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Gay vs. gay-friendly General Assembly race stirs controversy. Page 4 YouthPride new location remains mystery. Page 6 Fired Eagle raid officers get new jobs in Clayton. Page 6 AID Atlanta executive director steps down. Page 8 Atlanta hosts events for National HIV Testing Day. Page 10 Stonewall Month continues with packed calendar. Page 12

“I was a Boy Scout, and I have wonderful memories of my Boy Scout days and we had no issues like what has come up in recent times. I’m saddened and shocked by the policy the Boy Scouts have.”
— Gay Star Trek veteran GeorgeTakei in an interview June 18 with the New York Daily News on the ouster of Ohio mother Jennifer Tyrrell who was fired from her volunteer Cub Scout leader position in April because she is a lesbian. Takei will be joined in the official Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation car by Tyrrell at the 43rd Annual LGBT Pride March in New York City on June 24.

Guest editorial by Mark King: The man my father built. Page 16 Column: Remembering Atlanta’s first Pride parade. Page 17

Photo via Facebook


Artistic visions: Meet three diverse Atlanta LGBT artists. Page 18 Food Porn: Robert’s first date no ‘Watershed’ moment. Page 25 Film: ‘Your Sister’s Sister.’ Page 27 Theater: ‘Normal Heart,’ ‘Importance of Being Earnest.’ Page 29

The year the first-ever Gay Pride parade is held in New York City, called the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day, to mark the 1969 police raid and subsequent riots at the Stonewall Inn.

“Now you can be proud of serving your country, and be proud of who you are.”
— U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta thanking gay and lesbian military members for their service on June 15, as the Pentagon prepared to mark June as Gay Pride month with an official salute.


Atlanta Bear Fest brings furry fun. Page 31 Personality Spotlight: Lambda Literary Fellow Sarah Fonseca. Page 32 Business Spotlight: Dr. Thomas Born Chiropractic & Massage. Page 32

Pages 34-36

The next year that Gay Pride parades will be allowed in Russia’s capitol, Moscow, after the city’s government passed a century-long ban on such gatherings.


— Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commemorating June as LGBT Pride Month in a June 8 video issued by her office.

That’s What She Said: Melissa Carter gains clarity. Page 38 Domestically Disturbed: Life’s a pitch for Topher Payne. Page 39

Estimated attendance at Tel Aviv Pride, making it the largest Gay Pride event in Asia.
Source: Guinness Book of World Records, The Atlantic, www.nycpride.org, The Guardian


“We do not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy — and as a Minnesotabased company we oppose it.”
— Ken Charles, vice president of global diversity and inclusion for General Mills, in a June 14 public blog post on the company’s website. Charles wrote the post in response to a proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, making General Mills the largest company in the state to come out against the measure so far.

“Once again this year, June is filled with cities holding Gay Pride celebrations. Every year I continue to challenge believers to pray about what we can do peacefully but permanently to put an end to these events in our cities.”
— Linda Harvey of Mission America in a June 14 radio broadcast.

Photo via Facebook

Estimated number of participants at the 2011 São Paulo Gay Pride Parade. The parade has been named by Guinness Book of World Records as the largest Gay Pride parade in the world.

3.2 million

“We will not rest until full and equal rights are a reality for everyone ... No matter how long the road ahead, I’m confident that we will travel it successfully together. Wherever you are celebrating this month, I wish you a happy Pride.”

“After decades of inaction and indifference, you have every reason and right to push, loudly and forcefully, for equality.”
— President Obama in remarks at the LGBT Pride Month reception held June 15 in the East Room of the White House.

Photo via defense.gov

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GA Voice

June 22, 2012



Gay vs. gay-friendly race turns ugly over alleged anti-gay flier
Primary contest between Reps. Taylor, Gardner heats up
By Ryan Watkins and Dyana Bagby State Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta), the only openly gay man in the Georgia General Assembly, claims homophobic tactics are being used by his opponents, including distributing what he called an anti-gay flier in predominantly AfricanAmerican neighborhoods in southwest Atlanta. The flier, provided to GA Voice by Taylor via email, reads: “The Real Rashad” with a photo of Taylor. Below the photo the flier states: “The only openly gay male in the Georgia General Assembly [AJC 5/27/11]; Accused of using his position in the Legislature to solicit sexual relationships [AJC, 5/27/11]; Former roommates with Khaatim El [APN, 1/20/11]; Possibly lived with a male lover on Moreland Ave [APN, 6/11/12].” The statements come from articles published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Atlanta Progressive News. “This could be the most homophobic race in a long time,” Taylor said June 18. Taylor held a press conference the next morning at the state Capitol to denounce the flier and what he called “homophobic tactics.” He asked his opponent, Rep. Pat Gardner (DAtlanta), to do the same. “I’m calling on my opponent, Pat Gardner, to denounce these hate-filled, homophobic attacks,” Taylor said June 19. “These attacks are untrue and blatantly false. I never expected this race with Pat Gardner to center on hatred and homophobia.” While Taylor never directly accused Gardner of creating or distributing the flier, he asked that she investigate the matter to ensure no one from her campaign was involved. “And I know Pat does not want her south side campaign propped up with such hatred and homophobic tactics,” Taylor said. that we are not qualified to hold office, which is entirely untrue,” he added. “Whoever is doing this, regardless of their motivation, should be very ashamed. These attacks are also harmful especially to young people who are struggling with their sexuality.” Taylor told Gardner outside her campaign event June 19 that while he doesn’t think she is behind the flier, the two disagree on issues. “But there are some people I’ve had serious political policy disagreements with. And you know, they’ll do anything to win,” Taylor said. “But why do I get blamed for what they do?” Gardner asked. “It’s the same thing that happened in the school board race,” Taylor said. “It’s the same stuff.” “I had nothing to do with that,” Gardner responded. Taylor was a supporter of candidate Angela Brown in December’s Atlanta Board of Education primary. Brown was allegedly the target of a similar flier that called into question the character of her supporters as well as her support of LGBT issues. Among those listed were state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) and Taylor. “Please call me if there’s something you think I’m doing,” Gardner said as she began to walk away. Taylor, answering a question from one of Gardner’s supporters, said he wanted to run a civil campaign while focusing on the issues. “I’m saying, let’s focus our campaigns on the issues,” Taylor said. “Like what?” Gardner asked. “Well, one of them is Fulton County,” Taylor said. “You think I’m in favor of Milton County?” Gardner asked. “You’ve been right along with the Republicans in their attempts to control Fulton,” Taylor responded. “That’s a lie,” one of Gardner’s campaign staffers responded. “Let’s go, let’s go.” Milton County was a Georgia county that was absorbed into Fulton in 1932. Some Republicans in the General Assembly want to allow Milton to reform, meaning some of the area’s largest cities, like Roswell, Sandy Springs and Alpharetta, would contribute tax to Milton instead of Fulton. Secession would leave Fulton without a substantial residential and retail tax base in its northern neighborhoods, something Fulton’s Democrats want to avoid. Taylor claimed that Gardner would support such a split, but Gardner took the opposite position while discussing the issue with reporters at Paschal’s, saying she is in favor of keeping Fulton whole.

State Rep. Rashad Taylor (right) confronts state Rep. Pat Gardner (center) in the Paschal’s parking lot about an anti-gay flier. Gardner denied any involvement. (Photo by Ryan Watkins)

MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com
Video of Taylor’s press conference, Gardner’s response and a parking lot confrontation at www.thegavoice.com.
Georgia Primary July 31, http://mvp.sos.state.ga.us/ involvement” in the flier’s creation. He also said his staff was in no way responsible. Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, has not endorsed in this race. Gardner and Taylor have said they are seeking GE’s endorsement. But if Gardner’s camp didn’t create flier, then who did? Matthew Cardinale, founder and editor of Atlanta Progressive News, said he was offended that Taylor would imply his publication was involved in the distribution of the anti-gay flier. “He was saying [at his press conference] that these are the same people and the same publication who are working together and that is absolutely not true,” said Cardinale, who is openly gay. “The idea I would be working to put out a homophobic flier is not true.” Cardinale said Taylor was attacking his publication by calling it a “gossip” paper and he said he stands by all of his stories, including those that question where Taylor lives and if he does actually live in the district he represents. GA Voice asked Taylor at his press conference about his residency. Taylor said that he was eligible to run in the race and that anyone could verify his residency with the Secretary of State’s office. A P.O. Box is given as his address on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website. Many other candidates also use P.O. boxes as their addresses. Many Democrats cried foul after redistricting resulting from the 2010 Census. Several Democratic incumbents, among them Taylor and Gardner, must now face off in a July primary. Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham said he saw the flier and was “very deeply disturbed” by its homophobic tone. “We have not taken an official position on this race but I agree with what Rashad said, and that is knowing Pat and who she is, I cannot believe she is behind this,” Graham said. “I take her at her word that this is very upsetting to her.” Graham added that the fact there are political operatives in Atlanta who think it is OK to use gay-baiting in a race is “deeply troubling regardless of their motivation.” “The reason why I’m so troubled is that political operatives are willing to use homophobia to attack candidates. This is not an attack on the candidates but the entire LGBT community and

Anti-gay operatives?

Gay vs. gay-friendly get ugly

Gardner faces Taylor in the July primary after Republican-led redistricting in the last session drew the two into the same district. Gardner, an LGBT ally during her 11 years in office, told GA Voice her campaign has nothing to do with the alleged anti-gay flier. “I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that I’m the one doing the gay baiting,” Gardner said June 19 at an afternoon campaign event at downtown restaurant Paschal’s. Gardner said that neither she nor her staff were responsible for the flier and said such accusations “make me want to cry.” “I’m sorry, but I would not do that,” Gardner said. Taylor also denied any involvement in the distribution of the flier, saying at his press conference that he could “categorically deny any

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GA Voice

June 22, 2012



YouthPride’s new location remains mystery
Critics wonder if LGBT youth organization is still in operation
By Dyana Bagby dbagby@thegavoice.com Despite promising to reopen by June 18, YouthPride has not publicly announced the LGBT youth organization’s new location after it was evicted June 1 from its former space in Inman Park for nonpayment of rent. Repeated calls and emails to Terence McPhaul, the executive director, and board members Theresa Willis, Jordan Myers and Tracee McDaniel about where YouthPride is now located and how youth can utilize its services continue to go unanswered. Willis, an employee of Kaiser Permanente, is now serving as board chair. It is not known if the organization has formed a full five-member board in compliance with its bylaws, however, because the attorney working with YouthPride was ordered by McPhaul not to speak to the media. On Monday, June 18, and for most of Tuesday, June 19, YouthPride listed on its website it would resume regular operating hours on June 18. However, at 11 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, all mention of the organization reopening was erased from the website. Hours currently listed for the organization are Mondays through Fridays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. There is also a note above the hours that states, “New summer hours will be announced soon!” Also posted on the website: “Please pardon us for the disruptions to scheduling during the past 10 days of the transition. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Thanks for all of your calls of support and renewed interest as well. Youth and/or current volunteers can feel free to call Terence at 404-502-8431, if you have pressing questions. Those accessing COUNSELING services, please follow the instructions given you by your COUNSELOR. However, you too may call Terence at the number listed above.” The YouthPride website still lists its address as 1017 Edgewood Ave. in Inman Park and its main number as 404-521-9711. However, when calling the main number a message states the number has been changed to 404-502-8431 — McPhaul’s cell phone number. Tana Hall, the former counselor at YouthPride, resigned her position in February after she received an email from board member Jordan Myers that YouthPride was closing. Hall said this week she has still not been paid her salary of $2,700 from Jan. 1 to Feb. 15. She also added that she has been continually receiving emails from youth and parents via a link on YouthPride’s website, which leads her to question the counseling services the agency says it is providing. “I’ve been getting general inquiries to me and

Movers removed YouthPride’s belongings from its Inman Park location on June 1. Though the group had known it had to move for months, a youth there at the time said Executive Director Terrence McPhaul was out looking for a storage facility to place the items. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

have handled them promptly,” Hall said Monday. She said she has been disturbed to find out the voicemail box for McPhaul’s phone — the number given on YouthPride’s website to call with counseling questions — has been full at times, making him unreachable if there does happen to be a counseling question. “When parents and young adults call me, I sadly say the organization is no longer operating and that as of May 29 it is closed,” Hall said. “In my book, there is no YouthPride.” Hall said she was also concerned about cli-

ent files that were located in the YouthPride facility at Inman Park United Methodist Church when she resigned. “Legally and ethically, those medical files are to be given to the therapist who saw those clients to hold onto for a number of years after a business or organization closes, such as in this situation,” Hall said. “And I have not been given any files.” On YouthPride’s Facebook page, at least two young people have posted questions asking when and where YouthPride would reopen. No answers have been posted in response.

