Atlanta Stonewall Week wrapped up this weekend with numerous events to bring the community together to celebrate the anniversary of the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, that is credited as the start of the modern day lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights movement.
On Friday, June 24, Congregation Bet Haverim and the Atlanta Pride Committee hosted the Pride Seder, similar to the Jewish traditional Seder meals held during Passover but with an obviously LGBT twist. The event included readings of key moments in Atlanta’s LGBT history as well as a commemoration of the 30th anniversary of AIDS. Congregation Bet Haverim’s chorus also entertained the crowd of more than 100 people with traditional Jewish hymns as well as a fun medley of gay favorites such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”
Gay elected officials not required to seek gay groups’ support
Re: “How do we define ‘openly gay elected official’?” (editorial about Milton City Councilman Alan Tart by Laura Douglas-Brown, June 10)
"I think if somebody is led to seek office, s/he should do it regardless of orientation. If you don’t want to, then don’t. I want people in office who are led to public service. And I don’t care who they sleep with."
Just as Atlanta Pride’s Stonewall Week is set to begin this weekend, the Pride Committee announces that the official kick off party for Atlanta Pride in October will once again be held at the Georgia Aquarium.
The party is set for Friday, Oct. 7, and includes entertainment from renowned DJ Corey Craig and Jujubee, who came to fame as the quirky and fierce finalist of Season 2 of Rupaul’s Drag Race as well as a professor on Rupaul’s Drag U. Also spinning at the party will be local favorite DJay McCracken.
The party kicks off the largest Pride fest in the Southeast held Oct. 8-9 in Piedmont Park to coincide with National Coming Out Day.
“Georgia Aquarium is thrilled to host the annual Official Kickoff Party for Atlanta Pride again in 2011,” said Will Ramsey, vice president of Group Sales, in a statement.
Bubba D. Licious and the girls will put on a Stonewall-themed show June 25 to raise funds for the Atlanta Pride Committee. The event is the Official Stonewall Celebration Party.
Jungle Club owner Brad Williams said the show will be, “a little campy, just cutting,” as a fun way to remember the 1969 riots around the Stonewall Inn in New York that are largely seen as the start of the modern gay rights movement.
“We really want to remember what it really is,” Williams said. “Stonewall started in June, it started in a bar… a lot of people don’t know the history and so that’s kind of the point of Bubba’s show is let people know what happened.”
The final official event of Stonewall Week looks to a more recent demonstration for LGBT rights. Forty years after patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a New York City gay bar, fought back against police harassment and sparked the modern LGBT civil rights movement, thousands gathered in Washington, D.C., for the National Equality March.
The 2009 march was organized on short notice and featured a more grassroots approach than the last LGBT March on Washington, the Millennium March in 2000. “March On!” is a documentary film telling the stories of a diverse group of 2009 march participants.
The film screens Sunday, June 26, at noon at Atlanta’s Phillip Rush Center.
“We’re loud, proud and East of the Perimeter.” That’s the motto of East Side Pride, which hosts its second annual Pride picnic on June 25 at Clarkston’s Milam Park.
East Side Pride is open to everyone, but focuses on communities east of Atlanta including Avondale Estates, Clarkston, Dial Heights, Dunaire, Pine Lake, Scottdale, Smoke Rise, Stone Mountain and Tucker.
First organized by Lorrie King, wife of Clarkston City Councilmember Adam White, East Side Pride has grown over the last year to encompass more volunteers and offer additional events, including group meals and service projects.
“Last year, with the overwhelming response we got, there was just a great sense of satisfaction that this is what Clarkston is about, and I was so proud,” King said. “So many people said thank you, that we needed this all along, and I knew I wanted to keep it going.”
June is national LGBT Pride Month — President Obama even issued a proclamation for it on June 1. So why does Atlanta celebrate Stonewall Week this month instead?
Pride festivals are traditionally held the last weekend in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, fought back against police harassment in what is widely seen as a turning point for gay rights.
But after being celebrated the last weekend in June in Piedmont Park for most of its history, Atlanta Pride was forced to move in 2008 when city officials booted large festivals from the parched park due to a record drought.
Held over July Fourth weekend at the Civic Center the next year, Pride attendance and finances suffered. The festival moved back to Piedmont Park for 2009, but over Halloween, to get around city policies that limited festivals in the summer season due to drought concerns.