Patrick Saunders, Editor of Georgia Voice

Patrick Saunders: Lies, chaos and countering the hate

When we as a staff meet to talk about what to cover in each issue, we’re looking to capture the mood of the moment, to document that two-week period of time and hopefully give you the tools you need to face the next two weeks and beyond.

The Saturday before we went to press, we all were inundated with the images flashing across our various screens from Charlottesville. The white supremacist rally (that wasn’t) almost became surreal to take in. This wasn’t concealed hatred. These weren’t cowards hiding under white masks. This was a group of people coming out of the neo-Nazi closet, emboldened by the support and encouragement of the president.

A protest against white supremacy and in support of murder victim Hannah Heyer took place the next day in Woodruff Park, with the crowd then streaming into the street and marching to Piedmont Park.

You’ll notice our lead news story in this issue is about the ins and outs of protesting. We talked to others that have experience organizing protests and marches, some with decades under their belt, some whose inner activist has blossomed since last November’s election. It might appear like we did that story in response to the Charlottesville fiasco. Sadly, it was the previous Trump-inspired protest that got us thinking about doing this story – the local march that followed his tweets about banning transgender troops from the US military.

So many outrageous actions by President Trump have inspired so many protests in reaction that we wanted to arm those who’ve yet to take the plunge into organizing such an event. Sadly, I fear the president will continue to give us reasons to take to the streets as long as he is in office.

You’ll also notice our cover, which ties into both the protest story and our main section for this issue, which is, well … you. Every year we turn over a few pages to readers to speak out on a topic by writing an editorial. This year, we’ve got writers covering elitism in the local LGBT rights movement, HIV/AIDS, reproductive justice and affordable housing for the trans community. While this is the one issue we devote a special section to on your editorials, be aware that we are always accepting editorials throughout the year on the topics that matter to you. Got something to say? Send it to me at

You’ll also see coverage of the Atlanta mayoral race in this issue. We give a preview of an LGBT youth forum coming up August 29 and then we ask each of the nine major candidates one question about protecting Atlanta’s LGBT citizens. We’ll continue to ask more questions of them as November approaches, and prepare to see wall-to-wall coverage of that race plus the other municipal races on the ballot in print and online in the coming months.

Atlanta has the largest Black Gay Pride celebration in the country, so we always devote a ton of coverage to it. This issue we include a mini-preview of events lined up, but expect more extensive coverage in the Sept. 1 issue.

Elsewhere in the issue, we catch you up on a fascinating local LGBT youth, give you the scoop on the popular Andro Fashion Show and deliver all your favorite columns and columnists as well.

Liking what you see? Are we missing out on covering anything either here in print or online? Let me know at This is our community, and this is your paper.