September 26, 2019
Fest Guests Talk Movies & More
inform | inspire
Out on Film 32 dives into Matters of the Heart with Q Spotlight Series Darryl Stephens, Scott Bailey in From Zero to I Love You
Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s That on 3 Pride Stages? PrEP for Pride w/o Tired Scare Tactics Queer Seeks Pity to Avoid Accountability
The Q Queer Agenda Q Shots 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 ART DIRECTOR JOHN NAIL JOHN@THEQATL.COM
Raising the queer bar and moving the movement with movies COMPLACENCY MAY BE the most dangerous threat to stalling LGBTQ equality, so this week’s Q finds local stars not content to rest on their laurels.
After more than three decades as a staple of LGBTQ Atlanta, it might be easy to take Out on Film for granted. Q throws a lot of print real estate and social pro-
motion behind it each year for exactly that reason:
We know how lucky we are to have the world-class festival in our hometown for 32 years running.
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
Out on Film is close to our hearts because it’s run by people who care. A veteran of the queer Atlanta arts community, Festival Director Jim Farmer and his
board of volunteers saved a floundering event series MIKE FLEMING EDITOR & PUBLISHER
over a decade ago purely out of their love for the
artform. They set out to raise the standard, and every year, they take it to the next level to benefit us all.
Ever-expanding and committed to diversity like the festival itself, Q magazine
and Project Q Atlanta’s support this year includes sponsorship and co-sponsorship of six films in a Q Spotlight series. This issue features all of them to whet your appetite for a whopping 11 days and 126 screenings at three venues with something cinematic for every taste.
First, we train the Q Spotlight on a transgender immigrant drama, a lesbian daughter comedy and a gay chorus documentary. Then we sit down with three interviews featuring fest guests you’ll want to meet, including director Doug Spearman of Q cover star-worthy From Zero to I Love You, Star Search winner and Broadway baby Sam Harris in Ham: A Musical Memoir, as well as Sell By actor Scott Evans.
Another local queer veteran moving the movement and raising the bar on something that’s often ignored, health advocate Danny Sprouse is a star in his field.
This week, Q Voices taps his prowess for a column in honor of Gay Men’s HIV
Awareness Day. He takes squashing stigma and shame past the day itself as guys prepare for Pride and beyond.
Also in this issue, Atlanta Pride offers three headliners instead of one in Q Com-
munity, the Queer Agenda lines up the best LGBTQ events of the week, Q Shots galleries find your smiles, and The Q advice column has had enough of queer complaining. Write me about any and all if it, and we’ll see you next week: mike@theQatl.com.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 44 SEPTEMBER 26, 2019
LET’S DO IT
LGBTQ Atlanta’s best events
Film Fatales Q Spotlights at Out on Film
32 Chug It
Gay men having sex and squashing stigma COMMUNITY
Q Voices Q Community The Queer Agenda Q Shots The Q 6
8 11 30 32 38
Who’s That Girl?
35 Perfect Ten
Atlanta learns the names Daya, Max and Ally
38 36 Glow Go
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”
Confronting HIV anxiety on National Gay Men’s HIV Awareness Day and beyond
LEADING INTO PRIDE SEASON, GAY MEN START TO hear a lot about HIV “risk behaviors,” but what we really need to talk about is how fear-based HIV messaging keeps us from getting the care we deserve all year long. With some knowledge, perspective and planning, it’s possible for gay men to have a more proactive approach to HIV prevention. National Gay Men’s HIV Awareness Day is Sept. 27. It’s time to think about HIV, get prepared, then relax and have fun at Pride. Here are five things to consider as you’re shopping for rainbow gear this week:
Maybe your doctor gets awkward when you ask for HIV/ STD screening. It’s OK to push through and insist.
Maybe you’re most comfortable testing in the comfort of your living room with a home test kit. Great.
Find something that works and test at least twice per year. Discriminating against HIV+ people is not a prevention
strategy. It’s difficult to be certain about the HIV status of
your sex partner(s). In fact, it’s likely that many don’t know
their own status, so it’s best to use universal precautions like PrEP and/or condoms under the assumption that anyone could be living with HIV.
People living with HIV who have undetectable viral loads are extremely unlikely to transmit HIV to others (Google U=U), but the responsibility to stop HIV transmissions falls on all of us regardless of status.
Learn about PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). PrEP is a highly effective HIV prevention
strategy that involves taking once-daily HIV medication (Truvada) to prevent HIV infection. It also involves regular doctor visits.
While PrEP doesn’t protect against other sexually transmitted infections, it does offer many
of us relief from anxiety about HIV. PrEP isn’t Come to terms with your own HIV stigma. DANNY for everyone, but it’s an incredibly useful tool HIV stigma is rampant in our communiSPROUSE that is still very under-utilized. ty, even though the epidemic has changed dramatically since the 1980s. Gay men internalize stigma Learn the HIV care landscape of Atlanta. If you’re a gay in ways we don’t often realize: avoiding thinking or talking man living in Atlanta, there’s a good chance someone you about HIV, refusing to date or sleep with men who are living love is living with HIV. Becoming knowledgeable about the with HIV, using words like “clean” to describe negative test basics of HIV care (Do you know what a healthy CD4 count results or beating ourselves up over “risky” sex, and shaming is? How about an “undetectable” viral load?) and identifying each other for utilizing PrEP as prevention. key clinics and community resources will make you a better Stigma damages self-esteem and often leads us to “tune out” friend and a more responsible community member. information that could help us stay healthy. Are you avoiding The great thing is, anyone diagnosed with HIV in Atlanta testing? Are you delaying finding a doctor? You might be infected with stigma. Cure yourself before trying to treat others. today can get care even if they have no insurance and no income, but the options can be daunting. Find the answers in Have a plan for regular HIV testing. No single testing strat- advance so you’re prepared to help. egy works for everyone, but sexually active gay men should be And remember to take care of yourself along the way! tested regularly for HIV. Maybe you don’t want to get tested in a pop-up tent at Pride. That’s OK. 8
Danny Sprouse is a behavioral health consultant at
AbsoluteCARE Medical Center & Pharmacy in Atlanta.
Who’s On STAGE? Daya, Max, Ally Brooke headline Atlanta Pride entertainment By Mike Fleming ATLANTA PRIDE ANNOUNCED ITS 2019 STAGE LINEUP on Sept. 12 with acts on three stages during the Atlanta Pride Festival on Oct. 12 and 13. This year’s bigger draws include two straight allies and a bisexual dynamo, all of whom are powerhouse vocalists. For singer Daya, her appearance comes almost exactly a year after making an Instagram splash by coming out as bisexual on National Coming Out Day. She hits Atlanta Pride on Saturday with “Sit Still, Look Pretty,” “Safe” and “Insomnia.” Also on tap is singer Ally Brooke. Her anthems and queer-ally vibes run deep, all the way back to her reality-show days as part of the group Fifth Harmony. She lands in Atlanta on the heels of a “Dancing With The Stars” appearance as well. Another one-name vocalist Max, the straight ally of “Lights Down Low” fame, rounds out the biggest names. All three of those acts appear on the Coca-Cola Stage in the Piedmont Park Meadow. In addition to the Heineken Stage at the Pavilion by the Greystone pool, a newer Nissan
Stage is set to bring more activity to the nearby Ballpark area. Joes Gallagher
Annually criticized for not booking larger acts that would draw more people to the park, Atlanta Pride Executive Director Jamie Fergerson says that big names cost big bucks — enough that they’d have to charge festival goers. Instead, the Pride Committee is committed to keeping the festival free for all comers. “It is important for us to remind everyone, as we do each year, that while many other large Pride celebrations have moved to ticketing portions of their festival, thanks to the support of Atlanta’s LGBTQ community and our sponsors alike, we can stay true to our commitment of keeping the festival and our entertainment free of charge.” Pride’s announcement is always one of the big reveals of LGBTQ-ATL September. This year, it also comes with crowd-pleasers like the soulful Atlantan Stoni Taylor and his band, Power 96 host DJ Babey Drew, Athens activist and hip hop advocate Linqua Franqua (Mariah Parker), and teen YouTube sensation AJ Mitchell. You can also keep your eyes peeled for the Alabama step crew the Prancing Elites. A few less-surprising local acts that always draw a long straw are again on the Pride roster. The Michel Jons Band, DJ Mary Mac, Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and Halcyon are among those. The upstart trans band Exquisite Gender also made the cut. The committee also rededicates itself to Atlanta’s deep bench of drag and burlesque shows. Not only the Starlight Cabaret on Sunday, but multiple other talent showcases dot the schedule.
Find the full stage lineup and other festival information at atlantapride.org theQatl.com
Q Spotlight series previews 32nd annual Out on Film Nikki Thomas
By Mike Fleming tlanta’s LGBTQ film festival holds a special place in Q hearts. Out on Film is expertly run by Jim Farmer and his dedicated board of volunteers, and local queers can count on the festival for quality content in a variety of genres for an array of LGBTQ audiences. Over 11 days at three venues, the 2019 event is set for Sept. 26 — Oct. 6. The lineup of a whopping 126 screenings maintains Out on Film’s reputation as a world class event.
Also expanding for OOF 2019 is Q’s sponsorship, which lays queer love on the six films previewed on the following pages. With love of family, partners and the self at the forefront of
the Q Spotlight series, keep flipping for info on all of our se-
lections, including interviews with fest guests like Sam Harris of Ham: A Musical Memoir (photo, this page).
Whet your appetite here, check the Out on Film ad in this issue, then head to outonf ilm.org for the full lineup and tickets.
OUT ON FILM continued
Gay Chorus, Deep South Sunday, Sept. 29 7:15 p.m. Midtown Art Cinema In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws in Southern states and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the deep South. Over 300 singers traveled from Mississippi to Tennessee through the Carolinas and over the bridge in Selma, Ala., performing in churches, community centers and concert halls in hopes of uniting communities in a time of difference. The journey also challenges chorus members who fled the South to confront their own fears, pain and prejudices on a journey toward reconciliation. What emerges is a less divided America, where the lines that divide us — faith, politics, sexual identity — are erased through the soaring power of music, humanity and a little drag. Preceded by a performance by the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and Atlanta Women’s Chorus 14
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OUT ON FILM continued
The Garden Left Behind Sunday, Sept. 29th, 5 p.m. Midtown Art Cinema This film traces the relationship between Tina, a young Mexican trans woman, and her grandmother Eliana as they navigate Tinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transition and struggle to build a life for undocumented immigrants in New York City. As Tina begins the process of transitioning, Eliana struggles to understand and fears that their life together in America is no longer what they bargained for. Tina finds camaraderie in a small but mighty transgender advocacy group, but soon finds herself having to fight for the life that sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meant to live â&#x20AC;&#x201D; facing violent threats, seemingly insurmountable medical costs, questions about her immigration status, and increasing skepticism from the man she loves. Flavio Alves is expected in attendance.
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OUT ON FILM continued Q
Before You Know It Friday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m. Midtown Art Cinema This Sundance charmer blends big laughs with heartfelt family drama. In 1993 New York City, lesbian Rachel (Hannah Pearl Utt, who also directs) finds herself having to take care of both her dysfunctional family and the community theater above their house. She and her sister Jackie ( Jen Tullock) discover that the mother they thought long dead ( Judith Light, in peak form) is alive and starring on a popular daytime soap opera. Co-starring Mandy Patinkin and Alec Baldwin, this is one of the yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most endearing and quirky treats. Q co-sponsors the screening with AARP. theQatl.com
OUT ON FILM continued
on DATE Out actor Scott Evans explores fizzling relationships in Sell By
Evans sent in audition tapes then Skyped with Doyle, who
By Patrick Saunders
hat happens when you’re five years into a relationship that’s lost its spark, and your support network is crumbling around you?
That’s the dilemma in director Mike Doyle’s Sell By, screening on Sept. 28 as a Q Spotlight at Out on Film. The Sell By premise hit close to home for out actor Scott Evans (One Life to Live, Grace & Frankie), who stars as Adam alongside Augustus Prew as Marklin in the film. “There were some things that I would read in the script where I hated that I related to him so much,” Evans tells Q. “I just know so many couples who tell me this is the real thing. What I’ve heard from a lot people, whether you’re gay, straight, whatever you are, you find something to relate to this.” Evans, who is the younger brother of Captain America himself Chris Evans, first laid eyes on the Sell By script in summer 2018. “Reading the script where the main couple is a gay couple and it didn’t even seem like a gay couple — it was just a couple,” he said. “I grew up not seeing those relationships on screen.”
he knew through friends. After that it was off to New York City for a month to film.
“He is probably my favorite director that I’ve worked with,” Evans says. “The script was so personal and close to him.
We got extremely close. It really changed my life, and I told
‘There were some things that I would read in the script where I hated that I related to him so much.’ — Scott Evans The film also stars Michelle Buteau and Zoe Chao as the
Evans character’s best friends. Kate Walsh (Grey’s Anatomy) and Chaz Lamar Shepherd play a couple on the brink of
divorce after 15 years of marriage. Even the great Patricia Clarkson provides a funny cameo in the film.
Sell By has become a darling of the LGBTQ film festival
circuit, including a premiere at the Inside Out Festival in
Toronto, Outfest in L.A. and Frameline in San Francisco.
Evans and Doyle are expected at the Out on Film Festival screening as well.
“Sell By” screens on Sept. 28 at Midtown Art Cinema. Visit outonf ilm.org
OUT ON FILM continued Q
From Zero to I Love You Friday, Sept 27, 9 p.m. Midtown Art Cinema This entertaining drama/romance is a mini Noah’s Arc reunion of sorts, starring this week’s Q cover guy Darryl “Noah” Stephens and directed by Doug Spearman, who put his heart, soul and possessions toward the film’s completion. “The cost of the film was more than money,” he tells Q. “I put my car into it, a house and an apartment and even a relationship. “All of that paid off in spades when I get to talk to people after the screening and there are dozens and dozens of guys who come up to me and tell me their story,” he continues, “how it clearly represents something they went through, and they’re very grateful to have it on screen.” Pete Logsdon (Stephens) is a gay man in Philadelphia who happens to have a history of getting involved with married men. His father and his soon-to-be stepmom are on him to find someone who’s actually available and to settle down. Instead, he finds a man named Jack (co-cover guy Scott Bailey) who is fifteen years into a perfect heterosexual marriage with two beautiful children and an enviable wife. Doug Spearman is expected to attend the screening, which is co-sponsored by Q and In The Life Atlanta. Find the full Q interview with him at theQatl.com.
OUT ON FILM continued
Tony-nominated actor Sam Harris brings Ham to Out on Film By Patrick Saunders
am Harris burst onto the entertainment scene in that most ‘80s of ways — by becoming the grand champion of the original singing competition show Star Search.
He went on to become a multi-million selling recording artist, a Tony-nominated actor and a bestselling author, but he spent most of those early years in the closet. That’s just one of the periods that he dives into in his film, Ham: A Musical Memoir. The film, based on his comic and sometimes poignant book and subsequent Broadway show, is a Q Spotlight screening playing Out on Film on Oct. 5. Making the autobiographical work was a new kind of acting experience for Harris. “As an actor when you’re playing a role, you use your own personal experiences to inform that fictional character, to make it real for you,” he tells Q. “In this case, it was really real. There was no substitution. I am reliving these scare moments and these thrilling moments, and I play 11 different characters in my life.” For the stage show, Harris started writing original music with musical director Todd Schroeder. Billy Porter (Pose, Kinky Boots) helped Harris develop Ham into a play. “I did it in New York, then L.A.,” he says. “We had a great response critically and we won some awards and then we were doing it at the Pasadena Playhouse and we’re like, ‘Let’s film this.’” The story delves into Harris’s life growing up gay in the Bible 26
Belt in Oklahoma, using singing as a way to cope with his struggles. He leaves home as a teenager and falls in love with a boy. He also attempts suicide over remaining closeted. It was a different time than the one that out performers like Troye Sivan, Sam Smith and Lil Nas X enjoy today. “I’m thrilled that we are in an age where that kind of honesty can exist,” he says. “When I was growing up, the idea of being out or much less being married and having a family, these were not ideas that were even fathomable. It was simply not possible on any level.” “That’s what my suicide attempt as a teenager was about. It was having love and not being able to celebrate that that sent me over the edge,” he adds.
Harris came out in an interview with The Advocate in the
late ‘90s, “which was a little fucking late to the party,” he says. “Like really? You don’t know this already?”
After all, it was Harris’s rendition of Judy Garland’s Over the Rainbow that won him Star Search and became his signature song.
Harris now lives with his husband and son in California. Q
spoke to him while he was in Oklahoma for his father’s funeral. The complicated relationship is explored in Ham.
“He didn’t have the emotional tools to learn how to deal with me,” he says. “When I grew older, many of those things were
resolved. When I had a son, he was this proud grandfather, and
he told me he knew I would be a better father than he was.” Harris is expected to attend that Out on Film screening. “I’m really excited to see this with that audience,” he says. “It’s
beautifully filmed, and I’m so proud of the way it looks and it moves.
When you’re able to do closeups and create a feeling through editing and camera angles, it comes alive in a different way.”
“Plus I don’t have to do it anymore if I don’t want to,” he adds, laughing.
“Ham: A Musical Memoir” screens as part of Out on Film on Oct. 5 at Plaza Theatre. Visit outonf ilm.org.
888-402-0004 richardandmichael.travel 28
THE QUEER AGENDA Twee’s Birthday Bash
The Best Queer Things To Do in Atlanta This Week
The popular bartender holds court
September 26 – October 2
for her b-day @ BJ Roosters, 3 p.m.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 26
Voices of Note Season Kickoff
Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and
Atlanta Women’s Chorus celebrate
their 2019-2010 season of concerts
@ Ten, 6:30 p.m. voicesofnote.org Pho
The comic actor you might know from Mean Girls or a breakout turn on HBO’s Looking performs one night only @ Out Front Theatre, 7 p.m. outfronttheatre.com Wussy Prom
to by Dan Lax
Legendary DJ hottie
Hercules & Love Affair headlines the annual
Out on Film 32
queer dance @ My Sister’s Room, 9 p.m.
film festival kicks
off 11 days of
“Leather Me Up” is
For They Know Not What They Do and End of the Century @ Midtown
Art Cinema, 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Read our preview of the films in the Q Spotlight series in this issue. outonfilm.org
the theme for this month’s
daddy dance party @ Heretic, 9 p.m. hereticatlanta.com
SUNDAY, SEPT. 29
FRIDAY, SEPT. 27
Atlanta AIDS Walk & 5K Run
No Boys Allowed
Southern Fried Queer Pride hosts a “Let’s Get Weird” dance party @
Do the deal with a $750,000 goal this year @ Piedmont Park, 11 a.m.
The Bakery, 11 p.m. thebakeryatl.com
SATURDAY, SEPT. 28 Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival
People, food, music and of course art on the concourse @ Old Fourth
Ward Park, all weekend including Sunday. oldfourthwardartsfestival.com
SATURDAY, SEPT. 28 EAV Strut
East Atlanta Village struts its stuff
@ Mary’s and surrounding area, 11 a.m. eastatlantastrut.com
TUESDAY, OCT. 1 Anne Steele & Matt Alber
Two queer tastes that taste great together when these two crooners serve a double bill (photo: Steele) @ City
Winery, 8 p.m. citywinery.com/atlanta Find more queer things to do in the expanded edition of the Queer Agenda at theQatl.com. 30
CHUG AT GEORGIA BEER GARDEN
Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com
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GLOW WEEKEND AT TEN
Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com
Q SHOTS Q
PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD theQatl.com
DJ NEON THE GLOWGOBEAR AT EAGLE
Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com
PHOTOS BY RUSS YOUNGBLOOD
What whining and constant complaining really mean
I was recently accosted by a friend who said that all I do is complain, but I’ve had a hard go of it and I was depending on him and others in the room for emotional support. My employment situation leaves more than a little to be desired, I have $8,000 mounting in debt, plus $700 a month in health insurance because I have HIV. Yesterday I found out my dad is having cancer removed from his inner thigh, my dog may need surgery, my boyfriend might be cheating on me, my classes are unbelievably difficult this semester, and I’m behind on just about every personal and professional deadline I have. On top of all that, it’s just the latest in a long line of situations that make me feel like I can’t get ahead. When I do an APB of FML, it’s because I desperately need caring friends, not shame for needing help. Dear FML: Everyone has challenges others would loathe to bear, and everybody needs a shoulder to cry on from time to time. There’s no shame in that. When it becomes a habit to lean on those who can’t do anything but empathize, you’re mischaracterizing their responsibility in your relationship. You’re not asking for help. You’re just listing your grievances. What if your friend’s response was, “That sucks. My brother has been committed to an institution, my teeth are going to cost $2,500 to fix, my boss is a megalomaniac, my husband may be on disability for life, and my lease won’t be renewed.” Now imagine everyone else in the room did the same, unloading their day-to-day burdens on people who can’t do anything about it. There you all sit exhausted, having accomplished only a pity party. It may feel good in the moment, but you alienate others, and worse, waste time doing nothing about the actual problems. In your case, your friend did you a favor. He sees a pattern, not in your life as you say, but in your reactions. If people say, “Oh poor
baby” every time you say “Fuck my life,” they are enabling you and helping you set yourself up for failure. Those who constantly whine and seek pity are subconsciously preparing excuses for future crises and the ongoing pattern of woe-is-me. You try to avoid accountability for the next “disaster,” erroneously believing friends have been warned about how screwed up your life is. Pining for sympathy is easier than working to fix problems. Whining is easier than talking to a professional and taking tough steps. Most everyone can empathize with your problems and match them with private burdens of their own. The difference is in the word private: Share your issues with those who can help, and keep the ins, outs and dirty details off the backs of others. You will undoubtedly need a shoulder to cry on again sometime, but when addressing your problems ends there, destructive habits and poor choices surely follow. Break the cycle of despair and ask for advice from a trusted, qualified few. If you are actually addressing issues but still whining, consider letting your friends be your cheerleaders at the finish line, not your dumping ground the whole way there. The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to email@example.com. ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON