May 6, 2021
ATL & CHILL May Calendar Starts to Heat Up
10 Foolproof Ways To Make Love Stay Full Disclosure: HIV & Your 2nd Coming Out State Rep. Throws His LGBTQ Hat in the Ring
Heat Is ON THE FULL PRESS OF SUMMER heat has given us a couple of
previews of what’s to come. As the post-pandemic climate warms too, Q ATLus lays out what’s hot and getting hotter in LGBTQ Atlanta. For decades, Atlanta has loved its drag queens. After the very horrible
no good year, we still miss a good gay gathering around a dynamic performer. This week, a drag flashback looks at some of our favorite shots of some favorite performers we are anxious to see again this summer.
Other ways to chill in the rising heat are lining up for Mother’s Day Weekend in Q Events. And Q Advice offers chill tips for people all worked up about other people’s judgments.
Still, some things stay hot and get hotter in Georgia. Take politics
and social issues. One of our seven LGBTQ state lawmakers is going for broke to become the first gay official elected to statewide office. In other Q News, the CDC rings the alarms for Atlanta.
We feel confident you can chill with what we’re throwing down this
week, and that you’ll be ready for more in the next issue. Until then, visit us on social media and theQatl.com for updates.
RICHARD CHERSKOV PUBLISHER & SALES RICHARD@THEQATL.COM 404-917-9678 JOHN NAIL ART DIRECTOR JOHN@THEQATL.COM
MIKE FLEMING EDITOR MIKE@THEQATL.COM RIVENDELL MEDIA NATIONAL ADVERTISING SALES@RIVENDELLMEDIA.COM 212-242-6863 theQatl.com 5
INSIDE THIS ISSUE VOLUME 4 ISSUE 24
M AY 6 , 2 0 2 1
How to Make It Last
Drag Flashback to the Future
CDC Rings Warning Bells
Gay State Rep. Dreams Bigger
10 Q Things.................8 Q News......................11 Q Drag.......................19 Q Events....................23 Q Map........................24 Q Advice....................29 6 theQatl.com
He’s All In
When and Why We Come Out
Cook & eat together We spend most of our downtime eating. Cliché or not, our stomachs really are on the road to our hearts.
Put down the phone Ask questions and listen.
Make Love LAST
10 ways to get and keep a boo
By Mike Fleming
Get along with their friends If mutual friendship isn’t happening, mutual respect must.
Love their pets
And you thought impressing the in-laws was important.
Take care of yourself
Not just for them, but if you feel healthy and sexy about yourself, so will they.
Respect each other’s independence
Strategic use of teeth
“ You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.” — Fritz Perls
Yes, exactly what it says.
Sex Lots of it. Lather, rinse and repeat.
Dote on them Show how much they mean to you, take an interest, and never take their presence for granted.
Make them laugh And make sure their jokes make you laugh as well. Looks fade; humor is forever. theQatl.com 9
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Challenge ACCEPTED Justine Ingram, capacity-building assistance specialist at the Southern AIDS Coalition and program manager for Trans Housing Atlanta Program.
Photo courtesy Ingram
CDC reports alarming HIV rates for Atlanta trans women By Matt Hennie
NEARLY SIX IN 10 TRANSGENDER
women in metro Atlanta have HIV, the highest rate among several major cities included in a new report from federal health officials. Nationwide, 42 percent of transgender women surveyed in seven major metro areas have HIV. The results of the study are even more startling when it comes to Black transgender women. Some 62 percent have HIV compared to 35 percent of Hispanic trans women and 17 percent of white trans women.
In addition to transgender women being disproportionately impacted by HIV, 63 percent of the women surveyed lived at or below the poverty level, 42 percent experienced homelessness in the last 12 months and nearly 54 percent experienced verbal abuse or harassment in the last year. In Atlanta, the stats are even more dire. Healthcare providers here who work with transgender women said they aren’t surprised by the report. They said shows the impact of the marginalization transge0nder women face and the need for culturally competent care. “We don’t have gender-affirming facilities and processes for folks trying to receive services,” said Justine Ingram, a capacity-building assistance specialist at the Southern AIDS Coalition theQatl.com 11
HIV continued and program manager for Trans Housing Atlanta Program.
overall. Only Seattle had a testing rate lower than Atlanta at 61 percent.
“That negatively affects them and pushes people to go into survival mode and continue to be marginalized and makes it difficult for them to get jobs and continue their education, to find stable and affordable housing. That makes the risk even greater for transgender women,” Ingram added.
• Transgender women without HIV are aware of PrEP at a higher rate than most other major cities. Some 92 percent of trans women are aware of the once-a-day pill to help prevent HIV, which matches the overall rate in the report. Only Philadelphia (96 percent) and San Francisco (95 percent) had higher PrEP awareness than Atlanta.
