Mayor Kasim Reed, whose sometimes testy relationship with Atlanta’s gays has enjoyed its share of peaks and valleys, is putting on a charm offensive for Black Gay Pride early next month.
It’s the same charm he’s put on display in the past, once as he wooed LGBT attorneys in the midst of a prolonged legal wrangle over the botched Eagle raid and again when a relaxed and forthcoming Reed spoke to the gay Atlanta Executive Network.
This time, the charm comes courtesy of a welcome letter (click on image for larger view) for the city’s 15th Annual Black Gay Pride Weekend, which bills itself as “the world’s largest Black Pride celebration.” Reed provided the letter to event organizers In the Life Atlanta.
“Now in its fifteenth year, the weekend long celebration has evolved to become one of the most anticipated events in the southeast. Black Gay Pride Weekend reflects the rich cultural history of Atlanta’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population, and attracts tens of thousands of people annually. The City of Atlanta is proud to host the world’s largest black gay pride celebration which brings a variety of fun and entertainment to all who participate.”
Reed’s charm offensive is similar to one he unleashed last year for Atlanta Pride, when he held a first-of-its kind rooftop reception at City Hall, attended the kickoff party and marched in the parade.
Reed’s letter didn’t make mention of his opposition to same-sex marriage, which he reminded CNN viewers of last month. That’s one of those valleys in his relationship with gay constituents. Another? The continuing fallout from the Eagle raid, which Reed will again address during a public forum in late September.
There’s also no mention of whether Reed will tap his entertainment connections – he’s an attorney who’s worked in the industry alongside his political career – to snag VIP seats to see Brandy, Mary J. Blige or Nicki Minaj. All three are scheduled to perform during Black Gay Pride, which is set for Aug 31 to Sept. 5. Events include the State of Black Gay America Summit on Sept. 3.