New LGBT-led groups, keeping momentum
ing out of the woodwork. Our membership has tripled in the last three months … all of a sudden, people saw us as a way to jump in.”
A far cry from its major project to get Athens-Clarke County bus service on Sundays, Athens 4 Everyone organized an Inauguration Day protest that ended up being the largest march in the city’s history.
And despite questions raised during the initial large-scale, grassroots responses to Trump, such as the Women’s March on Washington and similar marches held worldwide, about how inclusive such protests are, the human community aspect is moving in a positive direction. Gabrielle Claiborne and Linda Herzer, who co-own Transformation Journeys Worldwide, travel the country speaking about the transgender experience and reminding people that it is just another human experience. Claiborne, who is transgender, will speak later this month to the National Pride March group about making sure its mission and outcome are trans-inclusive, and there are already groups in Georgia making strides in similar ways.
“There are groups that are taking steps,” Herzer said. “It’s important to point out and to recognize when people are being left out, but we’d like to be a voice commending those who are making efforts to include trans voices.”
New LGBT-led groups continue to spring up as the need is seen to counter what’s going on in Georgia and around the nation. ATL Activate is one such effort, formed after
March 3, 2017
the inauguration and operating through a closed Facebook group to share daily action steps, post relevant news stories and facilitate community engagement and action. Prima Printing owners (and husbands) Chad Sims and Angel Marcelino allowed the group to utilize a 4,000 square foot warehouse behind Prima’s Midtown office as organizational headquarters and a monthly meeting space. The group’s first coordinated action is supporting 6th Congressional District candidate Jon Ossoff in the Democrats’ bid to flip new Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price’s former district. Members held a fundraiser featuring Ossoff at a private Midtown residence on March 2.
Yet another new LGBT-led grassroots group is Civic Minded Citizens, a group led by gay Atlanta man Lukis Newborn. They host a legislative update with LGBT state Rep. Park Cannon (D-Atlanta) and Sam Park (D-Lawrenceville) along with Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham on March 4 at Joe’s on Juniper, and are helping organize the March for Science Atlanta tak- Citizen activist Caroline Stover co-organizes weekly rallies at Sen. David Perdue’s Atlanta office. (Photo by Rob Boeger) ing place April 22.
This initial onslaught of grassroots activism is larger than perhaps any other in modern post-election history. What remains to be seen is whether those involved can keep up this level of momentum as President Trump’s first – and as these activists hope, only – term continues.
Patrick Saunders contributed to this story.