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Eve Michaels photo by Dyana Bagby

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866-416-8811 | 1606 Church Street | Decatur, GA 30033

The Georgia Voice


PO Box 77401 Atlanta, GA 30357 404-815-6941 |

STONEWALL MONTH East Point Possums highlight of June celebration. Page 4


Editor: Laura Douglas-Brown

‘Legalize Gay’ returns to Atlanta. Page 6 Discussion series honors Bayard Rustin. Page 6

Deputy Editor: Dyana Bagby

Evening for Equality lauds local leaders. Page 6

Web Manager: Ryan Watkins

Pride Seder features ‘no place like home’ theme. Page 11

Art Director: Bo Shell

“As JC Penney focuses on becoming America’s favorite store, we want to be a store for all Americans. In celebration of Father’s Day, we’re proud that our June book honors men from diverse backgrounds who all share the joy of fatherhood.”


Publisher: Christina Cash Associate Publisher: Tim Boyd


Richard Eldredge, Sandy Malcolm, Lynn Pasqualetti, Robert Pullen All material in the Georgia Voice is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the 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 the 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 the Georgia Voice is available from authorized distribution points. Multiple copies are available from the 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 the Georgia Voice, 1904 Monroe Drive, Suite 130, Atlanta, GA 30324. The 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 the 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 the 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.

— Music star Janet Jackson on why she is serving as executive director for “Truth,” a documentary about transgender people and their fight for equality. (, June 4)

Photo via Facebook

National Advertising: Rivendell Media, 908-232-2021

“’Truth’ is our small chance to ask that you try and understand someone who lives their life in a way that is a little bit different from yours, even though all of our hearts are the same. We want to stop the hate and find understanding.”

— Joey Thomas, JC Penney media relations manager, on the inclusion of two gay dads in the department store’s new catalog. JC Penney previously outraged anti-gay groups by selecting Ellen DeGeneres as its new spokesperson and featuring a lesbian couple in its May catalog. (, June 3)


Hundreds expected for Pride Run in Piedmont Park. Page 11 Augusta Pride expands for third annual fest. Page 11 Atlanta Braves go ‘Out in the Stands.’ Page 12 Sylvia Rivera event focuses on trans community. Page 12 Stonewall Month events calendar. Page 13

NEWS YouthPride mum on move; calls cops on reporter. Page 15 Gay candidates face challengers in State House races. Page 17 Local news in brief. Page 18

Photo via Facebook

Contributors: Melissa Carter, Brent Corcoran, Jim Farmer, Shannon Hames, Topher Payne, Matt Schafer, Steve Warren, Ryan Lee

Sales Executive: Marshall Graham


National news in brief. Page 19

A&E Film: Lesbian director’s ‘Hysteria’ give good vibe. Page 21 Theater: One Minute Play Festival offers gay fare. Page 21 Food Porn: Grindr men, masc men, trans men at dinner. Page 23 Photos: MondoHomo queer fest. Page 25

“It’s not like a manly baseball pitch; it’s a queer British gay pitch.” — Actor Jason Alexander, known for his work on “Seinfeld,” criticizing the sport of cricket in a recent interview. (Huffington Post, June 4)

“I’ve never dealt with the question of my personal life in public. It’s just not gonna happen.” — Actor and singer Queen Latifah, explaining that it “definitely wasn’t the case” that she came out when performing at Long Beach Gay Pride last month, while adding, “To me, doing a gay pride show is one of the most fun things.” (Entertainment Weekly, June 1)

“My daily life is filled with gay men and women, both socially and professionally. I am profoundly aware of the challenges these friends of mine face and I have openly advocated on their behalf. So, I can only apologize and I do.” — Jason Alexander, apologizing for his remarks in a statement distributed by GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (Huffington Post, June 4)

Photos: Memorial Day without ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Page 27

COMMUNITY PFLAG Atlanta honors local leaders. Page 29 Business Spotlight: Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand. Page 30 Personality Spotlight: Carl Black’s social network. Page 30

CALENDAR Pages 32-34

COLUMNISTS That’s What She Said: Melissa Carter gets vaccinated. Page 37 Domestically Disturbed: Topher Payne on other people’s junk. Page 39


EAST POINT POSSUMS HEADLINE ATLANTA’S STONEWALL MONTH Annual drag show is ‘great fun for a great cause’ By Ryan Lee The 1969 Stonewall Riots were rooted in naughtiness: gay men and women partying at the Stonewall Inn during a time when it was forbidden for homosexuals to gather in public, and their rowdy defiance when New York police attempted to break up their party by hauling people off to jail. So it’s fitting that one of the marquee events of Atlanta’s Stonewall Month – the East Point Possums drag show – also originated with a little mischief. “When I first went to East Point [city officials] for the permits, I billed it as a Shakespearean variety show,” said Rick Westbrook, aka Sister Rapture Divine Cox, who helps organize the annual drag extravaganza. Anyone going to the East Point Possums show expecting to see Olde English, high-brow theater would be in for quite a shock, as it’s really an evening of drag queens raising hell in the square of downtown East Point. The Possums celebrate the 15th year of their roadkill brand of drag with this year’s show, which takes place June 16 and will feature about 30 drag queens performing. This year marks the seventh year that the Possums have overtaken the Commons in downtown East Point, and getting city approval no longer requires campy deception. “Now, I just go down there and say, ‘It’s time to do our drag show again, and they’re like, ‘OK, what do you need?’” Westbrook said.

Remembering Stonewall

The East Point Possums show has become the marquee event of Stonewall Month, the Atlanta Pride Committee’s effort to commemorate the Stonewall anniversary since the Atlanta Pride Festival moved from its traditional June date to the fall. “Since we moved the festival to October, Stonewall events provide us a platform for additional programming that allows us to remain engaged with the Atlanta community during this timeframe,” said Atlanta Pride Board Chair Glen


STONEWALL MONTH EVENTS ON PAGE 13 Paul Freedman. “It is important to the Atlanta Pride Committee that we recognize the occasion, as it is such an important one for our community. These events mark the beginning of the modern-day gay movement in the U.S.” While Stonewall Month features a bevy of lectures, discussion panels and film screenings, Freedman believes it is fitting that the centerpiece of the festivities is part of gay nightlife, since it was patrons of a gay bar that sparked gay liberation. And with the variety of acts within the Possums show – amateurs alongside drag icons, campiness alongside consciousness – Freedman believes it’s an opportunity to be entertained and educated. “They have tackled everything from LGBT bullying to living with HIV/AIDS, the importance of safe sex and more,” Freedman said. “So, the Possums show is definitely great fun, but it is for a great cause.” The Possums have donated proceeds from their drag show to Atlanta Pride and another

Jaky Alba performs at the 2011 East Point Possums Show (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

.com MORE INFO East Point Possums Saturday, June 16, 7-11 p.m. Commons, Downtown East Point 2727 East Point St., East Point, GA 30344 charity for the last half decade, and this year the Phillip Rush Center is a beneficiary. “It’s turning into a gay community center, so we thought that was the perfect charity for us to choose this year,” said Westbrook, who estimated that the Possums have raised about $60,000 for Atlanta charities over the years. “The first year it was $300, then the next year it was $600 and it just went up over the years,” he said. “We’re very proud of it, for just a little booger drag show that we have down here in East Point.”

‘A win for the gay community’

Even with heavy rain preceding the event last year, the Possums show packed hundreds into downtown East Point, showcasing how much the event has grown since it started as a Fourth of July backyard drag party 15 years ago.

The city of East Point has changed in that time, too, Westbrook said. When Westbrook and his partner first moved to the city just south of Atlanta, they placed a sign in their yard supporting an openly gay candidate for City Council. “The neighborhood association that we were living in at the time stopped by the house and said, ‘I have to talk to y’all’” Westbrook recalled, “‘Look, I know y’all are gay, but if you put that sign out there everybody’s going to know that y’all are gay.” Westbrook didn’t think there was any problem with his neighbors knowing he was gay then, and certainly not now. “We’ve actually gone to neighborhood association meetings and had people tell us, ‘We were sort of iffy about East Point, but our Realtor told us to come to this little drag show and as soon as we saw that we knew we had to buy down here,’” he said. “So not only is it a win for the gay community, but it’s a win for East Point. “In the past we’ve had women who go, ‘I want my husband in the show. Here’s his wig, here’s his dress, here’s his show, here’s his number,’ Westbrook added.

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GA Voice

June 8, 2012


MONDAY, JUNE 11: ‘Legalize Gay’ returns to Atlanta

Pro-gay rugby star back in town for benefit screening After a world premiere last fall at Atlanta’s Out on Film Festival, “Legalize Gay” returns for Stonewall Month for a screening to benefit three locally based LGBT groups. The film, which screens June 11 at Midtown Art Cinema, focuses on several diverse individuals, gay and straight, working to advance LGBT equality. Atlanta ties include a profile of Spelman University alumna Jeshawna Wholley, who organized the first Pride event at the historically black college and was later invited to meet President Barack Obama; and the StandUp Foundation, which is based in Atlanta and was created by U.K. rugby star Ben Cohen. “When we showed the film as a world premiere in October, it was brand spanking new, and since that time has been well received at college campuses and other festivals,” said Jim Farmer, Out on Film festival director. “To be able to screen it again as part of

Stonewall Month with Atlanta Pride and the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation is a great opportunity and a perfect fit,” he said. The screening is a collaboration of the StandUp Foundation, Atlanta Pride Committee and Out on Film. It is also a fundraiser for all three groups, with tickets priced at $15. Cohen, the first straight athlete to focus his philanthropy on LGBT rights, visited Atlanta last year with the gay Atlanta Bucks rugby team. Cohen chose the city as the home for his antibullying foundation, and returns for a question-and-answer session following the screening. Farmer said those who attend the screening would “absolutely” have a chance to meet Cohen. “He is coming down for the screening and Q-and-A afterwards. We are very excited about his participation,” he said.

Gay civil rights icon Bayard Rustin remembered in ‘Lessons Learned’ readings

U.K. rugby star Ben Cohen will be on hand for the ‘Legalize Gay’ screening, which benefits his Atlantabased StandUp Foundation. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

MORE INFO ‘Legalize Gay’ screening Monday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. Midtown Art Cinema 931 Monroe Dr. , Atlanta, GA 30308

— Laura Douglas-Brown

Photo by Dyana Bagby

Darlene Hudson and Craig Washington

U.S. Rep. John Lewis Photo by Bo Shell

A crowd of more than 300 is expected for the eighth annual Evening for Equality, the biggest event of the year for Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT rights advocacy organization. As part of the evening, Georgia Equality presents its Equality Awards to leaders in the local LGBT community. The awards recognize and celebrate the contributions of leaders in the movement to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for Georgia’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied communities. This year a special award, the Champion for Equality Award, will be given to U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who is a recognized leader in the civil rights movement and a long time LGBT ally. Darlene Hudson and Craig Washington, cofounders of the Bayard Rustin-Audre Lorde Breakfast taking place on Martin Luther King holiday, will receive the Community Builder award. Larry Lehman, who serves as the executive director/CEO of AID Gwinnett, will receive the Guiding Star Award. Jerry Gonzalez, the founding and current executive director of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, will receive the 2012 Allen Thornell Political Advancement Award. There will also be a silent auction. Washington is excited about the award and

Courtesy U.S. House

FRIDAY, JUNE 22: Evening for Equality honors LGBT leaders, allies Annual gala benefits Georgia Equality

MORE INFO Evening for Equality June 22, 7 p.m. Twelve Hotel at Atlantic Station 361 17th St., Atlanta, GA 30363 the evening. “It’s definitely an honor to be acknowledged for the work we do as part of the LGBTQ community,” he said. — Jim Farmer

TUESDAY, JUNE 12 & TUESDAY, JUNE 19 Bayard Rustin, the openly gay activist and advisor to Martin Luther King Jr., would have turned 100 this year. To mark Rustin’s centennial, Atlanta’s Stonewall Month features a three-part discussion of his legacy. “Lessons Learned: Then and Now” is based on the new book “I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters.” The discussion series is set for June 5, 12 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More. “Bayard Rustin has been referred to as the ‘lost prophet’ of the civil rights movement. A master strategist, he is best remembered as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests held in the U.S.,” said Lorraine Fontana, lead organizer of the lecture series, in a press release. “He brought Gandhi’s protest techniques to the American civil rights movement and had major influence upon Martin Luther King, Jr.’s growth and leadership.” The June 5 discussion was led by Josh Noblitt, social justice minister at Saint Mark United Methodist Church, and focused on Rustin’s Quaker, pacifist and spiritual background. The June 12 installment will be led by Holiday Simmons, national community educator for Lambda Legal, and will focus on his sexual orientation and how it impacted his life and activism. The third and final discussion, set for July 19, features Jamila Mindingall, founder of Collective Deliberation, and Jillian C Ford, assistant professor of social studies education at Kennesaw State University. It will examine Rustin’s broad, intersectional social justice and direct action work, and what models that might provide for the present. The series is co-sponsored by Atlanta Pride and the social justice guild of First Existentialist Church, in partnership with the State of Black Gay America Summit, the Bayard Rustin/Audre Lorde Social Justice Breakfast planning committee; Evolution Center, Zami NOBLA, SAGE Atlanta, Georgia Safe Schools Coalition and Feminist Outlawz. — Laura Douglas-Brown


Jerry Gonzalez

Bayard Rustin: ‘Lessons Learned’ June 12 & 19, 7:30 p.m. Charis Books & More 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307

June 8, 2012

GA Voice





Celebrating 25 years of commitment to the LGBT community Helping to create safe schools, inclusive workplaces, and financial success The LGBT community has come a long way in the last 25 years, and Wells Fargo has been right there. Our commitment goes back to 1987, when we added sexual orientation to our nondiscrimination policy. Since then, we’ve contributed to LGBT organizations, lent our support to anti-bullying efforts, and continued to foster a culture of equality in the workplace. Then, in 2011, Wells Fargo Advisors was the first in the industry to have Financial Advisors earn the Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor℠ designation. We are only as successful as the communities we serve. Here’s to the next quarter-century.

Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor℠ is a service mark of the College for Financial Planning® © 2012 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. 719628 10x5 4c.indd 1

5/9/12 11:18 AM

Actual patient living with HIV since 2000

You’VE woRkED To ConTRoL YouR HIV. now, TImE To woRk on YouR

HIV-RELATED EXCESS BELLY FAT. In two separate clinical trials of HIV-infected people with lipodystrophy, each lasting 6 months, EGRIFTA® (tesamorelin for injection) reduced HIV-related excess belly fat by an average of 18% in the first trial, and 14% in the second trial. This reduction in excess belly fat resulted in an approximate 1-inch reduction in waist size. Individual results may vary. On average, patients on EGRIFTA® did not lose weight.

Like HIV, HIV-related excess belly fat is a chronic condition. In clinical studies: • People who used EGRIFTA® continuously for 1 year maintained their results over this time period • People who stopped taking EGRIFTA® after 6 months had their HIV-related excess belly fat come back EGRIFTA® is believed to work with your own body to produce natural growth hormone to reduce your excess belly fat. Indication: EGRIFTA® is a daily injectable prescription medicine to reduce the excess abdominal fat in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy. Limitations of use: • The impact and safety of EGRIFTA® on cardiovascular health has not been studied • EGRIFTA® is not indicated for weight-loss management • It’s not known whether taking EGRIFTA® helps improve compliance with antiretroviral medications • EGRIFTA® is not recommended to be used in children Important Risk Information Do not use EGRIFTA® if you: • Have pituitary gland tumor, pituitary gland surgery, or other problems related to your pituitary gland • Have active cancer (either newly diagnosed or recurrent) or are receiving treatment for cancer • Are allergic to tesamorelin or any of the ingredients in EGRIFTA®, including mannitol or sterile water • Are pregnant or become pregnant Before using EGRIFTA,® tell your healthcare provider if you: • Have or have had cancer • Have diabetes • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed • Have kidney or liver problems • Have any other medical condition • Take prescription or non-prescription medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements EGRIFTA may cause serious side effects, including: • Serious allergic reaction. Stop using EGRIFTA® and get emergency help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: rash over your body, hives, swelling of your face or throat, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, fast heartbeat, feeling of faintness or fainting • Swelling (fluid retention). EGRIFTA® can cause swelling in some parts of your body. Call your healthcare provider if you have an increase in joint pain, or pain or numbness in your hands or wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome) • Increase in glucose (blood sugar) intolerance and diabetes • Injection-site reactions, such as redness, itching, pain, irritation, bleeding, rash, and ®

120127-102148 2/12

swelling. Change (rotate) your injection site to help lower your risk for injection-site reactions The most common side effects of EGRIFTA® include: • joint pain • numbness and pricking • pain in legs and arms • nausea • swelling in your legs • vomiting • muscle soreness • rash • tingling • itching EGRIFTA® will NOT cure HIV or lower your chance of passing HIV to others. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see Consumer Brief Summary of EGRIFTA® on following page.

Ask your healthcare provider if EGRIFTA®, the first and only FDA-approved medicine for HIV-related excess belly fat, may be right for you. For more information, visit or call the AXIS Center at 1-877-714-AXIS (2947).

Consumer Brief Summary for EGRIFTA® (tesamorelin for injection) EGRIFTA® (eh-GRIF-tuh) (tesamorelin for injection) for subcutaneous use

• Swelling (fluid retention). EGRIFTA® can cause swelling in some parts of your body. Call your healthcare

provider if you have an increase in joint pain, or pain or numbness in your hands or wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome)

Read the Patient Information that comes with EGRIFTA® before you start to take it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This leaflet does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment.

• Increase in glucose (blood sugar) intolerance and diabetes. Your healthcare provider will measure your

What is EGRIFTA ?

• Injection-site reactions. Change (rotate) your injection site to help lower your risk for injection-site reactions.

• EGRIFTA® is an injectable prescription medicine to reduce the excess in abdominal fat in HIV-infected

Call your healthcare provider for medical advice if you have the following symptoms around the area of the injection site: – bleeding – redness – rash – itching – swelling – pain – irritation The most common side effects of EGRIFTA® include: – joint pain – nausea – pain in legs and arms – vomiting – rash – swelling in your legs – itching – muscle soreness – tingling, numbness, and pricking Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of EGRIFTA®. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects, contact EMD Serono toll-free at 1-800-283-8088, ext. 5563. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Keep EGRIFTA® and all medicines out of the reach of children.


patients with lipodystrophy. EGRIFTA® contains a growth hormone-releasing factor (GRF) • The impact and safety of EGRIFTA® on cardiovascular health has not been studied • EGRIFTA® is not indicated for weight-loss management • It is not known whether taking EGRIFTA® helps improve compliance with antiretroviral medications • It is not known if EGRIFTA® is safe and effective in children. EGRIFTA® is not recommended to be used in children Who should not use EGRIFTA®? Do not use EGRIFTA® if you: • have pituitary gland tumor, pituitary gland surgery, or other problems related to your pituitary gland • have active cancer (either newly diagnosed or recurrent) or are receiving treatment for cancer • are allergic to tesamorelin or any of the ingredients in EGRIFTA®. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in EGRIFTA® • are pregnant or become pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop using EGRIFTA® and talk with your healthcare provider. See “What should I tell my healthcare provider before using EGRIFTA®?” What should I tell my healthcare provider before using EGRIFTA®? Before using EGRIFTA®, tell your healthcare provider if you: • have or have had cancer • have diabetes • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if EGRIFTA® passes into your breast milk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that HIV-infected mothers not breastfeed to avoid the risk of passing HIV infection to your baby. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you are taking EGRIFTA® • have kidney or liver problems • have any other medical condition Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. EGRIFTA® may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how EGRIFTA® works. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list with you to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. How should I use EGRIFTA®? • Read the detailed “Instructions for Use” that comes with EGRIFTA® before you start using EGRIFTA®.


healthcare provider will show you how to inject EGRIFTA® • Use EGRIFTA® exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider • Inject EGRIFTA® under the skin (subcutaneously) of your stomach area (abdomen) • Change (rotate) the injection site on your stomach area (abdomen) with each dose. Do not inject EGRIFTA® into scar tissue, bruises, or your navel • Do not share needles or syringes with other people. Sharing of needles can result in the transmission of infectious diseases, such as HIV What are the possible side effects of EGRIFTA®? EGRIFTA® may cause serious side effects including: • Serious allergic reaction. Some people taking EGRIFTA® may have an allergic reaction. Stop using EGRIFTA® and get emergency help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: – a rash over your body – hives – swelling of your face or throat – shortness of breath or trouble breathing – fast heartbeat – feeling of faintness or fainting

blood sugar periodically

General information about the safe and effective use of EGRIFTA®: Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use EGRIFTA® for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give EGRIFTA® to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them. Do not share your EGRIFTA® syringe with another person, even if the needle is changed. Do not share your EGRIFTA® needles with another person. This Patient Information leaflet summarizes the most important information about EGRIFTA®. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about EGRIFTA® that is written for healthcare professionals. For more information about EGRIFTA®, go to or contact the AXIS Center toll-free at 1-877-714-2947. What are the ingredients in EGRIFTA®? Active ingredient: tesamorelin Inactive ingredients: mannitol and Sterile Water for Injection

© 2012 EMD Serono, Inc. 120120-161843 2/12 All rights reserved. EGRIFTA® is a registered trademark of Theratechnologies Inc. Distributed by EMD Serono, Inc., Rockland, MA 02370



June 8, 2012

GA Voice


Photo by Dyana Bagby

SATURDAY, JUNE 23: Augusta Pride returns with expanded events Organizers hope attendance tops 10,000 in third year Rabbi Joshua Lesser

FRIDAY, JUNE 22 Pride Seder honors Jewish tradition with an LGBT twist Atlanta’s LGBT Jewish community will host a Pride Seder service as part of Stonewall Month. Set for Friday, June 22 at the Central Congregational Church, the seder is being organized by Congregation Bet Haverim and the Atlanta Pride Committee. “Seder” in Hebrew means “order” or “arrangement” and is most commonly linked with the Jewish holiday of Passover. The Passover Seder is a family ritual which involves the retelling of the Israelites’ escape from bondage in ancient Egypt. This year’s Pride Seder service is entitled “No Place Like Home” and will place an emphasis on homelessness in the LGBT community, particularly among young people, according to Congregation Bet Haverim Rabbi Joshua Lesser. “We want to educate ourselves and our community,” Lesser said. “This is a broader issue outside of the gay Jewish community.” Lesser said he and other organizers were reaching out to local nonprofits and advocacy groups that deal directly and indirectly with homelessness. Last year’s Pride Seder was the first officially held as part of Stonewall festivities. Lesser said the increased exposure from partnering with the Atlanta Pride Committee helped the event reach a larger communal audience. Like last year, there will be a sing-a-long with a few special surprises, but Lesser said a song or two from “The Wizard of Oz” are in the mix to fit with this year’s theme. — Ryan Watkins


Stonewall Pride Seder June 22, 7 p.m. Central Congregational Church 2676 Clairmont Road Atlanta, GA 30329

Augusta Pride organizers expect the third annual celebration to set attendance records with an expanded schedule that features several new events in addition to the hallmark parade and festival. Travis Jenkins, who serves as the Augusta Pride president, has been with the group since its inception and was nominated to lead the 2012 event after working his way up from being the Pride vendor coordinator. A grant from the Augusta Convention and Vistors Bureau has allowed Augusta Pride to do more advertising, including placing banners throughout the city, and beef up the number of days involved. The long weekend of Pride kicks off Thursday, June 21, with the VIP party/President’s Soiree at the Landmark Marion Hatcher House. Friday, June 22, is the kickoff party, with a Pride cabaret featuring drag performers at Club Argos and Augusta’s lesbian band She N She performing at The Filling Station bar. Saturday is the main event, with the parade beginning at 10 a.m. followed by the festival until 6 p.m. at the Augusta Commons area. Headliners include Tom Goss, Josh Zuckerman, Dee Hemingway and She N She. The Augusta RoadHouse after-party follows Saturday night at The Filling Station with Goss, Zuckerman and Hemingway. Finally, a pool party and a church service will close the weekend on Sunday, June 24. The first year’s Pride netted about 4,000 at-

Last year’s Augusta Pride Festival brought nearly 8,000 visitors and more are expected this year. (Photo by Laura Douglas-Brown)

tendees and that number nearly doubled in 2011. Jenkins’ goal is to hit 10,000 visitors this year. This year’s theme is “It’s Time.” “That refers to it being time to be unified, time to put up gay artists in front of the community,” Jenkins said. The city of Augusta has been extremely helpful in launching the city’s Pride event, he said. There were some hiccups originally, with some protests the first year and a short wait for an official proclamation. “The mayor said he needed some advice to sign the proclamation, but gave us a proclamation a few months later,” Jenkins said. This year has been all smooth sailing. Most visitors are from areas in a 100-mile radius, such as Atlanta, Columbus and Savannah. Jenkins feels both Atlanta Pride and Augusta Pride are great events but have their own individuality. “Obviously we are more conservative and

MORE INFO Augusta Pride June 21 – 24 June 23: Parade, 10 a.m.; Festival, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Augusta Commons 420 East Boundary, Augusta, GA 30901 rural,” he said. “We are a fraction of their size. The community really pulls together by coming out and supporting us all year long and donating their hard earned money. “When the parade starts on Saturday morning you will see tears of joy streaming down the faces of the crowd,” Jenkins added. “It’s not just the pride in being able to be who you are, it’s also the pride of the community being able to come together to make Augusta Pride possible.” — Jim Farmer

SATURDAY, JUNE 23: Pride Run steps off from Piedmont Park Formerly a stand-alone event, the annual Pride Run is now a full-fledged part of Stonewall Month for the first time in 2012. It’s the 22nd year for the June 5K run, co-sponsored by Front Runners, Atlanta’s LGBT running group, and the Atlanta Pride Committee. Bernie Colligan of Front Runners describes the participants as a healthy mix of competitive runners eying victory and newcomers wanting to walk and support the event. “We have a lot of our own members and then people who have never done this before,” he said. The route will cover an area through and near Piedmont Park. In addition to the run is a Friday night pre-dinner taking place at Einstein’s from 7-9 p.m. and a brunch at 5 Napkin Burger from 9:30-11 a.m. after the run. Colligan hopes for a crowd of 500 this year. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event

MORE INFO Pride Run Saturday, June 23, 8 a.m. Piedmont Park, near the Aquatic Center 1320 Monroe Dr., Atlanta, GA 30306 go to Jerusalem House and Atlanta Pride. The Pride Run features men’s and women’s divisions, as well as several age groups, so there are “lots of chances to win medals,” Colligan said. For those participating, he suggests drinking lots of water beforehand to stay hydrated, and arrive early, as parking can be tough near Piedmont Park, especially when an event is happening. His final advice: “Don’t overdo it out there.” — Jim Farmer

According to sponsorship documents, last year’s Pride run raised $10,000 and organizers hope raise even more, this year for Jerusalem House. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

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GA Voice

June 8, 2012


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27: Atlanta Braves come ‘Out in the Stands’

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LGBT fan night to benefit StandUp Foundation

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The Atlanta Braves will host the team’s second annual “Out in the Stands” LGBT fan night on June 27. The game is a Wednesday night clash against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Proceeds from special tickets will benefit the StandUp Foundation, an anti-bullying advocacy organization founded by English rugby star Ben Cohen. Based in Atlanta, the StandUp Foundation works to raise awareness of bullying, with an emphasis on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. It is also dedicated to decreasing homophobia in sports. Tickets to the game range are available in several packages. The upper box package is $20 and includes one drink ticket at the pregame patio party. Outfield tickets go for $35 and include two drink tickets. VIP tickets are $200 and include two drink tickets and a meet-andgreet with Cohen in a catered party suite. A portion of every ticket sale, regardless of cost, includes a donation to the StandUp Foundation. The Atlanta Braves are the first Major League Baseball team to partner for an event with the StandUp Foundation, according to the team. “Out in the Stands” was first organized in 2011

The Atlanta Braves debuted ‘Out in the Stands’ last year. The second annual LGBT fan night is coming up this month. (Photo by Ryan Watkins)

after Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was accused of hurling gay slurs toward fans at a game in San Francisco early in the season. McDowell allegedly shouted, “Are you a homo couple or a threesome?” at fans and imitated a sex act using a baseball bat. He was suspended and publicly apologized for the incident. The Braves went on to produce an antibullying PSA that aired throughout the year at Turner Field. To buy tickets these tickets, please contact

MORE INFO Atlanta Braves ‘Out in the Stands’ June 27, 7:10 p.m Turner Field 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315 Tickets: Contact Stacey Nicely at 404-614-1325 or via email at Stacey Nicely at 404-614-1325 or via email at — Ryan Watkins

SATURDAY, JUNE 30: Sylvia Rivera event focuses on transgender issues

Community forum named for trans Stonewall activist

Named after a Stonewall activist who fought for equality, the third annual Sylvia Rivera community event takes place June 30. Details were still being finalized at press time, but the event will feature a panel discussion with local members of the transgender community, as well as socializing and food. Sylvia Rivera was a transgender woman and a veteran of the Stonewall uprising in 1969. “I’m not missing a minute of this, it’s the revolution,” Rivera is credited of saying about the riots, which followed police harassment at the Stonewall Inn, an New York City gay bar. “(The event) was named in her honor because of the role she played in the Stonewall riots and her activism to include the transgender community in the larger context of the queer community,” said Glen Paul Freedman, Atlanta Pride Committee board chair. Having an event specific to the local transgender community is vital during Stonewall Month, he feels. “I think it is essential for us to strive to have

inclusive events that encompass the full spectrum of the LGBT community and our allies, so having programming to speak to the needs of the transgender community and to educate people about transgender issues is crucial to our mission as an organization,” Freedman said. Atlanta Pride has worked with Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth (TILTT), Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, and community members to plan the 2012 event. Freedman expects about 50 participants this year, which is roughly what the event drew in 2011. — Jim Farmer

Though details of this year’s Sylvia Rivera Community Event were not determined by press time, attendees can expect a panel discussion about issues facing the transgender community. (Photos by Dyana Bagby)

MORE INFO Sylvia Rivera Community Event June 30, details TBA Phillip Rush Center 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307


June 8, 2012

GA Voice


Photo by Dyana Bagby, Bayard Rustin via Library of Congress


Bayard Rustin

Monday, June 11

‘Legalize Gay’ screening Q&A with Ben Cohen to follow 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. at Midtown Art Cinema 391 Monroe Drive, Atlanta, GA 30308

Tuesday, June 12

‘I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters’ Book and history discussion Part two of three 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307

Wednesday, June 13 Dine with Pride at Osteria 832 Portion of bills donated to Atlanta Pride 5 - 10 p.m. 832 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306

Friday, June 15

East Point Possums East Point Possums Show A benefit for the Phillip Rush Center 7 p.m. at The Commons 2727 East Point St., East Point, GA 30304

Tuesday, June 19

‘I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters’ Book and history discussion Part three of three 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307

Wednesday, June 20 Dine with Pride at Doc Chey’s (Grant Park) Portion of bills donated to Atlanta Pride 5 - 10 p.m. 563 Memorial Drive, Atlanta, GA 30312

‘Stonewall Uprising’ screening 7 p.m. at First Existentialist 470 Candler Park Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30307

LGBT Health Insurance Seminar 7 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307

Saturday, June 16

Pride Seder Presented by Congregation Bet Haverim 7 p.m. at Central Congregational 2676 Clairmont Road NE Atlanta, GA 30329 Georgia Equality’s 8th annual Evening for Equality 7 p.m. at Twelve Hotel 361 17th Street, Atlanta, GA 30363

‘Examining What We Have & Where It Can Take Us’ Poetry Workshop w/ Dustin Brookshire Bring a poem to workshop and participate in generative exercise FreeRegister for free at 2 - 4 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307

Friday, June 22


Saturday, June 23

22nd annual Pride Run/Walk 5k 8 a.m. Race starts at Piedmont Park near the Aquatic Center Augusta Pride Parade: 10 a.m., Festival: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Augusta Common 836 Reynolds St., Augusta, GA 30901

Wednesday, June 27


Sinclair Sexsmith

Dine with Pride at Doc Chey’s (Morningside) Portion of bills donated to Atlanta Pride 5 - 10 p.m. 1424 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306

Saturday, June 30

Out in the Stands LGBT Night at Turner Field Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks VIP meet-and-greet with Ben Cohen 7 p.m. at Turner Field 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315 Tickets: 404-614-1325 or

Author/blogger Sinclair Sexsmith ‘Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica’ 7:30 p.m. at Charis Books and More 1189 Euclud Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307

Friday, June 29

Author/blogger Sinclair Sexsmith Discussion on body confidence in queer masculine community 7:30 p.m. at Charis Books and More 1189 Euclud Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307

Sylvia Rivera Community Event Trans community member panel 11:30 a.m. at the Phillip Rush Center 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307

Sunday, July 1

KCCA Children’s Story Hour Kelli’s Childcare Collective of Atlanta celebrates queer families “A Tale of Two Daddies” “Who’s in a Family” “In our Mother’s House” 1 p.m. at Charis Books and More 1189 Euclud Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307


June is national LGBT Pride Month — President Obama even issued a proclamation for it. So why does Atlanta celebrate Stonewall Month instead? Pride festivals are traditionally held the last weekend in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, fought back against police harassment in what is widely seen as a turning point for gay rights. But after being celebrated the last weekend in June in Piedmont Park for most of its history, Atlanta Pride was forced to move in 2008 when city officials booted large festivals from the parched park due to a record drought. Held over July Fourth weekend at the Civic Center the next year, Pride attendance and finances suffered. The festival moved back to Piedmont Park for 2009, but over Halloween, to get around city policies that limited festivals in the summer season due to drought concerns. In 2010, Atlanta Pride Committee announced it would hold future festivals on the weekend closest to National Coming Out Day, which is Oct. 11. For 2012, that means Oct. 13-14. But the Atlanta Pride Committee still wants to honor the anniversary of the riots — hence, Stonewall Month. “We’ve hosted Stonewall Week for several years and wanted to branch out to include more events ... which lead to the creation of our most extensive and diverse list of Stonewall offerings thus far, lasting far longer than just a week,” said Pride Board Chair Glen Paul Freedman.


YouthPride in limbo after move Agency mum on new location; delayed reopening dates hinder services

Belongings, documents left behind

McPhaul was looking for a storage facility when the movers arrived on June 1, despite knowing for two months that YouthPride needed to move out of its current location by the end of May. Kevin Philbrick, board president of Inman Park UMC, said YouthPride left many belongings behind, including papers, documents and some furniture. “They did leave quite a few belongings but I have not determined if any sensitive documents were left behind. A couple of people from the church will be looking through the items early this week and will know by Wednesday or Thursday if there is anything sensitive left behind and if so, we’ll make sure the church takes those into possession temporarily to protect them until YP can collect them safely,” he said.

GA Voice


Other Atlanta LGBT youth organizations The Evolution Project 583 Juniper St. #1 Atlanta, GA 30308 404-524-5441, Hours:

By Dyana Bagby Since March 20, YouthPride’s executive director and board of directors have known the organization needed to move out of its location at 1017 Edgewood Ave. by May 31 at 5 p.m. Instead, movers arrived on the evening of June 1 to move the organization’s belongings into a storage facility after the landlord, Inman Park United Methodist Church, agreed to give the LGBT youth group an extra day to move out. Postings to YouthPride’s website and Facebook accounts promised the organization would reopen on Monday, June 4. The new location of YouthPride would also be revealed on Monday via the website and Facebook, the group pledged. That plan faltered somehow and late Monday, another posting to YouthPride’s website and Facebook page said the nonprofit would remain closed through Wednesday, June 6. And still, at press time Tuesday, June 5, the new location for the organization has not been unveiled. Attempts to reach board members and Terence McPhaul, executive director, have garnered no response. An attempt to talk to McPhaul at the YouthPride space on May 31 resulted in an argument in front of youth sitting in the lobby. McPhaul said that no one without a background check was allowed inside the facility and refused to answer the question of where YouthPride was relocating. On March 20, YouthPride and Inman Park United Methodist Church reached an agreement that the LGBT youth organization would move out after not paying rent for close to a year. YouthPride was also ordered to pay $28,000 to the church.

June 8, 2012

Monday: 1 - 10:30 p.m. Tuesday: 1 - 8 p.m. Thursday: 1 - 8 p.m. Friday: 2 - 7 p.m.

A project of AID Atlanta, the Evolution Project is a drop-in community center for black gay/bisexual men and transgender individuals 18 - 28. Social events include movie nights, playing cards, parties, balls as well as community forums. Mental health services for individuals as well as relationship and group counseling are also provided. HIV and STD testing offered.

On Friday, June 1, movers removed the belongings inside YouthPride’s former location at Inman Park United Methodist Church. No new location has been announced. (Photos by Dyana Bagby)

MORE INFO YouthPride had not announced a new location or reopening date by GA Voice press time June 5. For updates, visit An internal email was sent out to YouthPride volunteers by McPhaul late Monday, June 4, in addition to the web and Facebook postings, announcing another delay in the reopening. The postings by McPhaul on YouthPride’s Facebook page and website on late Monday also said there were complications with getting the organization’s phone number transferred by AT&T. “AT&T has assured us that they understand how critical this issue is, and that they are working swiftly to fix the situation,” the posting stated. It directed youth, current volunteers, those in need of YouthPride’s 24-hour helpline, and even counseling clients to call McPhaul.

Police called on reporter

McPhaul was not at the building when the movers arrived. Instead, he was looking for a storage facility to place YouthPride’s belongings, including furniture, desks and computers. The youth at the building, identified as the administrative assistant and listed on the YouthPride website as Brandon D., said McPhaul has not told him where YouthPride will reopen. He declined to give an interview. The YouthPride employee, at McPhaul’s direction, also called the Atlanta Police Department to ask an officer to order this reporter from standing outside the building while taking photos and seeking interviews. “My boss actually called and told me to give you the explanation when you got here,” Bran-

don told the APD officer. “She’s not allowed to be here. He’s asked her many times to not come here and she continues to come here. We’re a youth center and we don’t allow anyone over 24 here unless they are a parent.” “[Your boss] owns this property?” the officer asked. “Yes,” said the YouthPride employee. The officer then learned that Inman Park UMC actually owned the property and YouthPride was located on the church’s property. “The church owns the property but this is our center,” Brandon told the officer. “Basically, the church would have to tell her to leave,” the officer explained. “Since the church owns it … and out here, this is the church’s property.” Shortly after the officer left, a mother and her teen son walked around the large moving truck as items were being loaded into the truck and asked if this was where YouthPride was located. She said she was bringing her son to attend a discussion group for LGBT youth. YouthPride’s website states Friday evenings there was a “Words of Empowerment” group for LGBTQQ people of color from 6:30-8 p.m. Brandon came out of the building and told the woman that the organization was closed and messages had been sent out via email, Facebook and Twitter as well as posted on the group’s website. The mother told Brandon that this would have been her son’s first meeting so they were not aware of the closing. Brandon then told her the facility would reopen Monday. When asked where, he told her it would be announced on Facebook and on the website on Monday. “So we should just look up YouthPride on Facebook?” the mother asked. “Yes,” he answered.

JustUsATL Hours:

Tuesday, 7-9 p.m.: TransIt, Trans, Gender Non-Conforming Gender Questioning youth (13-28) Wednesday, 7-9 p.m.: JustTeen, JustYouth discussion groups

These groups are peer-led and have a facilitator. They are being held at Positive Impact, 60 11th St., Atlanta, GA 30309. JustUsATL is a youth-run group that provides a safe space for the metro Atlanta area’s LGBTQQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Asexual) youth. The fledgling organization offers weekly discussion groups, a peer-led mental health group, HIV/ STI testing, and social events.

CHRIS Kids 1017 Fayetteville Road, Suite B, Atlanta, GA 30316 404-486-9034 This non-profit provides services for LGBT youth via support services for parents of LGBTQ youth (including foster and adoptive parents); support services for LGBTQ parents (including foster and adoptive parents); transitional housing, support and psycho-educational groups for LGBTQ youth; outreach to LGBTQ youth; and training for residential/foster care agency personnel concerning the needs of LGBTQ youth.

Lost-n-Found Youth Inc. 470 Candler Park Drive, Atlanta, GA 30307 Non-Emergency Inquiries: 678-856-7824 Emergency Hotline: 678-8-LOST-25 Lost-n-Found provides emergency housing for homeless LGBT youth until they can find something more permanent. With a six-bedroom home, the non-profit organization helps LGBT youth — including those with children — find jobs, get driver’s licenses and Social Security cards and other basic items they may not have.


GA Voice

June 8, 2012















Gay candidates on the ballot as July primary races set Three seek to be first out gay men elected to state House

GA Voice

GA House races featuring gay candidates *Denotes candidate is openly gay

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 56 *Kenneth Britt Party: Democratic Occupation: Retired, Executive Director Alston & Bird LLP

By Dyana Bagby Six openly gay men and women are vying for seats in the Georgia General Assembly — some incumbents, some newcomers — while a lesbian seeks to replace a retiring Fulton County judge, making 2012 one of the gayest election seasons to date. But most of the gay incumbents and candidates do not have until the general election in November to make their case to the public. Since those running for Georgia House seats are Democrats in mostly Democratic districts — and only two races include Republican candidates — many contests will be decided in the July 31 general primary. Qualifying was held May 23-25. Gay candidates on the ballot will include incumbent state Reps. Karla Drenner, Simone Bell, Rashad Taylor and Keisha Waites. Also qualifying is longtime Atlanta politico Ken Britt, who is making his first run for political office after working behind the scenes on such successful gay campaigns as Alex Wan for Atlanta City Council and Joan Garner for Fulton County Commissioner. Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), the first openly gay person elected to the General Assembly, is serving her sixth term and faces no challenger. But Waites, who was elected in a low-turnout special election in February, has four people trying to knock her out of the legislature. Georgia Equality and the Victory Fund have put out several emails supporting Waites. Gay incumbents Bell and Taylor, who came out during his last term in office, must face off with other Democratic incumbents after Republican-controlled redistricting drew them into the same districts. In addition to Britt, other openly gay newcomers are running for General Assembly. Timothy Swiney is challenging Republican incumbent Valerie Clark in Lawrenceville for District 101 in a race that will be decided in November. William Phelps of East Point, an ex-Marine who served in Afghanistan, is throwing his hat into the ring for District 59 against gay-friendly incumbent Margaret Kaiser; both are Democrats who will face off in the July primary. “I don’t see this as a gay versus gay-friendly race,” Phelps said. “It’s really about the right person getting in the right place. I know Margaret Kaiser. She’s a good person. But this is a movement — I want to inspire all people. It’s not just about orientation. I don’t want my message to get lost in the gayness of it all. I want

June 8, 2012

“Able” Mable Thomas Party: Democratic Occupation: Program Developer


Gay candidates Ken Britt, a retired executive and longtime political activist; William Phelps, a Marine veteran; and Timothy Swiney, a former Republican, hope to help change the tide for out hopefuls seeking office in Georgia. (Courtesy photos)

people to know they are destined for greatness.” Phelps knows he is in a special position as a black, gay veteran to make some unprecedented strides in Georgia politics. But he also wants to work on finding jobs for people, solving transportation issues and ensuring children receive a quality education. “I am standing in your corner, especially for the LGBT community,” he said. “I want to try to bring a change to our legislature and I think I bring added value for people who want fair representation.” Phelps and Swiney said they plan to seek endorsements from Georgia Equality and the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, but both acknowledged they are new to the gay political machine that includes these organizations. Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham said he has not heard of Phelps or Swiney before and he and the GE board are currently reviewing surveys before announcing more endorsements at the beginning of July. Swiney, a former Republican, said he hopes those who live in the bubble of the city of Atlanta look “outside the perimeter” for gay candidates like him to support. “It takes more than a handful of votes in the state legislature to make change. We need gay and pro-gay in the General Assembly and we can’t do it without reaching out to the rest of the state,” he said. “What we vote for out here impacts everyone,” he said. “It’s very frustrating for us in the community who are OTP because we are sort of forgotten. I’m hoping that can change.” Swiney also held a “Rainbow Money Bomb” that wrapped up Friday, June 8, asking specifically for “gay dollars.” Swiney came out in an interview with the Lawrenceville Patch website and said he did so because he did not want to hide anything about himself. He ran as a Republican for the state House in 2010 while his partner, Eric Reid, ran

for Lawrenceville City Council. But Swiney said he had a change of heart about his party affiliation after watching Georgia lag behind the nation in such areas as jobs. But also because, he said, Republicans do not believe in equality for LGBT people. “Anybody who is gay and thinks they are Republican has got some issues they need to think about. You can’t be Republican and gay, lesbian or transgender. They say such mean and vile things against our community,” he said. For Phelps, who served in the Marines from 2002-2010 during “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the military provided a place for him to serve his country, family and God, he said. While he wasn’t on the front lines in Afghanistan (he served in logistics for eight months), Phelps said that time abroad helped him realize he could do anything — even run as an openly gay man for the Georgia legislature. “It was an experience I will never forget and defined me as a man,” he said. “I knew people who didn’t come back. And I realized if I can deal with this I can do anything else in life.”

Morrison runs for Fulton judgeship

Openly gay attorney and part-time Sandy Springs solicitor Jane Morrison also qualified to run in the July 31 general primary for the seat of Fulton County State Court Judge. Judge Brenda Cole told the Fulton Daily Report she decided to not seek election. Morrison, 48, whose partner is Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, will face Fulton County Magistrate Judge Melynee Leftridge. The judicial race is non-partisan. Morrison, who has a solo practice, served as a part-time Fulton County magistrate from 20032006 and also was appointed to serve as an Atlanta Municipal Court judge from 2000 to 2002. Leftridge, 45, has been serving as a Fulton Magistrate Judge since 2007 and full-time in the post since 2010.

Pat Gardner (Incumbent) Party: Democratic Occupation: Executive Director and Teacher, Retired *Rashad Taylor (Incumbent) Party: Democratic Occupation: Consultant

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 58 Earl Cooper Party: Republican Occupation: Sales * Simone Bell (Incumbent) Party: Democratic Occupation: Consultant Ralph Long (Incumbent) Party: Democratic Occupation: Real Estate Broker

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 59 Margaret D Kaiser (Incumbent) Party: Democratic Occupation: Self-Employed *William Phelps Party: Democratic Occupation: Transportation Management

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 85 *Karla Drenner (Incumbent) Party: Democratic Occupation: Environmental Consultant

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 101 Valerie Clark (Incumbent) Party: Republican Occupation: Retired educator *Timothy Swiney Party: Democratic Occupation: Associate Real Estate Broker


18 2

GA Voice

June 8, 2012


Two plead guilty in brutal attack on gay Atlanta man Two young men pleaded guilty in Fulton Superior Court to belonging to a gang and attacking a gay man in February. Sentencing is set for July. Dorian Moragne, 19, and Dareal Demare Williams, 18, pleaded guilty on May 29 in the attack on Brandon White. White was attacked Feb. 4 in the Pittsburgh community after leaving a convenience store with the attackers repeatedly calling him “faggot.” During the hearing May 29 before Fulton Superior Court Judge Jackson Bedford, prosecutor J. Gabriel Banks said the assault was instigated by another suspect, Christopher Cain, who alleged that the victim, White, 20, made a sexual advance toward him. Javaris Williams was also allegedly involved in the attack that was videotaped and uploaded to a hip hop website. Cain remains in jail awaiting trial while police say Williams is not yet in custody. “If this case were to go to trial the court would prove that the victim was walking to ‘The Pink Store’ with a friend to get something to eat. They passed these defendants [Moragne and Williams] and the codefendants. At some point … Mr. Cain believed Mr. White made a sexual advance against him. Mr. White has firmly said

Brandon White, with friend and advocate Greg Smith, talks to reporters after a hearing May 29 in which two of his attackers pleaded guilty. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

no he did not,” Banks said at the hearing. “The sexual advance toward Cain led to Cain being offended. Cain got upset as Mr. White exited the store and struck him from behind. These two defendants [Moragne and Williams] began to hit, stomp and kick Mr. White,” Banks added. Moragne was also identified as the person who threw a tire on White as he was on the ground trying to shield himself from the constant blows. “It is important to note that was all being

videotaped as they all said, ‘No faggots in Jack City,” Banks said. “Clearly in the state’s view this is a hate crime.” Moragne and Dareal Williams, wearing blue jump suits with Fulton County Jail emblazoned on their backs and shackled at the hips and hands, entered the non-negotiated pleas to charges of belonging to a street gang, robbery by force and aggravated assault. When asked how they entered on each of the charges, they simply replied, “guilty.” Cain and Javaris Williams have not entered plea agreements although they were also scheduled to be on the trial calendar on May 29. Moragne’s defense attorney, Jay Abt, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a federal hate crime charge is expected to be filed against his client. Atlanta FBI spokesperson Stephen Emmett told the GA Voice that the case has to go through the Fulton court system before any federal involvement in the legal case can take place. The FBI has been working with the Atlanta Police Department and the U.S. Attorneys Office to investigate if the crime constitutes a federal hate crime. — Dyana Bagby

Anti-gay Ga. judge resigns over ethics probe Lesbian mother of A Wilkinson County judge who in 2007 attempted to strip custody of a 7-year old girl from a lesbian because he believed homosexuality is immoral recently resigned after an ethics probe into allegations he “allowed the prestige of his office to advance his private interests.” Superior Court Judge John Lee Parrott, 63, of the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit turned in his notice of resignation to Gov. Nathan Deal on May 19; it was effective immediately. Parrott served 24 years on the bench. According to documents filed with the Judicial Qualifications Commission, Parrott opted to resign rather than go through a formal hearing on allegations of judicial misconduct. The Commission inquiry focused upon allegations including whether the judge “allowed the prestige of his office to advance his private interests,” according to court documents. Parrott made national headlines in 2007 when he denied Elizabeth Hadaway, a lesbian, custody of 7-year old Emma Rose, because he believed homosexuality was immoral. The girl, Emma Rose, had been living with Hadaway for some time after Emma Rose’s biological mother, a truck driver, asked Hadaway to care for her daughter and wanted her to adopt her. When Parrott learned Hadaway was a lesbian, he denied the petition and ordered the girl removed from her home and placed in foster care. In his ruling, Parrott said homosexuality is “undesirable conduct” and also stated living with gay parents would stigmatize Emma Rose. Parrott also cited the state’s constitutional

murdered child arrested for domestic abuse

Judge John Lee Parrott, who attempted to strip custody from a lesbian because he believed homosexuality is immoral, resigned from his post on May 19 citing an ethics probe. (Photo courtesy Jones County News)

ban on same-sex marriage to prop up his case that it was illegal for a gay person to adopt. Hadaway and her partner separated and Hadaway moved to Bibb County to try again to adopt Emma Rose. Parrott cited Hadaway and her attorney for contempt of court and sentenced them to jail. The ACLU became involved and on March 24, 2008, the Georgia Court of Appeals overturned Hadaway’s contempt of court conviction. Emma Rose and Hadaway were reunited in the spring of 2007 after Emma spent three months in foster care. — Dyana Bagby

The mother of Jorelys Rivera, the young girl killed by a Canton, Ga., apartment complex groundskeeper in December, was recently arrested and charged with domestic abuse for beating up her girlfriend. Jocelyn Rivera-Ruiz was arrested for allegedly beating up her girlfriend on May 14, according to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A police report states that Rivera-Ruiz and her partner, Maria Americano, got into a fight and when police arrived on the scene they found Americano locked in a bedroom with Rivera-Ruiz’s children, ages 1 and 4. According to the police report, Rivera-Ruiz said that when Americano tried to leave the apartment, she grabbed her and held her down. When police asked about her bruised eye, Rivera-Ruiz said she got it after tripping and hitting her head on a piece of furniture. Police arrested both women and charged each of them with battery and cruelty to children. The murder of Jorelys Rivera, 7, made headlines after police learned the groundskeeper of the apartment complex, Ryan Brunn, confessed to taking her to vacant apartment, molesting her and cutting her throat. He also beat her with a roller skate before dumping her body in the complex’s trash compactor. Brunn, confessed to the killing and then committed suicide in his prison cell. — Dyana Bagby


Federal appeals court won’t rehear Prop. 8 case; Supreme Court showdown likely The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined June 5 to grant en banc review to an earlier appeals court decision that declared Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that ended same-sex marriage in California, unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 7 that the ban violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Noted the court, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.” Supporters of Proposition 8 asked the Ninth Circuit for a hearing “en banc,” meaning a larger 11-judge panel would hear the case. On June 5, the court denied that hearing. The decision gives Proposition 8 supporters two options, according to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which sued to overturn the anti-gay ballot measure. They could either let the three-judge panel’s decision stand, which means gay couples would be able to marry again in California, or they could appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Prop. 8 supporters have 90 days to file the appeal, and the Supreme Court can decide not to take the case. “Should our case be heard by the United States Supreme Court, I am confident the Justices will stand on the side of fairness and equality,” said Adam Umhoefer, AFER execu-

Ted Olson is one of the lead attorneys in Perry v. Brown, the challenge to California’s Prop. 8 that won a significant victory June 5 when an appeals court refused to reconsider the case. (Photo via

tive director, in a press release after the court’s decision was announced. The California Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that banning same-sex couples from marriage violated the state constitution. More than 18,000 gay couples were married in California before voters repealed same-sex marriage rights in November 2008. The California Supreme Court upheld the amendment, but AFER filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, led by high-profile attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies. The gay marriage advocates won the first round, when U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled in August 2010 that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Prop. 8 supporters appealed, and in the Feb. 7 decision, the three-judge appeals court panel agreed that Walker’s ruling should stand. — Laura Douglas-Brown

Lambda Legal sues for marriage equality in Illinois Lambda Legal, a national LGBT legal group, filed a lawsuit May 30 seeking marriage rights for same-sex couples in Illinois. Lambda represents 16 gay couples and their children in the case, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division. “These couples and their children share a dream of being part of a married family. By excluding them from marriage, and relegating them to civil unions, our government has marked

them as different and worth less than other Illinois families — and that is exactly how others treat them,” said Camilla Taylor, Lambda Legal marriage project director, in a press release. Also on May 30, the ACLU of Illinois filed a separate case representing nine couples seeking marriage rights. The two legal groups are coordinating their efforts. — Laura Douglas-Brown

Appeals court finds Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional A three-judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously May 31 that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional — the first such ruling for a federal appeals court. The decision came in the case of Gill vs. Office of Personnel Management. Brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, it includes gay couples who are married in Massachusetts

and argue that they are harmed by the federal government refusing to recognize them as married. DOMA is being defended by the Republicanled Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House because President Obama’s administration has declined to defend the law. An appeal is likely. — Laura Douglas-Brown

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June 8, 2012

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#2: Grindr men, masc men, trans men at dinner Sliding into the new Food Porn supper club, with some bumps along the way

Recommended The Shed at Glenwood 475 Bill Kennedy Way, Atlanta, GA 30316 (In Glenwood Park) 404-835-4363 , Good choices: any of the numerous sliders on Wednesday night, chicken-liver bruschetta, any of the fresh vegetables.

Food Porn is a new fictional series by longtime Atlanta food critic Cliff Bostock. Set in real Atlanta restaurants, it chronicles the adventures of Robert, a gay man in search of a husband — or at least a good meal. For past chapters, visit Robert’s head was starting to hurt — not something he expected to happen on this first meeting of the Atlanta Gay Food Porn Supper Club. The setting was the Shed at Glenwood, where the restaurant offers a special menu of $3 sliders every Wednesday night. Robert was always there. “This is mainly an organizational meeting to get some feedback,” he explained to the 15 people present. “We want your opinions about the hole we might fill in gay Atlanta’s social scene, what kinds of restaurants and foods tempt you, what kind of mood you’d like to set…and so forth.” Robert and his friend Jimmy, who was helping organize the club, had promoted it on their Facebook pages. Between them, they had 3,862 friends, but, as Robert said, that number included maybe five potential husbands and 11 people he actually liked. His ulterior motive in forming the club was to find a husband before he turned 50 in a year. Robert had barely introduced himself when a 25-ish man who had been wildly texting on Grindr a few chairs away suddenly stood up and announced he had to leave. Not 30 seconds later, another man stood up and said sheepishly that he had to do the same and hurried out the door. “Well, that was subtle,” Robert’s old friend, Janet, quipped. “Food porn indeed!” Others at the table laughed. Several discreetly slid their iPhones under their napkins. “So, help us out,” Jimmy said. “Does anyone have some advice?” “I do,” volunteered a muscular man, maybe 40, in plaid shorts and a tight gray t-shirt. He was, as Robert liked to say, fully “Pensacola’d,” referring to last week’s annual gay Memorial Day party in Pensacola, Fla.

Anis 2974 Grandview Ave., Atlanta, GA 30305 404-233-9889, Good choices: Salade Nicoise, steak frites and the three-course plate at lunch; octopus carpaccio, pan-roasted trout and roasted chicken at dinner.

