Tag Archive | "Georgia Equality"

Congratulations To This Year’s FENUXE 15!


By D. David Kinney

Atlanta is a great place for gays to live and work in the South and that’s not by happenstance. Every day thousands of gay Atlantans wake up to pursue their passion for making our home and our world a better place. To recognize the incredible amount of good that our community members do FENUXE created the FENUXE 50 and FENUXE 15 awards. The FENUXE 50 awards honor Atlanta’s favorite gay and gay-friendly businesses, and the FENUXE 15 awards recognize individuals who make a positive contribution to Atlanta’s gay community through their work, volunteerism or art. So we asked our readers to nominate gay Atlantans they felt deserved recognition, and it is our honor to recognize fifteen of these outstanding individuals here as this year’s FENUXE 15. You can also read about the 2014 FENUXE 15 in the digital version of FENUXE here.

WORK – Whether you own a business, manage a store or simply work nine to five, thousands of gay Atlantans are helping make workplaces more gay friendly and helping educate employers on the benefits of equality in the workplace.

VOLUNTEERISM – “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference,” Tom Brokaw once said. Truer words were never spoken. Atlanta has many wonderful opportunities for people who want to get involved and make a difference – especially right here in the gay community.

ART – Art can do more to change hearts and minds than just about anything. Whether it’s through the poignant words of a film, creative rap lyrics or drag, there are hundreds of Atlanta artists bringing positive exposure to the gay community.

The FENUXE 15 are presented in no particular order. They’re all outstanding and we’re in awe of their accomplishments and passion for our community.

Brian Sharp – Atlanta Police Department:

Brian Sharp is not only a highly respected Senior Police Officer, but he is also the LGBT Liaison for the Atlanta Police Department (and a talented singer, too). “My work allows me to work directly with individuals and organizations to better understand their needs, while offering them a unique link to an often misunderstood profession,” Brian told FENUXE, “I love to go out and talk with people and share my story. It allows us to connect on a more personal level, and people see that police officers are just like everyone else. My partner and I are both officers and we share the same struggles as anyone else, and I think most folks relate to that on some level. At the end of the day, my work allows me to be out and show that it is ok to be who you are no matter what.” Additionally, Brian has developed LGBT training for law enforcement officers while working with the Atlanta Police Department. “I have had the amazing opportunity to share this training not only with our officers and civilian staff, but also with other local law enforcement officers that work with our community here in our great city,” Brian remembered, “To date I have trained officers from several agencies including Spelman College campus police and Georgia Tech campus police.” However, Brian is just getting started. The U.S. Department of State recently asked Brian to travel abroad and share his expertise. “I am traveling to El Salvador June 14 – 21 to train officers from six different countries at the International Law Enforcement Academy,” Brian revealed. “The training will include LGBT sensitivity training, as well as bias and hate crime identification and investigation.”

Randy Prophater – Team Friendly Atlanta:

Randy Prophater is the chair of Team Friendly Atlanta, which is part of the Mr. Friendly movement, where he works to combat the stigma of HIV. In addition to fostering dialogue with community members one-on-one, he also recently organized a town hall meeting at the Phillip Rush Center to discuss pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). When we asked Randy where his passion comes from he replied: “I was once described by a friend as a Crayola Crayons 64-pack. I loved that he was unable to define me with a single word or a single label. Just like that box of crayons, I have a variety of colorful words that describe me. Son, brother and boyfriend. Spiritual, passionate and creative. Recovering Crystal Meth Addict, dyslexic and HIV+. No one single term defines me. Nor should others be defined by just one term, least of all their HIV status. That is why Team Friendly Atlanta is so important to me, I want everyone to be able to be themselves, without any single word, term, or label holding them back from being themself, their whole self. All 64 colors.”

Joey Helton – AID Atlanta:


Joey Helton believes Atlanta’s future is bright and he works hard everyday as the Chief Development Officer at AID Atlanta to make sure it stays that way. “AID Atlanta seeks to expand its target population from HIV positive individuals to also include historically underserved populations, including minorities, youth, low-income individuals and the LGBT community,” Joey detailed to FENUXE when asked about the future of AID Atlanta, “The health condition of the population in metro Atlanta indicates a strong need for primary care and behavioral health services, with a high prevalence of chronic diseases and poor overall health conditions. AID Atlanta is viewed currently as a provider for HIV/AIDS testing, counseling and treatment, and will need to shift perspectives and payer mix to support its new service delivery model.” It’s a big challenge for the organization but it helps motivate Joey. “I love a challenge,” he told FENUXE, “The word ‘no’ is not in my vocabulary. I prefer to hear ‘not know.’”


Brian Isbell – For the Kid in All of Us:


Brian Isbell is known throughout the gay community for his hard work and dedication to For the Kid in All of Us, the organization behind Backpack in the Park and the Toy Party. However, you may not know that he is also the Starbucks corporation’s district lead for community service. In the past three years he and the Starbucks AIDS Walk team have raised for $12,000 for AID Atlanta. “With the current fight for equality it is important that the general public sees the good that the LGBT community is capable of, rather than judging us on the typical gay stereotype,” Brian explained to FENUXE, “For 21 years I trained and showed American Quarter and Paint horses. I was fortunate to win several world and national titles. While exciting and rewarding, at the end of the day all those trophies and titles weren’t making a difference in the world. I knew I wanted to do something that would make a difference in both the gay and straight communities.” As always, Brian was incredibly humble and included: “I have to thank the current and past For the Kid board members and presidents Alex Wan, Frank Bragg, Jorge Esteban, Chris Bess and Alison Hall. I would also like to thank the numerous volunteers that donate their valuable time year after year to help For the Kid achieve its goals. Lastly, I have to thank Kevin for his unconditional love and support.”


Jeff Graham – Georgia Equality:


“I’ve led marches, been arrested, helped win elections, passed legislation on both a state and local level and secured tens of millions of dollars for HIV medications and other services for LGBT folks,” Jeff Graham, a hero in the Georgia gay rights movement, remembered. Yet, despite all of the incredible things he has done for our community he remains incredibly humble and points toward our community’s success instead of his own. “Some of the success that I am most proud of was the opening of the Grady Infectious Disease Clinic on Ponce de Leon, the elimination of the waiting list for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and the creation of the Phillip Rush Center. None of those was done as an individual but by working closely with others who are just as dedicated to making a difference as I am.” Now that’s truly the hallmark of an inspirational leader! And now more than ever Georgia needs his leadership as LGBT equality takes center stage in the political arena. “When it comes to LGBT equality, there is a tremendous amount of need in our city and in our state. Georgia Equality is in a period of growth. As we are able to expand our staff, we will be in a stronger position to influence policies and laws that will benefit all LGBT Georgians. We’ve developed several very strong collaborative partnerships with both local and national organizations that share our vision of equality. Working together, I see a bright future for Georgia Equality and the community that we serve.”

Rick Westbrook – Lost-N-Found Youth:

Rick Westbrook isn’t a man who minces words. At a community meeting a few years ago he raised the issue of Atlanta’s homeless LGBT youth crisis and declared that something had to be done. Shortly thereafter Lost-N-Found Youth was created and the organization made a promise to our community: “Lost-N-Found has promised the community that we will address the ever growing problem of our homeless youth, and we are stepping up to do that,” Rick told FENUXE. Indeed, they’re tackling the issue head on and have met their initial goals ahead of schedule. As promised we have opened a Youth Center to address the needs of the youth on the street. We have also opened a Thrift Store containing all of the gracious donations given to us that allows us to help fund our programs, and we are in the process of renovating a house at 5th and Juniper that will allow us to increase the services we offer threefold,” Rick detailed. It’s hard work, but Rick is motivated by the positive impact he can have on LGBT youths. “It’s simply mind boggling the amount of youths that need us. My mind says we cannot save them all, but my heart says we are going to try our best. [It’s] the look in the eyes of a youth when the wall breaks down and they realize that our community loves them just the way they are. Then to see the youth actually grow when they are with us and then get their life back,” Rick revealed.

Cindy Abel - Atlantis Moon Productions:

Woven throughout our history there is a rich tradition of storytelling, and despite the endless forms of modern entertainment at our disposal we continue to hold storytellers near and dear to our hearts. Cindy Abel is an Atlanta filmmaker, speaker and writer. Yet, above all, she is a master storyteller. Whether you’re reading her blog on Huffington Post or watching her critically-acclaimed film “Breaking Through” from Atlantis Moon Productions, (a production company she formed to develop projects that “launch conversations and impact popular culture”) it is clear that Cindy has a gift for capturing an audience and she uses her gift to affect positive change for the LGBT community. “I initially taught, then added writing and speaking, then led teams combining words and pictures and now with film, those elements have motion and a soundtrack,” Cindy reflected, “But it’s always been about stories. That’s how many of us learn while also being transported into the world of possibilities. As I look at my life now – filmmaking, speaking and writing – I can see how each step has led me to this place. When a young person whispers to me that “Breaking Through” helped them realize they can be all of who they are and want to be, or an older person sobs that after 53 years of living in shame, he finally gets there’s nothing wrong with him, or a mom in a rural area tells me she now has hope for her son – that’s all the motivation I need.”

Steven Shipp – BB&T:

As a Vice President at BB&T Bank, Steven Shipp understands how important it is for major corporations to understand the needs of the LGBT community. “As our community evolves with more acceptance, LGBT couples are able to get married and that ‘modern family’ grows, the importance of having a partnership with a financial institution is crucial to helping these modern families reach their dreams and goals whether that’s to have children, plan for retirement, or, in some cases, continue to grow their business,” Steven explained, “I love being able to help people and make a positive impact in their lives! When I work with retail and small business clients to help them accomplish their dreams of growing their business, buying a new home, or even something as simple as opening a checking account to manage their money I feel like I am truly helping them reach their dreams and goals as their financial partner. Many small business owners don’t have the time in their day to stop what they are doing and focus on administrative tasks while running a business. Their relationship with their banker and partnering with a bank that understands their needs is essential for their success. My team and I are committed to making this happen in the Atlanta market.”

Michael Shutt – Emory University:

Emory University is a great place to be a LGBT student and Michael Shutt is a major reason why that is true. As the Assistant Dean for Campus Life and the Director of the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Life, Michael has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. “My work is very complex as it straddles a space between being an activist and an administrator in a large organization,” Michael explained, “Both at Emory University and at other institutions of higher education throughout the country, LGBT support services programs continue to evolve into more complex organizations. Most started out as points of crisis and were established to support the problems LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff faced on campus. Today, there are still issues of access, equity and inclusion that must be addressed. We must therefore be engaged in ending injustice on and off our campuses. At the same time, we must utilize the amazing strengths of our community to change the world. For example, I hope the Emory University Office of LGBT Life plays a role in recruiting and retaining the best students, scholars and researchers in the world. This sets us up to cure cancer, eliminate HIV, end violence and create a world where everyone can thrive. This means we must support a fully inclusive, accessible, and equitable environment while building a community that values and affirms everyone. If we can do this, the rest will be easy!” It’s a large undertaking, but if anyone can help Emory realize this progress we’re confident that Michael can. He has an impressive history of successfully helping LGBT students. In fact, in 2005 he helped create the first LGBT center at a public university in Georgia and served as its founding Director while at the University of Georgia.

Dino Thompson-Sarmiento – Spotted Dog Agency:

Whether he’s serving as a Senior Advisor for the GLAAD Leadership Council in Atlanta or as the CEO and co-founder of the Spotted Dog Agency, (a branding, marketing and film production company here in Atlanta) Dino Thompson-Sarmiento is a hard working advocate for the LGBT community. “Atlanta has a rich and important history that reflects humanity’s arduous and challenging growth process,” Dino opined to FENUXE, “Our city embraces change and as difficult and sometimes painful and scary as change can be, Atlanta continues to open doors and take risks for the betterment of our society.” Yet, Dino isn’t someone willing to stand on the sidelines and wait for change to happen slowly. He is determined for his life to have a positive effect on society for the LGBT community: “I’m motivated by how I feel when I go to bed. Did I do my best? Did I help change the world for the better? It’s my legacy. I don’t have children so my impact in the community is what I will leave behind.”

J Tyler – Musician:

Justin Tyler Ellingwood moved to Atlanta just over a year ago, but he has already captured the attention of Atlanta’s gay community through his art. You may know him better by his stage name – J Tyler – Atlanta’s gay rapper. He’s a natural entertainer and performs at different venues throughout the metro area. J Tyler also frequently performs at benefits raising money for LGBT charities and has a loyal gay fan base. However, things weren’t always so easy for the rapper. “A lot of people don’t know that I started from below the bottom and had to work my way to being stable before even thinking about pursuing my dreams,” J Tyler recalled during an interview with FENUXE, “Luckily, I had help getting pulled up to where I was able to get out there and perform. But I was focused on my dream the whole time. And it’s all thanks to people like Brent Star, Monica Van Pelt and Ruby Redd. They’ve given me the opportunity to step into the Atlanta spotlight!” For more information about J Tyler and to hear his music you can check him out on MTV.com and on Soundcloud.

Dr. John Ouderkirk – Piedmont Avenue Health & Wellness:

Dr. John Ouderkirk was born in San Diego, however, he was quickly drawn to the East Coast. First he went to North Carolina where he obtained a degree in psychology. From there he went to Washington, DC where he earned his Doctorate of Medicine and did his residency in internal medicine. And finally he conducted a fellowship in infectious disease medicine in New York City. Dr. Ouderkirk has devoted his life to providing state-of-the-art HIV care and since 2001 he’s been treating Atlantans at Piedmont Avenue Health & Wellness. “My medical office is a safe haven for transgender, gay and lesbian patients,” Dr. Ouderkirk said in response to what excites him about his work specializing in HIV, “I want them to feel at home and not like they’re being judged for who they are. I feel that Atlanta is an oasis in the Southeast where all types of people can come together and get along.” His patients appreciate his medical skill and attention, and the future is bright at Dr. Ouderkirk’s office. “Piedmont Avenue Health & Wellness is growing by leaps and bounds, he explained, “An infusion center is our latest venture. I have a new physician starting next month and hope to expand to three to four physicians in the next year.”

Jerry Henderson – Joining Hearts:

Jerry Henderson first got involved with Joining Hearts after attending one of their events several years ago. Little did he know at the time that he would eventually rise within the organization to become the Director of Marketing for the them today. He remains faithful to the organization because the work hits home for him. “It’s personal to me as I have friends with HIV and I’ve seen their struggles,” Jerry explained to FENUXE, “I knew I had to do something so I started volunteering. Last year, I wanted to take a bigger to role to promote and educate the community and was elected to the Board of Directors by my peers.” In his role as Director of Marketing, Jerry believes he has a clear mandate from the group’s Board of Directors and donors: “We want to build upon the 26 years of Joining Hearts history and to take it to the next level.” In conclusion, Jerry offered a call to action for Atlanta’s gay community: “I challenge the community to get involved and do something to make Atlanta a better place.”

Dr. T. Douglas Gurley – T. Douglas Gurley MD:

When Dr. Gurley began his career he was working for a large HMO here in Atlanta, however, he wasn’t happy with their standards. Between pressuring doctors to spend as little time as possible with patients to the unfriendly and sterile environment, Dr. Gurley knew there was a better way treat patients. So over a decade ago he hung his hat at his own practice specializing in HIV care and his patients couldn’t be happier. The difference is noticeable the moment you walk in the door. Dr. Gurley’s office is peaceful, tasteful and incredibly inviting. “We have a lot of different types of people who come here. It’s not just HIV people,” Dr. Gurley explained during a recent interview with FENUXE, “It’s botox, primary care, etc. I think a lot of people with HIV want to come and experience a warm environment and not feel like they’re visiting an HIV clinic. I don’t want them to be sitting in the lobby and feel like everyone knows they’re HIV. People can be tense or nervous when they’re coming to the doctor and that’s not a good time to interview someone and get their real emotions.” If you are HIV positive finding the right doctor can make all of the difference in the world. So we asked Dr. Gurley what the most important factor is when picking a physician: “I think the main thing is that you have to find a doctor who is educated and will fight for you.”

Angelica D’Paige – Entertainer:

From lighting up stages throughout Atlanta with her signature performances to being crowned the reigning FENUXE Queen of Queens, Angelica D’Paige is a force in Atlanta’s LGBT nightlife scene. We all know she is wickedly talented, however, did you know she frequently uses her talent to raise money for LGBT groups? “When an opportunity to help an LGBT charity presents itself and I’m available I try my best to help out our community,” Angelica told FENUXE during a recent interview, “I’ve done a lot of things for Lost-N-Found Youth, AID Atlanta and even the Armorettes. We work together a whole lot and I work with Ruby Redd every week at Ruby’s Redd LIght District.” In addition to lending her talent to do good, Angelica also promotes community unity. “I truly believe that we have to stick together and work together as a community to make things right,” Angelica commented, “I believe that Atlanta is a family-oriented kind of place. Whether it be a heterosexual family or a gay family, drag family or club family, Atlanta is a family-oriented place. You’re always going to belong somewhere, and you’ll always feel like you belong to something in Atlanta. I think there is a true sense of community wherever you are in Atlanta.”

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Georgia Attorneys Stand Up For Marriage Equality!


By D. David Kinney

Georgia attorneys are standing up for marriage equality in a new campaign from Southerners for the Freedom to Marry in partnership with Georgia Equality. It’s called Georgia Lawyers for the Freedom to Marry and organizers say the list of signers include “prominent attorneys from communities across the state, including Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah and Athens.”

Georgia Lawyers for the Freedom to Marry is a pledge, already signed by 206 attorneys, that reads: “As proud members of Georgia’s legal community, we believe that allowing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples is crucial to fulfilling the promise of liberty and equality for all of Georgia’s residents. All Americans, regardless of whom they love, deserve to be treated equally under the law.”

To view the pledge and the list of Georgia attorneys who have signed it, click here.  If you’re a licensed Georgia attorney and would like to sign the pledge, click here.

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Who Are You Voting For?


By D. David Kinney

With a marriage equality victory in Oregon yesterday and news today that Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional, it’s a great day to go vote! But who are you going to vote for when you get inside the booth? Here is a list of local candidates endorsed by Georgia Equality:

State Senate:

District 22 – Harold V. Jones II (D)

District 36 - Nan Orrock (D)

District 38 - Horacena Tate (D)

District 42 - Kyle Williams (D)

District 44 - Gail Davenport (D)

State House:

District 39 – Erica R. Thomas (D)

District 54 – Bob Gibeling (D)

District 58 – Simone Bell (D)

District 60 – Keisha Waites (D)

District 74 – Roberta Abdul Salaam (D)

District 85 – Karla Drenner (D)

District 86 – Michele Henson (D)

District 91 – Dee Dawkins-Haigler (D)

District 105 – Tim Hur (D)

District 113 – Ram Dickerson (D)

Fulton County Commission:

District 7 – Robert Pitts (D)

District 2 – Eric Broadwell (R)

District 4 – Joan Garner (D)

District 5 –  Brenda Muhammad (D)

State School Superintendent:

Alisha Thomas Morgan (D)

Allen Fort (R)

 

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2014 FENUXE 50 Winners – The Best Of Atlanta


By D. David Kinney 

Every year FENUXE invites the gay community to vote for the best businesses and organizations in Atlanta. The competition was tough in 2014, however, the votes are in and the results are here! Join us in celebrating the 2014 FENUXE 50 - the Best of Atlanta winners:

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Best Shopping

Lenox Square Mall

With 1.5 million square feet of retail space, Lenox Square Mall is Atlanta’s premier shopping destination. The mall originally opened its doors on August 3, 1959 and looks incredibly different than it does today. Back then it was an open-air shopping center and featured a bowling alley, indoor golf driving range and a grocery store called Colonial Stores. Now you can find world-class upscale retail and anchor department stores including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s Zara, Diesel, Ralph Lauren and Neiman Marcus.

Best Hair Salon

Bubbles Salon

Out with the old and in with a new do at Bubbles Salon in the Ansley II Shopping Center on Monroe Drive. It’s easy to see why Atlanta loves Bubbles with their super convenient online booking and a wide range of services. Your hair is definitely in the care of skilled hands at Bubbles. A men’s haircut is only $20 and getting the grey out only costs $25. Is your stache in need of a trim? You can get a beard and mustache trim for only eight bucks.

Best Dog Groomer

Piedmont Bark

Happy yelps from playing pups at Piedmont Bark explains why it’s a perennial Atlanta favorite. Dogs dig this canine hotspot and the groomers do great work. Your pooch may not find getting groomed to be their favorite outing, but Piedmont Bark goes above and beyond to make sure each pet is cared for and has a good experience. If you’re looking for doggie daycare or boarding (for that Memorial Day weekend trip coming up) they’ve also got you covered.

Best Men’s Clothing Store

Boy Next Door

From the perfect bathing suit for the upcoming pool season to wicked cute graphic tees, you’ll find everything you need for the perfect outfit at Boy Next Door. Plus, they’ve got two convenient locations on Piedmont Avenue and at Ansley Mall. What’s best is that Boy Next Door has been supporting Atlanta’s gay community and keeping us fashionably clothed since 1980. Being named “Best of Atlanta” right before your 35th birthday – that’s one fashionable legacy.

Best Home Furnishings Store

Intaglia

With an unparalleled assortment of beautiful and affordable furniture, Intaglia Home Collection is Atlanta’s favorite spot to shop for new home furnishings. The store’s success stems from its design philosophy that aims to introduce customers to furniture they’ll love. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s effective and has kept customers returning since it opened in 1999. If you need some advice on designing your dream home talk to their incredible designers JoJuana Davis and Bobby Krechnyak.

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Best Event

Atlanta Pride

There’s no other event in Atlanta quite like Atlanta Pride. It’s a week-long celebration of our community and our great city that rivals the best Pride celebrations in the world. Every year the Atlanta Pride Committee continues to up the ante with a bigger and better event. Plus, our annual Pride Parade is one of the oldest in country. This year’s 44th annual Atlanta Pride Festival in Piedmont Park will take place on October 11 and 12.

Best TV Show Filmed In Georgia

The Walking Dead

We asked which TV show filmed in Georgia was your favorite and “The Walking Dead” won by a country mile. It wasn’t even a contest because Rick, Carl and the always lovable Walkers blew the other shows out of the water. With this many fans no wonder the show is the undead belle of the TV ratings ball. And what’s not to love? There’s more zombie-killing action than you can shake a stick at and it takes place here in our neck of the woods. We only have one bone to pick with the show. There’s no way we can wait until next season to learn what is going to happen at Terminus!

Best Local TV News Program

11 Alive

The news team at Channel 11 has been serving Atlanta since 1951, but they weren’t always WXIA 11 Alive. In fact, they were originally an ABC affiliate and the name 11 Alive didn’t come about until 1976. Today you’ll find Brenda Wood and DeMarco Morgan anchoring the news desk and keeping Atlantans well-informed. They’ve become increasingly more popular over the past few years while they “hold the powerful accountable.”

Best Gay Character On TV

Cameron Tucker – Modern Family

When three families become one hilarity and heartbreak are sure to follow. “Modern Family” on ABC follows the Pritchett, Dunphy and Tucker families as they navigate life and extended family relations. However, it’s one character, Cameron Tucker, that has Atlantans falling in love and continually laughing week after week. Six different gay TV characters were nominated in this category, but Tucker garnered over 50 percent of the votes even with the crowded field. Keep it up, Cam!

Best Music Festival

Music Midtown

Even with massive amounts of rain during last year’s Music Midtown, the festival proved that great music will keep Atlantans grooving in Piedmont Park no matter what. The two-day festival features a lineup that spans multiple stages and is always a well-organized and extremely fun event. Just don’t delay in getting your tickets because this major music event is always popular. The 2014 headliners haven’t been announced, however, FENUXE will feature all of the details when they’re released.

Best Movie Theatre

Landmark Theatres Midtown Art Cinemas

Grab a cocktail from the bar and enjoy a flick at this great theatre on Monroe Drive in Atlanta. Midtown Art Cinemas has been bringing the movies to Atlanta since 1987 and they’re still pleasing audiences. It may not be as big as the mega theatres OTP, but don’t let its size fool you. In addition to all of the latest Hollywood blockbusters you can also catch a wide range of indie films on their eight screens. They’ve even got DLP digital projection and sound so your movie experience is crystal clear and pitch perfect.

Best Live Performance

Sing For Your Life

Featuring singers from all over the area, Sing For Your Life continues to wow Atlanta audiences with great music and an engaging live show. Contestants are grouped with show mentors Barry Brandon, JL Rodriguez and Michael Robinson to hone their craft and advance in the competition. Sing For Your Life Season 2 recently wrapped up and singer Christy Clark was named the winner. Look for her story in an upcoming issue of FENUXE Magazine.

Best Gay Chorus

Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus

The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus is a beloved Atlanta institution and has been filling our lives with music for 33 seasons. If you’ve never experienced the joy of an AGMC show mark June 27 and 28 on your calendar. The guys are bringing us the best of Cher in their upcoming show “Cher Determination: You Better Sit Down, Kids!” and you don’t want to miss it. Keep singing, fellas!

Best Theatre

The Fox Theatre

If you love a good show odds are you’re a regular at the Fox Theatre. The former movie palace features a beautiful Moorish design and seats 4,678 Atlantans in its large auditorium.  The building is definitely one of the most interesting in Atlanta and an attraction in itself, but its the great variety of shows at the Fox that keep patrons coming back. In one season you can see everything from Eddie Izzard live onstage to Disney’s “The Lion King.”

Best Weekly Event

The Other Show

After dominating Atlanta’s Dragnique competition two years ago, Edie Cheezbuger expanded her drag artistry with the creation of “The Other Show” at Jungle Atlanta. It’s an avant-garde, highly-conceptual show that has captivated Atlanta and attracted a fiercely loyal fan base. Ms. Cheezburger and the glamorous cast continue to push Atlanta drag higher, and we can’t wait to see what “The Other Show” will have in store for us next.

Best Concert Venue

Tabernacle

The Tabby is a pretty wicked spot for concerts in Atlanta, but did you know it was originally a Baptist Tabernacle church? It didn’t turn into a performance venue until the Olympics came and developers turned it into a House of Blues. Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi and John Goodman, performing as The Blues Brothers, were first people to perform in the repurposed Atlanta landmark.

Best Comedy Venue

Laughing Skull Lounge

Some comedy lounges are more about alcohol sales and food than stand-up. If that’s your scene this isn’t your comedy club. Laughing Skull Lounge brings the best stand-up comedians (including Margaret Cho and lots of gay performers) to Midtown for side-splitting hilarious shows. If you can’t get your funny bone tickled here it may have died. Think you could be the next great gay comedian? Try one of their 4 week intense comedy courses that ends with you doing two open mic nights.

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Best Neighborhood Bar

Burkhart’s Pub

This category was a true horse race. Burkhart’s Pub, Blake’s on the Park and TEN Atlanta were neck and neck until the very end. However, it was Burkhart’s Pub who ultimately received the most votes. With friendly bartenders, great food, top-notch drag entertainment, stiff cocktails and a spacious patio, Burkhart’s has everything you could possibly want from your favorite neighborhood bar.

Best Place To Dance

TEN Atlanta

After the votes were tallied it’s clear that Atlanta has several favorite hotspots for dancing the night away. However, it was TEN Atlanta who came out ahead by five percentage points. TEN regularly throws great parties that start up after the restuarants transforms into a nightclub at 10 p.m. Another great thing about TEN Atlanta is their new menu. If you haven’t tried their new dishes you should definitely get a table this weekend. Just dance!

Best Bar Entertainment

Burkhart’s Pub

From the biggest names in drag entertainment to Atlanta’s newest artists, Burkhart’s Pub continues to offer the best bar entertainment in gay Atlanta. Last year we partied with Shangela and only a few weeks ago Raja was thrilling a packed house. That’s in addition to their incredible weekly shows which include the Armorettes, Ruby Redd, Phoenix, Destiny Brooks, Justice Taylor, Monica Van Pelt and Darlene Majewski.

Best Sports Bar

Woofs

Whether you’re cheering on the Bulldogs or Braves, four out of every five FENUXE 50 voters said Woofs is the best place to catch the action. They have plenty of TVs so you can always keep up with the score and lots of great guys to enjoy the game with. You can even get your own match going with a round of billiards if there aren’t any games on.

Best Bar For Bears

Atlanta Eagle

For the past 27 years the Atlanta Eagle has been Georgia’s go to leather, Levi and bear bar. From the Southern Bears’ monthly night to the Atlanta Bear Fest and weekend cubcake nights, the Atlanta Eagle is the place for bears to see and be seen. Don’t miss Jockstrap Sister Twister night with the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Best Adult Entertainment

Swinging Richards

Banana hammocks, jockstraps and au naturale, oh my! Lose your inhibitions and marvel at the incredible beefcake on display because Swinging Richards is gay Atlanta’s favorite when it comes to adult entertainment. Get those bills ready cause there is always a gorgeous man on stage who will catch your eye.

Best Overall Value

Burkhart’s Pub

Burkhart’s Pub literally ran away with the crown in this category. They received nearly double the amount of votes as the runner-up and it’s easy to see why. There is never a cover charge and they’ve got an entertaining event going on every night. Plus, you can enjoy an entire evening at Burkhart’s Pub with dinner from their tasty menu followed by drinks and a show.

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Best Gym

Urban Body Fitness

If you think all gyms are the same you’ve never experienced Urban Body Fitness in Midtown. From an extensive selection of cardio and strength training equipment to group classes and top-notch personal trainers, Urban Body Fitness has what you need to meet your fitness goals. You can also receive chiropractic care on-site and take advantage of their tanning options.

Best Gay Organization

GLAAD

In this category there were several nominees vying for the top spot with close vote totals. However, it was GLAAD who narrowly edged out AID Atlanta and Lost-N-Found. GLAAD advocates for the LGBT community and works toward building support for equality. They’re also monitor news and entertainment media outlets and respond when they fail to fairly and accurately depict our community. Keep up the great work!

Best Charitable Organization

Lost-N-Found Youth

All of this year’s nominated charities received lots of votes, however, the race came down to Lost-N-Found Youth and AID Atlanta in the end. Both are wonderful organizations, but there can only be one winner. Many Atlantans learn about Lost-N-Found Youth from their incredibly fun and successful “Big Gay Game Show” fundraiser at Jungle Atlanta, however, the organization is beloved by our community for their work behind-the-scenes helping Atlanta’s homeless gay youth.

Best Gay Rights Advocate

Georgia Equality

With gay rights in Georgia taking center stage over the past few months (and hopefully more so in the future) Georgia Equality’s work has become more important than ever. In fact, Georgia Equality was instrumental in preventing recent anti-gay “Religious Freedom” bills from passing in the Georgia House and Senate. They’re our Georgia gay rights advocates and they’re doing a great job. Kudos y’all!

Best Gay & Gay-Friendly Sports League

Hotlanta Softball League

The Atlanta Rainbow Trout gave Hotlanta Softball League a run for its money, however, Hotlanta got the win on the last day with a final spike in votes. The league was founded in 1981 as a nonprofit and for the past 33 summers they’ve welcomed gay and straight players alike to suit up. Besides, who can resist guys in gym shorts and baseball pants?

Best Sports Team

Atlanta Bucks

“The Bucks appreciate the support we receive from our community and are excited to be recognized as best sports team!  We are currently gearing up for our biggest fundraiser of the year – The Purple Dress Run on May 10. Money raised will benefit Lost-N-Found Youth and help send the Bucks down under to Sydney, Australia to defend our title at the Biennial Bingham Cup Rugby Tournament,” team president Jason Parris tells FENUXE.

Best Neighborhood

Midtown

It came down to only a few votes and Midtown narrowly edged out East Atlanta for the win. Both neighborhoods are beautifully diverse and offer lots of options to work, live and play. However, no other Atlanta neighborhood is as gay as Midtown. It’s got the corner of gay and gayer (Piedmont and 10th Street) where you can get a great meal from one of the tasty dining spots nearby and party the night away. Did we mention Piedmont Park? Midtown has it all.

Best Local Art

Legendary Children Atlanta

The gay Southern artists behind Legendary Children Atlanta are on a mission to promote acceptance of the LGBT community through art. They document and celebrate Atlanta’s young drag entertainers in their artistic works that range from performance art to photography, film, music and writing. The show was originally featured as part of Atlanta Celebrates Photography and later ran for two months at Gallery 1526.

Best Medical Clinic

AbsoluteCARE

AbsoluteCARE makes keeping healthy a lot easier with their wide array of medical services. Under one conveniently located roof you’ll find bilingual primary care, a pharmacy, mental health services, its own CLIA certified laboratory, chiropractic care, after-hours urgent care and Board Certified Infectious Disease physicians. “We are a team that is committed to providing the highest level of care to patients and we look forward to working with you,” AbsoluteCARE tells its patients.

Best Dentist

Chip Hill, DDS

You’ve got to keep those pearly whites in good health and dentist Chip Hill is helping Atlanta do that at his Peachtree Street practice. From teeth cleanings to root canals, dentist Chip Hill has the expertise and state-of-the-art technology to keep you comfortable and smiling. If you want to see some examples of his work check out the smile gallery on his website.

Best Vision Care

Ansley Eye Care

Eyesight not what it used to be? It may be time to visit Dr. Reena Gupta and Dr. Blair Lamey at Ansley Eye Care in Midtown. They combine top-of-the-line eye care technology with all of the latest eyewear styles making this Atlanta’s best one stop shop for your eyes. If you’re located near Vinings check out their second location called Atlanta Eye Shop.

Best Pet Supply Store

Pet Supermarket – Ansley Mall

If you live or work in Midtown odds are you’re familiar with Pet Supermarket even if you don’t have a pet. They’re the guys at Ansley Mall who regularly feature pets available for adoption in front of their store. It’s almost impossible to drive through Ansley without seeing their cute snouts. Whether you’re looking for dog food, cat nip, tropical fish or play toys, you’ll find what you need at Pet Supermarket.

Best Gay Dance Group

Hotlanta Squares

Put on your cowboy boots and get to steppin’ cause Hotlanta Squares is Atlanta’s best gay dance group. The group brings Modern Western Square Dance to the LGBT community with classes and fun events throughout the year. Their next event, Dancing at the Hanger, will be at Briscoe Field at the Gwinnett County Airport on April 26 starting at 6 p.m. with a pot luck supper.

Best Veterinary Clinic

Briarcliff Animal Clinic

When your furry best friend needs medical attention you want to go to the best vet. Hands down Briarcliff Animal Clinic ran away in this race and got the overwhelming majority of the votes. For over 50 years their passion for pets, quality of care and affordable prices have earned them a loyal pack of patients. You can visit one of their three locations in Atlanta, Sandy Springs and College Park.

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Best Atlanta Attraction

Georgia Aquarium

Who has the largest aquarium in the world? Atlanta, that’s who! Explore Georgia Aquarium’s exhibits that feature over 100,000 animals in over 10 million gallons of water. If you haven’t experienced the majesty and grace of the peaceful tiger shark floating just feet away from you we suggest heading to the attraction now. Coming in only a few votes behind the Georgia Aquarium was the Atlanta Botanical Garden. We don’t think you can go wrong either way.

Best Day Trip From Atlanta

Helen, GA

Pack the Griswold family into the station wagon and enjoy the best day trip from Atlanta to the charming Bavarian Alps replica town of Helen, Georgia. Stroll down its cobblestone alleys past old-world towers and architecture that will make Atlanta feel thousands of miles away. Don’t miss your chance to see the beautiful Anna Ruby Falls nearby as well. This is a perfect day trip, weekend getaway or fun date option.

Best Gay Outdoor Group

Wilderness Network of Georgia

The Wilderness Network of Georgia is a group of great guys who enjoy taking outdoor trips all over America and sometimes even abroad. Members plan curated adventures based on their interests and other members can sign up for the trips they’d like to join. With over three hundred guys participating there are always lots of different trips going on that range from intense outdoor adventure to something more easy going like outdoor grilling.

Best Car Service

Uber

Uber is providing Atlantans a new way to hire a car, and it’s clear from the FENUXE 50 voting results that the service is well-liked. It received over 80 percent of the votes in its category. And why not? The Uber app is very easy to use and UberX costs less than the dirty old cabs that are sketchy and unreliable. However, unlike traditional taxis Uber charges its customers more during peak demand times.

Best Car Dealership

Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead

Whether you’re looking for a new or used luxury car, Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead can help you find your dream car while providing unparalleled customer service. Getting your car serviced? Treat yourself to a fresh sandwich or salad from their Café Benz. You’ve got to try their great coffee! When a dealership starts off by saying your happiness if their guarantee it’s easy to see why Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead was voted the best of Atlanta.

