NEWS

VOICES
CALENDAR
COMMUNITY
A&E
NICOLE PAIGE BROOKS
DRAG QUEEN & ACTIVIST
View the full interview at
theGAVOICE.com
“I played by ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I just
don’t agree with what the Rapid City
police department did.”
— Former Air Force Sgt. Jene Newsome, who was
discharged for being lesbian after local police,
who came to her home to serve a warrant on her
wife, saw their Iowa marriage license and informed
the military. (Associated Press, March 13)
“What I really meant was that the
sound of the guitar is very happy.”
— Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, backtrack-
ing after initially saying the guitar hook on
Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” was “gay.”
(Spinner, March 15)
“Please be assured that the ‘gender
identity and sexual orientation’ of cast
members has never been a consideration
in the selection of tour performers.”
— “Stars on Ice” tour organizers in a press
release responding to charges that the figure-
skating show declined to include flamboyant
Olympian Johnny Weir for not being ‘family
friendly.’ Weir declines to discuss his sexual
orientation (Associated Press, March 15)
Federal civil suit moves forward in
Eagle case. Page 4
Eagle 8 defendants found not guilty.
Page 5
Lesbian state rep learning to pick her
battles. Page 6
Bullying bill tabled in Ga. House. Page 8
Soulforce Equality Ride stops in
Atlanta. Page 11
Gay couples wed in D.C. Page 12
National news briefs. Page 12
ENDA could see vote in Congress soon.
Page 13
Editorial: Creating a new ‘voice’ for our
community. Page 14
Cartoon: Justice for the Eagle. Page 14
Publisher: Why we still need LGBT
media. Page 15
‘Prodigal Sons’ traces unlikely family.
Page 16
Music: AGMC takes first state tour.
Page 18
Art: ‘Memory Flash’ transports queer
history. Page 20
Theater: March madness hits local
stages. Page 22
Sports: Gay bowling up your alley.
Page 25
Ga. Spotlight: Congregation Bet
Haverim, Augusta Pride. Page 26
Pages 28-30
• Breaking news as it happens
• Calendar and daily event highlights
• ‘Pop Quiz’ video interviews
• Extensive photo albums
• Video galleries
• Share ‘Your News’ and ‘Your Voice’ Why are you notorious?
In the late 90s, early 2000s, I was thrown
out of most of the bars I was
invited in to. But, luckily I was invited back.
I got banned from Backstreet, my home bar.
I got tossed out of most places. I got a little
drunk and mouthy. Imagine!
03.19.10
OUTSPOKEN
POP QUIZ
BY THE NUMBERS
“Lack of equality for some is lack
of equality for all and I think its
time for us all to get equal.”
54
Percent of LGBT youth who report
being victims of cyberbullying
13,500
Discharges under
‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ since 1994
$40,000
Bail set for Neal Horsley, a Georgia man
who threatened the life of gay pop icon
Sir Elton John after John described
Jesus as gay
$255.5 million
Sir Elton John’s net worth in 2008
W
I
T
H

J
Z
— Will Phillips, 11, accepting the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defama-
tion’s award for Outstanding TV Journalism Segment for CNN’s “Why Will
Won’t Pledge Allegiance.” The Arkansas student remains seated during
the pledge because gay people are not treated equally. (GLAAD, March 14)
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
NEWS
VOICES
CALENDAR
COMMUNITY
A&E
theGAVOICE.com
Sources: Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund,
Live Science, Rolling Stone, Sunday Times Rich List
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4 GA Voice March 19, 2010 News www.theGAVoice.com
By Christopher Seely
It seemed like business as usual that
Thursday night last September, as pa-
trons of the Atlanta Eagle tossed back
beers and enjoyed the dancers on the
gay leather bar’s popular Underwear
Night. But whether what happened
next can remain “business as usual”
for the Atlanta Police Department is
part of a federal civil rights lawsuit
filed by several of the men in the bar
that night.
Undercover and uniformed offi-
cers stormed the bar, forcing patrons
to the floor, where they remained for
as long as an hour as police checked
their identification and searched
them for drugs. The department
maintains the raid was based on a
months-long undercover investiga-
tion into alleged sexual and drug
activity at the Eagle, but no one was
arrested on sex or drug charges.
All but one of the eight employ-
ees who were arrested were either
found not guilty or had their charges
dismissed March 11. With those cases
now resolved, the focus turns to the
federal civil lawsuit, which is gaining mo-
mentum with settlement talks and deposi-
tions this week.
“This case is very important to the LGBT
community, in that dozens of gay men had
their civil rights violated that night,” said
Lambda Legal attorney Greg Nevins. “But
it is important to the entire city of Atlanta,
in that the police have maintained that they
have the right to detain and search innocent
people without a warrant or any suspicion
of illegal activity.
“Those practices must stop for the
good of the LGBT community and every-
one else in Atlanta.”
Nevins is supervising attorney for the
Southern regional office of Lambda Legal,
which filed the lawsuit with attorney Dan
Grossman and the Southern Center for
Human Rights.
The city law department and the plain-
tiffs’ attorneys discussed settlement options
as recently as last Friday, one day after the
Municipal Court trial, Grossman said.
Neither acting Atlanta City Attorney
Roger Bhandari nor Mayor Kasim Reed
would comment on the pending litigation.
Not just about gay rights
Eagle patrons filed the federal lawsuit
last November, along with co-plaintiffs
Rawhide Leather, Inc., a leather shop in
the Eagle’s basement, and Ramey & Kel-
ley, Inc., the corporation doing business as
the Atlanta Eagle. The suit names the City
of Atlanta and several police officers, in-
cluding former Chief Richard Pennington,
as defendants.
According to Grossman, the city sched-
uled plaintiff depositions beginning Monday,
March 15, as the lawsuit entered a pre-trial
discovery phase slated to last eight months.
Unlike typical gay rights court cases,
this lawsuit does not seek to change any
laws but rather to force Atlanta police to
comply with existing constitutional guaran-
tees and state laws that protect all citizens
from police misconduct, Grossman said.
“The precedent is already there,” Gross
man said, adding that he sought assistance
not only from Lambda Legal but also from
the Southern Center for Human Rights be
cause it is not just a “gay case.”
“We need to send a message that you
don’t have to be gay to care about what
happened. It was a plain old assault on the
rights of anybody,” he said. “Everybody
has a right to go out, have a beer, watch
the game on TV and not get thrown on the
floor and handcuffed.”
The decision to search everyone in the
bar “demonstrates a problem we’ve seen
frequently where police target an entire
group of individuals, detain and search
them all, when police only suspect that a
Atlanta’s Stonewall?
The Eagle raid has been compared to
the 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn,
a New York City gay bar, that is credited
with sparking the modern gay rights
movement.
How do the two raids really stack up?
We asked Scott Titshaw, professor at Mercer
University School of Law, who teaches
“Sexual Orientation and the Law.”
How does the Eagle raid compare
to raids that happened prior to the
Stonewall riots in terms of the sur-
rounding political climate?
“Before there was much less toler-
ance, therefore politicians tended to use
gay bar raids for political purposes, as did
police. Up until the 1970s, the frequency
of raids tended to go up around the time
of elections, and politicians used raids to
show they were cleaning up the cities by
cracking down on an illicit population that
was unpopular.
“One of the biggest differences this
time is the political reaction. The may-
oral candidates in Atlanta condemned
the raids or at least disclaimed any
support for them, so there’s been a big
shift in the political potency or use of
raids for political purposes. It’s become
more of a negative than a positive for
incumbent leaders.”
Was this raid carried out in a similar
manner as raids before Stonewall?
“The raid itself is somewhat similar
in how it happened. Allegedly there were
these humiliating games the police played
using slurs and allegedly kicking people,
shoving them and the like. All that would
have been common many years ago as
well. This is interesting because there
were so many officers involved.
“Before the 1970s, gay people were not
taken seriously. There was this idea that
they would not fight back, so bringing in
so many officers would not have been
likely. Back then most of the gay people
would probably have been scared of po-
lice and not resisted. They certainly would
not have brought a lawsuit because they
would have been too afraid of being outed
or losing their job and the like.”
Focus turns to federal law
suit over Eagle raid
Plaintiffs’ attorney says city offered settlement money – but no apology
‘We need to send a message that you don’t have
to be gay to care about what happened. It was
a plain old assault on the rights of anybody.’
Dan Grossman, attorney for the Eagle plaintiffs
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5 News March 19, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
By Dyana Bagby
dbagby@thegavoice.com
After charges were dismissed against four de-
fendants in the Atlanta Eagle trial March 11, the
three remaining defendants were found not guilty
of permit and license violations after a long day
in Municipal Court. Judge Crystal Gaines ruled
the city failed to prove beyond a reasonable
doubt anything illegal took place in the gay bar
on Ponce de Leon Avenue.
One defendant, Antonio Benitez, did not ap-
pear in court for the trial and a bench warrant
was issued for his arrest. Eagle defense attorney
Alan Begner said he did not know how the court
would handle the charges Benitez faces in addi-
tion to the bench warrant.
Benitez, as well as Robert Kline, Thadeus
Johnson, and Leandro Apud, faced citations for
violating a city code provision that requires em-
ployees of adult entertainment establishments to
be fingerprinted and issued a permit by the police
department. Police alleged they exposed them-
selves while dancing in their underwear at the
bar on what was known as Underwear Night.
Two other men were also charged with the
fingerprinting violations: Eagle co-owner Rob-
ert Kelley and Eagle manager David Shepherd.
Kelley and Shepherd received additional cita-
tions for violating an ordinance related to busi-
ness licensing requirements. Eagle doorman
Ernest Buehl and bartender Chris Lopez also
received the business license citation though
they did not receive citations for violating the
fingerprinting provision.
During the course of the trial, Larry Gardner,
prosecutor for the Solicitor’s Office, dropped
charges against Lopez, Shepherd, Buehl and
Kline. Judge Gaines found Johnson, Kelley and
Apud not guilty, saying the city did not prove be-
yond a reasonable doubt the men were guilty of
the charges.
Some 20 supporters of the Atlanta Eagle
erupted in cheers with her verdict.
“Nine people [police officers] said they saw
what happened [at the Eagle the night of Sept.
10] but only two testified. We had 12 witnesses
… it was her duty to acquit,” Begner said. “The
outcome of this case suggests the underlying rea-
son for this was there was no reason.”
Dan Lax, who is gay and attended parts of the
trial, said he was shocked to know raids like the
one at the Eagle still happen today.
“I am absolutely stunned and appalled that
something like the Eagle raid could happen in
modern Atlanta, and am disappointed that it has
been met with what seems like a lukewarm re-
sponse by many people who should know bet-
ter, including some of our so-called community
leaders,” he said. “Any one of us could have
been there that night.”
Richard Ramey, the other owner of the Eagle,
was tearful after the verdict. He said he was ready
to put the case behind him and to begin to heal
their relationship with the police department.
But he and Kelley said an apology from the
APD and city leadership is all they have ever
wanted.
“That has been our deal … all along. The
only thing we’ve ever wanted from them is an
apology,” Kelley said.
‘Not guilty’ verdicts in Eagle trial
Charges dismissed
for some defendants
Atlanta Eagle owners Robert Kelley (left) and Richard Ramey, shown here outside of court on March 11, said all
they want from Atlanta police is an apology for the Sept. 10 raid on the bar. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
Focus turns to federal law
suit over Eagle raid
few have engaged in anything crimi-
nal,” said Gerry Weber, senior staff
counsel at the Southern Center for Hu-
man Rights.
“This violates the basic principle
that probable cause is based on an
individual’s conduct, not their mere
presence at the wrong place and time,”
he said.
Grossman and his co-counsel will
next file paperwork to amend the plain-
tiffs’ original complaint so it includes
individual police officers whose names
were not known when the lawsuit was
filed. The amendment to the complaint
will also request to add more plaintiffs
who were present at the Eagle during
the raid.
Grossman also plans to request dis-
covery documents, such as disciplinary
records and complaints against defen-
dant officers, radio transmission tapes
recorded during the raid, internal mem-
os written before and after the raid, and
officer activity sheets documenting the
day of the raid.
The lawsuit seeks both punitive
damages and compensation for actual
damage to property, physical pain and
injury, mental anguish and emotional
distress. Additionally, the plaintiffs
want the city to stop adhering to police
procedures followed during the Eagle
raid and to delete any information about
the plaintiffs entered into police records
or databases as a result of the raid, ac-
cording to Grossman.
‘Settlement will need to
include an apology’
The city has offered money to set-
tle the case, but none of the plaintiffs
or their attorneys originally became
involved in the lawsuit because of a
desire to be monetarily compensated,
said Grossman, adding that no specific
dollar amount has been involved in the
negotiations.
“In this case, money is less impor-
tant than putting in place a real concrete
structure to protect citizens from this
happening again,” Grossman said. “But
the longer the city has dragged this out
and defended something that is inde-
fensible, the more we realize that finan-
cial damages may be the only way to
get their attention.”
Ray Matheson, one of the patron
plaintiffs, echoed Grossman’s statement.
“My first priority is not getting a
check,” Matheson said. “I have a job
and I have a life. I’m more about the
apology and about people being forced
to admit that what they did was wrong
than just pulling out their checkbooks.”
According to the plaintiff’s com-
plaint filed Nov. 24, 2009, in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern Dis-
trict of Georgia, Deputy Police Chief
Carlos Banda stated last October at a
public forum that the alleged police
misconduct during the raid is actually
the department’s standard policy and
practice for the “Red Dog Unit” which
raided the Eagle.
“If the city wants to resolve this case
in a productive and responsible way,
the settlement will need to include an
apology, an admission of wrongdoing,
and a commitment to changing police
policy,” said Grossman. “So far they
have flatly refused.”
In early January, Atlanta City Coun-
cil Member Michael Julian Bond intro-
duced a resolution that would offer “an
apology to the patrons and employees
of the Atlanta Eagle Bar for the indigni-
ties which they experienced as a result
of the September 10, 2009 police raid.”
But now the resolution is on hold in
the council’s public safety committee
because city attorneys advised council
members not to apologize while the
federal lawsuit against the city pro-
ceeds, said Alex Wan, the openly gay
council member who represents the
Eagle’s district.
Though he would be happy to settle
now, Grossman does not foresee that as
a possibility.
“One of the officers at the [Atlanta
Municipal Court trial] testified that no-
body was searched during the raid,” he
said. “While they continue to lie, we are
not going to have any settlement.”
Lawsuit allegations
Whether searches occurred is rel-
evant to the civil lawsuit, which alleges
that the City of Atlanta and several po-
lice officers violated the patrons’ fed-
eral and state constitutional rights to be
free from unreasonable searches and
seizures and to question the conduct of
a police officer.
According to Grossman, the first
thing the police did wrong was to de-
tain, or “seize,” the Eagle patrons with-
out the necessary “reasonable, particu-
larized, and articulable suspicion” that
the patrons were involved in any crimi-
nal activity.
“The cops didn’t know anything
MORE INFO
• In-depth coverage of the March 11 Eagle
trial including video and photo galleries.
www.theGAVoice.com
Please see ATLANTA
EAGLE on Page 10
6 GA Voice March 19, 2010 News www.theGAVoice.com
By Dyana Bagby
dbagby@thegavoice.com
An activist with Lambda Legal, the Atlanta
Lesbian Health Initiative and numerous other
organizations, Simone Bell was familiar with
rallying outside of the State Capitol, chanting
and urging legislators inside the building to lis-
ten to their concerns.
“It’s really interesting being on the other side
of the table,” said Bell (D-Atlanta), who took
her seat as the state representative for District
58 in January after winning a special election
and runoff last November and December.
She is only the second openly gay legisla-
tor elected to the Georgia General Assembly —
State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates)
was the frst in 2000. Bell is also the frst openly
lesbian African-American elected to a state leg-
islative offce in the country.
Being the frst black lesbian state lawmaker is
an honor, Bell said, but not one she sought out.
“I’m very honored again that my life is being
used beyond me. I didn’t set out to do that, but
for whatever reason I’m that person,” she said.
Since the state legislature convened in Janu-
ary, Bell has been learning the system, fguring
out personalities, procedures and policies to
ensure she is an effective lawmaker. One les-
son she learned early was that activism comes
in many forms.
“I think one thing that’s become painfully
clear to me is that if you’re outside the Capi-
tol rallying, no one knows you’re out there be-
cause inside those walls it’s a whole different
world going on and you’re really secluded from
what’s happening outside. You really have to
make an effort to stay connected to people out-
side fghting for their rights,” she said.
“And in some ways that’s a little sad. Be-
cause I’ve been on the outside rallying, fghting
for our lives, and now I know often that no one
is listening.”
While disappointing to learn, Bell said the
lesson is also encouraging.
“I know I made the right decision [to run for
offce]. I know the urging I had to be at the table
is the right thing to do. I have an understand-
ing of how important it is to agitate from the
outside, but then also to be able to make adjust-
ments needed to be a part of conversations that
happen on the inside,” she explained.
‘My activist side roared’
Being on the inside at the General Assembly
brought surprises from Day One. Bell said she
was surprised to fnd out that each day begins
with a sermon from a pastor invited by a leg-
islator, followed by members being required to
stand so the pastor can pray over them. Then
everyone recites the Pledge of Allegiance.
“I’m like, preacher of the day? What’s that
mean? Is this not strange to anyone else? What
about the separation of church and state?” she
said.
During the frst few days of the session, a
pastor invited by House Majority Leader Rep.
Jerry Keen (R-St. Simon) came in and preached
what Bell described as “vitriolic, hateful speech,“
including anti-gay and anti-abortion commentary.
“Ultimately, the way I heard it, he said if you
vote anything Democratic, you’re going to hell.
If you in any way think for yourself, you’re go-
ing to hell,” she said.
Bell refused to stand up when he prayed
over the chamber.
“My activist side roared inside me and I de-
cided to practice non-violence social resistance.
I was not going to dignify the words that came
out of his mouth,” she said.
Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), who has dealt
with anti-gay rhetoric under the Gold Dome for
fve terms, said she was glad Bell was there that
day, as well as every day of the session.
“It was important to me for someone else with
the same perspective to sit through what I’ve had
to sit through for a decade,” Drenner said.
“It’s nice to have a caucus other than straight
men,” she added.
Having two sets of eyes within the General
Assembly watching bills that may directly impact
the LGBT community is also key, Drenner said.
“So we’re not relying on someone in the hall-
way and have something slip by that could dam-
age our community,” Drenner said. “She’s learn-
ing, but at least she’s there. She’s picking things
up and can help monitor the process. It’s good to
have someone there to share this with.”
Picking her battles
Bell serves on the Children & Youth Com-
mittee, the State Planning & Community Affairs
Committee and the Human Relations Commit-
tee. Her frst piece of legislation passed was a
resolution honoring the late Allen Thornell.
Thornell, who was gay and ran for the Dis-
trict 58 seat in 2006 but lost, was instrumental
in encouraging Bell to run for elected offce.
She tells the story of Georgia Equality Execu-
tive Director Jeff Graham and Thornell calling
her, asking her if she had ever thought of run-
ning for public offce.
What they didn’t know was that Bell had been
wanting to “step up her game” and in the past few
years had been talking with her mentors, includ-
ing longtime activists Mary Anne Adams and
Joan Garner, about what that next step would be.
“There are constant memories of Allen
on the foor. His presence is still very much
felt at the Capitol,” Bell said. “Jeff [Graham]
and I were talking and I knew I wanted to do
something. I started talking to colleagues and I
started hearing about a resolution.”
The resolution honors Thornell’s HIV activ-
ism, his work with Georgia Equality, the Ser-
vice Employees International Union and neigh-
borhood activism.
“For whatever reason, I’ve been given this
opportunity to serve. And I can’t think of that
without thinking of Allen,” she said.
The resolution, however, does not mention
Thornell was gay. Bell said she made the de-
cision as part of the give-and-take in politics
— especially in the midst of the resignation
of House Speaker Glenn Richardson and her
uncertainty as to how senior House members
might react to the word “gay.”
“It was one of those hard decisions,” Bell
said. “I’m very pleased with the resolution, his
family is pleased with it and so are his friends.
For me, this was an issue of picking battles.
And I think Allen is pleased.”
Graham, who was a good friend of Thor-
nell’s, said Bell’s election to the House of Rep-
resentatives helps cement Thornell’s legacy in
Georgia politics and activism.
“I look forward to her really making a name
for herself,” Graham said.
Ga. lesbian lawmaker
brings power to the
people from within the
Gold Dome
MORE INFO
• Video interview with Simone Bell
• More on Bell’s work in the legislature
• Photo albums: Bell’s swearing in
ceremony, Bell in action at the Capitol
www.theGAVoice.com
State Rep. Simone Bell is the second openly gay
person elected to the Georgia General Assembly
and the frst openly lesbian African-American in
the country elected to a state legislature.
(Photo by Dyana Bagby)
Please see SIMONE BELL on Page 8
Inside OUT
7 March 19, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
8 GA Voice March 19, 2010 News www.theGAVoice.com
Bullying bill on hold at General Assembly
Still hope for measure
backed by LGBT groups
By Matt Schafer
In a year where a growing budget shortfall
casts a long shadow across every conversa-
tion at the Georgia Capitol, one bill aimed at
protecting Georgia students faces an uncertain
future in the House.
State Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) made a
last-minute foor maneuver March 11 to save a
bill that would expand the defnition of bullying
while requiring schools to develop strict guide-
lines tailored to curb bullying in elementary
through high schools.
After a debate where several lawmakers
questioned the merits of the bill, Jacobs survived
a vote that would have moved the bill back to
the House Rules Committee, where similar leg-
islation has died in previous sessions. Jacobs
then asked the bill be tabled, which would al-
low him to ask for a foor vote without another
committee hearing.
“It looked like it was tenuous, and there was
a motion to recommit the bill to Rules,” Jacobs
said. “It was clear to me that we were in trouble,
but after the vote was conducted I made a mo-
tion to table and no one objected to moving it
to the table.”
There were roughly 40 lawmakers missing
from the foor during the debate and Jacobs did
not want to risk the possibility of losing a vote.
“We’re going to take a breath, regroup and
charge the hill again,” Jacobs said, but declined
to talk further strategy. “I do have a general
idea of where things stand on both sides of the
aisle, but I’d rather not go into details.”
No anti-LGBT bills
Jacobs’ bullying bill is the top priority for
Georgia Equality, a statewide LGBT political
group. GE Executive Director Jeff Graham
called it the most signifcant piece of equal
rights legislation this year.
