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June ushers in Stonewall Month gatherings, activities and parties across Atlanta for a month full of Pride.
By James Parker Sheffield

October’s celebration of Atlanta Pride is still months away, but make no mistake: June is still your time to shine some Pride on Atlanta.

With the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots at hand, the world is tuned in for all things gay in June. The riots rocked New York City and reverberated across the country in June 1969 and birthed the modern day LGBTQ rights movement, so each year we come together to remember our history and celebrate our successes. Even with our big festival still far off, that includes Atlanta

The summertime Pride rollout can be just as empowering and invigorating as the local Pride festival season. Social media platforms experience a rainbow takeover, major retailers stock gay themed apparel, and even our Netflix & Chill options become more queer.

Alongside LGBT communities across the globe, Atlanta’s social calendar is packed commemorations all month long. From historical city tours to late night parties, Atlanta’s spin on summer Pride offers something for everyone.

Prepare for Stonewall Month by checking out our picks from the Atlanta LGBTQ calendar.

Reconnect With History

Whether you’re a longtime Atlanta resident or new to town, the Touching Up Your Pride Roots Trolley Tour is a sure bet to dig into the city’s rich gay history. This narrated two-hour ride starts and finishes at the Center for Civil and Human Rights and is sponsored by its LGBT Institute. It’s a great way to relive your past stomping grounds, those of generations long gone, or to just get a better take on our community’s background. Tickets are $15 for two tours, set for June 4 and 17. Register and reserve your seats lgbtinstitute.org.

Get Political

If you’ve been hiding under your desk, contemplating the safest exit toward a different political reality than our current state of affairs, there’s a dinner party for that. It’s been a tough year on the national scene, and our local advocates and political-animal types have made our backyard the new battleground state. Georgia Equality’s 13th Annual Evening for Equality takes over the InterContinental Hotel on June 17. Come celebrate local LGBT successes and raise some cash to keep fighting the good fight. Pick out a suit and tie, and head to georgiaequality.org for tickets.

Cheap Thrills

Get your adrenalin pumping during Stride Into Pride at Six Flags Over Georgia on June 24. For under $50, you get a full day’s admission and parking. Elevate your experience with the $65 ticket that includes and Atlanta Pride lunch with unlimited beer and wine. Every ticket includes entry to an evening ice cream social and dance party in the park featuring DJ Canvas. This is an all-ages event and great for large groups. Get more information and tickets at atlantapride.org.

Let’s Dance

Two big weekend-long events keep the beat June 16-18. GA Boy Productions kicks things off with its Peach Party Atlanta party series. DJ Phil B takes over Heretic on Friday, Saturday finds DJ Paulo at Jungle, and both nights feature an after party at Xion until 7 a.m. Sunday’s festivities start with Josh Whitaker at Ten Atlanta as part of that venue’s Stonewall Block Party, featuring outdoor bars and DJs all weekend. Peach Party moves to Jungle Sunday night for the closing event Alegria with DJ Abel playing through 7 a.m. Monday. Visit peachpartyatlanta.com and facebook.com/tenatlanta

If you’re still itching for a Pride festival experience in June, it’s not too late to plan a trek to NYC Pride or another big-city spectacular set for the last weekend of the month.

Meet this HRC Atlanta volunteer for the scoop on this year’s gala, and find out how he manages to fit several worthy non-profits into an impressively busy schedule.
By Mike Fleming

The gay men of Atlanta play an integral part in our city’s rich cultural, corporate and philanthropic history. From public relations strategy to the intricate planning of this month’s HRC Atlanta Dinner and Silent Auction, 26-year-old Andrew Moon plays a part in all of those aspects of the city and more.

Originally from Commerce, Georgia, with a bachelor’s degree from UGA, Moon has been in Atlanta for five years now in a respected public relations firm that keeps him busy morning to night. We chatted with him about the 30th HRC Gala Dinner & Silent Auction coming on April 22, life in the big city, and what it means to give back to LGBT and other worthy causes.

