PCHR Gayborhood Racism Recommendations: First 30 Days

Poster detailing the Fair Practices Ordinance now visible at Knock bar in Gayborhood | Photo credit: Ernest Owens

Poster detailing the Fair Practices Ordinance now visible at Knock bar in Gayborhood | Photo credit: Ernest Owens

When the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) released its Gayborhood racism report and recommendations a month ago, its most immediate mandate was that all Gayborhood bars post the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance in employee common areas. G Philly interviewed PCHR executive director Rue Landau about the progress on that item and the report’s other recommendations. Read more »

LGBTQ Event of the Week: Glamsino Royale: Carnaval

Glamsino Royale: Carnaval is this Thursday, February, 23rd.

Glamsino Royale: Carnaval is this Thursday, February 23rd.

For its charitable giving and festive appeal, this week’s LGBTQ event of the week is Glamsino Royale: Carnaval. This time around, the event plans to host a “perfect night of glitz, glamour and good fortune.” Guests can expect to be wowed by partaking in high-roller casino table games and silent auction bidding while listening to the party jams of DJ Sharyn Stone. There is a open bar and endless Brazilian bites, and proceeds from the entire event are going to ActionWellness. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 23rd, at Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, 117 South 17th Street. Tickets

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Philly’s First-Ever LGBTQ Women’s Week Starts This Weekend

Philly's first-ever LGBTQ Women's week is taking place February 25th to March 4th.

Philly’s first-ever LGBTQ Women’s week is taking place February 25th to March 4th.

“The Revolution,” Philadelphia’s first-ever LGBTQ Women’s Week, is launching this week. Started by The Strong Catalyst, a local lesbian multimedia collective, the event is centered on “bridging the gap between lesbian women and the rest of the LGBTQ women’s community.”

“I began wondering what it would look like to have a weeklong event that was just for LGBTQ women that was socially conscious, charity-focused, and conversation-driven,” Amanda Swiger, co-founder of The Strong Catalyst and executive producer of the event, told G Philly. “After attending Outfest last year for the first time as a community organization and a normal person, I saw things differently. It felt too male, too white, too party driven to actually do our community much good.” Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Amber Hikes

Amber Hikes | Photo credit: Ashlee Kulp

Amber Hikes | Photo credit: Ashlee Kulp

Amber Hikes, the new executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, has served in community leadership positions at the Attic Youth Center, William Way Community Center, Philadelphia Dyke March, and many other organizations. We chatted with the unapologetically proud black queer woman on her goals in combating Gayborhood racism, things she’s never told anyone, and following in the footsteps of one of her favorite mentors, the late Gloria Casarez. Read more »

LGBTQ Event of the Week: Queer Performances of Color

Instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers, burlesque, drag, art -- Saturday night's "Queer Performances of Color" at CiBo appears to have it all.

Instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers, burlesque, drag, art — Saturday night’s “Queer Performances of Color” at CiBo appears to have it all.

For its diverse lineup of entertainment and intersectional harmony, this week’s LGBTQ event of the week is Queer Performances of Color. This edition’s theme is “Empowering Women of Color Through Intersectional Feminism” as your favorite queer female performers “show unity and solidarity in our community.” Guests can expect performances fromSelene Rose, VinChelle, Jakeya, Isa Ardiente, Jaeda, Büm Büm Kapau, and many more. Special guests speakers at the event are Ashley Coleman and Shani Akilah of the Black & Brown Workers Collective. The event kicks off at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 18th, at CiBo Ristorante Italiano 1227 Walnut Street. Everyone is welcomed and suggested donations are $5 to $20. Read more »

Mayor’s Office Announces Appointments to the Commission on LGBT Affairs

Photo courtesy of Philly Bricks.

Photo courtesy of Philly Bricks.

A day after announcing Amber Hikes as the new director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, the Mayor’s Office has released its long-awaited list of appointees to the Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs. The commission’s 23 members were selected through an application and review process that involved the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, the Office of LGBT Affairs, and the Mayor’s Office.

“Philadelphia values and promotes diversity and the contributions of our LGBT community,” said Mayor Kenney in a statement.  “I appreciate the commitment of these stellar individuals to serve on the LGBT Commission, and I believe the city will benefit from their rich and varied perspectives.” Read more »

Amber Hikes Named New Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs

Amber Hikes. Photo credit | Ashlee Kulp

Amber Hikes. Photo credit | Ashlee Kulp

The Mayor’s Office officially announced on Monday that Amber Hikes, a black queer woman, will be the new executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs. Hikes will begin work on March 6th.

“My diverse experiences in the vibrant Philadelphia LGBTQ community — first as a student, then as a professional, then as a business owner and finally as a community leader — afford me the unique opportunities to view LGBTQ community work in this city from multiple vantage points,” said Hikes in a statement. “I’m eager to serve my community during this pivotal time by increasing the accessibility of the Office, listening to community members and implementing initiatives to serve LGBTQ Philadelphians more efficiently and effectively.”

Hikes is a well-known community leader within the Gayborhood, having served as a board member at the William Way LGBT Community Center, an organizer for the Philadelphia Dyke March, and a community fundraiser for GALAEI, the Attic Youth Center, and ACLU-PA before moving to California for a short time.

Hikes succeeds Nellie Fitzpatrick, who is leaving the office effective today. In an interview with Philly Voice, Fitzpatrick said she will be opening a private law practice in April.*

“Mayor Kenney and I are committed to serving the needs of Philadelphia’s LGBT community,” said Nolan Atkinson, chief diversity officer for the city, who oversees the Office of LGBT Affairs. “Nellie’s work to institutionalize this Office by pushing forward legislation to change the city’s charter helps make this possible, and we appreciate her laying the foundation for the focused community work that Amber will be doing moving forward.”

As executive director, Hikes will focus on “community organizing and engagement, as well as inward facing policy work, both of which are in line with the mission of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, under which the LGBT Office sits.”

*Editor’s note: This sentence was edited for clarity after publication.

Protesters Disrupt Mazzoni’s “Justice In Action” Awards Luncheon

Screenshot of Abdul-Aliy Mohammad reading a list of demands to Nurit Shein and Michael Weiss.

Screenshot of Abdul-Aliy Mohammad reading a list of demands to Nurit Shein and Michael Weiss.

“Nurit Shein, resign!” was the catchphrase a dozen members of the intersectional activist group Black & Brown Workers Collective (BBWC) chanted on Friday during the Mazzoni Center’s eighth-annual “Justice in Action” event at the Loews hotel in Center City.

After posting a Change.org petition calling for the Mazzoni CEO to resign amid controversy surrounding her remarks following the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Gayborhood racism report, Friday’s protest was an in-person confrontation in which the BBWC handed Mazzoni board members a list of their demands and spoke to Shein in person. The demands included Shein stepping down, Mazzoni medical director Dr. Robert Winn resigning, and Mazzoni allocating nonrestricted​ funds to “support therapy and other infrastructure to help former and current staff that have had an increase in need for therapeutic care due to workplace violence.” Read more »

LGBTQ Event of the Week: Mr. & Ms. Philadelphia Leather Contest 2017

The Bike Stop and Philadelphians MC presents the Mr. & Ms. Philadelphia Leather Contest 2017 this Saturday.

The Bike Stop and Philadelphians MC presents the Mr. & Ms. Philadelphia Leather Contest 2017 this Saturday.

For its competitive spirit and edgy dress code, this week’s LGBTQ event of the week is Mr. & Ms. Philadelphia Leather Contest 2017. This time around, the Bike Stop and Philadelphians MC are asking you to “strap on your hottest gear, grab all your friends, and don’t forget your cellphone so you can vote online and help decide the winner!” Guests can expect to compete and/or vote for the Bar Wear, Hot Wear, Formal Wear, and Audience Vote categories. There is a cash bar with snacks, with an afterparty following the crowning of the winners. The event kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 7th, at the Bike Stop, 206 South Quince Street. Read more »

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