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The Georgia Voice

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Richard Eldredge, Sandy Malcolm. Lyn n Pssqu ale t ti, Robe rt Pu II en

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The editorial positions 01 the Georgia Voi ce are expfe~e d in editorials and i~ editor's notes. Othe' opinions ale tnose 01 the "litel$ a M do netrecesse rilV rep resent t'h e opi n ion 01 I he Geo ~ ia Voice and i Is slaff.

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"It bothers me when I hear these reporters and jocks get on TV and say: 'Dh, no guy can come out in a team sport. These guys would go crazy: First of all, quit telling me what I think. I'd rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can't play."

- N SA Hall of farner and now ~porl5 ana Iyst Charles Barkley (WasllinQlon Post May T7)


- Focus on the Fa mily President Jim Daly in an interview in the Ju ne issue of World magazine (Mother Jones. May 23)

3 AIDS cases .in Geor~ia .reported in 1981, the first year the CDC bega n t racki n 9 a mys! e riou s disease killing gay men.

"I was like, 'Oh, my God, girls are so pretty and soft. No stubble burn! What ami doing with guys?' I haven't dipped back since, but

I was very appreciative of the expe r i ence."

- Actress Rashida Jones on kissing. ZOoey Deschanel in th e upcom i n9 film "Ou r Idiot B rothe r." wh i ch sh e says was her first lesbian kiss both on screen and off. (The Advocate, June'July 2()11)


Cumulative AIDS diaonoses in Georgia through .2009, the lalest statistics available


Cumulative Georgia AIOS cases attributed to male' male sexual contact. plus an additional 2,450 attributed to male'male sex and injection dru~ use

6 t h Georgia's rank

. . among all states

lor cumulative AIDS diagnoses

"We're losing on [gay marriage], especially among the 20- and 30-somethings ... 1 don't want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture."


New HIV diagnoses in Georgia in 2009, the ta test stan sties eva ila b I e

Sou rces: Stalt reports, stateh~olthla cls.org



Lawsuit: Sheriff's department took lesbian drug addict to evangelist instead of rehab. Page 4

Gay leaders meet with Atlanta Braves after coach's slur .. Page 4

LGBT leaders split on boycott over Ga. immigration law. Page 6

Ga lIu p po 1.1 sh ows majority support for gay marriag.e. Page 6


Three decades 01 heartbreak and activism. Page a

Timeline: Mileslonesin

30 years 01 HIV. Page 9

10 tips to stay HIV negative. Page 10 10 steps .il you find out

you're HIV positive. Page 10

Resources for HIV testing

and support, Page 10

Viewpoint: HIV'negative men,

this is your time. Page 12

Viewpoint: We have to ACT UP over HIV a.gain. Page 13

Interview: CNN anchor Don lemon on coming out on cable news. pa.ge 15

Photo: Rugby's Ben Cohen brings 'Acceptance lour' to AIL. Page 16

Theater: "Rent."' "Spamalot" Celebrate indivi.duality. Page 17

Food: Latin food from simple to sophisticated. Page 19


'Our Stories' inspire at HRC Dinner. Page 21

Nonprofit spotlight: OurSong. Page 22 Business spotlight:

live Well Chiropractic. Page 22

Personality spotlight

Rev. Michael Piazza. Page 23

Domestically Disturbed:

The other 'F·word.' Page 27

Pages 24-26

D GA Voice \ May 27, 2011 \ News


Lesbian sues Bartow County law enforcement officia s

Amanda Booker alleges deputies tried to 'convert' her to straight

By pyana Bagby dbQ9by@thegavoice.com

A Bartow County lesbian is suing the Bartow County Sheriff's Department and others after she alleges her constitutional rights were violated when she was taken to a private residence for ex-gay conversio n therapy rather than to a courtmandated psychlatric hospital for her drug abuse.

The lawsuit, filed May 13 in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia by Amanda Booker, names as defendants Bartow County, Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown, Sheriff Clark Milsap and sheriff department employees Mark Mayton, Nathan Gibbs, Pam Ploof and Amanda Pedifer. Individuals Gary Allen Covington, Chris McDowell and Donna Dupree McDowelJ are also named as defendants.

Sheriff Milsap told the GA Voice he had not seen the lawsuit and laughed at the allegations that were in it.

"1 haven't been served. Bill, no ma'am, that is the most absurd thing I've ever heard in my life," Milsap said, chuckling before adding he had no comment.

County Commissioner Clarence Brown also declined comment on the suit because he said he had not seen it. Bartow County attorney Boyd Petit said his office received a notice in November of a possible lawsuit being filed, but that he had not seen a copy of the suit and also could not comment.

Attorney Anthony Perrotta, who represents Booker, said what the Sheriff's Department and county condoned in its treatment of Booker was "egregious."

"Any violation of a court order is egregious, and especially by the Sheriff's Departmentthis is be yo nd the pale," he said.

Perrotta added that Booker has been tncarcerared in South Georgia at Pulaski State Prison since October after the Bartow County Sheriff's Department arrested her and charged her for, among other things, damage to a police vehicle,

Perrotta said he learned of the case from Booker's ex-girlfriend.

"She's not doing well. She's not getting the care she needs for her drug addiction, She's

Amanda Booker, a lesbian from Barrow Coun!)!, is suing county low eniorcemem 0{ficiol5 for violating her collstiMiol!(]1 right!; when they allegedly took her to a home 10 be 'COl1verted' from being goy.

(PholO via Georgia DeparcmentofCorrections)

hurting," he said. "My first priority is to get her out of prison."

Lawsuit: 'Normal to punish homosexuals'

The lawsuit alleges throughout that, "At all times relevant to this action, it was normal procedure, practice and custom of defendants Bartow County, Brown, and Milsap to punish

Gay activists meet with Atlanta Braves president Georgia Equality, PFLAG want 'ongoing dialogue' with baseball team

By Dyana Bagby dbagby@thegavoice.com

Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz sat down with Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham and a representative from PFLAG last week to discuss ways the baseball team could work to end bullying in schools and address homophobia in its ranks.

The May 19 meeting came after Georgia Equality hand-delivered a letter to Schuerholz on April 28 following the news that pitching coach Roger McDowell allegedly shouted at fans on April 23 at San Francisco AT&T Park, "Are you a homo couple or a threesome?" and imitated a sex ad with a baseball bat. McDowell was also accused of threatening a father who asked him to watch his language in front of children.

The meeting between Schuerholz, Graham and Jeannie Senter, a member of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition and PFLAG, lasted a full hour and Graham said he feels the club has a genuine concern about mending bridges with the LGBT community,

"There were no concrete plans that came out of [the] meeting, but that's not a surprise,"

Graham said. ''We hope to open up an ongoing dialogue and build a solid commitment from the team to help end bullying in schools, especially against gay students or students perceived to be gay."

The Atlanta Braves declined comment about the meeting.

There was mention during the meeting that the San Francisco Giants are set to be the first professional sports team to make a video for the popular "It Gets Better Campaign" and that could also be a possible avenue for the Braves, but Graham stressed nothing specific was decided.

Schuerholz asked Graham and Georgia Equality to come up with a concrete plan to address bullying and homophobia in the next few months for the Braves team to look over, Graham said.

"They want us to come up with a plan of action and we want to be thoughtful about it," Graham said.

Georgia Equality and the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition wHl work on such a plan over the next few weeks and possibly see action from the Braves later this summer.

Graham said he is working to develop an

ongoing dialogue with the team rather than the club holding an ''LGBT Night Out with the Braves" or a one-time donation to an LGBT organization that would be forgotten in SIX months or a year.

"1 didn't want a hollow promise," Graham said.

The McDowell mctdent will hopefully lead to ongoing discussions with the team about how it can help put an end to homophobia, especially in schools, but also address it in the professional sports world.

''They have reached out to me and r do believe their commitment is genuine," Graham said. "We want 10 remain in dialogue. _. and specifically have the team inclusive of the LGBT community in all of its activities.

In the April 28 letter to Schuerholz, Graham. said of McDowell's actions, "It is Imperati ve th at you reali ze that this behavior is the behavior of a bully."

"We have watched with horror how the number of children taking their own lives due to relentless bullying has escalated over the past few years. When adults engage in this same behavior, especially adults in the public spotlight like Mr. McDowell, it sends a strong

homosexuals and persons holding different religious beliefs."

The lawsuit further states that it was also the normal procedure for Bartow County officials named in the suit to "harass homosexuals taken into custody; to mandate that homosexuals taken into custody refrain from living as homosexuals, and to forbid them from maintaining any homosexual relationships."

Booker alleges in the suit that after her family called the Bartow County Sheriff's Department in April 2010 to have her committed to a psychiatric hospital due to her drug addiction, the depu-

ties ignored a judge's order to take her to Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital in Rome, Ga.

According \0 the lawsuit, Deputy Pam Ploof picked up Booker on April 22 to transport her to the hospital. However, en route to the hospital Booker began having seizures. According to the suit, an ambulance was dispatched and Booker was taken to Cartersville Medical Center.

At the Cartersville hospital while Booker was being treated were Bartow Sheriff's Department Lt. Mark Mayton, commander of the Bartow County Sheriff's Drug Task Force,

Please LAWSUIT, continued on Page 6

Atlanta Braves pitchillg coach Roger McDowell apologized 10 {ans at a May 13 press conference a{let allegedly using an and-gay slur in a confrontation wirh {ansApriI23. (photo by Dyana Bagby)

message that it's acceptable," Graham added.

McDowell publicly apologized to the people who brought the allegations against him and held a press conference May 13, the day his suspension was lifted.

McDowell did nOI use the word "gay" at any time during the press conference nor did he admit or deny the allegations. He did, however, apologize again for his actions and said that kind of behavior would not happen again.

When asked ifhad anything to say to Braves gay fans, McDowell responded, ''Well, I would like to apologize - if anyone was offended by my actions that occurred in San Francisco. My intent was not to hun anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. I apologize for that."


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D GA voce \ May 27, 2011 \ News


At me 'Rally (or 'II·url!' prorest in Marcil aUhe Sr11le Capitol, i mmigmnts and acri viS15 shOUled opjXJSJrion /0 HB 87.

Gay-led _atino group won't back Ga. boycott

LGBT businesses say they won't comply with immigration law

By pyana Ba9by dbagby@chegavoice.com

A national call for a boycott of Georgia and some of its gay-friendly companies after Gov. Nathan Deal signed the controversial HB 87 bill has caused a rift in the immigration rights community, including groups led by LGBT people.

Last week,the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials announced it would not support a boycott a f the state.

"A boycott would devastate Georgia's tourism and convention Industry, Many Latinos and immigrants depend on this, and other industries, for their livelihood," said GALEa Executive Director Jerry Gonzalez, who is gay, in a written statement

That'S a far cry from what Southerners on New Ground, an LGBT group, is saying when it joined oilier Latino and lmmlgrant groups to call for a statewide boycott of the state.

''We are calling on all businesses, conventions, and conferences to cancel yOLII trips to the state of Georgia and pledge to not spend one dollar here until this law is repealed," Paulina Hernandez, the queer co-director of SONG, said in a statement "We are also putting the nation on alert that there may be soon a Georgia products boycott as well- so stay alert and be prepared to stay away from businesses such as Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, and AFLAC Insurance."

Other gay-owned businesses and gay groups have joined with SONG and Somas Georgia (We Are Georgia) to tell Gov. Deal they will not comply with the immigration law when it is expected to go into effect July 1.

"I think HB 87 borders on being racist," said Frank Bragg, the gay owner of Radial Cafe, which has signed on as a Georgia Buy Spot as well as sanctuary zone.

Buy Spots and sanctuary zones offer safe havens to people who need a place to go and will offer their space for organizers who are working to overturn the law. They will also urge their customers to not shop at stores mat are not Buy Spot and sanctuary zones.

"There could easily be laws against gay people or any groups of people. I definitely think our community should take a stand against this, In this economic climate, we should all work together- this law divides us," Bragg added.

Lesbian-owned Charts Books & More was me first business in the state to sign on to be a Buy Spot. Co-owner Angela Gabriel said the feminist bookstore wanted to speak OLit against the law.

''We want people to know mat Charis is a safe haven for all folks and that we do not agree with HB 87," Gabriel said.

Gonzalez of GALEa said mere is likely to be a federal lawsuit against the state,similar to one filed against Arizona after it passed a controversial immigration law. In Arizona, portions of its law have already been found to be unconstitutional.

"Certainly, there is much fear and anxiety within d1e immigrant community," he said in a statement "However; the intention of HB 87 was also to spread fear in order to drive immigrants away from Georgia. We ask oUI community members to reject that fear and to remain informed and educated about the pending legal process."

Other LGBT groups and businesses that have signed on to be Buy Spots and sanctuary zones include MondoHomo Queer Music & Arts Festival, Gentle Spirit Christian Church, GetEQUAL GA, Queer Justice League, Decatur United Church of Christ and Castleberry Communications Inc.

Poll confirms gay marriage momentum

Gallup released a new poll May 20 that found a majority of Americans support legalizing samesex unions, Gallup, which has regularly tracked the issue since the middle of last decade, found mat 53 percent of Americans now support marriageequality,

In 2010, Gallup found that only 44 percent of Americans were in favor of such unions.

According to Gallup, only 27 percent of Americans supported legalizing same-sex marriage in 1996. Gallup's findings are in line with recent polls conducted by CNN/Opinion Research and CBSlW'ashington Post that also found a slim majority of Americans were supportive of same-sex marriage.

Leading the charge for equality were survey respondents in the 18-3S year-old demographic. Some 70 percent of those surveyed said samesex marriage should be legal. Older men and women (aged over 50) were far less favorable to gay marriage.

Gallup's findings show those who identify as conservative and older Americans are still averwhelmingly opposed to marriage equality.

'The issue does, however, remain highly divisive. 'While big majorities of Democrats and young people support me idea of legalizing samesex marriage, fewer than 4 in 10 Republicans and older Americans agree," the polling finn noted. "Republicans in particular seem fixed in their opinions; th.e.re was no change at all in their support level this year, while independents' and Democrats' support jumped by double-digit margins."

In its findings, Gallup suggests 2010 and

An unidenti~ed female couples says their vows at the 2010 A[/onto Pride Commirmem Ceremony. For the first time, a Gallup poll shows the majority of Americans support same-sex mamaae:

(POOIO by Laura DDt/glas-Brown)

2011 have been landmark years for support of LGBT equality, not just marriage.

'Within the past year, Congress passed and President Obama signed a law allowing gay and lesbian members of the military to openly reveal their sexual orientation, rather than keeping it hidden as pan of the ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

"A majority of Americans have supported such a change in policy since 2005, rising to two-thirds support in 2009 and again last year. It is unclear whether the highly publicized official change in government policy on Don't Ask, Don't Tell may have been a factor in me rise in Americans' support for legalizing same-sex marriage," Gallup noted.

-Ryan Watkins

Plaintiff alleges harassment, false arrest

LAWSUIT, continued from Page 5

and deputies Ploof and Nathan Gibbs, the suit states. Also at the hospital was Booker's probation officer, Tracy Jacobs, to administer a drug test, the suit further states.

'While in the Cartersville hospital, Lt. Mayton ''began harassing Ms. Booker, making numerous threats concerning her lesbian relationship with her partner," according to the suit.

"Lt. Mayton then forbade Ms. Booker from having a lesbian relationship and ordered Ms. Booker not to contact her partner," the suit alleges.

Evangelists asked to 'convert' plantiff?

Cartersville Medical Center released Booker tile evening of April 22, 2010, and, according to the lawsuit, Lt. Mayton put Booker into Ploof's squad car and Ploof drove her to a nearby shopping center.

Lt Mayton followed Ploof to the shopping center, transferred Booker into his personal vehicle and then drove Booker to tile 110me of his

friend, Gary Allen Covington, and asked Covington to watch Booker. According to me lawsuit, Covington was paid $200 in county funds to do so. And, accor-ding to the lawsuit, Booker remained at Covington's home up to a week

LI. Mayton then returned and, according to the lawsuit, transported Booker to the private residence of Chris and Donna McDowell, two self-described "evangelists." The couple was paid $600 of county funds "to attempt to convert Ms. Booker from being a lesbian," the suit alleges,

After several days, Booker attempted to escape from the McDowell's home and then went to her mother's home, where she had been staying, to get some personal items. LI. Mayton went to tile home on May 18, 2010, and attempted to arrest her without a warrant, according to tile suit. Booker resisted and Lt. Mayton. slammed her against a patrol car and "lifted up Ms. Booker's shirt to expose her bare breasts."

Perrotta said Booker has suffered irnmeasurably from me alleged false arrest and harassment and is asking for a jury to award her an amount to be determined,


May 27, 20n I GA Voice ..

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D GA voce \ May 27, 2011 \ News



30 years after HIV decimated the gay community and inspired us to action, infections on the rise again

By Ryan Lee

The mysterious disease that would eventually become a global pandemic is approaching a milestone that it denied to thousands of gay men in the 1980s and '90s: On June 5, AIDS rums 30.

First identified as an unusual outbreak of pneumocystis carinil pneumonia by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, AIDS startled doctors with the way it targeted "previously healthy" young men and ravaged their immune systems with unprecedented speed.

"Patient 4: A 29-year-old man developed P. carinii pneumonia in February 1981," read the June 5, 1981, Morbidity & Monali.ty Weekly Report, the CDC's first official recognition of what would become known as AIDS. "He did not improve after being given intravenous [antibiotics] and corticosteroids and died in March."

Ironically, as it approaches its 30th anniversary, AITIS is an emaciated version of its earlier self. Whereas it was once a matter of weeks or months between diagnosis and death, AIDS and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus that leads to it are now widely considered chronic illnesses that can be managed with medications.

But HlV/AIDS still lives, still thrives - in the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, and the more than 33 million people fighting the disease worldwide - and it remains one of the most insidious diseases when untreated.

"Certainly, the way that many people in the U,S, are looking at HIV has changed over time, and we have to be honest, the epidemic itself really has changed," said Richard Wolitski, deputy director of behavioral and social science at CDC. "This is a different epidemic than earlier, but we have to recognize that it's still a major public health threat for this country.

"I think a lot of people don't realize d1e magnitude of the crisis that we're still facmg today, particularly anlong men who have sex with men," Wolitski added. "I don't think that anybody c-ould have imagined when the first five cases of AIDS were reported in 1981 by CDC that we'd be dealing with a worldwide epidemic, 30 years later, that's taken the lives of more than 600,000 people in this country alone,"

A plague and a new beginning

Jeff Graham has spent most of his adult life at war against HIV/AlDS, first as a member of ACT UP, then at the former AIDS Survival Project and now as executive director of Georgia Equality. However, when he first heard about the illness almost three decades ago, Graham didn't think it was relevant to him.

"To be honest, it didn't have a huge impact at the time because when I was 17 or 18 years old hearing about this disease that affected men in their thirties, it seemed so remote to me," Graham said.

Graham was not alone in distancing himself from the new disease. Mainstream media largeIy ignored the plague. Led by President Ronald Reagan, who didn't say the word "AIDS" publicly until almost six years into the epidemicafter the disease killed more than 25,OOOAmeri~ cans - the federal government devoted scant resources to investigate what was obliterating a generation of gay men.

The only attention HIV/AIDS received from outside of the gay community and a cluster of researchers was hostile and condemning. Gay Americans were "fighting a life or death battle and not having a whole lot of allies who were willing to stand with us," said Graham, who, like most gay men of his era, was soon conscripted into the war against AIDS.

"It had just a devastating impact on the community, and certainly for anyone that lived through the '80s, I think that the scars of that time is something that all of us will carry with tIS for the rest of our lives," Graham said, "Just a tremendous sense of loss."

Pitted against one of the most enigmatic and lethal viruses in history, the gay community proved itself loaded with admirable warriors. In between attending weekly funerals and sitting bedside to their dying friends and lovers, LGBT people waged a relentless campaign to draw attention to their suffering.

They created care networks and community clinics to treat the ill. They turned dances and drag shows into fuodraisers to supply the young movement with its only resources, They established a new cultural norm where condom use was a non-negotiable key to survival

They pressured government officials and scientists to invest in research and demanded the media stop ignoring their plight, and in the process laid the foundation for the patient advocacy that is n ow used for everything fr-om breast cancer to Parkinson's disease.

AIDS also radically altered the gay rights movement itself. The organizing and fundraising ceq uired to fight the disease provided structure to a previously scattered effort for LGBTrights, and the momentum gained during the '80s turned the LGBT community into a legitimate political constituency during the 1990s and today.

However, rhe epidemic's true impact on the course of gay rights will forever be unknown.

"So many of the leaders who were gay men in their twenties, and thirties and forties - an entire generation of seasoned, experienced leaders - died," Graham said, ''We have never been able to benefit from where their experience, their energy, their commitment to LGBT rights may have taken us if they had in faa lived."

Positives and negatives

As Graham's friends and colleagues continued to die with agonizing frequency in 1994, he finally received hope while working at.AlDS Survival Project A board member returned from a research meeting where scientists were so encouraged by the early results of a new class of drugs -protease inhibitors - they asked the Food & Drug Administration to fast-track testing.

"The theory was that protease inhibitors could be used in combination with other existing medications and that it would put a real dent in HIV's ability to hun people's immWl€ system," Graham recalled. "He felt in the near future people would begin to lead relatively nonnaJ lives, and of course all of that came to pass."

The arrival of protease inhibitors and other Highly Active Anti-Retrovlral Therapy drugs was deemed a miracle moment when announced at the International AJDS Conference in 1996.

However, the history of HIVI AIDS has been a story of positives and negatives, and nearly every breakthrough has been partnered with setback. Various HAART medications have worked so effectively that HIV/AIDS is no longer the crisis it once was, espedally for those who never experienced its unchecked wrath.

'There's a new generation of Americans who need to be reached, and they're coming from a very different place," said Wolitksi from the CDC. ''Today's young people have never known a time wnhout effective H1V treatment, and we're asking them to act against a threat that, for some of them, seems remote, but the reality is that it still is a very real threat."

More than one-third of new HIV infections ooeur in people under age 30, according to the most recent CDC data. The demographic that was first publicly impacted by HlV/AlDS continues to bear the weight of the epidemic, with gay and bisexual men accounting for more than half of new HIV cases in the U.S. each year.

