Q Magazine Atlanta | October 17, 2019

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Q inform | inspire

Lipstick L, B & the T in Tinder

October 17, 2019

Hot SHOTS Atlanta designer, model, MUA and photographer make queer magic

Georgia Trans Man Pioneer Beats the University System White Queer Racism: Lessons in Privilege

Queer Agenda Q Voices The Q 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

Making MAGIC

WHEN FLIPPING THROUGH magazine pages as a kid and dreaming of being in the business one day, I didn’t know it would involve so much more than my love for writing and photography. The advertiser politics, the reader infighting, the news intrigue, the triumphs, the grave errors. It’s often a chaotic mess, and it’s sometimes an emotional roller coaster, but it’s usually also a recipe for queer magic.

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 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

Welcome to Q magazine, the post-Pride edition, the place where queer Atlanta goes on after everyone packs up their rainbows and clears Piedmont Park. Surprising no one except maybe fair-weather corporate sponsors, there is still fun to be had, a culture to advance, issues to address, lessons to be learned, and yes my favorite, words and pictures to share.

Q Voices writer Ashleigh Atwell uses Tinder more as a fidget spinner than a dating app, but she’s got plenty to say about the L, B and T when potential suitors do popup. In a Q Voices first, a reader responds to a past column on racial segregation and quite rightfully takes Q to task. In The Q advice column, I take up the same mantle to pass on to a fellow white queer lessons that I finally learned while listening instead of talking about race in queer culture. Speaking of queer culture, your latest taste of it comes in 10 Queer Things again this week, with an eye toward keeping it alive rather than assimilating fully into the mainstream. That said, Q News does inch us closer to some legal equality with stories about advancements in public Georgia universities and employment. While all that potent stuff is going on, a powerful formula of mutual respect, artistic vision and a penchant for Avant Garde beauty brought four queers to make magic in our cover story. See the results when Q contributor James L. Hicks turns his keen lens on fashion, non-binary awesomeness, and LGBTQ vision. Of course, this is Q, so we won’t leave you hanging for photos in Q Shots, events in the Queer Agenda, or business and services with you in mind on our ad pages. Write me about all of it as I sit here flipping through possibilities for our next issue and living an even better version of my childhood dreams. theQatl.com

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE VOLUME 2 ISSUE 47 OCTOBER 17, 2019

TINDER HEARTED

Ashleigh Atwell spins the wheel

COVER

22 8

Queer Cadre Four queer artists, one amazing vision

10 QUEER THINGS

13 12

Culture Keepers

30 Like, Totally

Resisting assimilation is not futile Q NEWS

18

Oral Arguments

35 Sparkling Reception

SCOTUS weighs LGBTQ employment

FEATURES

6

Q Voice

8

Q News

15

The Queer Agenda

29

Q Shots

30

theQatl.com

38

36 Boys Night


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Michael Birnholz

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Q

VOICES

TINDER

with a T

… and a B and a Lipstick L too I USE TINDER LIKE MOST PEOPLE USE ANGRY BIRDS. When I’m bored and fidgety, it gives me something to do. I don’t take it seriously. However, Tinder takes itself way too seriously. While I was casually browsing the interwebs for inspiration to write this piece, I came across a news story about Trace Lysette being banned from Tinder. Apparently, the digital fidget spinner has a problem with transgender women. If you don’t know who Trace Lysette is, you should. She’s an actress who has appeared in a few groundbreaking projects including Transparent, Pose and Law and Order: SVU. Her latest project is Hustlers. Basically, she’s 100% that bitch. Word to Lizzo.

