Atlanta Pride adds two staffers to boost events, outreach

Atlanta Pride – little more than three months away from hosting its big gay festival – is staffing up and on Tuesday announced the hiring of two employees to help with events and community outreach.

Vega Darling (photo left) was hired to manage programs and partnerships for Pride, while the organization tapped Taylor Trimble (photo right) to focus on outreach and events. 

“We are so excited to bring both Vega and Taylor in to the Atlanta Pride family as staff," Jamie Fergerson, Atlanta Pride executive director, said in a prepared statement announcing the new staff members.

Fergerson said Atlanta Pride initially planned to add one new staff member. But they changed course during the search process.

"It became clear that we needed more help, and both Taylor and Vega bring important skills and experience to our work. I believe that they will push Atlanta Pride to be more inclusive and better serve our entire community, especially those who have historically been marginalized in LGBTQ organizing. I am excited and honored to be doing this work with them," Fergerson said.

Trimble, who will work part-time for Pride, is an organizer of Southern Fried Queer Pride. The three-year-old festival, held in May, offers a slate of events aimed at queer and transgender people of color. Trimble has described the event as offering "the extra flavor the community has been missing" in other Pride celebrations.

The artist and trans and social justice activist will begin her work with Pride in mid-July with a priority on organizing a series of public events to gather feedback ahead of the Pride festival in October. 

“I’m excited to work for APC in a way that speaks to intersectionality and the diversity of the community," Trimble said. "I see Pride harkening back to its political beginnings and continuing to grow as a vehicle for community building and education.” 

Darling replaces Laura Barton, who managed programs and partnerships for Pride. Barton resigned in May. 

“We are appreciative of Laura’s contributions over the last four years, especially her work with the most marginalized of our communities, including queer and trans people of color. Laura did a great job in representing Atlanta Pride’s commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion in all that we do. APC will continue this effort and we are grateful to Laura for her dedication in seeing that we fulfill this important goal," Fergerson said.

Darling recently returned to Atlanta after living in Southern California. He has worked as a filmmaker and an organizer on trans health issues and in punk feminist spaces. 

“I’m looking forward to being a part of this next chapter of Atlanta Pride. I’m excited to bring new and innovative programming to Atlanta’s LGBTQIA community," Darling said.

The new staffers come as Atlanta Pride shifts into high gear in planning for the annual festival, which is Oct. 13-15. Last week, the organization unveiled a diverse group of eight grand marshals to lead the Pride parade.