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Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride community events aim to inspire, educate

 

What started as simple house parties and picnics more than two decades ago is now one of the largest Black Gay Pride events in the world.

More than 60,000 people are expected to descend on Atlanta over Labor Day weekend for Black Pride. Party promoters pack the clubs with celebrity guests and the popular Sunday in Piedmont Park, which began as an organic gathering of people each year, is now the place to go for the official Pure Heat Community Festival.

Last year was the first time that party promoters Traxx Girls and the Vision Community Foundation teamed up to host the festival in the park that included food and merchandise vendors, live entertainment and a crowd of thousands to enjoy it all.

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Interview: Brandy speaks out on her gay fans

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In 2011, Brandy came to Atlanta to perform at her first Black Gay Pride and sang to thousands of people who packed several clubs for a chance to see the singing sensation live. She did not disappoint.

Atlanta's LGBT fans didn't disappoint either.

“I had such a great time last time when I was there,” Brandy says in an interview from Los Angeles, while holding the newest member of her family, a Maltese named Sugar, on the way to pick up her daughter, Sy'rai, 10.

“There is so much love for me when I'm in the city. And my gay fans are always so supportive and energetic,” she says.

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Plan your Pride

Check our extensive events calendar for the world’s largest Black Gay Pride celebration

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Brandy headlines Black Gay Pride events

Brandy returns to Atlanta for Black Gay Pride over Labor Day weekend and will stop by the second annual Pure Heat Community Festival in Piedmont Park to accept an award thanking her for her support of the LGBT community. She will also perform at parties taking place over the weekend.

The Pure Heat Festival, organized by Traxx Girls and the Vision Community Foundation, takes place on the Sunday, Sept. 1. Last year, hundreds packed the park to watch a J-sette competition, a hair styling competition, many independent performing artists as well as headliner R&B singer KeKe Wyatt, who had the crowd swaying to the beats and singing along.

This year’s star is singer and actress Brandy, who is set to receive an award from Traxx Girls and the Vision Community Foundation.

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Black Pride’s nightlife scene scales back on major stars, but still promises plentiful parties

Black Gay Pride nightlife

There won't be a Nicki Minaj versus Lil Kim drama storm, a Brandy sing-a-long or Kelly Rowland waving to the masses at this year's Black Gay Pride. Expect old-fashioned block parties, plenty of great music from up-and-coming artists, and still a few notable names including Elle Varner, Fantasia and Melanie Fiona.

Tough economic times are taking a toll on Black Gay Pride promoters known for bringing in the big names and many decided this was the year to cut back and work to produce quality parties with great talent at affordable pricing.

For the first time ever, Traxx Atlanta, Rockstars Production and the Lions Den are combining their VIP and Club Hopper passes so participants can purchase one pass from any promoter and have access to all parties the promoters are producing.

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Traxx Girls CEO Melissa Scott: ‘The black gay dollar is strong’

Traxx Girls CEO Melissa Scott

Traxx Girls is one of the top party promoters for women who love women. During Atlanta Black Gay Pride each year, it brings in such top entertainers as Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott, Ciara, Amber Rose and, this year, Brandy.

The company’s CEO and owner is Melissa Scott, 36, a woman who readily acknowledges she likes to work hard and party hard. In late October, Traxx Girls was honored as Co-Promoter of the Year at the Second Annual MillerCoors T.A.P. Awards.

Scott, also known as DJM, has owned Traxx Girls for five years.

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Black Gay Pride attracts tens of thousands to Atlanta

Black Gay Pride in Atlanta

Tens of thousands of people thronged Atlanta to celebrate Black Gay Pride, considered the largest event of its kind in the U.S. From educational seminars to free HIV testing to massive parties, the Labor Day weekend event continues to offer something for everyone.

This year also marked the 15th anniversary of In the Life Atlanta, a non-profit organization that was founded to organize educational and cultural Black Gay Pride events to complement the many nightlife and social offerings.

Club promoters and ITLA now work together to put on many events, including the State of Black Gay America Summit begun five years ago by community advocate Darlene Hudson and Gregory Allen, president and CEO of Xtreme Entertainment Inc.

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Black Gay Pride: Stars shine over Labor Day weekend

Musical artist Brandy will perform at Atlanta's Black Gay Pride weekend

Each year, party promoters for Black Gay Pride are able to bring top celebrities to Atlanta over Labor Day weekend to the appreciation of tens of thousands of people who flock to the city from around the country to participate in the largest event of its kind.

Last year, Nicki Minaj, Fantasia, Lil Kim, Kelly Rowland and Amber Rose were just a few of the divas to perform or simply make an appearance and say hi to thousands of adoring fans.

This year is no different with stars hosting events, performing and doing walk-throughs at dozens of locations during Labor Day weekend. So, who’s going to be in Atlanta this weekend helping to make memories for Black Gay Pride attendees? Here’s a sampling of some of the top-notch entertainment slated: