The Georgia Voice - 5/11/12 Vol.3, Issue 5 | Breastfeeding | Wellness

Photo by Bo Shell

Service is in style this summer.
Whatever your automotive needs, the highly-qualified technicians at Nalley BMW’s state-of-the-art facilities are dedicated to providing exceptional service for you and your vehicle. Schedule your next service appointment online...and be sure to visit our chic new cafe today!

866-416-8811 | | 1606 Church Street | Decatur, GA 30033


12-01242_Nalley_BMW_GA_Voice_10x10.5_5-4-12_rev2.indd 1

5/3/12 2:22 PM

Florida bound: Pensacola, Orlando annual LGBT traditions. Page 4 LGBT summer travel, from cruises to Pride fests. Page 6 Know before you go: Former Atlantans give insider info on their new cities. Page 12 Gay campgrounds great for casual, inexpensive trips. Page 15 Girlyman van: Road trip tips from queer music faves. Page 17

“All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy. They never, never, never knew.”
— Celebrated children’s author Maurice Sendak, creator of “Where the Wild Things Are,” coming out in a 2008 interview with the New York Times. Sendak died May 8 at age 83. (New York Times, May 8)
Photo via

Editorial: Welcome to the Source, our new membership program. Page 18

25th annual Atlanta HRC Dinner draws hundreds. Page 23 Meet the new Atlanta Police LGBT liaison. Page 25
Photo via Facebook

AIDS Healthcare Foundation to open Atlanta clinic. Page 27 United Way releases hold on YouthPride donations. Page 28 Local archivists join forces to get LGBT history ‘out of the closet.’ Page 29

Percent of same-sex couples nationwide in 2010 Census who are interracial

“I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”
— Vice President Joe Biden on Meet the Press, touching off debate over whether he had gone beyond President Obama, who does not support gay marriage but has said his views are “evolving.” (Meet the Press, May 6)

MondoHomo 101: What to know before you go. Page 31 Event spotlight: International Day Against Homophobia. Page 33 Business spotlight: Brain and Body Solutions. Page 33

20.6 18.3

Percent of opposite-sex, unmarried couples nationwide who are interracial

“Making same sex marriage illegal is the same as having segregated drinking fountains. Embarrassing. The human race is embarrassing.”
—WWE wrestler CM Punk, via Twitter, expressing his support for gay marriage the day before North Carolina voted on banning gay marriage in the state constitution. (, May 7)

Pages 34-36

That’s What She Said: Melissa Carter on fostering family. Page 38 Domestically Disturbed: Topher Payne remembers Maurice Sendak. Page 39

Percent of opposite-sex married couples nationwide who are interracial


Percent of Georgia same-sex couples who are interracial
Editor’s note: Williams Institute, April 26 report


“Gayness is built into Batman. I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it.”
— Comic book writer Grant Morrison, who has written Batman series for DC Comics since 2006. (Playboy, April 18)

“There are few things in life more important than being able to marry and build a family with the person you love. This fundamental right should be available to all Americans, including gay and lesbian couples.”

— Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John Kennedy, who on May 7 presented the 2012 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award to three Iowa Supreme Court justices who were voted out of office for ruling to legalize gay marriage. (, May 7)

Photo by Martyna Borkowski/CC 2.0


Memorial Day Weekend in Pensacola May 24 – 28 Sexacola Beach 2012 Thursday: Sexacola Kickoff Party Friday: “Battle of the Troupes” drag king competition Saturday: Sinful Saturday Glow Party; Goddess and She in concert; Drag Superstar Show Sunday: The White Party Memorial Weekend Pensacola Friday: DJ Dewight Barkley Saturday: DJ Jay-R; Wave party with DJ Joe Gauthreaux and Bianca del Rio Sunday: DJ Tim Pflueger Unleashed: Schedule TBD Sizzle Miami | May 24-28 Friday: Sizzle Yacht Party Saturday: Soak Her/Soak Him Party Sunday: Haulover Beach Party Gay Days in Orlando | May 29 – June 4 Tuesday: Gay Days Kickoff Party at Macy’s Wednesday: Afternoon/Evening Pool Party Karaoke Thursday: Gay Days expo begins; A Taste of Gay Days: Girls at Gay Days Reception/Pool Party, Gay Days at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Friday: Gay Days at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Girls at Gay Days WOW’s Pirate Party; Riptide party at Typhoon Lagoon Saturday: Gay Day at Magic Kingdom; Gay Days comedy; Chaka Khan Sunday: Gay Day at Epcot Wonder World | May 31-June 4 Friday: Liquid Pool Party, Black Party Expo: Riptide Orlando Saturday: Big Bang; Tunnel Sunday: Fasscination party Girls in Wonderland | May 31 – June 4 Thursday: Traffic Jam dance party Friday: Wet Pool Party; Climax bar party Saturday: Out For Laughs Comedy Show with Dana Goldberg Sunday: Wonderland Pool Bash; Halycon concert national Dance Music Weekend. It’s another major post Memorial Day event that coincides with Gay Days. Wonder World’s massive DJ lineup includes Dani Toro, Power Infiniti, Seth Cooper, Roland Belmares, former Atlantan Jay McCracken, Dave & Gerrado, Alyson Calagna, Atlanta’s Lydia Prim, Mark Anthony, Abel, Ana Paula, Isaac Escalante, and Kevin Aviance. The most difficult part may be deciding who to see. Baker says he had 7,000 partiers last year and expects more this year. He calls his crowd international – many from the East Coast, some from California and others from around the world. Positive word of mouth has helped the event grow. Two of the new elements this year are the Black Party Expo and “Big Bang” party/fireworks show at Universal Studios Florida.

Even the Armorettes — Vivian Valium, Ginger Bred Man, Ruby Redd and Edie Cheezburger — won’t brave the Piedmont Park lake, so join the gay exodus south to Pensacola over Memorial Weekend for beautiful beaches and plenty of eye candy. (Photo by Bo Shell)

A road trip to Florida over the Memorial Day holiday weekend has become an annual tradition for LGBT people in the South. The coastal oil spill scare of 2010 seems to be long forgotten as visitors continue to make the trek and pack the beaches and bars. The tradition of gays gathering in Pensacola for the holiday used to be male-oriented, but women’s parties have become so prevalent, they actually compete against each other over the jam-packed weekend. Owners of the Atlanta-based lesbian bar My Sister’s Room are involved in one of the premiere Pensacola parties, Sexacola Beach 2012. Now in its third year, Sexacola hosts its events at Capt’n Fun Beach Club in Pensacola, which Jennifer Maguire, owner of My Sister’s Room, calls a terrific location. “We are in the perimeter of the beach,” she says. All are welcome, according to Maguire, and almost a third of last year’s 3,000 revellers were gay men. Sexacola draws many partiers from Atlanta. “It’s great seeing so many local people down here for the weekend,” says Maguire. Parties start Thursday before the weekend, May 24, with a Kick Off for those already in town. Weekend highlights include the Battle of the Troupes drag competition; Goddess and She in concert; a drag superstar show; a Sinful Saturday glow party; and the closing event, the White Party. Johnny Chisholm’s splashy Memorial Day Weekend 2012 features a strong array of weekend

Post-Memorial Day events are, as always, plentiful. Gay Days in Orlando, Fla., has become a tradition for many travellers, held the weekend after Memorial Day. It began 22 years ago with a single, unofficial day at Walt Disney World, and has grown to almost a week of events put on by several organizations and party promotoers. Current Gay Days CEO Chris AlexanderManley was part of that first event. A commit-

Gay Days in Orlando

ment to making each year special and individual is one reason Gay Days continues to grow. “Each year, we continue to add new events,” Alexander-Manley says. “We’ve added a children’s event. Film screenings in conjunction with the Tampa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival are also back.” Events for the bear community are also very prominent. Last year 160,000 visitors came and this season he hopes for 170,000. According to Manley, he and his partner never dreamed Gay Days would be this big. Although Disney World is open to the public on Gay Days, it’s a tradition for LGBT attendees to wear red to stand out. “Seeing all that red is amazing and empowering,” he says. Alison Burgos, Amy Alonso and Yesenia Leon, the trio behind Pandora Events — who worked on Sexacola with My Sister’s Room in 2011 — are planning the new Girls in Wonderland this year at Orlando. Their slate of events includes numerous pool parties; a comedy event with comic Dana Goldberg; and the Halycon concert with a variety of women’s bands. Finally, there’s Wonder World by promoter Mark Baker, which is billed as Orlando’s Inter-


By Jim Farmer

activities, the highlight being Saturday’s Wave event, hosted by popular DJ Joe Gauthreaux and featuring a performance by Bianca del Rio. Chisholm has been putting on Memorial Day events for the last 17 years and says they have now returned to the glory days. “When Hurricane Ivan hit a few years ago, we were the bulls-eye,” he says. “Now the beach is fantastic — better than ever — and the crowds are back to normal.” Last year’s attendance was 50,000, he says, with a combination of men and women. Chisholm owns the Emerald City bar and is able to combine beach and bar events. Amy Ray of Indigo Girls will be part of Kristy Lee’s Pensacola Memorial Day women’s event Unleashed, which will also feature Beverly McClellan from TV’s “The Voice.” Further south, Miami is the locale for Sizzle Miami, another event catering to gay men and women over the weekend. The party’s website notes that most participants are African American and Latino, but stresses that “all races are welcomed and encouraged to participate.”



Pick up a few things in town.

With fine dining, live music, a vibrant art scene, and endless outdoor adventures, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Key West. 1.888.524.4915










Island House Award-winning clothing-optional resort for men. Luxurious rooms. Poolside café and bar. Gym, sauna, steamroom, Jacuzzis. Poolside massage pavilion. 800-890-6284 or 305-294-6284

DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort – Key West Full-service, pet-friendly “green” resort with on-site restaurant, masseuse, Tiki bar, pool, gym, business center, and complimentary Internet and shuttle service. 888-310-1540 or 305-293-1818 Pearl’s Key West All-welcome historic inn offering guesthouse ambiance and resort amenities; breakfast, 2 pools, 2 hot tubs, Wi-Fi, gym, bar and grill. 800-749-6696 or 305-292-1450 New Orleans House Only all-male guesthouse on Duval St. Cottages, rooms, full gym, complimentary happy-hour, above Bourbon St. Pub. Stay where you play! 888-293-9893 or 305-293-9800

The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Best beach in Key West, intimate boutique resort, on-site watersports and an easy walk to Duval Street. Rates from $199. 888-318-4316






6 2

GA Voice

May 11, 2012


LGBT summer getaways
READY TO GET OUT OForTOWN? Whether you prefer beach or mountains, cruising camping, check
out these big LGBT events to get you on the road this summer.
– Laura Douglas-Brown

PRIDE in October, so you can check ON PARADE Atlanta Pride is
out summer Prides in other cities. DC Black Pride May 24-28 in Washington, DC Capital Pride May 30-June 10; parade June 9 Washington, D.C. Central Alabama Pride June 3-10; night parade June 9, festival June 10 Birmingham, Ala. Key West Pride June 6-10 in Key West, Fla. Memphis Black Pride June 14-17 in Memphis, Tenn. Nashville Pride Festival June 15-17 in Nashville, Tenn. Sao Paulo Pride June 7-11 in Sao Paulo, Brazil World’s largest gay Pride parade

GIRL POWER more Beyond music fests and cruises,
options for lesbian vacations Amazing Galapagos Adventure May 26-June 4 | By lesbian travel company Olivia Machu Picchu Adventure June 3-9 | By lesbian travel company Olivia Rafting in Westwater Canyon, Utah July 27-29 | By lesbian travel company Sweet Sweet Cozumel Palace Resort Sept. 1-8 Womenfest Sept. 4-9 in Key West, Fla.

See story, Page 4
Head south for these LGBT summer traditions. More Florida events listed under other specific categories. Memorial Day Weekend in Pensacola May 24-28 in Pensacola, Fla. Sizzle & SizzleHer May 24-28 in Miami, Fla., Gay Days in Orlando May 29-June 24 Gay Day at Magic Kingdom: June 2
Photo by Bo Shell

MUSIC FESTSthe stars Girls and guitars, usually under
Virginia Women’s Music Festival May 25-27 at CampOut in Henrico, Va. National Women’s Music Festival June 28-July 1 in Middleton, Wisc. Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival Aug. 7-12 in Oceana County, Mich.

New York City Pride June 16-24; main weekend June 22-24 New York City, NY East Side Pride June 23 in Clarkston, Ga. Augusta Pride June 21-24; festival and parade June 23 Augusta, Ga. WorldPride 2012 June 23-July 8; parade July 7 in London, U.K. San Francisco Pride June 23-24 in San Francisco, Calif. South Carolina Black Pride June 22-25 in Columbia, S.C. St. Pete Pride Street Festival & Promenade June 30 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Charlotte Black Gay Pride July 13-15 in Charlotte, N.C. Triangle Black Pride July 26-29 in Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill, N.C. Jacksonville Black Pride Aug. 10-12 in Jacksonville, Fla. Savannah Pride Sept. 8 in Savannah, Ga. |

CRUISE and lesbian cruises. CONTROL All aboard for gay
Splendor of Scandinavia & Russia June 20-27 | By lesbian travel company Olivia Mediterranean Cruise July 1-8 | By lesbian travel company Sweet Exotic Mediterranean Cruise June 29-July 6 | By gay & lesbian RSVP Vacations Copenhagen to Stockholm Cruise July 24-31 | By gay Atlantis Events Seabourn Istanbul to Athens Cruise Aug. 17-24, “R Time” LGBT Danube Riverboat Cruise Aug. 21-30 Adults-only event from R Family Vacations

Get decadent in New Orleans, don your leather in San Francisco, and more… TransCampOUT July 11-15 at Long Fork Retreat, Walton, West Va. For “all people outside the binary gender spectrum and their supporters” Southern Decadence Aug. 29-Sept. 3 in New Orleans, La. Splash Days Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in Austin, Tex. Circuit event features DJs Randy Bettis, Seth Cooper and Roland Belmares Folsom Street Fair Sept. 23 in San Francisco, Calif. “The grand daddy of all leather events”

FAMILY VACATIONS For kids with LGBT parents, and their
families and friends LGBT Family Camp at Club Getaway July 2-6 Kent, Conn. By LGBT kid-friendly R Family Vacations The Broadway Cruise Sailing from NYC to Bermuda July 8-15 Family Equality ‘Family Week’ July 28-Aug.4 Provincetown, Mass.

May 11, 2012

GA Voice



0x5 4c

Domestic partners have unique investment planning needs and challenges. You’ve worked hard to create a life and build wealth together, now you want to make sure your treasured nest egg will always be there for each other. We understand what you are facing — and we want to be a part of your success. Wells Fargo Advisors was the first in the industry to offer the Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor℠ or ADPA℠ designation. Our Financial Advisors who have the ADPA℠ designation have been trained and certified on key issues affecting domestic partners and are dedicated to providing you tailored investment planning solutions to help you meet your financial goals. Visit us at to find an ADPA℠ certified advisor near you.

Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor℠ and ADPA℠ are service marks of the College for Financial Planning ® . © 2012 Wells Fargo Advisors
716702 10x5 4c.indd 1 4/24/12 10:41 AM


Asheville, N.C. | 198 miles from Atlanta
When did you move to Asheville and what goals/dreams are you now pursuing while living there? I relocated here in October of last year completely by accident. I came up for a few days to visit one of my oldest friends, and earliest collectors, who had bought a house here a few years ago. He was then leaving for the rest of the year on business so he asked if I might stay on and house sit. As I can work on my craft anywhere I am, I thought, why not spend a few months in residence? Might be fun. But, as is always the haunting danger of fun, it can quickly become a habit. Within two weeks here I was hooked. Pace, place, and space — Asheville was everything I’d ever wanted for right now this minute... What are some of the best tourist spots to visit in Asheville? Sightseeing is like food. While I like it to be visually pleasing, I don’t really care what it looks like — because I’m not going to just sit there

File photo


looking at it — I want to know how it TASTES. So, I always hit the ground watching the people at street level and go from there. I love this town for things like the Grove Park Inn. An absolutely monumental engineering marvel/affront to God for its day... Or “Chief Pontiac” at Harry’s on the Hill. He’s a leftover early 20th century marketing madness four-story tall Indian. And as if that wasn’t unpolitical enough, if you stand at a certain angle to his left facing him, his thumb totally looks like his wang is hanging out of his pants... [Also be sure to visit] places like The Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar in the Grove Arcade (which itself is utterly amazing) that features an unbelievable selection of incredible used books for cheap in a glorious setting of lives being lived with style to their fullest. What are some of your favorite off-the-beaten-path spots to go to in Asheville? The River Arts District along the mesmerizing French Broad River: It contains an insane diversity represented by what seems an endless

Want the inside scoop before you travel? We asked some of our favorite former Atlanta LGBT residents for their advice on what to see and do when visiting their new cities. Check out some of their suggestions here and read more at
by Dyana Bagby
parade of artists content to create without selling, while others have built internet empires on corporate principles. (Twice a year they hold a weekend Open Studio Tour whose scale is a wonder.) Or, West Asheville, which in itself, is like a whole other town complete with its own identity and groove... But, best of all, to me, is Trash, Inc: Creative Reuse Center. It absolutely represents completely the vibrancy, focus, delight, concerns, and celebration of this area. Run by a crazy in their obvious differences set of like-minded women, it exists to “divert usable materials from the waste-stream to be used in art, education, craft and DIY projects.” Simply put, it’s the best working model example possible of thinking globally while acting locally. Never mind it’s a wonderland of potential and a Theme Park of Me.

How long have you lived in D.C.? I moved from Atlanta in June of last year to take a staff position with the U.S. House of Representatives. I’m coming up on a year!

Washington, D.C. | 641 miles from Atlanta
Photo via Facebook

What is your favorite place to eat? So hard to choose just one! Founding Farmers is this trendy but comfortable restaurant nestled between the White House and Georgetown, serving up the best in American cuisine. What’s cool about them is that they make everything (down to the salad dressings and sodas) in house, and they purchase a lot of their food from local producers to maintain its freshness. Oh, and the drink menu is amazing. Also, Clyde’s is a D.C. staple. There are a couple of locations in the district, but my favorite is smack in the middle of the city in Chinatown...
What’s the best tourist spot to go visit? D.C. is full of iconic places, so it’s almost hard to pick just one. However, there’s nothing quite like the U.S. Capitol — so rich with history and eye-opening architecture. The tours are entertaining (stand in the room where Thomas Jefferson took the oath of office; see the desk location where Abraham Lincoln sat while he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives) and flexible (they do hour-long guided tours Monday-Saturday in 10 minute intervals). Come on a day that the Congress is in session, and you’re liable to run into a congressman or senator on their way to a vote. You can’t get that anywhere else in D.C. What’s your favorite gay club? Is the D.C. gay scene similar to Atlanta’s scene? In some ways, D.C.’s gay scene is a little more racially integrated than Atlanta’s. But what’s interesting is that I’ve found a D.C. equivalent to all of my favorite Atlanta spots: Nellie’s Sports Bar is our Blake’s — warm, friendly and always happening; The Fireplace is our Bulldogs — cozy with great music and strong drinks; Town and Cobalt are our Wetbar (for those of us who remember Wetbar) and Aqua is our Traxx — the places to be seen and dance the night away. Nellie’s has to be my favorite LGBT spot in D.C. — always a great crowd, thumping music, and has a prime location right on U Street. Oh, and a Drag Brunch with bottomless mimosas on Sunday. Seriously, what’s not to love?
Publicity photo

brunch (and you know we gays love brunch!), a great happy hour during the week, and beautiful views of the water. Ybor City is a fabulous place to stroll, catch a bite, and make new friends, day or night. It’s like Tampa’s version of Little 5 Points but with more gays, a movie theater, and a trolley. My favorite Mediterranean restaurant, Row Boat, and my favorite bar, R Bar Ybor, are also down there. Good times all around. After a long night in Ybor and the after-party at a friend’s house, I usually wake up the next morning to tea at Kaleisia Tea Lounge. The taro smoothie is an after, after-party in my mouth.
Photo via Facebook Photo by Knottie PIctures

May 11, 2012

GA Voice


a random weekday if you want an easy, less crowded time. What about a bar or club? Place for entertainment? Place to see you perform? L.A.’s longest running weekly burlesque show Monday Night Tease is the place to be on Monday Nights. It’s at the 3 of Clubs, 1123 Vine St. I’ve performed there more than any other venue in L.A. What are other places tourists should not miss? Grand Performances! They do amazing summer performances, talks, demos, etc., and it’s all free. Last summer I got to see a guy talk about how to pickle things and Afrobeat sensation Seun Kuti! You can’t beat free stuff. As always, parking is a beast, so take the bus in or plan to pay on average $5 for parking.
Photo via Facebook

Los Angeles
When did you move to L.A. and why did you leave Atlanta? I moved to LA in July after a detour in Ohio (ugh! the less said the better). I left Atlanta because I wanted a challenge. Atlanta will always feel like home for me in so many ways (a huge black community, a sizable radical queer community, my chosen family lives there, the GREAT food, etc.,) but I had to shake myself out of my comfort zone. What are you doing in L.A.? What am I doing in L.A.? Well, I’m doing what everybody else is doing — trying to become a star! Which is only about half way a joke... There’s also the body consciousness people have here. I’ve always been a proud fat girl/ fatpositive ally. Whether I gain or lose weight I’m always going to be the girl who champions the idea of Health At Every Size and loving one’s body against all odds, but some days here are difficult. Between my day job, my gigs and just being out and about I’d have to say the average woman in L.A. is about 5’3” and maybe 110 pounds. At 5’9 and 184 pounds I am a GIANT. Sometimes it can feel a little daunting. But mostly I try and pretend I’m Gulliver in the land of the Lilliputians — well, Gulliver if he was a traveling stripper with a heart as black as coal. What tourist spots, if any, have you visited and what are your thoughts? Um, the Hollywood Hills are boo-boo. Seriously, trash, don’t waste your time. They say it’s kind of a metaphor for the movie industry, right. From far away it looks amazing and is iconic — up close, it’s sad, uneven, beat up and just really tragic. You know what cheesy tourist attraction I LOVE though? Freakin’ Venice Beach. It’s super touristy, but SO MUCH FUN. And something for everybody. Artmakers, dance, athleticism, serious eye candy (which reminds me, did you know they don’t have butches here? travesty!), and the Pacific Ocean, which is beautiful in a new and different kind of way. Parking is difficult on the weekends so be sure and take the Metro bus in. Or come on


Los Angeles | 2,175 miles away from Atlanta
When did you move to L.A. and why? I moved to LA in Feb of 2012 to expand my business and my personal horizons. I am a DJ and bartender at Micky’s West Hollywood as well as a DJ for other various venues around the city. What are some of the hot places you’ve learned about since moving to L.A.? So far some of the best spots I’ve been to in L.A. are Sky Bar located off of Sunset, Next Door Lounge off Highland, Micky’s off Santa Monica (known for dancers and crazy fun theme nights), along with other gay bars along the strip including Here Lounge, The Abbey… MR Black at Bardot is also good times. As far as restaurants go, Saint Felix (an amazing tapas bar with exquisite mixology cocktails) is one of my favorite places to go for a bite and beverage. Katana, a Japanese restaurant, is great. I love me some Tender Greens and California Chicken Cafe, and Lemonade... Are there many difference and/or similarities in the gay scenes in Atlanta and LA? West Hollywood is like Midtown but larger, and East Atlanta and Little Five Points are like Silverlake. The scenes are quite relative. What are some of your favorite gay-friendly places to go for a bite to eat, have a drink, listen to great music, dance your ass off? For dancing, The Factory, Ultra Suede, or Avalon. As far as coming to see me live you can check my DJ schedule and upcoming events on my Facebook page: DJayMcCracken. For free music: soundcloud. com/jaymccracken


New York City | 880 miles away from Atlanta
When did you move to New York and what are you doing there? I moved to New York in June 2010. I’m a freelance makeup artist, and I have started my own PR agency, Jacy Topps PR What are some of your favorite places to go in N.Y. — to hang out, to eat, to see music, to grab a drink? V Spot is an awesome vegetarian restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Spitzer’s is my favorite restaurant in the East Village — they have 40 craft beers on tap. Grey Dog in Chelsea is a fun coffee house that serves wine and beer. My favorite lesbian bars are Henrietta Hudson in the West Village and Ginger’s in Park Slope. The Duplex Cabaret has an awesome patio. They also feature live performers and music. And my favorite gay bars are Pieces in the Village, Vlada in Hell’s Kitchen and the Metropolitan in Brooklyn. If people from ATL visit N.Y., what are some places they should see that aren’t necessarily in a tourist guide? • Prospect Park — My favorite park in the city. • Chelsea Market — It has great coffee shops, restaurants and shopping. • School of Visual Arts — They have open studio tours every week featuring their students and it’s free.


