At the breakfast, a panel discussion on “Resilience” as inspired by Rustin and Lorde included speakers talking about ways they remain strong in difficult times.

As a transgender woman, Tracee McDaniel said “it’s about survival” for many people who are transgender and non-gender conforming — simply staying alive and trying to find a job in this tough recession makes resilience even more necessary, as well as having a giving and loving support system.

Rev. Josh Noblitt, social justice minister at St. Mark United Methodist Church, said when he was attacked in Piedmont Park last July, the victim of a hate crime, he had to determine what to do with the roller coaster of emotions he felt. He said becoming an outspoken voice, rather than harboring anger within himself, was a way for him to remain resilient.

Nikki Young led the panel discussion on resilience.

“What we teach others is also the way we teach each other and share our stories. [Rustin] is really specific about the intersectional approach we have to have,” she said.

The breakfast is organized by Craig Washington and Darlene Hudson. Washington noted that Rustin called on “angelic troublemakers” to make change in our society and said the room was filled with such people.

The event was first organized 10 years ago as a way for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to gather before the annual citywide MLK Day march and rally that is inclusive of the LGBT community, including having openly gay speakers each year. This year the gay speakers at the rally were Tracy Elliott, executive director of AID Atlanta, and Anneliese Singh, founder of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition.

Check out this video about this year’s breakfast:

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