Queer ATLiens take matters into their own hands

Change is good… But what exactly are you doing about it?

With the Unthinkable Administration continuing to unfold in Washington, high hopes for change are about all we can hang onto these days. Still, it isn't enough. Even if the current president was here to help you, and he most decidedly is not, the president still couldn’t make change for you.

In this issue of Q, meet queer Atlanta allies, leaders, educators, doulas and other Southerners taking matters into our own hands.

Their inspiring stories have set off a chain reaction in my brain. We each need to be the best we can be if we're going to pull this off and survive. What steps can you take to find permanent solutions to long-term issues you drag around?

And speaking of you, it's not all about you. The best way to help ourselves is to help each other, and it's crucial to saving the dashed dreams of America's, and queer Atlanta’s, next era.

OK. Maybe I'm slow on the uptake when it comes to such ideas. I was floored when my brother skipped Thanksgiving to spoon out food to needy people, then I was blown away by my stepmother.

She befriended Ronnie, a security guard at her office and a native of a tiny country in Africa.

 Ronnie was making $125 a month and living with eight other people in one room. It’s considered a fortune in his homeland, and he sends money to his family there.

He began hopping a ride to church with my parents because he didn't know how to drive. If he did, he could qualify for a much better job. My parents decided to pay $200 fee for driving school as an early Christmas present.

Ronnie doesn’t work at my stepmother’s office anymore. He patrols a parking lot in a company car that he uses as his own in off hours. He makes $1,000 a month and lives with one other person in two rooms. Driving school increased his income nearly tenfold and forever improved his living conditions.

What kind of huge impact you could make on someone else's life by giving something that barely impacts your life at all? The trick is recognizing the opportunities in your everyday life.

With features including the Queer Agenda calendar of things to do, Voices columns on Intersectionality and the state of queer Atlanta, and even a queer fashion spread on how to do denim all the way through winter, enjoy this issue of Q over Thanksgiving.

And as your week unfolds, join me in looking for The Love With The Big L and opportunities to do our part to make a change.

This column originally appeared as the editor's note in Q magazine. Read the full issue below.