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What is TRUVADA for PrEP?

Who should not take TRUVADA for PrEP?

TRUVADA for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a prescription medicine that is used together with safer sex practices to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 through sex. This use is only for HIV-negative adults who are at high risk of getting HIV-1. To help determine your risk of getting HIV-1, talk openly with your healthcare provider about your sexual health. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to prevent getting HIV. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body fluids on them.

Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP if you: ® Already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. If you are HIV-1 positive, you need to take other medicines with TRUVADA to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. ® Also take certain medicines to treat hepatitis B infection.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about TRUVADA for PrEP? Before taking TRUVADA for PrEP: ® You must be HIV-negative before you start taking TRUVADA for PrEP. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1. Do not take TRUVADA to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV-negative. ® Many HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. If you have flu-like symptoms, you could have recently become infected with HIV-1. Tell your healthcare provider if you had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting or at any time while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. While taking TRUVADA for PrEP: ® You must continue to use safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1. ® You must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP: ® Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months. ® If you think you were exposed to HIV-1, tell your healthcare provider right away. ® To further help reduce your risk of getting HIV-1: ® Know your HIV status and the HIV status of your partners. ® Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV to infect you. ® Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior, such as having fewer sex partners. ® Do not miss any doses of TRUVADA. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection. ® If you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. TRUVADA by itself is not a complete treatment for HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. TRUVADA can cause serious side effects: ® Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. TRUVADA is not approved to treat HBV. If you have HBV and stop taking TRUVADA, your HBV may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health.

What are the other possible side effects of TRUVADA for PrEP? Serious side effects of TRUVADA may also include: ® Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with TRUVADA. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking TRUVADA. ® Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. ® Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. ® Bone problems, including bone pain, softening, or thinning, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones. Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP are stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking TRUVADA for PrEP? ® All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis. ® If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if TRUVADA can harm your unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking TRUVADA for PrEP, talk to your healthcare provider to decide if you should keep taking TRUVADA. ® If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. If you become HIV-positive, HIV can be passed to the baby in breast milk. ® All the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. TRUVADA may interact with other medicines. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. ® If you take certain other medicines with TRUVADA, your healthcare provider may need to check you more often or change your dose. These medicines include certain medicines to treat hepatitis C (HCV) infection. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see Important Facts about TRUVADA for PrEP including important warnings on the following page.

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I’m courageous, not careless. I know who I am. And I make choices that fit my life. TRUVADA for PrEP™ is a once-daily prescription medicine that can help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 when taken every day and used together with safer sex practices. ® TRUVADA for PrEP is only for adults who are at high risk of getting HIV through sex. ® You must be HIV-negative before you start taking TRUVADA for PrEP.

Ask your doctor about your risk of getting HIV-1 infection and if TRUVADA for PrEP may be right for you. Learn more at

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This is only a brief summary of important information about taking TRUVADA for PrEPTM (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 infection. This does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your medicine.

(tru-VAH-dah) MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT TRUVADA FOR PrEP Before starting TRUVADA for PrEP: • You must be HIV-1 negative. You must get tested to make sure that you do not already have HIV-1. Do not take TRUVADA for PrEP to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV-1 negative. • Many HIV-1 tests can miss HIV-1 infection in a person who has recently become infected. Symptoms of new HIV-1 infection include flu-like symptoms, tiredness, fever, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, night sweats, and/or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or groin. Tell your healthcare provider if you have had a flu-like illness within the last month before starting TRUVADA for PrEP. While taking TRUVADA for PrEP: • You must continue to use safer sex practices. Just taking TRUVADA for PrEP may not keep you from getting HIV-1. • You must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you think you were exposed to HIV-1 or have a flu-like illness while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. • If you do become HIV-1 positive, you need more medicine than TRUVADA alone to treat HIV-1. If you have HIV-1 and take only TRUVADA, your HIV-1 may become harder to treat over time. • See the “How To Further Reduce Your Risk” section for more information. TRUVADA may cause serious side effects, including: • Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. TRUVADA is not approved to treat HBV. If you have HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking TRUVADA. Do not stop taking TRUVADA without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months.

ABOUT TRUVADA FOR PrEP TRUVADA for PrEP is a prescription medicine used together with safer sex practices to help reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 through sex. This use is only for HIV-negative adults who are at high risk of getting HIV-1. • To help determine your risk of getting HIV-1, talk openly with your healthcare provider about your sexual health. Do NOT take TRUVADA for PrEP if you: • Already have HIV-1 infection or if you do not know your HIV-1 status. • Take certain medicines to treat hepatitis B infection.

HOW TO TAKE TRUVADA FOR PrEP • Take 1 tablet once a day, every day, not just when you think you have been exposed to HIV-1. • Do not miss any doses. Missing doses may increase your risk of getting HIV-1 infection. • Use TRUVADA for PrEP together with condoms and safer sex practices. • Get tested for HIV-1 at least every 3 months. You must stay HIV-negative to keep taking TRUVADA for PrEP.

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF TRUVADA FOR PrEP TRUVADA can cause serious side effects, including: • Those in the “Most Important Information About TRUVADA for PrEP” section. • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. • Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. • Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. • Bone problems. Common side effects in people taking TRUVADA for PrEP include stomach-area (abdomen) pain, headache, and decreased weight. These are not all the possible side effects of TRUVADA. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with TRUVADA for PrEP.

BEFORE TAKING TRUVADA FOR PrEP Tell your healthcare provider if you: • Have or have had any kidney, bone, or liver problems, including hepatitis. • Have any other medical conditions. • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. • Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. If you become HIV-positive, HIV can pass to the baby in breast milk. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take: • Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that should not be taken with TRUVADA for PrEP.

HOW TO FURTHER REDUCE YOUR RISK • Know your HIV status and the HIV status of your partners. • Get tested for other sexually transmitted infections. Other infections make it easier for HIV to infect you. • Get information and support to help reduce risky sexual behavior, such as having fewer sex partners. • Do not share needles or personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them.

GET MORE INFORMATION • This is only a brief summary of important information about TRUVADA for PrEP. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more, including how to prevent HIV infection. • Go to or call 1-800-GILEAD-5 • If you need help paying for your medicine, visit for program information.

TRUVADA FOR PREP, the TRUVADA FOR PREP Logo, the TRUVADA Blue Pill Design, TRUVADA, GILEAD, and the GILEAD Logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. All other marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Version date: April 2017 © 2017 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. TVDC0159 07/17

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Stacey Abrams makes her case for the LGBTQ vote for governor Former House Minority Leader appears at AGLCC event, holds public discussion on LGBTQ issues

know that as governor, I will not tolerate it and I will be very angry about having to have that conversation, because the governor sets the tone for the state we want to live in.” Abrams looks to wield the power of the governor’s office when it comes to Medicaid expansion as well — a move that would help in the fight against HIV, especially in rural areas of the state. “Bills that may make it through will get a veto unless we have done the work we’re supposed to do,” she said. “We don’t need a budget, we don’t need to do any legislation until we have solved the problem of half a million Georgians, and making certain that no one in the state of Georgia dies because we were too mean to take the money to keep them alive.”

By PATRICK SAUNDERS Stacey Abrams just had her big gay weekend. The former Georgia House Minority Leader and current Democratic candidate for governor appeared at an Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce networking event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown on Jan. 26, then followed that up by meeting with a few dozen LGBTQ elected officials and candidates, activists, nonprofit leaders and other influencers Saturday afternoon to pitch herself as the candidate of choice for the community. The LGBTQ Policy Roundtable Discussion was held at Abrams’ campaign headquarters in Kirkwood, where she touted her track record of opposition to religious exemptions laws, early (2006) embrace of same-sex marriage and co-sponsorship of a bill to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation within state agencies. “It’s about protecting communities, the LGBTQ community, from being able to be fired, or denied access to housing, denied access to services,” she told the crowd. “It’s about fighting back not only locally but nationally and letting the state of Georgia be a voice not of discrimination but of defense. It’s about making sure that discrimination of any kind, that from the beginning, the governor is the face of what will not happen in the state of Georgia, and that’s why I’m running.” Path of LGBTQ support Abrams got an early introduction to the LGBTQ community after moving to Atlanta with her family as a girl and joining Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Midtown. “I think it was the first time I really had a stark conversation about the LGBTQ community,” she said. Later, as a student at Spelman College in

Former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams touted her support for LGBTQ rights during a Jan. 27 event at her Kirkwood headquarters. (Photo by Patrick Saunders)

“It’s about protecting communities, the LGBTQ community, from being able to be fired, or denied access to housing, denied access to services. It’s about fighting back not only locally but nationally and letting the state of Georgia be a voice not of discrimination but of defense.” —Former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, Democratic candidate for governor the 1990s, she backed the creation of a lesbian alliance. “One of my proudest moments was as SGA vice president authorizing that organization on campus,” Abrams said. “It came at a bit of a cost. I got phone calls and threats and had to have campus security for a while. But for me, the responsibility was to do what was right, not what was political.” She surprised many by voicing her support for same-sex marriage during her first state House run in 2006, but won, and has faced no opposition since. The former House Minority Leader opposed religious exemptions bills since they first appeared in the state Legislature in 2015, saying that a sponsor of one such

bill approached her that year to ask for her support due to the fact that her parents were ministers. Abrams said that after turning them down, she tipped off Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham and then-Georgia Equality lobbyist Cathy Woolard about what was coming. As governor, Abrams said that not only would she not support such bills, but she would stop them from even getting a hearing. And there would be a political cost involved for legislators who push back. “Part of it is the signal you send: what will you entertain, and what is the cost of entertaining that conversation? People will understand there is a cost to entertaining legislation that purports to discriminate,” she said. “They will

