LGBTQ&A: Kevin Trimell Jones

Kevin Trimell Jones

Kevin Trimell Jones is the new national executive director of the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services. We speak with the Penn grad about living with HIV, combatting stigma of the virus nationally, and what tools the LGBTQ community can use to improve advocacy.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Saginaw, Michigan, and raised in Detroit, Michihan. I was fortunate to have my grandmother living in our house. She was a strong woman. Around her, we were never allowed to say “I don’t care.” She showed us the worth of caring for everything and everyone — and she really tried to care for everyone. I get this from her. My very first job, around the age of 11, was delivering papers in our local community neighborhoods. I hated waking up at 5 a.m. on the weekends. It taught me a work ethic. My favorite work experience was during my time at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, and having the opportunity to travel to Gaborone, Botswana, to work with their professors and graduate students on developing HIV prevention interventions in their local communities. This was my first trip to the continent. I’m single. My best fury friend is Lulu, a dog I rescued in D.C. in 2016. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Wit López

Wit López | Photo by Yvonne Badu-Nimako

Wit López is a disabled, gender-nonconforming/non-binary transgender mixed-media creator, performer, and independent curator. We speak with the visual artist on using their aesthetics to challenge cultural stereotypes surrounding desirability, race, and gender expression. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Alex Deering

Alex Deering

Alex Deering is a Democratic committee member in Philadelphia’s 16th Ward, Division 6. We spoke with the rising civic leader about his political aspirations and being out in the black professional scene. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Heath Fogg Davis

Heath Fogg Davis

Heath Fogg Davis is a transgender male activist who teaches at Temple University, serves on the Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs, and is a member of the Trans Masculine Advocacy Network (TMAN). We chat with the advocate on being a trans man of color, exploring masculinity through activism, and his new book, which challenges the role gender plays in society. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Clay Cane

Clay Cane

Clay Cane is a New York City–based award-winning journalist, author, television personality, documentary filmmaker, and CNN.com contributor. Cane is the creator and director of the critically acclaimed original documentary Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church. We chatted with the Philadelphia native on his career, identity, and debut memoir.

Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Feminista Jones

Feminista Jones

Feminista Jones

Feminista Jones is a mental health social worker, sex-positive feminist writer, public speaker, and community activist. We got to chat with the popular social-justice advocate on her current movement work, social-media madness, and being openly pansexual. 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 »

LGBTQ&A: Ashley Coleman

Ashley Coleman

Ashley Coleman

Ashley Coleman is a queer businesswoman, bartender, and events producer in the Gayborhood. The outspoken entrepreneur chats with us about being a woman of color in the performance scene, Gayborhood racism from the inside out, and how the community can really come together. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Julie Chovanes

Julie Chovanes photographed by Amanda Swiger.

Julie Chovanes photographed by Amanda Swiger.

Julie Chovanes is the executive director of Trans-Help, a legal service provider for trans individuals. The lawyer and trans rights advocate talks to us about seeking justice for the late Nizah Morris, participating the PCHR Gayborhood racism hearing, and what the city can do to better serve the LGBTQ community. Read more »

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