New LGBT-led groups, keep­ing mo­men­tum

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

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.

—Caroline Stover

Pa­trick Saun­ders contributed to this story.

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