At­lanta Pride names 2017 grand mar­shals

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

The Ge­or­gia LGBT com­mu­nity mourned the loss of 17-year-old Ava Le’Ray Bar­rin of At­lanta, who was shot and killed on June 25 in Athens.

Bar­rin was mur­dered by an ac­quain­tance named Jalen Breon Brown, but po­lice did not know what led to the shoot­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Hu­man Rights Cam­paign, Bar­rin is the 14th known death of a transwoman due to vi­o­lence this year. Nearly all of the women, in­clud­ing Bar­rin, were black.

Bar­rin, who was mis-gen­dered and iden­ti­fied as Rayquann Deonte Jerni­gan in early me­dia re­ports, was shot once in the chest at about 11:45 a.m. dur­ing a fight with Brown in the Riverview Apart­ments com­plex on Col­lege Av­enue. Brown, who is also a transwoman, was quickly ar­rested and faces mur­der and ag­gra­vated as­sault charges. She claims she shot Bar­rin in self-de­fense.

Epi­fanio Ro­driguez, spokesman for the Athens-Clarke County Po­lice Depart­ment, told the Athens Ban­ner-Her­ald the shoot­ing oc­curred as an ar­gu­ment es­ca­lated, and po­lice “do not be­lieve Brown’s self-de­fense claim based on wit­ness in­ter­views and ev­i­dence col­lected at the scene.” Ro­driguez would not com­ment fur­ther.

In an on­line obit­u­ary, Bar­rin was de­scribed as a “young, full of life, beau­ti­ful soul” who “feared noth­ing, no­body and es­pe­cially not be­ing her­self.”

On June 23, At­lanta Pride an­nounced the grand mar­shals that will helm the Pride Pa­rade this Oc­to­ber.

The eight in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions rep­re­sent HIV/AIDS ac­tivists, Black Lives Mat­ter, the Lat­inx and trans com­mu­ni­ties, fam­ily ad­vo­cates and more.

“We are ex­cited to in­tro­duce this year’s slate of grand mar­shals,” At­lanta Pride Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Jamie Ferg­er­son said in a news re­lease. “The At­lanta Pride Com­mit­tee has a man­date to cap­ture and com­pli­ment the wide range of di­verse ac­tivists among us. We strongly be­lieve that we have done that again this year.”

The three or­ga­ni­za­tions se­lected are VOX Teen Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, a youth-driven me­dia out­let for un­cen­sored pub­lish­ing and self-ex­pres­sion; Planned Par­ent­hood South­east, which pro­vides low-cost fam­ily plan­ning ser­vices, ed­u­ca­tion and health care; and At­lanta Harm Re­duc­tion Coali­tion, which works to re­duce the num­ber of HIV/AIDS, Hep­ati­tis C, sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­ease and sub­stance abuse cases in the metro area.

Free­lance deaf in­ter­preter David Cowan, who in­ter­preted at a num­ber of protests and marches, in­clud­ing the Women’s March and Black Lives Mat­ter, was se­lected, as was Hol­i­day Sim­mons of Lambda Le­gal. Sim­mons de­scribes him­self as a “black Chero­kee trans­mas­cu­line two-spirit ac­tivist,” and his work with Lambda fo­cuses on trans­gen­der rights, po­lice vi­o­lence, black re­siliency and LGBT Na­tive Amer­i­cans.

East Lake res­i­dent and at­tor­ney Jamie Roberts will join them, as will Jerry Gon­za­lez, founder and ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Ge­or­gia As­so­ci­a­tion of Latino Elected Of­fi­cials. Sandy Lane rounds out the group, rep­re­sent­ing PFLAG. Lane was re­cently awarded the Ge­or­gia Moun­tains Uni­tar­ian Church’s Coura­geous Love award.

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