Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Humpin Wednesday

Will Atlanta open its first LGBT school?

Teachers in Atlanta are trying to raise funds to set up a school for LGBT students and their families.
Atlanta teachers are trying to set up a private school for LGBT students and those from LGBT
families in the city. Can't even imagine the LRSD even attempting to take over this type of venture locally considering it's current state of affairs.

According to Pink News, the school will be called Pride School Atlanta, and already has a location but organizers are still trying to find funding.

The mission is to provide a safe space for the school’s students while allowing them to be open about who they are. It will take students from ages 3 to 14 years old.
Organizers hope to keep tuition down to £7800 a year per student. The school already has a location in the city, it will be running from a local Presbyterian Church.

Christian Zsilavetz, who is one of the organizers, said: “I want a place where queer and trans families can bring their kids and not have to worry about being the token lesbian family or the token gay family.”

The school is planned to open this autumn. Organizers say they have joined the fight for the school because they have seen LGBT students struggle with schoolwork after facing homophobic bullying.
“It’s an intentional safe space for kids for youth who want to learn and not have to worry about homophobic remarks every day.”

AIDS Watch 2015

52 Days AIDSWatchCongratulations to Ms.Tommie Lockett and Miss Raven Gray as state scholarship recipients that will join hundreds of HIV advocates from around the country in Washington DC on April 13 and 14, to educate Congress on HIV/AIDS and related policy. 

AIDSWatch provides participants with information on HIV/AIDS research, prevention, treatment, and related policy. Participants are trained in effective advocacy skills and are coached on how best to share this information with policymakers and their community. 

There is no cost to register for this event, but space is limited. Please register early. 
Learn more and register at: 

Gay Business Watch 2015, Part 1

Its been quite a time since this forum has done its "bar watch," bit. And with the passing of time, much has gone on that some may know, not care or staying unmotivated about it all since that's what most folks do anyway.

Nevertheless, let's do a recall and quick snapshot of  what "is or not," going on despite many folks ranting on about "why we don't have this or that." Usually these are the same folks who are nested out at or cuddling their web cams at home.

What did happen was a not just a circumcision and but a full on castration of the bar empire which included TraX's, Miss Kitty's and 610 Center that raucously ebbed and flowed with a range of entertainment offerings from "shot boys," to a really good dinner theater production.

Yet despite all the bluster, hype, and drama galore,  it couldn't be sustained resulting in a full implosion with the final domino falling January 31 with the closure of the NLR haunt, TraX's after a decade long run. 

So what happen?? Well this would require us getting out the big "wheel of see what had happen was," and spinning it like no tomorrow.  There's so much mash up, melt down, tall tales, and "he said- he said," to go around that it would take more time than we care too to share.

However, in a small nutshell, the ventures were well intentioned and were positioned as an alternative to other local options. As you know, you just can't please everyone and this was and still is the case. Of course doing business is wrought with challenges and barriers, but often time this patron stayed confused as to "which way was up about much of it."  There was the ever chaining "who is the bartender" game, "so here's another excuse as to why the beer tap is not working again," and to my utter disdain, "can I get this space wiped from the beer that was spilled here last night." 

Adding to this, I often times was conflicted in my social justice pursuits up against what I also suspect was some disturbing and often ties troubling internal issues that often gave me pause. Gay businesses should be held to the same standard that we as activist or advocates seek from non-gay owned or operated competitors. In my opinion, we can't demand equality, when we are not giving it to our own nor do our businesses reflect the diversity we are championing. 

In full disclosure, COP 24/7 actually engaged many of our readers and overall community in these establishments. For the record, COP 24/7 in 2007 hosted the first "Business Afterhours," to reach out to LGBT business folks to facilitate talk around forming a gay chamber concept. Well let's just say that the place is closed and there's no gay chamber either.

With all this said, it was amazing to hear locals, most whom barely supported any of these places, going on about how they will miss it and mumbling about things closing down and so forth. COP 24/7 has tirelessly expressed that "if we don't support these entities, then most likely they won't be around." This is just not only economics 101 but as businesses shuttered their doors, it's just plain old fact.  Next UP: In's and Out'z Vanishes without a Trace!

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