GA Voice - - Spring Arts Pre­view -

I spend a lot of time in In­dia. I know that there are a lot of is­sues with street an­i­mals there – lack of ser­vices be­ing the big one. Also, peo­ple in In­dia don’t gen­er­ally re­gard an­i­mals (es­pe­cially dogs) in the same way that we do in the West.

My friend and part­ner in An­i­mal Peo­ple Al­liance (APA), Paul Suit, works with Made By Sur­vivors. It’s a very suc­cess­ful non­profit that works with young girls and women that are vul­ner­a­ble to hu­man slav­ery/sex slav­ery and trains them for the most part in jew­elry mak­ing.

Paul men­tioned to me that he wanted to start an an­i­mal hospi­tal in Kolkata and I said, “I want to do this too.” We formed APA in 2014. We pro­vide emer­gency ser­vices, spay­ing and neu­ter­ing, and ed­u­ca­tion in schools. We are also start­ing to train some women to be­come ve­teri­nary nurses, send­ing them to some of our part­ners through­out In­dia. We are cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment and pro­vid­ing ser­vices for the street an­i­mals of Kolkata and, hope­fully, be­yond.

Aside from an­i­mal rights, are there other is­sues that you feel pas­sion­ate about?

Of course hav­ing a gay son, I am very ac­tive in LGBT is­sues. In fact, I have been for years. I also do work for PETA (Peo­ple for the Eth­i­cal Treat­ment of An­i­mals) but mostly, my time is spent with APA. Belinda Carlisle stars with spe­cial guest Gabe Lopez on Satur­day, April 2 at 9 p.m. at Cen­ter Stage in At­lanta. (Photo by Wiki Com­mons)

Belinda Carlisle

You’ve been tour­ing – how have your au­di­ences changed since the ’80s with the Go-Go’s?

I would think it’s a much wider de­mo­graphic now. We have old young, gay, straight and our orig­i­nal fans bring their kids. It’s pretty amaz­ing ac­tu­ally.

You are a proud PFLAG mom with a gay son and have spo­ken out about fam­ily ac­cep­tance. What would you tell your LGBT fans that don’t have that from their

own fam­i­lies right now?

I would say to any young per­son who is liv­ing at home and can­not come out to their par­ents to con­tact PFLAG. I’ve done a few things for them and I think they are an amaz­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion. They will help you find the best way for you to come out to your par­ents. They were very help­ful with my son who re­ally didn’t know how to tell me and my hus­band.

Any­thing you want to say about your role as the mom of an adorable gay son?

I can’t imag­ine hav­ing a straight son to be hon­est. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

You’re com­ing to At­lanta – any­thing you want to say to your ATL fans?

Come to my show! I haven’t done any solo shows in At­lanta for years and years. It’s a pretty amaz­ing set list. It in­cludes my solo ma­te­rial but also many Go-Go’s songs and a few in­ter­est­ing cov­ers.

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