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Thank you, lesbian poet Mary Oliver 

I learned about someone new recently. Her name is Mary Oliver. She’s a noted poet that most lesbians, feminists, women and all lovers of really, really good poetry probably already know about. But if you don’t, you should. I was pointed toward her poem “Wild Geese.” It made me cry.

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Iconic musical ‘Hairspray’ still holds

Hairspray comes to town

Gay performers Alan Kilpatrick and Glenn Rainey aren’t technically joined at the hip, but they’ve acted a lot like it lately. Their collaboration in the musical “Hairspray” (opening at The Strand Theatre this week courtesy of Atlanta Lyric Theatre) is their third in the past nine months.

In “Hairspray,” they play husband and wife. Kilpatrick plays Wilbur Turnblad and Rainey plays the immortal Edna Turnblad. Rainey joins a list of heavyweights who have played that role onstage including Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, Bruce Vilanch and “Cheers” star George Wendt.

Rainey actually auditioned to understudy for Edna when he was living in New York. Although he has played women before, this is unique.

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Southern seafood delights

Seafood from Six Feet Under Atlanta

I love the REM Song “Night Swimming.” I think of swimming in rejuvenating cool water on a balmy Southern summer night, as I watch a blinking yellow symphony of fireflies. Summer makes me crave things from the sea like wild Georgia shrimp so fresh it pops in your mouth. Here are some summer seafood faves.

Six Feet Under Pub & Fish House has locations in Grant Park and Westside. The Grant Park location has a city vibe and is one of my favorite seafood joints for the money.  The space is industrial with high ceilings and exposed brick, plus a roof top patio with a view of historic scenic Oakland Cemetery where you can see Twilight goth teens scurrying around at night.

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Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colors’

Musician and LGBT rights activist Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper released her first album in 1983, instantly becoming one of the most recognizable musicians of the decade. From amusing hits like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “She Bop” to ballads like “Time after Time” and “All Through the Night,” the album won her a Grammy for Best New Artist and legions of devoted fans.

The album’s title, “She’s So Unusual,” proved particularly apt for gay fans — not only were Lauper’s quirky style and knock-out vocals far from typical, but so was her outspoken support for LGBT rights from the early days of her career.

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‘Backpack’ returns to Piedmont Park

After two years in drought-caused exile, Backpack in the Park returns to its original home in Piedmont Park on Aug. 1 with a bigger event and bigger goals than ever before.

Backpack in the Park is one of two annual signature events hosted by For the Kid in All of Us, a nonprofit founded in 2003 to bring gay men, lesbians and gay rights allies together to help underprivileged children.

Backpack in the Park provides thousands of students with backpacks and school supplies. After collecting 1,600 supply-filled backpacks last year in Grant Park, For the Kid President Jorge Esteban wants to beat that record this year.

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‘The Real L Word’ Atlanta edition?

'L Word' creator Ilene Chaiken says her dream is for the new reality series to eventually be franchised to other cities, much like "The Real World" or "The Real Housewives."

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Georgia founders of online magazine for gay couples featured in New York Times

Kirsten and Maria Palladino, founders of Equally Wed Magazine

With Georgia’s GOP gubernatorial primary debate sinking to all-time lows in a race to the bottom to see who hates gay people the most, a bright spot appeared in the New York Times today about gay marriage and the Peach State.

No, marriage equality won’t be legalized anytime soon, but one local couple, Kirsten and Maria Palladino, were featured in the newspaper for starting Equally Wed, an online magazine that caters to same-sex couples seeking advice on everything from what to wear to places to honeymoon to whether or not to invite anti-gay relatives to the ceremony.