museum of Art, 8PM “The Storytelling Ability of a Boy,” Synchronicity Theatre, 8PM Improv Psychiatry, Dad’s Garage, 10:30PM Saturday, 11/13 Tai-Chi in the Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 9:30AM Dancing Through Time: USO, Atlanta History Center, 10:30AM Curator Talk: Stuart Horodner, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 11AM Edgewood Electronic Music Fest, Edgewood Corridor, 5PM SLDN’s Fundraiser to Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Home of Randy New & Dr. Russell Tippins, 6:30PM Film: Repulsion, High Museum of Art, 8PM Sunday, 11/14 Chocolate Sundays, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 2PM Jennifer Holliday & Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, One Atlantic Center, 6PM Monday, 11/15 High Arts Day, High Museum of Art, 8AM BBC Broadcast Orchestra, The Fox Theatre, 7:30PM “Kill The Dog,” Dad’s

Thursday, 11/4 Cirque Du Soleil presents: OVO Atlantic Station, 8PM Cirque returns! It's opening night for OVO, “An immersion into the teeming and energetic world of insects.” Be the first to see it!



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Agendas // Fenuxe Night: 11/04–11/17 Thursday, 11/4 Texas Hold’em Poker & the Shawnna Factor, Blake’s, 7PM Crazy Bitch Bingo, Las Margaritas, 7:30PM Ladies Night, LeBuzz, 8PM Open Mic Night, New Order, 8PM Trivia, Joe’s on Juniper, 8PM Indulge, The W Midtown, 9PM Midtown Comedy Show, Bellissima, 9:30PM Xplosive Thursdays, My Sisters Room, 10PM Friday, 11/5 La Roux, The Tabernacle, 8:30PM Boys Room, Mary’s, 9PM Massive, Club Reign, 9PM Swagger Friday, My Sisters Room, 9PM Friday VJ Night, Mixx, 9:30PM Spin Cycle, Jungle, 10PM Calvin Harris & La Roux Afterparty, Aurum Lounge, 10PM DJ Lydia Prim, The Heretic, 10PM The Mary Edith Pitts Show, Burkhart’s, 11:30PM

Saturday, 11/6 Miss Dixie 2011 Pageant, Jungle, 6:30PM Hot Mess! Party, Mary’s, 9PM Twist Saturday w/ DJ Duck, Bellissima, 9PM Decked Out Saturdays, My Sisters Room, 10PM DJ Abel, Jungle, 10PM Jealouse’s Daring Divas, Blake’s, 11PM Saturday Night Fever, LeBuzz, 11PM Sunday, 11/7 The Armorettes, Blake’s, 8PM Mary Edith Pitts’ Sunday Spectacular, Burkhart’s, 9PM Monday, 11/8 Margarita Mondays, LeBuzz, 5PM Crazy Bitch Karaoke, Las Margaritas, 7:30PM Texas Hold ‘Em, Woofs, 8PM Robyn, Buckhead Theatre, 8PM Dragamaki, Nickiemoto’s, 8:30PM Karaoke Idol, Burkhart’s, 9PM

Atlanta Pride Festival 2010 I want to thank everyone who visited the BoyJewels booth at the Atlanta Pride Festival. Your response to the line was fantastic and I truly appreciate the support.

To show my appreciation I want to extend a special offer to you. When you make a purchase online and enter the code ‘pride’ in the coupon window, you will receive 50% off the entire order! Also remember, a portion of all online sales go to the Atlanta HRC! Thanks again for your support! 36 FENUXE.COM

Stars of the Century, Jungle, 10PM Drag on the Edge, Blake’s, 11PM Tuesday, 11/9 Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Mixx, 7PM My Big Fat Gay Bingo, Frogs, 7PM 2010 Soul Train Awards Pre-Concert feat. Erykah Badu, Atlanta Civic Center, 7:30PM The Sophisticated Ladies of Atlanta Cabaret Show, Shout, 10:30PM Karaoke with Richard, Burkhart’s, 11PM Wednesday, 11/10 PALS “Fantasy & Fetish” Bingo, Jungle, 7:30PM Crazy Bitch Bingo, Joe’s, 8PM Spotlight Karaoke, Bellissima, 8PM Comedy Video Night, Mixx, 9PM Dress Code Party, The Heretic, 10PM Thursday, 11/11 Fantasia and Eric Benet,

Agendas // Fenuxe Night: 11/04–11/17 The Fox Theatre, 7:30PM The Midtown Comedy Show, Bellissima, 8PM Ladies Night, LeBuzz, 8PM Xplosive Thursdays, My Sisters Room, 10PM Princess Charles’ Fashionistas, Burkhart’s, 11:30PM Friday, 11/12 Idina Menzel, Atlanta Symphony Hall, 8PM Lady Antebellum, The Fox Theatre, 8PM Bedlam Presents: Wacked Out Black Out, My Sisters Room, 10PM Spin Cycle, Jungle, 10PM MASSIVE, Club Reign, 10PM Primal Urges, The Heretic, 10PM Kitty LeClaw’s Meow Mix, Blake’s, 11PM The Mary Edith Pitts Show, Burkhart’s, 11:30PM Saturday, 11/13 The Men of Soul Tour, The Fox Theatre, 7:30PM Alexandria Martin’s Bon Voyage, Jungle, 8PM Hot Mess! party, Mary’s, 9PM

Girl Kraze Saturdays, My Sisters Room, 10PM Jealouse’s Daring Divas, Blake’s, 11PM Saturday Night Fever, LeBuzz, 11PM The Mary Edith Pitts Show, Burkhart’s, 11:30PM Sunday, 11/14 The Armorettes, Blake’s, 8PM Mary Edith Pitts’ Sunday Spectacular, Burkhart’s, 9PM


Wednesday, 11/17 Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Bellissima, 7PM Crazy Bitch Bingo, Joe’s, 8PM Honey Pot, Mary’s, 8PM Trivia, Woofs, 8PM Dress Code Party, The Heretic, 10PM Karaoke Idol w/ Shavonna D. Brooks, Burkhart’s, 11PM

Monday, 11/15 Texas Hold ‘Em, Woofs, 8PM Dragamaki, Nickiemoto’s, 8:30PM Karaoke Idol, Burkhart’s, 9:30PM Stars of the Century, Jungle, 10PM Drag on the Edge, Blake’s, 11PM Tuesday, 11/16 Bingo, Woofs, 7PM My Big Fat Gay Bingo, Frogs, 7PM The Sophisticated Ladies of Atlanta Cabaret Show, Shout, 10:30PM



Karaoke: Eagle Style, The Eagle, 10PM

Jungle DJ Abel, Stars of the Century, PALS “Fantasy & Fetish” Bingo—Jungle has the events for every mood throughout the month. Save the dates and head out!


Miss Chamber’s Matinees @ 2PM Texas Hold’Em @ 8PM


35₵ Wings (Dine-In Only) Free Wii @ 4 PM Industry Night


Woofs Trivia @ 8PM


Daily Specials & After Work “Power Hour”


College & NFL Football ALL DAY










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Piedmont Park

14th street

8 12

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1. Amsterdam- 502 Amsterdam Avenue 2. Bellissima- 560 Amsterdam Avenue 3. Blake’s On The Park- 227 10th Street NE 4. Brushstroke’s- 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE 5. Bulldog’s- 893 Peachtree St NE 6. Burkhart’s-1492 Piedmont Avenue NE 7. Eagle Atlanta- 308 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE 8. Einstein’s- 1077 Juniper St. NE 9. Felix’s- 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE 10. F.R.O.G.S.- 931 Monroe Dr. 11. Hobnob- 1551 Piedmont Ave. NE 12. Joe’s On Juniper- 1049 Juniper Street NE 13. Mixx- 1492 Piedmont Ave. NE 14. 3 Legged Cowboy- 931 Monroe Drive 15. Outwrite Bookstore- 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE 16. Oscars- 1510 Piedmont Ave. NE

Not Shown On Map: BJ Roosters- 2345 Cheshire Bridge Road Chaparral- 2715 Buford Highway Cowtipper’s- 1600 Piedmont Ave. NE Friends on Ponce- 736 Ponce De Leon Ave. The Heretic- 2069 Cheshire Bridge Rd. Jungle- 2115 Faulkner Road Las Margaritas-1842 Cheshire Bridge Road NE LeBuzz- 585 Franklin Road Mary’s- 1287 Glenwood Ave. Model-T- 699 Ponce De Leon Ave. My Sister’s Room- 1271 Glenwood Ave. Opus One- 1086 Alco Street Tripps- 1931 Piedmont Circle Woofs- 2425 Piedmont Ave. NE



