Q Magazine Atlanta | April 25, 2019

Page 1

Q inform | inspire

At the Intersection Of Queer Identities

April 25, 2019

equality

RISING

Out and proud as Atlantans, LGBTQ s and Asian-American & Pacific Islanders

Q Voices Q Shots Queer Agenda Q News

Atlanta Power Couple Expands Their Brand Lost Our Way with No Queer Empathy 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 ART DIRECTOR JOHN NAIL JOHN@THEQATL.COM

Q ueer

THEORY

LGBTQ Intersectionality, Empathy, Humility & Ever-Changing Times WE USED TO HAVE AN INSIDE CODE at Atlanta’s old Southern Voice

newspaper for stories profiling demographic groups and intersectionality. With tongues planted firmly in cheek, we called them “It Sucks to Be Queer and…”

stories. To one degree or another, these features and thought pieces would outline why “it sucks to be queer and… brown, religious, of size, parents, a weightlifter, a fraternity boy, a debutante…”

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

Some 20 years later, it’s with great relief and some amount of pride that I can report times have

changed. Much more often, community pieces in MIKE FLEMING EDITOR & PUBLISHER

Q magazine on intersectionality share as many or

more victories as they do hurdles, and intersection-

ality itself is shining in a spotlight of its own as well.

This week’s Q takes a reader tip and turns it into our latest, thoroughly modern

“It’s Awesome to Be Queer and Recognized” piece. In this week’s Q Cover story, meet five LGBTQ Atlantans who are out and proud as Asian-American and

Pacific Islanders. They are a queer segment coming out of the shadows and onto an increasingly inclusive local queer radar.

To expand on the concept, 10 Queer Things backs it up with a look at other ways queer converges with other identities, and how it happens more often than not.

And as bookends on further queer theory this week, Q Voices looks at the role of empathy among us, and The Q takes humility — and a lack thereof — to task. Of course, the Q eye is ever on local LGBTQ life. Q Community finds a new

gay-owned eatery at Virgil’s from the couple that cofounded Gentlemen’s Ball,

Q News finds Atlanta’s new queer councilman, the Queer Agenda calendar outlines your week in events, and Q Shots snaps springtime smiles in action.

Start flipping pages, and before we see you in print next week with our Cinco de Mayo special issue, turn to our homesite Project Q Atlanta for daily updates at theQatl.com.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 23 APRIL25, 2019

10 QUEER THINGS Queer Convergences

COVER

19 10

Rise Up

AAPI Queers raise their prof ile

COMMUNITY

13

Gentlemen’s Club

29 PJ Moxy

Juan and Gee Smalls expand their brand

THE QUEER AGENDA

17 FEATURES Q Voices

10 Queer Things

10

Q Shots

36

Queer Agendaa The Q 6

8

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Get ’Er Done

32 Kickin’ It

The best LGBTQ events of the week

38

21 38

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Q

VOICEES

The

progress. Actively connecting the dots regarding how any person

EMPATHY Gap

Seeing the humanity in others makes us better as a whole QUEER COMMUNITY WORK IS RIDDLED WITH stressors. From elevated health and wellness disparities to

the lack of funds in the Southeast, LGBTQ advocacy and organizing is not for the faint of heart.

could find themselves in that same situation is empathy.

Empathy creates a lens through which humanity is seen in every person, and interactions with people from all backgrounds reflects it. It spurs the elimination of systematic oppression, like barriers to health care, housing and em-

ployment. The greatest advocates demonstrate an eagerness to understand the obstacles that prevent others from living fruitful, stable lives.

You won’t hear a truly empathetic advocate shame someone for not maintaining an HIV medication regiment. Instead, they actively seek to create an environment in which indi-

viduals are more likely to have the ability to stay on meds.

Empathy becomes a driving force to breakdown barriers, not police behaviors.

Like anything else worth doing, empathy

Even if you’re not connected to a specific group,

takes work. It’s an ongoing process of evo-

simply identifying as a stripe in the rainbow is

lution, but the effort brings rewards. We can

inherently political and comes with inescap-

practice it as individuals and as a group, from

able responsibilities, such as involuntarily being

casual conversations to broader policy mak-

seen as a spokesperson for all things LGBTQ

ing. Empathy becomes a tool to expand our

amongst our cis-het friends and family.

understanding.

My personal role in community work isn’t the stuff HBO documentaries are made of. I’m

mostly a paperwork guy, who also does chores.

I don’t run programming or get voters fired up.

JA M E S PA R K E R SHEFFIELD

I don’t get to many rallies, and if I do it’s behind the stage. I like playing a supporting role, though. My job at the Rush

Center allows me to witness some amazing advocates knock-

to be respected in pronoun usage, we don’t ask a litany of questions, we change our language.

When we acknowledge that many of us live paycheck to paycheck, and that one mishap could mean the loss of housing, we look at homelessness differently.

ing it out of the ballpark on the regular. I take pride in the

When we admit that the majority of us have engaged in

the best of the best.

we look at issues surrounding HIV differently.

fact that I’ve set up tables and chairs and taken out trash for

some form of sexual activity that others might label “risky,”

Superstars walk through our halls every day. Watching

When we realize that the deepest, most trying problems that

together to make magic happen does provide a unique per-

far from our own doorsteps, we start to see people in a state

leaders, general volunteers and community members come

spective on learning to be a better person and how to make a better community.

There’s a common thread, and it’s an achievable goal for all of us. The most effective, dynamic and well-respected people in

our community have an unwavering commitment to empathy. Now, empathetic shouldn’t be confused with sympathetic. Feeling sorry for someone in a bad situation doesn’t create change or 8

When someone asks for their gender identity

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plague the most marginalized amongst us aren’t really that of struggle in a new light.

When we ask ourselves how we would want to be treated

during a time of hardship, our actions toward others change, and we become stronger as a community.

Atlanta writer and ‘Trans Hillbilly’ James Parker Sheff ield is

director of organizational development at The Health Initiative. Follow him on Instagram @hillbillysuperhero


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Q

10 QUEER THINGS

Parenthood

Social Justice

s h t a P

O C

E V N By Mike Fleming

Q

E G R

Our intersectional identities are usually equal to or greater than being queer. Embrace it.

ueerness is intersectional. It accepts aspects of your identity often left out of “gay and lesbian” conversations, and to often even LGBTQ discussions.

Let’s meet at the intersection of queer and the rest of our whole selves. We can celebrate our multi-faceted gender identities, our age, our race, our kink, our religion, our physical bodies and our non-monogamy, to name but a few. Here are just 10 facets of our lives and whole selves that come with the package, and which we can all embrace and try to understand in each other.

Religion

Gender

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Abled

Kink

Race

Socio-Economic Status Size

Nationality theQatl.com

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COMMUNITY Q

Eating

WELL

Gentlemen’s Ball founders opening restaurant in College Park By Patrick Saunders A GAY-OWNED RESTAURANT THAT CELEBRATES Gullah-Geechee culture is coming to downtown College Park in late spring. Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen & Bar is the brainchild of Juan and Gee Smalls, co-founders of The Gentlemen’s Foundation. The non-profit is best known for The Gentlemen’s Ball, an annual fundraiser that celebrates black LGBTQ people in Atlanta. The couple, who are first-time restaurant owners, scouted locations for 18 months before finding the right spot in College Park. They are keeping the exact address under wraps for now. “We’re just really excited to bring this to the community,” Gee Smalls told Project Q Atlanta. “Everything has been falling into place, so it hasn’t been a stressful process once we got the location settled on.” Renovations on the 2,000-square-foot space started in March. “We had to do a complete build out,” Smalls said. “We had to build the kitchen and everything. It used to be a speakeasy, like an underground place where you had drinks, but no food or anything like that.”

Juan and Gee Smalls

“I’m a very spiritual person and [my father has] been really guiding me and my steps since his passing, even bringing me and Juan together 11 years ago.” ­— Gee Smalls together 11 years ago,” Smalls said. “He has guided our community work and business ventures.”

The couple will model the restaurant on Virgil Smalls’ Gul-

lah-Geechee culture, which is most common among African Americans who live in the Lowcountry region of Georgia and South Carolina.

There will be exposed brick and columns throughout the restaurant, Smalls said.

“It just made sense to put all [Virgil’s] favorite recipes in there

“We’ll be able to seat about 80-90 people, but we also have a standing room area where people can have drinks and socialize so they don’t just have to come to eat,” he said. “The front part of the building in front of the bar will be a communal area where there will be tables for people to commune and hang out.”

That culture will be reflected in the food and décor, Smalls

The restaurant is named after Gee Smalls’ father, who died shortly before Juan and Gee met.

thing that’s going to lead the restaurant is just acceptance

“I’m a very spiritual person and he’s been really guiding me and my steps since his passing, even bringing me and Juan

and celebrate him and all he’s done for our lives,” Smalls said.

said. The menu will be heavy on seafood and rice dishes, plus there will be a full bar and signature cocktail menu.

“One thing about Gullah-Geechee culture is we are really loving and accepting people,” Smalls said. “That’s the one and love for everybody.”

Your best source for local LGBTQ news and features is updated every day at theQatl.com.

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Q

IN BRIEF

LGBTQ entrepreneur scores upset win in Atlanta City Council race By Patrick Saunders BISEXUAL ENTREPRENEUR ANTONIO BROWN PULLED off a surprise victory in the District 3 Atlanta City Council race, becoming the first-ever black openly LGBTQ member of the council. Brown, 34, beat former Atlanta Public Schools board member Byron Amos with 53 percent of the vote in an election decided by just 82 votes. He received 669 votes to 587 for Amos. The runoff on April 16 filled the vacant seat of Ivory Lee Young Jr., who died in November. “My campaign was really driven by the people, and I believe the people were tired, and they wanted their voices to be heard,” Brown told 11Alive. “And that is the reflection of the outcome today.” Brown, who created the luxury menswear label LVL XIII, will

return LGBTQ representation to the Atlanta City Council. There had been none since Alex Wan gave up his District 6 post to run for council president in 2017, a race he lost. Amos lost despite the endorsements of nine city council members plus Greg Clay, the candidate who placed third in the first round of voting in March. Amos Atlanta City Council Member Antonio Brown had placed first in that March special election, with Brown coming in second. The crowded race also included gay civic activist Matthew Cardinale, who finished in seventh place.

Chamblee passes extensive LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance By Patrick Saunders THE CITY OF CHAMBLEE JOINED A REGIONWIDE effort to make metro Atlanta a safe space for LGBTQ people by passing a sweeping nondiscrimination ordinance on

April 16, making Chamblee only the fourth city in Georgia with such protections.

“While we have a pretty large LGBTQ population, we had

no protections for the LGBTQ community until [Tuesday] night,” Council Member Brian Mock, the sponsor of the

ordinance, told Project Q Atlanta. “It says loud and clear that

we as a city have no tolerance for discrimination of any kind.” The Chamblee City Council passed the measure unanimously. The nondiscrimination policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in private employment,

housing and public accommodations. Chamblee joins Atlanta, Doraville and Clarkston as the only cities in Georgia with such protections. The policy would also prohibit discrimination based on a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, marital status, familial status or veteran/military status. Some 60 jurisdictions across the state offer nondiscrimination policies that protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation in city employment. About 15 of those jurisdictions include gender identity in their protections in city employment. Mock said the ordinance was needed in Chamblee “due to the state’s failure to act.” Georgia is one of only three states without a statewide nondiscrimination law that protects any class of people. Mock said they went through about 20 drafts of the ordinance over the past six months. “But I’m proud that we ended up with a comprehensive [nondisccrimination ordinance] that’s well thought out, fair to all involved and we approved it unanimously,” he said. “As a city council, we are all very different in our thought process, so a 5-0 vote on an item such as this is a very big deal.”

Chamblee City Council Member Brian Mock 14

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Mock had help with the ordinance from Doraville City Council Member Stephe Koontz and former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard. He thanked both and said they had been “very supportive” throughout the process.



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Q

THE QUEER AGENDA The Best Queer Things To Do in Atlanta This Week

April 25 – May 2 THURSDAY, APRIL 25 Queer Qumbia Southern Fried Queer Pride and La Choloteca host this LGBTQ Latinx dance party featuring DJs Esme and La Superior @ Mother Bar, 10 p.m. southernfriedqueerpride.com Dine Out For Pride A portion of your bill benefits Atlanta Pride if you mention it @ Frogs, 5 p.m. frogsmidtown.com Dear Evan Hansen The Broadway musical makes its Atlanta tour stop @ Fox Theatre, 8 p.m. Runs through April 28. foxtheatre.org

FRIDAY, APRIL 26 Wild Nights with Emily The Molly Shannon movie that wowed festivals including Atlanta’s Out on Film finally takes a theatrical-run bow @ Midtown Art Cinema, all week. landmarktheatres.com Gays for Plays The social group for theater queens gathers for I Love To Eat and a pre-party @ Theatrical Outfit, 6 p.m. theatricaloutfit.org Masque Raja of RuPaul’s Drag Race performs her acclaimed one-woman show benefiting Reconcling Ministries @ Saint Mark UMC, 7 p.m. stmarkumc.org Fourth Friday Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts its monthly networking happy hour @ Club DiOGi, 5:30 p.m. atlantagaychamber.org Cruise Control DJ Mister Richard spins the beats that move your feets @ Atlanta Eagle, 10 p.m. atlantaeagle.com Sweet Baby Cheeses Q contributor and queer comic Ian Aber hosts this amazing lineup of comedians and delicious grilled cheese while they last @ Relapse Theatre, 8 p.m. relapsetheatre.com Harder DJ Eric Bloom brings New York City’s sexy party to Atlanta with Vicki Powell warming you up 2 Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com

SATURDAY, APRIL 27 Charis Grand Reopening Not so coincidentally, it’s also National Independent Bookstore Day New location, 184 S. Candler St., Decatur, all day.

SATURDAY, APRIL 27 Furball

Dani Toro puts your hirsute pursuits to a

beat @ Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com

Photo by Russ Youngblood

Duluth Spring Arts Festival & Inman Park Festival Two great tastes that taste great together. Head north for the one, intown for the other, and enjoy festival season all weekend. duluthartsfestival.com, inmanparkfestival.org Desire, Sex & Communication Workshop it out with the folks @ Emory Office of LGBT Life, 10 a.m. emory.edu/lgbt Drag Queen Story Time Read about what it took Terracotta Sugarbaker to get this event done at theQatl.com, then drive to support her @ Alpharetta City Library, 2 p.m. afpls.org Michelle Malone Get a rare free taste of what lesbian Blues Rock fans gladly pay for all year long @ Marietta Square, 6 p.m. michellemalone.com Odd Ball Current-season RuPaul queen Yvie Oddly hosts this delightfully named new Wussy party @ My Sister’s Room, 9 p.m. wussymag.com Atlanta Disco Society The fourth installment of DJ Kimber’s ode to the 70s @ The Basement, 10 p.m. basementatl.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 28 EAV Tea Dance & Artist Market A Wussy release party goes down even better with vendors, cocktails and performances @ Banshee, 3 p.m. wussymag.com Champagne & Beer Bust Wet Demons of Hotlanta Softball League pour the bottomless bubbles during Extra Innings @ Embr Bar, 4 p.m. hotlantasoftball.org Queer AF Come for the “Get Lit” edition of this popular Sunday party @ My Sister’s Room, 8 p.m.

TUESDAY, APRIL 20 Walk N Talk The rebrnaded rainbros of Belong grab some fresh air @ Piedmont Park, 6:30 p.m. belong.lgbt Find more LGBTQ events in the Queer Agenda each Thursday at theQatl.com. theQatl.com

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COVER Q

ON THE

MAP ATL LGBTQ Asians’ long, multi-layered fight for representation is beginning to pay off By Patrick Saunders

W

hen Stephanie Cho moved to Atlanta about five years ago, she got a hard dose of reality while watching the Atlanta Pride parade. There was one group of Asians in the parade, and they were marching behind a sushi restaurant. “It was really upsetting to me,” Cho told Q. “I felt how not empowering this was. It just felt so outdated and bullshit, like something I hadn’t seen since the ‘90s.” Cho, the executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta, now marches in the parade with a Korean drumming group. “It’s really fun, it’s really lively, it’s positive,” she said. “We do Pride and see the different Asians in the crowd, and they’re like, ‘Yeah!’ That’s great, but that’s how void the representation is.” “That’s what is important to really show — not just being Asian or being queer, it’s all of the things that it is and all of those identities and its complicated, but it’s a really wonderful thing,” she added.  theQatl.com

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Q

LGBTQ AAPI continued

Bentley Hudgins by @MARKMORINii

Stephanie Cho

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Patrick Otsuki

Kai Deserai

Hena Madhani


Geography is a major factor in the lack of queer Asian-Pacific Islander (AAPI) representation in Atlanta, and “hardly any” AAPIs live inside the perimeter, Cho said. “If you go outside the perimeter, there’s lot of Asians, but then the queerness is not seen because it’s not that queer in the suburban spaces,” she said. In other cities Cho’s lived in, there are queer immigrant scenes. “But the way Atlanta is and the geography is, you navigate either a queer space that’s black or white, or an Asian space that’s not queer,” she said. Cho’s experiences as an LGBTQ Asian-Pacific Islander in Atlanta echoes those of several others whom Q spoke to about a lack of representation, and sometimes flat out misrepresentation, on both sides of their identity intersection.

Media Misrepresentation Patrick Otsuki never felt in touch with his Asian heritage while growing up in Atlanta. He finally found himself around more people of Asian descent when he enrolled at Emory University, but had a rude awakening when he entered LGBTQ Atlanta circles. “Once I entered the world of gay bars and dating apps, my surroundings fed me the idea that I was less valuable because of my Asian-ness and even caused me to play up my whiteness and avoid addressing my ethnic background that my Asian coloring and features gave away,” he said. “Time has shown me how goddamn valuable I am,” he added. Media has desexualized Asian men and fetishized Asian women for decades, said Otsuki, who is a professional dancer with ImmerseATL and sometimes-drag performer as Geneva Blaus. “The two concepts have made a toxic collision in the cis gay male community,” he said. “Asian men are made to feel unworthy of sexual interest or are only valid sexual partners if they are extremely submissive.” Hena Madhani, a lesbian Georgia State University student, agreed. “Representation in the film industry and media is heavily focused on white cisgender actors and actresses rather than actual POC and the LGBTIQA+ community,” she said. “I feel that not seeing enough representation in the media can have a huge impact on queer AAPIs because we feel as if seeing a white cisgender individual is considered more of the norm than someone who looks just like me.” Asian culture and the lack of representation and conversations about LGBTQ issues among Asians hinders people from even coming out, Madhani asserted. “For Asian communities, the family element is such a core part of our upbringing, and our culture and tradition heavily revolve around how we are raised,” she said. “We are a part of several marginalized communities already and the fear of retribution is much too often very real. It can affect every aspect of our lives if we are not careful.”

Rise of Asian Drag in Queer Atlanta Otsuki isn’t the only queer AAPIs to find a way to express his intersectional identity through drag. Bentley Hudgins, a queer political activist and this week’s Q cover model, does his take on kabuki theater through his drag persona Shi, which is the Japanese word for the number four and a play on the English pronoun. “It’s a way for me to connect to my culture and find out about myself and what my culture means to me,” he said. “That’s the whole reason why I do all this.” But it upset Hudgins to find several non-Asian drag queens in Atlanta doing what he called “that ignorant ass geisha look” in their acts. Hudgins primarily wears kimonos and other ensembles that he designed and collaborated on with costume makers. But he’s been criticized for something non-Asian performers haven’t been. “One girl came up to me and said my outfits were so predictable,” he said. “When other girls wear the same exact outfit, shape and same patterned fabrics, it’s called branding. It’s a double standard.” Kai Deserai, who does drag in Atlanta and Athens, said that his ethnicity often turns people away. “’No fats, no femmes, no Asians’ is very real, especially considering I’m already two of the three,” he said. But drag has given Deserai a chance to draw artistic inspiration from his heritage. “Doing that helps me learn to love myself even more, and better yet, lets me showcase something that a lot of people don’t usually see,” he said. “Being memorable is crucial to anyone in this industry, so I’m thankful that my race has become one of my many ways to achieve that.” There aren’t many Asian drag queens in Atlanta, and Deserai has one theory why. “Since a lot of Asian people in America are taught to dislike parts of themselves — whether it be the way we look or how we act — and when you throw in the pressure to conform that Asian cultures often have, it can really hamper one’s self-confidence, which is pretty damn necessary to be a drag queen,” he said. Deserai hopes that showcasing more Asian talent will bring the issue of representation — and more AAPI drag artists — into the spotlight.

Queer AAPIs on the Move Signs of hope for greater representation for queer AAPIs in Atlanta are everywhere. Former city council member Alex Wan was elected in 2009 as the first gay man and first Asian to sit on the panel. State Rep. Sam Park became the first openly gay man and first Asian-American Democrat elected to the Georgia legislature in 2016.  theQatl.com

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Q

LGBTQ AAPI continued Madhani worked on Park’s successful 2018 reelection campaign, and the legislator is now mulling a run for the U.S. House of Representatives. Queer activist Liliana Bakhtiari’s run for Atlanta City Council in 2017 helped queer AAPI people be seen, and Ben Ku became the first LGBTQ and first Asian-American person elected to the Gwinnett County Commission in 2018.

“Younger queens like Plastique are some of

the best examples of the effects of representation, as she grew up with positive images

of Asian drag queens through watching the

show herself,” Deserai said. “To a young queer kid, seeing something like that on TV can be absolutely life changing.”

Hudgins is talking with Southern Fried Queer

Pride about organizing an all AAPI drag show

A slow but steady stream of Asian representation in media has been building in the last couple of years, and it has helped Otsuki embrace his background, he said.

during this summer’s festival, and Deserai is

“The film Crazy Rich Asians makes me feel worthy of love, musical artists like Mitsky and Karen Oh make me feel heard, and queens like Kim Chi and Gia Gunn make me feel seen,” he said.

think an all Asian drag show would add a new

Drag queens including Chi, Gunn, Manila Luzon and Plastique being on RuPaul’s Drag Race make them role models for queer AAPIs.

on board with that idea.

“With the rising success of all African-American drag shows like Atlanta’s own Neonblk, I

and refreshing splash of culture to the Atlanta drag scene,” Deserai said.

Asians American Advancing Justice Atlanta

started a monthly group called Q&A for queer Asian youth. It creates an inclusive space for both the youth in the group, as well as the adults who run it.

Cho’s organization also started a monthly open mic night called Voices that’s held at Café

Rothem, a queer-friendly, Korean-owned space in Duluth.

Wan, who is now executive director of Hori-

zons Atlanta, is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion called “Asian LGBTQ Southern Voices” on May 1 at the Center for Civil &

Human Rights. Panelists include Cho, Park,

out sports advocate Amazin LeThi, and Stan Fong, who is co-chair of the National Queer

Asian Alliance. The event is timed to kickstart Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

For Otsuki, all these developments showcase

the richness of Atlanta’s queer AAPI people. “I think people need to realize that there are so many stories to be told, and they don’t have

to look or sound like what you’re used to in order to be compelling,” he said.

“People think Asian looks one way, and it doesn’t,” Hudgins added.

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Q

LGBTQ AAPI continued

Q would like to thank Bentley Hudgins, captured here by photographer Mark Morin (@MARKMORINii), for suggesting this cover feature about LGBTQ Asian-Pacific-Islanders, for sharing his vision and his alter ego “Shi,� and for introducing us to these fabulous queer Atlantans as sources.

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PAJAMA PARTY AT MOXY MIDTOWN

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Q SHOTS Q

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Q SHOTS

MORE TWISTED BROADWAY AT LIPS

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PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD



Q

Q SHOTS

GO! PRIDE KICKBALL AT PIEDMONT PARK

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PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD


ASANA SOFTBALL BEER BUST AT MY SISTER’S ROOM

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Q SHOTS Q

PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD theQatl.com

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Q SHOTS

ATLANTA LEATHER PRIDE AT EAGLE

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PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD


MAY 3-5, 2019

CINCO DE MAYO/TIKI TIKI POOL OPENING WEEKEND It’s time to kick off the summer season POOLSIDE! Cinco de Mayo Party at Tavern Saturday night! SPECIAL GUEST DJ REXXSTEP MAY 24-27, 2019

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Q SHOTS

EXTRA INNINGS BEER BUST WITH HSL AT WOOFS

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PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD



Q

THEQ?!

Vanity PHILANTHROPY It’s not altruism if you’re showboating your contributions

Q

Partly due to luck and circumstance, and somewhat due to skill and education, I became independently wealthy by age 35 and converted fulltime to pet projects and charity causes. I care about less fortunate LGBTQI people in Atlanta, but some refuse to accept my help. Where is it written that I can’t give back because I’m white, male and privileged?

Check my social feeds. I host fabulous fundraisers, and my personal monetary gifts are often large as well. I even pick up change on my runs to drop into donation buckets. Why doesn’t my brand of philanthropy get the respect I deserve? Dear Showboat:

Your first clue is in your own tales of altruism. They’re all about you. “I care, I give, I host, I, I, I…” Your “brand of philanthropy” seems driven by your desire to be respected for it. Your parties may be fabulous, and your donations many, but both would be better if you focus on those in need rather than the deference you feel owed. Assuming you’d still help people if no one noticed — and not brag-posting about it is a great start — here are some philosophies worth understanding.

British lecturer and author John Prockter, who is also a friend, recently asserted that respect is overrated. He advocates instead for humility in his personal blog at johnprockter.wordpress.com. I hear more about respect being earned than I do about it being a gift.

It’s some kind of modern currency, a transactional method of building up power or social collateral. A lack of respect is an excuse for bad relationships to be smashed apart, and a way to blame people for failure. “I’ve earned the right to be respected” “You don’t deserve my respect”

“I choose to respect someone until that person or group do something I don’t respect.” However, if we ditched respect altogether and changed it to humility, we might just be able to find a real, servant-hearted approach to having meaningful relationships with all people, regardless of any differences. 38

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Prockter backs his assertion with a gold standard of giving by none other than Mother Teresa. Her oft-published Humility List is as challenging for philanthropists, or anyone, to attain as it would be noble to pursue. 1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.

2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others. 3. Avoid curiosity.

4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.

5. Accept small irritations with good humor. 6. Do not dwell on the faults of others. 7. Accept censures even if unmerited. 8. Give in to the will of others. 9. Accept insults and injuries.

10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.

11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone. 12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.

13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity. 14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right. 15. Choose always the more difficult task.

Another favorite Brit writer and theologian, C.S. Lewis, put it like this: ““True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

For my part, I’ll add empathy to the emotional spices your charity main course could use. It’ll be more satisfying for you, and it might help the whole meal go down better for your recipients. The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to mike@theqatl.com. ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON