5 LGBT things you need to know today, Sept. 6

1. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, here's how the Montrose Center is helping to ensure no LGBT residents slip through the cracks.2. The Washington Post profiles a transgender Chechen woman who escaped pers...
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State of Black Gay America Summit seeks to inspire change through ‘collective power’

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The sixth annual State of Black Gay America Summit over Labor Day weekend covered a broad range of topics over the course of the day on Sept. 1 — from HIV prevention medicines and the need for volunteers in vaccine research to the specifics of the Affordable Care Act to how much money does it cost to run an effective campaign in Atlanta and Georgia.

Keynote speaker Je-Shawna Wholley, a recent Spelman graduate who now lives in Washington, D.C., and is a senior fellow at the National Black Justice Coalition, tackled the subject of this year's theme at the summit at the Melia Hotel. "Embracing Our Collective Power to Influence Change" must be made by building coalitions and being sincere in the work people do, Wholley said.

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Thousands pack Piedmont Park for Black Gay Pride’s first Pure Heat Community Festival

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The sweltering Atlanta heat on Sunday made the name of the first Pure Heat Community Festival quite fitting, but did not dissuade thousands of Black Gay Pride attendees from enjoying a day of live entertainment and celebrating in Piedmont Park.

Organized by Traxx Girls and the non-profit Vision Community Foundation, the first such fest was deemed a success by nearly all in attendance, especially by the community partner organization. The Vision Community Foundation, affiliated with the Vision Church of Atlanta but is a separate entity, does outreach to homeless people, organizes HIV testing, and provides youth mentorship among other community projects.

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Labor Day events

Nightlife, community and organizational events happening this Labor Day

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Dragon*Con rears its head again

The yearly celebration of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror that is Dragon*Con commences this weekend as 30,000 dedicated fans converge to celebrate their shared passions.

One of the largest conventions of its kind, Dragon*Con is a weekend where fans can don costumes, play complicated board games and see and hear their favorite actors and writers. The convention plays out between four Atlanta hotels — the Hyatt Regency, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, and the Sheraton Atlanta — over the Labor Day weekend.

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Black Gay Pride empowers over Labor Day weekend

American Idol star Frenchie Davis

Atlanta earns its reputation as a black gay mecca year-round, but the city really pulls out all the stops over Labor Day Weekend for what is billed as the world’s largest Black Gay Pride celebration.

The celebration will draw tens of thousands to Atlanta for a long weekend of community empowerment and, yes, plenty of partying.

The non-profit In the Life Atlanta formed in 1996 to bring a cultural and educational component to Black Gay Pride, which began as an informal network of house parties, nightlife and other gatherings.