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Join Atlanta Pride and Touching Up Our Roots for the second annual Our Founding Valentines to recognize Atlanta’s LGBTQ trailblazers. Join us to toast our LGBTQ founders!

This event is free and open to the public. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and there will be a cash bar for those over 21.

This event is sponsored by Doug Roberts of Ameriprise Financial, food and beverages by APC small business partner Bantam + Biddy and supported by Creative Approach.

Bantam + Biddy Lenox is part of Lenox mall with entrances inside the mall and the parking lot outside. Valet and public parking available. We encourage riding Marta. Bantam + Biddy Lenox is accessible fro Lenox and Buckhead Marta stations.

If traveling north on Peachtree Road:
· Head north on Peachtree Road to towards Lenox Square Mall. Get into the right lane as you approach the mall.

· Once you pass Around Lenox Road NE and are at the red light beside the Westin Buckhead Atlanta, turn right into Lenox Square Mall.

· Stay to the left as you approach the four way stop.

· Once at the four way stop, turn left towards the Peachtree Road entrance of Lenox Square Mall.

· Stay in the right lane and take the first right available towards the parking lot.

· Bantam + Biddy shares the same parking lot where the Tesla store is located.

We are thrilled to honor these incredible leaders in our community:

mona-bennett-2

MONA BENNETT

Mona Bennett first made waves locally when she joined Atlanta Act Up in 1989, cutting her teeth on grass roots activism with Act Up’s protests at the Centers for Disease Control.  From there Mona followed her zeal for service and care to the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, Inc., where she is Associate Director.

Charlie Brown 2

CHARLIE BROWN

Lovingly referred to as the “mouth of the South”, Charlie Brown reigns supreme as Atlanta’s drag diva. Currently emcee at Lips Drag Diva showcase, Charlie has performed all over Atlanta and was one of the first entertainers to perform for people living with AIDS and for AID Atlanta.

Dee_dee_Chamblee-4

DEE DEE CHAMBLEE

Dee Dee Chamblee is the founder and Executive Director of LaGender, Inc., serves on the Programming Board of the LGBT Institute at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and co-founded the Solutions, Not Punishment Coalition (SNAPCO).

Judy Colbs

JUDY COLBS

Judy Colbs led PFLAG from 1986-2006 and forged alliances among the lgbt community as well as with Congregation Bet Haverim, a synagogue founded by Gay and Lesbian Jews.

Jesse Peal

JESSE PEEL

Psychiatrist Dr. Jesse Peel lobbied for a midtown psychiatric practice counseling lgbt people. He consults and collaborates with Emory University’s AIDS Legacy Project.

Duncan Teague 2

DUNCAN TEAGUE

Reverend Duncan Teague is a longtime HIV educator and researcher, who coordinated the tenofovir (PREP) study at the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta.  An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, Teague is Georgia Equality’s first Faith Outreach Coordinator.

Ray_Kluka_was_one_of_the_early_directors_of_the_Atlanta_Gay_and_Lesbian_Center._He_was_a_coordinator_of_the_1979_and_1987_1

POSTHUMOUS AWARD – RAY KLUKA

Ray Kluka was co-chair of the Southeast region committee for the first National March on Washington in 1979, director of the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Center, president of the Midtown Neighbor Association, and editor of the gay magazine ETC.  In 1987, he received the Martha Gaines Award from the lesbian and gay chapter of the ACLU.

 

 

OUR FOUNDING VALENTINES:  ON THESE SHOULDERS WE STAND

SEESAWING THROUGH THE EIGHTIES AND A CHANNEL FOR GRACE

By Dave Hayward, Coordinator, Touching Up Our Roots, Inc.: Georgia’s LGBT History Project

It took all the running we could do to stay in one place in the 1980s.

Following the lgbt movement that exploded in the 70s, our freedom fighters discovered greater visibility may lead to greater opposition.

The esteemed Georgia Bureau of Investigation prosecuted gay mainstream bookstore Christopher’s Kind for “obscenity” in 1983.  And the “Citizens for Public Awareness” – “Do you want Atlanta turning into another San Francisco?” their ads scream – badgered the City Council to repeal the city’s lgbt rights ordinance in 1986.

Both efforts failed.

For the first time, lgbt people ran for office, as gay activists Richard Rhodes and Gil Robison bid for the Georgia House of Representatives. Though both lost, Rhodes did become the first openly gay delegate from Georgia (along with lesbian Melinda Daniels) to the Democratic National Convention, held here in 1988.

Locally we made international news when Atlantan Michael Hardwick appealed his sodomy conviction (arrested in his own bedroom, no less) all the way to the Supreme Court in 1986.  What a shock when the Supremes upheld his conviction and all the other state sodomy laws.  Outrage lead to the second National March on Washington for LGBT Rights in October 1987, and Atlantans Maria Helena Dolan and Ray Kluka helped lead massive civil disobedience on the steps of the Court.

Above all, the ordeal of AIDS determined this decade.  As the epidemic claimed many of our brothers and some sisters, it also lead to an array of organizations fighting against AIDS and for our rights to health care and equal treatment.

We called out the right wing and the religious right on February 9, 1986 as we peacefully surrounded Midtown’s First Baptist Church, when Reverend Charles Stanley exalted AIDS as “God’s judgment against sinners.”

The most searing tragedy channeled art, in the passion of Atlantan Rebecca Ranson’s “Warren” and “Higher Ground”, in the inspiration of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and in the catalyst of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power:  ACT UP.

Atlanta ACT UP came out of the Democratic Convention in 1988, and marched and picketed and sat in against hostile businesses and the inadequate response of the Center for Disease Control.

AIDS propelled us to a higher profile and increased our clout.

Isn’t it ironic.
Directions on where to park for Bantam + Bidd Lenox Square:

If traveling north on Peachtree Road:
· Head north on Peachtree Road to towards Lenox Square Mall. Get into the right lane as you approach the mall.

· Once you pass Around Lenox Road NE and are at the red light beside the Westin Buckhead Atlanta, turn right into Lenox Square Mall.

· Stay to the left as you approach the four way stop.

· Once at the four way stop, turn left towards the Peachtree Road entrance of Lenox Square Mall.

· Stay in the right lane and take the first right available towards the parking lot.

· Bantam + Biddy shares the same parking lot where the Tesla store is located.

Bantam + BiddyAMPF - DOUG ROBERTS LOGO297838_518561091490764_1636451637_n