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Deadline nears to join in statewide LGBT survey

Georgians have just one more week to join in a first-ever online study of the state’s LGBT population and the issues they deem most important.

The survey is a project of the Phillip Rush Center, the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative and Georgia Equality. The two LGBT nonprofits are the founders of the center, which also provides office and meeting space to Atlanta Pride, MEGA Family Project, and several other groups.

The survey ends Sept. 9. It takes just 10 minutes and “will likely be the most important thing you can do this week to help secure a fair and just Georgia,” said Linda Ellis, executive director of ALHI.

Organizers say they will share the results with LGBT groups across the state to help with program planning and fundraising efforts.

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Rush Center expands LGBT center, looks to future

Linda Ellis and Jeff Graham at the newly expanded Phillip Rush Center

What resources are needed to meet the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Georgians and how can organizations provide those resources on such issues as aging, lifestyle and health?

That’s what the Phillip Rush Center hopes to find out after it recently received a $35,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta to conduct a broad needs assessment for the state to determine how to best serve LGBT residents.

“This is the first state of the community … a broader snapshot of LGBT Atlanta and throughout the state,” says Linda Ellis, executive director of the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative.

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New projects target HIV couples testing, lesbian ‘stud’ health

Tynesha Wells (left) and Cole Thomas attended the first of many focus groups as part of the Stud Health Project that is being organized by the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative

Tynesha Wells, 39, has not been to a gynecologist in two years although she knows it is important for her health to do so.

As a self-identified stud, Wells said she does not like facing the strange looks that sometimes come when she enters a doctor’s office dressed like a man.

“When I have gone they haven’t been sensitive at all,” Wells said about past experiences at a gynecologist’s office. “I know health wise I need it but do I want to go through the humiliating process to do it. You’re already in a vulnerable situation.”

Wells’ partner is feminine and doesn’t feel uncomfortable going for her annual exam.