Category:  News

Oprah tackles DeKalb boy’s bullycide

imageTalk show queen Oprah Winfrey took on bullying in schools during her show Wednesday, coverage that included the mother of a DeKalb County boy who committed suicide last month.

The show included Masika Bermudez, the mother of 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera. The student killed himself April 16 after facing anti-gay taunts and bullying by classmates. His death prompted an outcry that included gay clergy members holding a vigil and an ongoing investigation by the DeKalb District Attorney.

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OutlantaCon weekend a hit for gay gamers

imageGay sci-fi and gaming fans enjoyed three days of reveling in their world last weekend during a convention in Atlanta.

Organizers say about 150 people attended OutlantaCon, which offered panels, gaming, vendors and well-known guests. Author Andy Mangels (photo), best known for his work in the "Star Trek" universe, actress Tucky Williams -- think zombie killer Vix in "Dead Moon Rising" -- and Eric Watts, who directs "Star Trek" programming for DragonCon, were just a few of the well-known personalities on hand.

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Purple Dress Run raises bucks for Bucks

imageIf you haven't seen a group of nearly 125 people -- mostly gay men -- adorned in purple dresses, you just can't fully appreciate an event that unfolded Saturday in and around four bars and restaurants in Midtown.

The Purple Dress Run, a fundraiser from the Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club in its third year, drew its largest crowd yet for the 5K run-walk.

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Clergy repond to Jaheem Herrera bullycide

imageContributing blogger Darian Aaron is an Alabama native who now calls Atlanta home. He’s the creator of Living Out Loud with Darian, a blog that offers his take on social, political and religious issues that impact the LGBT community.

Members of Atlanta's faith community gathered Tuesday morning at Tabernacle Baptist Church for a press conference in response to the bullycide of 11-year-old student Jaheem Herrera. Herrera, a victim of anti-gay bullying by a group of his peers at Dunaire Elementary School in Dekalb County, ended his life by hanging nearly two weeks ago.

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Longtime gay activist Phillip Rush dies

imagePhillip Rush, a longtime gay activist in Atlanta, died early Tuesday of complications arising from a blood clot, according to friends.

The Nashville native and longtime Atlantan lived in Decatur. Until recently, he was a program officer for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta where he assisted non-profit groups in applying for funding.

Funeral arrangements are still being made, friends said Tuesday morning.

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Midtown rally focuses on Atlanta crime

imageThe center of Atlanta's gayborhood hosted a rally Monday evening to increase awareness about crime and hate crimes legislation.

A few dozen protesters fanned out across the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street for the event, the fourth rally organized by Atlantans Together Against Crime & Cutbacks. Kyle Keyser (photo), a gay Little Five Points resident, formed the group in the wake of the shooting death of a bartender at a Memorial Drive restaurant late last year.

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Rally planned for today; vigil set for Tuesday

imageIf you're itching to take action, there are a handful of opportunities coming your way.

There's a rally in Midtown today to call attention to crime and hate crimes legislation. On Tuesday, a press conference and vigil are scheduled to honor Jaheem Herrera, the 11-year-old DeKalb student who committed suicide earlier this month after facing anti-taunts and bullying from classmates.

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DeKalb boy commits suicide after gay taunts

imageAn 11-year-old DeKalb County student committed suicide last week after repeated harassment, including anti-gay bullying, from his classmates.

Jaheem Herrera's 10-year-old sister discovered him hanging in his bedroom Thursday after his mother, Masika Bermudez, sent him to his room to settle down after arriving home from Dunaire Elementary School hysterical.

Bermudez tells WSB TV that her son faced anti-gay taunts, among others, and the she complained to the school.

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Register now for OutlantaCon, save $5

imageAll of you gay sci-fi and gaming fans take note: Tomorrow is the last day to pre-register online for the upcoming OutatlantaCon convention.

The event, set for May 1-3, is offering a $35 registration fee through April 15. After that, you'll be stuck paying $5 more at the door during the convention.

The event includes a full slate of panels, gaming, film screenings and yes, a masquerade ball so you can dress up. There's even a planned session on erotic rope tying and a screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

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Harry Knox speaks out on White House post

imageTo say this week has been hectic for Harry Knox is, well, an understatement typical of the part-time Atlantan’s soft-spoken demeanor.

He spent the better part of two days this week inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House for briefings with more than 60 religious leaders and Obama administration officials.

On Monday, he was named to the advisory council to the White House Office of Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships. Knox took a few minutes Wednesday to discuss with Project Q Atlanta his new role.

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Apparently, you can’t keep a good ‘ho down

We always enjoy when local gay establishments get a little recognition from the national gay press.

Take the Advocate, for example. The gay glossy weighed in recently with its list of "Top 10 Gay C&W Bars" in the country.

The geographically-diverse list stops in Dallas, Oklahoma City, Denver, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Chicago and Tampa.

It also had this to say about a place right here in Atlanta, which landed as the No. Two best country and western gay bar in the U.S.

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Beer pong, liplocks don’t mix at Agnes Scott

imageBeer pong and lesbians seem to be a touchy subject for some at Agnes Scott College.

The all-women school in Decatur is often the punchline for jokes that have to do with lesbians. It's something the campus confronted late last year when student Louisa Hill (photo) complained in a blog about Agnes Scott becoming "the cesspool for Hollywood's C-list sequels." Hill and other students were upset when the filming of "Road Trip II: Beer Pong" came to campus.

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Atlanta Pride announces slate of June events

imageYou might not even notice that the Atlanta Pride Festival is missing this June.

The event, shifted to late October to pave the way for a return to Piedmont Park, at first left a gap in the calendar for late June, which this year is the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York. The events are often credited with starting the modern day gay civil rights movement.

But the Atlanta Pride Committee is moving quickly to fill your calendar with a slate of events in late June.

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Pearl Day sets Sept. comeback for Six Flags

imageGird your loins, Six Flags Over Georgia patrons. The gays are coming.

Pearl Day, a laid-back effort aimed at packing the amusement park near Interstate 20 in Cobb County with LGBT fans, took a year off in 2008, but is planning a return this year. Organizers want 10,000 people to help take over the park Sept. 11 and take part in a weekend of activities.

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Design couple razes, rebuilds in Midtown

imageA white modern box of a home dropped into a Midtown neighborhood with more traditional bungalows. Who's responsible for such edgy design? The gays, of course.

The 3,300-square-foot home of life and business partners Lee Bryan and Joe Keller was recently profiled in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, showing once again why gay men get a reputation for exquisite taste when it comes to interior design.

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HRC to honor former Spelman prez at gala

imageThe Human Rights Campaign's signature event in Atlanta is coming soon and the organization announced late last week its pick for one of the event's top awards.

Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, the first African-American woman to serve as president of Spelman College, will receive the Ally of Equality Award at the 22nd Annual Atlanta HRC Dinner & Silent Auction, which is set for May 2.

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Atlanta Pride wants your festival logo

imagePride begins with you -- at least that's the case if you're a creative graphic artist.

The Atlanta Pride Committee wants your designs for a new logo to go along with their new theme ("Pride begins with you") and new date for the annual event (Oct. 31-Nov. 1). Though the contest for the logo design has been going on for several weeks, now you need to hurry. Submissions are due by Friday.

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Bring a little gay to Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’

imageBravo, the other gay network, comes to Atlanta on Sunday in search of chefs for the next round of its popular "Top Chef."

The current crop of gays -- Patrick (photo), Richard and Jamie -- are gone as the current season moves to a conclusion this week and next.

But top chef Tom Collicchio, who recently opened Craft in Atlanta, is bringing the scouting crews here on Sunday. They'll be in his Peachtree Road restaurant from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Local artist Robert Sherer speaks to AEN

imageGay artist Robert Sherer spoke to the Atlanta Executive Network last month, bringing with him a mix of his rural Alabama roots and contemporary work.

Sherer, an art professor at Kennesaw State University, is well known for his past use of HIV-positive blood in his drawings. More recently, he announced the creation of an endowed scholarship for gay art students at the school.

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Pride issues open letter to discuss changes

The Atlanta Pride Committee released an open letter on Wednesday, further explaining how the festival was able to return to Piedmont Park this year and why the event moved to late October. The letter follows the announcement by city officials and Pride organizers on Monday of the change in date and venue. Last October, the festival said it would be held in the Atlanta Civic Center and nearby Central Park after city officials declined to open Piedmont to more than one festival per event season.

What's your reaction to the festival returning to Piedmont and being held in late October? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) us with your comments. (We won't publish your name unless you give us permission.)

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