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Outspoken: Sen. Lindsey Graham, actor Nelsan Ellis, Tony Perkins and more…

Hockey player Brent Sobel

“Everyone has feelings and everyone is a person. That’s what we continue to promote to our kids. I hope [the gay community] gets equality and what they’re looking for.”

Brent Sopel, a player for the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks, who carried the Stanley Cup in the Chicago Gay Pride parade. Sopel has since been traded to the Atlanta Thrashers. (Chicago Tribune, June 22)

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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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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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‘Incredible’ East Side Pride draws crowd to Clarkston

East Side Pride festival

The first-ever East Side Pride drew a diverse crowd to Clarkston’s Milam Park on Saturday 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.