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Q

March 12, 2020

AIDEN ZHANE PUTS THE ATL IN RPDR 12

inform | inspire

warplay

Out Front modernizes heroes of mythological proportions

JEREMY JACKSON WANTS YOU IN THE MANGO DRIP QUEERS WHO CAN’T FORGIVE OURSELVES PREDICTING THE BEST LGBTQ BOOKS OF 2020

The Q The Queer Agenda Q Shots Q&A 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

Heroes

& VILLAINS

EPIC BATTLES, PETTY QUEENS and the good guys in between top queer Atlanta coverage in this week’s Q. You don’t even have to take sides to enjoy it all.

Your front-row seat includes mythic men

Achilles and Patroclus in the Q Cover Story.

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 BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD

Put them in modern fatigues and show the

sexual fire between them that many scholars

believe, and the Trojan War figures have a lot MIKE FLEMING EDITOR & PUBLISHER

to say about modern times in warplay at Out

Front Theatre.

In People, RuGirl Aiden Zhane talks about her start in Atlanta, but

not about how she pissed off local drag queens by belittling the local scene. Her comments were firing up social media even before she made her RPDR debut last week.

Between showy heroes and villains comes a local hero you may

already know about, or at least his popular t-shirt line. Meet Jeremy

Jackson in Q&A and find out how a gay child from Georgia’s foster care system became king of The Mango Drip.

When you’re not worshipping heroes and deriding villains, join our anticipation for 2020’s best queer books, and then forgive yourself. That’s what the Q advice column is all about, and it’s a common

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queer challenge no matter what you did in your past.

LOCAL ADVERTISING SALES@THEQATL.COM 404-949-7071

day at theQatl.com. If we haven’t kept you busy enough with all that,

As always, you’ll find Q Shots photos and the Queer Agenda cal-

endar of events, plus fresh Q News and Q Community stories every engage me via mike@theQatl.com.

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Q

10 QUEER THINGS THE FELL OF DARK by Caleb Roehrig (July)

THE STATE OF US by Shaun David Hutchinson (July)

THE BRIGHT LANDS by John Fram (July)

SURRENDER YOUR SONS by Adam Sass (August)

Coming SOON The best LGBTQ book titles headed our way in 2020 All titles available wherever books are sold. Special thanks to Q friend, queer and indie bookseller advocate John McDougall.

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THE GRAVITY OF US by Phil Stamper (Out now)

THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA by T J Klune (March)

A BEAUTIFUL CRIME by Christopher Bollen (Out now)

FIREWATCHING by Russ Thomas (Out now)

ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED by Sophie Gonzales (March)

WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE by Tom Ryan and Robin Stevenson (May)

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Q&A

Q

on His

PHOTO OF JEREMY JACKSON BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD

T-shirt designer behind Mango Drip has a message for you ď ľ theQatl.com

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Q

Q&A continued

By Patrick Saunders

Is there a theme in your designs?

IF YOU DON’T KNOW GAY ATLANTA DESIGNER Jeremy Jackson, you just might know his t-shirt line: The Mango Drip. The line is carried at Brushstrokes, Crafted, Bill Hallman and other popular Atlanta retailers.

The Mango Drip is a brand that encourages self-discovery and growth. Mango Drip is here to be a platform for discussions relating to physical/mental/emotional/spiritual health and discussions involving social and environmental issues.

Jackson talked with Q about his often-difficult early life and seeing his way through it to “encourage self-discovery and growth” through his line of t-shirts, outerwear, bags and mugs. Honestly, my foster care experience was unfavorable. There were never any constants in my life after I was put into the foster care system.

Madonna definitely tops this list. Growing up with all the troubles going on in my life, I always looked up to Madonna in a motherly type way. Aside from the music, I’ve always been inspired by how strong of a woman she is, her support for the gay community and her work ethic.

I bounced around so much that it was hard to develop or maintain relationships with anyone. As an adult, the whole experience has left me in a state of searching. I search for who I am, I search for who I want to be and where I belong.

Steve Jobs’ work ethic inspires me as well. Being able to push against the unconventional and unpopular is very inspiring. It is difficult to go against the flow of life and that’s exactly what he did. I’d love to have a chat.

