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Atlanta Pride Guide 2010


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Atlanta Pride Guide 2010

  2. 2. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ATLANTA PRIDE 2010 DE TA BLE WELCOME OF NTENTS 36 The White House The President 37 Pride Committee Chair CO 38 Cain Williamson Executive Director James Parker Sheffield 40 The Mayor Hon. Kasim Reed 42 City Council Hon. Alex Wan FESTIVAL INFORMATION 44-47 Pre Festival /Festival Events 46 Sponsors 49 Guidelines 59 First Aid FEATURES 51 Accessibility 10 54 Health Expo FOR ARTS SAKE 62 Small Business Sponsors Kai-Linn Gallery 64 Volunteer T-Shirt Colors 15 FOUR DECADES OF PRIDE PRIDE MARCHES Triumph, Struggle, Celebration, History 54-55 Grand Marshals 24 56 Parade Route SAFER 57 Dyke March Envisoning A Safer School 57 Trans MarchP Climate for all students 27 PRIDE COMMITTEE LARGER THAN LIFE The Lady 58 Staff & Board Of Directors Ms Vagina Jenkins 59-61 Festival Committee 65 OUT ON FILM ENTERTIANMENT A History 80 72-75 Coca-Cola Stage EVERY LIFE DESIERVES HOPE 73 Kimberley Locke AIDS Walk Atlanta 74 Antigone Rising 2oth Anniversary 78 Bud Light Stage 79 The Starlight Cabaret 87 GRADY Atlanta’s Home Town Hospital 90 IT STARTS WITH YOU Fashon Images by Fenuxe 96 3 POSE Pride Celebrations Around The Southeast
  3. 3. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ATLANTA PRIDE 2010 ORS 2010 TRIBUT CON LAURA DUOUGLAS-BROWN FEATURE CONTRIBUTOR Laura Douglas-Brown is the editor and co-founder of the Georgia Voice (www.thegavoice. com), which launched in March to provide in-depth coverage of BUCKE COOKE the state’s LGBT communities. She first attended Pride in FEATURE CONTRIBUTOR 1993, and has been a journalist Buck is the Assistant Dean of covering gay Atlanta since 1997. Students/Director of Greek Affairs at Georgia Institute of Technology. Last year, Buck helped plan Out and Greek, the first conference for LGBT college students in fraternities and sororities and their straight allies. THE ATLANTA PRIDE COMMITTEE INC. EDITOR Mike Fleming CREATIVE DIRECTOR Al Pellenberg MIKE FLEMING FEATURE CONTRIBUTOR Mike Fleming is co-owner of The Official Guide to Atlanta Pride is produced and published Pride sponsor ProjectQAtlanta. annually by the Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc., a 501c (3) non- com, a local gay-owned website profit organization located at 2300 Henderson Mill Road, Suite of news, views, entertainment, 125, Atlanta GA 30345. arts and culture with a daily AL PELLENBERG The editorial content of this publication is the sole property of the calendar of events and constantly CREATIVE DIRECTOR Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc. or is otherwise used under license updated photo galleries for or other express permission by the respective owner. All content LGBT Atlanta. Al has been an active member of contained herein is subject to the copyright protections of the the Atlanta Pride Committee for United States. Nothing appearing in this Guide may be reprinted, the last 25 years. He has always nor reproduced, either wholly or in part, without the express written believed that Pride sets the stage permission of the Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc. All trademarks, for all the changes that we have logos or descriptive terms created by, or on behalf of, the Atlanta seen in the last 25 years and will Pride Committee, Inc. are the sole property of the Atlanta Pride see in the next. Being visible Committee, Inc. It should not be assumed by any reader that the inclusion of any individual’s photograph, article, or quotation changes all our lives. is indicative of that individual’s sexual orientation. The Atlanta Pride Committee assumes no responsibility for the statements or Al, his husband CK, their Dad claims of advertisers. Extensive care has been taken in order to Joe, and the boys Boris and ensure that the accuracy of the information contained herein at Farley have just relocated to the time of printing; however, the Atlanta Pride Committee, Inc. Washington, DC. He wishes all assumes no responsibility for any changes in the event layout, is friends and “family” in the program changes or cancellations, or any other effect as a result of information communicated herein. Southeast the best and reminds JIM FARMER all that: COPYRIGHT ATLANTA PRIDE COMMITTEE, INC., 2010. IF NOT YOU ... WHO? All rights reserved. FEATURE CONTRIBUTOR IF NOT NOW ... WHEN? Jim Farmer is the Festival Director for Out on Film, a film publicist, freelance writer, and avid tennis player. 6
  4. 4. By Mike Fleming With several talk-of-the-town openings since its debut last year, Yu-Kai Lin and his Kai Lin Art gallery continue to wow art lovers and woo new ones with contemporary works that draw ever-larger crowds. This year alone, soda cans with faces made the “Pop Stars & Cokeheads” show unforgettable, giant crowds basked in the moody “afterglow,” ethereal works put us in a state of “Grace,” and no one was hiding under the bed for the jam-packed “Monsters” opening. During Pride season, Kai Lin Art presents an exhibition of influences from nature called “ZENITH.” That name mirrors what a lot of people say about the gallery owner himself, but he humbly says he’s proud and lucky to work with so many great people. “We are continuing to find new and young, extremely talented local artists who create works that make a bold statement about life, love, and happiness,” he says. “I’m honored to be able to represent such wonderful artists.” In addition to art shows, the space hosts weddings, fundraisers, fashion shows, workshops, art classes, and more gay community events than can be counted on a regular basis. Everyone from the AIDS Vaccine Riders to Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus has taken advantage of the stylish, artful atmosphere with its rotating art shows as the inherent decor that makes special occasions that much more special. With an eye for work that stimulates emotions and conversation, Lin tends to find a stunning mix of gay and straight, male and female, figurative and abstract artists for each show. Look for everything from paintings to sculpture, photography, video installations and more. But while Lin may well be the entrepreneur du jour, make no mistake: He’s no newbie to Atlanta’s art world. Kai Lin Art 800 Peachtree Street NE Suite D Atlanta, GA 404-408-4248 10
  5. 5. “I feel like all of my experiences have led me to this,” he says. “I am so grateful to Buckhead, WXIA-TV/NBC, Design Within Reach, Kennesaw State University, King be doing exactly what I love.” and Spalding as well as corporate and private collectors. Lin cut his chops at other local galleries that are not only respected in the art While all of the artists aren’t gay, Kai Lin Art’s openings most definitively are. world, but also well known to gay Atlanta. He served as Senior Sales Manager at From the well-heeled to the uber-hip, LGBT crowds flock to each new opening Lowe Gallery, and then became Director of Sales and Marketing for Mason Murer in increasing numbers to see the latest discoveries and pack the place with an Fine Art. undeniable energy that is often enhanced by popular DJs. A collector himself, he has made a career out of bringing art into the lives of others. But it’s not all about the crowd. Lin is increasingly proving his real eye for good He has curated exhibitions, planned events, and worked with many corporate art and a knack for setting a mood, which of course, is what keeps people coming developers, architects and interior designers to place art. back for more. Lin has also collaborated with marketing teams and managers to curate Kai Lin Art is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and by appointment. exhibitions and place art for clients including W Hotels, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Look for a new show at Kai Lin Art every eight weeks, and call the gallery to tour Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, The Gallery Condominiums, Terminus the space and brainstorm ideas for your event. 12 Kai Lin Art 800 Peachtree Street NE Suite D Atlanta, GA 404-408-4248 Kai Lin Art 800 Peachtree Street NE Suite D Atlanta, GA 404-408-4248
  6. 6. SeniorCare Options Caring at a Distance Staying Connected Lisa Meeks CMC,CTRS Geriatric Care Manager/Owner P: 770.579.9177 F: 770.570.9179 C: 404.992.3453 PUT A BUCK IN THE BUCKET HELP KEEP PRIDE FREE TRIUMPH STRUGGLE HISTORY CELEBRATION By Laura Douglas-Brown, GA Voice 15
  7. 7. FOUR DECADES OF PRIDE: Trimuph,Struggle, History, Celebration By Laura Douglas-Brown GA Voice On a hot summer night some 41 years ago, a ragtag group of gay street youth, drag queens, dykes and transgender people fought back against a police raid at new york city’s stonewall inn. The June 1969 uprising is widely viewed as launching the modern gay rights movement, igniting a more radical approach than the fledgling “homophile” movement that was already quietly underway. By the next year, cities began hosting rallies and celebrations to mark the anniversary of Stonewall, creating the Gay Pride events that continue to this day. Atlanta held its first Pride march in 1971, when about 100 brave souls marched down Peachtree Street, and celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2010. And ever since those first Pride marches commemorated the Stonewall uprising, Pride celebrations have played an important role in both shaping and reflecting LGBT history — providing, as Stonewall historian David Carter describes it, a crucial “common narrative” to shape our identity as an LGBT people and culture. “If we do not know our history, how can we ask others to take our history, and therefore us as a community, seriously?” Carter asked in a recent interview marking Stonewall Week, a series of activities sponsored by the Atlanta Pride Committee and other organizations to mark the June anniversary since Atlanta’s festival is now held in October. As our community’s largest annual gathering, the 40 years of Atlanta Pride also provide a time capsule of four decades of progress and struggle on our road to full equality 1970s: Building a movement The years immediately following stonewall were marked by a new sense of urgency and visibility for lgbt activism, reflecting the grassroots, counter-culture spirit of other protest movements like the fights for women’s lib and against the vietnam war. In 1971, Democratic activist Bill Smith incorporated the Gay Liberation Front in Atlanta, following a trend of gay lib groups around the country. That same year, GLF hosted Atlanta’s first Gay Liberation Day, a march that followed a route still familiar today: down Peachtree Street to Piedmont Park. Organizers said 125 attended, although media put the number at 50. The next year, Pride doubled to 250 people, drawing both local television coverage and controversy that reflected the discomfort some older gay people felt with the new radical movement. Some gay bars even threw out activists passing out Pride fliers. Pride continued to grow throughout the mid-70s, with shifting leadership as GLF disbanded, and the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance helped to organize some festivals. Maria Helena Dolan attended her first Atlanta Pride in 1976, and remembers those MAYNARD JACKSON IS SWORN IN AS ATLANTA’S FIRST BLACK MAYOR early marches as very different from the MARIA HELENA DOLAN mammoth parade that shuts down city streets today. “Practically everyone there was young, from the late teens to the early twenties, and it was a lot of fun,” she said. “In those days, we had 500 to 600 people, and you would still see some people with little masks or paper bags over their faces, and signs that said, ‘I have to cover my face or I might lose my job.’” As a mark of the growing impact of the festival, in 1976 Pride won support from then-Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, who issued a “Gay Pride Day” proclamation. But the support also ignited one of the first major public controversies for Pride, when a group calling itself Citizens for a Decent 16 Atlanta took out ads in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to demand Jackson’s resignation. Pride, they argued, glorifies “acts against the photo:Stan Fong moral laws of Judeo-Christian tradition.”
  8. 8. In 1977, Jackson backed down and just issued a “Human Rights Week” proclamation, although the festival — put on a by a coalition of local groups — still drew 1,500 people and included demands for local and national gay rights laws. That attention to national issues at Pride carried over into the final two Prides of the 1970s. In 1978, orange juice queen Anita Bryant — who had become an anti-gay crusader — came to town to address the Southern Baptist Convention. Instead of a Pride rally, organizers held a massive demonstration outside of the convention, with gay activists estimating attendance at 4,000, although police put the ACT UP DEMONSTRATORS OUTSIDE THE CENTERS FOR DIEASE CONTROL number at half that. WAS A COMMON SIGHT DURING THE 1980’S “It was important to demonstrate for queer liberation, and it was essentially derailed by AIDS,” said Dolan, right there that we didn’t agree with this who began helping organize Pride in 1977 and would later be honored and we weren’t going away,” Dolan said. as a Pride grand marshal. “The focus had to shift because people were “And that we had 4,000 people when Pride dying.” had been drawing much less really speaks The numbers quickly grew, hitting Atlanta Pride along with the rest to national issues having an impact on the of the gay community. local level.” “From 1981 to about 1984, I went to 41 funerals, until I finally just In a further testament to that impact, stopped counting,” Dolan said. in 1979, on the 10th anniversary of the The first “Stop AIDS” banner appeared in the Pride parade in 1983, Stonewall rebellion, Pride was put on by and the first Pride community memorial for those who had died of AIDS activists organizing the local contingent in was held in 1984. the first National March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights. The festival itself struggled as the The 1979 Pride march also reflected SF SUPERVISOR ranks of organizers were decimated by one of the biggest gay-related news stories HARVEY MILK the disease, although HIV also motivated to date: the 1978 assassination of gay San ASSASINATED IN 1979 others to get involved. Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, and “No one cared that my husband the fact that his killer, Dan White, was acquitted a year later of was dying of AIDS and people needed to murder and found guilty only of voluntary manslaughter. know that we are everywhere,” said Al “One of the chants that year was ‘We want more than disco, Pellenberg, who started volunteering in remember San Francisco,’ because Dan White basically got away 1985 for that reason and is now marking with murder, and gay people rioted,” Dolan said. “It was a way to 25 years of work with Atlanta Pride, honor that.” currently as creative director. “From then on I worked with them to make Pride a more significant event.” 1980’s And then came AIDS After building strength through the end of the 1970s, Atlanta’s gay rights movement appeared poised to continue that progress in the 1980s. Pride in 1980 was dubbed “Lesbian Gay Transperson Day,” showing the increasing diversity of the community. But the community would soon face a challenge that made the previous struggles pale in comparison. In 1981, the Georgia Department of Human Resources began tracking AIDS cases in the state, with three reported. “At that time, what we had was a movement photo:: Cain Williamson
  9. 9. As the 1980s drew to a close, AIDS remained prominent. The 1988 festival theme was “A Celebration of Life” — a poignant statement during a time when funerals were commonplace and the time between diagnosis and death was often measured in months. By the time the 1989 Pride festival marked the 20th anniversary of Stonewall with the theme “Stonewall: Reasons to Remember,” Atlanta — like cities around the country — had lost hundreds of leaders and loved ones to the disease. 1990s: Growth and visibility While HIV struck down many in the gay community, it also radicalized many more. People who had never considered themselves activists during the gay liberation movement of the 1970s found they had no choice but to fight back when their friends were literally dying around them, and that spirit soon energized other struggles. Jeff Graham attended his first Atlanta Pride in 1990, and remembered the thrill of being part of “the beginning of a very exciting movement.” “I was a young street activist in the community, and Pride was really a central focus of the year back then for those of us on the frontlines of activism,” said Graham, who was a member of ACT UP, would later serve as executive director of AIDS Survival Project, and is now executive director of Georgia Equality. “Even though I don’t think there was anything overtly political about Pride, it seemed very political,” he said. “You were making a political statement just by showing up, because so few people were willing to do that. When Pride hit 5,000 people, it seemed like the largest gathering you could imagine.” “It was gay day in Atlanta for real,” he said, noting how 300,000 turned out for the festival, which featured By the early 1990s, LGBT protests were common in Atlanta and during the early 1990s, “more and more people got involved with homegrown favorites Indigo Girls as the headliner. around the country, as those who felt they had nothing left to lose the organization.” The festival theme that year was “People of the World: spoke out with newfound energy. The festival drew roughly 5,000 people in Listen, Think, Act,” an obvious reference to “It’s when the death rate of AIDS was really reaching its peak, 1990, but the number leapt 30,000 in 1991, with the crowds coming to pack Atlanta for the and we were on the verge of scientific advances that astounded us Cheryl Summerville — who ignited a national Olympics in July. when they happened,” Graham recalled. “That early research was boycott when she was fired from Cracker Barrel “Over that five year period of time, starting to trickle in, and restaurants for being gay — as a grand marshal. [Pride’s growth] was like a snowball rolling we could begin to see that The Atlanta Pride Committee also officially down a hill — it started slowly but it sped if we put up strong political incorporated as a non-profit in 1991, adding up,” Graham said. “And what happened with pressure, we could change the stability to the festival. Attendance doubled to Pride in my mind is the greatest snapshot course of the AIDS epidemic.” 60,000 in 1992, and then hit 100,000 in 1993. and gauge of the growing strength of our As the home of the Two months later, in August 1993, the Cobb community.” federal Centers for Disease County Commission passed its now infamous But the tragedy that marred the 1996 Control, Atlanta became resolution declaring homosexuality incompatible Olympics would soon put LGBT Atlanta in the ground zero for HIV protests with community standards. spotlight again, and serve Pride with another that drew attendance and Protests over the Cobb resolution spread, as huge challenge to overcome. headlines from around the groups like the Cobb Citizens Coalition berated After a bomb ripped through the nation. the commission and Olympics Out of Cobb Otherside Lounge, a lesbian and gay bar on PAT HUSSAIN and JON WEAVER Other gay news stories sought to keep the county from benefitting as a Piedmont Avenue, investigators soon connected LEAD OLYMPICS OUT OF COBB also put Atlanta on the map, venue for the 1996 Olympic Games. the attack to the bombing of the Atlanta and Pride’s attendance grew th Pride grew to three nights in 1994, on the 25 anniversary Olympics and a Sandy Springs abortion clinic. exponentially in response. of Stonewall — and Olympic organizers, fearing widespread gay With an anti-gay bomber with a record of targeting large public Pellenberg described protests would disrupt the games, announced in July 1994 that gatherings on the loose, would anyone show up for Pride in 1997? the 1990s as “a huge time in the volleyball competition would be pulled from Cobb County. Security increased exponentially, but having faced down Pride’s evolution.” Pride hit a new attendance record in June 1996, when AIDS, gay Georgians weren’t about to run scared: Some LYNN COTHREN organized Queeer Nation Protests over JEFF GRAHAM, 300,000 packed Piedmont Park. Cracker Barell’s treatment of Cheryl summerville FROM ACT UP, TO AIDS SURVIVAL PROJECT TO GEORGIA EQUALITY
  10. 10. One of those 300,000 was J.P. Sheffield, who attended his first Atlanta Pride that year as junior in high school. 2000s: “I had never seen that many queer people Milestones in one space up until that point,” Sheffield and marriage said, explaining that until then he hadn’t really understood the need for a Gay Pride celebration. Riding the wave of huge growth in “I realized that it is about feeling like you the 1990s, Pride celebrated in 2000 with have a place to go to be a part of something, learn its biggest entertainer yet — the B-52s, about the community, and to feel safe,” he said. who helped drive attendance to the “I think I walked around with a stupid grin on my highest in Pride’s history, an estimated face all day. I was hooked.” 400,000. Sheffield recalled that he still had to hide his The parade set a new attendance new rainbow gear from his father, but with the record in 2001, the same year all major freedom of college, in 1999 he began volunteering candidates for mayor sought votes at the for Pride. festival. “I felt fortunate that I didn’t have to live that Major developments in the ongoing way anymore, and it was important to me to go fight for LGBT equality were also and help keep Pride available for people,” said reflected in the festival. In 2003, Atlanta Sheffield, who is now executive director of the Pride’s theme of “Freedom to Be” gained festival. “ If they didn’t get to be gay anywhere new meaning just days before the else, they would always have that space.” festival, when the United States Supreme The last two Pride festivals of the 1990s saw Court struck down sodomy laws in the attendance drop somewhat as a result of extreme case of Lawrence v. Texas. heat one year and a deluge of rain the next, but Although Georgia’s sodomy law, since 1993, and served as a Pride speaker several times. Pride ended the decade with attendance 40 times which had been used disproportionately “There needs to be these rituals that really insure that higher than when it began. against gay people, had been struck people feel like, ‘Yes, I do feel queer community here,’ and Pride “Pride began to be that one place once a year down years earlier at the state level, the helps sustain that,” added Washington, who is a spokesperson where you could find others like ourselves who you ringing endorsement of gay people’s for this year’s AIDS Walk Atlanta. always knew were there but could never find. It basic right to privacy in our relationships “At the same time, because our human rights are not just got bigger and better every year,” Pellenberg inspired Pride attendees. guaranteed and there are certain rights that we still are said. “The community found a voice and a common “When that ruling came down, it fighting for, Pride — given its influence and its size — has to thread. was right before the event happened acknowledge that.” “Where there was once friction between the and absolutely those types of things play Current events also had a major impact on the last Pride gay and lesbian communities, Pride brought them a huge role in how people are feeling and festivals of the 2000s, this time in the form of the massive together and created one big family.” what drives them to come out and be drought that struck the region. visible,” Sheffield said. “That was a huge After being celebrated the last weekend in June in year. The park just kept filling up.” Piedmont Park for most of its history, Pride was forced to move Pride in 2004 also reflected major in 2008 when city officials booted large festivals from the national fights for gay rights, although parched park. not as positive. With anti-gay marriage Held over July Fourth weekend at the Civic Center, Pride amendments on the ballot in many attendance and finances suffered. The festival moved back to states, including Georgia, coinciding with Piedmont Park for 2009, but over Halloween, to get around city President Bush’s reelection bid, marriage policies that limited festivals in the summer season. became much more visible at Pride, This year, Pride caps four decades of growth and change by from wedding themes in the parade to settling into its new date — the second weekend in October, to heightened media attention directed to coincide with National Coming Out Day — at its old home of Pride’s annual Commitment Ceremony. Piedmont Park, LGBT Atlanta’s unofficial backyard. The stunning defeat on the But while the festival has faced changes through the years, marriage amendment, which was one thing remains constant: the desire to inspire LGBT people CRAIG WASHINGTON ATLANTA LGBT AND HIV ACTIVIST approved by 76 percent of Georgia voters in November 2004, and our allies to continue the fight for full equality. gave credence to the argument that LGBT groups must do a “In many ways Pride gave our community a place to meet, better job of partnering with and embracing other social justice to show each other our different sides, our common interests, movements. and our unique capabilities,” Pellenberg said. Pride organizers took up that call, debuting a Human Rights Exhibit in 2007 that is now an inspiration for Pride organizers in many other cities, and also working more closely “It has the power to gather to co-sponsor events with other community organizations. and galvanize us, and that leads “It’s so important that Pride has its own vision in terms of asserting LGBT liberation, as not just a celebration but to greater diversity and choices as a serious human rights action,” said Craig Washington, a longtime Atlanta LGBT and HIV activist who has attended Pride for each of us.” 23
  11. 11. Georgia LGBTQ youth. Rather than replicating services and resources for LGBTQQ youth, Georgia Safe Schools Coalition members compiled the best resources from their respective organizations. Next, Coalition members launched a website ( where school counselors could download the resource binder and manual, in addition to taking an online self-assessment of their knowledge of LGBTQQ youth issues. One of the best reasons to get involved with the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition is that we have had some astounding successes in our short one year of existence. We have trained over 400 Georgia school counselors, 200 Georgia school educators, and 100 Georgia LGBTQQ family members on LGBTQQ youth issues through various conference presentations, school in-service meetings, and keynote presentations on our work in Georgia. The Coalition is also able to provide an immediate media and education response when LGBTQQ youth are threatened. For example, when a Clayton County school teacher allegedly ordered a “hit” on a gay student, the coalition was able to not only issue press releases on the issue, but also was able to provide timely ENVISIONING & DEVELOPING A SAFER SCHOOL training for Clayton County school personnel on LGBTQQ issues. These presentations have focused on addressing the ethical CLIMATE FOR ALL YOUTH: and legal issues involved with supporting LGBTQQ students and those who serve them in school and community settings. In addition, Georgia Safe Schools Coalition members have advocated successfully for school policy changes in Georgia by attending school board meetings to stress the importance of having enumerated bullying policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity and expression protections for The Story of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition By Anneliese A. Singh and Maru Gonzalez students and school personnel. Several of our members have also lobbied for the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act at Take a trip back in time with us. Think Heck, let’s go back even further in time. How was your middle the national level. We are especially proud of our youth member, school and elementary school experience? What did you learn Austin Laufersweiler, who was selected by the Gay Lesbian (or not learn) about LGBTQQ individuals and communities? Did Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to be the 2009 Student back to your high school experience. What you learn that a vibrant LGBTQQ community has come from Advocate of the Year for his advocacy with his high school in all walks of life – people of color, people living with disabilities, starting a Gay-Straight Alliance and with the Cobb County School did you see, hear, feel, and think about people from all class backgrounds and geographic regions? If Board in developing enumerated bullying policies. you experienced being bullied, witnessed other students being Austin’s achievements are reflective of the Coalition’s bullied, or even bullied others yourself, did school teachers and being LGBTQQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, commitment to youth empowerment and activism. In addition counselors intervene – or was it overlooked? to providing support and resources to Gay-Straight Alliances More often than not, the answers to the above questions are (GSAs) throughout the state, the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition transgender, queer, questioning) or being a resounding “no!” For this and many other reasons, in the is currently organizing an advocacy-based summit for GSA summer of 2009 several Georgia safe schools activists and members and advisors. We also seek to lift youth voices through community organization members (e.g., PFLAG-Atlanta, Lambda various story compilation initiatives. The Coalition has already a LGBTQQ-ally? Legal, YouthPride, Georgia Equality, Ben Marion Institute for produced two documentary films focused on the experiences Social Justice) came together to create the Georgia Safe Schools of LGBTQQ students. In addition, we recently partnered with L/R Maru Gonzalez, Anneliese Singh,Cory Johnson, Jesse McNulty Coalition. StoryCorps for an LGBTQQ youth story collection project to “open hearts and change minds one story at a time.” Excerpts of the Initially supported by a small grant from the University interviews are available on our website. of Georgia’s Office of the Vice President of Outreach, the overarching goal of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition was to The Coalition meets about every month and engages in work bring together the best resources for supporting LGBTQQ youth on small projects in between the meetings. We welcome new in Georgia. Essentially, Coalition members have a passion and members and tend to have not only a great deal of success in commitment to safer schools for all youth. In addition, the our work together, but we also have a good deal of fun together! mission of the Coalition includes working towards ending not You can also make a donation through our website. Every $10 we only homophobia and transphobia, but also entails ensuring we receive puts one hard copy of a resource manual in a Georgia are addressing the ways that racism, sexism, classism, and other school counselor’s hands, in addition to funding our ongoing oppressions also affect Georgia school students. LGBTQQ youth empowerment projects. The first project that emerged out of this coalition was the development of a binder and resource manual for Georgia For more information or to get involved with 24 school counselors working in middle and high school settings. the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition This resource included a DVD and related curriculum guide on Email Anneliese Singh at
  12. 12. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ATLANTA PRIDE 2010 LARGER THAN LIFE By Buck Cooke Atlanta Plays Home To One Of Queer Burlesque’s Brightest Stars 27
  13. 13. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ATLANTA PRIDE 2010 Many people may not know that Atlanta is home to one of the one of the foremothers of the burlesque scene in Atlanta and across the South, one of the biggest names in queer burlesque: The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins. Since 2003, she has traveled the United States and beyond, performing her extraordinary brand of burlesque to increase awareness of the unique form of entertainment and to celebrate marginalized members of the community. After a a performance tour of Canada, Jenkins made time to discuss her history and that of burlesque, among other things. Pride: With a name like “The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins,” I have to ask the origin of the name. The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins: Well, my first stage name was Mocha James, which people kept messing up by calling me “Cocoa,” or “Jones,” or “Chocolate,” etc. I used to refer to my actual lady parts as “Vagina Jenkins” or sometimes “Vagina Del Rosa” when I was feeling spicy. Plus, my initial persona was heavily influenced by the work of drag performance artists Vaginal Davis, so it seemed quite fun and tongue-in-cheek to call myself “Vagina Jenkins.” But then a funny thing happened ... I started to see people’s reactions – the tittering, the disgust, the confusion – and I became fascinated with how folks react to the name “Vagina Jenkins.” I love making emcees say “Vagina” and “queer” onstage, especially straight, white male emcees. I always ask that emcees not make jokes about Vagina in my intro, to let the audience reaction and my subsequent performance stand on their own. It’s an interesting experience to behold. So many folks laugh at the name “Vagina.” I think they think I’m going to be comedic or a drag queen ... and then they see the performance. I don’t know exactly what they’re expecting when they hear the name “Vagina,” but I can tell you that what I give them defies their expectations. 29 I once had an audience member come up to me after a show and ask why I called myself “that.” He went on to say that I was so classy, regal, graceful – “like a VAGINA!” I interrupted.
  14. 14. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ATLANTA PRIDE 2010 He kind of looked perplexed for a moment, then smiled, and wandered off. I kind of hope I rocked his world a little bit. After all, that is the goal! Pride: How would you describe your performances? TLMVJ: I perform what is known as “classic burlesque.” I perform my take on what striptease looked like in its heyday from the ‘50’s to the mid ‘60’s. I’m inspired by high femmes from all genders, from Eartha Kitt to GiGi Monroe and Liberace to Shirley Bassey. Vagina Jenkins is big – HUGE! – with lots of glitter, sparkly fabulousness, long gowns and robes, large headdresses, and choreography that takes up space. The idea behind Vagina Jenkins is to take up space for all the marginalized communities I represent: queer women, women of size and color, working class women, etc. I grab the audience’s attention and I never let it go. I demand the gaze and command the gays! Pride: How would you describe burlesque to someone who has never seen it before? TLMVJ: Burlesque is an amazing art form that you just have to see to believe. It can be so many things, just like drag. Sure, burlesque can be about the strip-teasers, but it’s also the comedians, the magicians, the sideshow freaks eating light bulbs. The sexy girls are great (and definitely the reason I attend most burlesque shows), but burlesque has its roots in vaudeville and, as such, is the multi- disciplinary entertainment dreamed up by working class people for working class people.
  15. 15. However, that being said, just like there are good and bad drag shows, there are good and bad burlesque shows. If you see my name in a production, rest assured it’s top notch! As I mentioned earlier, burlesque historically comes from vaudeville traditions and burlesque shows back in the day were more like variety shows (baggy pants comedians, singers, sideshow freak acts and yes, strip-teasers). Neo-burlesque is the revival of the burlesque arts with more of an emphasis on the strip-teasers and the creative, fabulous and over-the-top ways in which burlesque dancers tease their audiences while partially disrobing. Pride: What role do LGBTQ people play in the burlesque community? TLMVJ: Queer folks make everything we do a little bigger, brighter, and important. I think burlesque is no exception. Some of my favorite burlesque queens were raised by drag queens. Queer performers are never content to go along like everyone else – no, we have to make it bolder, make our mark – so you end up with someone like burlesque legend Satan’s Angel spinning fire on her tasseled pasties. Queers are outspoken and take up space and push the boundaries of any given thing and aren’t those the marks of a great entertainer? Besides, being glittered up and semi-naked and demanding people look at you is pretty damned queer, if you ask me. Pride: What is your favorite place to perform in Atlanta? TLMVJ: In Atlanta, my favorite shows are the Mondo Homo Cabaret. Mondo Homo is an annual DIY queer music and arts festival. Visit The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins online to search out information for “more Vagtastic happenings,” The cabaret portion of the festival is amazing and interdisciplinary, burlesque, drag, musicians, performance artists, puppetry, theatre. It’s an amazing display of queer performance art and is a pleasure to watch and a pleasure in which to perform.
  16. 16. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ATLANTA PRIDE 2010 VAL STI ION 0 FE AT 201 RM INFO Contemporary Ice Tea Pticher Salt Fired Cone 6 Reduction Georgia Peach Stonware $78 35 WITH ALL OUR LOVE WWW.NEWGEORGIACLAYWORK.COM Gregory Alan Barrett 08/20/1966 – 06/03/2010
  17. 17. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ATLANTA PRIDE 2010 ME TO E LCO A PRID WE ANT ATL 0 THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON 201 October 2010 Dear Beloved Community, Atlanta’s Pride movement has come a long way since it was born 40 years ago. As we reflect on this milestone, the tremendous strides toward September 10, 2010 equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people comes thanks to the work of many progressively minded people – gay and straight. The Atlanta Pride Committee is honored to have been a part of the progress. Our Nation’s story of progress is one of courageious and passionate The last several years of Atlanta Pride’s 40-year history have been man and women refusing to accept anything less that full and equal particularly trying. After many years of reliably holding our annual Pride citizenship. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) event in Piedmont Park on the last weekend in June, we had to move our festival dates three times and our venue twice over the past three years. Americans, alongside their committed straight allies, carry on the In that same timeframe, a perfect storm of increased costs and reduced important work of perfecting our union by challenging revenues in the middle of the worst global economy in generations caused us to cut roughly $250,000 out of our budget. discrimination and the barriers that remain. But we queers are no strangers to hardship. With the support of hundreds of loyal volunteers, sponsorships and partnerships with businesses and LGBT Pride celebrations bring us together to honor the diversity of peer non-profit organizations, as well as financial contributions from our people and reach for the American ideals of equality and folks like you, we are beginning to see stability again in Pride’s venue and dates. We are resilient. We will survive. freedom. Communities across our country are richer and our shared future is brighter because of the countless efforts to shift attitudes, This year, we are happy to be back home in Piedmont Park. And we are particularly excited for Pride to coincide with National Coming Out Day. change laws, and open minds. Together, we will build and America The concepts of Pride and Coming Out are kind of like love and same- where all are free to choose the ones we love. sex marriage: You can’t really have one without the other. They are both fundamental to the continued struggle for our full legal and social equality. I wish you all the best for your Pride celebration. At Pride, we remain committed to full equality for all people – LGBTQ and otherwise. We hope it doesn’t take another 40 years. But if it does, we’ll be here fighting the good fight. But we can’t do it without your help. If you haven’t made a contribution to Pride, please do. And now, welcome to the 40th annual Atlanta Pride celebration. Be out and be proud. Thanks to the last 40 years of hard work put in by the folks featured in the rest of this magazine as well as countless others, it’s a hell of a lot easier than it used to be. Out and Proud, Cain Williamson Chair, Board of Directors 36 25 37
  18. 18. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ATLANTA PRIDE 2010 E TO E COM PRID WELANTA ATL 0 201 Happy Pride! As we take over Atlanta to celebrate our 40th Anniversary, I absolutely could not be more excited about this year’s festivities. From our established events, like the Annual Pride Parade, to our new events, like the Pride Kickball tournament hosted by the Flaming Sugarbaker Sisters, there is something for each of you to enjoy. We are proud of, and grateful for, our Community Partners that have participated in making this year a success. Without organizations such as Georgia Equality, Georgia Safe School Coalition, Out on Film, The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative, and many others, we would not be able to produce many of the rich elements that are part of the 2010 Celebration. While you participate in Pride, please take a moment to thank one of the many volunteers, including our Festival Committee and Board, that work year round to create this fantastic event. I am constantly amazed by their energy and diligence. Earlier this year, we lost a vital part of our Pride Family, Greg Barrett. We will hold his memory close as we head into the park and will never forget the incredible excitement that he put into his work. We ask that each of you take a moment to honor all the individuals that have served Atlanta Pride over the past 40 years, making it the premier event it is today. We would like to thank all the sponsors, small business partners, individual donors, and volunteers that have been with us through the years, and that have made our 2010 celebration possible. Please, have fun and be safe at the event. If you enjoy your time with us, consider dropping a dollar (or 2) into one of our donation buckets. Your contribution will help keep Atlanta Pride free in years to come. As we can always use extra hands, we also welcome each of you to volunteer at the festival. We value each of you as a part of our community and we are pleased to be able to provide a safe space to celebrate who you are. Yours in Pride, James Parker Sheffield Executive Director Atlanta Pride Committee 38
  19. 19. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ATLANTA PRIDE 2010 yor Ma im Kasd Ree 40
  21. 21. THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO ATLANTA PRIDE 2010 IVALS FEST ENT PRE E EV PRID Stride Into Pride Check out all these great happenings around town for Pride season. Dine Out for Pride Wednesday, September 22: DOC CHEY’S Virginia-Highland Wednesday, September 29: DOC CHEY’S Emory Village Wednesday, October 6: OSTERIA 832 Virginia-Highland Wednesday, October 13: DOC CHEY’S Grant Park -Join us for lunch or dinner every Wednesday in October at a different HomeGrown restaurant, and 15% of sales will be donated back to Atlanta Pride. Papi’s Pride Brunch Sunday, October 3- 12:30pm-3:30pm Las Margaritas: 1842 Cheshire Bridge Road -Great Music, great food, and incredible drink specials. Bring your friends for an afternoon the Las Margaritas Patio. A portion of your bill benefits Atlanta Pride! The 15th Annual ALHI Garden Party Sunday, October 3- 4:00pm – 8pm Einstein’s: 1077 Juniper St. -Annual fundraiser for the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative. The afternoon celebrates 15 years of Health Initiative programs and services supporting the health of LGBTQ community throughout Georgia. The admission ticket price of $50.00 ensures that the Health Initiative remains a resource for our community as they challenge illness and claim better health. In the past, this one-of-a-kind party brought together more than 1,300 women and men from across the southeast for socializing, an incomparable silent auction, a raffle and support of the Health Initiative. Atlanta Pride AIDS Vigil Wednesday, October 6- 7:00pm St. Mark’s UMC: 781 Peachtree St. NE - Hosted by: St. Mark’s UMC and AIDS Alliance for Faith and Health This years vigil theme, “From Prejudice to Pride … ACT UP! Fight AIDS!” calls upon our community to take the challenge and take ACTION in promoting and advocating for health care and funding. The event will feature speakers and music from our community with a time for remembrance and a Call to ACTION! Out on Film Closing Party & Screening “Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride” Thursday, October 7- 6:30pm Midtown Art Cinema: 931 Monroe Drive - Gay Pride marches and festivals are happening all over, sometimes under heavy at the role of these events ever taken. This feature length documentary follows the Vancouver Pride Society’s (VPS) Parade Director Ken Coolen and his VPS colleagues as they travel to places where Pride is still steeped in protest to personally experience the rampant homophobia that still exists. They also travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the world’s largest gay pride parade and New York City, the birthplace of the modern gay liberation movement. Tickets – $10 For a complete listing of events and details, please visit 44