Annual event raises money for Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative
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.
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.
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.
Founded in 1996, the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative is the only non-profit organization in the Southeast that is exclusively committed to lesbians, their partners and families. Originally called the Atlanta Lesbian Cancer Initiative, the agency has expanded its focus. It now features support groups for issues like cancer, domestic violence and acting as a caregiver for a sick or elderly loved one; Weight Watchers; an online health assessment; a directory of LGBT supportive physicians; the Lesbian Health Fund; and more.
“The Health Initiative has broadened our focus through the years in response to our community’s shifting needs,” says ALHI Executive Director Linda Ellis. “One important addition has been our Health Fund, through which we can now help cover basic screenings and healthcare for uninsured members of Atlanta’s LGBT community.”
The Weight Watchers support group meets every Saturday.
Keep your New Year’s resolution with lesbian-centered support
The Decatur Women’s Sports League first began in March 2007. With softball as the initial sport, 200 happy lesbians (and allies) finally found a league of their own. From that point on, the sports interest grew and additions were made that included bowling, basketball, tennis, volleyball and badminton.
“With much diversity and a cooperative spirit these women all played recreation ball, made friends, got exercise and donated money to the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative to help underinsured women to go to the doctor and receive mammograms and health care,” says Anne “Sarge” Barr, founder and commissioner of the league.
The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative honored Barr with its 2008 “Healing Angel” award for her work with the sports league and the money it has raised. As of Fall 2010, the Decatur Women’s Sports League has donated $50,000 to the health initiative.
The Atlanta Holiday Ball returned Dec. 3 after a hiatus in 2009. This year's event was organized by the Atlanta's Women's Business Network and was a benefit for the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative and Circle of Sisters.
The Druid Hills Country Club played host to the gala event, which saw more than 100 attendees. DJ Vicki Powell provided the beats.