CMI_Survey_Digital_Male_300x250Tell us about your day job.

I’m a Strategist with Edelman Atlanta’s digital group. I look across an organization’s target audiences – customers, employees, etc. – and help them identify which marketing channels (e.g., website, social media) are most appropriate. It’s challenging, but such an amazing opportunity to work with brilliant people around the world.

What associations are you most proud of outside of work?

I’m fortunate enough that Edelman recognizes that business and purpose can – and should – live together. This gives me flexibility, and other people within Edelman, to support a few non-profits around town like CHRIS 180 and the Georgia Center for Non-Profits. I also serve as the Communications Chair on the Human Rights Campaign Atlanta Steering Committee.

What’s makes this year’s HRC Atlanta Gala special?

I think most in our community are looking for a silver lining in today’s chaos. I actually started to feel a bit hopeless, but a quote from Meryl Streep, who was recently honored at the HRC New York Gala, put it well: “Because he will have woken us up to how fragile freedom really is.”

Following the marriage equality ruling, people lost sight of the other important battles to end workplace discrimination, achieve fair housing and ensure transgender individuals are recognized as equal. Our event, as it always has, helps advance these battles on a local, state, national and even global scale.

When you’re not working or volunteering, what do you do for fun?

I’m a true a cappella nerd. I started in the UGA Accidentals, and we competed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, the same competition featured in the movie Pitch Perfect. Since moving to Atlanta, I’ve had the opportunity to sing with a few groups such as The Graduates.

If you could change one thing about gay Atlanta, what would it be?

I’ve never felt more connected to our community than in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting last year. In the face of incredible tragedy, people from all walks of life stood in solidarity to celebrate the lives lost and begin the healing process – together.

If I’d change anything, it would be to have our community realize that we have an immense opportunity to drive change when we unify – not just in times of crisis – around a common cause.

If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want your legacy to be?

That I left things in a better place than I found them.

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival courts gay audiences with multiple screenings of four first-rate films

By Elijah Sarkesian

When it comes to LGBT representation at film festivals in Atlanta, we’re used to seeing our lives represented. With gay and allied festivals like Out on Film and the Atlanta Film Festival, our blue city in its increasingly less-red state knows how to treat its gay moviegoers.

It’s nice to know that the city’s premiere festival, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, stands tall among them. Founded in 2000 by the American Jewish Committee, it took only 17 years to become the city’s largest single film festival, and the largest Jewish film festival in the entire world.

AJFF uses the power of cinema to showcase stories that bring together a diverse array of Jewish stories to examine their interconnectedness with other parts of Atlanta’s cultural, ethnic and religious landscape.

That dedicated outreach includes our vibrant LGBT culture.

For 2017, AJFF’s loyal 38,000+ attendees will find three gay-specific entries, plus a fourth that focuses on an infamous Broadway production created by a legendary gay man. Each film is scheduled to screen multiple times at different venues across Atlanta, and some are included as part of special events. Here’s a sneak peek.

Family Commitments
After dating for two years, David and Khaled (Maximilian von Pufendorf and Omar El-Saeidi, photo this page) are ready to shatter a taboo in their German society: a same-sex Jewish/Muslim marriage. The couple faces obstacles in the form of David’s overbearing mother, Khaled’s homophobic father, and an old acquaintance who comes from out of nowhere claiming to be pregnant with David’s child. Heartfelt hilarity ensues.

Saturday, Jan. 28, 9:30 p.m.
GTC Merchants Walk

Sunday, Jan. 29, 2:30 p.m.
UA Tara

Friday, Feb. 3, 12:40 p.m.
Regal Perimeter Pointe

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2 p.m.
Lefont Sandy Springs

*Saturday, Feb. 11, 8:40 p.m.
Woodruff Arts Center

*This screening presented American Jewish Committee’s young leadership division is reserved for festival attendees 40-years-old and younger. A pre-party starts at 7 p.m.

The Freedom to Marry
We already knew that same-sex marriage in the United States finally became a reality nationwide with 2015’s historic Obergefell v. Hodges case. What’s new is the behind-the-scenes strategy and maneuvers among those responsible for championing the case for marriage equality. Among them is this story focusing on openly gay attorney Evan Wolfson, whose roots in Pittsburgh’s Jewish community helped develop his passion for social justice, including in the creation of the now-ubiquitous national organization Freedom to Marry.

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2:30 p.m.
Regal Perimeter Pointe

*Sunday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m.
Regal Atlantic Station

Monday, Feb. 13, 7:50 p.m.
Lefont Sandy Springs

*Tuesday, Feb. 14, 7:50 p.m.
Woodruff Arts Center

*Gay Atlanta’s own Out on Film leads panel discussions following these screenings.

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened
Legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim is one of the most prolific in the history of the Great White Way. After composing a number of hits during the 1970s – A Chorus Line, Company, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and more – it was a shock when his Merrily We Roll Along shuttered after only 16 performances in 1981. The musical, about the disillusionment of adulthood, confused audiences and critics alike with its unusual structure – the story unfolds in reverse – and the decision to cast unknown teens as adults. In this documentary from original cast member Lonny Price, audiences can now go behind the scenes of one of the Great White Way’s most legendary flops.

Sunday, Jan. 29, 11:15 a.m.
GTC Merchants Walk

Saturday, Feb. 11, 1 p.m.
Lefont Sandy Springs

Saturday, Feb. 11, 8:30 p.m.
Regal Atlantic Station

In Between
Laila (Mouna Hawa), a chic criminal lawyer, and Salma (Sana Jammelieh), a lesbian DJ, spend their nights hanging out in Tel Aviv’s underground bars. Their attitudes towards life and sex differ from their roommate Nour (Shaden Kanboura), a university student whose life is more religiously devout and conservative. The three work to stay true to themselves while also forging a bond of sisterhood as Palestinian women in Jewish society.

Friday, Jan. 27, 2:20 p.m.
GTC Merchants Walk

Monday, Jan. 30, 9:10 p.m.
UA Tara

Saturday, Feb. 11, 1 p.m.
Regal Atlantic Station

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 7:50 p.m.
Lefont Sandy Springs

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival runs through Wednesday, February 15. For a complete lineup, or to purchase tickets, visit ajff.org.

Take the guesswork out of Valentine’s Day or any date night with our choices for what to wear and where to go based on how long you’ve been together

By Mike Fleming

 

New Romantics
Together: One Year or Less
Every night with him is just like a dream, but you’re too busy dancing to seem too serious too fast.

Theme Song: New Romantics by Taylor Swift

FolkArtWhere to Eat
For your first Valentine’s Day or your first “real” date, take him to Folk Art in Inman Park. The vibe is eclectic and cool, the food is on point, and there’s plenty to look at and talk about if conversation wanes. Afterwards, head to nearby Edgewood for Joystick Gamebar and Sister Louisa’s Church.

Folk Art, 465 North Highland Ave NE, folkartrestaurant.com

 

 

ChelseaBootWhat to Wear
Dressed up, with an edge. Wear a collared shirt and sweater or jacket that says you’re taking it date-serious, but edgy boots that keep it casual.

Hints: Wear the item in your closet you’re most excited about to look and feel your best. Also consider a statement hat or bold pop color.
Topman Suede Chelsea Boots
$70

 

 

We Got This
Together: About 5 Years
You help each other get up from down, and Valentine’s Days have come and gone. You know where you stand, and you love him way more now than the first time you said it.

Theme Song: ‘We Got This’ by A Day to Remember

BeetleCatWhere to Eat
Keep the magic happening at Beetle Cat, a fun oyster bar and cocktail lounge where you can get out, kick back, and enjoy each other. Afterwards, go see ‘A Kid Like Jake’ at Out Front Theatre, or hold hands through Ponce City Market while you walk to the I Love Vino five-wine tasting at Bellina Alimentari.

Beetle Cat, 299 North Highland Ave., beetlecatatl.com

What to Wear
As you are, with a twist. Take work or workaday basics into nighttime with a statement blazer or topcoat.

AsosASOS Peacoat
us.asos.com
$84

 

 

BetaBrandBetabrand Quilted Travel Blazer
betabrand.com
$198

 

 

 

Devoted
Dating: 10 Years or More
You finish each other’s sentences, and he may know you better than you know yourself. Date night comes with security in your devotion for each other and the life you continue to build.
Theme Song: “Devoted” by Ellie Goulding

MarcelWhere to Eat
You say he never takes you anywhere, well it goes both ways. Remind each other what a lifetime of devotion feels like in the elegant surroundings at Marcel. Executive Chef Brian Horn is serving a four-course Valentine dinner with optional wine pairings. Make reservations and make a whole night of it.
Marcel, 1170 Howell Mill Road, marcelatl.com

What to Wear
A suit. Yes, really. He’s seen you at your best and worst, and this is Date Night. You still don’t have to be boring. Don’t wear a tie, lose the socks, and splurge in a signature color.

RagRag & Bone Marwood Overcoat
with Faux Fur Collar
$725

 

 

CalvinCalvin Klein Rust-Wine Suit
$895

 

 

 

ColeHaanCole Haan Wingtip Oxfords
$114

From Cats to Hamilton and beyond, Jerusalem House takes gay Atlanta’s must-do Halloween party to Broadway.
By James Parker Sheffield

It’s that dreaded time of year. We have to come to terms with summer being over and… Nope. Who am I kidding? Fall in Atlanta is awesome, especially October. Atlanta Pride, Halloween, and dressing in layers is the magical gay trifecta.

October also ushers in the beginning of the holiday season, which means welcoming back the Jerusalem House Halloween Party.

This year’s theme, A Night On Broadway, brings the opportunity to dress like Cats and finally be relevant again. OK so most will go Hamilton. That’s cool too. Besides a rotating theme, an open bar, great music and cash prizes are just few of the staples that keep us coming back to this event year after year. While the party is definitely a great time, it’s also one of the premier fundraisers for a vital organization.

Since 1988, Jerusalem House has grown into the largest provider of permanent supportive housing for people affected by HIV/AIDS in Atlanta. Funds raised at the Halloween party go to furthering the mission and work of the organization.

That’s right. Not only do you get to bring your Broadway “A” game, you’ll feel good about doing it. I mean, you’ll feel good dressed up as a singing feline, but you’ll feel extra good knowing you did it for a worthy cause.

Look. If you aren’t excited about the revival of an Andrew Lloyd Webber classic, you don’t have to go that route. In fact, to win the party’s infamous costume contest, you don’t even have to stick to the theme. Going to a gay costume party and being off theme is beyond my personal scope of understanding, but apparently it’s a thing that people do and it’s considered acceptable allowable.

“Contest winners are always original,” says Jon Santos, director of development for Jerusalem House. “They stand out for being unique, extraordinary, and self-explanatory.”

He also recommends being funny and never breaking character. “Those two things really stick with judges during deliberation,” he says, encouraging all partygoers to get in on the fun. “Entry into the contest is included for all guests, so everyone should take their chance to be in the spotlight.”

Whatever direction you decide to go with for your costume, be on point – maybe with tips from our costume starter kit in this issue of Goliath. There’s $3000 in cash and prizes to be awarded, and the judges are looking for the best of the best.

In addition to the awards for the top three individuals, a new category has been added to the mix for 2016. The “Halloween Krewes” group category includes everyone buying the 10-ticket bundle pack. Besides saving money by purchasing as a group, you also get an extra shot at prizes by coordinating costumes. Keep in mind, only those purchasing the ticket bundles get to enter the group category.

Wherever you land on the costuming to dominate Instagram, this is the place to be to kick off Halloween. Veteran DJ Bill Berdeaux kicks the beat, W Atlanta Midtown offers the backdrop, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka provides the libations. Ticket prices are higher at the door, so purchase online in advance.

Want to go?
What: Jerusalem House Halloween: Night on Broadway
When: Saturday, October 22
Where: W Atlanta Midtown
188 14th Street NE
Information & Tickets: jerusalemhouse.org

TV legend Tom Wopat discusses hitting Out on Film, and the heart of gay love story ‘Fair Haven’
By Elijah Sarkesian

Tom Wopat has come a long way from Hazzard County. Since playing Luke Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard. Now Atlantans will get to see him in a new light in Fair Haven, playing as part of this year’s Out on Film Festival.

Wopat has spent an illustrious career performing on screen and stages across the country. He earned two Tony nominations on Broadway, and he also performs as a bluegrass musician. In Fair Haven, he plays a family farmer struggling to relate to his gay son after sending him through conversion therapy.

For Wopat, the appeal of the film came from growing up in a culture rooted in generational businesses.

“I grew up in the Midwest,” the actor tells Goliath. “My father was a dairy farmer, and his father was a dairy farmer, and half my uncles were dairy farmers, so… I think the kind of insular quality of that kind of culture also resonates with me.”

But for Wopat, the relevancy of the film on a personal level, and its heart as a tolerance and acceptance story, goes even deeper. In part, the appeal of the role was honoring his own father, and people like him, who have trouble with non-traditional others, like sons who are gay – or in his case, who happen to become actors. He does it by portraying his character honestly.

“I was really channeling my father a lot,” Wopat remembers. “He had pretty closely held beliefs and views. He was a practicing Catholic. But at the same time, he was intelligent and empathetic, so he had an open mind – eventually – to what came around.”

Wopat’s performance is an indelible part of Fair Haven, but it’s only part of what makes it a touching film. Two young men fall in love during the film and struggle against forces trying to keep them apart. Newcomers Michael Grant and Josh Green play them superbly, and Wopat’s fellow ‘80s Hunk Gregory Harrison plays a counselor.

For his part, Wopat has nothing but praise for everyone who worked on the film, both in front of and behind the camera.

“This is a small, independent film, but there was nothing small in their endeavor, and in the short time I worked with them, I really grew to really respect what they had in mind, and their vision for the film,” Wopat says. “When I finally saw the film a few months ago, I was blown away. I thought it was really beautiful. I thought it was evocative.

“I think that they exceeded their expectations, and people should see it,” he adds. “I think it’s valuable. I think Michael’s [Grant, the lead as Wopat’s son] performance is terrific. I think everyone in it did a really nice job, and I’m super proud to be part of it.”

Want to go?

What: Fair Haven at Out on Film
When: September 29 – October 6
Where: Midtown Art Cinema
Info & Tickets: outonfilm.org

Local LGBT professionals of AGLCC honor their members, allies, and leaders during annual awards gala

By Matthew Holley

Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce gathers in the spirit of business networking and camaraderie on a regular basis, but when they prepare to do it in fancy dress ready to give out prestigious awards, it only means one thing: the annual AGLCC Community Awards Dinner.

The posh gala, set this year for September 23 at the InterContinental Buckhead, awards excellence in LGBT-led business with trophies for Businessman of the Year, Business Woman of the Year, Corporate Ally, Guardian Angel, Vanguard and a Lifetime Achievement Award. The dinner is also a chance to celebrate the group’s year-round efforts to create economic opportunities through networking, professional development, educational programming and the promotion of member businesses and corporate partners, says Jack Kinley, AGLCC president.

“[The chamber is] where members give back to the community by opening doors to jobs and contract opportunities that might not otherwise be available,” Kinley says. “My mom taught me that my good fortune is meant to be shared with others. That’s what this chamber does, and that’s why I am proud to be its president.”

Affiliated companies and business owners actively work for LGBT inroads through jobs, contracting and political advocacy, and the 2016 awards dinner celebrates that. To keep things lively, it features emcee Tony Kearney, whose infectious personality – albeit in very different clothes – is also known as his drag alter ego, Wild Cherry Sucret.

“Tony gives so much to the Atlanta community at large,” Kinley says. “In a sense, he’s the embodiment of the spirit of the awards and the chamber as a whole. We’re a professional networking group, but we’re a feisty social group too. I think people overlook that quality in the AGLCC. Tony will keep us on our toes. I’ve made a few $5 bets to see what I can get him to do to keep people guessing all night long.”

Kinley delights in revealing a few other details that set this year’s event apart from its predecessors.

“Paul Plate, recently retired executive director of Positive Impact, will be honored with our Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to providing culturally informed mental health and wellness services for individuals and families affected by HIV and AIDS,” Kinley says. “Additionally, Selisse Berry, executive director and founder of Out & Equal will be honored with our Vanguard Award in recognition of her work shaping LGBT-inclusive cultures and policies within global corporations.”

More than the other categories and nominees – which this year include William Duffee-Braun, Goliath Atlanta’s co-publisher and David Atlanta’s development director, for Businessman of the Year – the night itself is specifically meant to honor all of the AGLCC members’ hard work. Kinley says each member embodies a spirit of service and desire to give back to AGLCC and other local organizations.

“This is our chance to thank them,” he says.

All in all, the 2016 AGLCC Community Awards Dinner, which also features a pre-reception and after-party, is shaping up to be a must-attend event of the fall season, a momentous moment Kinley is ready to share with all of gay Atlanta.

“I’m excited that a broad cross-section of our membership is up for an award or two which they all so richly deserve,” Kinley says. “I think Atlanta will get a glimpse of what I see every day. … The night is really about the spirit of our members and encouraging them to keep up the good work.”

intercontinental-buckhead-atlanta-exterior-night-lowWant to go?
What: 2016 AGLCC Awards Dinner
When: Friday, September 23, 2016
Where: InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta
3315 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326
Info: atlantagaychamber.org
Tickets: https://www.501auctions.com/theaglcc/tickets

Goliath has the 411 on gay Atlanta’s favorite concerts, shows, sports, and other events each month. Check in on the Agenda before firming up your plans.

Beyonce
We’ve been Crazy In Love with this Independent Woman since she first made us Say Her Name. Now Beyonce’s loyal gays march in Formation to her latest concert in Atlanta. Soak up the experience of all things Queen B when she hits the Georgia Dome on May 1. Visit beyonce.com.

Goliath_New_250 - 1
Image: NewNowNext

RPDR Battle of the Seasons
Queens from eight seasons of Logo’s most popular show come together for songs, skits, monologues, and a post-show meet-and-greet. Hosted by Michelle Visage, the latest RuPaul’s Drag Race tour stops at Buckhead Theatre on May 13. Get tickets and info at thebuckheadtheatre.com.

 

Goliath_New_250 - 4NFFLA Friends & Family
The gay teams of National Flag Football League of Atlanta go head-to-head every Saturday, but this game day is different. The league gathers its gay and gay-adjacent fans for a cookout during its May 14 matches. nffla.com.

 

Image: Firefly Run
Image: Firefly Run

Firefly Run Atlanta 2016
If you thrive on running, adore Piedmont Park and love a glow theme night, this 5K fun run is for you. An illuminated nighttime romp through the park includes step-off groups for casual walkers as well as speedy sprinters. Dress to impress in neon, holiday lights and all manner of other costumes on May 14. Visit thefireflyrun.com.

 

Goliath_New_250ab - 1Big Peach 2016
A sizeable contingent not headed to Pensacola keep things gay here at home each Memorial Day Weekend. LGBT teams from across the country converge on Atlanta for Big Peach, a national tournament hosted by Hotlanta Softball League with accompanying social activities May 26-29. Get in on it at hslbigpeach.org

 

Goliath_New_250 - 3Shaky Knees & Shaky Beats Music Festivals
Get outside and jam two weekends in a row. First Florence + The Machine, Jane’s Addiction and My Morning Jacket headline Shaky Knees May 13-15, then gay fans continue rocking out with the best of EDM at Shaky Beats with Odessa, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic and scores more. One- and three-day passes at shakykneesfestival.com and shakybeatsfestival.com.

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