Different strategy for Democrats than in 2014 Abrams’ public embrace of the state’s LGBTQ community during her gubernatorial campaign is in stark contrast to that of the campaign of former state Sen. Jason Carter, who ran for governor on the Democratic side in 2014. Carter stayed mum on LGBTQ issues, skipped marching in the Atlanta Pride parade, refused interviews with LGBTQ media and quietly came out for same-sex marriage a day after a Georgia Voice editorial criticized him for not already doing so. Michelle Nunn, who ran against David Perdue for a Senate seat that year, followed the same playbook. “I think that 2018 is a very different year than ‘14,” Abrams said when asked about the difference in strategies and if she’s worried about the repurcussions of publicly embracing the LGBTQ community. “I don’t cast aspersions on their approach, but I will say that my approach to every campaign that I’ve ever run is to be as engaged as possible and to be as accessible as possible. For me, the LGBTQ community is a critical part of our economy, and the conversations that we’re having about progress and prosperity and success cut across every community, and there’s no reason not to be actively engaged with the LGBTQ community.” Georgia Voice has reached out to former state Rep. Stacey Evans — Abrams’ challenger in the Democratic primary — for an interview and we’re being told a time is being set up. February 2, 2018 News 5

? News January 5, 2018


Georgia state representative amplifying bisexual voices Rep. Renitta Shannon on coming out, representing the bi-plus community By DALLAS ANNE DUNCAN Bisexual individuals make up more than 50 percent of the country’s LGB citizens according to GLAAD, but it’s a community that often gets overlooked or mischaracterized. “The general population is just more comfortable with folks picking a side,” state Rep. Renitta Shannon (D-Decatur) said. “I think that’s why a lot of people hesitate to come out.” Shannon knows this firsthand. She came out as bisexual last October on social media, a decision she did not make lightly. Even today, she’s not sure how many of her fellow legislators know about her sexuality. “I just felt like the LGBTQ community had been under so many attacks since Trump had been elected,” she said. “The second thing that pushed me over the edge, [former state Rep.] Keisha Waites sat behind me in office. With her leaving, it just felt like, I know I’m a really private person, but how can I sit here and not step into being a visible advocate for the LGBTQ community … and not say this literally applies directly to me too, and stand up and be counted? So I put my privacy aside and decided to come out.” In her Facebook post, which was published on the eve of National Coming Out Day, Shannon said, “I am not only a consistent advocate for LGBTQ issues, I am a member of the LGBTQ community. I am a bisexual black woman.” Amplifying the bisexual-plus voice According to The Victory Institute, 13 elected officials nationwide identify as bisexual. Even more are members of the bisexual-plus portion of the LGBT community, said Alexandra Bolles, associate director of campaigns and external engagement for GLAAD. “It’s just really invaluable for young bisexual-plus kids and teenagers to see themselves represented in the government, and that they have opportunities to see and achieve

State Rep. Renitta Shannon (D-Decatur), center, walks in the 2017 Atlanta Pride parade flanked by fellow out legislators Karla Drenner and Park Cannon, along with former Rep. Keisha Waites. (Courtesy photo)

and maybe even run for office themselves one day,” Bolles said. Shannon said this is where political storytelling can amplify the voices of bisexual-plus legislators. “Most of the work that’s done for LGBTQ issues is almost always a gay man or lesbian. You just don’t see a lot of bi stories,” she said. “You never really see where people who are bisexual are chosen for the ambassadors or are taken seriously on gay issues.” 2018 is Shannon’s second session in office, and she told Georgia Voice she does plan to run for re-election. Before campaigning begins, she’s got legislation to keep an eye on. Shortly before speaking to Georgia Voice in late January, Shannon learned that a bill was introduced that would “additionally criminalize people living with HIV.” “I’m really worried about these continued efforts to criminalize people living with HIV, and some of the comments we’ve had from

other House members,” she said. “There really is a concentrated effort in Georgia to make life harder for people living with HIV.” The representative also has strong feelings on a hate crimes bill recently introduced by Republican Meagan Hanson. “I want the bill to be smart and not add to mass incarceration issues — really protect everyone without adding to the problem,” Shannon said. Representing District 84 Shannon, who now lives in unincorporated DeKalb with her pup Punky Brewster, never intended to run for public office. The Virginia-born, Florida-raised woman graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in sociology. After several years working in mental health facilities, she found her career calling in financial services, but spent most of her free time as an activist for economic justice issues once she got to the Peach State.

“I had a great career doing drug sales and a very successful career,” she said. “I wanted to keep it more my activism work on the side. … I worked on racial justice issues, equality, criminal justice, everything with the exception of environmental issues.” Then her company got bought out. Shannon took some time off and did noting but activism work, even getting to lobby in Washington, DC. The experience was eye-opening. “You start to look around and say, ‘Hmm, do I agree with all the decisions this person is making?’” she said. Shannon ran for office in 2016 against a Democratic incumbent, who though she respects, said she did not feel was as strong a progressive as she was. House District 84 is primarily Decatur and the Agnes Scott College area — Shannon described the shape of the area as a spatula — that also includes Candler Road all the way down to Ellenwood and Lithonia. “I didn’t make the campaign about me,” she said. “I made the campaign about the voters in House District 84.” Equality, including LGBT issues, was a major point in her campaign. But because she wanted her constituents to vote for her based on her stances, and not her personal life, she chose not to come out. After revealing her sexuality on Facebook, Shannon let her constituents know in the email newsletter she sent out at the end of the year. “It’s definitely not something I’m going to run from. I walked in the Pride parade with the other gay members this year — this was the first year I walked with the other elected representatives who were LGBTQ,” she said. “I don’t think [my sexuality] will be an issue. I stand up to make sure everybody is fairly represented.” As for her colleagues, Shannon doesn’t believe revealing her sexuality will change any established relationships in the state government. “You can’t assume people’s sexuality,” she said. “It also helps that I had a relationship with them before coming out. Now it put folks in the situation like, if you liked me before you found out this information about me, you’d feel silly changing your mind.”

6 News February 2, 2018

In adults with HIV on ART who have diarrhea not caused by an infection IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION This is only a summary. See complete Prescribing Information at or by calling 1-844-722-8256. This does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or treatment.

What Is Mytesi? Mytesi is a prescription medicine used to improve symptoms of noninfectious diarrhea (diarrhea not caused by a bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection) in adults living with HIV/AIDS on ART. Do Not Take Mytesi if you have diarrhea caused by an infection. Before you start Mytesi, your doctor and you should make sure your diarrhea is not caused by an infection (such as bacteria, virus, or parasite).

Possible Side Effects of Mytesi Include:

Tired of planning your life around diarrhea?

Enough is Enough Get relief. Pure and simple. Ask your doctor about Mytesi.

Mytesi (crofelemer): • Is the only medicine FDA-approved to relieve diarrhea in people with HIV • Treats diarrhea differently by normalizing the flow of water in the GI tract • Has the same or fewer side effects as placebo in clinical studies • Comes from a tree sustainably harvested in the Amazon Rainforest What is Mytesi? Mytesi is a prescription medicine that helps relieve symptoms of diarrhea not caused by an infection (noninfectious) in adults living with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Important Safety Information Mytesi is not approved to treat infectious diarrhea (diarrhea caused by bacteria, a virus, or a parasite). Before starting you on Mytesi, your healthcare provider will first be sure that you do not have infectious diarrhea. Otherwise, there is a risk you would not receive the right medicine and your infection could get worse. In clinical studies, the most common side effects that occurred more often than with placebo were upper respiratory tract (sinus, nose, and throat) infection (5.7%), bronchitis (3.9%), cough (3.5%), flatulence (3.1%), and increased bilirubin (3.1%).

Should I Take Mytesi If I Am: Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant? • Studies in animals show that Mytesi could harm an unborn baby or affect the ability to become pregnant • There are no studies in pregnant women taking Mytesi • This drug should only be used during pregnancy if clearly needed A Nursing Mother? • It is not known whether Mytesi is passed through human breast milk • If you are nursing, you should tell your doctor before starting Mytesi • Your doctor will help you to decide whether to stop nursing or to stop taking Mytesi Under 18 or Over 65 Years of Age? • Mytesi has not been studied in children under 18 years of age • Mytesi studies did not include many people over the age of 65. So it is not clear if this age group will respond differently. Talk to your doctor to find out if Mytesi is right for you

What Should I Know About Taking Mytesi With Other Medicines? If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicine, herbal supplements, or vitamins, tell your doctor before starting Mytesi.

What If I Have More Questions About Mytesi? For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information at or speak to your doctor or pharmacist. To report side effects or make a product complaint or for additional information, call 1-844-722-8256.

Rx Only Manufactured by Patheon, Inc. for Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. San Francisco, CA 94105 Copyright © Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

For Copay Savings Card and Patient Assistance, see

Mytesi comes from the Croton lechleri tree harvested in South America.

Please see complete Prescribing Information at NP-390-14

• Upper respiratory tract infection (sinus, nose, and throat infection) • Bronchitis (swelling in the tubes that carry air to and from your lungs) • Cough • Flatulence (gas) • Increased bilirubin (a waste product when red blood cells break down) For a full list of side effects, please talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.



