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|Best of Atlanta: Community|
|Written by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|Friday, 08 July 2011 00:00|
After two months of online balloting and thousands of votes cast, we present the best of the best — our second annual GA Voice Best of Atlanta winners.
The selection process began in May, when we asked you, our readers, to nominate your favorites for dozens of awards in the categories of Community, People, Places, Eats, Shopping, Arts & Entertainment and Nightlife.
The top three finalists in each category made it through to the next round of voting. For the month of June, a multiple-choice ballot asked you to pick among the finalists for who really represents the finest in LGBT Georgia.
Thanks to everyone who voted, and congratulations to all of the worthy winners and runners up.
Best Charity Benefit
LGBT Atlantans love a good party, and love a good party for a good cause even more. Throw in some self-proclaimed bad drag, and you get the East Point Possums (www.eastpointpossums.com). The annual show raises funds for Atlanta Pride and Positive Impact’s MISTER program. Toy Party, put on by For the Kid in All of Us (www.forthekid.org) to collect holiday gifts for kids in need, placed second, trailing the Possums by only 22 votes. Third place went to the Joining Hearts Pool Party (www.joininghearts.org), which is coming up this year on July 23 and raises funds to support housing for people with HIV.
Atlanta Pride (www.atlantapride.org) is now held in October, but GA Voice readers still think it is the city’s hottest LGBT event. The festival, set for Oct. 8-9 this year, is our annual LGBT family reunion, featuring the Pride Parade, Dyke March and two days of music, speakers, vendors and more in Piedmont Park. Out on Film (www.outonfilm.org), the annual LGBT film fest, placed second; it is scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 6. Uncork a Cure, the April gala wine-tasting fundraiser for the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta (www.arcatlanta.org), placed third.
Best LGBT Nonprofit
From lobbying at the State Capitol for LGBT rights to advocating for safe schools and better healthcare for people with HIV, statewide gay political group Georgia Equality (www.georgiaequality.org) is at the forefront of the fight for equality. For the Kid in All of Us (www.forthekid.org) — which produces events to help needy children including Toy Party, Backpack in the Park and the new Project Prom — came in second. MEGA Family Project (www.megafamilyproject.org), which serves LGBT families who have kids or are prospective parents, placed third.
Best HIV / AIDS Nonprofit
The city’s oldest and largest AIDS service organization is also tops with GA Voice readers for the second consecutive year. AID Atlanta (www.aidatlanta.org) provides a range of prevention, education, outreach, testing, support and case management services. Second place went to Positive Impact (www.positiveimpact-atl.org); third went to the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta (www.arcatlanta.org).
Best House of Worship
St. Mark United Methodist Church (www.stmarkumc.org) was one of the first mainstream Atlanta congregations to welcome LGBT people, and it is our readers’ favorite for Best House of Worship for the second consecutive year. New Covenant Church of Atlanta (www.newcovenantatlanta.com), led by Apostle Randy Layton-Morgan and Senior Pastor Johnny Layton-Morgan, placed second and Congregation Bet Haverim (www.congregationbethaverim.org), the LGBT-founded Reconstructionist synagogue, placed third.
Best LGBT Blog or Website
Led by Matt Hennie and Mike Fleming, Project Q Atlanta (www.projectqatlanta.com) serves up LGBT events, photos, headlines, news and even gay boy sex advice in signature cheeky (and in the case of Morning Fix, we mean that literally!) style. Second place goes to Rubyfruit Radio (www.rubyfruitradio.com), a podcast by Atlantan Heather Smith devoted to playing music by female artists, while Atlanta-based TransQueerNation (www.transqueernation.com), led by best trans activist winner Tristan Skye, placed third.
Best Sports Team / Organization
Whether playing tough on the pitch or donning frocks for their annual Purple Dress Run benefit, the men of Atlanta Bucks Rugby (www.atlantabucksrugby.org) put the lie to the stereotype that gay men aren’t athletic or can’t compete on an even playing field with their straight counterparts. For the second year, they are our readers’ choice for Best Sports Team. Second place went to the Hotlanta Softball League (www.hotlantasoftball.org), while third went to the Decatur Women’s Sports League (www.decaturwomenssportsleague.info).
Top photo: The annual East Point Possums drag show doubles as a fundraiser for local LGBT nonprofits (by Dyana Bagby)
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