An Oscar-winning actress is one of the highlights of a spring full of special events for local LGBT organizations. Grab your calendars, folks — “spring event season” is officially up and running.
The 24th annual Human Rights Campaign dinner, set for May 14, will feature an Oscar winner and an Oscar nominee. Mo’Nique, who won an Oscar for the film “Precious,” and Lee Daniels, the first African-American gay man nominated for a Best Director Oscar for the same movie, will both be on hand for one the spring season’s biggest gay events.
Mo’Nique will receive the Ally for Equality Award, while locals Jeff Cleghorn, an attorney and activist against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” will be given the Humanitarian Award and Paul Plate, executive director and CEO of Positive Impact, will receive the Community Service Award.
MondoHomo, established in 2007, promises to be a queer mecca over Memorial Day Weekend with its usual assortment of artists, music, movies, burlesque and more. An April 17 fundraiser for the five-day event — WigOut — will bring out wigs aplenty. This all-day outdoor event will feature drag and burlesque with performers such as Ruby Redd, Dax, Little Foot Jones and Devin Liquor. DJ Vicki Powell will be on hand, while the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Atlanta Radical Fairies will provide carnival games and a makeup table.
Also on the festival schedule, LGBT sci-fi and fantasy fans will gather May 13-15 for the national Gaylaxicon 2011 hosted by OutlantaCon. The guest of honor for this year’s event is Amber Benson from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Helping fight HIV
Several signature spring events benefit HIV research, prevention and treatment.
Benefitting the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta, the 21st Annual Uncork a Cure event on April 28 will feature wine tastings, dishes from 25 Atlanta restaurants and a silent auction.
Two days later, another important local HIV organization, Positive Impact, holds its spring fundraiser. According to Michael Baker, director of advancement for the group, Party With Impact for Positive Impact will be a catered event at a private home celebrating the organization’s 18th year of service.
“It should be a great event at a beautiful home,” he says of the April 30 party.
Another hot ticket will be YouthPride’s Night on the Boulevard, which will feature a night of classic movies — “Sunset Boulevard” and “Mildred Pierce” — as well as local celebs and a red carpet. Proceeds from the May 20 event go toward YouthPride’s HIV prevention program.
More for your gay agenda
If you see folks running in purple attire later this month, don’t be alarmed. The Purple Dress Run on April 30 will benefit the Atlanta Bucks Rugby team. From May 19-21, the Bucks host the “Acceptance Tour” by professional rugby player Ben Cohen, an outspoken gay rights supporter.
PFLAG Atlanta’s Out in the Garden fundraiser May 14 will raise money and amplify the group’s local presence, according to co-president Conal Charles. This is PFLAG Atlanta’s first event of such a large scale. A DJ will be on hand, as will hors d’oeuvres and mixed drinks.
Other notable events this spring include the Joining Hearts’ Change of Seasons Tea Dance (April 17), benefiting AID Atlanta and Jerusalem House, with DJ Mike Pope and DJ David Knapp; and PALS Pet Cotillion (May 1), hosted by radio personality Vikki Locke, where a new spokespet will be crowned. Bowlers of all skill sets will be participating in (and watching) the Dixie Invitational Bowling Tournament (April 21-24) as well.
Finally, it’s not an official lesbian event, but the Atlanta Dream women’s basketball team kicks off its season in early June. The Dream got to the WNBA championships in 2010 before losing to the Seattle Storm. The Dream has developed a local following and will kick off the season with a June 5 home game against the New York Liberty.
Uncork a Cure for ARCA April 28, 6-9 p.m. at The Foundry at Puritan Mill 916 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30318 www.uncorkacure.org
Party With Impact for Positive Impact April 30, 7 p.m. Home of Randy New, Esq. & Dr. Russell Tippins 4 Polo Drive, Atlanta, GA 30309 www.positiveimpact-atl.org
Purple Dress Run for Atlanta Bucks April 30, 1 p.m., Route begins at Mixx 1492 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309 www.purpledressrun.org
PALS Pet Cotillion May 1, 3-6 p.m. at Piedmont Bark 501 Amsterdam Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306 www.palsatlanta.org
OutlantaCon 2011-Gaylaxicon 2011 May 13-15 at Holiday Inn Select-Perimeter 4386 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road Atlanta, GA 30341 www.outlantacon.org
Out in the Garden fundraiser for PFLAG Atlanta May 14, 7 p.m. at Private residence in Grant Park www.pflagatl.org
Atlanta Dream season opener June 5, 3 p.m. Philips Arena 225 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30303 www.atlantadream.net
Top photo: Mo’Nique, who won an Oscar for the film ‘Precious,’ will receive the Ally for Equality award at the Atlanta HRC Dinner on May 14. The gala is one of the largest LGBT events of the spring season. (courtesy HRC)