About 150 people showed up to a Jan. 27 public meeting following the revelation of Burkhart’s co-owner Palmer Marsh’s racist Facebook posts. Pictured is one of three working groups. (File photo)

Burkhart’s under fire after owner’s racist Facebook posts The owners of popular LGBTQ Atlanta bar Burkhart’s are facing a torrent of criticism over Facebook posts from one’s account referring to former President Barack Obama by a racial slur among other controversial statements. The bar’s entire entertainment lineup has resigned and offers are being entertained to purchase the bar from the beleaguered owners. Screenshots of the posts from the account of Burkhart’s owner Palmer Marsh began circulating on social media on Jan. 19. In addition to the racial slur against President Obama, one post says “If the South had won, we would be a hell of a lot better off,” and another says “My Confederate money that I inherited is on my kitchen counter right now! Steal the money if you like, but don’t try to take my flag because you might get seriously injured by doing so.” WUSSY Magazine posted the screenshots on the evening of Jan. 19 and Burkhart’s GM Don Hunnewell issued a statement to Georgia Voice on Jan. 20 in which he stuck up for the bar’s employees, talked about his intentions to leave his position and offered to pass along any offers to purchase the bar. The bar’s entire drag entertainment lineup resigned on Jan. 25 as the controversy hit national headlines. “This isn’t so much about racism,” Alissah Brooks, who performed at the bar on Fridays, told Georgia Voice after resigning. “It’s more about the girls who have worked here and not only putting up with [racism] but what we’re paid and how we’re treated,

the lack of respect. We all knew the racism was there and alive and well, but at that moment we had just had enough and came to the conclusion that we are more powerful united than alone.” In that spirit, the entertainers formed a group called Queens United to fight for better pay and working conditions for drag performers in Atlanta. Meanwhile, LGBTQ activist group ATL Activate hosted a public meeting on Jan. 27 to address the controversy and work on solutions. The event drew about 150 people, many of whom voiced their concern that the issue would blow over in time. The participants were split into separate working groups to discuss Queens United and supporting Atlanta’s drag performers; starting an LGBTQ-owned cooperative event space; and what type of direct response to Burkhart’s is needed, e.g. a protest, sit-in, etc. Hunnewell announced on Jan. 26 that the bar had been sold, but that deal fell through the following day. TEN Atlanta owner James Nelson said on social media on Jan. 28 that Marsh declined an offer he made to purchase the bar. And the AJC reported on Jan. 29 that Richard Cherskov, former owner of the popular dance club Jungle, is interested in buying the bar. Burkhart’s co-owner Mary Marsh, wife of Palmer Marsh, told WSB on Jan. 28 that the couple is not racist. “I am not racist. My son-in-law is black and I love him with all my heart. I have been very good to this community. It’s always been a fun place,” she told the media outlet.

Cowtippers closing moved back following ‘outpouring of support’ Popular LGBTQ Atlanta favorite restaurant Cowtippers will stay open another several weeks past the original closing date. The Midtown restaurant’s final day was scheduled for Jan. 28, but Metrotainment — the restaurant’s owners — released a statement Jan. 29 saying that had been pushed back. “Based on the outpouring of support from the community, we have decided to remain open at least another two weeks, during which time we will assess what will happen regarding the restaurant,” the statement said. “We hope you can continue to patronage Cowtippers during this time, and we look forward to seeing you soon.” The original statement from Jan. 10 from Metrotainment CEO Jeff Landau was as follows: “Metrotainment Cafes can confirm that Cowtippers will unfortunately be closing at the end of this month. The restaurant has been a part of our restaurant group for a very long time, and we’re proud of the more than 20 years we have been in business, but with the changing climate of the city, we are going to close the restaurant and turn our attention to our other successful concepts including Hudson Grille, Einstein’s, Joe’s on Juniper, Hudson FC and Guaco Joe’s.” The owners of the restaurant near the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and Monroe Drive also wanted to make clear that there are no plans (at this time at least) for the space to be turned into apartment complexes.

8 News February 2, 2018


The greatest fear BY PATRICK SAUNDERS PO Box 77401 • Atlanta, GA 30357 P: 404-815-6941; F: 404-963-6365


Editor: Patrick Saunders Editorial Contributors: Ashleigh Atwell, Cliff Bostock, Melissa Carter, Dallas A. Duncan, Jim Farmer, Elizabeth Friedly, Shannon Hames, Just Toby, Ryan Lee, Robbie Medwed, Ronni Radner, Matt Schafer, Dionne N. Walker, Simon Williamson


Art Director: Rob Boeger


Managing Partner/Publisher: Tim Boyd


Sales Executive: Dixon Taylor Sales Executive: Jim Brahms Business Advisor: Lynn Pasqualetti Financial Firm of Record: HLM Financial Group National Advertising: Rivendell Media, 908-232-2021


All material in Georgia Voice is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of Georgia Voice. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published herein is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons. We also do not accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by Georgia Voice, but we do not take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. Guidelines for freelance contributors are available upon request. A single copy of Georgia Voice is available from authorized distribution points. Multiple copies are available from Georgia Voice office only. Call for rates. If you are unable to reach a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 26-issue mailed subscription for $60 per year. Checks or credit card orders can be sent to Tim Boyd, Postmaster: Send address changes to Georgia Voice, PO Box 77401, Atlanta, GA 30357. Georgia Voice is published every other Friday by The Georgia Voice, LLC. Individual subscriptions are $60 per year for 26 issues. Postage paid at Atlanta, GA, and additional mailing offices. The editorial positions of Georgia Voice are expressed in editorials and in editor’s notes. Other opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Georgia Voice and its staff. To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be fewer than 400 words and commentary, for web or print, should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and must include a name, address and phone number for verification. Email submissions to or mail to the address above.

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10 Editorial February 2, 2018

“It’s interesting that it took an old, straight white guy with a bad grasp of social media to get this city’s LGBTQ community to address our race issues. However we got here, let’s ride it out, no matter how hard or uncomfortable it gets.” This past Saturday morning in Old Fourth Ward, roughly 150 members of the city’s LGBTQ community came together in response to the revelation of Burkhart’s owner Palmer Marsh’s racist Facebook posts. They crowded into the event space not to yell, not to protest, but to lay a foundation for what to do next. Many were probably surprised at the activity that took up the first 90 minutes of the meeting: telling everyone what their fears are about this issue. One after the other, those in the assembled group — relatively diverse in terms of race if not gender — spoke up about what they feared. When they veered off topic, moderator and event organizer James Brian Yancey steered them back to the fear question. Some themes emerged out of those many responses, but the dominant one was the fear that — as in past controversies with this city’s LGBTQ community — that initial anger would dissipate, the issue would fall by the wayside and people would go back to their regularly scheduled programming. And that fear is warranted, because it happened just three years ago. Georgia Voice broke a story about a controversial dress code sign posted by management at Blake’s on the Park in summer 2015. Many felt that the sign was meant to discourage African-Americans from going to the bar. There was the anger, there was the outcry, there was social media hysteria … and then nothing. The Blake’s incident was referenced several times on Saturday as an example of what not to do, of what people feared others (or maybe they themselves) will do. I spoke to several people outside the event

during a break to get their feelings on how the meeting was going. “It’s going to take time. It’s going to take patience. It’s going to take the willingness of all of us to stick together and to stand firm to what we are saying, not just in here but wherever we go,” said A.J. Styles, who was there with Destini Monroe, one of the entertainers that resigned from Burkhart’s the previous Thursday night. “We can’t just leave it here. That’s what happens immediately a lot of times — you can have rallies and people speak up and say this and say that, but then after a while it starts to fade. It’s going to take an army full of all of us to stand firm in our truth.” Sounds about dead-on. Upon going back inside, people were split into three working groups: one to address supporting the entertainers; one to talk about starting an LGBTQ-owned co-op; and one to discuss the issue of racism in the community in general and possible protest actions against Burkhart’s. It’s interesting that it took an old, straight white guy with a bad grasp of social media to get this city’s LGBTQ community to address our race issues. However we got here, let’s ride it out, no matter how hard or uncomfortable it gets. Remember that anger, that passion. And if you’re so disgusted by some of the things that come out of President Trump’s mouth (and Twitter feed) when it comes to race, this is a prime example of a hyper-local way to show that you mean it and are willing to invest more than a social media rant. When we look back on this moment a year from now, what do you want to say that we did in response? What do you want to say that you did?

FEEDBACK Re: “I Am Midtown movement members allege residents harassing MSR, Blake’s, TEN,” Jan. 18 “A good read for Midtown residents and the whole LGBT Atlanta community! In my view, if someone buys a home adjacent to any historic feature that includes a certain amount of noise, or the presence of people — whether that historic feature is gay bars and restaurants at 10th and Piedmont or any bar or restaurant in any of Atlanta’s many historical in-town neighborhoods — then the buyer must accept that local flavor. Don’t buy your house and then try to change the neighborhood. We cannot allow Atlanta to become all steel and glass. And as for Midtown, ironically, once again, it’s ‘the gays’ who improved this area, house after house, after the blight of the ’70s and ’80s, and now people want to say, hey thanks for the awesome neighborhood, now pack up your bars and restaurants and get out. It’s frustrating and we need to stand firmly against it.” -Dennis Collard via “About time queers woke up here. When faced with class (and race) privilege, queers always lose.” -Linda Meredith via Facebook Re: “Georgia Senate passes adoption bill without anti-LGBT provision,” Jan. 18 “Standing with Representative Erica Thomas on the Senate floor while this happened was so moving. Thankful for her insight on this issue from the perspective of Georgians in foster care and temporary custody.” -State Rep. Park Cannon (D-Atlanta) via Facebook Re: “Burkhart’s GM responds after owner’s racist Facebook posts uncovered,” Jan. 20 “I have one word for the number of white gays supporting Burkhart’s racist Trump supporting owners: Complicit!” -Daniel English via Want to be featured in Feedback? Leave a comment to a story via social media or on our website, or email with the subject line “Feedback.”

