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Gay readers respond (angrily) to Marietta columnist’s anti-gay op-ed

When syndicated conservative columnist Dick Yarbrough wrote an anti-gay rant last week in the Marietta Daily Journal mocking California's law requiring LGBT history be taught in schools,  gay readers decided to respond in kind.

Two things for sure — some don't like being called "Gay Blade" or take kindly to hoop skirts.

Yarbrough wrote in his July 13 column about a phone conversation he had with this fictional character he called "Gay Blade," a flaming liberal, who warned him that soon Georgia's public schools would have to teach kids about historical LGBT figures. Because, you see, California is now doing it. Of course, there's a group of social conservatives trying to get the law repealed.

Yarbrough retorted to his fictional "friend" this was ridiculous because the state's leaders have more important priorities.

"Besides, we have a lot of pride in Georgia's history and the last thing we need to know is that some guy we named a county for used to run around at night in hoop skirts," Yarbrough wrote.

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Know your history

This weekend’s Oral History Conference includes events focused on LGBT stories

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LGBT oral history projects

An LGBT plenary session is lined up for the 44th annual Oral History Association conference in Atlanta this weekend at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. Local and national gay and lesbian panelists will speak on the importance of oral history projects.

Oral history projects in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities have been underway for many years — in Atlanta, there is Touching Up Our Roots headed up by Dave Hayward and the artist collective John Q, including Wesley Chenault of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Andy Ditzler and Joey Orr.

Touching Up Our Roots filmed a documentary on noted Atlanta gay activist Jesse Peel, “The Saga of Dr. Jesse Peel,” who was a leader in the fight against AIDS when it hit the city.

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Jogging my “Memory Flash”

Memory Flash

Last April, Georgia Voice and the John Q Collective collaborated on “Memory Flash,” an interactive, multimedia art walk through several of Atlanta's gay history landmarks.

I photographed the event and several hundred shots later, my work was finished. I was satisfied with my contribution, but nothing could have brought it all together quite like experiencing the living catalogue the event produced, which is now on display at Atlanta's Museum of Contemporary Art.

You'll have to read more about it here and here, but the scope of the project reminded me of the power of history in our movement.