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Nothing beats barbecue for signature summer meals

Atlanta Barbecue

I’ll admit that I’m no BBQ OCD like some critics who rock back and forth muttering descriptions like char and bark. As a child in the Atlanta ‘burbs, I only knew the Old Hickory House, which we rarely went to at night since my mother didn’t eat barbecue in public because it was messy and would get her burgundy manicured nails dirty. Their barbecue beef omelet is still really good.

Today Atlanta has a ton of crave-worthy barbecue joints that embrace the imaginative, yet don’t lose sight of Southern traditions. At many, the sides can be as good and as creative as the meats.

Rolling Bones, located on Edgewood Avenue, made Bon Appetit’s 10 best barbecue places in the U.S. for 2009 and serves organic meats. Rolling Bones has that smoky, spicy complexity that signifies a real talented pit master, y’all.

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HRC’s ‘Gospel & Unity’ puts faith in equality

The Human Rights Campaign’s Gospel & Unity celebration is back and in full effect this year, organizers say.

The ninth annual event will take place Saturday, July 24, at the First Metropolitan Community Church from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“We do the event to bring the community together and connect with LGBT partners,” says Ebonee Bradford, a member of the HRC Board of Governors for Diversity and Inclusion.

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Gay couple attacked in Piedmont Park

Robbery in Piedmont Park

Atlanta Police Department Officer Patricia Powell, the recently appointed LGBT liaison, said she is considering offering a safety course to gay Midtown residents after a gay couple was robbed at gunpoint in Piedmont Park.

“I don’t know if gay people are being targeted,” Powell said Tuesday.

But she noted the July 2 armed robbery of Rev. Joshua Noblitt of Saint Mark United Methodist Church and his partner, as well as reports of anti-gay epithets used during a series of fights and disturbances by young people at the June 3 Screen on the Green in the park.

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Election: Secretary of State rundown

Georgia Equality chose to sit out the race for Secretary of State, as the job does not deal directly with LGBT-specific issues. Atlanta Stonewall Democrats endorsed Michael Mills, although Gail Buckner and Gary Horlacher also applied.

Mills was the only candidate to return the Georgia Voice survey. He said he would publicly support a broad range of LGBT issues, but stopped short of full marriage rights, backing civil unions for gay couples instead.

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Joining Heart’s pool party makes a ‘Splash,’ raises funds for HIV/AIDS organizations

DJ Mike Pope

Hundreds of hot men (and some women) will pack the Piedmont Park pool July 24 for Joining Hearts 23, the annual fundraiser that helps provide housing for people with HIV.

“Joining Hearts has always been one of the highlights of the gay community each summer,” says Kerry Loftis, director of events for Joining Hearts, an all-volunteer, non-profit charity. “We get people who come here from all over the country for this event. They plan their vacations around it. People consider it like a big family reunion.”
DJ Roland Belmares, an Atlanta favorite from Austin, Texas, returns to spin for this year’s event, dubbed “Splash.”

“People like his style of playing really upbeat, fun music,” Loftis says. “He has a big following here because we all love the way that he makes it a really fun, good party. He mixes music that everyone just loves.”

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Atlanta celebrates Stonewall Week

The GA Safe Schools Coalition spoke at a Make a Statement Rally

The official Atlanta Pride festival doesn’t take place until Oct. 8-10, but the city rolled out a rainbow of events at the end of June to mark the 41st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

The 1969 rebellion against police harassment of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, is widely credited with sparking the modern gay rights movement.

Among the many events for Atlanta’s Stonewall Week was the showing of “Stonewall Uprising,” a documentary about the rebellion, for a week-long run at the Midtown Arts Cinema. The June 26 screening was followed by a panel discussion comparing Stonewall to the September 2009 police raid on the Atlanta Eagle.

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East Side Pride draws diverse crowd to Clarkston

The first-ever East Side Pride drew a diverse crowd to Clarkston’s Milam Park on June 26 for an afternoon of cooking out, dancing, lawn games and playing on the playground — all while building community for LGBT people who live east of Atlanta.

“I think this year’s picnic was a great launching point,” said Lorrie King, organizer of East Side Pride with her husband, Clarkston City Councilmember Adam White.

King estimated that as many as 125 people dropped in over the course of the afternoon, including several who said they had to see with their own eyes a Pride event in the eastern suburb.