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Backstreet: An oral history of Atlanta’s most fabled 24-hour nightclub

Backstreet’s infamous 10,000-plus nights of dancing, drag, drugs, and debauchery, spanning the years from 1975 to 2004—recounted by the people who owned the club, worked there, documented its life span, and, of course, partied inside the legendary Atlanta nightspot.
The Rainbow crosswalk at 10th and Piedmont

A half-century of LGBTQ+ milestones in Atlanta

The first Atlanta Pride was held in Piedmont Park 50 years ago to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. Our LGBTQ+ community has made many strides over the last half-century. But we have far to go.

The rise of Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride

Atlanta has reigned supreme on the national Black LGBTQ+ Pride circuit by attracting stars like Nicki Minaj and Brandy and by evolving into a bona-fide summer festival with food and retail vendors in Piedmont Park—as LGBTQ+ families sprawl across picnic blankets like they once did in Henri McTerry’s backyard.
Two patrons at Bulldogs

Bulldogs: Atlanta’s little gay bar that could

Just one story tall and tucked between 7th and 8th streets on Peachtree, a tiny gay bar has built a reputation that towers over many of the skyscrapers that surround it.

The bond between Saint Mark Methodist and Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ community

“I have always been very clear on this. I do not believe being gay is a sin. This is the way people are born. God doesn’t mess up. We are all a part of God’s creation and need to be celebrated as such.”

The AIDS Memorial Quilt remains a powerful symbol

Friends, family, lovers, and strangers stitched colorful, personal, and heartfelt tribute panels measuring three feet by six feet—the approximate measurements of a grave, Jones says—that when stitched together create a 1.3 million square foot symbol as iconic as the red ribbon worn to raise awareness about the disease.
Protesters march in downtown Atlanta holding a "March for gay rights" sign

How one march for gay rights launched nearly 50 years of Atlanta Pride

On the first anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, roughly 100 Atlantans, frustrated by discriminatory treatment against LGBTQ people on local and national levels, began marching on Peachtree Street.
Gus Kaufman

Gus Kaufman used to wish he wasn’t gay. Now he talks about the liberation of being your true self.

"I always wished, 'God, make me not a homosexual,' since I could imagine no life as that. And I told [my LGBTQ] workshop participants, once you accept and cherish who you are, you shine like [a] star."
Fantastic Beasts LGBTQ powerlifting club

Atlanta’s LGBTQ powerlifting club builds bonds by pumping iron. Meet the Fantastic Beasts.

In the gym are people of all shapes and sizes, ranging in age from college students to professionals in their 50s and 60s. The gym-goers gently critique each other’s form and effusively cheer each other on. These are the Fantastic Beasts, Atlanta’s only LGBTQ powerlifting club—and, according to the organizers, possibly the first of its kind in the world.
Trans journalist Samantha Allen

Real Queer America author Samantha Allen on why Atlanta is the best city in the country for the LGBTQ community

Samantha Allen, a transgender senior reporter for the Daily Beast covering LGBT issues, has a new book, Real Queer America, where she takes a six-week road trip through multiple red states, showing that red states are full of people who care about equality and LGBT rights. Here, an excerpt from her book and a Q&A about the state of LGBTQ culture in Atlanta and America.

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