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Jack Of All Trades

Gay Blog Baron

It’s not often

run into Matt Hennie before, you’re probably straight. You can’t miss the founder and managing editor of Atlanta’s biggest, baddest gay blog, Project Q Atlanta—both because of his 6’8” frame and because he’s at seemingly every gay happening in town.

you find former mayoral candidates spinning at Mary’s under the moniker DJ Homosexual, but that’s life in Kyle Keyser’s world. After last year’s political run, 2010 finds Keyser settling into a groove as an advocate for the city, partythrower, and openly gay filmmaker.

Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from.

Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from.

My father died when I was in my early 20s, before I had the courage to come out to him as gay. I built up walls around me to hide pieces of me and regret that he never knew all of his son and that our relationship wasn’t as complete as it should have been. From that, I learned not to construct barriers to keep away those that I love and that love me. It’s something I still struggle with today.

Being bullied in both the high schools I attended certainly shaped me as a person. You never forgot those times nor those people. I remember when I considered suicide an option too but I just lived on, hoping “one day” I’d be okay. Having lived through that and the catharsis that followed – realizing my sexuality, accepting it despite all of them, and coming out – was when my life truly began.

If you haven’t


JEFF GRAHAM The Advocate

With 21 years of activism and advocacy under his

belt, Jeff Graham has become one of the city’s preeminent voices for LGBT equality. Before taking over as executive director of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group, he was executive director of AIDS Survival Project and media coordinator for ACT UP/Atlanta. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be defined by any one defeat, or for that matter, any one success.”

One of the worst experiences I’ve ever had as an activist was the passage of the anti-gay marriage amendment in 2004. We knew we weren’t going to win that battle, but we did not think we would lose by such wide margins. It really did feel as though our efforts were wasted. However, what I learned from that fight is that our struggle is part of a movement for social justice and equality. We cannot allow ourselves to be defined by any one defeat, or for that matter, any one success. Showing up for the fight is half the battle. Perseverance is the ultimate key to victory. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? Being a gay man has made me more sensitive to the oppression felt by all minority groups. While discrimination based on sexual orientation is different than discrimination based on gender or race or ethnicity, all forms of discrimination are rooted in fear and ignorance. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit









PIOLA IS A contemporary Italian pizzeria specializing in delicious, thin-crust brick oven pizzas. Piola has finally found a home in Midtown Atlanta after its founding in Treviso, Italy and openings in Washington D.C., New York, and Miami. The pizzeria’s loyal fans can also be found as far away as Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, and other international locations. “We are very happy to open our first location in Atlanta in the heart of Midtown on the Midtown Mile,” exclaims Piola co-founder Dante Carniato. “We look forward to serving our new customers in Atlanta with the same attention to quality and service that we have provided at our other locations for over 26 years.”



with about 7-8 different HOMEMADE sauces

The amazing success Piola has experienced can be contributed mostly to their delicious, fresh, and precise recipes. The cuisine is rigorously Italian, prepared with homemade dough and fresh authentic ingredients. Combine that with a lively ambiance and contemporary service style and with Piola, you have the best in Italian pizzerias right on Peachtree.

1080 Peachtree Street, Suite 9 404.249.7019 Open 7 days – 11:00AM to 12:00AM

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KATHY KELLY Family Woman

One of Kathy Kelly’s goals in life is to raise happy, healthy children, and she’s helping other LGBT parents do the same through her work as executive director of MEGA Family Project. With a growing list of events for a rapidly expanding network of LGBT families and children, Kelly’s non-profit is forging a path that should benefit families for generations to come. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from.

“[Being LGBT] has made me a better person with more compassion and love for my fellow human beings.”

The experience of working on the 2004 Georgians Against Discrimination campaign (anti-gay marriage amendment) was one of the worst experiences in my adult life. There was so much in-fighting, mistrust, and anger within the community that I had no idea existed prior to the campaign. My biggest take away from that experience is to be more appreciative of all viewpoints and to know that we are not all going to agree or even get along on every issue. I definitely learned about many parts of the community I had no idea even existed, and thus have a much greater appreciation for the diversity within our community. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit

Louis Gary The Business Guru

Louis Gary made

it through tough, intolerant times in Mississippi to become one of Atlanta’s most respected business leaders. Gary is all over the community, from hosting AEN networking luncheons to putting on fundraisers like last month’s Get It Out of the Closet fashion show. How would you define your role in Atlanta’s LGBT community? I am not sure that my role is any different to our community than that of my late father’s to his. I am foremost a good husband, a neighbor, and a business leader with an interest in handson philanthropy. I believe it is important to be “out” in all aspects of my life and profession as it frees one of the burdens of carrying the bigotry of others on your shoulders. And it offers hope to the many young people you encounter that question their purpose when seeking self acceptance and contemplating their future.