Apparently, this experience is common among transgender people due to transphobes who report them for being “deceptive.” This is yet another example of transgender people being stereotyped as predators even though they’re more likely to be the prey. As a cis woman, my experience on Tinder isn’t as treacherous. As a queer woman, I feel like a lamb shank in a butcher shop. If I was petty, I’d start reporting the true predators on Tinder: straight couples. Allies, before your heterosexual panties begin to bunch, let me explain. I logged in on Tinder to see how long it took before I encountered a straight couple looking for their unicorn. It was less than 30 seconds before I found one. They’re literally everywhere, and they’re all the same. It’s a man and a woman, obviously. The woman is bisexual, and they’re all looking for the same thing. They want a “drama-free” pretty woman who “wants to have some fun” and doesn’t mind the man watching, of course. I’m 30 years old, and I’ve never encountered a straight woman and bisexual man looking for a third. Biphobia is a bitch, ain’t it?

I wouldn’t be so pressed if they were cool about it. The problem starts when I log in to see a bare ASHLEIGH Tinder must have missed the memo. male chest in my inbox. I’m good until I see cis AT W E L L men pop up when I have my settings set to avoid “Attempted to get back on the dating horse them. It’s all good until they see me in all my lipstick lesbian and signed on [Tinder] last night,” she tweeted on September glory and decide I can be converted. My point? These people are 18. “Uploaded a few flirty pics. Bought the gold version so I more persistent than a Jehovah’s Witness on a sunny day. don’t have to swipe a million times to see who likes me. And when I woke up this AM I was banned.” So hey, Tinder, how are transgender women predators for exHer account was eventually reinstated and Tinder issued a lukewarm apology. “We believe in inclusivity of and respect toward all gender identities and would like to help however we can!” said Tinder’s official Twitter account. “Please reach out to us via DM and someone on our team will be more than happy to look into this. Thank you!” Thankfully, Lysette wasn’t easily pacified. “Thank you for reinstating my profile. For those wondering I’m going to continue speaking with them about the larger issue for trans folks regarding this dilemma,” she replied. “I know everyone doesn’t have the luxury of just tweeting them and getting results.” 8

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isting? Why are they seen as the boogie monsters when they are being murdered by actual monsters? As of this writing, 18 transgender people have been murdered in 2019. Seventeen of them were black women. While they’re alive, they have to deal with men like Malik Yoba receiving ally cookies even though he’s been accused of abusing transgender youth. The accusations were swept under the proverbial rug, and Yoba is able to go on The Breakfast Club and other shows to present himself as a transgender savior. Transgender people deserve better. Tinder’s apology statement sounds nice, but I’m not holding my breath. Maybe I’ll actually download Angry Birds instead. Ashleigh Atwell is a Tinder f idget spinner living and writing in Atlanta.


LOCATIONS IN

BUCKHEAD • VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS • SANDY SPRINGS

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Q

VOICES

What Were You

THINKING?

Dear Editor, I WAS INITIALLY DRAWN TO THE Q VOICES PIECE “Are We Segregating Ourselves?” because of a recent conversation shared with a few friends around the idea of being of “one human race.” One friend expressed his concern around the pervasive need to separate based on how one identifies, and similar to the author Vince Shifflett, shares the idea of everyone belonging to the “human race” regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, religious belief or politics.

In the case of the Q article, the col-

umnist chose to frame his idea of “one

human race” around the idea of individual responsibility.

“What can we as individuals do about

racism and segregation?” he writes, and then proceeds to

suggest the problem being in part due to “black” identified

institutions, groups and events. More personally, he cites his dating black men as part of the issue

“... they sure don’t mind sleeping with me but refuse to socialize with me in public.”

Americans where forced by law to segregate and even with subsequent desegregation policy, it was often in their best interest to self-segregate as a means of survival.

Many marginalized groups today find it necessary to

self-identify, and in some way “segregate” as a means of

self-preservation. The ideal “one human race” should not be limited to the notion of melding of two races and should more adequately seek to establish a humanity that looks

beyond limited perspectives fueled by opposing binaries. The onus to dismantle segregation is not the sole responsibility of the marginalized group, or more specifically black gay men as implied by your author.

“We say we want to end racism and segregation, but are we ac-

tually part of the problem?” Shifflett writes. The author in fact answers his own

question within the details of his piece, in which “we,” becomes more precisely “they,” are the problem.

Espousing a perspective that places judge-

ment and fault on a specific group for “segregating ourselves,” expressed from the gaze of a white gay male, (arguably a

privileged position), without implicating or challenging himself (individual responsibility) in “our” segregation, is beyond problematic and honestly offensive.

Certainly a more inclusive world is ideal, however the sentiment of the article does not move us any closer to the possibility.

Frankly the racial implications of the piece, albeit a sup-

Sincerely,

posed thought piece surrounding racism and segregation, is concerning to say the least.

While the concept of being “one human race” is admirable, it is an oversimplification of the complexities of the

human race, particular when considering the centuries of a

well-established foundation of separation from which much of current modern-day actions, thoughts and behaviors are by-products, including segregation.

This letter arrived in response to a recent Q Voices column by

Vince Shifflett about “queer self-segregation” by race. Q’s position is that the column referenced should not have been published.

We are sorry for the insult to queer people of color, we reject the notion of “reverse racism,” and we respect the need for spaces

specif ically for queer people of color to come together, to commune away from the systems and gazes of privilege that segregated

It should be noted that historically, segregation (particular-

them in the f irst place. Shifflett has also expressed remorse for

power of one group over another. Think apartheid. Black

found at theQatl.com.

ly in the U.S.), was a forced means of separation to enact

10

Anthony Darden

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the column. More responses from LGBTQ people of color may be


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Q

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10 QUEER THINGS

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Culture

VULTURES

10 ways to keep queer culture alive in Atlanta

Support LGBTQ Artists

By Mike Fleming

Atlanta is lucky to have several choices, and Q is proud to

B

efore we can support and preserve queer culture in a world where assimilation seems to be the mainstream modus operandi, we must first define what queer

culture is. What you consider to be LGBTQ culture will depend heavily on your self-identified segment and/or segments of

Attend shows, buy their work, share their sites and feeds.

Read and Share Queer Media be one of them.

Wield Your Power Politicize and prioritize your queerness. Talk about it. Make it incidental to discussions of equality and social justice.

Attend LGBTQ Events

the community and your own demographics. Still, there are

From annual festivals to weekly shows, gather together.

some queer culture clues and characteristics that apply no

Live Your Love Openly

matter your personal mix. Queer culture is made up of four main parts: Works by and for LGBTQ people; an understanding of LGBTQ social movements; recognition of out figures who represent different factions of LGBTQ life including artists, celebrities, creators, drag kings and queens, etc.; and acknowledgement of histor-

Like Mama always said, love is better when you show it.

Consume Queer Content Music, writing, films, art and performances.

Reject Total Mainstreaming It’s good to be part of the whole. It’s bad to be unidentifi-

ical figures who identified as LGBTQ or expressed same-sex

able from the rest of it.

attraction and/or gender non-conforming identities.

Embrace Intersectionality

So whatever kind of LGBTQ works you admire, whichever

Queerness is more than sexuality and gender identity. Cel-

queer movements and social causes you support, and whomever LGBTQ people inspire you, there are steps you can take to keep queer culture alive. Here are 10 of them.

Support LGBTQ Political Figures Elected officials and vocal advocates who share your vision need your time and donations to gain and protect your rights.

ebrate your multi-faceted self — your race, your ace, your kink, your non-monogamy.

Reclaim Your History Queer lineage is long and winding. Learn it. Who was at the Compton Cafeteria Riots? What was the GLF? Who were the Salsa Soul Sisters?

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Coming This Fall...

Q

November 7, 2019

Anti-LGBTQ Lawmaker Comes Out as Trans

inform | inspire

GOP Renews Attack on LGBTQ Rights Eye of Beholder: Kink vs. Ewww!

