I do not have a green thumb. I kill flowers, plants, you name it. There’s no excuse really, seeing as my mom is a certified master gardener and she volunteers at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I inherited many traits from her, but playing in the dirt without committing mass murder was not one of them.

The one thing I haven’t managed to kill is a succulent, which is like the Robert Mueller of the plant world — it just won’t go away. And man am I glad for that in both cases.

If you’re like me with the gardening deficiency, or you’re just looking for some simple but trendy ways to spruce up your home, you’ll enjoy our story in this issue where we pick the brains of local experts on home and garden trends this season.

It’s all a part of our annual Real Estate/Home & Garden issue which you’re holding right now. Elsewhere in that special section, we put the spotlight on South Atlanta and talk to local real estate experts and residents about this up-and-coming area. Development can be good, until the dreaded “g word” (gentrification) rears its ugly head.

My succulent, Robert Mueller.

Speaking of development, the bad that often comes with that is loads more traffic — just what Atlanta needs right? We explore all the various forms of alternative transportation to help you get around more efficiently as the city grows and grows.

Finally in that section, we asked The Concierge Guy (aka gay Atlanta man Dillard Jones) for his tips on upping your home décor game on a budget.

We’ve also got four hard-hitting news stories for you this issue, starting with a look at the LGBTQ legislators who are fighting to keep their seats this year. State Rep. Park Cannon faces a Democratic primary challenger in May and Rep. Sam Park faces Republican opposition in the general election in November. Will we still keep our four LGBTQ seats in the Georgia Legislature? Check out the story for a primer on the races, plus the scoop on another LGBTQ citizen running for state House.

There’s a new head of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — did you know about his controversial past involving HIV/AIDS issues? How worried are local HIV/AIDS experts about this? We found out.

You might have also noticed a lot of nightlife news lately. The sky was falling as far as LGBTQ Atlanta nightlife a few months ago, but a few major developments have got people feeling optimistic. We take a look at what’s happened, what it means for the community and what new hot spots to look out for next.

And finally in news, we have a national story from our partners at the Washington Blade on a big Mississippi Supreme Court ruling involving a divorced lesbian and her child.

It’s time for another installment of our business series, Work It! We’ve got some updates on MAAP, the AGLCC and the NGLCC that you might be interested in.

And all eyes will be on the Atlanta Eagle this weekend as Atlanta Leather Pride takes center stage. We’ve got a two-page preview story to get you ready for the weekend, whether you’re a novice or a regular on the leather scene.

Plus enjoy all of our columnists and check out the Best Bets calendar to find out the can’t-miss events over the next two weeks.

We hope you like our coverage this issue! Have some feedback on it or anything else of importance to you? Hit me up at editor@thegavoice.com!

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