Flip through the Rolodex of Joey Helton and this much becomes clear. He knows people. Lots of gay people. And they know famous people. So really, if you know Helton, you're closer to Gloria Estefan, Margaret Cho and Joan Rivers than you might think.
How do we know? The April issue of Jezebel – already pretty damn gay – profiled Helton's contacts for "2 Degrees of Atlanta." It's no surprise that the communications and development vice president for AID Atlanta knows Jose Rodriguez Diaz (the agency's newly hired executive director), Steven Igarashi (an assistant events manager at AID Atlanta) and Branden Lane (an individual giving officer at the agency).
But he's also Rolodex besties with playwright Del Shores, GLAAD activist Dino Thompson-Sarmiento, events promoter Bill Kaelin, former City Hall staffer Imara Canady, Pride honcho Buck Cooke and Thomas Ryan, CFO of publisher Carma Productions. All gay. And connected.
Thompson-Sarmiento gets Helton one step away from Rivers and gay chef Art Smith, Kaelin links him to gay Atlanta fave and part-time resident Cho, and Diaz puts him closer to Estefan, who powered dance tunes to a generation of gays before Lady Gaga strapped on a meat dress.
And who doesn't want to be two steps away from actor and Atlanta guy Boris Kodjoe? No one. Helton can thank Canady for that.