Culture

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Handel, Deal, Palin and gay bashing

As if we needed another reason to oppose Karen Handel and Nathan Deal.

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel in her bid to become the state’s next governor.

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For rocker Melissa Etheridge, music is means for evolution

Lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge’s list of accomplishments is long even for a celebrity: In the 22 years since her first major label album debuted, she’s released 10 studio records, come out as a lesbian, won two Grammys and an Oscar, become the mother of four children, survived breast cancer, and been an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights, environmental awareness and other issues.

But the rocker, 49, isn’t slowing down. In April, she released her 10th album, “Fearless Love,” followed by a tour that brings her to Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on July 23.

“I love Atlanta. It’s always a great place to play — this mecca in the middle of the South,” Etheridge says in a July 5 interview from New York City, where she enjoyed July 4 fireworks the night before.

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Nothing beats barbecue for signature summer meals

Atlanta Barbecue

I’ll admit that I’m no BBQ OCD like some critics who rock back and forth muttering descriptions like char and bark. As a child in the Atlanta ‘burbs, I only knew the Old Hickory House, which we rarely went to at night since my mother didn’t eat barbecue in public because it was messy and would get her burgundy manicured nails dirty. Their barbecue beef omelet is still really good.

Today Atlanta has a ton of crave-worthy barbecue joints that embrace the imaginative, yet don’t lose sight of Southern traditions. At many, the sides can be as good and as creative as the meats.

Rolling Bones, located on Edgewood Avenue, made Bon Appetit’s 10 best barbecue places in the U.S. for 2009 and serves organic meats. Rolling Bones has that smoky, spicy complexity that signifies a real talented pit master, y’all.

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Julianne Moore discusses her lesbian role in ‘The Kids Are All Right’

The Kids are All Right

Having dabbled in screen lesbianism before — in isolated scenes opposite Toni Collette in “The Hours,” Amanda Seyfried in “Chloe” and Blake Lively in “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” — Julianne Moore finally goes all the way with Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right.”

Directed and co-written (with Stuart Blumberg) by lesbian filmmaker Lisa Cholodenko (“High Art”), the new movie casts Moore and Bening as Jules and Nic, a longtime couple.  When their teen children, played by Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson, decide to make contact with their sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo), alternately humorous and heartfelt complications ensue.

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Jonathan Lerner, a founder of the Weather Underground, explores politics, sexuality in new book

Weather Underground member Jonathan Lerner

When two hijacked planes crashed into the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, Atlanta writer Jonathan Lerner remembers thinking how he could identify with Mohamed Atta. Atta, a college-educated man who was raised by affluent parents in Egypt, was the hijacker-pilot who flew the first plane into the World Trade Center.

Lerner’s friend, sex columnist and blogger Michael Alvear, who is gay, told him he needed to put those thoughts down on paper.

So Lerner took a manuscript he had been trying to complete as a memoir about his days as a founding member of the Weather Underground and condensed it into 6,000 words for an essay published Feb. 24, 2002, in the Washington Post Magazine.

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Gay director at Stage Door Players tackles commitment issues in ‘Company’

Stage Door Players

Robert Egizio remembers hearing Elaine Strich’s version of “The Ladies Who Lunch” from the musical “Company” and buying the cast album almost immediately after. Since that time he has longed to be involved in a production of the musical, and next week he gets the chance at his Stage Door Players.

Egizio, the openly gay artistic director of the company, is directing the production. His version of “Company” hits almost 40 years after the original bowed on Broadway.

In the musical, openly gay Dustin Lewis stars as Robert, the main character who is celebrating his 35th birthday. Over the course of the show, we meet his married friends — all of whom are urging him to settle down and get married — as well as his three girlfriends. Robert has rejected the notion of making a commitment to any of them.