Category:  News

Action Cycling raises $175,000 to benefit vaccine research

imageWhen organizers of Action Cycling 200 set a goal, they tend to surpass it with the ease of Lance Armstrong zipping along a flat stretch of terrain.

Even in the midst of an economic recession, participants in the annual cycling event raised $175,000 for the Emory Vaccine Center, an amount nearly 65 percent higher than last year's total. Riders and event organizers gathered July 26 for a closing party and to present the check to the vaccine center, which develops vaccines for HIV and other infectious diseases.

PHOTOS | AIDS Vaccine 200 Closing Party

Georgia Equality chair Allen Thornell dies

imageAllen Thornell, a longtime LGBT activist, political insider and chair of Georgia Equality's board, died Monday morning.

Friends say Thornell was taken to Atlanta Medical Center Sunday evening after suffering an apparent stroke. A hospital spokesperson confirmed Thornell died Monday morning.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Longtime LGBT leader Allen Thornell dies; service set for Thurs

imageAllen Thornell, a longtime LGBT activist, political insider and chair of Georgia Equality's board, died Monday morning.

Friends say Thornell was taken to Atlanta Medical Center Sunday evening after suffering an apparent stroke. A hospital spokesperson confirmed Thornell died Monday morning.

Thornell, openly gay and HIV positive, lived with his partner in East Atlanta and served as policy communication director for CARE, a humanitarian organization that combats global poverty based in Atlanta.

MORE | Community reacts to Thornell's death

MORE | Memorial service set for Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

MORE | Listen to WABE report on Thornell's death


Pucker up protest adds Athens event

imageWith the gays in Atlanta preparing to pucker up for the Great Nationwide Kiss-In, our queer neighbors in Athens didn't want to be left out.

So they've announced their own event to coincide with those happening across the U.S. on Aug. 15. They'll lock lips at 1 p.m. in College Square, according to a Facebook event invitation sent Friday.

The Atlanta event is set for 2 p.m. at the Piedmont Park visitor center. The nationwide effort, launched by two bloggers in the Northeast, is a cyberoots protest over the arrest earlier this month of a gay couple nabbed for kissing in Salt Lake City.    READ MORE »

One less place for dancing queens in Athens

imageIt seems the dancing queens in Athens don't get their jig on nearly enough for one club owner in the heart of Bulldog Nation.

Blur, the dance club located at Hull and Dougherty streets in downtown Athens, closed last weekend to rebrand itself away from the gays, drag shows and dance parties and more to the liking of music hall fans. That's from owner Mark Bell, who also was on hand to close Boneshakers, one of the city's first gay clubs.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Gay group to host wedding reception at UGA

imageThose queer Bulldogs in Athens are staying quite busy this summer.

On Friday, the group Equal Love Allies hosts a joint wedding reception for a lesbian couple and a heterosexual couple under the Arch on the University of Georgia campus. An organizer of the group, Jonas Hopkins, offered some details to Gay in Athens:

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Sykes cancels for tonight; Tee still on

imageIf you want to see a lesbian comic tonight, your options just got trimmed to one: Wanda Sykes (photo) has canceled, citing food poisoning.

That leaves Amy Tee, who performs at Bellissima at 9 p.m.

Sykes, scheduled for four performances Thursday and Friday at Uptown Comedy Club, is apparently ill and unable to make the trip to Atlanta.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

ALHI’s Health Fair to Go proves succesful

imageThe crowd of people milling about the DeKalb Avenue offices of the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative on Saturday was a hint that the non-profit was on to something with its Health Fair to Go.

It turned out that the partnership between ALHI, Piedmont Hospital and several service providers proved popular. During the four-hour event, hospital staff conducted 75 health screenings and 18 clinical breast exams, while the DeKalb County Board of Health completed 27 HIV tests. And all of that was free to the people being pricked, prodded and screened.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Pucker Up: Atlanta kiss-in set for Aug. 15

imagePucker up, folks. Details for the Atlanta event tied into the Great Nationwide Kiss-In are now set.

The effort, hoping to call attention to the July 9 arrest of a gay couple after locking lips near Salt Lake City’s Mormon church temple, already includes events in nearly four-dozen cities across the U.S. on Aug. 15 at 2 p.m. The Atlanta event, according to a Facebook event invitation sent Wednesday evening, will take place in front of the visitor center at Piedmont Park.

The kiss-in may also include an event in Athens, though no details have been released.    READ MORE »

Coroner: Heart attack killed E. Lynn Harris

imageBlack gay author E. Lynn Harris, who created his best-selling works here in Atlanta, died of a heart attack last week, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Harris died on July 23 while on a business trip on the West Coast, but a cause of death was not known. The author, in Los Angeles to discuss the sale of television rights to his books, fainted earlier in the day but became ill a second time, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

ATL’s police review board lacks gay members

imageOne of the city's many paper tigers, this one known as the Citizen Review Board, lacks any openly gay members. It's a panel that's charged with investigating citizen complaints against the Atlanta Police Department and, according to it's charter, is supposed to "represent the diversity of this community."

Given the police department's troubled track record when it comes cases with gay angles, you might think an LGBT member on the panel could offer some useful insight. You also might think that since the panel's charter was written by H. Lamar Willis (photo), an Atlanta City Council member who heavily courts gay voters and holds an annual event during Pride, its members might better reflect the population of the city. In case you hadn't noticed, a few gay and lesbian residents call the city home.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Some schools love the gays more than Emory

imageThe list of the top colleges for gay and lesbian students doesn't include any campuses in Georgia, which is surprising given the progressive cultures at Emory and Agnes Scott. On the flip side, none of the most anti-gay campuses are in the state, either.

That's according to the Princeton Review's latest college rankings, "The Best 371 Colleges." The Top 20 lists come from surveys of more than 122,000 students and look at 62 categories, including "gay community accepted." Colleges are ranked under two lists -- "Is there very little discrimination against homosexuals?" and "Alternative lifestyles not an alternative."

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Great Nationwide Kiss-In includes ATL event

imageThere's a rally afoot, fellow gays. Get ready to, um, kiss for our rights.

Yes, the internet is abuzz with yet another grassroots movement. First, it was an effort to protest the California Supreme Court's decision in the Proposition 8 case earlier this year. Now, the cyber activists are planning an Aug. 15 kiss-in in response to the July 9 arrest of a gay couple after locking lips near Salt Lake City's Mormon church temple.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Joining Hearts rocks Piedmont for charity

imageA sold-out Joining Hearts packed the refurbished Piedmont Park Aquatic Center on Saturday, raising tens of thousands of dollars for two local HIV-related non-profits.

The annual summer event pulsated with the sounds of DJ Roland Belmares, who returned after providing the tracks for the event in 2008 when it was held at the Atlanta Civic Center.

More, including photos, after the jump.    READ MORE »

Reports: E. Lynn Harris dies during book tour

imageUPDATED | Friday, 4:25 p.m.

Gay Atlanta author E. Lynn Harris died Thursday night while staying at a Beverly Hills hotel during a publicity tour for "Basketball Jones."

Reports of the nine-time best-selling author’s death surfaced in blogs Friday morning. A Harris publicist and publishing executive confirmed his death with the Associated Press and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

AAA South changes policy on gay couples

imageAAA South announced that it's backing away from a policy that treated gay couples differently than straight ones, after being pressured from a coalition of gay groups that included Georgia Equality.

AAA South in the past has said LGBT partners can be added as primary members, but not associates. The prohibition can be costly, meaning gay couples pay $34 to $59 more than married, heterosexual couples for an annual membership based on the plan they purchase.

Georgia Equality and Tennessee Equality Project joined with an effort led by Equality Florida last month to pressure the AAA affiliate to mend its ways. The effort apparently paid off, according to Tom O’Brien, president and CEO, AAA Auto Club South, after a face-to-face meeting on Wednesday.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Kristine W. to headline Pearl Day in Sept.

imageThe fall event season is getting more interesting.

On Tuesday, the Atlanta Pride Committee announced details of Opening Night for the former fun festival of summer that is now relegated to late October.

And Thursday, the folks putting together the Big Gay Out at Six Flags -- officially known as the resurrected Pearl Day -- announced that Kristine W. and Kelly Rowland are among the performers in place for the Sept. 11 event.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Atlanta’s tops getting busy at record rates

imageWhat we learned on the Internet today:

Georgia ranks among most states in being top heavy -- as in more tops than bottoms. Seriously. That's according to an unscientific study from Manhunt, which trolled its user profiles to find that more of its members in Georgia describe themselves as tops. Keep in mind those categories are self-reported.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Accident leads to ‘better’ My Sisters Room

My Sisters Room reopens on Friday after a five-week closure, something we reported on Monday. And as Southern Voice adds, the East Atlanta lesbian venue is putting the best spin possible on renovations in the wake of a partial deck collapse last month:

“The place just looks really, really clean,” [co-owner Patryce Yeiser] said. “I hate that this [deck collapse] happened, but it was a good opportunity for us to make My Sisters’ Room even better.”

More after the jump.    READ MORE »

Marietta pol frets over ‘perverts’ in park

imageOh, those crafty cruisers in Cobb County.

They seem to have outwitted police and city officials in Marietta and have made A.L. Burruss Nature Park a safe-haven for cruising and public sex between men.

All the hand-wringing has them debating whether to close the park for two years or spend millions to upgrade the facility to attract more people who want to enjoy nature but do so without engaging in public sex.

More after the jump.    READ MORE »