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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Atlanta community responds to Southern Voice/David shutdown

A sampling of statements from the community today as word spread about

the shutdown of  Southern Voice and David:

"The shuttering of Southern Voice and David magazine saddens me deeply. In the early 1990s, some of my very first bylines in Atlanta ran in SoVo as a freelance reporter for them. I have long admired the newspaper's commitment to covering the city's gay and lesbian community.

As a David reader, I became a fan of columnists Topher Payne and Ryan Lee who added gifted young voices and fresh perspective to the city's gay community as they bravely shared the universal intricacies of their lives.

With mainstream media outlets simultaneously undergoing financial challenges and downsizing in the current economy, the work of Southern Voice and David was more important than ever. It will be much missed."

---Richard Eldredge, reporter, former writer for the AJC's Peach Buzz

"The reportings and opinions of Laura, Matt, Dyana, Ryan - and so many others with Southern Voice and David - have meant a tremendous amount to me over the years. I remember the first time I picked up a Southern Voice as a closeted teenager and what it meant for me to know that I wasn't alone and that I was part of a community that was large enough to sustain a print newspaper! (I worked up a little more courage and picked up David - a rather risqué publication for a Southern Baptist kid from north Georgia - a little later on. I always enjoyed it's content.) Thanks for over 20 years of service to our community. Our struggle for full equality continues and it's up to us to find new ways to communicate with our community to report truth, empower identity and inspire action."

---Kyle Bailey, LGBT activist, former head of National Stonewall Democrats

"Back in 1992, when I was visiting Atlanta for the first time, SoVo provided a great source of info for me on places eat, drink, shop, hang out and just some basic news/info about what was going on in the city. When I ended up moving here in 1994, it continued to be a great source of information for me as I learned about the GLBT community in what was my new home city. SoVo was how I learned about volunteer opportunities and it was how I got plugged into AID Atlanta, which I consider the starting point for where I am today and for the friends that I have."

---Adam Brackman, former City Council candidate

"Bad news for the community. Southern Voice & David have ceased publication. Our hearts go out to all of our great friends at these publications. They have been tireless supporters of the community & great friends."

---Philip Rafshoon, owner Outwrite Bookstore

"Disappointed to see the Southern Voice, the leading LGBT newspaper of the Southeast, stop the press. I wish the staff much success as they continue their journalism careers."

---Ceasar Mitchell, candidate for Atlanta City Council President

"I got to spend a significant amount of time with SoVo staff writers Dyana Bagby and Matt Schafer this year. They covered the many Atlantans Together rallies as well as the mayoral race. Matt was, in fact, with us that Friday when I went to City Hall and put my name on the ballot. I have an incredible amount of respect for them both. Their dedication to SoVo and to the gay community showed in the quality work they did for all of us.

Everyone at SoVo/David (Dyana, Matt, Laura, Bo, et al) should be proud of their work and the legacy they'll leave. They don't deserve this fate but their talent will take them to bigger and better!"

---Kyle Keyser, former Atlanta mayoral candidate

"Is sad about's the end if an era for a publication that has been here since I have been here and has always been so supportive of my careeer. Can we keep the name and keep it alive?"

---Bill Kaelin, club owner

"Wrote [my] first article for Southern Voice in 1995 and became a regular contributor in 1998. Even as a freelancer, it meant as much to me professionally as almost anything I've done. I'm proud to have been associated with SoVo and to have worked with such fine folks - as a writer and publicist - as Joan Sherwood, Chris Crain, Matt Hennie, Mike Fleming, Ryan Lee, the incomparable Laura Douglas-Brown and many more."

---Jim Farmer, festival director of Out on Film

"This is a hard blow for Gay Atlanta Media. We can only hope that Gaydar or another competitor will step up to the plate."

---Chris Coleman, promoter, owner Chris Coleman Enterprises

"Still reeling, still feeling how much I owe these people in my personal growth while there, and still saying that LGBT Atlanta owes these publications more than can ever be repaid."

---Mike Fleming, co-founder Project Q Atlanta

" Southern Voice & David for being the voice of our community for over 20 years. You will not be forgotten."

---Edmund Arwin Thornton, LGBT politico

"Just wanted to say thanks to David and SOVO for all the the love and support over the years you will be missed."

---Nicole Paige Brooks

"Praying for all those folks over at SOVO and David who today are faced with a crisis of suddenly being unemployed. There are no words that will bring real comfort in this...but I hope they each can feel the powerful collective voice of their friends praying for them and hoping for the best."

---Rev. Paul M. Turner, pastor Gentle Spirit Christian Church


---Hollis Gillespie, writer

"It is a sad day in Atlanta that SOVO and David Mag has shut down. The staff of both publications are great friends and they have done a great job keeping our community informed."

---Glen Paul Freedman, LGBT politico, executive assistant to Lisa Borders

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