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F R I D AY, J A N U A R Y

O N S A L E F R I D AY, S E P T E M B E R

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

PO Box 77401 • Atlanta, GA 30357 P: 404-815-6941; F: 404-963-6365

EDITORIAL

Editor: Berlin Sylvestre bsylvestre@thegavoice.com Editorial Contributors: Cliff Bostock, Katie Burkholder, Melissa Carter, Aidan Ivory Edwards, Conner Emery, Jim Farmer, Dawn Felton, Morgan Nicole Fletcher, Cemberli Grant, Elizabeth Hazzard, Ryan Lee, Joseph Miller, Allison Radomski, Jamie Roberts, Catharine Romero, Dionne Walker, Craig Washington

PRODUCTION

Art Director: Rob Boeger rboeger@thegavoice.com

ONLINE

Digital Content Manager: Jason Rhode jrhode@thegavoice.com

BUSINESS

Managing Partner/Publisher: Tim Boyd tboyd@thegavoice.com

SALES

Sales Executive: Dixon Taylor dtaylor@thegavoice.com Sales Executive: Jim Brams jbrams@thegavoice.com Business Advisor: Lynn Pasqualetti Financial Firm of Record: HLM Financial Group National Advertising: Rivendell Media, 908-232-2021 sales@rivendellmedia.com

FINE PRINT

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

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Advice to the Young Writer “I write to editors all the time and I never hear back,” the young man on the airplane told me. His name was Trey, and he was coming back from the same LGBTQ journalists’ convening I’d just attended. We were both clearly frazzled, but I could feel him looking over my laptop, watching me write.

is, to say, “them” from my point of view. I love the strangeness and the beauty of the human mind, and I wanted to capture it. So I understood myself to be a features writer.

After the initial, “What do you do?” was out of the way for the both of us, I found out he was a budding freelancer who really wanted to break into the business. His next question was: “How?” A good question indeed, for I don’t believe there’s any one way to go about it, something I told him, in fact. “How did you become an editor, then?” Ahh! There’s the right question, lad! So I’ll tell you dear readers what I told him.

With that understanding, I wrote profile pieces on local artists and submitted them to free local magazines that never asked for them. I didn’t hear back at first, and it was a battery-filled sock to the heart. Was I not good? Was I too bold? Then I realized, while flipping through a mag I’d submitted to, that my style was off. They had a certain way about them. Oh! So I began anew, paying attention to their subtle but consistent way of reporting. And I submitted something new, telling them how I’d studied them up. Boom! They accepted the piece.

First, understand what you love to write. Don’t just know you love to write — understand what’s calling you to this profession. For me, I wanted to paint people … with words. I wanted to sit across from them and pull something beautiful out of them that they themselves had never, could never see — that

From there, they asked me to write little things here and there, and with the giddiness of a 16-year-old girl in Small Town, GA, I set upon my calling. I worked hard and saved every single clip of every single piece I wrote. (This was before the web.) I’d show up at the office and ask if anything needed to be done.

I was just there, but not hovering. I’d leave if things were going smoothly, and run out for something if they weren’t. Fast forward to me going to school and learning the industry’s rules and different styles of reporting, becoming the editor-in-chief of my uni’s newspaper, landing a freelancer gig with several “real world” newspapers, then an eventual staff writer position, and things just sort of … happened, y’know? I continued for years before I was yanked out of my staffer’s seat and unanimously chosen as editor by a board that’d read my work without me even knowing it. Several editor’s positions later, I’m back home … that girl-turned-woman who feels like the universe put its hand at my back and said, “Go.” So that’d be my advice to anyone wanting to break in. Try all of the above, and “go.” If you ever want a start, try writing this here editor. She actually responds. Cheers from A Warm, Summer Day, eva berlin sylvestre. September 14, 2018 Editorial 3


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT (…BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE TAKE A DIGITAL DETOX.) We understand you need an info break. Or maybe you were just in the mountains. Either way, Georgia Voice has you covered. Here’s a selection of recent story snippets you might have missed. Find the rest of them and more at TheGaVoice.com, or like us on Facebook for all the latest in local and national news that affects our community. Stories by Jason Rhode, Joshua Chen

CHELSEA MANNING BANNED FROM AUSTRALIA

Chelsea Manning, the once-imprisoned activist, leaker of classified information, and transgender woman has been barred from entering the country of Australia. Human rights organizations were in an uproar after the Australian government denied Manning a visa. Manning applied so she could speak at a series of public events in the country. Critics have charged the government with a deliberate restriction of Manning’s free speech rights. The one-time soldier attained notoriety and was sent to prison after she leaked thousands of military documents and government secrets eight years ago. The term of imprisonment was 35 years, a term that was later shortened by a departing President Obama.

4 News September 14, 2018

GAY TEEN KILLED, PICS POSTED TO GRINDR

A California man, Samuel Woodward, 21, was arrested on suspicion of killing a gay man, Blaze Bernstein, 19. Woodward is standing trial in Orange County Superior Court. Now, the media is reporting that Woodward sent corpse pictures to people on Grindr in a series of twisted “pranks.” Bernstein, a student at the University of Pennsylvania, was killed in January, the result of 20 stab wounds. An investigation followed, and law-enforcement attention soon fell upon Sam Woodward, a former high-school classmate of Bernstein’s. Woodward has been charged with hate-crime related murder. According to LGBTQNation.com, “At the hearing, investigators presented evidence that Woodward was motivated by hate. They said they found over 100 pieces of content on his phone related to the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen, as well as pictures with Nazi references.”

GLOBAL BACKLASH AGAINST GAY CONVERSION THERAPY

It was not until relatively recently that LGBTQ identities were declassified as mental illnesses. In 1992, the World Health Organization declared that “sexual orientation by itself is not to be classified as a disorder.” LGBTQ identities have historically been misclassified due a “…combination of fear, stigma, and misunderstanding,” said Dr. Jennifer Conti, a fellow at Physicians for Reproductive Health. In 2001, a report from then-U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher stated that “there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.” Medical thought around the globe is changing as well, with backlash against gay conversion therapy gaining pace. This March, the European parliament denounced conversion therapy, calling EU members to ban the practice. “There isn’t any evidence to support gay conversion therapy being a positive thing,” said Dr. Louise Theodosiou, a psychiatrist at Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists. “We clearly feel that the treatment we offer should be evidence-based,” Dr. Theodosiou told Reuters. In July, the British government said it would seek to outlaw conversion therapy.

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ASK THE DOCTOR Can you tell me about conception for serodiscordant couples? This preconception period is the time to sit down with your OBGYN and his HIV specialist to discuss your plans. You will likely be referred to a reproductive specialist to discuss your options. For HIV serodiscordant couples (in which one partner is infected with HIV while the other is not), the ultimate conception goal is to conceive while minimizing the risk of HIV transmission, but other important factors such as cost and treatment efficacy also exist. The use of donor sperm is the safest option. In this method, sperm from an HIV-negative man is used either through intrauterine or in vitro fertilization. If this is not acceptable to you and your partner, and you intend to use his sperm, then it is vital that the risk of transmission be reduced as much as possible. If your partner is not already on antiretroviral therapy (ART), it should be initiated, and his viral load (the amount of virus in the blood) should be monitored closely until it is consistently undetectable before you attempt to conceive. A technique of sperm preparation called “sperm washing” that separates the sperm from the semen can further reduce the risk of transmission. These sperm can then be used for intrauterine or in vitro fertilization. There are added benefits to this sperm analysis. Abnormalities in sperm count, structure and motility have been noted in HIV positive men, which could present an issue regarding his fertility. If you intend to conceive through intercourse with your partner, consultation with a reproductive specialist can still help. Condomless intercourse should be timed to coincide with ovulation. These specialists will be able to help determine when ovulation is taking place to maximize the likelihood of conception in the lowest number of attempts. They can also identify any potential fertility issues that may exist and cause delay, and provide fertility treatments to assist in overcoming them. An undetectable viral load is of critical importance. In addition, PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) further reduces the risk of transmission. PrEP is the use of Truvada (a common HIV medication) to prevent infection

in HIV negative people. The medication is taken daily and can reduce the risk of transmission by up to 90% when taken consistently. If taken for conception, the CDC advised that daily dosing of Truvada should begin 1 month before attempting conception and should continue for one month after. In PrEP trials for women, the medication was stopped as soon as pregnancy was established, and no problems were associated with its use for mother or baby.

protecting our hearts can’t wait one more second.

Katherine Liang, FNP AbsoluteCARE Medical Center & Pharmacy

Why do I wheeze more in the Spring and Fall? Most of us look forward to Spring after hibernating indoors all Winter. We enjoy getting out and walking, enjoying the blooming flowers and budding trees. But if you have asthma or allergies (or both), spring pollen season can take a toll on your lungs — the same goes for ragweed in the Fall. Seasonal pollens in the Spring and Fall can trigger asthma symptoms by increasing airway inflammation causing someone to wheeze more during these peak seasons. If seasonal pollen is a trigger for your asthma, it is best to stay indoors when pollen levels are high, particularly during the morning hours. Keep windows closed to prevent pollen from getting into your home or car. When you have been outside, take a shower and wash your clothes to remove residual pollen once you are back indoors. Most importantly, always remember to carry your rescue inhaler with you should it become difficult for you to breath or you start to wheeze while enjoying the outdoors. Allene Harrison, NP-C AbsoluteCARE Medical Center & Pharmacy

Everyone in Atlanta has the right to breathe smoke-free air. We need your help to ensure their rights are protected.

LEARN MORE

www.smokefreeatl.org @sftal

Ask The Doctor is a monthly health column where the experts at AbsoluteCARE answer your pressing medical questions. Have a question you want answered? Email it to askthedoctor@thegavoice.com!

www.thegeorgiavoice.com

September 14, 2018 Health 5


ADOPTABLE PETS

Lover Boy

Lover Boy is a distinguished gentleman who loves to learn new tricks and can’t wait to show you his near-perfect sit command! Though we’re not sure why, he’s been here for well over a year. This dog-friendly dude is waiting for you at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services.

Paprika

Need to spice up your life? Meet Paprika! This pup is as lovable as they come. She is a rockstar in our playgroups and would probably enjoy sharing her home with a canine playmate! Paprika is about two years old, weighs 54 pounds, and is a favorite of our staff and volunteers! She’s been here for over a year, and though we’d miss her dearly, we all want to see her get the home she deserves.

Pita

Pita loves to play and has never met a toy she didn’t like. She also adores people, loves to run, and makes friends easily. She also loves to rest and is the perfect combination of energetic and chill. Pita loves peanut butter which makes training a breeze as she learns her leash-walking skills. She’s been with us for more than 400 days, and wants nothing more than to be your best (and only) doggy BFF.

Neville

Meet Neville, a sweet guy who gets along well with cats, dogs, kids, and everyone who walks by! Neville was in a short-term foster home and did beautifully. His foster parents said, “Neville is a sweety! He loves our two dogs and two cats. Neville is super social with people and kids — he wants to say hi to anybody passing by. He is gentle with little kids and loves licking them. He is completely house trained and hasn’t had an accident since April!” Neville would love to join you on daily strolls around the neighborhood and may even enjoy a canine companion who loves to play as much as he does! It’ll soon be two years that Neville has lived with the folks at the LifeLine facility. Can he crash your place furever?

6 Adoptable Pets September 14, 2018

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NEWS

Award-Winning Activist Outlines a Path to Progression Jason Rhode jrhode@thegavoice.com Bentley Hudgins, 25, is a noteworthy young activist in the Atlanta LGBTQ community. He currently works for the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, but Hudgins first came to local notice as an organizer for both Marches on Macon. He’s been hailed as an important generational voice for LGBTQ activism in the Southeast, and received public-service awards (including from this newspaper). Hudgins says it’s one step in a very long road. “The summer of 2016 was a turning point in my life,” Hudgins tells Georgia Voice. He said that in the Fall of 2011, he’d entered college “a bright-eyed evangelical Christian with a deep conviction that I was meant to make the world a better place through missionary work.” “However, the next few years of my life put me through hell and ended up serving as a crucible that refined me into who I am.” Hudgins says he had dealt with personal, financial, and medical issues, as well as the difficulty of coming out. “[Mercer University] didn’t approve my application for a medical withdrawal, so my GPA plummeted.” It had been a difficult time, Hudgins admits. Then came the June 12, 2016 Pulse shooting, where 49 people died. “That night, I laid in my bed in total disbelief and shock. I didn’t know what else to do, so I organized a candle vigil immediately for the next day. To my surprise, hundreds of people from across the Middle Georgia region came to remember the stolen lives at Tattnall Square Park in Macon, Georgia.” Hudgins says he felt “an immediate shift” in his spirit. “We were in the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign season, and I realized that I had a unique opportunity to raise my voice against oppression — I had nothing else to lose. I www.thegeorgiavoice.com

BENTLEY HUDGINS PHOTO BY MARK MORIN

know what it’s like to feel broken. I don’t want anyone else to know that pain. I made a commitment to fight for that future, and it has carried me to where I am today.” He describes the rise of activism in the age of Trump as “inevitable.” “When Trump was elected, the lights came on and eyes were opened. During the Obama administration, the progressive movement as a whole had lost steam, while those on the other side of the aisle were working to regain power.” Hudgins believes the first wave of progressive politics is manifesting its will through protest and powerful displays of dissent. Now

Hudgins says, “we are entering into a second wave” with a specific strategic focus. That means addressing specific issues. “There has also been a shift towards grassroots, localized community organization,” he says. Hudgins contends that the movement must “continue to focus on dismantling the systems of oppression, while we build the infrastructure components that are necessary to see justice realized. Individual people, even Trump, are just symptoms of a deeper set of problems that have plagued our communities and governments. In order to make a lasting change, we have to change the oppressive systems that allow for injustices and abuses of power we currently face.”

Hudgins describes Atlanta as “an incredibly complex political environment, given the historical and sociopolitical context in Southern politics at large. It is both the political and economic capital of both Georgia, and the Southeastern region.” Hudgins feels many injustices remained to be dealt with. “We have to focus on the day-to-day tasks and persistent localized actions that are necessary for the larger movement as a whole to be successful. There are thousands of ways to be a part of the change, but people have to commit to finding their place and maintaining their individual work within the collective efforts for a better Georgia.” September 14, 2018 News 7


What is BIKTARVY®? BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION What is the most important information I should know about BIKTARVY? BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects: } Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV and stop taking BIKTARVY, your HBV may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health.

Who should not take BIKTARVY? Do not take BIKTARVY if you take: } dofetilide } rifampin } any other medicines to treat HIV-1

What are the other possible side effects of BIKTARVY? Serious side effects of BIKTARVY may also include: } Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking BIKTARVY. } Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys. If you develop new or worse kidney problems, they may tell you to stop taking BIKTARVY. } Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death.

Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. } Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. The most common side effects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (5%), and headache (5%). Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking BIKTARVY? } All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis virus infection. } All the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements. BIKTARVY and other medicines may affect each other. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all of your other medicines. } If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY. } If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/ medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ask your healthcare provider if BIKTARVY is right for you.

Please see Important Facts about BIKTARVY, including important warnings, on the following page.

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Get HIV support by downloading a free app at MyDailyCharge.com

KEEP PUSHING.

Because HIV doesn’t change who you are. BIKTARVY is a 1-pill, once-a-day complete HIV-1 treatment for adults who are either new to treatment or whose healthcare provider determines they can replace their current HIV-1 medicines with BIKTARVY.

BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS.

BIKTARVY.COM

9/5/18 11:46 AM


IMPORTANT FACTS

This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY® and does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your condition and your treatment.

(bik-TAR-vee) MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BIKTARVY

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF BIKTARVY

BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including: • Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking BIKTARVY. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months.

BIKTARVY can cause serious side effects, including: • Those in the “Most Important Information About BIKTARVY” section. • Changes in your immune system. • New or worse kidney problems, including kidney failure. • Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. • Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. • The most common side effects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (5%), and headache (5%). These are not all the possible side effects of BIKTARVY. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking BIKTARVY. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with BIKTARVY.

ABOUT BIKTARVY BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS. Do NOT take BIKTARVY if you also take a medicine that contains: • dofetilide • rifampin • any other medicines to treat HIV-1

BEFORE TAKING BIKTARVY Tell your healthcare provider all your medical conditions, including if you: • Have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis infection. • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. • Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take: • Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about medicines that interact with BIKTARVY.

HOW TO TAKE BIKTARVY Take BIKTARVY 1 time each day with or without food.

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

BIKTARVY, the BIKTARVY Logo, DAILY CHARGE, the DAILY CHARGE Logo, KEEP PUSHING, LOVE WHAT’S INSIDE, GILEAD, and the GILEAD Logo are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. Version date: February 2018 © 2018 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. BVYC0048 07/18

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9/5/18 11:46 AM


PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK

VICES OF VANITY

FALL ARTS

Atlanta’s Vices of Vanity THEY WILL, THEY WILL ROCK YOU — AND YOU’RE GONNA LIKE IT OR ELSE, PUNK! Aidan Ivory Edwards Atlanta is one of the music capitals in the nation. The city is a continuous fountain of talent that touches bases with every genre imaginable. Living here, it’s easy to see why. We have the venues, the culture, the transportation, and the inspiration in this sprawling city. A band that’s taking advantage of their location is Vices of Vanity. “Our intention is to get back to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll,” says frontwoman Lynnay Della Luce who handles vocals, guitar, and the lion’s share of songwriting. Backing Lynnay is Amy Eppery, the finger-picking bass player who also has a hand in the songwriting process. Behind the drum kit is Hunter Cook, who must have fantastic cardio. Their songs are simplistic, wildly catchy, and raw, giving off the impression that their recordings were done in one take. Very punk. www.thegeorgiavoice.com

Their lyrics are fun, straightforward, and have a modest touch of sex appeal. To top it off, they pile on crowd chants that bring a unified and full tone to their concerts, a prime example that less is more, even if it’s less of the band making the noise. Vices of Vanity formed in 2016. The trio has a history of playing music together which is why their compatibility on stage is natural and unforced. They are already signed to Jawbreaker Records out of Cumming and are sponsored by Beautiful Disaster clothing line. I had the pleasure of meeting the up-andcoming hard rock trio based out of Midtown at the Rock-N-Taco off Roswell Road in Buckhead. I park in the main parking lot of restaurant. The sun is gradually making its way below the city’s skyline as I’m finishing Vices of Vanity’s latest EP, “Rowdy.” The last song on the EP is a distorted cover of The

Cranberries’ “Zombie.” I take a seat in the side room of Rock-NTaco, where a Battle of the Bands is taking place. I see Lynnay gleefully chatting with a couple while the ambiance consists of glasses hitting the bar and ample conversation. We spot each other from across the room. She waves and takes a seat across from me. “I didn’t start seriously playing guitar until I was 27,” she tells me. We speak of late starts. “I have a friend who wants to finish furniture. I’m like, ‘Then do it!’ Creativity is so important. And it’s never too late to start.” “Amy and I played in an AC/DC tribute band for three years,” she says, “but we wanted to start writing our music. The cover band world is known to transpire into phenomenal bands. If that doesn’t pan out, well at least it’s fun. It’s a failsafe bet. But in Vice of Vanity’s case, it’s been working out just peachy.” Lynnay is the perfectly svelte, tatted rockerchick who also counts herself among the LGBTQ ranks, as she’s currently involved

in a romantic relationship with another woman. Speaking of women: “I love pop music, but in the current climate, I don’t think there is the best representation of women,” she muses. “It’s degrading. I’ve noticed the resurgence of women-fronted bands. which is inspiring. We want to inspire girls just to play carefree.” “Has anyone made an off-handed comment or gesture directed toward you being a bisexual frontwoman of a band?” I ask. “Surprisingly, no,” she says. “I think it’s our demeanor. We command the same respect from others in an unspoken way.” It’s reassuring (and not surprising, if you catch the band live) to know that Lynnay and her badass backup can do whatever the hell they want without any nonsense. Rock on. Vices of Vanity is currently working on new material, and are about to head out on their most extensive tour to date. You can check out their catalog and tour dates at VicesOfVanity.com. September 14, 2018 Fall Arts 11


FALL ARTS

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: APOCALYPSE PUBLICITY PHOTO

Fall TV Is Back! Berlin Sylvestre This is such a great time of year for people who get amped up on good TV, and since this is the Fall Arts issue, let’s tackle the beauty and the power of the small-screen. In this Golden Era of TV, it’d take an entire issue for a definitive list. We hope, though, you can see yourself lazing on the couch or kicked back in the recliner for some of these LGBTQ-centric shows that’re about to drop into our living rooms and give us a reason to love what’re normally mundane weeknights. DOCTOR WHO Well well well! Fans of the show are (mostly) stoked about this season’s lineup in which, for the first time ever, the Doctor takes the form of a woman. There’s been a bit of controversy over it, but it died down pretty quickly. For the uninitiated, the Doctor is a timetraveler who takes on a different iteration each season in his/her quest to fix certain situations that were bound to go wrong without an intervention. Jodie Whittaker, 12 Fall Arts September 14, 2018

an English actress whose work has mainly revolved around shows popular in the UK, is now the 13th Doctor. Some cast members have hinted that she’s bi and finds herself in a same-sex relationship. Perhaps. We’ll be watching, regardless. You’d think that a show in which the protagonist is an extraterrestrial being from the planet Gallifrey who travels through time in what appears to humans as an English phone booth would have some viewers with a healthy suspension of disbelief, right? Apparently, the being taking the form of a woman was just too much of a stretch. “It’s time for a culling in Who fandom anyway,” said my progressive pal who can’t get enough of the show. Let the whittling of the misogynists begin. AMERICAN HORROR STORY: APOCALYPSE Out writer Ryan Murphy is back with the darkness of his acclaimed series “American Horror Story.” This installment revolves around, apparently, the apocalypse. If you want to see some crazy imagery for what’s in

store, you really gotta peep out the trailers. Sarah Paulson resumes her character from the “Coven” series (Cordelia Goode, the daughter of “The Supreme,” a witch played by Jessica Lange) and we all know Paulson’s a badass actress who’s into the ladies in real life. Cheyenne Jackson, also gay, makes a return, but let’s face it: The show is just cool. It’s inclusive of lots of LGBTQ themes and is super-socially aware of everything from income disparity to racial divides. The eye candy and cliffhangers are major icing. EMPIRE With “Empire,” we’re taken behind the scenes of the hip-hop industry and all its inner workings (and dysfunctions that make for quite the roller coaster of “Who has the power now?”). This season, we’re watching that very question come into play when Jamal Lyon (played by Jussie Smollett) takes over as CEO of the family’s music-industry dynasty. Trouble is, he’s gay, so he has to seriously earn the respect of his powerful, homophobic father. Seems like there’s progress, but with “Empire,” you never

know which backstabber’s head could end up with the crown. WILL & GRACE It’s not often a beloved show is revived to such success (lookin’ at you, “Roseanne!”), but audiences are still all about the antics of one of the gayest shows to hit primetime. This season, viewers are promised the drama of marriage and divorce, and guest-stars like Adam Rippon (seriously) and Matt Bomer (omg, bring it). We’ll see if the hijinks stay on point. We’re talking about a show and a cast that’s been together since 1998 (with a little break inbetwixt). It’s highly unusual to keep audiences rapt for 20 minutes, much less have ’em in stitches after 20 years. MURPHY BROWN Speaking of revivals, the newsroom that revolved around the whip-smart wisecracks delivered by none other than Candice Bergen is back. The show ran from 1988 to CONTINUES ON PAGE 13 www.thegeorgiavoice.com


FALL ARTS

DOCTOR WHO PUBLICITY PHOTO

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12 1998 and gave us some of the best political satire ever captured in 24fps. So why’s the show back now? According to an interview with Bergen, “an election happened.” If the revival’s anything like it used to be, prepare for an intimate look at the fast-paced world of broadcast and a continual roast of the administration. MODERN FAMILY Now this is one of the greats, in my opinion. You’ve got Sofia Vergara, whose comedic timing is always a scene stealer, set among a myriad of characters with one-liners so fast and sharp, you have to rewind a bit to hear the joke that ran while you were laughing your ass off. (“30 Rock” did that, too, and they’re similar in their mockumentary style.) Main players in the show are Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) raising an Asian daughter who’s about as deadpan and unlike her fathers as they come. It made for a slowburn among the more conservative viewers who, if my family is evidence, came around after realizing that not only is the show a riot, but it actually shows the normalcy of broad family dynamics. Sadly, this is the final season. THE FIRST Sci-fi lovers, prepare for takeoff. “The First” is perhaps the most progressive show to hit the airwaves this fall, showing the struggles of a near future in which a queer, black, female astronaut (played by LisaGay Hamilton of “The Practice”) is on a mission to Mars. Tracie Thoms (of “Rent”) plays Hamilton’s love interest as our troubled astronaut butts heads with the powers that be to accept just how important funding for social programs and the environment is. SHAMELESS I’m stoked to report that “Shameless” is making its return soon, but also bummed that this is Emmy Rossum’s final season. (She plays Fiona Gallagher, who’s kept a highly dysfunctional family glued together through so many personal sacrifices that she wound up goin’ off the deep end herself. Understandable.) If you’ve ever watched the show, you know it lives up to its name. The stakes keep climbing for every character, whether it’s drug and alcohol addiction, having a child way too early, being a mentally unstable gay veteran dating a transman, or running a bar as an essential www.thegeorgiavoice.com

MURPHY BROWN PUBLICITY PHOTO

bi character on television, real-life bisexual actress Callie Torres (of “Grey’s Anatomy”) plays Kat Sandoval, a political advisor to Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, played by Téa Leoni, who is absolutely delicious. BLACK-ISH PUBLICITY PHOTO

hostage to a hot Russian woman who likes to get it on with her interracial underlings, both male and female. Trust: The show has so much going on. Perhaps Rossum’s departure won’t hurt that bad. The writing is solid, so we’ll see how it works. RIVERDALE There’s no shortage of sexy in this dark, PNW-oriented take on the classic Archie comics. (I know — Archie, sexy?) But I wouldn’t lie to you! Not only do we have the brooding Jughead (played by a marvelously aged Cole Sprouse), we’ve got Archie as a hot ginger athlete who’s also really sensitive

and kind (played by K.J. Apa). Within the noir-genre spin, we’re in a world where murder, mystery, and same-sex relationships abound against a backdrop of a mostly rainy and somewhat sinister town. Though its popularity lies with the younger crowd, I feel this is another slowburner that’ll take root with the 30-somethings, given a chance. MADAM SECRETARY Can you hang with a bisexual woman with a side-shave and impeccable suits? Good, because “Madam Secretary” is dropping like a bomb this Fall and it’s bringing some heat. Known for being the longest-running

BLACK-ISH “Dude, if I’m not really black, can somebody please tell my hair and my ass?” This, from our light-skinned female protagonist from which the show’s title originates. (Well, among a few other socio-political nuances, but in general, the sitcom’s pilot established the ribbing at the “ish” of her skin — and had me guffawing the entire way through.) The acting is absolutely fantastic and, at times, has an improvised feel that makes you a fly on the wall of a black family’s home in American suburbia. The camera work is sharp, the writing is gut-busting, and the show’s inclusion of a gay character (real-life lesbian Raven-Symoné) doesn’t feel contrived. Last season got a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not an easy feat and well deserved. September 14, 2018 Fall Arts 13


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For the Love of Performing Arts:

City Springs is Finally Here Conswella Bennett City Springs in a new performing arts complex in Sandy Springs that’s gearing up for its inaugural season. The jewel of Sandy Springs, City Springs includes the muchanticipated Performance Arts Center. David Daly, director of programming at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center tells Georgia Voice, “As a newly formed city, we lacked a ‘there there,’ a place where the community could gather and be entertained, and the block, now known as City Springs, provided a canvas to create that center point.” David adds: “In shaping the design and uses, city leaders sought community opinion. There were dozens of public meetings, stakeholder sessions, and surveys. Residents could email their thoughts to the Mayor and City Council members. It was a collaborative process.” According to the website, the development is described as a “world-class cultural asset.” Broadway-like productions can be seen a little over 20 miles outside the city. The overall goal of the state-of-the-art facility is to offer live theater, music, and art to the community. The city has turned a 14-acre area into a civic and cultural center that is home to City Hall, the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, the Conference Center at City Springs, retail and residential partners, and a green city. The City Springs development also includes the City Springs, a nonprofit professional theater company and an affiliate of the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, according to Brandt Blocker, executive/artistic director of City Springs Theatre Company. 14 Fall Arts September 14, 2018

“City Springs Theatre Company was born out of the Sandy Spring’s community’s desire to have a subscription series of professional musical theater in the new Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center,” Brandt says. “Sandy Springs residents, Jan Collins, Steven Hauser, and Peggy and Jerry Stapleton founded the organization in 2017.” The City Spring’s website states that the theater company, “is dedicated to entertaining, educating, and enriching our community while contributing to its cultural and economic development by creating world-class theatre experiences at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center.” A primary goal of City Springs Theatre Company is to share the magic of theater and all facets of the arts with as many audiences possible.

a full day to experience dining, shopping, recreation, and professional entertainment. City Springs Theatre Company is committed to providing an exceptional theatrical experience and we look forward to our inaugural season’s opening production of ‘42nd Street’ starring Tony-Award-winner Shuler Hensley September 14-23.”

The primary performances are showcased in the facility’s Byers Theatre where Broadway shows and art education are performed. The theater features excellent sight lines, with seating for 1,070 on three levels including box seats. Superb acoustics, a full orchestra pit, and a fly loft make Byers Theatre an ideal venue for a variety of performance events. Its state-of-the-art performance technology boasts, among other things, a cinema-quality, 4K projector and screen.

The City Springs Performance Art Center also includes another highlight — The Studio Theatre. The Studio Theatre is a 5,000 square-foot space that can be used for community meeting spaces, small performances, or holding corporate meetings or banquet-style events. The Studio Theatre can seat 350 people and like the Byers, it too features excellent acoustics, a full lighting grid, a sprung floor, and other technologies.

It also includes green rooms, a 1,300 squarefoot rehearsal room, a 6,100 square-foot, glass-enclosed main lobby that can also be used as a gallery or as a space for receptions. Also featured: a full-service CityBar, a Studio Theatre that showcases a 7x16-ft video wall, and a balcony lounge that provides a smaller, more intimate event space.

Although, the venue is slightly OTP, Sandy Spring residents have set a high bar. “Customer Service is a top priority for city leadership, from paving along our roadways to drink service in the CityBar,” David tells us. “It is part of the City’s DNA, something we practice every day. The performing arts center is a first-class facility, and our goal is to feature a varied mix of performances which meets the demand of the audiences [and delivers] first-in-class service for our patrons. You come to the performing

There is a lot to look forward to, Brandt says. “City Springs is an ideal location to spend

arts center to be entertained and have a good time, and we want to make sure you leave with a positive feeling.” Apart from being an entertainment destination, there’s a strong focus to include an educational aspect. City Springs will create and produce arts education and communityenrichment programs, the website states. Their diverse program offerings will serve students and educators from those in pre-k through college-aged learners, and engage the educational community through handson training, a student-matinee series, and programming in the summer months, highlighting all the art’s disciplines. The first season of theater productions will begin this month with the musical “42nd Street.” The show will run from Sept. 14– 23. In December, “Elf The Musical” shows from Dec. 7–16. Lovers of theater can look forward to “South Pacific” and “Billy Elliot,” and “Hairspray” in months hence. Single tickets can be purchased for the various productions on the City Springs website or by calling 770-206-2022. Season tickets are also still available. For a line-up and more info on what’s new (which is all of it!), check out CitySprings.com. www.thegeorgiavoice.com


LAUGH

THE PLACE TO APPLAUD Event tickets are on sale now at citysprings.com

DANCE MEET

UPCOMING EVENTS AT CITY SPRINGS City Springs Theatre Company presents: 42nd Street September 14 – 23, 2018 Speaker Series: Col. Jill Chambers: “Veteran Empowered Care” September 22, 2018 Home By Dark September 23, 2018 Rob Schneider September 28, 2018 The Fun Show with Cat and Nat September 29, 2018 Late Night Tailgate October 11, 2018

Girl With No Job October 12, 2018

Take Me To The River November 3, 2018

Rob Bell: “The Holy Shift Tour” October 13, 2018

Roswell Dance Theatre presents: The Nutcracker November 23 – December 2, 2018

“DEA Narcos”: Steve Murphy & Javier Pena October 16, 2018 The 5th Annual Tower of Talent October 20, 2018 Sweetheart of the Rodeo 50th Anniversary October 21, 2018 Prague Philharmonic Children’s Choir October 25, 2018

City Springs Theatre Company presents: Elf the Musical December 7 – 16, 2018 Boston Brass – Christmas Bells Are Swingin’ December 22, 2018 New Years Celebration with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra December 31, 2018

Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company November 1, 2018

EVENT DETAILS AND TICKETS AT CITYSPRINGS.COM


FALL ARTS

Life and Death at The Gallery Catharine Romero The exhibition was to remind viewers of death, the idea that we are all made of stardust and will eventually have to be returned to Earth. Live music, however, brought life into The Gallery and reminded listeners to, while we have the time, live. The closing night of Martin Ferreyra and Pablo Gnecco’s joint exhibition “Somos Estrellas/We Are Stars” at The Gallery was a smash. The showing takes inspiration from the Day of the Dead celebration of Mexico. Through paintings, ceramics, and installations of light and sound, the exhibition gave the audience a reason to reflect on what could be the reunion with our ancestors to keep their precious memories alive. Martin Ferreyra, born in Argentina, takes 16 Fall Arts September 14, 2018

influence from the Mesoamerican era of art, the likes of which can be seen in Chac Mool, a famous Mesoamerican sculpture typically depicted as a figure lying on his stomach holding offerings to the gods. Ferreyra’s take is interesting in that it features Chac Mool on his hands and knees making an offering to the people. Another prominent subject of Ferreyra’s is Mexico’s national dog, the Xoloitzcuintli, which acts as a guide to spirits making their way toward Mictlan, or the Land of the Dead. His works beautifully marry Mesoamerican history in his paintings, ceramics, and the use of bright pastels to add a unique twist. Pablo Gnecco is an experimental artist and motion designer from Colombia. His lightbased installations contrasted with Ferreyra’s pieces that directly connected with the theme. The light and darkness of his pieces

were representative to me of life and death. Without light, there is no darkness; without life, there is no death. But his works could also be taken to mean that the individual is light who, when faced with darkness, will never succumb.

lyrics playing with Disney’s “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.” Hommeboy’s explosive and positive energy cultivated a crowd comfortable enough to let loose, dance, vogue, and circle the gallery. In that moment everyone was a star.

Meanwhile, ItsPatSoul’s R&B and soulinspired vocals soothed as they reverberated throughout the showing. His lyrics filled listeners with hope. His set ended with, “I’m Just Trying.” In a room full of what felt and looked like young creatives, it resonated. When Kiya Lacey took the mic, her presence at the front commanded everyone’s attention. One listener remarked that she gave off Evanescence vibes mixed with R&B. Hommeboy took the stage last, where he welcomed everyone to dance with him. His sound takes influence from 80s New York. He premiered “OtherWorldly” (O.W), his

The Gallery at Wish opened in February of 2018 as an art complement to Wish ATL, a popular boutique for streetwear and sneakers. The gallery opened to provide artists and customers of the boutique with a place to be introduced to established and upand-coming creatives within the community. The Gallery has exhibited Martha Cooper, Pastiche Lumumba, Gerald Lovell, and many others. On that night, however, “Somos Estrellas/ We Are Stars” invited death to the party and we danced with her, unafraid. www.thegeorgiavoice.com


ASK IF IT’S EQUITY.

GEORGIA IS HOME

TO 10 PROFESSIONAL EQUITY THEATRES Actor’s Express Theatre Company Alliance Theatre Atlanta Lyric Atlanta Shakespeare Aurora (Main Stage)

Actors’ Equity is the National Union for Professional Actors and Stage Managers working in live theatre. An Equity Theatre means fair compensation, health care and workplace safety rules are in place that allow members to give their all for the audience, night after night.

Emory University/Theatre Emory Horizon Theatre Company Savannah Rep Theatrical Outfit True Colors Theatre

Y, U B U O Y E R O BEF Y T I U Q E S T I F I K #AS

.COM/ATLAN Y IT U Q E S IT IF K AS

TA


FALL ARTS

The Fine Line Between Art and Vandalism STREET ARTIST GAIA PAINTS A TRUER PICTURE OF ACTIVISM VIA THE PAINTCAN. Aidan Ivory Edwards When we hear street art, some of our thoughts migrate to graffiti. Then we remember that one time we got plastered with our delinquent friends off Barton’s vodka, spray-painted a phallic object on the entrance doors of our high school, and received our only misdemeanor. (Or was that just me? Let’s move on.) Graffiti has traditionally been about identity: an open display of a group, community, gang, faction, or individual. It’s like showing everyone your identification without anyone asking for it. Cops may want to detain you when you’re done, or rival gangs may want to scrap with you over it. But now, street art has morphed into a reputable dominion of the creative world. A fair amount of this prosperity is due to the likes of an unknown artist that goes by the name Banksy. His stylistic use of absurdity and bleak humor within his art produces an intellectual trait to vandalism. However, it’s vital to give credit to pioneers such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Blek le Rat for laying the groundwork. Simple words from a can have turned into murals. This new acceptance has led to cities commissioning artists to create murals, and this, of course, includes Atlanta. Why are cities doing this? Because it’s not only beautifying, but it brings in people — people running into our potholes. At least they can see Gaia’s astonishing mural on Sunrise in Edgewood as they skin some tire-tread on a pothole. But seriously, It’s a devastatingly beautiful piece in a location that fits his artistic agenda. I first saw Gaia’s mural entitled #iftheygunnedmedown in The Center for Civil and Human Rights museum. Gaia 18 Fall Arts September 14, 2018

resides in Baltimore, but is known around the world. I had the opportunity to speak with the artist himself, and he schooled me on various topics: It seems that not much has changed since your #iftheygunnedmedown mural. How did you come to work on this piece? Mónica Compana of Living Walls was asked by the Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta to choose an artist to respond to contemporary issues. I chose to focus on the emergent hashtag #iftheygunnedmedown, as an important representative device that exposes the duplicity of the media regarding the extrajudicial lynching of black people at the hands of the police. Two images of the same person are compared in two different contexts. This comparison questions the narrative the media tells about black victims of police violence. I sought permission from a Missouri lawyer named CJ Lawrence, who is the author of the hashtag that caught national attention, and from each of the people represented in the painting who participated in the hashtag exercise. I then developed the concept with an artist from Baltimore named Brandon Buckson, and we recreated painted Facebook posts in the streets exploring this duality which is posed by the question: “iftheygunnedmedown … which portrait would the media use?”

The public tends to misconstrue street art for vandalism. When did you first begin to display your work in public? Vandalism is a liberal concept that seeks to dictate the interaction of property. Technically, everything I have done on someone else’s capital without their permission is vandalism, so categorically, under this definition, it is vandalism. I began guerrilla branding when I was 18 in 2007 and stopped putting up recognizable, illegal, posters roughly 2014. When you first began, was your work aimed toward graffiti or elsewhere? I believe in acknowledging the constraints of our identities. I am a fourth generation Italian American whose grandfather was a garbageman and whose father was in finance. While my father is from the Bronx, I am not, and thus, have never tried to copy letter styling, nor insert myself into the graffiti world. Instead, I have endeavored to respectfully stay in my lane, and be adjacent rather than try to fake the funk, although admittedly, I do sometimes tend to run my mouth online. The “Street Art” world was moving toward the mural game, so I developed a process that liberated me from the constraints of “personal style.” I decided that the work would be a visual synthesis into investigation of place, with the central goal of restructuring whose

input is important and valuable. Atlanta has changed so much in the last few years. What do you think of the city (then or now), and its artistic importance? Every city is experiencing an increased invasion of white people, and the writing is all in the policy. If poor people are being displaced, and homelessness numbers are still growing, clearly the policy is not lying, and thus my work has been co-opted as a harbinger of militaristic community turnover. Obviously, I feel intensely ambivalent about my role in processes of gentrification, but ultimately the policy will determine the equity. I cannot imagine the pain of growing up in the city and then watching it transform so dramatically from such steep divestment; it’s almost as if in order to deal with the death of our hometowns, we all must move somewhere else to appreciate the positive aspects of such violent change. I will say this about Atlanta, for better or for worse: Living Walls has established that Atlanta is a mural town, and their legacy is apparent in the new branding strategies all over the city. Want to know what he does? GaiaStreetArt. com. Or get crazy local and check out all of the images and locations of Atlanta’s 400+ murals at StreetArtMap.org. www.thegeorgiavoice.com


FALL ARTS

QUINTRAIL DAVIS

PHOTO VIA INSTAGRAM

From the ‘Hood to the Tube:

ATL’S Quintrail Davis Dawn Felton

When Trail dances he says he “just feels free.”

Quintrail Davis, the Atlanta-based hip-hop dancer and hip-hop dance instructor who, when asked, “How long have you been dancing?” will answer, “Forever!” Then, five years ago he embarked on the career seriously and in the last two years he has danced professionally.

The technically trained dancer has a foundation in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and his strong suit: hip-hop. In the past two years, the Bankhead-native taught hiphop dance at The Dance 411 Studios on Moreland Avenue to adults. After dancing for good friend Andrea Barnett, program director of Camp Best Friends summer youth program in Atlanta, he earned the role of the Beginning Hip-Hop Dance Instructor at the Rosel Fann Recreation Center in South West Atlanta, this past summer.

Quintrail has several notable credits, such as the “Soul Train Awards 2016,” “Let’s Dance: The Tour 2016–2017,” “BET Social Media Awards 2018,” Fox Television Network’s hit TV show, “Star,” and as of this interview, rehearsed for the Janet Jackson Tribute at the “2018 BMI Awards.” He utilizes dance as his way to get his emotions out, almost to the point of crying. www.thegeorgiavoice.com

Coming from ‘the hood,’ the dance instructor strives to teach our underserved youth to

put their minds to achieve what they want. Although the odds are stacked against them

submission video, which went viral and subsequently gave him a shot.

From having to sleep in his car, the warmhearted choreographer used his faith in God to propel himself out of this situation, despite the challenge he faced in convincing his mother that becoming a professional dancer is ‘gay.’ Quintrail’s big dreams allowed him to reject her notion that a career in dance wasn’t going to make him any money. His inspiration, Sean Bankhead, swayed him otherwise, from watching his YouTube videos to defying his odds by taking one of Bankhead’s classes. In pursuit of following his ambition, the 22 year old’s first job opportunity came from a Rihanna

It might have been hard, but he got through to his mother, by proving her wrong and blowing his family away with his appearance on “Star” (The Fox series). His mother called him one day and asked, “Is that you on ‘Star’?” She no longer encouraged him to give up his hope of making it and working a factory job. As Davis’ vision of dancing in a world-tour and becoming a creative director are still in the works, he is already scheduled to continue serving our community at both Dance 411 and Camp Best Friends. You can follow him on Instagram @ItsTrail. September 14, 2018 Fall Arts 19


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The Housing of Feminist Literary Art & Beyond IN ATLANTA, CHARIS BOOKS & MORE HAS BEEN A SPRINGBOARD FOR UNHEARD VOICES AND SOCIETAL CHANGE SINCE 1974. Morgan Fletcher

social justice, and reproductive rights.

Tucked behind Brewhouse Café on Euclid Avenue is an unassuming purple house that has shaped Atlanta’s literary and social movements for the last 44 years. Charis is one of the oldest feminist bookstores in the country and has stayed true to feminist values ever since its inception. Charis is not just a bookstore; it is a headquarters for Atlanta residents to educate, resist, and connect to their community. 270 events per year range from yoga on Sundays to weekly talks on topics such as race consciousness, bisexual visibility, anti-ableism, body image,

Charis is not only dedicated to providing a safe place for their community, they are passionate about providing a platform for authors whose stories and experience don’t have a place in mainstream media. Charis Circle is a nonprofit that operates in conjunction with the bookstore. The literary project “seeks to expand existing notions of literature, test cultural and discipline-based boundaries and traditions, cultivate written experimentation, encourage discourse between schools of thought, and build audiences for live literary experiences. With a primary focus on diverse

www.thegeorgiavoice.com

and marginalized voices, FMC is a cuttingedge literary project that works to build a place at the table for all artists.” Any author whose material aligns with the values of intersectional feminism can submit their work to be featured. Local authors may also submit self-published work on a consignment basis. So, you haven’t written your book yet, but long for similar minds to connect with? Making Space is a writing group for activist, healers, and everyday heroes that meet on the second Monday of each month. The group is focused on sharing stories from those who dedicate their lives to making our world a little better. Educators, psychologists, social workers, and everyday activists have important stories to tell. These are the stories that have shaped the feminist community

and will continue to alter not only Atlanta’s history, but our country’s. Charis has been a staple of Little Five Points since the beginning. Elizabeth Anderson, executive director of Charis Circle, announced in late 2016 that the store would be moving to 184 South Candler Street, across from Agnes Scott College in early 2019. The new location is larger and has the space needed to continue hosting events, reading groups, and other gatherings of great minds. If you’re interested in donating toward renovations to ensure the new location is both beautiful and accessible, please visit CharisCircle.org. Volunteers are also always needed to give their talents and valuable time. September 14, 2018 Fall Arts 23


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Speak Now!

Slam Poetry in Atlanta Elizabeth Hazzard We all wake to a world riddled with unnecessary violence, justified racism, vulgar sexism, and malignant homophobia; we all wake to a world that needs change. And among rebellious creative minds, spoken word has given a voice to this change. While poetry itself is a powerful form of art and expression, the collectiveness of spoken-word poetry proves powerful and provides an open platform for those who are often muted and marginalized, a place for people who are silenced based on their race, gender, and/or sexual orientation to speak and be listened to, much more than to simply be heard. Jessica Melilli-Hand is a spoken word/ slam poet who is a part of the LGBTQ community. She often performs her pieces with her wife, Jeana, who is both a flutist and composer. As she describes her entrance into the slam world, she highlights the vibrancy of such an art. “Slam and spoken word have such wonderful energy, harkening back to poetry’s ancient roots in performance and music, and once I discovered this energy, I was hooked, especially because audiences tend to be lively and involved,” she says. “Nothing’s more inspiring than a room full of people yelling, ‘Spit, poet!’” Jessica performed with an all-lesbian slam team called the Art Amok. From this community of poets, she was able to gain solace during times when she faced the outside forces of the discrimination aimed toward her sexuality. “Spoken word/slam helped me cope with discrimination I was facing in other areas, such as when I was a preschool teacher and several parents complained when they found out I was gay, including a family who left the preschool for this reason, despite telling me 24 Fall Arts September 14, 2018

they appreciated all I’d done to help their child overcome some difficulties,” she says. “I also dealt with the tremendous pain of most of my immediate and extended family refusing to attend my wedding. Having a supportive spoken-word audience definitely helped me work through this pain on a personal level.” With the power of poetry in hand, she tells of how she bravely used this platform to spur protest against an exclusive Senate Resolution that injected discrimination into the Georgia Constitution. Resolution SR595 stated that Georgia would “recognize marriage as only the union of man and woman.” Although Jessica and her community could not stop the resolution at the time, she decided to bravely utilize her spoken word voice in avocation for change. “I organized a poetry protest on the Capitol steps, and we found strength in community,” she explains. “In my experience, my voice, even as I tackled LGBTQ issues, was welcome in not only queer spaces, such as when I featured several times for the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival and Outwrite Bookstore (RIP), but also in more mainstream and corporate areas, such as when Turner South held its My South spoken-word competition, and my depiction of my ambivalent relationship with a South that claimed me as daughter yet simultaneously rejected me was selected as a finalist.” For Jessica and many other members of society who face such ignorant prejudices, spoken word/slam has allowed them to find community in community, activism in art, and revolution in rhythm scheme. And while the LGBTQ community is gaining more recognition within the literary field as well as others, she encourages upcoming writers to break the barrier of LGBTQ underrepresentation by supporting LGBTQ journals through submissions, subscriptions,

and word-of-mouth, because until everyone’s ideas, perspectives, and creative works are considered mainstream, our minds cannot fathom the notion of equality, let alone strive toward it. And while voicing change is important, Jessica reminds us that putting action behind these words is what truly makes for a poignant uprising against hate. She states: “This platform is powerful because spoken word tends to be accessible, and [able] to tap into emotions, which leads people to care enough to take action. Taking action is, of course, crucial. We can’t listen to and/or write pieces about LGBTQ issues and stop there. Spoken word can’t contact representatives, march in protests, sign petitions, and lead boycotts, but it can spur us to do so.” As an experienced spoken word/slam poet, her advice to upcoming poets remains simple: “Attend as many events as possible! Open mics with featured poets are wonderful places to develop the craft because you get to hear

pieces from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels, with a large portion of time devoted to someone who’s been at it awhile. If you like a poem, tell the poet. Take your place in this community, and nurture connections based on true admiration and shared interests.” She recommends Atlanta’s Java Monkey café as a great place for beginners since it boasts a very supportive audience and experienced judges. Jessica and Jeana are prime examples of the way that a powerful art form such as poetry can be utilized as a tool with which one can spark change in the world. Speaking, giving breath to equality can allow us all to wake to a world where inclusion isn’t exclusive and violence doesn’t serve as punishment for being oneself. The world is our microphone and no voice, no message deserves to be put on mute. To upcoming poets, I encourage you to speak now or forever hold back the change you wish to see in the world. www.thegeorgiavoice.com


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September 14, 2018 Ads 25


ACTING OUT

New Lizzie Borden Flick is No Cut Above Jim Farmer Lizzie Borden took an axe And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one. The nursery rhyme might have overstated matters a bit, but the story of Borden has been one that has intrigued the public since a pair of murders — to the main character’s stepmother and then her father — took place in 1892 in Fall Rivers, Massachusetts. The new psychological thriller “Lizzie,” with a surprising lesbian relationship at its core, opens next week in Atlanta theaters. Chloe Sevigny, also serving as producer for a long-time passion project for her, stars in the film as Lizzie. In director Craig William Macneill’s take, the character lives at home with her rich but frugal father Andrew (Jamey Sheridan), stepmother Abby (Fiona Shaw), and sister Emma (Kim Dickens). Lizzie is a lonely woman, prone to epileptic fits. Andrew is abusive and he and Abby routinely threaten to send Lizzie to an institution. Lizzie’s life changes, though, with the arrival of Bridget (Stewart), a young woman who joins the household as a maid 26 Columnists September 14, 2018

DETAILS

“Lizzie” Metro area theaters on Sept. 21

and becomes known to them as Maggie. A bond develops between the women, as does a slow-building relationship. When it’s discovered by Andrew, he calls Lizzie an abomination and threatens to end Bridget’s employment. Eventually both Andrew and Abby are brutally murdered and Lizzie is brought up on charges that she did it, despite testimony of her innocence from Bridget. The screenplay by Bryce Kass starts with the discovery of the bodies, then flashes back six months to the arrival of Bridget, then fast forwards again to the trial and arrest of Lizzie. It’s a rather unsatisfying story-telling device, never really showing the build-up to the murder. Kass also takes easy outs, being quick to point out that the father was cruel and abusive. In this revisionist take, he paints Lizzie as a victim. It’s hard to care about anyone here. I’m not sure how sympathetic audiences will be for an axe murderer and her accomplice, no matter

how much groundwork Kass tries to establish. The comfort the two women take in each other is the movie’s saving grace, with some discreet moments of passion. The central love story ultimately doesn’t hold up. One moment, the two women seem connected and later Bridget realizes Lizzie isn’t who she thought she was. There isn’t much chemistry either. Sevigny’s Lizzie is expressionless to a fault and even Stewart often looks mildly bored. Shaw, too, is wasted in a shapeless role. Denis O’Hare as Andrew’s conniving brother and Dickens do liven the film up some in support. “If my sister hangs ... you will regret it the rest of your life,” Emma naps to Bridget. The film was shot in Savannah back in 2016 and debuted at this year’s Sundance to mixed reviews. It has a great cast and some splendid, atmospheric cinematography by Noah Greenberg. (The film purposely lacks any color until the final passages.) In a year that has seen strong lesbian product in “Disobedience,” “Becks,” and “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” however, this is rather disappointing. It wants to be a period piece, a thriller, a feminist statement, and a lesbian romance all at once and it never really succeeds at any of those. www.thegeorgiavoice.com


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EATING MY WORDS

Murphy’s: Go For The Corn, Not The Clink Cliff Bostock I can never write about Murphy’s Restaurant in Virginia-Highland without telling this story: Over 30 years ago, I landed at my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. The lead-up wasn’t pretty. I was driving home after hours of drinking and decided to break into a house that turned out to be owned by Tom Murphy, whose Virginia-Highland restaurant I loved. The cop who wrestled me to the floor after I shattered the door window gave me an ultimatum. He said, “You can go to jail or you can pay for the window and go to an AA meeting.” I seriously asked him to give me a minute to think about it. (I’d been to jail before.) I chose AA. The policeman actually picked me up the next day and deposited me at the gay AA clubhouse, Galano. I never drank again. At the time, Murphy’s was a basement-level delicatessen near the Virginia-Highland fire station. About 10 years after my epiphanic moment, with the neighborhood in the throes of gentrification, Murphy’s upgraded to its present location (997 Virginia Avenue). It became one of the city’s most popular and dependable venues, employing a long line of now-famous chefs. I last went to the golden-lit, brick-walled-butairy restaurant with my Friday night dining pals two years ago and we returned last Friday. The menu still mainly features fancified comfort food. Inevitably, I ordered the Guinness-braised

28 Columnists September 14, 2018

brisket, arguably the city’s best. It’s always super tender, properly fatty and juicy, and served over creamy mashed potatoes. There’s a mild spike of horseradish and some green beans whose crunch provides a contrast to the otherwise creamy textures. The only meh element of this visit was a chunk of roasted carrot which added color but little taste. The mashed potatoes and carrots returned in half a roasted Springer Mountain chicken flooded with a delicious tarragon jus. Unfortunately, the chicken breast was significantly dry and chewy. I don’t know whether to blame the restaurant or Springer Mountain, whose humane, antibiotic-free treatment makes its chicken the choice of thoughtful chefs. In my own experience, the birds usually have great flavor, but can indeed be a bit chewy. Moisture is hard to predict in any chicken that has not been grossly injected with “broth.” The kinkiest starter on our table was the elote, the grilled corn popular in Mexico. At Murphy’s, the corn is flash-fried on the cob, then cut into strips, dusted with parmesan, sprinkled with cilantro, and served with roasted-garlic mayo. We also sampled the tasty Mexican-inspired tortilla soup and a flavor-blasting special of butternut-squash soup. Go for the elote. We were way too full to consider dessert. Prices are fairly high with my brisket near

the top at $23. Service is always the best. Ask for Leonard. The restaurant, by the way, is known for its wine list, but I’d have to go to jail to tell you about it. NEW: I’ve visited two new venues worth your time, although both are still fine-tuning. First is the Po’ Boy Shop (1369 Clairmont Road). I went straight for the classic Muffaletta and found it good except for the untraditional sub-style bread that was borderline-soggy. There are other po’ boys and fried seafood plates, plus a bracing gumbo. The Baker Dude is the most wonderfully

disorienting place I’ve visited in a long time. It’s located inside Building B of the Beacon development in Grant Park (1039 Grant Street). Owner Orran Booher became well known for his cupcakes at an earlier location. Here, you get baked goods plus breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. And singing servers. In fact, there are cabaret performances planned. Check the website (BakerDude.com) for details. I’ll write more soon. Cliff Bostock is a former psychotherapist now specializing in life coaching. Contact him at 404-518-4415 or CliffBostock@gmail.com.

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BEST BETS Our Guide to the Best LGBTQ Events in Atlanta for September 14-27 FRIDAY, SEPT. 14

An acclaimed film based on a book, “We the Animals” starring Raul Castillo from “Looking” continues at the Midtown Art Cinema today with various showtimes. MAAP (Metro Atlanta Association of Professionals) hosts Friday – Mix, Mingle and Film tonight, offering a preview of Out On Film. MAAP has teamed up with Bill Kaelin Marketing for a exciting event, which will feature networking, movie trailers, and giveaways, as well as complimentary light bites, beer, and wine. MARTA and ride sharing is highly encouraged, but if you must drive, there is paid valet at Stove Works and $5 self-parking available at the corner of Krog St. and Lake Ave. Atlanta Beltline Center 6–8pm

FRIDAY, SEPT. 21

FRIDAY, SEPT. 14

Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart star in the drama/thriller “Lizzie,” about Lizzie Borden, featuring Sevigny as Borden, an unmarried woman of 32, and Stewart as a new maid who is attracted to her. TBD theaters

An acclaimed film based on a book, “We the Animals” starring Raul Castillo from “Looking” continues at the Midtown Art Cinema today with various showtimes.

Join 250 of Atlanta’s LGBTQ and allied business leaders from C-Suite executives to start-up entrepreneurs for the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC) dinner featuring a reception, hosted bar, an awards dinner, and after party. Marriott Marquis 6:30pm

SATURDAY, SEPT. 15– SUNDAY, SEPT. 16

Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy, and more are part of the line-up for Music Midtown this year. Piedmont Park Noon

SATURDAY, SEPT. 15

Join the Log Cabin Lunch today. Cowtippers Noon–3pm Saturnalia Party Productions presents: ROME. Come experience a Roman festival like never before. New shows, additional hosts, great music, and a festival atmosphere will make for an amazing evening. Costumes are strongly encouraged. Heretic Atlanta 10pm–3am WUSSY presents ICON a celebration of Rihanna + Sia starring Shea Couleé of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 9. The event is a dance party with the sickest show in all of the land featuring drag, aerial, dance, burlesque and more. Expect performances from Michael Robinson, Brigitte Bidet, Dotte Com, T-Rex, Bella Dorado, and Porter Grubbs. Deep End 10pm–3am

SUNDAY, SEPT. 16

The High Museum of Art has opened the major touring exhibition “Outliers and American Vanguard Art.” The show brings together more than 250 diverse works by more than 80 trained and untrained artists, and includes sections

30 Best Bets September 14, 2018

and featured works by artists including Greer Lankton, Zoe Leonard, Forrest Bess, and Henry Darger that examine sexuality and gender. Together, the works on view offer an unprecedented overview of the profound impact of American self-taught artists on the evolution of modern and contemporary art over the past 100 years. They also reveal how these artists galvanized the mainstream art world to embrace difference and diversity across race, region, class, age, and gender. Running through September 30. The PFLAG support group for parents and families of LGBTQ children meets today at the Atlanta International School. 7:30–9pm

MONDAY, SEPT. 17

Trans and Friends is a youth-focused group for trans people, people questioning their own gender, and aspiring allies, providing a facilitated space to discuss gender, relevant resources, and activism around social issues. Charis Books and More 7–8:30pm

TUESDAY, SEPT. 18

The adorable “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” — about Scotty Bowers, sexual procurer to the stars — continues at the Midtown Art Cinema with various showtimes. The lauded, family-friendly musical “Aladdin” continues its run at the Fox

Theatre through Sept. 23. 7:30 pm

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19

Come out and enjoy Ruby Redd’s Birdcage Bingo tonight, with performances by The Belles with the Balls. The Atlanta Hideaway 8:30pm Thad Stevens hosts Karaoke Night at My Sister’s Room tonight, with all sorts of drink specials. 9pm

THURSDAY, SEPT. 20

Put on your dancing shoes and party hats, and come out to Noni’s to meet local author Quentin Harrison celebrating his newest book release, “Record Redux: Madonna.” Early guests can actually purchase their copy of the new book on site. If you’ve already purchased your book, bring it down to get it signed by the author himself. Enjoy Madonna-themed cocktails, all of the Queen of Pop’s music videos, and more on this special night. Noni’s 7–11pm In a setting that even Shakespeare himself couldn’t have imagined, the Alliance Theatre will produce a whimsical, outdoor production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Atlanta Botanical Garden tonight, running through October 21. 7:30pm

The Auburn Avenue Research Library will host academic author and scholar Carol Anderson as she discusses her book: “One Person, No Vote.” In her book, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government dictated racial discrimination as more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. With vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans. Professor Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler professor of African American Studies at Emory University. 7pm The Process Theatre’s version of Terrence McNally play “It’s Only a Play” continues through tomorrow. Out of Box Theatre 8pm She speaks! After a year of national scandal and following a sold-out run of stand-up shows and rave reviews around the globe, Kathy Griffin is returning with the much-anticipated North American continuation of her “Laugh Your Head Off” world tour to the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Armed with the story of the now infamous and controversial photo, the fiery redheaded, award-winning, American comedian is bringing the story of the photo heard ‘round the world and the fallout that followed, along with breaking down everything in the pop-culture landscape from Trump to the Kardashians. Griffin tells all in this more than two-hour, no-holds-barred show in the raw, honest, and engaging way fans have always loved about her. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center 8pm

CONTINUES ON PAGE 32 www.thegeorgiavoice.com


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September 14, 2018 Ads 31


BEST BETS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 30

SATURDAY, SEPT. 22

Step behind the velvet rope for The Rainbow Ball, as it puts Studio 54 to shame. Out Front Theatre Company’s signature event of the year will feature a decadent dinner with open bar, auctions, live performances, and more sparkle than any mirror ball imaginable. 6:30–11:30pm Charis celebrates the hometown launch of the fourth book in the YA series, “Changers! Changers Book Four: Forever,” which picks up after Kim Cruz has just come out to her best friend. T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper are best-selling and award-winning authors and journalists. Between them, they have published 11 books, raised two children, and rescued six dogs. Charis Books and More 7pm

SUNDAY, SEPT. 23

DJ Leo Blanco makes his Atlanta debut with Xion. BJ Roosters 3am GA Boy Productions hosts the End of Summer T Dance tonight, District Atlanta 7pm

MONDAY, SEPT. 24

T-Time Atlanta Trans Youth holds their weekly meeting tonight. St Anne’s Episcopal Church 7pm

TUESDAY, SEPT. 25

Enjoy Latino Tuesday with DJ Melo spinning all night at Blake’s.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 26

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presents a free, live simulcast of their sold-out performance with piano sensation Lang Lang on Sifly Piazza tonight. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy an evening under the stars featuring an all-Mozart program, including Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Piano Concerto No. 24. Woodruff Arts Center 8pm TEN Atlanta will once again transform from a crowded dance club into a cozy NYC Cabaret for consecutive Wednesday nights tonight with Boys Night “OUT” on Broadway, a one-hour musical and

32 Best Bets September 14, 2018

THURSDAY, SEPT. 27

Out On Film, Atlanta’s LGBT film festival, opens its 11-day festival tonight with the local debut of “When the Beat Drops.” Midtown Art Cinema 7pm comedy revue written by Broadway veteran performer Robert Ray TEN Atlanta 7pm and 9pm

THURSDAY, SEPT. 27

Out On Film, Atlanta’s LGBT film festival, opens its 11-day festival tonight with the local debut of “When the Beat Drops,” about how gay Atlantan Anthony Davis created the underground dance scene known as “bucking” that has grown into a national movement, complete with fierce competition. He will be joined by noted choreographer Jamal Sims for the premiere. Midtown Art Cinema 7pm Join Elgin Charles, Charis, and the Atlanta Pride Committee for Bi the Way: A Panel Discussion on Bi Visibility. The panel will focus on representation of bisexuality and pansexuality, erasure and more. The event features local bi and pan authors and writers, all moderated by Elgin Charles, known the world over as the “Emperor of Hair” — he’s been the proprietor of his upscale beauty scale salon in the heart of Beverly Hills for more than 25 years. The panel will be followed by a book signing of “By The Way,” which chronicles Charles’ rise to success, his relationship with his friend and ex-wife, television icon Jackee Harry, and his bisexuality. Charis Books and More 7pm

UPCOMING FRIDAY, SEPT. 28

Every Friday at midnight, it’s time to slip on those fishnets and makeup for the greatest live troupe in the city, Lips Down On

Dixie, Inc., for a righteous party in front of the big screen for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Plaza Atlanta Midnight

SATURDAY, SEPT. 29

The Michelle Malone Band plays tonight. Michelle’s new record “Slings and Arrows” is upbeat, defiant, and jubilant, flush with the raw energy, emotion, and a slide guitar that’s always been a part of her signature sound all while nudging her deeper into some personal new territory. These songs speak to desire and disappointment, optimism and awareness, all with a driving and fiery conviction. Michelle describes “Slings And Arrows” as a “Georgia record,” due to the fact that the musicians, studios, and even those responsible for the visual art are all Georgians. Eddie’s Attic 9:15pm Do you remember the old variety shows like “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Muppet Show” or “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour?” Did you/do you always dream of being in the audience and being a part of the show? Atlanta’s all LGBTQ-identifying comedy group, Queeriety, has just the show for you. Come see The Queeriety Variety Show on the last Saturday of every month. Each show will be jam-packed with improvisation, live sketch comedy, stand-up comedy, puppetry, and drag performances. The Village Theater 11pm

TUESDAY, OCT. 2

David Byrne brings his American Utopia Tour 2018 to the Fox Theatre tonight with special guest Tune-Yards. 8 pm

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Melissa Carter They say blood is thicker than water, and I tried to test that theory out at DragonCon over Labor Day weekend, but the celebrity I’m related to doesn’t even know we’re family. My sister is the official genealogist in our family, and she’s the real deal, traveling to whatever state necessary to personally check their records for information on ancestors. She is not a fan of Ancestry.com, since the accuracy of the information on that site lies with the people posting it. If someone hasn’t done the research and posts people who are inaccurately related, there’s no one there to verify it unless another relative happens to catch the error. My sister has found plenty of erroneous information there about our family and doesn’t even bother with it anymore. I also suspect she finds it the lazy way out in searching for your roots. A couple of years ago she found that we are 7th cousins to Lou Diamond Phillips — yes, that Lou Diamond Phillips of “La Bamba” and “Young Guns” fame. It’s the first celebrity she has found in our family tree, so she couldn’t wait to tell me and outline exactly how we’re related. I shared the revelation on the radio when she told me, and had since forgotten about it.

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Then came news that my cousin was going to be at DragonCon this year. What a perfect opportunity to share the news with him, I thought, and decided that I would pay to get my picture with him for my sister. Yes, I knew celebrities have fans saying weird stuff to them all the time, but somehow my news of our common ancestor would be different. DragonCon’s system for getting your picture

with a celebrity has become quite sophisticated. You pay ahead of time, get a call time, show your barcode at the entrance, and are directed to the appropriate line for your celebrity. I was in and out in about 20 minutes which, on one hand, is great but on the other is awful if you’re trying to share such special news with them. I suspect that’s why they get you in and out so quickly, so the celebrity doesn’t get cornered by passionate fans. But I’m family! I put it at a good 10–15 seconds that each person had with Mr. Phillips, so I didn’t have a lot of time to mention our common ancestor. But when it was my turn, he outstretched his hands for a hug while I offered a handshake. He laughed as we swapped greetings, now with his hand out and my arms outstretched. We finally hugged and took our picture, as the line sergeant yelled, “Next!” And there went my time with him, my sister’s email outlining how our families are intertwined in my back pocket. When one doesn’t want to face their failure they usually proclaim that it just wasn’t meant to be. Such was my internal mantra as I realized the only time I would likely be face-to-face with Lou Diamond Phillips resulted in no personal conversation. One thing that can’t be taken away is the fact we’re cut from the same genetic cloth, even if we won’t share any BBQ or watermelon at the family reunion. One of the first out radio personalities in Atlanta, Melissa’s worked for B98.5 and Q100. Catch her daily on theProgressive Voices podcast “She Persisted.” Tweet her! @MelissaCarter www.thegeorgiavoice.com


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Dog Days of Democracy Ryan Lee I went to a barbecue this weekend and enjoyed watching many people mistake the host’s dog as being unusually rude. You never realize how much heart a person puts into a, “Hey puppy!” until you see their enthusiasm deflate as the dog sashays past them without any acknowledgment of their greeting or general existence. “He’s deaf,” another partygoer would say to explain the dog’s feline aloofness. Some folks responded by clapping or waving their arms in a vague form of animal sign language, while a few others looked at the dog and spoke with exaggerated pronunciation, as if it had graduated from a gifted obedience school that included lip-reading classes. The dog ignored them all as he sauntered around the party looking for fallen scraps or forgotten plates, and I envied the resolute confidence he showed in rejecting small talk. One of my most picked bones with dogs is their disregard for personal boundaries, so I liked the company of one that was on the other end of any etiquette disorder spectrum. I’ve met plenty of pets that were missing an eye, ear, or leg, and those cats or dogs always seemed to have a spunky edge to them, too cool to explain the episode that resulted in you being able to look through their eye socket and see out of their ear canal. You just had to have been there to appreciate the danger, bro.

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This was the first deaf dog I’d ever met, and based on most folks’ dejected sighs, it

might’ve been the most cursed beast to ever trod this earth. I thought of the sound of strangers using doggie talk with every pet they encounter on the street, and I knew there were fates for a dog far worse than being unable to hear human beings. The disinterested, deaf dog at the barbecue had a pronounced version of one quality I enjoy most about pets: escapism. In recent months, I’ve found myself missing the only pet I’ve had, a cat named Obi, after President Obama. I remember Obi’s companionship during several rough life episodes, such as when my job of seven years suddenly closed, or when I was evicted from my apartment (those two sound related, but aren’t). Listening to his heartbeat or feeling his soft breath against my hand, I was comforted by the authenticity of his existence — how his experience in this world had not been cluttered with worries about paychecks, bills, or any of the other obligatory burdens of being a human. How blissful would it be to spend an afternoon as that non-hearing dog; to be at a summer social gathering strictly for the weather and food, roaming undisturbed from one nibble to the next; to have no clue about how insane our world has become, or how the likelihood of humanity being destroyed in a nuclear meltdown fluctuates based on the babysitting schedule at the White House. The unstable, pathological liar leading our country, and the millions of people who detach from reality and decency in order to support him, have it feeling like the dog days of democracy.

38 Columnists September 14, 2018 www.thegeorgiavoice.com


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09/14/18, Vol. 9 Issue 15  

ATLANTA ARTS ROCK!!! New City Springs Art Complex // Interview: Vices of Vanity // Gritty City Graffiti // Poetry Is Slammin’. Check us out...

09/14/18, Vol. 9 Issue 15  

ATLANTA ARTS ROCK!!! New City Springs Art Complex // Interview: Vices of Vanity // Gritty City Graffiti // Poetry Is Slammin’. Check us out...