This year will be my 20th Atlanta Pride, and yet the sight of our community spread out in Piedmont Park and taking over the streets for the parade still fills me with wonder.
Even though I am one of the lucky few who gets to be not only gay, but professionally gay, when I walk into the park for the festival, a part of me is once again that shy, scared teen awestruck to finally be surrounded by so many LGBT people.
Atlanta Pride is a time to celebrate — during the day at the festival in Piedmont Park, and at night with special events in many of the city’s bars and nightclubs.
For shirtless guys dancing and celebrating their freedom, the Heretic, Jungle and after-hours Xion serve up a “100 percent genuine big slice of Atlanta Gay Pride” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-14.
From folk and country crooners to dance music divas and up-and-coming pop sensations, Atlanta Pride packs a diverse mix of performers into two stages over two days. Pull out your smartphone and check out their websites to learn even more.
Hometown hero and Indigo Girl Amy Ray was chosen by Atlanta’s Pride committee to headline this year’s event. She will be finishing out the festival on Sunday, October 14. The GA Voice caught up with her to talk to her about her own coming out, being a gay musician and living in a conservative community.
Andy Bell is not one to rest on his laurels. In addition to logging more than a quarter of a century as Erasure’s charismatic vocalist, notorious for his dance moves and fondness for costumes ranging from elaborate to skimpy, he found the time to release a couple of solo discs. Bell also made a name for himself on the DJ circuit.
The Starlight Cabaret ends Pride weekend on a particularly high note, closing out the Coca-Cola stage at 7 p.m. Sunday evening. For many, it is one of the highlights of the entire weekend of activities, as Atlanta’s drag queens and kings bring out their best performances for their largest audience of the year.
Atlanta’s Pride festival wouldn’t be complete without the annual parade, which kicks off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. Each year, the parade draws tens of thousands along the traditional route down Peachtree Street to 10th Street and Piedmont Park.
One of the most popular traditions at Atlanta Pride is the annual Dyke March, set for the afternoon of Saturday, October 13th.
Long a favorite, the Dyke March is a demonstration of the visibility, the political value, and the passion of dykes and all women-identified women, according to Jamie Green-Fergerson, Atlanta Pride’s board of directors vice chair.
The fourth annual Atlanta Pride Trans March steps off Saturday to raise awareness and visibility for the “T” in “LGBT.” Marchers gather at 1:15 p.m. at the Hospitality Center and step off at 1:45 p.m.
The Trans March was started to raise awareness and visibility for transgender and gender non-conforming people both inside and outside the queer community, says Jamie Green-Fergerson, Atlanta Pride’s board of directors vice chair.