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Braves fans come ‘Out in the Stands’

Ben Cohen

The Braves will host the third annual “Out in the Stands” LGBT fan night June 18 when the New York Mets come to town.

Like last year, this year's event will double as a fundraiser for Ben Cohen's StandUp Foundation, which promotes LGBT equality in sports through public awareness campaigns, grants and other advocacy projects. Cohen's foundation is headquartered in Atlanta.

Cohen is most famous for being a former professional rugby player and Rugby World Cup winner with his native England.

Last year's event drew some 300 people to Turner Field. This year's format is slightly different, however. There will be another patio reception, but no VIP box experience.

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Fall in love with movies at Out on Film

Cloudburst film

Love is in the air at the 25th Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBT film festival, Oct. 4-11 at Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema. I don’t know when I’ve seen so much romance in a queer festival.

There’s young love, old love, lesbian love, gay love, baby love, kinky love, married love, platonic love, coercive love, transformative love... Oh, there’s politics too, but that’s mostly confined to the documentary section, or woven in with the love stories.

All films (with exceptions noted) screen at Midtown Art Cinema (931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta GA 30308).

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Fall Preview: Gay is the ‘New Normal’

The New Normal on NBC

It’s been 14 years since NBC launched “Will & Grace,” heralded as the first successful network sitcom to debut with an openly gay lead character. The title of NBC’s new gay-themed sitcom sums up the progress since then — in the world of entertainment, gay is now “The New Normal.”

The show, which debuted Sept. 11 and will air at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, is about a gay couple who hires a surrogate to have a baby. Openly gay Andrew Rannells and Ellen Barkin head the cast, which also features “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leaks.

“The New Normal” was created by openly gay Ryan Murphy of “Glee” fame. It’s based on Murphy’s desire to have a child with his own partner.

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Actor’s Express offers 25th season ‘Kiss’

Kiss of the Spidewoman

In choosing the opening show of Actor’s Express’ 25th anniversary season, Freddie Ashley knew he wanted a production that would register, a large scale show with “some heft.” He has chosen the gay-themed musical “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” opening Aug. 22.

Manuel Puig’s 1976 novel is about two cellmates in a Buenos Aires prison: Luis Molina and Valentín Arregui, who are polar opposites. Valentin is a revolutionary trying to overthrow the government, while Molina is openly gay and effeminate, in jail for sexual relations with a minor.

The novel was turned into a 1983 play, then a 1985 film which won William Hurt a Best Actor Oscar as Molina.

With a book by Terrence McNally and music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb (“Cabaret,” “Chicago”), a musical version of “Spider Woman” opened on Broadway in 1993 and won a slew of Tony Awards, including one for gay icon Chita Rivera, who starred as the infamous titular character.

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Election Preview: Gold Dome races pit gay vs. gay-friendly

There are at least eight openly gay candidates running for seats in the Georgia General Assembly — four incumbents and five hopefuls.

Only Georgia’s first openly gay state legislator, state Rep. Karla Drenner, is unopposed, guaranteeing that there will be one out gay voice under the Gold Dome when the new legislative session starts in January.

The General Assembly’s three other openly gay incumbents — state Reps. Simone Bell, Rashad Taylor and Keisha Waites — all face opposition in the Democratic primary.

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Jewish Film Festival includes LGBT flicks

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

A number of LGBT movies, including two screwball farces and an acclaimed documentary about a bisexual author, highlight the annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, which kicks off next week.

Established in 2000, the festival has grown to become not just the largest film festival in the city but the second biggest Jewish film festival in the country. The offerings for the 12th annual event, set for Feb. 8-29, are typically broad and plentiful.

More than 70 films will be shown over the three week period and screenings take place all over the city, including the Fox Theatre, Regal Cinemas Atlantic Station Stadium 16, Lefont Sandy Springs, Georgia Theatre Company Merchants Walk and new venues at United Artists Tara Cinemas 4 and United Artists North Point Market 8.