Pride Is… according to Q’s queer Atlanta thinkers and contributors

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From the personal to the political, from celebrations to demonstrations, Q writers, photographers and staffers prep for Pride by sharing what Atlanta’s biggest LGBTQ weekend means to them.

With year-round contributions to Q's dialogue with queer Atlanta, we went on the hunt for some of the best things they have to say about the Season of Love also known as Atlanta Pride Weekend.

Here's what we found.







VaVa Vroom

President, Dykes On Bikes Atlanta

Embracing our history, bold solidarity, resistance and resilience. I feel a responsibility to preserve those things and cultivate new growth. 


James Hicks


To live openly, unapologetically and authentically in my truth as a same gender loving man of color. To be unashamed and happy with who I was born to be and doing it with style and grace. I’m incredibly grateful to have found my community, my tribe, in which I can live with strength, dignity and pride.


Bill Dickinson

Business Consultant, LGBTQ Coach & Mentor

The human family, and the LGBTQ community, take a moment in time to celebrate uniqueness and difference and sameness.  And, all is very good!


Ashleigh Atwell


A perfect platform to tell GayTL how I really feel. When I’m happy, I’ll prance down Peachtree like everyone else. If I’m not, I’ll walk into Piedmont Park chanting with my fist raised.


Jon Dean

Editor, Wussy Magazine

A chance to drop our collective shoulders, relax and celebrate with our communities — especially for the folks who cannot safely live out loud in their daily lives. It's about remembering how far we've come and what it took to get here. 


Buck Cooke

Events Coordinator, Writer

Seeing so many LGBTQ people is overwhelming and invigorating. Just having queer and allied people coming together is political and establishes visibility, which is necessary for the future of our community and movement.


Shannon Clawson

Outreach Coordinator, Georgia Equality

Looking back to your 12-yr-old self and realizing that all their secret wishes that they never dared to believe in had actually come true. It's about community. It's about knowing you are not alone. 


Mx. SHI aka Bentley Hudgins

Political Analyst, LGBTQ+ Advocate, Drag Personality

A time to recognize how far we have come and how much further we have until queer people can claim true liberation. Life isn’t always easy. Loving each other and our full selves whole heartedly is a great way to rest in the power that all of us have. 


Eric Paulk

Deputy Director, Georgia Equality

Honoring the struggle of countless and often nameless folks who got us here, while reflecting on the road ahead. It’s also about celebrating life authentically lived and the beautiful diversity of the LGBTQ community. 


Jim Farmer

Writer, Out on Film Director (left, with husband and OOF Chair Craig Hardesty)

Being confident and unapologetic about who you are. For most of us, it takes a while to get there, so it’s very satisfying to get to the point where you can be at peace with yourself.


Ian Aber

Comedian and Showrunner

Not about stages or sponsors or sexcapades. It's that moment, at any point in the weekend, where you look around and are overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the queerness that surrounds you. That, and funnel cakes are pretty good too.


Heather Maloney

Writer, Trans Advocate

A little oasis where we can finally just feel comfortable for a little while before it’s back to the desert. It’s sometimes easy to forget during the rest of the year when we’re in “the straight world” that there are so many of us who can come together in that little oasis.


Russ Bowen-Youngblood


I recently walked down the aisle. It was only a few yards, but it has taken the better part of my 60 years to travel that distance. I think of the closeted teen who cried and bargained with God for change, to the me who beams with Pride today.


Patrick Saunders

Editor, Project Q Atlanta

Family. It’s this beautiful mishmash of people of all backgrounds, interests and personalities coming together to celebrate who we are and who we love.

This feature originally appeared in Q Magazine. Read the full issue online below:

Pick up a new edition of Q each week at LGBTQ and queer-allied venues around Atlanta.


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