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December July31, 23,2020 2020 July 16, 2020

Party of

ONE? How to Connect in 2021

10 Resolutions For Every L, G, B, T & Q Make Virtual & Distanced ATL New Year’s Eve Plans Atlanta’s Vaccine Gays And Campaign Queers


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Let It GO

SAYING GOODBYE to a year never felt quite as good as this one. Q ATLus helps say it with action, a look ahead and no shortage of resolve. New Year’s Week wraps the weirdest holidays ever with virtual and distanced options in the Q Events calendar. And those annual resolutions? They don’t have to pen us into commitments we’d never keep anyway, so 10 Q Things offers promises that all of us could stand to make. Speaking of commitments, a group of volunteers is helping bring out the Senate vote in Q Community. Another resolute local gay is telling his story as a guinea pig for the Moderna vaccine trials so you didn’t have to. The owner of the Eagle looks well into 2021, like possibly October, in Q Nightlife. He talks about what it would really take for the bar to return to Ponce. Landmark or not, the building needs major renovations, and the Eagle is not the landlord. As you let go of 2020, move on too from addictive relationships and other queer conundrums in Q Advice. When you’re done reading the print edition, check in for fresh news and views every day at theQatl.com, or write mike@theQatl.com.

RICHARD CHERSKOV PUBLISHER & SALES RICHARD@THEQATL.COM 404-917-9678 JOHN NAIL ART DIRECTOR JOHN@THEQATL.COM

MIKE FLEMING EDITOR MIKE@THEQATL.COM RIVENDELL MEDIA NATIONAL ADVERTISING SALES@RIVENDELLMEDIA.COM 212-242-6863 theQatl.com 5


INSIDE THIS ISSUE VOLUME 4 ISSUE 6

DECEMBER 31, 2020

RESOLVE

Do and Be Better in 2021

22 8

COVER

So Long

Events Kiss 2020 Goodbye

11

14

COMMUNITY

NEWS

Go-To Gays for Senate Runoffs

ATLien Takes Two in Moderna Trial

On It

10 Q Things.....................8 Q Community................11 Q News..........................14 Q Nightlife.....................19 Q Events........................23 Q Map............................26 Q Advice........................30 6 theQatl.com

Let’s Do Shots

Q ADVICE

Stop It

You’re Not in Love, You’re Obsessed

30


Q

10 THINGS

Team EFFORT 10 2021 resolutions for everyone in LGBTQ Atlanta By Mike Fleming

Be Better at Safe Sex

(Try PrEP, encourage others)

Love All Bodies

Be Kind (Love one another)

(Including our own)

Be Present in the Moment (Remove noses from mobile devices)

Postcards and Letters 8 theQatl.com


Eliminate Stigmas

(About HIV status, sexual practices, community subsets)

Resist Harder ( Join a cause)

More Sober Nights Out (Events that don’t center around cocktails)

Be Visible

(Show up, speak out)

Learn Queer History (And apply its lessons)

Stop Judging

(Or shaming, ostracizing and ridiculing) theQatl.com 9


I take Pride in helping everyone.

Jesse Watts, RealtorÂŽ

M: 678-237-5310 | O: 404-604-3100 | jwatts5310@gmail.com jessewatts.kw.com | c @jessewattsrealtor Licensed in Georgia. Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is a real estate franchise company. Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated. Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and supports the Fair Housing Act.

10 theQatl.com


COMMUNITY

Q

LGBTQ people making a difference in Senate runoffs By Mike Fleming EVER WONDERED HOW GEORGIA Equality’s local office pulls off a yearround effort that stretches well beyond the legislature and the confines of metro Atlanta? In a word, volunteers.

All Hands on DECK Alexa Bryant, development and communications coordinator for Georgia Equality, called volunteers “critical” to the organization. “Volunteers are able to take our mission, and our message, and carry it to the ‘doorsteps’ of Georgians from one state line to the other,” Bryant said. “We would not be able to do this work around the runoff if we did not have a dedicated arsenal of volunteers.” Including Bryant, GE’s local headquarters only has eight staffers, so they rely on the community at large, she said.