IN THE MARGINS By Ashleigh Atwell

Burkhart’s drama was inevitable Ashleigh Atwell is a queer lesbian writer and organizer born and raised in Atlanta. Atlanta’s LGBTQ community is curDebates about the validity of the deal rently in shambles thanks to the hoopla sur- ensued and suddenly, the deal was gone. rounding Burkhart’s, one of the few bars left According to a report by WSB-TV, Mary in GayTL. Walsh, one of the racist owners, said the For those that may not know, the owners, transaction fell through. By the way, Walsh or former owners depending on who you’re also told WSB that she and her husband, talking to, are racist. Their racism isn’t polite Palmer, aren’t racist. either. They’re Confederate flag waving and People are shocked and aghast at the n-word with a hard -er racist. For some rea- idea of two conservative racist hetero people son, they thought it’d be a splendid idea to owning one of Atlanta’s beloved institutions. broadcast said racism on social media, and It felt like yet another blow to Atlanta’s LGBTQ scene. Well, it did to some people. all hell broke loose. Like many, I’ve never felt comfortable goHell is still breaking loose. After days of drama and a drag queen mutiny, the bar’s ing to Burkhart’s, Blake’s or almost any other manager announced that Burkhart’s was un- “gay” space in Midtown. Hell, I didn’t go to AF_ATL_Ad_GeorgiaVoice_HalfPageHor_10x5_Male_FINALOUTLINES_Print.pdf 2 9/26/2017 5:32:53 PM the new MSR location until New Year’s Eve. der new ownership.

“When I see people lament about where LGBTQ people will go if Burkhart’s is closed, it makes me laugh. For once, it seems like the gatekeepers are getting the gates shut in their faces.” If it has a dress code against “urban wear,” I probably won’t go. I stayed in the city during Pride and could walk to those places and still didn’t go. So, when I see people lament about where LGBTQ people will go if Burkhart’s is closed, it makes me laugh. For once, it seems like the gatekeepers are getting the gates shut in their faces. The people who wanted to kick trans sex workers off of Midtown’s streets are sweating bullets. The same type of folks who swear up and down that the LGBTQ community doesn’t have a race issue have been yelling at each other over Facebook over racism. Sure, the Marshes can sell Burkhart’s and the drag queens may come

back, but will they be able to do songs using “urban” music? There was even a community forum that Southern Fried Queer Pride or some other Black or POC-led organization didn’t have to plan. GayTL is finally acknowledging its race issue and all it took was a couple of old white heteros to piss everyone off. Hopefully, some action will come from this anger, but I’m not holding my breath. This happens all the time. Someone screws up, everyone is mad for 30 seconds and then we’re back to the usual shenanigans. I’ll believe in this change when I actually see it. Until then, I’ll sit back, eat snacks and revel in the irony of it all.

February 2, 2018 Editorial 11



Baker Dude Orran Booher ups Atlanta’s cupcake game R WIND Caribbean transplant opening 30-seat The first five years!

cafe in Grant Park next month By DIONNE N. WALKER

FEB 17 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM


AWCHORUS.ORG SPONSORED BY This season is sponsored in part by:

Funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and is supported in part by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

Cupcakes. They’re sweet, colorful, fun to hold — and can often be pretty gross. Well, maybe not that bad, but darn close, said Atlanta baker Orran Booher, a Caribbean transplant who has made it a personal goal to improve the city’s cupcake crisis. For one, he said, cupcakes across the city are too frou frou. The flavors are often not on point and the actual cake is meh. Perhaps worst of all, there’s just way too much icing. “It’s just frosting slapped onto a cake and the cake itself is nothing … you find people wiping off half the frosting,” said Booher, who responded by starting Baker Dude in his home in late 2015. A few years later, the brand has grown so successful that Booher is opening a 1,400-squarefoot bakery cafe in Grant Park’s Beacon Atlanta development this spring. The 30-seat cafe will carry cupcakes as well as sandwiches, breakfast items, coffees and more. It’s been a fast track for the cottage brand. The baker’s recipe for success? A dash of strong marketing, a sprinkle of stylish packaging and a generous scoop of baking from the heart, he said. “People are very happy to receive my products, which I think is what’s missing from today’s marketplace,” said Booher, adding that one doesn’t simply eat a Baker Dude cupcake, “you experience a Baker Dude cupcake.” Inspiration from King of Pops From top to bottom, the Baker Dude experience has been very carefully crafted. Customers can choose from one of 14 gourmet flavors, engineered to be a departure from the standards offered around the city. They include the ever popular Menage a Trois, a triple chocolate cupcake that Booher said makes some customers blush.

Baker Dude owner Orran Booher got his start baking as a boy with his mother in Kingston, Jamaica. (Courtesy photo)

Larger orders are packaged in simple boxes with royal blue bows, a step meant to make cupcakes appealing to the more masculine customer. Single cupcakes, meanwhile, come in a lidded container with a wooden spoon that’s perfect for office workers grabbing a quick desk snack. “It’s nice, it’s presentable and also if you turn it upside down, the cupcake won’t get messed up,” he said. “This is good for people who don’t want to make a mess.” Even the brand name was selected with careful thought. Initially trying a French name, Booher settled on his more basic moniker when he saw the success of the simple but memorable King of Pops. “Baker Dude is like you’re accessible for everyone and it’s a cool name,” he said. “And that’s what I am, I’m a baker dude.” New space to open late March His path to baking success began as a boy baking alongside his mother in Kingston, Jamaica. Booher would eventually immigrate to New York, where a chance encounter with a recruiter led him to join the Army. A few years later, he parlayed his military experience into positions in inventory control and purchasing. Booher eventually landed in Atlanta with a successful corporate

career. Despite his success, however, there was still something missing. “In 2015, I just needed a change,” he said. “I’ve always had an idea of opening my own bakery at some point.” He would start out in his home, cycling through spots at farmers’ markets and the SunTrust food court downtown before issues with a production partner forced him to consider the larger retail space. Surprisingly, it was a friend who suggested focusing on cupcakes to Booher, who was more of a cake man. When he did a few cupcake taste tests around the city, however, he saw plenty of room for improvement. For one, he said the cakes were spongy rather than light and fluffy. They often had barely a hint of the flavor advertised, he said. And of course, there was the frosting — too sweet and too plentiful. Baker Dude specializes in “euro-style” cupcakes — not so cloyingly sweet with an attractive, but decidedly less voluminous, puff of delicate frosting on top. Booher will echo that simplicity in his new space, slated for a late March opening. Customers can expect dark wood floors, white subway tile walls and other rustic modern elements meant to counter the more kiddie cupcakery image. “Most of them are sprinkly and pink and pastel colors and frou-frou,” he said. “[Our cafe] will be nice and clean.” The result of Booher’s meticulous attention to detail and practical marketing has been runaway success. The stylish cupcakes with a more grown-up feel recently gained a fan in Grady Memorial Hospital, which he said recently ordered 3,500 of the tasty miniature cakes. When he hasn’t been busy making grownup cupcakes, the father of twin four-year-old boys is busy keeping home with his husband or trying his hand at authoring children’s books. He may not care much for sugary icing, but he’s loving the sweet taste of success. “It has been a lot of hard work getting to this place, but it was all worth it,” he said. “The sky’s the limit!”

12 Community February 2, 2018

ASK THE DOCTOR By JOEL ROSENSTOCK, MD, MPH, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER “Georgia is one of the states experiencing a significant flu outbreak. There were 56 hospitalizations from flu in the first week of 2018. There have been 307 flu-related hospitalizations since the flu season started, with 62 percent of those in people over 50 years old. There have been five deaths attributed to influenza thus far this season.” Ask The Doctor is a monthly health column where the experts at AbsoluteCARE answer your pressing medical questions. Have a question you want answered? Email it to!

Q: I know I should probably get a flu shot, but I hate needles and I’ve heard people get sick after getting the shot. What are my alternatives and how much does it typically cost? A: This is a great question, particularly in light of the fact that we are in the midst of a major flu epidemic in Atlanta. Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that can be quite serious and result in hospitalizations and even death, especially in the very young and those over 65 years old, as well as people with chronic health conditions. There are two main influenza viruses (A and B), but there are many sub-types. It is these sub-types that are determined to be circulating in any given year, and then these make up the flu vaccine for that year. Sometimes, there is a good match with the flu virus that causes the disease that year and sometimes the match is not as perfect. Influenza spreads by tiny droplets that are produced when infected patients cough, sneeze or talk. These generally land on the non-infected person. Less often, the influenza virus can be spread from contaminated surfaces. The infected person is contagious beginning a day before signs and symptoms appear to up to five to seven days after. Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle and joint aches, headaches and fatigue. These symptoms are much worse than the common cold or winter viruses that people mistake for the flu. Complications like pneumonia can occur and often result in hospitalization and in a worst-case scenario, death. Influenza can be diagnosed with a swab at your doctor’s office, and there are medicines that

can be prescribed to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms and prevent complications. As mentioned, Georgia is one of the states experiencing a significant flu outbreak. There were 56 hospitalizations from flu in the first week of 2018. There have been 307 flu-related hospitalizations since the flu season started, with 62 percent of those in people over 50 years old. There have been five deaths attributed to influenza thus far this season. Now to specifically address the vaccine: getting a flu shot is the number one thing that you can to do avoid coming down with influenza. It is not too late — doctors will vaccinate into March. Everyone over six months of age should be vaccinated. Flu vaccines are all injectable. There was previously a nasal mist live virus vaccine, but it is no longer recommended. A shot is practically painless as the needle is tiny and the amount of vaccine administered is small. Flu shots cannot give you the flu. There is no live virus in the vaccine. However, there can be minor side effects or pain at the injection site, low grade fever and achiness that is usually short-lived. The vaccine is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and all commercial payers, usually with no copay. For those with no insurance, a flu vaccine can cost $20-$25. So, no matter how good or bad the match is for the current flu, the vaccine will help to keep you from getting sick with the flu, and if you do get sick, it will decrease the risk of complications. Please remember, in some years up to 100,000 people nationwide are hospitalized with influenza and as many as 10,000 people die. Protect yourself and those you love — get a flu shot! February 2, 2018 Community 13


2018 Valentine’s Day gift ideas run the gamut Atlanta-area stores spill on top-selling items for the holiday Compiled by DALLAS ANNE DUNCAN Though we’re blessed with 365 — or 366 on a leap year — calendar days to show our partners and spouses how much they mean to us, there’s no holiday where love is celebrated quite like it is on Feb. 14. Last year, American consumers spent more than $18 billion on Valentine’s gifts, according to the National Retail Federation. Chocolate, flowers, fragrances and oversized stuffed animals line most chain store shelves, but for folks looking to surprise their sweetheart with something more special, they may want to turn to locally owned businesses. Georgia Voice did some of the legwork and rounded up best-selling items each from a few shops to inspire your Valentine’s Day shopping. Gift whips — err, wrap — not included.



A2 C2 A1



BRUSHSTROKES PLEASURES AND GIFT CARD BOUTIQUE 1510-D Piedmont Ave. N.E. Atlanta, GA 30824 404-876-6567 From the practical to the personal, Brushstrokes and GCB have a slew of options to get your partner. A1 SOCK IT TO ME socks, $12 A2 Love is Art Luvtone Blue abstract intimate painting kit, $60 A3 Lay-n-Go Traveler dopp kit and utility bag, $29.95 A4 Torched Pinewood Pilsner growler soy candle, $30 n Ceramix Pleasure Pottery, $54.99 n I <3 Geeks, I <3 Nerds coffee mugs, $10 n Jax & Bones dog toys, $13 and up n “This Man Can Cook!” apron, $24.99 n “I’d Hit That” tea towel, $13 n Mad Style scarves, $14.99




BOY NEXT DOOR MENSWEAR 1447 Piedmont Ave. N.E. Atlanta, GA 30309 404-873-2664 Boy Next Door has a slew of gift ideas for the fashion-forward individual. These undergarments are gifts your partner unwraps to start off with, but you’ll be able to strip down the wrappings and enjoy them as well.


B1 2EROS brand X-Series Commando brief, $29.99 B2 Andrew Christian Suck It brief, $20 B3 Manstore Rainbow Pants, $33 B4 McKillop Bulge Envy Sport Jock, $26 B5 Stud Scout brief, $32.99 SEXY SUZ COUPLES BOUTIQUE 4124 Atlanta Highway Bogart, GA 30622 678-661-0700



Toys, lingerie and games are just starter ideas for what to get your partner. This year, one of the top trends is that toys traditionally considered for same-sex couples are becoming more mainstream — and vice-versa, allowing couples room for more experimentation on Feb. 14. C1 Dreamgirls babydolls, $39 and up C2 We-Vibe couples’ vibrator, $199 C3 Sportsheets handcuffs, $30 and up C4 Domin8 game, $19 February 2, 2018 Sex & Dating 15

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Designing what women crave Atlanta native designs ergonomic, sophisticated vibrators By DALLAS ANNE DUNCAN The only vibrator I ever owned was neon green and the complete opposite of ergodynamic. It had no curvature, two speeds, a screw-on battery cap and was purchased with the help of my early college boyfriend. It cost $12. I was never one for vibrators and dildos to begin with, so it didn’t get used a whole lot while we were together, and less so in the years following. However, one day I had it out, and shortly before climax, the top of the screw-on battery cap popped off and popped me smack in the forehead. Total turn-off. I threw my cheap, ugly vibrator away and never looked back. Fast-forward a few years later, when last fall I was asked to attend a build-your-own vibrator class at the Museum of Design Atlanta for Georgia Voice. I rolled my eyes a bit, only slightly annoyed that I was going to end up with something probably pastel pink with weird beads for “texture” and little alien prongs that some catalog designer decided to name after animals. Then I found out I could bring a guest, and so I drug my newly single best friend along for the ride. If anyone could use some relief after the year she’d had, it was most certainly this woman. Imagine our surprise when the design class we walked into was not something pastel and tacky with a bunch of giggling girls excited about bunny rabbits and dolphins, but rather, a classy, science-driven tutorial aimed at eliminating the taboo surrounding female orgasm. We weren’t learning how to build sex toys: we were learning how to empower our sexuality.

FROM MEDICAL RELIEF TO AT-HOME RELEASE Atlanta native Ti Chang, who led the class, holds design degrees from both Georgia Institute of Technology and the Royal College of London. She’s also the co-founder of San Francisco, California-based Crave, the only company that manufactures vibrators in America. “We make vibrators, which are very complicated electro-mechanical products. It’s not a dildo, where you have silicone and you pour it into a mold,” Chang said. “Vibrators are something that are very taboo in our society, for a very long time, but I think that attitude is clearly changing.” The build-your-own vibrator “kits” set out in front of us in the class also clearly changed from what I thought of as a vibrator. They were sleek, modern and small with forked tips. Vibrators have a history more than a century old, beginning in the 1800s as a cure for “hysteria.” Read: desperate need to orgasm. “One of the most commonly prescribed treatments for hysteria was manual massages,” Chang said. “Victorian women would book an appointment for a doctor to get relief, and basically a physician would manually massage them until they climaxed and would feel better. Put yourself in the physician’s shoes. That’s a lot of work.” The first vibrators were invented by doctors as a way to make their jobs curing hysteria easier and more efficient, Chang said. They were medical apparatuses that required training to use. As electricity became more common, so did electrical vibrators — though still aimed primarily for medical use, smaller, more economical versions became available for the average consumer. “From 1930 to 1960, the advent of motion pictures came around. This is where you get pornography, so you have these stag films … and vibrators found their way into porn films. Now, this was the very first time as a society we have a very direct correlation between pleasure, sex and vibrators,” Chang said.

Above: Atlanta native Ti Chang (right, addressing class) is the co-founder of Crave, the only company that manufactures vibrators in America. Inset: The vibrators in Crave’s buildyour-own vibrator ‘kits’ are sleek, modern and small. (Photos by Dallas Anne Duncan)

It was about that time that vibrators “went into hiding,” she said. Vibrators were suddenly massagers for backs, faces and necks: pretty much anywhere else that wasn’t around the genitals. Then the 2010s rolled around — incidentally, around that same time I became the owner of my neon green Spencer’s special. Vibrators became more mainstream again, albeit significantly more pink and kitschy. This is where Chang’s expertise came into play. MODERN-DAY MASTURBATION “We are fully embracing pleasure for what it really is, which is about female pleasure. It’s about orgasm. It’s not about reproduction; it’s not a medical disease,” Chang said. “You start to see products that are much more compact, much more modern materials, nicer designs that are just as sophisticated as anything else you would have in your life.” The Duet Pro, Crave’s newest creation, is an updated version of the 2011 Duet that earned acclaim for being the world’s first crowd-funded vibrator. That was the one we were tasked with building during the MODA class. Much to my relief, our color choices were crimson, black and a deep aubergine.

“It’s USB-rechargeable, it’s waterproof, it’s multiple speeds,” Chang said. “A lot of times when people see this product they’re like, ‘Where does this go? Why is this so small?’ It’s because we are used to vibrators being all about penetration and that’s not really the case, especially for female orgasm. Seventy-five to 80 percent of women require clitoral stimulation to orgasm.” That’s what those forked tips on the Duet Pro are for: to surround the clitoris. Design research for this included discussions on gap size and surface area that “allowed for the maximum amount of sensation while allowing for diversity of anatomy.” Based on market research, Chang found that women felt awkward about having to plug in vibrators to charge, so she made her compact Duet Pro USB-rechargeable, and programmable, allowing each user to set 16 different pattern and power settings as many times as they want. As my friend put together her vibrator from the tools in front of us, we listened to Chang talk through the different elements of this electromechanical marvel. And, as much as I didn’t want to admit it when I walked in the door … I left kind of wanting my own. February 2, 2018 Sex & Dating 17


LGBTQ therapists weigh in on ‘micro-cheating’ Social media landmine or much ado about nothing? By ELIZABETH FRIEDLY We’re familiar with all the ways social media has made us less social (or is it more social?), more political, less productive, more adventurous and so on and so forth. Now there’s a theory that all this nonverbal communication may have helped coin a new kind of infidelity. We can show affection through likes, emojis, tags and even reblogs. Such interactions gave way to the concept of “micro-cheating.” Broadly speaking, it can be any small but significant attempts at flirting outside an established relationship. For example: you discover your boyfriend has been liking shirtless photos of his ex; your girlfriend is sending kissy faces and selfies to another woman at work; or maybe your partner writes flowery comments on their hot new neighbor’s posts or texts them without your knowledge. “‘Liking’ someone’s Facebook page is not cheating. Going out with friends is not cheating,” said Decatur therapist Katie Leikam, a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. “The issue comes when secrecy is used. Micro-cheating differs depending on the relationship.” It’s true that plenty of affairs aren’t merely physical. There is micro-cheating and the more familiar emotional cheating, or when a person invests their emotional energy outside their relationship. A surprisingly large 45 percent of men and 35 percent of women polled admitted to having been involved in emotional cheating according to a study by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. This doesn’t mean you should block your best friend’s number or delete your Facebook account. If your partner is constantly looking for signs of cheating, the problem may be with them, not you. AM I INAPPROPRIATE, OR ARE THEY JUST CONTROLLING? Some experts say there is an argument to be made that people could use micro-cheating as a means to justify unhealthy behaviors.

