Despite our recent bar raid and a sometimes lackluster gay social season this fall, Atlanta remains the de facto gay capital of the south. We have gay bars with line-dancing corrals, homo hop nights, Logo’s Best Gay Bar in America, and lesbian erotic speakeasies, but there are hardly any gays in downtown’s capital complex unless you count the hot dykes who work at the DMV.
However, yesterday, the first openly lesbian, African-American state legislator in the United States was voted into office here. (I was so excited that I got to vote for her personally. Gay points for everyone in District 58!) Her name is Simone Bell, and she’s worked in Atlanta for 20 years on a variety of social issues. She went to an Atlanta women’s college (Agnes Scott), where she studied English, wrote poetry, and mentored young African-American lesbians with the organization ADORE, the Affirmed Daughters of Ruth Ellis. She sounds awesome, right? Lez celebrate!
Not to out-gay ourselves or anything, but Atlanta also elected its first gay man — who is also the first Asian-American — to serve on the city council. Alex Wan is an out Scuba Diver who works as Director of Development at the Jerusalem House, Atlanta’s oldest and largest housing provider for homeless or low-income people and families living with HIV. Congratulations on the big win, deep diver!
Way to turn this runoff into a gay-a-thon, ATL! I’m hoping the election of these awesome gay and lesbian people of color means things are looking up for the south’s best homos, and for the city in general. I’m also relieved Kasim Reed won the mayoral election, but it’s bittersweet to see our Shirley Franklin go.
Not everyone has the steel resolve to wear a boutonniere every day of their life. Shirley Franklin, I salute your overambitious fashion choices, and underambitious service to the city!