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4 | Gender & coming out: Is it tougher for male athletes? 8 | 40 years of out athletes in U.S. professional sports. 10 | Which Atlanta pro team is best on gay issues? 12 | Play or get laid: A handy guide to pick your sport. 13 | Why we still need LGBT sports leagues.

14 | Lost-n-Found Youth launches $1 million fundraising campaign. 15 | Peer-led LGBT youth group marks rst anniversary. 16 | Atlanta let gay-inclusive Human Relations Commission zzle. 17 | Photos: Georgia honors International Day Against Homophobia. 18 | Abortion and gay rights: Do Supreme Court justices comments on Roe signal her marriage vote? 19 | BRIEFS: Gay Georgians go to DC, UGA goes soft, and more.




Ofcial photo

25 | EDITORIAL: Our gay Groundhog Day.


Ofcial photo

Keep setting an example for what it means to be a man. Be the best husband to your wife, or your boyfriend, or your partner. Be the best father you can be to your children. Because nothing is more important.
President Barack Obama, including gay couples in his May 19 commencement speech at Atlantas Morehouse College, an all-male, historically black college (Atlanta Journal Constitution, May 19)

We are a place that celebrates diversity, a place where people from around the world come to live free of prejudice and persecution, and hate crimes like these are an offense against all we stand for as a city.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg commenting on the recent rash of anti-gay hate crimes in the city, including the shooting death of a gay man in the citys Greenwich Village on May 18. (ABC News, May 22)

27 | Molly Ringwalds ction inspired by families with trans chidren. 29 | THEATER: Atlanta Fringe Festival includes LGBT plays. 31 | FOOD PORN: Mexican food and an unwelcome surprise. 33 | FILM: HBO goes Behind the Candelabra with Liberace. 34 | CALENDAR

37 | THATS WHAT SHE SAID: Melissa Carter and her Iron Girl.

They were out to destroy my daughter, they feel like my daughter made their daughter gay. They are trying to send an innocent young girl to prison because they are full of hate and bigotry. These girls are teenagers in high school, who had one mutual consenting sexual experience.
Kelley Hunt Smith, mother of 18-year old Kaitlyn Ashley Hunt, commenting on her personal Facebook prole after her daughter was arrested, expelled from school and charged with felony statutory rape over a sexual relationship with a 15-year old classmate. (Raw Story, May 19)

In making the lm, the socio-political aspect of it was not really in my mind but I was focused on ... trying to make this relationship as believable and realistic as we could. When this issue comes up, of equal rights for gays, I am hoping 50 years from now we will look back on this and wonder why this was even a debate and why it took so long.
Director Steven Soderbergh discussing his latest lm, Liberace biopic Behind the Candlebra, which made its Cannes debut May 21 (Reuters, May 21) See the story on Page 33.

Photo via Raw Story




Will stigma fade as major pro athletes come out?
By DYANA BAGBY ngel McCoughtry, star player for the WNBAs Atlanta Dream, sat at a table with reporters in the belly of Phillips Arena during the basketball teams recent media day. Reporters asked her about playing overseas, about how the former Louisville star felt about her college being represented in the NCAA championships (the men won the title and the women lost the championship game to University of Connecticut) and her predictions for the upcoming Dream season. When asked if she knew any gay players, she laughed knowingly. And then she said she doesnt care if a player is gay or straight. That has nothing to do with who a person is, she said. To me, I keep it professional. Were teammates. Your personal life is your personal life. Whatever your preference is, I have nothing to do with it and I have nothing against it as well. WNBA No. 1 draft pick Brittney Griner came out in April, shortly after being drafted by the Phoenix Mercury. McCoughtry said she thought it was a good move for Griner if she felt she needed to do it. She came out and thats great and its great that she is free and open and its great people accept it, McCoughtry said. McCoughtry added that NBA player Jason Collins coming out two weeks after Griner and the accolades he received from his rstperson piece in Sports Illustrated seemed a bit unfair compared to women who have come

out in many sports before him. I never hear about men coming out. Since that one guy did, Collins, hes been getting all the press. But when Sheryl Swoopes came out she kind of like lost her endorsements. Who was Collins before he came out? she asked. And why was [Swoopes] left in dust? And you can quote me on that.


Griner, 22, who played for Baylor University, came out in a nonchalant way on April 17 in an interview with alongside the No. 2 and No. 3 WNBA draft picks, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins. SI Video host Maggie Gray brought up the issue by stating that another big topic in sports recently is sexuality, especially with the NFL. In football it was rumored that maybe one or more players were going to come out that would become huge news in the sports world and in general, Gray said. In female sports, womens sports, in the WNBA, players have already come out, and its really accepted. Why is there a difference between men and women in that issue? Responded Griner, I really couldnt give an answer on why thats so different. Being one thats out, its just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are. Dont worry about what other people are going to say, because theyre always going to say something, but, if youre just true to yourself, let that shine

Jason Collins, a free agent in the NBA, is the rst current player to come out in one of the major male team sports. Advocates say his coming out is a milestone for LGBT athletes. (Photo by NBA)

through. Dont hide who you really are. It really wasnt too difcult, I wouldnt say I was hiding or anything like that. Ive always been open about who I am and my sexuality. So, it wasnt hard at all. If I can show that Im out and Im ne and everythings OK, then hopefully the younger generation will denitely feel the same way, Griner added. Griner then revealed this month in an interview with ESPN The Magazine and espnW that she was told not to come out publicly at Baylor by her coach because the staff believed it would hurt recruiting efforts if parents saw a team at the Christian college readily accepting a lesbian player. While there are and have been gay players on the Atlanta Dream according to reliable sources, so far no one on the team has come out publicly. The Dream franchise was founded in Atlanta in 2008 and continually cites low attendance among the other 11 teams in the league

despite being a two-time Eastern Conference Champion and making it to the playoffs in the past four seasons. Head Coach Fred Williams said in an interview that the Dream likes to keep it rst class and clean when asked when a player on his team might come out. Williams said he did not know of any gay players on the Dream. I dont get into their personal lives, what they do and all that. I know when it comes to basketball and between the lines with our team and organization, we like to keep it rst class and clean, he said. And no matter what their lifestyle is, we support them because they are people. They got their own mind, they are their own human beings, and thats how it is, he added. Williams did praise Collins for coming out, saying if he knew the players phone num-

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In sports each gender has to deal with specic issues

SPORTS, continued from Page 4
ber he would call him (like President Barack Obama did). I would call him and say I commend you for what [he] did because hes still got to walk tall and be around other people in public, Williams said. I know a lot of ladies have come out and said a few things in our league. I never judge that. I really support what they believe in if thats their belief, he added. Williams said he doesnt think any differently about Griner since she came out. He knows his team will face a tough opponent when they play the Phoenix Mercury on the road Aug. 3 and at home on Sept. 8. I think its good Griner came out, he said. Everybody is asked so many things, what you believe, what you stand for, and in society now, especially with the internet, people want to know. So why not? Quit speculating and just come out, just say it. I dont look at Griner any different than I did yesterday. I think shes going to be a wonderful piece of the puzzle for the success to this league. The 68 Griner was one of college basketballs biggest stars and her entrance into the WNBA resulted in a 19 percent increase in WNBA merchandise sales, according to And the Dream is promoting her appearance at Phillips Arena as well. especially in the media, and homophobia so it is very difcult that question of is it easier for women to come out always irritates me as the answer is no, it is not easier, It is different. Each gender has to deal with specic issues, she said.

I totally believe the world will only get better as more athletes come out. For me, it was like freedom had come into my life.
Rosie Jones

its a different world now

Rosie Jones, the legendary LPGA player, was vacationing on the beach, watching her dog play in the sand, when she opened up about coming out as gay in a phone interview. You know, when Jason Collins came out I thought it was awesome, Jones said, adding she tweeted him congratulations. It takes a lot of courage to come out. And its not that much difference for a guy than a girl to come out. Its who you are protecting your family, your team, your sport. But I think the backlash is harder for the guys. Jones, who lives in Sandy Springs and owns Rosie Jones Golf Getaways, came out publicly in 2004 as part of an endorsement deal with Olivia, a travel company targeting lesbians. During her career, she won 13 LPGA Tour victories and an estimated $8.4 million in earnings. She couldnt come out during this time because she feared the loss of endorsements and the LPGA had been brushing [sexuality] under the rug for a long time, she said. One commentator even said lesbians were hurting the sport, Jones recalled. When the issue of sexuality came up, the LPGA encouraged golfers to change the subject, Jones said. And so we did. But it eventually got to the point where the issue was always coming up and nobody was taking it on by the horns. The time was right when Olivia asked me to represent them. I was ready, personally and professionally, and the world was ready, she said. Of course, Jones said she was still scared to come out publicly; she feared responses from friends, fellow golfers, the public. The rst day after I came out I felt like I was going to work naked, she said. She became busy with interviews as well as fans thanking her for nally coming out. She even got some more endorsements. And she was still expected to perform well. Coming out actually put more pressure on her game, she said. I wanted to prove I was still a great golfer and that I wasnt doing this for attention, she said. Jones remains in the memory of many golf fans as one of the greats. She still likes to hit the courses around metro Atlanta and says she talks to people 60 and 70 years old and introduces them to her partner. I applaud Brittney and Jason, she said. Times have changed, people have changed, and people like Martina Navratilova made it easier for people like me. I totally believe the world will only get better as more athletes come out. For me, it was like freedom had come into my life.

it comes down to two penises

Cyd Ziegler, co-founder of and a regular commentator on sexuality and sports, said there is a difference between Griner coming out in the WNBA and Collins coming out in the NBA, one of the mens major professional sports that was still waiting for someone to shatter that glass ceiling. Jason was a surprise, Ziegler said. I knew Brittney was a lesbian. It was an open secret. A lot of people knew. But my reaction with Jason was that this was something we had been waiting for for a long time. It took way too long, but it was great someone had nally taken the step. The outing of professional tennis player Billie Jean King by an ex-lover in 1981 made it easier for women to come out, Ziegler said. She had no choice. It didnt make it easy for women to come out, but it made it easier, he said. For men, the difculty in Americans accepting an openly gay major sports gure is, well, the penis, Ziegler said. People are afraid of penises going where they think theyre not supposed to go, he said. Its a weird part of our culture. And thats what it comes down to two penises. People arent as freaked out by women. We can see women full frontal in movies. But with two men, its doing something with the penis most people dont do and people are weird about it and

[Sexuality] has nothing to do with who a person is... Your personal life is your personal life. Whatever your preference is, I have nothing to do with it and I have nothing against it as well.
Angel McCoughtry

Top and inset: Rosie Jones, one of the top LPGA golfers of all time, said when she came out in 2004 she received new freedom in her life. (Courtesy photo) Below: Angel McCoughtry, star player for the WNBAs Atlanta Dream, said she doesnt care if a teammate is gay because that is her personal life. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

this just translates into sports. To put it simply, Ziegler explained, if you play sports, you must have sex with a woman because having sex with a woman is the ultimate representation of masculinity. And if you play sports, you have to be masculine, he said. If a woman plays sports, she is often perceived to be gay. And nothing could be further from the truth, said Helen Carroll, director of the Sports Project of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. What women have to do they have to come back at that stereotype, she said. Some straight women ght this stereotype and try to prove their heterosexuality by dressing in very feminine clothing or even marrying men they dont want to, she said. Lesbian athletes, meanwhile, have to learn that its OK to be gay but still acknowledge that stereotype shouldnt be there.

Carroll said she was thrilled with the coming out of Collins as well as Griner. Certainly the world and LGBT sports activists are happy to see a professional male top athlete recognized in the sports world come out. It was time, she said. Now he can be out and happy who he is. And he will be a wonderful spokesperson. Carroll said it should be noted also that Griner and Collins are black. Both of these athletes are role models for every kid. Boy, girls, persons of color. They both have strong personalities. Theyre different and that will help kids identify with them, she said. Both are people of color which is very important for discussion of race that continues to happen. Women athletes do not have it easier when coming out simply because they are women, Carroll stressed. Women players have to deal with sexism,




1975 40 years of

Former Major League Baseball player Billy Bean, who wrote Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life in and out of Major League Baseball.


Former Major League Baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics Glenn Burke

Danny Karwoski/CC 2.0

Former Olympic swimmer Bruce Hayes Retired NFL player David Kopay comes out, the rst ex-player to come out in major U.S. mens sports.


Almost four decades separate the rst ex-player and the rst current player to come out in major U.S. mens professional team sports: from retired NFL player David Kopay in 1975 to current NBA player Jason Collins late last month. Here are some of the most prominent elite American athletes to come out in the intervening years. Trends include current athletes in individual sports, like tennis and golf, coming out earlier than athletes in team sports, and more current female athletes coming out than their male counterparts, who tend to come out after retiring.

Sue Wicks of the WNBA Michelle Van Gorp of the WNBA Former NFL player Esera Tualo

Sheryl Swoopes of the WNBA (in 2011, she became engaged to a man)


Former NBA player John Amaechi

Natasha Kai of the U.S. Womens National Soccer Team and professional teams Amber Harris, Jessica Adair and Seimone Augustus of the WNBA

Photo via

Mens Olympic gure skater Johnny Weir

Former Olympic (Mexico City, 1968) decathlete Tom Waddell comes out, later founds the Gay Games. Tennis player Renee Richards, who transitioned from male to female in 1975, is refused participation in the 1976 U.S. Open as a woman. She sued and in 1977 won the right to compete as a woman.

Former NFL player Roy Simmons


2012 1996
LPGA golf star Mufn Spencer-Devlin Former mens gure skating champion Rudy Galindo Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. Womens National Soccer team and professional teams Lori Lindsey, professional womens soccer Stacey Skyora, Olympic and professional volleyball player Former NFL player Wade Davis
Ted Van Pelt/CC 2.0



Robbie Rodgers of the U.S. Mens National Soccer team comes out as he retires Retired NFL player Kwame Harris Britney Griner, #1 WNBA draft pick NBA player Jason Collins, the rst current player to come out in major U.S. mens team sports
Sources: Outsports, Buzzfeed, The Week, New York Times, ESPN

Publicity photo

Tennis champions Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King (Navratilova chose to come out, King was outed by a former partner)

Olympic diver Greg Louganis Champion womens professional downhill mountain biker Missy Giove LPGA legend Patty Sheehan

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Atlantas top teams:

Atlanta Braves

SUpport vs.
Which local pro teams are best on LGBT issues?

Major League Baseball

The Atlanta Braves is by far the most LGBT-inclusive of Atlantas mens professional teams, despite some signicant PR mishaps from individuals in the past. On June 18, the team will host its third-annual LGBT fan day, Out in the Stands the only mens team in the city to host such an event. But some Braves, like many other celebrities, have succumbed to what we might call bigoted-foot-in-mouth disease. The Out in the Stands event was rst organized in 2011 after Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was accused of using gay slurs toward fans at a game in San Francisco. McDowell allegedly shouted, Are you a homo couple or a threesome? at fans and imitated a sex act using a baseball bat. The franchise responded by suspending him. McDowell publicly apologized and underwent sensitivity training. Georgia Equality and PFLAG Atlanta also asked for and received a meeting with the clubs president, John Schuerholz. The team then put out an anti-bullying public service announcement that included star players Chipper Jones, Brian McMann, Tim Hudson and Jason Heyward. The 2011 PSA was part of the Anti-Defamation Leagues No Place for Hate campaign and included sexual orientation as an unacceptable reason to bully. McDowells unfortunate comments were not the rst homophobic misstep from one of the Atlanta Braves. In the most famous incident, in 1999, thenBraves relief pitcher John Rocker was quoted explaining why he would never play in New York. He listed a number of people with whom he would not like to have to take the train to the ballpark, including some queer with AIDS. Rocker was suspended for 60 days by Major League Baseball, but had suspension cut to 30 days by an arbitrator.

For two years running, LGBT fans have ocked to Turner Field for the Atlanta Braves Out in the Stands. This years event is slated for June 18. (Photo by Ryan Watkins)


Like the Falcons, the Atlanta Hawks, the citys NBA franchise, has not hosted a specic LGBT fan day. But the team issued a classy statement when Jason Collins, who played for the Hawks from 2009 2012, came out last month. We have great respect for Jason and his message today. Creating an environment where we support, respect, and accept our players individual rights is very important to us, Hawks Managing Partner and NBA Governor Bruce Levenson said in the statement. Jason represented everything that we look for as a member of the Atlanta Hawks and we are proud he wore our jersey.

The ocial positions of Atlantas top professional sports teams range from supportive to simply silent on LGBT issues. The same cant always be said for individual players and sta members, who (like plenty of other celebs) have found themselves, and their teams, facing erce public scrutiny after spouting o about gay athletes or gay rights in general.
At the game, Focus on the Family representatives handed out pamphlets for its website that features anti-gay content, including stating homosexuality is a development problem and also likened gay people to pedophiles. In response to the backlash from gay fans, the the Braves disinvited Focus on the Family from participating in future Faith Day events.

The Atlanta Dream has long recognized and welcomed its lesbian fan base. Lesbian fans have always been part of the teams season ticket holders and promotions, but the Dream held its rst ofcial LGBT Pride Night in August 2012, benetting local LGBT organizations. The team also welcomed a group from Black Gay Pride last year and partnered with GLAAD the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for a special ticket offer with a portion benetting the group. In 2011, the Dream featured out lesbian radio host (and GA Voice columnist) Melissa Carter as its Inspiring Woman of the Game describing over the arena loudspeaker her LGBT accomplishments and her work on behalf of organ transplantation. The Dream has also hosted meet-andgreets with players and executives for LGBT groups, including the HRC, lesbian networking group Fourth Tuesday, and the lesbianfounded Decatur Womens Sports League. The team has partnered with the Decatur Womens Sports League to sell tickets benetting the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative, which has now changed its name to the Health Initiative and expanded its mission to cover all LGBT people.

In 2004, then-Braves pitcher John Smoltz compared gay marriage to bestiality in an AP story about gay athletes. Smoltz, a devout Christian, criticized those who want to legalize gay marriage, the AP reported. Whats next? Marrying an animal? he asked derisively. In 2006, the Atlanta Braves also angered the LGBT community when they sponsored the rst Faith Day in the MLB that included the anti-gay Focus on the Family. or whatever? You know, what they prefer. He then told ESPN, I dont want to teach my kids those things. I teach my kid God, how God lives his life. And in April 2012, Falcons wide receiver Roddy White drew controversy when he tweeted, would you rather be gay or straight, come on you know that answer when a fan asked if he would rather lead the league in stats or win the Super Bowl. He then defended his biased analogy as freedom of speech when other fans complained. Esera Tualo, who came out in 2002 after his retirement from the NFL, played for the Falcons in 1998.

National football league
The Atlanta Falcons NFL team has not hosted a specic LGBT fan day or reached out formally to court gay football fans. After the NBAs Jason Collins came out late last month, Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel told Fox Sports Radio: Straight people are not announcing theyre straight, so why does everybody have to announce their sexuality

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel raised eyebrows with anti-gay comments after the NBAs Jason Collins became the rst male professional athlete to come out. (Photo via









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As mainstream sports get more inclusive, still many reasons to play on a gay team
By RYAN WATKINS Its hard to deny LGBT acceptance in sports is growing right alongside acceptance in society at large. Professional basketball player Jason Collins recently came out as a gay man. Former professional soccer player Robbie Rogers came out in April. Straight allies in sports, like NFL players Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo, are paving the way for other gay athletes to come out, as well. When basketball player Britney Griner came out earlier this month following her selection as number one overall in the WNBA draft, it was welcome, albeit not earth-shattering, news. Acceptance in mainstream sports is certainly moving in the right direction. But dont expect full integration of gay and straight recreational sporting leagues any time soon. Even as Americans become more open toward gay and lesbian athletes, the need for recreational gay and lesbian sports leagues continues. The glue that holds the league together, Barr said, is the friendly environment where women can come together to socialize in healthy surroundings. These friends they make turn out to be lifelong buddies and weve even had a few marriages come out of the league. Its wonderful to know that we have such a variety, so much talent and diversity out there, she said. The friendly nature of the league means that serious competitors might not nd what theyre looking for from the DWSL. Instead of spending money on trophies, we spend money on charities and making sure everyone has a place to play, Barr said. To date, the Decatur Womens Sports League has donated more than $70,000 to its primary beneciary, the Health Initiative, formerly known as the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative.



For some LGBT sports league participants, its all about the competition and the thrill of victory. For others, such leagues primarily provide a healthy way to socialize and make friends. Anne Barr, head of the Decatur Womens Sports League, says that most of the women who play in her league are looking for fun, not competition. The league has offered softball, basketball, badminton, volleyball, bowling and just launched a soccer league. The reason people play our league is that its a good alternative to bars, Barr said. Its good exercise. Its a great way to make friends and network. Though the Decatur Womens Sports League, founded in 2007, is not specically a league for lesbian amateur athletes, an overwhelming majority of its players are lesbian, Barr said. Since were 90 percent gay, its listed under a gay league but everyone is welcome, Barr said. We even have trans players. We have three trans players on one [softball] team. Besides a handful of trans players, Barr said that a few of the leagues players are straight. One of the leagues straight players wears a jersey with the name Token on the back. Their husbands usually dont mind, Barr joked.

