A man in Georgia has died after attending an unofficial Atlanta Pride party that was slammed for its lack of social distancing.
The party, held early on Sunday, Oct. 11 at nightclub BJ Roosters, was a circuit party from Ga Boy Events. It was one of a number of unofficial Pride parties that weekend.
According to local NBC affiliate WXIA, emergency responders attended the party, which took place from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m., and attempted to resuscitate an unconscious man. He was transported to Piedmont Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8 a.m.
Police told WXIA that there was no evidence of foul play, and the man’s partner said he had taken ecstasy while at the party.
A party attendee told the Advocate that the victim, whose identity has not been released, was a Black man in his mid to late 30s, and that he started having trouble at 6:30 a.m.
The witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said that hundreds of people attended the event, which was “overcapacity at times.”
They said that staff “seemed unprepared to handle” the incident, and that an onlooker performed CPR until emergency responders reached the club.
Footage posted to social media from the unofficial Pride events showed crowded dancefloors filled with me and little evidence of either masks or social distancing.
Big Brother season 15 winner Andy Herren reposted a video from Instagram to his Twitter account, writing, “Taken last night at Atlanta Pride. And publicly posted to Instagram. In the middle of a pandemic. People can be so shitty and selfish. Please don’t be like these people. This is appallingly gross.”
Taken last night at Atlanta Pride. And publicly posted to Instagram. In the middle of a pandemic. People can be so shitty and selfish. Please don’t be like these people. This is appallingly gross. pic.twitter.com/SDafZ0HXfC
— Andy Herren (@AndyHerren) October 10, 2020
Other tweets showed similarly crowded events.
Night 2. They are still at it. pic.twitter.com/nZYq3mj07C
— American Horror Story: Me (@AndrewRyHolder) October 11, 2020
atlanta pride last night… what are y’all UP TO… i get that people miss how carefree we used to be able to be… i do too!! but the pandemic isn’t over just because you’re over it pic.twitter.com/ySPmNIgHmA
— tyler oakley (@tyleroakley) October 10, 2020
This doesn’t represent Queer Atlanta or Atlanta Pride… this is some selfish bullshit and greedy promoters who want to cash in on the weekend and a slap in the face to our spaces that are actually doing the work or have been forced to shut down. pic.twitter.com/09dcogipZm
— Wussy Mag (@wussymag) October 11, 2020
Atlanta Pride responded to the footage by noting that it had arranged virtual events for the city’s Pride weekend, and had no part in any of the parties that took place.
“We just want to make clear that ALL our events during Atlanta Pride are virtual,” the group said in a tweet. “There are videos circulating the internet and make note that those are not affiliated with our brand.”
Atlanta Pride Executive Director Jamie Fergerson issued a statement calling for people to have “Pride at home” and urging people to wear masks and protect one another.
“As a marginalized community, we have always had to fight for our survival, be it with mental health, trans health [issues], access to quality care and more,” Fergerson said. “In light of that, we are particularly sensitive to the need for taking all precautions to protect ourselves and each other. The most important thing is for all of us to survive this pandemic and stay healthy.”
Fergerson added: “We have also asked the City of Atlanta and our media partners to amplify the message to have Pride at home, wear masks, and practice harm reduction related to COVID-19.”
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!