Robert Winn Resigns as Mazzoni Center’s Medical Director

Robert Winn | Image via Mazzoni Center's website.

Robert Winn | Image via Mazzoni Center’s website.

After a week of speculation and public outcry from community members over the suspension of Mazzoni Center medical director Dr. Robert Winn pending the outcome of an investigation, the nonprofit’s board confirmed his resignation on Friday morning. The announcement follows a private Mazzoni executive session board meeting held on Thursday night. Read more »

Mazzoni Center Staff Members Stage Walkout After Reports

Photo by Ernest Owens

Photo by Ernest Owens

On Tuesday afternoon, a day after G Philly reported that sources connected to Mazzoni Center claim that the organization’s medical director, Dr. Robert Winn, has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation, a group of the nonprofit’s employees participated in a protest walkout.

A heavy police presence shadowed roughly 30 staff members from Mazzoni’s headquarters at 21 South 12th Street to another Mazzoni office at 809 Locust Street. (The organization employs 139 people full time.) The walkout, organized by the Black and Brown Workers Collective (BBWC), included case managers, prevention facilitators, linkage-to-care assistants, and operational staff who departed their posts in response to a social media post made by BBWC co-founder and former Mazzoni staffer Abdul-Aliy Muhammad. None of Mazzoni’s medical providers participated. Read more »

Mazzoni Center’s Medical Director Is Under “Investigation,” Sources Claim

Robert Winn | Image via Mazzoni Center's website.

Robert Winn | Image via Mazzoni Center’s website.

After more than a week of rumors alleging that Mazzoni Center medical director Dr. Robert Winn has been absent from work without explanation, a Mazzoni spokesperson said on Monday that Winn is on “paid leave,” and two sources inside the organization further claim that he has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.

“Winn is currently on a paid-leave suspension during an … investigation,” said a staff member who works closely with Mazzoni’s medical department and who requested anonymity. “He’s been gone for at least a week, and oddly there’s been no blast email sent out to inform staff.”

“Winn is suspended and staff has not been made aware,” said a second staff member, who also asked not to be identified. “There is an investigation happening right now.”

Neither source would characterize the nature or cause of the investigation, nor explain who is conducting it. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Raquel Evita Saraswati

Raquel Evita Saraswati

Raquel Evita Saraswati

Raquel Evita Saraswati is a Muslim queer activist who has worked in various interfaith communities and serves as an appointee to the Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs. We chatted with her on advocacy work and what it means to be a femme womanist.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a Muslim activist and writer, focusing primarily on issues related to the rights of women and girls in Muslim-majority societies and communities. I do direct intervention work and support organizations focused on combatting gender-based violence, including honor-based violence, forced and child marriage, and female genital mutilation (FGM), in all communities and cultures where those crimes occur. I’ve been blessed to be published both domestically and internationally, and to have had the opportunity to lecture in North America and Europe on issues like gender-based violence and minority rights. I’ve been interviewed by networks like the BBC, France24, Voice of the Cape (South Africa’s Muslim radio network), Al-Jazeera and others, and in publications like The Root, International Business Times, and Salon.

I’m also a vegan (for 21 years now, and I love to cook for anyone who will let me), a master bargain hunter, a partner, a cat mom, a lover of words and loud, busy cities, and a muhajjaba – a woman who covers her hair. Read more »

DVLF Announces Its 2017 Heroes Awardees

DVLF Heroes is on Sunday, April 9th at Hotel Monaco at 433 Chestnut St.

DVLF Heroes 2017 takes place on Sunday, April 9th, at Hotel Monaco.

In its 11th year, DVLF Heroes celebrates people whose deeds positively affect the LGBTQ community. “Reading through the community’s submitted nominations, I was struck by all the incredible work by individuals and organizations to build and strengthen our community,” said Samantha Giusti, DVLF’s executive director. “This year’s slate of awardees have been leaders in securing the rights, meeting the needs, and celebrating the lives of LGBTQ people.” Read more »

“Pop-Up Love Party” Counters Anti-Trans Bus’s Philly Stop

Sharron Cooks guiding people away from the anti-trans bus | Photo by Jennifer Bryant

Sharron Cooks guiding people away from the anti-trans bus | Photo by Jennifer Bryant

On Saturday, the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, in collaboration with GALAEI, Trans-health Information Project (TIP), Attic Youth Center, William Way, ACLU, Mazzoni Center, and other community organizations, held a “Pop-Up Love Party” to protest the anti-trans “Free Speech Bus Tour” that was scheduled to appear. The National Organization on Marriage (NOM) has been driving across the East Coast for several weeks in a striking bright orange bus with transphobic messages and images, which has been met with protestors and vandalism. Read more »

Is Real Equality Finally Coming to the Gayborhood?

Illustration by Matt Clough.

Illustration by Matt Clough.

“Anti-blackness anywhere is anti-blackness everywhere!” The chant roared through a bullhorn on September 23, 2016, as a group of 15 mostly black and Latinx LGBTQ people took to the Gayborhood, carrying signs while chalking the rainbow-flagged streets. The diverse fleet made stops at popular bars and nightclubs, calling out the racial discrimination and profiling that members said they’d experienced at each location.

At ICandy, the 12th Street nightclub that had been criticized earlier that spring for its alleged “no Timberland boots” dress code, protesters tied a pair to the door and encouraged patrons to boycott the space. As the crowd grew, the group marched on, and more police arrived to escort them. Residents and barflies stared from windows in surprise — they had never seen a protest quite like this in the Gayborhood. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Henry Sias

Henry Sias | Photo by New Castro Camera Photography

Henry Sias | Photo by New Castro Camera Photography

Henry Sias is a transgender attorney and community advocate running for Court of Common Pleas judge. We speak with the trailblazing public figure on on social justice, trans-masculinity, and his thoughts on making history as the first transgender candidate to run for office in Philadelphia. Read more »

Sharron Cooks Becomes the First-Ever Transgender Person to Chair a City Commission

Sharron Cooks | Photo taken by Kelly Burkhardt

Sharron Cooks | Photo taken by Kelly Burkhardt

The Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs finished its internal election for board leaders this week, and G Philly was notified on Thursday that transgender advocate Sharron Cooks was elected as chair, along with out rowing coach Libby Peters as secretary and community activist Jason Evans as treasurer. In this role, Cooks becomes the first transgender person ever to chair a citywide commission in Philadelphia. Read more »

Michael Weiss, Two Others Resign From Mazzoni Center Board

Michael Weiss | Image via Mazzoni Center's website

Michael Weiss | Image via Mazzoni Center’s website

A week after it was revealed that Gayborhood bar owner and Democratic committeeman Michael Weiss was named — as “Business Owner #2” — in the 23-count federal indictment of District Attorney Seth Williams on corruption-related charges, Gayborhood nonprofit Mazzoni Center has confirmed to G Philly that he is no longer on the organization’s board.

A Mazzoni spokesperson sent the following statement: Read more »

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