Many men spent weeks in advance dieting, roiding, lifting, running, tanning, refreshing tattoos and depilating — “Pensacoling.” “I’m Brandon,” he said, “and I’d like to suggest that you aim this club at masc men only. The last thing this city needs is another venue full of drama-loving stereotypes into the scene.” The table fell momentarily silent. Robert marveled at Brandon’s stereotypical shoulder tattoo of a koi fish swimming through what looked like lily pads and Chinese ideograms tangled with blue swirls. “You sound like a stereotypical Grindr profile yourself,” somebody at the end of the table blurted. People laughed nervously. “I was kiddin’,” Brandon said. “Sort of…” Robert was grateful to see the sliders arriving. “I hope y’all enjoy them as much as I do. Let’s not let ‘em get cold,” he said. “These aren’t the usual mini-burgers,” Robert reminded the group. “Chef Lance Gummere is to sliders what Dr. Frank ‘N Furter is to the Rocky Horror Picture Show: a mad scientist tampering with the natural form of things, creating something sensual that you can hold in your hand.” Robert ordered a rarely appearing slider made with chicharrones — slabs of pork fat stewed in

green sauce — and a mini-panino made with cauliflower, dates and lardo. He couldn’t resist a third made with pork belly and chimichurri sauce. The plain Angus burger was always good too. Another man spoke up. “I’m Jack and I don’t like that the club name isn’t more inclusive. I’m a trans man, and I really think it should be the Atlanta Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Food Porn Supper Club. I mean, seriously, am I welcome here?” Janet rolled her eyes. “Suppose we just drop any specification of sexual orientation. I presume breeders are welcome too. Oh, I’m loving this crab-cake slider. Three dollars…Incredible!” Jack shrugged. “I guess if the Human Rights Campaign doesn’t mention sexual orientation, you don’t need to either,” he said sarcastically. Robert stepped in. “What about actual restaurants? Any suggestions?” Other diners began rapid-firing names, several of which Robert liked, including Anis, Sotto Sotto and Campagnolo. Someone also mentioned Antico Pizza. “They have great pizza there,” Robert said, “but I can’t see 20 of us trying to get to know one another while eating off cardboard boxes

Sotto Sotto 313 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307 404-523-6678, Good choices: Any of the cured meats, any of the risottos, spaghetti with Sardinian mullet roe, wood-roasted whole fish. Campagnolo 980 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309 404-343-2446, Good choices: fettucine with bacon, egg and chicken livers added; risotto; lemon chicken; lamb marsala; espresso bread pudding. Antico Pizza 1093 Hemphill Ave. Atlanta, GA 30318 404-724-2333, www.anticopizza. Good choices: Margherita with no meat, please! Also: San Gennaro, and the Diavola. Warning: Do not carry this pizza out; it will steam into mush. in a room noisier and more crowded than the dance floor at Jungle.” The harried servers began clearing dishes and Robert urged everyone to order his favorite dessert in the city, a goblet full of Greek yogurt with honey, dates and walnuts. To his delight, the dessert caused the table to fall silent except for the clinking of spoons.


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June 8, 2012




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PHOTOS by Dyana Bagby

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Veterans for Equal Rights remember fallen LGBT soldiers American Veterans for Equal Rights held a wreath-laying ceremondy on Memorial Day at Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. The annual event was especially poignant this year, as it was the first Memorial Day since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed.

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June 8, 2012

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June 8, 2012

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PFLAG Atlanta goes ‘Out with the Stars’ Awards gala honors parents, educators, students, nonprofits

By Ryan Watkins Atlanta’s chapter of Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians & Gays will host its first-ever “Out with the Stars” awards dinner on Saturday, June 23, to honor educators, students, parents and nonprofits that have advocated acceptance and tolerance for gays and lesbians in Atlanta. “This event is our chance to say ‘thank you’ to them for all they do,” said Conal Charles, copresident of PFLAG Atlanta. The gala at Labella at Lambert Place will double as a fundraiser for PFLAG Atlanta, which celebrates its 26th year of service to the community this year. PFLAG Atlanta was founded in 1986 to give parents of LGBT children a network of support. The organization offers support meetings, education programs and regularly features guest speakers. PFLAG Atlanta meets at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta from 7-9 p.m. on the first Monday of each month, as well as the third Sunday of each month from 2:45 – 5 p.m. at First Metropolitan Community Church. Charles said PFLAG’s mission of acceptance differs from other national LGBT organizations but is equally, if not more, important. “HRC and other advocacy organizations do a great job of helping change the law; PFLAG’s job is to help change hearts,” Charles said. “We do this by being visible in our communities as straight parents, teachers, friends, family and co-workers who love and fully support our LGBT sons, daughters and friends.”

Honoring allies

The June 23 dinner will give PFLAG a chance to honor a diverse group. “What I love about PFLAG is that it’s such a broad cross-section – LGBT people, their parents, grandparents, siblings and friends from all over the metro area. It truly is a family-friendly and inclusive celebration,” Charles said. Honorees include Jeff and Patti Ellis, creators of On their website, the couple shares their story of coming to terms with their son’s sexual orientation while dealing with their religious faith. The Ellis website features resources for parents whose children have recently come

MORE INFO ‘Out with the Stars’ June 23, 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. Labella at Lambert Place 800 Lambert Dr. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30324 out. In addition to their personal story, they also feature links to books, videos and even the PFLAG website. PFLAG will honor the couple with the “Outstanding Work as a Parent” award. Em Elliot will be recognized for her work with Georgia Equality and the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition with the “Outstanding Work as an Educator” award. Elliot said she was excited to even be recognized, much less win. “I was definitely very surprised and very honored,” Elliot said. “I was not expecting it at all.” Elliot said she plans to use her award speech as an opportunity to highlight the work of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition and Georgia Equality. “I really look at this award, not as one for an individual, but one for the entire safe schools movement,” Elliot said. She added that she was most looking for-

Clockwise from left: Jessica Maslanka will be honored with the Outstanding Work for a Student award, Jeff and Patti Ellis will be honored with the Outstanding Work as a Parent award, Em Elliot will be honored with the Outstanding Work as an Educator award and Dale and Lynn Merkle will receive a special honor of achievement from PFLAG Atlanta during the organization’s first “Out with the Stars” event. (Courtesy photos)

ward to her parents attending the dinner. “They have vague ideas of what I do,” Elliot said. “They know I’m an activist. This will be a cool opportunity for them to see the fruits of my labor, so-to-speak.” Jessica Maslanka, an organizer of the 2012 Georgia GSA Youth Summit and one of the youth behind JustUsATL, will receive the “Outstanding Work as a Student” award. Maslanka said the she’s looking forward to meeting participants and hearing their stories. “I love meeting new people and getting insight from them,” Maslanka said. “I’m sure we can all take from each other’s experiences.” Maslanka added that she’s been working on creating a Gay/Straight Alliance at her school and helped coordinate her school’s participation in this year’s Day of Silence. The Ben Marion Institute for Social Justice will receive the “Outstanding Work as a Nonprofit” award for its work in “promoting a culture of social justice” in Atlanta. The organization works with local schools,

businesses, nonprofits and other groups teaching conflict resolution while raising awareness about issues like heterosexism and homophobia in the workplace. Dale and Mary Lynn Merkle will be honored with a special PFLAG achievement award. They are long-time supporters of the organization.

Silent auction prizes

In addition to a silent auction that features items ranging from two round-trip Southwest Airline tickets to rock climbing lessons, there will also be cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a fully catered dinner provided by Rustic Gourmet. The awards presentation, speeches and raffle will follow the dinner. Participants are suggested to wear cocktail attire. Tickets to the gala are $45 before June 11 (use promo code EARLYBIRD) but will jump to $55 after. Anyone over age 13 is invited, but minors must be accompanied by an adult, Charles said. Organizers expect the event to draw around 150 guests.

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand deliciously simple Former Flying Biscuit owner marks one year in new venture Delia Champion burst onto the Atlanta food scene in 1993 when she opened the first Flying Biscuit in Candler Park. For the next 13 years, she owned and operated one of Atlanta’s most trendy breakfast joints while expanding to new locations across the city, like Midtown’s Flying Biscuit at 10th and Piedmont. Champion, a lesbian, sold her stake in the Flying Biscuit to a franchise company in 2006, but worked behind-the-scenes with the restaurant’s new ownership and new franchises for three years as a consultant. In 2011, Champion was called back to the restaurant world. “I’ve been making chicken sausage for years,” Champion said. “When I sold the Flying Biscuit, I kept my sausage business. I’m just

going to do something with my chicken sausage. It is my second career, after all.” Opening a restaurant is never an easy venture, but Champion said that her experiences with the Flying Biscuit helped when she decided to open Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand. “When I first opened the Flying Biscuit in Candler Park, I had to borrow money from anyone who would lend me money. Emily Saliers from the Indigo Girls was an investor. I had the pressure to make sure I paid everyone back. I didn’t really know how I was going to do it. This time, I was able to do it on my own,” she said. Champion employees some 15 workers at her chicken sausage stand, a far cry from the 80 that she managed while at the Flying Biscuit. Employees, Champion said, are the reason she’s been successful. “That’s why I get to come to work everyday, my employees are successful,” she said. “That’s it in a nutshell. People in the restaurant indus-

Delia Champion focuses on simple foods made from scratch, like this Meatball Grinder, all centered around her homemade chicken sausage. (Courtesy photos)

try who don’t realize that aren’t too successful.” For the menu, Champion said that she wanted to keep things simple and fresh. The sausage, whether a patty or link, is the focus of all the menu items, Champion said. “The menu has about 15 things on it. We’re just trying to do something that’s fun and high quality. Everything is made in house from scratch.” On the weekends, Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand is open 24 hours. “I’m right down the road from McDonald’s on Moreland Ave. When I opened it, I just thought, ‘If I could get one person from McDonald’s every

MORE INFO Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand 489 Moreland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316

day to eat with me instead,’” she said. Champion and her partner, Wendy, have been together some 17 years, after first meeting while Champion owned the Flying Biscuit. Her partner is a graphic artist and helped concept the restaurant’s look and feel, Champion said. “She did all the graphics here,” Champion noted. — Ryan Watkins

Carl Black: Sharing life via social networks If you don’t know Carl Black IRL (in real life), then you may follow him on many of the social networks available — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Once the King of Yelp (yes, really), Black, who is gay, always has a cheerful tweet or photo to share with his virtual network as well as an eternal smile he likes to share with close friends and people he meets at various social and volunteering functions. And if you want to see the places, food and sunsets he loves to share, check him out at How many social media outlets are you a part of and why do you enjoy this form of networking, sharing and communicating so much? What was your first social media outlet and how has this medium changed for you over the years? In terms of number of outlets: Dozens, pos-


SPOTLIGHT sibly hundreds, as some of the communities are fairly specialized now. Social media has always seemed more efficient to me than many of the more traditional forms of communication. I like having access to the most current information and the ability to easily connect with others. I believe my first modern “social networking” (as it was called then, as if networking had been antisocial prior to this era) experience was with the original Friendster (RIP) in perhaps 2004. I held out there a long time, thinking it was the adult version of MySpace, where I didn’t

really venture until a neighbor (who happened to be a grandmother) convinced me that I really wasn’t too old for it. That was in late 2006. By the middle of the next year, I actually had business cards with my MySpace URL. That seems hilarious now. In retrospect, though, I was involved with electronic Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) back in the ‘80s. I even had my own board (The Blackboard) when I was in middle school in Mississippi, which meant people from around the country could be dialing into my old Apple desktop computer. Do you have a day job? What do you do as a full-time gig? I’m a petsitter/dog walker and do freelance writing and social media/computer consulting. I also do background (extra) work in various film and TV productions. You may have even seen me in the trailer for “The Blind Side” as a Child & Family Pro-

Carl Black (Courtesy photo)

tective Services slacker (er, worker) or as an attorney in “Drop Dead Diva.” What’s the best social network app? I rarely quantify anything as “best.” It’s a hard call, and it really depends upon one’s individual interests and needs. I’m still pretty hooked on the Instagram community. Synchronicity really abounds there, and people are always likely to post cool, happy stuff. — Dyana Bagby

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BEST BETS 06.08 - 06.21 Friday, June 8

The ladies of Fourth Tuesday, Atlanta’s lesbian social networking group, host happy hour on the second Friday of every month. 6 - 8 p.m. at Mixx Atlanta, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30324,,

Photo by Sher Pruitt

Hotlanta’s Cadets Softball team presents their third annual Bats-N-Rouge fundraiser for an afternoon of drag softball and breast cancer awareness. There’s an after party at Burkhart’s with jell-o shots and more. 12 - 5 p.m. at the fields in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA 30309,

Saturday, June 9 One of the summer’s hottest non-profit events, the CHRIS Kids Premiere Party is a fundraiser for the CHRIS Kids Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Fund, which provides transitional housing to homeless LGBT youth. 6 - 10 p.m. at Mason Murer Fine Art, 199 Armour Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30324,

Part of Atlanta’s Stonewall Month celebration, the Atlanta-based Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation hosts a screening of “Legalize Gay.” A Q&A with Cohen and other guests will follow. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. at Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta, GA 30308,

GA Boy Productions and Keith Young present Peach Party Atlanta, two days of non-stop beats at four of Atlanta’s biggest dance venues. Friday night, DJ Sin Morera takes over the Heretic. Saturday afternoon, DJ Corey D. and Micky Friedmann spin at Opera. Saturday night, DJ Paulo spins Jungle and in the wee hours of Sunday morning, DJ Abel takes over Xion.

Got Leche presents “El Papi del Ano 2012,” Atlanta’s only competition made especially for the city’s Latin hotties, with a whopping $2,000 cash prize. 10 p.m. at Club Rush, 2715 Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA 30324

Friday, June 8 Saturday, June 9

Sunset Garden is a two-day celebration and fundraiser featuring DJ Christopher Kind and benefitting M.I.S.T.E.R. on Friday, then DJ Bryan Craft on Saturday, benefitting Lost-N-Found Youth. 7 p.m. both nights at Burkhart’s, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,, “... and Nature Smiled” is OurSong’s spring concert and the beginning of the gay and lesbian mixed chorus’ 10th anniversary season. June 8: 8 p.m. at St. Barts Episcopal Church, 1790 Lavista Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, June 9: 8:15 p.m. at Spivey Hall, on the campus of Clayton State University, 2000 Clayton State Boulevard, Morrow, GA 30260,

Saturday, June 9

The Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence present the Novice Project of Novice Sister Konnie Chiwaa “Absolutely Fabulous Funky Town Car Wash.” The valetstyle carwash means you can drop your car off and grab a drink while you (and a sober friend?) wait. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,, Be prepared for pandemonium on 10th Street in Midtown as the Red Bull Soapbox Race descends on Piedmont Park. Pits open at 10 a.m., first race at noon.

Monday, June 11

Friday, June 15 Sunday, June 17

SAGE Atlanta, an advocacy and services organization for LGBT elders, hosts its first “Coffee, Bagels and...” event featuring a reading and signing by gay author and AJC food critic Elliott Mackle. 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, Lesbian social networking group Fourth Tuesday hosts a singles brunch for ladies ready to mingle. 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Radial, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,,

DJ Paulo

DJ Micky Friedmann

DJ Abel

Publicity photo

Saturday, June 9

There are two ways to add your events to our online and print calendars. Submit your info to or e-mail details to

via Facebook Photo

Photo by Dyana Bagby

There are sure to be lesbian fans in the stands as the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream takes on the San Antonio Silver Stars. 7:30 p.m. at Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303,


via Facebook Photo


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< MORE LGBT EVENTS: Visit our website for our extensive daily calendar, including nightlife schedules, sports, worship services and community organization meetings.

The lesbian-inclusive “alterna-grass” band Roxie Watson plays two shows at Decatur’s famous acoustic hot spot. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030,

Train to become a volunteer for Lost-N-Found, the LGBT homeless youth advocacy and transtitional housing organization. 2 - 5 p.m. at Postitive Impact, 60 11th St., Atlanta, GA 30309, “Unmasked: The Phantom of the Flopera” is a send up of the Broadway classic with original music. Performance benefits the First MCC outreach programs that include a food bank, weekly hot meals for the homeless and a clothing closet. The event also includes a silent auction. $20 or two for $30, 8 p.m. at First MCC, 1379 Tullie Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329,

San Francisco’s DJ Phil B. mans the turntables at Heretic. 10 p.m. at Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, Brent Star and DJ Christopher Kind host Spark, a reunion of sorts, recalling the days in the mid 2000s when the pair hosted events at the Masquerade. Doors at 10 p.m., show at 11 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, Alvion Arnell Davenport joins the Burkhart’s Extravaganza drag show. 11 p.m. at Burkhart’s, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Saturday, June 9 Sunday, June 10

The Peachtree Hills Festival, a part of the gay owned and operated Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces

Publicity photo

series of festivals, offers arts and crafts and a 5k. Saturday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. in Peachtree Hills, 285 Peachtree Hills Road, Atlanta, GA 30305,

Sunday, June 10

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GA Voice


Photo by Brent Corcran/RNZ Photography

Friends of Atlanta Cotillion deb Jose Guillien, AKA Maria Francesca Della Catessen Gonzaga or simply “Cupcake,” host a fundraising kickoff party with an open bar at the home Harry Harkins. $20 pre-pay suggested donation, $25 at the door. 3 - 6 p.m. Interesting in joining Atlanta’s gay outdoorsmen? Check out the Wilderness Network of Georgia’s quarterly membership meeting and potluck. Bring a dish for sharing. 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Mason Mill Park, 1340 McConnell Drive, Decatur, GA 30033, Traxx Girls hosts a Gemini Zodiac Bash at their usual Showtime Sunday spot with Cadillac Red and Ms. Sophia on the mic. Show starts at 12 a.m. at Scores, 2425 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur, GA 30035,

Sunday, June 10 Monday, June 11

See one-minute plays by more than 30 established and emerging Atlanta playwrights, including Johnny Drago and GA Voice’s own Topher Payne at “The First Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival.” 8 p.m. both nights at Actor’s Express, 887 West Marietta St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, www.oneminuteplayfestival. com,,

Monday, June 11

Writing With Intent is open to writers of fiction and creative non-fiction; group offers motivational exercises, constructive criticism and more to keep you on track. 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, Tracy Wilson hosts a planning meeting for this year’s Black Gay Pride festivities, where community members are also invited to submit abstracts to facilitate workshops on Sept. 1 - 2 during the event. 7 - 9 p.m. at First MCC, 1379 Tullie Road, Atlanta, GA 30329,

Tuesday, June 12

The Atlanta Lesbian & Gay Chamber of Commerce hosts a Business Builder Lunch. 11:50 a.m. at Brio Tusrk, a can Grille. 2964 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30306, 00s Doors Road, Co-sponsored by Atlanta Pride, Charis Books and More hosts part two of the discussion of “I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters.” 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, 492 GA 30307, .com

Wednesday, June 13

Dine-in or take-out at Osteria 832 in VirginaHighland between 5 and 10 p.m. and a portion of your ned bill will be donated to Atlanta Pride. 832 N. Highland ces Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306,


Friday, June 15

Friday, June 15 Saturday, June 16

Lesbian rocker Michelle Malone plays two shows at Eddie’s Attic, first playing solo, then joining her band later in the evening. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough Road, Decatur, GA 30030,

It’s Pool Party Bingo for this month’s PALS Bingo, hosted by Bubba D. Licious and Brent Star. Doors at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:30 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, “The Myth and Meaning of Adrienne Rich: An Evening of Poetry and Prose” celebrates the feminist and lesbian icon’s life and work featuring Jessica Handler, Azi Golshan and more. 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1198 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, Singer/songwriters Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw play a show with Andy Grammar. 8 p.m. at Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Drive., Atlanta, GA 30327, The Men of Cuffs and Collars‚ former Chippendales Dancers, return to LeBuzz Marietta for another show of skin and sin. $5. 10 p.m. at LeBuzz, 585, Marietta, GA 30067, Drag legend Charlie Brown hosts a benefit show to raise funds for Gigi Monroe’s bid to be crowned All-America Goddess. Performances by Nicole Paige Books, Heather Daniels, Ashley Kruiz, Savnnah Leigh, Brent Star and more. 11 p.m. at Blake’s on the Park, 227 10th St., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Thursday, June 14

Atlantic Station’s Movies in Central Park offers a free, outdoor screening of “The Help.” Film starts at sundown in Atlantic Station, 1380 Atlantic Drive, Atlanta, GA 30363,,

Friday, June 15

Co-sponsored by Atlanta Pride, the Third Friday Film Series presents “Stonewall Uprising,” the 2010 documentary about the riots that sparked the modern gay rights movement. $1-$10 sliding scale donations. Doors at 7 p.m., movie at 7:30 p.m. at First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta, 470 Candler Park Dr., NE, Atlanta, GA 30307,

‘Red, White & YOU’ is the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus summer concert and features patriotic songs from the “American songbook” and guest appearances by Courtenay Collins and Freddie Ashley. 8 p.m. both days, 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday at the Glenn Memorial Auditorium on the campus of Emory University, 1652 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta, GA 30307,

“What’s in the Cards” is a fundraiser for SAGE Atlanta, an organization dedicated to services and advocacy for LGBT elders. $10 gets cards and two drink tickets for Poker, Texas Hold’em, Canasta, Hand and Foot, and Bridge. 7 - 10:30 p.m. at the Philip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, The Atlanta Dream takes on the Los Angeles Sparks. 7:30 p.m. at Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303,

Saturday, June 16

Part of Atlanta Stonewall Week, “Examining What We Have & Where It Can Take Us” is a poetry workshop led by Dustin Brookshire. Participants should bring one finished or a poem-in-program for a semi-traditional workshop experience, then poets will participate in a generative exercise. Register with Brookshire: 2 - 4 p.m. at the Philip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, The Atlanta Rollergirls play two roller derby bouts starting at 5 p.m. at Yaarab Shrine Center, 400 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308,


Photo by Dyana Bagby

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Wednesday, June 20 The Big Gay Game Show brings together Atlanta celebs and classic TV game shows for a night of fun and fundraising for Lost-n-Found Youth, a service organization committed to Atlanta’s homeless LGBT youth. 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,

June 8, 2012


Thursday, June 21 Sunday, June 24


Singer/songwriter Dar Williams celebrates the release of her ninth studio album, “In The Time Of Gods,” with two shows at Eddie’s Attic. 7 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030, The unstoppable Kathy Griffin brings her celebrity trash talk to Atlanta for two shows. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308, Find out why the East Point Possums Show was voted the “Best Charity Event” by GA Voice readers with the 15th annual production, this year a fundraiser for the Phillip Rush Center, which houses Georgia Equality, Atlanta Pride and the Health Initiative, and also offers meeting space to a number of LGBT groups. 7 - 11 p.m. at the Commons of Downtown East Point, 2727 East Point St., East Point GA 30344, Special guest Miss Atlanta Devine Continental Elite Celeste Holmes joins the girls at Burkhart’s Extravaganza drag show. 11 p.m. at Burkhart’s, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, Bedlam presents H2(h)o(2), an anniversary celebration with guest hosts Steve Wang, Will Ramseur, Edie Cheezburger, Marcus Hazzard, Spencer Luster and more. 9 p.m. at Wetbar, W Atlanta Downtown, 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard., Atlanta, GA 30308,

Augusta Pride says “It’s Time” with its 2012 Pride Festival featuring headliners Tom Goss, Dee Hemingway, She N She and Josh Zuckerman. Festival location: Augusta Common, 836 Reynolds St., Augusta, GA 30901,

Sunday, June 17

PFLAG Atlanta hosts its monthly support group. 2:45 p.m. at the First Metropolitan Community Church, 1379 Tullie Road, Atlanta, GA 30329,

Monday, June 18

“T&F Transitionz: a Project of the Feminist Outlawz” is an open forum to discuss gender and facilitating dialogue and activism around social issues led by social justice minded feminists Buttonz and SJ. 7 - 9:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307,

Tuesday, June 19

Co-sponsored by Atlanta Pride, Charis Books and More hosts part three of the discussion of “I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters.” 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307,


