by: Dino Thompson-Sarmiento fullsizerender-1

Equality Foundation of Georgia and our community partners, I invite you to join us at our World AIDS Day 2016 art-as-advocacy eventLiving With, coming up on 12/1/2016 at Gallery 874. We are inviting a selection of illustrious Atlanta chefs to each prepare one signature, “small plate” from your business for our 200 guests. This contribution will help us bring food artistry into an event that showcases multiple other types of artistic expression around a theme that is often overlooked when we talk about HIV: Living.

About the exhibit 

Living With will be an opportunity for our community towalk into and explore the life stories of HIV+ young people in today’s Atlanta. This two-day exhibit will feature warehouse full of multi-sensory, 4-dimensionalinstallations that tell the intimate and complex stories oflife with HIV. These Living Spaces are moderninterpretations of the largest piece of folk art in history- The AIDS Memorial Quilt. 

About our HIV work

Over 53,000 Georgians are HIV+and thousands more contract HIV each year. Your support drives our HIV advocacy. Our staff works to address root causes of HIV by educating and encouraging policymakers and community leaders to leverage their power to end AIDS once and for allThis year alone, our Youth HIV Policy Advisors Program matched 25 HIV+ youth with elected officials to educate them about life with HIV and ourGeorgia HIV Advocacy Network hosted the largest HIV advocacy day in our state capitol’s history. We monitorand analyze federal, state and local HIV-related policy, communicate with advocates and train people living with to use their voices for sustainable change. We do a lot with a little. We can do even more with your help.


DJ Drew G Launches The So Cal House Sound to Gay Clubs

By Timothy Larcombe


excuse-me-bitchThe last year has been a prodigious one for DJ Drew G and his Dirty Pop brand.  In addition to procuring official remixes for some of the hottest music artists in the world including Lady Gaga and Britney Spears,  Beyoncé and Madonna personally selected Drew and his production partner Brian Cua as the official remixers for their new singles.

Their productions now play in clubs around the world. Even Tiësto has used Dirty Pop’s remixes in his live sets.

While the duo have no plans to stop their collaboration, Drew G announced last week that he is venturing out on his own to explore his latest evolution of tribal circuit, a sound he is calling SoCal House.  “I’m excited to show club fans who I really am,” he says.  “I want them to see where my passions lie, what my motivation is, what my life is like.”

We spoke with DJ Drew G to learn more.


What is So Cal House? 

Drew G:  It’s a blend of all the elements of EDM, circuit and house that I have grown to love over the years.  It’s extremely high energy.


Is Excuse Me Bitch an example?  

Drew G:  (Laughing) The song is actually my response to a nasty Facebook comment that was

made in regard to my track, “Hands off”.  There’s no reason to get in the mud when you can just make a banging track and giggle to yourself about its meaning.


What inspired your new sound?

Drew G:  The fact that so many cities have a sound.  There’s NYC House, Chicago House.  As a resident of San Diego, I figured why not create SoCalHouse?   It’s kinda cool that a lot of DJ in San Diego and Los Angeles are referring to it as their sound now.


But you’re from NYC.  Have you given up your NYC roots? 

Drew G:  There are definitely elements of NYC house in the SoCalHouse sound. I take a lot of influence from the greats that have been around long before me:  Peter (Rauhofer), Junior (Vasquez), Victor (Calderone)… all NYC house legends.


How did you get started DJing?

Drew G:  I went to see Peter Rauhofer play with a friend at Roxy in New York.  I bought all his cds the next day.


What prompted you to move out West?

Drew G:  The weather.  I hate winter and snow.


How did you meet your husband?

Drew G:  I met him on Scruff!  We met in August, 2013.  We were engaged that October.  When you know, you just know.


Does he call you his Dirty Pop?

Drew G:  (Laughing) No, but he has plenty of other embarrassing nicknames for me.


Speaking of Dirty Pop, are you still collaborating with Brian Cua on tracks? 

Drew G:  Brian and I are currently working on the next single with Daniele DeLaite from Australian Idol. It should be out by year end.


How long have you been working with Beyoncé?

Drew G:  I’ve been remixing her tracks forever but the first official remix started with “Love on Top”. Then “End of Time”, “Blow”, “711”….


What about Madonna?

Drew G:  Again, forever, but our first official remix was “Living For Love”.  It was probably the last true EDM based track Brian and I did.  After that, we started working toward the SoCalHouse sound with “Ghost Town” and “Bitch, I’m Madonna”.


What direction are you taking Drew G into?

Drew G:  I just want to continue making music.  I’m so blessed to be able to play my work for an audience. But you know, I never have expectations.  I go where life takes me.



Indiana Queen Kicks Up The Boots and Saddles in “Summon Without Sorrow”

By Timothy Larcombe


summon-without-sorrowKevin Thornton, the lead singer of the queer country band, Indiana Queen, grew up as a fundamentalist Christian.

It was the late eighties, early nineties, in small town Indiana, and his whole world revolved around church. There was nothing else really, except Denny’s, where, after bible lesson, he and his buddies would hang out until curfew. He was charismatic and his pastors saw that. By 15, Kevin was delivering sermons in front of a megachurch congregation.

So, when his hormones kicked in and Kevin realized he was gay, it made for some rather conflicted and torturous late teen years.  He says going away to college saved his life.  “I had never been around so many liberal people who couldn’t care less that I was gay. I didn’t even know it was an option before”.

Indiana Queen’s latest album, “Summon Without Sorrow”, and it’s accompanying film, are a visceral journey into music through Thornton’s eyes.  It combines spiritual references with modern dance and homoerotic elements that together, deliver a powerful message of pride, love, and acceptance.

What inspired “Summon Without Sorrow”?

Kevin Thornton: Fans of Indiana Queen have always appreciated the visual imagery of our music videos.  This time around, I wanted to take the visuals as far as I could.  I decided to present the entire album as a film.

Is there significance behind the title?

Kevin Thornton: There’s a theme throughout of looking back at a painful past and coming to terms with it.  It essentially means “summoning up the ghosts from the past and remembering it all without the pain and sadness.”  Today, I look back with reverence at the experiences that helped shape me into who I am.

Like growing up fundamentalist Christian?

Kevin Thornton:  My favorite song on the album is “This Is How It Goes” because it is the most vulnerable. It’s about remembering when I was young, when my whole world was the church, and falling for a guy. There was a lot of repressed sexual tension between us. We were so afraid. The song is about looking back, remembering him, and wondering if he made it out of that hell like I did.

Did anything physical happen between you two? 

Kevin Thornton: We were teenagers so not much.  There were some shame-filled, post-church hand jobs.

Has your family come around to accepting your homosexuality? 

Kevin Thornton: Oh yes. My immediate family has become quite liberal.

Have they heard and seen the album and film?  

Kevin Thornton: Not yet but they’ll be just fine with the album. All the nudity and man-kissing in the film might be a bit much for them. Although, my family usually surprises me.

Why did you pack the film with fetish instead of scenes on the ranch that we typically see in country music videos? 

Kevin Thornton: (Laughing) Do we need anymore country videos with scenes of ranches and wheat fields? I’d rather explore different spaces and textures. I’m more interested in being subversive than sanitary. It’s provocative imagery. I also like the juxtaposition of pairing folk and country music with beefy guys in leather, kissing each other.  Or maybe it’s just an excuse for me to get beefy guys in leather to make out in front of me.

My favorite track is “Nashville Don’t Give A Damn.” 

I’ve had an on again off again love affair with Nashville for two decades. There were times where I felt like hot shit in this town. Then lots of other times where it felt like she didn’t even know my name. That’s how it goes, I guess. The song comes from an empowered place. Nashville doesn’t give a damn. That’s true. I’ve decided to forge ahead anyway.

What does the northern LGBTQ community need to know about gay life in the south?

Rural communities are still quite opposed to queer people. I sometimes feel like I still need to look over my shoulder to see who’s watching. But the world is changing fast. Even here in the south. Luckily, Nashville, where I am now, is a pretty progressive village and it’s quiet easy to live here.