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Bespoke Never Looked Better

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

The art of bespoke tailoring isn’t lost on Atlanta. Neil Balani, the owner and chief tailor of HKT Custom Clothiers, has created highly customized suiting for Atlantans since 2005, and the family-run business has offered bespoke tailoring since 1970. In fact, if you’re looking for a Savile Row-style tailoring establishment, you will feel very comfortable in the capable hands of Neil, who both understands the logistics of running a bespoke clothing brand, as well as the intricacies of how to tailor. 

Neil, How did you get into tailoring?

Back home in Malta, my dad was in the men’s clothing and tailoring business, so I saw it on the daily when I was visiting him at the shop. HKT is a bit different because we’re into making custom suits, versus just alterations. But, tailoring has always been in my life. 

Explain the process of creating a bespoke suit for a client.

First is understanding the client’s needs to get an idea of what fabric is needed and their lifestyle. We help them choose fabrics; we carry over 3,000 different types, which are all different depending on the use such as work travel or a wedding. 

We then go through the details of the garment, including the styling of the suit – so one or two button, pleats or no pleats, double-breasted or not.  Then we take body measurements to create a pattern, which we keep on file. In four to six weeks the garment will be complete for him to try where we will do a couple of light fittings to make additional adjustments.  Then it will be completed in a week.

What elements are crucial to creating the perfectly tailored suit?

The key is to understand what a client wants, but at the same time give them the advice on how a suit should fit. It’s not as easy as just taking body measurements, but consulting them on how we can design the suit to fit for their body.

Beyond suits, HKT Custom Clothiers offer custom shirts, belts, jeans, sports jackets, trousers, tuxedos, sweaters, polos, as well as a whole line of luxury men’s accessories like ties pocket, squares, cufflinks, and sunglasses.

What’s your favorite item of clothing – and why?

I love my bold sports jackets and a nice pocket square to give it that finesse. I like to make a statement, but at the same time I tone it down with nice jeans or dark colored pants to keep it in balance.

How do you keep up with trends and get inspiration for your work?

I go through our archives and take inspiration from what we created over the years. Since we’ve been in business so long, we can look back and see what we were creating in the 70s and 80s to take inspiration.  I also watch what’s happening with British and Italian fashion trends, pulling from the best trends to create our own here in Atlanta.

As a bit of Savile Row flair in Atlanta – how do you view the style of Atlanta’s men?

Style in Atlanta has really improved from even five years ago. I’m now seeing that even the youngest generation is dressing up much more instead of wearing shorts and tees to the office.  The music and film industry has also had an influence in making people dress up more. The younger man wants to stand out as a person, and from a style and business perspective, it’s upped the game. Atlanta has its own look that’s in the middle of LA and NYC, so a mix of casual street style with curated dressed up and well-designed pieces. 

What is it about bespoke suiting that makes it so unique?

Bespoke suiting is an art and a craft that is very unique in itself. It’s all about perfection and making something that is precisely for the individual, not an off the peg suit that has to be altered to try and fit them. At HKT it is a personal service as well; we get to build a relationship with our clients, and that helps us set a different standard. You really have to get to understand someone as a person to craft something so personal for them. 

Bespoke suits are also something you’ll wear for a lifetime.  We’ve had clients come to us with suits from 1986 that we made. They still fit and look great, but we’re able to update them, so they reflect today’s styles. Your return on investment with a custom suit is actually better than an off the peg suit since it will last you longer and you’ll get more wears. 

Why should every man experience having a custom clothing item made?

Everyone should experience knowing that a clothing item is made just for them, solidly for their body. It’s not going to fit anyone else. I think the custom clothing experience is extraordinary and amazing from start to finish. There is nothing better than having something that fits for your confidence. That is where guys have trouble buying off the rack clothing because the items don’t fit great and they are uncomfortable. With alterations, you can only do so much. 

What do you think is the biggest misconception about bespoke clothing?

People tend to think bespoke clothing is just way too expensive, but realistically it’s not. They think it’s something beyond their conception or are even unaware of it. But it’s really something to try in life. Once you enjoy the process, you’ll find it amazing. 

Your Own Style Consultation

Arrange for a personal style consultation with Neil. Call the store to arrange an appointment at 770-458-8662 or go online at You can also learn more about HKT Custom Clothiers and get the latest styles by following their Instagram at @hktclothiers.

Nice and sometimes naughty gift ideas to make Cupid’s outing one for the books

by Mikey Rox


From $10 trinkets with zip to big-ticket items that inspire LGBTQ togetherness (and nakedness), these are the gifts to give for Love’s big hurrah.


Beyoncé Pencil Set


Tell him “Boy, Hi!” with this Beyoncé-inspired five-pack pencil set (made exclusively by women – because who run the world? Girls!), each embossed in gold with a famous Bey-ism, like “I Ain’t Sorry,” “What Would Beyoncé Do?” and “I Twirl On Them Haters” – because fucking right she does. $10,





Cafflano Klassic Coffee Maker


This all-in-one portable coffee maker – it grinds, filters, and drips into a travel mug for a hot-and-ready pick-me-up – will save enough time in the morning that you two can sneak in a rise-and-shine lay-me-down. $95,


Cluventure Surprise Vacay


Take your better half on a getaway to remember – complete with “treasure” hunt! – that begins when you receive clues in the mail that lead you to a surprise destination. Cluventure develops vacation programs based on your travel and activity preferences, but where you’ll end up is a secret until departure day. LGBTQ-friendliness considered when booking. Price based on itinerary,


Tom of Finland Wine + Cork Shadow Box


Juices will flow when you open Tom of Finland’s Outstanding Red wine – a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Syrah – featuring labels of the brand’s iconic artwork. Afterward, start a collection of keepsake corks with a custom-made shadow box that promises everlasting companionship for couples that like to get hammered together. $24,; $60,





TRNTBL + Vinylgram


Dust off your sex-spiked vinyls (or spring for a new one, like Justin Timberlake’s just-released Man of the Woods LP) for a spin on the Bluetooth-enabled, social-connected TRNTBL for a filthy date night in, or, if you prefer a little more romance, play your personally recorded Vinylgram message to make him melt like hot chocolate in your pocket. $499,; $20,





Kodak Printomatic


Yesteryear’s point-and-shoot camera meets today’s in-an-instant technology in Kodak’s Printomatic, which produces 2-inch by 3-inch full color and black-and-white photos with adhesive backing directly from the camera’s body. Start a scrapbook of your adventures with bae using the line’s decorating tools, like vibrant gel pen sets, mini photo punchers, border stickers, and more. $70,



TerraTrike Tandem Bike


Quality time spent on the Rover Tandem trike – outfitted with a chro-moly steel frame, hand-built Velocity wheels, and Schwalbe Marathon tires – will help keep those calves of steel in shape even when you two skip leg day. $2,398,


Dick Bouquet Prints


New Jersey-based artist Dylan Wise takes still life to a bold new level with his daring graphite and colored pencil series Blooming Hard, featuring hand-drawn, at-attention penises (of real subjects) surrounded by a bouquet of delicate, never-wilting flower blossoms. Commissions of your own (or S.O.’s) member available; message the artist on Etsy. $80-$400,





Sky-High Proposal in Los Angeles


If you’re planning to pop the question this Valentine’s Day (or anytime thereafter), consider the newly launched “sky-high proposal” experience at OUE Skyspace L.A., the tallest open-air observation deck west of the Mississippi. The Terrace for Two package – which takes place 1,000 feet above the City of Angels – includes a private chef-prepared dinner, three-string quartet playing ‘your’ song, lighting display on the crown of the U.S. Bank tower to announce your engagement, a slide down Skyspace’s famous 45-foot Skyslide, and a private helicopter tour for your flyaway finale. Who could say no to that? Email for pricing details,


Soothe Massage Service


Strip down and let somebody else take you to heaven with their hands with an on-demand massage via Soothe, offering spa-quality massages wherever you are. Make it an in-home couple’s retreat with deep tissue, Swedish, or sports massages plus all the accoutrements, including massage tables, fresh linens, lotions, oils, and relaxing music delivered right to your door. $119-$225,


California Dates + Champagne-Infused Ice Pops


Ditch the heart-shaped boxes of Russell Stover and budget-busting perennials in favor of an offbeat approach to sweets and treats:  Rancho Meladuco’s plump, juicy California dates paired with a bouquet of FrutaPOP’s boozy passion fruit champagne ice pops. A new nontraditional tradition is born (for less than the cost of those dead-in-a-day roses). $16-$18,; $60,



Hair-On Cowhide Shoes


Natural hair-on cowhide with unique mottled patterns will make a statement when y’all step out for dinner and a movie, but it’s also something you can feel good about:  Each pair of Uwezos purchased provides a percentage of profits to Empower African Children to help students across the continent achieve higher education. $125-$165,


Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.

By Mik Hyldebrandt


Whether you’re doing last minute shopping or a carefully planned online shopping spree, the Internet is your friend during a busy holiday season. A quick survey around the Goliath office and the favorite gift wishes are all found online.


Andrea wishes for

Jewelry with an Edge

Jewelry with a cool edge and possibly made by locals is definitely preferred! This Eye of the Leader necklace ($150) is found on Scoutmob – the perfect website for all kinds of things made by independent crafters and makers.






Mikkel wishes for

Atlanta United FC Season Tickets

Not only is the first Atlanta pro-soccer team doing pretty well in their inaugural season, but the games are played at the incredible new Mercedes-Benz Stadium! (Season) tickets at






Jeff wishes for

The Ultimate Cup of Coffee

Coffee is essential as a morning wake-me-up and as an afternoon pick-me-up! And the chase for the ultimate cup of coffee never ends. The website has both gourmet roasts and expert equipment.






Jim wishes for

New Living Room Furniture

Style is, of course, individual but as long as modern and traditional can be mixed all is good. Right now, the search is on for a coffee table an even though CB2 doesn’t have a physical location anymore, the quality of their online selection never fails.






Brian wishes for

A New Fragrance

Fragrance is essential but it has to be something special, and Luckyscent always delivers on very select fragrances. It would be wonderful to be gifted with Byredo’s Gypsy Water ($150) which is perfect for fall and winter.

Follow the rainbows to Cactus House for easy eats, big tastes and authentic Mexican fare
By Mike Fleming

Almost as eye-catching as the rainbow crosswalks just steps away is a glossy new rainbow-painted bench in front of a new Midtown eatery. But don’t just stop for another rainbow selfie. Go inside to Cactus House Midtown. You’ll be glad you did.

Before this 1020 Piedmont space opened in July, our gay brethren had to venture over to Buford Highway for true taqueria taste treats, or brave the Beltline for a fancy-schmancy version. Now less adventurous Midtown diners can find out what they, and our neighbors further south in Florida and Texas, already knew about the easy-breezy vibe and the hearty deliciousness that comes with the taqueria style concept.

Start with welcoming and casual atmosphere. No pretense means that you’ll fit right in wearing shorts when walking over from Piedmont Park with friends, but you’re also at home in jeans and date shirt with that special man in your life. Park in the deck at Azure on the Park, and Cactus House validates

All that’s required is your appetite, and by the way, forget Taco Tuesday. This is the place for fresh, natural and slightly upscale street-style tacos every day of the week.

“Cactus House was born out of our love for tacos,” co-owners Dane and Emilio told diners when they officially hung out their open-for-business sign. “Family dinners and homemade recipes inspired this love, and our menu puts a modern twist on those family recipes.”

But it’s more than that.

“We believe in serving a responsibly sourced and sustainable meal, so we handcraft our tacos from only fresh, natural, and local ingredients,” they say. “Cactus House isn’t a restaurant; it’s an experience.

Craft tacos include yumminess, like the best veggie-avocado taco you’ll ever try. With standard options like steak, shrimp and chicken, each specialty comes with its own distinct ingredients and sauces that work perfectly with each taco. The Lamb Barbacoa is the bomb, and the Chicken Pastor taco alone is like a party in your mouth.

The portions are a little small, but go in knowing that ordering lots of options to try and share is part of the fun. Add the tortilla soup, and speaking of sharing, definitely do chips and dips to help complete the meal and leave fulfilled. On top of that, nearly two-dozen sodas, including exotic choices just like real taquerias, are an adventure in themselves.

One more thing that is a must-add to your meal is three words, and we want you to remember them: Mexican. Street. Corn. If you’ve had it before, you’re already in. If you haven’t, it may be the thing that keeps you coming back here for more. Traditional crumbled white cheese, and a layer of melted pepper jack sauce make this on-the-cob treat sweet, spicy and savory.

Beyond the menu, the staff is super friendly, the décor is contemporary and modern, and the outdoor area is going to continue as a draw well into the fall. This is the perfect spot to grab a bite or a drink with a great location, fun atmosphere, and Mexican street corn. Did we mention the street corn?

Cactus House Midtown is at 1020 Piedmont Ave. in the Azure building., and on both Facebook and Instagram @chtacos.

Do summer right with a fabulous patio party that won’t break the bank – or the host
By Mike Fleming

As the weather warms up, all you want to do is get out and enjoy it with friends. The solution could be as close as your own deck, but your first thought may be to avoid the work it entails. No worries. We have your back.

There’s a great outdoor event at your fingertips that puts you on the “Mostest” Host list without crossing off your sanity – or your foregoing enjoyment of your own party.

You need three things to make this party a success, and one of them isn’t a Martha Stewart serving platter woven of organically-grown Taiwanese grasses that you painstakingly grew yourself.

First, calm down. This is supposed to be fun, not a competition – though we’ll earn you a few points along the way. Second, plan. Get the food, alcohol and entertainment worked out, and let them take care of themselves on the big day.


Who’s cooking? If it’s you, great, but plan to flip burgers only if it’s because you enjoy it. If no part of you wants those duties, hear this loud and clear: Don’t cook. Enlist a friend to man the grill, decide on protein and veggie options, and have guests bring sides.

No Cooking
Or take this tip: Cater. Yes, we said it, and we’re not taking it back. Sure, it’s more expensive, but no one worth caring about will complain or think less of you if you serve amazing food. Here’s a fun idea: Pre-order staples for pickup from Fat Matt’s, Fox Brothers and Daddy D’z, then call it done.

Plates, napkins and tableware should be on you. Lay them out and forget them. If you have a side item or signature dish you like to make, do it in advance and pull it out at party time.

An inexpensive and easy way to please everybody and look like you tried is ice cream. You can buy several flavors in buckets, and have people serve themselves, or for even easier cleanup and more personalized timing, offer single-serve treats like ice cream sandwiches, popsicles and bars.


What to Drink
It’s nice to have beer and wine – both red and white – as well as vodka, gin and one brown liquor for summer parties, but it’s not a requirement. BYOB is often what happens anyway, because cocktail and beer preferences are so personal these days. Whatever your choice, announce your intentions and no one will bat an eye.

What to Have
What you want to drink should be on hand, and consider yourself responsible for ice, cups and quartered lemons and limes. Have corkscrews and other accoutrements laid out in open view. Non-alcoholic options for cocktail mixers, teetotalers and designated drivers are a good idea.

Drinkers and non-drinkers alike do better when hydrated. Bottled water is a good idea, or if you’re feeling fancy, it’s super easy to cut up lemons and keep pitchers of those in cold water to share. Cucumbers and basil are amazing additions, too.

Rules of Thumb
On the one hand, enough alcohol can be all a host needs to lubricate his party. On the other, he shouldn’t be the drunkest one there, nor forget to make sure the guy who is gets home safely.


Depending on the crowd, the right tunes may be all the entertainment your deck party needs. Digital players are perfect for this: If you feel strong about your playlist, put it on and forget it. Or tell guests you trust that they are free to plug in their playlists.

Guy Games
Cornhole, bocce and croquet aren’t just great ways to check out guys’ forms. They’re fair for almost everybody, and guests can be as competitive, or not, as they like. You know your crowd, so if guests have favorite games, have them bring them along.

Take It Inside
You will likely have guests who want to chill inside. Board games and puzzles near the door to the deck can keep them part of the fun, or announce that there’s a movie marathon for those addicted to a/c. All of these are also good options for the one thing you can’t control: Rain.


Rainbros Co-founder adds to fabric of gay life in Atlanta
By Matthew Holley

Ever since its launch at the start of the New Year, Rainbros has redefined what it means to be a gay man in Atlanta through its unique take on peer mentorship and group activities. Rainbros envisions opportunities to discover commonalities and foster friendships above and beyond the typical gay hotspots and our own limited personal social circles.

Co-founder James Brian Yancey has worked tirelessly on the organization’s unique focus on common themes that most gay men struggle to navigate: fitness, finance, career building and health. We like what we see, so we named Yancey this month’s Man About Town and asked for more about his vision, his life in Atlanta, and his hopes for Rainbros future.

How did Rainbros come about?

I grew up in in Atlanta with organizations like Youth Pride and places like Outwrite bookstore, where I hung out with and made new friends when I was under 21. Those groups and places that support and foster relationship building outside of clubs and bars no longer exist, … so I always wanted to support people in our community to get on the right track.

More broadly, our community is hyper-sexualized… I’ve heard people say over and over that they are tired of apps and hookups and just want real connection in the real world. In seeing a lack of support for each other and hearing that people just want to connect a safe platonic way, the ideas for Rainbros were born. Mike Duffy, a Senior Producer for CNN at the time, and I shared parts of this vision and collaborated to co-found the organization.

So what exactly is Rainbros?

The core of Rainbros is peer coaching. We have 70 approved coaches that we’ve interviewed and who have gone through background checks to ensure safety. … We meet with people to hear the areas of their life that they want to grow in, and we connect them to a coach to establish goals and work toward them in life.

We also support and promote an ecosystem of events across theater, networking, health and fitness, personal finance, healthy relationships, networking and gay history to build community.

Where do you hope it goes in five years?

I hope Rainbros will have a method that consistently results in successful outcomes that can be packaged and replicated in other cities in the U.S. and countries around the globe. The world needs more peer coaching and supportive, platonic relationships.

Tell us about yourself outside of Rainbros.

I’m a rare Atlanta native. Even though I’ve lived in NYC for three years and London for six, Atlanta is home and I keep coming back. …

I had the chance to get involved very early with a digital marketing agency called 360i and ended up moving to NYC and London winning new biz, growing and managing teams and learning a lot from my lifelong mentor, the CEO there, Bryan Wiener. I got to launch and build the business in London from scratch, knowing no one there. …

We sold that company, and I used the proceeds to start my current company CloudTags, a venture-backed connected retail technology using ultrasonic waves to connect smartphones and staff tablets with no app needed. We are in Ponce City Market and have a team and offices in London as well.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love running and I love anything and everything in Piedmont Park – Green Market, concerts, Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I spend lots of time having adventures with my dog Winnie. I adore every aspect of the BeltLine and what it symbolizes and can be very happy anywhere on it seeing the diverse people of our city.

I’ve also been known to throw a few epic house parties for Joining Hearts and Halloween. I also spend a lot of time boating with friends on Lake Lanier at Gay Cove.

What are your favorite things about Atlanta?

The BeltLine is definitely number one, and the Lantern Festival is pretty great too. All of the hidden parks and places in Ansley Park are a close second. Tacqueria del Sol and Bacchanalia are two special food places. … I love so much about Atlanta it’s hard to list it all.

For more information, visit or write

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

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 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

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 and

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.

Just because it’s ‘in’ doesn’t mean you should be in it. Suit up in the latest swimwear that also looks great on your body type.

By Mike Fleming

Slim_BodSlim Jim

Suits that hit just above the knee, and fit snug not baggy, balance proportions and keep legs from looking too long. When it comes to color and graphics, go for it, especially horizontal.

nauticalNautical Board Shorts



unspecified-3Indigo Dot Trunk




Banzai Trunk



Dad_BodDad Bod

Size matters. Avoid anything marked ‘tailored’ or ‘fitted’ or “slim,” look for relaxed fit and waistbands, and don’t squeeze into a size that used to fit but doesn’t anymore.

unspecified-2Chubbies Midshipman



unspecified-6Small-Patterned Swim Short


unspecified-2Jakarta Mid-length Swim Shorts




Fitness_BodFitness Fan

You work hard, so you can wear most colors and styles. Bare as you dare, and personalize it with any pattern or color from showy to subtle.

unspecified-1Bulldog Swim Shorts



unspecified-5Oarsman Trunk


unspecified-7Athletic Stripe Box Cut




Fat_BodMore to Love

Solids slim you down, and roomy is better than tight. Show some leg in mid-length and shorter cuts to lengthen your profile.

unspecified-1Beach Britches





unspecified-7The Earl

DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedy performer. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” parodies, as the satirical Betty Bowers – America’s Best Christian, and performing her live music shows in brothels across America. Deven rarely eats solid food.

Dear Deven: I think the cute guy who bags my groceries is coming on to me. How do I ask him out while he is working? – Yin”
Maneuver around the counter so your bodies are perilously close. Take your hand and brush it up against his dewy skin as you both reach for a mesh bag. Then, you snap out of your daydream and ask him what time he finishes work so you two can grab some supper.

Dear Deven: I think the cute customer who smiles at me while I bag his groceries is coming on to me. How do I ask him out while I am working? – “Yang”
No need, I’m sure he will ask you out!

Dear Deven:
I am a high-end, health food store manager. I was interested in a guy and enticed him by giving him the employee discount. Nothing came of it, but he still comes by and gets the discount. How do I take it away?- Perquisites”
By not giving it up so quickly at the start. Let people earn your “gift.” Tell him the store policy has changed. You aren’t lying – you are the manager and you changed your policy!

Dear Deven:
I lose my temper trying to park at the grocery store, so I honk and swear at other drivers. They seriously cannot park. Then we both have to walk in and shop. There is an air of hostility. What do I do? – Unstable”\
Have your groceries delivered.

CMI_Survey_Digital_Male_300x250Dear Deven: I feel like people are looking in my shopping cart judging me on what I am buying. Do others feel like this? – Malcontent”
Yes, of course you are judged, but you also judge. Lots of people have anxiety because of this. Others could care less. If it bothers you, then place your items underneath a bag that you lay over top of everything. Consider doing a self-check out. People match up what you’re eating with how you look or behave. I said in jest once, “Only shallow people don’t judge by looks.”

Dear Deven: When my partner and I go grocery shopping, he is embarrassed that I use coupons. He always reaches for the most expensive of everything. May you tell him to stop it? – Vouched For”
Stop trying to convince him. That is his issue to figure out. Consider setting aside all the money saved, and go out to dinner together. I don’t think he will shy away from that.

Dear Deven: I heard that if you can actually smell the seafood section in a store it’s no good. – Carpe Diem”
If it smells like a fish… It’s fishy!

Dear Friends: This column is for entertainment purposes…mostly mine. It was a great year due to you. Thank you. Send me your questions:

Image by Franz Szony Photography
Make Up by Joseph Adivari 

DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedy performer. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” parodies, playing the satirical Betty Bowers – America’s Best Christian and performing as a human jukebox in brothels across America. Deven can say no with her eyes.

Dear Deven: I was told, “never work for free.” Do you believe that? – Sovereign”
NO. If you need to prove yourself and subsequent jobs are paying then offer one “complimentary” job. If you feel the credit or association by doing a free job is worth it, then do it. If you are always giving it away then it is just a hobby. Value yourself.

Dear Deven: I’m self-employed and feel obligated to say YES to everything so I don’t miss out on an opportunity? Is that right? – Scratch”
NO. If you are clear on who you are and what you do then it makes no sense to say YES to offers which have no meaning to you or you aren’t passionate about. As a goodwill gesture pass the offers you say NO to on to someone else who may say YES. You know, like your leftovers!

CMI_Survey_Digital_Male_300x250Dear Deven: I am successful in my field (finance) but I don’t love what I do…I think I am supposed to right? – Bank”
NO. Just because you are talented in a field doesn’t mean you have a passion for it. It’s either what you do or who you are.

Dear Deven: Do I have to spend money to make money? – Capital”
NO! Although you can pay me a consultation fee!

Dear Deven: There are so many people in the interior decoration field that I don’t know where I belong. It was suggested that I find another field.? If the market is super saturated, should try something else? – Loot”
NO! Find your niche and angle in your chosen field! Remember that every single person thinks that at some point in every single field. Yes there are challenges and competition so your real job is to create where you belong.

Dear Deven: I gave myself a one-year time limit for my business to start making money. It’s two years and I’m breaking even. Time to quit? – Tender”
NO. It’s time to put your time in. Keep at it. I want you to succeed and a big part of that is showing up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It’s not how long you have been at it, it is how committed you are to what you started.

Dear Deven: Are millennials taking up all the good jobs since the market is always youth oriented? – Bones”
NO! There will always be openings for those with talent, experience, and maturity.

Dear Deven: You always seem to have all the answers don’t you?! – Grand”
YES I do!

Dear Friends: This column is for entertainment purposes…mostly mine. Send me your viable questions:

Image: Franz Szony
Hair / Make Up: Joseph Adivari


DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedy performer. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” parodies, as the satirical Betty Bowers – America’s Best Christian, and performing her live music shows in brothels across America. Deven is allergic to apples.

Dear Deven: My partner is a chef who makes beautiful food, but a lot of it, and he wants me to eat EVERYTHING off of my plate. How can I say no? – Fowl”
You don’t need to put anything in your mouth that you don’t want to. You should not be eating for two. Eat for you. “No” means no means in any context. If he is that great, I’m sure he can make smaller portions.

Dear Deven: Should I eat meat? – Fauna”
That is an ethical question for you to answer not for me to tell you what to do. As you grow wiser, you make personal and physical revelations. Your beliefs may evolve as well.

Dear Deven: I am getting heavier being a vegetarian. Is there no winning? – “Flora”
Yes there is no winning! I’m sure you aren’t gaining weight by eating broccoli. Maybe you are putting a spoonful of sugar in your pie hole? You can trick your mind, but not your body.

Dear Deven: Is there anything I should or shouldn’t eat before being intimate? – Feast”
Be intimate first, and then eat.

Dear Deven: Is there a way to have a “cleaner” diet? – Fruit”
Try fiber. But you understand that there will always be “a little dirty” involved.

Dear Deven: Why do guys use the eggplant (aubergine) emoji? – Flexible”
It has no other “meme-ing” than exactly what it looks like.

Dear Deven: I really want fresh produce all year long, but everything is seasonal. What’s a farmer wannabe to do? – Frosted”
Buy some seeds and start planting in your home. Start with a sure thing like perennial or biennial vegetables. Trust me, I’ve never met a carrot I didn’t like.

Dear Deven: What is the difference between a fruit and vegetable? – Flame”
Seeds and roots. I’m sure you understand.

Dear Deven: When I am starving I over eat and put everything in my mouth. I feel awful afterward. How can I break this pattern? – Famished”
If you read the nutritional label on a package, that alone should stop you in your tracks. Try eating foods that have no label (i.e. a banana). If you know you get snack attacks, then be prepared with healthy choices! Be smarter than a bag of chips. And, as a general rule: If you have too much of anything in your mouth just spit it out – God knows I do.

Dear Friends: This column is for entertainment purposes…mostly mine. Send me your questions:

Image: Makeup: Mikayla Gottlieb

Spring means time to swap fragrances from woodsy winter to sporty spring
By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

There is something about spring and the subsequent summer months that leave us more open to adventure and taking life in with even deeper breaths. That bolder, yet lighter approach should be reflected in what fragrance you wear.

Here are some great options, whether you seek sportily freshness or sexier sultriness now that you are showing more skin.

Why go light as the weather warms? Fragrances are dependent on heat – the molecules on your skin heat up and evaporate, creating a scent trail around you – so they smell stronger in spring and summer. That’s why lighter scents, like citrus, botanical and aquatic notes, are preferred.

Gay Atlanta’s inner child gets a do-over as Alliance previews a Broadway-bound show about taking a same-sex date to high school’s biggest night.

By Jeffery Silvey

In high school everyone looks forward to prom. All the pomp and circumstance is a symbol of the American teenage experience, but one until recently exclusive to heterosexuals. That’s where we enter The Prom, the new Broadway-bound musical staging at Alliance Theatre this month.

How does a gay youth experience that vital American childhood phenomenon of prom with all its privileges and perks? The musical asks that question to tell the story of Emma, a teenager growing up in conservative Indiana who wants nothing more than to go to the prom with her girlfriend.

Disapproving of her choice but unwilling to seem discriminatory, her school decides to cancel the prom for everyone. What ensues is an ample amount of press coverage and even more hilarious antics as four Broadway stars of yesteryear show up to save the day, as well as save the dance.

The Prom becomes Broadway versus Board of Education, proving that all it takes is one person to stand up and speak out to spark a change.

After hosting the world premieres of Broadway-bound musicals including The Color Purple and Aida, the Alliance hosts the show by director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw, who won a Tony for The Book of Mormon. The show is based on an original idea by producer Jack Viertel, written by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin. Beguelin is also responsible for the lyrics, and Matthew Sklar the music.

The Prom stage is loaded with Tony Award winners and nominees as well as Broadway stage veterans, including lead Caitlin Kinnunen. Originally from a small town between Seattle and the Canadian border in Washington State, Kinnunen moved to New York City at 16 when she was cast in the Broadway musical Spring Awakening. Now 24, she is excited to be a part of the show, and the larger conversation it sparks.

“It’s important to be who you are,” Kinnunen says of the show’s theme. “Love who you love and embrace that. Do not be afraid to show the world who you love and stand up for yourself.”

The show feels like a true story, but it’s more amalgamation of various headlines born out of real-life discrimination. In 2010, a gay teen in Cochran, Georgia was told he wasn’t allowed to bring a boy to the prom. The same year, a school in Mississippi canceled the prom to prevent a lesbian student from attending with her girlfriend. Earlier this year, a lesbian student was banned from her prom because she wanted to wear a tuxedo.

The gay discrimination in heteronormative proms has become too common. In addition to the show itself, the Alliance, a longtime LGBT supporter, seeks to further address the issues. Back in July, they held a Q&A “Behind the Musical” with the show principles, and even threw a “Gay Prom” honoring all the people who didn’t get one in high school, who didn’t get to go with the date of their choice, or those who simply wish for a “do-over.”

The cast and crew commitment to making things better is just one of the many reasons that Kinnunen is excited for the show.

“I never went to high school,” the actress says. “I was homeschooled, so I never got to go to a prom, so I finally get to do that.”

The larger conversation that The Prom presents attempts to bring all the giddy memories and experiences of the big event to every American teenager, regardless of who they want to take as their date, what they want to wear, or how they want to express their gender identity.

Want to go?
What: The Prom
Where: Alliance Theatre @ Woodruff Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE
When: August 18 – September 25


DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedy performer. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” parodies, as the satirical Betty Bowers – America’s Best Christian, OCCmakeup ads, “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” World of Wonder, and performing her live music shows in brothels across America.

Dear Deven: It took me a long time to grow my beard, and now it’s going out of fashion. Should I cut it off? – “Bothered in Buckhead”
This is not an all or nothing situation. You have choices: trim it, then cut it into chops, then a mustache, then a mouche, then bare. Or, leave as-is because it will be on-trend again. Face fashion is cyclical.

Dear Deven: How can I stop my pants from creasing in my crotch area? – “Crumpled in Coweta”
A) Don’t wear linen. B) Don’t sit. C) Don’t wear pants.

Dear Deven: I like to be comfortable, but my new boyfriend said he was embarrassed when I wore my track pants to the club. Why?– “Pouting in Peachtree City”
I think you meant to say your soon-to-be EX-boyfriend. Wear your gym clothes in the gym, and buy some party clothes that are comfortable to wear when you entertain or are the entertainment. If you are wearing anything athletic in a club, it better have the word “cup” associated with it.

Dear Deven: I just noticed I had a wild nose hair. Why am I mortified? – “Piliferous in Paulding County”
Because you are usually so well groomed that you consider this a “mistake.” It’s not. It’s just “European.” If it really bothers you, consider laser treatment from a professional (as opposed to home lasers).

Dear Deven: I have nothing to wear. – “Stark in Stewart”
Clean, repair, replace or alter what you currently have. Or go to a nudist colony and be with others who have nothing to wear.

Dear Deven: Is there anything really new in fashion?– “Current in Coweta”
Yes, your perception and appreciation of style and form.

Dear Deven: I buy my new boyfriend clothes so he fits in, but he doesn’t seem very grateful. What should I do?– “Mewling in Marietta”
When you met him, did you think, “You are everything I have ever wanted to change!” Is it your job to assimilate him into society? If not, please know that new boyfriends are not new “projects.” Take him as he is (with small refinements) or send him back into the wild.

Dear Deven: My husband thought he bought me a great shirt, but he doesn’t seem to know my taste at all. You know what I am going to ask… – “Mendacious in Metro ”
Take the shirt back because it’s “the wrong size” <wink>. Pick out something you will actually wear because the store didn’t have your size <wink>. When you wear your new shirt to a party, tell friends your hubby got it for you <wink>. A relationship based on half-truths is a whole lot of fun.

Dear Readers, please ask me anything about food and dining for next month:

Photo: Reed Davis Photography 

DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedy performer. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” parodies, as the satirical Betty Bowers – America’s Best Christian, OCCmakeup ads, “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” World of Wonder, and performing her live music shows in brothels across America.

Dear Deven: I am dating an older man. Anything I should be aware of? Coddled in Cobb”
Yes, your Daddy issue trumps your Oedipus Complex! You attract what you need to conquer, and it’s usually something that you never mastered in your childhood. Try not to completely use others for your own therapy.

Dear Deven: I have no motivation to clean up my place. Will you light a fire under me? Burning in Buford”
Throw money at this problem by hiring a maid. I sense your place is cluttered, which is a direct reflection of where your mind is. Pick up one object right now. If you have used it in the past year put it down – it may stay. Keep what you need and let the rest go.

Dear Deven: I’m really into rich men, but I hate accompanying them on business trips.  What should I do? Tripping in Thomaston”
If you don’t want to be seen as arm candy, consider creating your own life and stop complaining about relying on the “kindness of strangers.” At least work on a skill so you have a fall back plan when this one expires. I’ve got it! Have these rich men pay for your education.

Dear Deven: I want to kiss my partner in public.  Is that so wrong? Did It in Dunwoody”
You don’t want my opinion, you want to be “right.” My answer will only serve to feed your power control issues. A clever man can make even the simplest of touches titillating.

Dear Deven: I think there is a guy at work that likes me. Can I ask him if he is gay? Occupied in Old Fourth Ward”
Take out your big magnifying glass and search for clues. No you cannot ask him! Work on a great professional relationship and chill out on being an office predator.

Dear Deven: My straight friends always want to give me dating advice even though they know I’m gay. How can I tell them to stop? Arrested in Alpharetta”
Be thankful that they care at all about your hook-ups. Does it matter what their sexual orientation is? As an example, I don’t take financial advice from people who make less money than I do no matter whom they sleep with. Check the source.

Dear Deven: I never get a full night’s sleep when someone else is in bed. Is this common? Dozing in Doraville”
Yes, it is common when your mind is in overdrive. Lay there and think of one beautiful moment you are thankful for in your life. Close your eyes and be grateful. You may actually go back to sleep with a smile on your face. Then, when you wake up, you can figure out where the hell you are and get on home.

Send me your questions:

Photo: Reed Davis Photography

DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedy performer. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” parodies, as the satirical Betty Bowers – America’s Best Christian, OCCmakeup ads, “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” World of Wonder, and performing her live music shows in brothels across America. 

Dear Deven: Would it be rude if I was intimate with my boyfriend in public for his Valentine’s Day present?  “Randy in Roswell”
It would be rude if I was intimate with him! Talk dirty in public, and take it out on each other when you get home.

Dear Deven: I want to throw an anti-Valentine’s Day party with all my other friends who are alone to fight society’s expectations of couplings and devalue this made up corporate holiday. “Heartless (ironically) in the Heartland”
Thank you for the run-on sentence. Society never asked you to buy a card, and there is no punishment if you don’t. The real issue is your anger against couples. Have a “singles” party for you, not against them.

Dear Deven: My relationship is almost over.  Is it wrong to break up on Valentine’s Day?  “Heart of Stone Mountain”
Do it privately so you don’t ruin the day for others. Or, conversely, do it publicly so everyone is thankful they are with someone kind. Is there any perfect time to break up? No, just more appropriate times.

Dear Deven: Do you love me?  “Muddled in Midtown”
Can you receive love? If so, then it is there for you to embrace. It’s easy to love someone.  The trick is to truly like them.

Dear Deven: We would like to invite someone else into our relationship. How do we do that?  “Werking it in Winder”
With words and cash, my dear! I love that you two are on the same page. Pick the third person from outside your circle of friends. Limit any social contact so (s)he doesn’t emotionally come between you two. Keep it recreational, fun and safe.

Dear Deven: I’m in a long-term relationship, and I have run out of Valentine gift ideas. Do you have any?  “Idea-free in Inman Park”

Dear Deven: We want to get married next year on Valentine’s Day. Both of our families will be there. How can we acknowledge them best? — “Happy in Hapeville”
I am an Officiant / Celebrant, and will share with you what I say about parents in the ceremonies I perform: “Most parents have one simple agenda when their children are born, and that is they want them to be happy.” I then ask both gentlemen if they are happy – They respond in the affirmative. – Then I say, “Your parents have won. They have successfully raised two smart, creative, articulate, happy men.”

Dear Readers, I send you hearts because I care about each and every one of you. You, in return, will send me your questions:

Image by Reed Davis


DEVEN GREEN is an award-winning comedy performer. You know her from the “Welcome To My Home” parodies, as the satirical Betty Bowers – America’s Best Christian, OCCmakeup ads, from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” World of Wonder, and performing her live music shows in brothels across America.

Dear Deven: I’m an Aquarian, what is my horoscope?  “Watery in Washington”

Deven: Do you feel that all the people in the world fit into 12 generalized categories? You tell this month what it will be, not the other way around.

Dear Deven: I tried to quit smoking, but when I go out and drink I smoke. What to do?  “Inhaling in Indian Springs”

Deven: Go out to places such as a park, running track, dog run, etc. where they don’t serve booze. Fill your mouth with something else to relieve that oral fixation. When you are ready to quit, you will completely quit.  No one can change your mind until you do.

Dear Deven: I have breakfast with my friends at the same cafe every morning. Is it okay to try the place across the street?  “Chewing in Chattanooga”

Deven: You are allowed to cheat on your waiter. You are allowed to eat anywhere you wish. Only you are placing emotional obligations on this scenario. In your childhood, you were punished for something of this nature and now your deep misplaced attachments are ruling you . . . I presume. You are allowed to walk away and walk back in again.

Dear Deven: I want to feel like a “good person.” What can I do to make me seem kind-hearted?  “Reaching in Regina”

Deven: I appreciate your desire to be a human being. You want OTHERS to notice how kind you are, so your motivation will always be transparent and you won’t get the wanted results. Find a cause that actually resonates with you such as volunteering. It may take a couple of tries to find the right fit for your sensibilities, but when you do, you won’t need to tell everyone how good you are because you just will be.

Dear Deven: I’m gay and I love to gossip! Is that sooooo bad?  “Tattling in Toledo”

Deven: Thank you for coming out. You gossip to provide the illusion of closeness by revealing something you shouldn’t to others. If someone you trusted kept quiet about your particulars, maybe you should extend that same courtesy if it’s asked of you. The only harm is to you, since your reputation will be sullied. Gossip about yourself or talk less about others, dear.

Dear Deven: I honestly feel like I am blending in with everyone else since we all shop at the same places and have the same aesthetic, same skin regime. How can I be different?  “Heterogeneous in Homer”

Deven: We all fall into some generalized categories, but you, in your desire to fit in, lost yourself. Create your own identity in the group by personalizing one thing – such as your shoes. Have a diverse interest which requires you to look, feel, sound and be different; then you have fulfilled your want to be you, and still maintained the safety of your group.

Dear Deven: I let Jesus into my heart but I let another man into my bed. Do you think He’ll be upset?  “Jacked”

Deven: Tell him that you and Jesus have an open relationship.

Dear Deven: When does it get better? — “Yearning in Yonkers”

Deven: When you get easier.

I have your answers, give me your questions:

What do you get when you cross the gay beloved Jerusalem House, scads of original art on auction, and live artwork being created for hundreds of cocktailing gay guys? It’s a recipe for the Affair of the Art gala, and it’s fabulous.

Jerusalem House is back with its artful annual fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 23 at the gorgeous Atlanta Decorative Arts Center. The cocktail gala serves as one of the organizations signature events to aide its mission to bring housing and services to JH residents.

Here’s how JH pitches all that awesomeness.

Celebrate two great causes at “An Affair of the Art,” a cocktail gala and art auction benefiting Jerusalem House and ArtsNow. Featuring art from local artists, faculty, and students, plus unique works created by Jerusalem House’s adult and child residents under the direction of ArtsNow staff.

General Admission Advance -$25
Save $10 off the door price! Includes gourmet lite bites and a hosted bar.

VIP Advance – $75
Save $25 off the door price! Includes a private sparkling wine bar, meet & greet with this year’s live performance artists, a gourmet lite-bite buffet, and a chance at winning a piece of art created for this event.

The Goliath guys will be there with bells on. See you there!

Want to go?
What: An Affair of the Art
When: Saturday, Jan. 23, 6 p.m.
Where: Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, 349-351 Peachtree Hills Ave NE
Click to buy your tickets now.


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