September 5, 2019
Out on Film’s 2019 Lineup
inform | inspire
n I l l Fa
10 Ways to Support LGBTQ ATL Arts Stop Being Your Partner’s Doormat Meet Atlanta’s Friendly Gayborhood Pharmacist Q
N E W S
T H E
Q U E E R
ta’s n la t A r e e u Q Preview est Biggest and B ts Autumn Even
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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 ART DIRECTOR JOHN NAIL JOHN@THEQATL.COM
In SEASON EVEN IF THE LEAVES HAVE no idea that fall is coming, queer Atlanta does. That nip of autumn you feel is the growing buzz over Out on Film, Atlanta AIDS Walk and of course, Atlanta Pride.
In fact, Out on Film has released its full schedule, and we have a rundown in this issue. Pride is already popping out pre-parties, and AIDS Walk is having mini-fundies all over town leading up to an earlier-this-year main event.
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 BENTLEY HUDGINS TAMEEKA L. HUNTER HEATHER MALONEY ERIC PAULK KYLE ROSE JAMES PARKER SHEFFIELD VINCE SHIFFLETT ALEXANDRA TYLER VAVA VROOM RUSS YOUNGBLOOD NATIONAL ADVERTISING RIVENDELL MEDIA SALES@RIVENDELLMEDIA.COM 212-242-6863 LOCAL ADVERTISING SALES@THEQATL.COM 404-949-7071
MIKE FLEMING EDITOR & PUBLISHER
Of course, those gargantuan annual happenings are on the Queer Agenda in this week’s Q Fall Preview issue, where you’ll also find a ton more downtime options through Thanksgiving. Yep, even as you try to beat the seemingly never-ending heat, promoters and beneficiaries are already dropping Halloween plans on the LGBTQ-ATL.
Speaking of perennial favorites, someone who quietly built 20 years as part of local queer life is also in this issue. In Q&A, meet Lanier Mull, the Mr. Nice Guy at Ansley Kroger Pharmacy, and find out his long-game perspective on queer Atlanta from the other side of the counter. The launch of theater and gallery season sets another liminal pre-fall backdrop in this issue. As those arts events pepper the calendar, 10 Queer Things takes a first look at ways we can support local creators beyond pulling out our wallets. Had enough for one week? We support that, even if it’s to say stop being a doormat to manipulative partners in The Q advice column. Still, we say there’s never enough queer content, so this issue has Q Shots galleries and Q News from Project Q Atlanta. Visit us every day for even more helpings to your media diet at theQatl.com, and write me with your thoughts and ideas at mike@theQatl.com. theQatl.com
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 41 SEPTEMBER 5, 2019
Supporting LGBTQ creators
Our 2019 Fall Preview COMMUNITY
29 Total Meltdown
Out on Film announces lineup Q&A
15 FEATURES 10 Queer Things Q Community Q News The Queer Agenda Q Shots The Q 6
9 11 12 18 29 38
Flip the Script
32 Sizzle Sisters
Queer Atlanta’s favorite pharmacist
36 Gridiron Gays
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10 QUEER THINGS Q
10 ways to support the local LGBTQ arts
from and hire local living artists, artisans, writers, filmmakers performers and creators of all kinds.
artists with good reviews and like, share comment on their social media posts.
your time, resources and skills to organizations that support the arts.
Attend Buy and promote
art events, theatrical performances, galleries and museums. Take your friends.
support materials from musicians and artists you like.
books, podcasts, new releases and
call and lobby lawmakers and school officials to keep the arts a priority in education.
partnerships with artists to support your efforts and promote their work at the same time.
to non-profit arts education.
a creator how you can help.
Sources: americansforthearts.com, artworkarchive.com, lightspacetime.art, culturualpolicies.net theQatl.com
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Out on Film announces 2019 roster By Mike Fleming OUT ON FILM CAME OUT WITH ITS FULL FESTIVAL slate for 2019 on Aug. 26. Get ready for big stars and indie darlings, heart-wrenching documentaries and crowd-pleasing narratives. Atlanta’s LGBTQ film festival throws its 32nd annual event series on Sept. 26 - Oct. 6 with a whopping 126 screenings. Sam Harris in Ham: A Musical Memoir Most take place at Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema, with selections also playing at Plaza Theatre an Out Front Theatre. As these families learn to accept their loved ones, For They Know Not What They Do takes us on a journey of Q Magazine and Project Q Atlanta sponsor the festival, includunderstanding what connects us all and gives us the ing a Q Spotlight on Closing Night for actor-singer Sam Harcourage to embrace each other. Director Daniel Karslake ris' one-man-show-turned-film Ham: A Musical Memoir. Harris is among the guests expected during the festival, including bigand Pulse shooting survivor Vico Baez Febo will be name actors, directors and even a Pulse Nightclub survivor. present at the screening. One thing Out on Film always does right is keep its keen eye on LGBTQ Atlanta as part of its world-class roster. The 2019 event includes Gerald McCullouch’s All Male All Nude: Johnsons about the gay strip club by former Swinging Richards employee Matt Colunga, Atlantans Duncan Teague and Shean Atkins in Making Sweet Tea, George Zuber’s Where Justice Ends, Atlanta native Dui Jarrod’s King Ester, and a cast of Georgia or former Georgia filmmakers and actors in the Southern Shorts offerings. Honorary Atlantan Del Shores of Sordid Lives fame also returns to town with his latest film. Here are the highlights of the Opening, Closing and Centerpiece presentations from Out on Film’s announcement: The Opening Night film is For They Know Not What They Do. In this stunning, beautiful film, director Daniel Karslake — following up his acclaimed For the Bible Tells Me So — charts the story of four religious families with LGBTQ children — including Pulse night club shooting survivor Vico Baez Fabo and transgender activist (and HRC press secretary) Sarah McBride — amidst the backlash that followed by the religious right after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage.
The Centerpiece screening is Celine Sciamma’s extraordinary Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which won the Best Screenplay Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival as well as the Queer Palm. On an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the 18th century, a female painter is obliged to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman. The Out on Film screening will be the Southeast debut of the film, as well as the LGBT festival premiere. A Closing Night double feature will include Andrew Putschoegl’s Ham: A Musical Memoir, a filmed version of Star Search winner and Broadway star Sam Harris’ beloved musical revue/one-man show. Following will be James Sweeney’s Straight Up, a comic howler about a man who might be gay and his new girlfriend who might not care. A romantic-comedy drama with a twist, this is a love story without the thrill of copulation, full of comic one-liners. Picked up by Strand Releasing recently, the film will open in theaters next year. Watch trailers and f ind more f ilms and information at outonf ilm.org. theQatl.com
Push for LGBTQ nondiscrimination policy sprouts in Smyrna By Patrick Saunders A DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION task force in Smyrna launched a petition to garner support for a sweeping nondiscrimination ordinance. The Smyrna United Task Force wants the city to become the sixth in Georgia to adopt such a policy, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in private employment, housing and public accommodations. The ordinance also bans discrimination based on race, color,
TWO MEN ARE CHARGED WITH kidnapping, raping and shooting to death an LGBTQ college student in Southwest Atlanta.
Anthony Laquan Goss, 28, and Roy Hill, 18, are charged in the death of 21-year-old Te’a Denise Liger, according to Atlanta police. Two men forced three people, including Liger, into a Southwest Atlanta apartment on Aug. 21, according to police. The men robbed and assaulted the victims, including sexually assaulting Liger. She was shot to death, and the other victims, a man and a woman, received non-life-threatening injuries. Police told Project Q Atlanta they do not believe Liger’s sexuality was a factor in the crime. The police investigation continues.
Te’a Denise Liger
“My daughter was 21 and brutally murdered ... She was an artist in every way,
painting, music and was the brightest spirit,” Liger’s mother told WSB-TV. “They
took her away from her brothers and she
won’t be a hashtag or a face on a shirt. She wanted to be a change.”
religion, national origin, ancestry,
Rush Center crowdfunds for air conditioning
sex, age, disability, marital status,
LGBTQ AND PROGRESSIVE ORGANI-
familial status or veteran/mili-
zations at the Phillip Rush Center are
turning to the public to help them replace
The idea came up after task
dler Park facility.
force members saw other metro Atlanta cities adopt broad nondiscrimination policies recently. Doraville passed its policy in November, followed by Clarkston, Chamblee and Dunwoody. Atlanta passed an ordinance protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation in private employment, housing and public accommodations in 2000. Gender identity was added to those protections in 2013. 12
LGBTQ artist raped, killed in Southwest Atlanta home invasion
an HVAC unit in the annex of the Can-
‘[O]perating funds are always tight, and sometimes something — like having to fully replace one unit and repair another — catches us off guard.’ — Linda Ellis, Executive director of the Health Initiative
the Rush Center annex from early morning to late at night, according to Linda Ellis,
executive director of the Health Initiative.
It’s one of several groups with offices at the Rush Center, including Georgia Equality, Atlanta Pride and SOJOURN.
“We’ve got eight [HVAC] units among our three buildings, and their upkeep is our responsibility,” she told Project Q
Atlanta. “We try to keep our rental rates as low as possible and offer full or partial waivers to the groups who qualify.
So operating funds are always tight, and sometimes something — like having to
fully replace one unit and repair another — catches us off guard.”
The groups started a crowdfunding cam-
Anyone who wants to donate to the cam-
Meetings and other programming occur at
paign on Crowdrise with a $5,000 goal.
paign without using Crowdrise can write
Concert + Dance Party
with Martha Wash –
“It’s Raining Men”
October 5th, 2019 The Tabernacle 152 Luckie St NW Atlanta, GA 30303
Doors open – 8 p.m. Show begins – 9 p.m.
and Taylor Dayne –
“Tell It to My Heart”
PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD 14
Just What the
DOCTOR ORDERED Ansley Kroger pharmacist makes career in the heart of queer Atlanta By Patrick Saunders WHEN YOU’VE RUN A PHARMACY IN MIDTOWN ATLANTA for decades, you’re bound to have seen some things. Lanier Mull has seen a lot. Kroger hired the out Copperhill, Tenn., native to be pharmacy manager at the Ansley Mall location in 1999. He set to work running it like a small-town pharmacy, greeting every customer with a warm smile and learning their name. Many know him on a firstname basis as well. Mull, who lives in Morningside with his partner and two grown children (and two pit bulls, Zeus and Ares), chatted with Q about pharmacy life, meeting his partner at Backstreet, saying goodbye to friends and patients lost to AIDS, and his retirement plans.
Photo by Russ Youngblood theQatl.com
Q&A continued What was it like growing up in Copperhill? It was a small mining community. Everyone knew all their neighbors, relatives and their business. There wasn’t much to entertain younger folks. We would go to the drive-in movies, cruise around in our cars or go to high school athletic events. What made you want to be a pharmacist? I went to college to study dentistry. My college advisor suggested I do pharmacy since the program would be easier to get into. I followed his advice and have been happy with my choice. My partner is a dentist, so I feel like I got the best of both worlds. What brought you to Atlanta? After college graduation, I returned to Copperhill and worked as a pharmacist for three years. I got bored and started making weekend trips to Atlanta for fun. I met Don, my partner of 37 years, one night at Backstreet in 1982, and we have been together ever since. What do you love about your job? I enjoy helping people. I have a lot of nice patients who depend on me and call for advice. I like taking care of their needs and their health. Pharmacy has given me lots of connections with the medical world in Atlanta, and I have made many lifetime friends. You’ve said you want the Ansley Kroger pharmacy to feel like a small-town pharmacy. Why? I like to know and be able to call all of my customers by name and be dependable for them. How has the pharmacy business changedsince you started? The business has been squeezed by the lower reimbursements coming from the insurance companies and government entities. Pharmacies struggle to make a decent profit. Our services have expanded from dispensing medications and counseling patients to providing vaccines, health screenings, medication therapeutic management and other corporate tasks. All of these additional responsibilities take valuable time away from my personal services that I like to provide to my customers. You’ve witnessed the HIV/AIDS crisis from the front lines. What have the advancements been like? The ‘80s were a scary time. AIDS came out of nowhere. Everyone was searching for cause and a cure. These were the days of AZT, Pneumocystis and KS [Kaposi sarcoma]. There was a lot of hopelessness. I lost a lot of patients and friends to AIDS. I remember a young couple coming in for IV supplies, and I thought to myself, “They are just children and
Photo by Russ Youngblood
having to learn to run an IV.” People were busy sewing pieces to commemorate the lives of their friends on the AIDS Quilt. It was about 15 years later when newer drugs and the introduction of the protease inhibitors came to the rescue. How has LGBTQ Atlanta changed over the years? The community was smaller and more closeted. It was primarily located in the Ansley Mall/Piedmont Park/Cheshire Bridge area. Everyone knew everyone. The increasing population has diluted the gay population, and the intown cost of living has extended the perimeters to outside 285. Intown people have become much more accepting of the lifestyle. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Be safe, healthy, happy, have fun, enjoy what life has to offer both in and out of the gay lifestyle. Go outside your comfort range and never limit yourself. How much longer do you want to be a pharmacist? I will turn 64 in January, and my goal is to work for Kroger until I turn 65. I still would like to work part-time and keep involved in the pharmacy profession. Ansley Kroger Pharmacy is located at 1700 Monroe Dr NE. (404) 872-0785
SUNDAY, SEPT. 8 The Armorettes
Four decades of love, lashes, and laughter through tears @ Midtown Moon, 8 p.m. facebook.com/midtownmoon
THE QUEER AGENDA
SATURDAY, SEPT. 7
The Best Queer Things To Do in Atlanta This Week
Work is a Drag
September 4 - September 11
Kings and queens battle for a crown to
benefit Lost N Found Youth with Trudy
THURSDAY, SEPT. 11
Dolce (photo) as host @ Out Front The-
AID Atlanta’s Got Talent with Terracotta
atre, 8 p.m. facebook.com/egaliteatlanta
Sugarbaker (photo) backs a bartending contest with specialty cocktails, all to benefit
AID Atlanta @ Out Front Theatre,
5:30 p.m. aidatlanta.com
FRIDAY, SEPT. 6
DJ Tommy K of Seattle helms the
latest DILF dance
@ Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com
FRIDAY, SEPT. 6 Queer Climbing
Climbing equipment and day pass are included with you in comfy
clothes @ Stone Summit Atlanta, 7 p.m. theventureoutproject.com 18
DJ Kimber’s straight-inclusive ’80s dance party @ The Basement, 10 p.m. basementatl.com
Deep South with Vicki Powell
The locally loved lesbian and her sisterhood of the traveling party reign over late night @ Banshee, 11 p.m. facebook.com/deepsouthatl Dave Koz & Friends
The out saxophonist accompanies
Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Kenny
Lattimore, Aubrey Logan and Adam Hawley @ Mable House Barnes, Mableton, 8 p.m. davekoz.com Rise
DJ Karlitos pumps the beats with no cover
charge @ Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com
TUESDAY, SEPT. 10 Dine Out for AIDS Walk
AID Atlanta benefits from a portion of your meal ticket @ Panera Bread Ansley, 4 p.m. â€“ close. aidswalkatlanta.com LGBTQ Talk Saves Lives
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the City of Atlanta
join forces to talk about common risk factors for suicide among LGBTQ people as part of Suicide Prevention Week, 6:30 p.m. atlantaga.gov/lgbtq
Way, Way Off Broadway Bingo
Pets Are Loving Supportâ€™s monthly drag
bingo goes full-tilt showtunes @ Lips,
7:30 p.m. palsatlanta.org
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 11
Little Shop of Horrors
The movie musical screens for one night only with Wussy @ Plaza Theatre, 7 p.m. plazaatlanta.com
Find more queer things to do in the expanded edition of the Queer Agenda at theQatl.com.
Soup – on both sides of the park! NOWN! OPE
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Just in time for fall.
n I l l a F
ent v e Q T B ed LG k c a p s g n ri nt Autumn b your entertainme for r a d n e l a ut the c our face, b y time to hit that s it g in k r Atlanta, e ta e b e y u a q m n I ir r. a tions. f cool e corne s more op hat blast o around th n t to s o ju ls is a t ll se, bu ays fa ing ts, of cour calendar s n e v e l ber, includ a u m n e n v a o e N g u h ride throug means h , Atlanta P owntime d lk a r u W o y S r D o f ilm, AI to-do list O ut on F , o t Q starts a d e it means lim but by no ween. ď ľ and Hallo
leming By Mike F
FALL PREVIEW continued
SEPTEMBER THURSDAY, SEPT. 12 & FRIDAY, SEPT. 13
Buckhead Theatre, 8 p.m.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 21
& Atlanta Symphony
Atlanta Symphony Hall, 8 p.m.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 12 Boys In Trouble with Sean Dorsey Dance 7 Stages, through Sept. 15 7stages.org
SATURDAY, SEPT. 14 Voices of Note Showcase Cabaret Members of Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus & Atlanta Women’s Chorus Out Front Theatre, 8 p.m. voicesofnote.org Rome with Saturnalia Productions Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com
MONDAY, SEPT. 16 The Queen
Plaza Theatre, 7 p.m. wussymag.com
TUESDAY, SEPT. 17 Pretty in Pink Drag Queen Bingo with PALS
Lips, 7:30 p.m. palsatlanta.org
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 18 Skintight
Actor’s Express, through Oct. 13 actors-express.com
THURSDAY, SEPT. 19 Hot Stuff Disco Dance Party with DJ Kimber & House of Alxndr Mother Bar, 10 p.m. mother.bar
FRIDAY, SEPT. 20 Buffy Hour: Party at Hellmouth
Tribute of Comedy, Drag & More 7 Stages, 8 p.m.
wussymag.com, 7stages.org 24
Buckhead Fine Arts Festival Buckhead Village, all day + Sunday
SEPT. 20 Charli XCX
Babes, Brunch & Bikes with Dykes on Bikes
Midtown Moon, 11 a.m.
facebook.com/dykesonbikesatl The Laramie Project
Theatrical Outfit, opens today theatricaloutfit.org Bi + Bar Crawl
Benefits Atlanta Pride
Blakes-Joe’s-MSR, 9 p.m. atlantapride.org
Dykes on Bikes
with Dorian Electra The Bakery, 9 p.m. thebakeryatl.com ABCD Show
A Burlesque Comedy Drag Show Laughing Skull Lounge, 7 p.m. laughinskulllounge.com
TUESDAY, SEPT. 24 Miss & Mr. Atlanta Pride Heretic, 8 p.m.
SEPT. 28 EAV Strut
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FALL PREVIEW continued THURSDAY, SEPT. 26 – SUNDAY, OCT. 6
SATURDAY, OCT. 5
Out on Film Festival
North Atlanta, 8 a.m.
Opening Night, runs through Oct. 6 outonfilm.org
SATURDAY, SEPT. 28 EAV Strut
at Mary’s, 11 a.m.
eastatlantastrut.com Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival O4W Park, all day + Sunday oldfourtwardartsfestival.com DILF: Leather Me Up Heretic, 10 p.m.
Queer Day Hike
ventureoutproject.com Stride Into Pride with Jackinsky
Heretic, 10 p.m.
SUNDAY, OCT. 6 Bubbles & Biscuits with Victory Fund
Wimbish House, 12 noon victoryfund.org
THURSDAY, OCT. 10 Pride Glitter Ball Ten, 7 p.m.
Tegan & Sara
Mayor’s Pride Reception TBD, 7 p.m. atlantaga.gov Big Ol Slice of Gay Pride Dance Party Series with Legendary DJs through Sunday District, Xion & More future-atlanta.com Atlanta Pride Kickoff Georgia Aquarium, 7 p.m. atlantapride.org, georgiaaquarium.com Aquarium Afterparty Heretic, 9 p.m. hereticatlanta.com
SATURDAY, OCT. 12
Atlanta Pride Piedmont Park, all weekend atlantapride.org Trans March, Bi+ March, Dyke March Piedmont Park, 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Atlanta Pride Dance Party Coca-Cola Roxy, 10 p.m. atlantapride.org Starz Party with DJ Tracy Young Ten, 10 p.m. tenatlanta.com
SUNDAY, OCT. 13
Atlanta Pride Parade Peachtree & Tenth Streets, 12 noon atlantapride.org
SUNDAY, SEPT. 29 AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run Piedmont Park, 11 a.m. aidswalkatlanta.com
TUESDAY, OCT. 1 Anne Stelle & Matt Alber City Winery, 8 p.m.
Crown Royal High with DJs Barry Harris & Dave Aude Ten, 12 noon tenatlanta.com Atlanta Pride Closing Party Havana Club ATL, 10 p.m. atlantapride.org
Stonewall Bar 25th Anniversary W Atlanta Midtown, 6 p.m. stonewallbar.org
FRIDAY, OCT. 25 Shalloween with the Boulet Brothers Heretic, 9 p.m. hereticatlanta.com
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 30 Tegan & Sara Variety Playhouse, 8 p.m. varietyplayhouse.com
NOVEMBER FRIDAY, NOV. 1
Fur Ball Masquerade for PALS Atlanta Fox Theatre, 8 p.m. palsatlanta.org Elton John State Farm Arena, 8 p.m. ticketmaster.com RPDR Werq the World Atlanta Symphony Hall, 8 p.m. vossevents.com
SATURDAY, NOV. 2 Bianca Del Rio
Center Stage, 8 p.m.
SATURDAY, NOV. 16 Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin
Buckhead Theatre, 8 p.m. buckheadtheatre.com
Jonathan Van Ness ‘Road to Beijing’
Tabernacle, 8 p.m. tabernacleatl.com
FRIDAY, NOV. 29 Puddles Pity Party & Friends Fox Theatre, 8 p.m. foxtheatre.org
SATURDAY, NOV. 30
FRIDAY, OCT. 4
Atlanta Pride Afterparty BJ Roosters, 3 a.m. facebook.com/bjroostersatlanta
Atlanta Pride Morning Party
Crimson Moon, Dahlonega,
Stone Summit Atlanta, 7 p.m. 26
HRC Brunch Empire State South, 10:30 p.m. hrcatlanta.com
THURSDAY, OCT. 17
Heretic, 7 a.m.
Hot Toddies Retro Holiday Show 7 p.m.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW! $100/VIP $75/General Admission • Open Bar
Friday, November 1, 2019 Lorem VIP COCKTAIL HOUR 7 - 8 PM ipsum8 - 11 PM MAIN EVENT Fabulous Fox Theatre Egyptian Ballroom
• Beats by DJ Sed the Saint
• Heavy Passed Hors d’oeuvres
Coming This Fall...
• Out on Film (Sept. 26) • Atlanta Pride (Oct. 10) • Halloween (Oct. 31)
Reserve Your Advertising Now!
For advertising, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-949-7071 28
NUCLEAR MELTDOWN WITH RIFY ROYALTY AT MSR
Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com
Q SHOTS Q
PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD theQatl.com
BIG QUEER SIZZLE AT CHARIS
Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com
PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD
LATIN DANCE PARTY
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NFFLA FLAG FOOTBALL MINI CAMP
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PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD
THEQ?! Being a DOORMAT Relationship troubles are worse if you let people walk all over you
My partner is a freeloader. I agreed to support him temporarily, but it’s been a long time, and I want him back to pulling his weight. When he decided to go back to school, I happily took on extra hours. He finished with honors, but he’s been dicking around for over a year working for chump change while he finishes his dissertation. To make matters worse, I went on disability after an accident at work, and our finances are in spiral. He says he’s looking for a better job, but throws a fit if I bring it up. He threatens to move out, and I’m afraid of losing my investment in him and us. I was proud when he went back to school, but now I hold it against him. Dear Used: It’s exhausting to be the doormat. You’ve both gotten used to the arrangement, and while you feel the short end of the stick, he is quite comfortable with the long end. But make no mistake: You do have an agreement. Until a new arrangement is hashed out, you bear equal responsibility for keeping it the way it is – or changing it. If he’s still working on his dissertation, he’s not technically done yet. Make sure you are heard and he pulls his weight, but also make sure you’re not backing out early. Situations change, and your disability is a big deal. What are you really afraid of here? Your relationship? He’s not going anywhere without an income. The sound of raising your voice? Let him have it if talking calmly isn’t working. He’s going to do what you let him. Make some noise if you have to so you can discuss how to move forward.
My wife is irresponsible. She says she’ll pick up milk, then forgets. She says she’ll mail something, and it sits in her backseat for a week. She says she’ll be home at 7 p.m., then rolls in at midnight. When I ask, she unloads about her schedule. I’m busy too, but when I say I’m going to do something, I do it. I expect the same.
Dear Yet Again:
Everyone is busier than everyone else, aren’t they? “I’m busy” means “your thing isn’t a priority.” When used as an excuse to get out of a commitment, it’s disregard for others, plain and simple.
Some perpetual promisers are worried about disappointing others and take on more than they can handle. Others are afraid of conflict, so they agree to everything. A few are actually as selfish as they appear, but that’s rare. I don’t have enough information to say which of these fits your wife, but the upshot for you is the same: disappointment. If she’s worth it, sit her down and show her the pattern. Put it on her to fix it, and don’t rely on her anymore until she does.
Long story short, my boyfriend and I decided to take a break and see other people for two months. We agreed we might fool around but not go too deeply with anyone else. Long story short, he slept with a guy and started seeing him almost nightly. He even told a friend that he could see himself falling for the dude.
Long story short, now he wants to get back together with me. He dumped the guy, regrets diving in too deeply, and just wants us back the way it was. I forgive him, but I’m hurt. What should I do? Dear Break:
So he wants to move on and you want to stop hurting as soon as possible. Makes sense, but your penchant for making a “long story short” isn’t the answer in this case.
In fact, “going back to the way it was” is the opposite of what you two need. That’s what got you into this mess in the first place. It will take more than one long, full conversation to unpack what happened, but it can be worth it.
The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to email@example.com. ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON
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