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Melissa Etheridge brings ‘4th Street Feeling’ to Atlanta

Melissa Ethridge

It’s been almost 25 years since the release of Melissa Etheridge’s first studio album and nearly 20 since she came out publicly with her aptly named 1993 album, “Yes I Am.”

Now the groundbreaking lesbian rocker returns to her roots with her latest album, September’s “4th Street Feeling,” named for a street in her hometown of Leavenworth, Kan. Her tour stops in Atlanta on Monday, Nov. 12, for a show at Symphony Hall.

Etheridge shattered barriers first by coming out in the early ‘90s and then by performing live at the Grammys while bald from breast cancer treatment. She returns to where she was born and raised for her eclectic 11th studio album, while experimenting with some new elements as well — like the banjitar featured in the first single, “Falling Up.”

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Interview: Mystery writer Patricia Cornwell on her latest novel, the election, coming out and more

Patricia Cornwell

Internationally acclaimed bestselling author Patricia Cornwell comes to Atlanta’s Carter Center this Friday to promote her 25th novel, “The Bone Bed” (Putnam).

In “The Bone Bed,” Cornwell’s hero, forensic investigator Kay Scarpetta, her cranky macho partner Marino, helicopter-flying hacker-genius lesbian niece Lucy, and her festive personal assistant Bryce are on the trail of a killer who e-mails Scarpetta a chilling video clip featuring a woman’s severed ear.

Cornwell spoke at length with GA Voice about gay marriage, the presidential election, writing, and tolerance. No spoilers, mystery fans — so read and enjoy!

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Rufus Wainwright gets ‘Out of the Game’

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright, the gay son of music marvels Loudon Wainwright III and the late Kate McGarrigle, has been a musical presence since childhood. He stepped out on his own in 1998 with his highly regarded eponymous debut disc and has been delighting his devoted following ever since.

Wainwright is renowned as much for his movie soundtrack work (his renditions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” from “Shrek” and the Beatles’ “Across The Universe” from the “I Am Sam” soundtrack are legendary) as he is for his love of opera (referenced in song a such as “Damned Ladies”).

His talent and creativity seemingly knows no bounds, as evidenced by his spot-on recreation of Judy Garland’s infamous 1961 concert on his 2007 “Rufus does Judy at Carnegie Hall” show and subsequent live recording.

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Honey Boo Boo’s gay ‘Uncle Poodle’ speaks out for gay rednecks

Uncle Poodle

Four months ago, 29-year-old Lee Thompson moved back to his hometown of Milledgeville, Ga., where he grew up with his two brothers. After moving around the last few years, most recently living in Birmingham, Ala., Thompson was looking forward to settling back into a familiar environment.

But things are a little different these days.

“I was at the Wal-Mart in Forsyth, getting ready to check out. And this woman kept following me, like it was obvious she was following me. Finally, I turned to her and said, ‘Ma’am, can I help you with something?’ and she said, ‘Can I ask you a question?’ I told her if her question was if I’m Uncle Poodle, yes I was. She said, ‘Can I get my picture with you?’, and she was so excited, she said her husband wasn’t gonna believe it. That’s how it goes now.”

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Poodle Pride

Honey Boo Boo’s gay ‘Uncle Poodle’ speaks out for gay rednecks

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Gay politician (and YouTube sensation) headed to Atlanta to support documentary on LGBT elected officials

Joel Burns

Fort Worth City Councilmember Joel Burns, who drew national media attention when his story of surviving bullying went viral, is headed to Atlanta later this month to support "Breaking Through," a project from local filmmaker Cindy Abel.

Burns will be on hand for a Sept. 27 fundraiser for the film, which tells the personal stories of openly gay elected officials around the country. Details of the event are TBA.

"Joel is coming because he knows 'Breaking Through' will bring hope: to teens who, like he once did, are wondering if life will have purpose and [if they should] commit suicide, and to adults, who conclude their career choices will be limited if they’re openly gay," Abel said in an email announcing the fundraiser.

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Interview: Shattering the military’s gay glass ceiling

Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith

Less than a year after the official repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith of the United States Army Reserve became the first-ever openly gay or lesbian general.

Smith, a career officer, is the director of the Army Reserve Human Capital Core Enterprise. Smith has served in Panama, Costa Rica and most recently Afghanistan. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.

GA Voice asked Smith about her career, her status as a role model and the challenges that gay and lesbian soldiers continue to face in the post-DADT era.