Metro Atlanta theaters full of fall LGBT fare

It’s time for the fall theater season, and virtually every theater company in the ATL has a new show that has just opened or is about to. Here’s a look at some potential gems of interest to the LGBT community f...

Best of Atlanta: Arts & Entertainment

After two months of online balloting and tens of thousands of votes cast, we present to you your favorites in dozens of categories in our fifth annual Best of Atlanta awards. Many people like to say these awar...

Topher Payne breaking barriers in Atlanta theater

Topher Payne sleeps. Or at least he says he does. Judging from the work he’s done over the last few years, it’s a wonder he has time for shuteye. The gay playwright has become one of the city’s busiest and most...
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Topher Payne: Gays of our lives

Playwright and writer Topher Payne

It was a family ritual: Every weekday afternoon, my sister and I would lay out our homework on the coffee table, Mama would pour herself a Diet Coke, and we’d get caught up on the latest shocking developments on the daytime TV soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”

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Topher Payne: Welcome to the Club

This morning I was looking for our dental insurance card in Preppy’s wallet, and re-discovered something I’d forgotten, something that filled me with great joy: he has a Sam’s Club card. In addition tomy husba...
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Topher Payne: Is McDonald’s supersizing the importance of gender roles?

Playwright and writer Topher Payne

I go to McDonald’s. I can’t say I’m proud of it, but I’m a sucker for cheap and convenient, which was a real problem back when I was dating. I’m fully aware of the hidden costs of scarfing down a McChicken and a McDiet McCoke while sitting in McTraffic, and that price will be paid by the size of my ass. But we all do what we have to do.

I had birthday parties at McDonald’s as a (fat) child. I survived in New York on $10 a day eating nothing but food served under those magical golden arches, and other than the mild chest pains, I was really grateful for them. Their MSG runs deep in my veins.

So I’m at the drive-thru, offering up my handful of quarters for my meal (because you can do that there), and the woman at the window is taking another order, apparently for a Happy Meal. First, she asks, “Apples or fries?” which I think is pretty neat, if fundamentally flawed. Who eats apples with a cheeseburger? That’s not a logical culinary combo.

It’s the sort of haphazard three in the morning meal that would be thrown together by a drunk dude based upon what happens to be in his kitchen: “Let’s see, I’ll have a cheeseburger, some apple sticks, this can of water chestnuts and half a jar of olives.” While the logic of the meal escapes me, I can appreciate what they’re going for. Obviously, things have changed since I was a kid.

Or perhaps they haven’t, because the drive-through employee’s next question is one I’ve heard for thirty years: “Girl toy or boy toy?” The rational assumption here is that one of the Happy Meal toys has a penis, and one has a vagina – because that would be the difference between boys and girls.

Now, I’m not a parent, but if I were I would take real issue with serving my child a meal that includes a My Little Pony with a cervix. And then my kid would have all these questions, and I’d say, “Hush, child, stop your incessant questions regarding your toy’s genitals. Daddy’s watching his stories. Now finish your apple slices and freshen my martini.”