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Podcast: ‘We are the 99%, too’

GA Voice editor Laura Douglas-Brown was featured on AM 1690 | The Voice of the Arts this week in a bi-weekly segment highlighting upcoming arts and entertainment events and LGBT community news featured in our upcoming issue.

In this week's segment, Laura discusses our cover story, "We are the 99%, too" highlighting LGBT involvement in the Occupy Atlanta movement, our interviews with actress Meredith Baxter and author Gregory Maguire, and upcoming LGBT-specific Halloween events.

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Herman Cain: ‘Homosexuality is a choice’

herman cain

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight last night talking up his presidential run. In an already up-and-down primary season, Cain has made his way into the top tier of GOP candidates in recent weeks, according to recent national polls.

Host Morgan asked Cain his stance on LGBT issues among a wide array of topics:

“I happen to think that it is a choice,” Cain stated. “You show me evidence, other than opinion, and you might cause me to reconsider that.”

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Amy Ray on new Indigo Girls album, activism and her celebrity crush

Indigo Girls

Daughters of Atlanta, pioneers in music and activists on a variety of social issues, the Indigo Girls have done their city proud. With the upcoming release of “Beauty Queen Sister,” the duo of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers is about to hit the road, including a benefit show in Atlanta for Party at Ponce on Oct. 1 and a tour stop at the Classic Center in Athens, Ga., on Oct. 6.

The first single from the new album, “Making Promises,” is already winning praise as a download and an official lyric video on YouTube. We caught up with Amy Ray to talk about the music, the activism and their hometown.

Shannon Hames: Your fans really respond to your acoustic shows and recordings. Why do the fans feel so strongly about your live performances?

Amy Ray: I don’t know. I hope it’s not because we haven’t captured what we do live on our records. When you do a lot of harmonies, there’s something about the way that happens live – you’re just riveted. A live harmony has a certain effect on people. People like to sing along. Folk music lends itself a lot to a live setting.

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Podcast: Atlanta Pride preview

GA Voice editor Laura Douglas-Brown was featured on AM 1690 | The Voice of the Arts this week in a bi-weekly segment highlighting upcoming arts and entertainment events and LGBT community news.

In this week's segment, Laura discusses gay Atlanta's largest annual event, the Atlanta Pride festival. Laura also discusses Out on Film, which kicks off this week.

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Amber Taylor: ‘I’m the sexual side effect’

Amber Taylor from The Sexual Side Effects

As lead singer/guitarist and current business manager for the Atlanta band The Sexual Side Effects, Amber Taylor, 33, is busy. She’s booking clubs for her band to play, she’s writing songs, she’s posting flyers around the city promoting upcoming gigs. She also holds down a day job working as a web designer and computer programmer.

The Sexual Side Effects headline the annual East Atlanta Strut on Saturday, Sept. 17. SSE plays My Sister’s Room on Oct. 1 with local artists, and plays Atlanta Pride this year, taking the Bud Light Stage on Oct. 8.

Taylor is also involved in a TV project about transgender artists and musicians being shopped around by a producer.

The Sexual Side Effects includes “Spikey” Mike Sidner on bass, Matt Foster on guitar and drummer Clay McClure. The band is working with producer John Briglevich (Drivin’ N Cryin’, Edwin McCain) on a debut EP.

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Melvin Arundelli: why ‘anyone can be a gay bird’

Melvin ArundelliMelvin Arundelli, 34, was born in Italy but has lived in Atlanta since he was just over a year old. Four years ago this month, he crashed his motorcycle into a telephone pole, and suffered severe traumatic brain injury. He was hospitalized at Grady for five months and in a coma for most of that time.

Arundelli now uses a wheelchair, has limited movement in his left arm, is legally blind and can’t smell or taste. But he’s alive, he says, and his sense of humor remains firmly intact.

“Meet Boosheka,” he says, inviting friends to sit on the comfy cushion on his wheelchair.

“She’s my girlfriend. The best thing I got when I left Grady,” he adds with a laugh.

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Podcast: ‘Positive About HIV’ preview

GA Voice editor Laura Douglas-Brown was featured on AM 1690 | The Voice of the Arts this week in a bi-weekly segment highlighting upcoming arts and entertainment events and LGBT community news.

In this week's segment, Laura discusses our cover story, "Positive About HIV," previews Atlanta's Black Gay Pride celebration and highlights an interview with folk singer Janis Ian.

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Christine O’Donnell walks out of CNN interview over gay rights

Former Delaware senate candidate Christine O'Donnell

Just because she's not a witch, doesn't mean that Christine O'Donnell, the former U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware, is a good interviewee. Last night during “Piers Morgan Tonight” on CNN, O'Donnell was pressed to talk about her views on same-sex marriage.

O’Donnell, popular with Tea Party voters, drew scrutiny during her campaign for past statements that she had allegedly dabbled in witchcraft, and also for referring to homosexuality as an “identity disorder.”

She is now promoting her new book, “Troublemaker: Let's Do What it Takes to Make America Great Again.”

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Podcast: Pet Issue preview

GA Voice editor Laura Douglas-Brown was featured on AM 1690 | The Voice of the Arts this week in a new bi-weekly segment highlighting upcoming arts and entertainment events and LGBT community news.

In this week's segment, Laura discusses our second annual Pet Issue and how being on the cover has affected our office dog Sophia.

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DJ Mike Pope on day jobs, finding Prince Charming and Lady Gaga

DJ Mike Pope

Since 2009, Mike Pope has been the resident DJ for the popular Joining Hearts party and HIV fundraiser. This year’s event is set for Saturday, July 23, at the Piedmont Park pool, with Pope and DJ Seth Cooper providing the beats. Pope, 39, also spins at numerous other dance parties, including at the Heretic, where he is the rotating resident DJ, and at Mixx.

Born near Baltimore, Md., and raised in Columbia, Md., Pope moved to Atlanta 14 years ago where the boys love him and his disco house, tribal house and vocal house beats. He took a few moments out of his busy schedule to discuss his swimsuit selection for the Joining Hearts party as well as who gets his top vote in a match between Lady Gaga and Madonna.

Do you have a day job? What is it?

Yep, I'm not a jet-setting international DJ quite yet (but hopefully someday). I am the Media Services Analyst at The Art Institute of Atlanta. I manage the audio and video equipment and recording studios for the Audio & Digital Film-making Programs at the college. I've been doing that for the last eight years.