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Gay Lutheran pastors reinstated. Page 4 Grady protest attracts hundreds of students, activists. Page 6 APD names second gay liaison. Page 6 Gay Morehouse students carjacked, robbed, called ‘faggots.’ Page 11 Gay candidates and other state and local races to watch. Page 11 State grant targets LGBT smoking. Page 11 Obama’s Supreme Court nominee has gay rights record. Page 12 ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal faces delay. Page 13

“As someone who’s been proudly advocating for equal rights and supporting GLBT causes for as long as I can remember, I know how much it means to young people struggling with their sexuality to see out and proud actors … succeeding in their work without having to keep their sexuality a secret.”

Destination Gay: The hottest places to be this summer. Pages 16-17 Florida or bust: Memorial Day in Pensacola and Miami, Gay Days at Disney. Page 18 Gay Vegas: What happens in Vegas, well, you know. Page 19 Georgia on our minds: LGBT camping, bed & breakfasts in our home state. Page 20 Theater: The puppets of ‘Avenue Q’ hit Atlanta. Page 22 Sports: AIDS Vaccine 200 raises funds to help stem HIV. Page 23

— Betty White in the “Gingey” skit, one of several with gay jokes that were part of her May 8 appearance as host of “Saturday Night Live.” (, May 8)



MondoHomo takes over Atlanta. Page 25 HRC Dinner honors local activists, seeks equality ‘Every Day.’ Page 26 Georgia Spotlight: Atlanta International Day Against Homophobia, Savannah equality rally. Page 27

Anti-gay protesters, who had to be held back with tear gas from attacking the Lithuanian pride march • Breaking news as it happens • Calendar and daily event highlights • Photo albums and video galleries • Share ‘Your News’ and ‘Your Voice’

“If an actor of the stature of George Clooney came out of the closet tomorrow, would we still accept him as a heterosexual leading man? It’s hard to say. Or maybe not. Doesn’t it mean something that no openly gay actor like that exists?”



Pages 28-30


Participants in Lithuania’s first Gay Pride march, held May 8

Lithuanian police on hand to control the marchers and their opponents


— Actress Kristin Chenoweth, denouncing as “horribly homophobic” an article on Newsweek. com that contended gay actors are not believable when they play straight. (Comments on, May 7)



“You know if I could go back in time, I would lez it up 24 hours. Believe me, one thing I would not miss? Balls. Terrible little things.”

1,000 1,168

Confirmed guests as of May 10 on the Facebook page of the 40th annual Atlanta Pride Festival. Set for Oct. 9-10, the event is expected to draw more than 100,000. Sources: Reuters, Facebook

— Columnist Ramin Setoodeh, claiming that while straight actors can play gay, it’s rarely believable in reverse (, April 26)




View the full interv iew

t h e GAVO IC E .co mat

Photo by Ryan Watkin s

Editorial: Out of the ballrooms and into the streets. Page 14 Speaking out: Readers react to proposed LGBT center, Melissa Carter’s path to motherhood. Page 15

Photo via video at


“I’ve known since I was 5 or 6 there was something different about me. I came out really early compared to most folks.”

Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC


“ABC isn’t afraid of gay characters, so why won’t they let them show some love?” — Argument of the “Let Cam & Mitchell kiss on Modern Family!” Facebook group, which launched May 8 to petition the hit show to let its “adorable gay couple” share a smooch. (New York Magazine, May 9)


GA Voice May 14, 2010


Atlanta gay pastors reinstated as Lutheran clergy

Years-long battle helps push denomination to greater inclusion

cording to the Chicago website — ELCA’s Churchwide Office is located in Chicago — the new policy on gay clergy has resulted in more than 300 churches leaving ELCA .

‘Sunday was always a reminder’

By Dyana Bagby When Bradley Schmeling and Darin Easler met in 2004 at a church conference, they had no idea the chemistry between them would trigger a fierce battle in the Lutheran Church. That battle would eventually contribute to changing the church’s policies on how it perceives gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender pastors in committed relationships. “As Brad says, it’s every mother’s, every parent’s, dream for their child to meet their soulmate at a church event,” Easler said with a grin, seated next to Schmeling at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Atlanta where Schmeling is pastor. Easler and Schmeling met in Minnesota, where Easler lived and was a Lutheran pastor. In 2005, the gay men made a commitment to each other and Easler moved to Atlanta, where he was welcomed by St. John’s as Schmeling’s partner. When the two decided to make their relationship public not only to their friends and families, they also told the bishops of their synods. That’s when the trouble began. The policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at the time allowed gay and lesbian people into the ordained ministry but only if they remained celibate. There are some 10,500 ELCA congregations across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and nearly 5 million members in the church. “We met in 2004 and then Darin moved here [to Atlanta] in 2005. In 2006 we told our bishops about our relationship and that summer Darin was dropped from the clergy roster of ELCA and the bishop of this synod [the Southeastern Synod] filed formal charges against me,” Schmeling said. Schmeling was put on a church trial in January 2007, which was held in Midtown Atlanta at the old Colony Square hotel; that summer he was removed from the clergy roster. The trial made national headlines and was another example of the ongoing debates taking place within numerous churches and denominations about how LGBT people, including pastors, fit into a church’s overall mission. Going through a trial and having his relationship questioned was trying, Schmeling admitted. “It was a time that was difficult but it was also a time filled with great blessing because there was so much support and affirmation that we received,” Schmeling said. “We didn’t know it at that time but in the end we are playing an important role in moving the whole Lutheran Church forward. I think policy change would have come in the ELCA … but I feel like the trial and public witness [St.

Timeline to justice 2004: Lutheran pastors Bradley Schmeling and Darin Easler meet Rev. Bradley Schmeling (right) and his partner Rev. Darin Easler were reinstated as Lutheran pastors late last month after being defrocked in 2006 for being in a relationship with each other. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

John’s] congregation gave at that time helped move the church faster and farther along,” Schmeling added.

‘A concrete example’

Easler’s removal from the clergy roster in Minnesota was much different than Schmeling’s high profile exclusion. “It was sort of done quietly, behind the scenes. I also realized this is a much more common story,” Easler said. “Under the former policy, people quietly disappear, they go to another church or leave the church. There are silent stories alongside the very public realities of a church trial.” Easler decided to leave the Lutheran Church and became a minister with the LGBT affirming United Church of Christ. The two decided despite the hardships, they would continue the public fight as a way to bring awareness to a policy they found unjust. “We were also trusting our story did make a difference in helping the church move forward,” Easler said. “It provided a concrete example and context for people to engage conversations about change and full welcome. I think anyone who hears personal stories and sees vibrant ministry take place like it does at St. John’s, it really makes a difference to everyone else in conversation and in the church.” Schmeling said the trial made the “injustice of the old policy very clear.” Although he was removed from the clergy roster, Schmeling remained pastor at St. John’s because his congregation wanted him there and supported his and Easler’s struggle.

2005: Easler moves to Atlanta from Minnesota to be with Schmeling as his partner; the couple is welcomed by Schmeling’s congregation 2006: Easler and Schmeling tell their bishops they are in a committed relationship with each other. This goes against church policy that prohibits gay clergy from being in same-sex relationships. Easler is quietly removed from the clergy roster in Minnesota. 2007: Schmeling is put on trial within ELCA and is also removed from the clergy roster. 2009: The Churchwide Assembly of ELCA approves a resolution to open the ministry of the church to gay and lesbian pastors living in committed relationships. 2010: Schmeling and Easler are reinstated as Lutheran pastors “Throughout the trial and after, our ministry was the same. The church remains open to everyone, serves the neighborhood, takes care of the poor,” Schmeling said. “We continued to grow and in a sense thrive during that time and afterwards. And we were grateful in 2009 when the church changed its policy which opened the door to our reinstatement,” he said. In August 2009, the Churchwide Assembly of ELCA approved a resolution to open the ministry of the church to gay and lesbian pastors living in committed relationships. But the resolution did not automatically reinstate gay pastors who had been kicked out under the old rule. Schmeling was finally reinstated April 24 and Easler on April 30. While the decision has caused happiness for many in the church, others are not so happy. Ac-

With Easler a UCC minister and Schmeling still serving the congregation of St. John’s despite not being officially recognized by ELCA, the two had to rely on faith and supporters to get them through tough times in their personal relationship. “Our faith is the foundation of our relationship; faith has sustained us,” Easler said. “The feeling of love and support from family and friends …. really lifted us up. People shared with us stories of hope of how they’re encouraged by the changes. To know we’ve been a part of that has been an amazing blessing and humbling.” But that doesn’t mean a toll wasn’t taxed on their relationship, Schmeling said. “It was hard. It was difficult for both of us to see the other persecuted by the church. We both felt anger, sadness and pain. Even though UCC has been so gracious to receive Darin, it meant the two of us serving different churches,” Schmeling said. “And so we couldn’t be together on a Sunday morning. Sunday was always a reminder that the policy was in effect. The policy change means we can share the same church again.” Easler formally joined St. John’s this Easter and now the two can realize their hopes for being together in the same church. “It feels like a dream come true for us to be members of the same church and imagine a career in the same denomination,” Schmeling said. The decision to reinstate the two was not a controversial one, Schmeling added, and both reinstatements were approved easily and overwhelmingly by church officials. “This was an amazing, powerful experience itself given the history of the church with GLBT people,” Schmeling said. “They did it with so much ease it gives me hope for what the church can be. There is life, hope, a peace flowing into the church that’s never been there before.” Both men said the support of Atlanta’s LGBT community also sustained them through the difficult times. “I’m so grateful for the overwhelming support of the GLBT community here in Atlanta. Living in Atlanta, having the trial here, was a very powerful. This is a place where justice can happen,” Schmeling said. Being put back on the clergy roster has also been nostalgic for Easler and Schmeling, they said, as they remember the times they shared together during their fight for equality. “We will always treasure being grand marshals of the Atlanta Pride parade [in 2007] and receiving love from the gay community,” Schmeling said. “The irony of this is that while it was very hard, in the end it was a great blessing.”


