July 2, 2020
Fourth of July in LGBTQ Atlanta
Straight Talk for LGBTQ Allies So You Want to Be A Better Anti-Racist Stepdad Claims Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gay After Mom Died
Free to BE
“TODAY, OUR UNION is a little more perfect.” Those were Barack Obama’s words when marriage equality was affirmed in all 50 states five years ago. It was a momentous step, but it turns out the key word was “little.” Tiny increments toward a perfect union are still mounting in 2020. The big days like marriage in 2015, or employment non-discrimination in 2020, come less frequently than most days. In this Independence Day issue of Q ATLus, though, Atlanta can say we are, in fact, a little more free. This week, we celebrate the Fourth of July with themed gatherings in LGBTQ Atlanta, as well as new ways we can come together and accomplish more. Naturally, that starts with our weekly calendar of online and socially distanced Q Events. We also celebrate Georgia’s new Hate Crimes law in Q News. Coverage continues with a double dose of 10 Queer Things with a mind toward uniting people. The first one offers talking points for would-be straight allies, then the second talks about how to be anti-racist over simply non-racist. Speaking of pulling together, Q Nightlife interviews the owner of the Eagle about reopening, Q Voices amplifies Travis Jones on overcoming the worst parts of ingrained Southern culture, and Q Advice bites into juicy gay drama. Enjoy this issue, and pick us up again next week. In the meantime, stay up to date with fresh daily posts on Project Q Atlanta at theQatl.com, and write our editor at 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 3 ISSUE 2 0
J U LY 2 , 2 0 2 0
Being Straight, Not Narrow
IndepenDance Fourth of July in Atlanta
Georgiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Hate Crimes law Q NIGHTLIFE
28 Q Voices.......................... 8 Q Events....................... 20 Q Map.......................... 24 Q Advice....................... 30 6 theQatl.com
Atlanta Eagle owner talks business
30 10 QUEER THINGS
How to Be a White #BLM Ally
PALS supports people in Atlanta who are elderly or who are living with or disabled due to a critical illness. We provide pet food and basic veterinary care for the pets of our clients, which enables them to keep their pets. You can support PALS by:
• Attending our monthly Drag
Queen Bingo fundraisers. • Making PALS the beneficiary. of your Amazon Smile, Kroger Plus or Chewy.com accounts. • Making a donation online. • To learn more about PALS or to donate visit:
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Why & HOW? Racist culture and learning to be a better white ally
WHITE PEOPLE CANNOT AND WILL NOT have a sense of the kind of racial trauma and the way that black people, brown people and indigenous people in this country carry around this nation’s racist history with them in very deep ways. As Southerners, we have an intimate relationship with the land, the dirt. In fact, when we love to talk about hard work. We say things like, “You’ve got to roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty.” Man, I wish we had that energy for working against white supremacy in the world. For a people who love meritocracies, we have not been pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps in racial justice work.
shrinking in shame or silence. That “goodness” makes you feel good, but it doesn’t do much for making the world good. Our personal “goodness” is lifeless in the face of mass incarceration and the racial wealth gap, immigrant rights and police brutality. The “goodness” of non-racism is no match for the badness of racism. When white people try their best to raise a voice in race conversations, it’s not coming from a place of being informed or reflective of the actual black experience. It can’t be. So there’s an anger inherent in that voice, a spitefulness or sadness. There’s shame, and there’s guilt. None of that is healthy for the person or the conversation. First and foremost, white people can stop talking and start listening in race conversations. Once you know enough to have questions, pay attention to your emotions and lack of insight. Ask with a true humility and humbleness, and that will come through. We must all acknowledge that, historically, white people have not been great advocates or allies. Instead of shrinking in or feeling a need to explain it away, we can embrace it as one part of our lives where we can explore how we’ve been shaped, for better or worse, and try to get better.
T R AV I S JONES
Most white people reading this may already be asking, “Isn’t society like a classroom? Aren’t these bullies and hall monitors in the minority? What about the majority of white people? What about the rest of the class?”
I’m sure the majority of the white people you know are diversity-loving, inclusive people who stand against racism in their hearts and minds. No doubt racial attitudes of whites have improved over the years, but not enough. The problem is racist policies and internal dialogues have largely stayed the same or, in many cases, gotten worse. How’d we get here? During the civil rights era, white people saw themselves in a mirror through the violent images in the paper and on TV. No one liked what they saw, so they distanced themselves from those bad white people and created a culture where not seeing race became a way to be good in the world. That’s how we got the “colorblind classroom.” We show our goodness as non-racists by blaming white bullies, closing our eyes to race or by
Politically, if white people really got black politics through the lens of the black experience— fighting for police reform, prison abolition, racial equality and criminal justice reform — they’d see those things are good not just for black people for white people and everybody else too. In any situation that really raises your emotional antennas, it’s critical that we take the time to think about why. The other ripe ground for change in our scope of influence is in our own families and friend circles. If you’re a parent or an older sibling or a teacher or a mentor what avenues can you take to introduce new narratives to younger people? If we don’t intervene and speak up, are they going to be absorbed into the same kind of story of race in America that we were. theQatl.com 9
10 QUEER THINGS
10 Things You Can Do To
FIGHT RACISM What everyone of every race can do every day to actively end racism Listen Don’t diminish others’ experiences by comparing your own hardships or struggles. Ears open, mouth shut, mind on healing. When Talking, Ask Questions If engaged on the topic of racism, ask open ended questions. Admit you might not know everything. Repeat what you’ve heard, and ask if you’re getting it right. Privilege Check What does it mean to be white? What allowances, opportunities and assumptions do you get automatically that you may not have previously recognized? Remember It’s Not About You Don’t express your own lack of racism when the topic comes up. It’s not extraordinary; it’s mandatory.
Challenge Racism You’re not “respecting” that old uncle by avoiding or ignoring him. If necessary, learn how to engage without escalating.
Further Visibility With intention, include diverse peoples in your work, your play, your discussions, your acknowledgements, your spaces. Educate Yourself Other people are not your encyclopedia. People of color or of other backgrounds than you aren’t here to further your understanding. Find appropriate times and ask permission to “interview” people. Witness Out Loud If you hear racist remarks or see discrimination in action, speak up. Let everyone else know you heard and are not OK with it, and learn to do so in productive, defusing ways. No Medal for You Don’t expect congratulations or rewards for doing the right thing. It’s not other people’s job to approve or certify your edification. Be Yourself Well, unless that self is racist. Find opportunities to further the cause that fit your personality and interests. Incorporate it into the life you already lead. theQatl.com 11
FINALLY! Georgia lawmakers pass historic, LGBTQ-inclusive hate crimes bill By Matt Hennie
THE GEORGIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY overwhelmingly approved a historic hate crimes bill on June 23, a measure that for the first time in state history includes protections for LGBTQ people. The measure passed the state Senate in a 47 to 6 vote. Less than an hour later, the state House approved the Senate version with a 127 to 38 vote. The bill now moves to Gov. Brain Kemp for his signature. “There are very few times that members of the legislative body get called upon at a defining moment in our history, but this is a defining moment for Georgia,” House Speaker David Ralston said. “It is a moment where in the midst of a global pandemic and widespread unrest, Georgia has stood strong for what is right.” Passage of House Bill 426 capped a whirlwind of activity surrounding the legislation in recent days after months of increasing public pressure for lawmakers to take action. The bill, from Rep. Chuck Efstration, 14 theQatl.com
a Dacula Republican, passed the House in March 2019, but it stalled in the Senate. The Senate vote was the first time that chamber has ever passed an LGBTQ-inclusive hate crimes bill.
“We have a long history in Georgia of embedded discrimination. We can’t deny it. We can’t run from it. But we can change it,” said Sen. Bill Cowsert, an Athens Republican who pushed the legislation through a contentious legislative process in recent days.
“We have a long history in Georgia of embedded discrimination. We can’t deny it. We can’t run from it. But we can change it.” — Sen. Bill Cowsert “Will this bill change the hearts and minds of Georgians? No, that comes from inside. Can it send the message that Georgia is too busy for hate? That we intend to treat each other fairly and justly no matter what your characteristics may be? Are we willing to be loving to each other? I think so. I think the time to pass the bill is right now. We don’t stand for hate,” he added.
The legislation enhances penalties for some misdemeanors – simple assault, simple battery, battery, criminal trespass and theft by taking – as well as all felonies if the crime targets a victim based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, and mental or physical disability. The penalty enhancements are three months to a year in prison plus fines up to $5,000 for five classes of misdemeanors, or at least two years in prison and a fine up to $5,000 for a felony. The legislation also calls for law enforcement agencies to track hate crimes and report them to the GBI. “The data piece is important so we can know where the hate crimes are taking
place in Georgia,” said Sen. Harold Jones, an Augusta Democrat. Sen. Jesse Stone, a Waynesboro Republican, said the votes didn’t exist to pass the measure in the Republican-controlled Senate until this week. Stone is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which killed the hate crimes measure in 2019 and stubbornly refused to hold a hearing on the bill for 15 months. “It took the events that are shaking our nation, and the leadership of our lieutenant governor, to help forge a consensus, particularly among my Republican brethren,” Stone said. Read full coverage of this and other news of local LGBTQ interest on Project Q Atlanta at theQatl.com. theQatl.com 15
10 QUEER THINGS
Sexuality vs. Gender They’re two completely separate things, and one can never predict the other.
Support Out Loud
So You Think You’re
In a world of societal pressure, institutionalized discrimination, and bullying, let us know explicitly that you’re on our side.
AN LGBTQ ALLY
10 Things Every Would-Be Ally Should Know Role Play
In gay male couples, no one is “the woman.” In lesbian couples, “the man” isn’t there. That’s the whole point.
Coming Out is Forever
It’s not a one-time thing. Basically every new person we meet is an opportunity, it’s exhausting, and it’s our decision if and when we do it. 18 theQatl.com
When you’re in queer spaces like our bars and parties, listen more than you talk. We don’t care what you think about it.
No Sex For You Lesbians don’t want a male third, and gay men aren’t trying to get with every straight man.
What’s In a Name?
Names, pronouns, and gender markers are important. Using the wrong one feels like an insult.
We Don’t Know Your LGBTQ Friend And we don’t necessarily want to date them, either.
Our depression and anxiety isn’t because we have issues with our identity, but because others do.
Non-Binary People Exist
Some people identify with neither gender. Some identify as both. Resist the urge to force them into categories.
The Best LGBTQ Things to Do in Atlanta This Week THURSDAY, JULY 2
Onyx Night The local black LGBTQ leather club hosts its first reopening party with DJ Ron Pullman on beats. COVID-19 awareness in force, and pouring every day @ Atlanta Eagle, 10 p.m. atlantaeagle.com
SATURDAY, JULY 4 Freedom Dance Party The ‘Tic continues with its ‘Rebirth of a Nation’ theme, DJs Tony Moran and Mike Pope, plus Phoenix live. Mask up and get down @ Heretic,
Changing the Game
10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com
Michael Barnett’s look at the challenges faced by transgender high school athletes screens as part of
BBQ Beer Bust
Out on Film’s online Stonewall screenings. Live
Independence takes on a new meaning this year
chat with film principals after @ Eventive, 7 p.m.
with DJ Eric James, bottomless food and beer, and
homos on the patio. With social distancing and
FRIDAY, JULY 3
regulations, of course @ Heretic, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Reserved Seating MSR brings comedy, DJs, bands queens and kings back to the stage for shows with
Cindel: All Night Long And they mean it. Saunter across the parking lot from Heretic for an afterhours party
reserved seating ev-
that goes until sunrise
ery Friday, Saturday
@ Xion at BJ Roosters,
and Sunday. Patio and dance floor open, too. Safety rules enforced @ My Sister’s Room. mysistersroom.com Barbecue Friday The gay sporty spices set a pace for
3 a.m. – 7 a.m.
MONDAY, JULY 6 Faith: Taking Flight What you didn’t know you needed but so did is a comic book about a plus sized superhero named Faith
reopening with delivery and now dine-in.
by the author of Dumplin. Talk to
Kick off every weekend with beef brisket
writer Julie Murphy with Charis
and mac-n-cheese, plus a sangria special
@ Crowdcast, 7:30 p.m. charis-
@ Woofs, all day. woofsatlanta.com
on tA ve .N E dm Pi e
11th St. NE
10th St. NE
Dr. N E
14th St. NE
12th St. NE
West Peachtree St. NE
t. N eS tre
Spring St. NW
Q Atlus Map
Virginia Ave. NE
2 9th St. NE
Ponce De Leon Ave. NE
Restaurants North Ave. NW
North Ave. NW
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
Future (Opens July 3) 50 Lower Alabama St SW, Suite 180 Glen Iris Dr. NE
3. Bulldogs Bar 893 Peachtree St NE
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
Spring St. NW
3 Juniper St. NE
West Peachtree St. NE
8th St. NE
Lidde ll D
E r. N
Leno x Rd .
Manchester Rd. NE
ircle NE nt C mo d e Pi
ve. sA ter
Alco S t. NE
Piedmont Ave. NE
d. N eR
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
4. Oscar’s 1510 Piedmont Ave NE
tA ve .N E on ed m
5. Barking Leather 1510 Piedmont Ave NE 6. Boy Next Door 1447 Piedmont Ave NE
1. Felix’s on the Square 1510 Piedmont Ave NE
3. Midtown Moon 1510 Piedmont Ave NE
Ansley Park 2. The Hideaway 1544 Piedmont Ave NE
Morningside Dr. NE
1. Sequel Bar 1086 Alco St. NE
Bars Restaurants Clubs Retail/Services
7. Brushstrokes 1510 Piedmont Ave NE 8. Equilibrium Fitness 1529 Piedmont Ave NE
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
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
Atlanta Eagle opens and strives to survive coronavirus pandemic By Patrick Saunders
fortunate,” he said. “I really need the business to pay the bills, but it would be a big burden on me if hundreds of people showed up at one time.” Most of the returning Eagle patrons have congregated on the bar’s two-level patio, which Ramey has encouraged.
VISITORS TO THE REOPENED ATLANTA Eagle will find a now-familiar scene in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic: temperature checks at the door, employees in masks, hand sanitizer stations scattered throughout and staff constantly cleaning one of the city’s oldest gay bars.
“We have an outdoor bar, an outdoor bathroom,” he said. “We’re trying to make it safe and also be part of the solution in not spreading the virus.”
It’s all part of owner Richard Ramey’s plan to protect people and keep the club afloat after being shut down for over two months.
“We’re going to open up our parking lot and make an area out there so people can stay outside and socialize, and if they want to go dance, they can go back in the bar and we’re going to require face coverings,” Ramey said.
“One of the biggest struggles I’m having is trying to make sure my employees and staff are safe, but also keeping the community safe,” he told Project Q Atlanta. “There’s so much uncertainty. The numbers are going up.” Gov. Brian Kemp gave bars the OK to reopen on June 1 with limited capacity and with 39 mandatory guidelines to follow. The Eagle opened two days later.
The dancefloor is expected to reopen in July, but customers will be required to wear masks inside on DJ nights.
‘We’re definitely in this together’ Ramey also owns the Flower Cottage in East Point. The store briefly closed to the public but continued doing no-contact orders by delivery.
The crowds have been small, which Ramey (photo) actually appreciates.
“We set the item by your door and call you to let you know it’s there so you don’t have to have any interaction with us,” Ramey said. “They’re still able to get a beautiful arrangement or gift and not have to interact with someone.”
“I’ve not had a big decision to make of who to turn away and who to let in, so I’ve been very
Now Ramey’s dealing with another unforeseen effect of the pandemic: a rose shortage.
PHOTO BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD
“The roses are not coming out because they didn’t have anyone to work the fields during the times we stayed at home,” he said. “Our roses come from all over the world, and almost every country had a shelter-in-place order.”
a business. When you don’t have that, you can only hang on for so long.” But Ramey’s been heartened to see the community response.
Ramey remains focused on serving the customers he can at the Eagle and Flower Cottage, while hoping against a second wave of infections.
“My customers, the community in Atlanta and East Point, everyone’s just been wonderful,” he said. “Everyone’s been so understanding. We’re definitely in this together.”
“The economic blows that small businesses are taking from this is going to be catastrophic for a lot of us,” he said. “It takes revenue in order to operate
Visit Atlanta Eagle at 306 Ponce De Leon Ave NE in Midtown, atlantaeagle.com, and Flower Cottage at 2821 Main St. in East Point, flowercottageonmain.com theQatl.com 29
DRAMA Stepdad announced he’s gay after mom died
My mom died a year ago, and it’s been unimaginably hard on my siblings, half-siblings and myself. It was made even harder by my stepfather, who decided six months after her death to remarry — this time to a man. I really care about my stepdad, but I’m furious over these developments. I’m surprised he’s with a man, but he and my mom supported my coming out journey over the years, and they embraced another family member who turned out to be trans. As a proud queer, I have no problem with two samesex septuagenarians acknowledging their attraction. I think it’s cool that they can act on feelings that neither felt they could express openly in their younger years. What’s not cool is that it’s my stepdad and that he jumped so quickly into another relationship before grieving my mom. The marriage happened so fast, I wonder if he lied to my mom all those years, or if he cheated on her with this guy. My sister and I approached my stepdad (her dad) and defended my mom’s reputation. We told him that we are concerned about the super-fast courtship, too. He cried and said some really nice things about Mom and their marriage. He said he always wondered if he was gay and that he is in love with his husband. He said that’s “all we have a right to know.” His words. What can we do? Dear Offspring: Losing a parent is a club that only members understand, and one that no one wishes to join. You will live with the loss for the rest of your life, and you will get better at it as time passes. One thing you said in particular is affirmed: Your stepfather’s decision is part of your post-Mom life and part of the process for you and your siblings.
Try to wrap your head around the fact that your stepfather is grieving too, maybe even more. On top of losing his spouse of many years, he’s also dealing with being openly gay or bi for the first time. Maybe he needs someone in his life more than he can stand being alone. Maybe the two men acknowledged their feelings before your mother died. Maybe they didn’t. Maybe as an older person, he sees his limited remaining time and doesn’t want to waste any of it. Maybe he really loves the guy. Most couples “fit” in ways that others may never see. What if your mom knew? She wouldn’t be the first, and while your impulse to defend her is understandable, she’s not here and you don’t know the facts. All of that conjecture can be tempting, but none of it is any of your business. Your stepfather has the right to include you on the details or not. He is a grown man and knows his own mind. Like your own coming out journey, he may slowly open up as years pass. Don’t ruin your relationship with him before he has the chance. Q Advice is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to mike@theQatl.com. ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON