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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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.