The history of gay pride celebrations is rarely investigated, and yet gay pride played a significant role in social opportunities for lesbians in Charlotte and Atlanta. Corporate sponsorships and the role of political and religious leaders were important elements in the creation of social environments that Atlanta and Charlotte’s lesbians sought through pride festivals from the 1970s to the present. Atlanta’s long history with gay pride and support for gay neighborhoods, such as midtown and Decatur, will serve as an interesting comparison to Charlotte’s reluctant relationship with gay pride festivals and its lack of embrace for the gayborhood. Rather than simply identifying Atlanta as good for lesbians and Charlotte as bad, however, this paper will follow the financial, religious, and business relationships that structured the successes and failures for lesbian neighborhoods, social community, and celebration in each city.
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