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Podcast: ‘A Home for the Holidays’

GA Voice editor Laura Douglas-Brown was featured on AM 1690 | The Voice of the Arts this week in a bi-weekly segment highlighting upcoming arts and entertainment events and LGBT community news featured in our upcoming issue.

In this week's segment, Laura discusses our cover story, an interview with the first family helped by Atlanta's new homeless youth initiative, highlights upcoming holiday events and gives a preview of "Odysseo," making its U.S. debut this week in Atlanta.

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Melissa Carter: Symbols to help you navigate the holiday season

Melissa CarterStress. Thanksgiving weekend has a way of piling on the stress for a lot of us every year. Regardless of whether the stressor is connected to the size of the turkey, layovers in Omaha, dealing with car rental companies or the joy of hours spent in a room with certain family members, the idea of thankfulness can get lost in the chaos.

This year, I suggest you create a symbol, something which represents the idea of appreciation. It will help get you through the weekend and weeks ahead with joy and remind you to be thankful regardless of what you may be dealing with this holiday season.

I recently gave a speech to hundreds of patients who had either received an organ transplant or were waiting for one. As a kidney transplant recipient, I talked about my challenging days on dialysis and showed the audience items I use today to remember the lessons I learned while sick.

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Melissa Carter: Aging with pride

Melissa CarterI am a 41-year-old woman who is proud of my age. I give no apology for being born in 1970 and I am looking forward to my future. However, these days it seems that I can’t escape the constant messages that I should be pining for the good ole’ days of youth.

According to most advertising messages I see, my body is withering away by the second. And it will require all the money in my 401k to repair the damage.

While running errands the other day, an ad came on the radio that began, “Women over 40 have weight gain due to a hormonal imbalance.”  I was then told that it would be impossible to stay thin at my age unless I bought some type of medication that I am sure the FDA has never heard of.

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Melissa Carter: A story to get you in the Halloween mood

Melissa CarterIn honor of Halloween season, I wanted to share a story I heard on the Roswell Ghost Tour. I love this time of year when our imaginations are allowed to roam free. So for all of you with ghoulish minds wide open, this one is for you.

Susan tripped on something in the hallway.

Ouch! What was that? Susan squinted and looked on the floor to see what she had tripped over. She saw that the culprit had been one of Alison’s dolls that had been left in the hallway near her daughter’s closed bedroom door. In fact, several of Alison’s dolls were on the floor, lined up perfectly next to one another, side-by-side, along the baseboard.

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Podcast: Atlanta Pride preview

GA Voice editor Laura Douglas-Brown was featured on AM 1690 | The Voice of the Arts this week in a bi-weekly segment highlighting upcoming arts and entertainment events and LGBT community news.

In this week's segment, Laura discusses gay Atlanta's largest annual event, the Atlanta Pride festival. Laura also discusses Out on Film, which kicks off this week.

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Podcast: Fall preview

GA Voice editor Laura Douglas-Brown was featured on AM 1690 | The Voice of the Arts this week in a bi-weekly segment highlighting upcoming arts and entertainment events and LGBT community news.

In this week's segment, Laura discusses our Fall preview cover story, including previewing Atlanta Pride, Southern Comfort Conference, Atlanta Cotillion and other upcoming events on the LGBT calendar.

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Melissa Carter: Freaks, geeks and letters that jiggle

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa CarterAh, it’s that time of year again, Atlanta: Dragon*Con.

Many who have never attended the convention see it as just freaks and geeks who like to dress up in elaborate costumes for a weekend. This may be partially true, but Dragon*Con happened to be where I realized something about myself that I had never known before: I have a reading disorder.

Besides parades and parties, Dragon*Con offers a large variety of sessions on everything from costume design to how to conduct a successful ghost hunt. Last year, I attended a session on graphic novels that included a panel of guests.

One speaker was a librarian who expressed his frustration at the difficulty he had in convincing schools and libraries to take graphic novels seriously. He credited these books with saving his education. As a child he had suffered from a learning disorder and the only books he could read growing up were graphic novels.

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Melissa Carter: A brief life inspires us to never give up

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa CarterOne of the things I admire most about my girlfriend, Katie Jo, is her community. A Georgia native, Katie has maintained friendships with folks from high school, college, graduate school, and her jobs.

Since I moved away from Tennessee, most of my hometown and college friends live hours away. Plus my growing phobia of the telephone hinders any opportunity for those hours-long conversations to catch up on every detail of each other’s lives.

One group of Katie’s friends is the “Book Club.” I put this in quotes since I’m not convinced they actually read books or even talk about them. My take on their monthly meetings is like a shirt I saw recently — they “Read Between the WINES.”

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Podcast: ‘Positive About HIV’ preview

GA Voice editor Laura Douglas-Brown was featured on AM 1690 | The Voice of the Arts this week in a bi-weekly segment highlighting upcoming arts and entertainment events and LGBT community news.

In this week's segment, Laura discusses our cover story, "Positive About HIV," previews Atlanta's Black Gay Pride celebration and highlights an interview with folk singer Janis Ian.

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Melissa Carter: My screen debut in a new kind of family video

Former Atlanta Disc-Jockey Melissa CarterUntil recently, my acting resume consisted of a non-speaking part on the “O.C.” for three frames. Seems that was enough to land me the role of Friend #4 in a new form of family entertainment: the adoption video.

I was not aware of this new marketing tool used by would-be parents and am still unsure of how common they are in the adoption world. But like everything, even adoption has apparently gone Hollywood. These days, even the loving act of bringing a baby into your family requires you submitting to judgment based on beauty, success and wealth.

My friends Ken and Matt had made their home the “set” and hours of filming had already gone into their adoption video. I missed earlier scenes which included “The Cookie Jar” and “The Band-Aid to the Rescue.” Earlier in the week, Ken and Matt had sent out the outline of the shoot and casting assignments to their friends and their kids. The couple had pulled out all the stops in their efforts to become new dads to some lucky baby and their mini-movie was the latest part of their attempt to show how welcome a baby would be.