The board members of the Atlanta Pride Committee (APC) are an integral part of organizing gay Atlanta’s biggest event of the year: Pride! The APC board members are responsible for overseeing four primary categories: strategic direction, finance, organizational oversight, and visibility.

 

On January 26, APC announced that four new LGBTQ activists and other figures would be joining the board. The newest members join the likes of Will Bryant, Trisha Clymore, Earl Fields, Glen Paul Freedman, Justin Gavette-Boring, Emily Porter, Traci Romero, Elaine Marie Serrano, and Dan Wilkerson to make a total of 13 members.

 

Meet the new representation on APC’s board:

 

Justin Averette

Justin is a gay cisgender man originally from Greensboro, Alabama, but now residing in Midtown. He’s an award-winning multimedia journalist — he’s even interviewed Oprah! — and now works in corporate communications for Southern Company. In his free time, you can find Justin playing in the Hotlanta Softball League, traveling, hiking, or taking photos.

 

“Every day, I’m learning more about the Atlanta Pride Committee and how I can help the organization, particularly in this difficult time of COVID,” Justin said in a release from APC. “I’m not sure when it will be, but I look forward to the day when we can all gather in person again.”

 

Toby Vargas-Jaume

Toby is a gay native Puerto Rican. He’s well known in the community for his award-winning photography business, where he photographs events and drag performers. Through his photography, Toby has become well versed in the world of Atlanta’s drag scene; he’s written numerous articles for Georgia Voice about drag. Toby’s professional experience extends beyond photography; he’s a graduate of Florida State University and holds a Master’s in International Business from Bond University. Ha has produced national events for the LGBTQ community, and is the managing director of a family health care business.

 

“The Atlanta LGBTQ+ community is very important to me and has been a big part of my life and my life’s work since moving to Georgia,” Toby said. “I am very passionate about devoting my time, energy, and creativity to this important organization in our community. The Atlanta Pride Committee hosts functions throughout the year, and I believe that I have the skill set and experience to help them continue to produce the types of premier events our city is renowned for.”

 

Chris Ruiz

Chris is a queer Chicanx educator originally from Northwest Texas. He moved to Atlanta to pursue his dreams of working in higher education and has found a chosen family here. Chris works as the Area Manager of Residence Life at Georgia Tech, and he’s worked with APC for seven years. He served on the Entertainment Committee as a general volunteer for one year, a lead volunteer for two years, and the co-chair for four years. In this position, he was able to meet talented performers and work with some of Atlanta’s most amazing drag artists.

 

In his free time, Chris enjoys watching TV, sci-fi, sports, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and he visits breweries.

 

Quita Tinsley Peterson

Quita is a Black nonbinary femme who was born and raised in Middle Georgia. However, they found a home in Atlanta, because that’s where they truly grew into the person they are today. Quita has extensive experience in reproductive justice and queer liberation organizing. They currently serve as the co-director of Access Reproductive Care — Southeast, a reproductive justice organization that funds abortion and practical support for Southerners seeking care. Their writing can be found on Facing South, the online magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies. You can find Quita on social media (@hello_quita on Instagram) discussing Black Southern organizing or raising funds to increase abortion access.

 

“I’m so excited to serve on the Board of APC to support the growth and sustainability of the organization to continue to serve the Atlanta community and beyond for many more years to come,” Quita said.

 

Learn more about APC’s Board of Directors at atlantapride.org.

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