Written by: FERNANDA CUNHA
Photo by: MORGAN CARLISLE-THOMPSON
Queer folx of Atlanta, rejoice –Southern Fried Queer Pride’s (SFQP) festival makes its return, May 23.
For many, SFQP and its events have come to be an oasis in a continuously gentrified and segregated Atlanta. Founded in 2014 by trans and queer people of color , SFQP was born from the margins of what has been misunderstood as both the South and the LGBTQ community in America. Though traditional understandings of the South and queerness as mutually exclusive have been increasingly disrupted by Atlanta’s growing LGBTQ community, LGBTQ spaces in Atlanta are continually unwelcoming to queer and trans people of color. Rising out of these misunderstandings and exclusions, SFQP “serves to provide an intersectional, radically inclusive festival” for all LGBTQ people in Atlanta.
For SFQP, radical inclusivity has become even more important in the social and political reality of 2017. Taylor Alxndr, one of SFQP’s founders and organizers, tells Creative Loafing that SFQP’s organizers have “really focused this year on serving the populations of our community that are bearing the weight of this current political climate.”
This focus features the expansion of the festival from a three-day to a five-day event, “with a slough of new programming,” including events like Queer Qumbia: A Latinx Social, kicking off the festival on Tues., May 23. Queer Qumbia will be a night of celebrating and exploring what it means to be queer, trans and Latinx. Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino/a, which upholds a gender binary and excludes gender non-binary people. The event will also launch SFQP’s first zine, LA CHANCLA.
Other events like The Jewel Box: A Trans Resilience Social (May 24) and Look Who’s F*cking Now! A Black Porn Critique (May 25) also center the experiences of trans and queer people of color. The Jewel Box is a skill-share and community organizing teach-in intended for trans, gender non-conforming and gender non-binary people, and Look Who’s F*cking Now! will be a discussion of black pleasure, sex and porn organized for black-identifying people.
Alxndr says these community-specific events and the recent move to expand SFQP to other Southern states rise out of the necessity to “invest in Southern resilience, especially as queer and trans people face political and social upheaval.”
For a full list of events, including a dance party and art galleries, check outSFQP’s website. As an entirely community-organized and funded festival, the festival relies on attendance and donations to continue its mission in providing radical and inclusive safe spaces for its community.
Southern Fried Queer Pride 2017: $5-$20 suggested donation. Tues.-Sat., May 23-27. Locations and times vary. www.southernfriedqueerpride.com.