Atlanta gets city’s first director of LGBTQ affairs

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) appointed the city’s first director of LGBTQ affairs last week as part of her “equity agenda.”

The mayor nominated Malik Brown to serve in the full-time position, in which he will act as an adviser to the city and Bottoms.  He was promoted from his previous role as LGBTQ affairs coordinator, according to a statement from the mayor’s office.

“My hope is that we create institutional and equitable change for LGBTQ Atlantans,” Brown told NBC News on Wednesday. “One day Mayor Bottoms and I won’t be at Atlanta City Hall anymore, but our hope is that the LGBTQ-supportive infrastructure that we’ve created will still be here.”

In his position, Brown told the network will offer recommendations to the mayor and City Hall on LGBTQ efforts and suggest ideas to the city and state legislatures. 

Brown, who previously served as an executive committee member of the Human Rights Campaign’s National Board of Governors, said his position will allow LGBTQ people in Atlanta to have a “direct line” to the mayor. 

He told NBC News his first priorities will involve taking action on housing discrimination for LGBTQ people, developing “cultural humility training” for city employees on transgender and nonbinary people, combatting violence against trans people and keeping the LGBTQ community safe during the pandemic.  

Bottoms, who also appointed other members to the LGBTQ Advisory Board, said in a statement that with the new position and expansion of the board, “we are creating institutional support for LGBTQ Atlantans.” 

Atlanta’s creation of the role makes it the first city in the Southeast with a senior-level LGBTQ-focused position. At least two Northeastern cities, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., have director LGBTQ-focused roles, according to NBC News.

Tags Atlanta Georgia Keisha Lance Bottoms LGBTQ LGBTQ community

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