RANDY LAYTON-MORGAN Saved and Gay Apostle

After turning his

back on God and the church in his 20s, Randy Layton-Morgan had an epiphany: God still loved him, gay or not. Layton-Morgan decided to spread the message that you can be “saved and gay” and this year, he celebrated the 10th anniversary of New Covenant Church of Atlanta and his 17th year with partner (and senior pastor) Randy. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? The women and men of our community are the most beautiful people in the world. The women have taught me how to roar, the men have taught me how to appreciate beauty, and both the men and women have taught me to honor, love, and respect one another. If they invented a pill today that made me “not-gay,” I would not take it. I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty that God has deposited into the soul of the LGBT community and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.




The Activist Rabbi

The Community Cheerleader

College was a

dark time for a deeply closeted Joshua Lesser, but it helped him become the man he is now. “I saw shame and hiding as corrosive to my soul and it began to shape what would become my decision to be an out clergy person,” he says.

And now he’s the rabbi at Congregation Bet Haverim, a spiritual leader with a serious activist streak. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? It has made me a more loving person. Together with being Jewish, it has helped me step inside the shoes of “the other” and allow me to see the connections between peoples and work towards our common humanity. And for better or worse, it has helped me see irreverence at times is the most reverent choice. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit

Maggie Lopez is

fine with being called a leader, but she would define herself as more of a “cheer”leader for the LGBT community. The business owner and art collector learned a valuable lesson after coming to America as a political refugee from Cuba: “When you lose everything, you still have yourself and a chance at a new beginning.” How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? As a teenager, I was fascinated with authors of the Lost Generation and Bloomsbury circles, many which dealt with sexual diversity in their works and in their own lives. Perhaps that’s why I was never conflicted or ashamed about my sexuality. But being a woman, Hispanic and gay, I was quite aware of discrimination at a very early stage. Discrimination and xenophobia stem from fear and ignorance; I’m always seeking a teachable moment to unseat prejudice. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit

BUBBA D. LICIOUS Queen of Fun & Fundraising

This year, Bubba D. Licious is finally legal, celebrating 21 years of D-lightful drag performances for a cause. In addition to co-hosting Nickiemoto’s weekly Dragamaki, Bubba D. just marked 180 consecutive gigs (that’s 15 years) as host of the popular PALS Bingo events. How would you define your role in Atlanta’s LGBT community?

“When you look like me, one way or another Bubba does stand out.”

As Atlanta’s Queen of Fun & Fundraising, I use campy comedy; a quick wit & my sharp tongue to bring a smile to a face, a warm feeling for the heart, and hopefully laughter out loud. While I’m lifting your spirits, I’m also pulling at your pocketbook. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? In 1989, two key factors influenced my decision to leave Hilton Head Island for the big city: 1) I was a sports fan & wanted season tickets to the Atlanta Braves; and 2) I was “Looking For a City” where I could be out but not stand out. Within the year, I had become an Armorette; and 21 years ago my life was changed forever. Atlanta allowed me to be out; AIDS called me to help out; the Armorettes shaped me to show out; and when you look like me, one way or another Bubba does stand out.



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As Mayor Kasim

Reed said in a recent Fenuxe interview, there are nine people that run Atlanta’s government and two of them are openly gay. Reese McCranie is one of them. The deputy director of communications for Mayor Reed doesn’t mince words about the impact that being gay has on his life. “Being gay shapes my outlook on life every single day from my personal interaction with friends and family to working with colleagues on substantive and vital issues to the city and the region,” he says. How would you define your role in Atlanta’s LGBT community? I view my role as a direct link between Atlanta’s vibrant and diverse LGBT community and Mayor Kasim Reed. As I attend various events throughout Atlanta, more and more people come up to me and share their thoughts and concerns on what we can do better as a city and how we can improve relationships with the gay community. As a community, we have made significant progress over the years, but I’m never completely satisfied. We can always do more and be better.



