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Way before there was a rainbow crosswalk in Midtown, Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ scene was flourishing. Queer history tends to focus on large cities like New York and San Francisco, but Atlanta’s actually been a haven for queer and trans Southerners since the early 20th century.
Fifty years ago, a ragtag group of queer women launched the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance, upending Georgia’s leftist politics with protest, performance—and plenty of softball.
"I got into DJing because I was an introvert—really shy. But I loved nightlife, and I loved going to Backstreet. I just couldn’t quite find my groove. But once I figured out that I could throw a party with a DJ booth around me, I was like, 'Oh, it’s on now.'"
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Pride Committee took to social media to announce, due to surging Covid-19 case rates, it would cancel its large, in-person events scheduled for October 9 and 10, including the festival in Piedmont Park and its popular parade, for the second year in a row.
The Wylie Hotel has named its restaurant, Mrs. P’s, for an iconic gay bar housed in the building decades ago. Down the street, the Atlanta Eagle has become the city’s first designated historic landmark dedicated to LGBTQ+ history.
Firefighters cook dinner for each other every night—but as a rookie in an Atlanta firehouse, I saw the limits of that intimacy
For generations, firefighters have cooked for one another nightly, building camaraderie over shared meals. But I also saw the limits of the connections forged over the firehouse table.
In A Night at the Sweet Gum Head, journalist Martin Padgett tells Atlanta’s overlooked queer history during the disco decade
In A Night at the Sweet Gum Head, released this month by W.W. Norton, journalist Martin Padgett sutures this context into the accounts of two main subjects: Bill Smith, who helped lead the Georgia Gay Liberation Front, worked as a city commissioner, and published the South’s leading gay newspaper, the Barb; and John Greenwell, who rose to drag stardom performing as Rachel Wells at the Sweet Gum Head nightclub.
The nearly 25-year-old organization has a mission to serve year-round, not just on Labor Day weekend.