10.12.12 ATLANTA PRIDE STAGES
Andy Bell headlines Saturday. Page 8 Amy Ray is home for Sunday show. Page 10 Diverse acts pack Pride’s stages. Page 12
OUTSPOKEN IN THIS ISSUE
“My only fear is that I’d
Ben Cohen ‘stands up’. Page 16 Harvey Milk’s legacy lives on. Page 19 Local grand marshals on parade. Page 21
have to be brutally honest and I don’t think I’d like people to know about my warts and all.” — Andy Bell, PAGE 8
Yoga, health expo in Piedmont. Page 23 Trans March aims for visibility. Page 23 Dyke March welcomes all. Page 24 Parade leads Sunday schedule. Page 26 Starlight Cabaret is festival finale. Page 26
Find your way around the festival. Page 29
LGBT bars heat up for Pride. Page 31
Events, fundraisers and parties. Page 36
ALSO INSIDE A&E
Honey Boo Boo’s gay ‘Uncle Poodle’ speaks out for gay rednecks. Page 41 Music: Rufus Wainwright chats before Atlanta show. Page 43 Books: Amanda Kyle Williams no ‘Stranger’ to mystery. Page 45 Books: David Sedaris brings sarcasm to Symphony Hall. Page 46 Food Porn: Pride, masculinity and dumplings. Page 48
Gay candidates on ballots in Ga. Page 55 AIDS Walk Atlanta aims for new fundraising record. Page 57 Emory LGBT students: Get Chick-fil-A off our campus. Page 59
CALENDAR • Pages 61-65 COLUMNISTS
That’s What She Said: Melissa Carter’s mid-life non-crisis. Page 67 Domestically Disturbed: Topher Payne finds Pride with a pizza chef. Page 69
to love and be loved, and I want to be a bridge between LGBT and straight communities to create a kinder world.” — Ben Cohen, PAGE 16
“Suburban Atlanta was
pretty sheltered from gay stuff. I wasn’t really sure what was going on or what to call it and what it meant. I had a few teachers that were very supportive of my special friendship with this girl so it helped me to know that I wasn’t a freak.” — Amy Ray, PAGE 10
“We’re all rednecks, we cut up and
make fun, but we love each other and we tell the truth. That’s how you’re supposed to be with your family. Just real.” — Lee Thompson, Honey Boo Boo’s ‘Uncle Poodle,’ PAGE 41
Events: Jerusalem House gets ready for Halloween party. Page 50 Photos: GLAAD Gala, Atlanta Gay Weddings, Out on Film. Page 53
“Every human being has the right
“I’ve, of course, visited Elton
(John) in Atlanta when he’s there. I’ve also been to a few rowdy gay bars. Also, my grandmother was from Tifton, Ga. I’d certainly like to know more about Atlanta.” — Rufus Wainwright PAGE 43
“I like being able to make people
laugh while they are locking their doors and windows. Maybe that’s the sadist in me.” — Amanda Kyle Williams PAGE 45
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ATLANTA parties with a purpose ‘Unity, visibility and self-esteem’ on display in Piedmont Park
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com
wo days. Two stages. 200 parade entries. 200,000 attendees. Atlanta Pride is by far the biggest LGBT event in the Southeast, drawing people from around the region to party for a purpose. “We want to encourage people to make the most of the weekend,” said Buck Cooke, Pride managing director. “Have a great time, check out some new organizations and businesses, enjoy the parade, dance to the entertainers in the park, but always bear in mind that we are in need of wide-spread community support for full equality as citizens. “That takes everyone, LGBTQ people and our straight allies alike, to make that happen.” After a week of lead-up events including the annual AIDS Vigil, Commitment Ceremony and Georgia Aquarium Kick-off Party, the Atlanta Pride Festival packs Piedmont Park Oct. 13-14. This is Cooke’s ﬁrst year at the helm, after former Executive Director James Shefﬁeld stepped down to become director of organizational development for the Health Initiative, which focuses on LGBT wellness. Although Cooke had served as a Pride volunteer for ﬁve years, including three as programming co-chair, he said he was still surprised by how much it takes to put on the annual festival. “Even though I’ve been involved with the organization for years, I had no clue how complicated this is,” he said. “I knew it would involve a great deal of multitasking and lots of moving parts to every aspect of the festival and our other programming, but I was still surprised.” That Atlanta Pride somehow “just happens” is the biggest misconception about the festival, agreed Cooke and Glen Paul Freed-
man, Atlanta Pride board chair. Both encourage festival attendees to join the nearly 300 volunteers who make the weekend possible, with shifts starting at just four hours. “It is cool that I get to meet so many new people who are volunteering for the ﬁrst time and those friends returning to assist throughout the weekend,” Freedman said. “I always hear the same remarks that volunteering allows me to give something back to our community, be truly out and proud and supportive of an organization who treats me and my friends with respect and shows us a great time,” he said. “Of course, you get a real cool Pride volunteer t-shirt!’
Atlanta Pride Oct. 13-14 in Piedmont Park www.atlantapride.org
Pride by day and night
The Atlanta Pride festival and its related events strive to be as diverse as the community they represent. Entertainers include everything from country to hip-hop, with plenty of folk and dance divas in the mix. Vendors run the gamut from health organizations and non-proﬁts to small LGBTowned companies and giant corporations. Events range from edgier offerings like Saturday’s Trans and Dyke marches to Sunday’s more festive Pride Parade. Pride also offers a cultural exhibit in Piedmont Park to speciﬁcally draw attention to the community’s accomplishments and challenges. “This year’s Cultural Exhibit, formerly known as the Human Rights Exhibit, will focus on the LGBTQ contributions to the arts and creative ﬁelds, and those of our allies,” Cooke says. “Hopefully, participants will want to check out … the display in the park on Saturday and Sunday since there is some great work done to highlight LGBTQ and ally contributions to art, music, theater, televi-
Organizers expect some 200,000 attendees at this year’s Atlanta Pride. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
sion, motion pictures, dance, etc.” Beyond events Saturday and Sunday in Piedmont Park, Pride also offers a schedule of “ofﬁcial” nightlife events in conjunction with local party promoters. These ofﬁcial events include Friday night’s Kick Off Party at the Georgia Aquarium and Kick Off After Party at Jungle; Saturday night’s Peach Party, which is the Ofﬁcial Women’s Party, and the “Kiki By the Park” joint fundraiser with the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, sponsored by the W Atlanta-Midtown and Scissor Sisters; and Sunday night’s Ofﬁcial Closing Party at Opera. “To have a world-renowned music group like Scissor Sisters on board to help us raise money for Atlanta Pride is just incredible and we are thankful to Ben Cohen; Alison Doerﬂer, executive director of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation; and Patrick Davis, president of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, for making that event happen,” Cooke said.
‘Out and proud’
From the meadow of Piedmont Park to the streets of Midtown during the annual Pride parade, the Atlanta Pride Festival works both to empower LGBT people and increase our visibility in the community at large. “I think we send a very speciﬁc message, which is part of our mission statement,” Freedman says. “’Atlanta Pride Committee promotes unity, visibility and self-esteem among LGBTQ persons to promote a positive image in the Atlanta area and throughout the Southeastern US through community activities and services.’” For both Cooke and Freedman, a high-
light of the festival is the cheering crowds that line Peachtree and 10th streets to watch Sunday’s parade. “It is hard to explain that kind of emotion I am feeling and I always tear up,” Freedman admits. “But it is that feeling of being out and proud as a gay man saying to everyone, ‘Join us, join the ﬁght for full equality and march with us.’” Cooke cites helping carry the giant rainbow ﬂag along the streets, as supporters tossed in donations to Atlanta Pride, among his fondest Pride memories. “I loved the esprit de corps and the cheering, the high-ﬁves from people, the love and the support. It’s such a great feeling and we’re raising lots of money for Atlanta Pride while we’re doing it,” he says. “As you get down Peachtree and you think it can’t get any better, you turn the corner and see down 10th Street and it is just overwhelming,” he adds. “This sea of humanity spreads out before you and I have choked up and/or cried every time I have done it.” Overall, Atlanta Pride has become a family reunion of sorts, offering the region’s biggest opportunity for LGBT individuals, organizations and allies to come together in the same place at the same time. “I believe that the Atlanta Pride Festival and parade is the only event where the entire LGBTQ community and our allies come together under one umbrella/theme of unity and respect,” Freedman said. “We are all together in one central location and we all march together as one uniﬁed group.” — Laura Douglas-Brown
October 12, 2012
Bell Erasure’s Andy Bell headlines Pride Saturday
ndy Bell is not one to rest on his laurels. In addition to logging more than a quarter of a century as Erasure’s charismatic vocalist, notorious for his dance moves and fondness for costumes ranging from elaborate to skimpy, he found the time to release a couple of solo discs. Bell also made a name for himself on the DJ circuit. As one of the headliners at the 2012 Atlanta Pride, Bell is scheduled to perform at 8:05 p.m. on the Coca Cola Stage.
GA Voice: Erasure marked its 25th anniversary a couple of years ago. Looking back at the early days, did you ever imagine that you and Vince [Clarke] would be celebrating such a milestone? Andy Bell: I knew that I was a massive fan of Vince Clarke and it is a massive pleasure to work with him. Every day that we are all here is a blessing! So I never imagined we’d still be here 25 years later because I tend to take each day as it comes. Do you have one or two favorite or signiﬁcant Erasure memories from that whole span of time that you would care to share? There are so many and too numerous to mention, but I loved the fact that we were part of the True Colors tour with the amazing Cyndi Lauper. Her voice and personality are phenomenal, and of course the ultra glamorous Miss [Debbie] Harry. Also being part of a South American Tour with David Bowie and No Doubt. I’m so glad that you mentioned Cyndi, because I recently read her new memoir and she mentions Erasure when she writes about the True Colors tour. Do you have any interest in writing a memoir? My only fear is that I’d have to be brutally honest and I don’t think I’d like people to know about my warts and all [laughs]. But who knows, perhaps it could be semi-autobiographical [laughs]. This is probably like asking a parent to pick a favorite child, but out of the more than a dozen Erasure recordings, is there one album that is more meaningful to you than the others? “Erasure,” the album, and “Chorus,” because they are sonically very beautiful.
I’ve seen Michael Stipe in L.A., outside Chateau Marmont, but was too shy to say hello. I thought he wouldn’t know who I was!”
Andy Bell of Erasure brings his solo show to Piedmont Park on Saturday night. (Publicity photo via Atlanta Pride)
In the midst of all the ongoing Erasure activities, you found time to release a couple of solo albums. What did you like the best about that experience? I think the difference is it’s nice sometimes just to work outside of the parameters of Erasure because when we record an album there’s generally a tour and heaps of promotion. Your life is pretty much planned out at least for a couple of years. Have you begun a new solo album? Yes, I am working with Dave Aude and a few other writers. For the ﬁrst time I’ve had songs written for me, which is a great position to be in. You have also gained a reputation as a DJ. What do you like best about DJ-ing? I like the randomness of DJing. You never really know what it’s going to be like or the crowd. I love getting to play all of my favorite tracks
from the ‘80s up to the present day. Sometimes it goes horribly wrong [laughs] and other times it’s spot on. You are a performer who has a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter. Please say something about how you utilize social media. To be honest, I just like the one on one interaction. In some ways I hope that it doesn’t get too big because you kind of lose the personal touch. You were in Atlanta in 2011 with the “Tomorrow’s World” tour. Did you have time to take in any sites, historic or otherwise, while you were in town and if so, which ones? I went by Margaret Mitchell’s house, but didn’t go inside. I’ve hung out at people’s houses. I’m looking forward visiting the aquarium and Piedmont Park.
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com Andy Bell Saturday, Oct. 13, 8:05 p.m. Atlanta Pride Coca-Cola Stage What does it mean to you to be performing during Atlanta’s Pride celebrations? I loved our last Erasure show [in Atlanta]. The people are very friendly for such a big city. Atlanta is famous for its music scene. Have you ever had any guests, such as members of Indigo Girls, the B-52’s or R.E.M., join you on stage while you were performing here? No, I haven’t. But I’m in love with the B’s and have written with Kate Pierson. She’s a doll. I’ve seen Michael Stipe in L.A., outside Chateau Marmont, but was too shy to say hello. I thought he wouldn’t know who I was! — Gregg Shapiro
October 12, 2012
Hometown ‘Girl’ Pride Sunday headliner Amy Ray on coming out in life and music
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com Amy Ray Sunday, Oct. 14, 6:10 p.m. Atlanta Pride Coca-Cola Stage Amy Ray, one-half of lesbian folk duo Indigo Girls, brings her edgier solo show to the Atlanta Pride stage at 6:10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. (Publicity photo)
ometown hero and Indigo Girl Amy Ray was chosen by Atlanta’s Pride committee to headline this year’s event. She will be ﬁnishing out the festival on Sunday, October 14. The GA Voice caught up with her to talk to her about her own coming out, being a gay musician and living in a conservative community.
GA Voice: Congratulations on headlining Atlanta Pride. How does it feel to be a part of this event in your own home town? Amy: It’s awesome. It’s one of those things where I can’t express the level of love that I have for my city. I love that I can bring my band into my hometown and play a Prid show. It’s like having your best friend and you really want to share with them something that’s really important to you. When did you realize that you were gay? High school, my senior year. I didn’t know what the word “gay” meant. At that time, suburban Atlanta was pretty sheltered from gay stuff. I wasn’t really sure what was going on or what to call it and what it meant. I had a few teachers that were very supportive of my spe-
cial friendship with this girl so it helped me to know that I wasn’t a freak. When I really ﬁgured out what it meant, it was during my sophomore year in college. My freshman year, I didn’t know how to talk about it. I still had the same girlfriend and we were being physical but I didn’t know how to articulate anything. Then, I started understanding the language of it and talking to my mom about it and little by little became more open. So your mom was pretty cool about it? I wouldn’t say she was “cool” about it. She was trying to understand it and worried about me and very religious. Faith, and what that meant, was the context for her. My dad — I was scared to talk to him about it. He was very opposed to the idea. My two older sisters are gay as well and one of them had come out so it was easier for me in some ways. My parents, because of their faith, weren’t accepting for a long, long time. In the last 12-15 years, they’ve become very accepting and extremely evolved and incorporate it into their faith. I deﬁnitely watched my parents go through a big evolution and it took a long time but they never were like, you know, “You can’t come home for
Thanksgiving dinner,” which I feel lucky about. I was in a business where I was around a lot of other people that were different from me, from every walk of life, not just gay people. I was lucky to have all of those different perspectives. It’s very hard if you’re in a church or in a community setting where you are getting a lot of your needs ﬁlled except this one thing and you wonder do you really want to leave all this support for this one thing. Is it worth it to tell them? I can see the struggle. From my perspective, it was a struggle of “If I really admit this with my family, am I going to lose them?” You mentioned that when you started playing professionally, you were around a more open-minded group of people. Did you ever feel that you had to stay in the closet to advance your career? We didn’t stay in the closet as long as we did to advance our career. We were just scared. Back in the ‘80s, being gay really put you on the bottom rung. We didn’t want to be identiﬁed, at ﬁrst, as being gay. What would that do? How would that make us feel? Would we be alienated? There were all kinds of rationalizations for why
we didn’t want to come out but the biggest reason was fear — pure fear. What changed that? I think it took until about 1991 for us to come out. It was just like “Screw it. We’re just going to be who we are. We’re going to talk about it and not dodge the question. We’re just going to be real.” When I interviewed (country singer) Chely Wright, she said her coming out was detrimental to her career. Do you think you could have gone further if you had stayed in the closet? No. I think our queerness has held us back in a big way but I think being women in the folk and rock industry has held us back just as much. We’re a quadruple threat: we’re women, we’re political, we’re gay and we’re older. All of those things are strikes against us in this industry. When we were younger, we didn’t have an image that was… we were butch, down-home girls that were gay. If we had been glamorous and gay, it would have been different. There were all these ways that we didn’t ﬁt in and being gay was just one of ‘em. Even if we had been in a closet, I don’t know that we would have gone any further with the political beliefs that we push and the set of activism that we push and our inattentiveness to image — stuff like that. We are what we are and lucky that we got as far as we did. The last time we spoke, you mentioned that you lived in the mountains up in North Georgia. Things are different up there – are you living in an accepting community? It’s very conservative. I’ve found a lot of great allies up here that may have some different beliefs than me but we have a uniﬁed thread of compassion for each other and I feel like my neighbors and my community all believe in helping each other regardless of political beliefs. They sort of ignore the barriers if they have to. I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but I’m deﬁnitely richer because of the dialogue that I’ve had to have with people. I’m more troubled by the racism up here than I am by the homophobia. The racism and the anti-immigrant rhetoric up here… it’s going to take time and education because it’s just fear. It seems that whatever group is being hated on usually has fear at the root. Yeah. If the economy is bad and you feel one down, who do you blame it on? Who is the easy scapegoat? “Well, this guy over here shouldn’t be in the country!” It’s all of these crazy sound bites that help you put your life into place, help you place blame and help you have a reason for why things are the way they are. Sometimes there is no reason. Sometimes, the reason is because of the rich, white people in power. This has always been going on throughout the history of the world. This is the way people are so we need to keep educating them. — Shannon Hames
October 12, 2012
Sing out proud
More than 25 diverse acts pack Pride stages Saturday and Sunday Photos courtesy Atlanta Pride, musicians’ websites or Facebook
From folk and country crooners to dance music divas and up-and-coming pop sensations, Atlanta Pride packs a diverse mix of performers into two stages over two days. Pull out your smartphone and check out their websites. — Laura Douglas-Brown
SATURDAY, OCT. 13 COCA-COLA STAGE
2 p.m. www.katgraham.com
2:30 p.m. www.justinutley.com
Actress/recording artist Kat Graham has been in the spotlight since age 6. She stars in the CW show “The Vampire Diaries,” and her new EP, “Against the Wall,” is available on iTunes, featuring the single “Wanna Say.” She has described her musical style as “vintage ‘90s with a twist.”