He sees himself

playing five roles in our community—advocate, innovator, liaison, educator, and collaborator—and Terence McPhaul combines those in his duties as executive director and CEO of YouthPride.

“I enjoy helping people to understand the collective power of diversity, commonalities, and cultural competence.”

What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years? The community will be more cohesive. As we all start to focus on cultural competence within and outside of the LGBTQQ community, and learn more about one another, prejudice and discrimination will gradually dissipate. Barriers between isolated pockets of the LGBTQQ community based on race, culture, class, sexual orientation, gender, gender identification, education, and money will vanish. The LGBTQQ community, as well as others, will incrementally come to the understanding that there is more to the personality of an LGBTQQ person than their sexual orientation and identification. Politicians will be more likely to sit down with us, and stand up for us beyond the photo opportunity whether in Atlanta, or Washington. Finally, I feel that the community will become more appropriately conscious of, and active in, the strategic and preventative measures that can protect LGBTQQ youth from social, emotional, and physical extinction.




“I view my role as a direct link between Atlanta’s vibrant and diverse LGBT community and Mayor Kasim Reed.”

Church membership

might have gone down when Pastor Dennis Meredith started preaching that it was okay to be gay (as he discovered he was), but that didn’t stop the leader of Tabernacle Baptist Church. His recent denouncement of Bishop Eddie Long drew praise and he continues to be a leader in addressing the issue of homophobia in the black church. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from.


the leadership council of LGBT workplace advocacy group Out & Equal Atlanta, Chip Newton’s forecast for our future is clear: workplace equality for all. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from. My negative experience was in a previous worklife by working for an organization that didn’t really value me and ultimately “had a reduction” even though I was the top performer for three years in a row.   It was only after I divulged my sexual orientation that I was perceived as “nonperforming” and “non-essential” personnel.   I realized then I was the only person who could make this right for me and make a difference in my community. Working with Deloitte has been a huge breath of fresh air and confirms my feeling that good talent have options with America’s top organizations.



As co-chair of

Sheila Merritt for her work with the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, but her day job at Q&A Events gives her vital interaction with other notable figures throughout the city’s LGBT community as well. The full service event company is certified as an LGBT-owned business and works with clients like the Atlanta Pride Committee and the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative.

My goals are pretty simple….I want to live one day less than [my partner] and spend every minute between now and then working hard, playing hard, living well, making a positive difference in some small way in our community and being kind enough to enough people that somebody will remember to raise a glass of their favorite elixir in my honor now and then after I’m gone.


Workplace Equality Superhero

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What are your goals?

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer which is now in remission. Battling this terminal illness has opened my eyes to how important it is to leave a mark on society and contribute to humanity as a whole. This negative experience brought me to a point where I knew that I wanted to take up a cause for what I believed in and be known as more than just a Baptist preacher, but a Spiritual Activist for the LGBT community.



Events Expert


Queen of the Turntables One name has become synonymous with the city’s music and party scene for the last several years, and that’s Vicki Powell. She’s intent on bringing what she calls “light and happiness” to Atlanta through her parties and charity work, and she’s followed through on the promise one beat at a time. What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years? There is definitely an “upswing” of creative musical and artistic energy in this city right now, and I think it will only continue to develop and flourish over the next 5-10 years. A lot of this creativity is youthful energy coming out of SCAD, which is also really cool to see. I love seeing Atlanta continuously recognized as a great place for LGBT people to live, but I think if we really want to let the world know what great energy this city has – if we want to make our mark on the international urban scene – we still have some work to do. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit




Spiritual Activist



MARY EDITH PITTS The Energizer Drag Queen

In the list of seven roles that Mary Edith Pitts plays

in our community, she lists “drag queen” as fourth after “AIDS fundraiser,” “comedian,” and “emcee.” They’re followed by “actor,” “educator,” and “speaker.” It’s indicative of the multifaceted nature of our community, one in which the drag queen taking shots and telling dirty jokes five nights a week at Burkhart’s is much more than that. In her time away from the spotlight, Pitts enjoys the simpler things like reading, cooking, playing piano, or just hanging out with friends, proving that there really is more than meets the eye shadow.

