2022 has been a momentous, turbulent time for Atlanta’s LGBTQ community. In the year’s best moments, local drag legends were celebrated, Pride events rejoiced, and community members elected to public office. However, in its worst, our human and civil liberties were threatened if not taken away as we faced the outbreak of yet another virus.
Angeria VanMicheals Wins Her Debut ‘Drag Race’ Episode
January 14, 2022
Atlanta drag legend Angeria Paris VanMicheals won the second premiere episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 14, placing consistently high in the following episodes and eventually making the top five. Another Atlanta icon, Violet Chachki, appeared on an episode of “Secret Celebrity Drag Race” in September.
Fulton County District Attorney’s Office Swears in LGBTQ Advisory Board
March 22, 2022
The LGBTQ Advisory Board was created to help address crimes with LGBTQ victims, including hate crimes and domestic violence. The board is co-chaired by Deputy District Attorney Will Wooten and Caitlin Bradley, who serves as the Hate Crimes and LGBTQ+ Victim Advocate for Fulton County.
Students at DeKalb School of the Arts Join National ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Protest
April 1, 2022
Around 30 students rallied in front of the school with rainbow flags and signs protesting legislation aimed at limiting and erasing the discussion of LGBTQ people in public schools. After intense public backlash, Georgia’s own version of the bill died in committee. In October, Republicans in the U.S. Senate introduced a national version of the bill, which isn’t expected to pass under a Democratic majority.
The Georgia High School Association Bans Trans Athletes
May 4, 2022
On the last day of the Georgia General Assembly’s legislative session, Governor Kemp urged Republicans to prioritize banning trans students from public school sports. They obliged by adding a clause to the already contentious ‘divisive concepts’ law, which aims to severely limit classroom discussions on race by attempting to ban critical race theory. State Republicans essentially sneaked the clause into law and within little over a week, trans students were banned. The ban is a part of a larger trend of Republicans across the country targeting trans people with similar legislation and hateful rhetoric.
Biden Administration Declares Mpox Outbreak a Public Health Emergency
August 4, 2022
After facing public criticism for not responding to the outbreak quickly enough, on August 9, the Biden Administration authorized the use of the Jynneos vaccine for people with a high risk of contracting mpox, specifically men who have sex with men. According to data from the CDC, U.S. cases spiked in July and have since fallen significantly. The virus has disproportionately affected people of color and has caused 82 thousand cases globally, with 29 thousand cases and 19 deaths in the U.S. Continued vaccination efforts and honest communication with sexual partners are recommended ways to continue quelling the outbreak.
Black Pride Weekend Returns for Its 10th Anniversary
September 2, 2022, to September 5, 2022
Every year for the past decade Atlanta has celebrated Black queer excellence with a weekend of Pride events. This year’s events included mixers, brunches, performances, parties, and the Pure Heat Community Festival in Piedmont Park. Atlanta Black Pride Weekend has a long-standing reputation for casting iconic entertainers, with this year’s lineup including big names like Latto, Saucy Santana, and Kandi Burruss. To prioritize safety, the event offered mpox vaccines to attendees.
‘The Other Show’ Returns
September 9, 2022
“The Other Show” was a weekly show at Jungle Atlanta, an LGBTQ nightclub that closed to much dismay in 2017. “The Other Show” featured several performers over the years, including “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season seven winner Violet Chachki, “Dragula” season two winner Biqtch Puddin, and “Dragula: Titans” stars Abhora and Evah Destruction. Edie Cheezburger, who has been with “The Other Show” since its early days, returned with a new cast including Orchid, Dotte Com, Edna Allan Hoe, and Miss He.
Liliana Bakhtiari Comes Out as Nonmonogamous
September 28, 2022
Atlanta City Councilmember Liliana Bakhtiari made history when she was elected in 2021 as the first nonbinary councilmember of a major U.S. city and the first queer Muslim person elected in Georgia. This year, Bakhtiari made history again when she came out as nonmonogamous. Bakhtiari and her partner Kris Brown excitedly shared that they are in a relationship with a third partner, Sarah Al-Khayyal.
“It should be destigmatized,” Bakhtiari told NBC News. “It’s a very valid familial structure that people should embrace.”
Chloe Jordan Becomes Atlanta’s Transgender Affairs Executive Fellow
October 3, 2022
Transgender activist Chloe Jordan was appointed as Atlanta’s Transgender Affairs Executive Fellow, a new position within the Mayor’s Division of LGBTQ Affairs. According to the Division of LGBTQ Affairs, Atlanta is the only known U.S. city to have a staff position dedicated solely to advancing the trans community.
Pride Weekend Returns and Atlanta Eagle Reopens
October 7, 2022, to October 9, 2022
Atlanta Pride Weekend returned this year for the first time since 2019, forgoing in-person events the previous two years because of COVID-19 concerns. Events included a Bi & Pan March, a “Dyke March,” a Trans March, performances by Big Freedia and Flo Rida, and the annual Starlight Cabaret drag show. On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Atlanta Eagle opened its new location to much fanfare. Prior to COVID-19 shutting down the business in 2020, the Eagle was a part of the Atlanta scene for 33 years.