NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY PLANNER
inform | inspire
2020s Atlanta enters the new queer decade like…
DON’T-MISS LGBTQ ATL HISTORY EXHIBIT MEET THE LESBIAN BASSIST ROCKING ATLANTA’S YOUTH December 26, 2019
10 Queer Things Q Shots The Queer Agenda 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
End of an ERA
ENTERING A NEW DECADE always brings with it a bit more anticipation than other end-of-year celebrations. It’s like the opportunity and potential of the New Year is somehow ten-fold, even if it is just perception. And if perception helps form reality, then we are here for some changes in the 2020s. And not just the clusterfuck of what to call decades we experienced in the 2000s (Naughties?) and 2010s (Teens? Tens? Still 2000s?) No, we’re talking changes of presidential proportions.
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 NATIONAL ADVERTISING RIVENDELL MEDIA SALES@RIVENDELLMEDIA.COM 212-242-6863 LOCAL ADVERTISING SALES@THEQATL.COM 404-949-7071
MIKE FLEMING EDITOR & PUBLISHER
At any rate, this issue of Q is here for the celebration of queer Atlanta as always, and if the excitement is tenfold, then bring it. Being right on the cusp of 2020, of course our cover story is all about the New Year’s Eve revelry you can get yourself into. That’s on top of the regular Queer Agenda calendar of the best things to do in Atlanta in the coming days.
We help put a cap on the era by topping off our Roaring ‘20s series in 10 Queer Things. Previously, we listed the LGBTQ people, organizations and venues we’ll miss in the next decade, and we wrap it with queer things gone but that we most decidedly will not miss. This issue also looks back by unveiling the best kept secret that you need to hear: the Out in the Archives exhibit at GSU. Take a virtual tour, then get over there to see it in the New Year. Ever forward, we also meet a local community member making a difference in musician and mentor Jen Hodges. And Q being Q and you being you, this issue takes on another relationship conundrum in the advice column and another slate of event photos in Q Shots. Soak it all in as the clock and the calendar keep ticking forward, and we’ll see you in the next issue. Until then, catch up with fresh content daily at theQatl.com, and write me any time at mike@theQatl.com. And, hey. Happy New Year. theQatl.com
10 QUEER THINGS
Q series on queer things Atlanta will miss in the 2020s wraps with things we’ll be happy to see go
By Mike Fleming
FOR THE END OF 2019, OUR ROARING ‘20S SERIES looked back at gone-but-not-forgotten icons of the last 20 years as we head into the next. This time, we find 10 of the many things we won’t miss from the 2000s and 2010s, namely the challenges that queer Atlanta still faces. It was just as hard to narrow down this list as it was the legendary souls lost, businesses shuttered and the bars and clubs gone by. Find those Roaring ’20s posts, as well as posts on all these issues, on the fresh-daily updates to news and community articles on theQatl.com. The top 10 things we won’t miss are:
LGBTQ Racism The most talked-about challenge within the community itself is the steady leak of mainstream racial injustices and inequalities into the experiences of local LGBTQ people of color.
Abortion Reduxes Georgia banned abortion this year to take effect in 2020. A woman’s right to make choices to her own body is currently held up in court, but please let the feds step in on this state travesty so this “thing of the past” doesn’t become a thing of our future.
HIV/AIDS Over 50,000 Georgians are living with HIV, and an average of 3,000 are newly diagnosed each year.
Housing & Business Discrimination There is no law in Georgia preventing landowners from refusing to rent or sell to our citizens based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Similarly, our state doesn’t even have a law that prevents local businesses from refusing service to patrons because of their religion. 6
May the 2020s see building of relationships with and within transgender communities to strengthen leadership and independence, provide training to businesses on LGBTQ coworkers, advocate for laws and policies that include gender identity and gender expression, and expand trans awareness and visibility. Nearly 9 in 10 LGBTQ students report experiencing harassment within the last school year, and 3 in 10 report missing a class – or even a whole day of school – because they felt unsafe.
‘Religious Freedom’ Hoaxes Georgia residents are among the most vulnerable in the nation lacking explicit protections from discrimination for people based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. So-called “religious freedom” bills continue to target LGBTQ citizens in false pretense, as religious liberty is already enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
Employment Discrimination For perspective, Georgia doesn’t even have a law that prevents private employers from discriminating on the basis of an employee’s race. To put it plainly, you can legally be fired in Georgia without recourse for being gay, bi, trans or gender non-conforming.
Community Safety??? Georgia is 1 of only 4 states that does not have a state hate crimes law. GE continues to work with our coalition partners to pass this important legislation.
