Money mat­ters, progress and com­ing out on the other side

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

By PATRICK SAUN­DERS psaun­ders@the­gavoice.com

I’ll be hon­est – putting to­gether our an­nual fi­nan­cial (or “Pink Dol­lar”) is­sue is a stone-cold bum­mer.

Taxes and money mat­ters are im­por­tant, of course, but they’re not thrilling. There are only so many dif­fer­ent ways you can talk about tax tips and fi­nan­cial plan­ning. And con­vey­ing the mes­sage of the ar­ti­cles and the is­sue vis­ually? Even harder, as our Art Di­rec­tor Rob Boeger will at­test to.

But this isn’t sup­posed to be easy, and it wouldn’t be nearly as re­ward­ing if it were, so we plow ahead each year try­ing to bring you in­ter­est­ing and timely con­tent and in­tro­duce you to peo­ple do­ing in­ter­est­ing things in the busi­ness com­mu­nity.

This year, we’ve got HLM Fi­nan­cial Group’s Tax and Gen­eral Man­ager Mercedes Pasqualetti lined up to share some in­sight on what Pres­i­dent Trump’s pro­posed changes in tax laws could mean for you. Spoiler alert: the changes ap­pear to ben­e­fit who you ex­pect they would.

We also have the low­down on a new re­port from the Na­tional Gay and Les­bian Chamber of Com­merce that shows the power of the LGBT dol­lar, and how strong the state of Ge­or­gia is as far as LGBT-owned busi­nesses.

And wrap­ping up the sec­tion is a look at eight of At­lanta’s LGBT busi­ness movers and shak­ers from var­i­ous fields in­clud­ing wealth man­age­ment, sub­scrip­tion meal ser­vices, gov­ern­ment con­tract­ing, ap­parel de­sign and even dance music (hey, we are a LGBT me­dia source).

We’ve also got a spe­cial on­line-only piece from Paul Horn­ing, se­nior vice pres­i­dent at Mor­gan Stan­ley Wealth Man­age­ment, who gives ad­vice on re­tire­ment plan­ning.

Though we typ­i­cally ded­i­cate the cover of this is­sue to our fi­nan­cial sto­ries, this time around we made an ex­cep­tion and are de­vot­ing it to recog­ni­tion of the 20th an­niver­sary of the Other­side Lounge bomb­ing. This is an an­niver­sary I’ve had on my radar for a while now. We were look­ing to do a look back at the bomb­ing last year for our At­lanta LGBT his­tory is­sue, but then I no­ticed the land­mark an­niver­sary was com­ing up, so we de­cided to wait un­til now.

It’s also the kind of story I would have typ­i­cally han­dled in my pre­vi­ous po­si­tion as deputy ed­i­tor, but luck­ily we had our new Deputy Ed­i­tor Dal­las Dun­can in place to pick it up, and she did an ex­cel­lent job mark­ing the an­niver­sary. It’s easy for sto­ries like those to veer into the sen­sa­tional, “if it bleeds, it leads” kind of ter­ri­tory, but Dal­las avoided that and han­dled it with sen­si­tiv­ity with­out sac­ri­fic­ing the more dif­fi­cult an­gles of the story that needed to be told.

The story is also a re­minder that we’re still fight­ing the same fights and fac­ing the same fears now as we were then. Last June’s Pulse shoot­ing con­firmed that.

I had the chance to meet Other­side Lounge’s for­mer man­ager Dana Ford last week­end at the site of the bar, which is now Mid­town Urol­ogy. I started tak­ing her pic­ture for the cover and no­ticed she was smil­ing. While con­tin­u­ing to take pic­tures, I told her that I wouldn’t ask her not to smile, but that it might not fit the tone of the ar­ti­cle. “But there has to be pro­gres­sion,” she replied. And she was com­pletely right. “There has to be pro­gres­sion” is a line that’s go­ing to stick with me like an­other re­cent one that’s been in the news: “Nev­er­the­less, she per­sisted.”

There has to be pro­gres­sion from every­thing go­ing on in the world right now, there just has to. And we at Ge­or­gia Voice in­tend to tell the sto­ries that need to be told in the hopes that it helps us all get there.

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