Alexa Bryant, Georgia Equality Development & Communications Coordinator

People who donate time to Georgia Equality engage voters, sway lawmakers and mobilize the community. Nic Clark has done all of those things and more. “Georgia Equality keeps me reeled  theQatl.com 11


VOLUNTEERS continued in because of their dogged commitment to ensuring that people in the LGBTQIA+ population can fully participate in society,” Clark told Project Q. “I’ve never felt soappreciated and embraced by any organization I’ve volunteered with.” The work suits Clark, who got started early in life fighting for what’s right, they said. “I have fought for social justice ever since I rallied my classmates to confront the overt racism of my first-grade teacher,” Clark said.

“If we can pass the Equality Act out of the Senate, we will finally secure housing and employment protections not only for ourselves, but for our friends and LGBTQ family across the South.” — Shannon Clawson

istered voter to show up, and it’s going to continue to take the efforts and commitment of volunteers to make that happen.” Georgia Equality Outreach Manager Shannon Clawson agreed. She pointed to the dual Senate runoffs as a chance to effect change far beyond Georgia. “This election is really about protecting our community,” she said. “If we can pass the Equality Act out of the Senate, we will finally secure housing and employment protections not only for ourselves, but for our friends and LGBTQ family across the South.” That sentiment is organization-wide, according to Clark. “I’m in awe of how they have made such strides in promoting equality despite their small size,” Clark said. “Georgia Equality welcomes any and all. You feel like you’re in the company of genuine friends while volunteering. That’s why Georgia Equality has become a fixture in my life.” To volunteer with Georgia Equality, visit georgiaequality.org, or e-mail geinfo@georgiaequality.org.

But you don’t have to be a lifetime organizer like Clark to make a huge difference. Georgia Equality has a network of experts to help anyone be of service, Bryant said. “A volunteer becomes connected to a larger community of activists and community organizers, allowing them to learn and grow from wherever they are,” Bryant said. “I think an important quality for an activist or community leader to have is a learning spirit.” “Anyone that wants to get involved and do the work is wanted and welcomed here, no matter where they are on their journey,” she added. As the U.S. Senate runoffs put the state in the spotlight and LGBTQ equality on the ballot, Georgia Equality needs “all hands on deck,” Bryant said. Volunteers for phone and text banking are the most immediate need. “So much of our future as a state is riding on the results of Jan. 5,” she asserted. “We need every reg12 theQatl.com

Nic Clark, Georgia Equality Volunteer


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Q

NEWS

Worth IT LGBTQ Atlanta man volunteers for Moderna vaccine trial By Mike Fleming JUST AS THE FDA APPROVED MODERNA’S coronavirus vaccine, one gay Atlanta man told his story of being injected with the drug during Phase 3 clinical trials in Atlanta. People close to Brad Gibson are immune-compromised, and he felt compelled to contribute toward pandemic solutions. Neither of those things minimized how seriously he weighed the responsibility. “I was thinking ‘What if I have a horrible reaction to this?’ and decided I would just cross those bridges if I got to them,” Gibson told Project Q. “I also knew I was going to be under medical supervision and scrutiny, so I decided it was worth it and put my trust in the professionals.” “When they called saying I qualified, I knew I had to do it and was willing to risk my health,” he added. Gibson received a shot in August, another in September, and scientists took blood on a third visit in October. Clinical Research Atlanta, which also tested the Pfizer vaccine since approved by the FDA, conducted the Moderna trial that Gibson did. “When I got to the clinic, I was given a pretty healthy packet of information about the vaccine I was going to receive and the process of the study,” he said. “I am in this study for two years to continue monitoring my health and reaction.” The vaccine does not use any part of the actual 14 theQatl.com

