In 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.
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.”
The 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.
Alisha Thomas Morgan
Mary Margaret Oliver
Susan Saleska Hamilton
Kay Young (Posthumous)
Anneliese A. Singh
Mr. Jesse McNulty
Dr. Corey W. Johnson
Dr. Shannon J. Miller
Jessica “Jetta” Allen
Susana Edith Soto
Michael Brian Law
Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
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)