Before, during, and after the Nov. 8 midterm election in Georgia, Capital B Atlanta will be speaking with Black voters to hear your thoughts and share your stories. From the campaign trail to local events, “What Black Voters Are Saying” wants to document the issues most important to you. Want to share your story? Hit up politics reporter Chauncey Alcorn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearly half a million LGBTQ+ people live in Georgia, and 11.6% are eligible to vote. The latter number is expected to nearly double by 2040.
During Pride festivities this month, Capital B Atlanta spent some time talking to Black LGBTQ+ voters to learn more about what issues concern them the most. In a state where there are no protections for discrimination in housing, access to credit, and public accommodations, respondents told us they have concerns about general LGBTQ+ rights at home.
There are also growing concerns that the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade (and Georgia enacting its own strict ban) would lead to more landmark decisions that might negatively impact LGBTQ+ voters in the future, including threats to the legality of same-sex marriage.
Black residents are also looking for candidates who will find solutions for a growing homelessness issue and who understand their fight to overcome stigmas in Georgia’s health care systems.
Here’s what they had to say.
Lady Blue, 30, Downtown
“My biggest concern is threats to this community, and right now, the biggest threat is the lack of attention we are receiving on a state level in terms of access to safe, unbiased health care.”
“Every time you try to go to the doctor as a transgender woman, you have to think about if it’s safe for you, if you won’t be judged, or if you will receive adequate care. This isn’t just an individualized issue. It’s a culture that we need every lawmaker in this state to recognize and actively work toward changing.”
Jamie, 18, Powder Springs
“I’m worried about what Georgia’s new abortion laws mean for the LGBTQ community. Birthing is more than a task taken on by a heterosexual woman. As a Black queer woman, we face the added layer of stigma that may prevent us from finding out if we are pregnant in less than six weeks. … I think this ban was just the beginning of removing women’s rights in Georgia.”
Leslie Chavez, 60, Mableton
“Right now, this city is experiencing a housing crisis … but no one cares because the crisis is amongst Black people. When we go without, it’s almost as if this city turns its back, and it doesn’t make sense because they say this is the ‘Black Mecca.’ We need homes, not high-rise luxury apartments that no one can afford on land that belonged to generations of Black families who were run off their own land. How long do they think they can deny us this without it coming to a head?”
Darryl Birch, 28, South Cobb
“I feel like the overturning of Roe v. Wade was only the beginning of the end. When it happened, I immeditaley figured either affirmative action or same-sex marriage was next. It’s a scary time for sure.”
“We, as a society, still shouldn’t feel the need to create laws that determine how people must live their lives. Instead, we need someone who will try to better our lives without confining us to one way of how it should be lived.”
Marquise, 32, Kennesaw
“Being a Black gay man in Atlanta isn’t what it seems. They say this is the place to be, but you still face stigmas daily in simple ways that everyone doesn’t always think about. Imagine being turned away from housing by landlords because you are gay, or not having access to homeless shelters because it’s unsafe for you as a queer person. I know so many young, queer, non-gender-conforming kids who are on the streets because they have nowhere safe and reliable to lay their heads at night. What do you think is out there for them on the street besides trouble?”
“We need to address the homelessness issue within the LGBTQ community, and I want to vote for any politician who is willing to help.”