Justin Utley performs his alternative country rock at Pride festivals around the world, and won “Best Folk/Country Song of the Year” in the 2010 OUTMusic Awards. His latest album is “Nothing This Real.”
THE SEXUAL SIDE EFFECTS
3:30 p.m. www.thesexualsideeffects.com
Led by charismatic trans frontwoman Amber Taylor, winner of Best Musician in the 2012 GA Voice Best of Atlanta awards, the Sexual Side Effects describe their indie rock music as “combining elements of Britpop and post-punk.”
4:15 p.m. www.demizesonline.com
Veteran Atlanta Pride performer Demizes has opened for Christina Aquilera and recommends his music to fans of Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo or Lady Gaga.” His debut CD is “Damaged Ink.”
5:10 p.m. • www.theoneandonlycrystalwaters.com
Famed for her hit “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless),” dance music diva Crystal Waters has played sold-out shows around the world. Her newest single “Le Bump” is out now.
6:05 p.m. www.kristinew.com
8:05 p.m. www.andybell.com
Kristine W holds the record for the most consecutive #1 hits on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs, and LGBT fans know why. Her latest album, “New & Number Ones,” just came out on Sept. 28. The single “Everything That I Got” — with the lyric, “I still got my pride” — is sure to have audiences cheering.
Andy Bell is the openly gay lead singer of the famed pop duo Erasure, and also a successful solo performer. To hear more from Bell, see our interview on page 8.
7:05 p.m. www.ritaora.com
Brit-pop sensation Rita Ora takes a break from opening for the likes of Coldplay and DJ Fresh to hit the Pride stage with her US debut single, “How We Do (Party).” She cites Gwen Stefani as her musical idol, but may be on the way to similar stardom herself.
SATURDAY, OCT. 13
BUD LIGHT STAGE 10:15 a.m. • www.atlantapride.org
The Pride children’s show is a chance for the youngest members of our rainbow to come together with like-minded families. Expect entertainers and a chance for LGBT parents to meet and network.
LITERARY SHOWCASE 12 p.m. • www.atlantapride.org
The eighth annual Pride literary showcase features poetry, prose and even book-signings.
2:15 p.m. • http://julianafinch.bandcamp.com
Folk musician Juliana Finch’s Americana, Southern roots shine on her companion albums “Apple” and “Blossom.” Her website compares her sound to how good bourbon tastes, and it’s an apt description: her music goes down smooth, but her lyrics about lost love will leave you still feeling the burn.
PRIDE PERFORMERS CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
October 12, 2012
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9/17/12 10:58 AM
October 12, 2012
Many musical styles on Pride stages SATURDAY, OCT. 13
BUD LIGHT STAGE
(continued from Page 12)
Cabaret photos by Laura Douglas-Brown
3 p.m. • www.jessicabettsmusic.com
Jessica Betts promises “true soul with a contemporary, edgy twist.” She won the 2005 “Road to Stardom” reality TV show.
3:45 p.m. www.reneewahl.com
Renee Wahl brings another alternative country voice to the Pride stages, one that has been compared to the likes of Maria McKee (Lone Justice). Her debut album is “Cumberland Moonshine.”
SAYER McSHANE 4:35 p.m. • www.sayermcshane.com
The duo of Kristen Sayer (lead vocals and lead guitars) and Carolyn McShane (drums, keyboard and backing vocals) is the self-described “biggest little show band” — a bluesy sound with tinges of rock, funk and Motown.
UNBREAKABLE BLOODLINE 5:25 p.m. • www.reverbnation.com/unbreakablebloodline Hailing from Albany in South Georgia, Unbreakable Bloodline brings a hip-hop sound with plenty of rock inﬂuences. Now at work on their debut album through an IndieGoGo campaign, they serve up sharp rhymes and rocking beats on songs like their ode to their hometown, “The ‘Bany (Good Life City).”
6:45 p.m. • http://soundcloud.com/speakerfoxx
Atlanta native DJ Speakerfoxx spins hip hop, bounce, dancehall, reggae, electro dance music and more — earning a nod from the staff of Creative Loaﬁng as “Best Dope Girl on the Wheels of Steel” in the alt-weekly’s 2012 Best of Atlanta awards. Maybe you remember her from last year’s Dyke March afterparty.
SUNDAY, OCT. 14 COCA-COLA STAGE
MICHEL JONS BAND 3 p.m. • www.facebook.com/MichelJohnsBand
After 10 years performing together, the high-energy Michel Jons Band says its motto is “We play Patsy Cline to Tina Turner to Beyonce.” Get ready to dance as they open the Coca-Cola stage as crowds pour into Piedmont Park after the parade.
STARLIGHT CABARET 7:15 p.m. • www.atlantapride.org
North Carolina native Leslie Christian has opened for LeAnn Rimes, Dierks Bentley, Trace Adkins and Kid Rock, among others, and says her goal is to be the ﬁrst African-American woman “to break through in country music.” Her debut album is “My Life is a Country Song.”
Atlanta Pride’s Starlight Cabaret closes out Pride weekend with rousing performances from the city’s favorite drag queens and kings. See story, Page 26.
4:25 p.m. • www.lesliechristianmusic.com
5:15 p.m. www.gurufish.com
Ear Magazine has described Guruﬁsh’s style as “sexy, funky-as-hell, pop music”; the band also calls its music “glitter soul.” Their new release is “Mohair Supreme,” and fans should expect a fabulous spectacle on stage.
6:10 p.m. www.amy-ray.com
Best known as half of the beloved lesbian folk-rock duo Indigo Girls, Amy Ray is also an amazing solo performer, bringing an edgier sound to tunes that range from punk to Appalachian roots music. Her latest album is “Lung of Love.” Don’t miss our interview with the hometown hero on Page 10.
SUNDAY, OCT. 14 BUD LIGHT STAGE
3 p.m. www.kyronleslie.com
Born in Tennessee, Atlanta resident Kryon Leslie describes his music as “pop soul.” His new single, “Disease,” is a duet with Kari Epps; the poignant, piano-backed track is available on iTunes.
MARIA GABRIELLA BAND 3:50 p.m. • www.mariagabriellaband.com Maria Gabriella’s diverse band offers up Latin and folk-infused rock with a ﬁve-piece band and backing from hip-hop lyricist Omnipresent. Their ﬁrst album is “High Above the
Sun.” You can also catch them at Atlanta’s only lesbian night spot My Sister’s Room with the hip-hop/pop/soul duo God-des & She on Saturday night of Pride weekend.
JAMIE CHAROEN 4:40 p.m. • www.facebook.com/Jamiecharoenofficial Thai-American singer-songwriter Jamie Charoen plays pop and R&B and cites inﬂuences ranging from Michael Jackson and Billy Holiday to Britney Spears and Taylor Swift.
DYLAN MICHAEL 5:25 p.m. • www.dylanmichaelmusic.com Fresh from performing at Savannah Pride 2012, Atlanta’s Dylan Michael, who compares himself to Lady Gaga with the voice of Kelly Clarkson, brings his pop/dance/electronic music to his hometown Pride stage.
October 12, 2012
Ben Cohen wants you to ‘StandUp’ Rugby star and LGBT ally puts his muscle into fighting bullying MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com
Kiki By The Park Fundraiser for Atlanta Pride & Ben Cohen Standup Foundation 9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m. at the W Midtown Hotel 188 14th St., Atlanta, GA 30361 http://standuppridekiki.eventbrite.com understand how unconditional love can change when a child comes out.”
‘The right to love’
Ben Cohen, a former rugby star and current gay icon, founded his StandUp Foundation in Atlanta to combat bullying. (Publicity photo)
en Cohen’s rugged good looks, gregarious personality and prowess on the pitch easily won him gay fans, but it is his community activism that earned him a spot as one of two honorary grand marshals of the 2012 Atlanta Pride parade. The former rugby star from England has made Atlanta almost a second home since deciding to base his StandUp Foundation here. He is considered the ﬁrst straight athlete to dedicate his philanthropic efforts to combat LGBT bullying and eliminate homophobia in sports. Founded in 2011, the StandUp Foundation has raised some $500,000 to donate to such organizations as Atlanta Field Day, the national Campus Pride, Bully Free Zone UK, Safety Center UK, Belong to Youth Services Ireland and a number of local schools and safety programs, according to Atlanta resident Patrick Davis, foundation president. Cohen says he is looking forward to Atlanta Pride. “It’s always nice to be recognized and it’s nice to see we are getting recognition for the work
we do. And Atlanta is where the foundation was founded, so it’s always great to visit,” he said. In addition to appearing in the parade, Cohen will attend a special fundraiser on Saturday night to beneﬁt Atlanta Pride and the StandUp Foundation. Dubbed “Kiki by the Park,” the Oct. 13 event at the W Midtown includes exclusive Scissor Sisters remixes, kiki-inspired cocktails and a silent auction. DJ Robin Skouteris will spin the ofﬁcial Scissor Sisters remix of “Let’s Have a Kiki,” created especially for Atlanta Pride and available worldwide next week.
New funds for LGBT causes
Cohen, who is straight and married with twin daughters, doesn’t hesitate to strip down to briefs as part of his 2013 calendar or sell the shirt off his back to the highest bidder at impromptu fundraisers at local bars. His foundation has sealed signiﬁcant deals with Nike and the Human Rights Campaign to sell merchandise, such as t-shirts, to fund the StandUp Foundation. “We want to unlock a new revenue stream
by selling our own merchandise,” Cohen explained. “And then that money goes to supporting organizations that don’t have much funding, who do low-key but important work. But we also support national organizations.” The StandUp Foundation also teamed up with Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project and producers of “Wicked” to hold a special performance in New York on Oct. 11 to help raise funds to defeat bullying; the foundation also joined efforts with the “Wicked” production in the U.K. to provide guides to teachers to help end bullying in schools. In addition, the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation is set to launch its new lifestyle magazine named, easily enough, “StandUp Magazine.” The magazine will feature interviews with sports ﬁgures who oppose homophobia and transphobia. “I have the beneﬁt of being part of two different worlds — Great Britain and the U.S.,” Cohen said. “It can be very sad to hear the stories of young people who come out and then are not accepted by their parents,” he said. “For me, I’ve got a fantastic set of core values and I can’t
Cohen visits Atlanta regularly and attended last year’s Atlanta Pride parade, where he rode with the Atlanta Bucks, the city’s gay rugby club. It’s not uncommon to see Cohen visiting local gay bars including the Atlanta Eagle and Mary’s as he works to raise funds for his foundation. As a straight man and a gay icon, Cohen said he’s comfortable with his sexuality as well as being the subject of gay fantasies as long as he can do good with his fame. It was actually a Facebook page that was created years ago that tipped off Cohen that he was popular with gay men. After working with the Atlanta Bucks to kick off his foundation, Cohen has nothing but gratitude for all his fans. “If people ﬁnd me attractive and that helps them pay attention and hear my message of acceptance, then I am honored by it,” said Cohen, who is chair of the foundation, in a statement when his foundation was formed. “Every human being has the right to love and be loved, and I want to be a bridge between LGBT and straight communities to create a kinder world.” Cohen’s drive to stop bullying stems from the death of his father, who was beaten to death in 2000 while trying to break up a bar ﬁght. The StandUp social-commerce brand is managed and licensed by Ben Cohen USA, Inc., his commercial enterprise. “Like (RED), focused on AIDS, or Livestrong, focused on cancer, the StandUp brand engages the consumer marketplace to fund social change. StandUp is the ﬁrst social-commerce brand developed for the beneﬁt of LGBT people and the anti-bullying cause. Its proﬁts will be shared with the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation,” according to a press release when the foundation was announced in May 2011. For Cohen, it is also the story of bullyingrelated youth suicides that caused him to take up this cause for the LGBT community. He stressed he will always be grateful for the support he has received from his gay friends and fans. “Without the gay community, we wouldn’t have a foundation,” he said. — Dyana Bagby
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Harvey Milk's new megaphone Nephew of gay icon continues to spread message of equality, pride By Ryan Lee As a ﬁeld general during the earliest battles of the modern LGBT rights movement, Harvey Milk’s primary weapon was a red and white bullhorn. The Fanon Transistorized Megaphone became a part of Milk’s political combat uniform, used to rally an army of San Francisco queers, street kids and liberals against centuries-old oppression of homosexuals. The iconic megaphone ampliﬁed Milk’s words so loudly that they still echo today, almost 35 years after Milk was killed for ﬁghting on behalf of gay liberation. Milk’s election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors made him one of the ﬁrst openly gay elected ofﬁcials in America, but a conservative fellow lawmaker assassinated him in 1978. Now Milk has a new type of megaphone to make sure his message and spirit remain as boisterous as they were when he was riling up a rebellion in the streets of San Francisco during the 1970s. Stuart Milk, the gay pioneer’s nephew, founded the Harvey Milk Foundation to share Milk’s legacy on a global scale, spreading his strategies on community organizing and bridgebuilding between diverse groups. Stuart Milk, who is gay and bares a striking resemblance to his uncle, serves alongside fellow activist Ben Cohen as honorary grand marshal for the Atlanta Pride parade. “Atlanta Pride is such a vital venue to showcase a community’s broad and inclusive leadership and at the same time, provide an important and often life-changing event that, at its core, says to each young person – you are not only valued, but your authenticity is celebrated here – you are not alone,” Stuart Milk said. The Harvey Milk Foundation was founded in 2009, a year after the Academy Award-winning movie “Milk” generated renewed interest in his life and murder. “[The ﬁlm] changed my life in that I realize we all need to do more of embracing diverse communities,” Stuart Milk told the blog Out in Hollywood in 2009. “I’m very frustrated that our kids today still feel they have to be in the closet, they have to hide who they are.” Later that year, Stuart Milk and Anne Kronenberger, who was Harvey Milk’s campaign manager and political adviser, founded the Harvey Milk Foundation, a volunteer organization “to empower local, regional, national and global organizations so that they may fully real-
Stuart Milk, nephew of slain gay political pioneer Harvey Milk, serves as Atlanta Pride’s Honorary Grand Marshal along with rugby star Ben Cohen. (Photo by Brook Pifer; courtesy Atlanta Pride)
Grand Marshals ize the power of Harvey Milk’s story, style, and collaborative relationship building.” The group provides speakers and training to activists across the globe, and since 2009 has gotten ofﬁcial recognition of May 22, the gay lawmaker’s birthday, as Harvey Milk Day in California. “It is difﬁcult to put into words the great honor I feel in having been able to take Harvey’s story, and his universal message of equality, around the world,” Stuart Milk wrote last year. Stuart Milk’s appearance at Atlanta Pride comes less than a month before a potentially historic milestone in the continuum that his uncle helped start, as U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) seeks to become the ﬁrst openly LGBT politician elected to the U.S. Senate. “I am frequently asked if I am deeply saddened that my uncle Harvey did not get to see all those elected ofﬁcials who would come to stand on his shoulders, or all the places where the light of equality burns brighter than the darkness of antiquated prejudice,” Stuart Milk said earlier this year. “And I have long replied that he did see those open and proud candidates running for ofﬁce and winning, and he did see those cities and states and nations that would etch equality into both their laws and their societal values, for he could not have given his life without seeing and visualizing that dream.”
October 12, 2012
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October 12, 2012
For more than 35 years, the Armorettes have raised money for local HIV and AIDS organizations and other non-proﬁt groups such as Atlanta Pride. This camp-drag troupe has seen many members over the years, and each has dedicated herself to the cause of awareness. The Armorettes perform every Sunday at Burkhart’s Pub and every third Saturday of the month at The Heretic Backroom Burlesque Show. The group surpassed the $2 million mark last month in funds raised and has received countless honors including from the City of Atlanta for the ongoing work it does to ﬁght HIV/AIDS.
Danny Ingram is the president of American Veterans for Equal Rights and was on the forefront of the recent repeal ﬁght against the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which barred gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military. Ingram served in the United States Army from 1988 to 1994 and after making a statement in support of repeal in 1992, became one of the ﬁrst soldiers discharged under the DADT law. After his discharge, Ingram fought for repeal of the discriminatory policy. Ingram currently works for Georgia Institute of Technology as a senior business analyst. He is
The Alpha Chapter of Sigma Omega Phi
Grand Marshals also afﬁliated with the DeKalb County Democratic Party, AMVETS, Veterans for Peace, the Alexander Hamilton Post of the American Legion and the Atlanta Prime Timers. He witnessed President Barack Obama sign the law repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Dec. 22, 2012, and was gifted one of the pens the president used to sign the bill. Ingram lives in Decatur.
Jeff Graham is the executive director of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization. Graham is a tireless advocate for HIV/AIDS related issues and has worked in grassroots campaigns to raise awareness for nearly three decades. With his work at Georgia Equality, Graham has worked to elect LGBT politicians and ﬁght for LGBT causes in the Georgia General Assembly. He is a current board member of Georgians for a Healthy Future and the national Equality Federation, and is a former board member of the Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief Coalition. Graham also helped organize the Atlanta chapter of ACT UP. Graham lives in Atlanta with his partner, Peter Stinner.
Vandy Beth Glenn
Vandy Beth Glenn is a transgender woman who made national headlines when she was ﬁred
Rev. Josh Noblitt
from her job as a legislative editor in the Georgia General Assembly after she informed her boss of her plans to transition from male to female. Glenn, with the help of Lambda Legal, sued the state and her former employer and eventually won her case. Glenn was also GA Voice’s “Person of the Year” in 2011. She lives in Decatur.
Rev. Joshua Noblitt
Rev. Josh Noblitt is the minister of social justice at Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Midtown Atlanta. Noblitt was the victim of an anti-gay assault and robbery in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park in 2010, which the Atlanta Police Department called an anti-gay bias crime. Instead of being angry with his young attackers, Noblitt showed compassion and publicly forgave them and corresponded with at least one assailant. Noblitt serves on the board of directors for the Reconciling Ministry Network, a national organization that seeks full inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United Methodist Church; is a member of the Atlanta Police Department LGBT Advisory Board; serves as vice president of the South Atlanta Civic League; and is a 2011 LEAD Atlanta alumni.
Dr. Julie Kubala
Dr. Julie Kubala is the Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Women’s Studies Institute at Georgia State University. Kubala earned her doctorate from Emory University, where she focused on feminist and queer theory, literary and cultural criticism and personal narrative. Kubala was also an early organizer and one of the ﬁrst participants of the annual Dyke
Dr. Julie Kubala
Photo by Bo Shell
Vandy Beth Glenn
Photo via Facebook
Photo via Facebook
Photo via Facebook
Photo by Dyana Bagby
The Atlanta Pride Committee will have a diverse group of grand marshals leading this year’s Pride parade. From a trans woman who won a groundbreaking legal battle to a campdrag fundraising troupe that’s raised $2 million for HIV/AIDS causes in Atlanta, this year’s group of honorees has contributed to the LGBT rights movement in countless ways. “We are so proud of our 2012 grand marshals. It is going to be really exciting having such a diverse group of individuals representing the LGBT community at the Atlanta Pride Festival this year,” said Atlanta Pride Board Chair Glen Paul Freedman when the grand marshals were named. “If you know any of these individuals or members of one of the groups, please congratulate them on this honor... and if you don’t know them, we hope you will show your appreciation of their support for the LGBT community by giving them a wave as they are on the parade route,” he said. “It is really going to be great day for everyone.” The grand marshals:
Photo by Brent Corcoran/RNZ Photography
By Ryan Watkins email@example.com
Photo by Dyana Bagby
Diverse honorees represent best of local LGBT communities
Photo by Laura Douglas-Brown
Meet the Atlanta Pride grand marshals
Anita Rae Strange
March during Atlanta Pride and helped form what is now the Ofﬁce of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Life at Emory University. Kubala has worked with Estrofest, Cliterati, Amazon Feminist Group, Lesbian Avengers, Queer Progressive Agenda (past), ACT UP, MondoHomo, Sisters in Sports, and Girls’ Rock Camp. Currently, she is afﬁliated with the East Point Possums, Faces of Feminism, Black Out and the Atlanta Women’s Foundation.
Anita Rae Strange
Anita Rae Strange, better known to locals as “Blondie” from the Clermont Lounge, is a local legend who really knows how to entertain. Strange was also the winner of the 2012 GA Voice Best of Atlanta Local Icon category, where she beat out U.S. Rep. John Lewis and local politico Cathy Woolard. Strange was the focus of a recent documentary, “AKA Blondie,” which examined the performer’s life and career, through hardships and perseverance. The ﬁlm debuted at the Atlanta Film Festival this year and is currently making its way across the indie-ﬁlm festival circuit.
Alpha Chapter of Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity Inc. is a noncollegiate, social service fraternity for lesbian women everywhere who consider themselves to be dominant, aggressive or stud. It was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Atlanta with two additional chapters in Trenton, N.J., and Richmond, Va. The group says it is the ﬁrst African-American Greek organization in the history of the Atlanta Pride to walk in the parade. Aside from the social aspect of the organization, the group also participates in and organizes local community service projects.
YoGaga combines yoga, Lady Gaga for fitness fun Community Health Expo includes HIV tests, wellness info
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com
Community Health Expo Oct. 13-14, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Blue section in Marketplace serious and for those who have never done yoga at all. To Cockayne, yoga is invaluable for the mind, body and spirit. It also works on strength, focus and ﬂexibility. “A lot of doctors recommend it,” he said. “For those with HIV/AIDS it is very valuable.” As guessed by the name, the class won’t be all serious. Cockayne encourages people to come in Lady Gaga-inspired costumes and have fun.
Sue and Dave Amsden Dr. J. Frank and Robin Batkins Pride also offers opportunities to focus on your health throughout the weekend with the Community Health Expo, which groups healthrelated organizations together in the blue section of the marketplace. Services will include HIV tests, breast cancer prevention information, and more wellness topics. Sponsored by Grady, the Community Health Expo includes AID Atlanta, the Health Initiative, Positive Impact, the Feminist Women’s Health Center, Grady Health Services, Georgia Department of Health, and the Emory Vaccine Center’s Hope Clinic. It is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Trans March encourages visibility Saturday afternoon march weaves throught Piedmont
Jack and Helga Beam Paul and Riki Bolster Cynthia and Donald Carson Craftmaster Printers, Inc. Jonathan Darsey and Donna Peters Dr. Pam Dorsett and John M. Mozzone Dolph Ward Goldenburg and Frank Hartley Roger Grier and Keith Bragg Brian Hogan and Gerry Realubit Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Marie Johnson and Dr. Henrik Christensen
By Jim Farmer The fourth annual Atlanta Pride Trans March steps off Saturday to raise awareness and visibility for the “T” in “LGBT.” Marchers gather at 1:15 p.m. at the Hospitality Center and step off at 1:45 p.m. The Trans March was started to raise awareness and visibility for transgender and gender nonconforming people both inside and outside the queer community, says Jamie Green-Fergerson, Atlanta Pride’s board of directors vice chair. “We march through the park as a statement that non-trans LGBTQ people also need to be aware of trans issues and that education needs to start inside our community,” she said. “The Trans March centers the experience of transgender and gender non-conforming people, but partners, parents, children and friends of marchers join us every year.” New for this year is a particularly timely addition. Georgia Equality will speak to participants in the Trans March about voting resources speciﬁcally for transgender or gender non-conforming individuals. “We are very excited to have that partner-
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Saturday, Oct. 13 YoGaga (Lady Gaga-inspired yoga) Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. – noon Athletic fields in Piedmont Park
Georgia’s Leading provider of supportive housing services for people affected by HIV/AIDS.
By Jim Farmer New to Atlanta Pride this year and bound to draw some interest as part of the Community Health Expo is YoGaga, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13, at 10 a.m. at the athletic ﬁelds at Piedmont Park. It’s the brainchild of yoga instructor Neda Honarvar, who has started her own studio, Tough Love Yoga, in town. Earlier this year she decided she would like to bring her brand of yoga to more of an LGBT audience. Honarvar and colleague Garrett Cockayne approached Pride earlier this season and the committee liked the idea. “Lady Gaga is so supportive of the LGBT community and we liked the idea of combining this into the culture, which is about yourself and ﬁnding creative ways to express yourself,” Cockayne said. The class will last an hour and 10 minutes. While doing poses, expect to hear “Bad Romance,” “Born This Way,” “Just Dance” and other Gaga classics to accentuate the mood. “When Neda came up with the idea, it just seemed like they go well together,” said Cockayne. The class is appropriate for those who are
October 12, 2012
Ken Lazarus Mark Lenkiewicz Drew Marlar and Bryan Neumeier Patrick McCulley Private Bank of Buckhead The Atlanta Pride Trans March goes through Piedmont Park to make transgender rights more visible to festival attendees. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
ship in such an important election year,” GreenFergerson said. Sign-making materials for both the Trans March and the Dyke March are available near the Charles Allen Gate on Saturday. Pride organizers are also planning a Dyke and Trans March dance party with DJ Speakerfoxxx after the Dyke March on Saturday evening. About 150 people gathered for the Trans March in 2011 and Green-Fergerson would love to exceed those numbers this year. The
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com Trans March Saturday, Oct. 13 1:15 p.m. assembly; 1:45 p.m. step off In front of Hospitality Center (near 12th Street gate) event has grown every year since its inception. The Trans March is sponsored by the Lloyd E. Russell Foundation.
The Armorettes Thompson, Sweeny, Kinsinger & Pereira, PC Bart and Christine Van de Griend Your support helps Living Room provide housing and housing services to 1,750 people living with HIV every year.
October 12, 2012
Dyke March unites women, allies
Politics, passion mark powerful Saturday evening tradition By Jim Farmer
The raucous Dyke March is more overtly political than Sunday’s Pride parade. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
One of the most popular traditions at Atlanta Pride is the annual Dyke March, set for the afternoon of Saturday, October 13th. Long a favorite, the Dyke March is a demonstration of the visibility, the political value, and the passion of dykes and all women-identiﬁed
women, according to Jamie Green-Fergerson, Atlanta Pride’s board of directors vice chair. “We are a diverse group of marchers, and we march in solidarity with all those who struggle against sexism, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, classism, ableism, fatphobia, transphobia, ageism, and other forms of marginalization,” she said. Dyke marches started locally in the mid-
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1990s; they were originally organized by the Lesbian Avengers. This year the march gathers at 5:30 p.m. and begins at 6 p.m. It steps off from the Charles Allen gate, travels down 10th Street, turns onto Peachtree Street, turns onto 14th Street, and then re-enters the park at the 14th Street gate. Last year, 500 people participated in the march, according to Green-Fergerson. New for the Dyke March will be a trolley to transport people who cannot or would have a hard time marching. Seats for the trolley will be given out on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst served basis with priority going to those with mobility challenges, elders, and families with young children, Green-Fergerson said. One of the 2012 Parade Grand Marshals, Julie Kubala, was one of the organizers for the ﬁrst Atlanta Dyke March. While other Prides host dyke marches that are dyke-only spaces, the Atlanta Dyke March invites allies to join. “If you’re an ally, we ask that you march with us if you support dykes politically, socially, and holistically,” Green-Fergerson said. “We ask that you respect our need to be visible and lead the demonstration.”
Dyke march map Delightful, delicious, dyna mic
Left: The Bakery at Cakes & Ale on Sycamore Street near the square supports “Keep it Indie-Catur.” Right: Restaurants and shops on E. Ponce de Leon Avenue.
Just six miles east of Atlanta is walkable, neighborly City of Decatur.
Explore more than 200 boutiques, salons, services, galleries, and destination dining spots. Keep it Indie-catur for the holidays and find out about Terrific Thursdays in November and December at VisitDecaturGeorgia.com or #indiecatur. Advertising funded by the Decatur Craft Beer Festival.
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com Dyke March Pre-Party Social & Crafting Get Down 3:15-5:30 p.m. at the Charles Allen Gate Piedmont Park Dyke March 5:30 p.m. assembly; 6 p.m. step off Charles Allen Gate
October 12, 2012
Pride parade steps off Sunday More than 200 entrants confirmed By Ryan Watkins firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlanta’s Pride festival wouldn’t be complete without the annual parade, which kicks off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. Each year, the parade draws tens of thousands along the traditional route down Peachtree Street to 10th Street and Piedmont Park. Organizers say more than 200 entrants have signed on this year, ranging from local nonproﬁt organizations to politicians, gay-friendly businesses and multi-national corporations. The grand marshals for the 2012 parade are trans activist Vandy Beth Glenn; Rev. Joshua Noblitt, minister of social justice at Saint Mark United Methodist Church; Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality executive director; Danny Ingram, American Veterans for Equal Rights executive director; Dr. Julie Kubala, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies for the Women’s Studies Institute at Georgia State University; Anita Rae Strange, “AKA Clermont Blondie”; the Alpha Chapter of Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Tens of thousands line the streets of Midtown for Sunday’s Atlanta Pride Parade. (Photo by Bo Shell)
and drag fundraising troupe The Armorettes. Grand marshals will be scattered in the ﬁrst rows of parade participants, organizers said. Traditional hotspots along the route include just outside the Georgian Terrace Hotel on Peachtree Street and the corner of 10th and Piedmont. As always, organizers expect antigay protesters along the route. If crowds aren’t your thing, local network 11 Alive (WXIA) will broadcast the parade live on its website, www.11alive.com/pride.
Sunday, Oct. 14 MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com Atlanta Pride Parade Sunday, Oct. 14, 1 p.m. Steps off from Civic Center MARTA Station
Starlight Cabaret ends Pride on glamorous note Drag queens, kings dazzle in festival’s finale By Jim Farmer
CHARGE BY PHONE: 800-745-3000. All dates, acts and ticket prices are subject to change without notice. Ticket prices subject to applicable fees.
The Starlight Cabaret ends Pride weekend on a particularly high note, closing out the Coca-Cola stage at 7 p.m. Sunday evening. For many, it is one of the highlights of the entire weekend of activities, as Atlanta’s drag queens and kings bring out their best performances for their largest audience of the year. Tony Kearney, who handles programming for the Atlanta Pride Committee, has been involved in putting the cabaret together for the last ﬁve years. It’s the largest celebration of its kind in the Southeast and retains much of the day’s crowd. “It’s amazing to see how many people are still in the park after Pride,” Kearney said. “Last year there were around 5,000 people enjoying the show.” And because it’s free, anyone can watch, even those who might not be able to otherwise. “We see people of all ages and races at the event,” he said. “Kids under 21 who might not be able to get into the bars are able to come out and enjoy all the acts.” This year’s cabaret has a great cross section
Dozens of Atlanta’s drag queens and kings bring camp humor, glam style and even activism to the Starlight Cabaret stage for one of Pride’s favorite events. (Photo by Laura Douglas-Brown)
of performances, including group numbers and individual routines. “We highlight some of the best drag around,” Kearney said. “It’s ﬁtting that we end with this every year. Looking back at history, drag queens were responsible for helping to start Pride. Why not have it as the ﬁnal act: where would we be without the drag queens?” This year’s cabaret features the Rush Cast, the Armorettes, the Divas of LeBuzz, Burkhart’s Cast, Athens Showgirl Cabaret and various drag kings. Individual performers are Mariah Paris Balenciaga, Sassy, Summer Knight, Nichelle
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com Starlight Cabaret Sunday, Oct. 14, 7:15 p.m. Coca-Cola Stage in Piedmont Park Paris, Violet, Mya Monroe, Savannah Leigh, Mary Edith Pitts, Shawna Brooks, Charlie Brown, Lateasha Shuntel, Shabazz, Wild Cherry Sucret and Lena Lust. The evening’s special guest star will be “Vampire Diaries” actress and singer Kat Graham, who will be doing something not always associated with the cabaret — actually singing.
Map Courtesy Atlanta Pride Committee
October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012
Nighttime is the right time DJ Publicity photos, Heaven Party by Dyana Baby
Famed DJs, hot parties on tap for Pride weekend By Dyana Bagby email@example.com Atlanta Pride is a time to celebrate — during the day at the festival in Piedmont Park, and at night with special events in many of the city’s bars and nightclubs. For shirtless guys dancing and celebrating their freedom, the Heretic, Jungle and afterhours Xion serve up a “100 percent genuine big slice of Atlanta Gay Pride” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-14. On Friday, after partying with the ﬁshes at the ofﬁcial Atlanta Pride kick off party at the Georgia Aquarium, Pride revelers can get into the groove at Jungle for the ofﬁcial Pride Aquarium After Party with DJ Ed Bailey, or go across Cheshire Bridge Road to the Heretic with DJ Joe Gauthreaux. Gauthreaux, known for his hunky good looks and wicked beats, is traveling from his current home in Los Angeles. He makes a few appearances in Atlanta each year and is very much looking forward to this year’s festival. “Atlanta always feels like coming home in a way,” Gauthreaux said. “I’m from New Orleans so we have the Southern mentality in common. The people really make Atlanta what it is.” In keeping with the Pride theme, we asked Gauthreaux what he is proud of this year. “I’m proud that the country seems to be getting more and more accepting of gay rights every day,” Gauthreaux said. “I watched an old episode of ‘Oprah’ on OWN the other night where Ellen Degeneres had just come out, and it reminded me of how close-minded and ignorant people used to be. “So in that sense, I’m happy at how far we’ve come. Although there is still a lot of work to be done.” Atlanta favorite DJ Martin Fry spins on Sunday night at Jungle as part of the closing event of “100 percent genuine slice of Atlanta Pride,” warming up the audience for Rosabel. Fry has been a DJ for 23 years and producing for 12 years, so he knows how to make a crowd move. “The best thing about playing in front of my hometown for Pride weekend is I’ll be playing in front of my friends. The people I hang around, connect and dance with. Who better to play for?” Fry said. Fry promises not to hold back for the hometown crowd, either, saying those celebrating their pride “can expect to hear house music with as much soul, substance and energy as I can muster up. “Along with many of our new mixes that my production partner, Chizo, and I have been
Where the women are
Nightlife For details on these and other nightlife events, see our Pride Calendar on Pages 36-38 knocking out,” he said. Others performing for the “100 percent genuine big slice of Atlanta Gay Pride” are famed adult movie producer, director and DJ Chi Chi Larue at the Heretic and DJ Tony Moran at Jungle on Saturday, with Paulo spinning at the after-hour party at Xion on Saturday night/early Sunday morning. The Heretic closes down Pride on Sunday with a special Bear Invasion with DJs James Torres and Sean Mac. Plenty of other gay bars will celebrate in style, too. Mary’s in East Atlanta — the Best Gay Bar in America, according to Logo — parties with DJs Ree de la Vega and Fluff on Friday with a special “Divas Anthem” karaoke Pride edition on Saturday night. Also look for events to get you in the Pride spirit at gay bars like Oscars, Felix’s, The Hideaway, Amsterdam, Bulldogs, Burkhart’s, the Atlanta Eagle, Woofs, BJ Roosters, Mixx, Model T, the Cockpit, Las Margaritas, XS Ultra Lounge, Blake’s on the Park, Friends on Ponce, LeBuzz in Marietta and Swinging Richards and Bliss male all-nude strip clubs.
Women will have plenty of party options, too. The ofﬁcial Atlanta Pride women’s event, dubbed the Peach Party, is presented by Curve Personals and Pandora Events at Center Stage/ The Loft on Saturday night. Curve Editor Frances Stevens expects approximately 2,000 women who love women to party with special guest Whitney Mixer fro “The Real L Word.” “We will also be bringing in one of the hottest lesbian DJs in the country, DJ Pat Pat from Miami. There will be lots of surprises for our guests,” Stevens said. “This is our ninth year and Atlanta is a good place to hold such a party.” My Sister’s Room will hold a Glow Party with DJ M and Twee on Friday and then turn it out on Saturday with a “Lick It” party with the hot music acts God-des and She and the Maria Gabriella Band, followed by a dance party with DJ Liz Owen and DJ Tina V. Then on Sunday, MSR holds a Boi Pride Party featuring “Between Women” cast members as well as members of the Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity Alpha Bois. Anna Ragghianti, who was forced to close lesbian bar Bellissima last year, is organizing a new party, the L Lounge on Friday at the W Atlanta Midtown, and also holding her popular Heaven Part at Park Tavern on Saturday. More than 1,000 people are expected to pack Park Tavern — many with angel wings — but Ragghianti says she is going for an intimate atmosphere for the new L Lounge. “We added the L Lounge to offer women more options since Bellissima has closed. It will be a classier, upscale event for the 30+ crowd, although everyone’s welcome,” she said. DJ Yvonne Monet will spin top 40 and older favorites — no hip hop but plenty of sexy, fun
music, Ragghianti said. At the Heaven Party, DJ Duck will serve up electro pop, house, hip hop and new music. Both events will have special, erotic performances as well. “We like to keep that somewhat secret, but believe me, very sexy and unique!” Ragghianti promised.
Pride’s official closing party
Ofﬁcial Atlanta Pride parties organized by Chris Coleman Enterprises are set for Thursday and Sunday with a portion of ticket sales going to help fund Atlanta Pride, a non-proﬁt organization. On Thursday, Coleman held a casual night out at the gay-owned Fifth Ivory restaurant. On Sunday for the ofﬁcial Atlanta Pride closing party at the gorgeous party space Opera, Coleman has former Atlantan Jay McCracken spinning, as well as producer and DJ Hector Fonseca and DJ Theresa on the tables together in Atlanta for the ﬁrst time. Fonseca said he hopes Atlanta is ready for what he has planned because he and Theresa know how to get a room jumping. “I love Atlanta and am rarely there so it feels special when I go. … Pride is the icing on the cake as it’s a time to celebrate who you are and your community,” he said. Fonseca says there will be new edits of classics including “Pride, Deeper Love” and Ultra Nate’s “Free.” Fonseca also pledges a lot of original music that he’s been working on with the likes of Natasha Beddingﬁeld, Kerli, Jeanie Tracy and more. “I have remixes I’m working on for Adam Lambert and a retake on my ofﬁcial remix of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way.’ It’s going to be a really unique set just for Atlanta at Opera,” Fonseca said.
H I G H
HIGH MUSEUM OF ART ATLANTA
CULTURE SHOCK OPENING PARTY SAT. | OCT. 13 | 8 P.M.–12A.M.
SPECIAL GUESTS » THE ATLANTA OPERA » THE ALLIANCE THEATRE » OBSCURA II » WABI SABI » FORWARD FASHION SHOW » BENT FREQUENCY » AND MORE POP-UP PERFORMERS »
AMERICAN INDIES FILMS FROM MoMA
KITCHEN | SAT. | OCT. 13 | 8 & 10 P.M. BRUTE FORCE | SAT. | OCT. 20 | 8 P.M.
VERN YIP, interior designer and television host, is inspired by PICASSO’S painting Card Player.
WITH CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS: SARAH SZE
THUR. | OCT. 18 | 7 P.M.
FAST FORWARD MODERN MOMENTS 1913»2013 EXHIBITION OPENS OCTOBER 13!
Featuring works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, by Picasso, Matisse, Dalí, O’Keeffe, Koons, and others. Find your inspiration—buy tickets today!
MON. | OCT. 29 | 7 P.M.
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This exhibition is part of the MoMA Series, a collaboration between The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Additional support is provided by The Rich Foundation, the Modern Masters Circle of the High Museum of Art, and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Card Player, 1913–14, oil on canvas, 42 1/2 x 35 1/4 inches, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest. © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
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October 12, 2012
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VOICES OPINION & REACTION ATL Pride bucket list
10 things to do before you leave Piedmont Park on Sunday Editorial by Laura Douglas-Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
This year will be my 20th Atlanta Pride, and yet the sight of our community spread out in Piedmont Park and taking over the streets for the parade still ﬁlls me with wonder. Even though I am one of the lucky few who gets to be not only gay, but professionally gay, when I walk into the park for the festival, a part of me is once again that shy, scared teen awestruck to ﬁnally be surrounded by so many LGBT people. Pride never ceases to make me feel grateful and, yes, proud of all of us for what we overcome to be able to embrace who we are. But Atlanta Pride weekend packs so much into two days that it’s easy to miss out on chances to feel even more empowered. Here are 10 suggestions. 1. Visit the health section. Your health might not be the ﬁrst thing on your mind when you head out to Pride for a weekend of celebrating with your friends, but remember that healthcare is key issue for everyone — especially in our community. The Blue Section of the marketplace might be dubbed Health Central for Pride, packed with organizations that can help you with everything from a free HIV test to information about how to access low- and no-cost health examinations. There will also be plenty of information on how to stay healthy. 2. See an old friend. Pride is many things, including the biggest “family” reunion of the year. Instead of just ﬁguring out how to the dodge your ex, make a plan to meet up with an old friend you may follow on Facebook, but haven’t seen in person recently. It will remind you why social media, while important and entertaining, can’t replace plain old socializing. 3. Make a new friend. Pride is a great opportunity to meet new people — not just potential hook-ups, but your new Mr. or Ms. Right, or just as importantly, the person who could be your new best friend. And even if it is only for a moment, it feels good to share a smile or kind word with others
who are here to enjoy the same freedom and happiness that brings you to the park this weekend. Not sure how to just say hello? Ask if you can join in a pick-up game of soccer, football or Frisbee in the meadow. Turn out for YoGaga (Lady Gaga yoga) on Saturday morning and laugh together at the silliness. Or, try a random act of Pride kindness: offer a hand to the person struggling to carry food and drinks from the food lines, or give a compliment without expecting anything in return. 4. Join something. The Pride market is ﬁlled with nonproﬁt organizations looking for new members. Whether you enjoy business networking, politics, outdoor activities, events you can attend with your kids, or simply socializing, there is bound to be a group that ﬁts your needs. Being part of an LGBT organization is a way to extend the feeling of unity and connection that you get during Pride throughout the rest of the year. If you aren’t quite ready to become a member, start small: join the email lists for a few organizations that interest you and commit to yourself to attend just one gathering.
5. Buy something. Pride’s vendors are here to make money, but also to show their support for your right to equality. Maybe you don’t really need another t-shirt, necklace, hat or rainbow art; maybe you can wait to eat or have a beer until you get home. But buy something anyway to support the merchants who support you. 6. Check out one event that isn’t “you.” Join or watch the Trans March on Saturday, even if you aren’t transgender or don’t have transgender friends. Join or watch the Dyke March, even if you aren’t female or you don’t consider yourself a “dyke.” Head over to the stages to catch a country act like Justin Utley or Leslie Christian, even if you aren’t a country music fan. Check out a hip-hop band like Unbreakable Bloodline if you think you don’t like rap. Pride is about celebrating the diversity of our LGBT family, so check out at least one event, entertainer, or organization that doesn’t represent your particular stripe in the rainbow. 7. Sing and dance. Pride has an amazingly diverse musical line-up, ranging from famous headliners to
small up-and-coming acts, in genres including pop, folk, hip-hop, dance and country. This weekend is all about fun, so don’t hold back. Dance in the meadow, clap, sing along — music has an intense ability to inspire us, and Pride offers dozens of opportunities. 8. Get educated for the election. It’s less than a month until Election Day, and Tuesday, Nov. 6, offers a stark choice on LGBT issues at the top of the ballot. President Barack Obama pushed for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”; Republican Mitt Romney opposes allowing gays to serve openly in the military. President Obama supports marriage equality; Romney would ban gay marriage in the U.S. Constitution. Obama’s campaign is scheduled to have a booth in Atlanta Pride; Romney, well, you know. But as crucial as it is, the presidential race isn’t the only important race on the November ballot. You should also visit the booth of Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT political organization, for information on state and local endorsed candidates and getout-the-vote efforts. Change happens because we make it happen, and one of the most important places is at the ballot box. 9. Donate time or money. It takes an organizational budget of more than $700,000 and more than 300 volunteers — including 258 volunteer shifts during the weekend — to make the Atlanta Pride Festival a success. When you see the volunteer “bucket brigade” collecting donations, be sure to throw in some cash. And don’t be stingy: Pride is free to attend, so donate at least as much as you would spend on a concert or night out with friends. Pride also needs volunteers, throughout the weekend and throughout the year. Shifts start at just four hours, so offer your help to make the festival run smoothly. You’ll have fun and get to experience Pride from a whole new perspective. 10. Say “thank you.” Donating time and money are vitally important, but so is simply saying the words. When you see someone wearing a Pride volunteer t-shirt, take a moment to stop and say “thank you” for the wonderful, empowering weekend they are helping make possible for all of us.
October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012
SUNDAY IN PIEDMONT PARK Atlanta Pride Festival Piedmont Park www.atlantapride.org ONGOING EVENTS 10 A.M. – 7 P.M. Pride Marketplace Throughout the park
Community Health Expo Blue section in Marketplace Pride Cultural Exhibit Bridge over Lake Clara Meer Coca-Cola Stage 3 p.m. Michel Jons Band 4:25 p.m. Leslie Christian 5:15 p.m. Gurufish 6:10 p.m. Amy Ray 7:15 p.m. Starlight Cabaret
Bud Light Stage 3 p.m. Kyron Leslie 3:50 p.m. Maria Gabriella Band 4:40 p.m. Jamie Charoen 5:25 p.m. Dylan Michael Atlanta Pride Parade 10:30 a.m. assembly begins; 1 p.m. step off Civic Center MARTA Station to Piedmont Park
Sunday, Oct. 14 continued from Page 37 Free Post Parade Cookout & DJ Brett Long at 10 p.m. Atlanta Eagle 306 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308 www.atlantaeagle.com DJ Bob 4 p.m. – 1 a.m. at Hobnob 1551 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30324 www.hobnobatlanta.com DJ Rosabel Opening set by DJ Martin Fry 6 p.m. – 3 a.m. at Jungle 2115 Faulkner Rd., Atlanta, GA 30324 www.jungleclubatlanta.com Bear Invasion with DJ James Torres DJ Sean Mac spins early 6 p.m. – 3 a.m. at Heretic 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324 www.hereticatlanta.com Blame Sally and Caroline Aiken in concert Doors open 7 p.m. at Red Clay Theatre 3116 Main St., Duluth, GA 30096 www.eddieowenpresents.com “Libra Love” Sunday Service with DJ Vicki Powell 7 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. at Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium 466 Edgewood Ave. Atlanta, GA 30312
DJ Rick and DJ Maestro 7 p.m. at Mixx 1492-B Piedmont Ave. Atlanta, GA 30309 www.mixxatlanta.com
With “Between Women” Cast 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at My Sister’s Room 1271 Glenwood Ave. Atlanta, GA 30316 www.mysistersroom.com
Official Atlanta Pride Closing Party DJ Hector Fonseca and DJ Theresa DJ Jay McCracken on the patio 9 p.m. at Opera Night Club 1150 Peachtree St.. Atlanta, GA 30309 www.chriscolemanenterprises.com
Gaylorama Party at Oscar’s Atlanta 1510 Piedmont Ave., Suite C Atlanta, Georgia 30324 www.oscarsatlanta.com
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Poodle PRIDE Lee Thompson, ‘Uncle Poodle’ on TLC’s ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,’ stands up for gay rednecks
By Topher Payne Four months ago, 29-year-old Lee Thompson moved back to his hometown of Milledgeville, Ga., where he grew up with his two brothers. After moving around the last few years, most recently living in Birmingham, Ala., Thompson was looking forward to settling back into a familiar environment. But things are a little different these days. “I was at the Wal-Mart in Forsyth, getting ready to check out. And this woman kept following me, like it was obvious she was following me. Finally, I turned to her and said, ‘Ma’am, can I help you with something?’ and she said, ‘Can I ask you a question?’ I told her if her question was if I’m Uncle Poodle, yes I was. She said, ‘Can I get my picture with you?’, and she was so excited, she said her husband wasn’t gonna believe it. That’s how it goes now.” That’s how it goes because Thompson’s eldest brother, Mike, is now best known as “Sugarbear,” the patriarch of the blended family featured on TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” The series centers on the home life of 7-year-old pageant contestant Alana Thompson, originally seen on an episode of the network’s infamous “Toddlers and Tiaras.” Alana’s family — parents Mike and June, plus June’s three daughters from previous relationships and a perpetually disgruntled pig named Glitzy — quickly grabbed the attention of viewers and media alike. In the ﬁrst season ﬁnale, viewers were introduced to
Lee, whom Alana calls “Uncle Poodle.” “Okay, here’s how ‘Uncle Poodle’ happened. We were at practice one day, getting ready for a pageant. Her coach was talking about her gay friends, and she said, ‘I love all my poodles.’ Alana thought she was really talking about dogs. She wanted to know how many poodles she had, and what were their names,” Thompson says. “And I said, ‘No, Alana, she’s talking about gay people.’ Well, that did it. All gay people are poodles to her now, and I’m her number one poodle.” This sheds new light on Alana’s comment during an appearance on Anderson Cooper’s talk show. She called Cooper a “very nice poodle.” “Oh my god, and he wasn’t even out yet!” says Thompson. “I about died. Then about a month later he came out. Not bad gaydar for a 7-year-old… but, well, look who she learned it from.”
Praise and criticism
“Honey Boo Boo” has grown into a pop culture phenomenon. Joel McHale features clips on “The Soup.” Tina Fey watches episodes alongside the “30 Rock” writers. Britney Spears and Ke$ha post quotes from the show on Twitter. Rosie O’Donnell compared Alana to Shirley Temple and wants to buy the family a house. Alana and June have been lampooned on “Saturday Night Live,” “Chelsea Lately,” and “South Park.” The rural family’s unapologetically laid-back existence makes them
Lee Thompson says his family ‘is not changing one bit’ from reality TV fame. (Photos via Facebook)
an easy target. Cameras capture every food auction, mud ﬁght, roadkill buffet, and bodily function. The family’s Georgia dialects are so profound that the producers add subtitles. In an era when “reality” programming appears anything but real, the Honey Boo Boos are refreshingly devoid of media savvy. They were hired to be their authentic selves, and that’s what they give you, farts and all. Perhaps for this reason, the series has also garnered its fair share of critics. Questions have been raised about the ethics of child beauty pageants, Mike and June’s parenting skills, the condition of the family home, and the weight of the women in the family, June in particular. “It’s because they don’t live like other people on TV. They live like the people who watch TV,” Thompson says. Thompson has gotten his own taste of media scrutiny in recent weeks: The New York Times and the Washington Post both featured columns scrutinizing whether small-town Southern gays are doing enough to achieve visibility and equality in their communities. The Washington Post piece was entitled, “Uncle
Poodle Needs to Speak Up.” “Come on now,” says Thompson. “Who writes a story saying Uncle Poodle needs to speak up, and then doesn’t call Uncle Poodle to ﬁnd out what he has to say?”
Lee Thompson married his husband, Josh, this past August (“We just decided to do it that morning, but it wasn’t a shotgun wedding,” he promises.) The ceremony was presided over by his stepfather, and held in the family living room. A great time was had by all. There was a wedding cake ﬁght afterward. They neglected to take pictures, so they’ve decided to have another one. They’re happy where they are, and Thompson believes the image of small-town gay life could use an update. “Things are changing. My husband and I live in Milledgeville because we want to be out in the country. I’m gay, but I’m as redneck as I can get, and we want to be somewhere we can ﬁsh and jump on a four-wheeler, go hog wallowing. There’s probably 40 or 50 of us — gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people — around here, they’re all open about it, everybody knows it,” he says. “It’s not like there’s a gay bar here. We go to the same bars as everybody else, we’re all part of the same community... If there’s people who have a problem with it, they keep it to themselves, just like if I have a problem with them, I keep it to myself.” “But,” he adds, “If you want people to accept you, you have to show you don’t have a problem with yourself and just be up front about who you are. If you do, you earn people’s respect. If everybody would just go on and do that, ignorant people couldn’t cause so many problems. I know this is how I was born and I don’t need to explain it to anybody. I live my life for who I am. That’s why ‘Born This Way’ is gonna be my next tattoo.” It appears being unapologetically yourself is a family trait. “I love Alana, she’s my heart, and she tells it just like it is. That’s why people love the show,” Thompson says. “We’re all rednecks, we cut up and make fun, but we love each other and we tell the truth. That’s how you’re supposed to be with your family. Just real.” While a second season of the series is still in negotiations, TLC has announced plans to air a series of “Honey Boo Boo” holiday specials. Uncle Poodle is ready and willing to return. As for the family’s newfound fame, he has no concerns about it going to anyone’s head. “We’re not changing one bit,” he promises. “June will die with a coupon in her hand. I never in a million years thought someone would be asking to take a picture with me in line at the Wal-Mart. But, hell, I was still at the Wal-Mart.”
October 12, 2012
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October 12, 2012
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gets ‘Out of the Game’ Gay singer-songwriter brings new album to Atlanta
Rufus Wainwright, the gay son of music marvels Loudon Wainwright III and the late Kate McGarrigle, has been a musical presence since childhood. He stepped out on his own in 1998 with his highly regarded eponymous debut disc and has been delighting his devoted following ever since. Wainwright is renowned as much for his movie soundtrack work (his renditions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” from “Shrek” and the Beatles’ “Across The Universe” from the “I Am Sam” soundtrack are legendary) as he is for his love of opera (referenced in song a such as “Damned Ladies”). His talent and creativity seemingly knows no bounds, as evidenced by his spot-on recreation of Judy Garland’s infamous 1961 concert on his 2007 “Rufus does Judy at Carnegie Hall” show and subsequent live recording. Produced by Mark Ronson, Wainwright’s soulful “Out of the Game” (Decca), already considered to be one of the best albums of 2012 by Rolling Stone, is a far-cry from his soul-baring and mournful “All Days are Night: Songs for Lulu.” Easily Wainwright’s most potentially and consistently commercial album since 2001’s “Poses” or “Release the Stars,” “Out of the Game” ﬁnds the singer/songwriter at the very top his game. Wainwright’s sense of humor is on exhibit throughout, beginning with the title track, in which he makes witty observations on the behavior of gay men younger than his own 39 years. Name-dropper “Rashida” effortlessly updates vintage soul, Rufus-style, complete with wailing diva backing vocals. The retro R&B vibe continues on the sexy “Barbara,” as well as the swirling “Bitter Tears,” and the full-on funk of “Perfect Man,” which deserves to be remixed for club play. To Ronson’s credit, Wainwright doesn’t get lost in the shufﬂe. On the contrary, he is very deﬁnitely the central focus all the way through the disc. Playing less piano and more guitar than usual, the Rufus we have all come to know and love can be heard loud and clear on “Welcome to the Ball,” “Respectable Dive,” “Sometimes You Need” and the amazing and utterly gay “Montauk.” GA Voice spoke with Rufus shortly before his appearance in Atlanta at The Tabernacle on Oct. 20. GA Voice: Rufus, you are heading out on tour again in support of your latest album, “Out of the Game.” How were the new songs received
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com Rufus Wainwright Saturday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m. The Tabernacle 152 Luckie St., Atlanta, GA 30303 www.tabernacleatl.com on the earlier leg of the tour? Were there any songs that went over better than others? Rufus Wainwright: On the other leg of the tour, it was an interesting equation. I started touring even before the album came out, so people didn’t know any of the songs at all [laughs]. It was actually kind of a nice way to measure the temperature of the work. For instance, one of the songs that’s really, immediately made a huge effect and continues to do so, and we’re actually going to take it to radio, is “Perfect Man.” “Perfect Man” seems to resonate really well. That being said, at this point, after touring for a few months, “Out of the Game” has become a real anthem. My fans really rally behind that particular number. Mainly because I think what seems so obvious is actually quite complicated and very catchy in the end. I’m glad that you mentioned “Perfect Man.” When performing that song and others live, do you maintain elements of the original arrangements or do you change them up a bit in concert? No, we’re sticking with the agenda here. It is an up-tempo show and so we try to capture that. But we don’t only do the new album. I tried to cover the whole spectrum of my career in the evening. There’s still some sad, depressing music [laughs]. Were blue-eyed soul numbers on “Out of the Game,” such as “Barbara” and “Rashida,” and the righteously funky “Perfect Man,” written that way or are they examples of producer Mark Ronson’s inﬂuence? No, that was very much Mark Ronson’s touch. “Barbara” was almost more of a Philip Glass arpeggiated aria. “Rashida” was a slow, slow country dirge. I wrote “Perfect Man” with the Pet Shop Boys in mind. It was Mark who brought them together.
Rufus Wainwright promises ‘an up-tempo show’ when he brings his acclaimed new album, ‘Out of the Game,’ to the Tabernacle with Ingrid Michaelson and Lucy Wainwright Roche. (Publicity photo)
In “Montauk,” you approach the subject of fatherhood with a touch of humor. In what ways has parenthood, being a father to Viva, changed you, if at all? Well, it’s very early in the game, the moment. And I’m certainly not out of it! There’s a long inning that I embarked on; a lifelong inning. And I think I’d be foolish to make any broad statements. I will say that it is highly necessary for me to carve out a substantial amount of time for her future. Right now, I’m working all the time, so it’s hard. But I do have it in the front of my mind that very soon I will be at her disposal. Elizabeth Banks, with whom you costarred in the 2005 movie “Heights,” has gone on to have a hugely successful acting career. Will you be doing any more acting on ﬁlm? Oh, I don’t know. I wouldn’t say that it’s a hunger of mine. But I would say that I keep branching out into more theatrical work. It has been very successful for me, be it the opera or my work with the Shakespeare’s sonnets. There’s been a lot of
talk about writing a musical and ﬁlm scores. That seems to be a threshold that I should be in and it’s pulling me towards it. You play the Tabernacle in Atlanta on Oct. 20. Do you ever have time to take in any of the sites in a city a historic as Atlanta when you are in town? I tried to. I don’t know Atlanta so well. I’ve, of course, visited Elton (John) in Atlanta when he’s there. I’ve also been to a few rowdy gay bars. Also, my grandmother was from Tifton, Ga. I’d certainly like to know more about Atlanta. Finally, have you begun thinking about or working on your next album? Right now, my sister Martha and I are working on promoting our (late) mother Kate McGarrigle’s material. We made a ﬁlm called “Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You” which is premiering at a festival in New York soon. We’ll be doing the rounds at festivals and then we’ll pick up a commercial release. It’s an incredible movie about our mother and her musical heritage.
October 12, 2012
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Amanda Kyle Williams is no ‘Stranger’ to crime fiction Williams quit high school when she was 16 after being “at war” with her teachers and fellow students who believed she was too dumb to learn. “School was hell. I was constantly told, ‘You’re stupid,’” Williams recalls. “My response to that was learning to be funny.” At 22, she was ﬁnally diagnosed as dyslexic and given tools to help her overcome the learning disability. “I didn’t start reading until I was 23 and today I’m still a very slow reader,” she says. “Just being able to read a book was incredible. That people actually read for pleasure … and the idea of ﬁction was to build this whole world with words. I loved it.” Williams, now 55, is a self-educated reader and writer. Her ﬁrst mainstream book, “The Stranger You Seek,” was a 2012 Townsend Award ﬁnalist in Georgia and a 2012 Shamus ﬁnalist by the Private Eye Writers of America for Best First Private Investigator Novel.
Lesbian author hits mainstream success with trilogy set on the streets of Atlanta By Dyana Bagby firstname.lastname@example.org Amanda Kyle Williams typically begins writing her acclaimed mystery novels with a ﬁrst scene and then a last scene. “And then about 110,000 words in between,” she says. Years after writing lesbian mysteries for Naiad, a small press, Williams has found mainstream success with a series set in Atlanta. Conceived as a trilogy, the series centers around Keye Street, a Chinese-American former FBI proﬁler who was ﬁred from her job due to alcoholism. Street now runs her own detective agency and does odd jobs while also consulting with the Atlanta Police Department on some of the more heinous crimes to hit the city. The ﬁrst two books in the series, “The Stranger You Seek” and the recently released “Stranger in the Room,” garnered strong reviews; the third and ﬁnal installment, “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” is set to be released late this year. All are published by Random House. For Williams, ﬁnding her true voice — and widespread acclaim — took many years of work and struggle. And, of course, a lot of writing. “It took me a good long time to get mainstream attention,” Williams says. “And I’m nowhere near what I want and need to do. I want to make sure I do it before I get too old to enjoy it.” Talking to Williams, you hear the love she has for her protagonist, Keye Street. The voice of this character rules in Williams’ mind as she writes about Street’s struggle with booze, her love of Krispy Kreme, the tension and love she has with her adoptive parents, the bail jumpers she must hunt down as a private investigator, and also the dark places she must go within herself to get inside the head of a killer stalking Atlanta’s streets. “I tried to hone the craft where the character is strong enough, which I found in Keye Street.
Fear, humor and community
Amanda Kyle Williams, a lesbian writer from Decatur, Ga., is slaying audiences and critics with her Keye Street detective series, which is set in Atlanta. (Photo by Robin Henson Photographs)
And I don’t mean that in a schizophrenic way,” Williams says. “People ﬁnd something really authentic in Keye’s voice.”
Growing up ‘different’
Focusing on an Asian-American lead character came to Williams after her brother adopted a Chinese baby. Years ago, her niece, Anna, said something during Thanksgiving with such a heavy Southern accent that the contrast intrigued Williams. She decided to honor her niece by having a strong Chinese-American female protagonist, and her ﬁrst three Keye Street novels are dedicated to Anna. Her niece is now 11 and knows the books are dedicated to her, Williams explains. Her interest in the books went as far as, “Do they have pictures and can I read them?” “Of course, the answer was no to both,”
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com Amanda Kyle Williams Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307 www.charisbooksandmore.com www.amandakylewilliams.com Williams says, noting Anna’s interest in the books then quickly dissipated. Growing up “different” in the South was something Williams wanted to explore in her books, while also having law enforcement chase down sadistic serial killers. “I’m white and privileged,” Williams says, noting how the South, along with the rest of the nation, continues to struggle with issues of race and ethnicity. But Williams also understands being an outsider and feeling different.
Out as a lesbian since age 15, Williams says her sexual orientation has played no role in her novels getting picked up by a major publisher. “My publisher has no problem with it. It’s not relevant to my books. It’s never been a stumbling block,” she says. “I’ve been very lucky to have never had a problem. I’ve been accepted my whole life.” Williams’ success continues to grow and there are already talks of adapting her Keye Street novels to movies or television. But she continues to honor her roots, especially at Charis Books & More, where she’ll hold a book signing on Nov. 1. “As indies are folding, no one has been hit harder than feminist book stores,” Williams says. “Charis has supported me from the beginning. I had my very ﬁrst book signing there in 1990.” Charis is also the signed stock dealer for Williams, meaning when a fan orders an autographed copy of one of Williams’ books, it comes from the small purple house in Little Five Points. “I want to support them the way they have supported me and the community,” she says. Besides putting people on the edge of their seats, Williams says she also tries to inject humor in her books. “They’re thrillers and very much about Keye, but there is a lot of humor in them,” she says. “People have told me they found themselves laughing out loud. And nothing could make me happier. “I like being able to make people laugh while they are locking their doors and windows,” Williams says. “Maybe that’s the sadist in me.”
October 12, 2012
by Robin Kemp
David Sedaris delivers more than laughs with ‘Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk’
If you haven’t read “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” yet, you are cheating yourself of an important moral guide for these troublesome times. Also, you’ll miss the opportunity to laugh so hard that you snort. How often can you get a two-for-one deal like this? “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” is the most recent book by gay humorist David Sedaris, who brings his sardonic wit and intellectual humor to Atlanta Symphony Hall on Oct. 27. “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” is a collection of 17 fables, little stories featuring animal characters illustrating some moral lesson, set in contemporary urban America. You’re free to interpret them as taking place in New York City, but Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, or Miami would work just as well. However, these are not the Aesop’s tales of your childhood. They are bent, warped, campy object lessons about how we treat each other, which usually is not very nice. Take the fable of “The Cat and the Baboon,” which could have been set in any number of metro Atlanta establishments, inside the perimeter or out. The cat hits the beauty salon in preparation for a party, where the overly solicitous baboon tries to bait her into bashing other species. The cat either refuses to play or plays dumb, but the baboon keeps trying. This little tug-of-war escalates, but the baboon keeps after the cat, ever mindful that pushing too far could cost her tip. The baboon finally scores by engaging the cat in their mutual disgust towards dogs. You know, that species. No spoilers, but Sedaris dispatches the comedy and the anti-moral in his typically hilarious manner.
“The Migrating Warblers” skewers a similar contemporary prejudice: a pair of garrulous yellow warblers, just back from Guatemala by way of Brownsville, Texas, inflict their gringo-mangled Spanglish on their friends as they describe the shocking things they saw south of the border. Sedaris’ satirical snowbird describes a mass murder scene, leading up to her next Spanglish misstep, and it’s the mildly obscene punch line, delivered by her obnoxious husband. The effect is rather like Flannery O’Connor writing flash fiction about the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Players in Sedaris’ morality circus include a mouse smother-mother and her “rescue snake,” a bear whose obsession with her stepmother’s
Expect thought-provoking humor as out writer David Sedaris visits Atlanta Oct. 27. (Photos via Facebook)
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com An Evening With David Sedaris Sat, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. Symphony Hall Atlanta 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309 www.ticketmaster.com death drags her into a living hell, a homeschooling crow who pulls a nasty con on a sheepmother, a Lord-of-the-Flies-Lite group of prepper critters, a parrot-journalist and a Vietnamese potbellied pig with body-image issues, an owl whose family catches her in a compromising position with a gerbil and a hippo, and some name-dropping foodie flies. “The Toad, The Turtle, and the Duck” exemplifies Sedaris’ technique: He presents a mundane situation (waiting in line), looks for the mildly unpleasant part of that experience (shared carping about customer service), then throws the whole experience off the nearest ledge (one-upsmanship in counting the ways in which they would wreak revenge on the offending party, usually while displaying prejudice, churlishness, or complete cluelessness.) What makes these tales laugh-out-loud funny is not the mere replication of uncomfortable moments like these, but the narrator’s commentary on them as they unfold. Yes, it is social commentary, and yes, the form is prone to preachiness. Yet Sedaris serves up each salty fable as a neatly knotted pretzel. You’ll recognize that horrid bouffanted woman from the diner or the race-baiting redneck from the parking deck. But just when you feel superior enough to point your finger, Sedaris’ catches you off guard: the moral of these stories about human nature is that the thumb always points back.
October 12, 2012
#10: Pride, masculinity and dumplings Do ‘masc’ gay men challenge stereotypes or just reinforce them? Robert drew in his breath, held it, and released it. “Repeat,” he said to himself, while listening to his dinner companion, Ralph, once again carry on about Atlanta Gay Pride weekend. “I’m making a point of getting out of town,” Ralph, 27, said. “Being gay is just part of who I am, and I don’t see the point of exhibiting myself amid parade floats with drag queens and men in ass-less leather pants in front of television cameras….” “Because the thousands of straight people who come out to see the parade are so offended by it, right?” Robert snapped. “Yet, somehow, this didn’t keep a majority from favoring the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Now, most favor gay marriage. So you have to wonder if it’s straights or gays who worry that people are so stupid, they generalize basically carnival scenes to day-to-day gay life. I know Mardis Gras convinced me that all women resent wearing shirts.” As usual, Ralph ignored what Robert was saying, his eyes wandering the Chinese restaurant where they were eating, Chef Liu’s, in Chamblee. Although its cuisine took a dive for a while, it has mainly returned to favored status among the city’s foodies. It’s best known for its menu of dumplings. As a professor, Robert was accustomed to younger gay men spouting clichés about gay culture. It was one of the effects of not having any education in gay history. Since Ralph was a friend, Robert decided to press him a little deeper. “So, Ralph,” he began, “it sounds like you don’t want to be identified with so-called gay stereotypes, right?” “That’s correct,” Ralph said. “Okay,” Robert said, “don’t take offense, but you’re a hair stylist. You’re sitting here with a tribal tattoo that covers half your back and most of your arm. You’ve got a buzz cut and a 5 o’clock shadow – scruff. How are you not a stereotype yourself?” Ralph leaned back in his chair as a server deposited a plate of 12 juicy, lamb-filled dumplings before him. “My God,” he said, “this is my starter.” “So, Ralph?” Robert pressed. “How are you not a stereotype?” “The difference obviously is that I’m not inappropriately exhibiting my body parts,” he replied. “Neither are 99 percent of the others at Pride, but you condemn the entire event on that basis.” “Your sexuality is not something to be
Food Porn is a fictional series by longtime Atlanta food critic Cliff Bostock. Set in real Atlanta restaurants, it chronicles the adventures of Robert, a gay man in search of a husband — or at least a good meal. Read the whole series online at www.theGAVoice.com.
Recommended Chef Liu’s 5283 Buford Hwy., Doraville, GA 30340 770-936-0532 Good choices: You can easily make an entire meal of the city’s best Chinese dumplings and buns here and spend very little money. I like the lamb dumplings and those made with fennel and pork. You might want to mix up the juicy Shanghai soup dumplings with a plate of glossy fried pork dumplings. The leek pie is another dish not to miss. I prefer to eat entirely small plates here, but if you want to order entrees, the one to avoid is the cumin lamb. It’s mainly grilled onions with very small pieces of lamb. proud of,” Ralph replied somewhat heatedly. “There’s no heterosexual pride. I know the event is supposed to commemorate Stonewall, but it turned into a huge decadent party years ago. I’m not the only gay person who feels this way.”
Of closets and chopsticks
Ralph sighed. A plate of kung pao beef arrived at the table. Robert liked the dish, even though it was common in Chinese-American restaurants, but Chef Liu’s version is a remarkable blend of caramelized meat with pointy hot peppers. “I think all the crap about Pride is part of the new closet into which gay men are attempting to scramble,” Robert said, waving his chopsticks at Ralph. “The oppression of gay people was about their sexuality and it’s appropriate that Pride celebrate that in somewhat explicit ways, although that has been dis-
appearing over the years…” “Thank God,” Ralph interrupted. “Gay men are increasingly concerned with conforming to stereotypes of masculinity. It’s another effort to hide difference instead of celebrating it,” Robert ranted on. He fished his iPhone out of his pocket and logged onto Manhunt. “Look at this crap,” he said. “Here’s a guy calling himself ‘a man’s man.’ What the hell does that mean? And a huge portion of these ads – on Manhunt, Scruff, Grindr, wherever – are from men who claim to be masc and only want sex with masc men. Ralph was nodding, spearing dumplings and a plate of cumin lamb that had also come to the table. “I don’t think you’re wrong,” he said, “but people are entitled to their preferences.”
‘Masc’ vs. masculine
“They aren’t preferences,” Robert shot back. “They are gender stereotypes that the culture imposes, and half the time it’s obvious gay men are delusional about themselves, anyway. “Believe me ‘masc’ and ‘masculine’ are not the same thing. Years ago, on AOL, this supposedly masc guy kept hitting on me. His profile dripped with testosterone. He liked to shoot animals while drinking beer with his buds and wanted to wrestle for top. “He wouldn’t leave me alone, no matter how much I told him I’m not that masc. Eventually, I agreed to meet in the old parking lot at Piedmont Park. The plan was to go for a walk. So, I’m waiting and up he roars in a big black pickup truck. He lowers the window. He’s got a flat top. He’s got on an open flannel shirt with chest hair spilling out. He kind of grunts hello. “Suddenly, I hear this yippy yappy sound. And this tiny little white dog — a toy Poodle, I think — jumps into the guy’s lap. He starts snarling at me. And the man starts kissing the top of his head, saying, ‘Now hush, baby, be nice to the nice man, that’s a good girl.’ He looked at me and said, ‘I just picked her up at the beauty parlor.’ “I was speechless,” Robert said. “I started laughing hysterically. I guess the guy knew why. He rolled up his window and drove away.” Ralph was laughing. “Yeah, that kind of thing happens a lot with online hookups.” “Well,” Robert said, “his behavior exhibits what it means to be masc, instead of masculine in the conventional sense. But gay men don’t seem to get that. It’s not unlike the ‘70s with the clone look, but I think men understood then that, despite the jeans and flannel shirts, they were parodying masculinity, not replicating it.” “I’m still not going to Pride,” Ralph said. “Well, I forgot to tell you that I hope you had a good two weeks in P-town this year,” Robert replied, rolling his eyes.
October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012
The fabulous walking dead Jerusalem House revamps Halloween event with ghost theme By Matt Schafer The dead shall walk, and they shall be fabulous. Jerusalem House is retooling its annual Halloween fundraiser from a Carnevale masquerade ball to a “Ghosts of Hollywood” themed event, and organizers are offering lot of surprises. The event is one of the largest fundraisers of the year for the Atlanta-based nonprofit that provides housing to HIV-positive individuals and their families. “It’s going to be a party in three different phases. It’s going to be exciting for our guests because the venue will be changing around them,” Jerusalem House Executive Director Charlie Frew says. “A lot of it is going to be a surprise, but people will see the size of the venue change and different things with lighting and other ways.” Development Director Jon Santos wouldn’t let many details slip about the party, but said the party would feature live entertainment, a “Spiritual Medium,” drinks and a number of celebrities from Hollywood’s history who have appeared in the tribute reel at the Oscars. “For anyone who has been [to the Jerusalem House Halloween event] in the past, it will seem familiar, but we’ve added some new elements to it sort of jazz it up a little bit,” Santos says. While there will be dead celebrities mingling with the crowd, costumes are not required to attend. There will still be masquerade masks available for purchase. “We want to keep it fresh because we have a core group of people who attend every year and we want to keep it exciting for them,” Frew says. The event routinely draws approximately 400 revelers, in what organizers say is a diverse crowd. “It truly is a mixed event, it probably is more gay, but it truly is open to everyone. I don’t think anyone from the straight community would be intimidated from coming,” Frew notes. “It’s a great time to have a lot of fun with a lot of different people and see things that you haven’t seen before.” The event will also feature a raffle that includes high dollar items like a three-night/ four-day day vacation in Blue Ridge, a week’s stay in a Pensacola condo and a dining package from Steel Restaurant and Lounge.
HIV housing help
The funds raised will go to help Jerusalem House plug the holes in its budget left by large funding sources. Private and public grants account for the bulk of housing agency’s budget,
Last year’s Jerusalem House event featured the familiar Carnevale theme; this year, the HIV agency goes glam with ‘Ghosts of Hollywood.’ (Photos by Brent Corcoran / RNZ Photography)
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com Ghosts of Hollywood Oct. 26, 8 p.m. – midnight The Foundry at Puritan Mill 916 Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard www.jerusalemhouse.org/halloween Tickets: $60 but unrestricted funds from events like Ghosts of Hollywood are critical. “Government funds will typically give us the food and rent, for example, but when you get into other services like transportation and education, that tends to come from the private sector,” Frew says. Jerusalem House owns or rents a number of facilities across Atlanta, and provides an estimated 60 percent of the housing for low-income people living with AIDS in the metro area. At any given time, Jerusalem House provides shelter to approximately 350 people, of which 125 are children. The organization also offers case management, education and transportation services to its clients. “Given the significant uncertainty in Congress, it is certain that government funding will continue to be in a state of flux. It places a bigger importance on events like this… given what we see in Congress programs like ours tend to be first cut,” Frew says. “We know that people who come out to this event are coming to have a good time, but for the most part they are looking to contribute, and help out Jerusalem House, and they do so in a very important way,” he says.
October 12, 2012
DRESS UP FOR OUR SPOOKTACULAR 10TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY.
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2012 GLAAD Atlanta Gala
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation held its second annual Atlanta Gala on Oct. 6 at 764 Miami Circle, complete with an underwater theme. (Photos by Brent Corcoran/RNZ Photography)
Out on Film Out on Film, Atlantaâ€™s LGBT film festival, celebrated its 25th anniversary with dozens of screenings Oct. 4-11. (Photos by Dyana Bagby)
Atlanta Gay Weddings launch party Atlanta Gay Weddings, a new annual publication from GA Voice and Equally Wed Magazine, launched Oct. 4 with a gala at Opera. Visit the GA Voice Pride booth to pick up a copy. (Photos by LeahAndMark.com)
October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012
agave restaurant an eclectic southwestern eatery & tequila bar cabbagetown
We have proudly and unconditionally supported the LGBT community for the last eleven years through donations and dine outs. We could not have accomplished this without your patronage !
Reservations 404-588-0006 www.agaverestaurant.com
October 12, 2012
Gay candidates on Nov. 6 ballot across Ga. Three out incumbents, two political hopefuls seek General Assembly seats
By Dyana Bagby email@example.com Three gay incumbents will be on the Nov. 6 ballot for the Georgia General Assembly, as well as two gay Democrats seeking spots in the state House and Senate. State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta), who became the first out African-American lesbian state legislator in the nation when she won a seat in the Georgia House in 2009, prevailed in a heated July primary for House District 58 against another Democratic incumbent, Rep. Ralph Long, after the two were drawn into the same district by Republicans. Bell is endorsed by Georgia Equality and the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. She is a co-sponsor of the State Fair Employment Practices Act, a bill that would make it illegal to fire state employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill languished in committee this year, but LGBT advocates and Georgia Equality hope to get the bill out of the Judiciary Committee and onto the House floor in the upcoming session. Bell faces a Republican challenger on Nov. 6 ― entrepreneur Earl Cooper. State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) held off challenges from four candidates in July to secure enough votes to win the House District 60 race outright and without a runoff. She faces no Republican opposition on the November ballot. She won the seat during a special election in 2012. State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), who in 2000 became the first openly gay person elected to Georgia’s General Assembly, faced no opposition in July for House District 85 and has no Republican challengers next month. She is the lead sponsor of the FEPA bill to provide protection to LGBT state employees.
Taking his first stab at state office is openly gay Timothy Swiney, an associate real estate broker who lives in Lawrenceville with his partner and their two adopted children. Swiney faces an uphill battle for House District 101 against Republican incumbent state Rep. Valerie Clark in a fiscally and socially conservative part of the state that includes Gwinnett County. Swiney, who once was a Republican but said he became disgusted by the state’s current administration and decided to change parties, believes he can work for all people. “The single most important issue facing all Georgians is our economy,” Swiney said. “Georgia has been consistently ranked as one of the top states in the nation for our pro-business environment, yet we are ranked dead last in the financial stability of our citizens and workers. In May of this year Georgia had more foreclo-
OPENLY GAY Candidates on Nov. 6 Ballot
State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) Unopposed for House District 85 www.karladrenner.org
State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) Faces Republican challenger Earl Cooper for House District 58 www.simonebell.com
sures than any state in the county.” Swiney is also fearful of the “personhood movement” shaping up in Georgia and the antiabortion law passed in the last session. He is a strong supporter for same-sex couple adoptions and wants to make this easier through state law. Currently Georgia has no law specifically addressing same-sex parent adoptions. “As a recent adoptive parent, I know first hand the road blocks and outright discrimination against gay couples in the adoption process,” he said. “Georgia law does not address same sex adoptions, but in our state, unless laws are written that specifically include the LGBT community, we are denied those rights,” he explained. “This is not simply a LGBT rights issue, but it is a children’s rights issue … We need legislation that specifically allows same-sex couple adoptions and as state representative I will work to see this corrected,” Swiney added. Swiney said he is a strong supporter of FEPA and if elected would work “to educate, negotiate, and if needed, twist arms in order to insure that LGBT workers get a fair shake in the workplace.” Tim Riley, who has sought a seat in the state Senate three times before, was recently married and his opponent and incumbent has publicly stated Riley is “not his cup of tea.” But Riley, who lives in Athens, wants to focus on education and bringing more jobs to Georgia if elected to represent Senate District 47. “I have been fighting for equal rights for all citizens of Georgia for many years and will continue to fight for equality,” Riley said. “We all deserve a place at the table. We the people means everybody.” Brad Ploeger, a gay Libertarian, is running for the Public Service Commission, also on the November ballot for all voters. Ploeger is run-
State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) Unopposed for House District 60 www.keishawaites.com
Timothy Swiney (D-Lawrenceville) Challenging Republican Rep. Valerie Clark for House District 101 www.electtimothy.com
Gary D. Harrell (D-Rome) Challenging Republican incumbent Garry E. Fricks for Floyd County Commission Post 2 www.garydharrell.com
ning against Republican incumbent Chuck Eaton and Democrat Steve Oppenheimer. “An LGBT voter should be interested in every race on the ballot,” Ploeger said. “Many of the so-called ‘down ticket races’ have a significantly larger effect on your life. In addition, these races involves candidates you can actually contact and express your opinions ... “While some voters may choose to vote for or against me based on my sexual orientation; it my sincere hope that most Georgians will choose to support my campaign based on my ideas,” he said.
Running in Rome
Also on the ballot, but only in Floyd County which includes the city of Rome, is gay Democrat Garry D. Harrell, 27, who hopes to unseat Republican incumbent Garry E. Fricks for the Floyd County Commission Post 2 seat. Harrell said he is running on a platform of
Tim Riley (D-Athens) Challenging Republican Rep. Frank Ginn for Senate District 47 www.drtimrileyforsenate.com
Brad Ploeger (Libertarian-Atlanta) Running for Public Service Commission against incumbent Republican Chuck Eaton and Democrat Steve Oppenheimer www.bradploeger.com
fresh ideas ― supporting small businesses, balancing the county’s budget thoughtfully and using new green and clean technology to move Floyd County forward. “I’ll serve my community and be the voice for ordinary citizens on the Floyd County Board of Commissioners. Listening to the needs of the entire community is critically important, and I’ll do that,” he said. His sexual orientation doesn’t seem to be playing any significant role in his campaign, he added. “I don’t know if ‘most people’ know I am gay, but I have lived an ‘out’ life as an adult for many years in this community. Other than an initial couple of conversations with the local media, this issue has not been raised. While I can’t say it’s not a significant issue, it’s not an issue that is being openly discussed,” Harrell said. “Frankly, I have been surprised by the friendly and supportive conversations I’ve had with voters across the county,” he said.
October 12, 2012
It’s not just a conference, it’s a powerful organizing moment that feeds me and pushes me to build a broad movement for justice. Alfonso Wenker Activist Leader
The largest annual gathering of activists, organizers and leaders in the LGBT movement
January 23–27, 2013 Hilton Atlanta Register now! www.CreatingChange.org Celebrating 25 years of Creating Change
AIDS Walk Atlanta aims for biggest year ever Organizers hope to raise $1.25 million for eight local HIV agencies By Matt Schafer Organizers have set an ambitious goal for this year’s AIDS Walk Atlanta, which would make the annual fundraiser the largest in the event’s history. The walk routinely attracts 10,000 walkers and runners who last year combined to raise $1 million for only the second time in the event’s history. This year organizers hope to build on that success and raise $1.25 million for the eight participating agencies. “For these organizations this is how they find money for extra HIV tests; this is how employees are paid,” AIDS Walk Office Manager Billy Jones said. The 2012 AIDS Walk steps of Sunday, Oct. 21, from Piedmont Park. Jones works for AID Atlanta, which provides most of the organizational support for the walk. While $5.4 million of AID Atlanta’s $7.5 million budget comes from federal grants, the AIDS Walk provides the largest percentage of unrestricted funds, meaning this money fills the gaps. “Grants are wonderful but they are very specific about what they will pay for and what they won’t pay for,” Jones said. “A grant may cover all the costs of a program for example, except for phones.” Beneficiaries this year besides AID Atlanta include AID Gwinnett, Project Open Hand, Living Room Inc., Aniz, AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta, Jerusalem House and Positive Impact. “It’s important that the AIDS Walk remain a successful fundraiser because I think we’ve seen situations with ARCA and Positive Impact where those two organizations have been denied funding by the Department of Health…. The walk is the largest of its kind in the Southeast, and it’s completely unrestricted funds,” Jones said. “All of the money raised stays in Atlanta and goes to help organizations who serve people who live in this area,” he said. Registration begins at 11 a.m. on Oct. 21 and a pre-race concert begins at 1 p.m. The band and speakers have not been announced yet, but organizers have named two spokesmen and WSB-TV anchor Jovita Moore as its masters of ceremony. Alex Wan, the first openly gay man to sit on the Atlanta City Council, will represent the city. U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta), who has spoken at a number of AIDS Walk, will not be present, because he will be traveling with President Obama, Jones said.
Last year’s AIDS Walk Atlanta raised $1 million; organizers home to top that total with the 2012 walk, scheduled for Oct. 21 starting from Piedmont Park. (Photos by Brent Corcoran / RNZ Photography)
‘Everyone should make a difference’
The AIDS Walk is supported by both straight and gay groups, and this year’s spokesmen reflect that: Lance Lacy, an openly gay HIV negative man, and Walter Bradley, who is straight and HIV positive. Lacy has been the team captain of the SunTrust corporate team for the past nine years, and during that time has raise approximately $83,000 for the AIDS Walk. “The first year I was captain I just wanted to want to walk, and I didn’t want to go by myself. I noticed there was no SunTrust team, so I started one,” Lacy said. What started with just a handful of people has grown to a team with over 100 walkers. “To start with it wasn’t that much, but over the years it’s just grown,” he said. Lacy wanted to make a contribution because of his experience with his first boyfriend, and the education he received that Lacy credits with saving his life. “For me personally, my first experience with HIV was my first relationship. Several months in my boyfriend got tested and it had progressed to the point where he had full blown AIDS,” Lacy said. “Here he is my first love, and I’m just head over heels in love with him and he was positive. So I started trying to learn everything I could. Anything I could get about it I did; any literature I could find, I ate it up,” he said. Lacy credits gay youth groups and early community education for the reason why he continued to date his first boyfriend (they are not currently together) and not contract HIV. “When I first came out I started going to gay youth groups and they kept preaching protect yourself, and I did, and that’s why I’m still
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com AIDS Walk Atlanta and 5k Run Sunday, Oct. 21 Run begins at 1 p.m.; walk begins at 2 p.m. Awards at 3 p.m from the main stage Registration fees: Runners pre-registration $30, on-Site $40. www.aidswalkatlanta.com Beneficiaries AID Atlanta AID Gwinnett AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta Aniz Jerusalem House Living Room Inc. Positive Impact Project Open Hand negative,” Lacy said. Lacy doesn’t consider himself politically active, but said he has focused his activism on the AIDS Walk. “This is definitely where my passion lies. I’ll help anyone else, but this is the one thing every year that our friends know I’ll be harassing them for donations until they give us money,” he said. The crowds of walkers and runners are filled with people who focus their passion on this one event every year. Christopher Evans raised $7,000 for this year’s walk, but shied away from any public credit. “I really am just a wallflower,” he said. “I just believe everyone should make a difference in the world, or be the change they want to see — to quote an overused line. “This is just my little part, that’s all.”
October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012
Emory LGBT student groups: Get Chick-fil-A off our campus Critics call anti-gay restaurant chain ‘symbol of discrimination’
By Laura Douglas-Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Leaders of seven LGBT student organizations at Emory University sent a letter Oct. 8 to school administrators decrying the ongoing presence of Chick-fil-A on the Decatur campus and asking Emory to end its “contractual relationship” with the fast food chain immediately. “This company has long been a concern for LGBT students, faculty, and alumni because of its anti-gay ideology and activities. What was merely a source of anxiety on campus in recent years has now escalated into an ideologically potent symbol of discrimination and inequality,” reads the letter, dated Oct. 2 and sent Oct. 8 to Emory President James Wagner and Senior Vice President Ajay Nair. Most Emory students were not on campus when the latest round of controversy over Chick-fil-A heated up in mid-July, when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told a Chris-
tian media outlet that his company is “guilty as charged” on opposing marriage rights for samesex couples. Critics also cite donations made by Chickfil-A’s WinShape Foundation to organizations that actively fight against LGBT rights. Since the fall semester got underway, opposition to the relationship between Emory — recently named among the top 25 LGBT-inclusive campuses — and Chick-fil-A has grown. In late August, LGBT alumni sent letters opposing the relationship and students began posting flyers in protest. Cox Hall, the food court at the center of Emory’s main campus, includes a Chick-fil-A restaurant. “CFA not only resides on our campus, it caters our events, sponsors numerous student activities, and hosts school orientations via Winshape,” reads the Oct. 2 letter from student LGBT groups. “For several years now, concerned students aware of CFA’s anti-gay activities have avoided doing business with CFA because of conscience. However, we are still placed in compromising situations when our clubs, teams, and organizations use university dollars to be catered by, and in some cases meet at CFA,” it states.
Flyers criticizing Chick-fil-A began appearing on the Emory campus at the start of the fall semester. (File photo)
Not just fast food
The student groups’ letter affirms Chick-filA’s free speech right to speak out against LGBT equality, but also notes Emory’s free speech right to speak in favor of inclusion and diversity. Chick-fil-A remaining on campus sends a message that is counter to Emory’s welcoming mission, the letter continues. “To some, it is merely fast food. To us, it is a reminder that even though we have ‘safe spaces’ for our LGBT community, we have yet to
achieve the ‘safe campus’ we hope for,” it states. Emory officials issued an initial response to concerns about Chick-fil-A back in August, stressing the school’s commitment to diversity but also declining to sever the relationship with the fast-food chain. “Emory University has a long history of creating access, inclusion, and equity for Emory’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer students, faculty, staff and alumni. Recent public statements by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-filA, do not reflect Emory’s values as an institution,” read the statement from Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Dr. Ajay Nair. “Nevertheless, freedom of expression and an open exchange of ideas are also central tenets of the Emory community. Emory therefore respects the right of people to express their disagreement with Mr. Cathy by not patronizing Chick-fil-A,” Nair said. The student letter was signed by leaders of Emory LGBT groups including Sacred Worth (Candler School of Theology), Emory OUTLaw (Emory Law School), Goizueta Pride Alliance (Goizueta Business School), Emory Pride (Emory College), Emory Medical Alliance (School of Medicine), Oxford Pride (Oxford College), and Laney Pride Alliance (Laney Graduate School).
October 12, 2012
BEST BETS 10.12 - 10.25 Wednesday, Oct. 17 Every third Wednesday, Lost-n-Found Youth hosts the Big Gay Game Show, a fundraiser for their mission to help Atlanta’s LGBT homeless youth. Games include Family Feud, the Newlywed Game, Match Game and more. Stick around for “Dragnificent” at no extra charge. 7:30 - 10 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.lost-n-found.org
Acclaimed mystery writer Patricia Cornwell, who is gay, reads from her latest Kay Scarpetta caper, “The Bone Bed.” 7 p.m. at the Carter Center Day Chapel, 441 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307, www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/events/
Out singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright performs at 7 p.m. at The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St., Atlanta, GA 30303, www.tabernacleatl.com
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WEEKENDR CALENDA PAGE 36-38
Monday, Oct. 15
Catch the Atlanta premiere of “8,” a staged reading of the play based on transcripts of the California court hearing seeking to overturn Proposition 8, which ended gay marriage in the state. A discussion on the fight for marriage equality follows; benefits Georgia Equality, Stonewall Bar Association and the American Foundation for Equal Rights. 7:30 p.m. at 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.14thstplayhouse.org
Every Monday night, enjoy Stars of the Century at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.jungleclubatlanta.com
Tuesday, Oct. 16
The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts a prix fixe Business Builder Luncheon. $20, cash only, RSVP to email@example.com. 11:55 a.m. at Hudson Grille, Brookhaven Station, 4046 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30319, www.atlantagaychamber.org Film Love presents two documentary films by Robert Drew: “Primary” (1960), about John F. Kennedy’s campaign, and “The Children Were Watching” (1961), examining school desegregation in New Orleans. 7:30 p.m. at Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, www.plazaatlanta.com
Saturday, Oct. 20
S FOR EVENT - 14 ON OCT. 12 TENSIVE SEE OUR EX
“T&F Transitionz: a Project of the Feminist Outlawz” is an open forum to discuss gender and facilitating dialogue and activism around social issues. 7 - 9:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com
Friday, Oct. 19
October 12, 2012
Wednesday, Oct. 17
The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts a prix fixe Business Builder Luncheon. $20, cash only, RSVP to dr.olt@ integratedchiropractic.com. 11:30 a.m. at Marlows at the Doubletree Hotel, 4156 La Vista Road, Tucker, GA 30084, www.atlantagaychamber.org
Photo by Brent Corcoran/RNZ Photography
Sunday, Oct. 21
Produced by AID Atlanta, AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5 K Run is the largest AIDS-related fundraiser in the Southeast. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. in Piedmont Park. www.aisawalkatlanta.com
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< MORE LGBT EVENTS: Visit our website for our extensive daily calendar, including nightlife schedules, sports, worship services and community organization meetings. www.thegavoice.com/calendar
Thursday, Oct. 18
MEGA Family Project hosts its monthly Waiting for the Stork discussion group for dues-paying members. 7-8:30 p.m. at Coldwell Banker Intown, 1390 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, www.megafamilyproject.org Enjoy an open “no mic” night as Cliterati wows you with spoken word poets, this month featuring Red Summer. 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books, 1189 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com Thursdays at 9 p.m. get your “Glee” on the television screens at Amsterdam, 502-A Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, www.amsterdamatlanta.com Thursdays are 18-and-up College Night at My Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316, www.mysistersroom.com
Friday, Oct. 19
Today is Spirit Day, when you are encouraged to wear purple to support LGBT youth and stand up against bullying.
SAGE Atlanta, for LGBT elders, hosts chair yoga every Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Philip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, www.sageatl.org Friday nights mean fall softball for the Decatur Women’s League, with play at Kelly Cofer Park in Tucker. www.decaturwomensports.com SisterLove, an organization devoted to women and HIV, presents the 2020 Leading Women’s Awards, honoring 20 women from around the country for their roles in the fight against the epidemic. 7 p.m. at Georgia Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King Drive, Atlanta, GA 30334, www.sisterlove.org The Third Friday Film Series presents “Black Power Mix Tape 1967-75.” $1-$10 sliding scale donations. Doors at 7 p.m., movie at 7:30 p.m. at First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta, 470 Candler Park Dr., NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, http://on.fb.me/Il753W
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October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 61
Traxx Girls introduces the new party Banjee Girl at My Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316, www.mysistersroom.com
Sunday, October 21
THE SOUND OF CHRISTMAS featuring ELISABETH VON TRAPP
DJ Lydia Prim spins Fridays at the Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.hereticatlanta.com
Friday nights are for the “grown and sexy” with DJ Smash starting at 10 p.m. at Mixx, 1492-B Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.mixxatlanta.com
Saturday, Oct. 20
The Second Chance Rummage & Bake Sale benefits Lost-n-Found Youth, a nonprofit dedicated to homeless LGBT youth. 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at 2043 Cheshire Bridge Rd, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.lost-n-found.org The Southern Softpaw Softball League continues its fall season at 10 a.m. with 16 teams hitting the fields at Southside Softball Complex on Jonesboro Road in Atlanta. www.southernsoftpaw.com Bring your dog in costume to celebrate Howl-oWeen with PALS, which helps people with serious health conditions like HIV care for their pets. Costume contest, pet parade, vendors, photo sessions and more. 2-5 p.m. at Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel, 866 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308, www.palsatlanta.org A new “coming out” support group for LGBT adults meets on Saturdays through Nov. 17; 4 p.m. at First MCC Community Center, 1379 Tullie Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. www.firstmcc.com Lakara Foster, founder of She Speaks Inc., hosts a benefit concert for the homeless. 7-10 p.m. at Sphere Atlanta, 4705 Bakers Ferry Road, Suite F, Atlanta, GA, http://on.fb.me/QZiEF3 In conjunction with Atlanta Celebrates Photography, pb&j gallery presents “NINE: Frames of Reference,” featuring nine diverse photographers. Opens tonight with an event from 7-10 p.m. and runs through Nov. 30 at pb&j gallery, 35 Howard St., Atlanta, GA 30317, www.pbjart.com Charis Circle presents “Let Me Clear My Throat: An Evening of Sonic Essays by Eleana Passarello.” 7:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com Kings, queens and femmes compete as Drag Race Season III launches tonight at 9 p.m. at My Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316, www.mysistersroom.com
Thursday, Oct. 25
You oughtta know that Alanis Morissette brings her new album to Atlanta tonight. 7 p.m. at The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St., Atlanta, GA 30303, www.tabernacleatl.com
A NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Saturday, December 8
jUAN SIDDI FLAMENCO THEATRE COMPANy Sunday, January 13
Go “Man 2 Man” every Saturday night at XS Ultra Lounge, 708 Spring Street, Atlanta, GA 30308, www.xcessultralounge.com
CHICK COREA & GARy BURTON
with HARLEM STRING QUARTET
Saturday, January 26
Shavonna B. Brooks hosts the Extravaganza drag show at 11:30 p.m. at Burkhart’s, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.burkharts.com
Sunday, Oct. 21
PFLAG Atlanta hosts its monthly Third Sunday meeting at 2:45 p.m. at First MCC, 1379 Tullie Road, Atlanta, GA 30329. Also, check the PFLAG Atlanta website for upcoming meetings this month in Macon, Johns Creek, Athens, Peachtree City and Marietta. www.pflagatl.org TAKIOPROJECT is the Los Angeles-based drumming group that will mix traditional and innovative techniques for their Atlanta premiere. 5 p.m. at the Ferst Center for the Arts, 350 Ferst Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30332, www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu Patty Griffin’s first solo performance in 12 years is set at 7 p.m. for Eddie Owen Presents at the Red Clay Theatre, 3116 Main St., Duluth, GA 30096, www.eddieowenpresents.com The Armorettes, Atlanta’s legendary fundraising drag troupe, takes over at 8 p.m. at at Burkhart’s, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.burkharts.com
Monday, Oct. 22
Catch Monday Night Football with games starting at 8:30 p.m. at My Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316, www.mysistersroom.com Family Feud returns at 11:30 p.m. to Blake’s on the Park, 227 10th St., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.blakesontheparkatlanta.com
CONTINUED ON PAGE 65
Saturday, February 2 Saturday, February 9
NNENNA FREELON Saturday, February 23
jAKE SHIMABUKURO Saturday, March 2 Ny GILBERT & SULLIVAN PLAyERS
Sunday, March 10
Saturday, March 16
SEÁN CURRAN COMPANy
Saturday, March 23
AN EVENING WITH
Saturday, April 6
Saturday, April 20
Charlie Brown hosts Charlie’s Angels at 11 p.m. at Blake’s on the Park, 227 10th St., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.blakesontheparkatlanta.com
Sunday, December 2
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October 12, 2012
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EVENTS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 63
Tuesday, Oct. 23
GO Atlanta, AID Atlanta’s gay outreach program, hosts a coffee talk from 4-6 p.m. at 1000 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.aidatlanta.org Tuesdays, unwind with a sing-along with pianist David Reeb at 8 p.m. at Mixx, 1492-B Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.mixxatlanta.com Every fourth Tuesday, try your luck at Speed Dating from 8-10 p.m. at Blake’s on the Park, 227 10th St., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.blakesontheparkatlanta.com Tuesdays, Thursdays and early Saturday, get your country on with 3-Legged Cowboy nights at the Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.hereticatlanta.com
Wednesday, Oct. 24
Competition continues in Jungle’s “Dragnique” re-boot “Dragnificent.” There’s $1,000 up for grabs at the end of the seven-week amateur competition. The new show is presented by the Fantasy Girls team, Phoenix producing and Nicole Paige Brooks on the mic. 10 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.jungleclubatlanta.com Charlie Brown hosts “Drag Idol 5” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. at LeBuzz, 585 Franklin Road, Marietta, GA 30367, http://on.fb.me/MYbqiy
Thursday, Oct. 25
First time attendees get a free drink as GO Atlanta, AID Atlanta’s gay outreach program, hosts a happy hour from 5-7 p.m. at gay sports bar Woof’s, 2425 Piedmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.aidatlanta.org Mara Davis emcees as Piedmont Bark celebrates its 10th anniversary with a party featuring prizes and raffles to benefit the Atlanta Humane Society. 6:30-9 p.m. at 501 Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, www.piedmontbark.com Charis Books and More and War on Women, a feminist punk band, help launch HollabackAtlanta! — a movement to end street harassment primarily through social media and a network of local activists. 7:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com The Feminist Women’s Health Center presents its 2012 fall fundraiser, Unruly Night of Political Misbehavin’ — complete with volunteer awards, political skits and songs, door prizes, feminist activist trivia, musical performances and more. 7:30-10 p.m. at Manuel’s Tavern, 602 N Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, www.FeministCenter.org/UnrulyNight
UPCOMING Friday, Oct. 26
Ghosts of Hollywood is the theme for this year’s Halloween costume celebration to benefit Jerusalem House, which provides homes for people impacted by HIV. 8 p.m. — midnight at Atlanta Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Ave., Atlanta, GA 30303, www.jerusalemhouse.org/halloween
Saturday, Oct. 27
Celebrated gay humorist David Sedaris brings his sardonic wit to Atlanta Symphony Hall. 8 p.m. at 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.atlantasymphony.org
Saturday, Nov. 3
The MEGA Family Project hosts its annual MEGA Family Conference, dubbed the largest gathering in the South for LGBT families. 8:30 a.m – 5 p.m. at Saint Mark United Methodist Church, 781 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308, www.megafamilyproject.org
October 12, 2012
Saturday, Nov. 3 Sunday, Nov. 4
The Chastain Park Arts Festival, a part of the gay owned and operated Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces series of festivals, offers local arts and crafts in the largest public park in Fulton County. Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Chastain Park, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta, GA 30327, www.chastainparkartsfestival.com
PRIDE CALENDAR? PAGE 36
October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012
SHE SAID Crisis averted Make mid-life your beginning, not an end
Seems now that I am 42 I should be having a mid-life crisis. At least that’s what I keep hearing. Those younger than me oddly keep using the term “your generation” around me and I have even heard more than one menopause joke directed my way. It’s not worth explaining that the “Change” won’t come for me for another decade. When I left the Bert Show last year, some even accused me of doing so because of some age crisis. So I decided to look up exactly what a mid-life crisis was on Wikipedia, in order to understand how to play my part, and found it is “a time where adults come to realize their own mortality and how much time is left in their life.” You’d think the Grim Reaper baked my 40th birthday cake. I really hate the term mid-life crisis because it’s nothing more than a self-fulﬁlling prophecy that you will hate your older years, when all that’s really happening is the completion of original goals. As a kid or teenager, you probably planned out how you wanted you life to go. Maybe you wanted to build a family, maybe you wanted to achieve a certain salary level, or create a new business. Whether your life followed that original plan, there was no one to tell you it would only take about 20 or 30 years to ﬁnd out, leaving you with decades left to do other things. So I guess the crisis comes when people have no idea what to do now, although for some, the future is not what is concerning, it’s the past. And these people bother me the most. They are the ones who don’t want to do anything else now, preferring instead to fantasize about things from long ago and refusing opportunities to experience new things. I can reference more than one person in my life who is satisﬁed to simply take up space and do nothing more. I once asked a co-worker around my age if
Melissa Carter is also a writer for Huffington Post. She broke ground as the first out lesbian radio personality on a major station in Atlanta and was one of the few out morning show personalities in the country. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCarter
they had seen a recent movie. The response? “I don’t go to movies.” I asked others if they were looking forward to an event in town. They told me no, because they didn’t like being around people. They have no idea that they suck the air out of any room they are in. How could I possibly carry on either of those conversations? Maybe that’s their point, not to. They simply want everyone to leave them to complain and age until they die. Problem is that could take awhile. Why can’t we look toward the future with hope like we did when we were young? It seems when we reach a point in life where our knees ache or doctor’s visits come more often, we think life should be handled more delicately. The result of that is the idea that where we came from is more important than where we’re going. No wonder some people are stuck in the past, since that’s where they left their dreams. Regardless of the fact I have accomplished certain goals, am now from a different generation as those after me, and that I am within spitting distance of menopause, I still ﬁnd excitement in things I have yet to achieve. That’s why I got certiﬁed last year in animation, and took a job at an all news radio station this summer. Those are things I have never done before. Maybe that is the simple key to a happy life: always having something to look forward to. If the items on your To-Do List in Life are all checked off by 40 or 50, create a new one. Maybe then you’re guaranteed to avoid some ridiculous crisis halfway through your existence, when you really should be having fun.
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Why Pride still matters
The tale of the Irish pizza chef About seven years ago, I went to Ireland for a summer, where I travelled the rolling green hills masquerading as a Canadian tourist. The assumed identity was necessary because George Bush was still president. Upon hearing my American accent, locals would accost me and demand answers regarding Dubya’s foreign policies and general incompetence. For a while, I tried to defend myself and my country against their tirades, but then I discovered the Canada solution. Everybody likes Canada — good old genial, non-threatening Canada. It’s like the Ellen Degeneres of nations. I’ve never actually been to Canada, so I didn’t know anything about my declared country of origin, which wasn’t a problem because nobody else knows anything about Canada either. I’ve wondered in the intervening years if any of the Irish people I encountered eventually traveled to Canada. If so, they were likely surprised to ﬁnd the main thoroughfare in Quebec City is not named Celine Dion Boulevard, as I’d claimed. At a pub in the village of Clonmel, I met Danny, the owner of the local pizza parlor. He was around 30, and the only gay man in town. He sniffed me out with relative ease, using that beautiful sixth sense that every homo in a small town has: Attuned to every gesture or pop culture reference, any indication that they’ve crossed paths with one of their own kind. He invited me back to his ﬂat, to see the view. It was good to know that closeted or not, regardless of culture, every gay guy has the same few cheesy pick-up lines. Danny wasn’t out. Not to his family, or his employees, or even the guys with whom he shared this ﬂat. The concept of living a life where he could be out to everyone, even strangers, was beyond his imagination. When I tried to describe the experience of marching in a Pride parade, he couldn’t picture it. “But you’ve seen movies, and TV shows, right?” I asked. “That’s just Hollywood fantasy,” he said. I couldn’t believe I was having this conversation. In an age of the internet and gay marriage debates, people remain who cannot begin to fathom the concept of living their lives honestly. It made me profoundly sad, and a little angry.
Topher Payne is an Atlanta-based playwright, and the author of the book “Necessary Luxuries: Notes on a Semi-Fabulous Life.” Find out more at topherpayne.com
“It’s not fantasy, Danny. It’s my life. And all my friends, too.” “Lucky for you,” he said, and the subject was closed. I returned to my vodka tonic. When he kissed me, it was startlingly intense — forceful and hungry. I followed him inside, careful not to disturb his roommates. “You don’t have to hide, you know,” I told him later, lying on his bare mattress. “You could have this every day if you wanted.” “Leave it. My shop’s doing well here. Not a bad life.” “But if you know something is a part of you, something that deﬁnes you… don’t you owe it to yourself to ﬁght for it?” Danny gave a heavy sigh. “Some things you can’t ﬁght by yourself.” “Then move! Sell pizzas someplace else! You’re a great guy. You shouldn’t be alone.” “I’m used to it,” he said. “You shouldn’t settle for getting used to it.” We meant to exchange e-mail addresses, but it never happened, and I left the country a week later. But he never left my mind, and he serves as a consistent reminder whenever people raise the question of if Pride festivals are still necessary. Pride is essential, because there are some things you can’t ﬁght by yourself. Wherever and whenever we can gather to show the strength and validity of our lives, we are called by conscience to do so. We gather to celebrate, to grieve, to ﬁght, and please for God’s sake please GATHER TO VOTE, as a show of our collective strength. Because there are guys like Danny all around the world who believe that the life we have is some unattainable fantasy. It isn’t. It’s right here in front of us. And if we demand to be recognized, support each other, and are willing to battle for the lives we deserve, eventually people like him might feel strong enough to join us in the ﬁght.
October 12, 2012
It's Atlanta Pride weekend! Interviews with Andy Bell, Amy Ray, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo's" gay Uncle Poodle and a complete recap of everyt...