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Report: Republican Party platform draft as anti-gay as ever

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The Republican Party is busy preparing for its upcoming convention in Tampa, Fla., where it is expected to officially nominate former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney as the party's candidate for the fall presidential election.

Ahead of the convention, GOP insiders have been carefully crafting the party's platform, a set of “core principles” that GOP candidates are expected to adhere to once in office.

Though it hasn't been released yet, reports have surfaced calling the proposed platform “the most conservative platform” in GOP history.

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Outlantacon offers three days of sci-fi fun

Comic artist Joe Phillips

Five years in and Atlanta’s queer sci-fi convention continues to grow as Outlantacon welcomes the gay and geeky over the first weekend in May.

What started out as one day of gaming has grown into an intimate, three-day convention that’s similar to Atlanta’s bigger geekfest Dragon*Con, but focuses on gay stories, themes, actors and creators. This year’s convention will run May 4-6 at the Holiday Inn on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

Headlining guests include artist Joe Phillips, author Lee Martindale and local personalities like Java from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Plaza Theater and the director and actors behind a locally produced Uncanny X-Man fan series.

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Melissa Carter: Freaks, geeks and letters that jiggle

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa CarterAh, it’s that time of year again, Atlanta: Dragon*Con.

Many who have never attended the convention see it as just freaks and geeks who like to dress up in elaborate costumes for a weekend. This may be partially true, but Dragon*Con happened to be where I realized something about myself that I had never known before: I have a reading disorder.

Besides parades and parties, Dragon*Con offers a large variety of sessions on everything from costume design to how to conduct a successful ghost hunt. Last year, I attended a session on graphic novels that included a panel of guests.

One speaker was a librarian who expressed his frustration at the difficulty he had in convincing schools and libraries to take graphic novels seriously. He credited these books with saving his education. As a child he had suffered from a learning disorder and the only books he could read growing up were graphic novels.

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Kris Harter on Dr. Who vs. Capt. Picard, LGBT characters in sci-fi, and Alabama football

Kris Harter of OutlantaCon

Kris Harter is the registration chair and public relations committee member for OutlantaCon, which hosts Gaylaxicon, the annual national LGBT sci-fi convention, in Atlanta May 13-15.

Special guests for Gaylaxicon include Amber Benson of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame and Melissa Carter, recently retired lesbian DJ for Q100’s the Bert Show.

As a bisexual woman, Harter, 39, of Chamblee, says she finds friendship and camaraderie in working and playing with those interested in science fiction, fantasy, horror and super heroes.