2012 Atlanta Pride Commitment Ceremony
The 2012 Atlanta Pride Commitment Ceremony was held at W Midtown's Altitude on Oct. 7. More than a dozen couples expressed their love and commitment to one another in the annual ceremony that featured friends and family of those participating. (Photos by Brent Corcoran / RNZ Photography)
View more photos from this event here.
Hometown favorite Amy Ray, best known as one half of the beloved folk duo Indigo Girls, brought her edgier solo show to the Atlanta Pride stage on Sunday evening.
Backed by the Butchies, Ray rocked through a set that opened with her striking “Rural Faggot” and closed with her mandolin-driven ode to standing up against religious hate, “Let it Ring.”
Ray spoke from the stage about the significance of playing Atlanta Pride and dedicated a song to her partner, Carrie. To hear more from Ray about her experience of coming out personally and in her music career, please read our full interview here.
Erasure front man Andy Bell closed out Atlanta Pride’s stage on Saturday evening, following British pop songstress Rita Ora, who already had the crowd packed to the stage and ready to dance.
Bell, who has also had a successful solo career, treated fans to a set of favorites including Erasure hits like “Chains of Love.”
Appearing alone on stage, Bell began his set in suit jacket, then tossed it aside to dance and twirl in a sleeveless t-shirt. He also thanked his partner, who he is soon to marry, who was standing to the right of the stage during the show.
As a field general during the earliest battles of the modern LGBT rights movement, Harvey Milk’s primary weapon was a red and white bullhorn. The Fanon Transistorized Megaphone became a part of Milk’s political combat uniform, used to rally an army of San Francisco queers, street kids and liberals against centuries-old oppression of homosexuals.
The iconic megaphone amplified Milk’s words so loudly that they still echo today, almost 35 years after Milk was killed for fighting on behalf of gay liberation.
Milk’s election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors made him one of the first openly gay elected officials in America, but a conservative fellow lawmaker assassinated him in 1978. Now Milk has a new type of megaphone to make sure his message and spirit remain as boisterous as they were when he was riling up a rebellion in the streets of San Francisco during the 1970s.
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.
Tony Kearney, who handles programming for the Atlanta Pride Committee, has been involved in putting the cabaret together for the last five years. It’s the largest celebration of its kind in the Southeast and retains much of the day’s crowd.
“It’s amazing to see how many people are still in the park after Pride,” Kearney said. “Last year there were around 5,000 people enjoying the show.”
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.
Organizers say more than 200 entrants have signed on this year, ranging from local nonprofit organizations to politicians, gay-friendly businesses and multi-national corporations.
The grand marshals for the 2012 parade are trans activist Vandy Beth Glenn; Rev. Joshua Noblitt, minister of social justice at Saint Mark United Methodist Church; Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality executive director; Danny Ingram, American Veterans for Equal Rights executive director; Dr. Julie Kubala, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies for the Women’s Studies Institute at Georgia State University; Anita Rae Strange, “AKA Clermont Blondie”; the Alpha Chapter of Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc. and drag fundraising troupe The Armorettes.