Suzanne Westenhoefer: ‘I’m Still Here, Bitches!’ Butch Queer Snubs Hubby’s Drag Debut

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

• Halloween (Oct. 31) • Best of Queer Atlanta (Nov. 7) • Holiday Gift Guide (Nov. 28)

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NEWS Q

University System of Georgia ENDS BAN ON TRANS HEALTHCARE BENEFITS By Patrick Saunders THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA SETTLED A lawsuit with a transgender UGA employee that brings trans healthcare benefits to employees of all 28 public colleges and universities in the USG system. Skyler Jay claimed that UGA denied reimbursement for his gender confirmation surgery in May 2017. He filed a federal lawsuit the following month against the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and UGA’s administrators and healthcare providers, including Metlife and Blue Cross

Skyler Jay

Blue Shield of Georgia.

agreeable resolution with our employee, and the applica-

‘There’s no way that they’re going to change until people are willing to step forward and push and push and push all the way to a courtroom if the pressure needs to be applied.’

ble exclusions have been removed from USG’s Consumer Choice HSA, Comprehensive Care and BlueChoice HMO Healthcare Plans in order to cover medically-necessary healthcare expenses,” she told Project Q in a statement. Jay, who was the first trans participant on Netflix’s Queer Eye and was featured just last week on the Pride cover of Q,

­— Skyler Jay will use the settlement money to pay off his medical debt, he told Project Q. The settlement awards Jay $100,000 and removes the transgender healthcare exclusion from USG’s employee health plans, according to Noah Lewis, interim senior staff attorney for the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. “We’re very pleased,” Lewis told Project Q Atlanta. “It’s unfortunate that it took a lawsuit to get that result, but now all the transgender employees in the university system can get the care that they need.” USG has over 160,000 employees and includes UGA, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, Georgia State and Kennesaw State. USG spokesperson Jen Ryan confirmed that the trans exclusions were removed as of Sept. 1. “The University System of Georgia reached a mutually

“But for me it wasn’t about the money, it was about the policy change,” he said. “That was the biggest thing.” Jay hoped his case shines a light on transgender healthcare policies across the country. “There’s no way that they’re going to change until people are willing to step forward and push and push and push all the way to a courtroom if the pressure needs to be applied,” he said. “We’re going to start seeing more and more cases like this move forward until we see some sort of federal ruling on transgender healthcare.” PHOTO COURTESY SKYLER JAY

For more Project Q Atlanta news on local LGBTQ issues every day, visit theQatl.com. theQatl.com

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Q

IN BRIEF

Transgender cop sues Georgia county for healthcare coverage By Patrick Saunders

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED DUELING PETITIONS OVER whether to allow a gay-straight alliance to be formed at Fannin County High School.

A TRANSGENDER SHERIFF’S deputy in Warner Robbins filed a federal lawsuit against Houston County for not covering her gender confirmation surgery.

The controversy comes just three years after LGBTQ students at the Blue Ridge

Sgt. Anna Lange’s suit was announced at a press conference on Sept. 30 in front of the U.S. District Court for the Middle Sgt. Anna Lange District of Georgia in Macon.

“These kids wanna join a club like this because they need a place to go and talk

“I have devoted more than a decade of my life to a job that I love with the backing of supervisors and colleagues who truly respect my work,” Lange said in a press release. “Despite my dedicated years of service, the county has singled out and excluded the medically-necessary care that I need simply because I’m transgender.” Noah Lewis, senior staff attorney with the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, says Lange’s case is simple. “Anna has served the county for 13 years as a sheriff ’s deputy and she’s just asking for the same thing that all the other employees get, which is coverage for medically-necessary care,” Lewis told Project Q Atlanta. The lawsuit claims that the county is violating the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans With Disabilities Act. 16

Fight over gay-straight alliance erupts at North Georgia school

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school were attacked as “perverts” and “pedophiles” during a fight over transgender students’ bathroom access.

The GSA battle began when student Mason Rice created a Change.org petition in September titled, “GSA should be allowed at Fannin.”

about a topic they can relate to,” Rice wrote. “Please vote to have it because kids are being made fun of, picked on, etc. because they feel differently.”

Rice’s petition garnered thousands of signatures. So did a competing petition titled, “Don’t let homosexuality be pushed on students in Fannin County.”

Fannin High Principal Erik Cioffi sent a letter to students and parents on Sept. 25 stating that new clubs must be started at the beginning of the year, according to the AJC. Rice told WSB-TV that students will try again next year to start the club.

Gay official gets marijuana decriminalized in Chamblee By Patrick Saunders CHAMBLEE CITY COUNCILMEMBER BRIAN MOCK led a successful effort to make Chamblee the 12th

local government in Georgia to decriminalize marijuana possession.

Brian Mock

The Chamblee City Council unanimously passed the ordinance last month. It

reduces the fine for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana to $75 for a first

offense. The fine is payable online, and no court date is required for adult offenders. The previous punishment for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana was a $1,000 fine or up to one year in prison, according to the AJC.

The racial disparity in arrests for marijuana possession is “astounding,” according to Mock, the only openly LGBTQ member of the council.

“While the number of users is about equal no matter one’s skin color, those with

brown skin are four times more likely to go to jail for minor possession and that’s just unacceptable,” he told Project Q Atlanta.

Mock added that the punishment was a drain on city resources. He is the same council member who passed a sweeping LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance in April.

Find details on these and other local news of LGBTQ interest every day at theQatl.com.



Q

NEWS

Local ANGLES

After the arguments Tuesday, police arrested more than 130 LGBTQ protesters outside the Supreme Court building. (Photo by Michael Key courtesy Washington Blade)

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Supreme Court hears case of Atlanta man fired for being gay

textualist, asked many questions suggesting he’s at least con-

By Chris Johnson

divided court for crossing them over the finish line.

sidering the idea that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

If LGBTQ rights supporters eke out a victory from the

Supreme Court, they may well have to thank Gorsuch on the

WHEN THE DUST CLEARED ON OCT. 8 AFTER TWO hours of arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court on whether anti-LGBTQ discrimination is prohibited under federal civil rights law, U.S. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch emerged a potential — but not definite — ally for LGBTQ people.

Throughout the arguments, Gorsuch made several inqui-

Gorsuch, a Trump-appointed justice who considers himself a

example of sex discrimination.

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ries on whether the concept of sex is inseparable from

anti-LGBTQ discrimination. At one point, Gorsuch asked, “Isn’t sex also at play here?” and gave an example of an em-

ployer firing a man for being attracted to another man as an


To be sure, Gorsuch also asked questions about whether employers could keep sex-segregated bathrooms under an LGBTQ-inclusive Title VII. Gorsuch poised one question in particular to David Cole, national legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, that may best offer a glimpse into the justice’s internal views. “Assume for a moment that I’m with you on the textual argument,” Gorsuch said. “Should the court be concerned about the massive social upheaval that would ensue?” With respect to transgender protections, Cole said there would be no upheaval, citing decades of case law affirming anti-trans discrimination is a form of sex discrimination.

the side of anti-LGBTQ discrimination not being a form of sex discrimination in the Title VII cases four years later. Another justice of interest was Brett Kavanaugh, but the newly confirmed Trump appointee kept his cards exceedingly close to his vest. Kavanaugh asked only one question: A legal technical inquiry on the difference between the plain and ordinary meaning of Title VII. It’s possible the Supreme Court could reach one decision with respect to transgender employees, and another with respect to gay, lesbian and bisexual workers, but justices gave no indication whatsoever that they’d reach two separate decisions.

Gerald Bostock

The Supreme Court agreed to adjudicate the litigation as a result of taking up a trio of consolidated cases seeking clarification on whether Title VII covers anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

The cases are Zarda v. Altitude Express and Bostock v. Clayton County, which seeks resolution on whether anti-gay discrimination is illegal under Title VII, and EEOC v. Harris Funeral Homes, which seeks resolution on whether anti-trans discrimination is illegal under the law. The metro Atlanta man at the center of the Bostock v. Clayton County case — Gerald Bostock — told Project Q Atlanta that after joining a gay sports league in 2013, he was fired from the “job I loved.” CASES COULD IMPACT LGBT PEOPLE AT WORK, HOME According to the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, non-discrimination protections for an estimated 4.1 million LGBTQ people in states without LGBTQ civil rights are at stake in the upcoming decision.

Amplifying Roberts’ view that LGBTQ people aren’t covered under Title VII was U.S. Associate Justice Samuel Alito, who asked questions about congressional intent in 1964 and bathroom use, as well as his own bizarre scenario in which an employee is rejected for their sexual orientation without knowing their gender. CLAYTON TAXES PAY DEFENSE Clayton County taxpayers are footing the nearly $210,000 bill to pay an outside law firm to argue against LGBTQ workers in the Bostock case. Atlanta-based firm Freeman Mathis & Gary put in over 1,000 hours on the case, then hired another firm with close ties to President Donald Trump, Consovoy McCarthy, to argue against Bostock at the Supreme Court level. Since taking the case in 2013, the law firm’s charges increased dramatically as it neared the the U.S. Supreme Court. It billed $2,800 in May, $9,500 in June, $9,400 in July, $45,400 in August and $80,000 in September, according to the invoices.

Although Title VII relates specifically to employment, any decision the Supreme Court reaches will impact other laws barring sex discrimination, such as the Fair Housing Act, the Affordable Care Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Therefore, the decision will impact LGBTQ people not just in the workplace, but also housing, health care and education.

The county redacted all information in the invoices about the nature of the work performed during the hours listed, citing attorney-client privilege.

Besides Gorsuch, justices under close watch were Chief Justice John Roberts, who entertained the idea of anti-gay discrimination being a form of sex discrimination during the 2015 marriage equality arguments but fell unequivocally on

SCOTUS story by Chris Johnson and photo by Michael Key courtesy Washington Blade and used with permission. washblade.com. Project Q Atlanta’s Patrick Saunders contributed on the Clayton County story. More both stories at theQatl.com.

Representatives from both Freeman Mathis & Gary as well as Consovoy McCarthy did not respond to Project Q Atlanta questions about the case.

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Q

COVER

Queer

22

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MAGIC Cadre of LGBTQ creators join forces to highlight the evolution of Mugshott Cheryl By Mike Fleming

W

hen last we checked in with Johnny Addison, his looks augmented with repurposed costume jewelry and mused by his silent partner, mannequin “Mugshott Cheryl,” set Q pages on fire. As it turns out, we hadn’t seen anything yet. “Most of what I made this time last year was all skin and body harnesses,” Addison tells Q. “Now I’ve got a collection full of pieces that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. The dresses can be broken down into daytime looks, and each piece can be worn with the next.”

Of course, the fulltime hairdresser and part-time designer’s aesthetic in the latest collection stays true to his early visions of Avant Garde glitz and glam from reclaimed materials. “Everything comes from estate sales, antique markets and great friends,” he says. “I’m inspired by Southern women, the silhouette of formal military uniforms, and the 1800s Victorian era.” And his approach is inherently queer, Addison continues. “Being gay influences my art in the way that I’m just a gay man being himself 100%,” he says. “I feel like I owe it to my younger self to express my artistic side, a side that was too feminine to express.” The looks come together in ways that elicit responses, and Q contributor James Hicks was inspired to revisit Addison’s work again for our pages because he sees it as “wearable art.” “The aesthetic is reminiscent of some of my design favorites, John Galliano and the late Alexander McQueen,” Hick says. “I absolutely love how the collection of pieces have evolved from accessories to actual garments. In my opinion, his work is genius.” Model Sawyer Cheimis agrees. 

DESIGNS: JOHNNY ADDISON/MUGSHOTT CHERYL @mugshottcheryl PHOTOS: JAMES L. HICKS jameshicksphotography.net MODEL: SAWYER CHEIMIS @swesbian MAKEUP: JAMIE KIMBROUGH jamieckimbrough.com theQatl.com

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FASHION continued “Mugshott Cheryl’s work is absolutely fantastic, and I spent a lot of the session fawning over the stuff I got to wear and the stuff I didn’t,” they say. “I don’t really tend to dress conventionally feminine without wigs, so getting to dip my foot into a sort of feminine androgyny was really amazing. I honestly kind of felt a little ethereal.” The collaboration of designer, photographer and makeup artist Jamie Kimbrough during the shoot was not only inclusive, kind and welcoming, it made for a reflection of the model’s own queer experience. “As someone who is non-binary, I live most of my life toeing the line of gender nonconformity, which can be a major part of the queer aesthetic,” they continues. “It’s equal parts performance art and a reflection of the sometimes chaotic, sometimes beautiful aspects of the queer experience.” It all came together in images including our cover shot, which Cheimis says felt like “a very commanding officer in a gay empire.” Cheimis wasn’t the only one drawing inspiration from the artistic group effort. Hicks, who has photographed the likes of Angela Bassett, Pam Grier and Erykah Badu, as well as internationally famous drag queens and other celebrities, loves what the model brings to the table. “I’m in awe, have great respect and a touch of envy for this generation, because they are unapologetically free and non-conforming,” Hicks says. “I admit that it has been challenging for me as a same-gender-loving man of color and of a certain age to make sure that I don’t mis-gender or mis-identify individuals that I work with because they may not physically fit into my narrow idea of what they should look like. My experience with working with non-binary members of the LGBTQIA community has definitely broadened my scope of thinking.” We couldn’t agree more. Turn the pages to see the other queer magic the creative partnership cooked up. DESIGNS: JOHNNY ADDISON/MUGSHOTT CHERYL @mugshottcheryl PHOTOS: JAMES L. HICKS jameshicksphotography.net MODEL: SAWYER CHEIMIS @swesbian MAKEUP: JAMIE KIMBROUGH jamieckimbrough.com

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FASHION continued

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DESIGNS: JOHNNY ADDISON/ MUGSHOTT CHERYL @mugshottcheryl PHOTOS: JAMES L. HICKS jameshicksphotography.net MODEL: SAWYER CHEIMIS @swesbian MAKEUP: JAMIE KIMBROUGH jamieckimbrough.com theQatl.com

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

October 17 – October 23

Weavestock: The Crown Southern Fried Queer Pride’s start-studded production presents a testa-

THURSDAY, OCT. 17

ment to the resilience of the modern-day black drag artist. Also includes

MAAP Mix & Mingle

Tk Haile’s film The Crown @ 7 Stages, 10:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

The queer Metro Atlanta Association of Professionals networks over cock-

too. 7stages.org, southernfriedqueerpride.com

tails @ OxWork East Atlanta, 6 p.m.

SATURDAY, OCT. 19

maapatl.org

Little 5 Points Halloween

Stonewall Bar Gala

Come one come all to this annual

The state’s LGBTQ legal eagles gather for gay

festival and parade @ Euclid Avenue,

Georgia gala grub on their 25th anniversary @

12 noon. l5phalloween.com

W Midtown, 6 p.m. stonewallbar.org

Corn on the Macabre

FRIDAY, OCT. 18

Before and after your L5P dreams, hit this #daydrunk with the cheesiest ‘80s horror set to ‘80s new wave/rock to celebrate the booscare season @ Mary’s, 2 p.m. marysatlanta.com Chug The left-of-center drag show from these straight-inclusive Edgewood halls @ Georgia Beer Garden, 11 p.m. georgiabeergarden.com

SUNDAY, OCT. 20 Halloween Drag Queen Story Time Brent Star reads children’s books to kids for the Emily M. Getsay, “lesson 54,” 2017

The IN-Between Artist Emily M. Getsay presents photography, performance and sculpture exploring the spaces we occupy before we transition into who we are supposed to be @ The Bakery, 6 p.m. Nudity, strobe lights, reference to rape and sexual assault. On display through Sunday. thebakeryatlanta.com G8yties The Hell-No-Kween edition of the popular ‘80s dance @ Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com

entertainment of all ages @ Posman Books, 3 p.m. posmanbooks.com The Armorettes Weekly fun and fundraising with the fourdecade-old camp drag crazies @ Midtown Moon, 8 p.m. facebook.com/midtownmoon

TUESDAY, OCT. 22 Dykes on Bikes Bike Night It’s an evening ride and a lesbian gather-round @ Firepit Pizza Tavern, 7 p.m. facebook.com/ dykesonbikesatl Find more queer things to do in the expanded edition of the Queer Agenda at theQatl.com. theQatl.com

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Q SHOTS

TOTALLY ‘80S PARTY WITH IMPACT

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PHOTOS BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD


NFFLA FALL FLAG FOOTBALL

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PHOTOS BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD

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Q SHOTS

OUT ON FILM

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PHOTOS BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD


BUBBLES & BISCUITS AT WIMBISH HOUSE

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PHOTOS BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD

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STRIDE INTO PRIDE WITH JACKINSKY AT HERETIC

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PHOTOS BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD



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THEQ?!

White

NOISE

‘Reverse racism,’ ‘black friends’ and learning to listen

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I pride myself on promoting love and equality. People who know me, including my African American friends, know where my heart is. When I espoused my views on racism as a white man in a public forum, negative, mean-spirited comments calling me racist came from people who do not know me, or my advocacy for equality, or my message of love. In my effort to bring everyone together as one LGBTQ community, I decried black guys who won’t date white guys, I questioned black-male only HIV services, and I rejected the need for black-centric events like Black Gay Pride, saying “All Prides Matter.” I have since learned a lot, but it’s too late. Damage is done. Those who responded negatively waited until I failed miserably, then they attacked. Could that be a form of reverse racism? Could I have said it differently? Did I fail to include the history of segregation? Yes. But besides the negative responses, I have also received positive, supportive messages from members of the African American community. My friends know who I am. I am a loving being. This one incident should not discount my history. I am not a racist. I don’t discriminate. Dear Still Talking: I hear you trying. The trouble is that you are still qualifying yourself and conjuring textbook racist justifications in the process. For starters, the concept of “reverse racism” is itself racist, yet you still cling to it after the response you got for it the first time. White people aren’t oppressed, so “reverse racism” doesn’t exist and is an insult.

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Ask someone of color besides your friends. They’ll tell you that “I have black friends and supporters” and “All Prides Matter” are classic tell-tale signs of justifying your behavior instead of admitting and accepting complicity in a systemically racist society. Blaming brown and black people who responded only slows down the process toward your enlightenment. In fact, theirs are the only voices that matter on the topic, and therein lies the point. Even if you added the history of black segregation to your public treatise, the details of solving these issues are still wrong on white lips. There is nothing you could have added that would have made you the right source to discuss it. We are all products and perpetuators of a racist system that tells white people they have a voice about decisions black people make on race. Many or even most white people have been the person trying so hard to prove we’re not racist that we’re not listening to what makes our actions and attitudes racist, even when we think our hearts are in the right place. White people have had our say on race for centuries. We’re used to having our voices heard on every issue that strikes our fancy, but until the public voices on segregation and black oppression come exclusively from those who are oppressed, white narratives still shout over them. One of those is the “white savior” droning on about how “we should all just get along.” Even the messages from your African American supporters backing your diatribe fit the rulebook — they can say it, you can’t. Some people will remember us for our worst acts, some for our shiniest moments. Both are accurate reflections of us. We can’t change our past, live parts of it down or even live up to other parts of it. We won’t ever change some people’s minds. All we can do is try and not let our worst act be our last act. You are in a lot of pain right now, but getting past it with lessons in tow is the only way to make sure you only have to go through it once. The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to mike@theqatl.com. ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON