imageIn honor of its 40th anniversary, the Atlanta Pride Committee is featuring an unprecedented 40 grand marshals in three categories that create a 120-strong “march within a march” contingency in the 2010 parade.

“As much as this is an opportunity to honor selected individuals, it is also an opportunity to provide our patrons a visual of how expansive our movement really is, and to see that there are a vast number of people working on their behalf,” Pride Executive Director JP Sheffield says in a press release.

imageIndividuals who have made “exemplary” contributions to the movement for LGBT civil rights were chosen in three categories: legislative, education and community builder.

The Legislative 40 includes lesbian Fulton County Commissioner-elect Joan Garner and state Rep. Simone Bell (top photo, l-r), as well as freshman Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan (second photo). Posthumous honorees in the Community Builder category include groundbreaking ‘60s drag personality Billy Jones and trans activist Robert Eads (bottom photo, l-r).

“Compiling a list of 120 Grand Marshals was no small task, but we feel like the people selected are a great representation of our City and State,” Sheffield says in the written announcement. “Even though it meant releasing these names later than usual, the end product is worth the wait. What we’ve done is effectively create a march within the parade.”

imageThe parade takes place Oct. 10. This is the first time that straight allies also qualify to carry the title “Grand Marshal.” In years past, that designation was limited to LGBT individuals, while straight allies were named “Honorary Marshals.”

The Pride Committee finalized the honorees with the help of Georgia Equality and the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition. Here are the final 40 in the Legislative and Education categories, plus the posthumous honors in the Community Builder category.

The full list, including the final roster of Community Builder, marshals will be available soon on the Atlanta Pride website.

LEGISLATIVE 40
Alex Wan
Alisha Thomas Morgan
Brian Bates
Cathy Woolard
Ed Stansell
Gil Robison
Jamie Ensley
Jamie Roberts
Jeff Cleghorn
Jerry Gonzalez
Joan Garner
Julianna Illari
Karla Drenner
Kathleen Womack
Kathy Ashe
Ken Britt
Kyle Williams
Lance Rhodes
Larry Pellegrini
Lawrie Demorest
Linda Lowe
Mary Margaret Oliver
Mike Jacobs
Monica Helms
Nan Orrock
Pat Gardner
Pedro Marin
Simone Bell
Tim Cairl
Vincent Fort
Elizabeth Johnston
Harry Knox
Judy Colbs
Kathie deNobriga
Tyrone Brooks
Michelle Bruce
Paul Horning
Stephanie Benfield
Susan Saleska Hamilton
Kay Young (Posthumous)

EDUCATION 40
Maru Gonzalez
Anneliese A. Singh
Mr. Jesse McNulty
Dr. Corey W. Johnson
Jeannie Senter
Dale Merkle
Dr. Shannon J. Miller
Jillian Ford
Austin Laufersweiler
Irma Starr
Jonah Berkowitz
Lenore Katz
Bob Hill
Emily Graybill
Holiday Simmons
Jessica “Jetta” Allen
Susana Edith Soto
Matt LeBrun
Alex Oxford
Emily Reed
Derrick Martin
Billiee Pendleton-Parker
JD Woodward
Michael Brian Law
Joel Kadish
Ellen Manuel
Tim DeLoach
Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
Abby Drue
Ken Jackson
Hollande Levinson
Krista Hilton
Cat Morillas
Terence McPhaul
Shelley Rose
Gabriel Haggray
Jennifer Miracle
Yancey Gulley

COMMUNITY BUILDER 40
Posthumous honorees listed only

Robert Eads (Southern Comfort founder/Died after medical treatment refused because he was trans)
Greg Barrett (Atlanta Pride Committee)
Billy Jones (1960’s Atlanta Drag Queen)
Charlie St. John (Journalist, Organized first Pride March)
Lloyd E. Russell (Activist/Community Endowment)
Thelma Natalie Troia (Founder, Armorettes)
Michael Hardwick (Bowers v. Hardwick)