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Q

10 BEST VIDEO GAMES WHILE IN QUARANTINE

March 26, 2020

inform | inspire

S R E M Y GA g time n i a t m a a nt og e e v d e i v e ng , on Keepi queer

WUSSY CELEBRATES FIVE QUEER YEARS SURVIVING & THRIVING IN UNCUFFING SEASON PLEASE DON’T CONFLATE HIV AND CORONAVIRUS

Q News Q Shots The Q 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

Queer-antine

2020

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

LIFE IS A LOT RIGHT NOW, but we can handle it — together.

This issue of Q relishes our role as a content provider, community

reporter and cheerleader, and these days, as a way to help you pass the time while you self-isolate.

Our cover story introduces gaymer extraordinaire Gamemaster Herb. He brings an

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 ERIN DOHONY 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

arcade experience to several LGBTQ and

allied spaces in Atlanta, so we asked for the best video games for home sequestration, MIKE FLEMING EDITOR & PUBLISHER

plus where to catch his events when things get back to normal.

Speaking of things to read now and do

later, Wussy turns 5 in the Q Community feature. Jon Dean talks about how far they’ve come on their digital and print products as well as branded events.

Queer-antined with people you love? Our condolences. Ian Aber talks about queer ways to not kill your significant other. In the

Q advice column, I offer ways to try and stay together during what would have been Uncuffing Season.

You can also check our back cover for this year’s CMI community

survey to let the world know your LGBTQ opinions. Please enjoy

this issue, check us for new content daily on our social feeds and at theQatl.com, and write me at mike@theQatl.com.

NATIONAL ADVERTISING RIVENDELL MEDIA SALES@RIVENDELLMEDIA.COM 212-242-6863

We will keep putting out digital editions as long as we are able.

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

tions. The ones in this issue have gone out of their way to stay with

Supporting our effort means supporting our advertisers, either with gift certificates for later, online orders, delivery or phone consultaus during tough times.

theQatl.com

3


Q

VOICES

Just

STOP

Don’t Conflate Coronavirus to Early HIV/AIDS

No one cared about people dying of AIDS in the early years of the pandemic. The stock market didn’t budge. The President didn’t hold news conferences. Billions of dollars were not spent. your friends were so consumed by dark purple skin lesions they were barely recognizable as human. There were no congressional bills promising them paid sick leave or help with their medical bills. They were kicked out of their apartments and then died in the guest room of

PEOPLE ASK ME IF OUR LIVES TODAY FEEL LIKE

whomever had the space and the guts to care for them.

the early years of HIV/AIDS, and I want to

Tens of thousands of people died of AIDS-

scream. There is no comparison. Just stop.

related complications before our government began to address it. Many, many, many of

No one cared about people dying of AIDS

those people spent their last breaths in the

in the early years of the pandemic. The stock

center of protests in the streets, begging for

market didn’t budge. The President didn’t

justice and relief.

hold news conferences. Billions of dollars were not spent. In the early 1980s, AIDS was killing all the

MARK S. KING

right people. Homosexuals and drug addicts and Black men and women. There is no comparison to a new viral outbreak that might kill people society actually values, like your grandmother and her friends in the nursing home.

House lawn.

Yes, that activism has reverberations today, in the work between public health and community health advocates. That’s a difference, not a similarity. To attempt to draw blithe comparisons — oh! This feels so scary and there are lines at the grocery store and people have to

To have any conversation during the early HIV pandemic

stay away from each other. Hey, does this feel like when HIV

meant talking about anal sex and sharing needles and con-

happened…? — is an insult to the bravery and sacrifice of

doms and religion and who God was punishing.

the living and the dead.

We had to climb over mountains of social bias in order to

There is no comparison. Fuck that. Just stop.

educate people on the basic facts of risk and transmission. Social distancing was easier then, because the bodies of

4

Their ashes were dumped on the White

theQatl.com

Mark S. King is a writer, HIV advocate and long-term survivor with HIV. Read more of his work at the myfabulousdisease.com.


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theQatl.com


7 QUEER THINGS Q

Spousal

CONFLICT

How to Not End Your Relationship at the End of the World By Ian Aber

I

Nap or Meditate

always thought the straight people would end up being zombies and the end of days would be queers fighting them off in some sort of “Sissy That Walking Dead” scenario. But it turns out it is much worse than that.

Or just say you’re meditating and nap. You need the time just to break up the day, and you can use it to let your subconscious do some heavy lifting. Try meditation apps like Calm. It could create a new healthy habit that you take out of quarantine.

Truly, this is hardly the End of Days/Gays, but these are trying times. Here are some hot tips to keep shut ins from being shut down during quarantine.

Quarantine Clean

Calm Down It’s getting scarier by the day, but if any people are used to feeling scared and uncertain, it is queer people. We were built to live in a world that is low-key trying to stifle, stunt and almost kill us at every turn. If you can’t watch the news without screaming at the television, maybe only scream at every other lie a certain orange-faced politician tells. Pace yourself. He will lie again, and you’ll have more chances to yell in the short term and long-term future.

Passion of the Ration If you are a bottomless pit of hunger and despair, nothing triggers it more than a pandemic. Don’t eat 8,000 calories in a single day of food that was supposed to last two weeks. Plan what you are going to have for dinner at lunch, and plan breakfast during dinner, and so on.

Dance Party Nothing makes time move faster in a movie than a dance montage, and nothing starts a dance montage like a dance party. Put on some music and move, and before you know it, you’ll be in a better mood, burn a few calories and passed some time. Dance parties can also be combined with cleaning blitzes for faster chores and the most fun part of your day.

Don’t fool yourself. No matter how long you’ve lived where you are, you have clutter. Take the time to go through junk drawers, closets and bookshelves. Make piles of what to toss, what to donate and what to resell after the quarantine. Feel free to hold up a wig you bought 17 years ago and wore once and scream, “This sparks my joy, I’m keeping it!” Sure, you’ll toss it, but this way is pretty fun.

Shower and Make the Bed If given the ability, man will descend head first into madness. If you engage in routine tasks, you won’t find yourself unbathed and undressed for a week straight. Stay in the habit, even if it is just sweatpants, and you’ll love yourself a little more. If you nap in an unmade bed, you are a depressed person. If you take a nap on a made bed, you are a go-getter who knows when it’s time to recharge your battery. Also, if you ain’t keeping it cute, you severely reduce the chances for some quality quarantine sexy time.

Spend Time Apart Based on how close your quarters are, this one could be tough, but it is also the most crucial. If you are not used to spending every moment together, short times apart give you each some “you” time — even if it is both of you in the same room listening to music on headphones. If you both work from home, separate for the work day, reconvene for lunch, and split again for the afternoon. Simply saying, “If you see me reading, don’t talk to me until I’m done, please,” or “Let me finish writing this article before you start yelling about what Trump just tweeted” can go a long way. theQatl.com

7


Q

COVER

PHOTO BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD 8

theQatl.com

G M


ME B Y Gamemaster Herb creates ‘family affair’ events for Atlanta’s LGBTQ gaymers By Patrick Saunders

W

hen Atlanta’s gamers are in need of a joystick fix, they can turn to Gamemaster Herb.

The queer and polyamorous event promoter runs weekly game nights in multiple locations. He has provided arcade night for venues like Atlanta Eagle and Heretic, and he works with organizations like LGBTQ fan group Atlanta Outworlders. He’s in talks constantly to expand his LGBTQIA-inclusive gaming universe, currently scheming with Mary’s and the Dames & Dregs Festival, among several others. Herb talked to Q about the birth of a gamer, his early love for a certain hedgehog and why the gaming world is a culture that fills him with gratitude. How did you get into gaming? At home, all we had was a GameBoy that my sisters would let me play. I started there with Tetris, Super Mario Land and [laughing] Fist of The North Star. Not long after that, I entered elementary school, and they had all these leftover computers and tech from years past, so I started with a great appreciation for retro on the Atari 800 and Apple IIe, playing games like Asteroids and Word Munchers. Was there a particular game that obsessed you first? I liked all sorts of games, but when I was six and Sonic the Hedgehog dropped, I was fixated. It totally blew away all other games at the time in presentation, music, physics and style. I first played it on a 10-inch black and white television at my sister’s boyfriend’s house, and even in that format, I was hooked and got a Sega Genesis that year for my birthday. What inspires you about gaming? Unlike all previous generations, gaming is a medium that encompasses music, visuals and tactile interaction that you

can use alone or with others. For my generation, video games are our movies, radio, TV and sports. That’s huge, and I never forget how much of an impact they have been and continue to be for countless people. It used to be a thing you got made fun of for being into gaming, and now it’s an entire culture that I’m grateful to be a part of. What’s a typical GameMasterHerb event like? Welcoming hugs, chill and groovy music from all genres, a myriad of drinks, food and walks of life, often accompanied side-by-side with artists, DJs and dancing with drag/bands on the horizon. There’s an incredible variety of games, currently at over 9,000 titles from over 30 different systems on anywhere from eight to 16 screens. A platform for LGBTQIA (and allied) gamers/ gaymers to play, enjoy, connect and express themselves. It’s more than just gaming. It’s a family affair. Why is it important to have LGBTQ-specific game nights? I’m just gonna come out and say that there are little to no LGBTQIA video game spaces anywhere in this world. I’ve traveled quite a bit, and all I see are mostly straight boys  theQatl.com

9


Q

Q&A continued

Quarantine Games

@GameMasterHerb’s Top 10 Video Games in Retro + Modern Gaming ACTION Retro: Alien Soldier-Genesis (Sega Genesis Classics-PC/PS4/Switch/XBONE) Modern: Shadow of the Colossus Remaster-PS4 (free this month on PS+) ADVENTURE Retro: Castlevania:Symphony of the Night-PS1 (PS4) Modern: Horizon Zero Dawn-PS4 CO-OP Retro: Gunstar Heroes-Genesis (Genesis Mini, Sega Genesis Classics on PC/PS4/Switch/ PHOTO BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD

17 to 25 in strictly competitive settings. Either that or dusty old cabinets with messed up buttons that still make you use quarters and only have one game per machine. Annual conventions with expensive tickets at hotels for niche crowds are not enough. We need places for us without pressure, judgement, loose change or limitations, and I don’t plan on quitting creating them.

Modern: Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime-PC/ PS4/Switch/XBONE FIGHTING Retro: Street Fighter II-SNES/Genesis (Snes/Genesis Minis, PC/PS4/Switch/XBONE) Modern: GranBlue Fantasy Versus-PS4

How did Multiplay Tuesdays at the Eagle start, and how was the first night?

FPS

Incredible. So much love, so many hugs and strong support from my queer fam and allies. The turnout was...dare I say it, the busiest weeknight at any gay bar that I’ve ever been to in any city other than my previous anniversary nights of WarpZoneWednesdays.

on XBONE)

Retro: Perfect Dark-N64 (Xbox360, Rare Replay Modern: Titanfall 2-PC/PS4/XBONE MULTIPLAYER (4)

Big shouts to my crew of dedicated and talented volunteers who helped out.

Retro: literally ANY Bomberman-all systems

What’s the game that’s really capturing people’s attention these days?

PUZZLE

Dreams on PS4, Smash Bros on Switch, Apex/Fortnite for free games, Tekken for the fighting crowd. I’m consistently experiencing shock and awe when people come to my events and see that I have at least one Dreamcast waiting for them with games like Marvel VS Capcom 2 and Power Stone, both of which are very hard to obtain these days and don’t exist on modern consoles. I’d love for Goonya Fighter and REKT on Switch to get more attention.

Retro: Adventures of Lolo-NES (Switch)

What do you when you’re not gaming? Spend time with my two lovely husbands, Pete and Lucas, draw, make beats, network, stream on Twitch, support my friends and their events, thrift shopping and trying to adapt to the daylight world as a nerdy night owl. Follow him on Instagram @gamemasterherb, and keep up with his latest gaming events at GameMasterHerb.eventbrite.com. 10

XBONE)

theQatl.com

Modern: Goonya Fighter-Switch

Modern: Crystal Crisis-PC/PS4/Switch RACING Retro: Stunt Race FX-SNES (Switch) Modern: GRIP-PC/PS4/Switch RPG Retro: Earthbound-SNES (SNES Mini) Modern: Ys VIII-Lacrimosa of DANA-PC/PS4/Switch SHMUP Retro: Ikaruga-Dreamcast (Android/PC/PS4/Switch) Modern: Resogun-PS3/PS4


Q

COMMUNITY

Southern. Queer. Anniversary.

Wussy editors Sunni Johnson (Arts), Iv Fischer (Culture), Jon Dean (Chief), Nicholas Goodly (Writing), and graphic designer Blake England. Photo by Jamie Hopper. 12

theQatl.com


By Patrick Saunders IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE IT’S BEEN FIVE YEARS SINCE Wussy sprouted onto the Atlanta scene to bring the publication and the events that the city’s queer arts crowd — and the many audiences who love them — needed. “It feels pretty surreal,” Wussy Publisher and Co-Founder Jon Dean told Q. “After seven print volumes and nearly 250 events, things are not slowing down.” “I've got a lot more grays than I did five years ago,” he added. The journey began in April 2015 with the birth of what was described then as “an online magazine for Southern queers.” “Our initial goal was really just to start covering the queer art and drag scene in Atlanta through an online blog format,” Dean said. Dean said he’s proud of what he and his content team accomplished from the beginning, and what those projects ultimately evolved into — a slick, coffee-table-style magazine with loyal readers and international distribution. “Getting Volume 1 printed and released was a huge milestone for us,” Dean said. “It was more of a literary magazine back then, but it is still a great capsule of queer writers and artists.”

Dean counted the first Wussy Prom at the Heretic as “one of the best event memories.” And the list goes on and on. “We never dreamed we would ever be able to pay our editors, writers, graphic designers and other freelancers,” Dean said. “The events have been a huge part of that. They help sustain us, fund our printing costs, keep our presence firmly rooted in Atlanta, and allow us to build community in different ways.” STAYING ON MISSION Dean attributes Wussy’s success to its team of writers and editors, which has changed and evolved over the years.

Wussy marks a milestone in its queer ATL revolution

“We kept pushing the envelope of what Wussy could be, and eventually we got trans icon Amanda Lepore to be on the cover of Volume 4 and things have sort of snowballed from there,” he added. DRAG. FILMS. PROMS.

A major part of Wussy’s evolution and recognizability, though has been its oh-so-queerly curated events. There are the film screenings, which brought Steel Magnolias, My Own Private Idaho, Jawbreaker, Little Shop of Horrors, Hocus Pocus and so many other cult favorites back to theaters. They also team with Out on Film for Queers on Film each month. And don’t forget the endless stream of boldfaced names from the drag world, including Jujubee, Monet X Change, the Boulet Brothers, Lady Bunny and Rify Royalty in the past year alone. But the Wussy crew never forgets its roots, continuing to collaborate with a flood of local drag talent, including a pre-Drag Race Violet Chachki, as well as most of the names you can think to add.

“Some of the architects who helped build the magazine have moved on to other things, like Zaida Sanchez and Austin Frantz,” he said, adding that the death of Co-Founder and Operations Manager Matt Jones in 2018 hit the Wussy family hard. “That was a huge blow for us,” Dean said, “but his creative and salty spirit still runs through everything we do.” Over the years, Wussy’s writers and editors have learned how to accept criticism when publishing content that some find controversial, Dean noted.

“We've always wanted Wussy to be an outlet that offers unfiltered and diverse opinions on arts and culture, so obviously we have ruffled a lot of feathers,” he said. “I am really proud that we've stayed true to our values and mission statement since the beginning.” UP NEXT Things are not slowing down as Wussy enters its next five years. More drag shows, gallery shows, film screenings, panel discussions, artist markets and comedy shows are on the horizon. And Wussy’s hotly-anticipated next magazine installment is right around the corner. “Volume 8 will be released mid-April, and we cannot wait to announce who we've lined up for this issue,” Dean said. “It's our biggest issue yet.” Find Wussy on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @wussymag and at wussymag.com. theQatl.com

13


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ST. PATRICK’S SUNDAY FUNDAY AT TEN

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Q

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Q

THEQ?! Uncuffing

SEASON

How to cope while being cooped up Q

We joked all winter that we met during cuffing season, and that cuddling through dark cold nights would be

sweet nothings and special surprises. Don’t Shut Them Out. If you’re angry, go out of your

way not to avoid them. It’s really just game-playing, and it doesn’t solve anything. If you don’t talk it out, the problems will persist.

Compromise. Relationships are not about winning. It’s

not about seeing who gives in first. Start with small stuff, like where to eat and what to watch, then giving a little on the big stuff will be easier.

Only Argue About Solvable Issues. You can work out who gets which side of the bed or who takes out the trash. You shouldn’t try to change religious or political differences.

nice while they lasted. Well, spring is here, sunshine hours are

Stop harping on core beliefs that are part of who they are.

After three months of indoor life, we’re out more, and tempta-

out relationships is for support during tough times. When

cooped up wears a little thin. We are familiar with each other’s

value their input, even if you choose not to follow it. No

growing longer, and the jokes are starting to gnaw at me a little.

Value Their Opinions. One of the big reasons we seek

tion is everywhere. Not only that, but the monotony of being

you ask for advice, make sure they know it’s because you

every move and utterance, and tempers can be shorter than

need to put each other down or try to sway every opinion.

they once were.

How can we keep it interesting — and keep each other — through this season and all the ones to come?

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

Dear Cuffed & Cooped: One of the best things about spring is the relief of more

sunlight hours and opportunities to shake the shackles of

winter climates. Spending so much time together in winter,

some couples do expose the cracks in their relationship until spring cleaning their love life means it’s time to bolt.

This year, little did you expect to be cooped up together even longer with the pandemic pandemonium of 2020. By the time you read this, you may be literally required to stay together; people are being told around the globe to stay inside and do outdoor activities alone or only with the people who live in the same home.

Luckily, there are things you can do during any “un-

cuffing season” to strengthen your bonds even as they are stretched and tested.

Nurture Your Affection. Resist the rabbit hole of who else is out there vs. your partner’s id-

iosyncrasies. Spend time thinking of what you

love about them. Go out of your way to show you

care. Flirt. Keep the butterflies in your stomachs with theQatl.com

19


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Profile for Q Magazine Atlanta

Q Magazine Atlanta | March 26, 2020  

LGBTQ quarantine in Atlanta, Wussy mag celebrates 5 years, Gamemaster Herb's Top 20 video games for queer cornavirus isolation, and more.

Q Magazine Atlanta | March 26, 2020  

LGBTQ quarantine in Atlanta, Wussy mag celebrates 5 years, Gamemaster Herb's Top 20 video games for queer cornavirus isolation, and more.