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Top 10 Ga. LGBT stories of 2011: Hope, heartache and headlines

Georgia LGBT stories of the year

2011 brought several milestones likely to impact LGBT Georgians for years to come. Some are worth celebrating, like Vandy Beth Glenn’s win over transgender discrimination in the Georgia General Assembly, and the first openly gay man to serve in the state legislature.

Others, like the state’s lackluster response to HIV and Shorter College’s anti-gay staff policy, made us shake our heads and wonder how long it will be before LGBT equality comes to the Deep South.

The year also proved pivotal for several well-known local LGBT organizations and businesses — including Outwrite Bookstore, Positive Impact, MEGA Family Project and the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative — that announced major changes this year.

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GLAAD celebrates 25 years with local gala, awards

“Celebrate GLAAD at 25,” set for Saturday at Mason Murer Fine Art, honors the national gay media watchdog group’s 25th anniversary as well as 30 “local heroes” who make a difference in the LGBT community.

Celebrity guests include out CNN anchor Don Lemon, Kat Graham of "Vampire Diaries," CBS anchor Itay Hod, Phoenix of "RuPaul's Drag Race" and former Q-100 radio host Melissa Carter.

The event promises food by A Divine Event, ROKK Vodka, and music by DJs Jay McCracken and Diablo Rojo. Also on tap, according to GLAAD, are infamous drag queens Lady Chablis and Charlie Brown, the Atlanta Ballet & Wabi Sabi Dancers, artist Brannon Purvis, aerialist Andrea Fors, and much more.

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CNN’s weekend anchor Don Lemon says not all gay people want to get married

Don Lemon, the recently out CNN Newsroom weekend news anchor, author of the memoir "Transparent" and Atlanta resident, blogged today about "A New Marriage Dilemma."

Lemon discussed how he was not prepared for the "marriage question" he got at a red carpet affair from a New York Magazine reporter (gay marriage is now legal in New York, y'all). He's been with his partner for four years and people are starting to ask the questions straight people get all the time — "When are you going to tie the knot?"

"Though it wasn't celebrated by larger society, it used to be that gay men once enjoyed that same freedom to play the field. But thanks to our freedom-fighting brethren, not anymore," Lemon wrote on his CNN blog today.

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Interview: CNN anchor Don Lemon on coming out on cable news

CNN's weekend news anchor Don Lemon

CNN anchor Don Lemon is accustomed to reporting headlines, not making them.

But as the author of the new book, “Transparent,” Lemon decided to make public to the world what many people close to him already knew —he is gay.

Lemon anchors CNN Newsroom during weekend prime time and also serves as a correspondent, including covering the deadly tornado that hit Joplin, Mo. He came out publicly May 16 in an article published in the New York Times, which discussed the risk he is taking with his memoir.

The announcement has been well received by most people and the book tour has kept him busy giving dozens of interviews to newspapers, radio shows and TV shows.

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Podcast: 30 years of AIDS

GA Voice editor Laura Douglas-Brown was featured on AM 1690 | The Voice of the Arts this morning as part of a continuing bi-weekly interview segment highlighting upcoming LGBT arts and entertainment events featured in our latest print issue.

In this week's segment, Laura discusses the impact of 30 years of HIV/AIDS, previews our interview with CNN news anchor Don Lemon and highlights upcoming Memorial Day Weekend events in the LGBT community.

Listen below: