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Annual East Point drag show highlights Stonewall Month

East Point Possums show

Some 3,000 people are expected to flock to downtown East Point on June 15 for the annual East Point Possums Show, where they will drink gallons of Possum Punch, watch more than 25 drag performances and stuff dollar bills into sweaty, ahem, places to raise money to help LGBTQ homeless youth.

This year, proceeds from the fundraiser benefit Lost-n-Found Youth, which recently announced a $1 million capital campaign to fund new resources as well as a new shelter.

“It just keeps getting bigger and bigger each year,” said Rick Westbrook, matriarch of the Possums as well as executive director of Lost-n-Found. “Every dollar that comes to the stage, every sale that is made, will go directly to Lost-n-Found — and I will be reminding people of that constantly.”

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East Point Possums raise $5,000 for Rush Center


The final numbers are in and the East Point Possums will soon be presenting a check for $5,000 to the Phillip Rush Center.

The entire event raised more than $20,000, but Rick Westbrook of the East Point Possums said in an email that this year the group paid for expenses up front for a total of just over $15,000.

"With this being the 15th year, we decided it was time to stand on our own. We did not ask for any monies from the beneficiaries because we know that all grassroots are struggling," Westbrook said in an email. In the past, beneficiaries were asked to front money to help pay for expenses, he explained. This year, the Possums decided to bypass that tradition.

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Big events on tap as Stonewall Month winds down in Ga.

2012 East Point Possums show

As cities around the nation celebrate LGBT Pride the last weekend in June, Atlanta’s Stonewall Month winds down with several Pride-themed events. From sports to festivals and even a “Sugarbutch” blogger, there is plenty to do before the month wraps up.

Pride festivals are traditionally held the last weekend in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, fought back against police harassment in what is widely seen as a turning point for gay rights.

But after being celebrated the last weekend in June in Piedmont Park for most of its history, Atlanta Pride was forced to move in 2008 when a record drought booted all large festivals from the park. After an unpopular July 4 festival in 2009, Atlanta Pride organizers announced future festivals would be held in Piedmont Park to coincide with National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11.

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East Point Possums headline Atlanta’s Stonewall Month

East Point Possums show

The 1969 Stonewall Riots were rooted in naughtiness: gay men and women partying at the Stonewall Inn during a time when it was forbidden for homosexuals to gather in public, and their rowdy defiance when New York police attempted to break up their party by hauling people off to jail.

So it’s fitting that one of the marquee events of Atlanta’s Stonewall Month – the East Point Possums drag show – also originated with a little mischief.

“When I first went to East Point [city officials] for the permits, I billed it as a Shakespearean variety show,” said Rick Westbrook, aka Sister Rapture Divine Cox, who helps organize the annual drag extravaganza.

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Atlanta Pride begins announcing June’s Stonewall schedule


The Atlanta Pride Committee has begun announcing the schedule for June's Stonewall events, geared to commemorating the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn, where patrons of the gay bar fought back against harassment from New York City police.

When the official Atlanta Pride Festival moved to October, organizers launched Stonewall events so that June's historic riots would not go unnoticed in Atlanta. The schedule for this year is still being filled out, but so far includes book discussions, an event about LGBT issues related to health insurance, and the 15th annual East Point Possums show — the outdoor charity drag show known for its diverse slate and over-the-top routines.

Additional events will be posted here as they are added.

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Best of Atlanta: Community

The East Point Possums show named Best LGBT Atlanta event

After two months of online balloting and thousands of votes cast, we present the best of the best — our second annual GA Voice Best of Atlanta winners.

The selection process began in May, when we asked you, our readers, to nominate your favorites for dozens of awards in the categories of Community, People, Places, Eats, Shopping, Arts & Entertainment and Nightlife.

The top three finalists in each category made it through to the next round of voting. For the month of June, a multiple-choice ballot asked you to pick among the finalists for who really represents the finest in LGBT Georgia.

Thanks to everyone who voted, and congratulations to all of the worthy winners and runners up.

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East Point Possums kick off Stonewall Week

East Point Possums drag show and fundraiser

While possums are considered nocturnal creatures and prefer hiding in trees and scurrying under your porch looking for scraps to eat, the East Point Possums like to strut their stuff for all to see on a stage under the setting sun — and they have no fear of anyone taking a broom to try to swat them out of their yard.
At least we don’t think so.

For 14 years, the three men who now make up the East Point Possums — Rick Westbrook (a.k.a. Shennita Lott), John Jeffrey (a.k.a. Prissy Cilla) and Chesley Thurman (a.k.a. Dina Daintymouth) — have been performing what they readily call “good work through bad drag.”

But what has become one of the largest drag shows in the Southeast first began on July 4, 1998, in the backyard of a resident of East Point, Ga., located just outside Atlanta.