OUTSPOKENIN THIS ISSUE
Andy Bell headlines Saturday. Page 8
Amy Ray is home for Sunday show. Page 10
Diverse acts pack Pride’s stages. Page 12
Ben Cohen ‘stands up’. Page 16
Harvey Milk’s legacy lives on. Page 19
Local grand marshals on parade. Page 21
Yoga, health expo in Piedmont. Page 23
Trans March aims for visibility. Page 23
Dyke March welcomes all. Page 24
Parade leads Sunday schedule. Page 26
Starlight Cabaret is festival ﬁnale. Page 26
Find your way around the festival. Page 29
LGBT bars heat up for Pride. Page 31
Events, fundraisers and parties. Page 36
Honey Boo Boo’s gay ‘Uncle Poodle’
speaks out for gay rednecks. Page 41
Music: Rufus Wainwright chats before
Atlanta show. Page 43
Books: Amanda Kyle Williams
no ‘Stranger’ to mystery. Page 45
Books: David Sedaris brings sarcasm to
Symphony Hall. Page 46
Food Porn: Pride, masculinity
and dumplings. Page 48
Events: Jerusalem House gets
ready for Halloween party. Page 50
Photos: GLAAD Gala, Atlanta Gay Weddings,
Out on Film. Page 53
Gay candidates on ballots in Ga. Page 55
AIDS Walk Atlanta aims for
new fundraising record. Page 57
Emory LGBT students:
Get Chick-ﬁl-A off our campus. Page 59
CALENDAR • Pages 61-65
That’s What She Said: Melissa Carter’s
mid-life non-crisis. Page 67
Domestically Disturbed: Topher Payne
ﬁnds Pride with a pizza chef. Page 69
“Suburban Atlanta was
pretty sheltered from gay
stuff. I wasn’t really sure
what was going on or what
to call it and what it meant.
I had a few teachers that
were very supportive of my
special friendship with this
girl so it helped me to know
that I wasn’t a freak.”
— Amy Ray, PAGE 10
“I’ve, of course, visited Elton
(John) in Atlanta when he’s
there. I’ve also been to a
few rowdy gay bars. Also,
my grandmother was from
Tifton, Ga. I’d certainly like to
know more about Atlanta.”
— Rufus Wainwright
“My only fear is that I’d
have to be brutally
honest and I don’t think I’d
like people to know about
my warts and all.”
— Andy Bell, PAGE 8
“Every human being has the right
to love and be loved, and I want
to be a bridge between LGBT and
straight communities to create a
— Ben Cohen, PAGE 16
“We’re all rednecks, we cut up and
make fun, but we love each other
and we tell the truth. That’s how
you’re supposed to be with your
family. Just real.”
— Lee Thompson, Honey Boo
Boo’s ‘Uncle Poodle,’ PAGE 41
“I like being able to make people
laugh while they are locking their
doors and windows. Maybe that’s
the sadist in me.”
— Amanda Kyle Williams
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wo days. Two stages. 200
parade entries. 200,000 at-
Atlanta Pride is by far
the biggest LGBT event in
the Southeast, drawing people from around
the region to party for a purpose.
“We want to encourage people to make
the most of the weekend,” said Buck Cooke,
Pride managing director. “Have a great time,
check out some new organizations and busi-
nesses, enjoy the parade, dance to the enter-
tainers in the park, but always bear in mind
that we are in need of wide-spread commu-
nity support for full equality as citizens.
“That takes everyone, LGBTQ people
and our straight allies alike, to make that
After a week of lead-up events including
the annual AIDS Vigil, Commitment Cere-
mony and Georgia Aquarium Kick-off Party,
the Atlanta Pride Festival packs Piedmont
Park Oct. 13-14.
This is Cooke’s ﬁrst year at the helm,
after former Executive Director James Shef-
ﬁeld stepped down to become director of
organizational development for the Health
Initiative, which focuses on LGBT wellness.
Although Cooke had served as a Pride
volunteer for ﬁve years, including three as
programming co-chair, he said he was still
surprised by how much it takes to put on the
“Even though I’ve been involved with
the organization for years, I had no clue
how complicated this is,” he said. “I knew
it would involve a great deal of multitasking
and lots of moving parts to every aspect of
the festival and our other programming, but I
was still surprised.”
That Atlanta Pride somehow “just hap-
pens” is the biggest misconception about the
festival, agreed Cooke and Glen Paul Freed-
man, Atlanta Pride board chair. Both encour-
age festival attendees to join the nearly 300
volunteers who make the weekend possible,
with shifts starting at just four hours.
“It is cool that I get to meet so many new
people who are volunteering for the ﬁrst time
and those friends returning to assist throughout
the weekend,” Freedman said.
“I always hear the same remarks that vol-
unteering allows me to give something back to
our community, be truly out and proud and sup-
portive of an organization who treats me and
my friends with respect and shows us a great
time,” he said. “Of course, you get a real cool
Pride volunteer t-shirt!’
Pride by day and night
The Atlanta Pride festival and its related
events strive to be as diverse as the commu-
nity they represent.
Entertainers include everything from
country to hip-hop, with plenty of folk and
dance divas in the mix.
Vendors run the gamut from health or-
ganizations and non-proﬁts to small LGBT-
owned companies and giant corporations.
Events range from edgier offerings like
Saturday’s Trans and Dyke marches to Sun-
day’s more festive Pride Parade.
Pride also offers a cultural exhibit in
Piedmont Park to speciﬁcally draw attention
to the community’s accomplishments and
“This year’s Cultural Exhibit, formerly
known as the Human Rights Exhibit, will fo-
cus on the LGBTQ contributions to the arts
and creative ﬁelds, and those of our allies,”
“Hopefully, participants will want to
check out … the display in the park on Sat-
urday and Sunday since there is some great
work done to highlight LGBTQ and ally
contributions to art, music, theater, televi-
sion, motion pictures, dance, etc.”
Beyond events Saturday and Sunday in
Piedmont Park, Pride also offers a schedule
of “ofﬁcial” nightlife events in conjunction
with local party promoters.
These ofﬁcial events include Friday
night’s Kick Off Party at the Georgia Aquari-
um and Kick Off After Party at Jungle; Satur-
day night’s Peach Party, which is the Ofﬁcial
Women’s Party, and the “Kiki By the Park”
joint fundraiser with the Ben Cohen StandUp
Foundation, sponsored by the W Atlanta-Mid-
town and Scissor Sisters; and Sunday night’s
Ofﬁcial Closing Party at Opera.
“To have a world-renowned music group
like Scissor Sisters on board to help us raise
money for Atlanta Pride is just incredible and
we are thankful to Ben Cohen; Alison Doerﬂer,
executive director of the Ben Cohen StandUp
Foundation; and Patrick Davis, president of the
Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, for making
that event happen,” Cooke said.
‘Out and proud’
From the meadow of Piedmont Park to the
streets of Midtown during the annual Pride
parade, the Atlanta Pride Festival works both
to empower LGBT people and increase our
visibility in the community at large.
“I think we send a very speciﬁc mes-
sage, which is part of our mission statement,”
Freedman says. “’Atlanta Pride Committee
promotes unity, visibility and self-esteem
among LGBTQ persons to promote a positive
image in the Atlanta area and throughout the
Southeastern US through community activi-
ties and services.’”
For both Cooke and Freedman, a high-
light of the festival is the cheering crowds
that line Peachtree and 10th streets to watch
“It is hard to explain that kind of emo-
tion I am feeling and I always tear up,”
Freedman admits. “But it is that feeling of
being out and proud as a gay man saying
to everyone, ‘Join us, join the ﬁght for full
equality and march with us.’”
Cooke cites helping carry the giant rain-
bow ﬂag along the streets, as supporters
tossed in donations to Atlanta Pride, among
his fondest Pride memories.
“I loved the esprit de corps and the cheer-
ing, the high-ﬁves from people, the love
and the support. It’s such a great feeling and
we’re raising lots of money for Atlanta Pride
while we’re doing it,” he says.
“As you get down Peachtree and you think
it can’t get any better, you turn the corner and
see down 10th Street and it is just overwhelm-
ing,” he adds. “This sea of humanity spreads
out before you and I have choked up and/or
cried every time I have done it.”
Overall, Atlanta Pride has become a fam-
ily reunion of sorts, offering the region’s
biggest opportunity for LGBT individuals,
organizations and allies to come together in
the same place at the same time.
“I believe that the Atlanta Pride Festival
and parade is the only event where the en-
tire LGBTQ community and our allies come
together under one umbrella/theme of unity
and respect,” Freedman said. “We are all
together in one central location and we all
march together as one uniﬁed group.”
— Laura Douglas-Brown
parties with a purpose
‘Unity, visibility and
self-esteem’ on display
in Piedmont Park
Oct. 13-14 in Piedmont Park
Organizers expect some 200,000 attendees at this year’s Atlanta Pride. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
ndy Bell is not one to rest on
his laurels. In addition to log-
ging more than a quarter of a
century as Erasure’s charis-
matic vocalist, notorious for
his dance moves and fondness for costumes
ranging from elaborate to skimpy, he found the
time to release a couple of solo discs. Bell also
made a name for himself on the DJ circuit.
As one of the headliners at the 2012 Atlanta
Pride, Bell is scheduled to perform at 8:05 p.m.
on the Coca Cola Stage.
GA Voice: Erasure marked its 25th anni-
versary a couple of years ago. Looking back
at the early days, did you ever imagine that
you and Vince [Clarke] would be celebrating
such a milestone?
Andy Bell: I knew that I was a massive fan
of Vince Clarke and it is a massive pleasure to
work with him. Every day that we are all here
is a blessing! So I never imagined we’d still be
here 25 years later because I tend to take each
day as it comes.
Do you have one or two favorite or signiﬁ-
cant Erasure memories from that whole
span of time that you would care to share?
There are so many and too numerous to men-
tion, but I loved the fact that we were part of the
True Colors tour with the amazing Cyndi Lau-
per. Her voice and personality are phenomenal,
and of course the ultra glamorous Miss [Debbie]
Harry. Also being part of a South American Tour
with David Bowie and No Doubt.
I’m so glad that you mentioned Cyndi, be-
cause I recently read her new memoir and
she mentions Erasure when she writes about
the True Colors tour. Do you have any inter-
est in writing a memoir?
My only fear is that I’d have to be brutal-
ly honest and I don’t think I’d like people to
know about my warts and all [laughs]. But who
knows, perhaps it could be semi-autobiograph-
This is probably like asking a parent to pick a
favorite child, but out of the more than a dozen
Erasure recordings, is there one album that is
more meaningful to you than the others?
“Erasure,” the album, and “Chorus,” be-
cause they are sonically very beautiful.
In the midst of all the ongoing Erasure ac-
tivities, you found time to release a couple
of solo albums. What did you like the best
about that experience?
I think the difference is it’s nice sometimes
just to work outside of the parameters of Era-
sure because when we record an album there’s
generally a tour and heaps of promotion. Your
life is pretty much planned out at least for a
couple of years.
Have you begun a new solo album?
Yes, I am working with Dave Aude and a
few other writers. For the ﬁrst time I’ve had
songs written for me, which is a great position
to be in.
You have also gained a reputation as a DJ.
What do you like best about DJ-ing?
I like the randomness of DJing. You never re-
ally know what it’s going to be like or the crowd.
I love getting to play all of my favorite tracks
from the ‘80s up to the present day. Sometimes
it goes horribly wrong [laughs] and other times
it’s spot on.
You are a performer who has a strong
presence on Facebook and Twitter. Please say
something about how you utilize social media.
To be honest, I just like the one on one in-
teraction. In some ways I hope that it doesn’t
get too big because you kind of lose the per-
You were in Atlanta in 2011 with the
“Tomorrow’s World” tour. Did you have
time to take in any sites, historic or oth-
erwise, while you were in town and if so,
I went by Margaret Mitchell’s house, but
didn’t go inside. I’ve hung out at people’s hous-
es. I’m looking forward visiting the aquarium
and Piedmont Park.
What does it mean to you to be perform-
ing during Atlanta’s Pride celebrations?
I loved our last Erasure show [in Atlanta].
The people are very friendly for such a big city.
Atlanta is famous for its music scene. Have
you ever had any guests, such as members of
Indigo Girls, the B-52’s or R.E.M., join you on
stage while you were performing here?
No, I haven’t. But I’m in love with the B’s
and have written with Kate Pierson. She’s a doll.
I’ve seen Michael Stipe in L.A., outside Chateau
Marmont, but was too shy to say hello. I thought
he wouldn’t know who I was!
— Gregg Shapiro
2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 8 Pride www.theGAVoice.com
Andy Bell of Erasure brings his solo show to Piedmont Park on Saturday night. (Publicity photo via Atlanta Pride)
Saturday, Oct. 13, 8:05 p.m.
Atlanta Pride Coca-Cola Stage
Erasure’s Andy Bell
headlines Pride Saturday
I’ve seen Michael
Stipe in L.A., outside
but was too shy to
say hello. I thought
he wouldn’t know
who I was!”
ometown hero and Indigo
Girl Amy Ray was chosen
by Atlanta’s Pride committee
to headline this year’s event.
She will be ﬁnishing out the
festival on Sunday, October 14. The GA Voice
caught up with her to talk to her about her own
coming out, being a gay musician and living in
a conservative community.
GA Voice: Congratulations on headlining
Atlanta Pride. How does it feel to be a part
of this event in your own home town?
Amy: It’s awesome. It’s one of those things
where I can’t express the level of love that
I have for my city. I love that I can bring my
band into my hometown and play a Prid show.
It’s like having your best friend and you really
want to share with them something that’s really
important to you.
When did you realize that you were gay?
High school, my senior year. I didn’t know
what the word “gay” meant. At that time, sub-
urban Atlanta was pretty sheltered from gay
stuff. I wasn’t really sure what was going on
or what to call it and what it meant. I had a few
teachers that were very supportive of my spe-
cial friendship with this girl so it helped me to
know that I wasn’t a freak.
When I really ﬁgured out what it meant, it
was during my sophomore year in college. My
freshman year, I didn’t know how to talk about
it. I still had the same girlfriend and we were
being physical but I didn’t know how to articu-
late anything. Then, I started understanding the
language of it and talking to my mom about it
and little by little became more open.
So your mom was pretty cool about it?
I wouldn’t say she was “cool” about it. She
was trying to understand it and worried about
me and very religious. Faith, and what that
meant, was the context for her. My dad — I
was scared to talk to him about it. He was very
opposed to the idea.
My two older sisters are gay as well and one
of them had come out so it was easier for me in
My parents, because of their faith, weren’t
accepting for a long, long time. In the last 12-15
years, they’ve become very accepting and ex-
tremely evolved and incorporate it into their faith.
I deﬁnitely watched my parents go through a big
evolution and it took a long time but they never
were like, you know, “You can’t come home for
Thanksgiving dinner,” which I feel lucky about.
I was in a business where I was around a lot
of other people that were different from me,
from every walk of life, not just gay people.
I was lucky to have all of those different per-
It’s very hard if you’re in a church or in a
community setting where you are getting a lot
of your needs ﬁlled except this one thing and
you wonder do you really want to leave all this
support for this one thing. Is it worth it to tell
them? I can see the struggle. From my perspec-
tive, it was a struggle of “If I really admit this
with my family, am I going to lose them?”
You mentioned that when you started play-
ing professionally, you were around a more
open-minded group of people. Did you ever
feel that you had to stay in the closet to ad-
vance your career?
We didn’t stay in the closet as long as we
did to advance our career. We were just scared.
Back in the ‘80s, being gay really put you on
the bottom rung.
We didn’t want to be identiﬁed, at ﬁrst, as
being gay. What would that do? How would
that make us feel? Would we be alienated?
There were all kinds of rationalizations for why
we didn’t want to come out but the biggest rea-
son was fear — pure fear.
What changed that?
I think it took until about 1991 for us to
come out. It was just like “Screw it. We’re just
going to be who we are. We’re going to talk
about it and not dodge the question. We’re just
going to be real.”
When I interviewed (country singer) Chely
Wright, she said her coming out was detrimen-
tal to her career. Do you think you could have
gone further if you had stayed in the closet?
No. I think our queerness has held us back in
a big way but I think being women in the folk
and rock industry has held us back just as much.
We’re a quadruple threat: we’re women, we’re
political, we’re gay and we’re older. All of those
things are strikes against us in this industry.
When we were younger, we didn’t have an
image that was… we were butch, down-home
girls that were gay. If we had been glamorous
and gay, it would have been different. There
were all these ways that we didn’t ﬁt in and be-
ing gay was just one of ‘em.
Even if we had been in a closet, I don’t know
that we would have gone any further with the po-
litical beliefs that we push and the set of activism
that we push and our inattentiveness to image —
stuff like that. We are what we are and lucky that
we got as far as we did.
The last time we spoke, you mentioned that
you lived in the mountains up in North
Georgia. Things are different up there – are
you living in an accepting community?
It’s very conservative. I’ve found a lot of
great allies up here that may have some differ-
ent beliefs than me but we have a uniﬁed thread
of compassion for each other and I feel like my
neighbors and my community all believe in
helping each other regardless of political beliefs.
They sort of ignore the barriers if they have to.
I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but I’m deﬁnitely
richer because of the dialogue that I’ve had to
have with people. I’m more troubled by the
racism up here than I am by the homophobia.
The racism and the anti-immigrant rhetoric up
here… it’s going to take time and education be-
cause it’s just fear.
It seems that whatever group is being hated
on usually has fear at the root.
Yeah. If the economy is bad and you feel one
down, who do you blame it on? Who is the easy
scapegoat? “Well, this guy over here shouldn’t
be in the country!” It’s all of these crazy sound
bites that help you put your life into place, help
you place blame and help you have a reason for
why things are the way they are.
Sometimes there is no reason. Sometimes,
the reason is because of the rich, white people in
power. This has always been going on through-
out the history of the world. This is the way
people are so we need to keep educating them.
— Shannon Hames
2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 10 Pride www.theGAVoice.com
Pride Sunday headliner Amy Ray on coming out in life and music
Amy Ray, one-half of lesbian folk duo Indigo Girls, brings her edgier solo show to the Atlanta Pride stage at 6:10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. (Publicity photo)
Sunday, Oct. 14, 6:10 p.m.
Atlanta Pride Coca-Cola Stage
Actress/recording artist Kat Graham has been
in the spotlight since age 6. She stars in the CW
show “The Vampire Diaries,” and her new EP,
“Against the Wall,” is available on iTunes, featur-
ing the single “Wanna Say.” She has described her
musical style as “vintage ‘90s with a twist.”
Justin Utley performs his alternative coun-
try rock at Pride festivals around the world, and
won “Best Folk/Country Song of the Year” in
the 2010 OUTMusic Awards. His latest album
is “Nothing This Real.”
Led by charismatic trans frontwoman Amber
Taylor, winner of Best Musician in the 2012 GA
Voice Best of Atlanta awards, the Sexual Side Ef-
fects describe their indie rock music as “combin-
ing elements of Britpop and post-punk.”
Veteran Atlanta Pride performer Demizes has
opened for Christina Aquilera and recommends
his music to fans of Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo or
Lady Gaga.” His debut CD is “Damaged Ink.”
Famed for her hit “Gypsy Woman (She’s
Homeless),” dance music diva Crystal Waters
has played sold-out shows around the world. Her
newest single “Le Bump” is out now.
Kristine W holds the record for the most
consecutive #1 hits on the Billboard Hot Dance
Club Songs, and LGBT fans know why. Her
latest album, “New & Number Ones,” just
came out on Sept. 28. The single “Everything
That I Got” — with the lyric, “I still got my
pride” — is sure to have audiences cheering.
Brit-pop sensation Rita Ora takes a break
from opening for the likes of Coldplay and DJ
Fresh to hit the Pride stage with her US debut
single, “How We Do (Party).” She cites Gwen
Stefani as her musical idol, but may be on the
way to similar stardom herself.
Andy Bell is the openly gay lead singer of
the famed pop duo Erasure, and also a success-
ful solo performer. To hear more from Bell,
see our interview on page 8.
The Pride children’s show is a chance for
the youngest members of our rainbow to come
together with like-minded families. Expect en-
tertainers and a chance for LGBT parents to meet
The eighth annual Pride literary showcase
features poetry, prose and even book-signings.
Folk musician Juliana Finch’s Americana,
Southern roots shine on her companion albums
“Apple” and “Blossom.” Her website compares
her sound to how good bourbon tastes, and it’s
an apt description: her music goes down smooth,
but her lyrics about lost love will leave you still
feeling the burn.
2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 12 Pride www.theGAVoice.com
Sing out proud
More than 25 diverse acts pack Pride stages Saturday and Sunday
5:10 p.m. • www.theoneandonlycrystalwaters.com
10:15 a.m. • www.atlantapride.org
12 p.m. • www.atlantapride.org
KRISTINE W ANDY BELL
THE SEXUAL SIDE
PRIDE PERFORMERS CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
SATURDAY, OCT. 13
SATURDAY, OCT. 13
BUD LIGHT STAGE
2:15 p.m. • http://julianafnch.bandcamp.com
From folk and country crooners to dance
music divas and up-and-coming pop sensa-
tions, Atlanta Pride packs a diverse mix of
performers into two stages over two days.
Pull out your smartphone and check out
their websites. — Laura Douglas-Brown
13 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
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Jessica Betts promises “true soul with a con-
temporary, edgy twist.” She won the 2005 “Road
to Stardom” reality TV show.
Renee Wahl brings another alternative
country voice to the Pride stages, one that has
been compared to the likes of Maria McKee
(Lone Justice). Her debut album is “Cumber-
The duo of Kristen Sayer (lead vocals and
lead guitars) and Carolyn McShane (drums, key-
board and backing vocals) is the self-described
“biggest little show band” — a bluesy sound with
tinges of rock, funk and Motown.
Hailing from Albany in South Georgia,
Unbreakable Bloodline brings a hip-hop sound
with plenty of rock inﬂuences. Now at work on
their debut album through an IndieGoGo cam-
paign, they serve up sharp rhymes and rocking
beats on songs like their ode to their hometown,
“The ‘Bany (Good Life City).”
Atlanta native DJ Speakerfoxx spins hip
hop, bounce, dancehall, reggae, electro dance
music and more — earning a nod from the staff
of Creative Loaﬁng as “Best Dope Girl on the
Wheels of Steel” in the alt-weekly’s 2012 Best
of Atlanta awards. Maybe you remember her
from last year’s Dyke March afterparty.
After 10 years performing together, the
high-energy Michel Jons Band says its motto
is “We play Patsy Cline to Tina Turner to Be-
yonce.” Get ready to dance as they open the
Coca-Cola stage as crowds pour into Piedmont
Park after the parade.
North Carolina native Leslie Christian has
opened for LeAnn Rimes, Dierks Bentley, Trace
Adkins and Kid Rock, among others, and says
her goal is to be the ﬁrst African-American
woman “to break through in country music.”
Her debut album is “My Life is a Country Song.”
Ear Magazine has described Guruﬁsh’s
style as “sexy, funky-as-hell, pop music”; the
band also calls its music “glitter soul.” Their
new release is “Mohair Supreme,” and fans
should expect a fabulous spectacle on stage.
Best known as half of the beloved lesbian
folk-rock duo Indigo Girls, Amy Ray is also
an amazing solo performer, bringing an edgier
sound to tunes that range from punk to Appa-
lachian roots music. Her latest album is “Lung
of Love.” Don’t miss our interview with the
hometown hero on Page 10.
Atlanta Pride’s Starlight Cabaret closes out
Pride weekend with rousing performances from
the city’s favorite drag queens and kings. See
story, Page 26.
Born in Tennessee, Atlanta resident Kryon
Leslie describes his music as “pop soul.” His
new single, “Disease,” is a duet with Kari
Epps; the poignant, piano-backed track is
available on iTunes.
Maria Gabriella’s diverse band offers up
Latin and folk-infused rock with a ﬁve-piece
band and backing from hip-hop lyricist Omni-
present. Their ﬁrst album is “High Above the
Sun.” You can also catch them at Atlanta’s only
lesbian night spot My Sister’s Room with the
hip-hop/pop/soul duo God-des & She on Satur-
day night of Pride weekend.
Thai-American singer-songwriter Jamie
Charoen plays pop and R&B and cites inﬂu-
ences ranging from Michael Jackson and Billy
Holiday to Britney Spears and Taylor Swift.
Fresh from performing at Savannah Pride
2012, Atlanta’s Dylan Michael, who compares
himself to Lady Gaga with the voice of Kelly
Clarkson, brings his pop/dance/electronic mu-
sic to his hometown Pride stage.
4 GA Voice October 12, 2012 14 Pride www.theGAVoice.com
Many musical styles on Pride stages
4:25 p.m. • www.lesliechristianmusic.com
3 p.m. • www.facebook.com/MichelJohnsBand
3:50 p.m. • www.mariagabriellaband.com
5:25 p.m. • www.dylanmichaelmusic.com
4:40 p.m. • www.facebook.com/Jamiecharoenofﬁcial
6:45 p.m. • http://soundcloud.com/speakerfoxx
7:15 p.m. • www.atlantapride.org
MICHEL JONS BAND
MARIA GABRIELLA BAND
www.reneewahl.com RENEE WAHL
SATURDAY, OCT. 13
BUD LIGHT STAGE
(continued from Page 12)
SUNDAY, OCT. 14
SUNDAY, OCT. 14
BUD LIGHT STAGE
4:35 p.m. • www.sayermcshane.com
5:25 p.m. • www.reverbnation.com/unbreakablebloodline
3 p.m. • www.jessicabettsmusic.com
en Cohen’s rugged good
looks, gregarious personality
and prowess on the pitch eas-
ily won him gay fans, but it is
his community activism that
earned him a spot as one of two honorary grand
marshals of the 2012 Atlanta Pride parade.
The former rugby star from England has
made Atlanta almost a second home since de-
ciding to base his StandUp Foundation here. He
is considered the ﬁrst straight athlete to dedicate
his philanthropic efforts to combat LGBT bul-
lying and eliminate homophobia in sports.
Founded in 2011, the StandUp Foundation
has raised some $500,000 to donate to such or-
ganizations as Atlanta Field Day, the national
Campus Pride, Bully Free Zone UK, Safety
Center UK, Belong to Youth Services Ireland
and a number of local schools and safety pro-
grams, according to Atlanta resident Patrick
Davis, foundation president.
Cohen says he is looking forward to Atlanta
“It’s always nice to be recognized and it’s
nice to see we are getting recognition for the work
we do. And Atlanta is where the foundation was
founded, so it’s always great to visit,” he said.
In addition to appearing in the parade, Co-
hen will attend a special fundraiser on Saturday
night to beneﬁt Atlanta Pride and the StandUp
Foundation. Dubbed “Kiki by the Park,” the
Oct. 13 event at the W Midtown includes ex-
clusive Scissor Sisters remixes, kiki-inspired
cocktails and a silent auction.
DJ Robin Skouteris will spin the ofﬁcial
Scissor Sisters remix of “Let’s Have a Kiki,”
created especially for Atlanta Pride and avail-
able worldwide next week.
New funds for LGBT causes
Cohen, who is straight and married with
twin daughters, doesn’t hesitate to strip down
to briefs as part of his 2013 calendar or sell the
shirt off his back to the highest bidder at im-
promptu fundraisers at local bars.
His foundation has sealed signiﬁcant deals
with Nike and the Human Rights Campaign to
sell merchandise, such as t-shirts, to fund the
“We want to unlock a new revenue stream
by selling our own merchandise,” Cohen ex-
plained. “And then that money goes to support-
ing organizations that don’t have much fund-
ing, who do low-key but important work. But
we also support national organizations.”
The StandUp Foundation also teamed up
with Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project and
producers of “Wicked” to hold a special per-
formance in New York on Oct. 11 to help raise
funds to defeat bullying; the foundation also
joined efforts with the “Wicked” production in
the U.K. to provide guides to teachers to help
end bullying in schools.
In addition, the Ben Cohen StandUp Foun-
dation is set to launch its new lifestyle magazine
named, easily enough, “StandUp Magazine.” The
magazine will feature interviews with sports ﬁg-
ures who oppose homophobia and transphobia.
“I have the beneﬁt of being part of two dif-
ferent worlds — Great Britain and the U.S.,”
“It can be very sad to hear the stories of
young people who come out and then are not
accepted by their parents,” he said. “For me,
I’ve got a fantastic set of core values and I can’t
understand how unconditional love can change
when a child comes out.”
‘The right to love’
Cohen visits Atlanta regularly and attended
last year’s Atlanta Pride parade, where he rode
with the Atlanta Bucks, the city’s gay rugby club.
It’s not uncommon to see Cohen visiting
local gay bars including the Atlanta Eagle and
Mary’s as he works to raise funds for his foun-
dation. As a straight man and a gay icon, Cohen
said he’s comfortable with his sexuality as well
as being the subject of gay fantasies as long as
he can do good with his fame.
It was actually a Facebook page that was
created years ago that tipped off Cohen that he
was popular with gay men. After working with
the Atlanta Bucks to kick off his foundation,
Cohen has nothing but gratitude for all his fans.
“If people ﬁnd me attractive and that helps
them pay attention and hear my message of ac-
ceptance, then I am honored by it,” said Cohen,
who is chair of the foundation, in a statement
when his foundation was formed. “Every hu-
man being has the right to love and be loved,
and I want to be a bridge between LGBT and
straight communities to create a kinder world.”
Cohen’s drive to stop bullying stems from
the death of his father, who was beaten to death
in 2000 while trying to break up a bar ﬁght.
The StandUp social-commerce brand is
managed and licensed by Ben Cohen USA,
Inc., his commercial enterprise.
“Like (RED), focused on AIDS, or
Livestrong, focused on cancer, the StandUp
brand engages the consumer marketplace to fund
social change. StandUp is the ﬁrst social-com-
merce brand developed for the beneﬁt of LGBT
people and the anti-bullying cause. Its proﬁts
will be shared with the Ben Cohen StandUp
Foundation,” according to a press release when
the foundation was announced in May 2011.
For Cohen, it is also the story of bullying-
related youth suicides that caused him to take up
this cause for the LGBT community. He stressed
he will always be grateful for the support he has
received from his gay friends and fans.
“Without the gay community, we wouldn’t
have a foundation,” he said.
— Dyana Bagby
2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 16 Pride www.theGAVoice.com
Ben Cohen wants you to ‘StandUp’
Rugby star and LGBT ally puts his muscle into ﬁghting bullying
Ben Cohen, a former rugby star and current gay icon, founded his StandUp Foundation in Atlanta to combat bullying. (Publicity photo)
Kiki By The Park
Fundraiser for Atlanta Pride & Ben Cohen
9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m. at the W Midtown Hotel
188 14th St., Atlanta, GA 30361
Get the facts. Get tested. Get involved.
Robert (right) has lived with HIV since 2011.
I am a best friend, a leader, and a force.
And I am living with HIV.
19 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice Pride
By Ryan Lee
As a ﬁeld general during the earliest battles
of the modern LGBT rights movement, Harvey
Milk’s primary weapon was a red and white
bullhorn. The Fanon Transistorized Mega-
phone became a part of Milk’s political combat
uniform, used to rally an army of San Francisco
queers, street kids and liberals against centu-
ries-old oppression of homosexuals.
The iconic megaphone ampliﬁed Milk’s
words so loudly that they still echo today, al-
most 35 years after Milk was killed for ﬁghting
on behalf of gay liberation.
Milk’s election to the San Francisco Board of
Supervisors made him one of the ﬁrst openly gay
elected ofﬁcials in America, but a conservative
fellow lawmaker assassinated him in 1978. Now
Milk has a new type of megaphone to make sure
his message and spirit remain as boisterous as
they were when he was riling up a rebellion in
the streets of San Francisco during the 1970s.
Stuart Milk, the gay pioneer’s nephew,
founded the Harvey Milk Foundation to share
Milk’s legacy on a global scale, spreading his
strategies on community organizing and bridge-
building between diverse groups. Stuart Milk,
who is gay and bares a striking resemblance to
his uncle, serves alongside fellow activist Ben
Cohen as honorary grand marshal for the At-
lanta Pride parade.
“Atlanta Pride is such a vital venue to show-
case a community’s broad and inclusive leader-
ship and at the same time, provide an important
and often life-changing event that, at its core,
says to each young person – you are not only
valued, but your authenticity is celebrated here
– you are not alone,” Stuart Milk said.
The Harvey Milk Foundation was founded
in 2009, a year after the Academy Award-win-
ning movie “Milk” generated renewed interest
in his life and murder.
“[The ﬁlm] changed my life in that I realize
we all need to do more of embracing diverse
communities,” Stuart Milk told the blog Out in
Hollywood in 2009. “I’m very frustrated that
our kids today still feel they have to be in the
closet, they have to hide who they are.”
Later that year, Stuart Milk and Anne Kro-
nenberger, who was Harvey Milk’s campaign
manager and political adviser, founded the
Harvey Milk Foundation, a volunteer organiza-
tion “to empower local, regional, national and
global organizations so that they may fully real-
ize the power of Harvey Milk’s story, style, and
collaborative relationship building.”
The group provides speakers and training
to activists across the globe, and since 2009
has gotten ofﬁcial recognition of May 22, the
gay lawmaker’s birthday, as Harvey Milk Day
“It is difﬁcult to put into words the great hon-
or I feel in having been able to take Harvey’s sto-
ry, and his universal message of equality, around
the world,” Stuart Milk wrote last year.
Stuart Milk’s appearance at Atlanta Pride
comes less than a month before a potentially
historic milestone in the continuum that his
uncle helped start, as U.S. Rep. Tammy Bald-
win (D-Wisc.) seeks to become the ﬁrst openly
LGBT politician elected to the U.S. Senate.
“I am frequently asked if I am deeply sad-
dened that my uncle Harvey did not get to see
all those elected ofﬁcials who would come to
stand on his shoulders, or all the places where
the light of equality burns brighter than the
darkness of antiquated prejudice,” Stuart Milk
said earlier this year.
“And I have long replied that he did see
those open and proud candidates running for
ofﬁce and winning, and he did see those cities
and states and nations that would etch equality
into both their laws and their societal values, for
he could not have given his life without seeing
and visualizing that dream.”
Stuart Milk, nephew of slain gay political pioneer
Harvey Milk, serves as Atlanta Pride’s Honorary
Grand Marshal along with rugby star Ben Cohen.
(Photo by Brook Pifer; courtesy Atlanta Pride)
Nephew of gay icon
continues to spread
message of equality, pride
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21 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice Pride
By Ryan Watkins
The Atlanta Pride Committee will have a
diverse group of grand marshals leading this
year’s Pride parade. From a trans woman who
won a groundbreaking legal battle to a camp-
drag fundraising troupe that’s raised $2 million
for HIV/AIDS causes in Atlanta, this year’s
group of honorees has contributed to the LGBT
rights movement in countless ways.
“We are so proud of our 2012 grand mar-
shals. It is going to be really exciting having
such a diverse group of individuals represent-
ing the LGBT community at the Atlanta Pride
Festival this year,” said Atlanta Pride Board
Chair Glen Paul Freedman when the grand
marshals were named.
“If you know any of these individuals or
members of one of the groups, please congratu-
late them on this honor... and if you don’t know
them, we hope you will show your appreciation
of their support for the LGBT community by
giving them a wave as they are on the parade
route,” he said. “It is really going to be great
day for everyone.”
The grand marshals:
For more than 35 years, the Armorettes
have raised money for local HIV and AIDS or-
ganizations and other non-proﬁt groups such as
Atlanta Pride. This camp-drag troupe has seen
many members over the years, and each has
dedicated herself to the cause of awareness.
The Armorettes perform every Sunday at
Burkhart’s Pub and every third Saturday of the
month at The Heretic Backroom Burlesque Show.
The group surpassed the $2 million mark last
month in funds raised and has received countless
honors including from the City of Atlanta for the
ongoing work it does to ﬁght HIV/AIDS.
Danny Ingram is the president of American
Veterans for Equal Rights and was on the fore-
front of the recent repeal ﬁght against the mili-
tary’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
policy, which barred gays and lesbians from
openly serving in the military.
Ingram served in the United States Army
from 1988 to 1994 and after making a state-
ment in support of repeal in 1992, became one
of the ﬁrst soldiers discharged under the DADT
law. After his discharge, Ingram fought for re-
peal of the discriminatory policy.
Ingram currently works for Georgia Institute
of Technology as a senior business analyst. He is
also afﬁliated with the DeKalb County Demo-
cratic Party, AMVETS, Veterans for Peace, the
Alexander Hamilton Post of the American Le-
gion and the Atlanta Prime Timers.
He witnessed President Barack Obama sign
the law repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on
Dec. 22, 2012, and was gifted one of the pens
the president used to sign the bill.
Ingram lives in Decatur.
Jeff Graham is the executive director of
Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT
advocacy organization. Graham is a tireless
advocate for HIV/AIDS related issues and has
worked in grassroots campaigns to raise aware-
ness for nearly three decades.
With his work at Georgia Equality, Graham
has worked to elect LGBT politicians and ﬁght for
LGBT causes in the Georgia General Assembly.
He is a current board member of Georgians
for a Healthy Future and the national Equal-
ity Federation, and is a former board member
of the Communities Advocating Emergency
AIDS Relief Coalition.
Graham also helped organize the Atlanta
chapter of ACT UP.
Graham lives in Atlanta with his partner,
Vandy Beth Glenn
Vandy Beth Glenn is a transgender woman
who made national headlines when she was ﬁred
from her job as a legislative editor in the Georgia
General Assembly after she informed her boss of
her plans to transition from male to female.
Glenn, with the help of Lambda Legal, sued
the state and her former employer and eventu-
ally won her case.
Glenn was also GA Voice’s “Person of the
Year” in 2011. She lives in Decatur.
Rev. Joshua Noblitt
Rev. Josh Noblitt is the minister of social
justice at Saint Mark United Methodist Church
in Midtown Atlanta.
Noblitt was the victim of an anti-gay as-
sault and robbery in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park
in 2010, which the Atlanta Police Department
called an anti-gay bias crime. Instead of being
angry with his young attackers, Noblitt showed
compassion and publicly forgave them and cor-
responded with at least one assailant.
Noblitt serves on the board of directors for
the Reconciling Ministry Network, a national
organization that seeks full inclusion for lesbi-
an, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the
United Methodist Church; is a member of the
Atlanta Police Department LGBT Advisory
Board; serves as vice president of the South
Atlanta Civic League; and is a 2011 LEAD
Dr. Julie Kubala
Dr. Julie Kubala is the Senior Lecturer
and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the
Women’s Studies Institute at Georgia State
Kubala earned her doctorate from Emory
University, where she focused on feminist and
queer theory, literary and cultural criticism and
Kubala was also an early organizer and
one of the ﬁrst participants of the annual Dyke
March during Atlanta Pride and helped form
what is now the Ofﬁce of Lesbian, Gay, Bisex-
ual and Transgender Life at Emory University.
Kubala has worked with Estrofest, Cliterati,
Amazon Feminist Group, Lesbian Avengers,
Queer Progressive Agenda (past), ACT UP,
MondoHomo, Sisters in Sports, and Girls’
Rock Camp. Currently, she is afﬁliated with the
East Point Possums, Faces of Feminism, Black
Out and the Atlanta Women’s Foundation.
Anita Rae Strange
Anita Rae Strange, better known to locals as
“Blondie” from the Clermont Lounge, is a local
legend who really knows how to entertain.
Strange was also the winner of the 2012
GA Voice Best of Atlanta Local Icon category,
where she beat out U.S. Rep. John Lewis and
local politico Cathy Woolard.
Strange was the focus of a recent documen-
tary, “AKA Blondie,” which examined the per-
former’s life and career, through hardships and
perseverance. The ﬁlm debuted at the Atlanta
Film Festival this year and is currently making
its way across the indie-ﬁlm festival circuit.
Alpha Chapter of Sigma
Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity Inc. is a non-
collegiate, social service fraternity for lesbian
women everywhere who consider themselves
to be dominant, aggressive or stud. It was
founded in 2008 and is headquartered in At-
lanta with two additional chapters in Trenton,
N.J., and Richmond, Va.
The group says it is the ﬁrst African-Amer-
ican Greek organization in the history of the
Atlanta Pride to walk in the parade.
Aside from the social aspect of the organi-
zation, the group also participates in and orga-
nizes local community service projects.
Meet the Atlanta Pride grand marshals
represent best of local
The Armorettes Danny Ingram
Anita Rae Strange Dr. Julie Kubala Rev. Josh Noblitt Vandy Beth Glenn Jeff Graham
The Alpha Chapter of Sigma Omega Phi
23 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice Pride
Sue and Dave Amsden
Dr. J. Frank and Robin Batkins
Jack and Helga Beam
Paul and Riki Bolster
Cynthia and Donald Carson
Craftmaster Printers, Inc.
Jonathan Darsey and
Dr. Pam Dorsett and
John M. Mozzone
Dolph Ward Goldenburg and
Roger Grier and Keith Bragg
Brian Hogan and
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Marie Johnson and
Dr. Henrik Christensen
Drew Marlar and
Private Bank of Buckhead
Kinsinger & Pereira, PC
Bart and Christine
Van de Griend
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By Jim Farmer
New to Atlanta Pride this year and bound to
draw some interest as part of the Community
Health Expo is YoGaga, scheduled for Satur-
day, Oct. 13, at 10 a.m. at the athletic ﬁelds at
It’s the brainchild of yoga instructor Neda
Honarvar, who has started her own studio,
Tough Love Yoga, in town. Earlier this year she
decided she would like to bring her brand of
yoga to more of an LGBT audience.
Honarvar and colleague Garrett Cockayne
approached Pride earlier this season and the
committee liked the idea.
“Lady Gaga is so supportive of the LGBT
community and we liked the idea of combin-
ing this into the culture, which is about yourself
and ﬁnding creative ways to express yourself,”
The class will last an hour and 10 minutes.
While doing poses, expect to hear “Bad Ro-
mance,” “Born This Way,” “Just Dance” and
other Gaga classics to accentuate the mood.
“When Neda came up with the idea, it
just seemed like they go well together,” said
The class is appropriate for those who are
serious and for those who have never done
yoga at all. To Cockayne, yoga is invaluable
for the mind, body and spirit. It also works on
strength, focus and ﬂexibility.
“A lot of doctors recommend it,” he said.
“For those with HIV/AIDS it is very valuable.”
As guessed by the name, the class won’t
be all serious. Cockayne encourages people
to come in Lady Gaga-inspired costumes and
Pride also offers opportunities to focus on
your health throughout the weekend with the
Community Health Expo, which groups health-
related organizations together in the blue sec-
tion of the marketplace.
Services will include HIV tests, breast cancer
prevention information, and more wellness topics.
Sponsored by Grady, the Community Health
Expo includes AID Atlanta, the Health Initia-
tive, Positive Impact, the Feminist Women’s
Health Center, Grady Health Services, Georgia
Department of Health, and the Emory Vaccine
Center’s Hope Clinic.
It is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Satur-
day and Sunday.
By Jim Farmer
The fourth annual Atlanta Pride Trans
March steps off Saturday to raise awareness
and visibility for the “T” in “LGBT.” Marchers
gather at 1:15 p.m. at the Hospitality Center and
step off at 1:45 p.m.
The Trans March was started to raise aware-
ness and visibility for transgender and gender non-
conforming people both inside and outside the
queer community, says Jamie Green-Fergerson,
Atlanta Pride’s board of directors vice chair.
“We march through the park as a statement
that non-trans LGBTQ people also need to be
aware of trans issues and that education needs
to start inside our community,” she said. “The
Trans March centers the experience of trans-
gender and gender non-conforming people,
but partners, parents, children and friends of
marchers join us every year.”
New for this year is a particularly timely
addition. Georgia Equality will speak to par-
ticipants in the Trans March about voting re-
sources speciﬁcally for transgender or gender
“We are very excited to have that partner-
ship in such an important election year,” Green-
Sign-making materials for both the Trans
March and the Dyke March are available near
the Charles Allen Gate on Saturday.
Pride organizers are also planning a Dyke and
Trans March dance party with DJ Speakerfoxxx
after the Dyke March on Saturday evening.
About 150 people gathered for the Trans
March in 2011 and Green-Fergerson would
love to exceed those numbers this year. The
event has grown every year since its inception.
The Trans March is sponsored by the Lloyd
E. Russell Foundation.
The Atlanta Pride Trans March goes through Piedmont Park to make transgender rights more visible to
festival attendees. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
YoGaga combines yoga, Lady Gaga for fitness fun
Trans March encourages visibility
Community Health Expo includes HIV tests, wellness info
Saturday afternoon march
weaves throught Piedmont
Saturday, Oct. 13
Saturday, Oct. 13
1:15 p.m. assembly; 1:45 p.m. step off
In front of Hospitality Center
(near 12th Street gate)
YoGaga (Lady Gaga-inspired yoga)
Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. – noon
Athletic ﬁelds in Piedmont Park
Community Health Expo
Oct. 13-14, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Blue section in Marketplace
2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 24 Pride www.theGAVoice.com
By Jim Farmer
One of the most popular traditions at Atlanta
Pride is the annual Dyke March, set for the af-
ternoon of Saturday, October 13th.
Long a favorite, the Dyke March is a demon-
stration of the visibility, the political value, and
the passion of dykes and all women-identiﬁed
women, according to Jamie Green-Fergerson,
Atlanta Pride’s board of directors vice chair.
“We are a diverse group of marchers, and we
march in solidarity with all those who struggle
against sexism, homophobia, racism, xenophobia,
classism, ableism, fatphobia, transphobia, ageism,
and other forms of marginalization,” she said.
Dyke marches started locally in the mid-
1990s; they were originally organized by the
This year the march gathers at 5:30 p.m. and
begins at 6 p.m. It steps off from the Charles
Allen gate, travels down 10th Street, turns onto
Peachtree Street, turns onto 14th Street, and
then re-enters the park at the 14th Street gate.
Last year, 500 people participated in the march,
according to Green-Fergerson.
New for the Dyke March will be a trolley
to transport people who cannot or would have
a hard time marching. Seats for the trolley will
be given out on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst served basis
with priority going to those with mobility chal-
lenges, elders, and families with young chil-
dren, Green-Fergerson said.
One of the 2012 Parade Grand Marshals,
Julie Kubala, was one of the organizers for the
ﬁrst Atlanta Dyke March.
While other Prides host dyke marches that
are dyke-only spaces, the Atlanta Dyke March
invites allies to join.
“If you’re an ally, we ask that you march
with us if you support dykes politically, so-
cially, and holistically,” Green-Fergerson said.
“We ask that you respect our need to be visible
and lead the demonstration.”
Dyke March unites women, allies
Politics, passion mark powerful Saturday evening tradition
The raucous Dyke March is more overtly political
than Sunday’s Pride parade. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
Delightful, delicious, dyna mic
Named one of
Tastiest Towns! Tastiest Towns! Tastiest Towns! Tastiest Towns! Tastiest Towns! Tastiest Towns!
Dyke March Pre-Party Social
& Crafting Get Down
3:15-5:30 p.m. at the Charles Allen Gate
5:30 p.m. assembly; 6 p.m. step off
Charles Allen Gate
Dyke march map
2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 26 Pride www.theGAVoice.com
By Ryan Watkins
Atlanta’s Pride festival wouldn’t be com-
plete without the annual parade, which kicks
off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. Each year,
the parade draws tens of thousands along the
traditional route down Peachtree Street to 10th
Street and Piedmont Park.
Organizers say more than 200 entrants have
signed on this year, ranging from local non-
proﬁt organizations to politicians, gay-friendly
businesses and multi-national corporations.
The grand marshals for the 2012 parade are
trans activist Vandy Beth Glenn; Rev. Joshua
Noblitt, minister of social justice at Saint Mark
United Methodist Church; Jeff Graham, Geor-
gia Equality executive director; Danny Ingram,
American Veterans for Equal Rights executive
director; Dr. Julie Kubala, senior lecturer and di-
rector of undergraduate studies for the Women’s
Studies Institute at Georgia State University; Ani-
ta Rae Strange, “AKA Clermont Blondie”; the Al-
pha Chapter of Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc.
and drag fundraising troupe The Armorettes.
Grand marshals will be scattered in the ﬁrst
rows of parade participants, organizers said.
Traditional hotspots along the route in-
clude just outside the Georgian Terrace Hotel
on Peachtree Street and the corner of 10th and
Piedmont. As always, organizers expect anti-
gay protesters along the route.
If crowds aren’t your thing, local network
11 Alive (WXIA) will broadcast the parade live
on its website, www.11alive.com/pride.
By Jim Farmer
The Starlight Cabaret ends Pride weekend
on a particularly high note, closing out the Co-
ca-Cola stage at 7 p.m. Sunday evening. For
many, it is one of the highlights of the entire
weekend of activities, as Atlanta’s drag queens
and kings bring out their best performances for
their largest audience of the year.
Tony Kearney, who handles programming
for the Atlanta Pride Committee, has been in-
volved in putting the cabaret together for the
last ﬁve years. It’s the largest celebration of its
kind in the Southeast and retains much of the
“It’s amazing to see how many people are
still in the park after Pride,” Kearney said. “Last
year there were around 5,000 people enjoying
And because it’s free, anyone can watch,
even those who might not be able to otherwise.
“We see people of all ages and races at the
event,” he said. “Kids under 21 who might not
be able to get into the bars are able to come out
and enjoy all the acts.”
This year’s cabaret has a great cross section
of performances, including group numbers and
“We highlight some of the best drag
around,” Kearney said. “It’s ﬁtting that we
end with this every year. Looking back at his-
tory, drag queens were responsible for helping
to start Pride. Why not have it as the ﬁnal act:
where would we be without the drag queens?”
This year’s cabaret features the Rush
Cast, the Armorettes, the Divas of LeBuzz,
Burkhart’s Cast, Athens Showgirl Cabaret and
various drag kings.
Individual performers are Mariah Paris
Balenciaga, Sassy, Summer Knight, Nichelle
Paris, Violet, Mya Monroe, Savannah Leigh,
Mary Edith Pitts, Shawna Brooks, Charlie
Brown, Lateasha Shuntel, Shabazz, Wild Cher-
ry Sucret and Lena Lust.
The evening’s special guest star will be
“Vampire Diaries” actress and singer Kat Gra-
ham, who will be doing something not always
associated with the cabaret — actually singing.
Dozens of Atlanta’s drag queens and kings bring camp humor, glam style and even activism to the Starlight
Cabaret stage for one of Pride’s favorite events. (Photo by Laura Douglas-Brown)
Tens of thousands line the streets of Midtown for
Sunday’s Atlanta Pride Parade. (Photo by Bo Shell)
Pride parade steps off Sunday
Starlight Cabaret ends Pride on glamorous note
More than 200
Drag queens, kings
dazzle in festival’s ﬁnale
Sunday, Oct. 14
Sunday, Oct. 14, 7:15 p.m.
Coca-Cola Stage in Piedmont Park
Atlanta Pride Parade
Sunday, Oct. 14, 1 p.m.
Steps off from Civic Center MARTA Station
29 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice Pride
1 GA Voice October 12, 2012 30 www.theGAVoice.com
31 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice Pride
For details on these and other
nightlife events, see our Pride
Calendar on Pages 36-38
By Dyana Bagby
Atlanta Pride is a time to celebrate — during
the day at the festival in Piedmont Park, and at
night with special events in many of the city’s
bars and nightclubs.
For shirtless guys dancing and celebrating
their freedom, the Heretic, Jungle and after-
hours Xion serve up a “100 percent genuine big
slice of Atlanta Gay Pride” on Friday, Saturday
and Sunday, Oct. 12-14.
On Friday, after partying with the ﬁshes
at the ofﬁcial Atlanta Pride kick off party at
the Georgia Aquarium, Pride revelers can get
into the groove at Jungle for the ofﬁcial Pride
Aquarium After Party with DJ Ed Bailey, or
go across Cheshire Bridge Road to the Heretic
with DJ Joe Gauthreaux.
Gauthreaux, known for his hunky good
looks and wicked beats, is traveling from his
current home in Los Angeles. He makes a few
appearances in Atlanta each year and is very
much looking forward to this year’s festival.
“Atlanta always feels like coming home in a
way,” Gauthreaux said. “I’m from New Orleans
so we have the Southern mentality in common.
The people really make Atlanta what it is.”
In keeping with the Pride theme, we asked
Gauthreaux what he is proud of this year.
“I’m proud that the country seems to be
getting more and more accepting of gay rights
every day,” Gauthreaux said. “I watched an old
episode of ‘Oprah’ on OWN the other night
where Ellen Degeneres had just come out, and
it reminded me of how close-minded and igno-
rant people used to be.
“So in that sense, I’m happy at how far
we’ve come. Although there is still a lot of
work to be done.”
Atlanta favorite DJ Martin Fry spins on Sun-
day night at Jungle as part of the closing event
of “100 percent genuine slice of Atlanta Pride,”
warming up the audience for Rosabel. Fry has
been a DJ for 23 years and producing for 12
years, so he knows how to make a crowd move.
“The best thing about playing in front of my
hometown for Pride weekend is I’ll be play-
ing in front of my friends. The people I hang
around, connect and dance with. Who better to
play for?” Fry said.
Fry promises not to hold back for the home-
town crowd, either, saying those celebrating
their pride “can expect to hear house music
with as much soul, substance and energy as I
can muster up.
“Along with many of our new mixes that
my production partner, Chizo, and I have been
knocking out,” he said.
Others performing for the “100 percent
genuine big slice of Atlanta Gay Pride” are
famed adult movie producer, director and DJ
Chi Chi Larue at the Heretic and DJ Tony
Moran at Jungle on Saturday, with Paulo
spinning at the after-hour party at Xion on
Saturday night/early Sunday morning. The
Heretic closes down Pride on Sunday with a
special Bear Invasion with DJs James Torres
and Sean Mac.
Plenty of other gay bars will celebrate in
style, too. Mary’s in East Atlanta — the Best
Gay Bar in America, according to Logo —
parties with DJs Ree de la Vega and Fluff on
Friday with a special “Divas Anthem” karaoke
Pride edition on Saturday night.
Also look for events to get you in the Pride
spirit at gay bars like Oscars, Felix’s, The
Hideaway, Amsterdam, Bulldogs, Burkhart’s,
the Atlanta Eagle, Woofs, BJ Roosters, Mixx,
Model T, the Cockpit, Las Margaritas, XS Ultra
Lounge, Blake’s on the Park, Friends on Ponce,
LeBuzz in Marietta and Swinging Richards and
Bliss male all-nude strip clubs.
Where the women are
Women will have plenty of party options,
too. The ofﬁcial Atlanta Pride women’s event,
dubbed the Peach Party, is presented by Curve
Personals and Pandora Events at Center Stage/
The Loft on Saturday night.
Curve Editor Frances Stevens expects ap-
proximately 2,000 women who love women
to party with special guest Whitney Mixer fro
“The Real L Word.”
“We will also be bringing in one of the hot-
test lesbian DJs in the country, DJ Pat Pat from
Miami. There will be lots of surprises for our
guests,” Stevens said. “This is our ninth year and
Atlanta is a good place to hold such a party.”
My Sister’s Room will hold a Glow Party
with DJ M and Twee on Friday and then turn it
out on Saturday with a “Lick It” party with the
hot music acts God-des and She and the Ma-
ria Gabriella Band, followed by a dance party
with DJ Liz Owen and DJ Tina V. Then on
Sunday, MSR holds a Boi Pride Party featur-
ing “Between Women” cast members as well
as members of the Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity
Anna Ragghianti, who was forced to close
lesbian bar Bellissima last year, is organizing
a new party, the L Lounge on Friday at the W
Atlanta Midtown, and also holding her popular
Heaven Part at Park Tavern on Saturday.
More than 1,000 people are expected to
pack Park Tavern — many with angel wings —
but Ragghianti says she is going for an intimate
atmosphere for the new L Lounge.
“We added the L Lounge to offer women
more options since Bellissima has closed. It will
be a classier, upscale event for the 30+ crowd,
although everyone’s welcome,” she said.
DJ Yvonne Monet will spin top 40 and older
favorites — no hip hop but plenty of sexy, fun
music, Ragghianti said.
At the Heaven Party, DJ Duck will serve
up electro pop, house, hip hop and new music.
Both events will have special, erotic perfor-
mances as well.
“We like to keep that somewhat secret, but
believe me, very sexy and unique!” Ragghianti
Pride’s ofﬁcial closing party
Ofﬁcial Atlanta Pride parties organized by
Chris Coleman Enterprises are set for Thursday
and Sunday with a portion of ticket sales going to
help fund Atlanta Pride, a non-proﬁt organization.
On Thursday, Coleman held a casual night
out at the gay-owned Fifth Ivory restaurant.
On Sunday for the ofﬁcial Atlanta Pride
closing party at the gorgeous party space Opera,
Coleman has former Atlantan Jay McCracken
spinning, as well as producer and DJ Hector
Fonseca and DJ Theresa on the tables together
in Atlanta for the ﬁrst time.
Fonseca said he hopes Atlanta is ready for
what he has planned because he and Theresa
know how to get a room jumping.
“I love Atlanta and am rarely there so it feels
special when I go. … Pride is the icing on the
cake as it’s a time to celebrate who you are and
your community,” he said.
Fonseca says there will be new edits of clas-
sics including “Pride, Deeper Love” and Ultra
Nate’s “Free.” Fonseca also pledges a lot of
original music that he’s been working on with
the likes of Natasha Beddingﬁeld, Kerli, Jeanie
Tracy and more.
“I have remixes I’m working on for Adam
Lambert and a retake on my ofﬁcial remix of
Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way.’ It’s going to be
a really unique set just for Atlanta at Opera,”
Nighttime is the right time
Famed DJs, hot parties on
tap for Pride weekend
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Editorial by Laura Douglas-Brown
This year will be my 20th Atlanta Pride, and
yet the sight of our community spread out in
Piedmont Park and taking over the streets for
the parade still ﬁlls me with wonder.
Even though I am one of the lucky few who
gets to be not only gay, but professionally gay,
when I walk into the park for the festival, a part of
me is once again that shy, scared teen awestruck to
ﬁnally be surrounded by so many LGBT people.
Pride never ceases to make me feel grateful
and, yes, proud of all of us for what we over-
come to be able to embrace who we are.
But Atlanta Pride weekend packs so much
into two days that it’s easy to miss out on
chances to feel even more empowered. Here
are 10 suggestions.
1. Visit the health section.
Your health might not be the ﬁrst thing on
your mind when you head out to Pride for a
weekend of celebrating with your friends, but
remember that healthcare is key issue for every-
one — especially in our community.
The Blue Section of the marketplace might
be dubbed Health Central for Pride, packed
with organizations that can help you with ev-
erything from a free HIV test to information
about how to access low- and no-cost health
examinations. There will also be plenty of in-
formation on how to stay healthy.
2. See an old friend.
Pride is many things, including the biggest
“family” reunion of the year. Instead of just
ﬁguring out how to the dodge your ex, make
a plan to meet up with an old friend you may
follow on Facebook, but haven’t seen in person
recently. It will remind you why social media,
while important and entertaining, can’t replace
plain old socializing.
3. Make a new friend.
Pride is a great opportunity to meet new
people — not just potential hook-ups, but your
new Mr. or Ms. Right, or just as importantly,
the person who could be your new best friend.
And even if it is only for a moment, it feels
good to share a smile or kind word with others
who are here to enjoy the same freedom and hap-
piness that brings you to the park this weekend.
Not sure how to just say hello? Ask if you
can join in a pick-up game of soccer, football
or Frisbee in the meadow. Turn out for YoGaga
(Lady Gaga yoga) on Saturday morning and
laugh together at the silliness.
Or, try a random act of Pride kindness: offer
a hand to the person struggling to carry food
and drinks from the food lines, or give a com-
pliment without expecting anything in return.
4. Join something.
The Pride market is ﬁlled with nonproﬁt or-
ganizations looking for new members. Whether
you enjoy business networking, politics, out-
door activities, events you can attend with your
kids, or simply socializing, there is bound to be
a group that ﬁts your needs.
Being part of an LGBT organization is a
way to extend the feeling of unity and connec-
tion that you get during Pride throughout the
rest of the year. If you aren’t quite ready to be-
come a member, start small: join the email lists
for a few organizations that interest you and
commit to yourself to attend just one gathering.
5. Buy something.
Pride’s vendors are here to make money,
but also to show their support for your right to
equality. Maybe you don’t really need another
t-shirt, necklace, hat or rainbow art; maybe
you can wait to eat or have a beer until you get
home. But buy something anyway to support
the merchants who support you.
6. Check out one event that isn’t “you.”
Join or watch the Trans March on Saturday,
even if you aren’t transgender or don’t have
transgender friends. Join or watch the Dyke
March, even if you aren’t female or you don’t
consider yourself a “dyke.”
Head over to the stages to catch a country
act like Justin Utley or Leslie Christian, even
if you aren’t a country music fan. Check out
a hip-hop band like Unbreakable Bloodline if
you think you don’t like rap.
Pride is about celebrating the diversity of
our LGBT family, so check out at least one
event, entertainer, or organization that doesn’t
represent your particular stripe in the rainbow.
7. Sing and dance.
Pride has an amazingly diverse musical
line-up, ranging from famous headliners to
small up-and-coming acts, in genres including
pop, folk, hip-hop, dance and country.
This weekend is all about fun, so don’t hold
back. Dance in the meadow, clap, sing along —
music has an intense ability to inspire us, and
Pride offers dozens of opportunities.
8. Get educated for the election.
It’s less than a month until Election Day, and
Tuesday, Nov. 6, offers a stark choice on LGBT
issues at the top of the ballot.
President Barack Obama pushed for repeal
of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”; Republican Mitt
Romney opposes allowing gays to serve openly
in the military. President Obama supports mar-
riage equality; Romney would ban gay mar-
riage in the U.S. Constitution.
Obama’s campaign is scheduled to have
a booth in Atlanta Pride; Romney, well, you
But as crucial as it is, the presidential race
isn’t the only important race on the Novem-
ber ballot. You should also visit the booth of
Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT
political organization, for information on
state and local endorsed candidates and get-
Change happens because we make it hap-
pen, and one of the most important places is at
the ballot box.
9. Donate time or money.
It takes an organizational budget of more than
$700,000 and more than 300 volunteers — in-
cluding 258 volunteer shifts during the weekend
— to make the Atlanta Pride Festival a success.
When you see the volunteer “bucket bri-
gade” collecting donations, be sure to throw in
some cash. And don’t be stingy: Pride is free to
attend, so donate at least as much as you would
spend on a concert or night out with friends.
Pride also needs volunteers, throughout the
weekend and throughout the year. Shifts start at
just four hours, so offer your help to make the
festival run smoothly. You’ll have fun and get to
experience Pride from a whole new perspective.
10. Say “thank you.”
Donating time and money are vitally im-
portant, but so is simply saying the words.
When you see someone wearing a Pride vol-
unteer t-shirt, take a moment to stop and say
“thank you” for the wonderful, empowering
weekend they are helping make possible for
all of us.
OPINION & REACTION
10 things to do before you leave
Piedmont Park on Sunday
34 GA Voice October 12, 2012 Voices www.theGAVoice.com
The Georgia Voice
1904 Monroe Dr., Suite 130
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Editor: Laura Douglas-Brown
Deputy Editor: Dyana Bagby
Web Manager: Ryan Watkins
Art Director: Bo Shell
Contributors: Melissa Carter, Brent Corcoran,
Jim Farmer, Shannon Hames, Topher Payne,
Matt Schafer, Steve Warren
Publisher: Christina Cash
Associate Publisher: Tim Boyd
Sales Executive: Marshall Graham
Rivendell Media, 908-232-2021
BOARD OF ADVISERS
Richard Eldredge, Sandy Malcolm,
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ATL Pride bucket list
35 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 38 Pride www.theGAVoice.com
Atlanta Pride Festival
Throughout the park
Community Health Expo
Blue section in Marketplace
Pride Cultural Exhibit
Bridge over Lake Clara Meer
3 p.m. Michel Jons Band
4:25 p.m. Leslie Christian
5:15 p.m. Guruﬁsh
6:10 p.m. Amy Ray
7:15 p.m. Starlight Cabaret
Bud Light Stage
3 p.m. Kyron Leslie
3:50 p.m. Maria Gabriella Band
4:40 p.m. Jamie Charoen
5:25 p.m. Dylan Michael
Atlanta Pride Parade
10:30 a.m. assembly begins;
1 p.m. step o
Civic Center MARTA Station to
Sunday, Oct. 14
continued from Page 37
Free Post Parade Cookout &
DJ Brett Long at 10 p.m.
306 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308
4 p.m. – 1 a.m. at Hobnob
1551 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30324
Opening set by DJ Martin Fry
6 p.m. – 3 a.m. at Jungle
2115 Faulkner Rd., Atlanta, GA 30324
Bear Invasion with DJ James Torres
DJ Sean Mac spins early
6 p.m. – 3 a.m. at Heretic
2069 Cheshire Bridge Road,
Atlanta, GA 30324
Blame Sally and Caroline Aiken
Doors open 7 p.m. at Red Clay Theatre
3116 Main St., Duluth, GA 30096
“Libra Love” Sunday Service
with DJ Vicki Powell
7 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. at Sister Louisa’s Church of
the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium
466 Edgewood Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30312
DJ Rick and DJ Maestro
7 p.m. at Mixx
1492-B Piedmont Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30309
With “Between Women” Cast
8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at My Sister’s Room
1271 Glenwood Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30316
O cial Atlanta Pride Closing Party
DJ Hector Fonseca and DJ Theresa
DJ Jay McCracken on the patio
9 p.m. at Opera Night Club
1150 Peachtree St.. Atlanta, GA 30309
Gaylorama Party at Oscar’s Atlanta
1510 Piedmont Ave., Suite C
Atlanta, Georgia 30324
2013 Pathfnder Now,
or Be Jealous Next
1625 Church Street
Decatur, GA 30033
New Car Sales Manager
By Topher Payne
Four months ago, 29-year-old Lee Thomp-
son moved back to his hometown of Milled-
geville, Ga., where he grew up with his two
brothers. After moving around the last few
years, most recently living in Birmingham,
Ala., Thompson was looking forward to set-
tling back into a familiar environment.
But things are a little different these days.
“I was at the Wal-Mart in Forsyth, getting
ready to check out. And this woman kept fol-
lowing me, like it was obvious she was fol-
lowing me. Finally, I turned to her and said,
‘Ma’am, can I help you with something?’
and she said, ‘Can I ask you a question?’
I told her if her question was if I’m Uncle
Poodle, yes I was. She said, ‘Can I get my
picture with you?’, and she was so excited,
she said her husband wasn’t gonna believe it.
That’s how it goes now.”
That’s how it goes because Thompson’s
eldest brother, Mike, is now best known as
“Sugarbear,” the patriarch of the blended fam-
ily featured on TLC’s “Here Comes Honey
Boo Boo.” The series centers on the home life
of 7-year-old pageant contestant Alana Thomp-
son, originally seen on an episode of the net-
work’s infamous “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
Alana’s family — parents Mike and June,
plus June’s three daughters from previous re-
lationships and a perpetually disgruntled pig
named Glitzy — quickly grabbed the atten-
tion of viewers and media alike. In the ﬁrst
season ﬁnale, viewers were introduced to
Lee, whom Alana calls “Uncle Poodle.”
“Okay, here’s how ‘Uncle Poodle’ hap-
pened. We were at practice one day, getting
ready for a pageant. Her coach was talking
about her gay friends, and she said, ‘I love
all my poodles.’ Alana thought she was really
talking about dogs. She wanted to know how
many poodles she had, and what were their
names,” Thompson says. “And I said, ‘No,
Alana, she’s talking about gay people.’ Well,
that did it. All gay people are poodles to her
now, and I’m her number one poodle.”
This sheds new light on Alana’s com-
ment during an appearance on Anderson
Cooper’s talk show. She called Cooper a
“very nice poodle.”
“Oh my god, and he wasn’t even out yet!”
says Thompson. “I about died. Then about
a month later he came out. Not bad gaydar
for a 7-year-old… but, well, look who she
learned it from.”
Praise and criticism
“Honey Boo Boo” has grown into a pop
culture phenomenon. Joel McHale features
clips on “The Soup.” Tina Fey watches epi-
sodes alongside the “30 Rock” writers. Brit-
ney Spears and Ke$ha post quotes from the
show on Twitter. Rosie O’Donnell compared
Alana to Shirley Temple and wants to buy
the family a house.
Alana and June have been lampooned
on “Saturday Night Live,” “Chelsea Lately,”
and “South Park.” The rural family’s unapol-
ogetically laid-back existence makes them
an easy target. Cameras capture every food
auction, mud ﬁght, roadkill buffet, and bodi-
ly function. The family’s Georgia dialects are
so profound that the producers add subtitles.
In an era when “reality” programming
appears anything but real, the Honey Boo
Boos are refreshingly devoid of media savvy.
They were hired to be their authentic selves,
and that’s what they give you, farts and all.
Perhaps for this reason, the series has also
garnered its fair share of critics. Questions have
been raised about the ethics of child beauty
pageants, Mike and June’s parenting skills, the
condition of the family home, and the weight
of the women in the family, June in particular.
“It’s because they don’t live like other
people on TV. They live like the people who
watch TV,” Thompson says.
Thompson has gotten his own taste of me-
dia scrutiny in recent weeks: The New York
Times and the Washington Post both featured
columns scrutinizing whether small-town
Southern gays are doing enough to achieve vis-
ibility and equality in their communities. The
Washington Post piece was entitled, “Uncle
Poodle Needs to Speak Up.”
“Come on now,” says
Thompson. “Who writes a story
saying Uncle Poodle needs to
speak up, and then doesn’t call Uncle Poodle
to ﬁnd out what he has to say?”
Lee Thompson married his husband,
Josh, this past August (“We just decided to
do it that morning, but it wasn’t a shotgun
wedding,” he promises.) The ceremony
was presided over by his stepfather, and
held in the family living room.
A great time was had by all. There was
a wedding cake ﬁght afterward. They
neglected to take pictures, so they’ve
decided to have another one. They’re
happy where they are, and Thompson
believes the image of small-town gay
life could use an update.
“Things are changing. My husband and I
live in Milledgeville because we want to be
out in the country. I’m gay, but I’m as redneck
as I can get, and we want to be somewhere
we can ﬁsh and jump on a four-wheeler, go
hog wallowing. There’s probably 40 or 50 of
us — gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered
people — around here, they’re all open about
it, everybody knows it,” he says.
“It’s not like there’s a gay bar here. We go
to the same bars as everybody else, we’re all
part of the same community... If there’s peo-
ple who have a problem with it, they keep it
to themselves, just like if I have a problem
with them, I keep it to myself.”
“But,” he adds, “If you want people to
accept you, you have to show you don’t have
a problem with yourself and just be up front
about who you are. If you do, you earn peo-
ple’s respect. If everybody would just go on
and do that, ignorant people couldn’t cause
so many problems. I know this is how I was
born and I don’t need to explain it to any-
body. I live my life for who I am. That’s why
‘Born This Way’ is gonna be my next tattoo.”
It appears being unapologetically your-
self is a family trait.
“I love Alana, she’s my heart, and she tells
it just like it is. That’s why people love the
show,” Thompson says. “We’re all rednecks,
we cut up and make fun, but we love each
other and we tell the truth. That’s how you’re
supposed to be with your family. Just real.”
While a second season of the series is still in
negotiations, TLC has announced plans to air
a series of “Honey Boo Boo” holiday specials.
Uncle Poodle is ready and willing to return. As
for the family’s newfound fame, he has no con-
cerns about it going to anyone’s head.
“We’re not changing one bit,” he promis-
es. “June will die with a coupon in her hand.
I never in a million years thought someone
would be asking to take a picture with me in
line at the Wal-Mart. But, hell, I was still at
Lee Thompson, ‘Uncle Poodle’ on
TLC’s ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,’
stands up for gay rednecks
Lee Thompson says his family ‘is not changing one
bit’from reality TV fame. (Photos via Facebook)
1 GA Voice October 12, 2012 42 www.theGAVoice.com
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23 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice 43 A&E
Rufus Wainwright, the gay son of music mar-
vels Loudon Wainwright III and the late Kate Mc-
Garrigle, has been a musical presence since child-
hood. He stepped out on his own in 1998 with his
highly regarded eponymous debut disc and has
been delighting his devoted following ever since.
Wainwright is renowned as much for his
movie soundtrack work (his renditions of Leon-
ard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” from “Shrek” and the
Beatles’ “Across The Universe” from the “I Am
Sam” soundtrack are legendary) as he is for
his love of opera (referenced in song a such as
His talent and creativity seemingly knows no
bounds, as evidenced by his spot-on recreation
of Judy Garland’s infamous 1961 concert on his
2007 “Rufus does Judy at Carnegie Hall” show
and subsequent live recording.
Produced by Mark Ronson, Wainwright’s
soulful “Out of the Game” (Decca), already
considered to be one of the best albums of 2012
by Rolling Stone, is a far-cry from his soul-bar-
ing and mournful “All Days are Night: Songs
Easily Wainwright’s most potentially and con-
sistently commercial album since 2001’s “Poses”
or “Release the Stars,” “Out of the Game” ﬁnds
the singer/songwriter at the very top his game.
Wainwright’s sense of humor is on exhibit
throughout, beginning with the title track, in
which he makes witty observations on the behav-
ior of gay men younger than his own 39 years.
Name-dropper “Rashida” effortlessly updates
vintage soul, Rufus-style, complete with wailing
diva backing vocals. The retro R&B vibe contin-
ues on the sexy “Barbara,” as well as the swirling
“Bitter Tears,” and the full-on funk of “Perfect
Man,” which deserves to be remixed for club play.
To Ronson’s credit, Wainwright doesn’t get
lost in the shufﬂe. On the contrary, he is very
deﬁnitely the central focus all the way through
the disc. Playing less piano and more guitar
than usual, the Rufus we have all come to know
and love can be heard loud and clear on “Wel-
come to the Ball,” “Respectable Dive,” “Some-
times You Need” and the amazing and utterly
GA Voice spoke with Rufus shortly before
his appearance in Atlanta at The Tabernacle on
GA Voice: Rufus, you are heading out on tour
again in support of your latest album, “Out of
the Game.” How were the new songs received
on the earlier leg of the tour? Were there any
songs that went over better than others?
Rufus Wainwright: On the other leg
of the tour, it was an interesting equation.
I started touring even before the album
came out, so people didn’t know any of the
songs at all [laughs]. It was actually kind
of a nice way to measure the temperature
of the work.
For instance, one of the songs that’s really,
immediately made a huge effect and contin-
ues to do so, and we’re actually going to take
it to radio, is “Perfect Man.” “Perfect Man”
seems to resonate really well.
That being said, at this point, after tour-
ing for a few months, “Out of the Game”
has become a real anthem. My fans really
rally behind that particular number. Mainly
because I think what seems so obvious
is actually quite complicated and very
catchy in the end.
I’m glad that you mentioned “Perfect
Man.” When performing that song and others
live, do you maintain elements of the original
arrangements or do you change them up a bit
No, we’re sticking with the agenda here. It
is an up-tempo show and so we try to capture
that. But we don’t only do the new album. I
tried to cover the whole spectrum of my career
in the evening. There’s still some sad, depress-
ing music [laughs].
Were blue-eyed soul numbers on “Out of
the Game,” such as “Barbara” and “Rashi-
da,” and the righteously funky “Perfect Man,”
written that way or are they examples of pro-
ducer Mark Ronson’s inﬂuence?
No, that was very much Mark Ronson’s
touch. “Barbara” was almost more of a Philip
Glass arpeggiated aria. “Rashida” was a slow,
slow country dirge. I wrote “Perfect Man” with
the Pet Shop Boys in mind. It was Mark who
brought them together.
In “Montauk,” you approach the subject
of fatherhood with a touch of humor. In what
ways has parenthood, being a father to Viva,
changed you, if at all?
Well, it’s very early in the game, the moment.
And I’m certainly not out of it! There’s a long in-
ning that I embarked on; a lifelong inning. And I
think I’d be foolish to make any broad statements.
I will say that it is highly necessary for me to
carve out a substantial amount of time for her fu-
ture. Right now, I’m working all the time, so it’s
hard. But I do have it in the front of my mind that
very soon I will be at her disposal.
Elizabeth Banks, with whom you co-
starred in the 2005 movie “Heights,” has gone
on to have a hugely successful acting career.
Will you be doing any more acting on ﬁlm?
Oh, I don’t know. I wouldn’t say that it’s a hun-
ger of mine. But I would say that I keep branch-
ing out into more theatrical work. It has been very
successful for me, be it the opera or my work with
the Shakespeare’s sonnets. There’s been a lot of
talk about writing a musical and ﬁlm scores. That
seems to be a threshold that I should be in and it’s
pulling me towards it.
You play the Tabernacle in Atlanta on Oct.
20. Do you ever have time to take in any of the
sites in a city a historic as Atlanta when you are
I tried to. I don’t know Atlanta so well. I’ve,
of course, visited Elton (John) in Atlanta when
he’s there. I’ve also been to a few rowdy gay bars.
Also, my grandmother was from Tifton, Ga. I’d
certainly like to know more about Atlanta.
Finally, have you begun thinking about or
working on your next album?
Right now, my sister Martha and I are work-
ing on promoting our (late) mother Kate McGar-
rigle’s material. We made a ﬁlm called “Sing Me
The Songs That Say I Love You” which is pre-
miering at a festival in New York soon.
We’ll be doing the rounds at festivals and
then we’ll pick up a commercial release. It’s an
incredible movie about our mother and her mu-
gets ‘Out of the Game’
Gay singer-songwriter brings new album to Atlanta
by Gregg Shapiro
Rufus Wainwright promises ‘an up-tempo show’
when he brings his acclaimed new album, ‘Out of
the Game,’to the Tabernacle with Ingrid Michael-
son and Lucy Wainwright Roche. (Publicity photo)
Saturday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m.
152 Luckie St., Atlanta, GA 30303
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100% PROFESSIONAL ONLY
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2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 44 News www.theGAVoice.com
23 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice 45 A&E
By Dyana Bagby
Amanda Kyle Williams typically begins
writing her acclaimed mystery novels with a
ﬁrst scene and then a last scene.
“And then about 110,000 words in be-
tween,” she says.
Years after writing lesbian mysteries for
Naiad, a small press, Williams has found main-
stream success with a series set in Atlanta.
Conceived as a trilogy, the series centers
around Keye Street, a Chi-
nese-American former FBI
proﬁler who was ﬁred from
her job due to alcoholism.
Street now runs her own
detective agency and does
odd jobs while also consult-
ing with the Atlanta Police
Department on some of the
more heinous crimes to hit
The ﬁrst two books in
the series, “The Stranger
You Seek” and the re-
cently released “Stranger
in the Room,” garnered
strong reviews; the third
and ﬁnal installment,
“Don’t Talk to Strangers,”
is set to be released late
this year. All are published
by Random House.
For Williams, ﬁnding her true voice — and
widespread acclaim — took many years of work
and struggle. And, of course, a lot of writing.
“It took me a good long time to get main-
stream attention,” Williams says. “And I’m no-
where near what I want and need to do. I want to
make sure I do it before I get too old to enjoy it.”
Talking to Williams, you hear the love she
has for her protagonist, Keye Street. The voice
of this character rules in Williams’ mind as she
writes about Street’s struggle with booze, her
love of Krispy Kreme, the tension and love she
has with her adoptive parents, the bail jumpers
she must hunt down as a private investigator,
and also the dark places she must go within her-
self to get inside the head of a killer stalking
“I tried to hone the craft where the character
is strong enough, which I found in Keye Street.
And I don’t mean that in a
schizophrenic way,” Wil-
liams says. “People ﬁnd something really au-
thentic in Keye’s voice.”
Growing up ‘different’
Focusing on an Asian-American lead char-
acter came to Williams after her brother adopt-
ed a Chinese baby.
Years ago, her niece, Anna, said something
during Thanksgiving with such a heavy South-
ern accent that the contrast intrigued Williams.
She decided to honor her niece by having a
strong Chinese-American female protagonist,
and her ﬁrst three Keye Street novels are dedi-
cated to Anna.
Her niece is now 11 and knows the books
are dedicated to her, Williams explains. Her in-
terest in the books went as far as, “Do they have
pictures and can I read them?”
“Of course, the answer was no to both,”
Williams says, noting Anna’s interest in the
books then quickly dissipated.
Growing up “different” in the South was
something Williams wanted to explore in her
books, while also having law enforcement
chase down sadistic serial killers.
“I’m white and privileged,” Williams says,
noting how the South, along with the rest of the
nation, continues to struggle with issues of race
But Williams also understands being an out-
sider and feeling different.
Williams quit high school when she was 16
after being “at war” with her teachers and fel-
low students who believed she was too dumb
“School was hell. I was constantly told,
‘You’re stupid,’” Williams recalls. “My re-
sponse to that was learning to be funny.”
At 22, she was ﬁnally diagnosed as dyslexic
and given tools to help her overcome the learn-
“I didn’t start reading until I was 23 and
today I’m still a very slow reader,” she says.
“Just being able to read a book was incredible.
That people actually read for pleasure … and
the idea of ﬁction was to build this whole world
with words. I loved it.”
Williams, now 55, is a self-educated reader
and writer. Her ﬁrst mainstream book, “The
Stranger You Seek,” was a 2012 Townsend
Award ﬁnalist in Georgia and a 2012 Shamus
ﬁnalist by the Private Eye Writers of America
for Best First Private Investigator Novel.
Fear, humor and community
Out as a lesbian since age 15, Williams says
her sexual orientation has played no role in her
novels getting picked up by a major publisher.
“My publisher has no problem with it.
It’s not relevant to my books. It’s never been
a stumbling block,” she says. “I’ve been very
lucky to have never had a problem. I’ve been
accepted my whole life.”
Williams’ success continues to grow and
there are already talks of adapting her Keye
Street novels to movies or television. But she
continues to honor her roots, especially at Cha-
ris Books & More, where she’ll hold a book
signing on Nov. 1.
“As indies are folding, no one has been
hit harder than feminist book stores,” Wil-
liams says. “Charis has supported me from
the beginning. I had my very ﬁrst book sign-
ing there in 1990.”
Charis is also the signed stock dealer for
Williams, meaning when a fan orders an au-
tographed copy of one of Williams’ books, it
comes from the small purple house in Little
“I want to support them the way they have
supported me and the community,” she says.
Besides putting people on the edge of their
seats, Williams says she also tries to inject hu-
mor in her books.
“They’re thrillers and very much about
Keye, but there is a lot of humor in them,” she
says. “People have told me they found them-
selves laughing out loud. And nothing could
make me happier.
“I like being able to make people laugh
while they are locking their doors and win-
dows,” Williams says. “Maybe that’s the sadist
Amanda Kyle Williams is no ‘Stranger’ to crime ﬁction
Lesbian author hits
with trilogy set on the
streets of Atlanta
Amanda Kyle Williams, a lesbian writer from Decatur, Ga., is slaying audiences and
critics with her Keye Street detective series, which is set in Atlanta. (Photo by Robin
Amanda Kyle Williams
Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More
1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307
by Dyana Bagby
2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 46 A&E www.theGAVoice.com
If you haven’t read “Squirrel Seeks Chip-
munk” yet, you are cheating yourself of an
important moral guide for these troublesome
times. Also, you’ll miss the opportunity to
laugh so hard that you snort. How often can you
get a two-for-one deal like this?
“Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” is the most re-
cent book by gay humorist David Sedaris, who
brings his sardonic wit and intellectual humor
to Atlanta Symphony Hall on Oct. 27.
“Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” is a collec-
tion of 17 fables, little stories featuring animal
characters illustrating some moral lesson, set
in contemporary urban America. You’re free
to interpret them as taking place in New York
City, but Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, or
Miami would work just as well.
However, these are not the Aesop’s tales of
your childhood. They are bent, warped, campy
object lessons about how we treat each other,
which usually is not very nice.
Take the fable of “The Cat and the Baboon,”
which could have been set in any number of
metro Atlanta establishments, inside the pe-
rimeter or out. The cat hits the beauty salon in
preparation for a party, where the overly solici-
tous baboon tries to bait her into bashing other
species. The cat either refuses to play or plays
dumb, but the baboon keeps trying.
This little tug-of-war escalates, but the ba-
boon keeps after the cat, ever mindful that push-
ing too far could cost her tip. The baboon fnally
scores by engaging the cat in their mutual dis-
gust towards dogs. You know, that species. No
spoilers, but Sedaris dispatches the comedy and
the anti-moral in his typically hilarious manner.
“The Migrating Warblers” skewers a similar
contemporary prejudice: a pair of garrulous yel-
low warblers, just back from Guatemala by way
of Brownsville, Texas, infict their gringo-man-
gled Spanglish on their friends as they describe
the shocking things they saw south of the border.
Sedaris’ satirical snowbird describes a mass
murder scene, leading up to her next Spanglish
misstep, and it’s the mildly obscene punch line,
delivered by her obnoxious husband. The effect
is rather like Flannery O’Connor writing fash
fction about the Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Players in Sedaris’ morality circus include a
mouse smother-mother and her “rescue snake,”
a bear whose obsession with her stepmother’s
death drags her into a living hell, a homeschool-
ing crow who pulls a nasty con on a sheep-
mother, a Lord-of-the-Flies-Lite group of
prepper critters, a parrot-journalist and a Viet-
namese potbellied pig with body-image issues,
an owl whose family catches her in a compro-
mising position with a gerbil and a hippo, and
some name-dropping foodie fies.
“The Toad, The Turtle, and the Duck” ex-
emplifes Sedaris’ technique: He presents a
mundane situation (waiting in line), looks for
the mildly unpleasant part of that experience
(shared carping about customer service), then
throws the whole experience off the nearest
ledge (one-upsmanship in counting the ways in
which they would wreak revenge on the offend-
ing party, usually while displaying prejudice,
churlishness, or complete cluelessness.)
What makes these tales laugh-out-loud
funny is not the mere replication of uncom-
fortable moments like these, but the narrator’s
commentary on them as they unfold. Yes, it is
social commentary, and yes, the form is prone
Yet Sedaris serves up each salty fable as a
neatly knotted pretzel. You’ll recognize that
horrid bouffanted woman from the diner or the
race-baiting redneck from the parking deck.
But just when you feel superior enough
to point your fnger, Sedaris’ catches you off
guard: the moral of these stories about human
nature is that the thumb always points back.
David Sedaris delivers
more than laughs with
‘Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk’
Expect thought-provoking humor as out writer David
Sedaris visits Atlanta Oct. 27. (Photos via Facebook)
An Evening With David Sedaris
Sat, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m.
Symphony Hall Atlanta
1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309
by Robin Kemp
2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 48 A&E www.theGAVoice.com
Robert drew in his breath, held it, and re-
“Repeat,” he said to himself, while listen-
ing to his dinner companion, Ralph, once again
carry on about Atlanta Gay Pride weekend.
“I’m making a point of getting out of
town,” Ralph, 27, said. “Being gay is just part
of who I am, and I don’t see the point of ex-
hibiting myself amid parade foats with drag
queens and men in ass-less leather pants in
front of television cameras….”
“Because the thousands of straight people
who come out to see the parade are so of-
fended by it, right?” Robert snapped. “Yet,
somehow, this didn’t keep a majority from fa-
voring the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’
Now, most favor gay marriage. So you have to
wonder if it’s straights or gays who worry that
people are so stupid, they generalize basically
carnival scenes to day-to-day gay life. I know
Mardis Gras convinced me that all women re-
sent wearing shirts.”
As usual, Ralph ignored what Robert was
saying, his eyes wandering the Chinese res-
taurant where they were eating, Chef Liu’s, in
Chamblee. Although its cuisine took a dive for
a while, it has mainly returned to favored sta-
tus among the city’s foodies. It’s best known
for its menu of dumplings.
As a professor, Robert was accustomed to
younger gay men spouting clichés about gay cul-
ture. It was one of the effects of not having any
education in gay history. Since Ralph was a friend,
Robert decided to press him a little deeper.
“So, Ralph,” he began, “it sounds like you
don’t want to be identifed with so-called gay
“That’s correct,” Ralph said.
“Okay,” Robert said, “don’t take offense,
but you’re a hair stylist. You’re sitting here
with a tribal tattoo that covers half your back
and most of your arm. You’ve got a buzz cut
and a 5 o’clock shadow – scruff. How are you
not a stereotype yourself?”
Ralph leaned back in his chair as a serv-
er deposited a plate of 12 juicy, lamb-flled
dumplings before him. “My God,” he said,
“this is my starter.”
“So, Ralph?” Robert pressed. “How are
you not a stereotype?”
“The difference obviously is that I’m not
inappropriately exhibiting my body parts,” he
“Neither are 99 percent of the others at
Pride, but you condemn the entire event on
“Your sexuality is not something to be
proud of,” Ralph replied somewhat heatedly.
“There’s no heterosexual pride. I know the
event is supposed to commemorate Stone-
wall, but it turned into a huge decadent party
years ago. I’m not the only gay person who
feels this way.”
Of closets and chopsticks
Ralph sighed. A plate of kung pao beef ar-
rived at the table. Robert liked the dish, even
though it was common in Chinese-American
restaurants, but Chef Liu’s version is a remark-
able blend of caramelized meat with pointy
“I think all the crap about Pride is part of
the new closet into which gay men are at-
tempting to scramble,” Robert said, waving
his chopsticks at Ralph. “The oppression of
gay people was about their sexuality and it’s
appropriate that Pride celebrate that in some-
what explicit ways, although that has been dis-
appearing over the years…”
“Thank God,” Ralph interrupted.
“Gay men are increasingly concerned
with conforming to stereotypes of mascu-
linity. It’s another effort to hide difference
instead of celebrating it,” Robert ranted on.
He fshed his iPhone out of his pocket and
logged onto Manhunt.
“Look at this crap,” he said. “Here’s a guy
calling himself ‘a man’s man.’ What the hell
does that mean? And a huge portion of these
ads – on Manhunt, Scruff, Grindr, wherever –
are from men who claim to be masc and only
want sex with masc men.
Ralph was nodding, spearing dumplings
and a plate of cumin lamb that had also come
to the table.
“I don’t think you’re wrong,” he said, “but
people are entitled to their preferences.”
‘Masc’ vs. masculine
“They aren’t preferences,” Robert shot
back. “They are gender stereotypes that the cul-
ture imposes, and half the time it’s obvious gay
men are delusional about themselves, anyway.
“Believe me ‘masc’ and ‘masculine’ are
not the same thing. Years ago, on AOL, this
supposedly masc guy kept hitting on me. His
profle dripped with testosterone. He liked to
shoot animals while drinking beer with his
buds and wanted to wrestle for top.
“He wouldn’t leave me alone, no mat-
ter how much I told him I’m not that masc.
Eventually, I agreed to meet in the old parking
lot at Piedmont Park. The plan was to go for
a walk. So, I’m waiting and up he roars in a
big black pickup truck. He lowers the window.
He’s got a fat top. He’s got on an open fannel
shirt with chest hair spilling out. He kind of
“Suddenly, I hear this yippy yappy sound.
And this tiny little white dog — a toy Poodle, I
think — jumps into the guy’s lap. He starts snarl-
ing at me. And the man starts kissing the top of
his head, saying, ‘Now hush, baby, be nice to the
nice man, that’s a good girl.’ He looked at me and
said, ‘I just picked her up at the beauty parlor.’
“I was speechless,” Robert said. “I started
laughing hysterically. I guess the guy knew
why. He rolled up his window and drove away.”
Ralph was laughing. “Yeah, that kind of
thing happens a lot with online hookups.”
“Well,” Robert said, “his behavior ex-
hibits what it means to be masc, instead of
masculine in the conventional sense. But gay
men don’t seem to get that. It’s not unlike the
‘70s with the clone look, but I think men un-
derstood then that, despite the jeans and fan-
nel shirts, they were parodying masculinity,
not replicating it.”
“I’m still not going to Pride,” Ralph said.
“Well, I forgot to tell you that I hope you
had a good two weeks in P-town this year,”
Robert replied, rolling his eyes.
#10: Pride, masculinity and dumplings
Do ‘masc’ gay men
or just reinforce them?
5283 Buford Hwy., Doraville, GA 30340
Good choices: You can easily make an entire
meal of the city’s best Chinese dumplings
and buns here and spend very little money.
I like the lamb dumplings and those made
with fennel and pork. You might want to mix
up the juicy Shanghai soup dumplings with
a plate of glossy fried pork dumplings. The
leek pie is another dish not to miss. I prefer
to eat entirely small plates here, but if you
want to order entrees, the one to avoid is the
cumin lamb. It’s mainly grilled onions with
very small pieces of lamb.
Food Porn is a fctional series by
longtime Atlanta food critic Cliff
Bostock. Set in real Atlanta restau-
rants, it chronicles the adventures
of Robert, a gay man in search of a
husband — or at least a good meal.
Read the whole series online at
49 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
By Matt Schafer
The dead shall walk, and they shall be fabu-
Jerusalem House is retooling its annual Hal-
loween fundraiser from a Carnevale masquerade
ball to a “Ghosts of Hollywood” themed event,
and organizers are offering lot of surprises.
The event is one of the largest fundraisers
of the year for the Atlanta-based nonproft that
provides housing to HIV-positive individuals
and their families.
“It’s going to be a party in three different
phases. It’s going to be exciting for our guests
because the venue will be changing around
them,” Jerusalem House Executive Director
Charlie Frew says. “A lot of it is going to be
a surprise, but people will see the size of the
venue change and different things with lighting
and other ways.”
Development Director Jon Santos wouldn’t
let many details slip about the party, but said
the party would feature live entertainment, a
“Spiritual Medium,” drinks and a number of
celebrities from Hollywood’s history who have
appeared in the tribute reel at the Oscars.
“For anyone who has been [to the Jerusalem
House Halloween event] in the past, it will seem
familiar, but we’ve added some new elements to
it sort of jazz it up a little bit,” Santos says.
While there will be dead celebrities min-
gling with the crowd, costumes are not required
to attend. There will still be masquerade masks
available for purchase.
“We want to keep it fresh because we have a
core group of people who attend every year and
we want to keep it exciting for them,” Frew says.
The event routinely draws approximately 400
revelers, in what organizers say is a diverse crowd.
“It truly is a mixed event, it probably is
more gay, but it truly is open to everyone. I
don’t think anyone from the straight commu-
nity would be intimidated from coming,” Frew
notes. “It’s a great time to have a lot of fun with
a lot of different people and see things that you
haven’t seen before.”
The event will also feature a raffe that in-
cludes high dollar items like a three-night/
four-day day vacation in Blue Ridge, a week’s
stay in a Pensacola condo and a dining package
from Steel Restaurant and Lounge.
HIV housing help
The funds raised will go to help Jerusalem
House plug the holes in its budget left by large
funding sources. Private and public grants ac-
count for the bulk of housing agency’s budget,
but unrestricted funds from events like Ghosts
of Hollywood are critical.
“Government funds will typically give us
the food and rent, for example, but when you
get into other services like transportation and
education, that tends to come from the private
sector,” Frew says.
Jerusalem House owns or rents a number of
facilities across Atlanta, and provides an esti-
mated 60 percent of the housing for low-income
people living with AIDS in the metro area.
At any given time, Jerusalem House pro-
vides shelter to approximately 350 people, of
which 125 are children. The organization also
offers case management, education and trans-
portation services to its clients.
“Given the signifcant uncertainty in Con-
gress, it is certain that government funding will
continue to be in a state of fux. It places a big-
ger importance on events like this… given what
we see in Congress programs like ours tend to
be frst cut,” Frew says.
“We know that people who come out to this
event are coming to have a good time, but for
the most part they are looking to contribute, and
help out Jerusalem House, and they do so in a
very important way,” he says.
Ghosts of Hollywood
Oct. 26, 8 p.m. – midnight
The Foundry at Puritan Mill
916 Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard
2 GA Voice October 12, 2012 50 A&E www.theGAVoice.com
The fabulous walking dead
event with ghost theme
Last year’s Jerusalem House event featured the
familiar Carnevale theme; this year, the HIV agency
goes glam with ‘Ghosts of Hollywood.’(Photos by
Brent Corcoran / RNZ Photography)
1 GA Voice October 12, 2012 52 www.theGAVoice.com
DRESS UP FOR OUR SPOOKTACULAR 10TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY.
NO TRICKS, ONLY TREATS.
EMCEE MARA DAVIS •
THURSDAY 10/25/12 • 6:30–9PM
YOU’RE INVITED TO OUR TENTH ANNIVERSARY PARTY
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK • 404-873-5400 • MIDTOWN ATLANTA, AMSTERDAM WALK, 501 AMSTERDAM AVE, ATLANTA, GA 30306
Due to State Regulations, no pet will be allowed in the facility without proof of current vaccinations.
SPACE IS LIMITED, RSVP TODAY: RESERVATIONS@PIEDMONTBARK.COM
COSTUME CONTEST PRIZES & RAFFLE BENEFITING ATLANTA HUMANE SOCIETY’S 1873 CLUB
HIGH LIQUORS • ALECIA LAUREN PHOTOGRAPHY • HIGHLAND PET SUPPLY • TAJ MA HOUND
53 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice A&E
Out on Film
Atlanta Gay Weddings launch party
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
held its second annual Atlanta Gala on Oct. 6 at 764
Miami Circle, complete with an underwater theme.
(Photos by Brent Corcoran/RNZ Photography)
Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBT ﬁlm festival,
celebrated its 25th anniversary with dozens of
screenings Oct. 4-11. (Photos by Dyana Bagby)
Atlanta Gay Weddings, a new annual publica-
tion from GA Voice and Equally Wed Magazine,
launched Oct. 4 with a gala at Opera. Visit the
GA Voice Pride booth to pick up a copy. (Photos
1 GA Voice October 12, 2012 54 www.theGAVoice.com
an eclectic southwestern eatery & tequila bar
We have proudly and unconditionally
supported the LGBT community for
the last eleven years through donations
and dine outs. We could not have
accomplished this without your patronage !
55 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice News
By Dyana Bagby
Three gay incumbents will be on the Nov.
6 ballot for the Georgia General Assembly, as
well as two gay Democrats seeking spots in the
state House and Senate.
State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta), who
became the frst out African-American lesbian
state legislator in the nation when she won a
seat in the Georgia House in 2009, prevailed
in a heated July primary for House District 58
against another Democratic incumbent, Rep.
Ralph Long, after the two were drawn into the
same district by Republicans.
Bell is endorsed by Georgia Equality and
the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. She
is a co-sponsor of the State Fair Employment
Practices Act, a bill that would make it illegal
to fre state employees based on sexual orienta-
tion or gender identity. The bill languished in
committee this year, but LGBT advocates and
Georgia Equality hope to get the bill out of the
Judiciary Committee and onto the House foor
in the upcoming session.
Bell faces a Republican challenger on Nov.
6 ― entrepreneur Earl Cooper.
State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) held off
challenges from four candidates in July to secure
enough votes to win the House District 60 race
outright and without a runoff. She faces no Re-
publican opposition on the November ballot. She
won the seat during a special election in 2012.
State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Es-
tates), who in 2000 became the frst openly gay
person elected to Georgia’s General Assembly,
faced no opposition in July for House District
85 and has no Republican challengers next
month. She is the lead sponsor of the FEPA bill
to provide protection to LGBT state employees.
Taking his frst stab at state offce is openly
gay Timothy Swiney, an associate real estate
broker who lives in Lawrenceville with his
partner and their two adopted children. Swiney
faces an uphill battle for House District 101
against Republican incumbent state Rep. Val-
erie Clark in a fscally and socially conservative
part of the state that includes Gwinnett County.
Swiney, who once was a Republican but
said he became disgusted by the state’s current
administration and decided to change parties,
believes he can work for all people.
“The single most important issue facing
all Georgians is our economy,” Swiney said.
“Georgia has been consistently ranked as one of
the top states in the nation for our pro-business
environment, yet we are ranked dead last in the
fnancial stability of our citizens and workers.
In May of this year Georgia had more foreclo-
sures than any state in the county.”
Swiney is also fearful of the “personhood
movement” shaping up in Georgia and the anti-
abortion law passed in the last session. He is a
strong supporter for same-sex couple adoptions
and wants to make this easier through state law.
Currently Georgia has no law specifcally ad-
dressing same-sex parent adoptions.
“As a recent adoptive parent, I know frst
hand the road blocks and outright discrimina-
tion against gay couples in the adoption pro-
cess,” he said.
“Georgia law does not address same sex
adoptions, but in our state, unless laws are writ-
ten that specifcally include the LGBT commu-
nity, we are denied those rights,” he explained.
“This is not simply a LGBT rights issue,
but it is a children’s rights issue … We need
legislation that specifcally allows same-sex
couple adoptions and as state representative I
will work to see this corrected,” Swiney added.
Swiney said he is a strong supporter of
FEPA and if elected would work “to educate,
negotiate, and if needed, twist arms in order to
insure that LGBT workers get a fair shake in
Tim Riley, who has sought a seat in the state
Senate three times before, was recently married
and his opponent and incumbent has publicly
stated Riley is “not his cup of tea.”
But Riley, who lives in Athens, wants to
focus on education and bringing more jobs to
Georgia if elected to represent Senate District 47.
“I have been fghting for equal rights for
all citizens of Georgia for many years and will
continue to fght for equality,” Riley said. “We
all deserve a place at the table. We the people
Brad Ploeger, a gay Libertarian, is running
for the Public Service Commission, also on the
November ballot for all voters. Ploeger is run-
ning against Republican incumbent Chuck Ea-
ton and Democrat Steve Oppenheimer.
“An LGBT voter should be interested in ev-
ery race on the ballot,” Ploeger said.
“Many of the so-called ‘down ticket races’
have a signifcantly larger effect on your life. In
addition, these races involves candidates you can
actually contact and express your opinions ...
“While some voters may choose to vote for
or against me based on my sexual orientation;
it my sincere hope that most Georgians will
choose to support my campaign based on my
ideas,” he said.
Running in Rome
Also on the ballot, but only in Floyd County
which includes the city of Rome, is gay Demo-
crat Garry D. Harrell, 27, who hopes to unseat
Republican incumbent Garry E. Fricks for the
Floyd County Commission Post 2 seat.
Harrell said he is running on a platform of
fresh ideas ― supporting small businesses,
balancing the county’s budget thoughtfully and
using new green and clean technology to move
Floyd County forward.
“I’ll serve my community and be the voice
for ordinary citizens on the Floyd County Board
of Commissioners. Listening to the needs of the
entire community is critically important, and
I’ll do that,” he said.
His sexual orientation doesn’t seem to be play-
ing any signifcant role in his campaign, he added.
“I don’t know if ‘most people’ know I am
gay, but I have lived an ‘out’ life as an adult for
many years in this community. Other than an ini-
tial couple of conversations with the local media,
this issue has not been raised. While I can’t say
it’s not a signifcant issue, it’s not an issue that is
being openly discussed,” Harrell said.
“Frankly, I have been surprised by the
friendly and supportive conversations I’ve had
with voters across the county,” he said.
State Rep. Karla Drenner
Unopposed for House District 85
Timothy Swiney (D-Lawrenceville)
Challenging Republican Rep. Valerie
Clark for House District 101
Brad Ploeger (Libertarian-Atlanta)
Running for Public Service Commis-
sion against incumbent Republican
Chuck Eaton and Democrat Steve
Gary D. Harrell (D-Rome)
Challenging Republican incumbent
Garry E. Fricks for Floyd County
Commission Post 2
State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta)
Faces Republican challenger
Earl Cooper for House District 58
Tim Riley (D-Athens)
Rep. Frank Ginn for Senate District 47
State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta)
Unopposed for House District 60
Gay candidates on Nov. 6 ballot across Ga.
Three out incumbents, two political hopefuls seek General Assembly seats
OPENLY GAY Candidates on Nov. 6 Ballot
1 GA Voice October 12, 2012 56 www.theGAVoice.com
It’s not just a conference, it’s a powerful organizing moment that feeds me and pushes me to build a broad movement for justice.
Build Power Take Action Create Change www.theTaskForce.org
January 23–27, 2013
Celebrating 25 years of Creating Change
The largest annual gathering
of activists, organizers and leaders
in the LGBT movement
57 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice News
By Matt Schafer
Organizers have set an ambitious goal for
this year’s AIDS Walk Atlanta, which would
make the annual fundraiser the largest in the
The walk routinely attracts 10,000 walkers
and runners who last year combined to raise $1
million for only the second time in the event’s
history. This year organizers hope to build on
that success and raise $1.25 million for the
eight participating agencies.
“For these organizations this is how they
fnd money for extra HIV tests; this is how em-
ployees are paid,” AIDS Walk Offce Manager
Billy Jones said.
The 2012 AIDS Walk steps of Sunday, Oct.
21, from Piedmont Park.
Jones works for AID Atlanta, which pro-
vides most of the organizational support for
the walk. While $5.4 million of AID Atlan-
ta’s $7.5 million budget comes from federal
grants, the AIDS Walk provides the largest
percentage of unrestricted funds, meaning this
money flls the gaps.
“Grants are wonderful but they are very spe-
cifc about what they will pay for and what they
won’t pay for,” Jones said. “A grant may cover
all the costs of a program for example, except
Benefciaries this year besides AID Atlanta
include AID Gwinnett, Project Open Hand,
Living Room Inc., Aniz, AIDS Research Con-
sortium of Atlanta, Jerusalem House and Posi-
“It’s important that the AIDS Walk remain
a successful fundraiser because I think we’ve
seen situations with ARCA and Positive Impact
where those two organizations have been de-
nied funding by the Department of Health….
The walk is the largest of its kind in the South-
east, and it’s completely unrestricted funds,”
“All of the money raised stays in Atlanta
and goes to help organizations who serve peo-
ple who live in this area,” he said.
Registration begins at 11 a.m. on Oct. 21
and a pre-race concert begins at 1 p.m. The
band and speakers have not been announced
yet, but organizers have named two spokesmen
and WSB-TV anchor Jovita Moore as its mas-
ters of ceremony.
Alex Wan, the frst openly gay man to sit on
the Atlanta City Council, will represent the city.
U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta), who has
spoken at a number of AIDS Walk, will not be
present, because he will be traveling with Presi-
dent Obama, Jones said.
‘Everyone should make a difference’
The AIDS Walk is supported by both
straight and gay groups, and this year’s spokes-
men refect that: Lance Lacy, an openly gay
HIV negative man, and Walter Bradley, who is
straight and HIV positive.
Lacy has been the team captain of the Sun-
Trust corporate team for the past nine years,
and during that time has raise approximately
$83,000 for the AIDS Walk.
“The frst year I was captain I just wanted
to want to walk, and I didn’t want to go by my-
self. I noticed there was no SunTrust team, so I
started one,” Lacy said.
What started with just a handful of people
has grown to a team with over 100 walkers.
“To start with it wasn’t that much, but over
the years it’s just grown,” he said.
Lacy wanted to make a contribution because
of his experience with his frst boyfriend, and
the education he received that Lacy credits with
saving his life.
“For me personally, my frst experience
with HIV was my frst relationship. Several
months in my boyfriend got tested and it had
progressed to the point where he had full blown
AIDS,” Lacy said.
“Here he is my frst love, and I’m just head
over heels in love with him and he was positive.
So I started trying to learn everything I could.
Anything I could get about it I did; any litera-
ture I could fnd, I ate it up,” he said.
Lacy credits gay youth groups and early
community education for the reason why he
continued to date his frst boyfriend (they are
not currently together) and not contract HIV.
“When I frst came out I started going to
gay youth groups and they kept preaching pro-
tect yourself, and I did, and that’s why I’m still
negative,” Lacy said.
Lacy doesn’t consider himself politically ac-
tive, but said he has focused his activism on the
“This is defnitely where my passion lies. I’ll
help anyone else, but this is the one thing every
year that our friends know I’ll be harassing them
for donations until they give us money,” he said.
The crowds of walkers and runners are flled
with people who focus their passion on this one
event every year. Christopher Evans raised
$7,000 for this year’s walk, but shied away
from any public credit.
“I really am just a wallfower,” he said. “I
just believe everyone should make a difference
in the world, or be the change they want to see
— to quote an overused line.
“This is just my little part, that’s all.”
Last year’s AIDS Walk Atlanta raised $1 million; organizers home to top that total with the 2012 walk, sched-
uled for Oct. 21 starting from Piedmont Park. (Photos by Brent Corcoran / RNZ Photography)
AIDS Walk Atlanta aims for biggest year ever
Organizers hope to raise
$1.25 million for eight
local HIV agencies
AIDS Walk Atlanta and 5k Run
Sunday, Oct. 21
Run begins at 1 p.m.; walk begins at 2 p.m.
Awards at 3 p.m from the main stage
Registration fees: Runners pre-registration
$30, on-Site $40.
AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta
Living Room Inc.
Project Open Hand
1 GA Voice October 12, 2012 58 www.theGAVoice.com
59 October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice News
By Laura Douglas-Brown
Leaders of seven LGBT student organiza-
tions at Emory University sent a letter Oct. 8
to school administrators decrying the ongo-
ing presence of Chick-fl-A on the Decatur
campus and asking Emory to end its “con-
tractual relationship” with the fast food chain
“This company has long been a concern for
LGBT students, faculty, and alumni because of
its anti-gay ideology and activities. What was
merely a source of anxiety on campus in recent
years has now escalated into an ideologically
potent symbol of discrimination and inequal-
ity,” reads the letter, dated Oct. 2 and sent Oct.
8 to Emory President James Wagner and Senior
Vice President Ajay Nair.
Most Emory students were not on cam-
pus when the latest round of controversy
over Chick-fl-A heated up in mid-July, when
Chick-fl-A President Dan Cathy told a Chris-
tian media outlet that his company is “guilty as
charged” on opposing marriage rights for same-
Critics also cite donations made by Chick-
fl-A’s WinShape Foundation to organizations
that actively fght against LGBT rights.
Since the fall semester got underway, op-
position to the relationship between Emory —
recently named among the top 25 LGBT-inclu-
sive campuses — and Chick-fl-A has grown.
In late August, LGBT alumni sent letters
opposing the relationship and students began
posting fyers in protest.
Cox Hall, the food court at the center of
Emory’s main campus, includes a Chick-fl-A
“CFA not only resides on our campus, it
caters our events, sponsors numerous student
activities, and hosts school orientations via
Winshape,” reads the Oct. 2 letter from stu-
dent LGBT groups.
“For several years now, concerned stu-
dents aware of CFA’s anti-gay activities have
avoided doing business with CFA because
of conscience. However, we are still placed
in compromising situations when our clubs,
teams, and organizations use university dol-
lars to be catered by, and in some cases meet
at CFA,” it states.
Not just fast food
The student groups’ letter affrms Chick-fl-
A’s free speech right to speak out against LGBT
equality, but also notes Emory’s free speech right
to speak in favor of inclusion and diversity.
Chick-fl-A remaining on campus sends a
message that is counter to Emory’s welcoming
mission, the letter continues.
“To some, it is merely fast food. To us, it is a
reminder that even though we have ‘safe spac-
es’ for our LGBT community, we have yet to
achieve the ‘safe campus’ we hope for,” it states.
Emory offcials issued an initial response
to concerns about Chick-fl-A back in August,
stressing the school’s commitment to diversity
but also declining to sever the relationship with
the fast-food chain.
“Emory University has a long history of cre-
ating access, inclusion, and equity for Emory’s
gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer
students, faculty, staff and alumni. Recent public
statements by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fl-
A, do not refect Emory’s values as an institu-
tion,” read the statement from Senior Vice Presi-
dent and Dean of Campus Life Dr. Ajay Nair.
“Nevertheless, freedom of expression and
an open exchange of ideas are also central te-
nets of the Emory community. Emory therefore
respects the right of people to express their dis-
agreement with Mr. Cathy by not patronizing
Chick-fl-A,” Nair said.
The student letter was signed by leaders of
Emory LGBT groups including Sacred Worth
(Candler School of Theology), Emory OUT-
Law (Emory Law School), Goizueta Pride
Alliance (Goizueta Business School), Emory
Pride (Emory College), Emory Medical Alli-
ance (School of Medicine), Oxford Pride (Ox-
ford College), and Laney Pride Alliance (Laney
Flyers criticizing Chick-fl-A began appearing on
the Emory campus at the start of the fall semester.
Emory LGBT student groups: Get Chick-fl-A off our campus
Critics call anti-gay
restaurant chain ‘symbol
1 GA Voice October 12, 2012 60 www.theGAVoice.com
61 Calendar October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
CONTINUED ON PAGE 63
Monday, Oct. 15
Catch the Atlanta premiere of “8,” a staged reading
of the play based on transcripts of the California
court hearing seeking to overturn Proposition 8,
which ended gay marriage in the state. A discussion
on the ﬁght for marriage equality follows; beneﬁts
Georgia Equality, Stonewall Bar Association and the
American Foundation for Equal Rights. 7:30 p.m. at
14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St., Atlanta, GA 30309,
“T&F Transitionz: a Project of the Feminist
Outlawz” is an open forum to discuss gender and fa-
cilitating dialogue and activism around social issues.
7 - 9:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave
NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com
Every Monday night, enjoy Stars of the Century at
Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,
Tuesday, Oct. 16
The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
hosts a prix ﬁxe Business Builder Luncheon. $20,
cash only, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. 11:55 a.m.
at Hudson Grille, Brookhaven Station, 4046 Peachtree
Road, Atlanta, GA 30319, www.atlantagaychamber.org
Film Love presents two documentary ﬁlms by Robert
Drew: “Primary” (1960), about John F. Kennedy’s
campaign, and “The Children Were Watching”
(1961), examining school desegregation in New Or-
leans. 7:30 p.m. at Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon
Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, www.plazaatlanta.com
Wednesday, Oct. 17
The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Com-
merce hosts a prix ﬁxe Business Builder
Luncheon. $20, cash only, RSVP to dr.olt@
integratedchiropractic.com. 11:30 a.m. at Marlows at
the Doubletree Hotel, 4156 La Vista Road, Tucker, GA
Thursday, Oct. 18
MEGA Family Project hosts its monthly Waiting for
the Stork discussion group for dues-paying members.
7-8:30 p.m. at Coldwell Banker Intown, 1390 N. Highland
Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, www.megafamilyproject.org
Enjoy an open “no mic” night as Cliterati wows you
with spoken word poets, this month featuring Red
Summer. 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books, 1189 Euclid Ave
NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com
Thursdays at 9 p.m. get your “Glee” on the televi-
sion screens at Amsterdam, 502-A Amsterdam Ave.,
Atlanta, GA 30306, www.amsterdamatlanta.com
Thursdays are 18-and-up College Night at My Sister’s
Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316,
Friday, Oct. 19
Today is Spirit Day, when you are encouraged to
wear purple to support LGBT youth and stand up
SAGE Atlanta, for LGBT elders, hosts chair yoga
every Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Philip Rush Center,
1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, www.sageatl.org
Friday nights mean fall softball for the Decatur
Women’s League, with play at Kelly Cofer Park in
SisterLove, an organization devoted to women and
HIV, presents the 2020 Leading Women’s Awards,
honoring 20 women from around the country for
their roles in the ﬁght against the epidemic. 7 p.m. at
Georgia Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King Drive,
Atlanta, GA 30334, www.sisterlove.org
The Third Friday Film Series presents “Black
Power Mix Tape 1967-75.” $1-$10 sliding scale
donations. Doors at 7 p.m., movie at 7:30 p.m. at First
Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta, 470 Candler
Park Dr., NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, http://on.fb.me/Il753W
BEST BETS10.12 - 10.25
ADD YOUR EVENT
There are two ways to add your events to
our online and print calendars. Submit your
info to www.theGAVoice.com or e-mail
details to editor@theGAVoice.com.
MORE LGBT EVENTS: Visit our website for our extensive daily
calendar, including nightlife schedules, sports, worship services and
community organization meetings. www.thegavoice.com/calendar
MORE LGBT EVENTS:
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Every third Wednesday, Lost-n-Found
Youth hosts the Big Gay Game Show,
a fundraiser for their mission to help
Atlanta’s LGBT homeless youth. Games
include Family Feud, the Newlywed Game,
Match Game and more. Stick around for
“Dragniﬁcent” at no extra charge. 7:30 - 10
p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta,
GA 30324, www.lost-n-found.org
Acclaimed mystery writer Patricia
Cornwell, who is gay, reads from her latest
Kay Scarpetta caper, “The Bone Bed.” 7
p.m. at the Carter Center Day Chapel, 441
Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307,
Out singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright
performs at 7 p.m. at The Tabernacle, 152
Luckie St., Atlanta, GA 30303,
Wednesday, Oct. 17
Friday, Oct. 19
Saturday, Oct. 20
Sunday, Oct. 21
Produced by AID Atlanta, AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5
K Run is the largest AIDS-related fundraiser in the
Southeast. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. in Piedmont Park.
ON OCT. 12 - 14
SEE OUR EXTENSIVE
1 GA Voice October 12, 2012 62 www.theGAVoice.com
63 Calendar October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
OR MORE PERFORMANCES
OFF THE SINGLE TICKET PRICE! S
Sunday, October 21
THE SOUND OF CHRISTMAS
featuring ELISABETH VON TRAPP
Sunday, December 2
A NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Saturday, December 8
jUAN SIDDI FLAMENCO
Sunday, January 13
CHICK COREA &
with HARLEM STRING QUARTET
Saturday, January 26
Saturday, February 2
Saturday, February 9
Saturday, February 23
Saturday, March 2
Ny GILBERT & SULLIVAN PLAyERS
Sunday, March 10
Saturday, March 16
Saturday, March 23
AN EVENING WITH
Saturday, April 6
Saturday, April 20
Traxx Girls introduces the new party Banjee Girl
at My Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA
DJ Lydia Prim spins Fridays at the Heretic, 2069
Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,
Charlie Brown hosts Charlie’s Angels at 11 p.m. at
Blake’s on the Park, 227 10th St., Atlanta, GA 30309,
Friday nights are for the “grown and sexy” with DJ
Smash starting at 10 p.m. at Mixx, 1492-B Piedmont
Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.mixxatlanta.com
Saturday, Oct. 20
The Second Chance Rummage & Bake Sale beneﬁts
Lost-n-Found Youth, a nonproﬁt dedicated to home-
less LGBT youth. 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at 2043 Cheshire
Bridge Rd, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.lost-n-found.org
The Southern Softpaw Softball League continues
its fall season at 10 a.m. with 16 teams hitting the
ﬁelds at Southside Softball Complex on Jonesboro
Road in Atlanta. www.southernsoftpaw.com
Bring your dog in costume to celebrate Howl-o-
Ween with PALS, which helps people with serious
health conditions like HIV care for their pets. Cos-
tume contest, pet parade, vendors, photo sessions
and more. 2-5 p.m. at Renaissance Atlanta Midtown
Hotel, 866 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308,
A new “coming out” support group for LGBT
adults meets on Saturdays through Nov. 17; 4 p.m.
at First MCC Community Center, 1379 Tullie Road NE,
Atlanta, GA 30329. www.ﬁrstmcc.com
Lakara Foster, founder of She Speaks Inc., hosts
a beneﬁt concert for the homeless. 7-10 p.m. at
Sphere Atlanta, 4705 Bakers Ferry Road, Suite F,
Atlanta, GA, http://on.fb.me/QZiEF3
In conjunction with Atlanta Celebrates Photog-
raphy, pb&j gallery presents “NINE: Frames of
Reference,” featuring nine diverse photographers.
Opens tonight with an event from 7-10 p.m. and
runs through Nov. 30 at pb&j gallery, 35 Howard St.,
Atlanta, GA 30317, www.pbjart.com
Charis Circle presents “Let Me Clear My Throat:
An Evening of Sonic Essays by Eleana Passarello.”
7:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave NE,
Atlanta, GA, 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com
Kings, queens and femmes compete as Drag Race
Season III launches tonight at 9 p.m. at My Sister’s
Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316,
Go “Man 2 Man” every Saturday night at XS Ultra
Lounge, 708 Spring Street, Atlanta, GA 30308,
Shavonna B. Brooks hosts the Extravaganza drag
show at 11:30 p.m. at Burkhart’s, 1492 Piedmont Ave.,
Atlanta, GA 30309, www.burkharts.com
Sunday, Oct. 21
PFLAG Atlanta hosts its monthly Third Sunday
meeting at 2:45 p.m. at First MCC, 1379 Tullie Road,
Atlanta, GA 30329. Also, check the PFLAG Atlanta
website for upcoming meetings this month in Macon,
Johns Creek, Athens, Peachtree City and Marietta.
TAKIOPROJECT is the Los Angeles-based drum-
ming group that will mix traditional and innovative
techniques for their Atlanta premiere. 5 p.m. at the
Ferst Center for the Arts, 350 Ferst Drive NW, Atlanta,
GA 30332, www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu
Patty Grifﬁn’s ﬁrst solo performance in 12 years is
set at 7 p.m. for Eddie Owen Presents at the Red Clay
Theatre, 3116 Main St., Duluth, GA 30096,
The Armorettes, Atlanta’s legendary fundraising
drag troupe, takes over at 8 p.m. at at Burkhart’s,
1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,
Monday, Oct. 22
Catch Monday Night Football with games starting
at 8:30 p.m. at My Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave.,
Atlanta, GA 30316, www.mysistersroom.com
Family Feud returns at 11:30 p.m. to Blake’s on the
Park, 227 10th St., Atlanta, GA 30309,
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 61
CONTINUED ON PAGE 65
Thursday, Oct. 25
You oughtta know that Alanis Morissette
brings her new album to Atlanta tonight. 7
p.m. at The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St., Atlanta,
GA 30303, www.tabernacleatl.com
1 GA Voice October 12, 2012 64 www.theGAVoice.com
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65 Calendar October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
Tuesday, Oct. 23
GO Atlanta, AID Atlanta’s gay outreach program,
hosts a coffee talk from 4-6 p.m. at 1000 Piedmont
Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.aidatlanta.org
Tuesdays, unwind with a sing-along with pianist
David Reeb at 8 p.m. at Mixx, 1492-B Piedmont Ave.,
Atlanta, GA 30309, www.mixxatlanta.com
Every fourth Tuesday, try your luck at Speed Dating
from 8-10 p.m. at Blake’s on the Park, 227 10th St.,
Atlanta, GA 30309, www.blakesontheparkatlanta.com
Tuesdays, Thursdays and early Saturday, get your
country on with 3-Legged Cowboy nights at the
Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA
Wednesday, Oct. 24
Competition continues in Jungle’s “Dragnique”
re-boot “Dragnifcent.” There’s $1,000 up for grabs
at the end of the seven-week amateur competition.
The new show is presented by the Fantasy Girls team,
Phoenix producing and Nicole Paige Brooks on the
mic. 10 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA
Charlie Brown hosts “Drag Idol 5” every Wednes-
day at 10 p.m. at LeBuzz, 585 Franklin Road, Marietta,
GA 30367, http://on.fb.me/MYbqiy
Thursday, Oct. 25
First time attendees get a free drink as GO Atlanta,
AID Atlanta’s gay outreach program, hosts a happy
hour from 5-7 p.m. at gay sports bar Woof’s, 2425
Piedmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.aidatlanta.org
Mara Davis emcees as Piedmont Bark celebrates its
10th anniversary with a party featuring prizes and
raffes to beneft the Atlanta Humane Society. 6:30-9
p.m. at 501 Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306,
Charis Books and More and War on Women, a
feminist punk band, help launch HollabackAtlanta!
— a movement to end street harassment primarily
through social media and a network of local activists.
7:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave NE,
Atlanta, GA, 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com
The Feminist Women’s Health Center presents
its 2012 fall fundraiser, Unruly Night of Political
Misbehavin’ — complete with volunteer awards, po-
litical skits and songs, door prizes, feminist activist
trivia, musical performances and more. 7:30-10 p.m.
at Manuel’s Tavern, 602 N Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 63 Friday, Oct. 26
Ghosts of Hollywood is the theme for this year’s
Halloween costume celebration to beneft Jerusalem
House, which provides homes for people impacted by
HIV. 8 p.m. — midnight at Atlanta Marriott Marquis, 265
Peachtree Center Ave., Atlanta, GA 30303,
Saturday, Oct. 27
Celebrated gay humorist David Sedaris brings his
sardonic wit to Atlanta Symphony Hall. 8 p.m. at
1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309,
Saturday, Nov. 3
The MEGA Family Project hosts its annual MEGA
Family Conference, dubbed the largest gathering
in the South for LGBT families. 8:30 a.m – 5 p.m. at
Saint Mark United Methodist Church, 781 Peachtree St.,
Atlanta, GA 30308, www.megafamilyproject.org
Saturday, Nov. 3 -
Sunday, Nov. 4
The Chastain Park Arts Festival, a part of the gay
owned and operated Atlanta Foundation for Public
Spaces series of festivals, offers local arts and
crafts in the largest public park in Fulton County.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. at
Chastain Park, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta, GA 30327,
PRIDE CALENDAR? PAGE 36
1 GA Voice October 12, 2012 66 www.theGAVoice.com
67 Columnists October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
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Seems now that I am 42 I should be having a
mid-life crisis. At least that’s what I keep hearing.
Those younger than me oddly keep using
the term “your generation” around me and I
have even heard more than one menopause
joke directed my way. It’s not worth explain-
ing that the “Change” won’t come for me for
When I left the Bert Show last year, some
even accused me of doing so because of some
age crisis. So I decided to look up exactly what
a mid-life crisis was on Wikipedia, in order to
understand how to play my part, and found it is
“a time where adults come to realize their own
mortality and how much time is left in their life.”
You’d think the Grim Reaper baked my
40th birthday cake.
I really hate the term mid-life crisis because
it’s nothing more than a self-fulﬁlling proph-
ecy that you will hate your older years, when
all that’s really happening is the completion of
As a kid or teenager, you probably planned
out how you wanted you life to go. Maybe you
wanted to build a family, maybe you wanted to
achieve a certain salary level, or create a new
Whether your life followed that original
plan, there was no one to tell you it would only
take about 20 or 30 years to ﬁnd out, leaving
you with decades left to do other things.
So I guess the crisis comes when people
have no idea what to do now, although for
some, the future is not what is concerning, it’s
the past. And these people bother me the most.
They are the ones who don’t want to do any-
thing else now, preferring instead to fantasize
about things from long ago and refusing oppor-
tunities to experience new things.
I can reference more than one person in my
life who is satisﬁed to simply take up space and
do nothing more.
I once asked a co-worker around my age if
they had seen a recent movie. The response? “I
don’t go to movies.” I asked others if they were
looking forward to an event in town. They told me
no, because they didn’t like being around people.
They have no idea that they suck the air out
of any room they are in. How could I possibly
carry on either of those conversations? Maybe
that’s their point, not to. They simply want ev-
eryone to leave them to complain and age until
they die. Problem is that could take awhile.
Why can’t we look toward the future with
hope like we did when we were young? It
seems when we reach a point in life where our
knees ache or doctor’s visits come more often,
we think life should be handled more delicately.
The result of that is the idea that where we
came from is more important than where we’re
going. No wonder some people are stuck in the
past, since that’s where they left their dreams.
Regardless of the fact I have accomplished
certain goals, am now from a different genera-
tion as those after me, and that I am within spit-
ting distance of menopause, I still ﬁnd excite-
ment in things I have yet to achieve.
That’s why I got certiﬁed last year in ani-
mation, and took a job at an all news radio sta-
tion this summer. Those are things I have never
Maybe that is the simple key to a happy life:
always having something to look forward to.
If the items on your To-Do List in Life are all
checked off by 40 or 50, create a new one.
Maybe then you’re guaranteed to avoid
some ridiculous crisis halfway through your ex-
istence, when you really should be having fun.
Melissa Carter is also a writer for Hufﬁngton Post.
She broke ground as the ﬁrst out lesbian radio
personality on a major station in Atlanta and was
one of the few out morning show personalities in the
country. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCarter
Make mid-life your
beginning, not an end
69 Columnists October 12, 2012 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
About seven years ago, I went to Ireland
for a summer, where I travelled the rolling
green hills masquerading as a Canadian tourist.
The assumed identity was necessary because
George Bush was still president. Upon hearing
my American accent, locals would accost me
and demand answers regarding Dubya’s for-
eign policies and general incompetence.
For a while, I tried to defend myself and my
country against their tirades, but then I discov-
ered the Canada solution. Everybody likes Can-
ada — good old genial, non-threatening Canada.
It’s like the Ellen Degeneres of nations.
I’ve never actually been to Canada, so I
didn’t know anything about my declared country
of origin, which wasn’t a problem because no-
body else knows anything about Canada either.
I’ve wondered in the intervening years if any
of the Irish people I encountered eventually trav-
eled to Canada. If so, they were likely surprised
to ﬁnd the main thoroughfare in Quebec City is
not named Celine Dion Boulevard, as I’d claimed.
At a pub in the village of Clonmel, I met
Danny, the owner of the local pizza parlor. He
was around 30, and the only gay man in town.
He sniffed me out with relative ease, using
that beautiful sixth sense that every homo in a
small town has: Attuned to every gesture or pop
culture reference, any indication that they’ve
crossed paths with one of their own kind.
He invited me back to his ﬂat, to see the
view. It was good to know that closeted or not,
regardless of culture, every gay guy has the
same few cheesy pick-up lines.
Danny wasn’t out. Not to his family, or
his employees, or even the guys with whom
he shared this ﬂat. The concept of living a life
where he could be out to everyone, even strang-
ers, was beyond his imagination. When I tried
to describe the experience of marching in a
Pride parade, he couldn’t picture it.
“But you’ve seen movies, and TV shows,
right?” I asked.
“That’s just Hollywood fantasy,” he said.
I couldn’t believe I was having this conversa-
tion. In an age of the internet and gay marriage
debates, people remain who cannot begin to
fathom the concept of living their lives honestly.
It made me profoundly sad, and a little angry.
“It’s not fantasy, Danny. It’s my life. And
all my friends, too.”
“Lucky for you,” he said, and the subject
I returned to my vodka tonic. When he
kissed me, it was startlingly intense — forceful
and hungry. I followed him inside, careful not
to disturb his roommates.
“You don’t have to hide, you know,” I told
him later, lying on his bare mattress. “You
could have this every day if you wanted.”
“Leave it. My shop’s doing well here. Not
a bad life.”
“But if you know something is a part of you,
something that deﬁnes you… don’t you owe it
to yourself to ﬁght for it?”
Danny gave a heavy sigh.
“Some things you can’t ﬁght by yourself.”
“Then move! Sell pizzas someplace else!
You’re a great guy. You shouldn’t be alone.”
“I’m used to it,” he said.
“You shouldn’t settle for getting used to it.”
We meant to exchange e-mail addresses, but
it never happened, and I left the country a week
later. But he never left my mind, and he serves as
a consistent reminder whenever people raise the
question of if Pride festivals are still necessary.
Pride is essential, because there are some
things you can’t ﬁght by yourself. Wherever
and whenever we can gather to show the
strength and validity of our lives, we are called
by conscience to do so.
We gather to celebrate, to grieve, to ﬁght,
and please for God’s sake please GATHER TO
VOTE, as a show of our collective strength.
Because there are guys like Danny all around
the world who believe that the life we have is
some unattainable fantasy.
It isn’t. It’s right here in front of us. And
if we demand to be recognized, support each
other, and are willing to battle for the lives we
deserve, eventually people like him might feel
strong enough to join us in the ﬁght.
The tale of the Irish pizza chef
Topher Payne is an Atlanta-based playwright, and the
author of the book “Necessary Luxuries: Notes on a
Semi-Fabulous Life.” Find out more at topherpayne.com
Why Pride still matters