Saturday marches have mission to raise political awareness during weekend of celebration
With chants and cheers, the Trans March and Dyke March at Atlanta Pride always bring a more political, edgy feel to the weekend celebration of being out and proud.
This year marks the fifth year of the Trans March that started with a just a few dozen people and has grown to include some 200. The mission of the Trans March is to ensure visibility of the “T” in LGBT and takes participants through the park and marketplace where people can actually see them rather than around the outside of the park. But because of its growing size and importance, there are already plans to take it to the streets next year.
('Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf' screens Monday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m.)
Atlanta’s annual Out On Film festival begins with a 15-year-old being murdered for being out at school (in “Valentine Road”) and ends with a man being erased from his late partner’s life by a homophobic family (in “Bridegroom”).
If they’re smart, the concession stand at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinemas will stock up on Kleenex during Atlanta’s 26th annual festival of LGBT cinema. But there are plenty of laughs between the tearjerkers, as well as suspense, beauty, empowerment, information, nostalgia and even sex; plus a whole lot of reasons to be proud of the talent and creativity in our community.
Almost 1,000 transgender people and allies from around the country are expected to gather in Atlanta Sept 4-8 for the 23rdannual Southern Comfort Conference, one of the largest and oldest events of its kind.
Alexis Dee, this year’s conference chair, has worn many hats for Southern Comfort over the years. She attended for the first time in 2005 and began volunteering not long after.
“Going that first year changed my life,” she said.
For most of life, Blake Alford was enveloped by solitude.
From the ostracism experienced coming of age in the 1950s and ‘60s – getting beaten up and kicked down the stairs at school for being queer – to more than 30 years on the road driving a truck, Alford was used to feeling alone.
And sharing one’s own company can be particularly isolating when you are at war with yourself, when your body and your mind have dueling definitions of who you are.
“Being behind the wheel of a truck, you don’t see very many libraries, you don’t hear very much about being transgender, especially back during that time, so I didn’t have any information about it,” said Alford, who, at age 56, transitioned from female-to-male almost a decade ago.