LGBTQ Parental Stigma Gay and transgender people become parents in diverse ways including adoption, technology, and previous heterosexual relationships. Georgia’s current laws create barriers for LGBTQ families from the same protections that other families receive. Source: Georgia Equality
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Michelle Asci, Hillary Morrish and Morna Gerrard of GSU Special Collections & Archives
Historical REFERENCE Atlanta’s queer legacy comes to life in Georgia State exhibit By Patrick Saunders BAR RAIDS BY ATLANTA POLICE. THE AIDS EPIdemic. Pride festivities through the years. The protests, the venues, the breakthroughs, the drag shows, the controversies, the celebrations — the queer Atlanta of it all. Every bit of it is part of the “Out in the Archives” exhibit at the Georgia State University Library in downtown Atlanta. The exhibit, on display now through September 2020, is the result of a year-long effort by GSU’s Special Collections & Archives department that debuted just before Atlanta Pride in October. It’s a project whose time has come, according to Morna Gerrard, archivist for GSU’s Women’s Collection and Gender & Sexuality Collection. “We decided that since we’ve never been able to highlight the
Gender & Sexuality collections, plus it’s the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and the police raid at Ansley Mall, we figured this was a good year to do that,” she told Q during a recent tour of the exhibit.
Gerrard worked with archival associate Hillary Morrish and library assistant Michelle Asci to bring the exhibit to life. “The three of us would meet once every week or two and gradually work our way through the collections and decide how we were going to structure the exhibit, because we want to reach as many people as possible and to document as many lives as possible,” Gerrard said. THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE GAPS Bringing the fullness of queer Atlanta’s history to the exhibit involved a lot of digging. “If we found gaps, we’d say, ‘OK, we think somewhere maybe in Cruise Magazine there’s an article about this,’ and [Morrish] would play detective and go hunt it down,” Gerrard said. theQatl.com 9 Photos by Patrick Saunders theQatl.com
COMMUNITY continued The detective work resulted in an exhibit broken up into panels covering various segments of queer life in Atlanta, beginning with the Georgia Gay Liberation Front in 1969. “We don’t have collections that go much further back,” Gerrard said. “Very few people do by the nature of the fact that it was illegal to be gay.” A “Finding Community” panel covers LGBTQ Atlanta’s places, activities, publications, bars and churches over the years. Gerrard and her team didn’t want to sugarcoat any of it. “LGBTQ history is full of things that happened to the community that weren’t always pleasant, so we do look at the Eagle raid, the bombing at the Other Side, and even the racism at the bars,” she said. “We didn’t want to pretend that it was all happy and everyone had a good time and got along. That’s not necessarily true, and we don’t want to pretend that it was.” Atlanta’s queer arts scene is also covered, including photos from theaters past and present, and an outfit from poet Franklin Abbott of the Radical Faeries. The panel on the AIDS epidemic made for the toughest decisions. “There’s just so much information that we just felt this cannot do it justice, so that was my challenge with it,” Gerrard said. “We’ve done as much as we could within this small area.” “We did want to bring up that there are people thriving and surviving but there are also people still dying,” she added. To tell more of the story, the archival department is working on a podcast on the history of HIV/AIDS in Atlanta that will come out in early 2020. A “Protests” panel includes the Anita Bryant controversy in the 1970s, the Bowers vs. Hardwick case on Georgia’s sodomy laws in the 1980s, the Cracker Barrel employer controversy and the Olympics Out of Cobb effort in the 1990s.
STUDENTS FLOCK TO EXHIBIT ‘SAFE SPACE’ Gay Atlanta resident Brian Basinger, a 2008 graduate of GSU’s law school, was “blown away” by the exhibit. “Who knows what a law student or a journalism student or a business student at Georgia State will discover going through these records and files that could form the basis for a legal argument, a book or a successful new start-up company?” Basinger said. In fact, more students have come to see the Out in the Archives exhibit than any of the department’s previous exhibits, according to Gerard. “I really feel like Special Collections now is a space on campus that it feels very safe and welcoming to students,” she said. “That’s been an added bonus on top of that we are documenting a community that I really care about and has a really, really rich history, and it’s often completely neglected.” Basinger agrees that the exhibit offers a unique chance for LGBTQ Atlanta to learn all about its history. “Including its triumphs, its defeats and the memories of those brave pioneers we lost along the way who demanded respect and dignity for everyone,” he said.
As inclusive as it is, Gerrard is quick to point out that the exhibit is not comprehensive. There are gaps in the collection that need to be filled covering transgender people, bisexuals and people of color.
The items in the exhibit represent a fraction of the Gender & Sexuality Collection at GSU, so Gerrard and her team created an online version of it as well. Next, they want to turn the online version into a permanent Atlanta LGBTQ history timeline.
“For groups that have been marginalized so much, we wanted to be as inclusive as possible using the collections that we had,” Gerrard said. “There are gaps, so our ask is that if you see a gap, help us fill it. Find us a donor, or if you’re a donor yourself, give us your collection.”
Out in the Archives exhbit runs through September 2020 at Georgia State University’s Special Collections & Archives department, the 8th floor of the school’s Library South (103 Decatur St. SE). It is free and open to the public weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The library will be closed Dec. 20 to Jan. 6. Visit the online exhibit at exhibits.library.gsu.edu.
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Q&A Bending the RULES Jen Hodges makes beautiful music with Atlanta youth By Patrick Saunders WHEN ATLANTA NEEDS A MUSIC MENTOR TO GUIDE its youth, they go to Notes for Notes. That’s the non-profit where Jen Hodges serves as education and outreach specialist that offers free music instruction and recording studio space out of the Whitehead Boys & Girls Club. Hodges, who lives with her wife in Gresham Park, joined Notes for Notes’ Nashville program in 2012. She moved to Atlanta with the program in 2015. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native chatted with Q about her work and her inspirations. What kind of kid were you growing up in Winston-Salem? I was super shy in elementary school until embracing my inner weirdness in middle school. I played sports, music, and I loved to draw. I became extroverted in high school. I was in a band and had no sense of fear. I wanted to be a rock star and cared little for school. I was mischievous, a bit bored, and wanted to get out of my town. Yet when the opportunity presented itself, I was hesitant at first. Eventually, I decided to take the challenge, move to Boston and attend Berklee College of Music. What inspired you to take up playing bass? Around 9 years old, I heard [Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist] Flea on the radio. I wasn’t sure what instrument he was playing, but I fell in love with it. I shortly found out he played bass and asked my parents to get me one. At nine, I was about four feet tall and weighed all of 50 pounds. They weren’t discouraging, but they were a bit hesitant to commit to purchase an expensive piece of equipment that was twice my size. How did Notes for Notes come into your life? I found Notes for Notes on Craigslist. I had never worked with youth before but decided to give it a shot. I came in and jammed with a group of third graders on some Stevie Wonder. It was the coolest experience ever! I was hooked. Thankfully, I got the job and haven’t looked back since.
What inspires you about the work?
The youth inspire me every day. They are constantly changing and growing. It is exciting to be a part of their lives. Each youth is unique. Bringing all these diverse youth together with the commonality of music is what makes the studio so special. The playing field is level here. Everyone gets along and contributes to make the best possible art they can. By the way, the music they create is quite good. I get very invested in the creation process. We’ve had youth start their careers in here. I have one youth who makes a living touring the Southeast now. I had one sign a producer deal. I’ve had youth play Bonnaroo, go on to music colleges, and sign record deals. It’s the perfect atmosphere with positive energy, creativity and challenges every day. What’s your most memorable story about the kids at Notes for Notes? Most recently, we had rising Atlanta rapper Domani Harris come in to record a session with 10 of my most talented youth. Papa John’s catered the event and wanted for Domani and the youth to write a song using the theme “Better Days.” Everyone broke up into groups to figure out how they fit into the song. The producers had to learn how to give and receive constructive criticism from each other in a time-limited session. You could hear them try to sugarcoat some suggestions, and you could see egos breaking up in the process. It was powerful. They grew as artists and as people in real time, and got the beat sounding hot. Next it was the instrumentalists and vocalists turn to write. Our producer came up with a fire hook. Everyone took to it pretty quickly, and the dam broke. People were hopping in and out of the booth. Verses were recorded. Guitar parts got laid down, and the song came together. In this real-time experience listening and creating under a deadline and learning to serve the music, they created a masterpiece that Papa John’s loved so much, they invited the group to perform it at their grand reopening with Shaq in attendance. At this point, the group had become very tight knit and were ecstatic at the proposal. On a record-breaking hot day in August, 10 youth from the studio performed in front of hundreds of people with Domani and Shaq a song that they had created all by themselves. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Find Notes for Notes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @notesfornotes, and visit them at notesfornotes.org.
Photo by by Russ Russ Bowen-Youngblood Bowen-Youngblood Photo theQatl.com
THE QUEER AGENDA The Best Queer Things To Do in Atlanta
December 27 – January 15 FRIDAY, DEC. 27 Cruise Control
It’s DJ Kimber’s first straight-inclusive ‘80s dance party of the decade @ The Basement, 10 p.m. basementatl.com
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 8
DJ Mister Richard sends you into overdrive @ Atlanta Eagle, 10 p.m. atlantaeagle.com
The movie you know, with
SATURDAY, DEC. 28
a drag musical pre-show
Queerly Beloved End of Year Bash
you don’t, presented by the
Candida Valentina returns to Atlanta
Wussy queens @ Plaza The-
for an out-of-the-box variety revue of
atre, 7 p.m. wussymag.com
burlesque, drag, cirque and more @ Red Light Café, 8 p.m. redlightcafe.com
THURSDAY, JAN. 9
@ Xion at BJ Roosters, 3 a.m. facebook.com/xionatlanta
Church of the Living Room, 10 p.m. sisterlouisaschurch.com
DJ Steven Redant takes the helm and steers you toward the sunrise
TUESDAY, DEC. 31
A full comedy slate with the queer and allied crew @ Sister Louisa’s
FRIDAY, JAN. 10 – SATURDAY, JAN. 11
New Year’s Eve
the best New Year’s Eve
Loud” tour for two nights @ Out Front
Check out the Q guide to
The Drag Race legend performs her “Out
and Day parties in the
Theatre Company, 8 p.m. outfronttheatre.com
LGBTQ-ATL in this issue with updates
TUESDAY, JAN. 14 PALS Drag Queen Bingo
The Leather & Lace edition of the beloved drag show and bingo game @ Lips,
SATURDAY, DEC. 28
7:30 p.m. palsatlanta.org
Evah Destruction and Lucy Stoole co-headline the holiday party your
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 15
mother warned you about @ Heretic, 9 p.m.
Schitt’s Creek Trivia Night
Test your knowledge for fun and
prizes with the guys @ Guac y
Margys, 7 p.m. guacymargys.com
FRIDAY, JAN. 3 Indigo Girls
Still strumming after all these
years @ Terminal West, 7 p.m. terminalwestatl.com
SATURDAY, JAN. 4 Outworlders Game Night
Bring your games, friends and unwanted
holiday gifts for a White Elephant Exchange with
Atlanta’s LGBTQ gaymers and geeks @ Metropolitan Library, 7 p.m. outworlders.org
Find an expanded Queer Agenda calendar
for the weekend every Thursday at
LGBTQ-ATL enters the Roaring ‘20s with packed New Year’s Eve slate TUESDAY, DEC. 31 New Year’s Pre-Game
An open bar leading into the big night with the BeltLine gays @ Guac y Margys, 7 p.m. guacymargys.com Genesis White Party
The annual white-attire throwdown with DJ Kidd Madonny, Mike Pope and Angelica D’Paige @ Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com
New Era, Who Dis? Southern Fried Queer Pride and Morph put on a trans queer POC fandango like no other party in town @ The Bakery, 10 p.m. southernfriedqueerpride.com
Swinging Richards New Year Did someone say “open bar”? The only place in town with all-nude male entertainment is also one of the places where your cover charge covers all you can drink @ Swinging Richards, 10 p.m. swingingrichards.com NYE Blackout Find your friends bathed in blacklight as the double DJ Eric and Fernando you into the new decade. Also expect midnight champagne @ Atlanta Eagle, 10 p.m. atlantaeagle.com
NEW YEAR’S EVE continued Q Regina Simms New Year
performances and specials to ring in 2020 @ Friends on Ponce.
an all-star show and party @ Midtown Moon, 10 p.m. Complimentary
champagne at Midnight.
Roaring ’20s Open Bar
WEDNESDAY, NEW YEAR’S DAY
midnight breakfast @ My Sister’s Room, 7:30 p.m. mysistersroom.com
Keep going til sunrise @ Xion in BJ Roosters, 3 a.m. – 7 a.m. bjroosters.com
The indefatigable lady in charge corrals her queens for a night of
Door fee has you covered for drinks, champagne toast, multi-levels and Bulldogs NYE
When men of color come out, they come to Bulldogs. Join them for DJ Caprice and all the special surprises @ Bulldogs.
Myah Ross Monroe’s birthday and New Year’s Eve make one hell of
DJ Mickey Friedmann Afterparty New Year’s Morning Party
Energizer bunnies can’t stop dancing, and why would they with DJ Cindel @ Heretic, 6:30 a.m. hereticatlanta.com
New Year’s Day Dinner
DJ Tracy Young’s NYE 2020
Bingo at 9 p.m. @ Midtown Moon.
Hot guys, hot music, hot cash drop. What more do you need to know
Bar open at 2 p.m., Complimentary Dinner at 4 p.m. and Birdcage
about a hot time in the old town @ Ten, 9 p.m. tenatlanta.com Glitz & Glam Ball
Dinner and a show with some of the best drag in Atlanta.
Cabaret style performances and a delicious meal with your
reservation @ Lips, early and late seatings. atldragshow.com Blake’s Roaring ’20s Celebration
A tradition that never goes out of style is money falling from the sky. Get yours during the annual midnight cash drop @ Blake’s. blakesontheparkatlanta.com
Nonsense ATL’s Roaring Twenties
DJ Kimber’s dance party takes on the costumed theme of the new decade with fun and surprises @ Wild Heaven West End Brewery & Gardens, 9 p.m. facebook.com/nonsenseatl New Year’s Eve To Remember
A champagne toast at midnight, DJ
beats to move your feets, and all the go-
go boys you can handle all night long @ BJ Roosters, 9 p.m. bjroosters.com Countdown to 2019
Do up NYE with DJ Mister Richard and all the jocks and athletic supporters of Atlanta’s gay sports bar @ Woofs. woofsatlanta.com
Attack of the New Year’s Eve Party Monster
Living right in East Atlanta Village for more than two decades, the alternaqueers and cool kids start another year right
@ Mary’s, 9 p.m. marysatlanta.com NYE Celebration
Enter in the rear of Ansley Mall for New Year’s Eve fun @ The Hideaway. atlantahideaway.com
TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com
PHOTOS BY PATRICK SAUNDERS
HOLIDAY SHOW AT FRIENDS
Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com
PHOTOS BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD
HERETIC 28TH ANNIVERSARY
Full gallery on Project Q at theQatl.com
PHOTOS BY RUSS BOWEN-YOUNGBLOOD
THEQ?! Q ueer CONUNDRUM Dating your way through the Laws of Attraction
Why is everyone I want uninterested, and everyone I don’t all about me?
I date quite a bit and hook up sometimes, but I really don’t “click” with anyone on a deeper level. When I do think there’s a chance at some emotional magic with someone I’m attracted to physically, that feeling quickly evaporates.
not alone. Unfortunately, Hollywood, pop music, and first-world culture make many of us think these struggles are how love is supposed to work. It’s not.
The good news is that all of this is grown-up stuff, and you have leveled up to recognize and deal with it. The reasons your younger self seemed to stumble into connections is that 1. You weren’t trying too hard. 2. You had less relationship baggage, and 3. You were out there living your best life, making and hanging with friends, exploring the world.
Most of the time, though, I swear no one who approaches me is my type. And even worse, it seems like everyone I think I want is not interested in me in the least. When I was younger and just coming out, this was not the case. I’d just be talking to someone, and bam, clickclick-click like clockwork, and I suddenly realized there was something special between us. These days, why is “not my type” all I can attract? Where is that spark of connection? Dear Click Bait: Sometimes it can feel like there’s an unwritten law that the people we are attracted to are somehow the least likely to be the ones attracted to us, and vice versa. There’s actually something to that theory, but it’s not some universal conspiracy against your happiness or cruel joke to keep humans apart. While you’re out there trying, there are sociological and psychological principals at play. You’ve heard the Law of Attraction, but what about… The Law of Least Attraction states that the person who is least interested has the most power in a relationship. The older we get, the more intensely we understand this concept, even subconsciously, and sabotage ourselves for people we might like if we gave them a chance. The Law of Push and Pull is in effect more often, and it states that we like pursuing and being pursued. If you’ve ever played the dating game, you have probably experienced one party chasing, the other playing hard to get, then as the first person loses interest, the second turns around and starts chasing them. If these “laws” sound like “normal, regular relationship stuff,” you’re 30
Your younger self wasn’t dating as a means to an end, trying to force every round peg into a square hole. The number one thing you can do for your love life is stop dating and start making more friends. People you spend time getting to know and learning to love — whether you are attracted to them or not — are the key to not just a relationship, but happiness with or without one. Instead of dates, invite your friends to live and laugh with you. Go to the movies as buddies. Do game night with a group. Sit in front of Netflix without ulterior chill motives. Once you see with your heart and not your loins, when you make real friends, that’s the relationship that can evolve into a love match, or the one who could introduce you to other like-minded people that have potential as well. The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to email@example.com. ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON