A break and a night to honor each other

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

psaun­ders@the­gavoice.com

“For one night, we will come to­gether as a com­mu­nity, as peo­ple from many dif­fer­ent back­grounds and dif­fer­ent fields and spe­cial­ties to cel­e­brate and honor each other and our ac­com­plish­ments.”

I re­mem­ber my first Best of At­lanta party a few years ago. Look­ing around, I was struck most by the hodge­podge of peo­ple in the room. You would have a bar owner next to an ac­coun­tant next to a drag queen next to a city coun­cil­woman next to a chef next to a con­gress­man and so on and so forth.

As I write this, it’s just days be­fore this year’s Best of At­lanta party, and for the first time, I’ll at­tend it as edi­tor of the paper. While it’s been crazy for the staff and I get­ting ready for this the last few months, I have had time to re­flect on the event and what it means to me, if not the com­mu­nity at large.

The bot­tom line is, we as a na­tion are in the thick of in­sane lev­els of stress, frus­tra­tion and dys­func­tion right now. And that starts at the top, with the pres­i­dent. Ze­ro­ing in closer on us as a com­mu­nity, there are vi­ciously anti-LGBT bills float­ing around through­out the coun­try, most no­tably in Texas. Still closer in we have anti-LGBT big­ots rain­ing ha­tred down upon us in the name of God be­cause of al­ter­ations to a cross­walk that they live hun­dreds of miles away from.

I’m look­ing for­ward to, even for just a few hours, hav­ing a break from all of that non­sense. For one night, we will come to­gether as a com­mu­nity, as peo­ple from many dif­fer­ent back­grounds and dif­fer­ent fields and spe­cial­ties to cel­e­brate and honor each other and our ac­com­plish­ments.

And it’s still a spe­cial evening for those not nom­i­nated, be­cause while the head­line peo­ple take away from the event is find­ing out who won, there’s more to it than that. As I look back at past years’ Best of At­lanta par­ties, I re­mem­ber meet­ing peo­ple who weren’t nom­i­nated and never had been, but they showed up to check it out be­cause, hey, free food and an open bar. Within the next year or two, a lot of those same peo­ple ended up get­ting nom­i­nated in one of the many cat­e­gories, and of­ten win­ning. The night is also Ge­or­gia Voice’s op­por­tu­nity to say thank you to all of our read­ers for your sup­port by throw­ing a big party for you. It must be noted though that the party wouldn’t be pos­si­ble with­out the sup­port of our spon­sors, in­clud­ing the Ge­or­gian Ter­race Ho­tel, Henry’s Mid­town Tav­ern, Cam­pag­nolo Restau­rant + Bar, Twisted Soul Cook­house & Pours, Rize Ar­ti­san Pizza, Green’s Bev­er­ages, Jack­son Fam­ily Wines and Metro­tain­ment. Yes, there are a lot of awards to give out – 74 in to­tal this year. But the funny thing is, it’s never enough. We al­ways have sug­ges­tions from read­ers for new cat­e­gories and we as a staff reeval­u­ate it ev­ery year to both make sure we’re hon­or­ing a group of peo­ple that needs to be hon­ored, but not slid­ing into overkill. It’s a good prob­lem to have. It just shows how amaz­ing, tal­ented and di­verse this com­mu­nity is. I can’t wait to open the doors of the ho­tel ball­room on Thurs­day and wel­come ev­ery­one. And I hope you en­joy flip­ping through the fol­low­ing pages to find out even more about why our com­mu­nity is so spe­cial.

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