LGBT activists in Atlanta are trying to prevent a gay hangout/sex shop from being shut down. The adult shop Tokyo Valentino opened in 1995 in the Lenox Park neighborhood and is considered a "gay megaplex" and has the largest selection of adult products, video booths, DVD's, open/private playrooms and smoke shop.
It appears that lawmakers are doing their best to shut down the place, stating it "violate's the city's adult entertainment ordinance by being 500 feet of a residential area." However, some are not buying it. It is believed this is a homophobic attack on the community. So there appears to be a petition to stop the city from closing the business. “Tokyo Valentino at Cheshire Bridge Rd is being shut down by the City of Atlanta unless you help!” the petition reads. “If we lose our culture then we also lose our identity as gay Georgians!
The petition has about 3,000 signatures so far. Started by Gay Georgia, Inc, GAGA is a PAC that works to “preserve LGBTQ cultural and entertainment locations important to maintaining the identity and safety of gay Georgians," according to their website.
Matt Terrell a local writer has also joined the fight. Georgia Voice has published a piece "Save our historic glory holes," Terrell writes.
I do think we should save Tokyo Valentino. We should preserve this sex store because we need seedy businesses in Atlanta. There will always be a need for spaces where suburban men can come and have anonymous sex. Drugs and hustlers are part of our capitalist ecosystem, and it’s important that we give them a place to exist. Using the power of zoning and city ordinances to bully adult businesses out of town is short-sighted. The activities that happen there will move somewhere else.
He also believes that cities should have a red-light district, "they help keep "skeezy and gross" behavior "clean and quite." Furthermore, he writes “Let the hustlers have space to hustle–or else they might walk down to your neighborhood instead, and “That sort of illicit and illegal activity will happen regardless of how hard we try to legislate it out of our community."
GAGA wants to gather 2,000 more signatures on its petition. “We have fought for acceptance…now we need to fight to preserve it!” the petition says. “Please sign the petition to stop the City of Atlanta from closing Tokyo Valentino. It will only take a few clicks. We are gay Georgia. We are GAGA!”
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