ATLANTA — Thousands of people across the country traveled to Atlanta for the kickoff of Atlanta Black Gay Pride.
Festivities kicked off Wednesday, with dozens of events and festivals happening through the holiday weekend. However, organizers are facing mounting concern about the spread of monkeypox.
They hosted a special town hall at the Georgia Freight Depot in downtown Atlanta to educate the community, and to dispel rumors and common misconceptions about monkeypox.
“I think the fear has died down, but the issue is still there,” said Melissa Scott, managing editor of Atlanta Black Pride Weekend.
Scott says they’ve organized over 25 pride events this Labor Day weekend, including the popular Pure Heat Festival on Sunday. Over 20,000 people are expected to attend.
“This coming weekend, we’ll be doing monkeypox testing and monkeypox vaccines at the Pure Heat Community Festival, as well as tomorrow at the Mayor’s Welcome Reception,” Scott said.
On Tuesday, the Biden administration and the Department of Health and Human Services announced they will disperse additional vaccine doses to Georgia ahead of Atlanta Black Gay Pride weekend.
“We have so many stations set up for this weekend,” Scott said. “We’ll be at different nightclub venues.”
A Georgia Department of Public Health spokesperson wrote:
“The Georgia Department of Public Health will track vaccines used from our current allocation of vaccines for events around and during Black Pride and be reimbursed by the federal government up to 5500 doses.”
Lamont White is happy to hear the news. He’s a well-known gay dating coach in Atlanta and is hosting one of his popular matchmaking events Wednesday nights.
“If you are keeping your distance and if you are vaccinated, if you are asking the right questions, you should be safe,” White said.
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