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Raquel Willis

Raquel Willis: Nearly a decade ago, I made a lifelong commitment to collective liberation

As a Black ’90s baby growing up in Augusta, Georgia, my elders assured me that most major victories against systemic oppression had been won. Racism stood little chance of blocking me from a successful life, and my privileges—coming from a two-parent, middle-class household and excelling in school—would make me damn near invincible. But discovering my queerness at an early age shattered any certainty of an easy life.
DanceOut Atlanta line dancing at the Heretic

This ain’t Texas, it’s Thursday night at the Heretic

In 2018, Terence Ng and a few friends formed DanceOut Atlanta, a queer-centered organization that teaches free country dance lessons at the Heretic and the Atlanta Eagle multiple times a week. There’s something for every level of dancer from beginner to advanced, and it’s not just line dancing, either.
After the Atlanta Eagle fire: Owner Richard Ramey reflects on 35 years of LGBTQ+ history

After the Atlanta Eagle fire: Owner Richard Ramey reflects on 35 years of LGBTQ+ history

Shortly before 8 p.m., Atlanta Fire responded to a multi-alarm blaze at the old Atlanta Eagle location at 306 Ponce de Leon Avenue, the city’s first designated LGBTQ+ historic landmark. “I’m so full of emotions right now,” Owner Richard Ramey said late Thursday night. “No one wants to see their history erased. So many people who had history there over the last 35 years are heartbroken tonight.”
Remembering Atlanta drag legend Charlie Brown

Remembering Atlanta drag legend Charlie Brown

Mr. Charlie Brown, the reigning queen of Atlanta drag queens, has taken her final bow. The performer died Thursday night at Piedmont Hospital from complications following heart valve replacement surgery. He was 74. For 50 years, the self-proclaimed “Bitch of the South” entertained Atlantans with his bawdy brand of comedy, withering audience monologues, and risqué musical numbers on stage at Lips Atlanta, the Atlanta Eagle, Underground Atlanta, Illusions, and dozens of other nightlight spots.
How young trans people—and their families and medical providers—are contending with a wave of animus

How young trans people—and their families and medical providers—are contending with a wave of animus

By the time all states had adjourned their legislative sessions in 2022, 17 bills aimed at transgender and nonbinary children had been passed into law—a record. Since January of this year, the U.S. has seen more than 100 bills being introduced that would prevent trans youth from being able to access healthcare—another record. According to the Trans Legislation Tracker, 2023 is the fourth consecutive record-breaking year for anti-trans legislation, with some bills aiming to restrict healthcare up to age 26.
Amy Ray Subway music video

How two Atlanta teenagers got starring roles in Amy Ray’s “Subway” music video

Eighteen years old and a senior at Paul Duke STEM High School, Sarah Jane Von Hagen has plenty in common with the Indigo Girls, not least her striking resemblance to a young Amy Ray—a role Von Hagen recently found herself playing, opposite the real, adult Amy Ray, in a music video for Ray’s new single, “Subway.” Von Hagen’s friend Iris Rubin costarred as young Amy Ray’s girlfriend.
What Georgia lawmakers got wrong about the transgender healthcare ban

Doctors explain what Georgia lawmakers got wrong with the new law restricting transgender youth healthcare

Section 1 of SB 140, Georgia's new law that bans hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries for minors, contains seven “findings” lawmakers say justify the need for this law. But experts say these findings do not reflect the medical science of gender transition in minors. We spoke to several doctors and mental health providers to break down the facts—and myths—behind these findings to help you understand what’s actually happening.
Drag Brunch at Lips Atlanta

Behind the scenes at Lips Atlanta’s flawless, madcap drag brunch

Serving Sunday brunch is one thing. Pulling off a drag show is another. But serving back-to-back brunches for hundreds of guests while nine high-octane drag queens perform in full costume, higher-than-heaven hair, and a full set of lights and music? That, in the words of performer and maître d’ Evelyn Caldwell, “is just madness.”
The Church Ladies

What the Church Ladies are cooking up

Dispatches from Atlanta and beyond. Also in this month's edition: Watching the World Cup in Norcross and trans dancers find a home on Cheshire Bridge.

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