The Hotlanta Softball League, which offers more competitive levels of play, follows the guidelines set by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance which allow three straight players per team. In 2011, a federal judge ruled that a gay recreational sporting league was within its legal right to limit the number of heterosexual players on its teams following a claim from three bisexual men that they were kicked off of their softball team during the 2008 Gay Softball World Series. The three men were later awarded trophies for their second place victory after a settlement was reached, but the rule they challenged is still the law of the gay softball land. The story made headlines around the world and raised an interesting question about the future of gay leagues and possible integration to allow more straight players. Michael Carlton has been involved with Hotlanta Softball League for two seasons. I like to be competitive, Carlton said. One of the teams that made the World Series picked me up and we compete to win the league. Its a huge part for me; winning is the ultimate goal. Carlton recently moved to Atlanta from Tampa. The new city brought a new opportunity to rekindle his athletic drive, he said. I had always had a job where I was re-

Top: The Hotlanta Softball League hosts the Big Peach tournament each year over Memorial Day Weekend. The leagues governing body has rules limiting the number of straight players allowed per team. Below: Anne Barr (center) seen here at the Decatur Womens Sports Leagues opening day in 2011, says the league is a good social alternative to bars. (Photos by Dyana Bagby, Sher Pruitt)

quired to work on Sundays, Carlton said. When I moved here, I looked to broaden my social circle and get out to do something. Ive been addicted ever since. Carlton grew up in South Carolina and played several sports during high school, including varsity football. I came out my junior year of high school, he said. I got outed. There were a couple of people that knew. One of the football players mother knew. Some of the parents tried to force me out of the team and make me take showers separately. It was the football players who rallied around me. I still enjoy organized sports because I feel like I can be myself. Hotlanta hosts the annual Big Peach Softball Tournament each year over Memorial Day Weekend. This years tournament will run May 24-25 and will feature teams from more than a dozen cities in three different divisions. Because the tournament is a NAGAA sanctioned event, certain guidelines, like the straight player rule, must be met.

Gay/straight integration?

When Montoya Jennings moved to Atlanta in 2005, he wanted to make new friends and

stay active. After attending a few Hotlanta Softball League games to see friends play, he decided to join in the fun. Ive pretty much played with the same group of guys but weve been on a few different teams. Ive played for the Atlanta Steel, A-Town Ballers, Jennings said. Jennings said the social aspects of playing on a team are his primary reason for playing ball. Softball, he said, offers something away from the bars and nightlife often associated with the LGBT community. We look at the gay scene as the club, but theres more to being in a club. Theres sports. Theres traveling. Theres so much you can do, he said. While hes found a home in the primarily gay Hotlanta Softball League, Jennings said it might be time to allow more integration of straight players into the league. It is the rule but it might be time to change with the times, Jennings said. In order for us to evolve, we have to break through the barriers on both sides. My hat is tipped to those players that are straight and play in a gay league. That shows their maturity and their growth. Some people cant deal with that.

Lost-n-Found aims to raise $1 million to open new shelter

Nonprot launches ambitious campaign to help LGBT homeless youth
By DYANA BAGBY Lost-n-Found Youth hopes to raise $1 million by October 2014 to meet the needs of hundreds of Atlanta homeless LGBT youth seeking permanent housing. The capital campaign was announced May 17 at Jungle. The clubs dance oor, typically lled with shirtless men dancing to popular DJs, was instead covered with trash, makeshift shelters and a snack table with garbage can lids used to hold the food as a way to show attendees how homeless people live. Along one wall were large pieces of cardboard explaining the needs to meet in the next year to help more LGBT homeless. Those needs include opening a thrift store that would bring in a constant source of income, a drop in center and, eventually, a new transitional living center. The organization has an annual budget of $100,000 funded 80 percent by individual donations. The organization is volunteer run. A thrift store, leaders say, can bring in $100,000 annually. It [$1 million] does seem like a daunting number but I have no doubt that the community will step up and help us to reach this goal, said Lost-n-Found Executive Director Rick Westbrook. A year and a half ago, people were telling us that we couldnt do what we have already done. We have done incredible work in that time and now its time to step it up and help as many kids as possible.






At a May 17 meeting announcing plans to raise $1 million, Lost-n-Found Youth displays its goals to help homeless LGBT young people. More photos @ (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

Lost-n-Found Youth 24-hour hotline: 678-856-7825



Currently the nonprot rents a house in the West End where it is able to house six young people at a time, but leaders aid the nonprot needs a space that houses at least 18 people. Westbrook said Lost-n-Found has maxed out its resources and he hopes the community will step forward to help fund these new projects to help as many homeless young people as possible. The organization is also looking into other funding opportunities, such as government grants. One person helped by Lost-n-Found is now a college student at Georgia State University. Michael Hodges, 20, who is gay, said he was living in another shelter before he found out about Lost-n-Found.

Hodges said he was raised by his grandparents, but when they died when he was 16, he went to live with an aunt in Covington, Ga. He paid her rent using survivor benets he received from his grandparents and when that money ran out, his aunt kicked him out of her home, he said. Depressed with nowhere to go, he said he attempted suicide and was taken to Georgia Regional Hospital, which discharged him to a homeless shelter after he recovered. He stayed at that shelter for a month before moving into Lost-n-Founds facility and stayed there about two months before enrolling in college and moving into a campus dorm. He now lives with his boyfriend. One of their biggest helps is I met with other people who were in the community who were gay and successful at life, Hodges said. This let me know my life is not helpless. I know I can do something and help the community. The hardest part for Lost-n-Found is not just nding shelter for youth, but helping them feel better about themselves, Hodges said. When you have been homeless and have really low self esteem, it can be difcult to live. But after their help Im doing 300 percent better, he said.

Board members said by taking on the issue of homeless LGBT youth, they opened a Pandoras box of other needs and more people needing help than they imagined. The only way to resolve the problem is to provide more resources and that takes money. Unfortunately, the problem is bigger than we thought. We estimate 250-300 LGBT kids on the streets right now, said board member Paul Swycord. The project timeline announced by Lostn-Found: May 2013 Capital campaign is announced and a host home pilot program begins. The host home is a program seeking volunteers to house homeless LGBT youth in their homes. Target fundraising goal for this month is $30,000. July 2013 Thrift store opens. Board members are seeking a place near Cheshire Bridge Road and Midtown. A thrift store would provide a source of funding for the nonprot as well as a clothing closet and furniture bank for Lost-n-Found clients. The store would also offer on-the-job training for clients. The board estimates the thrift store will bring in $100,000 annually. The fundraising goal to be met by the end of this month is $130,000. October 2013 Drop-in center opens with

one-paid staff at $30,000 a year. The center would provide a place for homeless youth get hot meals, clothing, medical treatment, showers and other necessities. A drop-in center serves those who are not yet willing or eligible to move into a transitional living space while at the same time giving Lost-n-Found volunteers a chance to serve homeless youth daily. The organization is hoping to nd a space in Midtown or the Old Fourth Ward within walking distance of a MARTA station. The search for a new transitional living facility also begins this month. Fundraising goal by the end of this month is $400,000. April 2014 Lost-n-Found hopes to have raised its $1 million goal by this time and break ground on the new transitional living space. October 2014 New transitional living space opens. A 4,000 square-foot site has been located and Lost-n-Found leaders are working on a plan with the owners of the building to renovate it and occupy it rent-free for 15 years. While the $1 million goal is what is needed to make sure Lost-n-Found helps as many homeless LGBT youth as possible, the organization does have a contingency plan for smaller facilities, such as the thrift store and drop-in center. We have a lot of kids on the street, Westbrook said. These are our kids. We need to take care of them.




JustUs ATL marks one-year anniversary

LGBT youth groups strategic plan includes opening own space
By DYANA BAGBY After being red from a well-paying restaurant job, Lance Berlin, who is transgender, was unsure what to do. Then he took a hike up Stone Mountain with members of JustUs ATL. Thats when I decided to get involved with the community, said Berlin, 25, who believes he lost his job due to his gender identity. Now working at a Midtown gay bar, Berlin has made organizing with JustUs ATL a major part of his life. He feels the organization is critical for all youth, especially for trans-identied youth like himself. JustUs ATL enabled him to meet other youth he could relate to and put him on a path to ensure others will always have a place to go. I had so much despair after I got red, he said, explaining how JustUs ATL gave him a much-needed outlet. We [queer young people] need all the help we can get. There are gay bars, but if you are younger than 18, what do you do? Berlin asked. There really is no outlet for LGBT youth. So it is important to provide that outlet. We are a one-of-a-kind organization and one of the most important in Atlanta, he said.

Lance Berlin (left) and Chris Kontopidis, organizers for JustUs ATL, say the youth-run organization hopes to have its own space by the end of the year. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)




JustUs ATL celebrates its one-year anniversary on Saturday, May 25, at the Rush Center, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is an all-ages event and includes a dinner buffet. Alcoholic beverages will be available for those 21 and up. There will also be speeches and performances from youth and a meet-and-greet for teenagers. JustUs ATL members will unveil their strategic plan at the celebration. The plan includes a year-end goal of securing funding to afford their own space, said organizer Chris Kontopidis. The Atlanta chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence recently awarded JustUs ATL a $2,000 grant. At a town hall meeting in April 2012, JustUs ATL founders said they wanted to buy a space for approximately $42,000 with a $2,000 per month mortgage. They had hoped to do so by September 2012. No specic fundraising goal has been revealed yet. Konotipidis said the group wants to secure enough to buy or even rent a space. We want to have a check-in center where youth can come and be safe and comfortable that they dont have now, Berlin said. Currently, JustUs ATL meets at donated

JustUs ATL one-year anniversary celebration Saturday, May 25, 6 9 p.m. The Phillip Rush Center 1530 DeKalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307

space from Positive Impacts MISTER Center and at the Rush Center. Discussion groups are JustTeens for those 13-17 and JustYouth for those ages 18-28. There is also the popular TransIt! group for those who are transgender, gender non-conforming and/or gender-questioning youth ages 13-28. Basically we want to discuss how we plan to expand, Kontopidis said. We want to have a physical location. Whats already happening is we hold weekly groups and rotate topics, Kontopidis added. We have a volunteer counselor who facilitates the groups and offers group and one-on-one counseling. What wed like to offer is three sessions a week and also one-on-one drop-in hours three times a week. JustUs ATL is expanding its mental health services and providing internships and leadership training. The group also plans to offer resources online and establish a hotline. I want to help make the city a better place for LGBTQ youth and give them something I never had when I was younger, Berlin said.




Atlanta Human Relations Commission dormant since 2010

By DYANA BAGBY Founded in 2000, the Atlanta Human Relations Commission is charged with enforcing the citys non-discrimination ordinance, which prohibits bias in a variety of categories, including sexual orientation, and covers employment, housing and public accommodations. Victims of alleged bias can le complaints with the commission, which investigates the claims. If commissioners agree that illegal bias occurred, they can recommend the mayor issue punishments such as nes or the loss of city licenses. Because sexual orientation discrimination is not banned under state or federal law, the commission is particularly important to gay Atlantans as one of the few available venues to seek justice. But the HRC has not met since 2010 and no one in City Hall knows why. When GA Voice began asking city ofcials what happened to the HRC, it apparently prompted an effort to start naming appointees to reconstitute the board. City Council President Ceasar Mitchell did not know why the commission stopped meeting, but said in a statement to the GA Voice on May 21 that the HRC has been dormant for far too long. Such an important advocacy group that provides the opportunity for the City of Atlanta to lead in non-discriminatory practices for all citizens needs to be revived, and as soon as possible, Mitchell said. I look forward to making my appointments in the coming weeks, and will encourage the members of the Atlanta City Council to do the same. Mayor Kasim Reed has made the two appointments he is tasked with making to the seven-member board, one in early March and the other in early May. City Council members are still in the process of making appointments, said Dexter Chambers, spokesperson for the council. Any complaints that would have been made to the HRC would have gone directly to Mayor Reeds ofce, said Chambers. Requests to the mayors ofce for comment about what happened to the HRC went unanswered. A request for comment from Alex Wan, the only openly gay member of the City Council, also went unanswered.

Board charged with enforcing citys gay-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance

Left: Mayor Kasim Reed is being criticized for allowing the citys Human Relations Commission to languish under his administration. (Photo by Bo Shell) Right: Lee Kyser (top) and Randy New drew national headlines in 2004 when they led a complaint with the Human Relations Commission against the Druid Hills Country Club for denying benets to their same-sex partners. Both were angry to learn the commission had lapsed. (Kyser photo via; New publicity photo)


For LGBT people living in Atlanta, the HRC is one of the few venues they have to challenge alleged discrimination, such as being red for their sexual orientation. The HRCs most noted and controversial case was in 2003-2004, when two gay members of the Druid Hills Golf Club said they were being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

Lee Kyser, a psychologist and a member of Druid Hills, sought full privileges for her partner, Lawrie E. Demorest, an attorney with Alston & Bird. Randy New, an attorney with Kitchens New Cleghorn, also sought full privileges for his partner, Russell Tippins, a radiologist. Privileges include allowing Demorest to bring their children to the pool without Kyser. Kyser and New argued before the commission that because the private golf club actually received much of its revenue by renting out its facility to other organizations including the sale of alcohol, it qualied as a public accommodation under the city ordinance and could not keep gay partners from sharing the same privileges as legally married spouses of golf club members. The commission in 2004 ruled in favor of New and Kyser and sent the decision to thenMayor Shirley Franklin. The controversial case became even more contentious when the mayor refused to take action, such as pulling the clubs liquor license or business license. Franklin then ned the golf club $90,000; the club in turn sued the city. The state legislature nally stepped in and passed a law in 2005 barring the city from enacting punishment against the golf club because by this time, Georgia voters had approved a constitutional amendment saying marriage was only between a man and woman. Keyser and New, who are still members of the club after negotiating privately to get

some of the privileges they wanted, said they were shocked to hear the HRC was inactive for so long. There is a great Dorothy Parker quote that describes this latest City Hall ploy What fresh hell is this? New said. The problem was and is that the tools to enforce any Human Rights Commission ndings of a violation of the ordinance lie in the mayors ofce, he said. But I actually know what fresh hell this is. Our community needs merely to look at the city election date of Nov. 5 to understand that we are being played by the mayor and City Council yet once more, he said. Kyser was no kinder in her criticism of the citys decision to let the commission fall by the wayside. She was angry with the mayor and also Wan, who she said the gay community worked hard to help elect. Atlanta has a large gay and lesbian population and to not to have that ordinance and this commission is to not have anything to help protect us, she said. My reaction is the city is not serious about protecting its citizenship. If it doesnt have anybody to enforce the [non-discrimination] ordinance, why even have the ordinance? It just makes it a joke, she said.


The rst notication went out to the may-

or and council members from the citys municipal clerks ofce on March 4 that appointments to the commission needed to be made. The mayors appointment of David Holder, an IT specialist and president of the Mechanicsville Civic Association, was made March 1 and approved by the council on March 18, Chambers said. Reed also appointed non-prot specialist Vernetta Nuriddin on May 6. According to rules of the commission, the seven members are to hold three-year, staggered terms. Two are to be made by the mayor, two by the president of the council and one from each at-large council member. For example, Councilmember Michael Bond, Post 1 at-large, will work with council members from Districts 1 through 4 to decide on one appointment. At-large Post 2 Councilmember Aaron Watson worked with council members from District 5 through 8 and is appointing Charlie Frew, executive director of Jerusalem House, to the commission at the request of Wan, who represents District 6, according to Watsons spokesperson. Wan was previously employed by Jerusalem House, an organization that works to provide housing to people with HIV/AIDS. Councilmember Lamar Willis, Post 3 at large, will work with council members representing Districts 9 through 12 to make an appointment.




Gay state reps, Decatur mayor honor International Day Against Homophobia
Governors oce censored event to Mistreatment Awareness Day
While it may have only been Mistreatment Awareness Day to Gov. Nathan Deal, a crowd turned out May 17 for Georgias observance of the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia. The Friday evening gathering on the lawn at First Christian Church of Decatur featured keynote speaker Rev. Ray Waters, entertainers, and a candlelight vigil. State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) presented a resolution honoring the International Day Against Homophobia signed by Georgias three openly lesbian state lawmakers Waites and Reps. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) and Simone Bell (D-Atlanta). The event also received ofcial recognition from the City of Decatur, signed by Mayor Jim Baskett, which was presented by Drenner, according to IDAHO organizer Betty Couvertier. For the second year in a row, event organizers requested an ofcial proclamation from the governors ofce. And for the second year in a row, Deals ofce sanitized the name to Mistreatment Awareness Day and removed all specic references to sexual orientation and gender identity. Laura Douglas-Brown

For more photos from this event, visit

Photos by Katina Lear




Ginsburg on Roe v. Wade: Do recent abortion comments signal her vote on gay marriage?
Experts seek clues to how Supreme Court will rule next month
By LISA KEEN LGBT activists view U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a likely vote for equal protection in the two pending major cases involving marriage for same-sex couples. But mainstream media outlets recently jostled that condence by noting that she continues to express the view that the landmark abortion rights decision, Roe v. Wade, went too far too fast. If the courts most veteran supporter of equal rights for women believes Roe moved too far too fast, could she be urging an incremental approach to another controversial issue marriage for same-sex couples? The court heard oral arguments in March in Hollingsworth v. Perry, involving Californias Proposition 8 ban, and U.S. v. Windsor, regarding the federal Defense of Marriage Act to prohibit recognition of marriages of samesex couples for the purpose of federal benets. A decision on each case will almost certainly be issued before the court adjourns the last week in June. Ginsburg rst made her too far too fast remark concerning Roe in February of last year. At a forum of Columbia Law School, she said she thinks the Roe decision triggered the erce public controversy that persists today over access to the abortion procedure. Its not that the judgment was wrong, said Ginsburg, but it moved too far too fast. Ginsburg wasnt on the Supreme Court in 1973, when the court issued the Roe decision. But, she noted, abortion law was in ux across the country. Unfettered right to abortion was available only in four states, and all other states limited to various degrees. The Texas law, challenged in Roe, was the most extreme in the nation, she noted. It said a woman could not have an abortion unless it was necessary to save her life. In a 7 to 2 decision, the Roe decision said laws criminalizing abortion violate the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, which protects against state action the right to privacy, including a womans qualied right to terminate her pregnancy in the rst trimester Ginsburg suggested she thinks the Supreme Court should have limited its decision to just the Texas law, rather than the broadly reaching decision. Then, she said, it would have put its imprimatur on the side of change and continued in the direction in which [the country was]

Left: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently said the court went too far too fast with its 1973 decision legalizing abortion. Some experts wonder if she will take a similarly incremental approach to gay marriage. (Ofcial photo) Above: Same-sex marriage supporters rally outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2013. Decisions in the landmark cases are expected by the end of June. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

heading on the right to abortion. At the May 11 forum at the University of Chicago Law School, she said simply that the Roe decision was too sweeping, and that it gave opponents of access to abortion a target to aim at relentlessly. My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change, she said. The court can put its stamp of approval on the side of change and let that change develop in the political process.

be resolved one way or the other [by the Supreme Court] until public preferences become more settled. The Supreme Court ought to avoid a nal judgment on the constitutionality of marriage laws discrimination against lesbian and gay couples until the nation is substantially at rest on the issue, wrote Eskridge. Admittedly, that moment is coming more rapidly than anyone predicted, but that moment has not yet arrived. In fact, since Eskridge wrote that essay, seven states have approved marriage equality laws.


That was enough to set off another round of speculation: Could she be signaling an incremental approach to the two marriage cases? She knows were all going to immediately say, What does this tell us on the marriage equality cases that shes going to rule in the narrowest way possible? said Lawrence ODonnell, host of MSNBCs The Last Word, a political talk show. In the editors blog of the New York Times May 13, Lincoln Kaplan wrote, its not the courts job to game out public response; its the courts job to protect constitutional rights. Not everyone agrees. Gay law professor William Eskridge Jr. was one of several essayists in the symposium in 2011 to argue that the conict over marriage for same-sex couples ought not


But LGBT legal activists dont seem too troubled that Ginsburgs remarks are signaling a desire to cool the courts decisions in the marriage cases to match the publics temperature. First, notes Nan Hunter, the likelihood the Supreme Court will rule on the merits of the Proposition 8 dispute seem extremely small. Many Supreme Court observers have speculated the court will rule that Yes on 8 proponents did not have standing to appeal a federal district court ruling that struck down Proposition 8. Such a ruling would likely allow same-sex couples to resume marrying in California, but it would not expand marriage rights around the country. Second, notes Freedom to Marry Executive Director Evan Wolfson, recent polls indicate Americans are ready for the Supreme Court

to do its job and uphold the freedom to marry and equal protection under the law. A Gallup Poll conducted May 2-7 of 1,535 adults nationwide found 53 percent said marriage for same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid. Only 45 percent said should not, and three percent were unsure. Third, said Kate Kendell, head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Justice Ginsburg said nothing during oral arguments that suggested that she has any intention of ruling against same-sex couples based on concerns about Roe or anything else. And while Lambda Legals legal director Jon Davidson expressed frustration at Ginsburgs remarks concerning Roe, he said the right to access to abortion and the right to a marriage license have signicant differences. Roe dealt with certain restrictions on reproductive freedom, where the Court had to draw certain lines about precisely which abortion restrictions were constitutional and which were not and where there was little prior, on point Supreme Court precedent, said Davidson. By contrast, the laws denying same-sex couples the right to marry do not involve such calibrated distinctions, and numerous cases have already ruled that the Constitution protects the fundamental right to marry and that discrimination based on sexual orientation cannot be based on moral grounds or a desire to treat gay people unequally.


File photo



Photo by Dyana Bagby

Gay Georgians go to Washington, UGA goes soft, Minnesota and more

new information and referral service it hopes will connect those in need with more than Ga. Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) has been 25,000 local providers. Information and Referral Assistance will honored by the White House as one of 10 openly gay elected or appointed ofcials named as allow those in need to nd solutions that match unique needs, such as income and Harvey Milk Champions of Change. The May 22 ceremony took place on Har- other factors, the Health Initiative says. It will vey Milks birthday and honors the LGBT of- be a free service thanks to a grant from the cials for their commitment to equality and Atlanta Regional Commission. Its also open to those with disabilities, not just elpublic service. ders. For more information, email When President Obama or humously awarded Harvey Milk READ call 404-688-2524, extension 116. the Medal of Freedom in 2009, he praised his leadership and courMORE ON age in running for ofce. Today, we SOFT BENEFITS ONLY FOR honor Harvey Milks legacy in these DOMESTIC PARTNERS AT UGA 10 outstanding public servants, who The University of Georgia will will surely inspire the next generabegin to offer some soft benets tion of public servants, said Valerie to employees domestic partners, Jarrett, senior adviser to President but the plan falls far short of what Obama, in a statement. LGBT staff and allies requested. School ofcials announced May 20 that the Bell is the rst out African-American lesbian in the nation elected to a state legislature; university will offer employees the option to she was rst elected to the Georgia General As- buy benets like dental and vision insurance for their domestic partners, the Atlanta Joursembly in 2009. nal-Constitution reported. These benets are paid for by the employees GA. GAY VETERAN TO TESTIFY BEFORE U.S. and have been in place at several other state COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Atlanta activist Danny Ingram, who was universities for years. LGBT staff at UGA had discharged from the military under Dont Ask, requested full benets, including health insurDont Tell and serves as president of American ance, and had suggested options for paying for Veterans for Equal Rights, is set to testify May the benets if no state funds could be used. Hank Huckaby, chancellor for the Univer31 before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights sity System of Georgia, told outgoing UGA Presin Washington, D.C. The brieng is titled, Is the Federal Gov- ident Michael Adams in a letter this month ernment Adequately Protecting the Civil Rights that the school could offer benets paid for by of Our Veterans and Service Members Who employees, but in order to offer health insurHave Fought for Our Rights? Ingram was spe- ance, it would have to be privately funded, privately insured, privately accounted for and cically invited to address LGBT issues. Ingram said he plans to discuss how privately administered. Adams said that requirement means ofthe Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against same-sex married service mem- fering health benets will, unfortunately, rebers, the ongoing ban on transgender service quire further study, the paper reported. The ght for full domestic partner benets members, streamlining the process to upgrade Less than Honorable discharges for at UGA got a boost last year when the schools University Council approved a resolution seeLGBT veterans, and more. This is a great opportunity to take a nal ing full domestic partner benets. The UGA swing at DOMA just before the upcoming Su- proposal, which originated with the campus staff LGBT group GLOBES, called on UGA to pay preme Court decision in June, Ingram said. for the health benets from other funding if the state blocked it. SAGE ATLANTA ANNOUNCES REFERRAL






ing Minnesota the 12th state to allow same-sex couples to marry. The legislation, approved by the state Senate the day before, continues an unprecedented momentum toward marriage equality, with Minnesota being the sixth state to approve marriage equality in the past six months and the third to do so in the past two weeks. Rhode Islands legislature and governor approved a marriage equality law May 2. Delawares legislature and governor did so May 7. For now, Minnesotas approval means that 18 percent of the U.S. population now lives in a state which provides marriage equality. The law will go into effect Aug. 1.



Specically geared toward LGBT seniors, the Health Initiatives SAGE Atlanta program offers a variety of services for Atlantas LGBT elders. On May 17, the program announced a


Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed a marriage equality bill into law May 14, mak-

The National Organization for Marriage has announced plans to sue the IRS over claims that the tax agency stole and released its 2008 tax records, which were then leaked to the Human Rights Campaign, the nations largest gay political group. In addition to being our principal combatant in the war on traditional marriage, the HRCs president at the time was serving as a co-chair of President Obamas reelection campaign. This is a chilling set of circumstances that should ring alarm bells across the nation, said NOM President Brian Brown. The lawsuit will be brought forward by ActRight Legal Foundation in federal district court in the District of Columbia.

Photo by Laura Douglas-Brown

PO Box 77401 | Atlanta, GA 30357 404-815-6941 | Editor: Laura Douglas-Brown Deputy Editor: Dyana Bagby Web Manager: Ryan Watkins Art Director: Bo Shell



Gay Groundhog Day
Good news just keeps coming at the national level, but here at home, its the same old story
By LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN Remember Groundhog Day, the 1993 lm in which Bill Murray has to keep repeating the same day over and over again? Covering LGBT issues here in Georgia heck, being an LGBT Georgian sometimes seems like that. I felt this way again May 17 when Karen Handel announced her bid for the U.S. Senate seat being left open by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (D-Ga.). The race had already drawn a crowd of GOP big wigs, including U.S. Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston, and all are genuinely awful when it comes to gay issues. On the most recent Human Rights Campaign Congressional scorecard on LGBT issues, Broun scored a measly 15 out of 100, while Gingrey and Kingston earned a at 0. Given that crowd, LGBT Georgians could already expect to be in the crosshairs in a race to the right for the GOP nomination. But if the race was likely to go anti-gay before, the entrance of Handel virtually guarantees it. No stranger to statewide campaigns, Handel served as Georgias secretary of state and ran unsuccessfully for governor. In those races, she tried to paint herself as a true conservative, like the rest of the right-wing ilk that gets elected here. The problem for Handel and it has been a problem for both her and us in every statewide race she runs is that she comes off sounding more like a political opportunist than purist, thanks to her campaigns a decade ago for Fulton County Commission. Back then, you see, Handel courted gay voters, sought endorsements from gay groups, and attended a gay election forum. Now, of course, she does everything she can to distance herself from that moderate record. As Handels past races show, her opponents gay monster. The problem, of course, is that unlike either The Daily Show or Groundhog Day, this isnt really a comedy. It will be tempting to laugh when two-faced Karen gets her due, as she inevitably will in this race. But its not funny that this is the level of homophobia required to win a statewide race in Georgia, and whether the ultimate winner is Handel or one of her more consistently anti-gay brethren, we know who the loser will be: LGBT Georgians, again.





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Remember Groundhog Day, the 1993 lm in which Bill Murray has to keep repeating the same day over and over again? Being an LGBT Georgian sometimes feels like that.

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consistently bring up her history on gay rights to try to show that she is not as holier-thanthou conservative as they are, and Handel in turn takes pains to show she can be just as anti-gay as the boys. It happened when she ran for secretary of state, and it happened with a vengeance in her 2010 run for governor, where she lost to Nathan Deal in the Republican primary. Deal and fellow GOP candidate John Oxendine (Remember him? Hes the jerk who, as state insurance commissioner, tried to block the city of Atlanta from offering domestic partner benets) went after Handels Fulton record. Handel offered absurd excuses even after GA Voice revealed emails that showed her correspondence with a gay political group then, and she even went so far as to speak out against gay adoption and gay parents to prove her homophobic credentials. The whole thing was so ridiculous it even sparked a segment on Jon Stewarts Daily Show mocking the campaigns focus on the

Luckily, the gay story that seems to keep repeating these days at the national level is one where we are winning. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed a marriage equality bill into law May 14 making his state the third to approve marriage for same-sex couples in just two weeks, and the sixth in the past six months. The marriage equality law also came only six months after Minnesota became the rst state ever to have voters reject a ban on samesex marriage. The list of states where gay couples can marry (or will be able to marry when the laws take effect) now totals 12 plus the District of Columbia: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Think about that: In 2004, Massachusetts became the rst state to allow gay couples to marry. In less than a decade, weve reached 12 almost 25 percent of our states. That number could increase to 13, and include the most populous state in the nation, if the U.S. Supreme Court rules against Californias Proposition 8 in one of two gay marriage cases currently pending before the high court. LGBT Americans could also gain federal recognition of our legal marriages if the court issues a big ruling in the other marriage case, which challenges the Defense of Marriage Act. Those rulings are expected by the end of June, just in time for the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots that sparked modern Gay Pride celebrations. Lets hope we get decisions that Handel and her friends will hate.


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movie The Breakfast Club, in which you starred, and your jazz-vocal rendition is inspired and delightful, revealing a whole new side to the song. Whose idea was it to include it on the disc? Molly Ringwald: It was my idea. We were recording the album not long after John Hughes had passed away. He was obviously on my mind a lot. I wanted to do something, some kind of tribute to him. You describe your new book, When It Happens to You, as a novel in stories. Which story came rst and when did you know that you wanted write more about the characters? The story that came rst was actually The Harvest Moon, the rst story that appears in the collection. Originally, I had the idea to write a collection on the theme of betrayal, which was what was interesting to me. Thinking about something that sort of connects us all. I thought that it was a very rich subject. I started it with this marital betrayal. As soon as I wrote that story it came out a lot longer than I had anticipated which meant that I was going to have to rethink the other stories. Originally, I had intended to write quite a few stories and have it be a lot shorter. But it didnt turn out that way. Once I wrote the rst story I realized that I wanted to stick with those characters and write around those stories and nd out how they had gotten there. Thats when the novel in stories idea came to take shape. My Olivia, about a mother dealing with her sons gender identity, is one of the stories from the book that really stayed with me. What was the inspiration for that story? Thats nice to hear. They were a couple of different inspirations. The rst is that I have people in my life that I know are transgendered adults. Most of them are artists and they are ourishing in who they are, now. But I often thought about everything that I didnt see, when I didnt know them, what it was like with their families and how they became the person they were, and the choices that their parents made. I also came at it as a mother of three children, and what I would do in that situation. Thirdly, my daughter went to preschool with a child Im quite sure is transgendered. Actually, three different children, come to
Far more than an 80s teen movie star, Molly Ringwald has recently released a CD and her second book, When it Happens to You: A Novel in Stories. Out in paperback this month, the book includes a story about a mother raising a transgender child. (Publicity photo)




Molly Ringwald dazzles with new CD and short stories, including tale of trans child

The name Molly Ringwald will probably mean something different to you depending on how old you are. If you were a movie-going adolescent or adult in the early 1980s, Ringwald began making a strong impression on audiences in Paul Mazurskys Tempest, followed by the double whammy of the late John Hughes Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, not to mention Pretty In Pink. Other folks, who might have tuned in to Different Strokes and The Facts of Life, just prior to that, will remember her as Molly Parker on both shows. Ringwalds reign as the Queen of the Brat Pack ended by the late 1980s, although she continued to work regularly in lm and on TV. In the late 2000s, following a second marriage and motherhood, Ringwald had a full-scale career comeback, including stints on Broadway and the TV series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. But theres so much more to Ringwald than all that. Ringwald is the author of two books, most recently the stellar When It Happens To You: A Novel in Stories, which came out in paperback May 7. She is also quite a singer, and has been performing since she was a child, both on stage in musicals and with her jazz musician fathers band. Her rst CD, Except Sometimes (Concord), released in April, does a terric job of introducing listeners to a talented vocalist and skilled interpreter of other peoples songs. You close your CD with the track Dont You (Forget About Me). The song is best known through its association with the

think of it. Two were boys who were obviously going to be girls growing up. One of them was a girl who identied as a boy. It was interesting to watch the parents struggle with that and come to terms with it. One of them was coming to terms with it and, I think, doing everything right. The other one was struggling in a way that I dont know whats going to happen. I think all of those were my mind a lot and were interesting and intriguing to me. I felt like I wanted to explore that in writing. You did a wonderful No on Prop 8 PSA a few years ago and you received an Equality Award from Equality California. I would imagine that as an actress, both in theater and in lm, you probably have a fair share of friends in the LGBT community. When did you become aware of a following in the LGBT community? A lot of it has to do with my outspokenness for the cause. I think that really touched a lot of people. Ive tried to show up as often as possible and done a lot of work for AIDS and Housing Works and AmFar. Its denitely a mutual adoration [laughs].



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Theater on the Fringe

Upcoming fest features trans, gay plays
Luck of the draw determines the participants in the Atlanta Fringe Festival. As fate would have it, two of the shows in the upcoming event have LGBT themes. The mission of the Fringe Festival is to provide a platform for indie, underground playwrights doing edgy work. In all, the second annual Atlanta Fringe festival, opening June 5, spotlights 24 shows, but the offerings are not chosen in traditional manners. Applicants are placed into a hat and drawn, says Diana Brown, the companys artistic director, although the company does reserve the option of saving a few spots at the end to make sure the event is balanced. We dont want to have 20 solo shows or shows just about white people, she says. But this seasons drawn/selected pieces were so diverse that no intervention was needed. We have everything from comedy and drama to solo works, even a circus piece, Brown says. While at GSU, Brown helped form Twinhead Theatre, a student-run group that has some queer members. She and members of the troupe visited the Minnesota Fringe Festival in 2006 and hoped to see one in the ATL soon. As it turns out, in 2010 the Little 5 Points Business Association shared plans to do some sort of festival in the spring, to complement the popular Halloween event in the fall, and use area theaters. Thus, last years Fringe Festival which also featured queer themes was born. One of this years LGBT productions is Its My Penis and Ill Cry if I Want To, by Chicago playwright Jamie Black, who is coming to Atlanta for the rst time. Featuring four men and four women, Its My Penis features monologues from the performers about gender and gender stereotypes. The show is about the difference between men and women, Black says. Society doesnt allow the integration of masculine and feminine characteristics; this looks at how that affects our lives. This is Blacks second fringe festival appearance for the play, following the New Orleans Fringe Festival earlier. The playwright identies as transgender and says he began his process back in 1994. His rst play dealt exclusively with his own coming out experience. While gay themes are prominent in todays


On Stage
Brer Rabbit & Friends Through May 26 at the Center for Puppetry Arts Gay director Spencer G. Stephens helms a version of this popular family fare.

Colleen McCreary courtesy of Aurora Theatre

Lark Eden Through May 26 at Aurora Theatre Lesbian director Melissa Foulger directs this epistolary play about the friendship between three Southern women.

Chicago playwright Jamie Black, who identies as transgender, performs his Its My Penis and Ill Cry if I Want To at the Atlanta Fringe Festival, set for June 5-9. (Publicity photo)



2nd Annual Atlanta Fringe Festival June 5 9

theater, lesbian issues are less so and trans issues are almost extinct. I am not sure why that is, he says. Maybe its more controversial. Its not talked about much. Yet Black feels the shows themes are relevant for all audiences. We are all human beings, he says. Men are supposed to behave a certain way and women are too, but we dont. Not all gay men are effeminate and not all lesbians are butch. On the Fringe Festival Tumblr site, organizers ask playwrights a list of serious and silly questions, including what would happen if Random Atlanta Couple Who Doesnt Ordinarily Go To These Sorts of Things happened to wander into your show blind. What happens to them? Are their minds blown? Are they freaked out? Are they seduced by your gentle artistry? Black, who is also a comedian, turned the question into a chance for humor. Well, if they come in blind, they might trip over the carpet runner. Then theyll sit and listen to what Im saying without any judgment because theyll have to use their other senses and be totally in tune with me, he wrote. And yes, their minds will be blown. And they will be touched in a deep way and go home and seduce each other in a whole new way.


The second LGBT-themed production, Loverslane, deals with two sisters and their quest to nd love via online dating. The sisters are young and have a gay brother who is 17, clos-

eted and dealing with his homophobic family. Eventually, he helps screw up his sisters dating process. Hillary Heath of the Atlanta-based Doing Stuff Badly Productions directs the world premiere of Weatherly Richardsons play. She calls the piece extremely timely. The generation upcoming is dedicated and dependent on technology; everyone is always on their laptop or phone, Heath says. Online dating is hard. Its hard to be yourself and sometimes we put on a front, but we should be tolerant of each other. The young characters are all Oglethorpe University graduates (as is Heath) but the places locale is intentionally ambiguous. Casual bigotry can happen anywhere, Heath says. It is not unique to one culture. And what would the Random Atlanta Couple Who Doesnt Ordinarily Go To These Sorts of Things think of Loverslane? The real magic of our show comes in Act Two when we ask all of the blind members of the audience to stand and be given the gift of sight, Heath responded. So I imagine, they will walk out of our show with a new perspective on the world. Ideally, this RACWDOGTTST also has a few million dollars to give away and awe-struck by our kind hearts and healing powers throws us a donation of a million each. In addition to the theater a total of 120 performances of 24 plays over ve days the Atlanta Fringe Festival features opening and closing night parties, plus other activities.


Seminar Through June 16 at Actors Express Gay director Freddie Ashley helms this tale of four writers getting more than they bargained for during a writing class lead by a world-class author.

BreeAnne Clowdus

The Book Club Play Through June 23 at Horizon Theatre A closeted gay man is part of the ensemble in this comedy about six friends/colleagues whose book club proceedings become part of a documentary.


The Boy and the Pink Bear June 20-23 at Southwest Arts Center Search The Boy and the Pink Bear on Ted Johnsons play looks at the relationship between a father and his young son, who devotion to his pet stuffed bear seems to imply his sexual orientation.

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Mexican food and an unwelcome surprise

A face from the past tests Robert and Lees love
Photo via Facebook

The infamous Atlanta heat and humidity were nally on their way. Except for the eyeclogging, car-covering pollen that turned the city yellow, it was hard to remember exactly when winter and spring changed places. For now, on the cusp of summer, the evenings remained mild and the air clear. In Atlanta, that meant the citys diners ooded restaurant patios to see and be seen. Robert remembered a time, 30 years ago, when it was nearly impossible to nd patio and sidewalk dining in Atlanta. Our beloved city council made even that difcult, as I recall, he said to Lee and Janet, who were dining with him at Zocalo on Tenth Street. Its menu was recently rejuvenated when Richard Sandoval, probably the nations bestknown Mexican chef and restaurateur, became a partner in the restaurant with founding owner-chef Lucero Martinez-Obregon. The three were celebrating something of a victory. The Atlanta Zoning Review Board had rejected Puritan-in-Chief Alex Wans proposed plan to de-eroticize Cheshire Bridge Road. The proposal would still go before the city councils Zoning Committee, which could ignore the recommendation. Meanwhile, Lees House of Gay Human Oddities, which satirized Wans effort, drew ever-larger crowds. Robert and Lee were now using the L word. Their 50th birthdays were coming up and it was also about a year since they rst met at Roberts Food Porn Supper Club. They were planning a birthday party-anniversary celebration. The Supper Club would have dinner on the grounds of Lees show. Janet, always a bit jealous of the attention Robert gave Lee, had come around to full support of their relationship. Hurry up, she said. We need to get out of here. Ive got a surprise for you. They skipped the restaurants perfect an and boarded Janets red Prius. They drove down Piedmont and no surprise turned right on Cheshire Bridge, passing Lees show and heading to BJ Roosters new location. As the three entered, a man appeared in front of them, blocking their entrance. He was blond, built, and appeared to be in his mid-30s. Hello, Lee, he said in that way people you dont want to see greet you. Lee took a step back and looked at Robert.




Zocalo 187 10th St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 404-249-7576 | This milestone restaurant it brought the rst authentic Mexican food to intown Atlanta continues to thrive. With Richard Sandovals partnership, its menu has gone a bit more upscale. About half the menu remains the same; some of the dishes tweaked. My favorite is still the chile relleno, but Sandovals chicken tinga is a particularly pleasant addition.

Hello, Gene, he said nervously. Gene looked at Robert and shook his hand. Robert introduced himself and smiled. So you would be Lees boyfriend? Gene asked. I guess you could say that, Robert replied, taking Lees hand. Lee interrupted. We need to go, he said. This can come to no good. Gene laughed. Well, Robert, he said, Im also Lees boyfriend. I woke up one morning in Florida and, after a year, he was gone. Not a word. No warning. Isnt that right, Lee? Im over it, but I heard youd set up the show here and I wanted closure, as they say. Lee sighed and turned toward Robert. Its more complicated than that. Ill explain later. Janet shook her keys and the three left. She dropped the silent couple at Roberts apartment and, for the rst time in weeks, Lee said he was going back to his hotel room. Can we talk about this tomorrow? he asked. Im too upset right now. Roberts heart was sinking but he knew it was the right thing. Surely a theologian who operated a freak show wouldnt lie to him! Ill call you tomorrow, he said.

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Food Porn is a ctional 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. Read the whole series online at

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Girlyman kids around, Vagina author heads back to ATL, and more
Three members of the queer band Girlyman have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their new kids music project, dubbed Django Jones after member Doris Muramatsus Chihuahua. With members Muramatsu, Nate Borofsky Tylan Greenstein and JJ Jones, Girlyman wowed audiences with beautiful harmonies and emotional songwriting. The band went on hiatus in 2012 and Greenstein recently released a solo album. Now Muramatsu, Borofsky and Jones want to take their sometimes silly songs to kids. The trio says they have been writing and recording songs for a debut album, D is for Django, and have 14 songs and ve jingles ready to mix, master and press to disc. Launched May 16, the campaign will be funded if $15,000 is donated by June 15. At press time May 21, donors had already pledged more than $4,100.

Buckhead Theatre. General admission tickets are $30 with a copy of the book. Tickets available @


Expect a sea of smiling faces in summery white attire as Premiere Party, the annual benet for CHRIS Kids, returns June 1 to Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery. This years silent auction and cocktail party, set for 6-10 p.m., is hosted by Brent Garner and Vandy Beth Glenn. General admission tickets are $50 at the door ($40) in advance; VIP tickets are $125. CHRIS Kids, which provides a variety of services including transitional living for young people in need, serves approximately 300 LGBT youth each year, according to leaders. The agency estimates LGBT youth make up 15-20 percent of their total clients. Funds raised at Premiere Party go exclusively to help LGBT youth with services like housing, counseling, GED preparation, birthday and holiday gifts, clothing, food and more. Get more details and more information @



Eve Ensler, who became a national sensation and feminist icon with her empowering and sometimes irreverent show The Vagina Monologues, visits Atlanta on May 31 to read from her new book, In the Body of the World. A memoir, the book connects her ght with uterine cancer to issues like the destruction of the environment and rape and violence against women in the Congo, which Ensler learned about when working there before her cancer diagnosis. The Atlanta reading is set for 6:30 p.m. at the

OurSong, Atlantas mixed lesbian and gay chorus, presents its spring concert, The Singing Heart, in two shows June 7-8. The June 7 show takes place at 8 p.m. at St. Bartholomews Episcopal Church in Atlanta. The June 8 show is at 8:15 p.m. at Clayton State University in Morrow. Tickets are $25 per show. A centerpiece of the show is a letter character Michael Tolliver wrote to his mother in Armistead Maupins Tales of the City. From the struggle with coming out, to the search for love, and the acceptance of self the Singing Heart reveals these yearnings with beauty and intensity, chorus leaders say. Details @

Alexandra Wyman/WireImage




Liberace in love
HBOs Behind the Candelabra looks beyond gay pianists legendary amboyance
It would be virtually impossible to make a lm about the life of gay entertainer Liberace and not have plenty of campy, over-the-top moments. But Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh largely focuses on the human story over the amboyance in his new HBO lm Behind the Candelabra, debuting May 26. Based on Liberaces six-year relationship with Scott Thorson and Thorsons memoir, Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace, the lm opens in 1977 as a young Scott (Damon) goes to Las Vegas with a new friend to see pianist Liberace (Michael Douglas) in concert. Scott goes backstage to meet the superstar and soon Liberace is enamored with him. The entertainer moves Scott in and puts him on the payroll, although there is a signicant age difference and Liberaces houseboy warns Scott he is but one of many whove shared Liberaces heart and bed. Scott dreams of becoming a veterinarian but quickly becomes content with his place in Liberaces fascinating new world hot tub romps, furs, a house beaming with opulence and servants. Over the years their relationship deepens and takes some odd twists. Liberace sees himself on late night TV and shrieks at his appearance (I look like my father in Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte,) and opts for extensive plastic surgery. He also cajoles Scott into surgery as well, via Dr. Jack Startz (Rob Lowe), wanting him to look more like a younger version of himself. At one point Liberace tells Scott that he wants to be his entire family his father, brother, lover, and best friend and shares his plan to legally adopt Scott, who is currently in the hands of foster parents and responds enthusiastically to the idea of nding a true home. Soderbegh shopped this lm around to studios (who all passed) before he landed the project on HBO. (Ironically, Candelabra will be playing theatrically around the world after its Cannes debut this week). That he has gotten two A-listers in the central roles speaks to the reputation he has developed in the industry. Both actors fully commit to the physical and emotional challenges and theres a realness to the relationship Liberace develops with Scott, even when it gets trickier and more complicated. Scott claims to be bisexual although he is


Behind the Caldlelabra stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon fully commit to the physical and emotional challenges that come with playing not-so-secret lovers Liberace and Scott Thorson. (Photos by Claudette Barius/HBO)



Behind the Candelabra HBO, debuts May 26, 9 p.m. Multiple airings to follow

never seen with a woman. He is something of a prude sexually, whereas Liberace has a robust sexual appetite. (Drenched in sweat after an evening encounter, Scott marvels at one point how Liberace can go at it four times in a day at his age.) Yet the relationship does go sour, with Liberace embracing an open sexuality and Scott getting more dependent on drugs as he realizes his personal and professional lot is merely being Liberaces latest boyfriend. After a robust rst hour the lm gets a little heavy-handed with the eventual break-up and some melodramatic moments. Ultimately Thorson sues Liberace and the case makes the tabloids, although Liberace never admits to being gay. Yet the two do make peace of sorts before Liberace dies. Even if theyve taken some historic license, Soderbergh and scriptwriter Richard LaGravenese evoke the late 70s and 80s impressively. Just as astute as the period detail the clothes, Liberaces mansion, Scotts goofy bangs though, is the mood of the time. Despite his outrageousness, Liberace kept his gay affairs private. Scott is utterly shocked in Las Vegas when a friend tells him no one knows Liberace is gay; the entertainer keeps a heterosexual appearance with beards such as gure skater Sonja Henie.

Around the time of their split, AIDS has become a national scare, and a newspaper article alludes to the death of Rock Hudson from the disease in 1985, shortly before Liberace dies of AIDS a year later. Some of the supporting characters (Scott Bakulas Bob Black and Cheyenne Jacksons Billy, Liberaces ex) dont have much depth, but one who denitely does is Startz, played by Rob Lowe with a suede tan and a face that barely moves. Its Lowes best work in years. Dan Akroyd and Debbie Reynolds are quite strong too, if almost unrecognizable, as Seymour Heller, Liberaces manager, and Frances, Liberaces mother. Although Scotts age is not specically stated, Damon is way too old for the character, who would have been a teenager when he met Liberace for the rst time. Yet Damon makes a convincing Thorson, especially as he deals with the later challenges the relationship brings and the inevitable jealously when Liberace turns his

attention to a younger showboy. Yet Behind the Candelabra is likely to be remembered most for Douglas, whose Liberace is far more than a caricature. Of course, the actor has his funny moments dealing with Liberaces extravagance but he never condescends, taking the character and his world seriously. In his private world, Liberace is unapologetic about who he is and what he wants. True, there is something a little disturbing about a man Liberaces age preying after teenage boys, but in Douglass portrayal, the affection for the men in his life, particularly Scott, is never in question even when he (and others) realize that it will waver. Douglas Liberace is a man in love with love and life. Soderbergh has claimed Candelabra is his last lm as a director, shortly after this years Side Effects. Its too early yet to tell how serious that declaration is, but if so hes bidding adieu on a high note.



Event spotlight MEMORIAL DAY

Charis Books screens the documentary Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984 1992 tonight at 7 p.m., Bwb appears with Chrisette Michele, who played Black Gay Pride in 2011, at 7:30 p.m. at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, Gay singer-pianist Michael Feinstein performs at 8 p.m. at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Singer-songwriter Jen Foster performs at 8 p.m. at Eddies Attic, Edie Cheezburger presents The Other Show on Fridays. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., show at 9:30 p.m. at Jungle, DJ Stan Jackson spins at 10 p.m. at the Heretic, Enjoy Mr./Mrs. Atlanta Eagle Bar Night at 10 p.m. at the Atlanta Eagle, Rupauls Drag Race sensation Raven rocks the joint at 11 p.m. tonight at Burkharts, www.burkharts. com Shavonna B. Brooks hosts Extravaganza at 11 p.m. Saturday nights at Burkharts,

Hosted by the gay Hotlanta Softball League, the Big Peach tournament brings dozens of teams from around the country to compete in three divisions, with plenty of social events as well.
Photo via Facebook

Photo by Dyana Bagby


The Decatur Arts Festival takes to the Decatur Square on Saturday and Sunday for two days of art, music, theater, childrens activities and more. Musical performances include Shawn Mullins on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and Delta Moon on Sunday at 4 p.m.

The Atlanta Rollergirls host a Basic Skills Workshop at 11 a.m., 1721 Wilmat Drive, Norcross, 30093, JustUsATL, a youth-run organization that provides a safe space for LGBTQQA youth, celebrates its rst anniversary with games, meet-and-greets, dinner and more, 6 9 p.m. at JustUsATL, Expect to see undergarments galore at the Boxers, Briefs & Bras Fashion Underwear & Swimsuit Show from 6 10 p.m. at Jungle, Gay singer-songwriter Lucas Mir celebrates his CD release concert at 7 p.m. at Eddies Attic, The Heretic hosts Country Night Dancing beginning at 8 p.m., followed by DJ Mike Pope. Play, Atlantas new Latino night, heats up at 10 p.m. Saturdays at Mixx, DJ Birdman graduates from high school and throws a party, with all kinds of merriment and special guests, 10 p.m. 3 a.m., LeBUZZ,


Gay humorist David Sedaris reads from his new book of essays, Lets Explore Diabetes with Owls, at 6 p.m. at the Egdewood Barnes & Noble bookstore in Edgewood, located at 1217 Caroline St.

Publicity photo by Charlie Gross

Bookmark to get your daily dose of local LGBT events.

Sounds by DJ Roots Queen & DJ E spice up the LovHer: Memorial Day Edition party, 10:30 p.m. 3 a.m. at Takorea, Check out The Q, as four drag queens hold a roundtable kaffee klatsch discussion with local celebs and authors, cooking segments and more. 9-10:30 p.m. then DJ Alex Acosta spins for a gym-themed Locker Room Party at Jungle, My Sisters Room hosts the Traxx Girls Memorial Party with DJ Ree De La Vega,


The Heretic brings the beach to the ATL at the Summer Kick Off Party, with swimsuit contest and DJ Mike Pope and more. Benets Joining Hearts. 3 9 p.m. at the Heretic, Ladies at Play hosts a Memorial Day Weekend party at AJA beginning at 10 p.m.,

The Atlanta Jazz Festival brings music, vendors and more to Piedmont Park from Saturday to Monday, including a performance at 7 p.m. Saturday by Meshell Ndegeocello, who is bi and known for her politically charged lyrics.


Friends on Ponce continues its Pensacola on Ponce holiday party weekend,

Photo by Gabriella Nissen



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Event spotlight
Photo by Bo Shell Photo by Brent Corcoran/RNZ Photography

Activist/Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence member Rick Westbrook turns 50 and many of his friends celebrate him with a (Pork) roast, benetting Lostn-Found Youth. 6 9 p.m. at Jungle,


Angelica DPaige hosts Blue Monday Karaoke at 11:30 p.m. at Burkharts,


Tuesdays, unwind with a sing-along with pianist David Reeb at 8 p.m. at Mixx, Tuesdays, Thursdays and early Saturdays are Three Legged Cowboy country nights at the Heretic,


Feed your inner feminist! Dine out for Charis Circle from 5 10 p.m. at Wahoo Decatur, Phoenix and Nicole Paige Brooks host Dragamaniacs, an open mic drag talent show, at 10 p.m. at Jungle, DJ Lydia Prim spins for Cubby Underwear Night. 10 p.m. at Atlanta Eagle,



Austins DJ C-Rail joins the hirsute crowd for the popular Bear Invasion, 9 p.m. 3 a.m. at the Heretic, Author and former Atlanta resident Yolo Akili reads from his new inspirational book Dear Universe at 7 p.m. at Charis Books & More, See familiar faces and get to know new friends at the Meet Project Live Love event and social event for the organization, whos mission is to inuence culture through love in action by engaging, networking and mobilizing people who are motivated by love. 7 p.m., East Andrews & Andrews Upstairs, A foursome of artists in the round John McCutcheon, Michelle Malone, Caroline Herring and Levi Lowrey perform at 8 p.m. at the Red Clay Theatre,

Best Coast plays at 8:30 p.m. at Variety Playhouse, Swank, a new monthly event for women, debuts. 10 p.m. 2:30 a.m. at 10th & Piedmont, Strap on your gear and get ready for to see uniforms aplenty at the Military Edition of Manshaft, 10:30 p.m. 2:30 a.m. at Cockpit, The LeBUZZ staff does double duty at the 4th annual Turnabout, performing duets, solos and then making drinks at 11 p.m. at LeBUZZ,

Charis Books hosts author Fiona Zedde for a book release party in honor of Broken in Soft Places, 7:30 9:30 p.m.,


The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival kicks off with good eats and great events through June 2 at various Midtown Atlanta restaurants/sites, Daryl Hall and John Oates perform live at 8 p.m. at Chastain Park,


Photo via Facebook

Meak Productions hosts a mixer and press conference detailing future plans to celebrate the organizations 10th anniversary, 5 9 p.m. at 200 Ofce,



Fall Out Boy performs at 8 p.m. at the Tabernacle,

Photo via Facebook

CHRIS Kids hosts its annual Premiere Party benetting area children, youth and families, with DJ Vicki Powell spinning. 6 10 p.m. at Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery,

Publicity photo



As part of Stonewall Month, Atlanta Pride and Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America offer an Insider history of LGBT Atlanta, 11 a.m. at Open Door Community, Cirque Nuit, the 2013 version of the Atlanta Cotillion/AID Atlanta fundraiser, is tonight from 7 p.m. 1 a.m. at the Delta Heritage Museum Hangar, Three years of love, looks and diversity are honored at H2(H)O3, the Bedlam third-anniversary party. 9 p.m. 3 a.m., Wetbar of the Atlanta W Downtown, The weekend Peachtree Hills Festival of the Arts offers a park full of arts and crafts, with an emphasis on Georgia artists. Peachtree Hills Recreation Center,
Publicity photo Publicity photo


DJ Christopher Kind spins at 11:30 p.m. for Jungle University,



Gay comedian Ross Mathews of Chelsea Lately cracks jokes at his Man Up! Tour at 8 p.m. at the Buckhead Theater,



Atlanta Pride kicks off Stonewall Month with the Sylvia Rivera Community Event, 12:30 - 2 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center, A summer staple with arts, food and fun, the Virginia Highland Summerfest takes place this weekend, Get ready to croon Seasons of Love at the Rent sing along and dinner, 7 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center, Occupy Our Homes celebrates its one year anniversary party, 7:30 11 p.m., Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, 60s beach party realness/music and a screening of Psycho Beach Party highlight Barnacle Babes at 10:30 p.m. at Marys,

PFLAG-Atlanta hosts a support group meeting, 7:30 9 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Every Tuesday, sing out at Mary-oke starting at 9 p.m. at Marys, VJ Marco Polo puts on a night of showtunes every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. at Amsterdam Atlanta, The second annual Fringe Festival begins tonight and runs through June 9, including the trans show Its My Penis and Ill Cry if I Want To and the gaythemed LoversLane at 7 Stages, On Wednesdays, catch the Lust & Bust Show with host Lena Lust and featuring Shawnna Brooks. 11 p.m. at Blakes on the Park,


Stevie and Lindsey and the rest of Fleetwood Mac perform at 8 p.m. at Philips Arena, Sting performs at 8 p.m. at Chastain Park,




Indigo Girls and Joan Baez play two shows at 7 p.m. at Chastain Park Amphitheatre,


Billy Idol rocks at 8:30 p.m. at the Tabernacle,



A session specically addressing legal issues for same-sex couples is on tap today, sponsored by Georgia Benets Counsel and Atlanta Pride. The second half of the session is scheduled for June 16. Both sessions run from 11 a.m. 4 p.m., Phillip Rush Center, Ron Pullman presents the Humble Legends Tea Dance, 6 p.m. at Jungle, The inimitable Armorettes spice up Sunday night, 6 8 p.m. at Burkharts, DJ Rick and DJ Maestro spin at 7 p.m. on Sundays at Mixx,

Stephen Mosher and Pat Dwyer the male couple who get married in every state they can appear at a screening of Married and Counting, sponsored by Out On Film and Atlanta Pride, 7 p.m. at the Midtown Art Cinema, Toga is the theme for PALS Bingo night at 7:30 p.m. at Jungle,


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A part of Stonewall Month, catch the On these Shoulders We Stand screening, sponsored by Touching Up Our Roots and Atlanta Pride, at 7 p.m. at the Midtown Art Cinema,

Rascal Flatts and the Band Perry team up at 7 p.m. at Lakewood, Learn all about our LGBT history at Stonewall 101, presented by Touching Up Our Roots, Love Under Fire, and Atlanta Pride at 7 p.m. at the Phillip Rush Center, Sisters Night at Woofs: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence hold their monthly meeting to raise money for various charities, 6 9 p.m.,



Adult lm director Chi Chi LaRue appears at Atlanta Pride Night, 10 p.m., BJ Roosters,


In partnership with Atlanta Pride the raucous, drag-heavy East Point Possum Show benets Lostn-Found Youth. 7 11 p.m., 2727 East Point Street,

Peach Party weekend features DJs Twisted Dee, Corey David, Tony Moran, Russ Rich, Paulo, Manny Lehman, David Knapp, Martin Fry and Alyson Calagna spinning at venues including the Heretic, Piedmont Park, Jungle, Xion and Las Margaritas. More info and passes available at






Single tickets available all Ticketmaster outlets TICKETMASTER.COM
Concerts take place rain or shine. Artists and schedules are subject to change. All sales final. No exchanges or refunds.






What I learned from another missed triathlon

Still my Iron Girl

Melissa Carter is also a writer for Hufngton Post. She broke ground as the rst 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

For most folks, nding the entry certicate to the Iron Girl Triathlon wrapped under the Christmas tree is not the denition of holiday romance. But for weekend warriors like my girlfriend, Katie, this kind of gift is her love language. The Iron Girl Triathlon features 1,000 women swimming, biking and running at Lake Lanier. And it is the only race I have ever known her to enter and not nish. In fact, she never even started. Katie did her rst sprint triathlon a couple of years ago. Having always been a runner, she decided to challenge herself by adding biking and swimming to her regimen. After competing in a few beginner races, where she successfully reached her goal of not drowning, she signed up for the Iron Girl, which is longer. Now a little background for those among us who are not masochistic. Triathlons are ... special. They have a lot of rules, which means planning for the weekend of the race is essential. And planning is not Katies strongest asset. So I was not shocked last year when I realized we had double booked the weekend of the triathlon. The race was on Sunday, but it required that the bikes be dropped off on Saturday. So we drove to Lake Lanier and dropped off the bike, only to drive back to Atlanta to attend a party. I thought this was a bad idea. The party was not the kind that ended at 9 p.m. And unlike Katies deciencies when it comes to planning, she excels at the skill of attending parties. But despite the party the night before, she set the alarm and the next morning we were up at 3:30 a.m. and headed to Lake Lanier for the race. Alas, Mother Nature had other plans. Just as Katie stepped out of the car at Lake Lanier, she realized that she had started her

period two weeks early. This meant she was forced to watch the race by my side. And underneath the irritation of stomach cramps and back pain, I could see that she was disappointed. When Christmas came, I wanted to give her another chance. I not only registered her in the race but reserved a hotel room so we would spend the whole weekend there. That gift was nally realized this past weekend, when Iron Girl returned to Lake Lanier. Katie checked in for the race and we checked in to the hotel. We ordered room service that evening and right before I fell asleep, I heard the lightning and thunder. Those storms lasted all night long. Around 4:30 a.m., race ofcials cancelled the race due to the weather. No rescheduling, no refunds. No Iron Girls. Of course, I felt bad for her. But she wasnt that upset for herself. After all, we were only an hour from home. Instead, she was sad for the rst-timers who had traveled hundreds of miles, and trained for hundreds of hours, for what they thought would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I told her not to worry: We would be back next year and I was sure a lot of the other athletes would be back as well. She smiled and agreed. And then Katie made me understand these events in a way I never have before. The saddest part, she said, is that some of these girls dont get to nd out today that they had already done the hardest part. More than 1,000 girls showed up willing to do something that is hard. And it isnt until the end of the race that the rst timers would have found out that showing up and just starting the race was the hardest part. The actual race is nothing compared to the internal strength it takes to just show up and jump in the water. I hugged her and told her that on the bright side, my Christmas shopping for her this year was going to be easy.



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