In addition to serving as an openly lesbian State Representative, I worked alongside my colleague, Rep. Karla Drenner, to secure sponsors for legislation that would codify in state law, employment protections for lgbt state employees. I testified at the hearing, presenting myself as someone who, if an employee of the state, could be discriminated against and dismissed from my job for simply being who I am.
Prior to running for office in 2009, I worked as a Community Organizer and Community Educator for The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative (now The Health Initiative) and Lambda Legal. I've traveled throughout the 10 southern states fighting for the rights of LGBT people, and those living with HIV/AIDS, by mobilizing communities to understand the rights they have and seek to expand their civil rights. I've fought for safe schools, access to housing, access to culturally competent healthcare services and recognition of relationship status. In addition, I've fought against the stigma and discrimination experienced by those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
I continue to avail myself to the lgbt community, advocating on our behalf, encouraging civic engagement around lgbt issues and within other movements. I've spoken at State Capitol rallies as an out lesbian on issues of immigration, the death penalty, and workplace equality for ALL Georgians, supporting working families, education and access to quality and affordable healthcare. I also serve as a mentor to lgbt youth who wish to take part in local government.