“There has not been a lot of legislation that
has passed through one chamber, much less both
chambers this year. Thee focus on the budget has
slowed everything down, but HB 927 continues
to move and move forward,” Graham said.
Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates),
who is gay, agreed that “everything seems to be
overshadowed by the budget.”
“I’m on six committees, doing my thing and
making sure no one qualifes against me,” she
said. All seats in the General Assembly are up
for election this year.
Drenner said she is watching out for any
anti-LGBT legislation, such as efforts to curtail
gay adoption or foster parenting, but none have
been introduced. She expressed disappointment
that the anti-bullying measure, which she co-
sponsored, was tabled in the House.
Lobbying for change
Georgia Equality joined with MEGA Fam-
ily Project and the ACLU on March 10 to lobby
lawmakers on several bills. Grant Park resident
Sam Romo came out to support Jacobs’ bill
even though his lawmakers, Rep. Simone Bell
(D-Atlanta) and Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta),
already support the bill.
“I came down to support Georgia Equality
because the anti-bullying bill is something impor-
tant to them and I wanted to help support Georgia
Equality and the community,” Romo said.
Jacobs said the bill became a priority for
him after DeKalb County ffth grader Jaheem
Herrera committed suicide after coming home
from school last year. The family contends Her-
rera was bullied and relentlessly called gay; the
school admits he may have been called gay but
said Herrera was not bullied.
Some progressive lawmakers like Rep. Al-
isha Thomas Morgan are supporting Jacobs’ bill
although Rep. Carolyn Hugley (D-Columbus)
has offered the “Jaheem Herrera-Bianca Walton
Safe School Climate Act.” That measure would
offer specifc protection for several categories,
including sexual orientation and gender iden-
tity, but it is not moving.
Jacobs’ bill does not specifcally discuss
sexual orientation. Instead, it would beef up the
state’s defnition of bullying, including expand-
ing it from covering only sixth through twelfth
grades to covering students from kindergarten
through twelfth grade.
“I feel that [Hugley’s] bill is a little more
comprehensive, but Mike Jacobs is a Republican
and his bill is moving forward,” Morgan said.
Dyana Bagby contributed.
MORE INFO
Georgia Equality Lobbying Day
Wednesday, March 24, 9 a.m.
Paul D. Coverdell Legislative Offce Building,
Room 307
18 Capitol Square
Atlanta, GA 30334
404-523-3070
www.theGAVoice.com
‘A place for agitators’
inside and outside
the state legislature
Running again
Bell credits her parter of 21 years, Val
Acree, with the support she’s needed to take
her career to another level.
“Val is my world. People say to me
you’re such a warrior woman. What they
don’t know is I couldn’t do any of this
without Val. She’s my biggest cheerleader.
She believes in me when I don’t believe in
myself,” she said. “Without Val, there could
never have been a campaign, a state rep, or
anything … she’s the best thing that ever
happened to me.”
But Bell deserves her own credit for
running her campaign with true grassroots
drive — with volunteers from all back-
grounds, including transgender people,
straight allies, gay and lesbian friends, and
supporters from a variety of ethnic and ra-
cial backgrounds that make up her progres-
sive district.
She represents diverse Atlanta neigh-
borhoods including East Atlanta, Cabbag-
etown, Reynoldstown, Edgewood, Grant
Park and Kirkwood, among others. And
because she won offce in a special election
to replace Rep. Robin Shipp, who resigned
with one year left on her two-year term, Bell
has to run again this year, when all seats in
the General Assembly are up for grabs. The
primary is in July with the general election
in November.
In the meantime, Bell said her goal is to
be effective in the Gold Dome and inspire
others to become involved in the process.
“I think there is a place for agitators in-
side and out. The only way to work in any
movement — LGBT, poverty, death penalty
— the only way we are really going to have
our voices heard is if we are part of either
creating those laws or stopping bad laws
from happening,” she said. “Which means
someone has to be inside.”
SIMONE BELL, continued from Page 6
Craig Washington (left) joined Georgia Equality
Executive Director Jeff Graham at a lobbying day
at the General Assembly. (Photo by Matt Schafer)
10 GA Voice March 19, 2010 News www.theGAVoice.com
about the patrons. All they knew is that they
were present at a gay bar,” Grossman said.
The police also unlawfully searched the pa-
trons without warrants and without probable
cause, said Grossman, who alleges that the
offcers went on a fshing expedition, putting
their hands in the patrons’ pockets and remov-
ing keys, cash, wallets, cell phones, driver’s
licenses, and anything else they found.
Plaintiff Geoff Calhoun said that after 10
to 15 minutes when the offcers had not found
any drugs or other criminal activity, the off-
cers “came around, patted us down, pulled ev-
erything out of our pockets, removed my I.D.
from my wallet and threw it on my back.”
Calhoun works for the Smyrna Police Depart-
ment as a 911 operator and said he thought long
and hard before deciding to become a plaintiff.
“Those offcers t those are the people that I
do my part to protect every day, to make sure
they go home. If my co-workers see me suing
a police department, what would they think
about me?” said Calhoun, who ultimately
joined the lawsuit with support from his de-
partment.
“I’m not out to ruin an offcer’s life, but in
my opinion the people that need to answer for
it are the people who ordered the raid and the
policy makers,” he said.
Calhoun and several other plaintiffs have
also fled complaints with the Atlanta Police
Department’s Offce of Professional Standards
and the Atlanta Citizen Review Board, which
are conducting separate investigations into po-
lice misconduct during the raid.
Patrons who asked why they were being
detained or for police offcer names or badge
numbers “were told to ‘shut the fuck up,’ some
were threatened with being handcuffed, some
were threatened with violence and physical
harm, and some were retaliated against by
being forced to remain at the Eagle long af-
ter they had been searched,” according to the
complaint.
One plaintiff, David Shepherd, was al-
legedly arrested in his own home, accord-
ing to the complaint. He was cleared of all
charges last week at the Atlanta Municipal
Court hearing.
Shepherd works as an assistant manager at
the Eagle and also rents an apartment upstairs
from the bar. He was off duty on the night of
the raid, watching television in his apartment
when the cops banged on his door, searched
his apartment and immediately arrested him
inside his home without any warrants, accord-
ing to the complaint.
The lawsuit seeks “nominal damages” for
the alleged constitutional violations, but com-
pensatory and punitive damages for alleged
violations of state tort laws, including false
imprisonment, assault, battery, trespass and
damage to property.
The torts claims stem from allegations that
property was damaged and some patrons were
shoved, kicked, handcuffed, held down with
boots on their backs, forced to lay fat on the
foor with their faces near broken glass and
spilled beer, and prevented by police from
leaving the premises.
One such patron allegedly suffered cuts
from the broken glass, and a police offcer al-
legedly threatened to hit another patron “on
the head with a barstool,” according to the
complaint.
Plaintiff Matheson said he wasn’t thinking
about constitutional rights during the raid.
“I was scared shitless, to say the least,” said
Matheson. “In my mind nothing made sense.
We didn’t know what was going on. We felt
like we were being held hostage.”
Eagle patron: ‘We felt like we were being held hostage’
ATLANTA EAGLE, continued from Page 5
MORE INFO
• Breaking news on the Eagle federal
lawsuit as it develops
• More questions and answers on how the
Eagle raid compares to Stonewall
• Blog: Why last week’s Eagle victory is
bittersweet.
www.theGAVoice.com
11 News March 19, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice 11 March 19, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
Soulforce travels to Atlanta
By Dyana Bagby
dbagby@thegavoice.com
Soulforce Equality Ride will make a stop at
Atlanta’s Morehouse College on March 25 as
part of its mission to visit academic settings “in
pursuit of justice for transgender, lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and queer people through engagement
and action.”
Soulforce, a national organization dedi-
cated to using nonviolence to end political and
religious oppression against LGBT people,
is holding its fourth annual Equality Ride this
year. The ride is made up of students who are
part of Soulforce Q, the young adult division of
Soulforce, who travel in a bus from state to state
visiting campuses reminiscent of the Freedom
Rides of the Civil Rights Movement.
In 2008, the ride was hosted by Spelman
College and Morehouse College. Plans are be-
ing made to stop at Spelman this year as well
but they had not been fnalized by press time.
This year’s ride is making stops at 16 campuses
in the Northeast, South and Midwest that all have
policies that are discriminatory toward LGBT stu-
dents, according to the Soulforce website.
“The ride in 2010 places a special focus on
community work and will engage with cam-
puses and their surrounding communities. We
will partner in volunteer work, host organizing
forums, link students with community mem-
bers, and support existing justice work,” the
group states.
Since 2006, the Equality Ride has visited
50 colleges. Spelman College includes sexual
orientation in its offcial non-discrimination
policy, and Morehouse students in the past have
organized anti-homophobia events. Morehouse
also has SafeSpace, an LGBT student group.
MORE INFO
Soulforce Equality Ride
www.soulforce.org/equalityride
www.theGAVoice.com
Students traveling with the Soulforce Equality Ride
hold a campus vigil. (Photo courtesy soulforce.org)
WASHINGTON — A former Republican
lawmaker who wants to replace Sen. John Mc-
Cain (R-Ariz.) made headlines this week when
he drew a comparison between gay marriages
and bestiality.
CNN reported March 15 that in an interview
with a Florida radio station, former Rep. J.D.
Hayworth chided Massachusetts for being the
frst state to legalize gay marriage, then contin-
ued with an equine analogy.
“You see, the Massachusetts Supreme Court,
when it started this move toward same-sex mar-
riage, actually defned marriage. Now get this, it
defned marriage as simply, quote, ‘the establish-
ment of intimacy.’ Now how dangerous is that?”
Hayworth said, according to WORL in Orlando.
Hayworth, who is challenging McCain in
the Republican primary for Senate seat, then
said he would “make the point of absurdity with
an absurd point.”
“I guess that would mean if you really had
affection for your horse, I guess you could marry
your horse.”
Hayworth did not respond to CNN’s inter-
view request.
12 GA Voice March 19, 2010 National News www.theGAVoice.com
McCain challenger compares gay
weddings to marrying a horse
Couples say ‘I do’ in D.C.
Legal gay marriages began
March 9 in nation’s capital
WASHINGTON — Both smiles and
tears of joy were in plentiful supply earlier
this month as the nation’s capital became
the latest jurisdiction in the United States to
recognize same-sex marriage.
The District of Columbia’s Religious
Freedom & Marriage Equality Amendment
Act took effect on Wednesday, March 3, ac-
cording to the DC Agenda, an LGBT media
outlet. Couples who receive marriage licens-
es must wait three business days to wed, so
with the weekend, March 9 was the frst day
for gay marriages in the district.
“Today was like a dream for me,” An-
gelisa Young said after she wed Sinjoyla
Townsend in a March 9 ceremony at the
Washington headquarters of the Human
Rights Campaign. “I always felt like it
would come true. But it’s here now, and it’s
really real. We want to thank everyone who
made this possible.”
Three couples wed at the special HRC
ceremony on March 9. Washington Mayor
Adrian Fenty, who signed the marriage leg-
islation into law, spoke out afterward.
“It’s tough to represent a city,” Fenty said
to the newlyweds, the DC Agenda reported.
“It’s tough to represent a community, and it’s
also tough to represent a nation. But the six
of you today do that. Whether you realize it
or not, whether you like it or not, you repre-
sent what this entire country is about.”
Same-sex marriage is now legal under
state laws in fve states, according to HRC;
they include Massachusetts, Connecticut,
Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire.
Gay couples married in these states are
not recognized under federal law.
Photos by Michael Key/DC Agenda
FULTON, Miss. — The media whirlwind
continues for Constance McMillen, the Missis-
sippi student whose desire to take her girlfriend
to the high school prom led to the cancella-
tion of the event and a lawsuit from the ACLU
against the school district.
McMillen’s media appearances have includ-
ed “The Wanda Sykes Show,” the CBS Early
Show, MSNBC and “The Joy Behar Show,” ac-
cording to the Facebook page “Let Constance
Take Her Girlfriend to the Prom!” set up by
the ACLU. At press time, the page had almost
290,000 fans.
“I never thought in a thousand, a billion years
that there would be that many people that were
supporting what I was doing. … I just want to
say that I think you should stand up for what you
believe in, stand up for who you are,” McMillen
says in a video posted on the site.
The ACLU fled a federal lawsuit March
11 after the school board called off the prom at
Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton,
Miss., rather than allow McMillen and her girl-
friend to attend as a couple.
“Itawamba school offcials are trying to turn
Constance into the villain who called the whole
thing off, and that just isn’t what happened. She’s
fghting for everyone to be able to enjoy the
prom,” said Kristy Bennett, Legal Director of the
ACLU of Mississippi, in a press release. “The
government, and that includes public schools,
can’t censor someone’s free expression just be-
cause some other person might not like it.”
The ACLU seeks a preliminary injunction
to require the school to hold the April 2 prom
and allow McMillen and her date to attend,
with McMillen wearing a tuxedo.
Meanwhile, the Mississippi Safe Schools
Coalition says it has received multiple offers
from other venues willing to host a prom for
the students.
Furor continues over Miss. high
school that dumped prom rather
than allow lesbian couple
Constance McMillen says she was just trying to
be herself when she asked her Mississippi high
school to let her bring a female date to the prom.
(Photo via Facebook)
EDUCATION
POLITICS
MORE INFO
Breaking news in the Miss. prom case
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13 News March 19, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
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404.312.5392 DIRECTORY
To advertise, email sales@thegavoice.com
Frank: ENDA will get House committee vote this month
By Lisa Keen
Keen News Service
Legislation can be like a train: It runs on a
track, makes certain stops along the way, and is
often attached to other trains. But in Congress,
the train doesn’t run on time.
Last September, gay Rep. Barney Frank
(D-Mass.) said the Employment Non-Discrim-
ination Act (ENDA) would likely get a House
committee vote in September and a floor vote
that fall. Didn’t happen.
And last December, when gay Reps. Tam-
my Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Jared Polis (D-Co-
lo.) told a gathering of gay leaders that ENDA
would pass the House in January, they weren’t
making a promise. They were making an edu-
cated guess.
What has been happening, of course, has
been a contentious partisan fight over a ma-
jor effort to ensure that most Americans have
health care and an urgent push to pass a bill to
preserve and create jobs for the country’s grow-
ing number of unemployed.
Add to that two major earthquakes requiring
U.S. assistance, one major Democratic loss of a
critical Senate seat, and a persistent pushback or
roadblock by Republicans on everything from
judicial nominees to unemployment checks.
On March 2, the Senate was able to finally
vote on an emergency measure to simply extend
unemployment benefits and several other pro-
grams for 30 days until Congress can approve
a more permanent measure. The temporary bill
was delayed for five days by the refusal of one
Republican senator to allow a routine vote of
unanimous consent.
With this as a backdrop, Frank’s prediction
earlier this month is that ENDA will have its
vote in the House committee in March. And he
said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
has assured him it will go swiftly to the floor.
Baldwin gave the same assessment of Pelo-
si’s commitment to ENDA when she spoke to
the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund’s Leadership
Institute last December in San Francisco. Pelo-
si’s commitment on ENDA, she said, “is un-
flinching.” She said Pelosi “wants to have very
quick movement of the bill from committee to
floor, hopefully within a week” of the bill’s pas-
sage in committee.
‘The bathroom issue’
Mara Keisling, head of the National Center
for Transgender Equality, said she is “extremely
optimistic” ENDA will get its vote in the House
Education and Labor Committee this month.
Keisling said delays last fall could be attrib-
uted to a need to make some “language tweaks”
and that she is not entirely sure right now what
the language will be concerning the so-called
“bathroom issue.” Opponents of ENDA have
often argued that the measure would enable
men to use women’s bathrooms.
Frank said that there has been a general agree-
ment reached to resolve certain language changes,
including on the use of bathrooms. Keisling said
she doesn’t know what that language is and that
“it might be harmless or it might be horrible.”
“We’ve been strenuously arguing that we
don’t need clarification,” said Keisling. “But
legislation is too often about compromise.”
Keisling noted that other compromises have
included an exemption for military service and
a stipulation that the bill does not require an
employer to “treat an unmarried couple in the
same manner as…a married couple for purpos-
es of employee benefits.”
“I want to be clear, Congressman Frank’s
not saying he wants bathroom language,” said
Keisling. “He’s saying they really think we
need it to pass.”
“They,” she said, are the variety of Demo-
cratic leaders working on passing the bill. And
the conclusion is that the clarifications are “not
helpful substantively or legally,” she said, “but
they say they are helpful politically.”
Long-stalled bill would
ban gay, trans job bias
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, shown here at an ENDA hearing with Rep. Tammy Baldwin, believes the bill
will get a committee vote in March then move quickly to the House floor. (Photo courtesy U.S. House)
By Laura Douglas-Brown
As we put the fnishing touches on this
debut issue of the Georgia Voice, I found that
I couldn’t get the title of Sweet Honey in the
Rock’s 20th anniversary album, “Still On the
Journey,” out of my mind.
Indeed, many of the articles in this issue deal
with journeys — literal, metaphorical, or both.
Our cover story examines the Atlanta Ea-
gle’s journey to fnd justice after a September
police raid in which employees and patrons
of the gay leather bar were forced to lie on the
foor for over an hour and allegedly taunted
with anti-gay epithets.
Last week’s trial — in which all of the defen-
dants who appeared in court were either found
“not guilty” or had their charges dismissed —
set the stage for a showdown in federal court
over a lawsuit from plaintiffs who say their civil
rights were violated. The case could be one of
the most watched for LGBT Georgians since
the unsuccessful challenge to the state’s gay
marriage ban in 2004.
Our news coverage also includes an in-depth
look at Simone Bell’s journey to becoming the
frst black lesbian state lawmaker in Georgia
and the nation, an anti-bullying bill’s diffcult
journey in the state House, and a photographic
look at the joy of gay couples in Washington,
D.C., who on March 9 became the latest in the
nation to take the journey to the altar and have
their marriages legally recognized.
Features in our debut issue range from the
Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus’ journey around
Georgia, to transgender director/actor Kimber-
ly Reed’s cinematic journey to make peace with
her brothers, to new artist collective John Q’s
journey into Atlanta’s LGBT past.
For the Georgia Voice, our journey began on
Nov. 16, 2009 — the Monday morning I and
the rest of the staff of Southern Voice and David
magazine learned of the demise of our publica-
tions via a note on our offce’s locked doors.
I had worked for Southern Voice since 1997,
as editor since 2006. I heard about the sign from
a coworker, but drove down to see for myself,
gather with other employees, and talk to the
media. By the time I returned to my car just a
couple of hours later, I had a message waiting
from Chris Cash, who founded Southern Voice
in 1988 and hired me shortly before selling the
paper to Window Media in 1997.
As diffcult as the day was for both of us,
our conversation immediately turned to the
future — because we know that LGBT Geor-
gians’ journey to fair treatment is not over, and
we know there is still a need to document that
journey in order to inspire others to join in.
By Tuesday we agreed to start a new LGBT
publication. By Friday we had a bank account,
a P.O. Box and a domain name (SaveSoVo.
com) to keep the community informed.
The journey continued throughout the next
four months. In early December we held a public
community meeting in which attendees over-
whelmingly voted to name our new effort the
Georgia Voice.
The name honors our direct roots in the cre-
ation and history of Southern Voice, but also
marks a separation from the past. As impor-
tantly, using “Georgia” in the name emphasizes
that the fght for LGBT rights is no longer con-
fned to the metro Atlanta area.
As an added bonus, we look forward to no
longer being asked, “Are you some kind of
Confederate newspaper?” when we call the of-
fces of some Southern lawmakers.
We registered our website in early December
and incorporated as the Georgia Voice, LLC, in
early January. Along the way, we received help
from many people and offers of support and
words of encouragement from countless more.
So as those months of work culminate with
this frst print edition of the Georgia Voice, we
know it isn’t the end of a journey, but the start of
a new one that will last for years to come.
Every day on our website, www.thegavoice.
com, we will offer breaking news as it happens,
the best LGBT events, ways for you to share
your news and opinions, and fun extras like
“Pop Quiz” weekly video interviews.
Every other Friday, we’ll publish the Geor-
gia Voice in print, offering more in-depth re-
porting, analysis and features to linger over.
We look forward to continuing our travels
together, and to helping give a voice to our
community’s journey to justice and equality.
Editor Laura Douglas-Brown is always happy
to share what’s in her iPod, and is always inter-
ested in your feedback – from song suggestions to
serious subjects. Email lbrown@thegavoice.com
14 GA Voice March 19, 2010 Voices www.theGAVoice.com
The Georgia Voice
1904 Monroe Dr., Suite 130
Atlanta, GA 30324
404-815-6941
www.thegavoice.com
EDITORIAL
Editor: Laura Douglas-Brown
lbrown@thegavoice.com
Deputy Editor: Dyana Bagby
dbagby@thegavoice.com
Web Manager: Ryan Watkins
rwatkins@thegavoice.com
Art Director: Bo Shell
bshell@thegavoice.com
Contributors: Jim Farmer, Shannon Hames,
Shannon Jenkins, Mike Ritter, Christopher Seely,
Steve Warren
BUSINESS
Publisher: Christina Cash
ccash@thegavoice.com
Business Manager: Tim Boyd
tboyd@thegavoice.com
Advertising Sales:
sales@thegavoice.com
National Advertising:
Rivendell Media, 908-232-2021
sales@rivendellmedia.com
BOARD OF ADVISERS
Richard Eldredge, Sandy Malcolm,
Lynn Pasqualetti, Robert Pullen
All material in the Georgia Voice is protected by federal
copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written
consent of the Georgia Voice. The sexual orientation of adver-
tisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published here-
in is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names
or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the
sexual orientation of that person or persons. We also do not
accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers.
Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the Geor-
gia Voice, but we do not take responsibility for its return.
The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any
submission. Guidelines for freelance contributors are avail-
able upon request.
A single copy of the Georgia Voice is available from au-
thorized distribution points. Multiple copies are available from
the Georgia Voice offce only. Call for rates. If you are unable
reach a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a
26-issue mailed subscription for $60 per year. Checks or credit
card orders can be sent to Tim Boyd, tboyd@thegavoice.com
Postmaster: Send address changes to the Georgia Voice,
1904 Monroe Drive, Suite 130, Atlanta, GA 30324. The Georgia
Voice is published every other Friday by The Georgia Voice,
LLC. Individual subscriptions are $60 per year for 26 issues.
Postage paid at Atlanta, GA, and additional mailing offces.
The editorial positions of the Georgia Voice are expressed
in editorials and in editor’s notes. Other opinions are those of
the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of
the Georgia Voice and its staff.
To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be
fewer than 400 words and commentary, for web or print,
should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited
for content and length, and must include a name, address and
phone number for verifcation. Email submissions to editor@
thegavoice.com or mail to the address above.
VOICES OPINION & REACTION
Still on the journey
Travel with us to help
create a new ‘Voice’ for
our community
By Chris Cash
When I heard about Southern Voice closing,
like many people, I was devastated. I felt as if
someone close to me had died; like a friend I
loved but with whom I had lost touch. Even
though I did not know much about what my
friend had been doing or feeling in the past de-
cade my feelings still ran deep and strong.
Like any loss it brought a period of grief and
a food of memories. People and events that had
not crossed my mind in a very long time were
suddenly at the forefront. I remembered good
people, not bad ones; victories, not losses. It
surprised me that those memories did not carry
a hint of bitterness or regret.
My grief was short-lived; there was no time
for it. Within hours, Laura Douglas-Brown and
I began the conversation that simply asked the
question, “what do we do now?” Haltingly, but
assuredly, we reached the same conclusion. At-
lanta must not be without an LGBT newspaper
and media outlet.
Why? Hadn’t we made so much progress
in the past few decades that we could get by
just fne without one? Was it really necessary in
2010? After all, things are not like they were in
1988 or even 1995.
In the past we had a president who would
not say the word “AIDS,” Jesse Helms and Jer-
ry Falwell both running around spewing their
vitriol and not one state that recognized gay
marriage. And let’s face it, people just don’t
read anymore, do they?
We knew two things for sure. LGBT rights
have not been secured in spite of tremendous
progress that has been made, and we could not
leave the responsibility of reporting on the lives
and concerns of our community to the main-
stream media.
Mainstream media will never report on our
community in any depth except for the occa-
sional “big story.” They can’t report our stories
and they can’t tell stories from a gay perspec-
tive. They can’t because they would lose read-
ership if they did. They can’t be a gay paper
because they are not a gay paper.
Rumors abounded for a while that the At-
lanta Journal-Constitution was contemplating
a gay “section” of their paper when SoVo shut
down. If it was seriously considered at all, the
motivation was fnancial. If there is one thing
that has been completely embraced by the
mainstream it’s the LGBT pocketbook.
What about the “people don’t read anymore”
issue? Newspapers all over the country are strug-
gling and many have failed. Reporting on the
web was a given, but could we also make a print
publication work? Could we stay afoat?
Yes, we decided, because the truth is that pa-
pers are not failing because people do not read
anymore. They may read differently than they
did in 1988, some on a website instead of on a
printed page, but they still read. They might not
devote as much time to reading as in the past,
but they still read.
And if we managed ourselves well by creat-
ing an ethical and viable product, and staying
true to our readers and advertisers, the Georgia
Voice could be around for a very long time.
SoVo lasted for 22 years in spite of numer-
ous challenges and roadblocks along the way.
That is something to be proud of despite any
criticism, warranted or unwarranted. I knew
Laura and I could secure the same longevity for
Georgia Voice when we began to put together
our team. The staff — six out of seven formerly
worked for SoVo — is highly experienced and
shamelessly talented, the Board of Advisers is
rock solid in their commitment, and our sup-
porters are large in number and in heart. An
institution is only as good as the people who
nurture it. In short: we cannot lose.
Age has a few perks, not many I admit, but
a few. One of those perks is fearlessness. You
simply do not care anymore if you appear fool-
ish. So with no fear I say to all GaVo readers:
Welcome to the best damn LGBT media outlet
the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia has
ever seen. Enjoy.
Publisher Chris Cash founded Southern
Voice in 1988.
15 Voices March 19, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
OPINION & REACTION
‘People don’t read
anymore, do they?’
Why the LGBT community
still needs our own media
Georgia Voice founders Laura Douglas-Brown and
Chris Cash (Photo by Project Q Atanta)
A&E
Arts & Entertainment
“P
Out on Film hosts an exclusive screening
of the award-winning movie “Watercolors”
March 24 at the Ansley Park Playhouse. This
will be the only screening of the flm in Atlanta,
according to Out on Film Director Jim Farmer.
The organization, which hosts an LGBT
flm festival in Atlanta each October, is expand-
ing its format from the annual festival to host-
ing screenings throughout the year.
“Our goal is going to be to do these year-
round. This one is going to be really special
because we have the writer/director of ‘Wa-
tercolors,’ David Oliveras, fying in from Los
Angeles for this,” Farmer says.
Oliveras, along with lead actor Tye Olson,
will take questions from the audience after the
flm. “Watercolors” also stars Kyle Clare, Kar-
en Black, and Greg Louganis.
Olson, 22 and from Minnesota, landed the
lead role of Danny Wheeler only four months
after moving to Los Angeles.
“It really built up my confdence,” he says. “It
was so exciting to be cast that quickly in a feature
flm.” Olson is living in Atlanta until May.
“Since we’re in the gayest city in America,
I thought that this movie should be seen here,”
he explains with a laugh.
Olson also starred in “Tru Loved,” a movie
in which his character befriends the main char-
acter and they work to start a gay/straight alli-
ance in their school.
“After we shot this, we went out there and
talked to students about these issues,” he says.
“It was so great to see how each generation is
more energetic about making positive changes
than the generations before them.”
Olson is also excited about his new role
as Alex Price on “United States of Tara,” the
Showtime show that premieres its new season
March 22. Olson was already a fan of the show
when he was cast for this season.
— Shannon Hames
rodigal Sons” is the story of three
siblings, once brothers but now
two brothers and a sister, who re-
turn to their Helena, Mont., home
for the 20-year high school reunion of two
of them. Kimberly Reed, born Paul McKer-
row, brings along her lesbian partner, Claire
Jones, and a camera crew.
Now in her early forties, Reed has tran-
sitioned from man to woman, high school
quarterback to flmmaker, Montanan to San
Franciscan (where she spent 10 years, ar-
riving as Paul and leaving as Kim) to New
Yorker, straight man to lesbian.
With an appearance on “The Oprah Win-
frey Show” boosting the visibility of “Prodi-
gal Sons,” she is also transitioning from
anonymous to celebrity.
At the time of the reunion Reed hasn’t
been back to Helena except for her father’s
funeral. She spreads word of her transition so
her classmates will be used to the idea, and
the reunion is relatively uneventful. Typically
accepting is the man who tells her, “We’re all
fat, bald and old, and you’re a girl.”
The movie kicks into gear when Reed’s
brother Marc takes the spotlight. The McK-
errows adopted Marc at birth and had Paul
nearly a year later. Marc was left back in
pre-school because of hyperactivity, so they
wound up going through school together.
Paul was the better student, the better athlete
and more popular with the girls.
“Marc would have given anything to be
the man I would have given anything not to
be,” Reed says in her narration of the flm.
Younger brother Todd, a gay architect who
lives in San Diego, appears in the flm but re-
mains peripheral to the drama of the love/hate
relationship between Reed and Marc.
“I knew from the outset that ‘Prodigal
Sons’ would be about two stories of identity
— my brother Marc’s and mine,” Reed tells
the Georgia Voice.
“I had no idea that journey would be as in-
tense as it was, or that I would be pulled back
into my history as much as [I] was,” she says.
“My past was the last place I wanted to dwell,
so I was really trying to avoid it.”
Making peace with the past
Making a documentary seems an odd
way to avoid the past, but it helped Reed
come to terms with it, after considerable
vacillation.
“I see it more as a continuum,” she cor-
rects, “starting with me getting hints of be-
ing drawn to embrace my past, then having
my history forced upon me in a way I can’t
yet handle, then fnally making peace with
my past by literally giving an emblem of the
past [a photo] to my brother.
“So yeah, there’s some back and forth
in that process, but I think when we make
decisions there is usually a push and pull as
one meanders along the path toward clar-
ity,” she says. “I don’t necessarily see that
push/pull as contradicting the more general
progression. Indeed it’s what keeps the path
interesting.”
When Marc was 21, he wrecked his car
and almost died. Part of his brain was re-
moved and he has faced problems from the
injury ever since, although he’s married and
has a daughter. Though his outbursts are
generally controlled by medication, two of
Marc’s fts of violent rage are caught on flm.
Shortly before the reunion Marc had con-
tacted his birth mother, but she died before
they could meet; he only saw her at her fu-
neral. She was the daughter of two legends,
Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth.
A month after the high school reunion
Oja Kodar, Welles’ lover during his last two
decades, fies Marc to Croatia to visit her.
Reed and her camera go along.
Every time Reed achieves her hoped-for
reconciliation with Marc, something sends
the relationship south again. Still, when
Marc commits himself to a mental hospital
and his wife and their mother can’t bring
themselves to visit him, Reed goes alone to
see her brother.
Not only LGBTQI
If “Prodigal Sons” were remade as a
drama, actors would certainly line up to
play Marc, with Philip Seymour Hoffman
(“Capote”) and Christian McKay (“Me and
Orson Welles”) as excellent choices. Felicity
Huffman could play Kimberly Reed if she
hadn’t already played a similar role in
“Transamerica.”
Reed says she liked that flm, and “the
fact that my mom could go and see it with a
group of her friends in my hometown.”
“I think there’s a crucial place for flms
that dissect the trans experience,” she says.
“But I think it’s also important to some-
times not talk about L or G or B or T or
Q or I issues, and to let them drift into the
background of a story so that our LGBTQI
aspects don’t comprise the entirety of who
we are as people.”
Reed uses the work of her adopted broth-
er’s famous grandfather to explain.
“Let me put it another way: Orson Welles
was famously a magician, and really enjoyed
a good disappearing act. I would like to think
he would have gotten a smile out of the fact
that my transgenderism disappears from
[‘Prodigal Sons’] and a bigger smile from the
fact that he disappears from the flm.”
“Prodigal Sons” ends happily for Reed,
on and off screen.
“I don’t go back and forth about accept-
ing my past any more,” she says. “I feel like
I’ve found a way to make peace with my
history, and the images that represent it.
“And that’s a really good thing when
you’re on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ and
images of your past are broadcast to millions
of people.”
Emotional
‘Watercolors’
MORE INFO
‘Watercolors’
Wednesday, March 24, 7 p.m.
Ansley Park Playhouse
1545 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309
www.outonflm.org
www.theGAVoice.com
Tye Olson (right) portrays Danny, a young artist strug-
gling with memories of his frst love, Carter, played by
Kyle Clare. (Photo courtesy ‘Watercolors’)
‘Prodigal Sons’ traces unlikely family:
a trans woman, her gay brother and
their adopted sibling, the grandson of
Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth
“P
Marc McKerrow and Kimberly Reed at their
high school reunion in Montana, as seen in
the documentary ‘Prodigal Sons.’
(Photos courtesy First Run Features)
MORE INFO
‘Prodigal Sons’
Opens Friday, March 26
Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
931 Monroe Dr. , Atlanta, GA 30308
678-495-1424, www.landmarktheatres.com
www.theGAVoice.com
It’s been almost three decades since the At-
lanta Gay Men’s Chorus was founded to cre-
ate a space where men could come together in
creativity and camaraderie, and through their
singing, help empower and educate both them-
selves and the community at large.
In the years since the chorus’ founding in
1981, Atlanta’s gay community has grown in-
creasingly vibrant, visible and accepted. Now
the AGMC is taking to the road to lend their
voices to efforts to improve gay acceptance
throughout the state.
Today, the chorus launches a 100-person,
fve-city tour around Georgia – their frst ever,
according to Executive Director Keith Fenton
and Artistic Director Kevin Robison.
“We felt expanding the programs we do be-
yond the metro Atlanta area was in alignment
with our mission, which is to bring a positive
message of diversity and inclusion – not just to
people within the Atlanta area, but to people in
smaller communities that may be searching for
affrmation,” Robison says.
The chorus will perform in Macon, Savan-
nah, Augusta and Athens before returning to At-
lanta for two shows at Virginia Highland Baptist
Church. During their four shows on the road, the
chorus is partnering with local LGBT organiza-
tions that will receive 50 percent of ticket sales.
Benefciaries include Augusta Pride, Ma-
con’s Rainbow Center, eight Savannah orga-
nizations, and AID Athens and the Boybutante
AIDS Foundation there.
The shows, supported by presenting sponsor
Macy’s, are getting attention around the state,
including a mention in M Food & Culture, a
magazine targeting Middle Georgia. But Fen-
ton says there has been no backlash.
“When we embark on a project like this,
the notion of something like that certainly goes
through your mind, and you want to keep the
safety of everyone and the reputation of the or-
ganization in mind as you move forward,” he
says. “We have not had any issues that we are
aware of in any community. The response has
been extremely positive.”
The music selected for the “Georgia on My
Mind” tour is based on the theme of journeys –
physical, emotional and spiritual.
Selections in the frst half include such di-
verse pieces as “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My
Brother,” Wagner’s “Pilgrim’s Chorus,” and of
course, the titular “Georgia on My Mind.”
The second half of the show focuses on the
spiritual journeys many gay people face with a
revised performance of “Shaken, Not Heard:
Stories of Gay Men, Faith and Reconciliation,”
the chorus’ powerful, compelling concert from
last spring.
Robison says the chorus expected the piece
to resonate with LGBT people, but was sur-
prised by the impact the dramatic piece had on
heterosexual audiences as well.
“Everyone has to come out about some-
thing,” Robison says. “Many people have ex-
perienced some kind of confict around religion
and religious teachings that don’t gel with who
they feel they are.”
After the “Georgia on My Mind” tour, the
chorus will begin preparation for its summer
concert, “All You Need is Love: 50 Years of
Beatlemania.”
The AGMC also has major plans for growth
as it celebrates its 30th year, including explor-
ing options for creating a women’s chorus and
a youth ensemble, Fenton says.
18 GA Voice March 19, 2010 A&E www.theGAVoice.com
Just an old sweet song
‘Georgia on My
Mind’ tour takes gay
chorus around state
MORE INFO
View video from the AGMC’s
‘Shaken Not Heard’
www.thegavoice.com
Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus
‘Georgia on My Mind’ tour
www.agmchorus.org
Friday, March 19, 8 p.m., Macon
Saturday, March 20, 4 p.m, Savannah
Sunday, March 21, 3 p.m., Augusta
Thursday, March 25, 8 p.m., Athens
Friday, March 26, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 27, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Virginia Highland Church in Atlanta, GA
www.theGAVoice.com
MUSIC
by LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN • lbrown@theGaVoice.com
The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus will perform in
fve cities in eight days starting March 19.
(Photo courtesy AGMC)
20 GA Voice March 19, 2010 A&E www.theGAVoice.com
In August 1969, Andy Warhol’s homoerotic
“Lonesome Cowboys” screened at the Ansley
Mall Mini Cinema.
Police stopped the flm, confscated the
property and arrested the theater manager. They
also took photographs of the some 70 people
attending as they exited the theater, saying they
were looking for “known homosexuals.”
That event sparked a movement and led to
the formation of the Georgia chapter of the Gay
Liberation Front.
“The idea that an Andy Warhol flm was a
catalyst for gay rights in Georgia is interesting,”
says Andy Ditzler, curator of the renowned Film
Love series. “It was much more than an obscure
flm bust — it had a ripple effect on gay history
in Atlanta.”
Ditzler, along with curators and historians
Wesley Chenault and Joey Orr, make up the
new John Q collective. On April 3, they will
present “Memory Flash” — a performance, in-
stallation and flm projection event taking place
in four Atlanta locations.
The project ends with a screening of “Lone-
some Cowboys” at gay bar Mixx in Ansley
Mall that will include Chenault and Orr por-
traying those who were watching the flm when
it was raided.
The project begins with a Fourth Ward
Walk on Wabash Avenue where the gay male
social club, The Jolly 12, would hold Sunday
parties hosted by Roger Hodges, known as
Mother Hodges. Oral history will be given by
Hodges himself.
The second performance piece takes par-
ticipants to where The Joy Lounge was once
located on Ponce de Leon Avenue, east of the
Ponce Hotel, now an empty lot. This spot is
where Billy Jones performed his frst drag per-
sona, Phyllis Killer, in the late 1960s. But it was
illegal for men at this time to appear in full drag
and they used a lookout to warn performers
when police approached.
To hide from police, performers ducked
into walk-in beer coolers. In “Memory Flash,”
participants can experience what the perform-
ers had to endured by having the opportunity to
walk into a beer cooler.
The third stop, before the fnal installation at
Mixx, takes place at the Piedmont Park softball
felds where a game between the Tomboys and
the Lorelie Ladies will take place. These teams,
not part of an offcial lesbian league of the 1960s,
were a popular social outlet for lesbians.
“There is a lot of fux. Permanence is anti-
thetical to the queer spirit. So we thought, what
if the monument was a discourse? Even though
they are temporary, we think of them as memori-
als,” Orr says.
Memory Flash is presented by Flux Projects,
which supports artists in creating innovative
temporary public art throughout Atlanta.
And while these memorials are temporary,
Chenault says they hold more potential than a
sculpture or permanent marker.
“We hope people will create new memories
from the real past,” Chenault says.
‘Flash’ back to gay past
John Q collective transports queer history to present
MORE INFO
More photos from Atlanta’s LGBT past and
extended details on ‘Memory Flash’
www.thegavoice.com
Memory Flash
Saturday, April 3
Johnqcollective.wordpress.com
www.theGAVoice.com
ART
by DYANA BAGBY • dbagby@theGaVoice.com
John Q Collective’s Joey Orr (far left), Andy Dit-
zler and Wesley Chenault present ‘Memory Flash’
next month. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
21 March 19, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
770-457-7659
www.deceasedpetcare.com
“Because Your Pet is a
Member of the Family”
INDIVIDUAL PET
CREMATIONS AND BURIALS
22 GA Voice March 19, 2010 A&E www.theGAVoice.com
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK • 404-873-5400 • MIDTOWN ATLANTA, AMSTERDAM WALK, 501 AMSTERDAM AVE, ATLANTA, GA 30306
YAPPY HOUR MAY 2, 2010: PROUDLY PRESENTING
THE 2010 PET COTILLION
NO SHOES, NO SHIRT,
SPRING BREAK AT PIEDMONT BARK
FULL-SERVICE!
- Miles, 1 year old
Harvey Fierstein has rarely hesitated taking
on challenges, so accepting the iconic role of
Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” isn’t as surpris-
ing as some people imagine. Fierstein’s Atlanta
leg of the touring musical is the highest-profle
production in a busy month of local theater.
Fierstein originally played the role in a 2004
Broadway revival, taking over for actor Alfred
Molina in 2005. So he was a natural when the
tour needed a last minute replacement.
“I got a call that Topol [who was originally
scheduled for the tour] could not do it for health
issues,” Fierstein says. “The producers asked
me if I could jump in.”
After a handful of rehearsals, he returned to
the part. He admits he loves the journey of the
main character, a man whose religious beliefs
get tested as he feels he is losing his family.
“I love his world, and I like to take that jour-
ney with him,” Fierstein says. “I appreciate his
sense of humor. But his relationship with God
changes in the show. He talks to God as his best
friend but at the end he is not speaking directly
to God anymore.”
During the run of “Fiddler,” Aurora Theatre
presents Fierstein’s adaptation of “A Catered Af-
fair,” staged on Broadway a few seasons back.
On Broadway, Fierstein starred in the lead role
of gay character Winston. The actor will attend
a special 10 a.m. matinee on March 19. It’s di-
rected by Actor’s Express’ Freddie Ashley.
Speaking of Actor’s Express, the company
just opened Kate Fodor’s “100 Saints You
Should Know,” which in addition to openly gay
actor Doyle Reynolds, features a supporting
character – a teenage delivery boy – coming to
terms with his sexuality.
Two other shows opening this weekend are
Stage Door’s “Master Class” and Onstage At-
lanta’s “Fuddy Meers.”
“Fuddy Meers” is directed by lesbian Cathe
Hall Payne. The protagonist is Claire, a woman
with amnesia who gets taken on a journey to
fnd out who she really is – a journey led by a
mystery man under her bed.
“It’s a zany piece,” Payne says. “To me, the
message is to keep the humor in painful situa-
tions. If not you are done.”
Payne is not only directing her signifcant
other, Angela Short, in the play, but also her
son’s boyfriend, John Markowski. It helps, ac-
cording to Short, that Payne is incredibly honest
as a director. She can’t deny that the two bring
their work home, but it helps that they have the
kind of relationship where they can keep it real
with what needs to be said professionally.
“Master Class” is gay playwright Terrence
McNally’s look at opera star Maria Callas
during the last years of her life. According to
Stage Door’s gay artistic director Robert Egiz-
io, Callas gave master classes in the early ’70s,
a time when her career was virtually over, as
was her romance with Aristotle Onassis.
“She seemed to have no problem with the
men in the classes, but she did with the wom-
en,” says Egizio. “There seemed to be a bit of
jealousy.” Out Alan Kilpatrick directs while
Marcie Millard portrays Callas.
March madness
Gay Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein
highlights packed month for local stages
MORE INFO
‘Fiddler on the Roof’
Through March 21 @ Cobb Energy Centre
2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339
800-982-2787, www.atlantabroadwayseries.com
‘A Catered Affair’
Through March 28 @ Aurora Theatre
128 Pike St., Lawrenceville, GA 30045
678-226-6222, www.auroratheatre.com
‘100 Saints You Should Know’
March 18 – April 17 @ Actor’s Express
887 W. Marietta St., Atlanta, GA 30318
404-607-7469, www.actorsexpress.com
“Fuddy Meers”
March 19 – April 10 @ Onstage Atlanta
2597 North Decatur Road, Decatur, GA 30033
404-897-1802, www.onstageatlanta.com
“Master Class”
March 19 – April 11 @ Stage Door Players
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd.,
Dunwoody, GA 30338
770-396-1726, www.stagedoorplayers.net
www.theGAVoice.com
Cathe Hall Payne directs her partner, actor
Angie Short, in ‘Fuddy Meers’ at Onstage Atlanta.
(Photo courtesy Onstage Atlanta)
THEATER
by JIM FARMER
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK • 404-873-5400 • MIDTOWN ATLANTA, AMSTERDAM WALK, 501 AMSTERDAM AVE, ATLANTA, GA 30306
YAPPY HOUR MAY 2, 2010: PROUDLY PRESENTING
THE 2010 PET COTILLION
NO SHOES, NO SHIRT,
SPRING BREAK AT PIEDMONT BARK
FULL-SERVICE!
- Miles, 1 year old
24 GA Voice March 19, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com

christcovenant
A place of prayer, questioning, and hope!

▫Progressive Theology ▫Vibrant Worship
▫Welcoming Community ▫Relevant Spirituality

sunday school
9:30 am each Sunday

worship
11:00 Sunday mornings

spiritual development classes
6:30 each Wednesday evening


Rev Elder Glenna T Shepherd, Pastor


109 Hibernia Avenue
Decatur 30030
404 373 2933
www.christcovenantmcc.org
25 Community March 19, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
COMMUNITY LOCAL LIFE
Right up our alley
Gay bowling leagues hit mark
with fellowship, competition
By Dyana Bagby
dbagby@thegavoice.com
Ken Harper and Hal Berger have been to-
gether 35 years, crediting communication and
commitment to their longevity.
And bowling.
The couple bowls every Sunday in the gay
Lambda bowling league at Midtown Bowl, along
with dozens of others who make up the 13 teams
of the oldest gay bowling league in Atlanta.
“We got together in 1975 and have been
bowling together since about 1980,” says
Harper, 62. “It’s been fun. I’ve known some of
these people in the league for 10 to 15 years. It’s
absolutely a good way to meet people without
going to the bars and is a good way to make
good friends.”
Bergen, 76, who is retired from the Air Force,
loves bowling for the companionship it provides.
And after suffering a stroke several years ago, the
physical activity also helps in his recovery.
“You get a lot of encouragement from other
bowlers,” Bergen says. “We have fun and that’s
what it’s all about.”
Bergen and Harper also share a distinct
honor of being two of the three men who have
bowled in every Dixie Invitational Bowling
tournament for the past 28 years.
This year’s tournament is set for April 1-4
and the couple will be bowling once again.
“I’ve not missed one since 1981 and we al-
ways bowl together,” Harper says.
‘A bit of a bowling junkie’
The Dixie Invitational, to be held at Bruns-
wick Zone in Norcross, is the second oldest gay
bowling tournament in the U.S., says co-direc-
tor Mike Terry.
“We’re second only to a tournament in Mil-
waukee,” he says.
People from across the country and even
Canada travel to Atlanta to shoot for that perfect
300 game. Terry expects some 200 bowlers will
participate in this year’s event.
Terry has been bowling for 10 seasons and
participates in four gay leagues.
“I’m a little bit of a bowling junkie,” he says
with a laugh.
There are seven gay bowling leagues in
metro Atlanta that are part of the International
Gay Bowling Organization: Monday is the
Monday Myths, Tuesday is Rainbow Match-
point and Atlas, Wednesday is the Boys and
Girls of Fall, Friday is Friends Friday and Sun-
day is Lambda.
The “house” for these leagues is Midtown
Bowl. The Pride of Dixie bowls in Norcross on
Wednesdays. Another IGBO bowling league
exists in Augusta.
The Decatur Women’s Sports League also
offers bowling for women only. Anne Barr,
founder of the group which also has basketball,
softball and even badminton leagues, says ap-
proximately 50 women bowl every Wednesday
at Suburban Lanes in Decatur. Leagues are for
10 weeks, one beginning in January and anoth-
er beginning in June.
“It’s been a huge success. You’re never too
old to play in this league,” she says.
Tammy Foley, 35, is bowling in her first
IGBO league after her girlfriend, an avid bowl-
er, suggested the idea.
“My girlfriend convinced me it would be
a fun activity to do together,” she says of the
Lambda league.
“It feels like a game rather than a sport. I
really enjoy it.”
Geri Angerami, 69, a top female bowler in
the Lambda league, has been bowling for nine
years. She was once a bartender at Midtown
Bowl before deciding to pick up a ball and join
others on the lanes.
“Most of my friends are here. It’s fun and
I’m competitive. And it’s good for my arthri-
tis,” she adds, smiling.
Fun and fellowship
Rev. Paul Turner of Gentle Spirit Christian
Church bowls on Mondays as part of the Mon-
day Myths league. He’s also the president of
the league.
“Billy [Pabst, his husband], and I joined the
league in 1985; I’ve been bowling for 25 or 30
years,” he says. “It’s a singular kind of sport
— for me it’s about technique and it’s mental.
Bowling nurtures camaraderie. We’re always
community minded. And it really gives me an
outlet where I can just be Paul, cut loose having
that beer.”
All the gay bowling leagues are open to ev-
eryone. Turner says about half of the Monday
league membership of 12 teams (four players
per team) is straight.
“Gay folks have straight friends and they
want to participate in events together,” Turner
says. “This is a neat little social outlet.”
Terry, co-director of the Dixie Invitational
with L.E. McLemore, says that having straight
bowlers in all leagues is a simple way to edu-
cate others about who gay people are.
“Anytime we can educate, get a little bit
more understanding out there, it’s good for all
of us,” he says.
And for gay people who may not be ac-
cepted by their own family, bowling, as well as
other sports leagues, offers companionship in a
fun environment as well as an extended family.
“There’s a lot of fellowship that goes on in
bowling,” Terry says.
Lambda vice president Steven Doyle, 44,
has been bowling for 31 years and wishes more
people would come out to join the gay leagues.
“When I first moved here it was a good way
to meet people,” he says.
And for Brandon Richard, 36, treasurer
of Lambda, gay bowling leagues offered the
chance to meet other gay people.
“Mission accomplished,” he says.
Full disclosure from Dyana Bagby: I bowl
in the Lambda league and am a member of the
not-last-place-team Irritable Bowl Syndrome
with teammates Shannon Bowles, April Hunt
and Tammy Foley. My favorite part of bowling
is the cool shoes and greasy burgers. I have a
126 average.
MORE INFO
More bowling pictures and videos online
www.theGAVoice.com
Dixie Invitational Bowling Tournament
April 1-4
Brunswick Zone - Norcross
6345 Spalding Drive
Norcross, GA 30092-1866
770-840-8200
www.dixiebowl.org
International Gay Bowling
Leagues in Georgia:
www.igbo.org/leagues/league_list.cfm
Decatur Women’s Sports League
www.decaturwomenssportsleague.info
www.theGAVoice.com
Ken Harper and Hal Berger, a couple for 35 years,
have bowled together in gay leagues for more than
20 years and currently bowl in Atlanta’s Lambda
league. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
Celebrating a MILESTONE? Share your engagements,
weddings, births, adoptions, anniversaries, birthdays and
other events! Announcements can be up to 200 words and
can include a photo. E-mail editor@thegavoice.com with
your milestone and contact info to see your name in print!
Founded in 1985 by lesbians and gay men,
Congregation Bet Haverim is now a thriving,
diverse Reconstructionist synagogue that pro-
vides a casual, socially liberal atmosphere and
is open to all. The synagogue, led by Rabbi
Joshua Lesser, shares space with Central Con-
gregational Church in Atlanta.
On March 30, Bet Haverim hosts its second
annual “Pass It Forward for Passover” Seder to
benefit Refugee Resettlement & Immigration
Services of Atlanta and Amour En Action, a
non-profit providing education and humanitar-
ian services to needy citizens of Haiti.
The event will be held in the Fellowship
Hall of Central Congregational Church, located
at 2676 Clairmont Road. A traditional dairy/
vegetarian Seder meal will be served.
There is no cost to participate, however all
who are able are asked to bring either phone cards
to Haiti, gift cards to grocery stores and general
merchandise stores, or check or cash donations.
“Continuing the ‘Pass It Forward’ tradition is
important because it helps us live Passover values
in the moment,” Lesser says in a press release.
“It is particularly relevant to reach out to
the Haitian community not only because of the
devastating earthquake that just happened, but
because Haiti represents the overthrow of slav-
ery and the continued fight for the liberation
and dignity of all people,” he says.
— Shannon Hames
The first Augusta
Pride is set for June
19, with headliners
Thelma Houston and
Frenchie Davis.
News of the event
made headlines in the
Augusta Chronicle
and caused backlash
from opponents who
didn’t want the event, including a parade, in the
city. But LGBT activists say Mayor Deke Co-
penhaver supports the festival.
“We had a wonderful meeting with the mayor
and we are getting a lot of positive support,” said
Chris Bannochie, a member of the Pride Com-
mittee. “We’re the second largest city in Geor-
gia. We needed to start somewhere and there’s
no time like the present.”
Augusta Pride leaders are currently seeking
vendors and hoping people from Atlanta travel
to their city for the historic party. The theme is
“Community for All,” and Bannochie said that is
exactly what the Pride fest aims to be.
“We want to celebrate regardless of some-
one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gen-
der expression,” he says.
Bannochie says the committee hopes for at
least 2,000 attendees. “And we hope to grow and
be as successful as Atlanta’s Pride,” he says.
Along with the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus
performing in Augusta as a Pride fundraiser,
there will also be a fashion show on April 24
with Macy’s, Dillard’s and other stores. Tickets
cost $20-$40. The show takes place at Metro
Coffee House and Sparx Bar.
— Dyana Bagby
26 GA Voice March 19, 2010 Community www.theGAVoice.com
GEORGIA SPOTLIGHT
Congregation Bet Haverim
MORE INFO
Congregation Bet Haverim
P.O. Box 29548, Atlanta, GA 30359
404-315-6446, www.cbhatlanta.org
Passover Seder
March 30, 6:30 p.m.
RSVP by March 21
MORE INFO
Augusta Pride, Inc.
P.O. Box 3281
Augusta, GA 30914-3182
www.prideaugusta.org
Pride festival
June 19
Augusta Pride
www.atlantahrcdinner.org
Saturday, May 1, 2010 t Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Honoring
Dan Bradley Humanitarian Award Winner
Georgia State Representative Simone Bell
Leon Allen and Winston Johnson
Community Service Award Winner
Vandy Beth Glenn
P RE SE NT I NG SPONSORS*
PL AT I NUM SPONSORS*
P L AT I NUM SP ONSORS*
SI LV E R SP ONSORS*
Featuring HRC Visibility Award Winner:
Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen
SVP of Original Programming and Development; host of “Real
Housewives” reunions and “Watch What Happens” on Bravo!
Featuring HRC President:
Joe Solmonese
2 0 1 0 AT L A N T A H U MA N R I G H T S C A MP A I G N G A L A D I N N E R
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FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION:
ME DI A SP ONSOR*
SI LV E R SP ONSORS*
BRONZ E SP ONSORS*
* SPONSORS AS OF MARCH 15, 2010
SPOTLIGHT
28 GA Voice March 19, 2010 Calendar www.theGAVoice.com
Friday, March 19
The Decatur Women’s Sports League launches
its spring softball season with an opening
ceremony, including a prayer and first pitch by
Linda Ellis, executive director of the Atlanta Les-
bian Health Initiative. 7 p.m. on Field One, Kelly C.
Cofer Park, 4259 N. Park Drive, Tucker, GA 30084.
404-210-4722, decaturwomenssportsleague.info
You only have through March 21 to catch gay
actor extraordinaire Harvey Fierstein starring as
“Tevye” in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Various show
times at Cobb Energy Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria
Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339, 800-982-2787,
www.atlantabroadwayseries.com
In town for “Fiddler on the Roof,” Harvey Fier-
stein stops by Aurora Theatre at 10 a.m. today for
a special morning matinee of “A Catered Affair,”
the 2008 Tony Award-winning musical that he
adapted for stage. Short talkback session follows.
Play runs through March 28 at Aurora Theatre, 128
Pike St., Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 678-226-6222,
www.auroratheatre.com
“Master Class” is gay playwright Ter-
rence McNally’s look at opera star Maria
Callas during the last years of her life. It
debuts tonight and plays through April
11 at Stage Door Players, 5339 Chamblee
Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338,
770-396-1726, www.stagedoorplayers.net
“Fuddy Meers,” with lesbian director
Cathe Hall Payne, opens today and runs
through April 10 at Onstage Atlanta, 2597 North
Decatur Road, Atlanta, GA 30033, 404-897-1802,
www.onstageatlanta.com
Saturday, March 20
Line up the strikes and spares (and gutter balls)
for Bowling for Equality, which benefits HRC At-
lanta. 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Funtime Bowl 3285 Buford
Hwy, Atlanta, GA 30329. atlanta.hrc.org
DJ Joe Gauthreaux returns to the ATL from New
York City to spin at the Heretic. 10 p.m. at the
Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA,
30324, 404-325-3061, www.hereticatlanta.com
Mary’s debuts its Hot Mess dance party, this
week with DJ Business Casual. The Saturday
night event replaces Mary-oke, which continues
on Tuesdays. 9 p.m. at Mary’s, 1287 Glenwood Ave.,
Atlanta, GA 30316, 404-624-4411, marysatlanta.com
Sunday, March 21
The Hotlanta Softball League kicks off the spring
season with an Opening Day Ceremony at noon
at Southside Park, 3460 Jonesboro Road SE At-
lanta, GA 3035, 404-875-9881, hotlantasoftball.org
“100 Saints You Should Know,” starring gay
actor Doyle Reynolds, holds a gala opening
performance and reception this afternoon at 5
p.m., then runs through April 17 at Actor’s Express,
887 W. Marietta St. Suite J-107, Atlanta, GA 30318,
404-607-SHOW, www.actors-express.com
Tuesday, March 23
Last month’s Fourth Tuesday Dinner drew more
than 60 women. Help them add to that total for
tonight’s dinner. Drinks at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m.
at Carpe Diem, 105 Sycamore Place, Decatur, GA
30030. 404-688-2524, www.thehealthinitiative.org
Wednesday, March 24
Don’t let lawmakers think they don’t have any
LGBT constituents. Turn out for Georgia Equality
Lobbying Day, which this year focuses on a bill
to help curb bullying in schools. Meet at 9 a.m. in
room 307 of the Paul D. Coverdell Legislative Of-
fice Building, 18 Capitol Square, Atlanta, GA 30334.
404-523-3070, www.georgiaequality.org
Out on Film presents a screening of
“Watercolors,” an award-winning film about
young artist Danny and his memories of his first
love, Carter. Discussion with lead actor Tye Olsen
follows. 7 p.m. at Ansley Park Playhouse, 1545
Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-671-9446,
www.outonfilm.org
Lesbian rockers 8 Inch Betsy hit the 5 Spot. 9
p.m. at 1123 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307,
www.myspace.com/8inchbetsy
BEST BETS 03.19 - 04.01
SPOTLIGHT
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 the
details to editor@theGAVoice.com.
The incomparable Bitch performs with
The State Of at Bellissima. 9 p.m. at
560 - B Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA,
30306. myspace.com/bellissima_lounge
Tuesday, March 23
Pynk, also known as actress and
former TV reporter Marissa Monteilh,
brings her racy novel “Sexaholics” to
Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse. 7:30
p.m. at 991 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA,
30309. 404-607-0082, outwritebooks.com
Thursday, March 25
Barry Brandon (above) and Jose Luis
Rodriguez present “In My Own Words”
at Onstage Atlanta, with help from friends
Catherine Striplin, Martina Diamante
and Will Ramseur. After party is Thurs-
day night’s Etcetera at Arum. “In My Own
Words” at 8 p.m. tonight, April 1 and April 8
at Onstage Atlanta, 2597 N. Decatur Road.
Atlanta, GA 30033. Etcetera at Aurum, 108
8th St. Atlanta, GA 30309.
www.facebook.com/aurumthursdays
Thursday, March 25
CONTINUED
ON PAGE 30
MORE COMMUNITY EVENTS
Looking for more events? Visit our website for our extensive daily calendar, including nightlife
schedules and community organization meetings, provided by our friends at ProjectQAtlanta.com.
www.theGAVoice.com
Sunday, March 28
Comedian and “Chelsea Lately” host Chelsea Handler — a gay favorite —
signs her new book, “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang,” at Outwrite Bookstore &
Coffeehouse, then performs two shows at the Fox Theatre. Signing: 1 p.m. – 3
p.m. at Outwrite, 991 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. 404-607-0082, www.outwrite-
books.com. Performances: 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Fox, 60 Peachtree Street
NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-881-2100, www.foxtheatre.org
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29 March 19, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
Families trust Sunrise as their
choice for Senior Living.
Sunrise of Decatur 404-377-6111 920 Clairemont Avenue
Assisred Livinq º Memory Core
At Sunrise of Decatur we know that families searching for senior
living can be faced with an overwhelming number of options and
questions. Our commitment to “Celebrate Indivuality” as one of our
Principles of Service gives you peace of mind that your loved one
will be cared for in an environment that honors the individuality of
our residents and their families.
“Sunrise of Decatur has been home to my father-in-law for seven years
now and we appreciate the warm welcome they have given our family
from the very first day.”
-Linda Ellis, Executive Director, The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative
Call 404-377-6111 to schedule a personal tour today!
For more information and a FREE online newsletter, visit www.sunriseseniorliving.com
“My partner and
I have been very
grateful for the
quality of care and
support at Sunrise
of Decatur.”
- Linda Ellis, Executive
Director, The Atlanta Lesbian
Health Initiative
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Thursday, March 25
Want to know how to bring queer, feminist per-
spectives to your Passover Seder? Debra Mazer
and Cantor Shira Leba Batalion bring their new
book “Open-Eyed Heart-Wide Haggadah” to
Charis Books & More for “Not your Mama’s Mat-
zah: a Seder for the New Millennium.”
7:30 p.m. at 1189 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307,
404-522-9912, www.chariscircle.org
Join the Atlanta Executive Network and Atlanta
Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for March
Madness Networking. Doors open 6:30 p.m. at
Jungle, 115 Faulkner Road., Atlanta, GA 30324,
404-844-8800, www.jungleclubatlanta.com,
www.aen.org, www.atlantagaychamber.org
Friday, March 26 &
Saturday, March 27
Help welcome home the Atlanta Gay Men’s
Chorus as they wind up their “Georgia on My
Mind” tour with three shows at Virginia Highland
Church, 743 Virginia Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30306. 8
p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday.
404-320-1030, www.agmchorus.org
Saturday, March 27
MEGA Family Project hosts its “Creating a Fam-
ily” workshop. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Mark Unit-
ed Methodist Church, 781 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA
30308, 404-808-3350, www.megafamilyproject.org
Say au revoir to Paris Decatur as the LGBT bar
closes after tonight’s Sukeban show. Bar opens
at 6 p.m., an Olivia cruise giveaway at 9 p.m., and
show at 10 p.m. at 308-H Ponce de Leon Place,
Decatur, GA 30030, www.parisdecatur.com
Sunday, March 28
Join the Armorettes, Atlanta’s legendary camp
drag troupe, for a memorial service for Robin
Wilson, a.k.a. Dixie D. Cupp, who passed away
Feb. 23. Service is 2-4 p.m. at St. Mark’s United
Methodist Church, 781 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA,
30308. Gathering follows at Blake’s on the Park, 227
10th St., Atlanta, GA, 30309. www.armorettes.com
Tuesday, March 30
Congregation Bet Haverim hosts its second
annual Pass it Forward Passover Seder, benefit-
ting Haiti earthquake victims. Attendees are asked
to bring phone cards to Haiti, gift cards to grocery
stores, Wal-Mart or Target, or cash/check donations.
6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Central Congre-
gational UCC, 2676 Clairmont Road NE, Atlanta, GA
30329, 404-315-6446, www.cbhatlanta.org
EVENTS
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28
Saturday, April 3
“Memory Flash,” the first project of
artist collaborative John Q, revisits four
points in Atlanta’s LGBT history from the
1940s through the 1970s, starting with a
history walk at 5 p.m. at 532 Wabash Ave.;
followed by 6 p.m. at 551 Ponce de Leon,
site of the Joy Lounge, an early drag bar;
7 p.m. at Piedmont Park’s softball fields
where lesbian teams played; and 8 p.m. at
Mixx at 1492 Piedmont Ave., for a showing
of “Lonesome Cowboy” at the site of the
old Ansley Mall Cinema.
johnqcollective.wordpress.com
Sunday, April 4
Don your most outrageous Easter bonnet
for the Armorettes’ annual Easter Drag
Races. 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. outside Blake’s on
the Park, 227 10th St., Atlanta, GA 30309.
www.armorettes.com
Friday, April 9 –
Sunday, April 11
It’s Leather Pride weekend at the Atlanta
Eagle! Events include the Black & Blue
Ball on Friday night; an afternoon leather
BBQ, the Mr. Atlanta Eagle contest, and
an after-party on Saturday; and a leather
family brunch on Sunday. Atlanta Eagle,
306 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA
30308, www.atlantaeagle.com
UPCOMING
Saturday, March 27
Pumps for Pets features Miss Atlanta
2010 and Miss Georgia 2009, among
other pageant-winning women. The
show from 6-8 p.m. (appetizers at 5
p.m.) raises funds for PALS (Pets are
Loving Support), which helps people
with HIV and other serious illnesses
keep their pets. Then DJ Martin Fry
spins at 10 p.m. at Jungle, 115 Faulkner
Road, Atlanta, GA 30324. 404-876-PALS,
www.palsatlanta.org
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Saturday, April 3
“Memory Flash,” the first project of
artist collaborative John Q, revisits four
points in Atlanta’s LGBT history from the
1940s through the 1970s, starting with a
history walk at 5 p.m. at 532 Wabash Ave.;
followed by 6 p.m. at 551 Ponce de Leon,
site of the Joy Lounge, an early drag bar;
7 p.m. at Piedmont Park’s softball fields
where lesbian teams played; and 8 p.m. at
Mixx at 1492 Piedmont Ave., for a showing
of “Lonesome Cowboy” at the site of the
old Ansley Mall Cinema.
johnqcollective.wordpress.com
Sunday, April 4
Don your most outrageous Easter bonnet
for the Armorettes’ annual Easter Drag
Races. 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. outside Blake’s on
the Park, 227 10th St., Atlanta, GA 30309.
www.armorettes.com
Friday, April 9 –
Sunday, April 11
It’s Leather Pride weekend at the Atlanta
Eagle! Events include the Black & Blue
Ball on Friday night; an afternoon leather
BBQ, the Mr. Atlanta Eagle contest, and
an after-party on Saturday; and a leather
family brunch on Sunday. Atlanta Eagle,
306 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA
30308, www.atlantaeagle.com
UPCOMING
Saturday, March 27
Pumps for Pets features Miss Atlanta
2010 and Miss Georgia 2009, among
other pageant-winning women. The
show from 6-8 p.m. (appetizers at 5
p.m.) raises funds for PALS (Pets are
Loving Support), which helps people
with HIV and other serious illnesses
keep their pets. Then DJ Martin Fry
spins at 10 p.m. at Jungle, 115 Faulkner
Road, Atlanta, GA 30324. 404-876-PALS,
www.palsatlanta.org

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