GA Voice

May 14, 2010


Grady protest: ‘The future is with us’ Hundreds turn out for high school demonstration against anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church By Dyana Bagby Becca Daniels, a student at Grady High School who organized the May 6 protest against the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, said she did so to honor her uncle. “In 1998, my uncle died of AIDS and this was to honor his life and death,” she said this week. The May 6 protest attracted hundreds to the school near Piedmont Park to counter protest a handful of members of Westboro Baptist Church, known for its “God Hates Fags” mantra. Daniels, who is straight, said the demonstration was meant to send a message. “We wanted to let them know that hate was not going to come into our neighborhood and we were not going to take a stand against it,” she said. Counter protesters to WBC carried signs that said, “Acceptance, Tolerance, Love” and “Proud to be Gay.” WBC members carried their signature signs that stated everything from “Fags are Beasts” to “God Hates Fag Enablers.” The strong show of support against WBC inspired Max Kocsisszucs, a gay 10th grader at Grady. “It really makes you feel good and it makes you feel that people actually care about you and how many people care,” he said of the show of support. As for the signs the WBC members were holding, Kocsisszucs said their message did not bother him. “Honestly, I didn’t let it get to me. I figure they are insecure or something and they feel they have to take it out on us,” he said. Rex Peterson, a freshman at Grady, was

Atlanta Police Department appoints new LGBT liaison Officer Patricia Powell was recently assigned to be the second LGBT liaison for the Atlanta Police Department. She was unavailable for an interview by press time. Powell is listed on the APD’s website as being a member of the 2010 Scholarship & Training Committee that decides funding for other police personnel seeking extra training. Officer Dani Lee Harris, who has served as the APD’s gay liaison for nearly five years, is currently on medical leave. Several gay activists who attended the Grady High School demonstration against the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church on May 6 questioned why Harris was not present. Harris told Georgia Voice she was put on

holding hands with his boyfriend, R. Leon, a sophomore at North Atlanta High School. “I’m really glad a lot of people came out. It’s a good cause,” Peterson said. Leon said a group of friends from North Atlanta gathered in a big truck to come to the counter demonstration. “You see there are people against you, but it’s good to see how many more people support you,” he said.

‘Typical high school in doomed America’ The Topeka, Kan.-based WBC, led by Pastor Fred Phelps, is made up mostly of family members. Fred Phelps was not in Atlanta for the protests his church held at numerous Jewish sites and high schools May 5-6. His daughter, Rebecca Phelps-Davis, said Grady High School was targeted because it is a “typical high school in doomed America where the children since the time they were old enough to know anything were told that God is a liar.” “Because they’ve been taught that it’s OK to be gay and that God loves everyone,” PhelpsDavis said. “They have no moral compass to guide them.” The signs WBC uses, most notably “God Hates Fags,” are hate-filled messages and have nothing to do with the word of God, said Maura Neivhardt, a Georgia State University student. “We’re here to let Jesus be known who he really is. He is not about hate but about redemption. That’s not God,” she said near the Charles Allen entrance to Piedmont Park, pointing across the street to where WBC members stood. Kate O’Rourke of Gwinnett County said medical leave by her supervisors a month ago. “I am on sick leave for gran mal seizures,” said Harris. “I was put on indefinite medical leave on April 16.” Harris said she was informed about the Grady protest. “Our internal commander of the Department of Homeland Security did call me the day before the protest to ask me to be there but I could not go out in my official capacity. I wished I could have been there,” she said. Major Erika Shields issued a statement on May 7 confirming a second LGBT liaison was recently appointed, but she did not know the exact date. In a written statement, Shields said, ““Thank you for inquiring about the Department’s GLBT Unit liaison. Officer Harris is on leave at this time. We recently transferred Officer Patricia Powell to the unit to serve as the department’s liaison. She is an excellent officer and I think you will be pleased at her joining the unit.

Hundreds gathered at Grady High School to counter protest the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. Lower right: Student organizer Becca Daniels. (Photos by Dyana Bagby)

WBC members’ interpretation of the Bible is “completely false.” “This is absolutely not what Jesus Christ is about,” she said. “The Bible does not say homosexuality will keep you out of heaven specifically. It says if you are redeemed by the blood of Christ nothing can separate you.” While there was a serious undertone for many to try to dispel WBC’s anti-gay, antiSemitic speech, the counter protest was also an opportunity for young people to participate in a show of support for the targeted communities. The fact that youth were behind the counter demonstration was an inspiration for gay Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan, who helped Becca Daniels figure out logistics to set up alongside Piedmont Park.

Atlanta Police Department LGBT liaison Dani Lee Harris is currently on medical leave. (Photo courtesy

“The Department put an extensive amount of time in preparing for the protests of the Westboro Baptist Church. Our goal was to ensure the safety of all parties involved, while maintaining the high quality of life that residents of the City

While Grady High School is in his district, Wan said he wanted to be at the demonstration to show his support of young people stepping up to the plate and taking a stand. “To me, the fact the students of Grady High School wanted to do a peaceful, very positive demonstration — I personally wanted to do it but also wanted to support the school,” he said. Tracy Elliott, executive director of AID Atlanta, was also on hand and said he was inspired by the young people’s response as well. “The important thing is all these people are here to show Atlanta is a tolerant community … especially all these young people,” he said. “The future is not with [WBC], the future is with us.” of Atlanta can reasonably expect.” Shields did not say if Powell was among the dozens of officers who were at the scene at Grady High School near Piedmont Park when hundreds showed up to counter protest a handful of WBC members and their anti-gay and anti-Semitic messages. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, in an interview with Georgia Voice last month, said he planned to have two full-time LGBT liaisons within the police department after the botched raid of the gay Atlanta Eagle leather bar last year. Office Harris was not notified of the raid when it occurred, causing outrage among LGBT Atlantans. Reed said in the April 7 interview he planned to add another LGBT police liaison, so that in the future there will be “a minimum of two,” and to insure that they are integrated in the police department’s operations. — Dyana Bagby



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May 14, 2010

GA Voice


Carjacking victims at Morehouse College are gay State health grant targets LGBT smoking By Dyana Bagby

The four young men carjacked and kidnapped near the Morehouse College campus last month are all gay, according to one of the victims, who alleges the suspects used anti-gay slurs against them in the attack. However, there was no mention of anti-gay slurs in the police report for the April 25 incident, said Sgt. Curtis Davenport, public affairs officer for the Atlanta Police Department. “APD is not aware of any anti-gay slurs used in the commission of this crime. There were no reports of this made to us,” Davenport said. Three suspects have been arrested. Jevontay Fleetwood, 17, and Darius Hill, 19, are charged with armed robbery, carjacking and kidnapping and are being held in the Fulton County Jail without bond, said Davenport. A juvenile was also arrested. One of the victims, who asked to not be identified, said he knew they were not targeted because they were gay. But the memory of be-

ing attacked still has him nervous. “They used the word ‘faggot’ a lot, and said we were going to burn in hell, called us names,” said the 20-year-old man who attends American InterContinental University in Dunwoody. His three friends attend Morehouse College. The three Morehouse students declined interview requests. The four men did hold a press conference at Morehouse on April 26, but did not want their faces shown because one of the suspects was still at large. On April 25, the four men were driving from church to the Morehouse campus and stopped at a gas station, said the American Intercontinental student. “We saw these guys walking toward us and thought they were just going to walk past us. Next thing we know we have three guns to our heads,” he said. The suspects demanded the keys to their Buick Lacrosse and demanded their possessions. “I was thinking, ‘Come on guys,’” the student said. “But we were all really scared and

did everything they told us — we gave them our cell phones, our earrings, money.” The student and a friend were told to get in the trunk of the car while his other two friends were ordered to sit in the car with the suspects. The student’s friend in the trunk with him kept his cell phone and attempted to call the Atlanta Police Department several times and finally called Morehouse police. “We could hear they wanted to go to an ATM. My friend still had his cell phone and called the police several times. He finally got in touch with the Morehouse police. I popped the safety lock in the trunk to see where we were and could tell we were by the West End,” he said. The suspects drove to a Wachovia bank where the Clark Atlanta and Morehouse police arrived at about the same time. The three suspects then jumped from the car. Jevontay Fleetwood and the juvenile were apprehended at the scene. Darius Hill, who ran from the scene, was arrested May 4. The crime is not considered a hate crime by police.

Gay state lawmakers unopposed for reelection

By Laura Douglas-Brown

With the April 30 deadline for major party candidates to qualify for this year’s elections now passed, LGBT voters have several races to watch for both the Georgia General Assembly and the Fulton County Commission. Georgia’s two openly gay state lawmakers remained unopposed for new terms. State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), Georgia’s first openly gay state lawmaker, is running for her sixth term. State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta), the first openly lesbian African-American state legislator in the nation, seeks her first full term after a special election last fall. Other races of interest include three gay men seeking seats in the state legislature, two lesbians running against each other for Fulton County Commission, and several gay rights allies seeking to remain in or return to politics.

General Assembly

• Senate District 47: Tim Riley, a gay mental health counselor who lives in Athens, is running as a Democrat for the same seat he sought in 2008. Four GOP candidates qualified to run for the seat; Riley will face the winner of the July 20 Republican primary in November. • Senate District 39: State Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) is one of the strongest LGBT rights allies under the Gold Dome. Graham Balch qualified to run against Fort in the Democratic primary. Balch, who became an award-winning teacher at Grady High School after a career in business, is well-funded and has drawn support

Joan Garner and Keisha Waites, both lesbians, face off for Fulton County District 6. (Courtesy photos)

from several gay politicians. • Senate District 42: Democrats Jason Carter and Tom Stubbs, Independent Steve Patrick and Libertarian David Montane faced off May 11 in a special election to fill the state Senate District 42 seat. Carter, Stubbs and Montane all reached out to gay voters, and Patrick is openly gay. Results of the May 11 vote weren’t available by press time, but the race appears headed for a rematch: Carter and Stubbs qualified to run in the Democratic primary, Patrick says he will also run for the full term, and Montane said he will run again if he wins the special election. • House District 81: Gay business owner Keith Gross hopes to challenge gay-friendly

Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) in November, but will first face Sandy Murray in the July 20 Democratic primary. Gross ran against Jacobs in 2008, but was pulled off the ballot after a residency challenge. Jacobs sponsored an antibullying bill that was backed by LGBT groups and passed in the final hours of this year’s General Assembly session. • House District 59: Brad Ploeger was nominated to run for House District 59 at the Libertarian Party state convention on April 24. He is challenging gay-friendly Rep. Margaret Kaiser (D-Atlanta). Ploeger, who is gay, is an attorney and lives in Grant Park with his partner. Ploeger must collect 1,600 signatures to qualify for the ballot. • House District 81: Rep. Jill Chambers (RAtlanta), the only Republican to vote against the 2004 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, faces Democrat Elena Parent. Parent held a March 31 “Celebrate Equality” fundraiser that featured lesbian Q100 radio personality Melissa Carter and several gay political activists. • House District 89: In this DeKalb-based district, Rep. Earnest “Coach” Williams (DAvondale) faces Rev. Kenneth Samuel in the Democratic primary. Samuel, pastor of Victory for the World Church, is a longtime, vocal supporter of LGBT equality.

Fulton County Commission

• District 1 (Chairman): Incumbent Chair Please see CANDIDATES on Page 12

The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative has received an $85,000 one-year grant to work with the state to determine tobacco usage and prevention methods within the LGBT community. The federal mon- Atlanta Lesbian Health ey is being funneled Initiative Executive through the Georgia Director Linda Ellis Tobacco Use Preven- (Photo by Dyana Bagby) tion Program of the Georgia Department of Community Health, said ALHI Executive Director Linda Ellis. “It’s my understanding this is the first time the state has provided funding for LGBT health concerns other than HIV,” Ellis said. “This is significant. I think it’s exciting [the state approached us] and it’s potentially groundbreaking.” The funds will be used for a full research project to include a community assessment, focus groups and in-person surveys, Ellis said. ALHI has partnered with Dr. Lawrence Bryant, an assistant professor at Georgia State University whose research includes tobacco control and elimination. National studies show that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people smoke more often than their straight peers. The National LGBT Tobacco Control Network reports gay people are 50 to 200 percent more likely to be addicted to smoking than the general public. According to estimates by the American Cancer Society, more than 30,000 LGBT people die each year of tobacco-related diseases. “We as a community have higher rates of smoking. The state is getting help from the federal level and figures it is time to begin addressing the needs in our community,” Ellis said. Ellis added ALHI was approached because it is the only organization that is addressing the broader health issues within the LGBT community. ALHI is partnering with Atlanta Pride and Black Gay Pride to conduct surveys. “We will use what we learn to work with the state to develop intervention programs and to have the state make sure the messages are appropriate for our community,” Ellis said. ALHI also recently received a $30,000 grant through the Community Engagement & Research Program of the Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute. The nonprofit will receive $15,000 this year and $15,000 next year, Ellis said. The grant is a way for the state to help nonprofits combine efforts with academic researchers. — Dyana Bagby


GA Voice

May 14, 2010


Gay groups laud President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Races to watch By Lisa Keen Keen News Service

Gay legal activists are applauding President Obama’s second nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Former Clinton White House aide Richard Socarides called Kagan a “brilliant, pragmatic progressive interested in listening to all sides and building coalitions.” Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Executive Director Kevin Cathcart called Kagan “a strong position” in opposing the military’s ban on gays but noted that Obama administration has also “taken legal positions on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ with which we strongly disagree.” Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese applauded her selection as fulfilling Obama’s promise to promote “diversity” on the court. If confirmed, Kagan would become only the fourth woman ever named to the court — out of 104 justices in the history of the court. Kagan is of particular interest to the LGBT Americans. While serving as dean of Harvard Law School, she took sides with gays against military recruiters because the military would not abide by the school’s non-discrimination policy. That policy prohibited recruiters who discriminat-

ed based on sexual orientation. Kagan clerked for one of the Supreme Court’s staunchest liberals, Thurgood Marshall, and was a research assistant for one of the greatest legal defenders of gay civil rights, Laurence Tribe. Single and 50, she was also Solicitor General Elena the subject of a Kagan would be the fourth CBS News web- woman to serve on the Susite blog report preme Court. last month which (Courtesy photo) claimed that, if named to the court, Kagan would be the “first openly gay justice.” But Kagan has not publicly identified with any sexual orientation, and the White House moved quickly to say the report was “inaccurate.” The president announced his selection at a press conference May 10. Kagan had been a rumored frontrunner since Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement in April.







In introducing Kagan to the press conference, Obama praised her for having sought conservative views to balance liberal views at Harvard. During her confirmation process for Solicitor General last year, the Senate Judiciary Committee received letters in support of Kagan from such well-known conservatives as former Solicitor Generals Charles Fried and Kenneth Starr, and such well-known liberals as Eleanor D. Acheson. Her confirmation as Solicitor General was opposed, as expected, by some ultra-conservative groups, including Concerned Women for America and Focus on Family. Kagan, an attorney, has never served as a judge. In response to questions from the Judiciary Committee last year, Kagan said she views as “unjust the exclusion of individuals from basic economic, civic, and political opportunities of our society on the basis of race, nationality, sex, religion, and sexual orientation.” But she also said she was “fully convinced” she could defend U.S. laws even when they do not reflect her personal views. The composition of the Supreme Court is increasing critical to the LGBT civil rights movement. Three important cases seeking equality in marriage rights are winding their ways to the high court and it seems nearly inevitable that the high court will choose to weigh in.

CANDIDATES, continued from Page 11

John Eaves, a Democrat, was endorsed by Georgia Equality in the past. Former Atlanta City Council member Mary Norwood, who drew strong support from LGBT voters in her bid for mayor last year, is running for the post as an independent. She must qualify by petition and is holding a “Sign One and Take One” event at 5 p.m. May 19 at Amsterdam, a gay bar. Republican Steve Broadbent is also in the race. • District 6: The race for the District 6 seat on the Fulton County Commission includes two out lesbians. Joan Garner, a longtime social justice and LGBT activist, is running as a Democrat and has already been endorsed by Georgia Equality. Also qualifying for the Fulton District 6 post as a Democrat is Keisha Waites, a lesbian who works for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and has a long record of unsuccessful bids for elected office. Also qualifying are Democrats Sally A. Smith and David Holder. The four candidates will face off in the July 20 primary. Dyana Bagby contributed


‘Don’t Ask’ repeal again faces delay, uncertainty

Gates warns Congress not to act; protesters arrested for third time at White House By Chris Johnson Washington Blade

In the wake of Defense Secretary Robert Gates advising Congress to delay taking action to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” LGBT advocates remain committed to pushing for repeal this year, but have expressed differing opinions on the best way forward. In an April 30 letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), Gates says “in the strongest possible terms” that the Department of Defense must be allowed to conduct its review of lifting the ban on open service before Congress takes “any legislative action.” The report is due to be completed Dec. 1. Gates says “a critical element” of the review is engaging the armed forces and military families and noted that those in service “must be afforded” the opportunity to share “concerns, insights and suggestions” about the proposed change. “Therefore, I strongly oppose any legislation that seeks to change this policy prior to the completion of this vital engagement process,” Gates says. “Further, I hope Congress will not do so, as it would send a very damaging message to our men and women in uniform that in essence their views, concerns, and perspectives do not matter on an issue with such a direct impact and consequence for them and their families.” In a statement responding to the letter, Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, said President Obama’s commitment to repealing the ban on service “is unequivocal,” but noted the White House is on board with delaying implementation of repeal. “That’s why we’ve said that the implementation of any congressional repeal will be delayed until the DOD study of how best to implement that repeal is completed,” he said. The White House didn’t respond to a request to clarify whether this statement rules out an endorsement from Obama on including repeal as part of the upcoming Defense authorization bill or whether the president supports a vote in Congress now to repeal the gay ban, as long as implementation is delayed until 2011. The impact of the two statements on the effort to achieve legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year remains unclear. Some experts previously said repeal was only one or two votes short on the Senate Armed Services Committee, but that may change following Gates’ request for a delay.

Lt. Dan Choi, who is being discharged for being gay, spoke at a May 2 protest in Washington targeting ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ (Photo by Michael Key / Washington Blade)

David Smith, vice president of programs for the Human Rights Campaign, said repeal remains possible this year. “We think it should and can happen this year, and that is what we are fighting for,” Smith said. “We continue to work with both the House and the Senate.” Smith said HRC continues to lobby the White House for support in the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said the best way to make repeal happen following the publication of the Gates letter is working with repeal advocates on Capitol Hill. “We strongly believe repeal can happen, but this will require the president to lead the way at this critical hour,” Sarvis said. “To put it bluntly, we need his voice and help now.” Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), the sponsor of repeal legislation in the House, was quoted in an interview with The Advocate as saying he was “blindsided” by the Gates letter, but still plans to pursue repeal this year. “That’s my job — to make sure that we repeal this policy,” he said. “After my three years in Washington, I think when folks tell you to walk away, that’s usually a sign that you’re getting close.” Disappointment with President Obama’s lack of support for a vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year led around 300 protesters to rally at the White House on May 2. Six protesters were arrested after they handcuffed themselves to the White House gates. The rally, a collaborative effort of GetEqual and Queer Rising, was aimed to move President Obama to call on Congress to include repeal of the ban as part of upcoming Defense Department budget legislation. People at the rally carried signs reading, “Study: Navy has some bigots — Duh!” and “Mr. Obama, What’s the hold up?”

May 14, 2010

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May 14, 2010


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VOICES OPINION & REACTION Out of the ballrooms and into the streets ‘Speaking to ourselves’ is great if it empowers us to then tell our stories to others Editorial By Laura Douglas-Brown The first week of May proved busy for LGBT Atlantans, with two major events in six days. On May 1, more than 900 people attended the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Atlanta dinner. Five days later, hundreds packed the sidewalks around Grady High School to join a student-led protest against an unwelcome picket by the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. In many ways, the two events were a study in contrasts. One was held in a fancy ballroom; the other, crowded onto sweltering sidewalks. One involved guests in black-tie finery; the other, students in hand-lettered t-shirts. One featured celebrity speakers; the other, homemade signs. And one was organized by the nation’s largest gay political group, while the other was the work of a straight student armed with little more than Facebook and chutzpah. There was some overlap among attendees, but not much. Yet while it’s easy to compare the two events, especially for those of us who attended

both, we should avoid the urge to declare one as the only “right way” to work for LGBT equality. Neither event was without criticism. At the national level, HRC has drawn fire recently from some LGBT activists who say the group is too tied to the Democratic Party, and has been ineffective in lobbying for our rights. At the local level, some lesbians and gay men expressed concern about mounting a counter-protest to Westboro, believing it would be better to ignore the “God Hates Fags” church rather than give it the attention that members clearly crave. Still, our community is better off for having both events, and here’s why.

‘Polite society’

Criticism of HRC has long been muted in Atlanta, where an active local steering committee hosts many events and includes avid volunteers who help Georgians feel connected to the group. Not so on the national level, where scrutiny of HRC has been building over the last two months. On March 18, Army Lt. Dan Choi handcuffed himself to the fence outside of the White House, an action he repeated again last month, this time with more LGBT veterans. Choi’s first protest surprised journalists and bystanders alike. It also surprised HRC, which hosted a rally against the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that day.

