The New Who’s Who of Philly’s Gay Community
THE PARTY GIRLS
Thank Hikes and Levine for Stimulus and Arouse each month. “It always felt like there was an inequality between the options gay men had in their nightlife compared to the options lesbians had,” says Levine, a Temple student. “We wanted to create a space where everyone could come together.” Levine and Hikes (director of Upward Bound at Penn) have also linked activism with nightlife. “We’re focused on expanding ‘Stimulus Gives Back,’” says Hikes—most notably by encouraging the party people to get involved with nonprofits. For Hikes, being a role model is a big deal. “I think it’s important to see people like me—young, black, female—involved in our community in a positive way,” she says. “We’d like to eventually say that Stimulus has left an indelible mark on the LGBT community.”
And since she was 21, Tracy Buchholz has been on The Scene. After dashing between Rehoboth and Philly all summer after moving back from Los Angeles, the Ambler native admits, “There was a void I tried to fill.” So she resurrected the monthly dance party. “One of the best things about coming out was feeling like a part of a new family—Philadelphia’s LGBT community,” she says. “I consider this community my family.” That might explain why the Temple grad also works with the Philly Gay Tourism Caucus and Sapphire Fund’s Emerge event. “On a personal level, I want to be an example that it’s okay to be an out professional,” says Buchholz. “It’s part of who I am. No one should have to hide it.”
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