Q&A: Malcolm Kenyatta on Being Openly LGBTQ in Local Politics

Malcolm Kenyatta, 25, is known as "North Philly's Biggest Fan."

Malcolm Kenyatta, 25, is known as “North Philly’s biggest fan.”

How would you best describe your career?
At my core, I’m just a kid from North Philly who refuses to leave. I was born and raised in the neighborhood, went to college here, left for a year or so, and then came back first chance I got. I’m also a believer in the power of words to make change – politically or artistically. My passion in the arts goes back to college, when I founded a performance group, Babel (Temple’s poetry collective). For the past two years I’ve been one of the producers for a play, You Gotta Eat Dirt Before You Die, and used it as a platform to discuss and raise awareness around HIV/AIDS. Politically, at 25 I’m the youngest member of the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club board of directors, a Point Foundation mentor, was recently elected to the board of directors of Smith Playground and appointed president of the Philadelphia NOW (National Organization for Women) Education Fund, which raises awareness about issues involving women and families. Read more »

Philadelphia to Get LGBTQ Victim Advocate

Via Shutterstock

Via Shutterstock

This is huge news for LGBTQ Philadelphians and visitors to our city: Center City Crime Victim Services (CCCVS) has announced that they are creating a full-time Victim Advocate position that will serve LGBTQ crime victims within Philadelphia.

According to press materials from CCCVS:

“Understanding the varied concerns facing LGBT crime victims, the LGBTQ Victim Advocate will serve to foster a sense of safety and support for victims that face complex barriers to reporting crime and participating in the criminal justice process. In addition to serving individual victims, the LGBTQ Victim Advocate will work to establish greater awareness and education surrounding the rights of all crime victims in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania…We are critically aware of the impact crime has on the LGBT community…Through community outreach and education in conjunction with individual services, we are seeking to educate and empower LGBT victims of crime.”

Read more »

43% of Philly’s Homeless Youth Identify as LGBTQ

Via Shutterstock

Via Shutterstock

It’s a staggering statistic that can’t be ignored: A January 2015 survey conducted by Valley Youth House, Covenant House, Project HOME, the Attic Youth Center, the Mazzoni Center, and more, found that 43% of homeless youth in Philadelphia identify as LGBTQ. The data has become a call to action, so to speak, for many youth service organizations in the region. Read more »

Faces of Philly Pride 2015: An Instagram Photo Essay

One of the most beautiful things about Pride is that, no matter where in Philly you celebrate, it’s an annual reminder that it really is a full community of so many different types: Every gender, sexuality, color, and social status come together for the same reason. Sure, at first glance, there’s a heck of a lot of half-naked dudes strutting on stages, but when you pull back the layers, you can see the faces of Pride are so varied and so beautiful, that it’s hard to ignore. We were keeping a close eye on your Instagram pictures today and selected a collection to share with you that we think captures that essence of variety, and what Pride is all about. Read more »

Yaaas, Hillary!: Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Goes Super Gay

You, too, can own this "Yaaas, Hillary!" t-shirt. From Hillary for America Shop.

You, too, can own this “Yaaas, Hillary!” t-shirt. From Hillary for America Shop.

We reported a while back on the “Bottoms for Hillary” movement, but the official Clinton campaign has come up with a series of LGBTQ products that have us screaming “Yaaas!”

My favorite has got to be the “Yaaas, Hillary!” yellow t-shirt, featuring an old-school yearbook photo of Clinton, but it isn’t the only piece of merchandise available in the Hillary for America Pride Shop. Take a look at the assortment of really cool products below:



Head on over to the official Hillary Clinton store to pick up some of this fabulousness, and, on a more serious note, when the time comes, do NOT forget to vote.

Kimmel Center Teams With Local LGBT Nonprofits For the Weeklong It Gets Better Project

It Gets Better Header

The It Gets Better Project has become a household name. Created in September 2010 by columnist Dan Savage as a simple YouTube video encouraging LGBTQ youth that high school harassment and bullying will cease and that life will “get better,” the initiative has turned into a world-wide movement. Over 50,000 users have created video messages for LGBTQ teenagers, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ke$ha, and Ellen DeGeneres, amongst many others. Now, the project is fittingly on it’s way to the City of Brotherly Love.

The It Gets Better Project engagement at the Kimmel Center kicks off next week with a weeklong long residency that includes a series of free events leading up to a Saturday evening multimedia concert at the Perelman Theatre. Read more »

Nearly 3,000 Gay Marriages in Jersey, So Far

The Star-Ledger reports: “A total of 2,955 gay couples were married in New Jersey from Oct. 21, when same-sex weddings began under the orders of a state judge, through the end of March, according to the state health department. At the same time, 43,619 heterosexual couples were wed. That means about one of 15 marriages performed in the state during that period were for same-sex couples.”

The paper adds: “Activists said they expect the pace will increase as the wedding season begins next month. One observer said gay marriages could bring up to $94 million to New Jersey’s economy over the next three years. She suspects many couples from Pennsylvania, which does not allow gay marriage, will also cross the border to get hitched.”

 

 

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