Choi was not originally scheduled to speak at the event, but took the stage after straight comedian Kathy Griffin to urge attendees to follow him in a march to the White House. Griffin and HRC President Joe Solmonese didn’t follow, but many others did, and witnessed his dramatic protest against DADT and President Obama’s alleged slowness in making good on his promise to scrap the policy. After Choi’s release from jail, he gave an interview to Newsweek in which he criticized both the president and national gay rights leaders. “Within the gay community so many leaders want acceptance from polite society. I think there’s been a betrayal of what is down inside of us in order to achieve what looks popular, what look enviable,” Choi said. Choi went on to criticize HRC, both for its rally with Griffin and more generally for events that are “just trying to speak to themselves.”

Inside and outside

Choi’s protest and comments set off debate about the benefits of working within the system versus protesting in the streets for LGBT rights. But while Choi was dead on in criticizing the Griffin rally, HRC’s dinners still have merit. While there are likely some attendees who come just for the chance to see and be seen, many more come seeking a night of validation wrapped up in a pretty package. Indeed, it would be hard to attend the recent Atlanta Dinner without being moved by HRC member Cleo Meyer’s determination to never let her young son feel that his two moms are ashamed of who they are, encouraged by YouthPride leader Gabriel Haggray’s dedication to helping other LGBT young people, touched by transgender activist Vandy Beth Glenn’s humble acceptance of the Community Service Award, and fired up by State Rep. Simone Bell’s rousing call to action as she accepted the Humanitarian Award. There’s nothing wrong with “speaking to ourselves” if the goal is to empower us to then go out and speak to others. The important thing to remember is that events like the HRC Dinner should inspire your activism, not be your activism. If the HRC Dinner is the pep rally, events like the Grady protest are Game Day – the time when we take what we learned from coaches and practice sessions, and work to advance our cause down the field. Judging from the diverse crowd that turned out and the resulting media coverage that reached many more, the Grady students did a tremendous job of that last Thursday. We’re lucky to have them on our team.


SPEAKING OUT Good luck, Melissa, on your path to parenting

Melissa is a pretty amazing woman! I look forward to hearing all the updates and this progresses. I listen to her every morning on Q100 and am so glad you interviewed her. Good Job! Go, Melissa, Go!

Right-winger with a rent boy: Doth he protest too much? Re: “Christian right leader George Rekers takes vacation with ‘rent boy’” (link from posted on, May 4) The absolute hypocrisy of these people needs to be shouted from the roof-tops, and every naive, sweet and blessedly ignorant little old lady that gives them money should be empowered to join a class action lawsuit and get her money back. And where is the outcry from the anti-gay bigot groups over this? Hmmmmm? The most homophobic people are almost always closet-cases themselves and usually the fuel for their homophobia is self-hatred or selfdenial. The right wing doesn’t want to admit this. They want everyone to forget this, because they live in a fantasy world.

Grant fuels debate over proposed LGBT Center Re: “Atlanta LGBT Center effort gets $25,000 grant” (, May 5) I know the foundation does honorable, critical work and I think most of us like the idea of a LGBT center, but haven’t some of our local LGBT charities been struggling with budgets and headcount? Couldn’t that $25,000 have been released to help them out with operating expenses? … Is investment in a shiny new center better than “boots on the ground” day-to-day operations work? A high profile and modern Gay Center would help increase visibility and generate enthusiasm for all gay organizations. I actually think more local organizations

Melissa Carter

Photo by Bo Shell

Re: “Q-100’s Melissa Carter on road to motherhood” (Print edition and thegavoice. com, April 30)

Editor’s note: These comments on Georgia Voice articles were submitted via our Facebook page ( Want to weigh in? Follow us there or submit comments on our website. could thrive better under one roof —less overhead costs dispersed among a variety of facilities, more solidified visibility in the community, more services/resources accessible in one place and less competition for funding. There would also be a greater opportunity for sharing ideas and projects which would generate enthusiasm and possibly less pointless competition and duplication of services.

Media doesn’t ignore Fred Phelps, so neither should we Re: “Why we’re organizing against Fred Phelps” (blog by Grady student Becca Daniels, May 3) Ignore him and his robots. Don’t feed them anything! I agree. The best thing to do with this group of bigots is to ignore them and not give him an opportunity to get any press! He wants the press that you will get him if you show up to protest his people. Think about it. I have mixed feelings - should we ignore the KKK or a group of Neo-Nazis? I don’t think so. He’s going to get publicity whether he’s counter-picketed or not. We should picket him with some “GOD HATES PHELPS” or “Westboro Baptist Church = CHURCH OF SATAN” or similar signs. Hate preachers like Phelps egged my pastor at Pride a couple of years ago. We’ve got to fight hate with love. Be positive, loving force in the world, but keep your wits about you.

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Florida or bust

Memorial Day Weekend in Pensacola May 27 – May 31 Sexacola Beach Details: Thursday: ‘Glow’ Friday: Mardi Gras in May Saturday: Vegas Nights Sunday: The White Party

Popular gay summer events see major changes this year For many in Georgia and across the South, Florida is synonymous with summer travel. And for LGBT Georgians, that frequently means an annual trek to several gay traditions that make the Sunshine State even hotter. Thousands of LGBT sun worshippers head to Pensacola for Memorial Day, while black and Latino gay men and lesbians flock to Miami for Sizzle and SizzleHer events the same weekend. Just a few days later, Gay Days at Disney packs theme parks and nightlife venues in Orlando. Thanks to the oil spill in the Gulf and a financial crisis for one party promoter, events in Pensacola and Orlando may look a bit different this year. But organizers encourage travelers to still turn out in droves — not only to party, but also to give an economic boost to a state potentially facing both environmental and economic disaster. Pensacola’s beaches have been a highly popular Memorial Day Weekend destination for gay and lesbian travelers for decades. This year, My Sister’s Room, a lesbian bar in Atlanta, hosts a series of girl-oriented events dubbed “Sexacola” in Pensacola over Memorial Day Weekend. Patryce Yeiser, co-owner of My Sisters’ Room with Susan Musselwhite, says events will continue regardless of what happens with the oil spill. “People have already made reservations, and we will all still go and the parties will still go on,” she says. “It may just be that some of the daytime beach activities all just go to the sound side instead of the beach side.” Sexacola events include “Glow,” a party with light sticks to show who is single and who isn’t; “Mardi Gras in May,” “Vegas Nights,”and “The White Party with a Latin Flair.” Yeiser encourages lesbian and gay travelers to visit Pensacola over Memorial Day Weekend as a way to help local businesses, which could be hard hit from both the oil spill and the potential loss of a huge tourist weekend. “We’re hoping to give the economy a boost down there,” she said. “They’re going to need it.” Pensacola-based event organizers are also wary of the spill, but determined that the party will continue regardless. Emerald City, a gay bar in Pensacola, hosts a full slate of events throughout Memorial Day Weekend. General Manager Ted McCrary said planning continues. “We’ve got our fingers crossed, but we

don’t know what to expect and it could have a serious impact on Memorial Day,” he said. “White sand with oil on it is certainly not what we would hope for, because this is first and foremost a beach event.” This year’s gay Memorial Day weekend was already shaping up to be different for Emerald City even before the oil spill. The bar is helmed by Johnny Chisholm, an event promoter who for years produced a major schedule of gay events for both Pensacola over Memorial Day and Gay Days in Orlando just a few days later. The closeness of the two events on the calendar ended up hurting the Pensacola parties. “With the popularity of Orlando, we shot ourselves in the foot,” McCrary said. Instead of huge circuit parties at the Pensacola Civic Center or on the beach, as in some previous years, this year Chisholm is sticking to events in smaller venues. “This year we decided we needed to pull back and let the attendance catch back up with the schedule of events,” McCrary says.

New events for Gay Days Gay Days, set for June 3-7 in Orlando, started with a few people wearing red shirts for an afternoon at Walt Disney World and blossomed into an international gay event. It too will see changes this year. Johnny Chisholm is also the reason for many of these. He bought the “One Mighty Weekend” series of events from Mark Baker, but his company struggled financially. Last year, the party schedule was in disarray after several Chisholm events had last-minute venue changes. This week, McCrary blamed Disney for the events having to move from Disney properties, claiming the company “turned their back on us.” A spokesperson for Walt Disney World did not respond to an interview request. Chisholm’s company went bankrupt, so now “One Mighty Weekend” is no more. In its place is a new series of events from Baker dubbed “Wonderland.” “I did my first event in 1999 and sold it all to Johnny Chisholm in 2005,” Baker says. “I got it all back this year.” Wonderland features a full schedule of events Thursday through Sunday, including a signature Saturday night party at Universal Stu-

Johnny Chisholm Presents Details: Thursday: Fore Play with DJ Jay-R Friday: Bitch Bingo Saturday: Sweat with DJ Joe Gauthreaux, Spellbound 1 with DJ Jay-R Sunday: Friction with DJ Dewight Barkley, Spellbound 2 Monday: Sweat with DJ Dewight Barkley Monster Beach Details: Friday & Saturday: Events at Hemingway’s and private beach house Unleashed Details: Thursday: Derrick Barry, DJs Beverly Skillz and Tony Skracthere Friday: Lisa Mills, Michelle Malone, Kirsty Lee, Spikey and more Saturday: Hussy Hicks, Bitch, God-des & She Sunday: Gregg Fells, Sonia Leigh, Kristy Lee, Spikey, DJ Beverly Skills Sizzle & Sizzle Her in Miami May 27 – June 1 Details:, Gay men and lesbians pack the beaches of Pensacola for Memorial Day Weekend. (Photos by Lynn McStatts/ Personal Paparazzi ATL)

dios, with DJ Tony Moran and rides open. The annual visit to Walt Disney World also continues, although the event has never been officially sponsored by Disney, and there are many other events for LGBT visitors. More than 135,000 visitors will pack Orlando for more than 40 citywide events, according to There are days to attend several major theme parks, as well as almost unending nightlife options.

Miami set to ‘Sizzle’ Hot parties and hot guys and girls are also on the agenda for Sizzle and SizzleHer, companion events that draw black and Latino gay men and lesbians to Miami for Memorial Day Weekend, May 27 to June 1. Events range from a model search and booze cruise to pool parties and the All White Affair.Sizzle organizers did not respond to an interview request. “Sizzle Miami, conceived almost nine years ago, has grown to become America’s most celebrated and anticipated urban gay event,” organizers say on Sizzle’s Facebook page.

Sizzle events include: Yacht Party Cruise, Comedy Xplosion, Babylon IIV dance, One Mighty Luau, Jubilee, Haulover Beach Patrol, All-White Affair R&B /Jazz Dinner Concert, Hedonism finale party SizzleHer events include: Poets Corner, Mix Her reception, Krave party, Yacht Cruise, ‘Lovers & Friends Show’ movie premiere, Breeze party, Soak Her pool party, Spades tournament, South Beach takeover Gay Days in Orlando June 3-7 Thursday: Gay Day at Animal Kingdom Friday: Gay Day at Disney Hollywood Studios, Tidal Wave at Wet ‘N Wild, Joan Rivers at Hard Rock Café, Debbie Gibson at Parliament House Saturday: Gay Day at Magic Kingdom, Alec Mapa comedy night, Taylor Dayne at Parliament House, Black Pride parties Sunday: Gay Day at Epcot, Miss Gay Days 2010, Blake Lewis/Frenchie Davis at Parliament House More events: Wonderland Details: Thursday: Chus & Ceballos at Disney House of Blues Friday: Welcome to Wonderland party Saturday: Paradiso Pool Party with Roland Belmares, Stratosphere with DJ Tony Moran at Universal Studios, Mind Control at Arabian Nights with DJs Alyson Calagna & Paulo Sunday: Spunk-y Pool Party with DJ David Knapp, Fasscination Hard Rock Live with DJ Abel, Black Out at Arabian Nights with DJs Hector Fonseca & Theresa



Look to Las Vegas for gay-inclusive fun

Where to stay A vacation in Vegas should include touring the unique hotels. Most are replicas of famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, waterways of Venice, the Statue of Liberty and the roads of old Rome. Choosing where to stay is a matter of personal taste and how much you want to spend. Consider these choices: • Luxor Hotel & Casino ( The Egyptian-themed, pyramid-shaped hotel gives their staff diversity training and hosts a weekly


• May 15- June 26: Do you believe in life after love? Cher still does, and so do her legions of adoring gay fans. The icon performs at Caesars Palace, with a visually unbelievable hit parade of dancers and costumes designed by Bob Mackie.

From ‘Sweet’ to Cher famous chef in the world has a signature restaurant that is both a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Planet Hollywood is the home of The Strip’s gay nightclub, Krave (www.kravelasvegas. com). It opens at 11 p.m. Expect a $20 cover and a doorman screening clubbers. It features hot shows and dancing. On Saturdays Krave becomes The Strip’s only lesbian club, Candybar. They say it is “for girls who like to party.”

GA Voice

Upcoming events


Everyone has an idea of the perfect vacation. Will it be active outdoor play or pampering spa treatments during the days, and high-energy entertainment or romantic poolside dining the nights? Consider Las Vegas. It has something to appeal to every vacation style. The best part about Las Vegas: The whole town is LGBT friendly. Vegas has a long history of acceptance. Affectionately nicknamed Sin City, Las Vegas is known for its discreet encouragement of whatever pleasures make its guests happy. You don’t have to confine yourself to a certain bar or part of town. Anything goes, everywhere. It is a near perfect blending of gay and straight. Las Vegas is surrounded by natural beauty. A helicopter ride over Hoover Dam and down into the Grand Canyon is unforgettable. Hiking, kayaking, biking and manmade beach swimming can fill your days with outdoor activity. Once you have worked up an appetite, the sky is the limit when it comes to dining. Every

May 14, 2010

An icon to many gay fans, Cher performs this summer at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (Publicity photo)

LGBT pool party, Sunkissed Sunday. Their wedding chapel has several Commitment Ceremony packages. Ask for the Pride Offer if you arrive Sunday through Thursday. The Luxor averages $75 a night and is on The Strip. • Encore & Wynn ( Upscale yet inviting, these sister hotels offer a Pride Concierge (702-770-LGBT) to suggest bars, entertainment and nightlife. Their website has an extensive LGBT travel section. They are on the $275 a night and on The Strip. • Blue Moon Resort ( The only hotel exclusively for gay men, Blue Moon Resort has all the amenities you would expect, from luxury suites to spa treatments and entertainment. Twitter specials daily; rooms average $70 night. The Blue Moon is close to the strip.

• May 28-31: For Memorial Day Weekend, lesbian travel company Sweet takes over the Golden Nugget Hotel Downtown. Hundreds of women will enjoy special entertainment, kayaking, biking and parties. With an eye to community service, the weekend also includes volunteering at The Shade Tree, a shelter for abused women and their • June 13 – 24: The annual “Ribbon of Life” stage spectacular is the largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser in Nevada, and features hundreds of performers from all the Vegas shows. The event at the Hilton Hotel benefits Golden Rainbow, an HIV service organization. • Aug. 28: If you missed the Atlanta HRC Dinner or just want to experience the Human Rights Campaign’s signature event in another city, check out Las Vegas’ 4th Annual HRC Gala Dinner, dubbed “No Excuses.” The dinner will be held at the Paris Hotel. Packages available, and you can visit the LGBT page on hotel’s website.,

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Georgia getaways Gay-owned campgrounds, bed and breakfasts offer inclusive fun close to home Planning a vacation or even a “staycation” in Georgia can save hundreds on airfare or other travel costs. Across the state, LGBT-owned campgrounds and bed and breakfasts are plentiful. They can be great choices for weekend getaways, or provide a welcome respite if you are visiting family or traveling for work within the state. Some are high end and others are rustic; some are exclusively for LGBT travelers, while others are gay-owned but open to everyone. And while some are located in gay havens, others are pockets of acceptance in more conservative parts of the state, leading some owners to ask to be identified only by first names in this article. One of the most prominent gay campgrounds in the state is River’s Edge. Its clientele is mostly men, with some women sprinkled in. Located in Dewey Rose near Athens, it’s on 63 areas and is clothing optional. According to River’s Edge’s Preston Rudeseal, the members-only club “is what you make of it,” meaning it’s ideal for a festive camping weekend or simple R and R. Swiftwaters, near Dahlonega’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is another noted Georgia campground, on 22 acres of riverfront property. According to lesbian owner Pat, little has changed since Swiftwaters opened 31 years ago. She says the makeup is mostly lesbian, although straight women visit. According to Pat, it’s a perfect place to unwind. Before gays and lesbian were accepted, “we used to be a refuge for women,” she says. Now that times have changed, Swiftwaters still attracts visitors. There’s also a Bed & Breakfast room and two cabins. No men are allowed, although children are.

Campgrounds Campgrounds Bobcat Resort 1877 Hickory Head Road, Quitman, GA 31643 229-263-4300,

Other popular gay-owned campgrounds in the state include In the Woods in Canon, Bobcat in Quitman and Unadilla’s Lumberjacks, which caters to both gay and lesbian campers. Gay-owned bed and breakfasts are even more prevalent throughout Georgia. Two good options for “staycations” in Atlanta are Stonehurst Place and The Gaslight Inn. Owned by lesbian Barb Shadomy since 2008, Stonehurst is known for being green – using purification, recycling and solar energy. Says spokeswoman Lori Woroschuk, “Stonehurst is also small enough that we can cater to individual needs.” The Gaslight Inn in Virginia Highlands is also a busy location. It’s owned by gay couple Mark Hall and Emory Boone. Near many beloved Atlanta landmarks, the inn is known for its beautiful décor and hospitality. “Our motto is arrive as a guest and leave part of the family,” says Hall. Dennis Hoover and his partner, David Mulcahy, own Mountain Laurel Creek Inn, which, like Swiftwaters, is in Dahlonega. “We are a romantic getaway, with quiet ambience,” Hoover says, adding that the wineries and scenery are added attractions. The B&B is open to everyone, and Hoover and Mulcahy don’t hide their relationship. “We are open about who we are; we celebrate diversity here,” Hoover says. Augusta’s Parliament House bills itself as the world’s largest all-male resort. A gayowned, members only club, Parliament House has 70 rooms and a “cruisy” atmosphere. Only miles from Athens is Watkinsville’s five-acre Ashford Manor. It is owned by Maurio Castro and his partner, Dave Shearon, who are not from the South but fell for the area after deciding to open a B&B. Ashford Place is an 1893 Victoria Manor house with five rooms and a penthouse suite. A pool, spa service, and onsite entertainment distinguish this B&B. Swiftwaters Womanspace 830 Swiftwaters Rd., Dahlonega, GA 30533 706-864-3229,

Bed and and Breakfasts Breakfasts

In the Woods 142 Casey Court, Canon, GA 30520 706-246-0152,

Ashford Manor #5 Harden Hill Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677 706-769-2633,

Lumberjacks Camping Resort 50 Highway 230, Unadilla, GA 31091 877-888-1688,

Commodore Bed and Breakfast 320 South Washington St., Bainbridge, GA 39819 229-248-0081,

River’s Edge Campground 2311 Pulliam Mill Road, Dewey Rose, GA 30634 706-213-8081,

The Galloway House 107 East 35th St., Savannah, GA 31401 912-658-4419,

River’s Edge

Stonehurst Place

Courtesy photo

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Courtesy photo

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Bainbridge is the home of the Commodore Bed & Breakfast, owned by gay couple Quinton and Phil. “It’s the only five-star luxury inn within a 100 miles,” says Quinton. In Savannah, Keith Galloway and his partner, Jim Klotz, operate the Galloway House, a plantation house built in 1895. “There’s nothing like this in Savannah. So many people say to us that it’s more relaxing than being at home,” says Galloway. Finally, Savannah is also home to Park Avenue Manor, owned by Glenn Gaylord and Maurice Norman. The building, near the heart of Savannah’s historic district, has been standing since 1889. Gaylord says the antiques, affordable rates and Savannah nightlife make it a great place to visit. “Something is always going on here,” he says. The Gaslight Inn 1001 Saint Charles Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 404-875-1001, Mountain Laurel Creek Inn and Spa 202 Talmer Grizzle Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533 706-867-8134, Park Avenue Manor 107-109 West Park Ave., Savannah, GA 31401 912-233-0352, Parliament Resort 1250 Gordon Hwy., Augusta, GA 30901 706- 722-1155, Stonehurst Place 923 Piedmont Avenue N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309 404- 881-0722,

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‘Sesame Street’ for grown-ups

The puppets of ‘Avenue Q’ hit Atlanta “Avenue Q” isn’t just Tim Kornblum’s first traveling show; it’s his first professional production ever. The gay-inclusive puppet musical returns to Atlanta next week after a successful run here a few seasons back, with the openly gay Kornblum in the role of Brian. “Avenue Q” is on stage May 18-23 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Discount tickets are available to benefit Positive Impact, which provides mental health services to people impacted by HIV. Producers of the musical wanted this tour to be a non-equity tour, featuring actors with no prior experience with the show. Kornblum had acted a lot in high school, yet while he steered away from the stage somewhat in college, he knew it was still in his system. His try-out was his first professional audition. After “three or four callbacks,” he was finally offered the job as wannabe comedian Brian about a month later. Kornblum laughs that in his original audition he was asked to sing songs from the production. He dressed up like Brian but sang songs from other characters “just to cover all the bases.”

Despite the newness of the cast, Kornblum says it’s the exact same show that won a Best Musical Tony Award in 2004 (as well as two other awards) and begat a successful national tour. The actor remembers seeing the original production in 2005 and loving it. Inspired by “Sesame Street,” “Avenue Q” takes place in an outer borough of New York City, with both human and puppet characters. Princeton is a recent college graduate who moves into the area. His neighbors include teaching assistant Kate Monster, roommates Rod and Nicky, and Brian and his fiancée Christmas Eve, a JapaneseAmerican therapist. Kornblum relates to his character of Brian, who wants to be a comedian but finds himself unemployed and aimless 10 years after college. “I really am the character in real life,” he admits. “I’m kind of lazy. Also, Brian needs someone to take care of him and so do I.” His interpretation of Brian has changed since he first started doing the character. “At first I played him as kind of a moron, then something of a stoner,” he says. “But lately I’ve

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been doing it drier.” In one of the more famous numbers, Brian and his neighbors bemoan their lives in “It Sucks to Be Me,” finally finding a character whose life sucks more than theirs – former child star Gary Coleman, who’s now the supervisor of their apartment complex. The actor says the song is still one of his favorites, along with the opening number and the closing “For Now.” The performer thinks that gay audiences can particularly relate to the character of Rod, who is a conservative Republican in love with his roommate. Rod thinks that no one knows he is gay. Of course, everyone does, but he still struggles to come out. “I think audiences, particularly gay and lesbian ones, can relate to that,” he says. “I think they like seeing the transition the character makes.” Although the show has puppet characters, it’s not for young kids, with some raciness and full puppet nudity. Kornblum admits that as he travels across the country with “Avenue Q,” he finds that some people don’t know what to expect, but they soon find their fit with the show. “Everyone can relate to someone on stage,” he says. “Although there are only seven actors, there are so many characters.” He thinks the secret to “Avenue Q’s” success is that it has an honesty about it. “It’s written so well,” he says. “It teaches a lesson, has a message, without hitting you over the head. If it’s done maliciously or as a complete joke, audiences won’t take it seriously.”

In ‘Avenue Q,’ conservative Rod thinks that nobody knows he is gay. (Photo courtesy

MORE INFO ‘Avenue Q’ May 18 – 23 Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway Marietta, GA 30339, 800-982-2787 • Use code ‘Impact’ at purchase to receive $5 discount and $5 will be donated to Positive Impact



Pedal power AIDS Vaccine 200 raises funds to help stem HIV

For Debra Snell, riding in the AIDS Vaccine 200 isn’t just a fundraiser for a good cause, but a way to reclaim a level of freedom and mobility she almost lost. The AV 200 is the largest single source of unrestricted funds for the Emory Vaccine Center, bringing in close to $600,000 in eight years. Bike riders pedal themselves 200 miles over the course of a weekend to raise money that funds research and prevention efforts. This year’s ride is set for May 22-23. While training for AV 200 two years ago, Snell was nearly run over by a driver who wasn’t paying attention to the road. “I was training to ride in 2008 and I was hit by a car, and so I had a broken leg when it came time for the ride,” she says. “I was riding my bicycle on the Stone Mountain bike path and a car turned into me... I was very lucky.” It took two years for the 56-year-old Candler Park resident to be in a place to ride. In the month since she declared her intentions to finish the ride she would have started in 2008, she has raised over $2,000 “I think all my friends and family are so happy to have me back riding again they just want to support me,” Snell says. This year will be the largest ride in the event’s history with 130 riders making the trip from the campus of Emory University to Camp Rock Eagle in Eatonton and back. Riders can make the entire 200-mile trip, ride 160 miles, or ride as part of a relay team. “We are the largest source of unrestricted funds for the Emory Vaccine Center, and what that means is they can use our money for more novel research that won’t qualify for a federal grant or a [Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation] grant,” organizer Brett Busch says. “There are some pretty stringent guidelines on how federal research dollars are spent, and it has to spent on research that already shows a promise.”

Riding for research

Emory divides the money between research efforts and the Hope Clinic, which performs clinical trials for vaccines and helps develop prevention and education efforts. “It’s a tremendous resource and advantage to benefit from the AIDS Vaccine 200. We have federal grants to pay for much of our work, but we have needs that aren’t covered by federal dollars,” Dr. Mark Mulligan, Hope Clinic executive director, says. “The bike riders have been a pivotal in helping us because they allow us to do more. Hope is currently conducting four clinical

Debra Snell will join the AIDS Vaccine 200 this year after being hit by a car while training for the 2008 race. (Photo courtesy Snell)

MORE INFO AIDS Vaccine 200 May 22-23 Emory School of Medicine 1648 Pierce Drive Atlanta, GA 30322 Emory Hope Clinic Emory Vaccine Center

trials and several education and prevention programs. Two of the trails are Phase II human trails of different vaccines, one of which is currently looking for men who have sex with men between the ages of 18 and 45, and another which benefited from AV 200 funds while it was in the development stages. A portion of the funds the riders raise is used to support new research before it can attract federal and private grants. One of the programs that received help from the AV 200 is Dr. Harriet Robinson’s vaccine, one of the Phase II clinical trials ongoing at the Hope Clinic. It is one of the few AIDS vaccines to reach this stage of testing, and Robinson is hopeful that her vaccine will not only stop the spread of HIV, but have a therapeutic value for those who are already HIV-positive. “The ride particularly helped the therapeutic program off the ground,” Robinson says. Last year’s ride raised $175,000, and while Busch didn’t want to discuss a goal for this year, he hopes to write a large check “I think we’re still going to make it but it’s a tough year… I think it’s the second year in a weak economy, and right when we started our fundraising up the earthquake hit Haiti,” he says. Individual riders are still accepting donations, and Busch says volunteers would be welcome to help with pit stops and other support functions. He also encouraged anyone interested in supporting the ride to come welcome them back by joining the riders for a BBQ at 5 p.m. on May 23 at the Emory School of Medicine.

May 14, 2010

GA Voice



GA Voice May 14, 2010

DIRECTORY LISTINGS To advertise, email 404.312.5392

COMMUNITY LOCAL LIFE Queers take over Atlanta

May 14, 2010

GA Voice


Celebrating a MILESTONE? Share your engage-

ments, weddings, births, adoptions, anniversaries, birthdays and other events! Announcements can be up to 200 words and can include a photo. E-mail editor@ with your milestone and contact info to see your name in print!

MORE INFO MondoHomo May 27-May 31 Eyedrum Gallery 290 Martin Luther King Junior Drive SE Atlanta, GA 30312 All events at Eyedrum unless otherwise noted Festival pass $25 Thursday, May 27 6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Free grand opening with spoken word and juried art opening. Dance party after at Mary’s, 1287 Glenwood Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

MondoHomo 2010 makes you think, and shake your booty

Friday, May 28 Mondo Cabaret 9 p.m., $10 Ms. Bea Haven Cruel Valentine Queerella Tim Monteith Krystal Woods Evil Sarah Molotov Cocktease Luster Dela Virgion STUD Butch Steele Mackin’ King Jaeveon The Mockingcocks Vagina Jenkins “Gay: The Ride,” a play by Adam Fair, directed by Bridget Fancher

By Dyana Bagby Sitting around the dining room table in Kiki Carr’s home in Cabbagetown, volunteers for MondoHomo busily cut out photos and images from old magazines such as Playboy, looking specifically for gay-themed pictures to include in the upcoming 5-day fest’s program. “I’m looking for homoerotic,” says Britt Dunn, who has volunteered with MondoHomo for three years, as he snips out an image of a bare-chested man. Now in its fourth year, MondoHomo is a place for queers staying in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend — and some who live outside metro Atlanta and even Georgia — to experience an event that is different than the city’s traditional gay parties. “What feels most gratifying is it pulls together the community, the DIY, freaky, off-the-beaten path queers,” says Carr, cofounder of the festival. For Dunn, an Atlanta native, finding out about MondoHomo was a blessing. “I grew up in Atlanta and I like experiencing different queer spaces. But there was a lack of a radical queer network. There was a gay presence in Atlanta, but it’s very mainstream,” he says. When he saw a flyer for MondoHomo in the Aurora Coffee shop in Little Five Points a few years ago, he knew the radical space he was seeking in his hometown had “finally arrived.” “It’s the joy of the creative,” Dunn says of MondoHomo. Making a unique program guide for guests, for example, is do-it-yourself, creative, and bringing friends together on a Saturday afternoon to talk and share ideas. Kind of what MondoHomo is all about. “Knowledge sharing is part of community


Above: Kiki Carr (left), Britt Dunn and Andre Keichian work on the MondoHomo 2010 program. (Photo by Dyana Bagby) Right: Sissy Nobby from New Orleans will headline Mondo Musico. (Photo via MySpace)

Saturday, May 29 Mondo Musico 2 p.m., $15 Dangerous Ponies Spooky Q’s Drew Mason MC Invincible Ms. Teary Diamond Lil Band Sissy Nobby

building, too,” says Andre Keichian, a firstyear volunteer. This year, Carr is organizing a Queer Atlanta People’s Assembly. The idea for such an assembly originated with the upcoming U.S. Social Forum to be held June 22-26 in Detroit. However, recent efforts in Atlanta to gauge the LGBT community’s desire and need for a world-class community center are likely to dominate the conversation, Carr says. “We definitely need to bring in more voices in this conversation,” she says.

Sunday, May 30 Queer Atlanta People’s Assembly Noon to 6 p.m., free Mondo Screen 8 p.m.-11 p.m., $5 Queer short films Monday, May 31 Free Mondo Day Camp Noon to 3 p.m. Cabbagetown Park Corner of Tye and Kirkwood Streets

‘Sissy Bounce’

Of course, there’s the music. The spoken word. The art show. The park play day. Political workshops. And did we mention the music? In the past, MondoHomo separated its music over two nights. This year, all music will be performed on one night with such favorites as Athens Boys Choir and 8 Inch Betsy. Queer hip-hop is also on tap, and Carr is excited Atlanta will experience music that originated in New Orleans and is called Sissy Bounce. Carr describes the music as a “queer, trans, hip-hop phenomenon.” Headlining the Mondo

8 Inch Betsy Athens Boys Choir Nefertiti Le Sex o Flex Cat Eyez Dirty Excuse

Musico night on May 29 is Sissy Nobby, one of the top Sissy Bounce performers in New Orleans. “Bounce music is for everyone,” he says. “It’s feel-good music from New Orleans that makes you want to shake your booty.” Sissy Bounce, considered underground at one time, is making it to the mainstream, with articles about it appearing recently in Vanity Fair. The hypersexual dancing and explicit lyrics and audience participation make it truly an experience to behold. “The fact Sissy Bounce is crossing over to

mainstream is really encouraging and inspiring to everyone,” Carr says. There will also be time for craft making, art workshops, and sharing the history of queer Atlanta, Carr says. All of these things combined help make a community. “Having a history is part of having a culture. It’s essential for history and shared arts to be in communion together,” Carr says. “[MondoHomo] is a way to develop a network of people that function politically as well — this way is a gentler and natural way to educate people.”


GA Voice

May 14, 2010


HRC Dinner seeks equality ‘Every Day’ Local honorees highlight of annual event By Laura Douglas-Brown This year’s Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Dinner drew national star power, from gay reality TV mogul Andy Cohen to national HRC President Joe Solmonese and Providence, R.I., Mayor David Cicilline, a candidate for Congress. But the most moving moments at the May 1 dinner at the Hyatt Regency came from local leaders, who spoke of their own struggles with self-acceptance and discrimination, and urged attendees to work for equality — in the words of the dinner’s theme — “Every Day.” “What I need for you to do so that I can continue to support you in the Georgia state legislature is I need you to be proud to be lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — July through May, not only during the month of June,” said State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta), the first openly lesbian African-American state legislator in the country. Bell received the Dan Bradley Humanitarian Award, and was accompanied on stage by her partner, Valerie Acree; Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham, and Graham’s partner, Peter Stinner. Bell repeatedly joked with the audience that her speech was limited to two minutes, and while she went a bit over, the enthusiastic applause that frequently interrupted her remarks showed dinner patrons wanted much more. Bell called on attendees to remember that LGBT people exist in Georgia outside of Atlanta; to care about issues like MARTA, economic justice and healthcare; and to “show up as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in other people’s movements” because “we cannot ask them to help us if we have not built the foundation.” And at an event where proceeds are earmarked for HRC’s national efforts, Bell thanked the organization, while calling for more attention to battles in our state. “We need your resources here in Georgia,” she said, adding that “we have a lot of firsts that are still to come in this particular state.” “We are pushed aside so often by our national organizations because we are the South,” she said.

Messages of hope

Before Bell took the stage, Vandy Beth Glenn received the Leon Allen & Winston Johnston Community Service Award for her bravery in suing Georgia legislative leaders after she was fired from her job as a legislative editor for being transgender. “Transgender people are fired for their gender identity every day in the United States,” Glenn said. “Without the Employment Non-Discrimina-

From top left to right: Vandy Beth Glenn, Simone Bell, Andy Cohen and Nene Leakes at the Atlanta HRC dinner. (Photos by Sher Pruitt)

MORE INFO • Video • Photo gallery

tion Act, or with the version of ENDA that was passed by the House of Representatives in 2007, most of them don’t have legal recourse like I have through Lambda Legal. “I accept this award humbly on their behalf,” she said. Glenn’s award was presented by Lambda Legal attorney Beth Littrell, who is part of the team representing Glenn in her federal lawsuit. Glenn has also testified before Congress about the need to pass an inclusive version of ENDA. Each year, YouthPride members participate in an essay contest on LGBT rights, with the winning essay read at the HRC Dinner. Gabriel Haggray, a student at Georgia State University and president of YouthPride’s youth board, spoke of how he works to empower other young people. “I can relate to my peers because I know what it is like to be kicked out of my home, to be called all those ugly names, to be singled out by people I thought I trusted,” Haggray said. “I know what it is like to be afraid of saying ‘I’m gay’ out loud, but I also know what it is like to fall in love, to not be discriminated against, to find happiness. I know what it is like to find meaningful friendships, and to make amends with the pain.” Taking the stage as the last speaker, HRC National Visibility Award winner Andy Cohen tried to keep up the empowering theme of the evening, but his message had a hard time competing with the woman who presented it — NeNe Leakes of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast. Cohen, the Bravo network’s senior vice president of original programming and development, is the host of “Watch What Happens: Live” and is responsible for such reality shows as “Project Runway,” “Queer Eye,” “Top Chef,” “Flipping Out” and the “Real Housewives” franchise. Leakes spoke off the cuff about drinking and her “fabulous” table, before reading the prepared HRC presentation, which lauded Cohen for his

work increasing LGBT visibility in the media. She remained on stage behind Cohen during his speech, and her efforts to remain serious drew audience chuckles that prompted Cohen to quip, “NeNe, what are you doing behind me?” In a speech peppered with pop culture references, Cohen compared his childhood in St. Louis at a time when there were few positive gay characters on TV to the plethora of gay people now on Bravo and other networks. “Kids around the country can see our gaggle of gays and see incredibly talented people with strength and courage and pride in themselves,” he said. “They see gay people in an inclusive world where thriving around straight people is a way of life.”

‘Tremendous success’

Attendance for this year’s HRC dinner topped 900, and finances are still being tallied. “What I can tell you is that this year’s Atlanta HRC Dinner was a tremendous success,” said Brad Difore, who co-chaired the dinner with Julie Woods. Atlanta’s HRC Dinner Committee has been honored as the best in the nation for both 2008 and 2009, and organizers are equally pleased with this year’s event. “There are critical issues including repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and a fully inclusive ENDA that demand action this year,” Difore said. “And the success of the Atlanta dinner will help HRC continue to fight for equality for the entire LGBT community.”



May 14, 2010

GA Voice


“My partner and I have been very grateful for the quality of care and support at Sunrise of Decatur.” - Linda Ellis, Executive Director, The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative

International Day Against Homophobia

The International Day Against Homophobia, held annually in countries across the globe on May 17, comes to Atlanta this year and will include a proclamation from the City of Atlanta recognizing the day. Openly gay state Rep. Karla Drenner (DAvondale Estates) will present the proclamation to organizers at the event. Atlanta’s IDAHO event is being organized by Alternative Perspectives, an LGBT radio show that airs every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on WRFG 89.3 FM. The show is hosted by longtime queer activist Betty Couvertier. “No one else in Atlanta or Georgia … had picked up the banner for IDAHO and I hope that Atlanta IDAHO will be a annual event,” Couvertier says on the Atlanta IDAHO’s website. This year’s global theme is “Silence in Sports,” but homophobia must be stopped in all areas of society, Couvertier adds. “Silence anywhere about fear, hate, injustice and ignorance is dangerous,” Couvertier says. “It propels actions that are harmful. When ignorance is stirred in with fear and hate of anything, the outcome allows one individual to condemn another and feel that he or she has the right to do so. And

MORE INFO International Day Against Homophobia Monday, May 17 5 p.m. — Shirt Off My Back campaign meets at Piedmont Park and marches to Virginia Highland Church 6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Speakers and entertainment Virginia-Highland Church 743 Virginia Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306

we must change that.” The day includes speakers and entertainment beginning at 6 p.m. at Virginia-Highland Church, but before then members of the “Shirt Off My Back” campaign will meet at 5 p.m. and march from Piedmont Park to the church to raise awareness about homeless LGBT youth. Straight ally Laura Gentle started the SOMB campaign last year. Speakers include Fulton County Commission candidate Joan Garner; transgender activist Tracee McDaniel; and Georgia Safe Schools Coalition co-founders Anneliese A. Singh and Maru Gonzalez.

Out of the Closet & Into the Streets

To celebrate late gay activist and politician Harvey Milk’s birthday, LGBT activists are gathering on the steps of Savannah’s City Hall on May 22 in a show of solidarity and visibility. The event is part of the national Equality Across America’s call to action to grassroots groups to honor Milk. Across the nation in different cities, there will be “Rallies for Equality” on May 22 to raise awareness of efforts underway to secure equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people at the federal level. The Savannah event is organized by the Savannah chapter of Georgia Equality and sponsors include Equality Across America, Savannah

MORE INFO Out of the Closet & Into the Streets Saturday, May 22, 12:30 p.m. Savannah City Hall, 2 East Bay St., Savannah, GA Email: 912-690-2714,

Pride and First City Network. The May 22 action concludes a week of action beginning May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia. — Dyana Bagby

Families trust Sunrise as their choice for Senior Living. At Sunrise of Decatur we know that families searching for senior living can be faced with an overwhelming number of options and questions. Our commitment to “Celebrate Indivuality” as one of our Principles of Service gives you peace of mind that your loved one will be cared for in an environment that honors the individuality of our residents and their families.

“Sunrise of Decatur has been home to my father-in-law for seven years now and we appreciate the warm welcome they have given our family from the very first day.” -Linda Ellis, Executive Director, The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative

Call 404-377-6111 to schedule a personal tour today!

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920 Clairemont Avenue

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GA Voice May 14, 2010



BEST BETS 05.14 - 05.27


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

Friday, May 14


Fourth Tuesday Happy Hour, held the second Friday of every month, is now at its new location at Mixx. Network and socialize with women and learn more about the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative. 6 p.m.-8 p.m., 404-228-4372, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta 30309

Friday, May 14 Lesbians, take note. Kate Moennig, who played the sexy player Shane on Showtime’s “The L Word,” hosts a party by Girlology and Foreplay Fridays at the Compound. Five female DJs will be spinning all night. Tickets are $10 before 11 p.m. and $15 before midnight. Doors open at 10 p.m. No advance tickets will be sold. Compound, 1008 Brady Ave., Atlanta, GA 30318.,

Make sure you wear your best undies as DJ Vicki Powell throws a Panty Raid party, spinning the beats that will make you want to pull your pants down. There will be a panty/manty contest, too. No cover before 10 p.m. Bellissima, 570 Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306. 404-917-0220,

Friday, May 14Saturday, May 15

Panther Leather/Levi holds its 22nd anniversary weekend with its first monthly bar night at the Atlanta Eagle on Friday from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. and then with an anniversary cookout and $5 beer bust on Saturday from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. All proceeds go to The Living Room, which helps people with HIV/AIDS and their families find affordable housing. 306 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308,,

Saturday, May 15

Photo by Jay Rickard

The gay National Flag Football League of Atlanta takes to the field at Candler Park for some pigskin action. Games begin at 9:45 a.m. 585 Candler Park Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30307.

Friday, May 21 The “Music Men of Midtown” — a singer/songwriter showcase — features some of the best from the gayborhood. Set to perform are Sean Kagalis, Mike Rickard (pictured), Guyton Maurice, trans man Bucky Motter and Juan Cezar, who also hosts. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with showtime at 8 p.m. $5. Bellissima, 560-B Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306,

Woof! Bears, cubs, otters and those who love them unite for a good cause at a CHRIS Kids pre Premiere Party with DJ Blaine at the Heretic. Cover is $5 before 11 p.m. and $10 after 11 p.m. with $1 of admission going directly to CHRIS Kids. Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, It’s a Hot Mess dance party at Mary’s with MC 5 Hour Boner and DJ Bear Dawg duking it out all night in a reenactment of the Battle of the Bulge. 9 p.m., Mary’s, 1287 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316, Isis King of America’s Next Top Model hosts Traxx Nightclub’s Saturday night party. This is the night when fashion, glamour and style collide with music and dance. 11:30 p.m.-5 a.m., Traxx Nightclub, 1287 Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA 30034,

15 r’s winner, Saturday, May 2010 (pictured with last yea r Bearden, Mr. Atlanta Eagle ing to a fundraise Help send Chandler Leather in Chicago by com Mr. l ona ati ern Int to ) Alan Penrod y games as well. 7 p.m., s, and maybe some naught tion auc es, fl raf e lud inc l wil that 08, Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 303 Atlanta Eagle, 306 Ponce de


Photo by Dyana Bagby

Photo courtesy Showtime

Noted author and activist Pearl Cleage reads from her new novel, “Till You Hear From Me.” The book is set in Atlanta’s West End and deals with a father and daughter relationship during the Obama era. 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307,

Looking for more events? Visit our website for our extensive daily calendar, including nightlife schedules and community organization meetings, provided by our friends at

Saturday, May 15Sunday, May 16

The Women’s Outdoor Network holds ongoing fitness programs on Saturdays and Sundays at various locations and times. Contact Alison Hall at to get on the distribution list to learn when and where the group is meeting each week.

Ladies at Play offers up a new party where the name of the game is Spades. Sip cocktails while playing the popular card game in “Ladies Play Spades” with DJ M3 spinning. 7 p.m.-11 p.m., Pie 950, 950 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309.

Monday, May 17

Hotlanta Softball League action is underway. Games begin at 9 a.m. with the last game played at 5 p.m. Check the league’s website for where the host bar is after the games. West Metro Softball Complex, 7301 Campbellton Road, Atlanta, GA 30331,

Take part in a local action as part of the International Day Against Homophobia, organized by 89.3 WFRG FM queer radio show program “Alternative Perspectives.” A “Shirt Off My Back” march will be at 5 p.m., meeting at 10th and Piedmont to march to the event at Virginia-Highland Church. Speakers begin at the church at 6 p.m. at 743 Virginia Ave., NE Atlanta, GA 30306,

“Quench” your thirst and move to the beats of DJ Chris Griswold who is behind the tables at the Artmore Hotel. 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Artmore Hotel, 1302 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309,

The Stars of the Century are always fierce, every Monday at Jungle. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. with the New Kids Show beginning at 11 p.m. Stars of the Century take the stage at midnight. Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 303024.

Sunday, May 16


Tuesday, May 18

Award-winning author K.M. Soehnlein reads and signs his new book, “Robin and Ruby,” featuring a gay teen protagonist and his sister maneuvering through a turbulent summer weekend in the 1980s. 7:30 p.m., Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 991 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Tuesday, May 18Sunday, May 23

Like Sesame Street for grownups, the hilarious but decidedly adult “Avenue Q” comes to Atlanta beginning today and continuing through May 23. Help benefit Positive Impact and save $5 on your tickets by purchasing tickets online. 8 p.m., Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339,,

Wednesday, May 19

They’re driving you up the wall! Well, kind of. The Dixie Dyno’mos Dyno’mos: Georgia’s LGBT-friendly rock climbing club, meets from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. at Wall Crawlers, 1522 DeKalb Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. For more information, search for their name on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 19Thursday, May 20

Abracadabra! David Copperfield’s magical act comes to the Fabulous Fox Theatre for two nights. Showtime Wednesday is 8 p.m. and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Just don’t let him make you disappear. Tickets are $26-$44 plus fees. 660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308,

Thursday, May 20

It’s that time of year again and what better way to check out the new swimsuit fashions then at the Atlanta Executive Network and Caliber Enterprises sexy Swim 2010 event, promising something for the men and women to admire. AEN members get in free while guests pay $10. Live music by DJ Kevin Durard. 6:30 p.m., Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, Net Work and play with the men from Obsessions, What’s the T, Traxx and the women from Traxx Girls every Thursday. Activities include Xbox, Playstation, pool tables, card games and computer dating games. 11 p.m., Obsessions, 4525 Glenwood Road, Decatur, GA 30032.,,

Publicity photo

The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office will host a conference to educate law enforcement about the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The meeting will take place in the student center auditorium at Georgia State University. Community organizations are asked to attend from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., while law enforcement personnel are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 360 Student Center, 44 Courtland St., Atlanta, GA 30303-3973

Thursday, May 20

Pearl Cleage reads from and signs her new book, “Till You Hear From Me.” 7:30 p.m., Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 991 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Friday, May 21

Since the fourth Friday of the month falls during Memorial Day weekend, the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce bumps up its monthly Fourth Friday networking event to today. Cover is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. 5:30 p.m.7:30 p.m., The Mission Motif, 1963 Hosea K, /Williams Drive SE, Atlanta, GA 30317. It doesn’t matter if you pitch or catch at this party. The Jock/Sports Party edition of ManShaft begins with happy hour from 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. with DJ Warm & Fuzzy and DJ Sensational Gravity Boy. Stay late with DJ Diablo Rojo and a midnight underwear/jock strap toss. Gay sports teams will be on hand selling shooters for their clubs. Mary’s, 1287 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316. themanshaft., If you’re asking who is Barry Brandon, then you haven’t been paying attention. He’s pretty much everywhere these days and now the musician and promoter is bringing a new party to the Atlanta scene. “Who?” debuts today with performances by Brandon as well as Jose Luis Rodriguez, Bari, Kyle Kirkland, Miss Lady Flex, Peep Peep and Vas D of Le Sexoflex and Dax! DJ Vicki Powell will be on the turntables as well. $6 cover. 10 p.m. My Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316,

Saturday, May 22

It’s Open Play every Saturday with the Atlanta Team Tennis Association. Cost is $5 for members, $10 for non-members and free for first timers. Play is from 1 p.m.-6 p.m., Glenlake Tennis Center, 1121 Church St., Decatur, GA 30030, 404-3777231,


May 14, 2010

GA Voice


GA Voice May 14, 2010



The News from Lake Wobegon comes to Atlanta when Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion is staged live at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. Ticket prices range from $35-$75 plus fees. 5:45 p.m., 660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, Ladies Night at Sauced Restaurant and Lounge features DJ Vicki Powell who teams up with chef Ria Pell to bring food to your bellies and beats to your feet. 10 p.m. 753 Edgewood Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, Nicole Paige Brooks from “Atlanta, Georgia!” hosts Saturday Night Fever at LeBuzz with special guests. 11 p.m. LeBuzz, 585 Franklin Road Marietta, GA 30067,

Saturday, May 22 – Sunday, May 23

The AIDS Vaccine 200 bike ride sets off Saturday morning from the Emory School of Medicine, rides to Camp Rock Eagle in Eatonton, then returns to Emory on Sunday. Help welcome the riders back from their 200-mile journey with a BBQ celebration at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Emory School of Medicine, 1648 Pierce Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322,

Monday, May 24

Get your week off on the right note with Drag on the Edge hosted by Alexandria Martin and featuring Lady Shabazz, Martina Diamante, Phoenix and LaTasha Shante Shuntel. Blake’s on the Park, 227 10th St., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Wednesday, May 26

The Queer Literary Fiction Club meets to discuss “More of This World or Maybe Another” by Barb Johnson. The facilitated book group meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month. 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, Bring out your crazy self with “Crazy Bitch Bingo” and test your knowledge in such serious topics as pop culture, TV and music. 8 p.m.-10 p.m., Joe’s on Juniper, 1049 Juniper St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309.,

Thursday, May 27Monday, May 31

MondoHomo, a five-day “queer art, spoken word, dance party, hip-hop-electro clash, politics, film, BBQ, theater, music, burlesque, social action diversity-lovin’ festival of fun queer space,” takes place over Memorial Day weekend. $25 gets you in for the entire fest. Eyedrum, 290 MLK Drive, Atlanta, GA 30312,,

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24 Monday, Mayee-dol lar bill. Or at least

They’re queer as a thr gay comedy group they’re funny. The all openly to Atlanta for one es Queer on Their Feet com ulty, Diana McN nie Jen night only featuring ry, who have Lea iel Dan and d) Yanez (picture ic Standing. appeared on Logo and Last Com as well edy com The night includes stand up door or $15 in the at $20 as improv. Tickets are 7:30 advance at www.brownpaper salist Congregation p.m.-9 p.m., Unitarian Univer NE, Atlanta, GA Way of Atlanta, 1911 Cliff Valley om, et.c irfe the 30329, www.queeron

UPCOMING Friday, May 28

Gay playwright Topher Payne’s newest piece, “Beached Wails,” tells the story of four sisters from Mississippi on a beach vacation when a stranger interrupts. Show runs through June 6. 8 p.m., State Door Players, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338, 770-396-1726,

Saturday, May 29Sunday, May 30

Atlanta’s premiere Jazz Festival — and it’s free — returns to Piedmont Park for its 33rd year. Held each year during Memorial Day Weekend, the fest was moved out of the park last year due to drought concerns. Performers this year include the Rialto Jazz for Kids All-Star Jazz Band, the Steven Charles Band, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Visit for more information.

Thursday, June 3

You’ve got a friend with Carole King and James Taylor who join forces again to bring their classic folk music to metro Atlanta as part of the “Troubadour Reunion” tour. 8 p.m., Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097, 770-813-7500,

May 14, 2010

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The Georgia Voice - 5/14/10 Vol. 1 Issue 5  

Need to get out of town this summer? We've got you covered. From Georgia and regional destinations to ideas for staycations.

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