“I’m not the wild character I portray on stage. I’m a quiet single guy who enjoys simple things.”

Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from. As a child, my mom put my brother and I in an orphanage for 4 ½ years until she could raise us. The experience shaped some core issues in my life but it wasn’t until I got into therapy that I learned important lessons. Everyone has bad things that happen to them but being able to forgive is freeing. Take responsibility for what you do and don’t forget you have a choice in most everything. If you were stranded on a desert island, what’s the one book you would want with you? 101 Ways To Get Off a Desert Island By Biatch U. Skrewed FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit

PHILIP RAFSHOON Mayor of Midtown

One of the most common steps when coming out of the

closet in Atlanta is to go to Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse— call it an Outwrite-of-passage. Owner Philip Rafshoon has run the safe haven and community meeting spot at 10th and Piedmont going back to 1996. That visibility has led Rafshoon to be one of the most recognizable figures in the city. He’s racked up several awards over the years for his service to the community and he’s looking forward to the future. He says, “My goal is to make Outwrite stronger than ever before and continue to update it for the digital age.”

“My goal is to make Outwrite stronger than ever before and continue to update it for the digital age.”

Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from. During my senior year at Georgia Tech, my apartment burned and I lost everything that I owned. I managed, that semester, to get better grades than ever and work a full time job. I learned perseverance and that I worked best under pressure. If you were stranded on a desert island, what’s the one book you would want with you? My favorite book as a kid was Harold & the Purple Crayon. With his purple crayon, this kid could draw his way out of anything... and could probably figure out a way to get off of the island. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit



BARB ROWLAND Realtor With A Purpose

She’s been proud

to serve the community as a realtor for the last 10 years, but Barb Rowland is especially passionate about her support for LGBT organizations and events throughout the city. Her dream for our community? “I would like to see Atlanta build and support a gay community center, serving everyone within the LGBT community and providing programming for everyone from youth to senior citizens,” she says. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? I look at the changes in my life. When I attended the first gay Pride 40 years ago, I was fearful that, if spotted, I could lose my job. Now, having lived in a major metropolis like Atlanta, I am comfortable living openly and appreciate the network of support and community our city has to offer. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit


Gay-Friendly-Business Booster “I remember what

it was like just coming out...not knowing where I could go and feel safe,” says Thomas Ryan. That’s one of many reasons why the Carma Productions co-owner is passionate about his company’s work, which includes making products that inform people about where to find gay-friendly businesses. What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years? There have been times in the past few years when I have felt our community has been separated. I have seen less of us working together and more of us segregating into sub-communities. Whether bears, leather, transgendered, male, female, femme or butch…we have pulled apart. With everything occurring in our community today, from DADT, to teen suicide, and Proposition 8, I see our community pulling back together again…working as one group fighting together to make all of our futures better.




Master Motivator

Whether she’s

leading business builder luncheons for the AGLCC, working wonders as a business owner or talking passionately about the future of our community, one thing is certain—all eyes are on Pam Schloemer.

Publisher With a Plan



Loafing was looking for someone to guide them through a massive relaunch and beyond, they chose one man: Henry Scott. Six months into his stay, the openly gay publisher is settling in nicely in his new town.

She’s put those skills to use to become a fixture in Atlanta’s LGBT community.

When he’s not running the Loaf, you’ll catch Scott with his head buried in a book, writing a new one, or getting a sweat going at LA Fitness.

What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years?

How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life?

The Atlanta LGBT community is in the unique position to not only be the leading LGBT community in the United States, but to raise the expectation for acceptance and success on all avenues. Our community has some of the most highly qualified professionals within their respective fields. We have elected officials at the local and state levels, LGBT liaisons within our Public Safety departments. We have support from many of the religious sectors. Our economic contribution to the entire Atlanta community is huge and cannot be ignored. We are definitely in the position to raise the bar.

Being a gay man means I am much less likely to accept orthodoxy in any field—indeed I’m known for challenging it. And being gay means I’m much more accepting of the innate differences that make humanity so fascinating.


What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years? As Atlanta grows and prospers, so will its LGBT community. Our people are attracted to cities that are progressive—both socially and economically— and Atlanta is growing by both measures. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit



Captain Pride

If you want to see someone completely engaged in a topic, ask James Parker Sheffield about the Atlanta Pride Festival. The executive director of the Atlanta Pride Committee and producer of the festival is beyond dedicated to making sure each Pride weekend tops the previous year’s. What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years?

“When you head into a problem with the attitude that you’ll figure it out one way or another, failure never feels like a viable option.”

A more developed focus on youth and school issues, as well as a more developed focus on aging issues. I also think we’ll see the Rush Center become the official LGBT Community Center. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from. In 2006, a huge windstorm whipped through the festival grounds, taking out the main stage and several market place tents. While no one was injured, the damage seemed insurmountable. I remember standing in the meadow thinking, “This is done. The festival is over.” Then I saw our entire board, staff and committee work together to triage the damage and develop a game plan to reopen the festival the following morning. Since that time, I have been convinced that the dedication of the members of the organization is far stronger than any given obstacle. When you head into a problem with the attitude that you’ll figure it out one way or another, failure never feels like a viable option. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit

TRISTAN SKYE Trans Warrior

TQ Nation might one day be looked at as the Facebook of transgender social networks, and the person to thank for that would be president and co-founder Tristan Skye. “Being transgender for some is like coming out twice and it is a major life change and adjustment,” says Skye. TQ Nation hopes to provide comfort and community throughout those adjustments and beyond. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life?

“This is just the beginning of my destiny and what I feel my purpose is in my lifetime.”

I wasn’t born to live within a box. I was born to see the world through unique eyes, someone who has to be a warrior in order to gain freedom in this world. Being in the LGBT community ignites courage within me and a passion to “be the change you wish to see in the world” (Gandhi). I have learned that family is not always blood-related. True love comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and identities. I feel very blessed to be a part of our beloved community. When I lived in a sheltered world during my youth, I felt only half alive because I saw only half of the reality of the world. I now have the ability to relate to more people and to see through their eyes. I feel the more people that gain that ability, the less we will all feel alone. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit




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The Scene Maker

Trusted Advisor

With her work on the Human Rights Campaign’s national board of governors and her background as a decorated Dekalb County patrol officer, Molly Simmons was one of the easiest choices to represent us on the Atlanta Police Department’s GLBT Advisory Board. What are your hobbies? What are your goals? For the last twelve years, I have been a closeted scrapbooker, but now I’m coming out! Most people think of scrapbookers as teenage girls or young mothers, but there is a contingent of queer scrapbookers out there documenting our lives too. My goals are to be true and authentic to my voice, to work with others toward our shared LGBT missions, to seek to understand others’ voices and to creatively translate them into actions that bring about our mutual goals, and to continually refine my voice and vision. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit




promoter of mega-popular gay dance club Jungle, Brad Williams relishes his role as a businessman dedicated to strengthening the city’s LGBT business community. Producing top shelf events every week isn’t too bad a gig either, and stay tuned because a Jungle renovation may be in the works. What do you forecast for Atlanta’s LGBT community in the next 5 to 10 years? A lot of our future depends on the younger generation and how they get involved in the progress and evolution of our community. That being said, it also depends on the older members to lay the foundation. I am happy to announce that for the first time in awhile, gay bar and business owners came together to discuss issues we currently face. We are coming up with strategies to improve our community. My prediction is if we continue to work together, Atlanta’s GLBT community’s future is a bright one. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit


City Council Citizen

Until last year, Alex Wan was known mostly for his work with Joining Hearts and for co-founding For the Kid in All of Us. Then he became the first openly gay and Asian-American man elected to the Atlanta City Council. Wan has found a way to balance his City Council duties with his charity work though, and he remains one of the most involved gay citizens in the city. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from.

“If I expect others to embrace me and others in the LGBT community, then I must expect no less from myself.”

The one that comes to mind was losing my first run for political office in 2004 after throwing everything I had physically and emotionally into the campaign. But I was able to learn some very positive things that I was able to translate into a successful run for City Council. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? As a proud member of the LGBT community, I, like my brothers and sisters, have faced my share of challenges in my everyday life. But I firmly believe that weathering those negative forces has made me a stronger person and has given me a deeper awareness of my own tolerance and acceptance of others. If I expect others to embrace me and others in the LGBT community, then I must expect no less from myself, and consequently, I am always pushing myself to be as open-minded as possible. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit




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RICK WESTBROOK Possum. Sister. Activist.

Some people put on a dress and do a drag show for hundreds of people to raise money for charity. Others help create a tripped-out troupe of drag nuns dedicated to the “manifestation of cosmic joy.” Still others co-found a gay activist group with a name straight out of a Marvel comic. Rick Westbrook does all three.

“Losing my best friend to AIDS made me mad enough to stop playing by the rules and to stand up and shout ‘This Has To Stop.’”

Westbrook has made a name for himself and helped out countless others through his work with the East Point Possums, The Atlanta Sisters, and the Queer Justice League. He does it because of the causes, but also admits there are other reasons: “I love to make people laugh and to scare them.” We learn from all our experiences, both good and bad. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from. Losing my best friend to AIDS made me mad enough to stop playing by the rules and to stand up and shout “This Has To Stop.” I had always helped our community as much as possible before his death by being behind the scenes. This made me step out to the front and commit myself to positive change throughout the Queer community. FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit


He made his mark on the LGBT community in his 10-

year stint with AID Atlanta. Then last year, Justin Ziegler put that skill set to the test by becoming president of Atlanta Executive Network, and the organization has thrived under his leadership. Ziegler continues to be involved in all aspects of our community, enjoying the interaction with faces familiar and new and he looks to continue his work for some time to come. Tell us about a negative life experience you’ve had that you learned a valuable lesson from.

“I never want to imagine a world where I have to hide who or what I am.”

We all learn from experience if we approach life with an open mind. I like to think of all my experiences in life as positive if I learned something and moved forward as a human being. That said, every day of my life has the potential to be the best day of my life and coming to that understanding was a tremendous life lesson. How has being LGBT shaped your outlook on life? I am so proud to be out and gay. I came out when I was 16 years old and being true to myself and others has opened doors I never thought would be available. I never want to imagine a world where I have to hide who or what I am – and I will never be someone I’m not for any reason! FOR THE FULL INTErVIEW visit


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Dear Mary, I met a wonderful albeit shy man. I am smitten and he seems to feel the same. Here is our problem: my new beau is mildly autistic. He has a good job with the bank and he graduated from college but he doesn’t talk a lot. And he’s incredible in bed. He tells me he wants to move toward being partners and I’m all for it, but I know nothing about autism. Does this relationship have a chance? Signed, Tom in Northside Dear Tom, If he’s that great in bed, why are you taking a time out to write in? Get back to the mattresses! You know, as late as the 1960s, autism was believed to result from emotionally detached parents— doctors and researchers believed that parents made their children autistic by not loving them or caring for them in the right way. This is like saying your parents made you gay by not loving you the right way instead of recognizing autism for what it is—a brain difference, one that we still don’t fully understand and that causes people to behave a little, or sometimes a lot, differently. That is not to say living with autism or having a relationship with a person who is autistic is easy, but it is also not to say that it is immediately fraught with complication (any more than any other relationship!). Autism is primarily a social disorder that impacts the way a person communicates and interacts with others. Obviously, you guys have found a way to communicate that works for you, so you’ve overcome the biggest relationship obstacle related to autism. And don’t let yourself get offended if he doesn’t immediately pick up on some inarticulated need that you have. People with autism tend to have difficulty reading nonverbal cues, so he might totally miss that you crossing your arms and glaring means that you’re angry with him. Tell him what you are thinking and what you need. Again, that’s just good relationship advice—after all, none of us are mind readers. If you guys have gotten this far and things are going well, relax and let the relationship go where it goes. Consider the autistic quirks just an indication that this is a unique relationship with a unique individual and enjoy each other for who you are!




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THE GLBTQ COMMUNITY 15 Lenox Pointe, Suite B Atlanta, Georgia 30324 (404) 539.4942 Se Habla Español.


Your private luxury resort.

Designed for life For 30 years, our approach has been the same: great design should be beautiful, affordable and longlasting. Using the finest materials and expert craftsmanship, our artisans create furniture that fits your life and your style. Made by hand in the U.S., delivered to you in three weeks or less. Navy® chair, $415 Corbett 104” table in solid cherry, $2399 Tolomeo mega pendant, $570 Reed rug, $599 14th Street and Howell Mill Road Westside Provisions District 404.682.5900 Monday - Friday Saturday Sunday

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FENUXE 50 2010 Most Important LGBT Members of Atlanta  

The Fenuxe 50 issue celebrates our Atlanta community. 73 people were nominated as the most prominant and influential members of Atlanta's L...

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