After being fired from a well-paying restaurant job, Lance Berlin, who is transgender, was unsure what to do. Then he took a hike up Stone Mountain with members of JustUs ATL.
“That’s when I decided to get involved with the community,” said Berlin, 25, who believes he lost his job due to his gender identity.
Now working at a Midtown gay bar, Berlin has made organizing with JustUs ATL a major part of his life. He feels the organization is critical for all youth, especially for trans-identified youth like himself.
It’s now been three full years since the first issue of GA Voice hit the streets, and our anniversary comes as gay and lesbian people here in Georgia and around the nation eagerly away the U.S. Supreme Court hearings on two cases related to same-sex marriage.
With oral arguments looming March 26-27 and decisions expected in June, National LGBT Pride Month, it’s impossible to ignore that we are living in a defining moment for LGBT equality.
The milestone marriage cases bring equal parts excitement and trepidation. A big win could allow gay couples to marry around the country, while a big loss could delay federal marriage rights for years.
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Lost-n-Found Youth, the organization’s executive director plans to spend 48 hours on top of a box truck to raise awareness of the plight of LGBT homeless youth in Atlanta.
Rick Westbrook, executive director of Lost-n-Found Youth, plans to stay on top of the truck from the afternoon of Nov.6 until Nov. 8. He will document his experience through Facebook posts, Twitter updates and perhaps a live video stream to give a glimpse of what homeless youth experience when forced to live on the streets.
The truck will be parked next to Brushstrokes in the Ansley Square shopping center. Westbrook said he will climb aboard the truck one hour before the polls close on Election Day. He will come down for a short time to attend a town hall meeting on Nov. 7.
Anniversaries, of every kind, bring up all kinds of feelings. Looking back on our lives has a tendency to make the good events look better than they were and the bad ones look worse.
Lovers and spouses do this. They recall forgotten birthdays and broken promises and assess if they really should be in this relationship. But they also cling to the special moments when it seemed they were the only two people in the world who really know what love is. If they look closer at their relationship, however, they realize that what is most significant about their anniversary and what that date truly represents is survival. They made it through all of the difficult moments and they remain intact.
The same holds true for communities and organizations and businesses. Today, March 16, marks our second anniversary. The last year has been challenging and exhilarating — sometimes both in the same day — for GA Voice and for those we serve.
This issue of the GA Voice marks an important milestone for any small company, and especially a company in an industry that many claim is on the wane: It is Volume 2, Issue 1. Our first year is history, and we are forging full speed ahead into our second.
Like so many things in life, the GA Voice began with an ending. The seeds of the GA Voice were planted Nov. 16, 2009, when the staff of Southern Voice — the city’s LGBT newspaper for more than 20 years — learned that paper’s parent company, Window Media, had changed the locks and filed for bankruptcy.
It was an abrupt end to a long, slow decline brought on by a poor economy, declining advertising sales in print media, and most importantly, Window Media’s drive to expand the chain at all costs.