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Best Patio

Joe’s on Juniper

What’s a warm Atlanta day without a few glorious hours with friends on the best patio in Atlanta at Joe’s on Juniper. From Sunday Funday to summer beer busts, Joe’s patio is always packed with gay guys and girls sipping delicious cocktails and noshing on tasty tavern fare. The patio is also dog-friendly so you can bring your sweetie, bestie and fido.

Best Restaurant For A First Date

The Optimist

There’s something special about The Optimist. Yes, the food is absolutely incredible and the staff members are warm and welcoming. But it’s something else. It’s the entire experience. Few restaurants excel at providing a stellar experience from start to finish, but these guys make it look easy. Visit this Howell Mill dining oasis and treat yourself to the seafood that is making other Atlanta restaurants step up their game.

Best Foodie Spot

Your DeKalb Farmers Market

Since 1977 Your Dekalb Farmers Market has been providing high quality food at competitive prices. It’s current building offers 140,000 sq. ft. of items from all over the world including products made fresh on-site. If you haven’t tried their handmade pasta you’re in for a treat. It’s located in Decatur and is certainly worth the drive. If you want to take the bus it’s super easy. Just catch the number 36 and it will take you all of the way there.

Best Cocktail

10th & Piedmont

If you’re looking for the best vodka list in Atlanta look no further. 10th & Piedmont has an impressive variety of vodkas and they work them into superb cocktails every day. If you’re looking for a refreshing cocktail to enjoy this spring on a warm day try the cherry blossom. It’s made with Breckenridge vodka, orchard cherry liqueur, angostura bitters and splashes of cranberry and orange juice.

Best Brunch

Radial Cafe

Is it the yummy homemade ketchup or scrumptious sweet potato hash? Maybe it’s Radial’s commitment to farm-to-table dining and local ingredients. Whatever it is – it is delicious! Everything we’ve tried off the menu has been fantastic and their full bar makes brunch even better. Worried about a long wait on the weekends? You can call ahead and get on the list before you leave home.

Best BBQ

Fox Bros. BBQ

Roll down your car window when you get close to Fox Bros. BBQ and follow the delicious smell of smoked and grilled meat. These brothers know how to work their meat, and their sauce is so good you can find it at stores all over Atlanta. From their super tasty smoked chicken salad sandwich to the tender pulled pork, you can’t go wrong with anything on the Fox Bros. menu.

Best Dog-Friendly Patio

Henry’s Midtown Tavern

Henry’s goes all out in making you and your dog feel welcome on their big patio. The restaurant is even named after the owner’s dog. Your furry friend will get their own water bowl and servers even walk around with treats saying hello. Add that to their delicious menu and refreshing cocktails and it’s easy to see why Henry’s Midtown Tavern is Atlanta’s favorite dog-friendly patio.

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Atlanta Gay News Flash


By D. David Kinney

Lambda Legal Files Federal Lawsuit Over Georgia Marriage Ban

On Tuesday morning Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of seven named plaintiffs arguing that Georgia’s gay marriage ban is a “violation of the rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution caused by the State of Georgia’s exclusion of same-sex couples from the freedom to marry and the recognition of lawful marriages entered in other jurisdictions,” the lawsuit reads.

If you’ve been following similar lawsuits in other states you’ll notice that this lawsuit deals with both Georgia marriage rights and the state’s recognition of marriages performed in other states. This is important because some cases working their way through the court system do not ask for both questions to be answered. For example, federal judges in Ohio and Kentucky recently ordered those states to recognize gay marriages legally performed in other states. However, the cases did not go so far as to contemplate both scenarios.

This is a positive step in the fight for marriage equality in Georgia. For more information check out

Georgia Equality and the Marriage Matters Georgia campaign. You can read a copy of the complaint here.


Boy-Scouts

Church Defends Gay Scout Leader, Boy Scouts Revoke Church’s Charter

Rainier Beach United Methodist Church has a Boy Scouts troop and their leader happens to be gay. Who cares, right? Apparently the Boy Scouts care and they’ve revoked the troop’s charter because the church refused to fire the gay man. “As you are aware the policy of the Boy Scouts of America does not allow open or avowed homosexuals to serve as volunteer adult leaders,”CNN reports the Boy Scouts of America wrote to the church leadership in a letter. Despite the letter from the Boy Scouts, the pastor of the church “refused to remove McGrath from his post,” CNN reports. It wasn’t long before the church received another letter from the Boy Scouts, saying, “As a result of this refusal to comply with the policies, guidelines, rules and regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, Rainier Beach United Methodist Church is hereby advised that it is no longer an authorized chartered organization and may no longer use the Scouting program or any of its registered marks or brands.”

Pride-Atlanta-News-Flash

NYC Pride Names Grand Marshals, Atlanta Pride Accepting Nominations

Jonathan Groff (from HBO’s “Looking” and Disney’s “Frozen’), Laverne Cox (the incredible actress in “Orange Is The New Black”) and Rea Carey (the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force) have been selected as the grand marshals for this year’s New York City Pride March. Who do you think should be the Grand Marshal for the Atlanta Pride Parade? Click here to make a nomination! The Atlanta Pride Committee will be accepting nominations until Thursday, May 15.

Bill O’Reilly Suggest Opposing Marriage Equality Could Get You Hurt

For years gay men and women have been bullied and subject to violence and harassment from anti-gay conservatives. However, now that gays are more accepted in society it is the anti-gay bullies who are whining about being bullied. “Fox News host Bill O’Reilly became the latest right-wing media personality to frame gay rights supporters as bullies, baselessly alleging that support for marriage equality has risen so quickly because activists have threatened to ‘harm’ and ‘hurt’ opponents of same-sex marriage,” Media Matters for America points out. In the clip from “The O’Reilly Factor” below, Mr. O’Reilly brings up the CEO of Mozilla who gave a donation to an anti-gay group and was pressured to step down. This was his big example of how opposing marriage equality could get you hurt. Yes, being the face of a corporation and opposing a popular social issue can have consequences. However, that is incomparable to the type of intimidation the gay community faces. Anti-gay conservatives aren’t being beat up after strangers ask their sexual orientation. Anti-gay conservatives aren’t harassed for holding hands in public. Young anti-gay conservatives aren’t committing suicide because of the mental harassment they’ve faced. Things have changed dramatically for our community, but being gay can still get you “hurt.” When you look at the danger of being anti-gay versus the danger of being gay, O’Reilly’s suggestion holds laughably little water. 

Photos: spirit of america / Shutterstock.com, a katz / Shutterstock.com, 

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Fox News Contributor To Host Atlanta Fundraiser For Anti-Gay Group


By D. David Kinney

Host of Atlanta’s Evening News on News/Talk WSB, Erick Erickson, is no stranger at right-wing events. He’s also a Fox News contributor and the editor of a conservative blog making it no wonder that Erickson gets invited to events with some extreme views. However, Erickson isn’t just reporting the news anymore. He’s now making major steps to try and actively bring more radically conservative anti-gay and anti-abortion laws to Georgia.

Next month Erickson will be hosting “An Evening With Erick Erickson” at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). “As the go-to legal organization for social conservatives, ADF has compiled a record of extreme anti-gay activism,” Media Matters For America wrote on Friday. ADF is same group that helped write the religious freedom bills (HB 1023 and SB 377) that were considered by the Georgia Senate and House but were eventually stalled.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center reported in July 2013 that [ADF] has worked to help criminalize gay sex in Belize,” Media Matters wrote, “Benjamin Bull, the executive director of ADF Global, has applauded the criminalization of homosexuality in India and has traveled to Russia to meet with Yelena Mizulina, one of the authors of that country’s notorious ‘gay propaganda’ law.”

Think being anti-gay is enough for Erickson? No. He’s ramping up his anti-abortion efforts in Georgia, too. On Thursday, the AJC reported that “talk radio provocateur Erick Erickson has fessed up to being part of the effort to persuade the National Right to Life organization to disassociate itself from Georgia Right to Life.” Georgia Right to Life is an organization that fights abortion rights here in the peach state. Erickson is essentially trying to kill Georgia’s “most powerful anti-abortion force in the [Georgia] state Capitol,” the AJC explained.

Why is a conservative talk show host and Fox News contributor trying to take down a major conservative organization? Erickson is furious that the group isn’t extreme enough. He wants to create a new group, the Georgia Life Alliance, and has announced that he will be on its board.

Want to learn more about how to combat anti-gay efforts like Erickson’s self-titled fundraiser? Georgia Equality works tirelessly to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for our community. They do great work but it takes money. Consider making a donation to Georgia Equality so they can continue to defend gay rights. You can also become a sponsor for their 10th annual Evening For Equality. This year it will be at the Twelve Hotel at Atlantic Station on June 21, 2014.

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Local Organizations Prepare For Pride


By D. David Kinney

Atlanta Pride is this weekend and our local gay groups and organizations are busy planning to make this the best Pride yet. So, what is your favorite organization planning for Pride? We asked and we’ve got the answers below. Some groups are still formulating their plans and we’ll update this post with the information as it becomes available.

CHRIS Kids:

What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is a wonderful celebration of diversity, acceptance and inclusion. It is a time to step forward, claim our place and celebrate acceptance. At CHRIS Kids, our mission is to heal children, strengthen families and build community…We believe that it is through love, acceptance and mutual respect that we can build and unite our community.

Where can we find you and CHRIS Kids this weekend?
The CHRIS Kids Booth is located in Green Zone – G35. Our parade float is in Row D. You won’t want to miss our fabulous float and booth. They were created in partnership with Ernst & Young. Make sure to stop by for a fabulous Pride greeting!

A special note from CHRIS Kids’ communication officer Sally Larsgaard:
You definitely can’t miss our float! It’s a culmination of our values (Creativity, Honor, Respect, Integrity and Safety) and our Family of Services (Behavioral Health, Safe Homes & Environments, Strong Communities, and Education & Training). It is CHRIS Kids. We partnered with Ernst & Young for the second year in a row and they always bring a spirit that can’t be ignored!

What is Larsgaard’s favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
My favorite part of Atlanta Pride is seeing the numbers grow every year. I love the feeling I get when everyone comes together – our community, our schools, our restaurants, our youth, all validating and supporting each other.

Jerusalem House:

What does Pride mean to you?
Atlanta Pride is a celebration of our LGBT community, past, present and future. The celebration, like our community, encompasses many components including the famous Parade and Festival Marketplace.

Jerusalem House loves every opportunity to reach out to new friends and connect with our community. We welcome any chance to talk about our housing programs, and to let people know that housing truly is healthcare.

Where can we find Jerusalem House this weekend?
Booth B49, right near Greystone (the poolhouse). Look for our Bright blue banner with ‘Fairytales and Magic’ (our upcoming Halloween Party and fundraiser on October 26th) on it.

A special note from Jerusalem House’s Jon Santos:
Come talk to us about Jerusalem House and spin our prize wheel for a chance to win treats like tickets to Fairytales and Magic on October 26, shirts, candy and more. Every spin wins!

What is Jon Santos’ favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
How can you not love a parade! There is celebration. There is a call to action. It’s a great chance to honor LGBT leaders and thank community servants.

HRC Atlanta:

What does Pride mean to you?
For HRC in Atlanta, this year means celebrating the victories that is bringing full equality closer for all LGBT Americans. And it also means renewing our focus and energy to continue to fight for full rights, most notably the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Where can we find Atlanta HRC this weekend?
HRC will once again host a great viewing area on the corner of Peachtree and 10th at Empire State South. We’ll have a brunch and beverages and welcome all to join us. We’ll also be participating in the parade and have a booth in the park!

A special note from HRC Atlanta’s Ed Patterson:
“Please stop by our booth in the park. Attendees and your readers can learn all about HRC and sign-up to volunteer with us throughout the year. And, they can get info on our planning for the 2014 Dinner Gala and Silent Auction.”

What is Patterson’s favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
The entire weekend is such a wonderful experience. But nothing is more inspiring than walking the parade route with our HRC flag and hearing the shouts of encouragement from the tens of thousands of onlookers.

Georgia Equality:

What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is the one time of year when the entire community can come together to celebrate our own diversity, publicly share our victories and talents and remind the broader community that we are here.

Where can we find Georgia Equality this weekend?
You can find Georgia Equality’s booth in the yellow section next to our friends at The Health Initiative. Anyone who wishes to march with us should join us in section C of the parade staging area at the corner of Ralph McGill and West Peachtree.

A special note from Georgia Equality’s executive director Jeff Graham:
People who are interested in supporting advocating for workplace fairness, creating safer schools for LGBTQ youth, addressing health disparities or advancing the freedom to marry should come by our booth to fill out an equality pledge card!

What is Graham’s favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
Definitely the parade. The powerful statement of thousands of people marching together is always empowering. It’s also the clearest example of where we are as a community. We’re diverse in so many ways and have so many interests. It’s also encouraging to see the number of straight allies who come out and march with us each year. It’s also important for them to make a public display of their support for the cause of LGBT equality.

Lost-N-Found Youth:

What does Pride mean to you?
As the Executive Director of Lost-N-Found, Pride reaffirms my belief in our community – it’s an incredible way to show our youth how big, vibrant, and caring our community is.

Where can we find Lost-N-Found Youth this weekend?
Lost-N-Found will be in the parade and we have a booth at Y29 right – next to the Atlanta sisters.

A special note from Lost-N-Found Youth’s Rick Westbrook:
“Certainly stop by the booth and let us educate you concerning the chronic ever-expanding problem of homelessness OUR youth face.”

What is Westbrook’s favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
I love all of pride but the parade on Sunday has a special place in my heart.

PALS:

What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our community as a whole and to show all those who misunderstand or choose to be blinded by the hatred for something they do not understand that we are no different than anyone one else, we have families, pay taxes, we celebrate and we suffer with day to day conquest and struggles just as every living being on this earth,” PALS told FENUXE.

What is PALS’ favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
The gathering of those friends that we see so very little of during the year.

Where can we find PALS this weekend?
We will be in the Parade on Sunday.

AID Atlanta:

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride is all about celebrating the rich diversity of our LGBTQQIA communities, as well as a time to remember the historical movers and shakers who’ve earned us the rights we have today. We’re living in an exciting time for our community, so we have a lot to celebrate. Still, though, we have a lot to push forward to as well – so it’s a time for us to focus on where we want to be in the future. For us at AID Atlanta, that includes an HIV/AIDS free community!

Where can we find AID Atlanta this weekend?

AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run will be visible throughout the weekend. We’ll be giving out information about the Walk at the AID Atlanta booths in the vendor market. We’ll also be walking in the parade on Sunday – encouraging everyone to come join us for the Walk on October 20th. In addition, many of our Walk teams will be hosting fundraising events all over the city during PRIDE weekend. There will be plenty of opportunities to see us out and about.

A special note from AID Atlanta’s Kimberly Holland:

We’re excited to be just a week out from the AIDS Atlanta Walk! We hope everyone will enjoy Pride, but also that you’ll rest up to join us in the Park on October 20th for AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run. We’ve got Miss USA 2012 as our Spokesperson, RJ Helton from American Idol will be performing and a few other surprises! You definitely won’t want to miss it!

What is Holland’s favorite part of Atlanta Pride?

My favorite part of PRIDE is of course the parade on Sunday! AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run is the weekend after PRIDE, so this is a final push for us to get the word out and encourage some of our walkers and runners to do some final fundraising! Walking in the parade, we are surrounded by individuals, companies, community groups and churches that all support us and our efforts in the community. It’s a very powerful feeling and it certainly makes us feel PROUD.

Joining Hearts:

What does Pride mean to Joining Hearts’ president Wes Berry?

For me Pride is a time to enjoy friends and the community – it is a time to celebrate being who I am and the ability for me to do so in a supportive environment of love and great energy. I love Atlanta and its a time for me to celebrate that as well with people in the city as well as visitors, friends, and strangers.

What is Berry’s favorite part of Atlanta Pride?

Honestly I just love walking around, feeling the energy and love and excitement, and people watching. Being in the middle of the crowds and excitement is my element. The Pride Parade is probably my favorite event.

Where can we find Joining Hearts this weekend?

While we aren’t participating in the Pride Parade this year, we do have two events going on that will benefit Joining Hearts: Keller William’s KW Intown Charity Concert Fundraiser “Love Is All You Need in the Red Submarine” at Park Tavern and Baraonda’s “Peaches Wine Tasting,” a wine tasting session with “Peaches” aka manager Travis Denison (aka Miss Joining Hearts).

Georgia Log Cabin Republicans:

What does Pride mean to you?
We are who we are, and we are proud to show who we are. It’s also a time to thank and remember those who made all our current advances in equality possible.

Where can we find Georgia Log Cabin Republicans this weekend?
We’ve decided not to do a booth this year, instead we’ll be around helping elect and re-elect our endorsed candidates: Doraville City Councilman Brian Bates, the first openly gay Republican elected in the Deep South, Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan, Matt Rinker- Candidate for Atlanta City Council District 5, Mary Norwood-Candidate for Atlanta City Council Post 2 Citywide, and Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell.

A special note from the Georgia Log Cabin Republican president Jamie Ensley:
“We’re more of the golf clap, wine and cheese crowd, so I doubt any of our folks will be causing a noticeable disturbance.”

What is Ensley’s favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
The Atlanta Pride Parade on Sunday.

Our Song:

What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is our time to celebrate all the gains we have made as a LGBTQ community! It is also a time to reflect to remember where we’ve come from and where we need to go. It’s also a great time where we get to see and meet so many people.

Where can we find Our Song this weekend?
We will be at our booth, helping with the bucket brigade, at parties, at the parade, at concerts, and enjoying all the activities.

A special note from Out Song:
“We’ll be performing a concert for GALA Choruses Symposium at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church at 7:15 PM. We’ll be performing with the other local GALA Choruses. Come hear us sing!”

What is Our Song’s favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
Seeing old friends, making new friends, and knowing how important our community is to our daily lives!

Stonewall Bar Association:

What does Pride mean to you?
Freedom, Equality, Justice, and the ability to be yourself.

Where can we find the Stonewall Bar Association this weekend?
Marching in the Parade and staffing our Booth in the Pride Market.

What is the Stonewall Bar Association’s Rebecca Glatzer’s favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
The Atlanta Pride Parade.

Lambda Legal:

What does Pride mean to you?

A time to share aspects of our work, outreach to more people in need, and to celebrate our beautiful existence as lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and people living with HIV.

Where can we find Lambda Legal this weekend?
We’ll be at booth B48. That’s the Blue section, then #48.

A special note from Lambda Legal’s national community educator Holiday Simmons:
Lambda Legal turned 40 years old this year, so we have a commemorative petition where we are asking people to tell us “who inspires them”. We’ll have a photo booth open for people to take a picture holding a sign of the name of the person who inspires them.

What is Simmons’ favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
Meeting people that come from all over the world to attend the biggest Pride in the south.

If you would like to submit your group’s information e-mail [email protected]

Positive Impact:

What does Pride mean to you?
Positive Impact believes that Pride is when individuals value themselves enough to express their individuality, knowing that they are worthy of compassion, love and support.

What is your favorite part of Atlanta Pride?
We love seeing the diversity that Pride brings to the Atlanta community, as well as meeting the thousands of attendees who stop by the Positive Impact – AID Gwinnett HIV Testing Booth!

Where can we find you and Positive Impact this weekend?
You can find us at the Positive Impact – AID Gwinnett HIV Testing Booth directly across from the pool house and children’s play area.

A special note from Positive Impact’s director of advancement Michael Baker:
Positive Impact will be teaming with AID Gwinnett, for the third year, to provide free, rapid HIV testing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. You can also stop by the Positive Impact booth (located at the end of the testing booth row) to try out our trivia games and learn important information about taking better care of yourself.

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Vote for Georgia Equality’s Video And Win!


Want to help spread the word about HIV prevention, help Georgia Equality win $4000, and be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Six Feet Under for yourself? Sounds like a win-win-win to us!

AIDS United asked organizations to create a video that persuades viewers to use the tools available to them in their “HIV prevention toolbox.” The video that gets the most votes will win $4000 to help with their organization’s work. 

You can click here to vote for Georgia Equality’s video on AIDS United’s Facebook page. Want to win the $50 gift certificate? Just share the video on your own Facebook page. One lucky person who shares the video will win the gift certificate!

 

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What’s Your Status? Today is National HIV Testing Day!


HIV. There is no way to sugarcoat reality. It is important to know your status and to get tested regularly. Luckily, today is the 19th annual National HIV Testing Day and there is no better time to get tested. The CDC currently estimates that 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV. Sadly, 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it. Do you know your status?

According to Doctor Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, “Every time someone gets tested for HIV, we are one step closer to ending the AIDS epidemic. Learning your HIV status opens the door to powerful HIV prevention and treatment options that could save your life or the life of someone you love.”

“If more Americans were tested as recommended, we could prevent thousands of needless HIV infections and deaths. National HIV Testing Day serves as a reminder to take a stand against one of the key issues driving this epidemic — not knowing your HIV status,” Mermin reiterated.

Also helping with the fight against HIV/AIDS is OraQuick. OraQuick is the first FDA-approved at-home test for HIV-1 and HIV-2. The test is painless and you get the results in 20 minutes. Plus, you can test in the privacy of your home. To find OraQuick in a store near you, click here.

No matter how you test it is important that you know your results. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “The Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] has already expanded access to free HIV screening for many people.”

However, according to Georgia Equality, “Sequestration and other budget cuts already have resulted in cuts of $375 million from the federal government’s response to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic.” So what does this mean for Georgia programs that our community relies on? “We can predict that cuts to HIV prevention will lead to fewer HIV testing and outreach efforts which will lead to increased infections.”

It is because of such cuts that free testing programs, like those at Pride Medical, are so incredibly important. Take advantage of this valuable resource while it is still free.

“Take the Test and Take Control.”

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[PHOTOS] Gays Celebrate Supreme Court Decisions


Atlanta’s gay community met at the intersection of 10th and Piedmont on Wednesday to celebrate the Supreme Court’s DOMA and Prop 8 decisions.
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