May 15, 2023 - News

Atlanta set to approve donations to support trans community

Illustration of Benjamin Franklin waving a trans flag.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Atlanta City Council members Monday are poised to approve a $55,000 donation to organizations that advocate for the transgender community.

Driving the news: Of that money, $10,000 would go to the Atlanta Legal Aid Society to help transgender and nonbinary people change their names and provide them with supporting documents. Plus:

What they're saying: Council member Matt Westmoreland, who sponsored the three separate bills authorizing the funding, told Axios last week that the passage of SB 140 and the killings of two transgender women in Atlanta prompted the mayor's administration to act.

  • "I think the mayor and his team saw those two things and wanted to show that while we can't control what's happening underneath the Gold Dome, we can control what we can control, which is making statements of support and then investments in various communities, especially those under attack," he said.

Catch up quick: Senate Bill 140 bans doctors from administering hormone therapy or transition-related surgery to Georgia minors.

  • It goes into effect on July 1.

Dickens said last week in a press release that the transgender community is experiencing a push to "eliminate the fundamental right to simply be who they are."

  • "Everyone has the right to live their life with dignity and freedom from fear, and our Administration wants the transgender community to know we stand with them," he said.

Zoom in: Sean Ebony Coleman, founder and executive director of New York City-based Destination Tomorrow, told Axios that he is "super excited" to pilot its mentorship program in Atlanta.

  • Coleman told Axios the organization recognizes that the LGBTQ+ community is grappling with "anti-trans laws that are being passed," and a "tremendous amount of violence perpetrated against the trans community."
  • He said the program will give younger trans and gender non-conforming youth "some guidance, some assistance and somebody to just lean on and talk to in these times."

Destination Tomorrow provides services like job readiness, GED assistance, financial literacy and professional development to its clients in Atlanta. Since launching here in 2022, it's hosted two clinics to help about 30 people with name changes.

  • "This helps tremendously with the folks that are looking for employment," he said. "It's difficult to find employment if you show up and the documents don't match your lived experience."

What we're watching: The Council's meeting begins at 1pm Monday and will be streamed on YouTube.


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