In 1996, In the Life Atlanta became the community arm of the party weekend and has grown to host a myriad of workshops and arts events aimed specifically at exploring issues within the black gay community.
All this together and years of success have made what organizers call the world’s largest black gay gathering of its kind… and I personally accept that as fact.
If there are local organizers willing to host it and attendees from around the world willing to pay for it, there’s obviously a need for it. If Atlanta didn’t need it or want it, it wouldn’t be such a big deal year after year.
It’s not meant to be divisive, just different.
Just look at Sundays in Piedmont Park. There’s no organizing body or advertising that says there’s a huge black gay gathering in Piedmont Park every Sunday afternoon. It just happens, and it’s been happening for years. If you’ve never heard of it, it doesn’t mean you’re not welcome. It means that you’re not in the circle of people who enjoy it. And just because you’re not in the circle of people who enjoy doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist. Your Sundays may remain untouched.
If you disagree with the existence of Black Gay Pride, think about the financial implications of the event before you dismiss it. Host hotels are sold out. People from around the world bring their celebration and their wallets to Atlanta’s economy.
Think of it like this: You might not like baseball, football or basketball, but the city’s economic and social vibrancy is greatly enhanced by the existence of our professional teams.
There are many reasons why Black Gay Pride is necessary to our community, but instead of arguing about how all these events should some how be included in the Atlanta Pride Committee’s October Pride, why not recognize that this event has already come into its own as a separate, successful entity? It doesn’t take anything away from what happens in October, and people of all races are welcome to celebrate both.
Take a look at the list. The sheer volume of events should tell you that whether you’re a part of it or not, there’s something huge going on that goes beyond what happens in October… and no matter what, you’re invited.