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08.17.12 NEWS

OUTSPOKENIN THEIR OWN WORDS “I guess [coming out publicly] seems like a weight off my shoulders. I’ve been playing a lot better than I’ve ever played before. I think I’m just enjoying myself and I’m happy.”

Chick-fil-A fatigue: Lessons from the latest ‘chikin’ controversy. Page 4 Police seek victim in alleged anti-gay Atlantic Station beating. Page 8

— Megan Rapinoe, a midfielder for the US women’s soccer team, who scored three goals on the way to the team’s gold medal. Rapinoe came out in the press before the start of the London Olympics. (Associated Press, Aug. 8)

Gay races in July 31 primary spark complaint, investigation. Page 10 LGBT groups take sides on Paul Ryan as GOP vice presidential pick. Page 13

“It’s an absurdly low number. Sports is still the final closet in society.”


— Jim Buzinski, founder of, on the low number of openly gay elite athletes. (Associated Press, Aug. 9)

Guest column: Let’s reclaim the word ‘homosexual.’ Page 14

Theater: ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’ opens at Actor’s Express. Page 23 Food Porn: Protests and back to husband hunting. Page 25 Photos: SkateBoyz ATL, Atlanta Eagle, DJ Vicki Powell, Youth Ballroom Awards. Page 27

COMMUNITY Atlanta Executive Network celebrates 20 gay years. Page 29 Event Spotlight: Athens Pride ready for weekend fest. Page 30 Business Spotlight: Fifth Ivory blends comfort food, piano bar. Page 30

CALENDAR Pages 32-34

COLUMNISTS That’s What She Said: Melissa Carter’s advice to the unemployed. Page 37 Domestically Disturbed: Topher Payne gets out of town. Page 39

“I am an archer, middle-aged and a lesbian. I am also cranky before my first cup of coffee. None of these aspects define who I am, they are simply part of me.”




10 43 58

— Karen Hultzer, an archer from South Africa who participated in the London Games, in an interview with OutSports. (Associated Press, Aug. 9)

Out athletes who competed in the 2012 London Olympics, out of almost 10,500 total competitors Out Olympians who won medals; gold medalists include Megan Rapinoe on the US women’s soccer team and Seimone Augustus from US women’s basketball. Percent of out athletes who won medals, meaning if there were a Team Gay, it outperformed Team USA, of which 39 percent of athletes medaled. Percent of all known gay or intersex Olympians who have won medals through the years

“When gay athletes ask my advice, I always tell them ‘safety first.’ For some people sport is their lifeline, the only thing they can do. … If I had come out as a teenager, as people sometimes tell me I should have done, I would now be a moderately fat psychologist in Manchester.” — British athlete John Amaechi, the first NBA player to come out, who called the lack of out Olympians “embarrassing.” (Guardian UK, Aug. 9)

Photo via Facebook

Music: ‘Lady Marmalade’ Nona Hendryx rocks with new solo album. Page 21

Photo via Facebook

Film: Kathy Griffin goes bicoastal with new DVD. Page 19

Photo by Ampatent/CC 3.0

Atlanta takeover: Black Gay Pride brings parties, empowerment, education to Labor Day Weekend celebration. Page 17

Photo via Facebook


“Ah, nuts, missed the finals by the skin of a bee’s penis. But I could not have done more.” — Openly gay Australian diver Matthew Mitcham, who won a stunning gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, commenting via Twitter on being eliminated in the semifinal for the 10-meter platform final in London. (, Aug. 11)


GA Voice

August 17, 2012


Chick-fil-A fatigue Why we’re sick of the ‘chikin’ controversy (and why it matters anyway) News Analysis By Laura Douglas-Brown By the time this newspaper hits stands, it will be more than two weeks since thousands lined up outside Chick-fil-A restaurants, answering the call of Mike Huckabee, the failed GOP presidential candidate turned conservative commentator, to celebrate “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” Aug. 1 to thank the chain for being “willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse.” It will be about two weeks since LGBT people held their own counter-protests, ranging from kiss-ins at Chick-fil-A restaurants (Aug. 3) to a day of support for Starbucks and other gayfriendly corporations (Aug. 7), and even a day dedicating to backing locally owned “gay-loving” businesses instead (Aug. 8). In that time, gay couples haven’t broken up and turned heterosexual, Christian marriages haven’t suddenly grown stronger, and public opinion hasn’t been shifted from its seemingly inexorable — though slow — progress toward justice for LGBT people. On the other hand, the heads of the Atlantabased chicken chain haven’t renounced their positions, vowed to stop giving donations from their foundation to virulently anti-gay causes, or been driven out of business for being bigots. So what was the point of it all? Was it just to make LGBT people — including many of us in Atlanta, who already were well aware of Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay stands — feel like we are living in some kind of gay version of the film “Ground Hog’s Day,” where we are doomed to keep repeating the same controversies over and over again? Or are there lessons we can take from this latest Chick-fil-A controversy to help our local and national movements go forward?

Time to draw the line at the ‘chickin’ stand

The latest round of controversy over Chick-fil-A launched in earnest in mid-July, when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told a Christian media outlet that his company is “guilty as charged” on opposing marriage rights for same-sex couples. “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’”

Cathy said, as quoted by the Baptist Press on July 16. Cathy’s comments caught the eye of mainstream media, where they stood in stark contrast to a string of positive news on gay marriage in recent months. Meanwhile, some veteran LGBT activists likely rolled their eyes instead. Call it “Chick-fil-A fatigue” — for many who have criticized the company’s positions for years, Cathy’s comments drew the equivalent of a collective “duh.” “Certainly my first reaction was, this topic again?” admitted Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT political group. It’s not as if Chick-fil-A’s positions are new, Graham noted, pointing to media reports in 2011 about Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving to anti-gay groups — reports that have actually come from liberal groups for several years. After an earlier round of criticism, Dan Cathy put out a press release in January 2011 to clarify that the company has “no agenda against anyone,” while gay Atlanta activists staged a tiny protest (complete with cow suit) at a Chick-Fil-A conference at the Georgia World Congress Center in May of last year. In fact, this latest firestorm of outrage over Chick-fil-A was slower to ignite in Georgia than in other parts of the country, where people may be less familiar with the company, Graham observed. “Where Chick-fil-A is a newer company, they have just seen it as a cute little company that has those funny cows,” he said. “Chick-fil-A really does such an incredible job of marketing in a very friendly, funny way that people just assume they are going to be a company that is open and accessible to all sorts of people.” When those who were just starting to pay attention to Chick-fil-A started looking at the folksy company more closely, a simple Google search would turn up all of those older controversies. “LGBT blogs and media played a large role in bringing forth facts about Chick-fil-A’s giving history,” said Rich Ferraro, spokesperson for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which helped compile information about protests around the nation, including the Aug. 3 “Same Sex Kiss Day” at Chick-fil-A. “That information was amplified after Cathy’s recent comments, which sparked media attention because they were out of touch with the growing majority of Americans, including our nation’s leader, who support marriage equality,” Ferraro said. Far from corporate leaders opposing gay marriage, Chick-fil-A’s more egregious sins (to use a language they would find familiar) come in the guise of the WinShape Foundation, the company’s corporate giving arm. As Equality Matters documented, in just 2010,

Chick-fil-A’s foundation gave more than $1.9 million to organizations that oppose LGBT equality — including $1,000 each to Exodus International, which tries to help people overcome homosexuality, and the rabidly anti-gay Family Research Council; and more than $247,000 to the National Christian Foundation, which in turn gives grants to groups like the Family Research Council. Previous beneficiaries include the Alliance Defense Fund, basically the opposite of Lambda Legal. “So much of WinShape Foundation’s funding supports individuals and organizations who demonize queer folks,” Graham said. “It really is about much more than marriage. It’s about Chick-fil-A funding organizations that at best want to discriminate against us, and at worst want to eradicate us.” It was the funding, coupled with Dan Cathy’s gloating defense of his company’s policies, that tipped the scale against Chick-fil-A this time. So the lesson here is that — at long last — it doesn’t matter how tasty the chicken is. If there is even a chance that a penny from your wallet might make its way to groups that so vehemently oppose your very existence, no self-respecting LGBT person or true ally can take the risk.

Finally, Facebook ‘friends’ matter

Along with wider mainstream media exposure to those who actually were learning about Chick-filA’s policies and donations for the first time, another key difference — and lesson — in this latest round of chicken controversy was the role of social media, especially Facebook. Huckabee used the internet to publicize his Aug. 1 Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, and many participants touted their support on Facebook, including a particularly galling graphic that said the day was to support “free speech.” Atlanta’s Kirsten Ott Palladino, editor of onPlease see CHICK-FIL-A, continued on Page 6

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GA Voice

August 17, 2012


Chick-fil-A controversy offers insights for LGBT equality fight CHICK-FIL-A, continued from Page 4 line magazine Equally Wed, also used Facebook for publicity when she declared Aug. 7 the first Starbucks Appreciation Day, and then expanded it to National Marriage Equality Day with a call to patronize all companies that back LGBT nuptials. The Facebook page for the event drew over 38,000 to click that they were “going.” Unable to get behind an effort to support any large corporation, another Atlanta resident, Kiki Carr, also used Facebook to organize an alternative “National Support Gay-Loving Local Independent Businesses Day” on Aug. 8, with 750 joining in just four days. “Facebook was used by young people around the country to mobilize in a way that could be replicated in states where LGBT issues are being debated or voted on,” noted GLAAD’s Ferraro. Yet while the role of virtual organizing for real-world protests continues to grow, using Facebook as a means to publicize an event or cause is hardly new. What is different is that this time, the Facebook conversations themselves mattered. Too often, Facebook can be an echo chamber — a place where our views are seldom challenged, because our self-selected “friends” are people with whom we already generally agree. But Chick-fil-A is so ubiquitous (the company’s Facebook page has more than 6 million “likes”) that many LGBT people found they had friends who supported the company, and many found themselves reading post after post backing the chicken chain. In response, the past two weeks saw a deluge of status updates from LGBT people explaining how they are hurt by Chick-fil-A’s policies, and why they were going to “unfriend” anyone who supported the company. At first glance, all of the Facebook unfriending may have seemed more pathetic than positive: While previous generations sat in at lunch counters for racial equality, marched for women’s rights and stood up to anti-gay police at the Stonewall Inn, now our activism amounts to clicking a box on Facebook? Still, the most effective tool of social change is almost always one-on-one connections, changing hearts and minds by showing the personal impact of discrimination and inequality. And in this case, that’s exactly what Facebook delivered. Debates over Chick-fil-A played out on the same page where participants on both sides would also see photos and comments about each others’ children, pets and daily life. “It just broke my heart to see person after person posting about how hurt they were by seeing friends and family support Chick-fil-A in such a strong way,” said Graham of Georgia Equality. “While I hate that it was so painful for those folks, I hope people will take this as an opportunity to continue to talk to friends and family about the reality of our lives.”

Atlanta activists joined in National Same-Sex Kiss Day on Aug. 3 by smooching and rallying at Chick-fil-A restaurants at Piedmont Avenue, Colony Square, CNN Center and in the suburb of Decatur (not pictured). See more photos at (Photos by Dyana Bagby and Ryan Watkins)

We can’t let this be a fight over ‘free speech’ In her essay “The Winner Names the Age” Southern writer Lillian Smith — a white woman who staunchly opposed segregation and, yes, a lesbian — discussed how the side that wins a social debate defines the era. “An age is named for its triumphs, for the big ideas that add stature to the human being. …We cannot name our age, the winner will do that. What we can do is pick the winner,” Smith wrote in 1957, as quoted by scholar Rose Gladney in a 1979 issue of “Southern Changes.” But if we want our side to be the winner in either the Chick-fil-A debate or the larger debate over LGBT equality, this latest controversy also highlighted how careful we have to be with our tactics.

The Religious Right is nothing if not media savvy. After years of couching their stands in terms of “family values,” the conservatives realized that while that language still works to rally the base, mainstream moderates weren’t falling for it anymore. Since then, we’ve seen a concerted effort to couch their debates in terms of one of the most iconic (and most misunderstood) tenets of American government — the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech, religion, the press, and assembly. Often, this strategy can be countered with a simple lesson on what the First Amendment actually says: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech…” [emphasis added] In other words, while supporters interPlease see CHICK-FIL-A, continued on Page 13

Atlanta activists garner national Chick-fil-A spotlight Atlanta isn’t just home to Chick-fil-A. It’s also home to LGBT activists whose responses to the ‘chikin’ chain garnered national headlines. While Atlanta may have been slow to warm up to the latest round of Chick-fil-A controversy, we eventually took the lead in several different efforts that drew extensive media attention. The Atlanta-based Gayborhood App and Carma Productions, which produce online and print LGBT directories, announced their support for National Same-Sex Kiss Day and organized one of the local Aug. 3 protests. Their Decatur rally was joined by events at Chick-fil-A restaurants at Atlanta’s CNN Center, Colony Square and in Midtown. Carma CEO Marci Alt also became a face of the national Chick-fil-A debate when she posted a letter on inviting Dan Cathy to have dinner with her family, including her wife and two small children. At press time, Alt said she had heard no response from Chick-fil-A’s Cathy, but she think the invitation was successful even if the Cathy and Alt families never actually sit down to dinner. “I truly believe that by inviting him to dinner and creating a petition through, we have opened the eyes of many people worldwide,” Alt said. “I know that most people weren’t aware of the many organizations that are being funded by Chick-fil-A and that some of these organizations are hate-based. I know that I won’t be eating there nor will any of my friends.” The day after Huckabee’s national Chick-filA lovefest, Atlanta-based announced Aug. 7 as National Marriage Equality Day, which focused on supporting Starbucks and other gay-friendly companies. “It was giving our community and allies a chance to realize that we had power in our purchases, too. We didn’t just have to stake out bigoted companies and kiss our significant others at those locations,” Equally Wed Editor Kirsten Ott Palladino told GA Voice. Palladino’s project was almost immediately countered by Atlanta activist Kiki Carr’s call to celebrate “National Support Gay-Loving Local Independent Businesses Day” on Aug. 8. “Frankly it was pissing me off every time someone posted the Starbucks event,” Carr said. “First, support for gay rights is the minimum. We shouldn’t be thanking companies just because they say they support gay marriage.” Starbucks has damaged LGBT communities by running independent stores out of business, she charged. “For gays specifically, in many small towns and suburbs, our community only finds each other at friendly bars and independent cafes,” Carr said. “Starbucks has made a practice of installing stores within a block of independent cafes and underselling them, in order to shut them down. … This has a direct cultural effect on our community, the LGBTQI community —removing our vibrant, nurturing community gathering spaces.”


GA Voice

August 17, 2012


Alleged gay bashing at Atlantic Station remains unsolved No leads as police say they cannot reach victim

Tips to stay safe

By Dyana Bagby With 50 surveillance cameras located throughout Atlantic Station’s 138-acre complex of residences and retail businesses, finding out exactly when and where a gay man said he was assaulted on the property is apparently no easy task. Atlantic Station security personnel are still pouring through “hours and hours” of video as part of its investigation into the alleged Aug. 4 attack on John Mark Parker, 50, as he was walking to the Fenuxe Fire Party in the former Fox Sports Grill. “I know we are working closely with the Atlanta Police Department and working closely with them to go through hours and hours of footage,” said Elizabeth Hagin, spokesperson for Atlantic Station. “Everything we have so far has been turned over to APD.” Carlos Campos, spokesperson for the APD, said Atlantic Station is cooperating. “Atlantic Station is working with us to make sure we get any video footage that might exist of this reported assault,” he said. The day after the attack, Hagin released this statement from Atlantic Station management: “We are committed to serving the diverse Midtown neighborhood, including the LGBT community, a commitment that has been demonstrated by our partnership with events such as the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus Big Wig Party and the Fenuxe Magazine Best of Atlanta Fire Party and the diversity in our own management team. “In the case of Saturday’s incident, witnesses have given both Atlantic Station Public Safety officers and APD officers conflicting information. We are cooperating in the investigation and will share information as it becomes available. Our own public safety officers handled the incident according to protocol and were respectful to all parties involved. The safety of all guests at Atlantic Station is our top priority.” When asked what kind of conflicting information was given, Hagin said it dealt with location of the incident but did not say more. Atlantic Station security officials are cooperating fully in the investigation, she added.

Investigation hindered

Parker told the APD on Aug. 4 that he was attacked while walking in Atlantic Station to the Fenuxe Fire Party being held in the former Fox Grill at 261 19th St. In the Aug. 4 police report, Parker told police the attack was “no big deal” and at first denied medical treatment. After eventually agreeing to get medical help, he was taken by ambulance to Emory Midtown Hospital where he received five stitches to close up a laceration near his eye.

The Atlanta Police Department offers these safety tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of a crime: • When possible, use ATMs only during the day. • Avoid walking alone at night unless absolutely necessary. • Keep to well lit, commonly traveled routes. • Avoid shortcuts and dark, isolated areas. • Walk purposefully, know where you are going, project a no-nonsense image. • Avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Atlantic Station security personnel are working with the Atlanta Police Department to investigate an alleged anti-gay assault at Atlantic Station on Aug. 4. (Photo via Facebook)

But the APD has not spoken to Parker since Aug. 4 and the investigation into what happened is now at a standstill until he comes forward for a critical follow up interview needed to find out more of what happened that night. Police also need to talk to him to determine if the crime should be investigated as a potential hate crime. As of Aug. 14 the police had not spoken to Parker since its initial report. On Aug. 8, the APD said it was hoping to speak to Parker soon. “We continue to reach out to the victim, but have not yet been successful in reaching him in order to complete an interview for investigative follow-up. Zone 5 investigators need to conduct that interview so we can get specific details on the incident,” said Campos. “Those details will help us determine if this crime meets the criteria to bring in our Homeland Security Unit, which investigates bias crimes.” Attempts by the GA Voice to reach Parker have been unsuccessful.

Victim’s friend recounts alleged attack

Paul Swicord, who identified himself as a friend of Parker, wrote a detailed account of what he said happened the night of the Aug. 4 incident, stating an Atlantic Station security guard was attempting to throw him and a bloodied Parker out of the party rather than call police. Philip Rafshoon, who serves on the Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board, witnessed the security guard trying to escort Swicord and Parker out and intervened to have the APD respond to the scene and take a report. According to Swicord, the victim was on his way to attend the Fire Party. After parking on one of the lower levels, he came up the stairs to the main level and asked a person on the street

MORE INFO To contact the Atlanta Police Department’s LGBT Liaisons: LGBT Liaison 226 Peachtree St. SW, Atlanta, GA 30303 Officer K. Knight 404-546-4752 Officer B. Sharp 404-546-2646 for directions. This man responded by asking, “Are you a fag?” The victim answered, “Yes, I suppose I am” and received a punch in the face so hard it threw him to the ground and requiring medical attention. The alleged victim then continued to the Fire Party, where he saw Swicord, who encouraged him to talk to an Atlantic Station security guard, who Swicord said was reluctant to help. “After taking some information, the security guard said it would be 3-6 weeks before a report could be made available and to review the video footage,” Swicord said. “I tried to take a photo of the security guard so that I would have a record of who we had spoke with. He held his hand up and blocked my camera phone and blocked the photo. There was no compassion in this security officer for the victim. He was reluctant to take a report and document the incident.” Swicord said they insisted that Atlanta police officers be called to take a report, and that Swicord also called APD LGBT Liaison Officer Brian Sharp, who spoke with an off-duty APD officer on the scene. After that, an on-duty APD officer and ambulance were called.

• Always take a phone with you in case you need to make an emergency call. • A crime or an emergency can happen at anytime, so always be ready for everything in advance, and be aware of your surroundings. • Take a martial arts class or carrying a selfdefense device like pepper spray. • Be careful who you interact with on the internet. Don’t be lulled into a sense of comfort by simply chatting with a person online for several weeks. Criminals are methodical and patient, and can lure you into feeling safe before meeting in public and then robbing you or committing another violent act.

“I worry for other victims who may not have Officer Sharp on speed dial, needing assistance and would also be put off and not go through the process of filing a report when this happens,” Swicord said. “My issues are with the Atlantic Station private security guard, not APD.” Swicord said he went to the emergency room with the victim, who required five stitches for a puncture wound under his right eye. The victim also suffered a strained wrist, he said. The victim later remembered more details of the attack, which Swicord said must have happened between 9:26 p.m. on Aug. 4 (the time on the victim’s receipt for entering the parking deck) and 10:27 p.m., when Swicord called Sharp. The window may be narrowed to 10:15 p.m. to account for the time Swicord spent talking with the victim and Atlantic Station security before calling Sharp. The victim, according to Swicord, described his attacker as “white male, short brown hair, with a muscular build,” who is between 5’9” and 6 feet tall. The attacker was accompanied by an attractive white woman with brown hair, Swicord said.

August 17, 2012

GA Voice


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GA Voice

August 17, 2012


State officials investigate complaint against judicial candidate Gay voter alleged scheme to funnel campaign money through dance company By Dyana Bagby An ethics complaint filed against Fulton Magistrate Judge Melynee Leftridge in the days before the July 31 primary will be investigated by the Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission to determine if any laws were violated. The complaint was filed by Charlie Stadtlander, a gay voter. Leftridge faced off against open lesbian Jane Morrison in the non-partisan campaign for the open seat of Fulton State Judge. Morrison won with more than 60 percent of the vote. Statdlander accused Leftridge in his complaint of an “apparent elaborate scheme to funnel some $18,500 to a company responsible for maintaining a website” that features “pictures of scantly clad women.” But Leftridge countered in a statement to GA Voice that the company she paid — Pirouette Companies — provides legitimate campaign services, and noted it has also been used by several other candidates, including openly gay State Rep. Simone Bell. Leftridge denied any wrongdoing at the time and declined further comment in a statement Aug. 14. “I have an appreciation for, and place great trust in, the Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission conducting a thorough investigation into the complaints filed. This investigation is ongoing; therefore, it is inappropriate for me to comment at this time,” she said.

Statdlander said when he filed the complaint on July 25 that he didn’t understand why a judicial candidate was apparently paying close to $20,000 to a dance company that offers classes on strip teasing and pole dancing. The company also offers boot camps and personal fitness training. The website for the dance company was taken down shortly after the ethics complaint was filed and a new website for “Pirouette Companies” is under construction.

Politics or dance program?

Mitzi Bickers, a longtime political operative, said she consults for Piroutte Companies and started working for the company earlier this year. The company has a youth program that includes teaching dance to young people, but the money Leftridge paid was to Piroutte Companies and not to a dance company, Bickers said. “We have not done anything unethical,” she said. Bickers, who is gay, took an unpaid leave of absence from working for Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration in May to work for Pirouette. Records show that Pirouette was paid more than $115,000 by Citizens for Transportation Mobility, which supported TSPLOST. Reed was a strong outspoken supporter of TSPLOST. “I took an unpaid leave of absence so there would not be any conflict of interest with TSPLOST,” Bickers said. Bickers said she encouraged Pirouette in recent months to move toward expanding its services from community service to disadvantaged youth to include election consulting and field work as the election season ramped up. “We continue to work with youth, through dance and other types of development of the arts. I did help early on with those types of programs,” she said. “But obviously my role is in political consulting.” The Georgia Secretary of State’s website

Before an ethics complaint was filed on July 25, Piroutte Companies had a website listed as Days after the complaint was filed, however, the website was taken down. Pirouette Companies now has a new website that is currently under construction. (screen capture)

shows that Pirouette Dance Company changed its name to Pirouette Companies on Feb. 29. The president of the company who signed the document for the name change is listed as Keyla A. Jackson. Jackson is also listed as the owner of Piroutte Dance Company with the website http:// “On June 4th, the Committee to Elect Leftridge to State Court Judge retained Pirouette Companies to provide specific campaign related duties which are as follows: leafleting, canvassing, research and data, strategic planning and phone banking,” Leftridge said when the complaint was filed. “Our research shows that Pirouette Companies was retained by several other campaigns, including the statewide campaign for Citizens for Transportation Mobility (T-Splost), to provide similar services this election cycle,” Leftridge said. In fact, Pirouette Companies is shown to be paid by such candidates as lesbian state Rep. Sim-

one Bell, LGBT-friendly state Rep. Pat Gardner and DeKalb Judge Dax Lopez, all endorsed by LGBT advocacy organization Georgia Equality. Bell, Gardner and Lopez all won their races. “We are extremely concerned about the false allegation that the Leftridge campaign has been involved in a scheme to funnel campaign contributions to a disreputable company. This allegation is false and Fulton County voters can be assured that the Leftridge Campaign has operated with the highest integrity,” said Leftridge. UGA Political Science Professor Charles Bullock said he does not know much about Bickers, but knows she has a wide variety of clients who range from Tea Party candidates to Pat Gardner. “It is surprising she doesn’t have any ideological commitment,” Bulluck said. The allegations that Bickers worked with what was once a dance company that is now apparently a consulting company “sounds awful strange,” he added.

State examines Fulton election errors, including gay races The Secretary of State is investigating errors made by Fulton County elections officials in the July 31 primary, including races with gay candidates. Jared Thomas, spokesperson for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, said there are currently five open investigations into specific election results. He declined to give more details on which races were being investigated. But Thomas confirmed the state is specifically investigating the Democratic primary for House District 58, which openly gay Rep. Simone Bell defeated Ralph Long with 58.7 percent of the vote. Bell received 3,526 votes compared to 1,078 for Long, a difference of 1,078 votes. According to the AJC, 345 voters in a small section of Reynoldstown

were incorrectly sent to vote in the District 59 race. When asked this week if he planned to contest the race, Long said, “I don’t have a comment on that right now.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported “results showed several of Fulton’s precincts had a voter turnout greater than 100 percent, including one with a 23,300 percent turnout.” In the Democratic primary between gay candidate Ken Britt and “Able” Mable Thomas for House District 56, some absentee voters reported being wrongly sent ballots for the House District 57 race between Reps. Pat Gardner and Rashad Taylor. Taylor, who is gay, lost to Gardner by a vote of 37.23 percent to 62.77 percent. Britt, a first-time

candidate, lost to Thomas, a former state representative, 35.28 percent to 64.72 percent. Britt said he was not going to contest the race. “I was disappointed with the results of the election but I do not have any plans or desire to contest the race. The voter registration problems, as now reported in the media, were extremely unfortunate and distracting to our campaign; nevertheless, I don’t believe the outcome warrants a challenge nor would it be in the best interest of the citizens of District 56,” Britt said in a statement. “It’s now time to move forward, and I offer my former opponent my sincerest wishes for a successful term,” he said. — Dyana Bagby

The Georgia Secretary of State is looking into possible errors in the Democratic primary for House District 58, where openly gay Rep. Simone Bell defeated Rep. Ralph Long. (Courtesy photos)

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GA Voice

August 17, 2012


August 17, 2012

GA Voice


Romney VP pick Paul Ryan backed bans on gay marriage, adoption Wisc. congressman voted for ENDA in 2007 By Laura Douglas-Brown Paul Ryan, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s chosen running mate, supports amending the U.S. Constitution to ban samesex marriage and has voted to stop gay couples in Washington, D.C., from adopting children. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and presumptive Republican presidential nominee, announced Ryan as his vice presidential nominee Aug. 11. The sparked criticism from LGBT political groups concerned about Ryan’s record as a U.S. congressman from Wisconsin. The Romney-Ryan ticket “could roll back much of the progress we’ve seen toward full equality,” the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT political group, argued in a press release. “Ryan’s voting record in Congress — and his public remarks — make it clear that he does not support the dignity of LGBT Americans; a matter on which he is out-of-touch with the majority of Americans,” state the organization, which has endorsed President Obama’s reelection bid.

HRC issues Congressional Scorecards to grade lawmakers on their stands on LGBT, HIV and other issues. Ryan earned a score of 0 out of 100 for the 111th Congress, a score of 10 for the 110th, and another 0 for the 109th Congress. Ryan has voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage. He has also voted in favor of banning gay adoption in the District of Columbia, according to HRC. Earlier this year, he backed a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Wisconsin.

Gay Republicans praise Ryan

GOProud, a national gay Republican group, praised the selection of Ryan as “bold and inspired.” “Like all Americans, gays and lesbians in this country are concerned with the out-ofcontrol spending and growing mountains of unsustainable federal debt,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud. “Gay Americans understand that without reforms, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will go bankrupt. The future prosperity for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, is at stake if we do not act today.” GOProud noted in a press release that it is

In 2007, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have banned job bias based on sexual orientation. It is his only pro-gay vote tallied by HRC. (Photo courtesy U.S. Congress)

the only national gay group to endorse Romney for president. It also noted that Ryan has voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban job discrimination based on

sexual orientation. HRC does not mention that vote in its press release, but includes it in the Congressional Scorecard for the 110th Congress. Ryan was one of 35 Republicans to vote for ENDA when it passed the U.S. House in November 2007. The bill, which stalled in the Senate in 2007 and has been reintroduced in later congressional sessions, now also includes gender identity. Log Cabin Republicans, another national gay GOP group, also praised Ryan’s selection. “Congressman Ryan’s 2007 vote in favor of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and his consistent willingness to engage with Log Cabin on a range of issues speaks to his record as a fairminded policymaker,” said Log Cabin Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper in a press release. “Overall, while Log Cabin Republicans have not completed the endorsement process for the 2012 presidential election, this is a choice that all Republicans can be excited about, and which sends a good message about the kind of campaign Gov. Romney wants to run, and the kind of president Gov. Romney wants to be,” Cooper said. The next important event for the GOP is the upcoming convention, being held in Tampa, Fla. Aug. 27-30. Both GOProud and Log Cabin plan events during the convention.

Chick-fil-A not victimized for ‘free speech’

CHICK-FIL-A, continued from Page 6

viewed at Chick-fil-A’s restaurants might use “free speech” to explain why they think critics are wrong to boycott the chain over Cathy’s comments, the First Amendment doesn’t mean you have the right to speech that is free of all consequences. It only means those consequences can’t come from the government. Yet in the case of Chick-fil-A, some politicians who support LGBT rights blurred those lines, unintentionally playing right into the conservatives’ hands. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (who later backed down) and Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno were among those stating they would work to block the chain’s efforts to open new restaurants in their cities. That caught the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union, which supports LGBT equality — including filing a lawsuit seeking marriage equality in Illinois — but is dedicated to defending the First Amendment. The ACLU was quoted in Fox News and other media defending Chick-fil-A. “In regard to the Chick-fil-A controversy, our concern is that the power of government— through the office of the mayor or an alderman, here in Chicago — is being used to punish those who have views that are not consistent

with those in power at a particular moment,” Edwin Yohnka, spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, told GA Voice. An individual or organization speaking out against Chick-fil-A is vastly different than a government entity preventing a restaurant from opening, Yohnka explained, noting that the tactic could also backfire. “Criticizing someone — anyone — for the views that they have is a legitimate freedom of expression, and it does not limit someone else’s free speech rights,” he said. “The concern arises when government takes action based on speech. That is dangerous and, we are concerned, could be used against those companies that have led the way in pushing progress in LGBT rights.” The gay blog Joe.My.God was more direct in criticizing the politicians: “Their words poured gasoline on the fire and allowed our enemies to frame the entire national debate as being about freedom of speech, which we know it is not,” it argued, concluding that “we lost this round and we lost it badly.” Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan walked a fine line when he told GA Voice on July 27 that not only would he personally boycott the chain, he would “oppose their efforts to expand further within the city.” This week, Wan said reaction to his stand has been “pretty evenly split,” though he did

garner his first “hate email,” which accused him of being an anti-Christian bigot. He also clarified that he did not mean city government should take action against Chickfil-A based on its leaders’ opinions. “Clearly, I would not — nor would I be able to — try and have the City deny or revoke a permit to Chick-Fil-A if they meet the legal requirements for that permit,” Wan said. The City Council doesn’t play a role in permit issuance, Wan said, except when the applicant doesn’t meet zoning requirements and seeks a special variance to get around them. In those cases, they often turn to City Council members to help find a solution. “I will not be inclined to assist Chick-Fil-A should that situation arise in District 6. Nor would I be inclined to support any variance requests in the rest of the City should that arise. I do feel that is absolutely within my prerogative as an elected official to exercise that discretion,” Wan said. In that case, it wouldn’t be the government blocking an otherwise lawful business only based on a viewpoint, Wan argued, it would just mean declining to help them get around a requirement with which they are already out of compliance. “I absolutely respect a person’s/entity’s right to free speech. But I also believe that right does not shield that person/entity to the consequences of what they choose to express,” Wan said.

Atlantans Maria and Kirsten Palladino organized National Marriage Equality Day to ‘react to the emotional tragedy of Aug. 1,’ which was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. (Photo by Entwined Studios)

“In this example, the consequence is losing the support and cooperation of someone whose assistance they might find themselves needing sometime in the future.” That’s a welcome explanation, because if we let our opponents name this battle a fight over “free speech,” we won’t be the winners who ultimately get to name this age.


GA Voice August 17, 2012


The Georgia Voice

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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.


It’s time to reclaim ‘homosexual’ But we need to stop using ‘straight’ to describe heterosexuals

Guest column by Matthew Cardinale I think it’s wonderful to be homosexual. I, for one, am a proud homosexual Atlantan. I am also a member of the gay community, or the LGBTQI community, or, you know, I’m “family.” For many years I have advocated for the proud and unashamed use of the word “homosexual” in order to reclaim it as a positive word. As news editor of Atlanta Progressive News, I have used the word pretty consistently and published an editorial policy statement about it in 2006. Over the years, I have had a lot of debates with friends and colleagues about it. Recently, I received a call from State Rep. Karla Drenner, who insisted she is not homosexual; she is a lesbian. Drenner, like many others, emphasized that the Religious Right prefers to use “homosexual,” presumably because, unlike the word “gay,” the word emphasizes sexuality; and that when the Right uses “homosexual,” it is in a negative context. I understand these objections, that gay people’s lives are about more than sex; we have families, careers, etc.; and that the use of the word “gay” instead of “homosexual” reinforces this notion because it doesn’t have “sexual” in it. Also, I’ve been told, heterosexuals respond better to “gay” in poll data. Well, isn’t this surrendering the idea that to be homosexual is somehow problematic, so that we should have to change the subject? And further, isn’t this allowing them to dictate the terms of the debate by forcing us to find a word that makes them more comfortable? The word “homosexual” is not negative; it’s descriptive. But when we imbue it with pride, we make it a positive word. Indeed, there are plenty of words that are unacceptable and that intrinsically describe people who are homosexual with a negative connotation. I grew up and experienced bullying in South Florida, so I know most of those words in at least three languages. But let’s be clear. “Homosexual” isn’t one of those negative words. And as important as Rep. Drenner’s call was to me, I think we do ourselves

The word “homosexual” is not negative; it’s descriptive. We do ourselves a disservice when we surrender the word to the Religious Right. a disservice in the long view when we surrender the word to the Religious Right. There is another word that to some has a negative connotation that has been used as a close approximation of “gay,” and that’s “queer.” How did we give “queer” its own letter in one of the more inclusive versions of our community acronym (LGBTQI), but “homosexual” is still on the banned words list? I had a lengthy conversation one time with a representative from GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) about how “homosexual” does not appear in their style manual, and how they had convinced the Associated Press to stop using “homosexual,” as if convincing the AP of something were some credential. Well, I have to ask, which part of the word are they opposed to? Is it the homo? Or is it the sexual? Because we already use the prefix “homo” when we use the word “homophobic.” If GLAAD wants to be consistent, they would adopt “gayphobic and lesbianphobic.” And we already use the suffix “sexual” when we use the word “bisexuals,” who, after all, make up a significant proportion of our community acronym, as the B in LGBTQI. So, in fact, it’s okay to be homo and it’s perfectly all right to be sexual, according to GLAAD, but never both. It’s never okay to put the two together. Wow. Isn’t that exactly what the Religious Right wants us to think? And haven’t we let them win when we surrender a word to them? I think we need to use the correct, accurate word for what we’re trying to describe. The variable is sexual orientation, not gayness. When we lobby the legislature and Congress for equal protections, do we ask, for example, that individuals be protected from job discrimination on the basis of race, class, gender, sex, religion, nationality, disability status, and gayness? Or do we ask for these protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

It is the latter. And what are the categories of sexual orientation? In alphabetical order: bisexual, heterosexual, homosexual. The word “gay” is, as it were, okay, too. I think the gay community and the gay institutions and the gay publications have a right to be as gay as we want. But I think generally, when people hear the word “homosexual” they think of someone’s sexual orientation, a demographic variable. When they think of gayness, they conjure an entire community, an entire culture, a way of life. I think that homosexual is a subset of gay, that gay includes homosexual but so much more. That to say you’re homosexual is to say, for example, that you’re a man who is attracted to other men; whereas to say you’re gay is akin to saying you’re a member of a community, kind of like the Rotary Club except with a rights movement.

Finally, there’s another word that concerns me, and that’s the word “straight.” To me, this is the word most insidious and the most damaging, especially when gay and homosexual people use it unproblematically to describe heterosexuals. If heterosexual people are “straight,” it implies that anyone who is not heterosexual is not straight, and is therefore crooked, curved, or perhaps circuitous. It’s outrageous. It’s self-betrayal, especially when GLAAD forbids putting “homo” and “sexual” together, but sees nothing wrong with the heterosexuals being straight. Am I the only one who sees this problem? On a final note, I know that sex and sexual orientation are both socially constructed categories. I could say much more about the writings of Michel Foucault and how there’s a fundamental problem regarding our society’s need to label everyone and to put everyone in boxes. And I agree we should work towards the day that is post-sexual orientation. But as long as we feel the need as a society to categorize people into sexual orientations and believe those categories are meaningful, then let’s use the appropriate words. Using the word “gay” instead of “homosexual” — in an attempt to distract from sexual orientation — is fundamentally flawed as long as we as a society continue to use words that categorize people into sexual orientations. Matthew Cardinale is news editor of Atlanta Progressive News. He can be reached through its website at







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A&E Plan your Black Gay Pride

TAKEOVER By Dyana Bagby From parties to panel discussions, Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride intends to not only entertain the tens of thousands who descend on the South’s black gay mecca each year over Labor Day weekend, but also inform and empower them. Each year, party promoters offer revelers a chance to attend everything from upscale cocktail parties to sexy pool parties to down and dirty late night parties that celebrate the uniqueness of being black and gay. But there is also the annual State of Black Gay America Summit on Sept. 1, this year with the theme “Embracing Our Collective Power to Influence Change,” that will include panel discussions on the Affordable Care Act as well as how to fund progressive organizations and support political allies. “We try to bring solutions and not just highlight problems in our community,” says SBGA co-founder Darlene Hudson. “We will also talk about the power of the people and talk about resilience and how we deal with oppression and how it helps us find our voice.” Hudson said she also seeks youth leaders to participate in the summit and asks those interested to email her at “We want to hear from youth who are asserting their leadership into the community to share with us,” Hudson says.

Piedmont Park becomes home for ‘Pure Heat’ While there will be the usual host of parties by numerous promoters, this year’s Black Gay Pride includes a first — the Pure Heat Community Festival in Piedmont Park on Sunday, Sept. 2, sponsored by Traxx Girls and the Vision Community Foundation. Known as a popular gathering spot for Black Gay Pride attendees for decades, Piedmont Park on the Sunday afternoon of Labor Day weekend is a time to take a break from the club scene but still be seen. This year for the first time there will be food vendors, merchandise vendors, live entertainment, a J-Sette dance competition and a hair battle hosted by Derek J, the wig stylist for Kim Zolciak of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fame and owner of his own Atlanta salon. For those who don’t know, a hair battle is when stylists have a limited time to style someone’s hair in a fierce competition. “A national TV show will be filming and

Traxx Atlanta Traxx Girls

Black Gay Pride combines plenty of parties with a dose of empowerment and education

Wassnup N ATL Girls in the Night Xplosion Entertainment Lions Den In the Life Atlanta The State of Black Gay America Summit

Atlanta Black Gay Pride includes the first Pure Heat Community Fest in Piedmont Park on Sept. 2 where there will be live entertainment as well as a J-Sette competition. Local icon Raquel Lord is set to perform as well. (Photos by Dyana Bagby, Brent Rence Corcoran/RNZ Photography)

presenting our hair battle,” says Avian Watson, director of communications and sponsorship for Traxx Girls Inc. and Pure Heat Atlanta Labor Day Pride Weekend. There will be a gospel showcase as well as Jocelynn from VH1’s hit reality series “Love and Hip Hop” visiting the park to talk to fans. Atlanta transgender legend Raquel Lord will also perform at the festival. Organizers also plan to have one major celebrity entertainer, Watson says. “And this is broader than just Black Gay Pride weekend. This is about community,” she adds.

Rollerskating party kicks off Pride

This year promoters Traxx Atlanta, Xtreme Entertainment, Traxx Girls and Rockstars Production are teaming up to bring a variety of parties all weekend long, beginning Aug. 29 with SkateBoyz ATL at Metro Skates hosting the first official Pride event.

Terrance Chatman, founder of SkateBoyz ATL, helped launch the organization in March 2011. “We formed as an alternative to the club scene. We enjoy the club scene. But we wanted to bring all the demographics together,” Chatman says. “Last year we had a great attendance at Pride. This year we will be the first official event. We’ve gone from virtually unknown to being the first official event.” SkateBoyz ATL promises a special guest host as well as professional skaters show off their wheeled wonders. Traxx Atlanta and Traxx Girls continue their tradition of hosting spectacular parties with live performers for signatures parties such as the Traxx Girls “Big Bang Event” on Sept. 1 at the Georgia Freight Depot, Traxx Atlanta party with an international recording artist (to be announced) on Sept. 2 also at the Georgia Freight Depot and both joining together for their White Party on Sept. 3 at Luxe Lounge.

Girls in the Night will also host parties for ladies who love ladies with its annual Femme-Nomen-Non weekend of events to include its opening party on Aug. 30 at Halo Ultra Lounge and its Legendary All Black Affair at the Compound Nightclub on Aug. 31. Wassup N ATL is celebrating its 10th year of catering to the sexy desires of black gay men with parties that will include go-go dancers, porn stars and male models. Events are planned at Phase One on Aug. 30, the Blatino Awards on Aug. 31 at Jungle and its blowout on Sept. 1 at the Georgia Freight Depot. The Lions Den and Xplosion Entertainment are also offering up party favors and more for men and women throughout the weekend.

‘In the Life’ community events

The host hotel for In the Life Atlanta, the nonprofit sponsor of Black Gay Pride, and many of the party promoters is the Melia Hotel, with numerous events taking place there, including the State of Black Gay America Summit. ITLA plans numerous community-oriented events. The annual candlelight vigil takes place Aug. 29 at First Metropolitan Community Church, a “See Us in the Life” Film Festival is set for Sept. 1 at the Melia Hotel and throughout the weekend a Black Pride Marketplace is held in the Melia Hotel. Phillip Boone of Traxx Atlanta says everything is still being ironed out with entertainers and party plans, but he predicts the community festival in Piedmont Park — an event that’s been desired for years — will be extremely popular. GA Voice is also joining with Traxx Atlanta and Traxx Girls for its official welcome party to Pride weekend on Aug. 31 at XS Ultra Lounge.