Latest novella, ‘Nightshade’ Tampa, Fla. | 456 miles from Atlanta
When did you move to Tampa? I moved to Tampa in May 2010. I’m spending time with my mother, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend here until it’s time for us to move to Miami in late July. What are some of your favorite places to visit in Tampa? My absolute favorite is the beach. There are so many beautiful stretches of beach in the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area that you can make the rounds and not go back to the same beach for weeks. The people watching, sun soaking, and swimming are absolute prime. I also love Jackson’s Bistro in downtown Tampa. It has a wicked awesome Sunday


May 11, 2012

GA Voice


Into the woods
LGBT campsites offer inexpensive, casual summertime fun
By Matt Schafer For those looking to escape the grind, smog and congestion of the city in summer, a number of gay-owned Georgia campgrounds offer peaceful, often clothing optional, retreats from the summer heat. But running a campground isn’t easy. Once located near Valdosta, Bobcat Resort Campground closed last year. Another casualty of 2011 was Lumberjacks Camping Resort, in Unadilla, near Macon, but the property has been reborn as Oz Campground, with its grand opening slated for Memorial Day weekend. Rich McTague is one of the new owners. Two gay couples bought Lumberjacks and have set upon improving the campground. “Long story short, [the old owners] just packed up and left, pretty much leaving everyone who was here high and dry,” McTague says. McTague and his co-owners are devoted to renovating and improving the campground. “We put a new sound and light system into the bar,” he says. “It’s equal to any bar that anyone would go into in Atlanta.” Despite the improvements, McTague said the most important changes aren’t physical. “Pretty much a whole new attitude, a new place, a clean place that is kept up,” McTague says of Oz. “It’s just a completely new attitude from the ownership. We believe that is it is ‘our’ campground, and by ‘our’ we mean gay lesbian, bisexual, transgender. We may pay the mortgage but it is our place for everyone in the community.” McTague and the other owners will be asking campers to participate in a survey this sum-

In The Woods Campground 142 Casey Court, Canon, GA 30520 Oz Campground 50 Highway 230 , Unadilla, Georgia 31091 River’s Edge 2311 Pulliam Mill Road, Dewy Rose, GA 30634 Roy’s Hideaway 268 Catfish Lane, Collins, GA 30421 Swiftwaters Womanspace 830 Swiftwaters Rd., Dahlonega, GA 30533 mer so they can better tailor the camp to what the campers want. Oz made a quiet opening at the beginning of May but will kick off its grand opening Memorial Day weekend with drag legend Charlie Brown, DJ StevenP and a community BBQ. The camp follows up their opening with a stream of theme weekends. Like most of the gay owned camps in Georgia, Oz is clothing optional, but doesn’t have a firm age minimum. So while families are welcome there are some ground rules campers should be aware of.
Formerly Lumberjacks, Oz Campground hosts a grand opening Memorial Day weekend to introduce its new, renovated facilities. (Courtesy photo)

“That’s the one thing that people need to understand, we can’t tell people to put their clothes on,” McTague says. “That’s one of the points of the survey, is would you like a weekend where we are not clothing optional.” Each LGBT campground has its own flavor and personality. Swiftwaters Womanspace, located near Dahlonega, is the only campground owned by open lesbians in Georgia. It is intentionally rustic, with only an outhouse, shower house, simple cabins and a small bed and breakfast. It doesn’t offer RV hookups, and clothing is required. In contrast, River’s Edge in Dewy Rose, Ga., has 95 tent sites, 95 RV sites and 95 cabins with a capacity of 1,000 people. Dan Hoffman, River’s Edge office manager, describes the camp as an “adult playground.” “It’s a very relaxed atmosphere, and I’d like to emphasize clothing optional, some do and some don’t,” he says. “River’s Edge, our philosophy is be comfortable as you want to be.” River’s Edge requires all campers be at least

Something for everyone

21, while nearby In The Woods — located in Canon, Ga. — has a 19-year-old age requirement, and prides itself on being smaller and calmer than other campgrounds. “We liken ourselves to a neighborhood bar, we’re not a discotheque, if you’re looking for a club atmosphere you’re going to be disappointed, were much more like your neighborhood club,” owner Tom Britton says. “We’re like Cheers, where everyone knows everyone else.” Roy’s Hideaway in Collins is building a reputation as an expansive retreat for a growing number of gay men who want a place outside of the city. “We’ve been having a good crowd every weekend. We have probably 34 full time residents, a lot of them live in Atlanta and come here for the weekends,” Roy McElroy says. McElroy and his partner have been improving the four-year-old campground and added a new café and lodging options. “It’s a real safe common ground for people to meet at,” he says. “There are a lot of people who aren’t into the bar scene who come here. We’ve had a lot of people find partners here.”


GA Voice

May 11, 2012






– Wolfie










May 11, 2012

GA Voice


Help 3 Couples



Girlyman van
By Bo Shell If anyone is an expert in road traveling, it’s Doris Muramatsu. On the road for two weeks at the time with her band Girlyman since early 2001, Muramatsu has seen hundred of thousands of miles of America’s asphalt maze — with bandmates Ty Greenstein, Nate Borofsky and newest member JJ Jones in tow. “We certainly know how to find the best route, how to find good food, and how to Priceline 3.5- to 4-star hotels for $35,” Muramatsu says. “When you travel as much as we do, you learn how to make the road work for you in a more streamlined fashion.” The band, every member of which falls into the category of “queer” according to Muramatsu, stops at Eddie’s Attic for two shows on May 12 before heading to Europe. After the death of their Ford Econoline, Girlyman bought a Dodge Sprinter — complete with a fridge, a loft for sleeping and cubbies for each band member. “We all have different things we need to bring…” Muramatsu says. “Each of tend to bring earplugs — cause let’s face it, some of us snore — decaf coffee and an aeropress, running shoes, and peanut butter and jelly — it sure beats being hungry!” Food options are usually limited to said sandwiches and gas station cuisine when you’re on the road for up to 14 hours a day, but most of band eats organic, non-processed food.

Queer band Girlyman — (from left to right) Nate Borofsky, Doris Muramatsu, JJ Jones and Ty Greenstein — plays two shows at Eddie’s Attic on May 12 before heading on a European leg of their tour. (Photo by Jeff Steinmetz via Facebook)

Savannah, Georgia
June 8th-11th, 2012


Road trip tips from Atlanta’s queer music darlings

Girlyman May 12, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Eddie’s Attic 515-B N. McDonough St. Decatur, GA, 30030 “Gas stations are not an option. Except maybe for sparkling water,” Muramatsu continues. “We joke that Nate will outlive us all on his steady diet of Sour Patch Kids and Diet Coke.” Girlyman’s fifth studio album, “Supernova,” was released on iTunes and other digital outlets May 1 and physical copies are due in stores June 19. The title brings a mix of energy — and emotions — after a bumpy ride over the last couple of years. Muramatsu was diagnosed with leukemia in late 2010. The band cancelled a month of shows and questioned their future as their lead

singer sat in a hospital enduring blood transfusions and chemotherapy. The album’s titular track written by Borofsky isn’t about Miramatsu, but it helped her get through that time, she says in the band’s bio. “Later I looked up the definition of supernova,” she says. “It turns out that while it is a dying star, it also gives birth to new stars… as difficult as it was, I wouldn’t trade the experience — it got us where we are now.” Muramatsu says their time on the road helps inspire the music. “I think touring and being in different parts of the country, or in other counties, certainly adds to the palate of experience. It kind of seeps into your very being, all these images and feelings and provides you with more to work with as a writer,” she says. Though sometimes the band flies two members and leaves two on the road — after all, Girlyman carries a lot of equipment — most of the time, there are four people relegated to that Dodge Spirit for hours at the time. A recipe for disaster? “Luckily, we all like to process our feelings and are all really close friends,” Miramatsu explains. “So if something hard comes up, we’re usually able to talk it our and come to a resolution more easily than some. It’s really special to be able to do that with your bandmates.” Beyond looking at Priceline and sites like to see what people have bid for hotels across the country to get the best deals, what’s Miramatsu’s ultimate road trip tip? “Always bring as many pair of underwear as the number of days not the road,” she laughs. “It sucks to run out.”



3 couples will be awarded a weekend getaway to Southern Living Magazine’s Top Romantic Southern Escape.

Getting along

Courtesy of

For upcoming events & service projects visit

New music


GA Voice

May 11, 2012


The Georgia Voice

1904 Monroe Dr., Suite 130 Atlanta, GA 30324 404-815-6941 | Editor: Laura Douglas-Brown Deputy Editor: Dyana Bagby Web Manager: Ryan Watkins Art Director: Bo Shell Contributors: Melissa Carter, Brent Corcoran, Jim Farmer, Shannon Hames, Topher Payne, Mike Ritter, Matt Schafer, Steve Warren, Justin Ziegler

Support LGBT journalism, and join the inner circle for all of the best giveaways we bring to GA Voice readers
Editorial by Laura Douglas-Brown You read us online and in print. You follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Now you can be even more connected to the GA Voice community by joining the Source, our new membership program. In journalism, the term “source” refers to where we go for information; it’s where our stories come from. For GA Voice, the Source represents the circle of our community: You are our source for inspiration and information, and we are your source for sharing and connecting that information across all of the different, diverse communities who make up LGBT Georgia. With the Source, we reward your support. Your $30 annual membership in the Source puts you in the inner circle for all of the best offers and deals that we bring to GA Voice readers. Each month, we will have two drawings of great prizes, only for Source members. The first will be held June 1 for two tickets to Out in the Stands, the LGBT day at the Atlanta Braves, on June 27. The second will be held June 15 for two tickets to see the B-52’s on July 21 at the Fox. Being part of the smaller group of the Source means your chances of winning are much higher. Each month, we’ll profile the winners on our website, giving you a chance to talk about the fun you had with your prize, as well as to discuss your business, the causes most important to you, or whatever else you want to share with fellow GA Voice readers. And as the Source grows, we will bring you even more giveaways and discounts available only to members. In addition to special drawings each month, your membership is your invitation to special Source-only gatherings. Each quarter, we will invite you to join the GA Voice staff for a special happy hour with free appetizers, great smallgroup conversation with others who care about our community, and occasional special guests. With the Source, GA Voice joins a growing number of media organizations around the country using membership models to more directly connect our readers with supporting the content you want and need. For media outlets based on subscriptions, these membership programs have often taken the shape of loyalty programs — like the Baltimore Sun’s Insider or the Guardian’s Extra. For media outlets like GA Voice or that already provide our content free to all, membership is available for a nominal annual fee, less than many of us spend on one night out with dinner and drinks. By joining the Source and also supporting our advertisers, you help us expand our efforts to provide in-depth, quality news and features — by and for our community. Throughout the year, we bring you broad coverage of news and events impacting LGBT people in Atlanta and across Georgia. We are also constantly working to bring you new projects that complement our mission. Last year, we debuted “Destination: Gay Atlanta,” an annual travel guide produced in partnership with the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau that works to introduce visitors to all of

Welcome to the Source
the riches LGBT Atlanta has to offer. We’re proud to say the 2012 edition hits stands later this month. Our new “Hot Minute” video segments serve up “gay news on drag time,” with a generous helping of signature sass, while our “Meme of the Week” highlights the latest hilarious or infuriating LGBT social media trends. Upcoming special projects include our annual Black Gay Pride and Atlanta Pride editions, the most comprehensive coverage available. From daily reports on our award-winning website to compelling interviews with the people behind the headlines in our print edition, our goal every day is to inform, entertain and empower. Unlike mainstream media, we cover LGBT issues fearlessly and frankly without worrying about offending conservative supporters. We aren’t afraid to say the “F” word when necessary — both of them — but we don’t believe in being salacious just to create controversy. We don’t sell editorial coverage to advertisers and pass it off as articles to you. We celebrate the many diverse individuals, organizations and businesses that make up LGBT Georgia. We build bridges by introducing you to those who may be less known or even misunderstood in our community. We champion the shared fight for full equality that unites us all. Welcome to the Source, and thank you for being ours.


