April 2, 2020
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INSTA-ATL SLAYS ITS QUEERANTINE LOOKS LGBTQ LOCALS FIGHT FOR COVID-19 TESTS R.I.P. TO ARMORETTES OWN SHARON NEEDLES
The Q 10 Queer Things Q News 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
JUST ABOUT EVERY QUEER in Atlanta’s LGBTQ village is feeling the quarantine fatigue, even those who were already working from home, spending most nights in and doing grocery delivery. Q magazine and Project Q Atlanta are here for the duration.
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 NATIONAL ADVERTISING RIVENDELL MEDIA SALES@RIVENDELLMEDIA.COM 212-242-6863 LOCAL ADVERTISING SALES@THEQATL.COM 404-949-7071
MIKE FLEMING EDITOR & PUBLISHER
This issue of Q scrolls feeds for local fam beating boredom, presses play on good-distraction TV streams, makes a game of the daily home routine, catches up on corona craziness, and advises stubborn gays who won’t self-isolate.
We couldn’t possibly pack the entirety of developing stories into one issue, so as always, you can count on Project Q Atlanta to hit all the queer community angles of the current crisis at theQatl.com. On the site, drag queens are doing online shows, bars are doing virtual hangouts, artists are doing daily concerts, and professionals are doing online tutorials. After you soak it all in, remember we want to hear your stories. How are you or yours handling the situation? How is this mess directly affecting your life? Write us on our site’s contact page, or reach me directly at mike@theQatl.com. A reiteration from last week: We are not in print, as we expect you to be home. Our digital editions will continue, and supporting that effort means supporting our LGBTQ and allied advertisers — with gift certificates for later, online orders, delivery or phone consultations. The advertisers in this issue and on our website have gone out of their way to stay with us during tough times. We appreciate you and them beyond measure. theQatl.com
How hard it was for this gay man to get his positive COVID-19 results By Patrick Saunders
LGBTQ ATLANTA RESIDENT JEREMY BROWN SAID HE tested positive for coronavirus after a trip to Miami earlier
my last symptoms,” Brown said. “I’ll probably do that a little longer because my partner is still experiencing [symptoms].” Brown’s partner has not been tested, nor have any of his Atlanta friends who got sick after Winter Party. That included North Druid Hills resident Evans Yamoah, who is a public health analyst with the CDC. Yamoah, 29, felt sick the day he returned from the party. “That night I had a fever and that lasted for two days,” Yamoah said. “Also I had a dry cough. It wasn’t terrible but there was definitely something going on.” He later got a sore throat and had back pain. He called the CDC’s Occupational Health Clinic but was unable to get tested.
this month and faced a difficult time trying to be tested. Brown told Project Q Atlanta that several friends who attended the Winter Party also exhibited symptoms, but local health care providers didn’t have any tests. Those men, one of whom works for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, still don’t know if they’ve been infected. Brown, who lives with his partner in the West End, started feeling sick when he returned from Winter Party on March 10. “My initial symptoms were just a strange but not uncomfortable shortness of breath,” he said. “I didn’t get a fever until late that night.” The symptoms lasted for the next several days, so he called his primary care doctor, then his partner’s primary care doctor. “They directed me to the Georgia Department of Health, who said I should call the ER,” Brown said. “The ER said to call the Department of Health.” Both Grady Memorial Hospital and Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center told Brown they didn’t have any coronavirus tests. He was able to get tested at Emory University Hospital in
“They said the tests they had were for people deploying to the sites where they’re screening people,” he said. He then contacted his primary care doctor, who told him to go to the emergency room. He went to Emory University Hospital in Midtown but – unlike Brown – was not able to get tested. “I think it’s worked its way out of my system, but it would be nice to know for sure,” he said. “It’s hard to say if I’m for
Midtown on March 15 and got the results on March 21.
sure over this and not contagious.”
“A nurse called and told me the results and said I should
For daily updates on the myriad ways coronavirus affects
make sure that I stay quarantined until at least four days after
LGBTQ Atlanta, visit theQatl.com.
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Atlanta drag performer Sharon Needles dies at 61 By Patrick Saunders Friends and fans across LGBTQ Atlanta are mourning the death of Sharon Needles, who died Saturday after a long battle with cancer. Needles, whose legal name was Edward Smith, died in a hospice care facility in Covington, according to her partner David Jones. Needles was a longtime member of camp drag troupe the Armorettes. She also performed with Ruby Redd’s Birdcage Bingo, according to cast member Anne Drogyny.
COMMUNITY Q “The thing I remember most about Sharon is just her joy,” Stephens said. “She was always smiling, always laughing. Even when she was sick, she never looked like she felt sick. If you were around her, you couldn’t help but be caught up in that joy and laughter." Needles has always been an active supporter of the drag community, Stephens said. “If there was any kind of drag show, Sharon Needles was there,” she said. “She was either performing or in the audience supporting.” Kevin Crumsey, who performed with the Armorettes as Trashetta Galore, said Needles has been supporting efforts to fight HIV since the 1980s. Needles was also HIV-positive. “Sharon’s generation was right in the middle of it,” Crumsey said. “She’s survived all these years and never taken a diagnosis as a death sentence. She just fought it.”
“Sharon spent over 40 years donating her time and talent to spreading awareness and raising millions of dollars for those living with HIV/AIDS,” Drogyny told Project Q Atlanta. Atlanta drag queen Jealouse met Needles 20 years ago at legendary gay nightlife hotspot Backstreet. “She always had a smile and was so kind,” Jealouse said. “Sharon supported so many performers. Sharon’s legacy of charity and always giving back will live on.” Tyler Casper met Needles at a club in Monroe, Ga., in 2015. It was Casper’s first time performing in drag publicly. “She had seen me outside the building hyperventilating and feeling sick to my stomach before my number and she asked me my name,” Casper said. “She said, ‘Well darling, I see something special in you that isn't painted on a beautiful face, but what's in your heart. That's passion and drive. Don't ever lose it, have fun and just twirl.’” Longtime friend Sasha Stephens said cancer treatments had taken a toll but didn’t mar her memory.
Needles continued to perform as long as possible, including at the Armorettes' annual Easter Drag Races and anniversary parties. “She wouldn’t let the health issues stop her or slow her down,” Crumsey said. “She would go out and engage with the audience and pull them in.” Casper, who performs under the name Freya Diva, called Needles his “drag aunt.” “Sharon never steered you away from being something you're not,” he said. “Whatever you are meant to be is meant to be, and she encouraged that. I know that she was in life and is still to this day an angel.” theQatl.com
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ENTERTAINMENT Q Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
NETFLIX Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness (documentary series) Joe Exotic is gay, but that fact might be the least interesting thing about this one-time exotic animal park proprietor and mullet extremist, currently doing time after getting busted for a murder-for-hire plot.
Streaming services offer abundant queer content
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
hings could be better, to put it mildly. But things could also be a lot worse. For one thing, we could’ve been stuck inside back in
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (documentary) This documentary explores the mystery surrounding the 1992 death of gay rights activist, trans icon and Stonewall veteran Marsha P. Johnson.
the days when queer viewing choices were
limited to reruns of Will & Grace, Cinemax airings of the 1996 lesbian drama Bound, and David DeCoteau’s PG-13 gay porn.
Not so today. Toilet paper may be scarce, but queer viewing choices on streaming services are better than ever.
Grab your remote and check out our guide to the hottest new titles, hidden gems
and LGBTQ classics available on Netflix, Prime and Hulu. Then wash your hands.
The Politician (series) A gay teen mounts a ruthless campaign to become his high school’s class president in this Ryan Murphy-created series. Ben Platt stars as the titular politician, with Jessica Lange, Bette Midler and vagina candle huckster Gwyneth Paltrow. Special (series) Series creator and star Ryan O’Connell takes inspiration from his own life in this series about a gay man with cerebral palsy defying the limited expectations of others as he pursues life on his terms.
By John Nail
Blue is the Warmest Colour (movie) This critically acclaimed 2013 film about the relationship between two French teens is noted for its emotional honesty and its graphic sex scenes.
Blue is the Warmest Colour
Also on Netflix: Paris is Burning (documentary), Eastsiders (series), Hap and Leonard (series), The Cakemaker (movie), Concussion (2013 movie), Queer Eye (series), Black Lightning (series), Dynasty (2017), The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin (documentary) and Philadelphia (movie). theQatl.com
TV continued Mario
The Watermelon Woman The Boys
PRIME The Boys (series)
This foul-mouthed free-for-all satire about superheroes being assholes features the bisexual Queen Maeve amongst its super-antihero characters. Modern Love (series)
Based on the New York Times’ column, this series explores relationships, love and the human connection. Among the
relationships explored is that of a same-sex couple, played by Andrew Scott and Brandon Victor Dixon. Disobedience (movie)
Rachel Weisz stars as a woman returning to the Orthodox
Jewish community that shunned her and resuming her relationship with her childhood female friend (Rachel McAdams). This 2017 drama was adapted from Naomi Alderman’s novel. 12
Mario (movie) In case you missed it when it was featured in the 2018 Out on Film lineup, this Swiss drama about two soccer players torn between love of the game and love for each other is now streaming. The Watermelon Woman (movie) Lesbian filmmaker Cheryl Dunye wrote, directed and starred in this 1996 comedy about a black lesbian filmmaker probing into the life of a 1930s black actress who played “mammy” archetypes. Also on Prime: Making the Cut (series), Transparent (series), One Mississippi (series), Snails in the Rain (movie), Kathy Griff in: A Hell of a Story (documentary), I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakef ield Poole (documentary), Kate Can’t Swim (movie), The Handmaiden (movie), A Very English Scandal (mini-series), A Moment in the Reeds (movie), The Fabulous Allan Carr (documentary) and Vegas in Space (movie).
Please Like Me
Please Like Me (series) Out Australian comic Josh Thomas is the creator and star of this sitcom about a twentysomething man coming out after being dumped by his girlfriend, then moving back home to care for his mentally ill mother. Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (movie) Henry Gamble (Cole Doman), son of an evangelical Christian minister, is turning 17 and questioning his sexuality. It should be a hell of a party — and it is. “A rambunctious, often hilarious…story” according to RogerEbert.com. Aniara (movie) Two women become lovers while trapped aboard an imperiled spaceship transporting elites fleeing an uninhabitable Earth. Sure, it’s not the most uplifting choice, but fans of thoughtful sci-fi, LGBTQ romance and sex cults (yes, there are sex cults!) will appreciate this Swedish film. Lip Service (series) Called the British answer to The L Word by some, this dramedy series focuses on the “lives, loves and lusts of Lipstick Lesbians in Scotland.” Naz & Maalik (movie) Two closeted Muslim teens in Brooklyn struggle to make money and come clean about their sexuality. Leads Kerwin Johnson Jr. and Curtiss Cook Jr. give thoroughly engaging performances in this character-driven story from writer-director Jay Dockendorf. Also on Hulu: First Girl I Loved (movie), Those People (movie), The Bisexual (series), Tangerine (movie), Anyone but Me (series), A Very Sordid Wedding (movie), Transgender Nation (documentary), Beach Rats (movie), The L Word (2004 series), Mapplethorpe (movie), Steven Universe (animated series), Tom of Finland (movie) Will & Grace (1998 and 2017 series), Into the Dark: Midnight Kiss (movie) and RuPaul’s Drag Race (series).
Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party
Naz & Maalik theQatl.com
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Young, horny and spreading COVID-19
I heard Midtown was recently pronounced Gay Ground Zero for coronavirus, but even amid the lockdown, all my
friends are still cruising the Beltline, hooking up on Grindr and ordering out for every meal. I’m never around old people or anything, and I'm young, healthy and horny. How worried should I really be about this mess? Dear Coro-No You Betta Don’t! It’s difficult for everyone to have our lives and lifestyles interrupted, but you prolong the quarantine by ignoring it. For most people, the sheer duration of self-isolation is the worst part, and that’s a good thing. The fewer of us suffering the actual disease shows that our efforts are working. It’s a lesson in shared responsibility that may be lacking among your peers, but learn it we must. If not for yourself or your friends, do it for the community you may be having trouble picturing. Everyone pays when people selfishly buck social distancing protocols. Say you’re on your way to a trick’s place and you touch a handrail with coronavirus on it, then you transfer it to a door handle or PIN pad. Another person touches that, and they have one of several autoimmune or other risk factors. That person touches their eye while out buying lifesaving medicine or food to survive, and they get so sick that they die. Re-read that sentence. It’s not an exaggeration. It’s not just “old people,” as you suggest, who are at risk. People of all ages are dying with COVID-19, and not just those who are diabetic, being treated for cancer, have HIV, suffer from
Everyone pays when people selfishly buck social distancing protocols. Crohn’s Disease or any number of other medical conditions. All manner of people are mixing with not just you, but effectively, every person you party with, have sex with, or to whom you come unnecessarily too close. The longer you do, the longer it takes to get the spread under control, and the longer we all stay at home. For the record, there has been tell of some very hot Facetime sessions between sequestered guys who met on hookup apps. Separated sex partners are also getting hot and heavy on Skype and Zoom. If you’re going to reach out and touch someone during this time, do it through technology. For the next several weeks, your safest sex partner — for everyone within miles of you — is you. The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to email@example.com. ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON theQatl.com
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