August 17, 2012

GA Voice

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by Steve Warren

Kathy Griffin goes bicoastal New DVD packs plenty of laughs, doesn’t neglect her gays For the record, I’m not one of Kathy Griffin’s gays. I’m my own gay, my husband’s gay and your gay, dear reader; but Griffin I can take or leave, so I’m not getting her initials tattooed on my butt. I appreciate Kathy’s status as one of our staunchest straight allies (though honestly, would she have a career without us?), and she can’t go very long without saying something bitchy that will make me laugh. On the other hand, she seems to have a very limited number of subjects for her celebrity slander, and I get tired of her smug, self-satisfied poses after every joke that gets any kind of laugh. Still, if Joan Rivers pushes the envelope, Kathy Griffin pushes it in front of a moving train. Even her most devoted fans will have at least a couple of “Oh no she dit-int!” moments in every show. Which brings us to her new DVD. It generously offers two of her four Bravo concert spe-

cials from last year, “Pants Off” (September) and “Tired Hooker” (December), for the price of one. Mother Maggie Griffin, then 91, introduces the first show, with a glass of box wine in her hand, of course. “Take it for what it is,” she says. “It’s just Kathy.” Fortunately the Kardashians (all of whom are “dirty whores,” according to Griffin) provided leadoff material for both shows: Kim’s wedding for the first and Kim’s divorce for the second. It must have been a slow news quarter between shows, because in “Tired Hooker” Griffin tosses out names to reach her celebrity quota without having much to say about their latest escapades: Ashton and Demi’s divorce, Lindsay Lohan reporting to the morgue for community service. The jokes write themselves, but not very well. Nancy Grace, various Real Housewives and Kathy’s “special needs” rescue dog come up in both shows. She also talks about Cher, who is apparently her only friend, in both shows, but the story of attending the “Zookeeper” premiere with her didn’t make the “Pants Off” broadcast and is included as a bonus on the disc, along with four other outtakes. The audiences, one in Costa Mesa, Calif.,

Kathy Griffin’s new DVD includes tons of queer material from her recent shows ‘Pants Off’ and ‘Tired Hooker.’ (Publicity photos)

and the other in Atlantic City, N.J., are surprisingly diverse. There are plenty of gay men but also women of all ages and persuasions, in groups, on dates and with husbands. Griffin doesn’t de-gay the shows to pander to them, talking about Marcus Bachmann (“I don’t know this guy. I never met him. But he sucks cock!”), Grindr, Hugh Jackman’s oneman Broadway show (“It’s gayer than a glory hole in Johnny Weir’s bathhouse!”) and how gay marriage will lead to gay divorce, with “fabulous litigation for years!”

With no bleeping you’ll probably hear several hundred more words (or one word several hundred times) than you did in the original broadcasts. One atrocious bit of editing was probably covered by a commercial break, but here Griffin jumps abruptly from reading a fan letter from a prisoner to discussing being in a New York hotel during an earthquake. Love Kathy Griffin, love her shows, even when they’re no longer topical. Take the new DVD for what it is. It’s just Kathy.

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ATLANTA SYMPHONY HALL Tickets available at the Woodruff Arts Center box office and all Ticketmaster outlets including Publix Super Markets

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GA Voice


THEATER by Jim Farmer

Actor’s Express offers 25th season ‘Kiss’ Gay-themed musical shows ‘love isn’t bound by rules’ In choosing the opening show of Actor’s Express’ 25th anniversary season, Freddie Ashley knew he wanted a production that would register, a large scale show with “some heft.” He has chosen the gay-themed musical “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” opening Aug. 22. Manuel Puig’s 1976 novel is about two cellmates in a Buenos Aires prison: Luis Molina and Valentín Arregui, who are polar opposites. Valentin is a revolutionary trying to overthrow the government, while Molina is openly gay and effeminate, in jail for sexual relations with a minor. The novel was turned into a 1983 play, then a 1985 film which won William Hurt a Best Actor Oscar as Molina. With a book by Terrence McNally and music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb (“Cabaret,” “Chicago”), a musical version of “Spider Woman” opened on Broadway in 1993 and won a slew of Tony Awards, including one for gay icon Chita Rivera, who starred as the infamous titular character. Ashley is directing the Actor’s Express ver-

What is Out on Film?

Out on Film is Atlanta’s own LGBT film festival. We’re in our 25th season. Out on Film was created in 1987 to inform, entertain, educate and enrich the regional LGBT community. What films will be shown? Out on Film selects a variety of films for our LGBT audiences, including comedies, dramas, romances and documentaries, plus multi-racial and multicultural films. Where is the event? Most films are shown at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta GA 30308. Other venues will be announced. How do I buy tickets? Tickets can be purchased at, the Landmark theater, and online at the Landmark’s website. Visit for more information. Are there other activities? Yes. Out on Film schedules opening and closing night parties plus events before and after select films, including Q&As with filmmakers. How can I learn more? Visit

sion, with openly gay Craig Waldrip as Molina and Bryant Smith as Valentin. To escape the pain of being in prison Molina envisions a character known as the Spider Woman. “Molina tells Valentin about movies he grew up watching as a kid and how he became obsessed with one actress,” says Ashley, who is also gay. “One character the actress played was the Spider Woman, who is death. When she kisses people they die. “His reality has blurred in prison and he thinks he sees the Spider Woman lurking in the shadows. He loves the actress but he has always been afraid of that character. He learns to accept her and begins to realize that she is warm and loving,” he says. The two men sharing a cell could not be more different. “They come from different backgrounds and have things they both feel strongly about,” says Waldrip. “At first Valentin thinks what he cares about is more important than what Molina does. Molina cares about movies and clothes. But he sees that Molina’s obsession are his way of showing the world his own idea of love and acceptance, something he has longed wanted, something Valentin is after. They are fighting the same thing.”




‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’ Aug. 22 – Oct. 7 Actor’s Express 887 W. Marietta St., Atlanta, GA 30318 Although Valentin is straight, the two men form a relationship and eventually love each other. “Is Valentin gay? No,” says Ashley. “But he loves Molina as a brother. They can see each other as human beings.” According to Ashley, Valentin teaches Molina to assert himself, not to be humiliated and to be proud of his identity. Besides the gay character of Molina, Ashley feels audiences will like the Spider Woman character, a diva’s diva, leading an array of splashy musical numbers. Yet Ashley acknowledges the production has substantive issues. “It’s about realizing that love isn’t bound by rules – it can have different forms and permutations,” he says. “The show is also about survival, which we turn to for empowerment.” Actor’s Express’ 25th anniversary season has another gay-themed play in the works. Fol-

Actor’s Express opens its 25th anniversary season with ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman,’ starring Bryant Smith (right) as Valentin and Craig Waldrip as Molina. (Photo courtesy Actor’s Express)

lowing “Spider Woman” will be the world premiere of Steve Yockey’s fantastical “Wolves.” Although Ashley didn’t plan this as he was crafting the season, he sees now that each of the shows in the season has a sense of “reality vs. fantasy, what is really happening.” Waldrip first saw “Spider Woman” 20 years ago and it touched him deeply. “I fell in love with it then and couldn’t stop thinking about it for days,” he says.


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#7: Meanwhile, back at the Chick-fil-A protest… Gay husband hunter finds a cause instead

It was about 12:30 p.m. when 30 members of the Atlanta Food Porn Club streamed into Chick-fil-A with boxes of Popeyes fried chicken. They took seats at the tables and began eating the spicy chicken while customers – some outraged, some amused – looked on. Every now and then, the protestors would stop to kiss one another. Soon a local TV news reporter was in the parking lot, asking questions stupid enough to qualify her for a job at Fox News. Inside, the Chick-fil-A manager repeatedly told the crowd they could not eat there if they didn’t buy anything. With that, Food Porners lined up to buy soft drinks. Then, a policeman burst through the door. He was obese and waved at the manager, then demanded to speak to the organizer. Robert stepped forward. “I invited people to lunch,” he said, “but I wouldn’t say I really organized anything.” “So, what do you call this – ‘Occupy Chickfil-A’?” the policeman joked, introducing himself as Officer Kumbley. “Do you plan to set up camp and ask Popeyes to cater your meals?” Robert laughed. “No,” he said, “but it’s not a bad idea. You know it might get really raunchy in here at night, with all these people wanting to get married crawling all over each other. Maybe you could repeat your invasion of the Eagle – make them lie facedown while you search their fingers for diamond engagement rings and shredded Bibles.” Officer Kumbley crossed his arms above his belly and frowned. “Look, you’re creating a public disturbance. Now, you’re gonna have to get out of here or we’re carting your asses off to jail. You don’t want to get married in jail without a condom – if you know what I mean.” The manager of the restaurant, Jose, joined Robert and the policeman. “Good to see you, Jose,” Officer Kumbley said. He turned to Robert. “I eat here several times a week. Just then, the TV reporter interrupted the three. “I heard your name is Jose,” she said. “Are you from Mexico?” Jose said that he was indeed. “I was just wondering – are you a citizen or have a green card or something?” she asked, turning to Officer Kumbley and winking. “We have strict immigration laws.” Officer Kumbley rolled his eyes. “Of course he’s legal,” he said. “Good Christians like the Cathys would not hire illegal aliens.” “Look,” Jose said to Robert, “we don’t want you to go to jail. Can you leave in peace? We will give you coupons for free waffle fries. They

are very popular. Maybe we’ll add in a chicken sandwich. I don’t care who you marry.” He looked around. Lunch finished, many in the crowd were kissing with intensity. “Thanks for the offer, but we’ll decline,” Robert said. “That’s almost 900 calories right there. How do you manage to put more calories in that sandwich than Popeyes puts in one chicken breast?” That was part of the absurdity of the Chickfil-A drama to Robert. The food is unhealthy and could easily be healthier. But the owners are apparently more worried about the gender of married partners. “We’re not going to occupy the premises,” Robert told the reporter, Jose and Officer Kumbley. “But we did want Dan Cathy to see that the people he maligns are real people. He has a right to his opinion and he may even make more money with homophobic customers turning up in mass to protest our protest. But he’s like a racist objecting to miscegenation 50 years ago. He’s an anachronism.” Robert rounded up the group. “Put your tongue back in your own mouth!” he shouted. “It’s time to leave.”

Back to the search

Robert and Janet, who didn’t get a chance to eat some of the Popeyes chicken, headed to Eclipse di Luna for a late lunch. It was one of Robert’s favorite restaurants and probably serves the best tapas in town at very fair prices. The ambiance is cozy, a bit bohemian. “So, that was fun,” Janet said. “I’m glad you didn’t make us go to jail.” Robert laughed. “I didn’t see much sense in our joining the 7,000 people the police have arrested in the Occupy movement. It’s amazing what’s happening to this country. My phone will probably be tapped for smuggling Popeyes into Chick-fil-A. Maybe I’ll be imprisoned and tortured in Saudi Arabia for threatening terrorist acts with a chicken leg.” The food started to arrive – Spanish ribs, red piquillos filled with goat cheese, plates of

Recommended Eclipse di Luna 764 Miami Circle, Atlanta, GA 30324 404-846-0449, The menu changes here constantly but the usual faves are the Spanish ribs, the fried calamari and patatas bravas. There’s also a paella for two or more and many vegetable dishes. Experiment! meats and cheese, octopus with potatoes – and the two fell silent a moment. “So, have you found a husband yet?” Janet asked. “Wasn’t that the whole point of the supper club?” Robert sighed. “No, I’ve had sex with three men in the last week, and I’ve struck all three off the list. I won’t be going to Chick-fil-A with a partner anytime soon, it seems.” “What was wrong with them?” Janet asked. “Bad in bed?” “Oh, I didn’t get into bed with anyone. In fact, we didn’t get past my foyer in two cases.” Janet wrinkled her forehead and looked at Robert quizzically. “Is that what you guys call a ‘blow and go’?” she asked. Robert nodded. “I don’t want to know more,” Janet said. “It’s funny how you gay men are all up in the air about marriage while you have sex with strangers two steps inside your front door.” “Well,” Robert said, “at least we don’t move strangers into our homes after three dates, like you lesbians.” They finished lunch and headed home. Robert couldn’t bring himself to tell Janet that he had another “date” that afternoon. Food Porn is a 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.

August 17, 2012

GA Voice

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August 17, 2012

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August 17, 2012

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PHOTOS See the full photo albums at

Picture this! DJ Vicki Powell’s Sunday Service celebrated the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition on Aug. 12, along with the dancing that always defines the monthly party held at Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium. (Photos by JD Harvill)

SkateBoyz ATL, an LGBT skating group that also promotes HIV testing and prevention, gathered Aug. 8 at Metro Skates on Metropolitan Parkway for its weekly Wednesday skating night. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

Participants strutted and sashayed down the runway in plenty of style on Aug. 12 to compete in numerous categories as part of the Evolution Project’s second annual Youth Ballroom Awards at XS Ultra Lounge. (Photos by Dyana Bagby)

Atlanta Eagle was the place to be on Aug. 11 for the annual Southeast Black & Blue Weekend to celebrate leather, kink and fetish. A panel of titleholders selected a new Southeast LeatherSIR, Southeast Leatherboy, Southeast Community Bootblack and Mr. Southeast Rubber. (Photos by Dyana Bagby)


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August 17, 2012



August 17, 2012

GA Voice


Join the discussion. Be part of the GA Voice community on Facebook and Twitter.

Atlanta Executive Network celebrates 20 years of gay business advocacy Party at Kai Lin Art Gallery to honor group’s past while looking to the future By Ryan Watkins The Atlanta Executive Network will mark 20 years of gay and lesbian business advocacy with a party at Kai Lin Art Gallery on Aug. 23. AEN will honor past leaders of the organization while looking forward to its future. One of those to be honored is the organization’s founder, Allen Jones. Jones, now 75, recalls how the early days of AEN were a different time for gays and lesbians inside (and outside) the workplace. “Well, in 1992, when I started with AEN, some people were still pretty closeted,” Jones says. “We had a couple of people that wouldn’t wear name tags to the early meetings because they were senior officers with businesses here in Atlanta. It took them a couple of meetings to warm up to the idea of wearing name tags.” Jones and AEN’s early board members stressed a professional dress code, suit coat and ties for men and business dress for women. “It was important at the time that people wore a coat and ties, so the speakers would see what an exceptional group it was,” he says. Jones and the early board of AEN faced a series of challenges, from finding a friendly venue to host meetings to concerns over the personal safety of its members. “I had quite a time finding a location to host early meetings,” Jones remembers. “That concern [safety] disappeared right after the first meeting.When you see 60 people in coats and ties that look like the Rotary Club, you don’t have that problem anymore.” The group’s first meeting far exceeded Jones’ expectations. “We had assumed that we’d have about 30 people. It turned out we had 60 at the first meeting,” he says.

Left: Allen Jones, along with 14 others, founded the Atlanta Executive Network in 1992. At the time, some members were afraid to wear name tags so they could be identified at meetings. Above: AEN’s core mission, business networking, lead to the development of its popular speed networking events. (Courtesy photo, photo by Brent Corcoran/RNZ Photography

Throughout its history, AEN played host to politicians, business leaders and advocates for LGBT equality. “We had quite a roster of speakers early on, such as Bernie Marcus [CEO of Home Depot], Thomas Roeck [CFO of Delta Airlines] and Rebecca Dunn [Vice President of Human Resources at Bell South]. There were a couple of senators and congressmen that spoke. Richard Tafel was also very popular. He was chairman of the Young Republicans and the second director of the Log Cabin Republicans,” Jones says. AEN also empowered its members to advocate change in policy at their places of business. “Over time, people were telling me that they wanted to work in an open, non-discriminatory environment,” Jones says. “Bell South came up with a non-discrimination policy because of one of our members. There was one man who was a professor at a local college. He talked to them and they passed a non-discrimination resolution at the school. That happened numerous times at numerous businesses.” The business world, in large part to broad social changes toward gays and lesbians in the

last two decades, is a drastically different place today than it was when AEN was founded. Jones believes that organizations like AEN will continue to have a place, even with continued growing acceptance. “There will be a place for groups like AEN in the future. If the focus is on business and not on gay politics, there’s a lot of good things that happen,” Jones says. “But if you lose your mission and turn into a party organization or a political organization, then you’re just competing with the other 140 organizations in Atlanta and that just doesn’t work. It’s mission should be business and to promote community-based organizations,” Jones adds.

AEN looks forward

AEN’s core mission, business networking, has held steady throughout its 20 year history. But the last few years have brought changes in leadership and direction. Todd Harkleroad, a current AEN board member, says the focus has shifted from the corporate world to all matter of business. “There’s a mix,” Harkleroad says. “We still have Home Depot, Sun Trust and a variety of big-name partners, but most of the people that

MORE INFO Atlanta Executive Network 20th Anniversary Party Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Kai Lin Art Gallery 3096 Roswell Road NE Atlanta, Georgia 30305 I know well are involved in a small business.” As for the future of AEN, Harkleroad says the organization is in a growing period. “I’d like to see it where we have 100-150 people at the meetings, where we have a mentoring program for people coming out of college and where we’re able to participate more fully in someone’s entire career span all the way through the point where they retire and can become a mentor to someone who’s much younger,” he says. Harkleroad notes that he’s looking forward to the next 20 years. “We don’t want to go back to being exactly what it used to be,” Harkleroad says. “You can’t go back, but we do want it to be relevant and meet people’s needs.”

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August 17, 2012


Athens Pride gears up for weekend fest

Drag cabaret, a picnic and other events planned


Organizers behind the 2nd annual Athens Pride Weekend hope to expand on last year’s success by adding several additional events, including bowling and a community artist showcase. 2011 was the first year that Athens celebrated Pride outside of the spring. Several additional events have been added to this year’s calendar, says Ricky Roberts, Athens Pride treasurer. The biggest challenge of adding events, Roberts says, is finding local venues that are willing to donate their space for little or no cost. All of this year’s events come with a $5 suggested donation, but Roberts says that no one will be turned away if they can’t afford to donate. “We ask for donations so we can not only can put on events in the community, but so we can be in a position to give money to groups in the area,” Roberts says. The first official event of Athens Pride is the 18th annual GLOBES Fall Reception at the University of Georgia Founders’ Gardens from 5:308 p.m. on Sept. 6. The event is all-ages and will

include a silent auction. An after-party will be held from 9 p.m. - 2 a.m. at The Engine Room. An artist showcase featuring poets, singers and other entertainers will perform upstairs at The Globe Bar from 8-10 p.m. on Sept. 7. Draga-oke, featuring DJ Patrick from Almost Famous with hosts Yasmine Alexander and LaKeisha Pryce, goes down later that night at Farm 255. Saturday features all-ages bowling at Ten Pins in the Homewood Hills Shopping Center from 4-6 p.m., and a dance party at Little Kings from 9 p.m. - 2 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, kicks off with a Pride service at Our Hope MCC, followed by a commitment ceremony, also at the church. The annual Pride Picnic follows at Lake Herrick Pavilion at the UGA Intramural Fields from 2-6 p.m. The weekend closes with an Athens Showgirls Cabaret all-ages show at The Globe Bar from 7-10 p.m. Organizers and supporters of the event include Athens Pride, Almost Famous Karaoke, Athens Showgirl Cabaret, Engine Room, Farm

MORE INFO Athens Pride Weekend Sept. 6-9 Athens Pride Weekend returns for its 2nd annual fall fest Sept. 6-9 (Photos by Chris Seely)

255, GLOBES at the University of Georgia, Go Bar, Little Kings, Mayor Nancy Denson, Our Hope MCC, Ten Pins, The GLOBE Bar & Restaurant and UndertheRainbow Athens. — Ryan Watkins

Aaron Born makes Fifth Ivory Public House a home The Fifth Ivory Public House at the corner of Juniper and 10th Street is the kind of restaurant mash-up that requires several slashes in its description. Piano bar / Southern kitchen / Irish pub might suffice, but to gay owner Aaron Born, the Midtown eatery’s hodgepodge is something much simpler: good, affordable food and drinks in comfortable surrounds with live piano six nights per week. “It’s supposed to be a home,” Born says. The restaurant, which was voted GA Voice’s 2012 “Best New Restaurant,” is a shared dream between Born and his longtime friend and now business partner Cam Murphy. The two met haphazardly about seven years ago when Born was performing at a striptease fundraiser at BJ Roosters. “I had a ton of ones in my hands and [Cam] was walking through and I looked down and saw this set of tits and just shoved my tips in,” Born laughs. The two are more like brother and sister than fag and hag, he says. “It’s difficult to run a place with your best friend. There are lots of challenges,” Born adds. “When you’re looking at two people whose dream it was to do this — take a chunk out of the American dream — everyone has

strong opinions. We work on coming together to find out what works best for both of us.” Both share a history in Atlanta’s gay nightlife. You might recognize Born from his nine years behind the bar at Woof’s and Murphy from several places around town, including Jungle. While the pair had varying visions for their restaurant venture, it was Murphy who wanted a piano bar. “If it was to up to me, we’d have country music blaring on the radio, but I was like, why not? I’m not a big showtunes fan, but I’m starting to like it.” The Fifth Ivory now hosts live pianists for background or sing-a-longs six nights a week. Slinging drinks behind the Fifth Ivory’s cozy bar is Born’s favorite duty, but his decidedly Southern menu has drawn fans as well. While his favorites include the restaurant’s Ivory Wedge salad, salmon salad and Vidalia onion bisque, Born, who is trained in culinary arts, says his regulars can’t get enough of the pimento cheese fritters and fried chicken. Oh, and don’t forget the bottomless mimosas on Saturday and Sunday brunches 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Part of the soul in Born’s food comes from his involvement in Atlanta’s LGBT community. He’s personally supported AIDS Walk

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT MORE INFO Fifth Ivory Public House 794 Juniper St., Atlanta GA. 30308

in the years following the passing of a good friend, and Fifth Ivory has worked with the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, For the Kid in All of Us and the Big Gay Game Show. This weekend, the restaurant hosts a brunch to raise funds for Lost-n-Found Youth, Atlanta’s grassroots LGBT homeless initiative. “Giving back is about projecting a spirit that you want other people to catch a hold of,” Born says. “You treat your community the way you want to be treated. You give back. You take care of each other.” With an attitude toward community and menu of family favorites, the “leap of faith” he

Aaron Born and best friend/business partner Cam Murphy opened Fifth Ivory last year.

took with the friend he calls a sister has made Born stronger, he says. But if he wants anything from his guests, it’s a clean plate and one parting thought: “Oh my god, I’ll be back.” — Bo Shell

August 17, 2012

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GA Voice

August 17, 2012


BEST BETS 08.17 - 08.30


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

Friday, Aug. 17


JustUsATL, a group for LGBTQQA youth, hosts the Rainbow Jam, a fundraiser emceed by aRoara Thunder with live performances, raffles and more. 7 - 11 p.m. at the Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,, The Third Friday Film Series presents “For Colored Girls.” $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,

Couretesy photo

DJ Manny Lehman brings house down with a special performance by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Phoenix. 10 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30306,

Saturday, Aug 18 Sunday, Aug. 19

Photo by Dyana Bagby

The Piedmont Park Summer Art & Crafts Festival, a part of the gay-owned and operated Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces series of festivals, offers local arts and crafts from up to 200 artists. Saturday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. in Piedmont Park, 11071 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Monday, Aug. 20 Oscar’s Atlanta celebrates the anniversary of its facelift with a 2nd Year Anniversary Party hosted by Ruby Redd featuring food, drinks, DJ Darlene and shooter boys. 8 p.m. at Oscar’s, 1510 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Writer/director/producer/activist/comic Del Shores, known best for “Sordid Lives,” performs his new standup show “Naked. Sordid. Reality.” Two shows, 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. at Onstage Atlanta, 2597 North Decatur Road, Decatur, GA 30033, Gay playwright Johnny Drago is one of four authors who’ll share true tales and artifacts from their pasts at “True Story.” 8 p.m. at Kavarna, 707 East Lake Drive, Decatur, GA 30030, Manhunt presents “Dirty,” an underwear party at Heretic with free entry if you show your m.manhunt. net profile on your phone. DJ Lydia Prim spins and pants come off at midnight. 9 p.m. - 3 a.m. at Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, Mary’s annual Madonnarama returns with videos, remixes, mash-ups and live performances from the vault of DJ Diablo Rojo. 10 p.m. at Mary’s, 1287 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316,,

Saturday, Aug. 18

Voted the 2012 GA Voice “Best New Restaurant,” the Fifth Ivory hosts a five-course brunch to benefit Lost-n-Found Youth. 12:15 to 2 p.m. at the Fifth Ivory, 794 Juniper Street, Atlanta, GA 30308, 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, SAGE Atlanta, a service organization committed to LGBT elders, hosts a lesbians age 50 and up potluck and social. Bring a dish to share and a beverage for yourself. Doors at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Philip Rush Center, 1530 DeKalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, Gay singer/songwriter JL Rodriguez hosts a showcase of talent singing songs from his personal collection to raise funds for recording fees and music production costs. 8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show at the Mint Moose, 248 Josephine St., Atlanta, GA 30307,

Wednesday, Aug. 22

Jungle continues the monthly Fantasy Girls featuring local queens Phoenix, Nicole Paige Brooks, Alissah Brooks, Savannah Leigh, Envy Van Michaels and this month features special guests Gigi Monroe and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” trouble-starter Willam Belli. 9 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,

Publicity photo

Saturday, Aug. 18

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

“The Armorette Follies!” benefits GLAAD 8 - 10 p.m., then country dancing ‘til midnight, then a dance set by DJ Mike Pope ‘til 3 a.m. at the Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,

J.O.E. Entertainment presents “It’s That Time of the Month,” a night of women’s comedy to celebrate the things all ladies have in common. 8:30 - 10 p.m. at My Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316,

Saturday, Aug. 18 Sunday, Aug. 19

Don’t call gay singer/songwriter Jay Brannen a “gay singer/songwriter,” just join the model-hot pop singer for his “Rob Me Blind” record release celebration. 7:30 p.m. both nights at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough Road, Decatur, GA 30030,

Sunday, Aug. 19

Cuervo Margarita and beer fest fundraiser? Yes, please. A $10 suggested donation at the door benefits GLADD and gets you three drink tickets and beats by DJ Travis. 3 - 6 p.m. at Zocalo, 187 10th St., Atlanta, GA 30309, East Atlanta’s newest gay-friendly restaurant/bar Asylum brings Kitty LeClaw out of the cathouse for a “Meow Mix 2.0” show. T-Dance at 5 p.m., show at 9 p.m. at Asylum, 543 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta, GA 303116, She Speaks, Inc. presents “The Brown Sugar Vibe: Spoken Word & Live Music at its Best” with Lakara Foster hosting and DJ E spinning. 7 p.m. at Kat’s Cafe, 970 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,


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

Tuesday, Aug. 21

The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts a prix fixe Business Builder Luncheon. $20, cash only, RSVP to 11:55 a.m. at Hudson Grille, Brookhaven Station, 4046 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30319,

Thursday, Aug. 30

The Atlanta Dream takes on the Washington Mystics for a special LGBT Pride Night. Proceeds help support Georgia Equality and Atlanta Pride. 7 p.m. at Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303. Buy tickets at this link for Georgia Equality: http://bit. ly/PjlTTX; buy tickets here for Atlanta Pride,

August 17, 2012

GA Voice


SPOTLIGHT Publicity photo

Monday, Aug. 20

Photo via Facebook

Tuesday, Aug 21 Wednesday, Aug. 22

Photo by Marco Ovando

Meak Productions, in partnership with the Tenth Amendment Media Group, presents the second annual History of Black Gay Atlanta press conference at Black Gay Pride. The two-night event showcases many of Black Gay Pride’s organizers and promoters with business networking to follow. Tuesday: 7 p.m. at the Melia Hotel Atlanta, 590 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308, Wednesday: 7 p.m. at MetroPlex Atlanta, 1959 Metropolitan Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30315,

Saturday, Aug. 25 Join an expected 5,000 of your closest LGBT friends for Rainbow Days at Six Flags. Admission is discounted and includes an evening buffet and performances by Tiffany and Cazwell. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Health Initiative, MEGA Family and Pets Are Loving Support. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. at Six Flags, 275 Riverside Parkway SE, Austell, GA 30168,

Wednesday, Aug. 22

Charis Books and More, Lost-n-Found Youth and JustUsATL host a discussion about the state of resources and options for Atlanta’s LGBTQ youth. 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,

Thursday, Aug. 23

The Atlanta Executive Network, billed as Atlanta’s longest running LGBT networking group, hosts a 20th anniversary party and awards celebration. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Kai Lin Art Gallery, 3096 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30305,

Thursday, Aug. 23Sunday, Aug. 26

Self-proclaimed “non-corporate, no-bullshit music festival” Nophest 2012 takes over stages all over East Atlanta for tons of independent local music, including Amber Taylor and the Sexual Side Effects. Full schedule and locations at

Friday, Aug. 24

Join AID Atlanta’s Gay Outreach for a coffee talk. 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Starbucks, 2571 Piedmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,, for more info: SKIN: Be Free to Love is the Atlanta stop of the “global movement encouraging unity, acceptance and transformation” that also includes bringing greater awareness to bullying, inequality and discrimination. DJ Scorpio spins. Proceeds benefit the Atlanta Mission. 7 - 10 p.m. at Opera, 1150 Crescent Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,,

Real Bois Talk, a discussion group for butchidentified women of color, hosts a screening of “The Aggressives,” a documentary on the “secret club culture of New York lesbians living as aggressives.” 7 - 9:15 p.m. at the Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,

Help one of the country’s oldest feminist bookstores with a Cash Mob. It’s like a flash mob but with cash, and instead of an unsuspecting crowd, it’s a local business who needs your support. 12 - 3 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,,

Enjoy an evening of queer fiction with Eric Sasson, author of “Margins of Tolerance,” the 2011 Tartt First Fiction Award runner-up about characters as they “navigate their way through a minefield of challenges both internal and external.” 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,

Burkhart’s favorite Savannah Leigh is heading to the Miss Continental drag pageant in Chicago, but she needs your help to reach the top. Join her and an allstart cast for an early show to benefit her journey. 6 - 10 p.m. at Burkhart’s, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,,

It’s the last foam party of the year at Club Rush/Rush Lounge, and this one promises to be even bigger and better than the last. 10 p.m. - 5 a.m. at Club Rush, 2715 Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA 30305,

The Atlanta Dream takes on the Minnesota Lynx at a For the Kid in All of Us night. Purchase tickets at the special link (listed here) and 33 percent goes to For the Kid, which hosts the annual Toy Party and Backpack in the Park. 7 p.m. at Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303,

Saturday, Aug. 25

The 2012 Pride Ride takes riders on the Arabia Mountain Trail for 10 or 20 miles and raises funds for the annual festival. Assembly at 7:30 a.m., ride begins at 8:30 a.m. at Stonecrest Mall near the Food Court. The Atlanta Bucks gay rugby hosts a “Rugby 101” clinic, offering the basics of their rough and rumble sport. Drinks afterwards, but the location will be announced at the clinic. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Coan Middle School, 1550 Hosea Williams Dr., Atlanta, GA 30317,

Ladies: Have you had the chance to see “Pariah” yet? It’s a wonderfully told coming out story about a young lesbian struggling with a mother adamantly against her sexuality. Now’s your time to catch it on a big screen with Atlanta’s Every Womyn. Donations at the door go to Lift Up Atlanta. 7 - 10 p.m. at the Rush Center, 1530 DeKalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,


Photo by Sher Pruitt

The Atlanta Dream takes on the Chicago Sky. 7 p.m. at Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303,

Monday, Aug. 27 Jeffrey Fashion Cares is an annual big-ticket fashion fundraiser to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Atlanta AIDS Fund. Expect a preshow cocktail reception, live auction and fashion show at the main event, then a “Fashion Fair” after party with DJ Vicki Powell, live performance by Tom Hill & The Midnight Suns, carnival games and petting zoo. Fashion Cares: 7 p.m. at the American Cancer Society, 250 Williams St., Atlanta, GA 30313. After party: 9 p.m. at Opera, 1150 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309,

August 17, 2012



Local boy DJ Sean Mac leads the Bear Invasion with headliner DJ Bryan Reyes delivering a set for the bears and their boys. 8 p.m. - 3 a.m. at Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,, Each month, ladies who love ladies gather for FLIRT, a women’s event with DJ Ree De La Vega, cheap cocktails and “flirtinis.” 9 p.m. at Slice Westside (WestSide Pie), 1133 Huff Road, Atlanta, GA 30318, After a long day of coaster rides at Rainbow Days at Six Flags, head over to GA Voice’s 2012 “Best Place to Meet Women” for the official women’s after party. 10 p.m. at My Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave. Atlanta, GA 30316, Jungle brings the boys together after Rainbow Days at Six Flags where DJ Phil Dabeatz makes his Atlanta debut with Debby Holiday live in concert. Reduced admission with wristband from Rainbow Days. 10 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,

Monday, Aug. 27

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. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307,

Tuesday, Aug. 28

Lesbian social networking group Fourth Tuesday hosts the dinner on the day of its namesake every month. This month, it’s Agave. 6 - 10 p.m. at Agave, 242 Boulevard SE, Atlanta, GA 30312,,

Wednesday, Aug. 29

Asylum hosts its first “Freakshow,” a drag and costume party that promises to free attendees from the “same old drag shows you see everyday.” DJ Cody Nation spins. 10 p.m. at Asylum, 543 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta, GA 303116,,

Wednesday, Aug. 29 Monday, Sept. 3

Thousands of African-American LGBTs make the annual pilgrimage to Atlanta for Black Gay Pride. While In the Life Atlanta is the official planning body, offering everything from pool parties to literary cafes and workshops, tons of local promoters are offering an unbelievable array of events for all. Start your planning at


GA Voice

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Friday, Aug. 31and guest

Local gal DJ Lydia Prim DJ Eddie Martinez spin on etic, Cheshire Bridge. 10 p.m. at Her nta, Atla d, Roa ge Brid e shir 2069 Che .com nta GA 30324, www. hereticatla

UPCOMING Saturday, Sept. 1

The State of Black Gay America Summit is the annual meeting of diverse minds, this year focusing on “Embracing Our Collective Power To Influence Change.” Panelists from around the country join in discussion with an emphasis on solution-based approaches to challenges in the African-American LGBT population. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Melia Hotel, Atlanta Ballroom, 590 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308,

Friday, Sept. 14

The Indigo Girls play an intimate show to wrap up this year’s Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Concerts in the Garden series. 8 p.m. at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309,

Sunday, Sept. 16

The 17th annual Fall Garden Party takes over Einstein’s with a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, dancing and the presentation of the 2012 Healing Angel Award. 4 - 8 p.m. at Einstein’s, 1077 Juniper St., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Thursday, Aug. 30

GA Voice teams up with Traxx Atlanta and Traxx Girls for “Welcome to Atlanta 2012” a Pureheat Labor Day Weekend Black Gay Pride event. Complimentary cocktails and $5 entry from 10 p.m. - 12 a.m. 10 p.m. - 4 a.m. at XS Ultra Lounge, 708 Spring St., Atlanta, GA 30308,

Thursday, Aug. 30 Monday, Sept. 3

OK, gay nerd herd, it’s time to join your people. DRAGON*CON takes flight over Labor Day weekend. Saturday’s costume parade is not-to-be-missed and might even offer up a few scantily clad fan girls and boys for your LGBT pleasure. More info on all the events at

August 17, 2012

GA Voice

GA Voice 8_17_2012_Layout 1 7/30/12 3:12 PM Page 1



New Photographs of the American South





SEPT.2 Hale Woodruff’s Murals from Talladega College

HIGH MUSEUM OF ART ATLANTA H 1280 PEACHTREE ST., N.E. H TICKETS: HIGH.ORG OR 404-733-5000 H MEMBERS ALWAYS FREE! Picturing the South: New Commissions from the High Museum of Art

Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals from Talladega College is organized by the High Museum of Art in collaboration with Talladega College.

Presenting Sponsor

This exhibition is made possible with generous support from

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. This exhibition is part of the MoMA Series, a collaboration between The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Picturing the South is supported by the Massey Charitable Trust.

Terra Foundation for American Art The Friends of Hale Woodruff

The conservation of the murals is supported in part by

Mr. and Mrs. Jesse C. Crawford

Martin Parr (British, born 1952), Staff at the Silver Skillet Restaurant, 2011, inkjet print, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn and Lucinda W. Bunnen and Robert L. Bunnen, 2012.28.4. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos / Janet Borden, Inc. Hale Woodruff (American, 1900–1980), The Underground Railroad (detail), 1942, oil on canvas, Collection of Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama. © Talladega College. Photo: Peter Harholdt.


BOOK YOUR ROOM FOR ATLANTA PRIDE! Stay at the host hotel, the W Atlanta - Midtown, and enjoy the special special Atlanta Pride room rate from $145.00/night BOOK TODAY BEFORE THE ROOMS ARE GONE! Reference Pride 2012 Room Block when making reservations at 1-800-937-8461 or book online at

Special rates are available at other hotels. Visit for details.



SHE SAID Unemployment survival guide How to keep from driving your partner crazy while out of work I had dinner recently with a friend who was laid off a few months ago. Comparing the experience to getting a divorce, he said the separation from his job of 12 years was something he saw coming, but he just didn’t get out in time. Blanketing his industry with resumes, he still has not been able to find work, and is fighting depression because of it. The worst part of it, he says, is the feeling that he has let his wife down. Unable to give advice on the job front, I certainly had some feedback on how to make sure his wife didn’t resent him while he was out of work. I left “The Bert Show” on my own terms last year, but didn’t return to a strict work schedule until recently. In that timeframe I realized there are phases one goes through while out of work, regardless of why you aren’t working, and if you are not careful your family will become very uncomfortable with your sabbatical. Phase One: Now What Do I Do? It really doesn’t take long to discover that great authors are great authors because they are writing as a profession, not a hobby. The next great novel may be within you, but after a few weeks of your newfound freedom from corporate America, are there still only a few words on the page? You reluctantly admit that writing isn’t as fun as you thought it would be. The same holds true for any artistic endeavor you might pursue during this time — painting, knitting, whatever. For most of us it all ends the same: This is not meant to be your next career. When you tell your loved one this news, there is still plenty of encouragement for your efforts. At least you tried. Now, you know. Phase Two: I Thought Time Off Was Supposed To Be Fun. This is the phase when you realize that things you put off doing at home while a paid employee, like cleaning the garage or repaint-

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

ing a room, are things you really never wanted to do in the first place. You assumed your busy lifestyle is why you postponed those projects, but now that you have the time you still don’t do them. You justify your inaction by the illusion that taking time off means you should relax. This is a dangerous fork in the road in your relationship. If you choose poorly and don’t push through and complete those unfinished projects around the house, your loving girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse will silently notice and the patient understanding for your transition in life will quickly fade. It has now become too much about you, and you aren’t pulling your weight. Phase Three: I Can’t Get Out of Bed. It’s 11 a.m. and you are still in bed playing Words with Friends. Reality has set in that no one is calling to beg you to come work for them. For some reason you had the notion that while absent from the workplace you would be missed, and others would see the hole you left behind and rescue you. It’s not like you are fresh out of college with no experience — you had a career! Once you remind yourself how to construct a resume, the rejection overwhelms you and staying in bed all day seems like the better option. This is when you and your partner can’t relate to each other at all, and if you chose the Phase Three option of not doing anything around the house, this is also when you fight the most. It’s hard to see someone struggle to find work. But when you are the one in that position, you have to remember there are ways to avoid making the experience worse on yourself. First you must leave the job behind, not the people closest in your life.

August 17, 2012

GA Voice





Somewhere else Wherever you go, there you are The last time I took an extended holiday was my marriage to Preppy three years ago, so it’s established that I‘m only capable of setting work aside for my own wedding, which is unlikely to be a recurring event. I’ve dodged several proposed vacations over the years, because I’ve always got a project which requires my attention. Plus, I think money is better spent on improving our home life. Granted, most of the money I’m talking about is my husband’s, but I still have opinions on the subject. Because I have opinions on all subjects. I am an opinionated person. Preppy asked what was so important at the house that it should trump a getaway. I pointed out we really needed a new sofa. As nice as the trip would be, coming home to our beat-up couch would prove the money could have been used on a long-term investment. I’m fairly certain he bought the new sofa just so I’d stop using it as an excuse not to go on vacation. Damn, if I’d known that would work I would’ve used a different example. I could have gotten a patio out of this. Despite my initial resistance, I find myself away from my daily life for a few weeks, relearning the lesson a holiday teaches: Removed from usual context, there is an opportunity to learn more about you. This is appealing to me, because I find myself fascinating. That’s not totally ego-driven: I find all crazy people fascinating, I’m just the most consistently available subject. Years ago, I took a job working in Scotland, the land of my people. Visiting the land of one’s heritage is a startling experience, being in a city where everyone looks like your first cousin. Tourists would ask me for directions. Locals would express surprise when I would open my mouth and an American accent would fall out — the visual didn’t match the sound, like when Kate Winslet plays a New Yorker. But the most distinctive tie to my roots came, appropriately enough, in a pub. The building itself had been around since the 1700s. Centuries of bad decisions had taken place in that room. The electric wiring ran exposed along the walls, giving the impression of a

weekend project someone had installed very quickly, with the

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

intention of going back at a later date and tidying it up. And then no one had touched it again for 70 years. Ah, yes. These were truly my people. I’m fairly certain the ruins of castles in that country aren’t actually ruins. I don’t think they ever finished them in the first place, and the tourism board put a positive spin on it. It’s nice to know that my having the attention span of a hummingbird is not the result of my ADHD, but is in fact part of my proud Scottish heritage. On this trip, I’ve been taking advantage of Preppy’s desire to sleep late, and my complete lack of ability to do that. This buys me about three hours every morning to get a little work done. But here’s the shocker: I actually get it done. A task list which ordinarily would fill a day is completed before 11 a.m., and it leaves me wondering: What the hell am I doing at home? I know the dog’s not here, but I’m fairly certain I am not lavishing her with six hours of attention. At least not every day. The me of somewhere else is more productive and focused than the me of home. The me of somewhere else hasn’t turned on a television in four days, spends far less time perusing Facebook, and has absolutely no idea what Lindsay Lohan has been up to. I think I’m a better person for it, far less frenetic. I suspect it’s the person Preppy’s been trying to take a trip with all this time. My grandmother used to say the best way to find something you’ve lost is to sit for a minute, then walk back in the room and you’ll see past the clutter. So I’m doing that for the moment — collecting myself, so I can walk back in with fresh eyes and see what doesn’t belong. I know it won’t be the sofa. The sofa is fantastic. But everything else is up for negotiation.

August 17, 2012

GA Voice


The Georgia Voice - 8/17/12 Vol.3, Issue 12  

In this week's issue, we look at the fallout from Chick-fil-A's recent controversy, preview Atlanta's Black Gay Pride weekend and take a pee...

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