2012 Fenuxe 50 Winners

2012 Fenuxe 50 Winners

Online Ticketing for 2012 Fenuxe 50: The 50 Most Outstanding Individuals Of Our Community powered by Eventbrite

Fenuxe Magazine is proud to present this year’s Fenuxe 50: The Most Outstanding Individuals of our Community! The winners come from varied backgrounds, but they all share a commonality: They’re community leaders who’ve worked tirelessly to enhance, repair, and strengthen the fabric of our society. Individuals who, without thought or concern for personal gain, strive to make the world a better place for their fellow man.

People who give themselves to the greater good, and who, although too humble to realize it, deserve more thanks than they receive. For the tenacity and fortitude, we’re inspired. For the steadfast nature of those who believe in our cause, we’re humbled. For being the unsung heroes this community couldn’t survive without, we honor you.

These highly-regarded 50 will be honored and recognized at our third annual Ice Party, hosted by the Georgia Freight Depot on January 12, 2013. To purchase your ticket, please visit http://www.fenuxe.com/ice.

You are truly an inspiration to us all. Thank you.

Anna’s passion for helping others and serving the community (like most recently coordinating the 20th Annual AIDS Walk & 5k Run) have landed her the position as the Special Events Coordinator for Atlanta Cotillion. Her work at AID Atlanta has raised much-needed funds that benefit numerous programs that help spread HIV/AIDS awareness to the community while also helping treat those affected by the disease. We applaud her dedication and energy, as well as her ability to handle copious amounts of work with a smile. Thank you, Anna!

The Armorettes were born during the halftime shows of Falcons games when the owner of The Armory, sensing the boredom midway through the football games, directed the staff to put on wigs and cheerleader outfits to keep the party going. For the next three years, the Armorettes provided the halftime entertainment for patrons for little more than fun. Then AIDS began its path to destruction, leaving gay Atlanta largely in fear of their lives and livelihoods. The Armorettes decided it was time to take the show to the next level and placed a donation bucket in front of the stage before going on. Ever since, they have collected money to benefit victimsof the disease and are have met the incredibly ambitious goal of raising $2 million for HIV/AIDSrelatedcauses. The Armorettes perform every Sunday night at Burkhart’s and vow not to give Atlanta the final curtain call until the cure is found.

In 2010, Art Izzard began volunteering with StandUp For Kids and has served on their management team as Street Outreach Director. While serving at StandUp, he realized the need for LGBT youth-specific services in the Atlanta area. Joining other local activists to organize Lost-n-Found Youth, he has served as the organization’s Outreach Director since its inception. Art leads weekly street teams for both organizations, supporting our community’s homeless and at-risk youth on the streets where they live. In 2009, Art co-founded the Queer Justice League, a local direct-action network fighting for full LGBT equality and social justice. He is also the technologist for Finished Art, a local graphic design studio.

Ashley Derrick is an Atlanta realtor, animal advocate, and contributing citizen with a strong desire to help. A two-time Atlanta Board of Realtors Multi-Million Dollar Club member, Ashley donates a percentage of every commission to Atlanta-area non-profits including Park Pride, Care, and Project Open Hand. She also works tirelessly to advocate on behalf of Atlanta’s overpopulated dog population. She founded Atlanta ResponsiBully, a coalition of dog rescue groups, to help educate and advocate on behalf of bully breeds who are overbred and euthanized at alarming rates in metro-Atlanta. Further still, she serves on the DeKalb County Animal Services Advisory Board and works with Advocates for DeKalb Animals to push for improved conditions and to reduce the kill-rates in their animal shelter. Ashley lives with her partner of 11 years, Alison, in the East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta. They have two “bully” mixes, Brutus and Little Girl, and Bella the Cat who rules the roost.

Rowland, a long-time supporter of the LGBT community in Atlanta, has been nominated as Business Woman of the Year two years in a row by the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, was honored as Best Real Estate Agent 2011 by GA Voice, and has won numerous Pinnacle awards through the DeKalb Board of Realtors. When asked by Fenuxe what she would do if she won the lottery, we would’ve understood if Barb chose to run off to some tropical paradise and while the hours away doing nothing. Instead? “I would make a great big donation to start a world-class gay community center.” Class, indeed.

A true survivor, Barry has been through a lot — eight open-heart surgeries of a lot, actually. As a result, the guy really knows how to live it up with some grandiose parties and equally amazing charity work. A promotional mastermind and party-organizing fiend, Barry is one of Atlanta’s biggest personalities. Along with his “Bedlam” events, Brandon arranges formidable social functions dedicated to good causes. Most recently, he organized a fundraiser at Aurum to benefit Beatrice, a beautiful seven-year-old girl who suffers from a rare type of brain cancer. His deeply moving efforts to usher in a cure for her can be found at sweetbeafund.blogspot.com.

Openly-gay journalist Brandon Rudat has certainly made a name for himself. Nominated for eight Emmys for his investigative work (like exposing a fire chief who is also a convicted child sex offender or taking a company to task for manufacturing illegal fire extinguishers), Rudat has worked for some of the nation’s biggest media outlets from New York to L.A. Now a co-anchor for Better Mornings Atlanta, the established newsman gives us something to get out of bed for. We’re pleased to honor his hard work and true grit with a Fenuxe 50. It should look pretty cozy next to that Emmy.

A 16-year veteran of higher education, Buck certainly has taught us what it means to have pride. This year, he became the Managing Director of Atlanta Pride, working to produce that maaaahrvelous festival we all enjoyed just a few weeks ago. He is also a strong supporter of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation and helped to bring Ben himself for this year’s celebration.

Currently working as the Outreach Specialist for the MISTER Program of Positive Impact, Chandler leads a community-based team of volunteers. This team helps encourage healthy decisions and safer sexual practices in the Atlanta community, helping slow the spread of HIV/AIDS. In his spare time, Chandler also practices circus arts on the trapeze, lyra, and stilts as well as breathing fire.
When Cleo Meyer isn’t running her insurance agency, the former Businesswoman of the Year is out giving back to the very community that has embraced her. Meyer’s name is well known with the Atlanta Executive Network, the Midtown Neighborhood Association, the Grant Park Conservancy, and as a member of the steering committee of the HRC. She’s a member and frequent speaker for the MEGA Family Project, an organization the proud mother of nine-year-old Connor is fond of. She and her partner Donna are grateful for the fact that they are able to raise their son in such a loving and supportive community.

We’re always starstruck when Congressman Lewis enters the room. An original Freedom Rider who’s been arrested more than 40 times and nearly beaten to death in his efforts to obtain civil rights for African Americans, he’s no stranger to the the struggle for equality. “I fought too long and too hard to end discrimination based on race and color, to not stand up against discrimination against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters,” he’s said to our community. “Every human being walking this Earth, whether gay, lesbian, straight, or transgendered, is entitled to the same rights.” Inexhaustive to this day, Congressman Lewis’ presence at LGBT events is symbolic of his continued fight for the freedom of all Americans. He has co-sponsored and advocated for fifteen different congressional acts ranging from same-sex parenting rights to tax equity and health care for LGBT couples. It’s difficult to thank this man as much as we’d like, but we’ll start with our highest award.

An enthusiastic lover of Atlanta, David has been with Delta Airlines for the last 18 years. He considers the many charities he volunteers for to be his family and among them are AID Atlanta, CHRIS Kids, Christian City Children’s Organization, BCRF, and Habitat for Humanity. “I love to be a part of something that really helps,” he told Fenuxe. “I am very fortunate to be in a great place in life and I hope to help someone else get there, too.” The Queen of 2012, David won Atlanta Cotillion and raised more than $15,000 for AID Atlanta.

Dennis credits his initial participation in AIDS Walk Atlanta years ago as the beginning of his career fighting HIV/AIDS. Having appeared in Out Magazine and countless billboards this year as the national spokesman for the Greater Than AIDS campaign funded by the CDC, Dennis has come a long way in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS. Dennis works to give back by participating in a number of medical missions around the world, while contributing professionally by speaking and participating in numerous International AIDS Conferences around the world. This Robert Woodruff Fellow and proud Grady nurse graduated with his Masters of Science in Public Health Nursing this summer from Emory, and has made an impact around the globe.

Dino is a man of many talents. He’s the Senior Advisor for the Atlanta Leadership Council for GLAAD and on the Board of Directors for Positive Impact concurrently. He founded F.O.O.D., which feeds and organizes a toy drive for families affected by AIDS and we at Fenuxe trust him wholly with our food and beverage columns. An exceptional member of our community, this public relations expert helps recruit new allies from mainstream, heterosexual audiences and accelerates the spread of equal rights for the LGBT community in doing so. He has also co-hosted “Sazon Latino,” a fundraiser for the Latin American Association and was recently honored with the “Above and Beyond” Award by GLAAD.

Rev. Swenson was ordained as Eric Karl Swenson in 1973 by the Presbytery of Atlanta. Twenty-three years later, after completing a gender transition from male to female, Erin became the first mainstream minister to transition while in ordained office. She continues to practice active ministry as a psychotherapist/marriage and family therapist. Erin co-founded the Southern Association for Gender Education, Inc., a non-profit devoted to educating institutions of higher learning, medical associations and practices, and faith groups of the diversity of gender expression and the place of gender in modern life. Her Wednesday evening gender support group has been serving the community for more than fifteen years. She continues to maintain a supportive relationship with her ex-spouse and their two grown daughters in the wake of her transition.

Frank champions for LGBT rights as the multicultural marketing manager at DIAGEO, the global leader in premium spirits. (Think Crown Royal, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Cuervo, Guinness, Captain Morgan, the list is huge.) An active supporter of the community, he’s been at the helm
of the local DIAGEO initiative which has supported nearly every non-profit event we can think of (gay or straight). He is the current co-chair for GLAAD Atlanta Leadership Council, an appointment he calls the “proudest moment of [his] life” and was honored as a 2012 Local Hero in October. A true team player, Frank has given his time and effort to a bevy of our homegrown causes. “We have aligned ourselves with the Atlanta Pride Committee, Joining Hearts, For the Kid in All of Us, the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, P.A.L.S, the Yes You Can Foundation, the HRC, and GLAAD.” This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Smirnoff sponsoring Atlanta Pride, so for that, and the countless other things he does to make our community that much more meaningful, we toast Frank Mendez.

Sean and Gilbert are natives of Turkey who settled into Atlanta in the ’90s.  The brothers teamed up to bring a taste of their heritage to Atlanta with the opening of Gilbert’s Cafe & Bar in 2000.  A decade later, the Yeremyan brothers opened their second restaurant HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern. Recently announced is the third installment of their restaurant group — 10th & Piedmont — located in the space previously occupied by Outwrite Bookstore.  Good food, good drinks, and a feeling of community where everybody is welcome is a staple of their establishments.

Actively working with Joining Hearts over the last four years, Heath started out as a volunteer, moved to the host committee, and is now the Director of Events for 2013. Acting as a strong liaison between local corporations and community members, Heath played a large part in helping Joining Hearts reach their $250k goal this year. Heath also volunteers in local schools and various community organizations providing sports rehabilitation services.

A Mercer graduate, James has been active in the gay community since the dawn of the AIDS crisis. Empowered by his talent as an artist and writer, he has worked to make effective change in the gay community. Along with a group of friends, he co-founded ArtCare that for 10 years has raised money for many Atlanta AIDS service groups including AID Atlanta, Project Open Hand, and the Grady Memorial Hospital Infectious Disease Unit. He consistently donates both his art and his time to assist other local organizations such as Positive Impact, Youth Pride, the Human Rights Campaign, and CHRIS Kids to name a few. An accomplished author of three published books, Chumbley exposes himself through his art in the hopes of instilling compassion and caring, in others, but most of all, forgiveness of ourselves.

An active member of the community, Jeremiah contributes much of his time to AIDS Walk and Joining Hearts. Having served on staff with AIDS Walk for the past three years, as well as on the Board of Directors of Joining Hearts for the past two, he has come to understand the Atlanta community and how to best create change within it. He has also given his time and shared his fundraising expertise with other organizations such as Atlanta Field Day, For the Kid, and the Santa Speedo Run. Catch this super volunteer at the upcoming Toy Party or scantily-clad at the Santa Speedo Run this December.

Lights, camera, activism! Jesse Morgan is a homegrown radical southern who got a taste for involvement after attending MondoHomo, an alternative queer arts and music festival here in Atlanta. A torchbearer for effecting change, he attends countless rallies and protests (think reproductive rights, anti-war demonstrations, anti-death penalty protests, morally and socially conscious things that are important to all people, not just gays). Savannah owes its first gay pride march to his organizing efforts, and now with Glitterbomb!, we’re witness to one of the most deliciously aggressive movements in our community that screams “We don’t want assimilation, girl — we want equality!”

Josh Noblitt is a healer. Serving as the Minister of Social Justice at Saint Mark United Methodist Church, Josh leads a special ministry called the Federal Defender Program that works to end the use of the death penalty. Rev. Noblitt also a fierce advocate for indigent people and is searching for ways to persuade the courts to sentence them to life rather than death. A constant reminder that LGBT people can be found in every walk of life, Josh’s work is of vital importance in the Atlanta community and proves that we play an essential role in it.

If there’s anything we love more than an animal lover, we don’t know it yet. Kate Trahan’s exhaustive efforts to unleash local animals that are tethered in backyards, to spay and neuter animals in need, and to provide fencing and financial assistance for pet-owning families have more than qualified her as a Fenuxe 50 recipient. Working with the Coalition to Unchain Dogs, she’s helped build fences for more than 65 families and has provided the means for local families to spay and neuter hundreds of dogs. The local hero lives downtown with her partner of more than seven years, Stacy Shirley, and their three rescue dogs. We look forward to keeping up with her efforts and, as pet owners ourselves, extend our warm and furry thanks.

When you’re as brilliant as the triple-threat bombshell known as Kat Graham, the world could easily be your oyster, but instead of sitting back while the masses pine for her affection, Kat charges through adversity on behalf of the gay community and advocates heavily for our rights. As the daughter of a Liberian father and Russian Jewish mother, Kat has always been exposed to different cultures, which could be why she openly embraces the gay community as one of her biggest supporters — and why the feeling is mutual. Probably best known for her role as Bonnie Bennet of “The Vampire Diaries,” we know her simply as the long-time badass/ally of the LGBT community who vigorously couples her passion for the cause with her celebrity status to make a stand on our behalf. Among many advocate groups, GLAAD has most certainly taken notice and awarded Kat an Angel Award for her outspokenness for our equality. An honorary member of the House of Brooks, Kat has established roots in the Atlanta gay community, and we love and honor her for it.

The director of P.A.L.S (Pets Are Loving Support) for the last seven years, Kevin works to ensure that the animal companions of people living with terminal illnesses and disabilities are able to access the care they need so they can stay with their owners. Kevin was instrumental in making P.A.L.S a food hub for Georgia and supplying pet food to non-profits throughout the state. Countless letters from people whose lives have been dramatically improved by his compassionate and intensely important work show how deeply Kevin has affected our community. It’s his turn to be treated and we’re more than happy to oblige.

Kevin became part of the Joining Hearts Host Committee in spring 2008 and spent the summer volunteering at car washes, bar promotion nights and beer busts, crafting décor for the Main Event and building a Pride float. After meeting many great people working toward a common goal, he realized it was exactly what he had been in search of since moving to Atlanta in 2006. He then joined the recently created Development Committee thinking that his work with AT&T could be an asset. As interim co-Director of Development, he increased the brand equity of Joining Hearts and built a strong base of corporate sponsors. In 2011, he was elected Vice President. For the past five years, he has served on the Joining Hearts Board of Directors and has raised more than $653,000 in donations to AID Atlanta and Jerusalem House.

“I’ve been a die-hard supporter of the LGBT community since putting on events for Nancy Boxill back in 1997,” Councilman Hall told Fenuxe. Active and well-connected with HRC, Georgia Equality, and the Log Cabin Republicans, he’s worked with some of the most influential LGBT organizations for many years. Setting aside his Pride weekend Sundays for years to march, Councilman Hall is a visible ally and defender of gay rights. Elected to the Atlanta City Council in 2005, he represents District 2, and as such, presides over Midtown. Creative Loafing named him Atlanta’s Best Local Political Figure in 2009, and this year, we’re proud to honor him a Fenuxe 50.

Laura Douglas-Brown is the editor and co-owner of GA Voice, which reports on LGBT news, events, arts, and entertainment. She began her career covering the 1997 bombing of the Otherside Lounge, a Midtown gay bar, and has chronicled our community’s trials and triumphs for the last 15 years. Laura believes passionately in the power of community journalism to educate and empower readers to fight for LGBT civil rights, and she is equally inspired by the resilience and creativity of LGBT culture. Laura lives in northeast Atlanta with her wife, Donna, and two daughters, Dylan and Carter. She is a devout soccer mom and recovering Diet Coke addict. A trusted name, Douglas-Brown’s first-rate style of reporting has kept thousands of readers enthralled and we’d like to publicly acknowledge Laura’s brilliant and tenacious work she and her staff deliver on an exhaustively constant basis.

“Be proud of yourself first,” Lena Lust has said. “Love yourself, respect yourself, know yourself—to me, that’s the biggest pride right there.” Chances are, if you’ve ever visited Blake’s you have met this drag diva. Having worked in more than 70 Atlanta clubs, this 59 year old has seen the community grow, change, and flourish in spite of all the obstacles we have faced. This entertaintress has been performing for audiences since ’75 when she took on the role of Janet for the Rocky Horror Picture Show’s live performance in St. Louis. Now, the drag superstar can dish the dirty on how crazy Atlanta night life used to be and how nice it is to get tipped big by Janet Jackson and Queen Latifah. Known for her rendition of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” she counts Lena Horne as her idol and can tear up some Diana Ross and Gladys Knight, too. “The body is made to move, and you have to keep moving,” Lena once told Atlanta Magazine. “God gave me that gift to give.” We completely agree, Madame Lust, and we thank you for sharing the love.

Probably best known as “Mama Lynn” to the Blake’s crowd and throughout Midtown Atlanta, Lynn was the only straight ally among all of the Grand Marshals of last year’s Pride Parade. A local non-profit sector professional, Lynn works in development and volunteer management. Working with and supporting several local LGBT-specific nonprofits throughout the years such as YouthPride, CHRIS Kids, AIDS Walk & 5k Atlanta, and Project Open Hand, Lynn is a true blue friend of the “family.” She also served as the Executive Director of Enlight Atlanta, a group that helped students organize their own gay-straight alliances and supports the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure.

When long-time Atlanta resident Maggie Lopez, an art consultant, acquired a seasonal house along the Connecticut shore, little did she expect to meet, much less marry, native nutmegger Patt Cianciullo, then CFO of the Greenwich YMCA. They relocated to Atlanta in 2008, where they devoted their time and resources to The Health Initiative and For the Kid in All of Us as board members, but also as supporters of many worthwhile organizations and initiative. While living in Connecticut as a legally married couple, they enjoyed all the rights and privileges of marriage on the state level. Once in Georgia, their rights were no longer applicable. Despite the challenges they’ve faced from the setback, they continue to support their community, challenge Georgia’s healthcare status quo, and endure the fight for marriage equality.

This entrepreneur and community leader founded the Gay Yellow Pages and Gayborhood app, bringing together members of the community and supporting gay commerce for more than 20 years. Also serving as the CEO of Carma Productions, Marci truly serves the Atlanta community. This advocate for LGBT equality provides a platform for the entire community and helps provide a source for us all to find safe places to shop and buy goods from businesses who stand with the community. Marci has been married to her wife for more than ten years and together, they are raising two beautiful children.

Admit it: You’re smiling just thinking about her. Since the beginning of her career, Margaret has been a staunch supporter of minority underdogs and everyone who’s ever been made to feel less than, because she too was a victim of bullying. Growing up an outsider, she used comedy to escape the clutches of bullies and performed stand up for the first time at 16. She talks frequently of gay rights on daytime television, bashes the hypocrisy of bigots in Congress in her standup routines, and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is no matter the audience. Though her stint on Dancing With The Stars centered around her dance moves, the gay pride dress she flaunted in the face of notoriously-noisy social conservative viewers gave our winking and nudging muscles a workout. Her brutal social and political critiques that frequently lambaste inequality and homophobia always leave us in stitches and have garnered her numerous humanitarian awards (see: the Lifetime Achievement Award from LA Pride, among others). For being such a vocal supporter of the LGBT community, for rocking our comedic worlds, and for loving Atlanta as much as we do, we proudly honor the world’s greatest fag hag for everything she’s done for us.

Mark Jackson and Tom Schloeder are life partners and the co-owners of Brushstrokes and Brushstrokes Pleasures. Mark moved to Atlanta in 1989, then opened the first Brushstrokes location in Virginia Highland. Mark always had a knack for anticipating trends and grew the business by listening to customers’ needs, then tailoring the inventory around them. The couple met soon after on Thanksgiving day and together, the brilliant twosome grew the original Brushstrokes from 400 to 4200 square feet of retail space. “We’ve always felt that our customers were more like family,” Mark told Fenuxe. We’ve been there with them through school, jobs, and relationships.” As Brushstrokes begins its 24th year in business on December 1st, it shows no sign of slowing down. “We are looking forward, hopefully, to expand even more in 2013.” We’re looking forward to it, too, guys!

Mary Edith Pitts doesn’t leave a room without belly laughs in her wake. Serving the Atlanta community for more than 20 years, Mary Edith and her saggy tits are definitely among the most recognizable of our community members. Serving on the board of Jerusalem House, she also throws an annual birthday celebration to raise money for local nonprofits that do work affiliated with HIV/AIDS treatment, management, and awareness. To date, she has personally raised more than $500,000 for AIDS charities. Hey Girl Hey!

All News 106.7 was smart to hire Melissa. The highly-experienced newswoman is a refreshing and familiar voice that makes our often agonizing commute from work to home a little more tolerable. Also a columnist for GA Voice and The Huffington Post, Melissa, an out lesbian, is among the most recognizable members of our big gay media. No stranger to hosting events for charities and speaking openly about gay issues, she works to make the world a better place while spreading knowledge about LGBT life. Melissa’s engaging nature and attention to detail have made her one of the most trusted and sought-after names in Atlanta media and we’re proud to recognize her as one of our own.

“If they’re so opposed to it, then they shouldn’t marry somebody of their sex!” Boortz erupted after being told that gay marriage is a legitimate issue to many conservative voters. A true Libertarian, the nationally-syndicated radio powerhouse is sick of the government legislating its way into the nooks and crannies of our daily lives and is more than willing to take others to task who only pretend to want small government. Though it would appear that gay marriage is an issue no conservative can get behind, Boortz urges us to re-examine what it means to stand for freedom in an age where religion and political grandstanding threaten it. Conversely, the sentiment goads the LGBT community and its allies to stop equating liberalism to freedom from religious political doctrines. After nearly forty years on the air, Boortz is retiring this year and we have to say, though his controversial stances have often been the topic of some heated office saberrattlings, we thank him for the years of entertainment and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

When the AIDS epidemic was so grossly misunderstood, Dr. Nedra Dodds refused to treat her patients like untouchables. Among the first specialists to forgo gloves when inspecting HIV-positive patients, the feedback from the community was incredible. “I felt human again,” was largely the sentiment. In this day and age, the new taboo in her profession is to treat misguided transfolk who have participated in “pumping parties,” in which silicone, a toxin, is injected by amateur cosmetic surgeons in hotel rooms. Because of the high risk associated with the attempt to remove it, many doctors turn the unwitting victims away. Not Dr. Dodd. She refuses to be bound by superstition and bravely attends to the wide and varied needs of the LGBT community. For that, we reward her our highest honor, the Fenuxe 50.

Maybe you know her as “that hilarious Atlanta housewife.” Maybe you know her as Coach Roz from Glee. Maybe you’ve tuned into “The New Normal” where you know her as Rocky. Or maybe, like us, she’s just NeNe, one of the most intensely fabulous scene-stealing LGBT friendly one-woman shows to come out of Atlanta. What’s more, she’s an advocate against domestic abuse and has written a memoir detailing her experience with abuse. She’s never afraid to say what’s on her mind, and never afraid to back it up. That’s fierce incarnate.

Palmer and Mary Marsh deserve every accolade we can muster. Tackling the daunting task of bringing a heavily-indebted biker bar (they bought it that way) from the brink of failure and turning it into Burkhart’s — one of Atlanta’s most lively, welcome, happening hotspots — we can’t say enough about their tenacity and grace under fire. Having served the Atlanta LGBT community for a quarter-century, Palmer and Mary have raised more than $1 million for various charities that are near to the hearts of many. As well, their support of events and organizations like the Armorettes have helped raise more than $2 million for charity. The hard-working duo can still be spotted at Burkhart’s doing what they do best: making sure there’s always a cold mug and a warm hug available to all who enter.

Park Krausen serves as Artistic Director of Theatre du Reve, the only professional francophone theater company in the United States. As an actor, she is an associate artist of Georgia Shakespeare and core company member of Out of Hand Theater. She has been nominated for four Suzi Awards (Atlanta’s Tony Award equivalent) and won two. She has acted in France, Belgium, Poland, and all over the U.S. from New York to Chicago, Atlanta to Asheville. Her attempt at diplomacy in Switzerland and the influence from her aunt Pat Gardner and her girlfriend have made her a very political being. She is a champion of individual artists, arts organizations, and great ATL restaurants (especially when they are newborn) and tries to motivate people to think globally and act locally whenever she can.

Having donated his services in graphic design and photography to Atlanta Cotillion and AID Atlanta for the last five years, out artist Philip Bonneau is an active participant in Atlanta’s gay community. “Beautiful Layered Lies,” his first art show, benefitted AID Atlanta in 2011 and subsequently served as the impetus to begin his “Heroes + Villains” series which originally premiered at the MISTER Center. Now celebrating the third incarnation of the series, his “Issue #3” will be premiering on November 16th at the I.D. Lab to benefit AID Atlanta.

Jimmy Carter was the first president ever to address gay rights. In 1978, California’s Proposition 6, an initiative that would’ve banned gays and lesbians (and anyone who supported their rights) from working in the California public school system, was hotly contested and on the ballot. President Carter was vocal in his opposition and soon became the first president to meet with gay rights groups as a result. A proponent of civil rights to this day, President Carter has acted in favor of ending the ban on gays in the military as well as supporting civil unions for LGBT couples. He also signed on to the inclusion of marriage equality language in the 2012 Democratic National Platform. In a memoir released earlier this year, NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter, the former President wrote: “In all of [Jesus’] teachings about multiple things — he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.” Thank you, Mr. President.

Bet Haverim, a synagogue serving the progressive Jewish community, is home to the dynamic congregation headed by Rabbi Joshua Lesser. Meaning “House of Friends,” Bet Haverim was founded by gays and lesbians as a Jewish home away from home where worshippers could fully engage in Judaism and Jewish life. Rabbi Lesser is dedicated to his synagogue’s celebration of all aspects of Jewish life and works daily to create a spiritual haven that balances the needs of his diverse community. He is the founder of the Rainbow Center, a Jewish refuge serving LGBTQ people and their families and is the co-editor of the book Torah Queeries: A Weekly Commentary on the Hebrew Bible. He also serves as the co-chair of Georgians Against Discrimination and co-founded Camp Big Heart, a camp for children and adults with special needs.

Having helped establish Jerusalem House and serving on their board atits inception, Randy has dauntlessly served and contributed to numerous local organizations. From Actor’s Express Theatre to Jerusalem House and Positive Impact, Randy New is a lifelong devotee to the LGBT community and the arts. His practice alongside Joyce Kitchens and Jeff Cleghorn has carefully served our legal needs for more than a decade. Randy and his partner Russell Tippins are an incredible couple who bring new meaning to the terms “serve and protect.”

Pastor Paul is the Senior Pastor of First Metropolitan Community Church of Atlanta and is celebrating more than 35 years of ministry. As senior pastor, he shares a message of compassion, inclusion, and empowerment that has touched Atlanta for the past 12 years. Apart from the many churches he’s worked in stateside, Pastor Paul has worked with congregations in Kenya, The Bahamas, Thailand, Tanzania, India, Hong Kong, Holland, and Mexico. His hard work has earned him degrees in theology, sacred music, and cultural communications. He will complete his Doctorate of Divinity in April 2013.

As the first openly gay man to run for office in Georgia and the first openly gay delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1988, Richard was recently awarded the AGLCC’s Lifetime Achievement Award in September of 2012. In 1993, he became the first openly gay Chairman of the DeKalb County Democratic Party. We salute this local hero for blazing the way for the rest of us and fighting the good fight throughout the years.

Best known for her work with the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Sheila was recently awarded with the “Businesswoman of the Year” award. The one-time president of the AGLCC, Merritt is particularly adept at fundraising and has worked in conjunction with the HRC and several of Atlanta’s charitable organizations. She has also helped serve great organizations such as Atlanta Pride and Atlanta’s Health Initiative through her company, Q & A Events. This events expert is among the best in the city and proudly helps to give back and serve us all.

Ursula’s community involvements include serving on the Executive Board for the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Chair-Nun & co-host of the Big Gay Game Show, and spokesmodel/think-tank “ member-at-large” for Power2Endure. Over the last year, she has handed out innumerable MISTER condom packets during bar ministries, successfully conducted two rummage sales for Lost-n-Found Youth, performed with the Armorettes (where she made more in tips by NOT performing), worked with the Radical Faeries on IGLA, and assisted with/ or attended more than 60 events in our community.

Receiving a great number of nominations, William has won a Fenuxe 50 for the second year in a row. His business, Piedmont Bark, celebrated 10 years of service to the Midtown Atlanta community only a week ago (Oct. 25th), with their “Spooktacular” Halloween party. Creating a safe and supportive business for LGBT individuals that reinvests in the community, William has donated thousands of dollars to LGBT organizations as well as supported local non-profits such as the Atlanta Humane Society and P.A.L.S.Tried and true as “man’s best friend.” He is truly a pillar of the Atlanta community.

To purchase tickets, please use the box below or visit here:

Be Sociable, Share!

Categorized | Archive, News

Join Our Mailing List