Beck said she is currently beginning to speak at engagements on behalf of the U.S. State Department. She is also enjoying meeting other LGBT activists and speaking out at various equality events in Florida. She comes back to Atlanta in September for the annual Southern Comfort Conference.

“It’s like I’m on a new mission,” she said. “A lot people are listening about this because I was a Navy SEAL then maybe weren’t before.”

Ga. school drops efforts to recoup legal costs from ‘Bully’ parents

Murray County’s school district is dropping its legal effort to recoup some $30,000 in court costs from parents who sued the school after their son committed suicide, according to the Fulton County Daily Report.

The parents, Tina and David Long, unsuccessfully sued the school district, alleging the district was negligent in protecting their 17-year old son, Tyler, from consistent bullying by classmates and that the bullying led him to hang himself in 2009.

The Longs, however, had their lawsuit dismissed and recently the school district, located in Chatsworth, Ga., sought legal recourse to get back money spent defending the case in court.

Tina and David Long were featured in the 2012 documentary, “Bully.” The stories of five bullied children are told, two of them posthumously because the boys involved committed suicide.

For the school system to stop trying to recoup costs, the Longs agreed not to appeal the case. They say they will continue to speak out about bullying and what happened to their son.

Atlanta Pride names grand marshals for 2013 parade

The Atlanta Pride Committee announced Aug. 8 the crop of Grand Marshals for the 2013 Atlanta Pride parade, which takes place Oct. 13. The group includes a family of fundraising drag performers, an HIV blogger and several LGBT rights activists.

“Each of these honorees works diligently to make Atlanta and Georgia more welcoming and affirming for LGBTQ citizens,” said Atlanta Pride Executive Director Buck Cooke.

This year’s marshals are the following:

• Christina Bucher, an associate professor at Berry College in Rome, Ga., who has worked to make the campus more accepting for LGBT students;
• Lorraine Fontana, a longtime feminist and LGBT activist who helped found the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance;
• HIV-positive “My Fabulous Disease” blogger Mark S. King;
• Local television personality and LGBT rights ally Evelyn Mims;
• Writer and activist Charles Stephen, organizer of next year’s “Whose Beloved Community: Black Civil and LGBT Rights Movements” conference at Emory;
• Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the drag fundraising troupe founded in 2009; and
• Charis Circle, the nonprofit programming arm of Charis Books & More, the nation’s oldest independent feminist bookstore.

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