coronavirus, Gibson explained. It is a synthetic that mimics a harmless protein from the surface of the virus. It causes the body to create an autoimmune response. The process is ongoing, including clinical interaction outside the in-person visits. The study itself was double-blind, but Gibson knew he didn’t get the placebo when the side effects kicked in. “After the first shot, the next day I ran a slight fever – like 99.8 – and was lethargic and a little achy,” he remembered. “They were great at managing my expectations and let me know that the second shot was likely going to have me feeling ‘two-to-three times worse’ than the first shot.” “They were right,” Gibson said. “About six hours after receiving the shot, I started getting very achy. If it was a joint, it ached, even my toes, my hips, everything. And I ran a fever of about 101. The second day, I was lethargic but feeling a bit better.” He felt 100 percent on the third day – “like magic,” Gibson said. “The research doctor said this is the correct response for my body creating antibodies.” “So far, no side effects since the second-shot side effects, but I’m still holding out for super powers,” he said, tongue in cheek. “And I don’t mind having a tail, as long as it’s prehensile. That would be handy, actually.” Gibson did hear from people with opinions about his participation in the trial.


“Masks, vaccines, and everything COVID have become so political that no one knows what to trust,” he said. “I decided that I would trust science and the professionals.” “I did have one lady who told me that the vaccine rewrote my DNA,” he added. “So I guess I’m a new person now.” So, should people take a vaccine when the opportunity comes? Gibson has two words. “Do. It,” he exclaimed. “These synthetic vaccines have a zero percent chance of giving you COVID. People complain about not knowing the longterm effects, but we also don’t know the long-term effects of COVID.” Gibson encourages everyone to research the available vaccines and listen to what the profes-

“Masks, vaccines, and everything COVID have become so political that no one knows what to trust. I decided that I would trust science and the professionals.” – Brad Gibson sionals say about them. “Two days of ickiness was better than weeks and weeks of not breathing or, y’know, dying,” he said. “When we’re all merrily swinging around by our prehensile tails, we’ll be glad we got our DNA altered.” Read the full interview on Project Q at theQatl.com. theQatl.com 15


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NIGHTLIFE

Q

HOME Again?

Atlanta Eagle wants to reopen in former Midtown home By Matt Hennie THE ATLANTA EAGLE COULD REOPEN in its longtime home on Ponce de Leon Avenue, but first must reach an agreement with the building owner and negotiate “tons of repairs” needed to the nearly 130-yearold structure. Richard Ramey, the bar’s owner, told supporters during a Facebook Live chat on Friday that he’s no longer searching for a new site for the bar. In October, Ramey told Project Q Atlanta that the building owner had a buyer. Instead, he’s focused on returning to the Midtown location the bar called home for 33 years but vacated in November. The abrupt change comes after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that the city is seeking to designate the building as a historic landmark. “This is going to change everything in my opinion,” Ramey said. 

Atlanta Eagle Owner Richard Ramey

theQatl.com 19


ATLANTA EAGLE continued

“We now have a pathway to go back home to 306 [Ponce de Leon]. This pathway has not yet been completed. I am going to work with every ounce of being on my body to make sure this happens,” he added. Ramey said he’ll talk with the building owner soon about the possibility of returning. But the structure is in need of “massive repairs,” he said, and the Eagle won’t open there unless the site sees improvements. “If and when we go back into our home at 306, the building is going to be renovated. We are not going back in the condition that building was in the last several years,” he said. Ramey said he’s had preliminary discussions with the building owner about returning, but not since the mayor announced Thursday that the structure should be saved by designating it a landmark. That would prevent it from being demolished and mandate that exterior changes be approved in advance by the city. A public hearing on Jan. 13 will consider the historic designation for the structure. Ramey did not detail what repairs the building needs, the cost or who would pay for them. Ramey has had four landlords in the 23 years he’s owned the Eagle and repeatedly said they have been reluctant to repair and improve the building. “There are tons of repairs that have to be done. 20 theQatl.com

That’s going to be the main focus. There is no way we will get back into 306 without major major renovations,” Ramey said. If the Eagle returns to its former home, supporters might not see a re-opening until October 2021, he added. “I was thinking late summer or early fall for a reopening,” Ramey said. The pandemic — its threat to the health of patrons and its devastating impact on revenue — ­ pushed Ramey to close the bar. It’s a decision he still stands by. “There was no way I could run a nightclub in the middle of winter during this pandemic when we’re losing over 3,000 people a day. I just wasn’t going to do it. I wouldn’t care if it was landmarked or not. It wasn’t going to have my name on it. I just couldn’t bear the responsibility,” Ramey said. The longtime bar owner also applauded Bottoms for pursuing the landmark designation. He joked that a re-opened Eagle will offer a drink named in the mayor’s honor — Bottoms Up. “I truly thank Mayor Bottoms from the bottom of my heart for her dedication and love to this community,” Ramey said. Read more of this story and ongoing coverage at theQatl.com.


Q Events Kiss 2020

GOODBYE

The Best LGBTQ Things to Do in Atlanta This Week THURSDAY, DEC. 31

NYE 2021 Hot guys, hot music, hot cash drop. What more do you need to know about a hot time in the old town @ X Midtown, 9 p.m. facebook.com/ XMidtownX Pennies from Heaven A tradition that never goes out of style is money falling from the sky. Get yours during the annual midnight cash drop @ Blake’s, 9 p.m. blakesontheparkatlanta.com

Heaven The year was hell, so the diehard dancing queens slice off a piece of the good stuff. DJ Shane Marcus, host Angelica D’Paige and your white attire are on the menu @ Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com

New Year’s Eve To Remember A champagne toast at midnight, DJ beats to move your feets, and all the go-go boys you can handle all night long @ BJ Roosters, 9 p.m. bjroosters.com

Ladies Night Boys are bobbing, so MSR ensures ladies are lit. Ring it in @ My Sister’s Room, 9 p.m. mysistersroom.com

Xion After Hours Party Keep going until sunrise with DJ Alex Acosta @ District, 3 a.m. – 7 a.m. facebook.com/XionAtlanta

Swinging Richards New Year Did someone say “open bar”? The only place in town with all-nude male entertainment is also one of the places where your cover charge covers all you can drink @ Swinging Richards, 10 p.m. swingingrichards.com NYE Celebration Enter in the rear of Ansley Mall for New Year’s Eve fun @ The Hideaway, 9 p.m. facebook.com/ atlantahideaway Whew Chile! F* You 2020 Celebrate making it through to the end of this Jumanji of a year with Southern Fried Queer Pride and Morph. Online party includes DJ sets, drag performances, skits and more @ Twitch/sfqpatl, 10 p.m. Bulldogs NYE When men of color come out, they come to Bulldogs. Join them for DJ Caprice and all the special surprises @ Bulldogs. facebook.com/bulldogsbaratlanta 22 theQatl.com

FRIDAY, NEW YEAR’S DAY

New Year’s Morning Party Energizer bunnies can’t stop dancing, and why would they with more driving beats by DJ Cindel @ Heretic, 6:30 a.m. hereticatlanta.com

SATURDAY, JAN. 2 DJ Danny Verde The first dance party of 2021 that isn’t directly related to New Year’s Eve goes down @ Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com

TUESDAY, JAN. 5 Trivia Tuesday Drop in on a full afternoon and evening of specials, and don’t forget Trivia Tuesdays with a $50 bar tab prize @ Hideaway, 9 p.m. Happy Hour specials every weekday, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. facebook. com/atlantahideaway

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 6 LGBTQ Ice Skating It’s queer night in Piedmont Park every Wednesday with drag queen Aspen York and a cocktail bar to boot @ Park Tavern, 8 p.m. – 12 midnight. parktavern.com


Visit Project Q Atlanta for more weekend events every Thursday at theQatl.com.

theQatl.com 23


on tA ve .N E dm Pi e

5

10

11th St. NE

9

10th St. NE

Amsterdam Ave.

Dr. N E

Piedmont Park

14th St. NE

12th St. NE

1 13

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West Peachtree St. NE

E

75

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85

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Spring St. NW

Q Atlus Map

11 6

Virginia Ave. NE

2 9th St. NE

12 7

Key

Ponce De Leon Ave. NE

 Bars

 Restaurants North Ave. NW

North Ave. NW

 Clubs  Retail/Services

Not Shown

1. Amsterdam Cafe 502 Amsterdam Ave. NE

8. Flex 76 4th St NW

2. Blakes on the Park 227 10th St. NE

9. Henry’s Midtown Tavern 132 10th St NE

Mary’s 1287 Glenwood Ave SE

10. Joe’s on Juniper Ralph McGill Blvd. NE 1049 Juniper St NE

Sister Louisa’s 466 Edgewood Ave SE

4. Friends on Ponce 736 Ponce De Leon Ave NE 5. My Sister’s Room 84 12th St

11. Zocalo Mexican Kitchen & Cantina 187 10th St NE Highland Ave. NE

6. X Midtown 990 Piedmont Ave. NE

12. Barking Leather After Dark 306 Ponce De Leon Ave NE (inside Eagle)

7. Atlanta Eagle 306 Ponce De Leon Ave NE

13. Urban Body Fitness 500 Amsterdam Ave NE

26 theQatl.com

Future (Opens July 3) 50 Lower Alabama St SW, Suite 180 Glen Iris Dr. NE

3. Bulldogs Bar 893 Peachtree St NE

4

The T 465 Boulevard SE Swinging Richards 1400 Northside Dr NW Lips Drag Show Palace 3011 Buford Highway NE Lost ’n Found Youth Thift Store 2585 Chantilly Dr NE

Ponce De Leon Pl. NE

St. Charles Ave.

Ponce De Leon Pl. NE

r. NE roe D Mon

Charles Allen Dr. NE

NE

NE

Piedmont Park

Piedmont Ave.

Spring St. NW

8

3 Juniper St. NE

85

Peachtree St.

75

West Peachtree St. NE

8th St. NE


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Key

 Bars  Restaurants  Clubs  Retail/Services

Cheshire Bridge Road 5. The Heretic 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road NE

9. Gravity Fitness 2201 Faulkner Rd NE

2. Tripp’s Bar 1931 Piedmont Circle NE

6. Las Margaritas 1842 Cheshire Bridge Road NE

10. Southern Nights 2205 Cheshire Bridge Road NE

3. Woof’s Sports Bar 494 Plasters Ave NE

7. Roxx Tavern 1824 Cheshire Bridge Road NE

11. Tokyo Valentino (Cheshire Bridge) 1739 Cheshire Bridge Road NE

4. BJ Rooster’s 2043 Cheshire Bridge Road NE

8. 2Qute Hair Salon 1927 Cheshire Bridge Road NE

nr Mo

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4. Oscar’s 1510 Piedmont Ave NE

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r. NE

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5. Barking Leather 1510 Piedmont Ave NE 6. Boy Next Door 1447 Piedmont Ave NE

D Monroe

Piedmont Park

1. Felix’s on the Square 1510 Piedmont Ave NE

3. Midtown Moon 1510 Piedmont Ave NE

8

6

Ansley Park 2. The Hideaway 1544 Piedmont Ave NE

E

4

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7

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2 1

Morningside Dr. NE

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1. Sequel Bar 1086 Alco St. NE

Key

 Bars  Restaurants  Clubs  Retail/Services

7. Brushstrokes 1510 Piedmont Ave NE 8. Equilibrium Fitness 1529 Piedmont Ave NE

theQatl.com 27


Q Atlus Map Directory The businesses on the preceding pages are integral parts of Atlanta’s LGBTQ landscape. Those listed in boxes are consistent Q partners and community allies. BARS, CLUBS & RESTAURANTS Amsterdam Cafe 502 Amsterdam Ave. NE Atlanta Eagle 306 Ponce De Leon Ave NE BJ Roosters 2043 Cheshire Bridge Road NE Blakes on the Park 227 10th St. NE Bulldogs Bar 893 Peachtree St NE Felix’s on the Square 1510 Piedmont Ave NE Friends on Ponce 736 Ponce De Leon Ave NE Future 50 Lower Alabama St SW, Suite 180 Henry’s Midtown Tavern 132 10th St NE The Heretic 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road NE The Hideaway 1544 Piedmont Ave NE Joe’s on Juniper 1049 Juniper St NE Las Margaritas 1842 Cheshire Bridge Road NE Lips Drag Show Palace 3011 Buford Highway NE Mama’s Cocina 1958 Piedmont Road NE Mary’s 1287 Glenwood Ave SE Midtown Moon 1510 Piedmont Ave NE My Sister’s Room 84 12th St Oscar’s 1510 Piedmont Ave NE

28 theQatl.com

Roxx Tavern 1824 Cheshire Bridge Road NE

Sequel Bar 1086 Alco St. NE Sister Louisa’s 466 Edgewood Ave SE Swinging Richards 1400 Northside Dr NW The T 465 Boulevard SE Tripp’s Bar 1931 Piedmont Circle NE Woof’s Sports Bar 494 Plasters Ave NE X Midtown 990 Piedmont Ave. NE Zocalo Mexican Kitchen & Cantina 187 10th St NE

RETAIL & SERVICES 2Qute Hair Salon 1927 Cheshire Bridge Road NE Barking Leather 1510 Piedmont Ave NE Barking Leather After Dark 306 Ponce De Leon Ave NE (inside Atlanta Eagle) Boy Next Door 1447 Piedmont Ave NE Brushstrokes 1510 Piedmont Ave NE Equilibrium Fitness 1529 Piedmont Ave NE Lost ’n Found Youth Thrift Store 2585 Chantilly Dr NE Urban Body Fitness 500 Amsterdam Ave NE

ADULT Flex 76 4th St NW Southern Nights 2205 Cheshire Bridge Road NE Starship Galaxy/Starship Novelties 2273 Cheshire Bridge Road NE Tokyo Valentino 1739 Cheshire Bridge Road NE


Q Advice

Letting

GO

Stalkers and exes and learning to move on

Q 

A few years ago, we met and went out a few times. We hooked up and hung out a few times after that. Now they keep bailing on me.

you go through recovery. If you don’t have anyone like that, maybe check out a Reddit group called “No Contact.” Members there support each other in going cold-turkey from exes and unrequited objects of affection. There is no easy or quick solution to any addiction, so commit to a long-term solution and start the process.

Q 

My ex was a total asshole, but I can’t stop thinking about him. It’s been a year since I made a clean break got away from his lies and emotional abuse, but for some reason part of me still longs for him. I’m talking to a great new guy now, but I can’t focus completely because my brain won’t let my ex go.

They respond when I initiate contact, but they never contact me on their own. It’s always the same thing: We agree to meet. They back out at the last minute. I cry or go off in a text, and they ignore me. Days later, I feel bad for freaking out and apologize.

Dear Move On:

Recently after I was stood up, I went over there after midnight to make a scene. I know it was wrong, but I’m sick of the mixed messages. How can I make them stop leading me on?

Q Advice is intended for entertainment, not professional counseling. Send your Qs to mike@theQatl.com.

Dear Stalker: You know that saying, “It’s not you, it’s me”? In this case it is you, and that can be hard to accept. What you call mixed messages sound more like lame attempts to de-escalate the situation. They’re not leading you on as much as trying — haphazardly — to manage your emotions so that it doesn’t turn into something scary or dangerous. Their actions tell you all you need to know, so listen carefully: You haven’t gone out or hooked up in years. You are not even exes. They are ignoring you and standing you up repeatedly. They aren’t going to wake up and realize you should date. Ever. Repeat those details to a professional who can help. You are obsessed, and together you can treat this like any addiction. Start by accepting the lost time and energy you spent on this person. You might also try confiding in trusted friends to hold you accountable as 30 theQatl.com

Just because you know you “should” look ahead, it’s not always easy. Acknowledge unresolved issues, and allow yourself to work through the emotions. Grieve. Where there’s closure, there’ll be peace.

ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON


Profile for Q ATLus Magazine

Q ATLus Magazine | December 31, 2020  

LGBTQ New Year's Eve 2020, U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia, gay Atlanta man on Moderna vaccine trials, Atlanta Eagle bar possibilities, relat...

Q ATLus Magazine | December 31, 2020  

LGBTQ New Year's Eve 2020, U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia, gay Atlanta man on Moderna vaccine trials, Atlanta Eagle bar possibilities, relat...