‘Micro-cheating’ involves seemingly small interactions with someone outside a relationship that could be cause for a big problem. (Photo via iStock)

“If you’re threatened by someone’s friendships, for instance, that’s a really important thing to look at,” said Atlanta therapist John Ballew, who specializes in LGBTQ couples and individuals’ counseling. “It may mean that the connection between two people has gotten a little shaky or weak and needs some attention.” Mental health professionals such as Ballew and Leikam detailed ways to tell if a partner has become controlling. Signs include making a partner feel guilty for spending time with friends, becoming more demanding of their free time, supervising their choice in clothing, becoming condescending to the other’s needs or becoming overly critical. “An example of somebody making you feel guilty will be if you are fixing to go out with a friend and your partner says something along the lines of, ‘I’ll just stay home for the night,’ in that [manipulating] tone,” said Leikham. IT ISN’T JUST BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN Naturally, the conversation has revolved solely around straight relationships. What

isn’t discussed is the fact that some people embrace different relationship styles. Oftentimes those people are LGBTQ. Both Ballew and Leikham have worked with couples and observed that LGBTQ people frequently remain friends with exes or explore relationships outside of the purely romantic or platonic. More and more queer couples have become open about polyamory and open relationships. “A lot of humor or comics around heterosexual couples show a guy with wandering eyes and he’s seen ogling somebody. That’s seen as a micro-infidelity,” said Ballew. “I think we [the LGBTQ community] are less burdened by expectations and have more flexibility in terms of looking at what really works for us.” Micro-cheating has its roots in social media interactions, but queer communities now often rely on social media to find one another. Seventy-five percent of the LGBTQ community classified as heavy internet users in an early poll by Harris Interactive. “Working with the transgender community, there can be some fear of just walking

up to somebody in a bar or at a coffee shop,” said Leikam. “So I’ve seen technology, not just dating apps, used more often.” As we move online, we invite more opportunities for the types of fleeting interactions described by micro-cheating. The lines have also become blurred as people use platforms like Grindr, Hinge, Bumble or OkCupid to find friendships instead of romantic partners. HELPFUL OR HARMFUL: THE VERDICT This all begs the question of whether micro-cheating does real damage or if it’s harmless. Speaking with therapists, the consensus seems to be that our flirty behavior isn’t inherently harmful, it’s the intent and established boundaries between partners that matter most. Having labels or names for behaviors can help us communicate with each other. “It’s important to start the conversation if these kind of feelings or concerns come up and to not shut them down,” said Ballew. “Labeling it as micro-cheating may have the effect of shutting down the conversation rather than encouraging it.”

18 Sex & Dating February 2, 2018

Don Quixote Live with Atlanta Ballet Orchestra

February 2–10, 2018

Filled with romance and adventure, Don Quixote is a perfect early Valentine’s treat!

Visit or call | 1.800.982.2787 for tickets. Groups of 10+, call 404.873.5811 x207.

Erica Alvarado. Photo by Charlie McCullers.

Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs










Chaz Bono:

Acting Out Actor-activist on how his transness ‘was the issue that made me stop acting,’ cult seduction and his thoughts on working with mom Cher By CHRIS AZZOPARDI As a radical right-winger on last year’s “American Horror Story: Cult,” a far cry from his own liberal leanings, Chaz Bono had his breakout role at the age of 48. Why did it take so long for Bono, who just happens to be Cher’s transgender son, to make his mark as an actor? Because Bono was often in conflict with the female gender of the person he was playing but didn’t know why. At least not at first. Then, suddenly, his interest in male roles changed more than just his acting career — in 2009, the activist transitioned from female to male. Years later, in 2016, Bono followed a recurring role as Reverend Rydale on “The Bold and the Beautiful” with a foray into Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story” anthology, first on “Roanoke” CONTINUES ON PAGE 21

20 A&E February 2, 2018


career that I want.

and then on the prolific TV creator’s grisly Trump-era “Cult.” Here, Bono opens up about why understanding his gender identity was the long first step to acting again, the “bizarre” possibility of working with mom Cher and what he’s learned about LGBTQ representation from trans youth.

You hear stories from celebrities who don’t necessarily want their child to go down the same showbiz path they did. Was that the case for you growing up? No, not at all. My mom was actually the one who got me into acting. I was 14 and a really miserable kid in middle school, not relating to other kids at my school and just really unhappy, and my mom made me go to an acting class. I was kind of like, “Oh god, why do I have to do this?” and I ended up totally falling in love with it. Then, I auditioned for a performing arts high school and got in and moved to New York, so yeah, my mom has always been incredibly supportive of creative endeavor.

One of my favorite parts of you starring in “American Horror Story: Cult” was reading your mom’s tweets about the show. You know, she gets confused a little bit. [Before Bono’s character was killed off ] she was in Vegas, and she and her best friend Paulette did a binge of the show, but they didn’t know I had gotten killed already, so I think that was a realization. She tweeted me about that and was like, “Was this on yet?” What was it like to be part of a show that is steeped in total conservative radicalism with a cast that is so LGBTQ-oriented? The contrast is so ironic. Yeah, it was interesting, ’cause I would say, for me, I had two very distinctive experiences on the show. The first part of it was what you just said: very steeped in a lot of people in the community, and then those who are just incredibly open-minded. But then all of these guys come in and I started spending all of this time with all of these young actors and extras, and it suddenly became a different experience. That was the first time for me that I started to feel like I was in a cult, and started to experience what that feels like and the comfort it brings. Why have you purposefully avoided playing trans roles? It’s really a twofold thing. First of all, I really consider myself a character actor, and I really like playing parts that are very different from myself. That’s what I enjoy about acting, that’s what’s fun for me, and I think it’s what I’m really good at. I don’t really have any interest in playing a trans guy because I don’t want to play something that’s close to me. If I wasn’t trans, I probably would wanna play a trans person because that’s the kind of actor I am, but it doesn’t interest me that much because I’ve seen so many actors that I know who are trans playing trans parts and I wanted to try to establish myself as not that. I wanted to show people that that’s just a ridiculous thing and I didn’t want to get pigeonholed, so I just waited and took small stuff here and there that wasn’t that because it’s just not the

Regarding your sexuality and gender identity, I know you’ve gone through a lot with her. She has evolved a lot! She’s getting the pronouns right these days? She does get the pronouns right. Now she just gets mixed up and calls me my brother’s name. [Laughs] Ha! Well, every mother does that. Yeah, right! But yeah, she’s been supportive. For me, I didn’t know that I was trans at the time, but it was the issue that made me stop acting. I knew that I couldn’t play women. And I didn’t really know why at that point. I chalked everything up to being gay and masculine. When did you come to the realization that you couldn’t play female roles? I was 18. I was a senior in high school and I got cast as a male in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” our big senior production at performing arts, and it was the first time that I really felt like I knew what I was doing and felt comfortable and was really good. It was like, “OK, why do I have a handle on playing a middle-aged man? Why is that easier than playing a teenage girl?”

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I imagine now you’re hustling for roles. Always hustling. What’s next for you acting-wise? Will we see you on this year’s season of “American Horror Story”? I don’t know. I mean, yeah, I’ve got little projects and stuff that I’m working on, but that kind of stuff takes forever. I’m hoping to have a better pilot season than last year and, yeah, we’ll see. February 2, 2018 A&E 21



LGBTQ ties abound in comedy ‘Clark Gable Slept Here’ A naked — and dead — male prostitute drives the action in the new play “Clark Gable Slept Here,” which just opened at ART Station in Stone Mountain. A fairly new play that made its debut at Zoetic Stage in Miami in 2014 and is making its Georgia premiere, it’s directed by Paul Conroy, who also serves as the artistic director at Out Front Theatre Company, the city’s LGBTQ theater company. On the night of the Golden Globe Awards, the corpse of a male prostitute is found in the hotel room of a closeted action film megastar — himself nominated for an award that night for a rare drama outing. Super agent Jarrod “Hilly” Hillard is called in to address the problem and save the day, with the help of fixer Morgan Wright. Rounding out the characters are a hotel maid and the hotel manager. At least two of the characters — the male prostitute and the closeted actor — are gay. (The actor is never seen but his voice is heard at the awards ceremony.) The play is written by openly gay playwright Michael McKeever, who was in the original production as the hotel manager. Having previously directed a co-production version of “Buyer and Cellar” — which also contains a gay character — last season at ART Station, Conroy was also asked to direct this. He sees it as a multi-layered show. “There is definitely a comedic bent in it with some of the situations,” he said. “Everything is not as it should be. It’s not a farce, though, in the classical sense, with multiple doors and people in disguise.” The cast includes openly gay actor Ben Thorpe, playing the hotel manager. “He is a little neurotic and has a lot on his plate, dealing with an issue he doesn’t want to deal with,” Thorpe said. Thorpe finds the show very topical, with its closeted superstar. “It’s a comment on how Hollywood treats gay actors and the closet,” he said. “It has a lot to say about how we can lift up certain people, and their sexuality can’t be talked about — and the lengths people will go to cover it up.” Jessica McGuire, who is also out, plays

Paul Conroy directs the Georgia premiere of ART Station’s ‘Clark Gable Slept Here.’ (Courtesy photo)


“Clark Gable Slept Here” Through Feb. 11 ART Station 5384 Manor Drive Historic Stone Mountain Village, GA 30083

the maid, who speaks Spanish and has trouble communicating with others around her. “There is a bit of fear because there is this dead guy in the room she is cleaning and she is not sure what has happened, or if she will be blamed,” the actress said. Both Thorpe and Conroy acknowledge the play is slightly risky fare for ART Station, which generally doesn’t tackle LGBTQ work. Conroy thinks the company is trying to diversify their audience. “In 2018, though — no matter who your audience is — you need to diversify,” he said. Since opening Out Front, Conroy has been able to direct elsewhere from time to time. “I think it is important for theaters in Atlanta to try to work together and share artists when the opportunity is available,” he said. The day after this show opens, Out Front opens Bathsheba Doran’s “The Mystery of Love and Sex,” about the relationship of two friends and how it changes over the years. Yet Conroy is not directing that show — he has let that fall to Amber Bradshaw.

22 A&E February 2, 2018


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Two Performances! It’s a robot romance just in time for Valentine’s Day! Kid Koala’s graphic novel Nufonia Must Fall comes to life at the Ferst Center with an amazing mix of puppetry, video, and live and electronic music. 50 puppets, 17 miniature stages, four cameras, Kid Koala, and the Afiara Quartet live!

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Gay love! I met my first gay lover and had my first gay meal many decades ago at an after-hours bar on Monroe Drive called the Cove. I was home from college for Christmas and needed to get the hell out of the house on Saturday night. As underage me arrived at the bar, I looked around nervously and before I could bolt, someone bought me a beer. He was blond and soft-spoken, maybe five years older than me. He walked me across the room for a private talk about his mother and LSD. Sometime after midnight, a man called “Uncle Ray” appeared with a platter of crustless white-bread sandwiches deliciously layered with egg salad and cut into triangles. Soon drunk, I followed the man to his Midtown apartment. He told me he loved me. He went in the bathroom and I ran out the door. That was my first gay lover and meal. I tell you this heartwarming story by way of suggesting that love makes any meal delicious, so don’t fret about your Valentine’s Day choices. Take for example, The Local Pizzaiolo (1000 Marietta St., Suite 202, 678-7052672, This newbie that will soon expand to four locations specializes in Neapolitan-style pizzas. It’s a roomy, brightly lit space with some retail shelves. I have to admit I’m totally confused by the Neapolitan label. At other restaurants in town, that usually means a nearly gooey center and a relatively thin crust. Here the crust is thick, chewy and certainly not a bit gooey in the center. But I don’t question the skill of owner Giulio Adriani, whose New York pizzeria, Forcella, is famed enough that he is an instructor for the Assocciazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which sets the standards for Neapolitan pizza makers. The pizzas are made with the requisite San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. They are cheap — mainly around $10-$13 for an individual 11-inch pie. We ordered three pies and a tasty arugula salad with pears and gorgonzola. The standard measure of any Neapolitan pizza joint is the Margherita — a simple pizza made with tomatoes, mozzarella

The Puttanesca pizza is typically made with tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, garlic, olive oil, anchovies and red pepper. (Photo by Cliff Bostock)

and basil. The pie here was a deformed mess with more outside crust than inside topping. The basil was burned. I ordered a Puttanesca, probably my favorite Italian sauce, typically made with tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, garlic, olive oil, anchovies and some red pepper. Its name means “in the style of a whore,” because it’s spicy or includes so much. I didn’t like this pizza either — for good reason, as it turned out. Adriani walked by our table, saw it, said “Wrong,” snatched it, and said he’d bring me another. As it turned out, I’d ordered a gluten-free pizza and the wheat-flour one was a huge improvement. I have little doubt the restaurant, which serves wine and cocktails, will improve, considering Adriani’s credentials and the photos I’ve seen of his work. We didn’t realize it had been open barely a week, so the kitchen is probably still in training. Wait a month and let me know how you find it. Or go on Valentine’s Day and test the strength of your love. If Cupid floats above your pizza, like he did above my egg-salad sandwich at the Cove, everything will taste perfect and you’ll know you’re with The One, at least for 90 minutes. Cliff Bostock is a former psychotherapist now specializing in life coaching. Contact him at 404-518-4415 or

24 Columnists February 2, 2018


Wear your most festive Mardi Gras attire and join us for a night to remember!

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Best Bets: Our Guide to the Best LGBT Events in Atlanta for Feb. 2-15








All Stripes — a public group of LGBTQ and allied supporters of Atlanta United FC — holds its Preseason Happy Hour event to mingle and get excited about the upcoming season! 5 – 8 p.m., TEN Atlanta, 990 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309, (Photo via Facebook)


Join SURJ-ATL — which seeks to achieve collective liberation by ending white supremacy — for their re-launch event tonight. Enjoy great food and drinks while meeting longtime members of the organization. Information and literature on current active campaigns and working groups will be available, 6 – 8 p.m., Manuel’s Tavern, 602 North Highland Ave. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30307, events/1942403079343657 Out Front Theatre Company presents the southeastern premiere of Bathsheba Doran’s poignant and humorous “The Mystery of Love,” running through Feb. 18. Deep in the American South, Charlotte and Jonny have been best friends since they were nine. She’s Jewish, he’s Christian; he’s black, she’s white. Their differences intensify their connection, until sexual desire complicates everything. 8 p.m., 999 Brady Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30318, events/1123717461099106


HRC Atlanta is going to Bourbon Street

26 Best Bets February 2, 2018

with its 21st annual bowling tournament, Mardi Gras Bowl. Join for a fun and festive masquerade-themed afternoon of bowling, prizes and music. Remember to bring your credit card! 12 – 5 p.m., Midtown Bowl, 1936 Piedmont Circle N.E., Atlanta, GA 30324, events/704524109740080 A special recital performance featuring world-renowned tenor Gianluca Sciarpelletti is a fundraiser for Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, 4 – 6 p.m., First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur, GA 30030, events/366267873838381 Come out for the Mardi Gras Block Party. Come dressed in your best beads and drink like you’re in The Big Easy. The event will take place in the Midtown entertainment district with 15+ bars. Tickets includes New Orleans-themed comp shots, 3/2/1 specials ($3 well, $2 beer and $1 shot), beads, New Orleans-themed food specials and more. 7 p.m. – 2 a.m., 57 13th St. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309-3614,



The city’s biggest film festival — the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival — continues with an encore screening of the gay-themed “The Cakemaker” tonight, 7:55 p.m., UA Tara, 2345 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,


Trans and Friends is a youth-focused group for trans people, people questioning their own gender and aspiring allies, providing a facilitated space to discuss gender, relevant resources and activism around social issues. 7 – 8:30 p.m., Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30307, The PFLAG support group for parents and families of LGBTQ children meets today from 7:30 – 9 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, 1605 Interstate 85/Frontage Road, Atlanta, GA 30329,



Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen, III will serve as this year’s keynote speaker for the 19th Annual Atlanta Area Outreach Initiative, an educational and empowerment forum designed to get and keep people living with HIV into care and to prevent the further transmission of HIV. This year’s theme is “No Labels, No Limits,” 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Loudermilk Conference Center, 40 Courtland St. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30303, www.facebook. com/events/204597339565972 (Photo via Facebook)

TELL US ABOUT YOUR LGBT EVENT Submit your LGBT event for inclusion in our online and print calendars by emailing event info to



Strip down for Underwear Night at the Atlanta Eagle, 7 p.m. – 3 a.m., 306 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308,


How can a spiritual life benefit you? Come hear Rainbros coach Josh Noblitt on what positive things come from his spiritual life as a minister at St. Mark’s, and how he reconciles his sexuality, Christianity and the Methodist Church. This will be a working discussion. Please feel free to come share your own personal stories and ask questions. 7 p.m., Creative Approach Atlanta, 1080 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30309, events/1071291939677705 Hussy presents Bodies, with a cast of cuties ready to show you their bodies, or at least one part. The cast includes Paege Turner, Maya Wiseman, Mystery Meat, Crème Brûlée Turner and Oya Mawu, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m., The Bakery Atlanta, 825 Warner St., Atlanta, GA 30310, events/535726166792438


Be part of AIDSWatch in Georgia 2018: HIV Advocacy at the Gold Dome today. People living with HIV live, work and thrive in every legislative district across our state, but many state lawmakers are unaware of the issues that affect our diverse community. This event will provide a free training on how to educate state legislators at the Capitol on HIV policy. Following the training, organizers will stand united under the Gold Dome to put the training into action. 8:30 a.m. – noon, Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St. S.W., Room 230, Atlanta, GA 30334, events/1583843371711136


Come out and join The Armorettes at Oscars Atlanta to watch the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles at the Armorettes Super Bowl Party, 6:30 p.m., Oscars Atlanta, 1510 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Suite C, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.facebook. com/events/1534711276643165 (File photo) The Conscious Aging Group meets the first Wednesday of every month and is open to all elders/seniors/old people who wish to continue living a conscious lifestyle into and through our time of aging. 7 – 8:30 p.m., Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30307, events/1910458325935431


Join Charis Circle and Charis Books in celebrating two of Atlanta’s most visionary literary voices, Tayari Jones and Pearl Cleage, in a conversation about art, love, loyalty and Jones’ new novel “An American Marriage.” 7 – 9 p.m., Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309, events/394002887725535 Out artist Hannah Thomas returns to Eddie’s Attic tonight, 9:30 p.m., 515B North McDonough St.,Decatur, GA, 30030,


The Atlanta Queer Literary Festival Quarterly Book Club meets today with a short presentation about the important legacy James Baldwin left behind, a contextual understanding of the period when his 1956 novel “Giovanni’s Room” was published and a group discussion of the novel itself. The event is co-sponsored by the Counter Narrative Project, 3 p.m., Ponce de Leon branch library, 980 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, events/156742968438370 Come out and see whether Eden Cakes or Roxy Redd will be the Queen of White Trash Prom at the Miss Gutterball Pageant 2018. This is a fundraiser for the Dixie Bowling Tournament. See these lovely ladies work their prom wear from when they were in high school. Categories include presentation, question and answer, talent and white trash evening gown. Guest performers include Miss Dixie 2018 Misti Shores, Holly Walden

and Amber Divine, 6 – 9 p.m., Mixx Atlanta, 1492 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309, events/1770023616400993 Join the High Museum’s second mixology Highball competition. The most distinguished bartenders from around the metropolitan area compete for a chance to demonstrate their boozy creations and compete drink-for-drink. 6:30 – 10 p.m., High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.facebook. com/events/1476122399162089 Join the Atlanta Bucks for the first ever Bucks Meat Raffle, a different kind of Bachelor Auction. Highlights include 10 date packages, a beer bust and lots of rugby boys to flirt with. Woofs on Piedmont, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m., 2425 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta, GA 30324, events/1756394217768500/

CONTINUES ON PAGE 28 February 2, 2018 Best Bets 27

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 Come root on the Armorettes tonight as they raise money, featuring Trashetta GaLore, Autumn Skyy, Nurse Holly, Ally Queered, Al Yankadic, Buffett GaLore, Priscilla O’Kneel and Plenty Moore, 8 – 10 p.m., Heretic Atlanta, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road N.E., Atlanta GA 30324, events/241956003010058 Get your “She Bop” on at the ‘80s New Wave Music Video Dance Party: Cyndi Lauper Edition, Atlanta’s only ‘80s New Wave music video dance party. Dance and watch music videos on multiple screens throughout the club. 10 p.m. – 3 a.m., Amsterdam, 502 Amsterdam Ave. N.E. Atlanta, GA 30306, events/1190588441071371


My SuperHeroes are Black is a pop-up exhibit and discussion in honor of Black History Month and the new film “Black Panther.” Refreshments, a digital art exhibit and music by DJ 02is are on tap,

4 – 7 p.m., Dream Cafe, 249 Peters St., Atlanta, GA, 30313, events/1223398804460864


B-14! Join Brent Starr for Bingo Night at My Sister’s Room, 8 – 10 p.m., 66 12th St., N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309,


The 2018 Midtown Alliance Annual Meeting will feature remarks from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and a presentation from author and former New York City transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, 8 a.m., Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA, Come out to the 4th Annual Our Founding Valentines — presented by Atlanta Pride Committee and Touching Up Our Roots — and toast and celebrate community pioneers and gamechangers from 2000 – 2010, with catering sponsored by the Atlanta AARP, 7 p.m., Out Front Theatre Company, 999 Brady Ave, Atlanta, GA 30318, www.face-

PROFESSIONAL DIRECTORY WUSSY returns with their monthly campy classic series with the 1996 flick “The First Wives Club.” In the true spirit of sisterhood, this is a very special Galentine’s Day screening, so bring your squirrel friends and let’s have some fun! Prizes for the best Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker or Maggie Smith looks, 7 – 11 p.m., Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30306, events/159443868023912 Do you want to read books by amazing black women writers? Do you want to discuss works from a black feminist perspective in a feminist book store? Then the Black Feminist Book Club is for you. This month’s book is “The Turner House” by Angela Flournoy, 7 – 9 p.m., Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30307, Laissez les bons temps rouler at Fat Tuesday Drag Queen Bingo brought to you by PALS Atlanta. Come dressed

to impress and you’ll get thrown some beads! There will be king cake and plenty of beads to go around — you don’t want to miss it! 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., Lips Atlanta, 3011 Buford Highway N. E., Atlanta, GA 30329, events/723941441143095


Come celebrate Valentine’s Day — or Singles Awareness Day — at the Shameless event, hosted by Kyra Mora, with music by DJ Sean Michael and giveaways all night with special guest Alex Mecum, 10 p.m. – 3 a.m., Blake’s On the Park, 227 10th St. N. E., Atlanta, GA 30309, events/182550632337241


MAAP’s February event at WeWork will feature an engaging, high-level conversation with a career coach about professional interests, passions, mentorship, on-the-job experiences and the road to professional growth. 6 – 8 p.m., WeWork 1372 Peachtree, 1372 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309, events/1981198238867374

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The cluelessness of parenting Parents have no idea what they are doing. I don’t know what I’m doing, my friends don’t know what they’re doing and your parents had no idea what to do with you. Yet, I carry on the age-old tradition of making it up as I go along, even though it doesn’t always go as smoothly as I’d like. Mr. Carter is at an age where he realizes he can say no and utilizes that new ability often. I try not to squash that independence, but obviously there are times where his defiance needs to be corralled. But it’s the spontaneous out-of-your-ass solution that you have to come up with in the moment that turns an intelligent adult into a bumbling fool. One such incident happened the other day. My son got testy because he wasn’t able to be lifted and look out a small bathroom window a second time. During his protest, I decided to teach him the word “appreciation.” I sat him down and made him repeat the word, and told him it meant to say thank you to the world. As the sentence was coming out of my mouth, I realized this was likely very ineffective since he is THREE and can barely say the word, let alone understand its definition. It’s not the first time I’ve thrown a big word at him. Patience was the lesson last week, and I told him that word meant to wait without getting mad. Seems vocabulary has become my weapon of choice to fight off a tantrum. Other parents get far more creative when it comes to getting their kids to behave. One friend’s mother got fed up when she and her brother wouldn’t do their homework. Mom told them to get in the car and drove them to the West Paces Ferry area. Pointing to the large mansions, she explained to my friend and her sibling that these homeowners did their homework. Then she drove them to a poorer part of Atlanta and explained those residents did not do theirs. When they got back home, she said the decision to finish their work was now completely up to them and where they wanted to live. Another friend’s mom took him to the

“It’s the spontaneous out-of-your-ass solution that you have to come up with in the moment that turns an intelligent adult into a bumbling fool.” police station when he was little, after he spat at an adult. The officers followed her lead and went through the motions of booking him and pretended they were going to take him to jail. Just as he was escorted down the hall, he broke down and ran back apologetically to his mother. These out-of-the-box solutions are required throughout the child’s adolescence. I knew someone who got busted smoking and was told to finish the entire pack while his parents stood nearby. I’m not sure how many it took for him to vomit his entire body onto the ground, but after that, he never smoked again. There is no class to take on raising a child, and even if there was, it wouldn’t do you any good since every kid is unique and requires personalized attention. I guess all I can do is love him honestly and do the best I can. I might also need to simplify the words I throw out at him in times of trouble. Melissa Carter is recognized as one of the first out radio personalities in Atlanta and has been heard over the years on B98.5 and Q100 and can currently be heard daily on the Progressive Voices podcast “She Persisted.” Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCarter.

30 Columnists February 2, 2018


Sex with porn stars I used to think more porn actors, per capita, frequented the LA Fitness I worked out at than any gym in America, and now I feel similarly about my neighborhood grocery store. While that might reinforce Atlanta’s debaucherous reputation for some, it establishes, from the outset, that those who get paid to have sex on camera are people, too, and they need exercise and eggs just like anyone else. One of my favorite porn stars looked adorably ordinary last weekend walking through his building’s hallway to let me inside, wearing a plain white V-neck, athletic shorts and slippers that appeared as comfortable as I felt. Gone were the churning nerves I had to calm before our first hook-up about seven Halloweens ago, or even during our most recent encounter just before the holidays, and his lowkey appearance made him seem less an erotic actor and more a friend with benefits. Having sex with porn stars is no less thrilling when it goes from novelty to somewhat routine, especially when you realize some desperate trolls, as pathetic as they are monied, are out here paying $130,000 for the experience. I was just walking to the liquor store to grab a bottle for a card party when I got a text message from the porn star, and my Sunday night plans suddenly changed. Once inside his place, I sat on his living room sofa and lit a blunt when his bedroom door opened, and another porn star appeared. He, too, had been part of the threesome that made that Halloween my favorite ever (and several threesomes and one-on-one encounters since then), so my initial shock upon seeing him last weekend quickly gave way to unadulterated joy. The porn star who invited me over lit a matching blunt, and the three of us shared marijuana as we were about to share each other, passing the cigars ‘round and ‘round, the smoke filling our insides and dizzying our heads. We enjoyed the dual benefits of an NFL playoff game (the competition and as soft-core porn) and talked about how it was disrespectfully early for Hollywood to

“Those who get paid to have sex on camera are people, too, and they need exercise and eggs just like anyone else.” launch a new “Tomb Raider” franchise, until we did the math and realized it’s been 15 years since Angelina Jolie played Lara Croft. When halftime arrived, we turned off the TV and lights, took off our clothes and … I’ll leave at least a little for one’s imagination, the most important part of all sex. I’ll give that it was spiritual, out-of-body intimacy, where, even though there were no cameras, it felt like I was watching myself, or more precisely, being watched by myself: By the 10-year-old boy who used to get jealous of characters in raunchy NWA and 2 Live Crew songs; by the 18-year old who was the first to check “sex with a porn star” off his freak bucket list; by the reporter who spent the last few days surveying the religious right’s latest battle plan against homosexuality, and understands, this is why they hate you; by the diner at brunch just a few hours earlier, who rolled his eyes at his friends’ vicarious excitement from one of his missionary-caliber sex stories, but now thought, wait’ll they hear about this. All of these versions of me were present, all synced and satisfied and proud; all recognized, appreciated and reciprocated by my partners. When I stepped back out into the warm January night, I thought about how many people grow up dreaming of being the perfect wife or ideal father, how it is OK if I always wanted something different and how there is existential fulfillment in being the type of lover porn stars contact when they want to fuck for pleasure. Ryan Lee is an Atlanta writer. February 2, 2018 Columnists 31

You’ve got enough to remember. Don’t let a busy schedule leave you without the medication you need. The Avita Care Team will monitor your refills and coordinate with you and your doctor to make sure you always have the medication you need, no matter how busy life gets. Dekalb Health Pharmacy 1428 Scott Blvd • Decatur, GA Phone: 404-270-9242 Avita Pharmacy is a proud member of the Long’s family of pharmacy solutions.


02/02/18, Vol. 8 Issue 25  

Sex & Dating Issue!!! Best-selling local Valentine’s gifts, build-a-vibrator workshop and what is micro-cheating? In the news: Stacey Abrams...

02/02/18, Vol. 8 Issue 25  

Sex & Dating Issue!!! Best-selling local Valentine’s gifts, build-a-vibrator workshop and what is micro-cheating? In the news: Stacey Abrams...