Police fired for Atlanta gay bar raid get new jobs in Clayton
Sheriff praises Eagle raid officers as ‘finest trained’
By Dyana Bagby dbagby@thegavoice.com The Clayton County sheriff has hired two of the former Atlanta Police Department officers who were fired in the aftermath of the unconstitutional Eagle raid, according to a report by WSB TV. Clayton Sheriff Kem Kimbrough told WSB reporter Mark Winne he had no worries about hiring former APD Sgt. Willie Adams and Officer Cayenne Mayes. APD Chief George Turner fired the two men for lying during an investigation into the 2009 raid on the gay bar. Clayton Sheriff Department Capt. Brian Crisp said Kimbrough is out of state and referred questions to the WSB report. Adams and Mayes tried to get their jobs back with the APD by appealing to the city’s Civil Service Board but the three-board panel upheld the firings in both cases. They were also defendants in a federal civil lawsuit filed by patrons of the bar; the city settled that suit for more than $1 million. Two other lawsuits filed by employees and patrons of the bar resulted in the city paying out another approximate $500,000 in settlements. Mayes, a member of the now-disbanded APD Red Dog Unit, was also named in a separate lawsuit by men who alleged they were illegally strip searched in public. The city settled that lawsuit for $470,000. The Clayton sheriff told WSB that APD’s loss is Clayton County’s gain. “I respect the judgment of the Atlanta Police Department. Certainly Chief George Turner is a friend and mentor of mine,” Sheriff Kimbrough said in an interview with Winne. “The upside is that the citizens of Clayton County get some of the finest-trained, most experienced officers.” Winne also interviewed Kliff Grimes with the International Brotherhood of Police Officers who said both men were wrongfully fired and wanted to be “vindicated.” Grimes did not respond to an interview request from GA Voice by press time. Adams was fired from the APD for saying he did not witness patrons of the bar being patted down; that he participated as a supervisor in Grossman happy and go away,” said Huber. Adams testified at his hearing he believed there was a search warrant for the raid before the Red Dog Unit barged into the bar to provide support to the Vice Unit. He said he ordered the patrons on the ground to be allowed to sit up because they were being cooperative and he was a “humane” person. Chief Turner testified at Adams’ hearing, reiterating the department’s policy to fire officers who have lied. Mayes testified to the city’s Civil Service Review Board that he did not intend to lie when he told the Atlanta Citizen Review Board in March 2010 he did not pat down or frisk any patrons in the gay Midtown bar when it was raided Sept. 10, 2009. In May, however, during an APD Office of Professional Standards investigation and the $1.2 million Greenberg Traurig investigation, Mayes admitted he did pat down at least three men during the raid. He was fired by Turner in July after the Greenberg Traurig and OPS reports were finished and made public, showing he, Adams and other officers violated the rights of the patrons in the Eagle as well as did not follow policies.

Former Atlanta Police Sgt. Willie Adams, who was fired for his role in the unconstitutional raid on the Atlanta Eagle, has been hired by Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

detaining the patrons, which went against APD standard operating procedures; and that he lied when he said he told officers to allow the patrons to sit up rather than remain lying down on the bar’s floor, according to a city attorney at a Civil Service Board hearing in October. Adams’ attorney, Mary Huber, accused the city at the hearing of trying to appease Eagle attorney Dan Grossman and deflect bad publicity surrounding the APD because of the botched raid. “In the rush to settle the lawsuit, the city is throwing this officer under the bus to make Mr.







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GA Voice

June 22, 2012



Tracy Elliott steps down as head of AID Atlanta
Senior staff to lead agency while search begins for executive director
By Dyana Bagby dbagby@thegavoice.com Tracy Elliott is stepping down as the executive director of AID Atlanta after five years on the job, the board announced June 18. Elliot’s last day is June 29. “After about five years in a position like this, you can get kind of stale, and I don’t want to get stale,” Elliott said in an interview. “We have a very talented staff and the organization will be fine.” Elliott said he has been in talks with the board about leaving the helm of AID Atlanta after joining the HIV/AIDS agency to implement a five-year plan that included getting the organization back on a strong financial foundation. That five-year plan has been implemented, Elliott said, and it is now time for him to move on to possibly a different career path. “I’ve never been unemployed but I look forward to pursuing other opportunities. Now I can take the time to look,” Elliott said. He said he would “absolutely love to stay in Atlanta” if the right opportunity arises. “I feel really good about how the organization is doing. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t feel that way,” Elliott said. “We’ve come through this recession that was horrible to so many organizations and have rebuilt our financial foundation,” he said. “This is the perfect time for a transition to take place.” The board will soon form a search committee, said board chair Mark Rinder. In the meantime, AID Atlanta will be co-led by Jon Santos, director of development; Nicole Roebuck, director or client services; and Neena Smith-Bankhead, director of education and volunteer services. “Tracy has been an awesome leader,” said Rinder. “There were lots of tears when he told us he was leaving. He has been an inspirational leader.” In a prepared statement, the AID Atlanta board said the organization is on strong footing and there would be no disruption of its services during the search for a new executive director. Rinder said he understands Elliott’s rationale for leaving — now that the five-year plan Elliott was charged with developing and implementing has been completed, a new five-year strategy must be developed. And with Elliott considering a career change, he was not ready to commit to another five years at AID Atlanta and instead felt new leadership would be valuable. “It’s going to be a challenge to find someone to fill his shoes,” Rinder said. “He’s a great guy and a terrific leader and one of our more articulate directors. He has done so much to build bridges with people and organizations — we were not always the city’s favorite nonprofit,” Rinder added. Rinder said the agency will be in good hands until the new director is hired. “We’re very fortunate that our senior management team is a very strong one. I’m personally very impressed,” he said. “We will take the time necessary to get an excellent executive director.” Rinder praised Elliott’s work in ensuring AID Atlanta not only survived but thrived during difficult financial times for all organizations. Its largest fundraiser, AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run, has raised more than $1 million each year over the past several years and benefits not only AID Atlanta but other agencies serving those affected by HIV/AIDS. This year’s AIDS Walk & 5K takes place Oct. 21 at Piedmont Park. AID Atlanta also celebrated 30 years of activism this year and held its AID Atlanta Honors on June 14.

After five years at the helm of AID Atlanta, Tracy Elliott is stepping down to pursue other opportunities. (Photo by Brent Corcoran/RNZ Photography)

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GA Voice

June 22, 2012



Atlanta hosts National HIV Testing Day events
Advocacy groups offer free testing, health fairs June 27
By Ryan Watkins rwatkins@thegavoice.com Many of Atlanta’s HIV/AIDS organizations will host free HIV screenings and offer other tests Wednesday, June 27, to mark National HIV Testing Day. First held in 1995, National HIV Testing Day is organized by the National Association of People with AIDS with the goal of increasing HIV/AIDS awareness and test rates across the country. This is the campaign’s 19th year, and organizers hope that continued advocacy and awareness campaigns can increase testing on the local level by 10 percent across the board. Frank Oldham, the president of the NAPWA, said National HIV Testing Day is important because it was the first AIDS awareness day. “It was founded to ensure that people with HIV and AIDS knew their status,” Oldham said. Despite the increase in treatment options since the height of the AIDS epidemic, Oldham said gay men are still disproportionately affected by the disease because of homophobia — or as Oldham called it, “homohatred.” “Gay men can’t fight all of society at once,” Oldham said. “We need allies.” According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Georgia has one of the highest rates of HIV infections in the country. In 2009, nearly 1,400 state residents were diagnosed with HIV, while some 40,000 individuals in the state are currently living with the disease. Some 50 percent of new infections affect men who have sex with men, despite being a small fraction of the overall state’s population. AID Atlanta, one of the city’s largest providers of HIV/AIDS services, will offer free testing June 24 outside of Midtown’s Piedmont Park (12th Street entrance) from 4:30-7:30 p.m. AID Atlanta will also set up shop outside of Underground Atlanta on June 27 from 11-6:30 p.m. and offer free testing at its Atlanta headquarters the same day. Standing To Achieve New Direction (STAND), a community-based nonprofit that focuses on re-entry services for men, HIV prevention and intervention and substance abuse counseling, will host several local organizations for a community health fair on National HIV Testing Day at its Decatur offices. STAND’s Terry Barlow said the health fair will give participants a chance to have a number of screenings in addition to HIV tests. “We’re going to provide free HIV testing and free STD screenings,” Barlow said. “We’re going to provide blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol screenings as well as body mass index testing. “There will be a number of other agencies displaying their wares and promoting their services including CHRIS Kids, Future Foundations and OmniTech,” Barlow continued. Pharmacy chain Walgreen’s will offer free testing in some 46 locations across the country on National HIV Testing Day, including three Atlanta locations: 2320 N. Druid Hills, Atlanta, Ga. 30329; 2711 Metropolitan Parkway, Atlanta, Ga. 30315; and 1874 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, Ga. 30324. These locations will partner with STAND, who will administer the tests, Barlow said. Positive Impact will offer drawings for people who are tested on National HIV Testing Day

MORE INFO www.theGAVoice.com
National HIV Testing Day
June 27, www.hivtest.org AID Atlanta 11 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. 1605 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 AID Gwinnett 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. 3075 Breckinridge Blvd. # 415, Duluth, GA 30096 AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta (ARCA) 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 131 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Suite 130 Atlanta, GA 30308 Positive Impact 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. 60 Eleventh Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 Standing to Achieve New Direction (STAND) 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free HIV testing and health screenings 3423 Covington Drive, Suite E, Decatur, GA 30032

for two giveaways, a $25 gift card and another prize worth $200, according to an organization spokesperson. Previous giveaways have included Amazon Kindle e-Readers and televisions. AID Gwinnett will offer four days of free HIV and STD testing at its Duluth offices from Monday, June 25, through Thursday, June 28. For more information on testing sites around the state, please visit www.hivtest.org.

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GA Voice

June 22, 2012



Big events on tap as Stonewall Month winds down in Ga.

Friday, June 22

Pride Seder Presented by Congregation Bet Haverim 7 p.m. at Central Congregational Church 2676 Clairmont Road NE Atlanta, GA 30329 Georgia Equality’s Evening for Equality 7 p.m. at Twelve Hotel 361 17th St., Atlanta, GA 30363 www.georgiaequality.org

Saturday, June 23

22nd annual Pride Run/Walk 5k 8 a.m. , Race starts at Piedmont Park near the Aquatic Center www.eteamz.com/frontrunnersatlanta Augusta Pride Parade: 10 a.m., Festival: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Augusta Common 836 Reynolds St., Augusta, GA 30901 www.augustapride.com

Wednesday, June 27

Dine with Pride at Doc Chey’s (Morningside) Portion of bills donated to Atlanta Pride 5 - 10 p.m., 1424 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306
The 15th Annual East Point Possums Show, a marquee event for Atlanta’s Stonewall Month, took place June 15 in the East Point Commons with some 28 drag performances raising funds for the Phillip Rush Center. Possums ‘matriarch’ Rick Westbrook announced that next year’s event would benefit Lostn-Found, a homeless LGBT youth advocacy organization he helped found. (Photos by Dyana Bagby)

Out in the Stands LGBT Night at Turner Field Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks VIP meet-and-greet with Ben Cohen 7 p.m. at Turner Field 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315 Tickets: 404-614-1325 or stacey.nicely@braves.com

Friday, June 29

Augusta Pride, gay night at Braves round out June calendar
By Laura Douglas-Brown lbrown@thegavoice.com As cities around the nation celebrate LGBT Pride the last weekend in June, Atlanta’s Stonewall Month winds down with several Pridethemed events. From sports to festivals and even a “Sugarbutch” blogger, there is plenty to do before the month wraps up. Pride festivals are traditionally held the last weekend in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, fought back against police harassment in what is widely seen as a turning point for gay rights. But after being celebrated the last weekend in June in Piedmont Park for most of its history, Atlanta Pride was forced to move in 2008 when a record drought booted all large festivals from the park. After an unpopular July 4 festival in 2009, Atlanta Pride organizers announced future festivals would be held in Piedmont Park

to coincide with National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11. That puts this year’s Atlanta Pride on the weekend of Oct. 13-14. Yet the city still celebrates Stonewall Month in June, and several events retain “Pride” in their names. There is plenty of “Pride” in store for this weekend, in Atlanta and two other Georgia cities. On Friday, June 22, Congregation Bet Haverim, Atlanta’s LGBT-founded synagogue, hosts its annual Pride Seder; the next day, the Atlanta Pride Run steps off from Piedmont Park. This year’s Pride Seder service is entitled “No Place Like Home” and will place an emphasis on homelessness in the LGBT community, particularly among young people, according to Congregation Bet Haverim Rabbi Joshua Lesser. “We want to educate ourselves and our community,” Lesser said. “This is a broader issue outside of the gay Jewish community.” The service is set for 7 p.m. June 22 at Central Congregational Church. The next morning, another annual tradition, the Atlanta Pride Run, gets underway from the

Plenty of ‘Pride’ in June

aquatic center at Piedmont Park. The route will cover an area through and near the park. In addition to the run is a Friday night pre-dinner taking place at Einstein’s from 7-9 p.m. and a brunch at 5 Napkin Burger from 9:30-11 a.m. after the run. Also on Saturday, June 23, the city of Augusta hosts its third annual Pride festival, with organizers hoping to draw as many as 10,000 for the downtown parade and festival at the Augusta Commons. Headliners include Tom Goss, Josh Zuckerman, Dee Hemingway and She N She. This year’s theme is “It’s Time.” “That refers to it being time to be unified, time to put up gay artists in front of the community,” said Travis Jenkins, Augusta Pride president. “When the parade starts on Saturday morning you will see tears of joy streaming down the faces of the crowd,” Jenkins added. “It’s not just the pride in being able to be who you are, it’s also the pride of the community being able to come together to make Augusta Pride possible.” And while it isn’t listed on the Atlanta Pride Committee’s Stonewall Month calendar, East Please see STONEWALL, continued on Page 14

Author/blogger Sinclair Sexsmith Discussion on body confidence in queer masculine community 7:30 p.m. at Charis Books and More 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307 www.charisbooksandmore.com

Saturday, June 30

Sylvia Rivera Community Event Trans community member panel 11:30 a.m. at the Phillip Rush Center 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307 Author/blogger Sinclair Sexsmith ‘Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica’ 7:30 p.m. at Charis Books and More 1189 Euclud Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307 www.charisbooksandmore.com

Sunday, July 1

KCCA Children’s Story Hour Kelli’s Childcare Collective of Atlanta celebrates queer families “A Tale of Two Daddies” “Who’s in a Family” “In our Mother’s House” 1 p.m. at Charis Books and More 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307 www.charisbooksandmore.com


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GA Voice


– Reggie






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Full slate as Stonewall Month wraps up
STONEWALL, continued from Page 12 Side Pride is also set for June 23. Held at Milam Park in Clarkston, the event targets the eastern suburbs of Atlanta, though all are welcome for entertainment and a potluck meal. The park’s new pool is open, so attendees are also encouraged to bring bathing suits. Finally, the Doc Chey’s restaurant chain, which has hosted “Dine with Pride” days all month to benefit the Atlanta Pride Committee, hosts its final event June 27 at the Doc Chey’s in Morningside.









Not all Stonewall Month events are expressly Pride-themed, but all reflect the spirit of equality and openness made possible by those early activists. On Friday, June 22, Atlanta honors its own activists as Georgia Equality hosts its Evening for Equality, a fundraiser expected to draw close to 300 to the Twelve Hotel at Atlantic Station. Along with dinner and a silent auction, the event includes awards honoring those advancing the cause of LGBT equality here in Georgia. This year a special award, the Champion for Equality Award, will be given to U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who is a recognized leader in the civil rights movement and a long time LGBT ally. Darlene Hudson and Craig Washington, co-founders of the Bayard Rustin-Audre Lorde Breakfast taking place on Martin Luther King holiday, will receive the Community Builder award. Larry Lehman, who serves as the executive director/CEO of AID Gwinnett, will receive the Guiding Star Award. Jerry Gonzalez, the founding and current executive director of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, will receive the 2012 Allen Thornell Political Advancement Award. Another big Stonewall Month event is the second annual “Out in the Stands” night at the Atlanta Braves. The June 27 game is a Wednesday night clash against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Proceeds from special tickets will benefit the StandUp Foundation, an anti-bullying advocacy organization founded by English rugby star Ben Cohen. Based in Atlanta, the StandUp Foundation works to raise awareness of bullying, with an emphasis on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. It is also dedicated to decreasing homophobia in sports. Stonewall Month offers a diverse mix of fun and educational events; Charis Books & More, Atlanta’s lesbian-owned feminist bookstore, joined in by co-hosting two reading/discussion series. The first, focused on late gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, concluded last week. The second features author/blogger Sinclair Sex-

‘Evening for Equality’ and ‘Out in the Stands’

Top: U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) will receive the Champion for Equality award at Georgia Equality’s Evening for Equality June 22. Below: Rugby star Ben Cohen, founder of the anti-bullying organization StandUp, will be on hand at this year’s ‘Out in the Stands’ at Turner Field June 27. (Lewis courtesy U.S. House, Cohen by Dyana Bagby)

Bloggers, panels and more



smith, who writes the Sugarbutch Chronicles (www.sugarbutch.net). The visit includes workshops on June 29 (radical queer masculinity and body confidence) and June 30 (reading from “Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica”). Charis also hosts a queer story hour for kids on July 1, billed as a bonus event for Stonewall Month. Rounding out Stonewall Month, the third annual Sylvia Rivera community event takes place June 30 at the Phillip Rush Center. The event is named after Rivera, a transgender woman who was a veteran of the Stonewall Riots. It is co-sponsored by Atlanta Pride, Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, and Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth. “(The event) was named in her honor because of the role she played in the Stonewall riots and her activism to include the transgender community in the larger context of the queer community,” said Glen Paul Freedman, Atlanta Pride Committee board chair.


GA Voice

June 22, 2012


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I am the man my father built
Learning to fly through box kites and crashes
Guest editorial by Mark S. King “Now, people have their bat kites and their regular shaped kites,” Dad said to me when I was 10 years old, “but the box kite, Mark, now there is the most aerodynamically sound of them all.” He demonstrated by making a box kite out of balsa wood and brown paper. We took it to the park on the Air Force base where Dad was stationed, just behind the theater where I saw horror movies whenever I could get Mom to provide the parental guidance suggested. “But it looks so weird,” I told him about the kite. “It’s just a box, Dad.” “That’s the beauty of it!” he exclaimed, and he let out one of his big laughs. He held the box high above his head, I at the other end of the string, and I ran across the grass, looking behind to see it climb high above the movie theater. The box soared for an hour as Dad stood behind me, explaining the principles of flight through the eyes of a B-52 bomber pilot. Box kites became his obsession, and he engaged Mom and the family in his quest to build bigger kites capable of higher altitudes. Our next one stood six feet tall, made with wooden dowels and light fabric. Mom and my sister Nancy sewed to Dad’s specifications while the boys stayed in the garage, piecing together the frame with hot glue. We took the kite — placed atop a Volkswagon convertible — to the spring kite flying contest held in the fields behind Louisiana State University in Shreveport. They had a category for largest kite, and Dad intended for us to win it. One of the entries was an enormous batshaped contraption made with layers of newspaper and a wing span of at least 20 feet. “Not aerodynamically sound,” Dad said, eyeing the competition. “Won’t fly. Can’t fly. Shoulda tried a box kite.” Sure enough, the massive bat kite took one fast swoop upwards and then veered down again, demolishing itself. The contest rules stated that kites had to stay aloft for a full three minutes, and our box kite soared perfectly, winning the King family a sparkling trophy presented on the windy lawn of the college. It made Dad hungry for more. “Never worry about making a fool of yourself,” he would say, “if it means taking a



Editor: Laura Douglas-Brown lbrown@thegavoice.com Deputy Editor: Dyana Bagby dbagby@thegavoice.com Web Manager: Ryan Watkins rwatkins@thegavoice.com Art Director: Bo Shell bshell@thegavoice.com Contributors: Melissa Carter, Brent Corcoran, Jim Farmer, Shannon Hames, Topher Payne, Matt Schafer, Steve Warren, Ryan Lee

On my best days I live happily as the man my father built, writing and living as an HIV positive queer for all to see and never afraid to take a risk.
risk, Mark.” He would recognize my adolescent need to simply fit in with everyone else and he would deny me of it, locking his eyes onto mine. “You gotta take the risk.” Over the summer the six foot kite became 10 feet, built with heavier fabric and stronger wood. We tried it out on a field on the edge of the Air Force base, and I remember Dad forgetting the gloves that protected him from the slick nylon string, and the kite fighting for higher altitude and the nylon going whizzzzz! across his hands, cutting deep into his palm. He looked at his hands with a shrug and then, predictably, laughed. He had lost his grip in the process, though, and the kite escaped to sights unseen. We jumped in the car and chased it across the base, only to find its taught nylon cord snagged on a nursery school swing set. The Air Force police would soon arrive to inform us that our “craft” had been picked up on base radar and was a “menace to aviation.” Dad (or “Colonel King” as the uniformed men called him) sheepishly explained and then laughed with the cops as we carefully pulled our menacing craft, foot by foot, back down to earth. The following year the Kings would risk it all, creating what would become the mother of all box kites. We built it in the driveway for a couple of weeks, using yards of nylon material and cord strong enough for a box kite approximately the size of a Winnebago. We transported it to the annual contest by securing it to a chartered flat bed truck, and the driver — after taking the monstrosity across the Jimmy Davis Bridge to the university — swore he could actually feel the truck lift a little as the kite fought to respond to invitations from mighty spring breezes. The fabled hush fell over the crowd as the kite was driven onto the contest grounds. Three eight foot box kites — all larger than


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our original entry — were brought along, and the crowd stood incredulously as each of the three were launched into the air. Then we secured the cords of the three airborne kites to the top of the Mother Kite, and the crowd watched aghast as the King family coordinated their efforts, releasing thick rolls of nylon cord, until the massive kite lurched off the ground and up to stronger winds that would carry it back and forth above the riveted, gasping spectators. For two minutes and twenty seconds. Later, on the evening news, Dad would stand amid the wreckage of a violent descent, knee deep in plastic, wood, nylon cord and innumerable remnants of hot glue. It looked like the aftermath of a commuter plane tragedy. “And how do you feel, Mr. King,” the reporter would ask my Dad, “about your creation not flying for very long. Are you disappointed?” “Of course not!” Dad replied in the midst of a belly laugh already begun. “Didn’t you see it? It was a spectacular crash!” Those days, and that glorious moment, are lost to time now, and so is my father. Not long after our kite flying adventures, our personas traded places. I embraced my sexuality and my misfit charms, while Dad struggled to understand a son who was turning out to be more different than he could have imagined. We had many years, later, when our outlooks merged again and we reveled in his various projects and my work as an outspoken gay man. Ultimately, Dad raised exactly what he valued, a man who steps up and asks stupid questions and knows that to soar you must risk the occasional, spectacular crash. On my best days I live happily as the man my father built, writing and living as an HIV positive queer for all to see and never afraid to take a risk. And on the worst of days, my mind’s eye conjures up a hearty laugh coming from nearby, maybe the garage, where something is being cobbled together that will solve absolutely everything. Usually it’s a box kite, crafted from unlikely supplies and fatherly magic, that carries me far, far away. Atlanta resident Mark S. King is a longtime HIV/AIDS advocate and the force behind the blog MyFabulousDisease.com. In honor of Father’s Day, he adapted this piece from his book, “A Place Like This.” He can be reached at mark@marksking.com.


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, tboyd@thegavoice.com Postmaster: Send address changes to the Georgia Voice, 1904 Monroe Drive, Suite 130, Atlanta, GA 30324. The Georgia Voice is published every other Friday by The Georgia Voice, LLC. Individual subscriptions are $60 per year for 26 issues. Postage paid at Atlanta, GA, and additional mailing 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 editor@thegavoice.com or mail to the address above.


My time with the Gay Liberation Front
Local historian recalls first Atlanta Pride march
Guest column by Dave Hayward I recall reading about the Stonewall riot in the New York Times in June 1969, and thinking, “Cool. We finally fought back. It’s about time.” I was deeply closeted at the time, working as a cub reporter for my hometown newspaper in New Hampshire, where there was (and is) no gay life visible to any kind of queer eye. In September, I was heading back to George Washington University in Washington, D.C., the essence of urbanity. Our joke was motorists would drive into the heart of the campus and holler out, “Where’s George Washington University?!” There was nothing openly gay in all that concrete and clay, either. The best I could do was furtively abscond to the gay bars downtown, until, praise God, the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) began in D.C., in January 1970. GLF emerged full blown because of the Stonewall riot, the catalyst for all sorts of startups, including my favorite “Dykes and Tykes.” After graduation, in late 1971, I immigrated to Atlanta and immersed myself in the Gay Liberation Front here. It’s quaint to me now that we assumed “gay” spoke for everyone. Even our unofficial transgender leader, Paul “Severin” Dolan, acquiesced to being “gay.” Not so much our lesbian sisters, who founded the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance (ALFA) in 1972, often fostering “womyn only” space, including a house in Little Five Points that was off limits to men except on special occasions. I felt both honored and besmirched when I was allowed in. Yet a married bisexual woman, Judy Lambert, was a major proponent of gay liberation as the co-chair with GLF founder Bill Smith.



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GA Voice


Meanwhile, Judy’s macho husband, Phil, was exploring boys’ nights out with our men’s consciousness-raising cell groups. Primarily we rapped radical politics, and excoriated sexist objectification and looksist standards that made other gay men props. We wanted to passionately love our brothers, and not just get off with them. In this witches brew we conjured the 1972 Atlanta Gay Pride, the first Pride march in the streets, because our “city too busy to hate” denied a permit to march for the first Pride in 1971. In ‘71 the 125 demonstrators “marched” on the sidewalks and stopped for every traffic light, according to activist Berl Boykin, one of the founders of GLF in 1969. GLF stalwart Charlie St. John insured the ‘72 Pride had a bona fide permit, and when asked “How closely will the marchers march together?” he retorted “Very closely!” Soon after, St. John became Georgia’s first openly gay anything, when Mayor Sam Massell appointed him to the Community Relations Commission in the fall of ‘72. Leading the ‘72 March, Bill Smith made a major splash brandishing his white man’s Afro and his dark rimmed glasses to look like the albino Stokely Carmichael of geeks. On TV newscasts across the metro area, he bellowed “What do we want?” “Gay rights!” “When do we want them?” “NOW!” The New York of the South cowered, but Bill kept his accountant’s job at City Hall, though no one would speak to him the day after. The two major gay bars of the day, the Sweet Gum Head and the Cove, disapproved of Gay Pride, too, and escorted us out when we leafleted their businesses. Gay Pride was just too radical for business interests. But ultimately, as we can see, we all came around. Dave Hayward is the co-founder with Berl Boykin of Touching Up Our Roots, Inc.: Georgia’s LGBT History Project.

The first Atlanta Gay Pride March was organized by the Gay Liberation Front in 1972. (Courtesy Photo)


artistic VISION
Nikita Gale, 28, is working on a book titled ‘1961’ that includes text and images from the Civil Rights Movement. (Photo by Bo Shell)

From civil rights to gay zombies, see the world through the eyes of three diverse LGBT artists
by Dyana Bagby

When she was a child, Nikita Gale dreamed of becoming a paleontologist. But as she got older, she realized the field could trap her into a small corner of study, and she wanted much more room to explore. So Gale packed her bags and moved from Georgia to Connecticut to attend Yale University (the “gay Ivy” with the motto “one in four, maybe more”) where she earned a BA in Anthropology (Archaeological Studies). Now, Gale identifies as a conceptual artist who uses photography, text and other imagery to express herself and the world around her. She is one of myriad LGBT artists who add to the diversity and creativity of Atlanta’s artistic scene. Currently working on a book titled “1961,” Gale, 28, says her goal is to recover a historical narrative. “My background is in archeology and the first thing you learn is that excavation is destruction,” she says while seated on an Ikea couch in her small studio at the Atlanta

Contemporary Art Center. “So you’re always deconstructing something and then you’re trying to piece together a story based on these little artifacts and clues you find. “That’s kind of what I’m doing with this series in the book,” she explains. The book will be a combination of color slides from 1961 that she found in a novelty antique store, photos that she has taken and mug shots of the Freedom Riders from 1961 as they rode buses through Mississippi trying to spread hope and equality. “I believe everything happens for a reason and I found these slides all from 1961 when I was trying to come up with a concept,” she said. The color slides are random — they include images of proms and picnics, for example. Gale’s mother was born in 1961 and “lots of interesting stuff was happening that year, “she says. The book will be a reappropriation of the images by combining them with racist and segregationist text.

Using an anti-integration letter from a KKK Grand Wizard to Malcolm X in 1961, as well as the transcript of a speech in 1961 by Georgia’s lieutenant governor hailing the virtue of segregation, Gale says the book will become a reclaimed historical narrative. “When I started cutting text up I wanted to make it the opposite of what they are saying. Hopeful, cheery. But then it turned into a romantic, almost sexual, narrative,” she says. This almost sexual narrative that comes from segregationist words taps into the idea that all people have secrets, Gale adds. She hopes when the book is complete — look for it as soon as September — people will look through the pages and see something that they haven’t seen before. “When we think about certain groups of people who have had their histories either erased or not even recorded … we go back and after mining the archives and putting together their narratives, I hope people will look at this [book] and reconsider what they

accept as fact a lot of times,” she says. Words and text are very important parts of Gale’s work as well as the imagery. A person who loves to read and who at one time wanted to be a writer, Gale says words by themselves can be as powerful as a color splashed across a canvass and can evoke different emotions and reactions. “I think my relationship with text is the same relationship that I’ve had with photography my entire life. It’s something I’ve always been drawn to. It just took me a while to figure out how to incorporate into my work,” she says. Gale has completed a couple of series of text-only art. For example, “Modern Romance” is a series of 14 pieces where the word “fuck” becomes “love” by changing one letter in each piece — like a word game. “Language is one of those things that’s everywhere. We’re surrounded by it,” she says.


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GA Voice


“This art is fun and provides instant gratification,” he says.

Photography, identity and ritual

From silent film to gay zombies

Born in Huntsville, Ala., Milford Earl Thomas, 46, grew up in the nearby small town of Arab knowing he wanted to be an actor — at least until the sixth grade. “That’s when I realized it was more exciting to create the entire experience,” he says from his apartment on North Highland Avenue. As a youngster, Thomas made films with his family’s Super 8. His first film, “Dracula Roams New York,” starred himself with his father directing. “I made a lot of movies. They were just horrible, horrible movies,” Thomas says. “They are unbearable to watch but I still have them.” He made title cards for the silent films and recorded music on cassette tapes to play along with the film. He was also fortunate enough to live in a supportive community where teachers allowed him to screen his silent films in class and students would eagerly sign up to star in his creations. By the 10th grade, Thomas filmed a “Gone with the Wind” epic with 30 to 40 students in it. The silent film was shown at the local cinema and all the money collected in ticket fees was donated to St. Jude’s Hospital. “Now every kid out there is making bad YouTube videos,” he says. Thomas became well-known in the film circuit with his silent film “Claire,” a story based on a Japanese fairytale that featured an elderly male couple who adopts a young Asian girl they find in the wilderness. “Claire” started as a 10-minute short and became a 53-minute film shot with a Mitchell Standard 35mm hand-cranked camera. It is only screened with live accompaniment of composer Anne Richardson’s original score. Last year it celebrated its 10th anniversary with a screening in Atlanta at the Woodruff Arts Center with the full Orchestra de Lune — including a harp, hanging chimes, very involved percussion. Because the film can only be screened publicly with live music, it’s only been screened 12 times. “It’s so prohibitive. It’s my bad,” Thomas said, noting he wanted the music to be complicated and intricate. It costs $4,000 to screen the

Top: Filmmaker Milford Earl Thomas is currently filming a gay zombie movie and also creates mixed media art for ‘instant gratification.’ Below: Alex Darling travles the world photographing exotic people and places. (Photos by Dyana Bagby)

Nikita Gale www.nikitagale.com Milford Earl Thomas www.prettylikememovie.com www.clairesilentmovie.com www.milfordartsite.com Alex Darling www.myminorself.com
“There is a little bit of gay community commentary that goes on. Bears and dykes band together to kill the circuit boys,” he says with a grin. “Everyone gets dissed — gender, sexuality, cultures. It like early John Waters meets George Romero.” The film is very ambitious in its scope and will not be cheap, Thomas explains. His team, including local producer Linda Burns, whose film “V/H/S” sold at Sundance, is biding its time. “It’s all filmed locally. I’m really excited about it. I’ve talked to some ‘70s and ‘80s sexploitation actresses to play the lead and there is some interest,” he adds. Thomas also spends a lot of time creating art from old photos he collects of homoerotic scenes and has some of his work on display at Youngblood Gallery and Homegrown Decatur.

film, so money is a factor as well. Recently, however, the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence awarded Thomas a $500 donation that will be used by Anne Richardson to compose music for a four-piece quartet, making the film more accessible to college campuses and big cities where people would be willing to donate their time to play the music. “It’s received a lot of good response and I really want to share it,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to that next stage.” Currently, Thomas is working on another film — perhaps the complete opposite of the silent film genre he adores. After attending Sundance and trying to get people interested in his serious film work, Thomas said he decided to go the grossest way possible — a gay zombie movie. Named “Pretty Like Me,” the film is about zombies who are beautiful gay men who kill their victims by eating their asses. But Thomas says the film is “not a gay ghetto film.” “It’s more an homage to the classic horror film,” he says. The main love story is between an elderly woman who is a professor and a gay male stripper.

Alex Darling, 33, was born in Boston, Mass., but has lived in Atlanta since he was seven. A prolific traveler who enjoys learning about other cultures, Darling has also lived in New York, Paris, Korea and attended the University of Wales. But he calls Atlanta home. “There is a character about the people who live here and nuances to the neighborhoods. You have to live here to get it. There’s just a quality to the city that sucks me back in all the best ways,” he says. Which is saying a lot about the city because as a travel photographer, Darling has visited some of the most exotic places on the planet to photograph everything from religious rituals in India to one day in a Buddhist’s life. Because Darling loves to travel, it was easy for him to become a travel photographer and freelance for magazines and websites. But he also has a fine art side of his work that is his way of expressing what he sees surrounding him. “A lot of the fine art work I do is based around ideas of identity and ritual and how each of those form each other,” he says. In places like India, Thailand and parts of Japan, the two are so intertwined their identity is their ritual, he explains. But to be able to capture the spirit of a person through a photograph, that means spending a lot of time with them. “For longest time I tried to shoot from far away. I was afraid of people and tried to shoot with these giant zoom lenses, trying to get something pure and candid. But it didn’t work; there was no emotion,” he says. Darling then began meeting the people he wanted to photograph and spending time with them, talking to them, even sharing in some of their rituals. “If you sit and hang out with someone opening yourself up to them, and they do so in return, they give you themselves unguarded,” he says. More than a year ago, Darling traveled to a remote island in western Indonesia where the people wore loincloths, took showers in the waterfalls and had no interest in the modern day world. Except they wanted cheap, instant cappuccino. “It was a 10-hour boat trip, four hours in a canoe, a three-hour hike and then in another canoe — all to go back thousands of years,” he says. “When I got there, I thought, ‘Holy shit, places like this really exist.’” Darling lived with the tribe which readily accepted him. And he sees on his trips and through his lenses that people are the same — we all want love and to be loved. “People are the same. That’s ultimately what I want to show people,” he says. “This is a distant place, but it’s not really. This is a version of you. We have so many problems that come from us dividing ourselves. I want to erase a little bit of that.” And how does Darling describe his work? That’s easy. “There is always much more,” he says.


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#3: Robert gets cloned at Watershed
Will husband-hungry foodie find his match, or just meet his match?
Food Porn is a new fictional series by longtime Atlanta food critic Cliff Bostock. Set in real Atlanta restaurants, it chronicles the adventures of Robert, a gay man in search of a husband — or at least a good meal. Robert looked around the dining room of the new Watershed on Peachtree and marveled at how dark and woody it was compared to the original restaurant in Decatur. Indigo Girl Emily Saliers, the owner, had closed that one and reopened in this new south Buckhead location. “I hear it looks very different,” said Robert’s date, Brandon. “It certainly does,” Robert replied. And so do you, he thought to himself, meaning Brandon was not like his usual dates. Brandon, 39, had attended the initial meeting of Robert’s Food Porn Supper Club. He looked like a clone with tattoos, tanned muscles and a buzz-cut. He had even suggested that the club be limited to “masc men.” Robert, hunting a husband before he turned 50 next year, was surprised when Brandon called and invited him to dinner. Robert was above all an intellectual. He taught queer theory at Georgia State and had written several critical papers on gay masculinity and body image. He was a regular at LA Fitness himself but excused that as a necessary antidote to his foodie habits. “So,” Brandon said, “why don’t you approve of me?” Robert turned scarlet. He was not used to people who were blunter than him. “I was pretty shocked,” he stammered, “when you suggested we limit the supper club to masculine men…” Brandon cut him off. “Well, I like men who are super-hung,” he said, not looking up as he poked at his appetizer — a scallop schnitzel topped with a fried quail egg and anchovies, surrounded by grebiche and capers.

Watershed on Peachtree 1820 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta, GA 30309 www.watershedrestaurant.com Good choices: Starters: Pork and olive meatballs, pork belly wraps, sea-scallop schnitzel. Entrees: Jambalaya, blue crab/shrimp ragout, vegetable plate. Desserts: Hot milk cake, coconut cream pie respond in kind.” He twirled his fettuccine triumphantly around a chunk of blue crab. Robert smiled, forcibly. “OK, touché, but what’s your deal?” “I just moved here from LA to teach at Emory. I heard about you and when I read about the supper club, I decided to check you out. I’m also a foodie and I’m about to turn 40, while you’re about to turn 50 – big milestones.” Robert was feeling almost nauseous, but not enough so that he resisted sharing a slice of the restaurant’s hot milk cake, similar to the tres leches cake popular in Latin cultures. Brandon licked his fork and sat it down after one taste. “I guess I win this round, right?” He flexed his right bicep in the new gesture of gay hypermasculinity. Robert gobbled up the rest of the cake and mentally scratched off husband candidate No. 1. Still, the sex might be good.

Robert laughed nervously. “It’s just a preference,” Brandon said. Robert groaned internally. “Preference” is many men’s excuse for sexual prejudice. Most famously, white men use it to rule out sex with black men, but it’s also applied to “fems,” Asians, the inadequately hung, etc. Noting that such “preferences” parallel racism and other forms of cultural bias provokes angry denials like, “I don’t want to have sex with average dicks. I don’t want to have sex with vaginas either. They’re both preferences, right?” Robert’s entrée, jambalaya, arrived. Executive Chef Joe Truex and Julia Leroy, chef de cuisine, are both brilliant cooks. Truex is a native of Louisiana and his jambalaya depends more on a spicy roux than the tomato sauce that turns most jambalaya screamingly red. Comparatively little rice was at the bottom of the bowl but it was filled with jumbo shrimp, sausage and shelled crawfish. “So,” Brandon resumed, “you do have a big one, right?” Robert had just speared a slice of sausage and shook it gently at Brandon. “Stop being an idiot.” Brandon exploded into laughter. “You academics,” he said. “You never realize when you’re being teased. Of course, I don’t believe that shit. But since you were clearly stereotyping me the other night, I thought I should

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by Jim Farmer

‘Your Sister’s Sister’ more than a gab fest
Indie film from ‘Humpday’ director carries LGBT themes
As she proved with 2009’s “Humpday,” director Lynn Shelton is a talented filmmaker not afraid to include LGBT themes in her work. Her latest is “Your Sister’s Sister,” which has a prominent lesbian theme, and — like “Humpday” — is worth seeing even if the gay angle is a bit problematic. As the film opens, Jack (Mark Duplass) is mourning the death of his brother Tom, a year later. After a friend waxes eloquently about Tom at a gathering, Jack stands and speaks the wartsand-all truth about the deceased and it’s clear Jack is still a wreck. His best friend is Iris (Emily Blunt), who was Tom’s lover. Seeing Jack is an emotional mess, she suggests he go to her family cabin on an island in the Pacific Northwest that is supposedly empty. “It has no internet, no TV… maybe a few forks,” she promises. When he arrives he discovers he is not alone after all. Iris’ half-sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), is there. She is a lesbian who has just broken up with her girlfriend after seven years. She is also a vegan whose food choices (such as dehy-

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‘Your Sister’s Sister’ Opens June 29 Midtown Art Cinema 931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta, GA 30308 http://bit.ly/140rvV drated banana pieces) provide some of the film’s funnier moments. The two share a drunken late night and reveal some truths. The first 30 minutes of the movie move quickly and are funny and tart, with three welldeveloped characters. Then something happens between Iris and Jack, however, that throws a wrench into the situation. It’s clear that what happens between the two is a mistake and it becomes evident as well that there could have been ulterior motives for both of them. It’s here that the film moves from being a sharp comedy to something a little more dramatic and safe. Not surprisingly, Iris comes to visit at the cabin as well and the relationships between all three become more complicated and tense. Comparisons can be made to the “The Kids

‘Your Sister’s Sister’ stars Rosemarie DeWitt (left) as Hannah, a lesbian who strikes up a friendship with her sister’s best friend, Jack. Jack’s best friend, Iris, played by Emily Blunt (right), joins the mix for a poignant film of laughs about friendship and family. (Publicity photo)

Are All Right,” though this film doesn’t vilify its male character at the end — and what happens between Iris and Jack is a wee bit more believable, thanks to a lot of tequila and need. In “Humpday,” two straight friends spent the entire movie convincing us and themselves they were secure enough in their friendship and masculinity to have sex on camera to win an amateur porn festival, then freaked out when it was time to do the deed and decided against it.

Like “Humpday,” “Your Sister’s Sister” might be viewed a little differently by straight and LGBT audiences. Overall, “Your Sister’s Sister” is much better than “Humpday,” even if — groan — after establishing Hannah as a complicated, fully developed person, the film takes a U-turn and has her do something that strains credibility. But what Shelton does get right is her cast — she loves her characters, even when they do stupid things. These three performers are the only people in the entire movie and luckily, they make the ride enjoyable. Blunt has been all over the big screen this year and she is one of our most warm, likable actresses. She is also a great comedienne. DeWitt is downright luminous. Best known for her supporting work in “Rachel’s Getting Married,” “United States of Tara,” and “Mad Men,” she does some of her best work here. As “Rachel” proved, DeWitt knows how to play a sister. She and Blunt are very effective in that aspect, and their sibling rivalry is believable. Duplass (from “Humpday”) is the lesser known of the three but he is a nice choice for Jack, with a dry sense of humor yet an undeniable pain underneath. “Your Sister’s Sister” is smartly written and has some droll dialogue to match its acting. Let’s just hope that at some point Shelton can get it all right, including the LGBT component. She’s getting closer and closer to great work.

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June 22, 2012

GA Voice

29 23

Gay, gay, gay plays
‘Normal Heart’ leads the pack in summer stage fare
Summer is when most theater companies take a break, or present lighter fare than usual. That is not the case for the Saint Mark United Methodist Church’s Drama Ministry, which is staging a version of Larry Kramer’s powerful “The Normal Heart,” officially opening this weekend. The play broke ground 30 years ago and is still successful as a warts-and-all account of the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic including the politics in New York during that time. St. Mark’s production is directed by Jim Baker and boasts a large local cast comprised of one woman and 10 gay men. Playing the lead role of Ned Weeks — the alter ego of Larry Kramer — is John Harr. Nothing he has ever done approaches the emotional scope of this role, the actor says. “Part of the character is very angry. Part of him is very scared; at the time everyone was scared, scared at not knowing what was happening,” Harr says. “I also think to some degree he was afraid of being alone. He desperately wanted somebody, although he would never admit it. That is true for a lot of people.” Harr realizes that a lot of what Kramer wrote about so long ago is still true. “There is still not a cure and many of the issues and prejudices are still around,” he says. “There is the perception among the younger generation that you can take a pill and manage this and go on with life.” Ned’s lover Felix is played by Steve Hargrove. Hargrove remembers watching a “20/20” segment featuring GRID (the first name of the disease) in the ‘80s and wondering how it would affect the gay community. His first friend died of AIDS in 1986 and another not long ago. “I don’t know that many churches that would stage this,” Hargrove adds.

THEATER by Jim Farmer

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Saint Mark United Methodist stages Larry Kramer’s ‘The Normal Heart’ through June 30. (Photo via Facebook)

2800 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. Decatur, GA 30030

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‘The Normal Heart’ June 21 – 30 Saint Mark United Methodist Church 781 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308 www.stmarkumc.org ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ June 28 – July 15 Serenbe Playhouse 9110 Selborne Lane Chattahoochee Hills, GA 30268 www.serenbeplayhouse.com ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ July 5 – Aug. 3 Conant Performing Arts at Oglethorpe 4484 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30319 www.gashakespeare.org there is something very masculine about Lady Bracknell, and she’s a juicy character,” says Epstein. Cabus’s take was the one that impressed him the most and the actor was ready for the role. “I have played a woman before, but this is the first time in full drag,” Cabus says. “For me, the biggest challenge is taking a character so well known, so formidable, that people have opinions about.” Cabus says it’s important for audiences to realize that he is playing a woman, not a man disguised as a woman. That’s not the only incident of cross dressing here. Actress Megan McFarland plays the small role of male butler Lane. Finally, Serenbe Playhouse, who opened up their summer season with the inventive world premiere “Alice in Wonderland,” will open “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on June 28. Like “Alice,” it is directed by openly gay artistic director Brian Clowdus.

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‘Earnest’ at Oglethorpe

As part of their summer rep, Georgia Shakespeare is presenting a version of Oscar Wilde’s classic “The Importance of Being Earnest,” directed by openly gay Sabin Epstein. Epstein has done numerous shows with the company over the last decade, most recently “King Lear” few years back. Epstein says “Earnest” is still relevant because it’s funny but also a social commentary. “It’s dealt with in a satirical manner but has so much truth — men on the down low, snobs, social strategy,” he says. Gay actor Mark Cabus plays Lady Bracknell. When Epstein held auditions, both men and women clamoured to play the role. “I think


GA Voice

June 22, 2012




June 22, 2012

GA Voice


Annual Atlanta Bear Fest comes out of hibernation
Independence Weekend romp raises funds for Lost-n-Found Youth, PAWS
By Bo Shell bshell@thegavoice.com Leave the lions and tigers at home July 6-9; it’s all about the bears at the 2012 Atlanta Bear Fest. Pool parties, live music and bar nights are among the event’s highlights according to John Beck, president of Atlanta’s Southern Bears, who have held an Independence Day Weekend gathering for hirsute men and their admirers for “many years” now. The event — a bigger, hairier version of the more mainstream circuit party, often called a “run” — was known as “Bear All,” before the Southern Bears took a hard look and a one year break before renaming it Atlanta Bear Fest in 2009. “The first time I attended ‘Bear All’ years ago, not a single person introduced himself or made any effort to include me,” Beck says. “Southern Bears made the decision that we wanted our ABF events to be just the opposite of that. We want our guests leaving and telling everyone what a good time they had and how friendly it was.” At its relaunch, Atlanta Bear Fest saw about 150 full run attendees and about 75 day pass guests. Those numbers have grown to about 200 and 125 in the past three years. After two years with a cheeky prison theme, the 2012 “Roman Holiday” theme draws inspiration from television’s “Spartacus,” known — at least in the gay bear community — for its naked, muscular male actors. “What’s not to like?” Beck says.


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2012 Atlanta Bear Fest July 6 - 9 Courtyard Northlake Marriott 2083 LaVista Road, Tucker, GA 30083 www.atlantabearfest.com Mr. Atlanta Bear and Cub Contest Saturday, July 7 at 10 p.m. Atlanta Eagle 306 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308 www.atlantaeagle.com While Lacobie and the Southern Bears organization itself are both supporting Lost-n-Found this year, Beck adds that the group is also raising funds for PAWS Atlanta, a private not-for-profit animal welfare organization. Bristol Correa, a flight attendant from Atlanta, has been to bear runs in Indianapolis, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, Atlanta — more than he can remember over the past six or seven years. Similar to the Atlanta Bear Fest, most runs last several days at a host hotel with a nearby host bar and most raise funds for bear organizations and charities in their respective cities. Attendees can find almost anything they’re looking for: new friends, old friends, bear vendors, sex and even husbands. Correa met his partner at the infamous and well-attended Texas Bear Round-Up, and a year later at the same event, the two were engaged. But like the geographical differences that separate them, each run has its own mood. It seems that Atlanta’s run might be small compared to many bear events, but what it lacks in size, it makes up in charm. “It’s very welcoming,” Correa says. “Because it’s in a hotel that surrounds the pool, it feels very private and it is like a little vacation full of great people and good looking men.” While a run can mean many things to its many attendees, it seems that at their core, runs like the Atlanta Bear Fest give gay men outside the mainstream a space of their own, no matter where they are. “If you talk to the people who were around for the early days of bear runs and events, they will tell you that many started because they did not feel included in the ‘normal’ gay lifestyle...” Beck says. “These days I think it’s about having fun and taking pride in who we are while at the same time doing some good and giving back to the community as a whole.”

Atlanta Bear Fest like ‘little vacation’

Last year’s Atlanta Bear Fest saw more than 300 total attendees, many traveling nightly to the Atlanta Eagle, the event’s host bar. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

Busy bears

While nightly bar trips aren’t surprising when you imagine a couple hundred gay men gathering for a weekend event, the Atlanta Bear Fest offers a variety of programming to keep the party going almost all day, every day. Dinners, bingo, movie screenings, Mr. Bear and Cub contests and live music from bearfavorite RockCub punctuate a schedule that revolves largely around the swimming pool at the Courtyard Northlake Marriott in Tucker, the host hotel for the event. It must be quite the sight; some 200 topless gay bears flirting and floating around a metroAtlanta watering hole. “The stories I could tell,” Beck laughs, “Our

first year we didn’t sell out the hotel and there was a family reunion booked there with us. We got a lot of looks and a lot of parents and grandparents herding their children inside.” The group has “basically sold out the hotel” for the past three years, so random onlookers haven’t been an issue — a benefit to hosting the event at a smaller hotel outside Atlanta’s busy tourist corridor where “Bear All” events were hosted years ago. In looking to revamp the old run style, the Southern Bears learned that attendees wanted privacy, inclusive run packages without extra costs and overall affordability. It might be a short shuttle ride from the host hotel to the host bar, the Atlanta Eagle, but Beck says satisfying these factors make the barely-ITP hotel a dream locale — the walking-distance cigar shop, ice cream parlor and liquor store notwithstanding. “What we have found is that the hotel and local businesses have welcomed us with open arms,” Beck adds. Armed with a straight razor, Tracy Lacobie has been a master barber for 25 years. A friendlier Sweeney Todd, he owned his own shop in

Cuts for a cause

Greenville, S.C., for eight years before moving to Atlanta in 2008. You can find him behind a chair at Axiom Salon for Men in Midtown Atlanta, a perfect fit for a man whose specialties are flat tops and razor texturing. Lacobie is offering his services to the Atlanta Bear Fest attendees, and all of the proceeds are going to Lost-n-Found, a homeless LGBT youth advocacy organization. “Anytime I do a charity event, I like to keep the money local,” says Lacobie, whose partner is Southern Bears Vice President Kris Goeddel. “Lost-n-Found struck me as a special one this year, because someone close to me just came out to my partner and me. He’s terrified of his family finding out, for fear he will be tossed out.” It’s not the first time Lacobie has cut for a cause. In 2010, he donated his Atlanta Bear Fest proceeds to Jerusalem House, and more recently you might have seen him lowering ears on the back porch at the Eagle for Lost-n-Found’s clipper party which raised more than $1,700 with the help of a massage therapist and boot black. Lacobie joins several other vendors over the run’s weekend, including the Atlanta-based KubCakes baked goods and Florida-based bear t-shirt vendor Bear Bones Clothing.

32 1

GA Voice

June 22, 2012



Balancing body, mind and spirit
Tom Born offers massage, chiropractic services
If we don’t take care of our bodies, where will we live? – Anonymous That saying is the perfect reflection of how important it is to maintain a healthy and mobile lifestyle, according to massage and chiropractic practitioner Tom Born, who is openly gay. Born, whose professional career started at a spa in the famed Casa Marina resort in Key West, Fla., is a firm believer in healthy movement. “I worked with anybody who was anybody,” Born says. “Like Tennessee Williams and Calvin Klein.” Despite the success he found in Florida, it wasn’t long before Born decided to follow a new path. “I was there for a number of years, but then I decided to go to chiropractic school,” he says. It was this decision which brought Born to Atlanta in the 1980s to study at Life Chiropractic College, but it wasn’t until years later that he decided to make Atlanta his permanent home.


Over the years, Born says he worked out of the old Ari’s Market health food store in Ansley Mall, as well as out of a location in the Toco Hills Shopping Center. These days, Born is back at Ansley Mall six days a week in a space vacated by now-retired chiropractor Keith Coffman. “My background is very extensive when it comes to massage work, particularly in the Asian area in the acupressure and the reflexology techniques,” Born says of his services. “I do deep tissue, sports therapy; I’m a specialist in acupressure.” Oh, and he’s a certified chiropractor, too. “I’m always guiding people through the maze of trying to find the best, most appropriate way to get the most from movement that they can,” Born says.

Born says that a background in both massage and chiropractic health offers clients expanded options when dealing with muscular/ skeletal issues. “I’m a big believer in combining the two approaches together at one time, I’m always doing pressure point work when I’m adjusting,” Born says of his dual-approach method. Most of his clients are seeking relief for neck and back troubles, Born says. “I’ve decided to merge my techniques,” Born continues. “Even though my background is very strong in massage, I don’t want to say that I’m just a massage person. I have a specific approach to incorporate both muscular and skeletal systems. That’s important.” For Born, it’s also important to practice what he preaches. “I’m very involved with diet and exercise, yoga and stretching, for the past 30 years on a regular basis,” he says. Born adds that he encourages his clients to live a more healthy lifestyle, as well. Despite the recent recession and slow recovery, Born says that he stays busy. “It comes and goes,” he says. “We’ve all taken a hit.” But a massage or an adjustment is a worthy indulgence, Born says, because of all the benefits it offers health.

Tom Born helps his clients stay mobile and fit with massage and chiropractic services. (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Tom Born Chiropractic and Massage 404-408-0143 Ansley Square 1512 Piedmont Rd. Suite 201 Atlanta, Ga 30324

“It’s positive for everyone to have some sort of movement therapy. It will help them move better, have a healthier life and most likely help them be mobile well into their later years. There is nothing else that can do that.” — Ryan Watkins

Georgia queer writer named Lambda Literary Fellow
Sarah Fonseca of Atlanta is currently finishing up her BA in Creative Writing at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga. and writing a memoir on being a queer Latina working in a Mexican restaurant. Recently, she was selected as the only person from Georgia to be a Lambda Literary Fellow. Being named a Fellow is a dream come true for the 23-year old student and she hopes to raise enough money to make the trip to Los Angeles for the emerging writer’s retreat — or “queer writers boot camp” — and study under the likes of LGBT authors such as Dorothy Allison. “On the last day the Lambda Literary Fellow application could be postmarked, I pawned my computer to make the fee. There was no afterthought: The Lambda Literary Emerging Writer’s Retreat is where I need to be. Had I not been accepted this year and the world remained intact after 2012, I would’ve applied next year, and the one after that,” she writes in a bio for the foundation. At the retreat, Fonseca says she will complete her memoir. She’ll also work on a semi-autobiographical work where she interviews eight high school classmates who now identify as LGBTQ. She is asking for donations from indi-

Sarah Fonseca only Ga. applicant accepted to prestigious writers’ retreat


viduals willing to help her achieve a major goal. People can donate by visiting this link. http://bit.ly/N9Onl3 We talked to about her aspirations as a writer, the memoir she is working on and what the gay scene in Statesboro is like. What does it mean to be accepted as a Lambda Literary fellow? I try very hard to not measure my worth in acceptance letters, but it was impossible to not do so with this fellowship. Lambda Literary Foundation has supported so many wonderful talents. Prior to applying, I would scroll through the bios of former fellows and just fawn over their portfolios. It’s so surreal to be one of them. What kind of writing do you do and where can we find it?

I identify as an essayist. As a Southerner, reality is eccentric enough already. Factor in being queer, and the oddity is only amplified. Documenting that is irresistible. I’ve written several essays on what it means to be queer and southern for Autostraddle and CherryGrrl, and I have poems in Off the Rocks 16 and Lavender Review. I have a full list of publication credits on my website, http://flavors.me/sarah. Care to share the beginning of your memoir? The first few lines: “I was the child in the passenger seat, playing a feminist version of The License Plate Game, relief playing across my face each time I saw a person of color in an automobile beside us at a red light. I was perpetually searching for foreign cars and foreign people.” How do you make a living? Along with various temporary gigs, I’ve worked as a server for the last three years. I’ve moved from an Italian restaurant to a Mexican restaurant, and then a Japanese restaurant. According to a friend, I’ve completed the trifecta of Americanized cuisine.
Sarah Fonseca, a student at Georgia Southern University, is the only Lambda Literary Fellow from Georgia. (Photo via Facebook)

What does it mean to you to be a writer? To be a writer is to hope to leave something permanent behind. Lambda Literary has given me a chance to hope a little more, all in the company of wonderful people. What is Statesboro’s LGBT community like? Statesboro has a decently sized gay community. It’s a bit more binary and a little less queer. Savannah is only a few miles down the road, making the Deep South much more bearable. — Dyana Bagby

BEST BETS 06.22 - 07.05
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GA Voice

June 22, 2012




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

Friday, June 22

The Evening for Equality celebrates its 8th annual event with awardees U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), Larry Lehman of AID Gwinnett, Jerry Gonzalez of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, and founders of the annual Bayard Rustin/Audre Lorde Breakfast Craig Washington and Darlene Hudson. Host/Sponsor cocktail reception at 6 p.m., dinner and general program at 7 p.m. at the Twelve Hotel Atlantic Station, 361 17th Street, Atlanta, GA 30363, www.georgiaequality.org Join Rabbi Josh Lesser and Congregation Bet Haverim for the 2012 Pride Seder blessing, a part of Atlanta Stonewall Week. 7 p.m. at Central Congregational Church, 2676 Clairmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30329, www.atlantapride.org “Music of the Night: The Best of London’s West End Musical Theater” brings the best in stage song from across the pond. Hint: Andrew Lloyd Webber much? 8 p.m. at Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Drive., Atlanta, GA 30327, www.classicchastain.com Broadway legend and actress Kristin Chenoweth defies gravity with an Atlanta show. 8 p.m. at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339, www.cobbenergycentre.com Atlanta Pride performer Hannah Thomas and her band play a show at Eddie’s Attic with special guests Bree Sharp and Don DiLego of Beautiful Small Machines opening. 8 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515B N. McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030, www.eddiesattic.com “Mash Attacks” returns to the Atlanta Eagle with DJs Robin Skouteris and Pat Scott. The event also benefits Lost-N-Found Youth, Inc. 10 p.m. - 3 a.m. at the Atlanta Eagle, 306 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308, http://on.fb.me/MOM42x Mary’s, the award-winning dive bar in East Atlanta, hosts its 8th Annual Fag Bash in honor of Stonewall Weekend. DJ Ree De La Vega mans the booth, blasting gay party anthems all night long. 10 p.m. at Mary’s, 1287 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316, www.marysatlanta.com, http://on.fb.me/LRUcn0 Room Service Atlanta: Deluxe Gay Dance Party recreates one of London’s hottest gay club nights with DJs Jodie Harsh and Kris Di Angelis. 10 p.m. at Mood Lounge, 3081 E. Shadowlawn Ave., Atlanta, GA 30305, www.facebook.com/moodlounge Got Leche hosts a foam party, where we’re sure all the boys will be on their best behavior. 10 p.m. at Club Rush, 2715 Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA 30324.

Saturday, June 23
Everyone is welcome at East Side Pride’s annual Pride Picnic. DJ Duck keeps the dance floor hopping, the kids get a play zone and LGBT-friendly vendors and organizations will unhand for your perusing. It’s potluck, so bring something to share or grill if you can. 3 - 8 p.m. at Milam Park, 3867 Norman Road, Clarkston, GA 30021, http://eastsidepridenews.blogspot.com, http://on.fb.me/LPBhV4

Wednesday, June 27

Saturday, June 23
Fiona Zedde brings her newest book “Nightshade” back to Atlanta for a fun and sexy discussion. 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com

Friday, June 22Saturday, June 23

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

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Sunset Garden is a series of summer events benefiting various organizations. This weekend the party is a fundraiser for the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus. 7-10 p.m. at Burkhart’s, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309. www.burkharts.com

Grab the kids and join the MEGA Family Project for a play date. 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. at Glenlake Park, 1211 Church St., Decatur, Georgia 30030, www.megafamilyproject.org The hot men of the Hotlanta Softball League strut their stuff at the Mr. Hotlanta Softball Hunk Pageant, a benefit for the city’s largest gay softball league. 6 - 10 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.hotlantasoftball.org Trans/Queer Nation hosts a “Staches & Lashes” Prom. DJ Missy and JackDaddi serve as DJs with small bites provided. It’s BYOB, but bartenders will be provided. 16 to enter, 21 to drink and don’t miss speed dating early in the night. 7 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, www.tqnation.com

Tuesday, June 26
The Atlanta Dream takes on the Indiana Fever. 12 p.m. at Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303, www.wnba.com/dream/

Saturday, June 23

Co-sponsored by the Atlanta Front Runners and Atlanta Pride, the 2012 Pride Run celebrates its 22nd year. The year’s walk/run 5k benefits Jerusalem House and Atlanta Pride. Race starts at 8 a.m. at the Aquatic Center in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA 30309, www.eteamz.com/frontrunnersatlanta/, www.atlantapride.org

LOGO publicity photo by Mathu Andersen

“Ru Paul’s Drag Race” winner Sharon Needles joins the cast of this month’s Fantasy Girls Cabaret featuring local performers Savannah Leigh, Summer Knight, Envy Van Michael, Starr Sanchez Sherrington and Nicole Paige Brooks. 9 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.jungleclubatlanta.com

Photo via Facebook

“Out with the Stars” is the first annual PFLAG Atlanta fundraiser and awards dinner honoring several local parents, teachers, students and straight allies working toward a better LGBT Atlanta. 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. at Labella at Lambert Place, 800 Lamber Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA, 30324, www.pflagatl.org The Atlanta Radical Faeries host their annual “Once Upon a Midsummer Night,” a day long event and party that begs costumes, glitter, dramatic lighting and lots of free-loving fun. 12 p.m. - 3 a.m. at the Arts Exchange, 750 Kalb Street, SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, http://on.fb.me/K80gBW Easy listening goddess Norah Jones plays an Atlanta show. 8 p.m. at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308, www.foxtheatre.org Lesbian singer/songwriter Jen Foster plays Eddie’s Attic. 8 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030, www.eddiesattic.com DJ Michael Tank spins a Jungle Beach party with a special performance by Phoenix. Buy a swimsuit from Brushtrokes June 14-June 23. Wear it to the party and get free admission before midnight. There’s a clothes check so you don’t have to arrive half naked. 10 p.m. at Jungle, 4115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.jungleclubatlanta.com Special guest and former Miss Gay USofA at Large Tahjee Iman joins the girls at Burkhart’s Extravaganza drag show. 11 p.m. at Burkhart’s, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.burkharts.com It’s a night of comedy at My Sister’s Room with a showcase of comedians including Kim Huapaya, Michelle Ramsey, Ian Aber, Sue Ryerson and Katrina Braxton. Hosted by Julie Osborne. Doors open at 8 p.m. $10. Dance party after. MSR, 1271 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316, www.mysistersroom.com


June 22, 2012

GA Voice


Photo via Facebook Publicity photo

Friday, June 29 Saturday, June 30
Charis Books and More and Atlanta Pride host a two-day Stonewall Month extravaganza featuring butch blogger and sex writer Sinclair “Sugarbutch” Sexsmith. On Friday, expect a “wild ride toward body confidence” for the self-identified queer masculine set. On Saturday, Sexsmith reads from “Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica.” 7:30 - 9 p.m. both nights at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com

Friday, June 29 Sunday, July 1

The Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil makes a three-day stop in Atlanta. Expect the usual magic from the CIrque crew set to the music of the world’s greatest pop star. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday at Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303, http://bit.ly/g4vbwk

Dine-in or take-out at Doc Chey’s in Morningside between 5 and 10 p.m. and a portion of your bill will be donated to Atlanta Pride. 1424 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306, www.atlantapride.org Write Club Atlanta’s “Syllabus” is a lot like the club’s preexisting seven-minute write-off, except its headed by GA Voice’s own Topher Payne and, for it’s debut, features GA Voice deputy editor Dyana Bagby. She and other writers, including gay playwright Johnny Drago, will “battle it out” with their ruminations on “Apocalypse.” 9 - 10:30 p.m. at PushPush Theater, 121 New St., Decatur, GA 30030, http://on.fb.me/MODwsh The Atlanta Braves welcome LGBT fans with their second annual Out in the Stands event, a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, at Turner Field. Celebrity rugby player and anti-bullying advocate Ben Cohen will be on hand for autographs as well. 7 p.m. at Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315. Tickets: 404-614-1325 or e-mail stacey.nicely@braves.com. Don’t miss the new “Lust and Bust Show” at Blake’s featuring Shawnna Brooks with host Lena Lust. 11 p.m. at Blake’s on the Park, 227 10th St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, www.blakesontheparkatlanta.com What’s the best way to ask a “boi” on a date? Who should pay? Real Bois Talk Health Program presents “Battle of the Sexes,” a free discussion between ladies and the African-American masculineidentified gay females who love them. 7 - 9 p.m. at the Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, www.thehealthinitive.org, http://bit.ly/LZP6kT SAGE Atlanta, a service and social organization for LGBT elders, hosts a card and social hour, then an afternoon oral history project where participants share experiences on given topics. 10 - 11 a.m. and 12:30 0 2 p.m. at the Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, www.sageatl.org

Monday, June 25

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, www.charisbooksandmore.com

Tuesday, June 26

Sunday, June 24

Lesbian social networking group Fourth Tuesday hosts the dinner on the day of its namesake every month. This month, it’s Sprig. 6 - 10 p.m. at Sprig, 2860 Lavista Road, Decatur, GA 30033, www.thehealthinitiative.org, http://bit.ly/N4t58F See your favorite Burkhart’s employees switch it up for a Turnabout Charity Show. Tips will be split between the Armorettes and Lost-n-Found Youth, so tip those janky queens! 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. at Burkhart’s, 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309, www.burharts. com, http://on.fb.me/LLGcZM

Saturday, June 30
Carioca Productions and Revolt Records present DJs Chus + Ceballos spinning a 5-hour set in attempts to “redefine dance culture in Atlanta.” 9 p.m. at Jungle, 21115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.facebook.com/FansofIcon
Photo bia Facebook

The Mr. and Miss Black America Newcomer Pageant takes over XS Ultra Lounge with several categories including “All that glitters and shines” presentation. 7 p.m. at XS Ultra Lounge, 708 Spring St., Atlanta, GA 30308, http://on.fb.me/JLWcIP “For the Foodie in All of Us” is part of a new series of chef-inspired events every month through October. Today’s event features Executive Chef/ Partner Linda Harrell of Cibo e Beve. Limited to 30 guests. $75 per person with a chef demo, cocktails and menu. 2-6 p.m., Cook’s Warehouse, Merchant’s Walk Shopping Center (next to Whole Foods), 1311 Johnson Ferry Road Suite 568, Marietta, GA 30068. http://bit.ly/NHl2A5 AID Atlanta will be providing free HIV testing for gay, bisexual and trans men at Piedmont Park as part of National HIV Testing Day. Free testing and information from 4:30-7 p.m. Near the dock at Lake Clara Meer. Call 1-800-551-2728 for more information.

Thursday, June 28

Wednesday, June 27

Atlanta celebrates National HIV Testing Day with a ton of free testing sites to make sure you know your status. See Page 10 for locations and details. The MEGA Family Project hosts a Baby/Toddler Meet Up Group for dues-paying members. 9 - 11:30 a.m.. Learn more at www.megafamily.org or email director Kathy Kelly at Kathy@megafamilyproject.org. The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce host a Business Builder Luncheon at 11:50 a.m. East Point Corner Tavern, 2783 Main St. East Point, GA 30344, www.atlantagaychamber.org

Tuesday, July 3
Sarah McLachlan plays a rare Atlanta show, this time in concert with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as part of the Chastain Series. 7:30 p.m. at Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Drive., Atlanta, GA 30327, www.chastainseries.com


Publicity photo


GA Voice

June 22, 2012




Friday, June 29

p licity Pub


The Atlanta Bucks shift their First Friday beer and wings bust for a special fundraiser of the same nature for the estate of Michael Adams. 8 p.m., 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.facebook.com/ atlantabucks, www.atlantabucksrugby.org Part of Atlanta Stonewall week and co-sponsored by the Juxtaposed Center for Transformation and Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth, the third annual Sylvia Rivera Community Event celebrates the contributions of transgender people to the LGBT civil rights movement with fellowship, food and a panel discussion with trans community members. 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, www.atlantapride.org Atlanta’s Every Womyn presents an “LGBT Old School Game Night.” The net proceeds from your $7 admission go to Lift Up Atlanta, a homeless services organization. 6 - 10 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center, 1530 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, http://on.fb.me/K6M7Xw Produced by poet Alice Lovelace, Cafe Medusa is an evening of performance art, spoken word and music by women artists in a theatrical format. Also included: market place for products and information, a visual arts exhibit and nosh by Food Goddess. 8 p.m. at 7 Stages, 1105 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, http://on.fb.me/JTt0EU “Bone Voyage” party at Mary’s has a naughty nautical theme. DJ Diablo Rojo spins. 10 p.m. Mary’s, 1287 Glenwood Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316. www.marysatlanta.com

Friday, July 6evening at

Saturday, June 30

DJ Lydia Prim starts an emaHeretic featuring the famed Fre . at the Heretic, sons. 8 p.m. - 4 a.m nta, 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atla 24, www.hereticatlanta.com, GA 303 http://on.fb.me/McunbH

Friday, July 6 Monday, July 9
The Southern Bears presents the 2012 Atlanta Bear Fest, “Roman Holiday.” The four-day bear/admirer event includes pool parties, bar nights, vendors, concerts, bingo, movies, dinners and more. Most events held at the Courtyard Northlake Marriott, 4083 LaVista Road, Tucker, GA 30083, www.atlantabearfest.com

Saturday, July 7 Sunday, July 8

Monday, July 2

“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, www.charisbooksandmore.com The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce hosts a Business Builder Luncheon. 11:55 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Carpe Diem, 105 Sycamore Place, Decatur, GA 30030, www.atlantagaychamber.org

The Sandy Springs Artsapalooza, a part of the gay owned and operated Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces series of festivals, offers local arts and crafts from 150 painters, photographers, sculptors and more. Saturday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the former Target located at 174 Johnson Ferry Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328, www.sandyspringsartapalooza.com

Saturday, July 21

Wednesday, July 4

Thursday, July 5

DJ Don Bishop sets the mood for DJ/Producer Roland Belmares to take the stage at Joining Hearts 25 Pool Party. The super-popular (and usually sold out) annual event raises funds for AID Atlanta and Jerusalem House. Open bar. 4 - 11 p.m. at the Greystone and Aquatic Center in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA 30309, www.joininghearts.org

Sarah Terez Rosenblum brings “Herself When She’s Missing,” the lesbian-themed story about a groupie drawn to a fellow fan. 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. at Charis Books and More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307, www.charisbooksandmore.com The gay-owned Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces hosts the Chastain Park Summer Movie series every Thursday in July, starting with Oscar-winner “The Artist.” Sundown at the hill top off Park Drive in Chastain Park. http://on.fb.me/LzOhjM

Wednesday, July 25

Jungle welcomes hosts its monthly Fantasy Girls Cabaret featuring local performers Savannah Leigh, Summer Knight, Envy Van Michael, Starr Sanchez Sherrington, Nicole Paige Brooks and special guest performer and “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” fan favorite Latrice Royale. 9 p.m. at Jungle, 2115 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324, www.jungleclubatlanta.com


June 22, 2012

GA Voice



GA Voice

June 22, 2012



Seeking clarity
Vision, vanity and breaking my streak
My aversion to wearing glasses comes from sibling rivalry. My older brother and sister needed glasses young, so this offered a challenge for me to see how long I could go without them. At 42, I still pass my driver’s license test without my glasses. But barely. I am near-sighted. I think. Much like the debate over “affect” or “effect” seems to commence whenever either word is cautiously used, a similar confusion occurs whenever one gives an eyesight diagnosis. I can see things near me, but the detail of things far away is blurry. I have a prescription for this condition, but find I only use these glasses in dark places, like a movie theater or driving at night. Lately, experiences are starting to crop up that have made me realize good vision outweighs my pride. For example, on our last road trip I asked Katie to let me know when we reached our exit. Why? I couldn’t see the numbers on the overhead signs. Recently, I attended orientation for my parttime job at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. During a session that involved audience participation, I asked a man at my table to please read to me the questions that were projected at the front of the room. I noticed someone at the table next to us watch from the corner of his eye, and felt confident he thought I was illiterate. The final lesson came when I met my friend, Jenn Hobby, for lunch at Souper Jenny. When you enter Souper Jenny, you immediately order from a food bar, with dry erase boards behind the server that explain all the items offered. Of course, I couldn’t read a word of the menu. Too proud to tell Jenn I needed her to read the menu to me, I simply asked her what soups she recommended. She was too busy reading the boards to respond to my inquiry. Becoming a little warm from embarrassment and the anxious need to keep the line moving, I recognized what looked like chicken in one of the soup bins. So I pointed and simply


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

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ordered “the chicken” then let my words drift off, allowing the server to assume what kind of soup it was that I wanted. Now it was time to choose a sandwich, but unsure of what choices I had I cleverly asked, “what is your most popular sandwich today?” The server pointed to a tray close to me and explained the steak sandwich had been the popular item of the hour. I responded by ordering one. Relieved, I felt confident I had masked my blindness from my friend and the entire Souper Jenny staff. Instead, they likely think I’m a meat freak who orders chicken soup and a steak sandwich — together. I also had the sense I just became my dad, whose hearing was impaired by his military service decades before I knew him. He was too proud for a hearing aid, and used the smileand-laugh tactic to get around a conversation he couldn’t hear. Frustrating for my mother back in the day, I understand how Katie must now feel. Just wear your damn glasses, I can hear her scold, knowing she is right. It isn’t female vanity that keeps me from donning my glasses. Instead, I have been trying to break some Carter record as the only family member that doesn’t wear glasses. By giving in and putting my glasses on I break my streak. I am not quite sure why I keep hanging on to this internal competition, but what I do know is I need to learn how to give in gracefully every now and then. So, I will make sure to take my glasses with me wherever I go so I can avoid embarrassing moments like those mentioned. Then again, if I don’t have them on all the time, my streak remains alive, right? I win.


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June 22, 2012

GA Voice


Life’s a pitch
Using old talents in a new medium leads to the birth of a salesman
I’m really into bricks lately. The gateway drug was tearing the wooden steps off the back of our house and building the new ones myself. Standing at the base of my beautiful brick steps, I felt a surge of pride not unlike what the Egyptians must have felt when they completed that first pyramid. “Ah, yes,” they/I thought. “Here is a thing I did which will last the test of time. Now, let us see what Cleopatra is up to.” Only when they said that last part, they meant the real Cleopatra, not obsessively Googling for more leaked images of Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, which is what I meant. But I can assure you, our devotion is identical in every way. Anyhoo, the back steps led to a retaining wall, which then caused drainage problems requiring a second retaining wall to reroute the flow. And now there are plans for a patio. I can only haul a certain number of bricks in my car at one time, so I make lots of little trips to Home Depot, stopping by after work to pick up a load like one would grab a gallon of milk — only much, much heavier. And I gotta tell ya: A brick habit can add up over time. My husband Preppy, who already carries the lion’s share of household expenses, informed me I will need to find alternative funding if I insist on re-enacting “Pillars of the Earth” in our backyard. This is tricky, because I always have trouble rounding up cash. I’m good at a whole bunch of stuff, just not things people want to pay much money for. “I came up with a great way to make some extra cash,” I tell my pal Mandy on the phone. “Preppy went to massage school, years ago. He’s still got the table and all the supplies up in the attic. I could be a traveling massage therapist! Spend my day going to houses, helping folks release their tension.” “Topher. You have to be accredited to do massage therapy. Even on Craig’s List you gotta put your license information in the ad.” “That’s only if you’re claiming to be a certified therapist. I think they call it something else


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

if you’re not certified.” “Yes. Prostitution.” So I did what every person with zero marketable skills does when times are desperate: I emailed my agent. When I signed with her a few months ago, I explained that I’m primarily a writer, I don’t expect to be a movie star, so there was no need to submit me for work as an extra in a courtroom scene on “Drop Dead Diva.” Same went for commercials. I have plays to write, I don’t have time to sell fried chicken. So my phone isn’t ringing off the hook with auditions, but when I get one it’s usually for something really interesting. But one cannot purchase bricks with artistic integrity. I have tried. As a payment method, artistic integrity is as useless as a Discover card. This humbling realization led to me becoming available as a commercial actor for the first time. And let me tell you, it is a whole other world out there. In the last two weeks, I’ve auditioned as two different geeky IT guys, a transgender prostitute, and for a series of instructional videos explaining the world’s most complex remote control. The instructional video gig required memorizing two paragraphs of information from an instruction manual. It felt like karmic retribution for every booklet I’ve thrown away unread and ended up with twenty IKEA parts left over. But that gig paid more than I make in three months. I didn’t get the job, or any of the others, but I’m okay with that for the moment. I’m learning. Now that I’m in the game, I wanna play to win. When I see the salary offer on each casting call, I mentally convert that from dollars to bricks. After all these years of Preppy bringing home the paycheck, it turns out I have the potential to contribute something substantial. And I intend to do that. Brick by brick.