Georgia Equality’s Evening for Equality celebrates its 8th annual event with awardees U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), Larry Lehman of AID Gwinnett, Jerry Gonzalez of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, and founders of the annual Bayard Rustin/Audre Lorde Breakfast Craig Washington and Darlene Hudson. Host/ Sponsor cocktail reception at 6 p.m., dinner and general program at 7 p.m. at the Twelve Hotel Atlantic Station, 361 17th Street, Atlanta, GA 30363, Join Rabbi Josh Lesser and Congregation Bet Haverim for the 2012 Pride Seder blessing, a part of Atlanta Stonewall Week. 7 p.m. at Central Congregational Church, 2676 Clairmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30329, “Music of the Night: The Best of London’s West End Musical Theater” bring the best in stage song from across the pond. Hint: Andrew Lloyd Webber much? 8 p.m. at Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Drive., Atlanta, GA 30327,

Saturday, June 23

The hot men of the Hotlanta Softball League strut their stuff at the Mr. Hotlanta Softball Hunk Pageant, a benefit for the city’s largest gay softball league. 6 - 10 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30324, “Out with the Stars” is the first annual PFLAG Atlanta fundraiser and awards dinner honoring several local parents, teachers, students and straight allies working toward a better LGBT Atlanta. 7:30 10:30 p.m. at Labella at Lambert Place, 800 Lamber Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA, 30324, Lesbian singer/songwriter Jen Foster plays Eddie’s Attic. 8 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030,

Part of Atlanta Stonewall Month, Atlanta Pride and Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta host an LGBT Refugee/Asylee Awareness event with LGBT refugee testimonies, documentary screening, food/drink and multicultural performances. 7 - 9 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,,

Part of Atlanta Stonewall Month, the Health Initiative and Atlanta pride host an LGBT Health Insurance information seminar. 7 p.m .at the Phillip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,

The Atlanta Dream takes on the New York Liberty. 7:00 p.m. at Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303,

Lesbian singer/songwriters SONiA (of Disappear Fear) and Rachel Sage play a show at Eddie’s Attic. 8 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030,

Wednesday, June 20

Thursday, June 21

Dine-in or take-out at Doc Chey’s in Grant Park between 5 and 10 p.m. and a portion of your bill will be donated to Atlanta Pride. 563 Memorial Drive, Atlanta, GA 30312,

The Atlanta Executive Network hosts its monthly Third Thursday LGBT business networking event. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Hudson Grille, 942 Peachtree St. Atlanta, GA 30309,

via Facebook Photo

GA Voice

Photo by Laura Douglas-Brown


Friday, June 22

Broadway legend and actress Kristin Chenoweth defies gravity with an Atlanta show. 8 p.m. at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339,

Wednesday, June 27

The Atlanta Braves welcome LGBT fans with the second annual Out in the Stands event, a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Celebrity rugby player and anti-bullying advocate Ben Cohen hosts VIP meet-and-greet. 7 p.m. at Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315. Tickets: 404614-1325 or e-mail

Tuesday, July 3

Sarah McLachlan plays a rare Atlanta show, this time in concert with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as part of the Chastain Series. 7:30 p.m. at Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Drive., Atlanta, GA 30327,

Saturday, July 21

DJ Don Bishop sets the mood for DJ/Producer Roland Belmares to take the stage at Joining Hearts 25 Pool Party. The super-popular (and usually sold out) annual event raises funds for AID Atlanta and Jerusalem House. Open bar. 4 - 11 p.m. at the Greystone and Aquatic Center in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA 30309, The law firm of Kitchens New Cleghorn, LLC hosts a Marriage Equality Forum to answer basic questions about gay marriage laws, adoptions and gay separation/divorce. Free, but RSVP on Facebook. 6:30 p.m. at the Piedmont Ballroom of the Georgian Terrace Hotel, 659 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308, Every third Thursday, Charis Books and More and Cliterati team up for an Open No-Mic, this month featuring all-stars Gabe, Hillary and Malika of the Art Amok Slam Team. This month’s event also serves as a warm-up to the group’s Cafe Medusa performance at 7 Stages. 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,

June 8, 2012

Picturing New York Picturing the South

Photographers you already know and some you’ll definitely want to meet. Just in time for your summer vacation. Opening June 9! HIGH MUSEUM OF ART ATLANTA

Picturing New York: Photographs from The Museum of Modern Art and Picturing the South: New Commissions from the High Museum of Art are part of the MoMA Series, a collaboration between The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

TICKETS: HIGH.ORG OR 404-733-5000

Presenting Sponsor


Lead Sponsors

The Gary W. and Ruth M. Rollins Foundation

Additional support is provided by The Rich Foundation, the Modern Masters Circle of the High Museum of Art, and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Picturing the South is supported by the Massey Charitable Trust and The Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund.

35 Unknown Photographer, Brooklyn Bridge, ca. 1914, gelatin silver print, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The New York Times Collection. Shane Lavalette (American, born 1987), Will with Banjo, 2011, inkjet print, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn and the Friends of Photography, 18.2010.12. © 2012 Shane Lavalette.


GA Voice



SHE SAID Vaccine trials A little pain is worth the gain, for all of us

I wince in pain as I lift my left arm, forgetting about the vaccine I just received a few days ago. Since the pain of such a shot doesn’t emerge for a day or two, the fact that you got stuck by a needle easily slips your mind. I was recently contacted by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta about helping out at The Voice, the radio station located at Egleston that broadcasts to all the hospitals within the CHOA system. You may remember its launch last year, since Atlanta native Ryan Seacrest began the station as part of his Ryan Seacrest Foundation. My job will be as back-up anytime they need an extra hand at the mic or during big events. Since the station is located within the hospital, I had to get what’s called the “Tdap” vaccine, which stands for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (or whooping cough). To prepare for my health screening, I even had to dig through my booster shot records from 1975 to show I was already protected against other childhood diseases. But all this precaution wasn’t simply because I will be within a children’s hospital filled with sick kids. It also has to do with certain childhood diseases, like whooping cough and TB, which are on the rise due to parents’ fear of vaccinating their own children. Within the LGBT community, we talk a lot about the search for an HIV vaccine, and many gay and transgender people in Atlanta even volunteer to join vaccine trials — though success is far from certain. With this emphasis on the positive impact of vaccines, we might forget that some parents, straight and gay, are opting out of vaccinating their children against common contagious diseases. This, in turn, impacts not only their kids, but our entire country. Take whooping cough for example. It has been 60 years since our country has seen an epidemic of this highly contagious disease, yet communities around the U.S. are having to deal with it today. There have been nearly 500 cases so far this year, recently taking the life of a child in Dallas. Experts believe the rise in cases stem from par-

Melissa Carter is also a writer for Huffington Post. She broke ground as the first out lesbian radio personality on a major station in Atlanta and was one of the few out morning show personalities in the country. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCarter

ents’ decision to opt out of all vaccines. Because of this, both children and adults are having to get the shot, like me. Exactly why are parents opting out? I know Jenny McCarthy’s name gets mentioned often as part of the controversy, but it began across the pond. In 1998, a paper by Dr. Andrew Wakefield presented evidence that the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella was linked to autism. However, replications of his experiment did not support a link between the two. Ends up the source of the research’s funding caused a conflict of interest and would have prevented the paper from ever being published. Co-authors of the study retracted the findings within a decade. Mr. Wakefield can no longer practice medicine in the United Kingdom. I think history might be the most important subject we teach, since when used properly it serves as a guidepost of how to move forward. Why repeat a mistake, when we have records of how something was handled in the past? In the 18th century, pioneering work in the field of microbiology led to vaccinations against smallpox. Another famous breakthrough was the polio vaccine, first tested in 1952. At the time each of these vaccines came into play, the world was desperate to prevent these horrific illnesses. Today, we don’t see the devastating effects of widespread childhood diseases, and that privilege affords us the ability to analyze these immunizations. But privilege should not equate to selfish behavior. Not getting your children vaccinated based on an argument that has been deemed non-credible is subjecting kids and adults to diseases that in our time have only appeared in history books. I understand parents want what is best for their kids, but we must also consider what is best for the human race as a whole. Research these diseases and see if their re-emergence is really worth the risk to us all.

June 8, 2012

GA Voice



GA Voice

June 8, 2012




Other people’s junk Shopping second-hand, finding things never meant for me

When I started buying my own clothes in my teens, grunge was at its peak. A wifebeater, flannel shirt, and a pair of Dickies were considered appropriate apparel for any occasion, which was super handy because you could buy that whole outfit for less than 10 bucks. In retrospect I see that the fashion trend was started by poor people who had to shop at thrift stores because they were spending all their money on drugs. Then the look was adopted by prep school kids like myself, who went on shopping sprees at thrift stores and still had mad cash left over to spend on drugs. We’d all end up at the same concerts, and the only way you could tell the difference between the real thing and the posers was by sniffing us. The prep school guys all smelled like CK One. So I was trained to shop thrift, and shop it well. As fashions changed, my shopping habits didn’t, and I grew to take pride in being an excellent excavator of treasures. My husband has a corporate-level position at a clothing retailer, so this offends him on a few different levels. First, there’s the fact that he can get me pretty much any item of apparel at a great price. But where, I ask you, is the victory in that? The second thing is that Preppy just can’t comprehend that I have no issue with wearing someone’s old shoes. It’s not like I buy them indiscriminately. There’s an art to incorporating other people’s junk into your existence. One must be particular. At the Last-Chance Thrift Store on North Decatur, everything is half-price on Mondays. I hesitate to share that information, because it’s already a nightmare in there — hundreds of people pushing, shoving, snatching, behaving like extras angling for camera time in a disaster movie. It’s kind of awesome, and kind of a nightmare. That’s where I was last Monday, thick in the gumbo of bargain hunters and yielding no results, when the surprise penis arrived. I only see two penises with any regularity — one is literally attached to my body, the other is meta-

Topher Payne is an Atlanta-based playwright, and the author of the book “Necessary Luxuries: Notes on a Semi-Fabulous Life.” Find out more at

phorically attached via a wedding ring — so the sudden appearance of a new one is startling. It came via a text message, from a guy I’d known through work years ago. I hadn’t thought of him in ages. He, however, had obviously been thinking about me. The photo had been offered without comment, so I didn’t have a social cue to guide me. I would have been fine with something as simple as, “Look out, here comes a penis,” which at least would have allowed me to brace myself. It’s a curious experience, standing in a sea of gently used half-price trousers, staring at an unexpected wang. My brain told me to stop looking at it, but just try not to gawk at a picture of someone’s junk when it’s right there in front of you. Even more alarming was the realization that I would need to formulate a response. I considered reviewing it in some fashion: there were a couple of points of interest I could discuss. An expression of gratitude wasn’t really appropriate, but I wasn’t exactly angry about it. In the end, I went with, “Well, look at that.” And then I stared at my phone, unmoving, for about three minutes. It’d been so long since I’d had to rebuff someone’s advances, I was getting a charge out of deciding exactly how I’d do it. Lightly bemused, but firm. That’s what I’d decided. Behave as though this sort of thing happens all the time, because I’m so dangerously desirable. “OH MY GOD IM SO SORRY THAT WAS FOR ANOTHER TOPHER” was his eventual response. As much sense as that explanation made, I had not considered the possibility. I felt a little let down. For a moment, I’d been the sort of person who gets forbidden photos at four in the afternoon. But that was some other Topher. I decided to let the text exchange end there, deleted the photo, and gave up on that particular day’s hunt. Not everybody’s junk is meant for you.

June 8, 2012

GA Voice


The Georgia Voice - 6/8/12 Vol.3, Issue 7  

In our latest issue, we preview Atlanta's Stonewall Week events, update LGBT youth organization YouthPride and feature the latest "That's Wh...