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Q inform | inspire

Welcome to Leather Pride

April 11, 2019

the men of

ONYX

Unzip Atlanta’s premier black gay leather group

Love Notes to Our Past Selves

Red Flags Fly on Serial Bad Dates Queers Connect Via Latino LinQ

The Q Q Shots The Queer Agenda Q News The Weekly Print Publication of Project Q Atlanta


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EDITOR’S NOTE Q Q MAGAZINE THE WEEKLY PUBLICATION OF PROJECT Q ATLANTA PUBLISHERS INITIAL MEDIA, LLC MIKE FLEMING PUBLISHER & EDITOR MIKE@THEQATL.COM MATT HENNIE PUBLISHER & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MATT@THEQATL.COM RICHARD CHERSKOV PUBLISHER & GENERAL MANAGER RICHARD@THEQATL.COM ADVERTISING SALES RUSS YOUNGBLOOD SENIOR SALES REPRESENTATIVE RUSS@THEQATL.COM

Just

SUBMIT

You know, if you’re into that sort of thing

Q’S COMMITMENT TO QUEER DIVERSITY takes a walk on the wild side on the eve of Atlanta Leather Pride with the men of Onyx Southeast this week, but that’s just the tip of what we have in store.

The Atlanta chapter of the social group for

black gay men into leather and kink takes its

ART DIRECTOR JOHN NAIL JOHN@THEQATL.COM PROJECT Q ATLANTA PATRICK SAUNDERS EDITOR PSAUNDERS@THEQATL.COM CONTRIBUTORS IAN ABER LAURA BACCUS GABRIELLE CLAIBORNE BUCK COOKE CHARLES E. DAVIS JON DEAN BILL DICKINSON JIM FARMER BRAD GIBSON JAMES L. HICKS TAMEEKA L. HUNTER HEATHER MALONEY ERIC PAULK KYLE ROSE JAMES PARKER SHEFFIELD VINCE SHIFFLETT ALEXANDRA TYLER VAVA VROOM NATIONAL ADVERTISING RIVENDELL MEDIA SALES@RIVENDELLMEDIA.COM 212-242-6863 LOCAL ADVERTISING SALES@THEQATL.COM 404-949-7071

20th anniversary bow this year. To celebrate,

our intrepid online editor Patrick Saunders and tireless contributor James L. Hicks collaborate

to profile the collective and its members in our MIKE FLEMING EDITOR & PUBLISHER

Q Cover feature.

Just lay back and take it, or you know, lean into it with power and passion. Your call.

More restrained in his presentation but just as tenacious in his passion

is Humberto Orozco. In Q&A, the president of Latino LinQ tells his

story of coming to America, as well as his experience leading the Atlan-

ta-based group with a mission to connect LGBTQ Latinx Georgians to much-needed resources.

As much as we laud action, the queer experience can also in some ways be an exercise in reflection, too, so we return to a popular 10 Queer Things theme this week to seek more advice from real queer people to their younger selves. What would you tell you if you could go back?

The Q advice column meets readers with red flags already flying on the

play. We try to sort out what one queer can do about his current situation, and how another can, and can’t help a friend with similar issues.

Q being Q and you being you, we are still all about that life in the bestof Q Shots, the Queer Agenda, and in daily local Q News updates on Project Q Atlanta at theQatl.com. Start flipping pages, and hit me up if you have ideas at mike@theQatl.com.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 21 APRIL 11, 2019

DO IT

Queer Agenda events

COVER

17 29

Leather Life

Onyx Southeast turns 20 10 QUEER THINGS

13 9

Inner Child

31 Glow Girl

Parenting our past selves with queer advice Q&A

12

Queer Link

33 Play Day

Humberto Orozco of Latino LinQ

FEATURES 10 Queer Things

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Q&A 12 Queer Agenda

29

The Q

38

Q Shots

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10 QUEER THINGS Q

Things We’d Tell

OUR YOUNGER SELVES

The first was so popular, 10 Things is back with more queer insight that comes from experience

“Live out all the stages of life. Let yourself fall in love with boys. Have a boyfriend, fall madly in love with him. Time is valuable, and each stage is important.” — Matheus “You don’t have to force myself to date men in order not to make your mother ashamed.” —Carlotta “You can play with a doll if you want. The doll is beautiful, just like you. And don’t listen to anyone who says that playing ball is a guy thing or that dolls, the color pink, skirts and makeup are right for some but wrong for you.” —Fernando It’s not a phase.

—Anonymous

“It won’t be easy. Many of us would rather feel the pain of loneliness than love ourselves just the way we are. And that’s not your fault.” — Aidan Michael “Trans people exist. The feelings you spent years feeling without knowing what they were are normal, and you are not the first to feel them. —Lori Someone in the world will love you exactly the way you are. Actually, they will love you exactly because you are the way you are! —Link “When you accept yourself, that unbearable weight you thought was normal will be lifted, and it will feel so good.” —Raffi Be strong, because you will become an amazing person who will fight for your rights, who will have wonderful friends, and who will understand that being queer is just as natural as the wind that blows upon your face every day. —Maia

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Coming This Spring...

• Atlanta Bear Pride (April 18) • Cinco de Mayo (May 2) • Swimsuit Issue (May 16)

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Q

Q&A

Photo by Russ Youngblood 12

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‘The

AMERICAN Dream’ Latinx kids in my third-grade classroom. Determined to not

By Patrick Saunders WHEN YOU’RE QUEER AND LATINX IN GEORGIA, YOU may have needs unique to your situation. That’s where Latino LinQ comes in. The Atlanta-based non-profit, founded in 2015, facilitates support services for Latinx LGBTQ people who need healthcare and legal assistance. Humberto Orozco, the organization’s president, helped get out the Latinx vote for the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials before coming on board with Latino LinQ. He sits down with Q to talk about his journey from Mexico to Georgia, working at Latino LinQ, and the essentials he couldn’t live without.

feel like an outsider, I quickly picked up English and started making new friends.

What are your favorite part and most challenging parts being president of Latino LinQ?

I’m a volunteer, just like the rest of the board,and Lati-

no LinQ has been volunteer-led and operated since it was

Humberto Orozco of Latino LinQ helps lift up local Latinx queers

How did you get from Mexico to Georgia? My dad dreamed up a future with more opportunities for his six children, so after winning over mom’s approval, we made the nearly 1900-mile trek north from our native Michoacan and settled in Gainesville, Ga. The top priority for my parents was affording me and my siblings an opportunity that could open up a world of possibilities — an education in the U.S. We come from a rural background, where economic opportunities were scarce, and that’s another reason my parents made the tough decision to leave our home in Mexico in pursuit of the American Dream.

founded. In my role as president

of the board, I love witnessing the enthusiasm in working towards a common goal: improving Latino LinQ’s focus to better serve our

community. The challenge lies in attempting to schedule face-to-

face meetings when all of us have

competing schedules, but that’s OK

because we make it work one way or another.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what’s the book, song and food you couldn’t do without?

If I was Tom Hanks in Cast Away, I could not do without any Nicholas Sparks tearjerkers like The Notebook, Celia

Cruz’s “La Vida Es Un Carnaval,” and a Costco tub of macn-cheese.

What’s something that people would be surprised to find out about you?

What was the transition like?

I enjoy cold showers in the morning. Friends tell me my

As an eight-year-old, it was not easy adapting to a completely new culture, but it wasn’t as challenging for me as it was for my older siblings, especially at school. Fitting in was challenging because I could only communicate with the two

find out that I’m an Atlanta United season ticket holder and

baking skills are above average. Some would be surprised to once held UGA football season tickets.

Find Latino LinQ on Facebook and visit latinolinq.weebly.com. theQatl.com

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COVER Q

BLACK LEATHER

Meet the men of Onyx Southeast, celebrating 20 years of black queer leather men ď ľ PHOTOS BY JAMES L. HICKS jhicksphotography.net Find more Onyx photos not seen in print at theQatl.com theQatl.com

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Q

BLACK LEATHER, Continued

Redemption

PHOTOS BY JAMES L. HICKS jhicksphotography.net Find more Onyx photos not seen in print at theQatl.com

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By Patrick Saunders

W

hen Merlin started going to the Onyx Southeast bar nights at Atlanta Eagle about 10 years ago, he was drawn in by the happiness of the group’s members.

