‘I have a store I’m try­ing to save’

GA Voice - - Front Page -

GAGA’s re­cent no­tice can be traced back to two events: a ben­e­fit and a pe­ti­tion.

GAGA over­saw the “Queens United” ben­e­fit at Park Tav­ern in Fe­bru­ary. The event fol­lowed in the wake of the Burkhart’s racism con­tro­versy, and was or­ga­nized by GAGA of­fi­cial Dino Thomp­son-Sarmiento. De­spite host­ing ap­prox­i­mately 100 guests, the event is now re­garded by many at­ten­dees as a poorly-planned mishap. Calvin Hem­phill, who DJ’d the party, de­scribed the oc­ca­sion as “dis­or­ga­nized, with poor turnout.” Although Hem­phill said he got re­im­bursed, “the queens did not get paid.” “I was dis­ap­pointed to see that fall through,” he added.

Ap­prox­i­mately four weeks ago, GAGA posted a pe­ti­tion on Change.org. On the pe­ti­tion page, GAGA called for the pro­tec­tion and preservation of Tokyo Valentino.

Tokyo Valentino is an adult re­tail store lo­cated on Cheshire Bridge Road. The store’s owner, Michael Mor­ri­son, is cur­rently in­volved in a zon­ing dis­pute with the City of At­lanta. Un­der the 1977 At­lanta code (amended 1987), no adult busi­nesses may op­er­ate within 500 feet of a res­i­den­tial area. On Jan. 3, Thomas Thrash, the chief U.S. judge for the North­ern District of Ge­or­gia, is­sued an in­junc­tion in the zon­ing case. He found Tokyo Valentino to be in vi­o­la­tion of the city’s adult en­ter­tain­ment or­di­nance. The case has yet to be re­solved in full.

In the text of its pe­ti­tion, GAGA called the store a “land­mark es­tab­lish­ment.”

April 27, 2018

“Tokyo Valentino at Cheshire Bridge Road is be­ing shut down by the City of At­lanta un­less you help! This lo­ca­tion is im­por­tant to our LGBTQ iden­ti­ties as gay Ge­or­gians (GAGA). … GAGA can­not af­ford to lose an­other land­mark es­tab­lish­ment.” The pe­ti­tion com­pared Tokyo Valentino to other LGBTQ in­sti­tu­tions, such as Burkhart’s and The Ea­gle, adding “If we lose our cul­ture then we also lose our iden­tity as gay Ge­or­gians!”

As of this writ­ing, nearly 7,500 peo­ple have signed the on­line doc­u­ment.

The Change.org pe­ti­tion states that “Gay Ge­or­gia, Inc. (GAGA) is a state-reg­is­tered political ac­tion com­mit­tee (non-can­di­date com­mit­tee) in the State of Ge­or­gia.” Ge­or­gia Voice was un­able to find a PAC reg­is­tered to “Gay Ge­or­gia, Inc.” on the Ge­or­gia list or on the federal list of reg­is­tered PACs and lob­by­ists. How­ever, Gay Ge­or­gia, Inc, is doc­u­mented by the Ge­or­gia Sec­re­tary of State as a do­mes­tic non­profit cor­po­ra­tion,

“The idea that Tokyo Valentino, a place I’ve never heard of and didn’t ex­ist when I lived there, is a land­mark among those is laugh­able to me.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.