GA Voice - - Black Gay Pride -

The largest in­de­pen­dent book fes­ti­val in the na­tion is back La­bor Day Week­end as the AJC De­catur Book Fes­ti­val cel­e­brates 10 years of au­thor read­ings, book sign­ings, panel dis­cus­sions and more. Revo­lu­tion­ary fem­i­nist au­thor Erica Jong is the key­note speaker and will be in­ter­viewed by Rox­ane Gay, an­other fa­mous fem­i­nist au­thor.

Fes­ti­val or­ga­niz­ers have changed things up this year by elim­i­nat­ing the LGBT track, but fes­ti­val pro­gram­ming di­rec­tor and for­mer Outwrite Book­store & Cof­fee­house owner Philip Raf­shoon says there will be no short­age of LGBT au­thors present.

“The main rea­son [there is no LGBT track] is there are many LGBT au­thors par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fes­ti­val, but the work is not specif­i­cally about LGBT is­sues,” he told Ge­or­gia Voice.

He notes an ap­pear­ance by gay au­thor Jim

2015 AJC De­catur Book Fes­ti­val

Grim­s­ley as an ex­am­ple. Grim­s­ley will ap­pear on a panel to dis­cuss his lat­est, “How I Shed My Skin,” a mem­oir about grow­ing up in North Carolina as schools be­gan to be de­seg­re­gated. Ap­pear­ances will also be made by the openly gay sci­ence fic­tion/fan­tasy fa­vorite Sa­muel R. De­lany and Cat Cora, the les­bian chef who was the first fe­male win­ner of “Iron Chef Amer­ica.”

There will, how­ever, be pan­els ded­i­cated specif­i­cally to LGBT is­sues or only fea­tur­ing LGBT au­thors, such as a panel about com­ing out in the South fea­tur­ing au­thors Su­san L. Ben­ton, Christina Holzhauser, Ed Mad­den, James Vil­lanueva and lo­cal au­thor and pub­lic re­la­tions strate­gist B. An­drew Plant.

Ryan Berg will be on an LGBT home­less youth panel to dis­cuss his book, “No House To Call My Home: Love, Fam­ily and Other Trans­gres­sions.” Laura Gen­tle and Rick West-


Or­ga­niz­ers say 85,000 to 90,000 peo­ple at­tended the 2014 AJC De­catur Book Fes­ti­val. (Cour­tesy photo) brook from lo­cal LGBT home­less youth or­ga­ni­za­tion Lost-N-Found Youth will also be on the panel, which will be mod­er­ated by the openly gay Rev. Josh Noblitt of Saint Mark United Methodist Church.

Gay au­thor Jamie Brick­house will ap­pear on a panel called “Life, Me and Mom” to dis­cuss mother-son re­la­tion­ships and his book, “Danger­ous When Wet.” John Lem­ley, the openly gay host of “John Lem­ley’s City Cafe” on WMLB AM1690 will mod­er­ate.

Gay au­thors Brad Gooch and Robert Gool­rick will dis­cuss their books, “Smash Cut” and “The Fall of Princes,” re­spec­tively, on the panel, “Eight­ies New York: Por­traits of an Era,” mod­er­ated by Richard El­dredge, the openly gay ed­i­tor-in-chief of El­dredge ATL and con­tribut­ing ed­i­tor at At­lanta Magazine.

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