Simon Williamson, columnist with Georgia Voice

Simon Williamson: Being polite in shitty company

South Africa, whence I hail, and whence I write this, is a fairly bizarre place. It largely parallels the American South in many key ways, but the repair job is much newer, the anger more raw, and the wounds le...

5 LGBT things you need to know today, April 10

1. "I just froze for about 10 seconds. I kind of knew but I didn't want the answer to be yes. One of the first things he said was, 'Mom don't cry.' " Here's Derrick Gordon's family's reaction to him coming out....
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The death of white gay wit: Paula Deen and the problem with the Nail Emporium

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The sweetest compliment I’ve ever given someone was probably a text message I sent a few years ago to my then-boyfriend that read, “You make me want to hit Paula Deen in the face with a ham, just so I can hear that laugh again.”

It was a reference to a conversation the two of us had a few months earlier, when we shared our mutual adoration for Deen as she was being bombarded with criticism for not disclosing her diabetes sooner.

As we talked about various aspects of her personality that we found charming, I told my boyfriend how I appreciated Deen’s bubbly response to being hit in the face with a flying, frozen ham while making an appearance at Atlanta’s Hosea Feed the Hungry.

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[Video] Sharon Needles meets with LGBT protesters before Atlanta show

A meeting between Sharon Needles, winner of the past season of “Rupaul's Drag Race,” and LGBT activists angered by her use of the word “nigger” in her act ended abruptly today after two people planning to protest her show walked out.

Aaron Coady, who performs as Needles, attended the meeting out of drag. A tearful Coady said he felt berated by the activists who questioned his use of the racial slur. He defended Sharon Needles as a “transgressive” character meant to push buttons and shine a spotlight on all that is dark in society.

“If people educated themselves on the type of work and didn't just judge it by my costume choices and simple screen shots and really investigated why I use the imagery I use, I'm really more on their side than they think,” Coady said, tears rolling down his face.