Publisher: Christina Cash Associate Publisher: Tim Boyd Sales Executive: Marshall Graham National Advertising: Rivendell Media, 908-232-2021


Richard Eldredge, Sandy Malcolm, Lynn Pasqualetti, Robert Pullen
All material in the Georgia Voice is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Georgia Voice. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published herein is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons. We also do not accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the Georgia Voice, but we do not take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. Guidelines for freelance contributors are available upon request. A single copy of the Georgia Voice is available from authorized distribution points. Multiple copies are available from the Georgia Voice office only. Call for rates. If you are unable to reach a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 26-issue mailed subscription for $60 per year. Checks or credit card orders can be sent to Tim Boyd, Postmaster: Send address changes to the Georgia Voice, 1904 Monroe Drive, Suite 130, Atlanta, GA 30324. The Georgia Voice is published every other Friday by The Georgia Voice, LLC. Individual subscriptions are $60 per year for 26 issues. Postage paid at Atlanta, GA, and additional mailing offices. The editorial positions of the Georgia Voice are expressed in editorials and in editor’s notes. Other opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Georgia Voice and its staff. To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be fewer than 400 words and commentary, for web or print, should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and must include a name, address and phone number for verification. Email submissions to or mail to the address above.

Consumer Brief Summary for EGRIFTA® (tesamorelin for injection)
EGRIFTA® (eh-GRIF-tuh) (tesamorelin for injection) for subcutaneous use Read the Patient Information that comes with EGRIFTA® before you start to take it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This leaflet does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or your treatment. What is EGRIFTA ?

• Swelling (fluid retention). EGRIFTA® can cause swelling in some parts of your body. Call your healthcare

provider if you have an increase in joint pain, or pain or numbness in your hands or wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome)
• Increase in glucose (blood sugar) intolerance and diabetes. Your healthcare provider will measure your

blood sugar periodically
• Injection-site reactions. Change (rotate) your injection site to help lower your risk for injection-site reactions.

• EGRIFTA® is an injectable prescription medicine to reduce the excess in abdominal fat in HIV-infected

patients with lipodystrophy. EGRIFTA® contains a growth hormone-releasing factor (GRF) • The impact and safety of EGRIFTA® on cardiovascular health has not been studied • EGRIFTA® is not indicated for weight-loss management • It is not known whether taking EGRIFTA® helps improve compliance with antiretroviral medications • It is not known if EGRIFTA® is safe and effective in children. EGRIFTA® is not recommended to be used in children Who should not use EGRIFTA®? Do not use EGRIFTA® if you: • have pituitary gland tumor, pituitary gland surgery, or other problems related to your pituitary gland • have active cancer (either newly diagnosed or recurrent) or are receiving treatment for cancer • are allergic to tesamorelin or any of the ingredients in EGRIFTA® See the end of this leaflet for a complete . list of ingredients in EGRIFTA® • are pregnant or become pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop using EGRIFTA® and talk with your healthcare provider. See “What should I tell my healthcare provider before using EGRIFTA®?” What should I tell my healthcare provider before using EGRIFTA®? Before using EGRIFTA® tell your healthcare provider if you: , • have or have had cancer • have diabetes • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if EGRIFTA® passes into your breast milk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that HIV-infected mothers not breastfeed to avoid the risk of passing HIV infection to your baby. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you are taking EGRIFTA® • have kidney or liver problems • have any other medical condition Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. EGRIFTA® may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how EGRIFTA® works. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list with you to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. How should I use EGRIFTA®? • Read the detailed “Instructions for Use” that comes with EGRIFTA® before you start using EGRIFTA® Your . healthcare provider will show you how to inject EGRIFTA® • Use EGRIFTA® exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider • Inject EGRIFTA® under the skin (subcutaneously) of your stomach area (abdomen) • Change (rotate) the injection site on your stomach area (abdomen) with each dose. Do not inject EGRIFTA® into scar tissue, bruises, or your navel • Do not share needles or syringes with other people. Sharing of needles can result in the transmission of infectious diseases, such as HIV What are the possible side effects of EGRIFTA®? EGRIFTA® may cause serious side effects including: • Serious allergic reaction. Some people taking EGRIFTA® may have an allergic reaction. Stop using EGRIFTA® and get emergency help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: – a rash over your body – hives – swelling of your face or throat – shortness of breath or trouble breathing – fast heartbeat – feeling of faintness or fainting

Call your healthcare provider for medical advice if you have the following symptoms around the area of the injection site: – bleeding – redness – rash – itching – swelling – pain – irritation The most common side effects of EGRIFTA® include: – joint pain – nausea – pain in legs and arms – vomiting – rash – swelling in your legs – itching – muscle soreness – tingling, numbness, and pricking Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of EGRIFTA® For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. . Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects, contact EMD Serono toll-free at 1-800-283-8088, ext. 5563. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Keep EGRIFTA® and all medicines out of the reach of children. General information about the safe and effective use of EGRIFTA®: Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use EGRIFTA® for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give EGRIFTA® to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them. Do not share your EGRIFTA® syringe with another person, even if the needle is changed. Do not share your EGRIFTA® needles with another person. . This Patient Information leaflet summarizes the most important information about EGRIFTA® If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about EGRIFTA® that is written for healthcare professionals. , For more information about EGRIFTA® go to or contact the AXIS Center toll-free at 1-877-714-2947. What are the ingredients in EGRIFTA®? Active ingredient: tesamorelin Inactive ingredients: mannitol and Sterile Water for Injection

© 2012 EMD Serono, Inc. 120120-161843 2/12 All rights reserved. EGRIFTA® is a registered trademark of Theratechnologies Inc. Distributed by EMD Serono, Inc., Rockland, MA 02370

Atlanta HRC Dinner marks 25 years of equality fight
By Shannon Hames Brighter than the “super moon” that was out on the same night, Atlanta’s LGBT community shined in record numbers at Atlanta Human Rights Campaign Gala at the Hyatt Regency Saturday evening. In keeping with this year’s theme of “25 Years of Fighting for Equality,” activists from the past and present were honored. The event raises money for the Human Rights Campaign’s national fight for LGBT rights. It began with a rousing performance by Grammy nominee Frenchie Davis. She was followed by an uplifting video montage showing just how far the LGBT community has come since the first Atlanta HRC Dinner was held 25 years ago. The crowd of over 1,100 roared with approval when hometown hero U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) was shown in the clip. “I’m moved that the people appreciate what I’ve tried to do over the years. I feel so blessed,” Lewis told GA Voice, asked how it felt to hear the room erupt into such applause at the mere mention of his name. Lewis also urged the LGBT community to “hang in there and never, ever lose hope or give up. Continue to push and continue to organize and we must all use the vote. It is the most powerful, non-violent instrument.” Molly Simmons, co-chair of HRC’s national board of governors, honored the many Georgia politicians in attendance before Georgia House District 56 candidate Ken Britt, who is gay and a longtime political advocate, introduced outgoing HRC President Joe Solmonese. This dinner was the last for Solmonese before he leaves his position at HRC for a new venture with the Obama 2012 campaign. “Atlanta was the first HRC dinner I ever spoke at seven years ago. I’ve really grown to love this community so it’s a sad night for me,” Solmonese said. “We have a lot more work to do here in Georgia. This is an incredibly committed community so there’s no doubt that we’re going to continue to see change. We have a lot of healthcare providers here tonight. We’re doing a lot of work to try to change that experience for the LGBT people and their families,” he said. Several years ago, HRC launched a Healthcare Equality Index to rank healthcare providers in a similar way to their Corporate Equality Index. To highlight HRC’s goal of changing medical care for LGBT Americans, HRC honored the Health Initiative, which recently expanded its scope and changed its name from the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative, with this year’s Dan Bradley Humanitarian Award.

Event honored local activists, raised funds for national efforts


Frenchie Davis

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin

Joe Solmonese and Sean Hayes

Matt Garrett

Ken Britt

The 25th annual Atlanta HRC Dinner drew hundreds to the Hyatt Regency on May 5. (Photos by Brent Corcoran/RNZ Photography)

Robert Gaul, Lisa Borders and Philip Rafshoon

‘We’re all on one journey’

Representing the Health Initiative was Executive Director Linda Ellis, who was there with her partner, Lesley Brogan, and their 13 year old son, John. Ellis noted that although HRC works for national policy changes and the Health Initiative works at a local level, they are absolutely working toward the same end. “The HRC has made this national effort with the Healthcare Equality Index which is raising the levels of LGBT inclusiveness at the policy-making level with the major healthcare systems. Our work is more at the street level making sure that they take the policies throughout the various healthcare systems and make them practical — that they make it all the way down to the bedsides,” Ellis said. Rev. Phillip Thomason, outreach and pastoral care minister at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Atlanta, was recognized with the Community Leadership Award. Addressing the dinner guests, Rev. Phillips said, “My mom instilled in me what fairness is all about, what equality is all about. To be able to share what little bit of knowledge I have, to be able to give folks a sense of belonging. If you’re poor, you’re rich, you’re black, you’re white, if you’re gay or you’re straight, it’s all one journey that we’re on. When we miss that thinking that we’re all on one journey, it’s going to be a tough world to live in.” Matt Garrett, co-chair of the event, reminded the audience that the first Atlanta HRC dinner 25 years ago had the theme “Dare to

Rev. Phillip Thomason and Linda Ellis Molly Simmons

‘Dare to dream’

Dream” and made a point to honor all of those LGBT freedom fighters that came before him. “We are celebrating 25 years of Atlanta’s deep, rich history of involvement with this movement. As we honor those past leaders, having future history makers like Tammy Baldwin in the room is great. There were people in the past who were arrested and had to put their lives in danger for the cause and we’re fortunate that we don’t have to do that today. That should motivate us more to give our time, our skills and our resources to keep progress going for the next 25 years,” he said. The main speaker for the evening was U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. Baldwin is the first out lesbian and first openly gay non-incumbent member elected to Congress. GA Voice talked with Baldwin before the dinner and she shared her thoughts about the past and future. “As the Atlanta HRC dinner celebrates its 25th anniversary, it’s good to reflect on how far we’ve come as a movement. I think back 25 years and there were just a handful of openly gay and lesbian officials in the world. Today, in this country, we’re in the hundreds. We’re poised to break through glass ceilings and that’s what I’m doing right now as I run

State Rep. Nan Orrock and U.S. Rep. John Lewis

for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin,” she said. If elected, Baldwin will be the first openly lesbian member of the U.S. Senate. Sean Hayes, famous for his role as waygay Jack McFarland on the sitcom “Will and Grace,” was also honored with the Visibility Award for helping make gay characters part of mainstream television. As if to put an exclamation point on the fact that so much progress had been made in the past 25 years, attendees were reminded that at the first dinner, only a few people in attendance volunteered to be photographed because of fear of being outed. Now, 25 years later and for the first time in the history of the dinner, there were several members of the military who were present and in full dress uniform thanks to the end of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

24 2

GA Voice

May 11, 2012

DIRECTORY LISTINGS To advertise, email

massage therapy


Certi ed Massage erapist

years of

770 • 880 • 4010
convenient midtown location


May 11, 2012

GA Voice

25 23


New Atlanta Police LGBT liaison: ‘I work for you, with you’
Kristin Knight stresses community-oriented approach to policing
Watch a video clip of Officer Kristin Knight talking about her new job at Contacts for LGBT liaisons • Officer Brian Sharp • Officer Kristin Knight and did not learn of it until called by the press for comment. Since that time, the APD has increased the LGBT liaison unit to two officers, created an LGBT citizen advisory board, and also implemented changes to the department required by the federal court settlement in the Eagle case. Powell is now working in the APD’s background and recruitment department as part of the continuing career development and changes all officers undergo, said APD spokesperson Carlos Campos. Police Chief George Turner praised all three officers in a press release announcing Knight’s appointment. “We’ve made great strides in strengthening our relationship with the LGBT community and I expect Officer Knight will keep up the great work already done by SPO Powell and Officer Sharp,” Turner said. Knight joined the force seven years ago and had dreams to work for the FBI. “Initially I used APD kind of as a stepping By Dyana Bagby Officer Kristin Knight made her first official public appearance as the Atlanta Police Department’s new LGBT liaison at the HRC Dinner May 5, but she has been out and open on the force since she began working on foot patrol seven years ago. Knight, 30, said she came out to her family when she was 18 and moved to Atlanta to attend Clark Atlanta University from Milford, Conn., where she was born and raised. “I came out when I was 18. It coincided with growing up and moving out, when I felt more comfortable saying who I was,” she said in an interview at Atlanta Public Safety Headquarters. The reaction from her family when she told them? “Yeah, we already kind of knew,” Knight said with a laugh. Knight joins Officer Brian Sharp as the APD’s two LGBT liaisons. She replaces Senior Patrol Officer Pat Powell, who took the job in 2010 at the height of the LGBT community’s discontent with the APD as part of the fallout of the unconstitutional raid on the Atlanta Eagle, a Midtown gay bar. The then-underutilized liaison post was at the center of the controversy, as the previous liaison was not notified or involved in the raid, business corridor downtown and served as ambassadors to the public,” she said. Despite a testy relationship between some in Atlanta’s gay community and the APD, Knight said now is the “perfect” time to become the LGBT liaison. “The climate is great as far as the way the public perceives the APD; it seems a lot better than in the past,” she said. But, she added, there is always room for growth and understanding. She knows, too, that criticism is part of the job. “You can’t make everyone happy all the time. I’m a strong believer in that. All you can do is your best,” she said. “I’m not the conventional police officer. I like to think outside the box. I prefer to be on foot. I want to hear from people first. Right now we have chance to find new ways to get closer.” Knight said she hopes to implement the national “It Gets Better” initiative at the APD, similar to videos made by the San Francisco Police Department and other organizations and departments. “As we have seen, several LGBT youth committed suicide. This is very bothersome to me and I think we can prevent it,” she said. Other plans include holding public safety seminars geared to LGBT people about safety and date-rape drugs, she said. First and foremost is to listen to people’s concerns, she said. “I want to tap into what the public wants. I’m not here to do what I want to do but what they want to do,” she said. “My desire to get out there and hear what everyone wants. I look forward to getting information from the people I’m working for. As far I’m concerned, I’m working for you, with you.”

Atlanta Police LGBT liaison Kristin Knight said she likes to ‘think outside the box’ when it comes to serving the public. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

‘Not the conventional police officer’

stone,” she said. “I was interested in going federal at a young age. But once I got with APD and law enforcement I found it really fulfilled my desires of what I wanted to do. I wanted to have contact with people and not sit behind a desk.” Before joining the Atlanta Police Department, Knight worked as a server at Houlihan’s in Sandy Springs near Perimeter Mall as well as security jobs and with the Transportation Security Administration at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Knight began her duties with the APD working in Zone 5 on foot patrols and then transferred to the Auburn Avenue area where she worked patrols in a car and answered 911 calls. “When I worked foot patrol, we were in the

DIRECTORY LISTINGS To advertise, email


GA Voice

May 11, 2012


May 11, 2012

GA Voice

27 23

AIDS Healthcare Foundation to open Atlanta clinic
Testing, counseling among services to be offered
AIDS Healthcare Foundation Atlanta ‘Magic Johnson’ Healthcare Clinic 1700 Hillendale Dr., Lithonia, Ga. 888- AIDS-CARE, Averill called the clinic a “one-stop shop.” Atlanta has multiple agencies whose mission is combat HIV/AIDS, and Averill said that AHF’s new clinic would not dilute local treatment options but expand them. “You can never have enough care, enough options,” Averill said. Averill said the clinic’s location in Lithonia, which is east of Atlanta in Dekalb County, was chosen because it would allow AHF to expand HIV/AIDS services into an area where people who need care can find it. “The percentage of people that are out of care is high,” Averill said. “We when did our research on Georgia, it was a very large number of individuals who had been documented but were not in care.” The AHF will also bring a mobile testing unit when it opens its clinic that will service local communities. “For a lot of people, it’s a transportation By Ryan Watkins The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the self-described “largest community-based HIV medical provider in the nation,” will open an Atlanta branch later this month with support from basketball legend and HIV/AIDS activist Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Johnson and AHF announced on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, plans to open new clinics in Atlanta; Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Fort Worth, Tex. Dubbed the Atlanta “Magic Johnson” Healthcare Clinic, the facility is scheduled for a soft opening on May 16 at 1700 Hillendale Dr. in Lithonia. The clinic will feature a resident doctor who specializes in HIV/AIDS, a pharmacy and additional services like testing and counseling, according to the AHF. “At the clinic, we’re going to offer HIV primary care, laboratory care, hopefully STD screenings and treatments and an on-site pharmacy that will offer free delivery to anyone in the area,” said Dawn Averill, associate director of growth and development for AHF.

Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation will open a clinic in Lithonia, Ga., later this month. (Courtesy photo)

issue,” Averill said. “We try to break through their barriers to see what we can do. If those are your issues, we can fix that. “We want to get out there, we want to find new people who are HIV positive and help them through the process,” Averill added.

Ga. among worst new HIV cases

Despite progress in treatment and early detection, Georgia still ranks among the worst

states for new HIV cases. Georgia was among the top states to report new HIV infections in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Some 1,300 people are diagnosed each year in the Peach State, CDC numbers show. Many of those diagnosed with the disease seek initial treatment, but fall through the cracks when it comes to continued care, Averill said. “We want people to come in, get tested, we want to teach them how to be healthy, be sexually smart,” Averill added. The new clinic will be a partnership with the Magic Johnson Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by the former NBA legend. Johnson shocked the world in 1991 when he announced he was HIV positive. Since his announcement, he has become a fierce advocate of the struggle against HIV/AIDS. “Magic Johnson is a hero and icon in the fight against AIDS, and we applaud him for the courage and leadership he has shown in this ongoing battle,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein at the World AIDS Day announcement. Founded in 1987, AHF provides services to more than 130,000 people affected by HIV and AIDS in 22 countries annually. The foundation also has clinics in California, Florida, and Washington, D.C.

28 2

GA Voice

May 11, 2012


Former board member blames financial woes on board, not ED
By Dyana Bagby

United Way releases funding back to YouthPride after investigation
Numerous emails to YouthPride’s Executive Director Terence McPhaul and board members have gone unanswered. The GA Voice was able to reach YouthPride’s interim board chair Theresa Willis by phone on May 3, but she refused to comment about the organization. “I do not talk and drive,” she said. “How did you get this number? This number is my husband’s number and we try to keep it private. “My husband is a state representative. I will get advice from my husband who is a state representative and a lawyer,” she added when asked to comment about YouthPride. Willis did not state her husband’s name. A spokesperson from the Georgia House of Representatives could not identify the legislator. YouthPride must vacate its space in Inman Park on May 31 but no one from the organization will discuss if it has found a new home. YouthPride was ordered to vacate its site at 1017 Edgewood Ave. by 5 p.m. May 31 after it reached a court settlement with its landlord, Inman Park United Methodist Church, for not paying more than $50,000 in rent and fees. YouthPride agreed as part of the settlement to pay the church $28,000. At a March 6 town hall forum to discuss YouthPride, McPhaul said he was working with Atlanta attorney Jason McCoy of the Paul Hastings law firm and expected to have a new board organized in 60 days. McCoy said May 8 he could not comment on the board’s development. “I’m sorry, but I’ve been asked not to comment by my client,” he said. Jordan Myers, who was the board chair of YouthPride before Willis took over the position, has not spoke on the YouthPride crisis since February despite numerous attempts to contact him, but apparently remains on the board. Willis was listed as interim board chair in court documents filed in March as part of YouthPride’s settlement agreement with Inman Park UMC; Myers was also listed in the documents as a board member. YouthPride’s by-laws state its board must have five board members. Tracee McDaniel, founder of Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, confirmed May 8 she has joined the board. Former board member and attorney Marlys Bergstrom said the blame for YouthPride’s financial woes lies with the board and not McPhaul. Bergstrom is an attorney with Atlanta’s Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan LLP law firm. She told the GA Voice in January she had no idea McPhaul had said the board needed to raise $40,000 by Dec. 31 or it would be forced to close, although the agency remains open today. She also said at the time the board had not met in two years. Bergstrom said in a phone interview May 4 she came on the board just after McPhaul was hired and Myers was the board chair. McPhaul was hired in 2009. “With Jordan (Myers) we never had a meeting and the few we did Terence (McPhaul) seemed to have his act together, just waiting for funds to come in,” Bergstrom said. Bergstrom defended McPhaul and said he should not be the one blamed for any of YouthPride’s financial troubles. “It was largely the board’s fault,” Bergstrom said. “I was astounded. I never had the feeling [McPhaul] was not committed or that he wanted to go rogue.” Bergstrom said she decided that she had been removed from the board because she had no contact with members for so long. “I was transitioning jobs and assumed I would be told when they met. I knew YouthPride was having financial difficulties … but not much guidance was given to Terence,” she added. “He’s been given a really bad rap.”

The United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta has lifted its hold on donations designated for YouthPride after conducting an investigation into the LGBT youth nonprofit spurred by donor complaints and finding no wrongdoing. “After looking into the complaints against YouthPride by our generous donors, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta has decided to lift the hold on designated donor funds to the organization. We have alerted YouthPride and our donors of our decision,” United Way spokesperson David Graves said April 30 in a prepared statement. Graves said April 13 that United Way had opened an investigation into YouthPride after receiving complaints from donors who made donations to YouthPride through United Way. Graves declined to say how much money or how many donors were impacted and instead said all inquiries should be made to YouthPride.


May 11, 2012

GA Voice

29 23

Ga. LGBTQ Archives Project to preserve personal histories
‘Out of Our Closets’ event focuses on what, where to donate
By Dyana Bagby Whether you have diaries, letters, books or political posters that offer a glimpse into Georgia’s LGBT history, archivists want you to know it’s all important and there are places to donate. On May 19, numerous archivists and LGBT history advocates will get together at the Phillip Rush Center to discuss ways to let the public know that these items are important, and the donor doesn’t need to be famous. “I think a lot of people think history is what famous people did,” said Hillery Rink, a member of the Georgia LGBTQ Archives Project. “But primary sources are the historians. People ask, ‘Why would someone be interested in my story?’ But it’s everyday people living their lives, particularly in the South, where we learn our history.” The Georgia LGBTQ Archives Project was founded in December and includes members from Touching Up Our Roots, as well as Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System’s Auburn Avenue Research Library, Special Collections, and Ponce de Leon branch; Atlanta History Center; Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Books Library; Georgia State University’s Special Collections and Archives; SAGE Oral History Project; StoryCorps; and the Trans Tell Your Story Project. “The concept evolved from merely providing an opportunity for donation ... to truly informing LGBTQs about this and perhaps even providing a stepping stone for future efforts in this area,” said Ann Edmonds, manager of the LGBTQ circulating collection of books and DVDs at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System — Ponce de Leon Branch. Archivists are interested in many things to include in their collections as a way to record and preserve the past, Edmonds noted, including buttons, posters, t-shirts, programs from events, flyers, magazine and newspaper articles, organizational records, personal papers, photographs and recordings. “They will also work with donors who have much of their information digitally preserved,” she said. “The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library’s Special Collections also includes books along with archival materials. “At the Ponce de Leon Branch, we are not an archive, we are interested in adding to our collection of LGBTQ-related books and DVDs. What will happen to a personal library is often one of the major concerns of older LGBTs and we wel-

The Last Decision You Make for Your Pet is Just as Important as the First.
❖ Same day service. No waiting. You can take your pet’s ashes home tonight. ❖ Each pet is cremated ALONE, guaranteed by our PetTracker360SM system, which ensures that you receive your pet’s ashes. ❖ State-of-the-Art facility where families can plan, grieve, and commemorate their pets.
2800 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. Decatur, GA 30030

The Georgia LGBTQ Archives Project hopes to provide numerous places for people to donate their items as a way to record Atlanta’s history. (Courtesy photo)

MAIN LOCATION: Faithful Friends Campus
1591 Access Road Covington, GA 30016

Out of Our Closets...Into Our History Saturday, May 19 2-4 p.m. at thePhillip Rush Center 1530 DeKalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307 come donations,” Edmonds said. “We are also particularly interested in identifying and adding the works of local LGBTQ authors.” Touching Up Our Roots, founded by Dave Hayward, has also conducted and videotaped interviews with several older LGBT Atlantans and those items have been donated to the Woodruff Library of Emory University. “We are working with contacts throughout Emory to call attention to these materials and to connect LGBT activists with students, faculty, staff and supporters of Emory,” Hayward said. “As always, we continue to facilitate interviews with LGBT leaders and activists for the StoryCorps project of National Public Radio at WABE radio in Atlanta.” At the May 19 meeting, people young and old will have a chance to talk to archivists about what they have and where they may want to donate their items, Edmonds said. “We have a large and inclusive goal: We hope to reach out to as many segments of the LGBTQ community in Atlanta as we can, both individuals and groups and organizations,” she said. Edmonds and Rink also are making a special request to young people and newer organizations to start recording their history now by putting it on CDs or zip drives. Rink says old computers with an organization’s records can also be donated. “Archives aren’t just for the end of a life or when an organization, business or group ceases to exist; what is happening now may be lost if there is not an awareness of the need to collect, maintain and preserve the documentation of life as it happens,” Edmonds said.

404.370.6000 770.385.0222

“Family” Owned & Operated

Book by Douglas Carter Music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne
vi w Preixe T ! 11 &
MAY 10


Directed by

Sherri D. Sutton

and John Farrar

Based on the Universal Pictures Film. Screenplay by Richard Danus & Marc Rubel Originally Produced on Broadway by Robert Ahrens, Dan Vickery, Tara Smith/B. Swibel, Saro Murchson/Dale Smith and Cari Smulyan

May 10 - June 16, 2012 404.607.SHOW
fulton county arts & culture

Actor’s Express at the King Plow Arts Center

5/3/12 3:39 PM

Major funding for this organization is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council. This program is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. This program is supported in part by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs.

AE-Xanadu4.917x5 5.12.indd 1


GA Voice

May 11, 2012


May 11, 2012

GA Voice


MondoHomo 101
What to expect from the fest if you’ve never been (and yes, khaki shorts are fine)
By Dyana Bagby MondoHomo, Atlanta’s alternative queer arts festival, returns Memorial Day weekend to rock your face off with music, art and queer consciousness. But perhaps you’ve been too intimidated to attend in the past or are not sure what to expect. We interviewed organizer Jesse Morgan for a few tips and insights for those who want to experience MondoHomo but were too afraid to ask. Here are some of his answers. Get yourself to for the entire lowdown. What exactly is a “radical queer arts and music festival?” What do you mean by radical or queer? Isn’t it bad to be called queer? Both radical and queer mean different things for different people. That’s the beauty of it. When we think of radical, we think of being true to your “political self” and working towards complete social justice. Everything from picking up a protest poster to being gay as ever! The queer identity is all about reclaiming. We see the term as being inclusive and challenging all kinds of boundaries. We LOVE to push buttons! Queers are everyone! It is an umbrella term that embraces all kinds of different people — working class and upper class, gays, lesbians, transfolk, femmes, genderqueers, dykes, bisexuals, quadrasexuals (OK, we made that up), black, white, Asian, Latino and all races. Put all that together with fabulous art and music and you get MondoHomo. It’s a festival that is dedicated to providing space for people who make and art and music that is fundamentally political. And by political, please don’t get us twisted. We are not about preachy information and telling you what you “need to do.” We recognize that a festival dedicated to queerness and all of its identities is inherently political. Being queer is beautiful and FUN AS HELL at MondoHomo! Think: dancing, flirting, bad-ass music, and fabulous art! I like to wear khaki shorts and polo shirts. Am I still welcome? Of course you’re welcome! Wear those khaki

shorts and polo proud! We want you to be proud of your identity. Party, get political, and dance in those khakis! You might find some us in glitter hot-pants, others in girlie dresses, and some of us in jeans and a sexy tee. But — be you. I love music, all kinds of music. What’s on tap for this year’s festival? Will there be girls with guitars? We love all kinds of music, too! There are so many delicious tunes headed your way for this year’s festival. Double Duchess is bringing queer electro hop from San Francisco down to the Dirty South (think shaking your ass, hard). Glitterlust from Washington, D.C., adds a new layer of sparkle to the lineup with their glam dance rock revival (go ahead and jump and shake). ATL’S own KIN4LIFE, The Sexual Side Effects, The Lamentations, and The Back Pockets are all scheduled to bring their queerest and biggest performances ever to MondoHomo. These are just a few of the amazing groups scheduled to perform. Be sure to check our webpage and Facebook for the most current list. As far as any “girls” with guitars goes, it all depends on what socially constructed view of the word you have. One thing’s for sure — there will be artists (with or without guitars) that leave you saying “Girl, get it!” Editor’s note: The complete list of events and venues was not ready by press time. Is this festival like Atlanta Gay Pride but smaller? What are the major similarities and/or differences? We are different than Atlanta Gay Pride and also share some similarities. For starters, both of the festivals are created as a welcoming space for queer/LGBT people. Express yourself, gurl! And both festivals exhibit many colors of our community — bears, girlie girls, twinks, and more, all coming together. Though, we do have some differences. One main difference is the way in which we access donations to make our festival. Atlanta Pride has structured itself around marketing towards corporations for festival funds. At MondoHomo, we strive to challenge capitalism to our best ability and with that we don’t readily accept corporate funds. We like keeping it in the community by accepting support from small businesses and returning the favor with fabulous visibility.

Join the discussion.
Be part of the GA Voice community on Facebook and Twitter.

Expect a rowdy, unique queer crowd at this year’s MondoHomo festival May 24-27. (Photos by Dyana Bagby)

www.theGAVoice MORE INFO
MondoHomo Memorial Day weekend, May 24-27 Do I have to have tons of tattoos in order to go and feel comfortable? Why does everyone at the fest have so many tattoos? You will be tattooed when you walk in. It’s mandatory. WE KID! Yes, some us have tattoos. Some of us don’t. Tattoos are clearly a way that people choose to express themselves — we will call it body art. We strive to create a space that is welcoming for everyone. Maybe you will see someone with a tattoo that inspires you to get one. Maybe you will see someone with no tattoos that inspires you not to get one. We are a colorful bunch. But like we said, we are all different. And we WANT you to be as fabulous as you truly are. I love to drink alcohol at festivals and wonder what kind of booze will be available? Corona? Amstel Light? During this year’s festival, we are excited to reach out to a range of ages and welcome 18+ for our events. We believe at MondoHomo you don’t have to indulge in drinking to party and have a good time. We have plenty of music, art, performances, and dancing for that. Though, we are happy to provide a full stocked bar with

yummy beers, refreshing cocktails, and delicious wine. And don’t forget our MondoPosse tradition — jello shots! They will make you gayer than a pair of twinks at Jungle. We are simultaneously excited to invest in party politics as well as the safety of our sober folk. So, come enjoy a beverage with your fellow queers or play it cool. We promise to not disappoint. Will I be able to buy art such as the kind for sale at the Dogwood Fest or Inman Park Fest? The art at MondoHomo is meant to be experienced, not taken home in a gift bag. The fourday exhibition incorporates everything from painting and sculpture to video projection and performance. There will also be a collection of vintage queer zines from the Queer Zine Archive on display. We’re hoping the exhibition will give a look back at our history as queer community, while looking towards where we will go in the future! It’s all about experiencing culture. Come get ya’ some! Anything else newcomers should know? Everyone should know that this weekend will change your life. Really! Exciting additions we have include a real live Grindr! Yes, and for everyone! All genders — no discrimination. The MondoPosse will be debuting the first ever live app for ATL. We’re also excited to offer this year’s theme of “Queer Justice! Queer Beats!” It is an exciting portrayal of the southern festival for demanding space for queertastic artists, performers, and organizers.


GA Voice

May 11, 2012


May 11, 2012

GA Voice


First-ever event also planned for Toccoa in northeast Ga.

International Day Against Homophobia returns to Atlanta

International Day Against Homophobia ‘Church Without Walls’ service and potluck picnic May 13, 10:30 am Candler Park, Atlanta Presentations of the Proclamations, Speakers & Entertainment May 17, 6 p.m. at Village Church 3418 Dogwood Drive, Hapeville, GA 30354 First Annual Northeast Georgia Progressive Forum May 18, 6 p.m. at New Day Worship Center 37 County Farm Road, Toccoa, GA 30577

2012 marks the third year Atlanta has hosted events meant to draw attention to homophobia and how it continues to impact the lives of LGBT people throughout the world. From bullying, to violence, to employment discrimination and marriage rights, LGBT people still face an uphill battle seeking the most basic protections. The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), marked by rallies, vigils and gatherings across the world, celebrates its 10th year May 17. Local organizers are planning three days of events in Atlanta, Toccoa and Hapeville, Ga. Atlanta’s IDAHO events are organized by Betty Couvertier, the host of the LGBT radio program Alternative Perspectives, which airs on WRFG. “In the first year, it was just a one day event,” Couvertier says. “This year, we’re doing three days. Hopefully, we can keep expanding it and have a full week in 2014.” Couvertier says the goal of the events is to raise awareness of homophobia, especially in areas of the state that aren’t known to be gay hubs — like Hapeville and Toccoa. “Taking [conversations] out of Atlanta, into the suburbs, where we run into the problems when it comes to legislation, it’s time to let them know what the dynamics are,” Couvertier says. IDAHO officially kicks off on Sunday, May 13, with a “church without walls” service led by

Betty Couvertier holds a proclamation from the City of Atlanta recognizing the International Day Against Homophobia at a 2011 IDAHO event. (By Dyana Bagby)

Gentle Spirit Christian Church’s Rev. Paul Turner at Candler Park. The service will include a potluck picnic and will also feature GA Voice columnist and former Q100 DJ Melissa Carter. Later in the week, on May 17, organizers will meet at Village Church in Hapeville, Ga., to present proclamations from local governments honoring IDAHO. Vandy Beth Glenn, who was fired from her job at the Georgia General Assembly when she informed her boss of her gender transition, will be the keynote speaker of the Thursday night event. Glenn sued the state and won a ruling that she was wrongfully terminated.

The event will also feature Cole Agendabenda Thomas, Johnnie Curran, Julianna Illari and Rev. Antonio Jones as additional speakers. This year’s IDAHO theme is “sexual diversity in the workplace,” but Couvertier notes many issues that affect the state’s LGBT communities will be highlighted during IDAHO’s events, from housing and employment to healthcare and safe schools. “These issues affect the public. We’re a part of the public, but they affect us in a unique way,” Couvertier says. “After the conversation, there’s a better understanding of what we mean when we say ‘equality,’” she adds.

On May 18, IDAHO organizers will partner with the Habersham Democratic Party to host the First Annual Northeast Georgia Progressive Forum at New Day Worship Center in Toccoa. Local activist Paul Schappaugh, Larry Pelligrini of Georgia Rural Urban Summit, Louis Elrod of the Young Democrats of Georgia and Couvertier will participate in the panel discussion. “Once the conversations are had, people view us as the same. That’s what it’s all about. There’s no special privileges or rights, just the same rights,” Couvertier says. — Ryan Watkins

Brain & Body Solutions offers unique therapies
Dr. Stephanie Rimka of Brain and Body Solutions has a simple message for those looking to stay healthy: “Stop and breathe,” she says. “It’s free, it doesn’t take a lot of time and nobody does it.” But for people dealing with more severe health issues, taking a moment to breathe might not be enough to overcome ADHD, memory loss, anxiety, sleep problems or depression. That’s where Rimka and Brain and Body Solutions come in. The wellness practice offers several different kinds of therapies, such a neurofeedback, sound therapy, nutrition and chiropractic services, that can help alleviate ailments without the use of drugs and surgeries. Rimka calls herself a “personal trainer for your brain.” “I’m able to capitalize on the greatest discovery in the last 100 years of medicine — neural plasticity,” Rimka says. “That’s the 100 million dollar word in science at the moment.” Rimka says her methods compare to those of Ivan Pavlov, the Russian scientist who coined “classical conditioning” while working with dogs. “You can change the brain based on stimulus,” Rimka says. “If you exercise the brain in the right way, you can adapt and recover from almost anything. The brain will do

Brain and Body Solutions

whatever it needs to do. It will move around, adapt and become more flexible.” Rimka says that she’s able to monitor brain waves in the office and can offer real-time analysis if a patient’s neural activity is abnormal. “If something is invasive, I can see it realtime,” Rimka says. Brain and Body Solution’s patients range from adults with behavioral issues to children with Autism and learning disabilities. “I’m probably 50/50 kids and adults,” Rimka says. “It’s autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety, panDr. Stephanie Rimka uses neurofeedback and othic attacks, seizures and traumater therapies to help patients address issues ranging ic brain injuries. I get it all.”
from autism to depression. (Courtesy photo)

— Ryan Watkins

BEST BETS 05.11 - 05.24
Friday, May 11
Join the ladies of the lesbian social networking group Fourth Tuesday for their monthly Happy Hour. 6 - 8 p.m. at Mixx Atlanta, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, Taste for Theatre is a wine tasting benefit for 7 Stages Theatre — which hosted the gay-themed “Lay of the Land” and “Hidden Man” earlier this year — featuring burlesque and circus performances, food from Sun in my Belly and a silent auction. 7 - 10 pm. at the Cator Woolford Gardens, 1815 S. Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, Professional sex expert Diana Cage discusses “Mind Blowing Sex” geared toward helping women — straight and queer — to open their minds, reject stereotypes, educate themselves and their lovers, and learn how to enjoy sex more than ever before. 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, DJ M of Traxx Girls fame presents an ‘80s and ‘90s Top 40 special edition party where tunes by Michael Jackson, Prince, and more will trigger your own personal flashback. 10 p.m. at My Sister’s Room, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316, www.
Publicity photo


GA Voice

May 11, 2012



There are two ways to add your events to our online and print calendars. Submit your info to or e-mail details to

Friday, May 11 Saturday, May 12
“Lady Land! The Coming Out ‘Reality Cabaret’ of a Jesus-Loving Senior Citizen Redneck Lesbian Diva” is a one-man show written and performed by gay artist Will Nolan. She runs Friday and Saturday as part of the Atlanta Fringe Festival. Friday at 5 p.m., Saturday at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Mask Center, 1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,,

Thursday, May 17

The irrepressible Leslie Jordan makes an Atlanta stop to perform his new one-man show “Stories I Can’t Tell Mama,” with the “Unexpected Cabaret” to follow. $30 advance, $35 at door, 7:30 p.m. at Mixx, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Friday, May 11 - Sunday, May 13

Photo by Brent Corcoran/RNZ Photgraphy

The Sweet Auburn SpringFest includes gospel, jazz, blues and hip-hop performances with a children’s fun area, technology expo, career fair and international vendors market. Friday 5 - 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sunday 2 - 8 p.m. in the Sweet Auburn Historical District on Auburn Avenue from Boulevard to Courtland Avenue, gloATL and Micah Stansell present “The Search for the Exceptional,” a large-scale public work that “investigates the historic role of public recreation centers in reflecting and reconstructing our communal experience.” 8:30 p.m. both nights at the Old 4th Ward Skatepark, 830 Willoughby Way, Atlanta, GA 30312,

Lost-n-Found Youth, Inc., Atlanta’s newest LGBT homeless youth outreach organization, hosts a basic counselor training for new volunteers. 2 - 5 p.m. at Positive Impact, 60 11th St. NE., Atlanta, GA 30309, “Bingo 4 Boobs” is a fundraiser for the AVON Walks for Breast Cancer featuring host Ruby Redd, a cookout and a special $5 Tata-tini. 4 - 7 p.m. at Mixx, 1492 Piedmont Ave. Atlanta, GA 30309, The Atlanta Rollergirls play two roller derby bouts starting at 5 p.m. at Yaarab Shrine Center, 400 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, WABE presents a live recording of “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. 5:45 p.m. at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308, The Atlanta Cotillion, the drag debutante fundraising season for AID Atlanta, kicks off with “Good Cotillion Belles,” a fundraiser based on the Kristen Chenoweth television show with a “GCB Chic” dress code: cowboy hats, jeans, chaps and spurs. $25 advance, $30 at the door, 6:30 - 9 p.m. at Urban Body Studios, 730 Ponce de Leon Place, Atlanta, GA 30306, www.atlantacotillion/GCB

MORE LGBT EVENTS: Visit our website for our extensive daily calendar, including nightlife schedules, sports, worship services and community organization meetings.

The queer band Girlyman plays two shows at Eddie’s Attic. 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030,

Ladies at Play presents “LOL: Ladies OUT Laughing,” a new signature event featuring comedians by and for ladies who love ladies and their atypical male friends. 9 p.m. at Park Bar Loft, 150 Walton St., Atlanta GA 30303,,

Sunday, May 13

Saturday, May 12
Turn back the clock with a Backstreet Atlanta Reunion Party featuring Charlie Brown’s Cabaret, including a special performance by Lily White, back from a tragic house fire that claimed the home she shared with her mother. DJs Rob Reum and Bill Berdeaux spin after. Doors at 8:30 p.m., show at 9 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,

Saturday, May 12

Savannah’s First City Network, a gay business and social networking organization, hosts a Whitemarsh Island Garden Tour featuring homes on the intercoastal waterways. $20 donation goes to FCN Volunteer Fund, 11 a.m. at the Savannah Yacht Club, 730 Bradley Point Road, Savannah, GA 31410,, The fourth annual WET Demons Beer Bust means $10 bottomless beer, Jell-o shots, raffle prizes, beer pong and boys, boys, boys! 12 - 5 p.m. at Joe’s on Juniper 1049 Juniper St., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Throw mom in the back of the car after Mother’s Day brunch, head over to Sister Louisa’s Church and treat her to a night she’ll never forget. Vicki Powell wrestles the beats for her Second Sunday Service Patio Party. 7 - 11:30 p.m. at Sister Louisa’s Church, 466 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30313, Yanni wants to share his love of easy listening new age music so much, he’s playing two Atlanta shows. 8 p.m. both nights at the Cobb Energy Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30330,

Sunday, May 13 - Monday, May 14

Publicity photo
Photo via Facebook


May 11, 2012

GA Voice


Monday, May 14

Writing With Intent is open to writers of fiction and creative non-fiction; group offers motivational exercises, constructive criticism and more to keep you on track. 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, Contact the organizers in advance before joining the Domestic Violence Survivors Support Group hosted by the Health Initiative every Monday. 7 - 8:30 p.m. at the Rush center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, Mondays are now Brain Freeze Trivia with Mary Edith Pitts at Blake’s. The four rounds of five questions ends with $250 cash to the winner and a segue to Drag on the Edge. 11 p.m. at Blake’s on the Park, 227 10th St. NE., Atlanta, GA 30309,

Friday, May 18

The Third Friday Film Series presents “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.” $1-$10 sliding scale donations. Doors at 7 p.m., movie at 7:30 p.m. at First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta, 470 Candler Park Dr., NE, Atlanta, GA 30307,


Saturday, May 19

Tuesday, May 15

The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts a prix fixe Business Builder Luncheon. $20, cash only, RSVP to 11:55 a.m. at Hudson Grille, Brookhaven Station, 4046 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30319, The PFLAG chapter in Johns Creek hosts its monthly meeting every third Tuesday. 7 p.m. at Johns Creek United Methodist Church, 11180 Medlock Bridge Road, Duluth, GA 30097, Author Tracy Crow brings for discussion and signing “Eyes Right: Confessions of a Woman Marine,” the story of her sometimes tumultuous career with the Marines. 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307,

The 5th annual Doggies on the Catwalk, the canine couture inspired gala, features fashions from Tootsies, Bill Hallman and Dixie Dog Wear and celebrity models including “Real Housewife” Cynthia Bailey, Nicole Paige Brooks, Bill Hallman, Vikki Locke, Monica Pearson and more. The event is a fundraiser for Pets Are Loving Support, a nonprofit that helps people with HIV and other health issues care for their pets. $75, $125 VIP. VIP reception, 7 p.m., general reception 7:30 p.m., showtime at 8:15 p.m. at Room & Board, 1170 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30318,

The 9th Annual East Atlanta Beer Festival promises more than 150 craft beers, food trucks, and music from local artists. 1-6 p.m. at Brownwood Park Recreation Center, 602 Brownwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316, The 12th annual Atlanta Harlequins Golf Classic is a fundraiser for the city’s women’s rugby team. 2 - 5 p.m. at Browns Mill Golf Course, 480 Cleveland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30354 “Out of Our Closets… Into Our History” is a meeting of Georgia’s LGBT history preservation groups. Meet the archivists, learn more about LGBT History and learn how you can play a part. 2 - 4 p.m. at the Philip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, The Ms. Hotlanta Softball Pageant means the dudes of Atlanta’s largest softball organization drag it up (with varying results) to raise funds for the sports organization. 6 - 9 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, Chris Coleman Enterprises brings DJs Ari El and Scorpio to open the night for headliner DJ Victor Calderone. 10 p.m. at Reign Nightclub, 1021 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309. Pre-sale tickets and more info at

Saturday, May 19
The Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual indulgence celebrate their anniversary with a Giving Back Party featuring appetizers, cocktails and recognition of those who have supported the LGBT community. Join the Sisters afterwards at Sister Louisa’s Church for some, um, “religious” photo ops. Giving Back Party: 5 - 7 p.m. at First Existentialist Congregation, 470 Candler Park Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. After party: 7:30 p.m. at Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, 466 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30312,

Sexual diversity in the workplace is the theme for this year’s International Day Against Homophobia event, which offers speeches from local gay organizers and activists. 6 - 9 p.m. at Village Church, 3418 Dogwood Drive., Hapeville, GA 30354,, Bucky Motter is among the six performers slated for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention fundraiser concert. 6 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St. Decatur, GA 30030, The Gay Lesbian Employment Network hosts a gathering to bridge gaps between people of all cultures and ethnicities. 6:30 - 9 p.m. at Einstein’s, 1077 Juniper St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 New participants should call the Health Initiative before attending the group’s coming out support group for LGBTQ adults over 18. The discussion group is for individuals, not couples, who are coming out in a variety of work and personal situations. Every third Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Philip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, South Georgia Pride’s monthly meeting will include discussions on its upcoming yard sale fundraiser, future events and ideas for this year’s South Georgia Pride festival. 7 p.m. at the Wooden Nickel Pub, 3269 Inner Perimeter Road, Valdosta, GA 31605, This edition of Cliterati’s Open No-Mic features Anna Faktorovich, director of the Anaphora Literary Press and editor-in-chief of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal. 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307,

Wednesday, May 16

Eat, drink and sing your favorite show tunes as Dan Lax and Daniel Guillaro play the piano for a Sing-a-long Party to benefit the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus. $20 donation requested. 7:45 p.m. at Blake’s on the Park, 277 10th St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, http:// Join Atlanta gay activist Ken Britt as he kicks off his bid for a seat in the State House of Representatives. Suggested minimum contribution of $100. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at a private midtown home. Details: http://on.fb. me/LEjrso, Family Feud, Match Game (including GA Voice’s own Bo Shell), Let’s Make a Deal, Dating Game and more are on tap for the Big Gay Game Show, the monthly third Wednesday event to benefit Lost-n-Found Youth Inc. 7:30 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,

