The person who made history six years ago by becoming the first city employee to openly transition from male to female in the workplace has never found a burning cross outside her home.
The acts of bigotry and intolerance have been more subtle — but every bit as disheartening, said Camille Stephanie Hopkins.
Crude notes have been slipped under her office door. She hears giggles — sometimes sarcastic whistles — as she walks the halls. When elevator doors open, friendly chatter often turns into an icy hush.
“It hurts, because in some people’s eyes, I’m a freak,” she said.
Compounding her pain is Hopkins’ belief that the city has contributed to what she calls a climate of intolerance. City leaders have failed to provide enough sensitivity training and taken a dismissive attitude when she has raised concerns, Hopkins claimed. She was
even brought up on departmental charges for wearing a T-shirt that sported the phrase “fagbug,” a word the gay community considers a statement against hate crimes and homophobia.
“The city has allowed people to embrace their fears,” she said.
That’s why Hopkins has decided to call it quits. At the end of the month, she will end a City Hall career that began 21 years ago when Gregory Hopkins became a human resource planner.
For the full story from the Buffalo News, go here.
If you can't get enough of sports, jocks and punditry about them, ESPN has just the thing.
The all-sports network this morning launched a six-hour daytime version of "SportsCenter," anchored by former Atlantan Hannah Storm and Josh Elliott (photo). I've always wondered why, in this age of 24/7 media outlets that ESPN always ran "SportsCenter" repeats the next morning.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution offers a Q&A with Storm, while Deadspin is live-blogging the premiere.
The possible return of sports leagues and Atlanta Pride to Piedmont Park took another hit as park caretakers announced their efforts to dig a well failed.
Now the Piedmont Park Conservancy will try again, drilling a second time beginning Wednesday. If they can hit water, the park hopes it would be enough to irrigate the park and skirt the drought-related regulations that prompted the booting of sports and large-scale festivals from the area earlier this year.
Without a well, the conservancy says, the park won't be inviting its former inhabitants bak anytime soon.
With the final numbers crunched, Action Cycling 200 announced its fund-raising tally on Sunday: $106,000.
The amount surpassed the $100,000 goal organizers of the annual event set for themselves this year, and far exceeded fund-raising totals from past years. Since its inception in 2003, the event has raised more than $400,000 for the Emory Vaccine Center, a facility that researches vaccines for AIDS and other infectious diseases.
The announcement came Sunday during Action Cycling’s closing event in the Sky Lounge at MidCity Lofts in Midtown, where riders, volunteers and officials with the vaccine center joined to toast the event, celebrate its fund-raising prowess and display an over-sized, six-figure check.
Some 65 riders gathered about an hour after sunrise on May 17 for the event, which is a two-day, 200-mile journey from Decatur to Eatonton and back.
To see photos from the ride, go here. For a gallery of photos from Sunday's closing event, go here.