Mike Fleming is editor and co-publisher of Project Q Atlanta, Q Magazine and Q ATLus. His career spans 34 years in print and online media. In Atlanta, he has been Features Editor at Southern Voice and editor of David Atlanta. Previously, he worked at daily newspapers in Houston, Texas. Reach him at [email protected]
Perhaps no one was more surprised by the far-reaching success of the 2005 book “ATLANTAboy: An Insider’s Guide to Gay Atlanta” than the authors themselves.
Jordan McAuley and Matt Burkhalter, best friends since middle school in Buckhead, compiled the book after noticing travel books on other cities, but none on Atlanta.
“I thought it was a good idea, but I was blown away by the response,” Burkhalter says. “Straight people were telling us, ‘anyone would be interested in this stuff,’ and even people from Atlanta were learning things about local gay history that they didn’t know.”
After self-publishing and selling out the book, the guys toyed with multiple requests to update “ATLANTAboy” for a second edition. That’s when Alyson Books and its parent Regent Media — part of the corporate giant responsible for Here!TV as well as Out and Advocate magazines — stepped in with a proposal to make Atlanta the fourth in its “Out Traveler” series, which also features editions on New York City, Hawaii and South Florida.
More than just listings a la the “Damron” or “Sparticus” guides, the powers at Regent “really want to give a taste and tone of the city itself,” McAuley says.