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PHOTOS: ‘Like Pride and Halloween mixed together’ at Dragon*Con

Zander

Another Dragon*Con is in the books, and thousands of gays turned out over Labor Day weekend to watch or join in the spectacle of one of the nation’s largest costumed conventions.

“It’s one of the largest events in the world and so it’s great to come down and see people go crazy in that regard. It’s like Pride and Halloween mixed together,” said Mike Dillers of Cobb County, who came down for the weekend.

The convention draws roughly 50,000 people from across the country for a five-day celebration of everything geeky. From sci-fi to fantasy to horror, actors, authors and producers mingle with fans who often show off costumes or hunt autographs.

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Black Gay Pride combines plenty of parties with a dose of empowerment and education

Black Gay Pride in the park

From parties to panel discussions, Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride intends to not only entertain the tens of thousands who descend on the South’s black gay mecca each year over Labor Day weekend, but also inform and empower them.

Each year, party promoters offer revelers a chance to attend everything from upscale cocktail parties to sexy pool parties to down and dirty late night parties that celebrate the uniqueness of being black and gay.

But there is also the annual State of Black Gay America Summit on Sept. 1, this year with the theme “Embracing Our Collective Power to Influence Change,” that will include panel discussions on the Affordable Care Act as well as how to fund progressive organizations and support political allies.

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A picture of Black Gay Pride

Black Gay Pride calendar

When I sat down to make a digital list of events for Black Gay Pride that could be shared on social networks across the internet, I never thought it would become so symbolic of the need to have such an event.

My editor did a great job of explaining why there are two Prides last year, but with the grumbling about why Atlanta's gay community needs two Prides coming in like clockwork, I pose a very simple question: Why not?

Black Gay Pride began as a series of informal house parties and nightlife events over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta. There was no organizing body and no way to know these parties were happening unless you were in the community for which they were thrown.