Crossing Cheshire Bridge
Crossing Cheshire Bridge is an alluring look into the lives of a diverse urban community within Atlanta, Georgia.
For the last decade, I have submersed myself into the culture of Cheshire Bridge by photographing people along this infamous road. Cheshire Bridge has been a place for all to gather without judgment within the confines of this one-and-a-half mile road.
Still, layers of complexities exist surrounding this community, not only with sex and sexuality but with drugs, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, mental and physical illness, abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking, violence, and gentrification to name a few. The surrounding neighborhoods have fought for years to shutdown businesses that have survived for decades, and question who has the right to exist and be happy, to be in love, and who deserves to be in our community.
Transgender people are a particularly vulnerable population. People who identify as transgender report incredibly high rates of discrimination across their lives, including in employment, housing, healthcare, education, and police interactions.
A National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program study found that 72 percent of all violent crimes against LGBTQ people targeted transgender women, who also make up 67 percent of LGBTQ homicide victims. One of the most alarming statistics, that 41 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide — compared to just 1.6 percent of the general population — reflects the mental health consequences that result from this discrimination, harassment, and violence.
Cheshire Bridge road provides a community where all people are free to live with the person they are inside regardless of gender and race.
Recently, Cheshire Bridge road began suffering from an explosion of redevelopment, specifically with demolishing decades old small businesses, and replacing them with high rise apartments and massive multi-level storage facilities.
The gentrification of Atlanta has been the source of both praise and condemnation. Gentrification of Atlanta's inner-city neighborhoods began in the 1970s, and it has continued, at varying levels of intensity, into the present in areas near downtown where land is still affordable for mixed-use development.
With the recent plowing down of many establishments, many people question if Cheshire Bridge were “sanitized”, where will they go? With the ongoing projects of gentrification, homogenization, sterilization, and capitalization of this infamous historic neighborhood, it’s just a matter of time before this unique community is forced to disperse, and the diversity no longer exists.