5 LGBT things you need to know today, Aug. 29

1. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging North Carolina's anti-transgender bathroom law got a partial win Friday night as a federal judge said the University System of North Carolina must allow them to use ...
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Margaret Cho’s new comedy tour is the mother of all shows

Margaret Cho

She sounded a bit tired in the phone interview. Between guest starring on a hit TV show, planning her “Mother” comedy tour, singing, embracing her new passion of riding motorcycles, starring on “Drop Dead Diva,” traveling, writing her blog, and answering the same questions from reporters all day, Margaret Cho has a right to be a bit reserved when not “on” in front of an audience.

But Cho is still thrilled to be nominated for an Emmy for her guest actress appearance on “30 Rock.” She actually played a man — well, two men — to receive the Emmy nod.

“It’s great. I really love that show. It’s an honor,” Cho said of the nomination.

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Topher Payne: A going-away party, reminding us to embrace the time we’re here

Playwright and writer Topher PayneBryan posted a message on his Facebook wall last week, with a question:  “What would you do if doc says you may only have a few days left?”

The inquiry was not theoretical, or meant to inspire discussions of ideology. It was a scheduling question. That morning, he was informed by medical professionals that he should prepare for the ending of what any of us would call a life. Just because your vitals can still be measured as functioning does not mean you are living. I don’t know what you’d call that. Existing, I guess. But frankly, even that’s debatable.

Bryan and I are the same age: 32. The idea that he should even be considering what his final acts will be is monumentally unfair. But cancer isn’t terribly concerned with fairness. We met because of the disease. I meet a lot of people that way, kind of like how guys who’ve dated the same horrible ex have something to chat about.

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A queer comedian celebrates release of DVD recorded live in her adopted hometown

Comedian Margaret Cho

Part-time Atlantan and full time entertainer Margaret Cho has certainly made her mark on our city. Not only does she film a television series here (she plays Teri Lee on Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva”), but she also hones her stand up skills on a regular basis at the Laughing Skull Lounge.

When she recorded her new Showtime special and DVD, “Cho Dependent,” which was released on DVD on Nov. 21, she made certain it was in front of an Atlanta audience because she feels so strongly about her adopted hometown. We recently spoke with Cho, who just got back from a European tour, about the new DVD, her status as a queer and her love for Atlanta.

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Out on Film releases full schedule for Atlanta LGBT fest

Out on Film, Atlanta's LGBT film festival, today announced the complete line-up for this year's festival. More than 50 films from around the world will be shown during the eight day festival.

“We are thrilled at what we consider to be one of the strongest line-ups in Out On Film history, with award-wining films, lots of premieres, guests and plenty of local flavor,” said Jim Farmer, festival director of Out On Film, via a media release.

Organizers previously announced a double feature -- “The Sleeping Beauty of East Finchley” and “Going Down in La-La Land” -- will open the week-long festival while “Judas Kiss” will close the week.

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Margaret Cho’s ‘Cho Dependent’ to debut at Out on Film

Part-time Atlanta resident and full-time funny woman Margaret Cho will debut her concert film “Cho Dependent” at Atlanta's Out on Film Festival. The film features footage taken from Cho's last tour and was filmed at Atlanta's Tabernacle in December 2010.

During Cho's comedy routine, she discusses her stint on “Dancing with the Stars,” living in Atlanta while filming “Drop Dead Diva,” her support for LGBT equality and more.

“Having ‘Cho Dependent” as part of our schedule is extremely exciting, to say the least,” says Jim Farmer, festival director of Out On Film, in a media release issued today. “Margaret Cho is a long-time icon in the LGBT community, someone who has always stood by us and supported us. She’s also one of the funniest people on the planet. Margaret spends a lot of her time in Atlanta these days and the concert was filmed here, so there is a wonderful symmetry about being able to debut it.”

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Georgia Rep. Simone Bell to speak at San Diego Pride event

simone bell web story on san diego pride

Georgia State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) heads out west this weekend to speak at the San Diego Women's Pride Brunch before the parade steps off.

Bell, the first African-American out lesbian elected to a state legislature, speaks at the 11th annual brunch on Saturday, July 16.

“I ran for office so that I could bring together all of my passions toward social justice and human rights,” Bell said in an interview with the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.

“I’ve worked in the LGBT community for many years. I also worked in health care for more than 10 years. I’ve been an organizer in my neighborhood around affordable housing, elder issues, youth empowerment, etc. I’ve also been out since I was 13 years old,” Bell said. “Running for public office was very organic to the journey I was on.”

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Meeting Margaret Cho: Diva inspires gay man’s cancer fight

Margaret Cho and Bryan Raybon

Those who doubt that laughter is the best medicine probably haven’t met Bryan Raybon.

My good friend, 32, who this past February was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma, is assistant clinical director for Atlanta-based Positive Impact — and an otherwise vital young man.

Bryan’s illness surfaced innocuously enough late last year, when he began a new workout regimen with a trainer. Ensuing fatigue, nausea and a small bump in his groin area were initially diagnosed as a hernia.