The AIDS Vaccine 200 is a 160- or 200-mile ride to raise money for the Emory Vaccine Center starting at the Emory School of Medicine, winding to Camp Rock Eagle in Eatonton, GA, then back again on Sunday. Race starts at 7 a.m., 1648 Pierce Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322,

Saturday, May 19
“Towel snapping, foul language” and some friendly “locker room grab ass” are on tap for the sport/jock edition of the quarterly ManShaft party. DJ Wiskuh’s spins the tailgate from 8 - 10 p.m., Coach DJ Diablo Rojo spins ‘til close, and there’ll be plenty to do between the midnight underwear toss and Atlanta Talons Jell-o shots. 8 p.m. - 2:30 a.m. at Cockpit, 465 Boulevard SE., Atlanta, GA 30312, http://themanshaft.,

Sunday, May 20

Thursday, May 17

Atlantic Station’s Movies in Central Park offers a free, outdoor screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Film starts at sundown in Atlantic Station, 1380 Atlantic Drive, Atlanta, GA 30363,,

Ever thought about using your gay powers for good? Consider becoming a trained PFLAG Facilitator. PFLAG Atlanta hosts a training session on the same day as their monthly third Sunday support group meeting. Training: 12:30 - 2 p.m. Support Meeting: 2:45 - 5 p.m. at First MCC, 1379 Tullie Road, Atlanta, GA 30329,


Publicity photo

Saturday, May 19 Sunday, May 20

Photo by Dyana Bagby

Friday, May 18

Georgia Benefits Counsel offers two legal help consultations for LGBT couples in South Georgia, today and May 26. Couples would have to meet with GBC on both weekends for about 45 minutes. Pre-registration required, space is limited. The group will offer Simple Wills, Advanced Directives for Health Care, Financial Powers or Power of Attorney for $50-75 depending on the county of residence. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1951 E. Park Ave., Valdosta, GA 31602,


GA Voice

May 11, 2012



SAGE, the Rainbow Center and Congregation Bet Haverim join forces to present a discussion on issues of aging in the LGBT community. 2 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307 Get “Tanked with the Titans,” a fundraiser for the Hotlanta Softball team, and enjoy $10 unlimited beer. 4 - 7 p.m. at Joe’s on Juniper, 1049 Juniper St., Atlanta, GA 30309, The second annual Indigenous House in Piedmont Park means DC’s DJ KevyKev hits the turn tables with one of Atlanta’s old school hip hop/soul/R&B DJs, Ron Pullman. Expect performances from Sybil, a surprise guest, cash bar and turkey ribs. Free! 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Pavilion in PIedmont Park. “T&F Transitionz: a Project of the Feminist Outlawz” is an open forum to discuss gender and facilitating dialogue and activism around social issues. 7 - 9:30 p.m. at Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307,

Monday, May 21

Tuesday, May 22

Broadway smash “Jersey Boys,” opens tonight and runs through Sunday, June 10, at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308,

Wednesday, May 23

Join the Whole Brain Community at Charis Books and More for an accelerated 5-week Arists’s Way Class starting tonight and running on odd dates through July 24. $175 for all 5 weeks. 12 max per class. 7 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307,, www. Each Wedensday, Midtown’s Takorea restaurant partners with local non-profits. A portion of tonight’s dinner sales. go to Positive Impact. 6 p.m. at Takorea, 818 Juniper St., Atlanta, GA 30308, Don’t miss the first ever drag roast honoring the legendary Mr. Charlie Brown, which is also a fundraiser for Lily White, who recently lost her home to fire. 10 p.m. at Le Buzz, 585 Franklin Road., Marietta, GA 30067,,

Thursday, May 24

Real Bois Talk is the Health Initiative’s program for African-American masculine-identified females created as a result of the Stud Health Project. 7 p.m. at the Philip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, Hotlanta Softball gets its Big Peach Tournament going with an early arrival pre-party beer bust. $10 at Woof’s, 2425 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30324,

photo licity Pub


1 Friday, June intimate show

k.d. lang performs an s with at the Atlanta Botanical Garden guest Jane Siberry. 8 p.m. at special the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 09, Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 303 www.atlantab

Saturday, May 26 Sunday, May 27
Hotlanta Softball hosts its annual Big Peach Tournament, where teams from around the country converge on Atlanta for a weekend of competition and social events. Events throughout the weekend at Metro Softball Complex, 7310 Campbellton Road, Atlanta, GA 30331,

Sunday, May 27

Memorial Day Sunday is a busy day for the Heretic as they host a Joining Hearts Foam Beach Party, the Big Peach Softball Tournament closing party and DJ David Knapp. Events through out the day at Heretic, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324,

Sunday, May 27 Monday, May 28

Ladies at Play breaks it down over Memorial Day Weekend, first with a casual couture party with DJ Periodic and DJ D. Raban. 9 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the Venetian, 50 Hurt Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303. The follows up on Monday with an afternoon of open mic spoken work hosted by Red Summer with beats by DJ Sugarcut. 3 - 8 p.m. at Aurum, 915 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309,,

Saturday, June 9

One of the summer’s hottest non-profit events, the CHRIS Kids Premiere Party is a fundraiser for the CHRIS Kids Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Fund, which provides transitional housing to LGBT homeless youth. 6 - 10 p.m. at Mason Murer Fine Art, 199 Armour Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30324,

May 11, 2012

GA Voice



GA Voice

May 11, 2012


Fostering family
We can help bridge the gap between past neglect and future stability
I think we’ve made great progress with Trevor. Our first foster dog, this GoldenDoodle was found on the streets of Alabama and sent to Adopt A Golden Atlanta. A few years ago, we adopted our dog GiGi from Adopt-A-Golden. They asked that we foster Trevor and try to get him more comfortable and emotionally healthy so he could one day soon be moved into a loving and permanent home. When Trevor came to us he kept his distance, literally. We let him out in our fenced back yard and that is where he stayed, choosing instead to sleep outside the first night. He wouldn’t let us pet him and showed his teeth to our other animals when they came too close. Having just been neutered, Trevor was protective of his fresh scar and was too shy and withdrawn to even look us in the eye. But in just a few weeks, Trevor has reminded us of the power of love and family. Why did we decide to offer our home as a refuge for these canines and willingly take on the challenge of trying to heal the scars of someone else’s bad parenting? We learned from GiGi that dogs who had been abandoned and hurt have the same need for love and a home as all dogs. They are eager to trust but are hiding behind the fear and pain that they have suffered in the past. On this Mother’s Day weekend, I couldn’t help but think the same philosophy must hold true for those who decide to take in neglected and abused children and provide them a foster home until adoption or adulthood. There are countless stories of children who changed our world after being loved and supported by foster parents: Cher, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Eddie Murphy, John Lennon, Ice T, Steve Jobs, Willie Nelson, Eriq LaSalle, Alonzo Mourning, Dante Culpepper, Tommy Davidson, and even Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Others like Pierce Brosnan, Ted Danson and Josephine Baker opened their homes to these children. Governor Sonny Perdue and his wife,


Melissa Carter is also a writer for Huffington Post. She broke ground as the first out lesbian radio personality on a major station in Atlanta and was one of the few out morning show personalities in the country. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCarter

Mary, served as foster parents for eight children. Former Atlanta Falcon Keith Brooking founded an organization that serves the needs of foster children after his mother served as a foster parent. Now, more than ever, there is a growing need for foster families. Over 13,000 children came through the foster care system in Georgia just last year. On any given day, 7,000 kids are in the state’s system, many waiting and needing a home. When it comes to LGBT youth, the foster care experience can be the most challenging and tough. According to the American Bar Association, virtually all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning kids in group homes had reported verbal harassment; 70 percent had been subjected to violence; and 78 percent have either run away or been removed from a foster placement for reasons related to their sexuality. There can be no doubt that if there were more gay and gay-friendly couples adopting these children, their experiences would be dramatically better. And in Georgia, no law prevents gay couples from adopting and fostering children. As I write this article, Trevor is joining us on a getaway to Florida for his first beach trip. In the month we have had him, he has adapted to the little customs of our family that include daily wrestling with our GoldenDoodle Sully, sprints down the hall with our Siamese Nikko, and fetching various flying objects that litter our back yard. He now trusts us enough to lie on our laps and accept our affection, and happily runs inside the house from the back yard. With every day that passes we grow to love Trevor more, knowing that someday soon we will have to say goodbye to him. However, our sacrifice ensures that Trevor will find new and long-lasting companionship with someone that is meant to be his buddy.


May 11, 2012

GA Voice


Where the Wild Things Go
Maurice Sendak died May 8, silencing one of the most inventive, delightful, ornery voices of the last American century. His artistic endeavors in a 50-year career ranged from illustration to opera, though the work that made him a legend was a 48-page book about a boy in wolf pajamas entitled “Where the Wild Things Are.” I’ve told the story of my introduction to his work before. I hope you’ll indulge me telling it once more in his memory. I spent entire summers of my childhood at the county library, curled up in the stacks, reading books not intended for children. The children’s section was of no interest to me. I read “Not Without My Daughter” at age 10. I had to look up what an IUD was in the World Book Encyclopedia. I was horrified and fascinated. But, much to my surprise, a monster drew me in. He was bull-like creature, catching a little shuteye under a red palm tree. Despite my disdain of children’s literature, I occasionally picked up a copy with interesting illustrations, and this intrigued me. The dark, lightly grotesque images didn’t fit my image of kid lit. So I sat down with the book, and by the end I’d reached an epiphany: I am Max. I desperately need wolf pajamas. I belong Where the Wild Things Are. This Maurice Sendak person had been thoughtful enough to write a book exclusively for me. It was completely within my worldview that an author would take the time to do that. I was just so relieved I’d managed to find the book, since no one had bothered to tell me he’d done it, which was also in keeping with my worldview because people were always keeping me out of the loop on important discussions. Max isn’t a dumb kid, with the broad-strokes emotions one normally encounters in children’s books. Max feels real rage, frustration, and he just wants to break out of those circumstances. These were feelings I couldn’t begin to articulate, no matter how many trips I took to the encyclopedia. In the Land of Wild Things, Max earns respect because he shows no fear. He stares into all their yellow eyes without blinking once, because the unknown doesn’t frighten him nearly as much as the world that confines him. Maurice Sendak was living a deeply closeted

Maurice Sendak: An appreciation

Topher Payne is an Atlanta-based playwright, and the author of the book “Necessary Luxuries: Notes on a Semi-Fabulous Life.” Find out more at

life when he wrote the book in 1963, quietly living with his partner, Eugene Glynn. It’s not surprising that in those circumstances, he composed a fevered dream of yearning, refusing to adhere to acceptable behavior, and breaking free. Unlike Dorothy Gale, Max doesn’t spend the whole damn time bitching about wanting to go home. Dorothy is in idiot. Max takes command of his surroundings, becomes king, and calls for a wild rumpus. The book actually takes a threepage dance break. He’s so full of delight, Sendak doesn’t even bother with words to describe it. When Max leaves, he’s fundamentally changed. Unlike Dorothy, whose journey teaches her to embrace the familiar, Max has gained knowledge of a world outside his own, and this is what brings him peace. He can be embraced elsewhere, and there are wild rumpuses to be had. Maurice Sendak and Eugene Glynn were together for 50 years. They found each other in a time when their love was still seen as a mental illness. They had to trust the instinct that told them this was right, and beautiful. Those were the circumstances under which Sendak composed his strange, beautiful tale of the boy in the wolf pajamas, who was “lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.” Eugene died in 2007, and Maurice’s sense of loss was still quite palpable in the interviews he gave in intervening years. When you spend half a century with loving someone, I can’t imagine what it’s like to adjust to their absence. I was raised to have faith that we see our loved ones when we die, and that’s a comforting belief. But maybe the moment that follows this life is more akin to what Maurice found in illustrating his own work so many years ago. A scenario words could not describe: misfits in complete reverie, savoring the joy of finding each other, delighting in all that they are. Maurice has gone Where the Wild Things Go, and his arrival was likely cause for quite the wild rumpus.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful