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A road trip to Florida over the Memorial Day holiday weekend has become an annual tradition for LGBT people in the South. The coastal oil spill scare of 2010 seems to be long forgotten as visitors continue to make the trek and pack the beaches and bars.
The tradition of gays gathering in Pensacola for the holiday used to be male-oriented, but women’s parties have become so prevalent, they actually compete against each other over the jam-packed weekend.
Owners of the Atlanta-based lesbian bar My Sister’s Room are involved in one of the premiere Pensacola parties, Sexacola Beach 2012. Now in its third year, Sexacola hosts its events at Capt’n Fun Beach Club in Pensacola, which Jennifer Maguire, owner of My Sister’s Room, calls a terrific location.
For those looking to escape the grind, smog and congestion of the city in summer, a number of gay-owned Georgia campgrounds offer peaceful, often clothing optional, retreats from the summer heat.
But running a campground isn’t easy. Once located near Valdosta, Bobcat Resort Campground closed last year. Another casualty of 2011 was Lumberjacks Camping Resort, in Unadilla, near Macon, but the property has been reborn as Oz Campground, with its grand opening slated for Memorial Day weekend.
Rich McTague is one of the new owners. Two gay couples bought Lumberjacks and have set upon improving the campground.
The Fourth of July holiday weekend is over and Labor Day’s trips and parties remain a distant blur on the hazy horizon. Here are 50 ideas to get you through the hottest days in Hotlanta.
5 BOOKS FOR LOUNGE CHAIR READING
• “In My Father’s House” by E. Lynn Harris (St. Martin’s Griffin, due out 8/2/2011): The final novel from Harris, who died unexpectedly in 2009, was intended as the start of a series. Set in Miami’s South Beach, it features bisexual modeling agency owner Bentley Dean.
• “Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch/Femme Erotica” (Cleis Press) and “Teleny and Camille” by Jon Macy (Northwest Press): These collections won the 2011 Lambda Literary Awards for lesbian and gay erotica, respectively, and are sure to make hot nights even hotter. You may want to tuck them in a magazine for poolside reading, depending on company, since your friends might steal them and your parents might pass out.