Atlanta Pride announces slate of LGBT organizations, activists as 2017 Pride grand marshals

Today, 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.