Scene & Herd - Black gay elves

This column's for you

What's big, black, gay, proud and from Atlanta? RuPaul? Excellent guess, but the answer I'm actually looking for is the Atlanta Black Gay Pride Festival, which took place last weekend in, you guessed it, Atlanta.

A mix of parties, politics, art and vending, the schedule of events for Atlanta Black Gay Pride is similar to the one for June's larger Atlanta Pride celebration. Like its more famous cousin, Black Gay Pride's long weekend schedule also features a parade.

Correction: It's not really a parade. Parades have music, floats, shaved shirtless men in thongs. This was a march. An earnest, political march. If any of the men involved had shaved bodies or thongs, they weren't telling.

The march began at the King Center. Its destination was the steps of the state Capitol for a political rally. The march began around 10:30 a.m., with participants chanting, "Stand up and represent." As I stood along Auburn Avenue taking pictures, I heard one of the female marchers modifying the chant to "Stand up. Lick some clit." I think she was embarrassed when she figured out that I heard her.

Rather than march all the way, I got in my car and drove to the Capitol. By the time the marchers arrived, they were chanting about being "black," "out" and "proud," despite that about one-quarter of the marchers were white. At the Capitol, the march became a rally. There was protest music, civil rights chants ("Eyes on the Prize" and "We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest") and speeches, including several from local political candidates and a self-aggrandizing doozy from state Rep. "Able" Mable Thomas in which she reminded everyone that she's a "straight-talker" who isn't afraid to "stand up," blah, blah, blah.

I'm glad I attended, but I gotta say I was disappointed at the small size of the crowd (about 50 people). I wish the organizers had gotten the word out more (I never actually received an announcement for Atlanta Black Gay Pride. I found out about it from a local blog). I also wish the speakers spent less time on the general list of liberal political grievances (panhandling, George Bush sucks, etc.) and more on the march's stated purpose: the advancement of civil rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals who are black.

Wolverines!: I have a question for the man who was handing out propaganda for the Revolutionary Communist Party USA at the Black Gay Pride rally. Your literature advocates "Marxism-Leninism-Maoism" despite that spontaneous political rallies and marches, and distributing political literature at said events were crimes in every communist country (and are still crimes in the remaining few). Please tell me, did you fail to notice that, or were you just hoping that no one else would?

Game On: Stormtroopers marching up Peachtree. Elves dining at the Peachtree Center food court. People who look at LeVar Burton and think Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge instead of Kunta Kinte (don't call him Toby!).

That's right, kids, last weekend was Dragon*Con, the four-day celebration of all things fantasy and sci-fi that's become as much a part of Labor Day weekend in Atlanta as sobriety checkpoints.

I visited Dragon*Con's downtown Hyatt headquarters Sunday for some people-watching and to see the 2005 Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant (for those of you who don't know, Klingons are the grotesque semi-humans from "Star Trek").

The contest began with a bagpipe tribute to James Doohan, after which the nine contestants were introduced to the audience. Dressed in elaborate, often cleavage-highlighting Klingon garb, they all had Klingon names like Capt. Kora T'ac and Cmdr. Di'Larh vestai-Dokmarr, and never ever broke character. The contest consisted of a talent competition. Contestant No. 5, L'Sha Mor, tried to get someone to drink poison tea, while No. 7's talent was a poem about how she's both a friend and a parent walking down "the path called life." That was followed by a Q&A that, honestly, made no sense to me whatsoever (I've never watched "Star Trek," so I missed a lot of the references). Mercifully, there was no swimsuit competition.

The eventual winner was contestant No. 8, Senior Ambassador Kita' sutai-Juriss (her Earth documents say "Rita Howard"). What did she do to win? I'm not really sure. The ridge in the center of her Klingon forehead seemed especially well-defined; that may have put her over the top with the judges.

Pernicious: My favorite American pop group, the Pernice Brothers, stopped by the Earl last Wednesday on their tour supporting their newest (and bestest) album, Discover A Lovelier You. Joe Pernice (the band's vocalist, composer, rhythm guitarist and lone Pernice) did less talking than he has in Atlanta gigs past. Instead, the show was a rapid-fire succession of hypermelodic, midtempo non-hits like "There Goes the Sun," "Working Girls" and "The Weakest Shade of Blue." I doubt I'll see a more melody-packed show anytime soon (high praise, considering I've got tickets to Paul McCartney).

Peeved Pets: People who know me or who read this column know that I'm obsessed with restaurants and food companies whose signs, mascots and logos depict animals that seem thrilled with the fact they're about to be eaten. Barbecue joints have been using smiling pig chefs as mascots for years. Chester's fried chicken has a smiling chicken sheriff as mascot. The sign for the new Cajun seafood joint at Moreland and I-20 features a confused fish chef holding a frying pan.

On Monday, I found the weirdest "Eat me"-themed restaurant sign I've ever seen (see picture). It's painted on the wall in front of Living on the Edge, a barbecue joint on Edgewood Avenue. It is possibly the only restaurant sign in the world whose animal mascot is telling potential customers, "I'd like you to eat me, but first, please have sex with me." Am I wrong? Are there others?


For more of Andisheh's adventures, visit Scene & Herd at andy2000.org.

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