"We're seeing the numbers of HlV infection continue to increase among [gay and bisexual men], and in fact, (it is] the onJy risk group that we're seeing increases in infections," Wolitski said "This is particularly concerning at this point in time because we're now seeing that the number of new HIY infections among men who


have sex with men are higher thaJl the ones we saw at the end of the 1980s."

The advances in medicine were accompanied by a deliberate effort to "de-gay" HIV/AIDS education so that other at-risk populations would understand their vulnerability, and to establish that gay people were more than an illness. This made the disease an afterthought among many in the community that was most affected,

In response to alarming CDC data, in 2009 Georgia Equality created the Georgia HTV AdVOC4Cy Network, which lobbies for access to medicine and prevention. Still, it's difficult to snap the complacency that comes with miracles.

"I don't know that the movement will ever look exactly the same as it did in the era of ACf UP and the early days of the epidemic," Graham said. "Thank goodness, we no longer have the urgency of our friends dying around us. If you're going to a memorial service every other week or several times a month, it's a constant reminder to you that something needs to be done"

A political disease

The lull in public awareness of HIV/AJDS comes as public health resources are waning.

"Flar is the new increase in our environment," said Tracy Elliott, executive director of AJD Atlanta. "If we can maintain the programs we have, we're very fortunate, and we're working hard to do that as opposed to looking at growing our capacity. It's just not a time where capacity growth is very realistic."

AIDS Drug Assistant Programs, which provide HAART medications to people who cannot afford them, are withering amid eagerness to cut social services from state and federal budgets. In Georgia, more than 1,500 people are on a waiting list to begin receiving drugs.

The drugs now available to people living with HIV are vastly more effective and convenient than their predecessors - sometimes a single, once-aday pill replacing a laborious drug cocktail that caused severe side effects. There is also significant buzz about the research intO microbicide gels that could prevent HIV transmission in women, and the ability of gay men to avoid infection by taking anti-HIV drugs prior to being exposed to the disease. Research to find an HIV vaccine also continues, including here at Emory University and the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta.

But even if a cure for HrV/AJDS were discovered tomorrow, "we will need advocacy and community pressure to close that gap between what's possible through technology and medical advancement, and the barriers that funding and politics play," Graham said.

"It's far too easy for people to say, 'Well, in this day and age, if there's a gay man who tests positive for I-BY, he knew how to protect hirnself," Graham added. 'WIthout access to comprehensive sex ed, without access to condoms, without the sort of support to really eroticize safer sex - those were all activities that took place in the late '80s and early '90s when the HIV transmission rate did drop significantly, but those are interventions and tools that we no longer use as much as a commllllity."

Milestones ·n


• On June 5, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports t he first case of the illness that will come to be called AIDS.

• Number of known AIDS deaths in United states during 1981: 234.


• The CDC links the new disease to blood. The name Gay-Relaled Immune Deficiency (GRID) is replaced with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).


• The CDC warns blood ban ks of the risk of infection through transfusion.


• Virus isolated by tuc Montagnier of the Pas· teur Inslitute and Robert Gallo of Ihe National Csnce rlnstitute determined to be cause of AIDS; later named the Human Immunodefi· ciency Virus (HIV).


• first I nternation al AIDS Confere nee held inA tla nta.

• Rock Hudson announces he has AI DS.

• Ryan White. 14 .. is barred from attending pub.lic. school in Indiana because of being HIV·positive.


• President Ronald Reagan uses the word "AIDS" in public lor I he first ti me.


• ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) starts.

• Zidovudine (AZT) is approved to fight AIDS itself.

• U.S. adds HIV as a "danqerous contagious disease" to its immiq ration exclusion list.

• Pianist Liberace dies of AIDS.


· u.s. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop launches the first coordinated H.IV campa ign by mailing 107 mi Ilion copies of .. Understandinq AIDS" to

a II American households.


• Choreog rapher Alvi n Ailey dies of AIDS.

• Gay artist Robert Mapplethorpe dies of AIDS.


, Ryan While dies from AIDS at age 18. The Rya n White Comprehensive AI.DS Resources Emergency (CAR£) Act of 1990 is a,pproved.

• President George W Bush signs the Ameri· cans wilh Disabilities Act, which in part prohibits discri mination against people with HIV.


• CDC reports that. among men who have sex with men in the U.S., AfricawAmerican and Latino cases exceed those among whites.

e HIVe idemic


• Un ited Nations Genera I Asse mb.ly convenes first ever special session on AIDS.

• Artist Keith Haring dies of AIDS.

• fashion desioner Ha lston dies of AI DS.


• NBA superstar Magic J oh nson ann ou nces that he has HIV and will ret ire from basketball

• Red ribbon introduced as AIDS symbol.

• fredd ie Me rcury. lead si nqer of the roc k ba nd Queen, dies of AIDS.


• AI DS becomes number one cause of death for US men ages 25 10 44.

• Tennis star Arthur Ashe announces he has AIDS. , ·'B rady Bun ch" star Ho bert .Reed dies of AIDS.


• Arthur Ashe dies from AIDS.

• President Clinton establishes Wh ite House Office of National AIDS Policy.


• Elizabeth Glaser, co-founder of the Pediatric A IDS Foundation, dies of AIDS.

• Pedro Zamora, a HIV-positive gay man, appears on the cast of MTVs PODu lar show. "The Real World" Zamora dies later this year at age 22.

• Randy Shills, aut nor of "And the 8and Played On:· dies of AIDS at age 42.


, First protease inhibitor, saquinavir, approved in record time by the U.S. FDA, usherinc in new era of h.ighly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).

• Olympic Gold Medal diver Greg Lougan;is

an nounces he has HI V.

• Rap star Eazy·[ (Eric Wright) dies of AIDS.


• At 11t h AIDS Conference in Vancouver, new protease inhi biters a nd combination therapi ss bring new optimism.

• The number of new AIDS cases diagnosed in the U.S. declines for first time in history 01 epidemic


• AIDS·related deaths in the U.S. decline by more than 40 percent compared to the prior yea r, largely due to HAART.


· u.s Department of Health & Human Services issues first national guidelines for the use of antiretroviral therapy in adu Its.


• Study finds that nu mbers of new HIV intectrons a re rising among young gay men.


• HIV is leading' cause of death worldwide. among those aged IS-59.


• President Bush announces PEPfAR. the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.


• Leaders of the Group of Eioht (GB) nations call lor creation 01 ·'Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise."


• The World Health Olljanization. UNAIDS. the United: States government and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria announce results of joint efforts to increase the availability of antirslroviral drugs in developing countries.


• CDC recomme nds rout ine HIV screening for all adults ages 13-64


• Since 1981, more than 565,000 people have died of AIDS in the U.S., the CDC reports


• CDC releases new HIVestimates of 56.300 new infections per year, versus 40,000 previously cited. The increase is attributed to new ways of measuri nQ new infect ions.


• President Obama announces his administration witl remove final reg ulatory barriers to I itt the HIV travel and immigration ban.


· Key studies show that microbicides can help reduce HIV infections among women, and that taking HIV medications may help keep HIV' negative gay men from contracting the virus. • Obama Administration releases the first comprehensive National HIV/AIOS Strategy for the Un it ed S ta te s.

Sources: AIDS.gov, Kaiser family Foundation (www.kff.org), AIDS Education Global Informa· tion Syslem (www.aeQis.com). staff reports

m GA Vo.i.ee\ May 27,2011 \ News

10 tips to prevent HIV infection


If it's oral, anal or vaginal it should be wrapped up before any penetration,


Know who you are and where your values lie. Confidence plays a great role not only in getting that sexy new catch, but also in standing firm in your decisions to protect yourself and your partners,


Discuss HIV and safer sex with your partners before sex. This can help steer what kind of sex you have.


Attending an HIV 101 course can give you a better idea what HIV is, how it works and just how it is transmitted.


If you're going out for a night on the town and planning to parry, take condoms with you. You never know where your night might lead. Alcohol and drugs reduce inhibitions, but if you're prepared, you'll be more likely to use protection.


SO, you found that lucky partner and you've made it to bed, but they refuse to use protection. Knowing interesting and safe alternatives to penetration such as mutua! masturbation and frottage can eliminate risk while still getting the goal


It may be a cliche term, but knowing how valuable your health and financlal resources are can playa great pan in Staying safe.


New drugs now available lessen the negative side effects of taking medications. However, most people don't take into con sid eration the cost 0 f the drugs, the cost and frequency of doctors visits and frequent blood draws for lab work. Treatment is still costly, time consuming and physically and emotionally draining.


Having another infection such as syphilis or gonorrhea can greatly increase your chances of becoming infected with HIY. Pay attention to your body or better yet, if you're sexually active consider getting regular STD checkups. Getting vaccinated for hepatitis A and B can also be a great ally.

til T£STlNG

Get tested. Period. If you are sexual! y active and always have protected sex you should still be tested annually. If you have unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex, you should get an HIV test evezy three to six months.

Source: Posit ive I mpacl I MISTE R (M en's Info rmati 0 n Services: Testing, Empowerment, Resources) www.positiveimpact-atl.org

HIV resources

For housing, meals, pet care and other HIV groups, visit www.thegavoice.com. pull down the "common ity" menu and click "organ izations.'

AIDS Alliance for Faith and Health. Workshops, support. massage therapy, buyer's club. 139 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE, Suite 103, Atlanta, GA 3030B, 404-659-2437, www.aidsal.lianceatl.org

AIDS Athens. HIV prevention, testing, housing, suppor!, other services. 112 Park Ave., Athens, GA 30601, 706·549-3730, www..aidsathens.org

AID At lanta. HIV prevention, testing, education, support clinic, Includes Gay Men's Outreachl P.O.O.L. Program (Email steven.tgarashi@aidatlanta.org) and Deepe r love lor gay men of color (www.lacebook.com/thedeeperloveproject) 1605 Peachtree SI. N[ Atlanta, GA 30309, 40H70·7754, www.aidatlanta.org

AI.DGwinnett. HIV prevention, testing, medical care. 3075 Breckinridge Blvd., Su ite 415, Duluth, GA 30096, 770·962-8396, www.aidgwinnett.org

AIDS Research Consortium of Atl.anla. HIV and STD testing: HIV research trials .. 131 Ponce de leon Ave, NE Suite 130, Atlantal, GA 30308, 404-876·2317. www.arcatlanta.org

Central City AIDS Network (Macon). HIV counseling, testing, services. 2020 Ingleside Ave .. P. D. Box 2007. Macon, GA 31203, 478-750-8080, www.rainbowcenleLus

10 steps beyond an HIV-positive diagnosis


Find support through friends, family, therapists, medical professionals or any combination of these. Without support, taking any additional steps can seem even more difficult and trying. Support groups can help bring a sense of camaraderie and fellowship to a seemingly lonely experience.


Not everyone will be supportive. Initial! y~ share this mforrnation with those whom you can trust to be uplifting and those whom will help YOLl along your way to treatment and safety.


Start identifying ongoing care and treatment resources. This can be a daunting task without help. Testing counselors can point you in the right direction whether you have insurance, a doctor or you need full assistance.


Knowing what ails you can be a great tool in battling the virus. HIV 101 and treatment courses can be a great resource to understanding what the virus is, what lab results actually mean, and what to expect and look for as your body changes, and what treatment options are available.


In Georgia there are laws surrounding the obligation to disclose, and it's the nice thing to do. Telling previous partners who may have been exposed is a requirement and can also help them to identify early on whether they are infected. Telling current and future partners also reduces their risk of exposure.


Studies show that Hlv-postuve people who continue to have unprotected sex may

actually become infected with a strain of the virus that is resistant to some medications and may cause complications with treatment in the future,


And we don't mean on the playground, Be aware of your drug, alcohol and tobacco use. These things can have a serious impact on your health and can have devastating consequences for an HIV positive individual.


Having intimate moments does not have to come to an end. Sex can and will still be hot after an HIV·positive diagnosis. Remember to protect yourself since STDs are still a risk and can be more difficult to treat with a compromised immune system Not to mention, you don't wan t to run the risk 0 f potentially passing the infection on to someone else.

CSRA Safety Net (Augusta area). HIV testing, education, counseling, treatment relena Is. 706-721-4463. www.csrasalelynet.ofg

Emory Hope Clinic. HIV vaccine trials. 603 Chu rch SI.. Decatur, GA 30030, 877-424-HOPE. medic ine.emory.edu/id/hopeciin ie

Evolution Center. Sale space lor young gay,

bi and Ira ns men 01 COIOf,i ncludes HIV support groups. 583 Juniper St .. Atlanta, GA 30308, 404· 524-5441, www.evolutionprojeciatl.org

National AI.DS Education & Services for Mincrltles.lne, 2140 Marlin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA 30310, 40H91·8B8o., www.naesm.org

Positive Impact I M ISlER Project. H IV and STD testing, discussion groups, mental health services. 139 Ra Iph McGi II Blvd. N E. Suite 301 Alia nta, GA 30308, 404-589-9040, www.positive.impact-atl.org

Someone Cares, Inc. HIV prevention, testing and c-ounseling.1950 Spectrum Circle, Ste. A·140 Marietta, GA 30067, 678-921-2708, www.som€Onecaresatl.org

youth Pr.ide. Center lor lGBTQ people ages 13-.24, includes HIV testing and education. 1017 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-521-9711, www.youthpride .. org

• Services listed are notesheustwe.


Keeping fit and healthy can naturally prolong the quality of life and assist in any ongoing medical treatment. Healthy diet and regular exercise are key to the body's health in general and can also help eliminate stress.


Having a positive outlook, lowered stress and an increase in coping skills (through support groups, counseling or other means) can leave your body with more energy and resources to handle the infection. Studies have shown that times of lower stress actually correspond to a healthier immune system. Look for programs and services to help you de-stress and get grounded.

Source: Positive I mpact I M ISiER (M en's I nformation Services: Testing, Empowerment, Resources) www.pasitiveimpact·atl.org


May 27, 20n I GA Voice m


AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta WorkiNg Togetlier For A Cure

Have HN But Never Taken Meds? AReA Has an Opportunity for You!

.ARCA is currently enrolling a clinical research trial involving an investigational once a day. one tablet dose regimen. The study will last 96 weeks and all study drugs will be provided.

You may qualify for this study if:

• You are 18 years of age or older

• You have never taken any approved or experimental anti-J-nV drugs

• Have a viral load z 2.500 copieslmL

What are the beneSts to you.? Jfyou qualify:

• Study medications. physical examinations and laboratory testing will be provided at no cost to you.

• You w!1I recetve $50 for each completed study Visit.

For more information please contact 404-876-2317

Are You HIV Positive?

Do You Have High Cholesterol?

Help us study a cholesterol-lowering drug!

Must have been on the same anti-HIV meds for 6 months or more

Have an undetectable viral load and T-Cel! count s 200 for the past 3 months

Be willing to Stop current cholesterol medication for 4 weeks,

then start the study drugs and follow a low cholesterol diet throughout the study

AU cholesterol-lowering medications are provided by the study.

Required study visits axe reimbursed.

AIDS Research Consortium of Adanta, Inc.

131 Ponce de Leon Ave.- Suite 130· Atlanta, Georgia 30308 404-876- 2317 • www.arcatlanra.org

Working Together for a Cure



CaningHIV negative men: This is your time

The word 'courageous' doesn't belong to survivors like me. It belongs to you.

Gues! column by Mark S. King

This is directed to Hrv negative gay men.

Listen carefu lIy. This is your time.

I've lived with HIV more than half my life, and people often praise me far more than I deserve, simply for surviving. They use words like brave and courageous.

YOLl know what takes courage? Getting an HIV test every few months. You, waiting nervously while your most personal sexual choices are literally being tested, waiting to find out if you've been good - or if you're going to pay for a single lapse in judgment by testing positive, when the look on the faces of YOLlr friends will say you should have known better.

I have no idea what that must be like. I took the test over 25 years ago. The positive result

was traumatic, no doubt about it, and I soldiered on during some awfully frightening times. But I have a significant psychological advantage over my Hlv negative friends: I only took that damn test once.

Dud ng a 11 these years, I've acted i rrespo ns ibly at times or taken chances I hadn't intended. But there has been no further judgment from a blood test. That reckoning was faced long ago.

But you - whether you have been sexually active for a year or a decade - have very likely faced some tough choices and behaved wisely. You keep doing the right thing.

This is your time. The word courageous is foryou,

If you don't define yourself, in large part, by the fact you are HIV negative, Start now. It ts your accompltshrnent, It says you are taking care. And it says you are eligible (0 participate in vaccine trials or mentor someone else trying to remain negative.

There is ongoing research now that is focused on Hlv negative men like you. Exd.ting new stud-

ies are investigating drugs to prevent infection after something risky has occurred, while other studles have shown promise for 11 drug regimen that might block infection before it happens.

And right now there are vaccine trials waiting for men like you to help find the ultimate weapon against HIY. They need volunteers, badly.

This is your time. This research is about you .. This call to action is for you.

I can already hear the rumblings on both sides of the viral divide. People are so quick to take offense, so afraid of being misunderstood, of being labeled or blamed or ostracized.

My fellow positive brothers are so bruised by stigma that it can be hard for them to lift you up. They've been rejected by you. They don't like hearing "maybe we can just be friends"


and they don't like seeing "UB2" in your online profile. They might be positive as a result of one stupid mistake, or at the hands of a predator, and they deeply resent feeling j udged.

Maybe they think your negative status is tile result of pure luck, or that you don't like anal intercourse, or you're lying.

Meanwhile, your sacrifices go unrecognized, You've seen some positive friends take early disability, hang out at the gym and get help with the rent. They receive so much support and empathy that it must feel like there isn't much left for you. Every year we all swarm the streets for the AIDS Walk,. and you can't help but wonder if your parade will ever arrive.

These grievances and resentments give me a headache. It doesn't matter much to me who is most injured. How infinite is our compassion for one another? I don't care anymore who gets what. What matters most is who does what.

This is your time. This truce, this call to a higher purpose, is for you.

You are fully human, like everyone else, my friend. You are courageous, afraid, selfish and compassionate. You make difficult choices and you make mistakes. And we need you so very badly.

Thank God for you. This is your time.

Mark S. King is a longtime HNIAlDS advocate, former At/anta resident and the force behind the blog MyFabu/ousDisease.com. He can be reached at mark@marksking.com

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Three decades later, we must ACT UP again

If 30 years of HIV has taught us anything. it is that Our Silence = Death.

Guest column by Craig \Wshingmn

"1 check the mirror for spots, irregularities, telltale signs. " ~ from The Adodi Muse, "It Begins"

This is a peculiar anniversary that marks a generation, a span from birth to full grown, three full decades, since the onset of the greatest public health issue of our time. Loss is what this commemoration Signifies most. Loss beyond measure, rendered in memorial quilt snapshots of realli ves lived, loss evoked in the chants of survivors who touched the untouchable, fed their beloved, wiped up the puke and shit, and were given neither a passing mention nor a place at the mourning table. I am 25 years old when I first feel swollen lymph glands. I have only JUSt begun when "It begins."

"So .it is better /0 speak remembering that we were never meant to survive. "- From Audre Lorde, "Litany for Survival"

What must never be forgotten are the responses to me plague, the best and the worst it summoned from us. It is in our responses to AIDS that we discovered and recreated its meanings. In til e face

of a NYC City Hall representative asking why he should care about "300 faggots (who) fucked each adler to death," gay activists crafted the f rst safer sex literature. Other Countries, a black gay mens' writing collective, gave voice to our will to endure, to love and exchange pleasure,

Gay men struggled through tangled interests of sexual agency, free will and community survival to craft initiatives that laid the groundwork for AIDS activism and safer sex education. HI V-posirrve women of color raised their voices demanding greater inclusion in the arenas of HIV treatment, research and awareness. Injection drug users scorned by all others rose to self advocacy against daunting odds.

By what standard do we measure AIDS at 30, tile distance between that incredible then and this unsure now? Certainly we have garnered key victories over this stretch. Consider the contrasts (and parallels) between a presidenr who killed through his silence and the president who launched a National HIV/AIDS plan and lifted the federal ban on needle exchange.

We had breakthroughs that delivered us from dependency on AZT monotherapy to our current expanded toolkit. We have rejoiced over recent success stories that reported effective microbicides, the potential of PrEP, and the HPTN 052 study which demonstrates how treatment yields prevention.




While these gains must be noted, we have to confront the disturbing underside of this milestone. The U.S remains a nation of incredible possibilities and insufferable contradictions. In the face of a recession and slashed state funding, key pharmaceuticals raised their already sky high prices on vital meds.

Then there are the waiting lists. In July 2010, the Obarna administration's $25 million bandage in response to the $125 million requested to boost the AIDS Drug Assistance Program was an affront to activists across the country As of May 19, 2011, there were 8,310 individuals in 13 states on ADAP waiting lists. Georgia has the second largest list with over 1,515 people. Most of these lists are within the South, the region that also holds the most new infections.

It is evident that the time to. act is overdue.


Many of us have grown comfortable with the successes of the past 30 years, as if these histories were not available to us. Arrange a screening of Jean Carlomusto's "Sex in an Epidemic" or Marlon Riggs' "Black Is Black Ain't" and note that none of our freedoms were gained or maintained without struggle. Convene public question-and-answer sessions and informal discussions at Starbucks about ADAP and PrEP. Call Georgia Equality and ask how you can bring your community's concerns to the 2012 XIX International AIDS Conference.

This anniversary should prompt us to mobilize our organizatlons into action. Gay men and transgenders across the nation, especially young black gay men, are becoming infected at rates much higher than any other group.

Incarcerated individuals in Georgia are denied access to condoms due to puritanical policies. Transgenders are crimlnalized on sight by Midtown police and denied employment and access to shelter. The statewide attacks on women's reprcductlve rights will resume uncontested unless we take a stand.

Let this then be an occasion to ACT UP again. If 30 years of HIV has taught us anything, it is that Our Silence = Death.

Craig Washington has been .living with HlV for 25 years and serving communities through writing, teaching, organizing advocacy, and HlV prevention work. He can be reached Dt www.craigwerks.coll1

BRUCE A. HAGEN, P.C. 404-522-7553 RandY@hagen-law.com

119 North McDonough St. Decatur, GA 30030 www.hagen-law.com


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m. GA Voice \ May 27, 2011 \ Voices


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News anchor discusses coming out, the black church, and why he feared gay people wouldn't accept him

By .Dyana Bagby dbagby@rhegavoice.com

CNN anchor Don Lemon is accustomed to reporting headlines, not making them,

. But as the author of the new book, "Transparent," Lemon decided to make public to the world what many people dose to him already knew ---he is gay.

Lemon anchors CNN Newsroom during weekend prime time and also serves as a correspondent, including covering the deadly tornado that hit Joplin, Mo. He came out publicly May 16 in an article published in the New York Tunes, which discussed the risk he is taking with his memoir.

The announcement has been well received by most people and the book tour has kept him busy giving dozens of interviews to newspapers, radio shows and 1V shows.

Lemon spoke with the GA Voice on May 23 while waiting for a driver in Los Angeles to take him to the "Tavis Smiley Show."

Yes, he does have a boyfriend .. His partner of four years lives in New York, he said And at the end of the interview, he tearfully acknowledged the response to his coming out has been "overwhelming" and he is grateful for the love he is receiving.

But Lemon also admitted he was ready to get to New York to visit his partner and get back to "normal,"

"1 haven't seen him all week. I just want to mow the lawn. I just need to be normal again," he said.

Lemon appears at Atlanta's Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse on June 7 for a discussion with gay etiquette writer Steven Petrow,then visits the bookstore again June 22 to read and sign "Transparenr."

GA Voice: How out were you before revealing to the world that you are gay?

Don Lemon: I was out in my personal life, with my mends, my family knew. I told them when I was 30; I'm 45 now, believe it or not. People at work knew. II'S nOI something that you open and readily discuss with people and certalnly not publicly.

Why did you come out to everyone else now?

The book was a catalyst. Someone approached me to write a book and' kept lUming them down, when I realized I was doing what people do 10 me when they don't want to be bothered. And I was telling myself no.

I~u)ijlmil' www.theGAVoice.com

Don Lemon at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse 991 Piedmont Ave. NE Atlanta. GA 30309 www.oulwri.tebooks.com

• June 7. 7:30 p.m. Conversation with Steven Petrow \0 promote Petrow's new book. "Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners··

• June 22. 7:30 p.m. lemon reads and signs his memoir. '·Transparent""

It was just supposed to be ... a. sort of inspirational book on how to be successful, how to be a pretty good person, lead a pretty good life and how to be happy and thrive in life.

I realized the only story I really knew with conviclion was my own story I had been pretty successful, consider myself a pretty good person, have led a pretty good life. And part of that was being gay. How could I write a book and leave thai OUl?

So r started writing about my childhood. It became cathartic as I kepI putting words on paper. I realized this is a book I would want to read. I realized that this is a book that would have helped me as a young person, and even as an older person, and as professional even now.

At first my publishers [Farrah Gray Publishlngl were hesitant. They said, "All right, be careful." Once they read it they said it was a beautiful story. BUI at any time I could have taken it out.

But then Tyter Clementi killed himself. I said leave it in and what will be wHlbe.

[Clementi is the Rutgers student who jumped off a bridge in September 2010 after his roommate secretly taped him ln a sexual encounter with another man and broadcast it on the internet]

Please see LEMON, continued on Page 16

m GA voce \ May 27, 2011 \ A&E


It's Vlbat VIe do.






Rugby's Ben Cohen stands up for equality

International ru.gby sta rand gay icon

Ben Cohen .. who is straight. kicked of!h is "Accepta nee Tour" in Atlanta with the Atlanta Bucks RUQby Club May 19-21. While here, he announced thai his new StandUp Foundation to combat bullying and

hom ophobia in sports would be based in Atlanta. He also stopped at the Atlanta Ea..gle and a uctioned the shirt off his back, literally. (Photo by Dyana. Bagby)

More photos and video at www.thega.voice.com

Lemon: 'I was born gay'

LEMON, continued from Page 15

Wo.at kind of reactions have you received?

Mostly positive. Some, very few, negative responses. You expect that even with the work I do, even in my daily professional life. You are never going to please everyone. Wllen you stand up for yourself there will always be negativity, I just don't look at mat. I take criticism to heart People have me right to say what they want. I just keep moving,

I feel I stand on the shoulders of civil rights leaders and freedom fighters who fought for me to be where I am, to have an education, to afticulate and put words on paper, Tim is what they would have done - not that I'm any way near as brave as (hey are.

I came from a long line of people who fought for freedom, civil rights and justice. I just need to stand on their shoulders and do what I think is right. And that's what I'm doing.

When did you know you were gay?

I've always known. As a kid T wasn't old enough ... I was a kid, I was innocent. I didn't know enough to sexualize. But I've always known. I was born gay just as I was born black.

Atlanta is considered a black gay mecca, Do you participate in any of Atlanta's gay scenes, events?

J don't inhibit myself from going places. r am an equal opportunity employer as far as ethnicities, backgrounds, sexual orientations. If a gay friend says let's go to a gay bar, I will go. If a straight friend wants to go to a bar; I'll go to a straight bar.

I don't pick and choose .. I'm a citizen of the world and believe everything is equal. I don't limit to myself to just hanging out wIth gay people. I'm not an advocate for anything. I live my life freely ....

My first concern was that the gay community wouldn't support me. I have gladly been proven wrong. I honestly thought nobody would care, "So what if Don Lemon is gay." I did not think I would get the support that I'm getting. I am just grateful beyond belief.

The reason [ didn't think that is because I don't consider myself a sort of prototype, like Ken doll, Superman, Clark Kent. That was due to my own limited belief. I've been overwhelmed by it. I'm so grateful and happy for the response to let me know my decision was the right one.

I'm curious about why you didn't think the gay community would accept you, Can you elaborate?

Part of it was me. I was wrong in that. Again, I'm not a typical gay prototype, not on magazine covers like the pretty boys. Also, I would be invited to events by large gay organizations, because of my ideals, and I would be the only one or one of a handful of people of color in the room.

I just thought something was wrong with this picture, I clidn 't see myself reflected in these groups. It's just an observation. Maybe there's something meant to be about this process also - I could be a person to help with mat.

The black church has a strong reputation of being homophobic. What would you like to say on this issue?

Of course it's not just the blackchun:h, but I'm a black person and I mow how the church is. They like to preach mat you can pray the gay away. People who have been discriminated against .. _ should be more supportive of dvll rights.

My challenge is for the church to look beyond these limited beliefs that promoted slavery, segregation. I think the black church could be a lot more inclusive and stop hurting kids by making kids think there is something wrong with them.


IWI:Hjjl by Jim Farmer

A&E I May 27, 20n I GA Voice IDI


ind your grail'

Goofy 'Spamalot,' rnovinq 'Rent' resonate with calls to embrace individuality

Atlanta Lyric Theatre is preparing to open Jonathan Larson's Tony-winning musical "Rent" with a heavily gay cast and crew.

The original "Rent" opened on Broadway in 1996, Just after composer/playwright Larson's untimely death from an aortic dissection, and ran an incredible 12 years. It's been producedtn Atlanta perhaps more than any other Broadway musical save for "Mamma Mia!" the last decade.

Director Alan Kilpatrick, who is gay, feels that "Rent" is that rare show that reaches audiences outside of typical theater patrons,

"1 think it appeals to a broader spectrum than people would guess," Kilpatrick says. "People have latched onto it. It has an infectious score."

Among gay-inclusive musicals, he calls "Rent" essential.

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tel's, maybe in support, but they are a major part of tim storyline in multiple variations," Kilpatrick says. "They are not stereotypical portrayals either. Because there is such an acceptance of gay relationships in 'Rent,' a lot of people feel it is their show."

Adam Peyton is one of the gay actors in the production. He plays Angel, who he says is comfortable living as a man but comfortable dressing like a woman.

He feels the play accurately depicts gays and lesbians as well as mY/AIDS, although he points out that "HlV/AIDS is not the death sen-

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Return to 'Spamalot'

Opening next week is a return engagement of "Monty Python's Spamalot," complete with an openly gay actor - Steve McCoy - in tlle central role of King Anhur of Britain. "Spamalot," based on the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," won a Tony for Best Musical in 2005. Although McCoy admits that he runs into Pytho n fa n s almost everywhere he goes with the musical, he does not feel it is mandatory to have a working knowledge of the Arthur legend or of the comedy troupe (0 appreciate the humor.

"It's very funny and goofy, with huge song and dance numbers," McCoy says. "It's intellectual and silly, brilliantly written. It's also a parody of musical theater."

The show, which features two gay characters, has been a lightning rod for out perform--------' ers, he acknowledges. Las! year Richard Cham-

tence it was when the play opened." berlain was in the touring version and before

Like Kilpatrick, he thinks the musical holds that Clay Aiken was in the cast in Broadway.

up well today and is just as timely. McCoy admits there really isn't a lot of

"Both Alan and T think 'Rem' is a mod- variation in the way the role of Arthur can

em day version of 'Hair' in that it speaks out be played.

against issues," Peyton says. "You have to play it seriously or it won't

Choreographer Ricardo Aponte, who is also work - there is really only one way to do it,"

gay, says that the trick for him is to stay faithful he says. "You have to believe you are actually

(0 the original but also to bring some individual- riding the horse.

ity. For instance, in the lengthy number "La Vle He feels the message of "Spamalot" - "to

Boheme," which closes out the first act, be will go out and find what is important to you, your

stick to basics- "the things everyone expects to own grail, and don't llsten [0 what others say"

see" - but will add some personal touches, - speaks to everyone, especially gay people.

Steve McCoy, who is gay, plays King Anhur in 'Spamaiot' at rhe Fox Theatre. (Pt/Meiry phoros)

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A&E / May 27, 2011 / GA Voice m

Taco heaven

From simple to exotic, Latin fare perfect for summer relaxing

I could eat Tex-Mex ! Latin! Spanish food every day. There are so many derivatives and fusions of 111is type of cuisine so I don't pretend to be an expert. All I know is that my years in San Diego showed me what authentic (and very bad) Latin fare can be.

I grew up in Atlanta with chain Tex-Mex (anybody remember Chi Chi's?) and then in college spent years on the EI Azteca patio on Ponce drinking those cheap pitchers of frozen rnargaritas that would make everyone hallucinate if you drank too much. Much older and wiser, my tastes have evolved.

With summer nearing, I can't think of anything I want at the end of a long work week more than a big bowl of fresh chunky guacamole with cilantro and some warm salty corn chips; pair that with a good margarita made with white


mian deconstructed gem near the Prado on Roswell Road called El Taco Veloz which is perfect for lunch. There are no pre-made corporate mixes here.

I have yet to find a cheap carne asada (charbroiled steak) burrito as good as I had in Southern California, but th.e one at El Taco Veloz is excellent Order it with sour cream in the burrito and you'll get smoky spiced grilled thin-sliced beef with warm sour cream, then visit the salsa bar for the avocado crema.The veggie chile relleno burrito is also excellent - a mild stuffed pepper with cheese and cilantro. Once you eat here you'll see what true "st!'eet" MexiGln is and question going to the "Bell." I also like Chipotle on Ponce; it's cheap and fresh plus you get vely filled up.

Atlanta has many Latin restaurants driven by talented chefs. If you are ready to graduate from cliche Tex-Mex then visit Agave, described as eclectic Southwestern. Agave marched in Atlanta Pride.

Agave is slightly more expensive but once you try the New Mexico Hatch Green Chile Stew, it will all be worth it. We usually order two appetizers, share an entree and spend around $35 including a 20 percent tip. That's not a bad price for such unique cuisine.

I ordered the stew with a gorgeous fed chile marinated pork and shredded smoked chicken breast burrito for $12. We started with rnus-

Enjoy the relaxing patio and delicious disl1eS G/ Pure Taqueria in inman Park. (Publicity pllOtO)

sels steamed in red chile citrus wine broth wirh warm scratch-made tortillas to dip in the broth. Agave also has one of the best distinctive vegetarian menus in the city like Blue Com Enchiladas with fresh veggies, chilies, corn salsa, and southwest guajillo and tomatillo sauces.

You'll enter and see the gothic brick hearth, the bold exposed brick. The nee-lined patio is not your stock Atlanta busy street variety. It's like eating in a 1,000 year old church in Spain and the perfect romantic date destination. The medieval decor and fresh passion fruit margarita might make you lean into your date and confess all your sins.

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We were in Inman Park near Pure Taqueria and decided to revisit. I like the patio because it's not a parking lot patio, but I really wish the inside tables weren't so close and I don't like the uncomfortable elementary school chairs. J've had many fish tacos around town and Pure's are an excellent version with a large portion of crispy white fish, poblano slaw and my favorite vibrant green tomatillo salsa, served with smoky non-tired refried beans with crumbled cotija cheese.

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A&E / May 27, 2011 / GA Voice ID

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HRC Dinner tells 'Our Stories' to fi htforL.GBT ri

Speaker: 'The movement for equality saved my life'

By Laura Douglas-Brown Ibrown@U1egQvoice.com

"Our Stories,' the theme for this year's Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner, proved fitting May 14 as hundreds packed the ballroom at the Marriott Marquis for the annual black- lie fundraiser for the nation's largest LGBT advocacy group.

From national award winners to local honorees and HRC members, personal stories wove a compelling narrative of the power of coming out and the need for full equality for LGBT Americans.

Filmmaker Lee Daniels, who is gay and an adoptive father, summed up the evening succinctly when he told the cheering audience, "I am not asking for special rights, I am not asking for civil rights, I just want my fucking rightsmy hwnan rights."

Daniels directed "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire" and anended the Atlanta dinner to present HRC's national Ally for Equality award to talk show host and actress Mo'Nique, who won an Academy Award for her role in the film.

But Daniels' own story proved among the most inspiring of the evening, as he opened his remarks with a simple declaration: "I am Lee Daniels and I am gay. I am 51 years old and I am gay. I was born gay. This I know is true."

"J pay my taxes - OK, sometimes - but J really do pay my taxes," Daniels joked, before making a more serious point.

"I am a good father. 1 am a very dedicated son," he said. "1 try to be a good partner., , There is no reason I should be made to feel like a second-class citizen, but that is what the government says I am."

Daniels then presented the Ally for Equality award to Mo'Nique, noting "she has been trying to be a gay man for the last 20 years."

Mo'Nique also kept her comments personal, describing how her family shunned her effeminate gay cousin, how her best friend from elementary school finally came out as a lesbian, and how she felt embracedearly in her career by gay audiences who saw her as more than "this fat black girl."

"To give me an award this evening for loving is a little confusing because I feel like I should be giving you an award for loving me when no one else did," Mo'Nique said, adding that "God made you just the way you are supposed to be."

"Let's get back to loving without judgment,

'Mu it 1111(1' wwwlheGAVoice.com

• Photo gallery

• Videos of speeches and interviews with Mo'Nique, Lee Oaniels and

HRCPresldent Joe Sotmone.se

and maybe we won't have to keep having these dinners for acceptance," she said.

Local stories

The Atlanta HRC Dinner also included presentanons of two local awards. Jeff Cleghorn, who has been at the forefront of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" battle for almost 20 years, received the Dan Bradley Hwnanitarian Award.

Cleghorn served in the military, then worked for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a non-profit dedicated to helping those impacted by the military's "Don't Ask, Don'tTell" policy. An attorney, he now lives in Atlanta and serves on SLDN's national board ..

Cleghorn was honored late last year when he was invited to the White House to witness President Barack Obama sign legislation that will repeal the ban on openly gay service members. Repeal has not yet been implemented, and HRC President Joe Solmonese said at the Atlanta dinner that his organization would fight any attempts to stall it.

Accepting the Humanitarian Award, Cleghorn, who is from the small town of Griffin, Ga., noted thai his mother was in the crowd and described how "the movement for equality saved my life."

"It saved me from a life of shame because it empowered me to come out and stand up against the lie - the absolute lie - that there is anything wrong with who we are as LGBT Americans," Cleghorn said.

Paul Plate, executive director of Positive Impact, received the Leon Allen & Winston Johnson Community Service Award.

In a video introduction, Plate discussed how his job at the HlY agency allows him to combine his work with his personal life and passion.

"When J first heard about GRID [gay-rel ared immune deficiency, an early name for what came to be known as AIDS], I knew it would be the rest of my life," Plate said, noting his own diagnosis 27 years ago and the death of his partner 13 years ago.

Plate accepted HRC's award on behalf of himself and Positive Impact, which provides

HRC Dinner 2011 (clockwise from top left); Mo'Nique; Maggie Lopez and iler partner, Pat Cianciullo; Lee Daniels; PlWl Plate and Jeff Cleghorn_ (photos by Brent CorcoranfRNZ Photography)

culturally competent mental health and other services to people with HlV

Earlier in the evening, local HRC member Maggie Lopez, accompanied by her spouse, Pan Cianciuilo, told her story of battling breast can cer ina state that refuses to recognize their relationship.

To rally attendees to join the HRC Federal Club, a group of donors who give at least $1,200 per year, Lopez noted the need to fight for rights for LGBT couples - particularly overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows states to ignore gay marriages performed in other states.

Lopez and Cianciullo are legally married in Connecticut, but have no legal relationship since moving to Georgia because the state won't recognize their union.

As Cianciullo accompanied her to hospital and doctor visits, Lopez said she was alternatively referred to as her "friend," "emergency contact" and even her "ride home," but not her spouse.

"Part was there for me when I had cancer, the govemment was not ... DOMA hurts my family," Lopez said.

Victories and ongoing battles

This year's Atlanta HRC Dinner came atwhat Solmonese, the organization's national president, called "a tipping point" for LGBT rights.

Solmonese stressed a series of recent victories for gay and transgender rights. They included President Obama signing hate crimes legislation and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal, as well as the Obarna administration implementing hospital regulations that protect gay couples and refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act against federal lawsuits.

Solrnonese also noted Atlanta law firm King & Spalding's decision to drop the DOMA defense case after pressure from HRC. The private law firm, which has been known for its gay-inclusive policies, had originally agreed to take the case for the Republican-led House of Representatives, which stepped in to defend the gay marriage ban when Obama wouldn't.

As "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal nears implementation, key priorities for HRCwill include expanding marriage rights to addi tiona] states and helping reelect President Obama, Solmonsse said in an interview before the stan of the dinner.

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'Outside Ourselves' with OurSong

Ourbong, Atlanta's only mixed gay and lesbian chorus, is readying for its upcoming perfonnances on June 3-4 to celebrate being "Outside Ourselves," a concert that uses songs about water and nature to celebrate the wonderment of Earth as well as songs that tackle drug addiction within the LGBT community.

"The concert has two halves - the first half deals with water, earth, songs that deal with life," explains Robert Clot, artistic director:

Song selections for the first half of the concert include "Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain" by Ladysmith Black Mambazo; as well as Carly Simon's hit "Let the River Run \Vide" and the Eagle's "Seven Bridges Road."

The second half of the concert takes on the issue of drug abuse, specifically crystal meth abuse that has greatly impacted the gay community, Glor explains.

Songs for the second half of me shows include Coldplay's "Fix You" and Dolly Parton's "Light of me Clear Blue Morning" as well as some fun and humor through songs like "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse.

"crystal meth - people in our chorus are

OurSong, At/onto:; mixed lesbian and gay chorus, will hold Its 'Outside Ollrse.lves' concert on June 3-4. (Courtesy photo)

familiar with. those who have dealt this addiction," Glor says. "The entire concert causes a lot of self reflection."

Out·Song is now in its ninth season and has raised money for several other nonprofits, induding me Atlanta Food Bank and the national Trevor Project. Proceeds from the "Outside Ourselves" concert will likely be donated to an area that has been impacted by the recent tornadoes and flooding, in line with the concert's first theme of water and life, Clor says.

"Tile music is top-notch and has a spiritual core," he says about why people should attend.


A healthy spine leads to a 'Live Wen' lifestyle

Live Well Chiropractic has been serving the Atlanta community since 1999 when Dr. Kristy Francavilla and Dr. Shoshana Kreinces opened in a small office space in the UA Tara Cinemas strip mall complex,

After outgrowing the 800-squm-e foot space on Cheshire Bridge Road, the doctors bought a house across tile street from Joe's on Juniper in Midtown, and for the last six months have been treating clients in the new state-of-the-art facility.

"II took about a year-and-a-half to build out We customized everything and we're 95 percent paperless," says Kreinces, "All the tables are connected to a computer, so we can access files and their history right mere wirhout all the paperwork we had before."

Kremces and Francavilla are not just coowners and business partners but life partners as well,

''We met in chiropractic Sdl001 and have

Live Well Chiropractic 1035 Juniper Sl.

A II a nta GA 30309 404-235·0995 www.livewellchiropraclic.com

been together 14 years," Kreinces says .. "It's wonderful to get to work ~"rjtl1 my best friend."

And, yes, they do chiropractic work on each other as well.

"At least once a week," Kreinces says with a laugh.

Kreinces says she and Francaville work on everyone from infants to a person who is 90-years-old.They've conducted more than 100,000 adjustments since opening.

"We put our hands on people and help Ileal. Every avenue of symptoms come back to the spine," Kreinces says. "The spine allows the body to correct itself. We remove me interference."

Some people are afraid of the cracking noise that typically goes along with chiropractic work, but Kreinces says there are dozens

OurSong 'Outside Ourselves' concert June N, 8 p.m., $20

Can non Chap el at Em 0 rv Un i vers itv

515 South Kilgo Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322 www.oursong.atlanta.com

"Plus, I think they just sound pretty damned good."

As OurSong enters its 10th season, it has raised $10,000 to commission three new works specifically for the choral group to perform next year that will center around themes of nature and love, Clor says.

Drs. Kristy Francavilla (left) and ShosJJano Kreinces opened Live Well Chiropractic in 1999 dnd re/ocmed their bUSiness to Midtown six months ago. (Courtesy photo)

of other techniques that can be used to ease a client's worries.

"We tailor our technique for the patient," she says.

Being located in Midtown is also a dream come true for tile lesbian-owned business.

"It's interesting how we've seen me community evolve. Now we're in the heart of Midtown, the gay mecca, and this is what we always wanted," Kreinces adds.


Community / May 27, 2011 / GA Voice fiJ


Rev. Michael Piazza: Religion, house hunting and good barbecue

By Dyana Bagby

On May 22, Rev. Michael Piazza was officially installed as Virginia·Highland Church's new senior pastor. Originally from Georgia, Piazza was the pastor at Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender church in the nation. The church cited just 280 members when Piazza took the helm in 1987 and eventually reached a membership of more than 3,500 people.

What's it like coming from the world's largest gay church, Cathedral of Hope, to the smaller Virginia-Highland Church?

I loved being at the Cathedral of Hope, which is why r stayed for 25 years. We succeeded in changing the community in lots of ways. When J went there a lesbian or gay person could not be a police officer. Today, the sheriff is an Out lesbian and a member of that church. Because the world has changed in some positive ways, I'm really happy now to be in a congregation that is diverse and inclusive. I'm also happy not to have to raise millions of dollars and manage a sta ff and board that is bigger than my current congregation.

When did you move to Atlanta? What's your favorite thblg about Atlanta so far?

We arrived in Atlanta on Sunday, Feb. 27, though r lived and pastored here in the mid- 19805. In fact, I met my husband, Bill, at a helpline training at the Atlanta Gay Center on Ponce 30 years ago! r grew up in South Georgia, so it feels like coming home ... and I'm grateful to

have decent barbecue again. .

What about the rapture - what were you doing on May 21 at 6 p.m.?

Pondering whether or not to write a sermon for the next day ... Actually, I was simply trying to stay awake. r spent the entire week teaching eight hours a day at Chicago Theological Seminary, and I was so tired I would have been happy to be raptured.

Christians can get a bad rap from LGBT people because a lot of Christianity includes beUeving gay people are immoral. What do you tell people who are torn by this - who want to be Christian but are also gay?

Long ago, I decided that r would no longer argue with fundamentalists about whether or not you can be lesbian or gay and Christian. As Mother Teresa said, "Too many words. JUSt let them see what we do." So, that's what I have

Virginia-Highland! Church 743 \firginia Ave.

A tla nta, GA. 30306 404-348-4830 www.vhchurch.orQ

done and what I encourage others to do. The struggle is what prompted me to write resources like "Homosexuality - and Christianity," a brochure r wrote in 1980, and "Gay By God: How to be Lesbian or Gay and Christian," a book written not only for lesbian and gay folks but for their family and friends, as well. In the end the only thin g that will convince the fundarnen talists is for us to "out-Christian" them: that is be kinder, more compassionate, and more just.

What's the best thing about married life? The worst?

Bill [Eure] and I have been partners in the best sense of that word. We got married here in Atlanta on Nov. 7, 1980. Fonner City Councilwoman Mary Davis came [0 our wedding, which, back then, was a very big deal. I'm as in love today as r was that day, but we have been careful to create an extended farnlly so that we have a tribe - not just one person - to meet our emotional needs. 111e worst ding has been trying to buy a new house together. This is the sixth time we have done it, but finding one house to satisfy two gay men is nearly impossible,

What led you to miniso:y?

When I was a child, I fell in love with the church. After home and school it became the "third place" of my life. I've stayed in the ministry because I understand that the ami dote to a toxin is made from the toxin itself. Religion has caused my people so much pain that I am deter" mined to use it to bring us healing.


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MondoArt visual arts show

Free, 6 pm at Sous Wh i skey Ma ri n art gall ery 263 Pelers st. Atlanta, GA30313

HomoSpoken: Word!

free. 9 am at sees Whiskey Marin art gallery

Mondo Disco

Free, 11 p.m. at Mary's

1287 G len wood Ave .. A!J a n ta GA 30316

Mondo Musico

$10, 9 pm at My S i ste r'sRoom

1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316

Hip hop, disco, pu n k, e lee iro, roek, ce ba reI. i ncl lid i ng th.e Atla n ta deb lit of Sissy Bounce phanom Kaley Red from New Orleans. Acts confirmed include Skate

N i g hi. UN ECe and B inch Betsy

Saturday, May 28

Homoeon workshops

Free .. 11 am • 4 p.m. at Mary's

M.ondo Cabaret & Music Revue $10, My Sisler's Room

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• Mondo Music Revu e, 9 - 11 prn

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Sunday, May 29

Homo Day camp

Free, Noon to 4 pm at Cabbagetown Park All ages outdoor games and sports

Mondo Cinema

$7, 7 prn at My Sister's Room

Mondo Finale Dance Party Free.m p.m. at My Sister's Room


S05 27 0609

Friday, May 27

Gay·inclusive, irreverent puppel play "Avenue QU runs Wednesdays through Sundays through July 3 at Horizon Theatre,1083 Austin Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 Ru ns Wedn esdays ' Su n da ys th roug h Ju Iy 3. www.horizontheatre.com

Spring Beat Cycle fealures OJ scot-O-Matic.l0 prn at Bell is si ma 560 A msterda mAve., A tla n tao GA 30306, www.myspace.com/bellissima_lounge

DJ Mi ke Cru z of New Yor.k City ma kes his de but at t:he Heretic. 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.hereticatlanta.com

Friday, May 27 .. Saturday, May 28

Tony'winner Patti Lupone performs at 8 p.m. both nights with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.atlanlasymphony.org

Friday, May 27:" Monday, May 30

The gay Wilderness Network of Georgia goes hang'QlidinQ and camping at lookout Mountain, www.wildnelga.org

Saturday, May 28

Drench., the W Downtown's wee.kly summer Saturday pool party, has its official grand opening. with DJ Justin Ryan. 1'6 prn. at the W Atlanta Downtown, 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30313, www,chriseolemanenlerprises.eom

MAtSON Atlanta presents Eggs·travaganza. a benefit for Atlanta Cotillion, which raises tunes for people with HIV, 7'10 am at MAISON Atlanta, 1100

H ow ell Mill Roa d Atl a nta GA 30318, www.atlantacotillion.com

.. III r. Universe," by loea I gay D I ayw ri g ht Ji m Grimsley, returns 10 the Atlanta stage with an open' i ng n ig ht pa rly. B p.m a I 7 Stages, 1105 Eu cl id Ave .. Atlanta, GA 30307, wwwJstages.org

American Gangsta is Iraxx's Memoria'i Day Weekend bash. Sexy mil ita ry a It ire; $1.000 Jay{ette e com petition. 11 pm at Iraxx 253 Auburn Ave .. Atlanta, GA 30303, wwwtraxxatlanta.com

Carioca Productions presentsDJ /Producer tsaac Escalante. Doors open 10 pm at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Rd., Allanta, GA 30324, www.jungleclubatlanta.com

OJ Dari n Arrowood spi n s at I h e He rei ie, 2069 C h esh i re B ri d g e Roa d, Alia nta GA 30324, www.hereticatla.nta.com


There are two ways to add your events to our online and prinl calendars. Submit your info to www.theGAVoice.comore·mail details to editor@theGAVoice.com.

Tuesday, June 7

"B ab\(, yo u' re a firework" as Ka!y Perry launches her "California Dreams" tour in Atlanta. 7:30 p.m. at Ihe Arena, at Gwinnett Center. 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. GA 30097, www.ticketmaster.com

Looking for more events? Visit our website for our extensive daily calendar, including nightlife schedules and community organization meetings, provided by our friends at ProjectOAtlanla,eom.

Saturday, May 28 .. Sunday, May 29

The gay an d I.esbia n inclusive D ecatu r Arts Fest ivat fea lures m us ica I performe rs. a n a rtist rna rket and mu c h more. 10 a. m to 6 p.m. on Satu rday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday on the Decatur Square. decaturartsfestivai.cam

Sunday, May 29

The Heretic's new patio hosts Beach B.last, a benefit for Join ing Hea rts with sa nd, swi m $U it contest cookout an d dunking booth. OJ Mik.e .Pope on the psfio at 3 p.m. and OJ Alex Cohen on the main dance floor at 9 pm at the Heretic" 2069 Cheshi re B rid ge Road, Atl a nla., GA 30324, www.hereticatlanta.com

Sa,b bat h Sundays br i n g th e boys au t. 3 pm a I Opera Nigh tc I u b, 1150 B Pea chi ree S t, At lanta GA 30309, www.chriscolemanenterprises.com

CI ub Q pa rties a II night wil h OJ Dan de Leon. Ea rly set by OJ Martin fry: 10 pm to 7 am at 714 Spring SI. NW,

A tla nta, GA 30308, www.chri.(olemanenterprises.com

MixHer Sundays relaunch for the ladies. featurinQ OJ Fire and OJ NxtGurL 6 pm to midnight at Bellissima" 560 Amsterdam Ave" Atlanta, GA 30306, www.myspace.com/be Iliss i m aj 0 u nge

Monday, May 30

A m err ca n Vetera n s for Equa 1 Ri ghts holds its an nua I Memorial Day Taps Service. 12 pm in front of the

old Am e rica n Leg ion ha II at in te rsecti 0 n of Pi edm on t A.venue and 12th Street. wlWI.avergeorgia,org

Tuesday, May 31

Sing your heart out allhe infamous Mary-oke, 9 p.m at MarV's, 1287 Glenwood Ave .. Atlanta, GA 30316, www.marV5atlanta.com


Catendar! May n. 20n! GA Voice lEI

Longtime LGBT activist Betty couvertter hosts

"A lternat i ve Pe rspect lvas" eve ry Tuesday from H p.m. on WRFG 89.3. The show is a mix of news and interviews focused on LGBT issues am! concerns.

Wednesday, June 1

The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts a Business Builder luncheon. 11:55 am. at Carpe Diem .. 105 Sycamore Place, Decatur, GA 30030, www.atlantagaychamber.org

Thursday, June 2

Partidpants in the Beginner and Intermediate Dance classes at 3 Legged Cowboy gather for dinner 10 keep in touch and share stories of the gay country bar that closed Apri.1 30.7,10 p.m at Mellow Mush' room, 931 Man ro e 0 rive, Alia n ta GA 30308

The Bumfodder Chronicles, in which comedians take a satirical look at the news, features comedian Trey Toler and tonight takes on LGST issues. 8 p.m at Academy Theatre, 119 Center SI.. Avondale Estates, GA 30002, www.academytheaire.org

Friday, June 3

The Atlanta Queef Literary Festival and Poetry Atlanta. present Howl·A·Thon, an evening of Allanta poets reading the works of Allen Ginsberg to benefit AQlF. 7:30-10:30 prn at First Existentialist Church, 470 Ca ndler Park Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, www.

a t I q u eerl i ties t.blogs pot.com

OJ Steve James spins at Amsterdam Atlanta, 502-A Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, www.amsterdamatlanta.com

Funk Boutique presents Bears in Space with emcee and ho ste 55 Funky 0 i neva, a ndOJ Ch rl sBowe n

9 p.m. at Mary's, 1287 Glenwood Ave., Atlantil, GA 30316, www.milrysatlanta.com

Friday. June 3~ Saturday, June 4

Our Song, the gay and lesbian chorus, presents OutSide Ourselves, music to give us greater understanding of ourselves and our communities. 8 prn 'bolh days at Emory University's Cannon Chapel. 515 South Kilgo Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322 www.oursongallanta.com

Saturday, June 4

Prime Timers of Atlanta, a social organization of

0.1 der gay and bisex ua I m en, me ets at 3 pm in th e com mu n ity roo m of t he Ponce de Leon Bra n c h libra ry, 980 Ponce deleon Ave ... , Atlanta, GA 30306. www.AtlantaPrimeTimers .. com

The gay National Flag Football League of Atlanta hosts a Margarita Bust with $15 all'you'can-drink ma rg a ritas. 7-10 pm. at Zocalo, 187 lOth SI. N E. Allan ta GA 30309., wwwnffla.com

Oi va Ra ma tea tu res OJ Wess of Town ni g hlcl u b in Washington, D.C .. spinning anthems from all your lavorite divas. 10 pm at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Rd .. Atlanta, GA 30324, wwwjungleclubatlanla:eom

Friday, June 3

sa fa h Peacoc k performs at 10 p m. al Bellissima, 560 Amsterdam Ave .. Atlanta, GA 30306, www.myspace.wm/bellissimaJounge

Sunday, June 5

The gay Hotlanta Softball Leaque continues its spn n 9 seaso neve ry Su n d ay at Sout hside Pa rk, 3460 Jonesboro Road Sf, Atlanta, GA 30354, www.hotlantasoftball.org

Gentle Spirit Christian Church and the ministry of Aaron's Rainbow Project present out Christian singer/songwriter Shawn Thomas in a free outdoor concert 12·2 pm at the first pavilion in Candler Park 1500 McLendon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307,

sh aw nt hom asatleven tb nt e.com

The A tla nta D tea m the city'S W N BA tea m, OD en sits season wi th a ga me aga in st the New York Li berty. 3 prn. a t Ph iii ps Aren a, One Ph iii ps Dr ive, Atlanta, GA 30303, wwwwnbacom/dream

The Rea I Ro lemodef scam pai gn, desi g ned to .i nsp i re people to stand up for thslr beliefs, holds .iLs first official photo s hoot Choose a wor-d that describ es you r fa m i Iy and a quote that fits you best. $18 includes photo and tshirt. 2-7 pm at Bellissima, 560 Amsterdam Ave .. Atlanta, GA 30306, www.bellissima·allanta.com

Monday, June 6 . .

PF lA.G At la nta holds its First Mo nday su p port m eell og. 7:30 - 9 p m. at Unila ria n Un iversa list Congregation of Atlanta, 1911 Cliff Va lIey Way N E. Atl anta, GA 30329

Monday means Orag on the Edge, starring Lady Shabazz, Martina, Diamante, Phoenix and LaTeasha Shante Shuntel and special guests. I! prn at Blake's on t he Park, 2?J I at h St Nt. Alia nta, GA 30309, www.hlakesontheparkallanta.com

Mondays are live piano with OavidReeb. Make requests an II sin 9 a long I ro m 8 pm to midn ig ht at M i xx Atlanta, 1492 Piedmont Ave N~, .Atlanta, GA. 30309, www.mixxatlanta.com


got cool glasses?


335 W. Ponce De Leo nAve.

Decatur, GA 30030

404"377 ·3937

BOO Peachtree St. AtJa nIB, GA. 30308

678~ 730~3432 COMING SOON

eyewo r ks d ecatu r. CO m eye works ofatl a nta, com

D GA voce \ May 27, 20n \ Calendar


Tuesday, June 7

It might be rude not to go when Steve n Petrow sig ns "Co mp I ete Gay & Les bi an Man ners" at 7:30 pm at o utwrite., 991 Pi edmo nt Ave" Atlanta, GA 30309, www.outwrilebooks.com

"The Emperor Has No Clothes; Teaching About Race and Racism to People Who Don't Want to Know" features racial justice activist and author Tema o ku n. 7:30 pm at C hars, 1189 Euc lid Ave. N E, Atla nta GA 30307. www.chariscircle.org

AID Atlanta's Ga.y Outreach Program holds its One N I g ht S ta n d discussion grou p, this rna nthexplori ng the topiCS 01 s pi ritua I ity an d sexua I ily with" Have a Litt Ie Fa lth in Me_" 7~9 pm a t AI DAti eota 1605 Pea eh tree Sl N E. At la n tao GA 30309, www.aidatlanta.org

Wednesday, June 8

The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts a Business Builder Luncheon. 11:30 a.m. at SoHo, 4300 Paces Fe rry Road, At la nta. GA 31}339, www.atlantagaycha m be r.o rg

"Designing Women" is the theme for this month's PALS Bingo, hosted' by Bubba D. tlclous and special co-host TopherPayne, a GA Voice columnist as Julia Suga rb a ker. The pop ula r even t raises money lor PALS. wh i e h helps peopl e with H IV a nd other h ea I Ih co nditions keep their pets. 6:45-9:45 pm at Jungle. 2115 Faulkner Rd. Atlanla, GA 30324, www.palsatlanta.org

Thursday, June 9

The gay Atlanta Ex.ecutive Network hosts a. Decatur Stroll Out, visiting lour LGBT owned or operated businesses. 6:30 pm - 9 prn starting: at Kelter Williams Realty Decaiu( 315 W. Ponce de Lea nAve. Su ile 100. Decatu (, GA 30030. A I so vis its Sawicki's foods. Hel i otrope an d Decatu r Market & Galle ry. with food, dri nks and

m i ngli ng at ea en www.aen.org.

The AUant a Rolle rg i rl 5, tn e city's ro 1.1 er derby league, hosts "Old, New, Black & Blue: Mid-Season Deb Brawl:' Wear your favorite team's colors and welcome the new mid-season rookies. 7:30 pm, at Bellissima, 560 Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306. www.atlantarollergirls.com

Faces of Courage is a photo exhibit and' fundraiser for G LSE N, Ih e Gay, tesba n Stra ig ht Education N etwork 6-8 pm at Kai li n Art. 800 Peachtree St Su i Ie 0

Atlanla, GA 30308, www.glsen.org

"The Minotaur's Dream," a take on Greek mythology, ope ns ton i ght at 8 p m. an d ru rs th rough Jun e 19 at 7 Stages. 1105 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307. www.7stages. org, www.oddmanoutth€ilter.com


Friday, June 10

The Lies Chetsea Handler Told Me Tour features the irreverent comeclan and talk show host plus Heather,. Josh and Brad. 8 prn. at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive. Atlanla, GA. 30342, www.ticketmaster.com


Friday, June 10

Mr. and Ms_ Augusta Pride 2011 Pageant features competition in cateuories of presen· tation talent and eveninq wear. 8-11 p.m at Sky City, 1157 Broad st. Augusta. GA 30901, www.prideaugusta.org

Tavari Jones, author of "Leaving Atlanta.," rea tis I ro m her new book, "Silve r Spa rrow." 7:30p.m. at Chari s Books & More, 1189 Eu c lid Ave. NE. Atla nta GA 30307, www.chariseirele.org

Come prepared to be painted on with ~Iow-inthe-dark p a i n t as B edla m p rese nt s Wacked· OutBla.ckDut - Part 2.10 p.m. at My Sister's Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave -, , Atlanta., GA 30316, www.mysistersroom.com

Saturday, June 11

Prem i ere Pa rty is CH R I S Kids' an nua I white-themed summer cocktail party and silent auctio n to hel p LGBT tee ns 6-9 pm at Mason Murer Fine Arl199 Armour Drive. Atlanta, GA 30324, www.chr.iskids.org

DJ Ro la n d Be I rna res spi ns a I the H eret ic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.hereticatlanta.com

Fighting Back Against Street Harassment features representatives of three groups sharing their work combating bias against girls. women, queers. and' gender var:ient people: 7:30--9 prn at Charis Books & More. 1189 Euc I id Ave. N E. At I anta. GA 30307. www.chariscircle.org



The other F·word

Faggot: From schoolyard taunt to America's most expensive word

One of the things I'm really gonna miss about Oprah is her unparalleled agility with a public shaming. Ms. Winfrey had a knack for bringing unsuspecting public figures on her program, thinking they were there to plug their memoir! project/plastic surgery nightmare. The conversation would breeze along, then it'd take an unexpected tum, as it would slowly come to light that Oprah was very disappcinted in you.

There are few experiences, I would imagine, more painful than realizing you've disappointed Oprah. Back in Bible times, God would express disappcintment through burning bushes and worldwide floods, These days, God subjects you to an Oprah Shaming, and the person on the receiving end likely wishes they could just be turned into a pillar of salt and be done with it.

One of my favorite Oprah Shamings was when she interviewed the cast of "Crash," and informed Terrence Howard, Don Cheadle. and Ludacris (a triple-shamingl) their usage of the expression "nigga" was not a softened euphemism. They were saying "nigger," and they needed to own up to that and cut it out. Cheadle argued that taking ownership of the word was his way of effectively removing its power. But, he was quick to add, white people sure as hell couldn't say it

I myself don't say that word because I'm neither racist enough to mean it the old way, or apparently cool enough to mean it the new way, but 1 do find the escape clause of calling it "The N-Word" preposterous. If we're going to have an adult conversation about a word that's in the damn dictionary, men let's Just say the word and stop treating it like we're talking about Voldemort.

Which brings me to the newly crowned most expensive word in American English: "faggot." The NBA's Kobe Bryant paid $100,00J for the privilege of using the word to brand a referee. Joakim Noah got the bargain price of $50,000 for hurling the same word at a (presumably former) fan. The message has been delivered and reinforced, at least in the world of professional SPOI1S:

A publlc utterance of "faggot" is gonna cost ya_ Then why do we still get to say it for free?

I say it constantly. ''Faggot, stop calling me, I'm on a deadline." "If that faggot doesn't bring

To pher Pay ne is an Atlanta'based playwright. and' the aut!lo r of the book ·'Necessary lu xu ri es; Notes 0 n a Semi-fabulous lile.' Find out more al iopherpayne.com

me another vodka in the next two minutes, he's not getting a tip." "I cannot believe you're singing along to 'Friday' without a trace of irony, faggot"

None of these usages, in my estimation, constitutes a hate crime. T am not expressing my hatred for your desire to sleep with other men. I am expressing my hatred for you not supplying me with overpriced vodka in a timely fashion, and in the process I couldn't help noticing that you're a 25 year-old man wearing a baby doll tee.

In the wrong context, the word can sting.

It brings up aU those feelings of otherness that made growing up so damn hard, plus it's just rude. But here's the thing: I was no! called "faggot" injuniorhigh nearly as much as I was called "prissy." 1 defensively adopted a lumbering galt like a giant golden retriever to assure that I never moved with anything resembling grace.

Nearly two decades later, a redneck can call me faggot without it registering, but if someone called me prissy, I'd wanna slam them. And yet, Kobe or Joakim could can me Prissy on national TV and not pay a dime for it.

So out of all the possible insults - sissy, prissy, cocksucker, mariposa, fairy, fruitcake, etc. - why did we decide "faggot" is strictly verboten? I'd rather be called a faggot than a fudgepacker, because I think the latter is disgusting and implies a lack of cleanliness - but that's probably just me being prissy.

Do I think it's good that efforts are being made to extract "faggot" from the insult lexicon? Absolutely. It's also opened up a great discussion about homophobia in SpOI1S mat's worth exploring,

Do I think it's rhe source of ali evil? No, I do not. I don't think Kobe meant '1 hate gay people" when he said it any more than I do when I say it. Anernpting to eradicate "faggot" from usage is impossible. It's a word. We can't even call it "The F-Word," because that's already taken.

Treaung it as forbidden is what gives it real wallop: It's the $100,000 insult. A solid approach might be taking people to task when they say it, and really asking, "What exactly do you mean by that?"

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