More than marriage: 5 issues our community must address now

Taylor Alexander

Mary Anne Adams moved to Atlanta in 1988 and since that time she has seen Atlanta's LGBT scene change dramatically.

“One of the biggest changes that I have seen is the degree and level of outness from LGBTQ communities, both internally and externally. Despite the overt homophobia and ever-looming threats of violence, it’s been exhilarating to see young folks on MARTA and at public events showing their affection for each other and just being themselves,” she said.

A proliferation of queer campus groups and openly gay politicians serving in the state legislature are also signs of Georgia's progress, said Adams, who works in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University and as an organizer with ZAMI NOBLA (National Organization of Lesbians Aging).

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Yep, I have a mental illness

There are many things to be happy about right now in my life. I have a job I love (and I have a job, period), I’m in love, I have good friends and a family that loves me, and a cat that has adopted me and makes me smile when she rolls over on her back so I will rub her belly. And I don’t have to worry about the basics such as food and shelter.

I can’t complain, people will say. And right now, I really can’t.

But it’s not always like this for me. More than a 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I spent a couple stints in psychiatric wards and struggled ferociously with regaining my sanity.

Those weeks in the hospitals were pure hell, and every night when I take my meds, I am reminded I have a preexisting condition that makes me a threat to health insurance companies.