“There’s something about a man of color owning their sexuality that’s freeing and revolutionary for me,” Merlin told Q. “It comes down to years and years of being told we can only be one sexuality and one way, and Onyx says you can be whoever you want to be, and they give you the tools to get there.” On the eve of Atlanta Leather Pride, and as the Onyx Southeast chapter prepares for its 20th anniversary as home base for black gay leather men, Merlin and other Onyx members pose for Q and reflect on their history and mission. Merlin eventually became a full brother in the organization, which has represented men across the country since 1995. “I decided this is going to be the leap I’m going to make, because I want to be in a safe space to learn something about myself that I probably wouldn’t be able to do otherwise,” said Merlin, who preferred to leave out his last name. “I wanted the brotherhood as well. Me being an introvert and kind of a loner, sometimes it can be difficult making those kinds of connections.” Merlin is now president of Onyx Southeast. Optimus joined the group for similar reasons. “The fraternal aspect of the organization really drew me in,” he said. “These were a group of guys that liked each other, had a common interest in leather and kink, and had a common interest in caring for and teaching each other.”

EMPOWERED NOT FETISHIZED The men said they don’t always feel welcome among white leather men, and at worst are fetishized for their race. Being part of Onyx flips the script for its members. “There’s a lot of Caucasian men in the leather community, and with that, we’ve been fetishized and some of us have been physically or spiritually or mentally hurt by things people have done because of our race,” Merlin said. “The good thing about Onyx is that it creates a safe space for men of color to safely explore the leather and BDSM community without the feeling of being fetishized. We give our people proper training to help them be knowledgeable whether they’re the dominant or submissive in the situation.” Optimus said it’s empowering to see people that look like you and have similar life experiences as you doing what they want. “It draws you in, it takes away that alone feeling,” he said. “Once you realize there’s these people there doing all these things, it gives you permission for your mind and your heart to wander and discover

things about yourself and more about what you’re into.” The men of Onyx Southeast meet at the Eagle on the first Friday of every month. The day after that, a meeting is held to discuss chapter business, then the group goes out for dinner. There are also monthly teachings on any number of subjects. The group learned about wax play in February, and in March they learned about sensory play and role play. Merlin said these sessions help “to sharpen our skills.”

PERCEPTION VS. REALITY But it’s not all bar nights, chapter meetings and skills sessions. Onyx Southeast also does a quarterly community service project. The latest one gathered books for the Books for Africa program. Also, they often partner with Atlanta non-profit organizations. “We want to not only be known for the kink side and bar side, but also the community service side too,” Merlin said. “We want to be actively involved in the community in which we serve.” Onyx’s community service might surprise some people, but Merlin said they’re used to dealing with preconceived notions about the group — specifically, that they’re “sexual deviants.” “That’s not the case,” he said. “If anything, we’re sex positive in the things that we do. We’re not deviants. We are people who own our sexuality.” Nor is Onyx a sex club. “We promote healthy sexuality,” Merlin said. “We promote people being able to do what they want to do in a sexual environment.” Being one of nine chapters Onyx has across the U.S. comes with benefits, Optimus adds. “What’s amazing about being a part of such a larger organization is I can pretty much go to any city I want to just visit and get connected to folks that are in my club or close to my club,” said Optimus. “That sense of community and safety and being able to take that anywhere, it’s pretty priceless.” The Onyx Southeast members are looking forward to celebrating the chapter’s 20th anniversary this July. They’re planning a three-day event that includes a bar night, then an official anniversary celebration, followed by a Sunday brunch. “Not a lot of organizations are making it to 20 years period,” said Merlin. “We are really excited that we’ve weathered whatever storm that’s come our way to make it to 20 years.” In celebration of the group’s anniversary, Q contributor James L. Hicks collaborates with members to create portraits on the following pages that explore black men in black leather and the various expressions of what it means to them. Find Onyx Southeast on Facebook, or visit onyxsoutheast.com. theQatl.com

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Q

BLACK LEATHER, Continued

Centaur

PHOTOS BY JAMES L. HICKS jhicksphotography.net Find more Onyx photos not seen in print at theQatl.com 22

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Q

BLACK LEATHER, Continued

Zephyr

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Daddy Rod

PHOTOS BY JAMES L. HICKS jhicksphotography.net Find more Onyx photos not seen in print at theQatl.com

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Q

BLACK LEATHER, Continued

PHOTOS BY JAMES L. HICKS jhicksphotography.net Find more Onyx photos not seen in print at theQatl.com 26

theQatl.com


Q

THE QUEER AGENDA

SATURDAY, APRIL 13

The Best Queer Things To Do in Atlanta This Week

Storytelling with Movement

April 11 – April 17

Aerialist, drag performer and out advocate Melissa Coffey

THURSDAY, APRIL 11

has a philosophy to share @ Sky Gym Vinings, 4 p.m.

I Love To Eat

aerialsilksatlanta.com

Legendary gay food personality James Beard, a gay director and gay lead make for a great one-man show @ Theatrical Outfit, 7:30 p.m. Runs

FRIDAY, APRIL 12 – SUNDAY, APRIL 14

through May 5. theatricaloutfit.org No Boys Allowed

Southern Fried Queer Pride hosts this music show featuring The Queen-

Automoto

Photo by Jon Dean

Springtime on the Beltline and its first-ever

European carshow while you saunter @ East

dom, Haint and more @ The Bakery, 9 p.m. southernfriedqueerpride.com

Side Trail, all weekend autohaussocial.com

Holy Sh!t

Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Nerdlanta and Ian Aber’s Hot Mic Comedy present a

The trees are in bloom, and the shorts and

comedy night you don’t want to miss @ Sister Louisa’s

tank tops are out @ Piedmont Park, all

Church, 9 p.m. sisterlouisaschurch.com

weekend. atlantadogwoodfestival.com Doggies on the Catwalk

FRIDAY, APRIL 12 Gays for Plays: Falsettos

The annual fashion pets fundie hosts an

leaves his wife for a guy with a queer-inclusive ensemble of supporting char-

Friday and its pet-riffic runway show and

The local queer theater group gathers for this musical about a man who

opening reception and gallery exhibit on

acters @ Actor’s Express, 7:30 p.m. Runs through April 28. actors-express.com

auction on Saturday. fashionado.net

SATURDAY, APRIL 13

Sarah & The Safe Word

The queer-led band performs with other acts including Fable Cry, Soviet, Shiksa and Nobody’s Darlings @ Star Bar, 8 p.m. starbaratlanta.com Play: Pajama Party

The dress code is in the name with the LGBTQ-fronted For All Humans party crew @ Moxy Midtown, 9 p.m. forallhumans.co Untitled

It’s the second iteration of this party “for the un-

apologetically black and queer.” Complementary

Jameson while it lasts @ 485 Edgewood, 10 p.m. facebook.com/shedeep

Evensong & Eucahrist It’s time to “Amplify Queer Voices in Worship,” featuring the music of Madonna @ Neighborhood Church, 7:30 p.m. neighborhoodchurchatl.com The Room with DJ Aron The sexy gay Israeli DJ welcomes vocalist Beth Sacks and his following @ Heretic 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 14 Daddies in Kilts It’s a beer bust with a dressing theme for a good cause @ Woofs, 3 p.m. woofsatlanta.com Tacos & Tequilas You could get used to this, and you will. Enjoy this inaugural kickoff to benefit National Coalition of Sexual Freedom with vendors and fun @ Hideaway, 3 p.m. atlantahideaway.com Film Love: Marlon Brando The queer-led cinemaphiles return, this time with screenings celebrating one of the original steaming-hot rebel movie icons @ High Museum of Art, 7 p.m. high.org

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17 Whatever Happened to Baby Jane

FRIDAY, APRIL 12 – SUNDAY, APRIL 14 Atlanta Leather Pride The annual weekend includes title contests and the Sweat Saturday party @ Atlanta Eagle, all weekend. atlantaleatherpride.com

Wussy Wednesdays return with the diva-v-diva camp

horror classic @ Plaza Theatre, 7 p.m. wussymag.com

Find even more LGBTQ events in the Queer Agenda each Thursday at theQatl.com.

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GLOW RAVE AT MSR

Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com

Q SHOTS Q

PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD theQatl.com

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Q

Q SHOTS

80S BINGO FOR PETS ARE LOVING SUPPORT AT LIPS

Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com

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PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD


ANGRY FAGS WITH GAYS FOR PLAYS AT 7 STAGES

Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com

Q SHOTS Q

PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD

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Q SHOTS

ALL STRIPES AT GEORGIA BEER GARDEN

Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com

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PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD


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UNIFORM-FETISH WEEKEND/ TENNESSEE GRYPHONS

DELIVERANCE 2019

Military, Cop, Fireman, Biker, Latex or Rubber…whatever makes you want to come…we want want you here! On Saturday night, the Tavern is place to be to show off your duds! After-hours Black-Out Party in the Backroom. We are pleased to be hosting The Gryphons annual Deliverance Run for the 12th year! You do not have to be a member to participate in the event. There will be a registration area where run packages may be purchased. Please use the following link to their website for more information: www.tngryphons.org

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Q

Q SHOTS

BUCKLANTA RECEPTION WITH ATLANTA BUCKS AT WOOFS

Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com

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PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD


Q

THEQ?!

RED Flags Q

If he balances the co-dependence and paranoia with irresistible positive qualities, you might decide it’s worth it, but it’s never a bad idea to acknowledge the issues in advance.

Bad dates and help for perpetually bad daters

Q

I seemed to have a good rapport with a guy I was talking to online, and we decided to meet. I had a cold sore and was open about it before the date. I’ve gotten them since I was young, and we just happened to meet during an outbreak.

The date ended in a totally consensual blowie in the car. All seemed well until the guy started withdrawing a bit, saying he was sure he had gotten herpes and could “feel the disease in his body.” Even when I thought the discussion had waned, he wouldn’t stop worrying, finally making me feel bad about giving a blow job that this guy agreed to and made me feel like a whore.

A few weeks went by, and the guy calmed down and now talk of a second date is on the table. Should I consider it? Also, he appears to generally be afraid of the world, he’s 30+, and he lives with his parents. He has canceled dates so that he could have dinner with his mom because she was going out of town for a couple of days. Maybe dating this person is just a terrible idea for a variety of reasons? Dear Mouth: Before we get into red flags flying on the play, I want to be clear that no one can “make” you feel like a whore — or any other kind of way — without your permission. You are in charge of your own self-perception. Take responsibility for your self-worth. Now, about Paranoid Peter: An old saying comes to mind. When people show you who they are, believe them. That happens most frequently when they are under stress, and even though you did everything right, he gave himself permission to freak the hell out. First and foremost, Herpes 1 is usually inherited in the womb and is about 95% non-transmissible, yes even by fellatio, unless there is prolonged open sore-to-open sore contact. It took me about 12 seconds to Google that, which would have saved you both a lot of handwringing.

He may be the kind of person who gets attention via meltdowns, possibly from his parents. Right now, it’s not your problem, but if the idea of it bothers you, it will bother you more if you start dating seriously. Looking forward, if your new friend will create diseases out of fear and misinformation, what will he do when the chips are really down between you?Are you prepared to talk him down every time he does an attention grab? 38

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I have a friend who dates all the wrong people. If it’s a horrible choice, my friend is there. Closeted 18-year-old at work? Tried it. Emotional attachment but sexual incompatibility? Keeps going back for more. Getting back with the ex who wanted him as a sex slave? Twice so far. My question is, how do I support him? He seems to have a moment of clarity, then refuses to be honest with himself.

I am his only shoulder to cry on, but I’m also the one who has to deal with the aftermath of his decisions. Help me help him! Dear The Help: Friends are there for each other, but the best ones can also be the ones that stop helping. We’ve all picked up the pieces of a broken heart, empowered someone to stay away from a toxic ex, or lent an ear when emotions are in the way of good decisions.

Your brand of help can put pieces back together with Scotch tape when they need super glue, and it sets you up to do it again when it falls apart. Encourage your friend to see a professional. If finances are an objection, The Health Initiative in Atlanta has referrals for free mental health resources to anyone who identifies as LGBTQ in Georgia. Try something like, “This feels like it keeps happening and I’m at a loss. Do you think a therapist could help you fix it for good?” The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to mike@theqatl.com. ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON


Profile for Q Magazine Atlanta

Q Magazine Atlanta| April 11, 2019  

Q Magazine Atlanta| April 11, 2019