When Tracee first joined the Mayor's TLGBBQ Advisory Board, she was sick and tired of the mistreatment that Trans community members were enduring at homeless shelters here in Atlanta.
She found it dehumanizing being denied your ability to present the way a person feels is right for them, and also not be addressed by the pronoun that best fits their gender identity, while doing so.
The reason that Tracee started advocating for human rights in the beginning was due to her strong belief that no one should be denied or allowed access to a warm and dry place to place their heads in time of need and in most cases, desperation, solely based upon how they're presenting themselves.
During Tracee's previous experiences providing Cultural Competency Training to some of those same local private and city operated shelters, she’d concluded that most of them only provided lip service, and continued discriminating against our community, because there were no repercussions for them doing so in their funding contracts.
During the monthly Advisory Board meetings, Tracee felt it very important to stress that the only way the city operated shelters would cease placing their personal opinions, biases and burdens on our community is for their funding be reexamined and attached to changing their discriminatory practices.
What confirmed that she’d made the right decision to join the Board was that the Mayor assembled a team of high level decision makers within her administration, and under Trans Affairs Committee's advisement, the City's future contracts with organizations and businesses were re-examined and written with specific guidelines for appropriately interacting with Trans people, including respecting the individual’s pronouns and gender identity.
As importantly, the contracts also included clearly stated language that explained how their funding would be impacted, if they didn't follow the rules and regulations as ascribed by the contracts with the City of Atlanta.
Tracee later shared that another highlight for her while serving under the Bottom's Administration was being actively involved with Codifying the Mayor's Division of TLGBQ Affairs Department, ensuring that the Mayors following Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms wouldn't be able to just do away with the very vital department that she'd created during her term to continue making safe and affirming spaces for our community.
Additionally, Tracee’s also shared that serving on the Moyors TLGBQ Advisory Board for four years has made certain that our voices were heard, acknowledged and taken seriously by the Powers that be.