What was life like growing up in Georgia?

I was placed in a [queer-inclusive Atlanta non-profit CHRIS 180] group home when I was in the 10th grade. Prior to CHRIS Kids, I had been enrolled in six different high schools, so there was an excessive amount of moving and bouncing around from foster family to institution to foster family. They provided me with a stable place to live, which allowed me to finish school without moving around. How did you start designing t-shirts? I’ve always been interested in being able to express myself through fashion. I gave making shirts a shot in 2011, and although it didn’t work out for me then, I was able to pick back up my dreams of starting a clothing line in 2018. I went out and bought a bunch of t-shirt making equipment, and I jumped in head first. 10

If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?

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Puff Daddy is also a boss. I love his confidence and the way he carries himself as a black man. I’d love to be in his presence and talk business. What’s next for you and the Mango Drip? We are working on creating a YouTube channel that will produce videos with discussions relating to physical/mental/ emotional/spiritual health and discussions involving social and environmental issues. We are also continuing to work on building Mango Drip into a supportive community that encourages self-growth and development. Check out the Mango Drip t-shirts at themangodrip.com. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook @themangodrip.


Leo Liu and cover photo of Cortland Walton by Russ Bowen-Youngblood


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PEOPLE Q

Q

is for

Meet Aiden Zhane repping Atlanta on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 

Q uirk

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Q

AIDEN continued

By Patrick Saunders THE NEW SEASON OF RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE HAS a dose of local flavor thanks to the presence of metro Atlanta queen Aiden Zhane among the cast members. Season 12 kicked off on Feb. 28 by introducing half of the cast. Zhane and six other queens got the spotlight on the second episode March 6 on VH1.

‘Atlanta definitely gave me some sort of start, those first moments of being on a stage and the itch to do something even bigger,’ — Aiden Zhane

Zhane, a Michigan native, got her start at the since-closed LeBuzz in Marietta and has performed at My Sister’s Room and Lips over the years. “My performance history may not be as rich as some others, but Atlanta definitely gave me some sort of start, those first moments of being on a stage and the itch to do something even bigger,” she told Project Q Atlanta. Finally, she gets to scratch that itch after missing the casting cut in auditions for Seasons 8 and 9. Zhane joins a long line of Atlantans on Drag Race, including Sonique and Nicole Paige Brooks in Season 2, Mariah Balenciaga and Phoenix in Season 3, Trinity K. Bonet in Season 6, Violet Chachki’s winning turn in Season 7, Dax Exclamationpoint in Season 8 and Nina Bo’Nina Brown in Season 9. Zhane, an Acworth resident, described her drag style as “a mix between kooky/zany with a little bit of fashion, cartoon and horror thrown on top.” “I may not high kick or death drop, but hopefully I’ll stumble my way into the hearts of many,” she added. The local queen wants to represent the underdogs during her time on the show. “Whether it’s because they are from a small town or they have no social media presence, or maybe they’re just doing drag in their bedroom, if you have the desire and ambition to do it, seize it,” she said. And RuPaul was “lovely” to work with.

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a fog,” Zhane continued. “But after it’s over it hits you and

you’re like, ‘Oh wow, Ru and I just had that conversation.’” Zhane calls the Season 12 cast a refreshing mix. “We all bring something so different to the table, and we all

“Literally what you see on TV is what you get: a tall-ass Glamazon that you just can’t help but gawk at,” she said.

just truly want to celebrate the art of drag, so I think this

“While you’re interacting with Ru and it’s happening, it’s like

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs Fridays on VH1, 9 p.m..

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season is going to be exactly that — a celebration,” she said.


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Q

COVER

We Could Be Heroes PHOTO BY DIANE HAYMES PHOTOGRAPHY

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Two legendary characters engage in warplay at Out Front By Mike Fleming

O

n the heels of a tight-knit lesbian period piece, Atlanta’s only exclusively LGBTQ theater troupe turns to two mythic male figures for a reflection on male intimacy and the effects of prolonged wartime on any society. #Nocap warplay reimagines the relationship between legendary Trojan War figures — and widely speculated lovers — Achilles and Petroclus. The depiction of modern, fatigues-wearing soldiers “A” and “P” aims to open a discussion on gay male relationships. “A brief look through history probably won’t yield a lot of gay people,” says Justin Kalin, director of the Out Front production, in a prepared statement. “We’re taught world history with this weird blind spot that implies gay people weren’t there, we only just showed up on the scene when in reality, we’ve been here from the start. “That’s how we landed on warplay. JC Lee

explores gay male intimacy, toxicity, and heroism through the lens of the iconic Grecian duo Achilles and Patroclus,” he continues. “The play asks audiences what it means to be a man in ancient Greece and what does it mean now?” The formal description of the play makes some intriguing promises: “warplay requires us to reexamine our assumptions about heroism and love. The journey of the two is a meditation on male intimacy, destiny, and how the constant shadow of war may warp us all.” Playwright Lee is a writing veteran of TV shows including Looking and The Morning Show, and viewers of those shows will easily see why the theater promises material that is both funny and poetic. The local production is led by Kalin, as well as cast members Greogry Piccirilli (Angry Fags, upcoming short film Max) as “A” and Andy Stanesic (Xanna Don’t!, The Grown Up) as “P.” With no other actors on stage, the performances are expected to be raw and intimate. To that end, Out Front boasts a new, thoroughly modern crew position for warplay: Intimacy Director. That person makes sure actors feel safe and comfortable with scenes depicting nudity, simulated sex and other challenging stage moments. They traditionally advocate for the actors with the director and can even help with choreography of body movements. warplay runs Thursdays through Sundays, March 12-28, plus an Industry Night performance on March 23, at Out Front Theatre. Tickets are $15 - $25. outfronttheatre.com

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THE QUEER AGENDA

Q

The Best Queer Things To Do in Atlanta March 12 – March 18 Life’s A Drag! Finale

The weekly finalists lip sync for the crown

@ Midtown Moon, 5 p.m. facebook.com/midtownmoon

For the Love of Paws Gala

This dressy sit-down benefits the queerly

Pee-wee Herman, March 12

beloved Angels Among Us pet rescue @ Grand Hyatt Buckhead, 6:30 p.m. angelsamongus.org

Chug!

It’s ‘90s drag night with the House of Alxndr @ Georgia

Even More Twisted Broadway, March 18

Beer Garden, 10:30 p.m. georgiabeergarden.com

SATURDAY, MARCH 14 & SUNDAY, MARCH 15

THURSDAY, MARCH 12

The Armorettes

Pee-wee Herman

Two chances to cheer the four-decade legacy of HIV

See Paul Reubens on the Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

fundraising with this camp drag troupe @ Heretic

35th Anniversary tour @ Tabernacle, 7:30 p.m. tabernacleatl.com

warplay, March 12

Holy Sh!t

It’s comedy night with the queer and

on Saturday and Midtown Moon on Sunday, both nights 8 p.m. thearmorettes.com

SUNDAY, MARCH 15

Diane Haymes Photography

queer-adjacent crowd @ Sister Louisa’s

Troop Beverly Hills

An encore matinee screening with the

Church of the Living Room, 10 p.m.

Wussy mag queens and queers @ Plaza

sisterlouisaschurch.com

Theatre, 8 p.m. wussymag.com

warplay

MONDAY, MARCH 16

The sexy, modern adaptation of a

mythological male relationship opens

And We Danced, March 13

@ Out Front Theatre Company, 8 p.m.

outfronttheatre.com. Read the Q preview

series @ Plaza Theatre, 7 p.m. outonfilm.org

FRIDAY, MARCH 13

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18

And We Danced

I Am Samantha

In a stunning cinematic feat, two

as professional dancers in the nation of

Georgia @ Midtown Art Cinema, all week.

Out on Film and Wussy join forces for the latest screening in the Queers On Film

in this issue.

male dancers struggle with being gay

Tangerine

A who’s-who, all-Georgia trans cast and crew led

by director T. Cooper premieres this moving film

Chug!, March 14

@ Plaza Theater, 7 p.m. plazaatlanta.com Even More Twisted Broadway

landmarktheaters.com

SATURDAY, MARCH 14 Atlanta United Home Opener

After two successful drag sendups of Broadway

Tangerine, March 14

hits last year, AID Atlanta stages queens again @ Lips, 6:30 p.m. aidatlanta.org

The LGBTQ soccer fans of All Stripes tailgate before the first home

Dead Gay Body

Match, 7 p.m. facebook.com/allstripesatl

the suicide of Twinkie McBottoms in this reading as part of the Spectrum

match of the season @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Tailgate at 3 p.m., Minnie Bruce Pratt

The lesbian poet and activist discusses Queer Socialism, Sexuality

& Gender @ Charis Books & More, 7:30 p.m. charisbooksandmore.com

Strange, homosexual things are happening at Ronald Reagan High after

Spotlight series @ Out Front Theatre Company, 8 p.m. outfronttheatre.com Find an expanded Queer Agenda calendar for the weekend every Thursday at theQatl.com.

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QUEEN BUTCH AT HERETIC

Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com

Q SHOTS Q

PHOTOS BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD theQatl.com

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QUEER & LOATHING AT MSR

Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com

Q SHOTS Q

PHOTOS BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD theQatl.com

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Q

Q SHOTS

NFFLA SEASON OPENING PARTY

Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com

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PHOTOS BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD


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• Dining Guide (March 19) • Spring Preview (April 9) • Bear Pride (April 16)

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Q

THEQ?! Despicable

ME

How to forgive ourselves for the past

Q

My late teens and much of my 20s were spent homeless, couch-surfing and high. I left my par-

ents after they bailed on me emotionally when

same for all of us. Too many queer people did things to cope

with injustices that, even a few years ago, we didn’t even have language to discuss.

You already took difficult steps to pull yourself together and take ownership of your past, but the process never ends. Forgiving ourselves is not something we do once, but continually.

An apropos Audrey Kitching quote makes the rounds now and again:

“Forgive yourself for not knowing better at the time. Forgive yourself

for giving away your power. Forgive yourself for past behaviors. Forgive yourself for the survival patterns and traits you picked up while

enduring trauma. Forgive yourself for being who you needed to be.” Her platitudes are a great starting place, but how?

I came out, and I’ve done things that others

Since you surrendered to a higher power,

would find questionable if they never had to live

let them do their job. If a higher power

on the street.

can forgive you, how could you know

I’ve come a long way, but I still wake

more than them? Who else do you

up thinking that I’m on a park bench,

value? Would you forgive your

under an overpass, or naked in a strang-

best friend for their past? Cut

er’s bed. The first feeling is relief that it’s

yourself the same slack.

only a dream. The second is a shame that

As we move through coping with

I can’t shake even when fully awake.

difficult experiences, we must allow

I became an expert liar. I learned to scam

ourselves basic humanity and

and seduce my way into food and shelter. I sold my

room to make mistakes. It’s not

body, not as a matter of choice but for survival. To this day, my first impulse is to manipulate or cheat to get what I want.

One of the tools I use to stay sober and off the street is the 12-step method

of change, including surrender to a higher power. Still, I struggle

to forgive myself for things I’ve done and the person they turned me into. Dear New You: Just as who you were then isn’t who you are now, the person you will become is not set in stone by your past. The future is up for grabs.

You’re not alone. Everyone has regrets and struggles to forgive themselves. Some pasts are more and some less difficult than yours, but the process to accept and overcome them is the 30

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“total forgiveness now or give up.”

Start with the intention to forgive yourself

as much as you are able for that day, and then commit to try.

If all else fails, you might as well forgive

yourself. Not doing so leaves you exhausted

and immobilized, and that’s not working.

There’s one more tool in your 12-step box. We can put our

pasts to good use by helping others, even if it’s just sharing our experience and strength, which you have done here so valiantly. This allows the past to be transmuted into a tool rather than a weight.

The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to mike@theqatl.com.

ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON


Profile for Q ATLus Magazine

Q Magazine Atlanta | March 12, 2020  

Warplay at Out Front Theatre, gay t-shirt designer Jeremy Jackson's Mango Drip, Aiden Zhane, LGBTQ Books of 2020, queers forgiving ourselves...

Q Magazine Atlanta | March 12, 2020  

Warplay at Out Front Theatre, gay t-shirt designer Jeremy Jackson's Mango Drip, Aiden Zhane, LGBTQ Books of 2020, queers forgiving ourselves...