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REV. PAUL TURNER
GENTLE SPIRIT CHRISTIAN CHURCH
View the full interview at
theGAVOICE.com
“As someone who’s been proudly
advocating for equal rights and
supporting GLBT causes for as long
as I can remember, I know how
much it means to young people
struggling with their sexuality to
see out and proud actors … suc-
ceeding in their work without hav-
ing to keep their sexuality a secret.”
— Actress Kristin Chenoweth, denouncing as
“horribly homophobic” an article on Newsweek.
com that contended gay actors are not believable
when they play straight. (Comments on News-
week.com, May 7)
“If an actor of the stature of George
Clooney came out of the closet to-
morrow, would we still accept him
as a heterosexual leading man? It’s
hard to say. Or maybe not. Doesn’t
it mean something that no openly
gay actor like that exists?”
— Columnist Ramin Setoodeh, claiming that while
straight actors can play gay, it’s rarely believable
in reverse (Newsweek.com, April 26)
“ABC isn’t afraid of gay characters,
so why won’t they let them show
some love?”
— Argument of the “Let Cam & Mitchell kiss on Mod-
ern Family!” Facebook group, which launched May 8 to
petition the hit show to let its “adorable gay couple”
share a smooch. (New York Magazine, May 9)
Gay Lutheran pastors reinstated. Page 4
Grady protest attracts hundreds of
students, activists. Page 6
APD names second gay liaison. Page 6
Gay Morehouse students carjacked,
robbed, called ‘faggots.’ Page 11
Gay candidates and other state and
local races to watch. Page 11
State grant targets LGBT smoking. Page 11
Obama’s Supreme Court nominee has
gay rights record. Page 12
‘Don’t Ask’ repeal faces delay. Page 13
Editorial: Out of the ballrooms and into
the streets. Page 14
Speaking out: Readers react to proposed
LGBT center, Melissa Carter’s path to
motherhood. Page 15
Destination Gay: The hottest places to
be this summer. Pages 16-17
Florida or bust: Memorial Day in Pen-
sacola and Miami, Gay Days at Disney.
Page 18
Gay Vegas: What happens in Vegas, well,
you know. Page 19
Georgia on our minds: LGBT camping,
bed & breakfasts in our home state.
Page 20
Theater: The puppets of ‘Avenue Q’ hit
Atlanta. Page 22
Sports: AIDS Vaccine 200 raises funds to
help stem HIV. Page 23
MondoHomo takes over Atlanta. Page 25
HRC Dinner honors local activists,
seeks equality ‘Every Day.’ Page 26
Georgia Spotlight: Atlanta International
Day Against Homophobia, Savannah
equality rally. Page 27
Pages 28-30
• Breaking news as it happens
• Calendar and daily event highlights
• Photo albums and video galleries
• Share ‘Your News’ and ‘Your Voice’
“I’ve known since I was 5 or 6
there was something different
about me. I came out really
early compared to most folks.”
05.14.10
OUTSPOKEN
POP QUIZ
BY THE NUMBERS
“You know if I could go back in time, I would
lez it up 24 hours. Believe me, one thing I
would not miss? Balls. Terrible little things.”
500
Participants in Lithuania’s first
Gay Pride march, held May 8
600
Lithuanian police on hand to control the
marchers and their opponents
1,000
Anti-gay protesters, who had to be held
back with tear gas from attacking the
Lithuanian pride march
1,168
Confirmed guests as of May 10 on the
Facebook page of the 40th annual Atlanta
Pride Festival. Set for Oct. 9-10, the event is
expected to draw more than 100,000.
W
I
T
H

J
Z
— Betty White in the “Gingey” skit, one of several with gay jokes that were part of her May
8 appearance as host of “Saturday Night Live.” (NBC.com, May 8)
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
NEWS
VOICES
CALENDAR
COMMUNITY
theGAVOICE.com
Sources: Reuters, Facebook
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4 GA Voice May 14, 2010 News www.theGAVoice.com
By Dyana Bagby
dbagby@thegavoice.com
When Bradley Schmeling and Darin Easler
met in 2004 at a church conference, they had no
idea the chemistry between them would trigger a
fierce battle in the Lutheran Church. That battle
would eventually contribute to changing the
church’s policies on how it perceives gay, les-
bian, bisexual and transgender pastors in com-
mitted relationships.
“As Brad says, it’s every mother’s, every par-
ent’s, dream for their child to meet their soulmate
at a church event,” Easler said with a grin, seated
next to Schmeling at St. John’s Lutheran Church
in Atlanta where Schmeling is pastor.
Easler and Schmeling met in Minnesota,
where Easler lived and was a Lutheran pastor. In
2005, the gay men made a commitment to each
other and Easler moved to Atlanta, where he was
welcomed by St. John’s as Schmeling’s partner.
When the two decided to make their relationship
public not only to their friends and families, they
also told the bishops of their synods.
That’s when the trouble began. The policy of
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at
the time allowed gay and lesbian people into the
ordained ministry but only if they remained celi-
bate. There are some 10,500 ELCA congregations
across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,
and nearly 5 million members in the church.
“We met in 2004 and then Darin moved here
[to Atlanta] in 2005. In 2006 we told our bishops
about our relationship and that summer Darin was
dropped from the clergy roster of ELCA and the
bishop of this synod [the Southeastern Synod]
filed formal charges against me,” Schmeling said.
Schmeling was put on a church trial in Janu-
ary 2007, which was held in Midtown Atlanta
at the old Colony Square hotel; that summer he
was removed from the clergy roster. The trial
made national headlines and was another exam-
ple of the ongoing debates taking place within
numerous churches and denominations about
how LGBT people, including pastors, fit into a
church’s overall mission.
Going through a trial and having his relation-
ship questioned was trying, Schmeling admitted.
“It was a time that was difficult but it was
also a time filled with great blessing because
there was so much support and affirmation that
we received,” Schmeling said.
“We didn’t know it at that time but in the
end we are playing an important role in mov-
ing the whole Lutheran Church forward. I think
policy change would have come in the ELCA
… but I feel like the trial and public witness [St.
John’s] congregation gave at that time helped
move the church faster and farther along,”
Schmeling added.
‘A concrete example’
Easler’s removal from the clergy roster in
Minnesota was much different than Schmeling’s
high profile exclusion.
“It was sort of done quietly, behind the
scenes. I also realized this is a much more com-
mon story,” Easler said.
“Under the former policy, people quietly
disappear, they go to another church or leave
the church. There are silent stories alongside the
very public realities of a church trial.”
Easler decided to leave the Lutheran Church
and became a minister with the LGBT affirming
United Church of Christ.
The two decided despite the hardships, they
would continue the public fight as a way to bring
awareness to a policy they found unjust.
“We were also trusting our story did make a
difference in helping the church move forward,”
Easler said. “It provided a concrete example
and context for people to engage conversations
about change and full welcome. I think anyone
who hears personal stories and sees vibrant min-
istry take place like it does at St. John’s, it really
makes a difference to everyone else in conversa-
tion and in the church.”
Schmeling said the trial made the “injustice
of the old policy very clear.”
Although he was removed from the clergy
roster, Schmeling remained pastor at St. John’s
because his congregation wanted him there and
supported his and Easler’s struggle.
“Throughout the trial and after, our ministry
was the same. The church remains open to ev-
eryone, serves the neighborhood, takes care of
the poor,” Schmeling said.
“We continued to grow and in a sense thrive
during that time and afterwards. And we were
grateful in 2009 when the church changed its
policy which opened the door to our reinstate-
ment,” he said.
In August 2009, the Churchwide Assembly
of ELCA approved a resolution to open the min-
istry of the church to gay and lesbian pastors liv-
ing in committed relationships.
But the resolution did not automatically rein-
state gay pastors who had been kicked out under
the old rule. Schmeling was finally reinstated
April 24 and Easler on April 30.
While the decision has caused happiness for
many in the church, others are not so happy. Ac-
cording to the Chicago website chicagoist.com
— ELCA’s Churchwide Office is located in Chi-
cago — the new policy on gay clergy has result-
ed in more than 300 churches leaving ELCA .
‘Sunday was always a reminder’
With Easler a UCC minister and Schmeling
still serving the congregation of St. John’s despite
not being officially recognized by ELCA, the two
had to rely on faith and supporters to get them
through tough times in their personal relationship.
“Our faith is the foundation of our relationship;
faith has sustained us,” Easler said. “The feeling
of love and support from family and friends ….
really lifted us up. People shared with us stories of
hope of how they’re encouraged by the changes.
To know we’ve been a part of that has been an
amazing blessing and humbling.”
But that doesn’t mean a toll wasn’t taxed on
their relationship, Schmeling said.
“It was hard. It was difficult for both of us
to see the other persecuted by the church. We
both felt anger, sadness and pain. Even though
UCC has been so gracious to receive Darin, it
meant the two of us serving different churches,”
Schmeling said.
“And so we couldn’t be together on a Sunday
morning. Sunday was always a reminder that the
policy was in effect. The policy change means we
can share the same church again.”
Easler formally joined St. John’s this Easter
and now the two can realize their hopes for being
together in the same church.
“It feels like a dream come true for us to be
members of the same church and imagine a career
in the same denomination,” Schmeling said.
The decision to reinstate the two was not a
controversial one, Schmeling added, and both
reinstatements were approved easily and over-
whelmingly by church officials.
“This was an amazing, powerful experience
itself given the history of the church with GLBT
people,” Schmeling said.
“They did it with so much ease it gives me
hope for what the church can be. There is life,
hope, a peace flowing into the church that’s never
been there before.”
Both men said the support of Atlanta’s LGBT
community also sustained them through the dif-
ficult times.
“I’m so grateful for the overwhelming support
of the GLBT community here in Atlanta. Living
in Atlanta, having the trial here, was a very pow-
erful. This is a place where justice can happen,”
Schmeling said.
Being put back on the clergy roster has also
been nostalgic for Easler and Schmeling, they
said, as they remember the times they shared to-
gether during their fight for equality.
“We will always treasure being grand marshals
of the Atlanta Pride parade [in 2007] and receiving
love from the gay community,” Schmeling said.
“The irony of this is that while it was very
hard, in the end it was a great blessing.”
Rev. Bradley Schmeling (right) and his partner Rev.
Darin Easler were reinstated as Lutheran pastors late
last month after being defrocked in 2006 for being in a
relationship with each other. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)
Atlanta gay pastors reinstated as Lutheran clergy
Years-long battle helps
push denomination to
greater inclusion
Timeline to justice
2004: Lutheran pastors Bradley Schmeling
and Darin Easler meet
2005: Easler moves to Atlanta from Minnesota
to be with Schmeling as his partner; the couple
is welcomed by Schmeling’s congregation
2006: Easler and Schmeling tell their bishops
they are in a committed relationship with each
other. This goes against church policy that
prohibits gay clergy from being in same-sex
relationships. Easler is quietly removed from
the clergy roster in Minnesota.
2007: Schmeling is put on trial within ELCA
and is also removed from the clergy roster.
2009: The Churchwide Assembly of ELCA
approves a resolution to open the ministry of
the church to gay and lesbian pastors living in
committed relationships.
2010: Schmeling and Easler are reinstated as
Lutheran pastors
6 GA Voice May 14, 2010 News www.theGAVoice.com
By Dyana Bagby
dbagby@thegavoice.com
Becca Daniels, a student at Grady High
School who organized the May 6 protest against
the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, said she
did so to honor her uncle.
“In 1998, my uncle died of AIDS and this was
to honor his life and death,” she said this week.
The May 6 protest attracted hundreds to the
school near Piedmont Park to counter protest a
handful of members of Westboro Baptist Church,
known for its “God Hates Fags” mantra.
Daniels, who is straight, said the demonstra-
tion was meant to send a message.
“We wanted to let them know that hate was
not going to come into our neighborhood and
we were not going to take a stand against it,”
she said.
Counter protesters to WBC carried signs that
said, “Acceptance, Tolerance, Love” and “Proud
to be Gay.” WBC members carried their signa-
ture signs that stated everything from “Fags are
Beasts” to “God Hates Fag Enablers.”
The strong show of support against WBC
inspired Max Kocsisszucs, a gay 10th grader
at Grady.
“It really makes you feel good and it makes
you feel that people actually care about you
and how many people care,” he said of the
show of support.
As for the signs the WBC members were
holding, Kocsisszucs said their message did not
bother him.
“Honestly, I didn’t let it get to me. I fgure
they are insecure or something and they feel
they have to take it out on us,” he said.
Rex Peterson, a freshman at Grady, was
holding hands with his boyfriend, R. Leon, a
sophomore at North Atlanta High School.
“I’m really glad a lot of people came out.
It’s a good cause,” Peterson said.
Leon said a group of friends from North
Atlanta gathered in a big truck to come to the
counter demonstration.
“You see there are people against you, but
it’s good to see how many more people support
you,” he said.
‘Typical high school
in doomed America’
The Topeka, Kan.-based WBC, led by Pas-
tor Fred Phelps, is made up mostly of family
members. Fred Phelps was not in Atlanta for
the protests his church held at numerous Jewish
sites and high schools May 5-6.
His daughter, Rebecca Phelps-Davis, said
Grady High School was targeted because it is a
“typical high school in doomed America where
the children since the time they were old enough
to know anything were told that God is a liar.”
“Because they’ve been taught that it’s OK to
be gay and that God loves everyone,” Phelps-
Davis said. “They have no moral compass to
guide them.”
The signs WBC uses, most notably “God
Hates Fags,” are hate-flled messages and have
nothing to do with the word of God, said Maura
Neivhardt, a Georgia State University student.
“We’re here to let Jesus be known who he
really is. He is not about hate but about redemp-
tion. That’s not God,” she said near the Charles
Allen entrance to Piedmont Park, pointing across
the street to where WBC members stood.
Kate O’Rourke of Gwinnett County said
WBC members’ interpretation of the Bible is
“completely false.”
“This is absolutely not what Jesus Christ is
about,” she said. “The Bible does not say ho-
mosexuality will keep you out of heaven specif-
ically. It says if you are redeemed by the blood
of Christ nothing can separate you.”
While there was a serious undertone for
many to try to dispel WBC’s anti-gay, anti-
Semitic speech, the counter protest was also an
opportunity for young people to participate in a
show of support for the targeted communities.
The fact that youth were behind the coun-
ter demonstration was an inspiration for gay
Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan, who
helped Becca Daniels fgure out logistics to set
up alongside Piedmont Park.
While Grady High School is in his district,
Wan said he wanted to be at the demonstration
to show his support of young people stepping
up to the plate and taking a stand.
“To me, the fact the students of Grady High
School wanted to do a peaceful, very positive
demonstration — I personally wanted to do it
but also wanted to support the school,” he said.
Tracy Elliott, executive director of AID At-
lanta, was also on hand and said he was inspired
by the young people’s response as well.
“The important thing is all these people are
here to show Atlanta is a tolerant community …
especially all these young people,” he said. “The
future is not with [WBC], the future is with us.”
Offcer Patricia Powell was recently as-
signed to be the second LGBT liaison for the
Atlanta Police Department. She was unavail-
able for an interview by press time. Powell is
listed on the APD’s website as being a member
of the 2010 Scholarship & Training Committee
that decides funding for other police personnel
seeking extra training.
Offcer Dani Lee Harris, who has served as
the APD’s gay liaison for nearly fve years, is
currently on medical leave. Several gay activ-
ists who attended the Grady High School dem-
onstration against the anti-gay Westboro Bap-
tist Church on May 6 questioned why Harris
was not present.
Harris told Georgia Voice she was put on
medical leave by her supervisors a month ago.
“I am on sick leave for gran mal seizures,”
said Harris. “I was put on indefnite medical
leave on April 16.”
Harris said she was informed about the Gra-
dy protest.
“Our internal commander of the Department
of Homeland Security did call me the day be-
fore the protest to ask me to be there but I could
not go out in my offcial capacity. I wished I
could have been there,” she said.
Major Erika Shields issued a statement on May
7 confrming a second LGBT liaison was recently
appointed, but she did not know the exact date.
In a written statement, Shields said, ““Thank
you for inquiring about the Department’s GLBT
Unit liaison. Offcer Harris is on leave at this
time. We recently transferred Offcer Patricia
Powell to the unit to serve as the department’s
liaison. She is an excellent offcer and I think
you will be pleased at her joining the unit.
“The Department put an extensive amount
of time in preparing for the protests of the West-
boro Baptist Church. Our goal was to ensure the
safety of all parties involved, while maintaining
the high quality of life that residents of the City
of Atlanta can reasonably expect.”
Shields did not say if Powell was among
the dozens of offcers who were at the scene at
Grady High School near Piedmont Park when
hundreds showed up to counter protest a hand-
ful of WBC members and their anti-gay and
anti-Semitic messages.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, in an interview
with Georgia Voice last month, said he planned to
have two full-time LGBT liaisons within the po-
lice department after the botched raid of the gay
Atlanta Eagle leather bar last year. Offce Har-
ris was not notifed of the raid when it occurred,
causing outrage among LGBT Atlantans.
Reed said in the April 7 interview he planned
to add another LGBT police liaison, so that in
the future there will be “a minimum of two,”
and to insure that they are integrated in the po-
lice department’s operations.
— Dyana Bagby
Grady protest: ‘The future is with us’
Atlanta Police Department
appoints new LGBT liaison
Hundreds turn out for high school demonstration against anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church
Atlanta Police Department LGBT liaison Dani Lee
Harris is currently on medical leave. (Photo courtesy
ProjectQAtlanta.com)
Hundreds gathered at Grady High School to coun-
ter protest the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church.
Lower right: Student organizer Becca Daniels.
(Photos by Dyana Bagby)
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By Dyana Bagby
dbagby@thegavoice.com
The four young men carjacked and kid-
napped near the Morehouse College campus
last month are all gay, according to one of the
victims, who alleges the suspects used anti-gay
slurs against them in the attack.
However, there was no mention of anti-gay
slurs in the police report for the April 25 inci-
dent, said Sgt. Curtis Davenport, public affairs
offcer for the Atlanta Police Department.
“APD is not aware of any anti-gay slurs used
in the commission of this crime. There were no
reports of this made to us,” Davenport said.
Three suspects have been arrested. Jevontay
Fleetwood, 17, and Darius Hill, 19, are charged
with armed robbery, carjacking and kidnapping
and are being held in the Fulton County Jail
without bond, said Davenport. A juvenile was
also arrested.
One of the victims, who asked to not be
identifed, said he knew they were not targeted
because they were gay. But the memory of be-
ing attacked still has him nervous.
“They used the word ‘faggot’ a lot, and
said we were going to burn in hell, called us
names,” said the 20-year-old man who attends
American InterContinental University in Dun-
woody. His three friends attend Morehouse
College. The three Morehouse students de-
clined interview requests.
The four men did hold a press conference at
Morehouse on April 26, but did not want their
faces shown because one of the suspects was
still at large.
On April 25, the four men were driving from
church to the Morehouse campus and stopped
at a gas station, said the American Interconti-
nental student.
“We saw these guys walking toward us and
thought they were just going to walk past us.
Next thing we know we have three guns to our
heads,” he said. The suspects demanded the
keys to their Buick Lacrosse and demanded
their possessions.
“I was thinking, ‘Come on guys,’” the stu-
dent said. “But we were all really scared and
did everything they told us — we gave them
our cell phones, our earrings, money.”
The student and a friend were told to get in
the trunk of the car while his other two friends
were ordered to sit in the car with the suspects.
The student’s friend in the trunk with him
kept his cell phone and attempted to call the
Atlanta Police Department several times and
fnally called Morehouse police.
“We could hear they wanted to go to an
ATM. My friend still had his cell phone and
called the police several times. He fnally got
in touch with the Morehouse police. I popped
the safety lock in the trunk to see where we
were and could tell we were by the West End,”
he said.
The suspects drove to a Wachovia bank
where the Clark Atlanta and Morehouse police
arrived at about the same time. The three sus-
pects then jumped from the car.
Jevontay Fleetwood and the juvenile were
apprehended at the scene. Darius Hill, who ran
from the scene, was arrested May 4. The crime
is not considered a hate crime by police.
By Laura Douglas-Brown
lbrown@thegavoice.com
With the April 30 deadline for major party
candidates to qualify for this year’s elections
now passed, LGBT voters have several races to
watch for both the Georgia General Assembly
and the Fulton County Commission.
Georgia’s two openly gay state lawmakers
remained unopposed for new terms. State Rep.
Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), Georgia’s
frst openly gay state lawmaker, is running for
her sixth term. State Rep. Simone Bell (D-At-
lanta), the frst openly lesbian African-Ameri-
can state legislator in the nation, seeks her frst
full term after a special election last fall.
Other races of interest include three gay
men seeking seats in the state legislature, two
lesbians running against each other for Fulton
County Commission, and several gay rights al-
lies seeking to remain in or return to politics.
General Assembly
• Senate District 47: Tim Riley, a gay men-
tal health counselor who lives in Athens, is run-
ning as a Democrat for the same seat he sought
in 2008. Four GOP candidates qualifed to run
for the seat; Riley will face the winner of the
July 20 Republican primary in November.
• Senate District 39: State Sen. Vincent Fort
(D-Atlanta) is one of the strongest LGBT rights
allies under the Gold Dome. Graham Balch
qualifed to run against Fort in the Democratic
primary. Balch, who became an award-winning
teacher at Grady High School after a career in
business, is well-funded and has drawn support
from several gay politicians.
• Senate District 42: Democrats Jason Cart-
er and Tom Stubbs, Independent Steve Patrick
and Libertarian David Montane faced off May
11 in a special election to fll the state Senate
District 42 seat. Carter, Stubbs and Montane all
reached out to gay voters, and Patrick is openly
gay. Results of the May 11 vote weren’t avail-
able by press time, but the race appears headed
for a rematch: Carter and Stubbs qualifed to run
in the Democratic primary, Patrick says he will
also run for the full term, and Montane said he
will run again if he wins the special election.
• House District 81: Gay business owner
Keith Gross hopes to challenge gay-friendly
Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) in November,
but will frst face Sandy Murray in the July 20
Democratic primary. Gross ran against Jacobs
in 2008, but was pulled off the ballot after a
residency challenge. Jacobs sponsored an anti-
bullying bill that was backed by LGBT groups
and passed in the fnal hours of this year’s Gen-
eral Assembly session.
• House District 59: Brad Ploeger was
nominated to run for House District 59 at the
Libertarian Party state convention on April 24.
He is challenging gay-friendly Rep. Margaret
Kaiser (D-Atlanta). Ploeger, who is gay, is an
attorney and lives in Grant Park with his part-
ner. Ploeger must collect 1,600 signatures to
qualify for the ballot.
• House District 81: Rep. Jill Chambers (R-
Atlanta), the only Republican to vote against
the 2004 constitutional amendment banning
gay marriage, faces Democrat
Elena Parent. Parent held a March 31 “Cele-
brate Equality” fundraiser that featured lesbian
Q100 radio personality Melissa Carter and sev-
eral gay political activists.
• House District 89: In this DeKalb-based
district, Rep. Earnest “Coach” Williams (D-
Avondale) faces Rev. Kenneth Samuel in the
Democratic primary.
Samuel, pastor of Victory for the World
Church, is a longtime, vocal supporter of
LGBT equality.
Fulton County Commission
• District 1 (Chairman): Incumbent Chair
11 News May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
Carjacking victims at Morehouse College are gay
Gay state lawmakers unopposed for reelection
Joan Garner and Keisha Waites, both lesbians, face
off for Fulton County District 6. (Courtesy photos)
The Atlanta Lesbi-
an Health Initiative has
received an $85,000
one-year grant to
work with the state
to determine tobacco
usage and prevention
methods within the
LGBT community.
The federal mon-
ey is being funneled
through the Georgia
Tobacco Use Preven-
tion Program of the
Georgia Department of Community Health, said
ALHI Executive Director Linda Ellis.
“It’s my understanding this is the frst time the
state has provided funding for LGBT health con-
cerns other than HIV,” Ellis said. “This is signifcant.
I think it’s exciting [the state approached us] and
it’s potentially groundbreaking.”
The funds will be used for a full research proj-
ect to include a community assessment, focus
groups and in-person surveys, Ellis said. ALHI has
partnered with Dr. Lawrence Bryant, an assistant
professor at Georgia State University whose re-
search includes tobacco control and elimination.
National studies show that gay, lesbian, bisexu-
al and transgender people smoke more often than
their straight peers. The National LGBT Tobacco
Control Network reports gay people are 50 to 200
percent more likely to be addicted to smoking than
the general public. According to estimates by the
American Cancer Society, more than 30,000 LGBT
people die each year of tobacco-related diseases.
“We as a community have higher rates of
smoking. The state is getting help from the federal
level and fgures it is time to begin addressing the
needs in our community,” Ellis said.
Ellis added ALHI was approached because it is
the only organization that is addressing the broad-
er health issues within the LGBT community.
ALHI is partnering with Atlanta Pride and
Black Gay Pride to conduct surveys. “We will use
what we learn to work with the state to develop
intervention programs and to have the state
make sure the messages are appropriate for our
community,” Ellis said.
ALHI also recently received a $30,000 grant
through the Community Engagement & Research
Program of the Atlanta Clinical & Translational Sci-
ence Institute. The nonproft will receive $15,000
this year and $15,000 next year, Ellis said. The grant
is a way for the state to help nonprofts combine
efforts with academic researchers.
— Dyana Bagby
State health
grant targets
LGBT smoking
Atlanta Lesbian Health
Initiative Executive
Director Linda Ellis
(Photo by Dyana Bagby)
Please see CANDIDATES on Page 12
12 GA Voice May 14, 2010 News www.theGAVoice.com
By Lisa Keen
Keen News Service
Gay legal activists are applauding President
Obama’s second nominee to the U.S. Supreme
Court, Solicitor General Elena Kagan.
Former Clinton White House aide Richard
Socarides called Kagan a “brilliant, pragmatic
progressive interested in listening to all sides
and building coalitions.”
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
Executive Director Kevin Cathcart called Kagan
“a strong position” in opposing the military’s ban
on gays but noted that Obama administration has
also “taken legal positions on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell’ and the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’
with which we strongly disagree.”
Human Rights Campaign President Joe
Solmonese applauded her selection as fulfll-
ing Obama’s promise to promote “diversity”
on the court.
If confrmed, Kagan would become only the
fourth woman ever named to the court — out of
104 justices in the history of the court.
Kagan is of particular interest to the LGBT
Americans. While serving as dean of Harvard
Law School, she took sides with gays against
military recruiters because the military would not
abide by the school’s non-discrimination policy.
That policy prohibited recruiters who discriminat-
ed based on sexual
orientation.
Kagan clerked
for one of the
Supreme Court’s
staunchest liber-
als, Thurgood
Marshall, and
was a research as-
sistant for one of
the greatest legal
defenders of gay
civil rights, Lau-
rence Tribe.
Single and
50, she was also
the subject of a
CBS News web-
site blog report
last month which
claimed that, if
named to the court, Kagan would be the “frst
openly gay justice.” But Kagan has not publicly
identifed with any sexual orientation, and the
White House moved quickly to say the report
was “inaccurate.”
The president announced his selection at a
press conference May 10. Kagan had been a
rumored frontrunner since Justice John Paul
Stevens announced his retirement in April.
In introducing Kagan to the press confer-
ence, Obama praised her for having sought
conservative views to balance liberal views at
Harvard. During her confrmation process for
Solicitor General last year, the Senate Judiciary
Committee received letters in support of Kagan
from such well-known conservatives as former
Solicitor Generals Charles Fried and Kenneth
Starr, and such well-known liberals as Eleanor
D. Acheson.
Her confrmation as Solicitor General was
opposed, as expected, by some ultra-conserva-
tive groups, including Concerned Women for
America and Focus on Family.
Kagan, an attorney, has never served as a
judge. In response to questions from the Judi-
ciary Committee last year, Kagan said she views
as “unjust the exclusion of individuals from ba-
sic economic, civic, and political opportunities
of our society on the basis of race, nationality,
sex, religion, and sexual orientation.”
But she also said she was “fully convinced”
she could defend U.S. laws even when they do
not refect her personal views.
The composition of the Supreme Court is in-
creasing critical to the LGBT civil rights move-
ment. Three important cases seeking equality
in marriage rights are winding their ways to the
high court and it seems nearly inevitable that the
high court will choose to weigh in.
Gay groups laud President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee
Solicitor General Elena
Kagan would be the fourth
woman to serve on the Su-
preme Court.
(Courtesy photo)
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John Eaves, a Democrat, was endorsed by
Georgia Equality in the past. Former Atlan-
ta City Council member Mary Norwood,
who drew strong support from LGBT vot-
ers in her bid for mayor last year, is running
for the post as an independent. She must
qualify by petition and is holding a “Sign
One and Take One” event at 5 p.m. May 19
at Amsterdam, a gay bar. Republican Steve
Broadbent is also in the race.
• District 6: The race for the District
6 seat on the Fulton County Commission
includes two out lesbians. Joan Garner, a
longtime social justice and LGBT activist,
is running as a Democrat and has already
been endorsed by Georgia Equality. Also
qualifying for the Fulton District 6 post as a
Democrat is Keisha Waites, a lesbian who
works for the Federal Emergency Man-
agement Agency and has a long record of
unsuccessful bids for elected offce. Also
qualifying are Democrats Sally A. Smith
and David Holder. The four candidates
will face off in the July 20 primary.
Dyana Bagby contributed
Races to watch
CANDIDATES, continued from Page 11
13 News May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
By Chris Johnson
Washington Blade
In the wake of Defense Secretary Robert
Gates advising Congress to delay taking action
to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” LGBT ad-
vocates remain committed to pushing for repeal
this year, but have expressed differing opinions
on the best way forward.
In an April 30 letter to House Armed Servic-
es Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.),
Gates says “in the strongest possible terms” that
the Department of Defense must be allowed to
conduct its review of lifting the ban on open ser-
vice before Congress takes “any legislative ac-
tion.” The report is due to be completed Dec. 1.
Gates says “a critical element” of the review is
engaging the armed forces and military families
and noted that those in service “must be afforded”
the opportunity to share “concerns, insights and
suggestions” about the proposed change.
“Therefore, I strongly oppose any legislation
that seeks to change this policy prior to the com-
pletion of this vital engagement process,” Gates
says. “Further, I hope Congress will not do so, as
it would send a very damaging message to our
men and women in uniform that in essence their
views, concerns, and perspectives do not matter
on an issue with such a direct impact and conse-
quence for them and their families.”
In a statement responding to the letter, Shin
Inouye, a White House spokesperson, said
President Obama’s commitment to repealing
the ban on service “is unequivocal,” but noted
the White House is on board with delaying im-
plementation of repeal.
“That’s why we’ve said that the implementa-
tion of any congressional repeal will be delayed
until the DOD study of how best to implement
that repeal is completed,” he said.
The White House didn’t respond to a request
to clarify whether this statement rules out an
endorsement from Obama on including repeal
as part of the upcoming Defense authorization
bill or whether the president supports a vote in
Congress now to repeal the gay ban, as long as
implementation is delayed until 2011.
The impact of the two statements on the ef-
fort to achieve legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell” this year remains unclear. Some
experts previously said repeal was only one or
two votes short on the Senate Armed Services
Committee, but that may change following
Gates’ request for a delay.
David Smith, vice president of programs
for the Human Rights Campaign, said repeal
remains possible this year.
“We think it should and can happen this
year, and that is what we are fghting for,”
Smith said. “We continue to work with both the
House and the Senate.”
Smith said HRC continues to lobby the
White House for support in the effort to repeal
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said
the best way to make repeal happen following
the publication of the Gates letter is working
with repeal advocates on Capitol Hill.
“We strongly believe repeal can happen, but
this will require the president to lead the way at
this critical hour,” Sarvis said. “To put it blunt-
ly, we need his voice and help now.”
Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), the sponsor
of repeal legislation in the House, was quoted
in an interview with The Advocate as saying he
was “blindsided” by the Gates letter, but still
plans to pursue repeal this year.
“That’s my job — to make sure that we re-
peal this policy,” he said. “After my three years
in Washington, I think when folks tell you to
walk away, that’s usually a sign that you’re get-
ting close.”
Disappointment with President Obama’s
lack of support for a vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell” this year led around 300 protesters to rally
at the White House on May 2. Six protesters
were arrested after they handcuffed themselves
to the White House gates.
The rally, a collaborative effort of GetEqual
and Queer Rising, was aimed to move President
Obama to call on Congress to include repeal of
the ban as part of upcoming Defense Depart-
ment budget legislation.
People at the rally carried signs reading,
“Study: Navy has some bigots — Duh!” and
“Mr. Obama, What’s the hold up?”
‘Don’t Ask’ repeal again
faces delay, uncertainty
Gates warns Congress not to
act; protesters arrested for
third time at White House
Lt. Dan Choi, who is being discharged for being
gay, spoke at a May 2 protest in Washington tar-
geting ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ (Photo by Michael
Key / Washington Blade)
14 GA Voice May 14, 2010 Voices www.theGAVoice.com
Editorial
By Laura Douglas-Brown
The frst week of May proved busy for LGBT
Atlantans, with two major events in six days.
On May 1, more than 900 people attended the
Human Rights Campaign’s annual Atlanta dinner.
Five days later, hundreds packed the sidewalks
around Grady High School to join a student-led
protest against an unwelcome picket by the viru-
lently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church.
In many ways, the two events were a study in
contrasts. One was held in a fancy ballroom; the
other, crowded onto sweltering sidewalks. One
involved guests in black-tie fnery; the other, stu-
dents in hand-lettered t-shirts.
One featured celebrity speakers; the other,
homemade signs. And one was organized by the
nation’s largest gay political group, while the other
was the work of a straight student armed with little
more than Facebook and chutzpah.
There was some overlap among attendees, but
not much. Yet while it’s easy to compare the two
events, especially for those of us who attended
both, we should avoid the urge to declare one as
the only “right way” to work for LGBT equality.
Neither event was without criticism. At the
national level, HRC has drawn fre recently from
some LGBT activists who say the group is too
tied to the Democratic Party, and has been ineffec-
tive in lobbying for our rights.
At the local level, some lesbians and gay men
expressed concern about mounting a counter-pro-
test to Westboro, believing it would be better to
ignore the “God Hates Fags” church rather than
give it the attention that members clearly crave.
Still, our community is better off for having
both events, and here’s why.
‘Polite society’
Criticism of HRC has long been muted in At-
lanta, where an active local steering committee
hosts many events and includes avid volunteers
who help Georgians feel connected to the group.
Not so on the national level, where scrutiny of
HRC has been building over the last two months.
On March 18, Army Lt. Dan Choi hand-
cuffed himself to the fence outside of the White
House, an action he repeated again last month,
this time with more LGBT veterans.
Choi’s frst protest surprised journalists and
bystanders alike. It also surprised HRC, which
hosted a rally against the military’s “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell” policy that day.
Choi was not originally scheduled to speak at
the event, but took the stage after straight come-
dian Kathy Griffn to urge attendees to follow him
in a march to the White House.
Griffn and HRC President Joe Solmonese
didn’t follow, but many others did, and witnessed
his dramatic protest against DADT and President
Obama’s alleged slowness in making good on his
promise to scrap the policy.
After Choi’s release from jail, he gave an inter-
view to Newsweek in which he criticized both the
president and national gay rights leaders.
“Within the gay community so many lead-
ers want acceptance from polite society. I think
there’s been a betrayal of what is down inside of
us in order to achieve what looks popular, what
look enviable,” Choi said.
Choi went on to criticize HRC, both for its
rally with Griffn and more generally for events
that are “just trying to speak to themselves.”
Inside and outside
Choi’s protest and comments set off debate
about the benefts of working within the system
versus protesting in the streets for LGBT rights.
But while Choi was dead on in criticizing the Grif-
fn rally, HRC’s dinners still have merit.
While there are likely some attendees who
come just for the chance to see and be seen, many
more come seeking a night of validation wrapped
up in a pretty package.
Indeed, it would be hard to attend the recent
Atlanta Dinner without being moved by HRC
member Cleo Meyer’s determination to never let
her young son feel that his two moms are ashamed
of who they are, encouraged by YouthPride leader
Gabriel Haggray’s dedication to helping other
LGBT young people, touched by transgender ac-
tivist Vandy Beth Glenn’s humble acceptance of
the Community Service Award, and fred up by
State Rep. Simone Bell’s rousing call to action as
she accepted the Humanitarian Award.
There’s nothing wrong with “speaking to our-
selves” if the goal is to empower us to then go out
and speak to others. The important thing to re-
member is that events like the HRC Dinner should
inspire your activism, not be your activism.
If the HRC Dinner is the pep rally, events
like the Grady protest are Game Day – the time
when we take what we learned from coaches and
practice sessions, and work to advance our cause
down the feld.
Judging from the diverse crowd that turned
out and the resulting media coverage that reached
many more, the Grady students did a tremendous
job of that last Thursday.
We’re lucky to have them on our team.
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VOICES OPINION & REACTION
Out of the ballrooms and into the streets
‘Speaking to ourselves’ is
great if it empowers us to
then tell our stories to others
15 Voices May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
SPEAKING OUT OPINION & REACTION
Good luck, Melissa, on
your path to parenting
Re: “Q-100’s Melissa Carter on road to
motherhood” (Print edition and thegavoice.
com, April 30)
Melissa is a pretty amazing woman! I
look forward to hearing all the updates and
this progresses.
I listen to her every morning on Q100 and
am so glad you interviewed her. Good Job!
Go, Melissa, Go!
Right-winger with a rent boy:
Doth he protest too much?
Re: “Christian right leader George Rekers
takes vacation with ‘rent boy’” (link from Mi-
amiNewTimes.com posted on thegavoice.com,
May 4)
The absolute hypocrisy of these people
needs to be shouted from the roof-tops, and
every naive, sweet and blessedly ignorant little
old lady that gives them money should be em-
powered to join a class action lawsuit and get
her money back.
And where is the outcry from the anti-gay
bigot groups over this? Hmmmmm?
The most homophobic people are almost
always closet-cases themselves and usually the
fuel for their homophobia is self-hatred or self-
denial. The right wing doesn’t want to admit
this. They want everyone to forget this, because
they live in a fantasy world.
Grant fuels debate over
proposed LGBT Center
Re: “Atlanta LGBT Center effort gets
$25,000 grant” (thegavoice.com, May 5)
I know the foundation does honorable, criti-
cal work and I think most of us like the idea of
a LGBT center, but haven’t some of our local
LGBT charities been struggling with budgets
and headcount? Couldn’t that $25,000 have
been released to help them out with operating
expenses? … Is investment in a shiny new cen-
ter better than “boots on the ground” day-to-day
operations work?
A high profile and modern Gay Center
would help increase visibility and generate en-
thusiasm for all gay organizations.
I actually think more local organizations
could thrive better under one roof —less over-
head costs dispersed among a variety of facili-
ties, more solidified visibility in the community,
more services/resources accessible in one place
and less competition for funding.
There would also be a greater opportunity
for sharing ideas and projects which would
generate enthusiasm and possibly less pointless
competition and duplication of services.
Media doesn’t ignore Fred
Phelps, so neither should we
Re: “Why we’re organizing against Fred
Phelps” (blog by Grady student Becca Dan-
iels, May 3)
Ignore him and his robots. Don’t feed them
anything!
I agree. The best thing to do with this group
of bigots is to ignore them and not give him
an opportunity to get any press! He wants the
press that you will get him if you show up to
protest his people. Think about it.
I have mixed feelings - should we ignore the
KKK or a group of Neo-Nazis? I don’t think
so. He’s going to get publicity whether he’s
counter-picketed or not. We should picket him
with some “GOD HATES PHELPS” or “West-
boro Baptist Church = CHURCH OF SATAN”
or similar signs.
Hate preachers like Phelps egged my pas-
tor at Pride a couple of years ago. We’ve got to
fight hate with love. Be positive, loving force in
the world, but keep your wits about you.
Editor’s note: These comments on Georgia
Voice articles were submitted via our
Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thega-
voice). Want to weigh in? Follow us there or
submit comments on our website.
Melissa Carter
P
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2 GA Voice May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com 18 GA Voice A&E
For many in Georgia and across the South,
Florida is synonymous with summer travel. And
for LGBT Georgians, that frequently means an
annual trek to several gay traditions that make
the Sunshine State even hotter.
Thousands of LGBT sun worshippers head
to Pensacola for Memorial Day, while black and
Latino gay men and lesbians flock to Miami for
Sizzle and SizzleHer events the same weekend.
Just a few days later, Gay Days at Disney packs
theme parks and nightlife venues in Orlando.
Thanks to the oil spill in the Gulf and a finan-
cial crisis for one party promoter, events in Pen-
sacola and Orlando may look a bit different this
year. But organizers encourage travelers to still
turn out in droves — not only to party, but also to
give an economic boost to a state potentially fac-
ing both environmental and economic disaster.
Pensacola’s beaches have been a highly pop-
ular Memorial Day Weekend destination for gay
and lesbian travelers for decades. This year, My
Sister’s Room, a lesbian bar in Atlanta, hosts a
series of girl-oriented events dubbed “Sexacola”
in Pensacola over Memorial Day Weekend.
Patryce Yeiser, co-owner of My Sisters’ Room
with Susan Musselwhite, says events will contin-
ue regardless of what happens with the oil spill.
“People have already made reservations,
and we will all still go and the parties will still
go on,” she says. “It may just be that some of
the daytime beach activities all just go to the
sound side instead of the beach side.”
Sexacola events include “Glow,” a party
with light sticks to show who is single and who
isn’t; “Mardi Gras in May,” “Vegas Nights,”and
“The White Party with a Latin Flair.”
Yeiser encourages lesbian and gay travelers
to visit Pensacola over Memorial Day Weekend
as a way to help local businesses, which could
be hard hit from both the oil spill and the poten-
tial loss of a huge tourist weekend.
“We’re hoping to give the economy a boost
down there,” she said. “They’re going to need it.”
Pensacola-based event organizers are also
wary of the spill, but determined that the party
will continue regardless.
Emerald City, a gay bar in Pensacola, hosts
a full slate of events throughout Memorial Day
Weekend. General Manager Ted McCrary said
planning continues.
“We’ve got our fingers crossed, but we
don’t know what to expect and it could have
a serious impact on Memorial Day,” he said.
“White sand with oil on it is certainly not what
we would hope for, because this is first and
foremost a beach event.”
This year’s gay Memorial Day weekend was
already shaping up to be different for Emerald
City even before the oil spill. The bar is helmed
by Johnny Chisholm, an event promoter who
for years produced a major schedule of gay
events for both Pensacola over Memorial Day
and Gay Days in Orlando just a few days later.
The closeness of the two events on the cal-
endar ended up hurting the Pensacola parties.
“With the popularity of Orlando, we shot
ourselves in the foot,” McCrary said.
Instead of huge circuit parties at the Pensa-
cola Civic Center or on the beach, as in some
previous years, this year Chisholm is sticking
to events in smaller venues.
“This year we decided we needed to pull
back and let the attendance catch back up with
the schedule of events,” McCrary says.
New events for Gay Days
Gay Days, set for June 3-7 in Orlando, start-
ed with a few people wearing red shirts for an
afternoon at Walt Disney World and blossomed
into an international gay event. It too will see
changes this year.
Johnny Chisholm is also the reason for many
of these. He bought the “One Mighty Weekend”
series of events from Mark Baker, but his com-
pany struggled financially. Last year, the party
schedule was in disarray after several Chisholm
events had last-minute venue changes.
This week, McCrary blamed Disney for the
events having to move from Disney properties,
claiming the company “turned their back on
us.” A spokesperson for Walt Disney World did
not respond to an interview request.
Chisholm’s company went bankrupt, so
now “One Mighty Weekend” is no more. In
its place is a new series of events from Baker
dubbed “Wonderland.”
“I did my first event in 1999 and sold it all
to Johnny Chisholm in 2005,” Baker says. “I
got it all back this year.”
Wonderland features a full schedule of
events Thursday through Sunday, including a
signature Saturday night party at Universal Stu-
dios, with DJ Tony Moran and rides open.
The annual visit to Walt Disney World also
continues, although the event has never been
officially sponsored by Disney, and there are
many other events for LGBT visitors.
More than 135,000 visitors will pack Or-
lando for more than 40 citywide events, ac-
cording to GayDays.com.
There are days to attend several major theme
parks, as well as almost unending nightlife options.
Miami set to ‘Sizzle’
Hot parties and hot guys and girls are also
on the agenda for Sizzle and SizzleHer, com-
panion events that draw black and Latino gay
men and lesbians to Miami for Memorial Day
Weekend, May 27 to June 1.
Events range from a model search and
booze cruise to pool parties and the All White
Affair.Sizzle organizers did not respond to an
interview request.
“Sizzle Miami, conceived almost nine years
ago, has grown to become America’s most cel-
ebrated and anticipated urban gay event,” orga-
nizers say on Sizzle’s Facebook page.
Popular gay summer events see major changes this year
Gay men and lesbians pack the beaches of Pensa-
cola for Memorial Day Weekend.
(Photos by Lynn McStatts/ Personal Paparazzi ATL)
Florida or bust
TRAVEL: FLORIDA
by LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN
MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com
Memorial Day Weekend in Pensacola
May 27 – May 31
Sexacola Beach
Details: www.mysistersroom.com
Thursday: ‘Glow’
Friday: Mardi Gras in May
Saturday: Vegas Nights
Sunday: The White Party
Johnny Chisholm Presents
Details: www.memorialweekendpensacola.com
Thursday: Fore Play with DJ Jay-R
Friday: Bitch Bingo
Saturday: Sweat with DJ Joe Gauthreaux,
Spellbound 1 with DJ Jay-R
Sunday: Friction with DJ Dewight Barkley,
Spellbound 2
Monday: Sweat with DJ Dewight Barkley
Monster Beach
Details: Pensacolamemorialday.com
Friday & Saturday: Events at Hemingway’s
and private beach house
Unleashed
Details: www.pensacolaunleashed.com
Thursday: Derrick Barry, DJs Beverly Skillz
and Tony Skracthere
Friday: Lisa Mills, Michelle Malone,
Kirsty Lee, Spikey and more
Saturday: Hussy Hicks, Bitch, God-des & She
Sunday: Gregg Fells, Sonia Leigh,
Kristy Lee, Spikey, DJ Beverly Skills
Sizzle & Sizzle Her in Miami
May 27 – June 1
Details: Sizzlemiami.com, Sizzleher.com
Sizzle events include:
Yacht Party Cruise, Comedy Xplosion, Babylon
IIV dance, One Mighty Luau, Jubilee, Haulover
Beach Patrol, All-White Affair R&B /Jazz Din-
ner Concert, Hedonism finale party
SizzleHer events include:
Poets Corner, Mix Her reception, Krave party,
Yacht Cruise, ‘Lovers & Friends Show’ movie
premiere, Breeze party, Soak Her pool party,
Spades tournament, South Beach takeover
Gay Days in Orlando
June 3-7
Thursday: Gay Day at Animal Kingdom
Friday: Gay Day at Disney Hollywood Studios,
Tidal Wave at Wet ‘N Wild, Joan Rivers at Hard
Rock Café, Debbie Gibson at Parliament House
Saturday: Gay Day at Magic Kingdom, Alec
Mapa comedy night, Taylor Dayne at Parlia-
ment House, Black Pride parties
Sunday: Gay Day at Epcot, Miss Gay Days 2010,
Blake Lewis/Frenchie Davis at Parliament House
More events: www.gaydays.com
Wonderland
Details: markbakerevents.com
Thursday: Chus & Ceballos at
Disney House of Blues
Friday: Welcome to Wonderland party
Saturday: Paradiso Pool Party with
Roland Belmares, Stratosphere
with DJ Tony Moran at Universal Studios, Mind
Control at Arabian Nights with DJs Alyson
Calagna & Paulo
Sunday: Spunk-y Pool Party with DJ David
Knapp, Fasscination Hard Rock Live with DJ
Abel, Black Out at Arabian Nights with DJs
Hector Fonseca & Theresa
19 A&E May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
Everyone has an idea of the perfect vacation.
Will it be active outdoor play or pampering spa
treatments during the days, and high-energy
entertainment or romantic poolside dining the
nights? Consider Las Vegas. It has something
to appeal to every vacation style.
The best part about Las Vegas: The whole
town is LGBT friendly. Vegas has a long his-
tory of acceptance. Affectionately nicknamed
Sin City, Las Vegas is known for its discreet
encouragement of whatever pleasures make its
guests happy. You don’t have to confne your-
self to a certain bar or part of town. Anything
goes, everywhere. It is a near perfect blending
of gay and straight.
Las Vegas is surrounded by natural beauty.
A helicopter ride over Hoover Dam and down
into the Grand Canyon is unforgettable. Hiking,
kayaking, biking and manmade beach swim-
ming can fll your days with outdoor activity.
Once you have worked up an appetite, the
sky is the limit when it comes to dining. Every
famous chef in the world has a signature restau-
rant that is both a feast for the eyes as well as
the stomach.
Planet Hollywood is the home of The Strip’s
gay nightclub, Krave (www.kravelasvegas.
com). It opens at 11 p.m. Expect a $20 cover
and a doorman screening clubbers. It features
hot shows and dancing. On Saturdays Krave
becomes The Strip’s only lesbian club, Candy-
bar. They say it is “for girls who like to party.”
Where to stay
A vacation in Vegas should include touring the
unique hotels. Most are replicas of famous land-
marks like the Eiffel Tower, waterways of Venice,
the Statue of Liberty and the roads of old Rome.
Choosing where to stay is a matter of personal
taste and how much you want to spend. Consider
these choices:
• Luxor Hotel & Casino (luxor.com): The
Egyptian-themed, pyramid-shaped hotel gives
their staff diversity training and hosts a weekly
LGBT pool party, Sunkissed Sunday. Their wed-
ding chapel has several Commitment Ceremony
packages. Ask for the Pride Offer if you arrive
Sunday through Thursday. The Luxor averages
$75 a night and is on The Strip.
• Encore & Wynn (encorelasvegas.com):
Upscale yet inviting, these sister hotels offer a
Pride Concierge (702-770-LGBT) to suggest
bars, entertainment and nightlife. Their website
has an extensive LGBT travel section. They are
on the $275 a night and on The Strip.
• Blue Moon Resort ( bluemoonlv.com): The
only hotel exclusively for gay men, Blue Moon
Resort has all the amenities you would expect,
from luxury suites to spa treatments and entertain-
ment. Twitter specials daily; rooms average $70
night. The Blue Moon is close to the strip.
Upcoming events
• May 15- June 26: Do you believe in life
after love? Cher still does, and so do her legions
of adoring gay fans. The icon performs at Caesars
Palace, with a visually unbelievable hit parade of
dancers and costumes designed by Bob Mackie.
www.caesarspalace.com
• May 28-31: For Memorial Day Weekend,
lesbian travel company Sweet takes over the
Golden Nugget Hotel Downtown. Hundreds of
women will enjoy special entertainment, kayak-
ing, biking and parties. With an eye to community
service, the weekend also includes volunteering at
The Shade Tree, a shelter for abused women and
their kids.www.discoversweet.com
• June 13 – 24: The annual “Ribbon of Life”
stage spectacular is the largest HIV/AIDS fund-
raiser in Nevada, and features hundreds of per-
formers from all the Vegas shows. The event at the
Hilton Hotel benefts Golden Rainbow, an HIV
service organization. www.goldenrainbow.org
• Aug. 28: If you missed the Atlanta HRC Din-
ner or just want to experience the Human Rights
Campaign’s signature event in another city, check
out Las Vegas’ 4th Annual HRC Gala Dinner,
dubbed “No Excuses.” The dinner will be held at
the Paris Hotel. Packages available, and you can
visit the LGBT page on hotel’s website.
www.parislasvegas.com, www.lasvegas.hrc.org
Look to Las Vegas for gay-inclusive fun
An icon to many gay fans, Cher performs this summer
at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (Publicity photo)
From ‘Sweet’ to Cher
TRAVEL: LAS VEGAS
by JO GIRAUDO / INSIDER TRAVEL
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2 GA Voice May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com 20 GA Voice
Planning a vacation or even a “staycation”
in Georgia can save hundreds on airfare or other
travel costs. Across the state, LGBT-owned camp-
grounds and bed and breakfasts are plentiful.
They can be great choices for weekend getaways,
or provide a welcome respite if you are visiting
family or traveling for work within the state.
Some are high end and others are rustic; some
are exclusively for LGBT travelers, while oth-
ers are gay-owned but open to everyone. And
while some are located in gay havens, others
are pockets of acceptance in more conservative
parts of the state, leading some owners to ask to
be identified only by first names in this article.
One of the most prominent gay camp-
grounds in the state is River’s Edge. Its clien-
tele is mostly men, with some women sprinkled
in. Located in Dewey Rose near Athens, it’s on
63 areas and is clothing optional.
According to River’s Edge’s Preston
Rudeseal, the members-only club “is what you
make of it,” meaning it’s ideal for a festive
camping weekend or simple R and R.
Swiftwaters, near Dahlonega’s Blue Ridge
Mountains, is another noted Georgia campground,
on 22 acres of riverfront property. According to
lesbian owner Pat, little has changed since Swift-
waters opened 31 years ago. She says the makeup
is mostly lesbian, although straight women visit.
According to Pat, it’s a perfect place to un-
wind. Before gays and lesbian were accepted,
“we used to be a refuge for women,” she says.
Now that times have changed, Swiftwa-
ters still attracts visitors. There’s also a Bed &
Breakfast room and two cabins. No men are al-
lowed, although children are.
Other popular gay-owned campgrounds in
the state include In the Woods in Canon, Bob-
cat in Quitman and Unadilla’s Lumberjacks,
which caters to both gay and lesbian campers.
Gay-owned bed and breakfasts are even
more prevalent throughout Georgia. Two good
options for “staycations” in Atlanta are Stone-
hurst Place and The Gaslight Inn. Owned by
lesbian Barb Shadomy since 2008, Stonehurst
is known for being green – using purification,
recycling and solar energy. Says spokeswom-
an Lori Woroschuk, “Stonehurst is also small
enough that we can cater to individual needs.”
The Gaslight Inn in Virginia Highlands is
also a busy location. It’s owned by gay couple
Mark Hall and Emory Boone. Near many be-
loved Atlanta landmarks, the inn is known for
its beautiful décor and hospitality.
“Our motto is arrive as a guest and leave
part of the family,” says Hall.
Dennis Hoover and his partner, David
Mulcahy, own Mountain Laurel Creek Inn,
which, like Swiftwaters, is in Dahlonega.
“We are a romantic getaway, with quiet am-
bience,” Hoover says, adding that the wineries
and scenery are added attractions.
The B&B is open to everyone, and Hoover
and Mulcahy don’t hide their relationship. “We
are open about who we are; we celebrate diver-
sity here,” Hoover says.
Augusta’s Parliament House bills itself
as the world’s largest all-male resort. A gay-
owned, members only club, Parliament House
has 70 rooms and a “cruisy” atmosphere.
Only miles from Athens is Watkinsville’s
five-acre Ashford Manor. It is owned by Mau-
rio Castro and his partner, Dave Shearon, who
are not from the South but fell for the area after
deciding to open a B&B. Ashford Place is an
1893 Victoria Manor house with five rooms
and a penthouse suite. A pool, spa service, and
onsite entertainment distinguish this B&B.
Bainbridge is the home of the Commodore
Bed & Breakfast, owned by gay couple Quin-
ton and Phil. “It’s the only five-star luxury inn
within a 100 miles,” says Quinton.
In Savannah, Keith Galloway and his part-
ner, Jim Klotz, operate the Galloway House, a
plantation house built in 1895.
“There’s nothing like this in Savannah. So
many people say to us that it’s more relaxing
than being at home,” says Galloway.
Finally, Savannah is also home to Park
Avenue Manor, owned by Glenn Gaylord and
Maurice Norman. The building, near the heart
of Savannah’s historic district, has been stand-
ing since 1889. Gaylord says the antiques, af-
fordable rates and Savannah nightlife make it a
great place to visit.
“Something is always going on here,” he
says.
Georgia getaways
TRAVEL: GEORGIA
by JIM FARMER
A&E
Gay-owned campgrounds,
bed and breakfasts offer
inclusive fun close to home
Campgrounds
Bobcat Resort
1877 Hickory Head Road, Quitman, GA 31643
229-263-4300, www.bobcatresort.com
In the Woods
142 Casey Court, Canon, GA 30520
706-246-0152, www.inthewoodscamp.com
Lumberjacks Camping Resort
50 Highway 230, Unadilla, GA 31091
877-888-1688, www.lumberjackscampground.com
River’s Edge Campground
2311 Pulliam Mill Road, Dewey Rose, GA 30634
706-213-8081, www.camptheriversedge.com
Swiftwaters Womanspace
830 Swiftwaters Rd., Dahlonega, GA 30533
706-864-3229, www.swiftwaters.com
Bed and Breakfasts
Ashford Manor
#5 Harden Hill Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677
706-769-2633, www.ambedandbreakfast.com
Commodore Bed and Breakfast
320 South Washington St., Bainbridge, GA 39819
229-248-0081, commodorebedandbreakfast.com
The Galloway House
107 East 35th St., Savannah, GA 31401
912-658-4419, www.theGallowayHouse.com
The Gaslight Inn
1001 Saint Charles Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
404-875-1001, www.gaslightinn.com
Mountain Laurel Creek Inn and Spa
202 Talmer Grizzle Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533
706-867-8134, www.mountainlaurelcreek.com
Park Avenue Manor
107-109 West Park Ave., Savannah, GA 31401
912-233-0352, www.parkavenuemanor.com
Parliament Resort
1250 Gordon Hwy., Augusta, GA 30901
706- 722-1155, www.p-house.com
Stonehurst Place
923 Piedmont Avenue N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309
404- 881-0722, www.StonehurstPlace.com
River’s Edge
Stonehurst Place
Campgrounds
Bed and Breakfasts
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21 May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
22 GA Voice May 14, 2010 A&E
“Avenue Q” isn’t just Tim Kornblum’s frst
traveling show; it’s his frst professional produc-
tion ever. The gay-inclusive puppet musical re-
turns to Atlanta next week after a successful run
here a few seasons back, with the openly gay
Kornblum in the role of Brian.
“Avenue Q” is on stage May 18-23 at the
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Discount
tickets are available to beneft Positive Impact,
which provides mental health services to people
impacted by HIV.
Producers of the musical wanted this tour to
be a non-equity tour, featuring actors with no
prior experience with the show. Kornblum had
acted a lot in high school, yet while he steered
away from the stage somewhat in college, he
knew it was still in his system. His try-out was
his frst professional audition. After “three or
four callbacks,” he was fnally offered the job as
wannabe comedian Brian about a month later.
Kornblum laughs that in his original audition
he was asked to sing songs from the production.
He dressed up like Brian but sang songs from
other characters “just to cover all the bases.”
Despite the newness of the cast, Kornblum
says it’s the exact same show that won a Best Mu-
sical Tony Award in 2004 (as well as two other
awards) and begat a successful national tour. The
actor remembers seeing the original production in
2005 and loving it.
Inspired by “Sesame Street,” “Avenue Q”
takes place in an outer borough of New York City,
with both human and puppet characters. Princ-
eton is a recent college graduate who moves into
the area. His neighbors include teaching assistant
Kate Monster, roommates Rod and Nicky, and
Brian and his fancée Christmas Eve, a Japanese-
American therapist.
Kornblum relates to his character of Brian,
who wants to be a comedian but fnds himself
unemployed and aimless 10 years after college.
“I really am the character in real life,” he ad-
mits. “I’m kind of lazy. Also, Brian needs some-
one to take care of him and so do I.”
His interpretation of Brian has changed since
he frst started doing the character.
“At frst I played him as kind of a moron, then
something of a stoner,” he says. “But lately I’ve
been doing it drier.”
In one of the more famous numbers, Brian
and his neighbors bemoan their lives in “It Sucks
to Be Me,” fnally fnding a character whose life
sucks more than theirs – former child star Gary
Coleman, who’s now the supervisor of their apart-
ment complex. The actor says the song is still one
of his favorites, along with the opening number
and the closing “For Now.”
The performer thinks that gay audiences can
particularly relate to the character of Rod, who is
a conservative Republican in love with his room-
mate. Rod thinks that no one knows he is gay. Of
course, everyone does, but he still struggles to
come out.
“I think audiences, particularly gay and lesbian
ones, can relate to that,” he says. “I think they like
seeing the transition the character makes.”
Although the show has puppet characters, it’s
not for young kids, with some raciness and full
puppet nudity. Kornblum admits that as he travels
across the country with “Avenue Q,” he fnds that
some people don’t know what to expect, but they
soon fnd their ft with the show.
“Everyone can relate to someone on stage,” he
says. “Although there are only seven actors, there
are so many characters.”
He thinks the secret to “Avenue Q’s” success
is that it has an honesty about it.
“It’s written so well,” he says. “It teaches a
lesson, has a message, without hitting you over
the head. If it’s done maliciously or as a complete
joke, audiences won’t take it seriously.”
The puppets of ‘Avenue Q’ hit Atlanta
‘Sesame Street’ for grown-ups
THEATER
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In ‘Avenue Q,’ conservative Rod thinks that nobody
knows he is gay. (Photo courtesy AvenueQonTour.com)
MORE INFO
‘Avenue Q’
May 18 – 23
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway
Marietta, GA 30339, 800-982-2787
• Use code ‘Impact’ at purchase to receive $5 dis-
count and $5 will be donated to Positive Impact
www.avenueqontour.com
www.theGAVoice.com
www.theGAVoice.com
23 A&E May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
AIDS Vaccine 200 raises
funds to help stem HIV
Pedal power
SPORTS
by MATT SCHAFER
For Debra Snell, riding in the AIDS Vac-
cine 200 isn’t just a fundraiser for a good
cause, but a way to reclaim a level of freedom
and mobility she almost lost.
The AV 200 is the largest single source
of unrestricted funds for the Emory Vaccine
Center, bringing in close to $600,000 in eight
years. Bike riders pedal themselves 200 miles
over the course of a weekend to raise money
that funds research and prevention efforts.
This year’s ride is set for May 22-23.
While training for AV 200 two years ago,
Snell was nearly run over by a driver who
wasn’t paying attention to the road.
“I was training to ride in 2008 and I was hit
by a car, and so I had a broken leg when it came
time for the ride,” she says. “I was riding my
bicycle on the Stone Mountain bike path and a
car turned into me... I was very lucky.”
It took two years for the 56-year-old Can-
dler Park resident to be in a place to ride. In
the month since she declared her intentions to
fnish the ride she would have started in 2008,
she has raised over $2,000
“I think all my friends and family are so
happy to have me back riding again they just
want to support me,” Snell says.
This year will be the largest ride in the
event’s history with 130 riders making the
trip from the campus of Emory University to
Camp Rock Eagle in Eatonton and back. Rid-
ers can make the entire 200-mile trip, ride 160
miles, or ride as part of a relay team.
“We are the largest source of unrestricted
funds for the Emory Vaccine Center, and what
that means is they can use our money for more
novel research that won’t qualify for a federal
grant or a [Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation]
grant,” organizer Brett Busch says. “There are
some pretty stringent guidelines on how federal
research dollars are spent, and it has to spent on
research that already shows a promise.”
Riding for research
Emory divides the money between re-
search efforts and the Hope Clinic, which
performs clinical trials for vaccines and helps
develop prevention and education efforts.
“It’s a tremendous resource and advan-
tage to beneft from the AIDS Vaccine 200.
We have federal grants to pay for much of our
work, but we have needs that aren’t covered
by federal dollars,” Dr. Mark Mulligan, Hope
Clinic executive director, says. “The bike rid-
ers have been a pivotal in helping us because
they allow us to do more.
Hope is currently conducting four clinical
trials and several education and prevention
programs. Two of the trails are Phase II hu-
man trails of different vaccines, one of which
is currently looking for men who have sex
with men between the ages of 18 and 45, and
another which benefted from AV 200 funds
while it was in the development stages.
A portion of the funds the riders raise is
used to support new research before it can
attract federal and private grants. One of the
programs that received help from the AV 200
is Dr. Harriet Robinson’s vaccine, one of the
Phase II clinical trials ongoing at the Hope
Clinic. It is one of the few AIDS vaccines to
reach this stage of testing, and Robinson is
hopeful that her vaccine will not only stop the
spread of HIV, but have a therapeutic value
for those who are already HIV-positive.
“The ride particularly helped the therapeu-
tic program off the ground,” Robinson says.
Last year’s ride raised $175,000, and while
Busch didn’t want to discuss a goal for this
year, he hopes to write a large check
“I think we’re still going to make it but it’s a
tough year… I think it’s the second year in a weak
economy, and right when we started our fundrais-
ing up the earthquake hit Haiti,” he says.
Individual riders are still accepting donations,
and Busch says volunteers would be welcome to
help with pit stops and other support functions.
He also encouraged anyone interested in sup-
porting the ride to come welcome them back by
joining the riders for a BBQ at 5 p.m. on May 23
at the Emory School of Medicine.
Debra Snell will join the AIDS Vaccine 200 this year
after being hit by a car while training for the 2008
race. (Photo courtesy Snell)
MORE INFO
AIDS Vaccine 200
May 22-23
Emory School of Medicine
1648 Pierce Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
www.actioncycling.org
Emory Hope Clinic
medicine.emory.edu/id/hopeclinic/index.htm
Emory Vaccine Center
www.vaccines.emory.edu
www.theGAVoice.com
www.OffhandPhotography.com
404.312.5392
DIRECTORY LISTINGS
24 GA Voice May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com
To advertise, email sales@thegavoice.com
25 Community May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
By Dyana Bagby
dbagby@thegavoice.com
Sitting around the dining room table in Kiki
Carr’s home in Cabbagetown, volunteers for
MondoHomo busily cut out photos and images
from old magazines such as Playboy, looking
specifically for gay-themed pictures to include
in the upcoming 5-day fest’s program.
“I’m looking for homoerotic,” says Britt
Dunn, who has volunteered with MondoHomo
for three years, as he snips out an image of a
bare-chested man.
Now in its fourth year, MondoHomo is a
place for queers staying in Atlanta over Memo-
rial Day weekend — and some who live outside
metro Atlanta and even Georgia — to experi-
ence an event that is different than the city’s tra-
ditional gay parties.
“What feels most gratifying is it pulls together
the community, the DIY, freaky, off-the-beaten
path queers,” says Carr, cofounder of the festival.
For Dunn, an Atlanta native, finding out
about MondoHomo was a blessing.
“I grew up in Atlanta and I like experi-
encing different queer spaces. But there was
a lack of a radical queer network. There was
a gay presence in Atlanta, but it’s very main-
stream,” he says.
When he saw a flyer for MondoHomo in the
Aurora Coffee shop in Little Five Points a few
years ago, he knew the radical space he was
seeking in his hometown had “finally arrived.”
“It’s the joy of the creative,” Dunn says of
MondoHomo.
Making a unique program guide for guests,
for example, is do-it-yourself, creative, and
bringing friends together on a Saturday af-
ternoon to talk and share ideas. Kind of what
MondoHomo is all about.
“Knowledge sharing is part of community
building, too,” says Andre Keichian, a first-
year volunteer.
This year, Carr is organizing a Queer Atlanta
People’s Assembly. The idea for such an assem-
bly originated with the upcoming U.S. Social
Forum to be held June 22-26 in Detroit.
However, recent efforts in Atlanta to
gauge the LGBT community’s desire
and need for a world-class commu-
nity center are likely to dominate
the conversation, Carr says.
“We definitely need to bring in
more voices in this conversation,”
she says.
‘Sissy Bounce’
Of course, there’s the music. The
spoken word. The art show. The park
play day. Political workshops.
And did we mention the music?
In the past, MondoHomo separated its mu-
sic over two nights. This year, all music will
be performed on one night with such favorites
as Athens Boys Choir and 8 Inch Betsy. Queer
hip-hop is also on tap, and Carr is excited At-
lanta will experience music that originated in
New Orleans and is called Sissy Bounce.
Carr describes the music as a “queer, trans,
hip-hop phenomenon.” Headlining the Mondo
Musico night on May 29 is Sissy Nobby, one of
the top Sissy Bounce performers in New Orleans.
“Bounce music is for everyone,” he says.
“It’s feel-good music from New Orleans that
makes you want to shake your booty.”
Sissy Bounce, considered underground at
one time, is making it to the mainstream, with
articles about it appearing recently in Vanity
Fair. The hypersexual dancing and explicit lyr-
ics and audience participation make it truly an
experience to behold.
“The fact Sissy Bounce is crossing over to
mainstream is really encouraging and inspiring
to everyone,” Carr says.
There will also be time for craft making, art
workshops, and sharing the history of queer At-
lanta, Carr says. All of these things combined
help make a community.
“Having a history is part of having a culture.
It’s essential for history and shared arts to be
in communion together,” Carr says. “[Mondo-
Homo] is a way to develop a network of people
that function politically as well — this way is a
gentler and natural way to educate people.”
Queers
take over
Atlanta
Above: Kiki Carr (left), Britt Dunn and Andre
Keichian work on the MondoHomo 2010 program.
(Photo by Dyana Bagby) Right: Sissy Nobby from
New Orleans will headline Mondo Musico.
(Photo via MySpace)
COMMUNITY LOCAL LIFE
MondoHomo 2010 makes you
think, and shake your booty
Celebrating a MILESTONE? Share your engage-
ments, 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!
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MORE INFO
MondoHomo
May 27-May 31
Eyedrum Gallery
290 Martin Luther King Junior Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
www.mondohomo.com
All events at Eyedrum unless otherwise noted
Festival pass $25
Thursday, May 27
6 p.m.-10 p.m. — Free grand opening with
spoken word and juried art opening. Dance
party after at Mary’s, 1287 Glenwood Ave. SE,
Atlanta, GA 30316
Friday, May 28
Mondo Cabaret
9 p.m., $10
Ms. Bea Haven Cruel Valentine
Queerella Tim Monteith
Krystal Woods Evil Sarah
Molotov Cocktease Luster Dela Virgion
STUD Butch Steele Mackin’
King Jaeveon The Mockingcocks
Vagina Jenkins
“Gay: The Ride,” a play by Adam Fair, directed
by Bridget Fancher
Saturday, May 29
Mondo Musico
2 p.m., $15
Dangerous Ponies 8 Inch Betsy
Spooky Q’s Athens Boys Choir
Drew Mason Nefertiti
MC Invincible Le Sex o Flex
Ms. Teary Cat Eyez
Diamond Lil Band Dirty Excuse
Sissy Nobby
Sunday, May 30
Queer Atlanta People’s Assembly
Noon to 6 p.m., free
Mondo Screen
8 p.m.-11 p.m., $5
Queer short films
Monday, May 31
Free Mondo Day Camp
Noon to 3 p.m.
Cabbagetown Park
Corner of Tye and Kirkwood Streets
www.theGAVoice.com
26 GA Voice May 14, 2010 Community www.theGAVoice.com
By Laura Douglas-Brown
lbrown@thegavoice.com
This year’s Atlanta Human Rights Campaign
Dinner drew national star power, from gay reality
TV mogul Andy Cohen to national HRC Presi-
dent Joe Solmonese and Providence, R.I., Mayor
David Cicilline, a candidate for Congress.
But the most moving moments at the May
1 dinner at the Hyatt Regency came from local
leaders, who spoke of their own struggles with
self-acceptance and discrimination, and urged at-
tendees to work for equality — in the words of the
dinner’s theme — “Every Day.”
“What I need for you to do so that I can contin-
ue to support you in the Georgia state legislature
is I need you to be proud to be lesbian, gay, bi-
sexual and transgender — July through May, not
only during the month of June,” said State Rep.
Simone Bell (D-Atlanta), the frst openly lesbian
African-American state legislator in the country.
Bell received the Dan Bradley Humanitarian
Award, and was accompanied on stage by her
partner, Valerie Acree; Georgia Equality Execu-
tive Director Jeff Graham, and Graham’s partner,
Peter Stinner.
Bell repeatedly joked with the audience that
her speech was limited to two minutes, and while
she went a bit over, the enthusiastic applause that
frequently interrupted her remarks showed dinner
patrons wanted much more.
Bell called on attendees to remember that
LGBT people exist in Georgia outside of Atlanta;
to care about issues like MARTA, economic jus-
tice and healthcare; and to “show up as lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender people in other peo-
ple’s movements” because “we cannot ask them
to help us if we have not built the foundation.”
And at an event where proceeds are earmarked
for HRC’s national efforts, Bell thanked the orga-
nization, while calling for more attention to battles
in our state.
“We need your resources here in Georgia,”
she said, adding that “we have a lot of frsts that
are still to come in this particular state.”
“We are pushed aside so often by our na-
tional organizations because we are the South,”
she said.
Messages of hope
Before Bell took the stage, Vandy Beth
Glenn received the Leon Allen & Winston
Johnston Community Service Award for her
bravery in suing Georgia legislative leaders af-
ter she was fred from her job as a legislative
editor for being transgender.
“Transgender people are fred for their gender
identity every day in the United States,” Glenn
said. “Without the Employment Non-Discrimina-
tion Act, or with the version of ENDA that was
passed by the House of Representatives in 2007,
most of them don’t have legal recourse like I have
through Lambda Legal.
“I accept this award humbly on their behalf,”
she said.
Glenn’s award was presented by Lambda Le-
gal attorney Beth Littrell, who is part of the team
representing Glenn in her federal lawsuit. Glenn
has also testifed before Congress about the need
to pass an inclusive version of ENDA.
Each year, YouthPride members participate in
an essay contest on LGBT rights, with the winning
essay read at the HRC Dinner. Gabriel Haggray, a
student at Georgia State University and president
of YouthPride’s youth board, spoke of how he
works to empower other young people.
“I can relate to my peers because I know what
it is like to be kicked out of my home, to be called
all those ugly names, to be singled out by people I
thought I trusted,” Haggray said.
“I know what it is like to be afraid of saying
‘I’m gay’ out loud, but I also know what it is like
to fall in love, to not be discriminated against,
to fnd happiness. I know what it is like to fnd
meaningful friendships, and to make amends
with the pain.”
Taking the stage as the last speaker, HRC Na-
tional Visibility Award winner Andy Cohen tried
to keep up the empowering theme of the evening,
but his message had a hard time competing with
the woman who presented it — NeNe Leakes of
the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast.
Cohen, the Bravo network’s senior vice presi-
dent of original programming and development,
is the host of “Watch What Happens: Live” and
is responsible for such reality shows as “Project
Runway,” “Queer Eye,” “Top Chef,” “Flipping
Out” and the “Real Housewives” franchise.
Leakes spoke off the cuff about drinking and
her “fabulous” table, before reading the prepared
HRC presentation, which lauded Cohen for his
work increasing LGBT visibility in the media.
She remained on stage behind Cohen during
his speech, and her efforts to remain serious drew
audience chuckles that prompted Cohen to quip,
“NeNe, what are you doing behind me?”
In a speech peppered with pop culture refer-
ences, Cohen compared his childhood in St. Louis
at a time when there were few positive gay char-
acters on TV to the plethora of gay people now on
Bravo and other networks.
“Kids around the country can see our gaggle
of gays and see incredibly talented people with
strength and courage and pride in themselves,”
he said. “They see gay people in an inclusive
world where thriving around straight people is
a way of life.”
‘Tremendous success’
Attendance for this year’s HRC dinner topped
900, and fnances are still being tallied.
“What I can tell you is that this year’s At-
lanta HRC Dinner was a tremendous success,”
said Brad Difore, who co-chaired the dinner
with Julie Woods.
Atlanta’s HRC Dinner Committee has been
honored as the best in the nation for both 2008
and 2009, and organizers are equally pleased with
this year’s event.
“There are critical issues including repeal-
ing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and a fully inclusive
ENDA that demand action this year,” Difore said.
“And the success of the Atlanta dinner will help
HRC continue to fght for equality for the entire
LGBT community.”
Local honorees highlight
of annual event
MORE INFO
• Video
• Photo gallery
www.theGAVoice.com
HRC Dinner seeks equality ‘Every Day’
From top left to right: Vandy Beth Glenn, Simone
Bell, Andy Cohen and Nene Leakes at the Atlanta
HRC dinner. (Photos by Sher Pruitt)
27 Community May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
To celebrate late gay activist and politician
Harvey Milk’s birthday, LGBT activists are
gathering on the steps of Savannah’s City Hall
on May 22 in a show of solidarity and visibility.
The event is part of the national Equality
Across America’s call to action to grassroots
groups to honor Milk. Across the nation in dif-
ferent cities, there will be “Rallies for Equality”
on May 22 to raise awareness of efforts under-
way to secure equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender people at the federal level.
The Savannah event is organized by the
Savannah chapter of Georgia Equality and spon-
sors include Equality Across America, Savannah
Pride and First City Network. The May 22 action
concludes a week of action beginning May 17,
the International Day Against Homophobia.
— Dyana Bagby
The International Day Against Homophobia,
held annually in countries across the globe on May
17, comes to Atlanta this year and will include a
proclamation from the City of Atlanta recognizing
the day. Openly gay state Rep. Karla Drenner (D-
Avondale Estates) will present the proclamation to
organizers at the event.
Atlanta’s IDAHO event is being organized by
Alternative Perspectives, an LGBT radio show
that airs every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on WRFG 89.3
FM. The show is hosted by longtime queer activ-
ist Betty Couvertier.
“No one else in Atlanta or Georgia … had
picked up the banner for IDAHO and I hope that
Atlanta IDAHO will be a annual event,” Couvert-
ier says on the Atlanta IDAHO’s website. This
year’s global theme is “Silence in Sports,” but ho-
mophobia must be stopped in all areas of society,
Couvertier adds.
“Silence anywhere about fear, hate, injustice
and ignorance is dangerous,” Couvertier says. “It
propels actions that are harmful. When ignorance
is stirred in with fear and hate of anything, the out-
come allows one individual to condemn another
and feel that he or she has the right to do so. And
we must change that.”
The day includes speakers and entertain-
ment beginning at 6 p.m. at Virginia-Highland
Church, but before then members of the “Shirt
Off My Back” campaign will meet at 5 p.m.
and march from Piedmont Park to the church to
raise awareness about homeless LGBT youth.
Straight ally Laura Gentle started the SOMB
campaign last year.
Speakers include Fulton County Commis-
sion candidate Joan Garner; transgender activ-
ist Tracee McDaniel; and Georgia Safe Schools
Coalition co-founders Anneliese A. Singh and
Maru Gonzalez.
GEORGIA SPOTLIGHT
Out of the Closet & Into the Streets
MORE INFO
International Day Against Homophobia
Monday, May 17
5 p.m. — Shirt Off My Back campaign meets at Pied-
mont Park and marches to Virginia Highland Church
6 p.m.-11 p.m. — Speakers and entertainment
Virginia-Highland Church
743 Virginia Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306
atlantahomophobiaday.blogspot.com
MORE INFO
Out of the Closet & Into the Streets
Saturday, May 22, 12:30 p.m.
Savannah City Hall, 2 East Bay St., Savannah, GA
Email: JesseMorgan@Live.com
912-690-2714, www.equalityacrossamerica.org
www.georgiaequality.org
International Day Against Homophobia
Families trust Sunrise as their
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Sunrise of Decatur 404-377-6111 920 Clairemont Avenue
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At Sunrise of Decatur we know that families searching for senior
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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
28 GA Voice May 14, 2010 Calendar www.theGAVoice.com
Friday, May 14
Fourth Tuesday Happy Hour, held the second Friday
of every month, is now at its new location at Mixx.
Network and socialize with women and learn more
about the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative. 6 p.m.-8
p.m., 404-228-4372, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta 30309
Noted author and activist Pearl Cleage reads from
her new novel, “Till You Hear From Me.” The book
is set in Atlanta’s West End and deals with a father
and daughter relationship during the Obama era. 7
p.m.-8:30 p.m., Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave.
NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, www.chariscircle.org
Make sure you wear your best undies as DJ Vicki
Powell throws a Panty Raid party, spinning the
beats that will make you want to pull your pants
down. There will be a panty/manty contest, too.
No cover before 10 p.m. Bellissima, 570 Amster-
dam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306. 404-917-0220,
www.myspace.com/bellissima_lounge
Friday, May 14-
Saturday, May 15
Panther Leather/Levi holds its 22nd anniver-
sary weekend with its first monthly bar night at
the Atlanta Eagle on Friday from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
and then with an anniversary cookout and $5
beer bust on Saturday from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. All pro-
ceeds go to The Living Room, which helps people
with HIV/AIDS and their families find affordable
housing. 306 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA
30308, www.pantherll.org, www.atlantaeagle.com
Saturday, May 15
The gay National Flag Football League of Atlanta
takes to the field at Candler Park for some pigskin
action. Games begin at 9:45 a.m. 585 Candler Park
Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. www.nffla.com
Woof! Bears, cubs, otters and those who love them
unite for a good cause at a CHRIS Kids pre Pre-
miere Party with DJ Blaine at the Heretic. Cover
is $5 before 11 p.m. and $10 after 11 p.m. with $1 of
admission going directly to CHRIS Kids. Heretic,
2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,
www.hereticatlanta.com
It’s a Hot Mess dance party at Mary’s with MC
5 Hour Boner and DJ Bear Dawg duking it out all
night in a reenactment of the Battle of the Bulge.
9 p.m., Mary’s, 1287 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA
30316, www.marysatlanta.com
Isis King of America’s Next Top Model hosts Traxx
Nightclub’s Saturday night party. This is the
night when fashion, glamour and style collide with
music and dance. 11:30 p.m.-5 a.m., Traxx Nightclub,
1287 Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA 30034,
www.traxxatlanta.com
Saturday, May 15-
Sunday, May 16
The Women’s Outdoor Network holds ongoing
fitness programs on Saturdays and Sundays at
various locations and times. Contact Alison Hall at
Alison.hall@suntrust.com to get on the distribu-
tion list to learn when and where the group is
meeting each week. www.wonatlanta.com
Sunday, May 16
Hotlanta Softball League action is underway.
Games begin at 9 a.m. with the last game played
at 5 p.m. Check the league’s website for where the
host bar is after the games. West Metro Softball
Complex, 7301 Campbellton Road, Atlanta, GA 30331,
www.hotlantasoftball.org
“Quench” your thirst and move to the beats of
DJ Chris Griswold who is behind the tables at the
Artmore Hotel. 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Artmore Hotel, 1302 W.
Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309,
www.artmorehotel.com
Ladies at Play offers up a new party where the
name of the game is Spades. Sip cocktails while
playing the popular card game in “Ladies Play
Spades” with DJ M3 spinning. 7 p.m.-11 p.m., Pie 950,
950 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309.
www.ladiesatplay.com
Monday, May 17
Take part in a local action as part of the Interna-
tional Day Against Homophobia, organized by
89.3 WFRG FM queer radio show program “Alterna-
tive Perspectives.” A “Shirt Off My Back” march
will be at 5 p.m., meeting at 10th and Piedmont to
march to the event at Virginia-Highland Church.
Speakers begin at the church at 6 p.m. at 743
Virginia Ave., NE Atlanta, GA 30306,
www.atlantahomophobiaday.blogspot.com
The Stars of the Century are always fierce, every
Monday at Jungle. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. with the
New Kids Show beginning at 11 p.m. Stars of the Cen-
tury take the stage at midnight. Jungle, 2115 Faulkner
Road, Atlanta, GA 303024. www.jungleclubatlanta.com
BEST BETS05.14 - 05.27
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.
Lesbians, take note. Kate Moennig,
who played the sexy player Shane on
Showtime’s “The L Word,” hosts a party
by Girlology and Foreplay Fridays at
the Compound. Five female DJs will be
spinning all night. Tickets are $10 before
11 p.m. and $15 before midnight. Doors
open at 10 p.m. No advance tickets will
be sold. Compound, 1008 Brady Ave.,
Atlanta, GA 30318. www.girlology101.com,
www.compoundatl.com
Friday, May 14
The “Music Men of Midtown” — a
singer/songwriter showcase — features
some of the best from the gayborhood.
Set to perform are Sean Kagalis, Mike
Rickard (pictured), Guyton Maurice,
trans man Bucky Motter and Juan Cezar,
who also hosts. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
with showtime at 8 p.m. $5. Bellissima,
560-B Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA
30306, myspace.com/bellissima_lounge
Friday, May 21
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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
Saturday, May 15
Help send Chandler Bearden, Mr. Atlanta Eagle 2010 (pictured with last year’s winner,
Alan Penrod) to International Mr. Leather in Chicago by coming to a fundraiser
that will include raffl es, auctions, and maybe some naughty games as well. 7 p.m.,
Atlanta Eagle, 306 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308, www.atlantaeagle.com
CONTINUED
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29 Calendar May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
Tuesday, May 18
The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office will host a
conference to educate law enforcement about
the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate
Crimes Prevention Act. The meeting will take
place in the student center auditorium at Georgia
State University. Community organizations are
asked to attend from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., while
law enforcement personnel are scheduled from 9
a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 360 Student Center, 44 Courtland
St., Atlanta, GA 30303-3973
Award-winning author K.M. Soehnlein reads and
signs his new book, “Robin and Ruby,” featuring
a gay teen protagonist and his sister maneuver-
ing through a turbulent summer weekend in the
1980s. 7:30 p.m., Outwrite Bookstore & Coffee-
house, 991 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,
www.outwritebooks.com
Tuesday, May 18-
Sunday, May 23
Like Sesame Street for grownups, the hilarious but de-
cidedly adult “Avenue Q” comes to Atlanta beginning
today and continuing through May 23. Help benefit
Positive Impact and save $5 on your tickets by pur-
chasing tickets online. 8 p.m., Cobb Energy Performing
Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA
30339, www.cobbenergycentre.com,
www.positiveimpact-atl.org
Wednesday, May 19
They’re driving you up the wall! Well, kind of. The Di-
xie Dyno’mos: Georgia’s LGBT-friendly rock climbing
club, meets from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. at Wall Crawlers, 1522
DeKalb Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. For more informa-
tion, search for their name on Facebook.
Wednesday, May 19-
Thursday, May 20
Abracadabra! David Copperfield’s magical act
comes to the Fabulous Fox Theatre for two nights.
Showtime Wednesday is 8 p.m. and Thursday at 5:30
p.m. and 8 p.m. Just don’t let him make you disap-
pear. Tickets are $26-$44 plus fees. 660 Peachtree St.
NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, www.foxtheatre.org
Thursday, May 20
It’s that time of year again and what better way
to check out the new swimsuit fashions then at
the Atlanta Executive Network and Caliber
Enterprises sexy Swim 2010 event, promising
something for the men and women to admire. AEN
members get in free while guests pay $10. Live
music by DJ Kevin Durard. 6:30 p.m., Jungle, 2115
Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.aen.org
Net Work and play with the men from Obsessions,
What’s the T, Traxx and the women from Traxx
Girls every Thursday. Activities include Xbox,
Playstation, pool tables, card games and computer
dating games. 11 p.m., Obsessions, 4525 Glenwood
Road, Decatur, GA 30032. www.clubobsessions.com,
www.traxxatlanta.com, www.whatsthet.com
Friday, May 21
Since the fourth Friday of the month falls during
Memorial Day weekend, the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian
Chamber of Commerce bumps up its monthly
Fourth Friday networking event to today. Cover is
$10 for members and $15 for non-members. 5:30 p.m.-
7:30 p.m., The Mission Motif, 1963 Hosea K, /Williams
Drive SE, Atlanta, GA 30317. atlantagaychamber.org
It doesn’t matter if you pitch or catch at this party.
The Jock/Sports Party edition of ManShaft
begins with happy hour from 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
with DJ Warm & Fuzzy and DJ Sensational Gravity
Boy. Stay late with DJ Diablo Rojo and a midnight
underwear/jock strap toss. Gay sports teams will
be on hand selling shooters for their clubs. Mary’s,
1287 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316. themanshaft.
blogspot.com, www.marysatlanta.com
If you’re asking who is Barry Brandon, then you
haven’t been paying attention. He’s pretty much
everywhere these days and now the musician and
promoter is bringing a new party to the Atlanta
scene. “Who?” debuts today with performances
by Brandon as well as Jose Luis Rodriguez, Bari,
Kyle Kirkland, Miss Lady Flex, Peep Peep and
Vas D of Le Sexoflex and Dax! DJ Vicki Powell will
be on the turntables as well. $6 cover. 10 p.m. My
Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316,
www.mysistersroom.com
Saturday, May 22
It’s Open Play every Saturday with the
Atlanta Team Tennis Association. Cost is $5 for
members, $10 for non-members and free for first
timers. Play is from 1 p.m.-6 p.m., Glenlake Tennis
Center, 1121 Church St., Decatur, GA 30030, 404-377-
7231, slice.atta.org
Thursday, May 20
Pearl Cleage reads from and signs her new
book, “Till You Hear From Me.” 7:30 p.m.,
Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse,
991 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,
www.outwritebooks.com
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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
30 GA Voice May 14, 2010 Calendar www.theGAVoice.com
EVENTS
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29
The News from Lake Wobegon comes to Atlanta
when Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion
is staged live at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. Ticket
prices range from $35-$75 plus fees. 5:45 p.m., 660
Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308,
www.foxtheatre.org
Ladies Night at Sauced Restaurant and Lounge
features DJ Vicki Powell who teams up with chef
Ria Pell to bring food to your bellies and beats to
your feet. 10 p.m. 753 Edgewood Ave. NE, Atlanta,
GA 30307, www.saucedatlanta.com
Nicole Paige Brooks from “Atlanta, Georgia!”
hosts Saturday Night Fever at LeBuzz with special
guests. 11 p.m. LeBuzz, 585 Franklin Road Marietta,
GA 30067, www.thenewlebuzz.com
Saturday, May 22 –
Sunday, May 23
The AIDS Vaccine 200 bike ride sets off Saturday
morning from the Emory School of Medicine, rides to
Camp Rock Eagle in Eatonton, then returns to Emory
on Sunday. Help welcome the riders back from their
200-mile journey with a BBQ celebration at 5 p.m.
on Sunday at Emory School of Medicine, 1648 Pierce
Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322, www.actioncycling.org
Monday, May 24
Get your week off on the right note with Drag on the
Edge hosted by Alexandria Martin and featuring Lady
Shabazz, Martina Diamante, Phoenix and LaTasha
Shante Shuntel. Blake’s on the Park, 227 10th St.,
Atlanta, GA 30309, www.blakesontheparkatlanta.com
Wednesday, May 26
The Queer Literary Fiction Club meets to discuss
“More of This World or Maybe Another” by Barb
Johnson. The facilitated book group meets on the
fourth Wednesday of each month. 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.,
Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,
www.chariscircle.org
Bring out your crazy self with “Crazy Bitch Bingo”
and test your knowledge in such serious topics as pop
culture, TV and music. 8 p.m.-10 p.m., Joe’s on Juniper,
1049 Juniper St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309.
www.crazybitchbingo.com, www.joesatlanta.com
Thursday, May 27-
Monday, May 31
MondoHomo, a five-day “queer art, spoken word,
dance party, hip-hop-electro clash, politics, film, BBQ,
theater, music, burlesque, social action diversity-lovin’
festival of fun queer space,” takes place over Memo-
rial Day weekend. $25 gets you in for the entire fest.
Eyedrum, 290 MLK Drive, Atlanta, GA 30312,
www.mondohomo.com, www.eyedrum.org
UPCOMING
Friday, May 28
Gay playwright Topher Payne’s newest piece,
“Beached Wails,” tells the story of four
sisters from Mississippi on a beach vacation
when a stranger interrupts. Show runs
through June 6. 8 p.m., State Door Players,
5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody,
GA 30338, 770-396-1726, stagedoorplayers.net
Saturday, May 29-
Sunday, May 30
Atlanta’s premiere Jazz Festival — and it’s
free — returns to Piedmont Park for its 33rd
year. Held each year during Memorial Day
Weekend, the fest was moved out of the park
last year due to drought concerns. Perform-
ers this year include the Rialto Jazz for Kids
All-Star Jazz Band, the Steven Charles Band,
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Visit
atlantafestivals.com for more information.
Thursday, June 3
You’ve got a friend with Carole King and
James Taylor who join forces again to bring
their classic folk music to metro Atlanta as
part of the “Troubadour Reunion” tour. 8
p.m., Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Park-
way, Duluth, GA 30097, 770-813-7500,
www.gwinnettcenter.com
Monday, May 24
They’re queer as a three-dollar bill. Or at least
they’re funny. The all openly gay comedy group
Queer on Their Feet comes to Atlanta for one
night only featuring Jennie McNulty, Diana
Yanez (pictured) and Daniel Leary, who have
appeared on Logo and Last Comic Standing.
The night includes stand up comedy as well
as improv. Tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in
advance at www.brownpapertickets.com. 7:30
p.m.-9 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Congregation
of Atlanta, 1911 Cliff Valley Way NE, Atlanta, GA
30329, www.queerontheirfeet.com, www.uuca.org
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31 May 14, 2010 www.theGAVoice.com GA Voice
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