Transgender women often avoid seeking healthcare for fear of facing transphobic providers, an issue that must be addressed by starting “at the front desk,” according to Queen Hatcher-Johnson, the gender-inclusive program manager at Positive Impact Health Centers.
• In Atlanta, PrEP usage among trans women without HIV was among the lowest seen in the report. Overall, 32 percent said they use PrEP. In Atlanta, it’s 23 percent, second lowest after Seattle (17 percent). The highest PrEP usage is in San Francisco (46 percent).
“From the front door to the backdoor, people should be trained on people of trans experience and what this encounter will look like,” Hatcher-Johnson said. “There is transphobia in the healthcare system, there is misgendering — a whole lot of things that keep people out of care.” The report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention was based on interviews with 1,608 transgender women conducted in 2019 and early 2020 across seven metro areas — Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. The CDC asked the women about HIV, risk factors, PrEP, sexual behaviors, drug and alcohol use, abuse and suicide. From city to city, the HIV prevalence varied dramatically from a high of 58 percent in Atlanta to a low of 21 percent in Seattle. The other cities were New York (52 percent), Philadelphia (51 percent), New Orleans (45 percent), San Francisco (41 percent) and Los Angeles (33 percent).
“If we don’t have housing or a safe place to sleep at night, then how we can we worry about our health?” Some 67 percent of trans women without HIV in the study are taking hormones for gender affirmation. Concern about drug interactions between the hormones and PrEP could impact its usage, according to the CDC. Transgender people are drawn to metro Atlanta from across the South, but the region struggles to provide healthcare services to prevent HIV among trans women, Ingram said. “We have a lot of transgender people relocating to Atlanta for a better life. They may move from rural towns or families that don’t provide that support and acceptance. They will come to Atlanta to get that acceptance and be around like people,” Ingram said.
PREP USE LOW AMONG ATLANTA TRANS WOMEN
A lack of gender-affirming healthcare, stable housing and welcoming jobs makes it difficult, she added.
• Atlanta had the second-lowest rate of HIV testing for transgender women among the seven cities — 78 percent, compared to 82 percent
“If we don’t have housing and we don’t have a safe place to sleep at night or store our things or food, then how we can we worry about our health? If this community is fearing for their safety all the time, you don’t want to go out to doctor’s appointments and be proactive and stay on top of your health,” Ingram said.
Georgia already faces one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the U.S. The new CDC report showed that the issue is even more acute among transgender women in metro Atlanta:
LGBTQ lawmaker announces historic run for Insurance Commissioner By Patrick Saunders STATE REP. MATTHEW WILSON OFFICIALLY launched a historic run for Georgia insurance commissioner on April 28. A win in November 2022 would make him the first openly LGBTQ statewide official in Georgia history. “I’m excited to bring that representation to the statewide ticket this cycle, and I’m particularly excited to bring that representation to the insurance commissioner race,” he told Project Q Atlanta in an exclusive interview. Wilson, 37, is a personal injury attorney who 14 theQatl.com
flipped the Brookhaven-based House District 80 seat from red to blue in 2018. He handily beat his Republican opponent in November to win a second term. Wilson will serve the remainder of his term while running for insurance commissioner. He’s pushing for lower insurance premiums, a full expansion of Medicaid and “a new direction that centers the needs and the pocketbooks of working families across Georgia.” “My background is taking insurance companies to court in my law practice every day, and then serving in the state legislature has shown me the potential for the enormous impact that this office
has, and I’m stepping up to turn that potential into reality,” Wilson said. He hopes to oust incumbent Republican Commissioner John King. King is a former Doraville police chief who serves as a major general in the U.S. Army National Guard. Wilson praised King’s military service, but problems with the office “are deeper than Commissioner King or Gov. Kemp can fix,” Wilson said. “For the past 25 years, the Republican position has been to prioritize the industry over Georgia consumers,” he said. “If Commissioner King or Gov. Kemp or the Republican-led General Assembly really wanted to do anything about our out-ofcontrol insurance rates, they could have already done it… it’s time for a change in leadership.” Wilson is the only known Democrat in the race so far. The Democratic primary is in May 2022.
CHAMPION FOR LGBTQ CAUSES Wilson led the fight to ban conversion therapy for minors while in office. He introduced bills banning the practice in 2019 and 2021. He also blasted a “shameful” anti-transgender bill introduced in 2019, 2020 and 2021. He opposed a bill allowing faith-based adoption and foster care agencies to refuse to place children with LGBTQ couples in 2020.
Wilson served as one of 15 LGBTQ delegates from Georgia to support Joe Biden’s nomination at the 2020 Democratic National Convention and was co-chair of Biden’s Georgia LGBTQ Leadership Council. Gov. Brian Kemp appointed him to a committee to ensure that all Georgia residents are counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. Wilson helped Brookhaven pass an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in 2020, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms appointed him to her LGBTQ advisory board the same year. He was one of two-dozen people Rev. Raphael Warnock appointed to his LGBTQ+ Advisory Council in a successful run for U.S. Senate. Wilson said that LGBTQ representation matters in state government. “It certainly matters to LGBTQ Georgians who continue to struggle to feel like they belong in our state, especially when we see hateful legislation targeting our community every legislative session,” he said. “But it also matters I think to the millions of Georgians who care about living in a fully inclusive state that values each of her citizens equally.” Wilson is currently one of seven LGBTQ lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly. Read the full story and more local LGBTQ news at theQatl.com.
“[LGBTQ representation] certainly matters to LGBTQ Georgians who continue to struggle to feel like they belong in our state, especially when we see hateful legislation targeting our community every legislative session.”
Fridays (and Saturdays)
Remember drag shows? These queens are still here to serve. By Mike Fleming AS WE LOOK TO EMERGE FROM THE VERY TERRIBLE no good pandemic year (and some change), the Q archives remind us of how — and who — things were in Atlanta drag. And will be again.
@brigittebidet Photo by @jondeanphoto
On these pages, just a few faces we can’t wait to see again, shot by our contributors over the years. Some are already emerging on stages around town. Follow them for more info.
Photo by @jondeanphoto
Photo by @thecliqueshotit theQatl.com 19
House of BROOKS Blake’s, X Midtown, Future, More!
Photos by @jondeanphoto
Stars of the CENTURY Monday Nights at Heretic
Photos by @james_l_hicks2photography
The Best LGBTQ Things
SATURDAY, MAY 8
to Do in Atlanta This Week
Sissy That Walk
THURSDAY, MAY 6
Heather Daniels hit the stage, and DJs KSquared
Drew Friday, Taylor Alxndr, Coco Iman and
and Amethyst pump music @ My Sister’s Room,
Atlanta Rainbow Trout
10 p.m. mysistersroom.com
The local LGBTQ swimming and
SATURDAY, MAY 8
water polo club practices both every Tuesday @ Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, 7:30 p.m. Water polo also on Fridays, 7:30 p.m., with swimming also on Thurs-
DJ Shane Marcus It’s the DJ’s birthday, so he facilitates the flying of the freak flags. As if you needed an excuse @ Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com
days, 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, 12 noon. First two practices free, atlantarainbowtrout.com
FRIDAY, MAY 7 DILF The Mann Upp crew is back in action after the yearlong panini hiatus. Their signature party brings daddies to the yard @ Heretic, 10 p.m. hereticatlanta.com
SATURDAY, MAY 8 Dreamgirls 30th Anniversary Join AID Atlanta and Out on Film for an openair screening of the classic musical-turned-A-Lister-movie to benefit AID Atlanta. You guessed it — “One Night Only” @ The Springs Cinema & Taphouse, 7:30 p.m. aidatlanta.org/dreamgirls
SUNDAY, MAY 9 Call Your Mother
It’s Mother’s Day, so you know what to do. After that, you will need Sundays With Mother drink
specials more than ever @ Hideaway, 12:30 p.m. Stick around for Honey Pot Bear Night, 7 p.m. facebook.com/atlantahideaway Ultimate Drag Brunch Take your mom to the drag dinner theater for outrageous fun while you eat a
prix fixe meal with all-you-can-drink add-on. Reserva-
tions required @ Lips, 1:30 p.m. lipsatl.com
Find an expanded calendar of weekend events every Thursday at theQatl.com.
on tA ve .N E dm Pi e
11th St. NE
10th St. NE
Dr. N E
14th St. NE
12th St. NE
West Peachtree St. NE
t. N eS tre
Spring St. NW
Q Atlus Map
Virginia Ave. NE
1 9th St. NE
227 10th St. NE 2. Bulldogs Bar 893 Peachtree St NE 3. Friends on Ponce 736 Ponce De Leon Ave NE 4. My Sister’s Room 84 12th St 5. X Midtown 990 Piedmont Ave. NE 6. Atlanta Eagle 306 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Restaurants North Ave. NW
North Ave. NW
Future (opening soon) 50 Lower Alabama St SW, Suite 180
8. Henry’s Midtown Tavern 132 10th St NE
Mary’s 1287 Glenwood Ave SE
9. Joe’s onRalph Juniper McGill Blvd. NE 1049 Juniper St NE
Sister Louisa’s 466 Edgewood Ave SE
10. Zocalo Mexican Kitchen & Cantina 187 10th St NE Highland Ave. NE 11. Barking Leather After Dark 306 Ponce De Leon Ave NE (inside Eagle) 12. Urban Body Fitness 500 Amsterdam Ave NE
The T 465 Boulevard SE Swinging Richards 1400 Northside Dr NW Lips Drag Show Palace 3011 Buford Highway NE Lost ’n Found Youth Thift Store 2585 Chantilly Dr NE
Ponce De Leon Pl. NE
Ponce De Leon Ave. NE
7. Flex 76 4th St NW
Ponce De Leon Pl. NE
r. NE roe D Mon
Charles Allen Dr. NE
St. Charles Ave.
Glen Iris Dr. NE
1. Blakes on the Park
Spring St. NW
2 Juniper St. NE
West Peachtree St. NE
8th St. NE
Lidde ll D
E r. N
Leno x Rd .
Manchester Rd. NE
ircle NE nt C mo d e Pi
ve. sA ter
Alco S t. NE
Piedmont Ave. NE
d. N eR
Bars Restaurants Clubs Retail/Services
Cheshire Bridge Road 5. The Heretic 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
9. Gravity Fitness 2201 Faulkner Rd NE
2. Tripp’s Bar 1931 Piedmont Circle NE
6. Las Margaritas 1842 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
10. Southern Nights 2205 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
3. Woof’s Sports Bar 494 Plasters Ave NE
7. Roxx Tavern 1824 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
11. Tokyo Valentino (Cheshire Bridge) 1739 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
4. BJ Rooster’s 2043 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
8. 2Qute Hair Salon 1927 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
4. Oscar’s 1510 Piedmont Ave NE
tA ve .N E on ed m
5. Barking Leather 1510 Piedmont Ave NE 6. Boy Next Door 1447 Piedmont Ave NE
1. Felix’s on the Square 1510 Piedmont Ave NE
3. Midtown Moon 1510 Piedmont Ave NE
Ansley Park 2. The Hideaway 1544 Piedmont Ave NE
Morningside Dr. NE
1. Sequel Bar 1086 Alco St. NE
Bars Restaurants Clubs Retail/Services
7. Brushstrokes 1510 Piedmont Ave NE 8. Equilibrium Fitness 1529 Piedmont Ave NE
Full DISCLOSURE When, and why, to tell people your truth
how do I tell them? And if the sex is safe, do I have to tell them at all?
Disclosing your serostatus is like coming out all over again: Those who can’t accept it can’t be your problem, and you must trust that you can get through it.
I’m 24 and still haven’t finalized my sexual orientation. I have done lots of guys and a few girls, and it was all fun, but I still don’t feel bi. Then again, I’m not ready to say I’m 100 percent gay either. My friends say that I’m too old to be undecided, and one guy told me to get back to him when I come out. Am I bisexual? Should I just pick a sexuality and roll with it?
There’s no right way to reveal that you’re positive. It can be situational, but it may be easier to say it up front before building attachments or expectations. Reactions are going to run the gamut, from way bothered to not bothered at all. You’d rather know now which it is. As for whether to disclose, and setting aside the fact it is illegal in Georgia not to do so, it’s Golden Rule time: Would you have liked to know?
Dear Questioning: Everyone comes out at their own pace, so ignore any and all pressure until you feel ready. Now about that fun you’re having! Liking sex with both genders is fine, and there’s also no clock ticking. You are under no obligation to decide at all, ever. Spend time on the quality, not the gender of people you find sexually attractive. Trying to “pick one” would hurt you and support the notion that people choose orientation. You’re somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, and that’s OK. If you stay there, great. If not, also great. Identifying and disclosing orientation are personal. Don’t try to rush either just because someone else wants an answer.
I’ve always been comfortable with my sexuality, but everything changed when I tested positive for HIV. I haven’t had a date since my diagnosis. I’m afraid of how potential partners will react. When and
I’m the only transgender person I know in my small town. I’m considering coming out, but I have no idea how. Help! Dear New Here: Once you come out to yourself, you’re halfway there. Find a trusted confidant — sibling, mentor, friend — to tell first. Together you can anticipate challenges and create a safety plan if someone freaks out. Connect with online or community resources, and remember the process can be stressful, so treat yourself well. Finding other people may be easier than you think once you come out, even in your town. The Q is for entertainment, not counseling. Send burning Qs to mike@theQatl.com. ILLUSTRATION BY BRAD GIBSON
Atlanta drag flashback, Foolproof ways to make love stay, HIV and your second coming out, gay events calendar and more.