LGBTQ&A: Milan Nicole Sherry

Milan Nicole Sherry

Milan Nicole Sherry is a local activist and coordinator/outreach specialist at the Trans Equity Project. We chat with the black transgender revolutionist on her move here from New Orleans, the Philly Trans March, and why equity outweighs equality in social justice movements. Read more »

LGBTQ Event of the Week: 3rd Annual Trans Flag Raising Over City Hall

For the third time, a transgender flag will fly alongside the American one this week at City Hall to mark this year’s Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. More info about the ceremony below. | Photo by torbakhopper/Flickr.

For its solidarity with the local trans community, this week’s LGBTQ event of the week is the 3rd Annual Trans Flag Raising Over City Hall. Enjoy an afternoon that plans to honor transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals through music, live entertainment, and more. Hosted by the Office of LGBT Affairs and the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, this community-wide event features performances and appearances by Mayor Jim Kenney, Office of LGBT Affairs executive director Amber Hikes, Janis Stacy, Kim Watson, Naiymah Sanchez, and Kaleia Brown. Special guest Gavin Grimm will speak to the crowd. The event kicks off at 1 p.m. on Thursday, September 7th, outside Philadelphia City Hall. Free admission. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Nima Etemadi

Nima Etemadi | Photography by Dominic Perri

Nima Etemadi is an award-winning pastry chef and co-owner of Cake Life, a new seasonal bakery in Fishtown. We chat with the winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars about being a successful transgender business owner, culinary life, and making the service industry more inclusive. Read more »

Trans Worker Says Coffee Shop Fired Them After They Reported Harassment

Function Coffee Labs | Photo by Avante Edmonds

A former employee at South Philly’s Function Coffee Labs says they were terminated after making complaints about harassment on the job from a “transphobic” customer who frequented the shop.

The former employee, who identifies as transgender and prefers they/them pronouns, spoke with Philly Mag exclusively about their experience and requested anonymity because “it is often difficult for transgender people to find employment.” Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Tiommi Jenae Luckett

Tiommi Jenae Luckett

Tiommi Jenae Luckett is a transgender activist and HIV awareness advocate. We chat with the fearless social justice champion on Arkansas, living with HIV, and confronting Gayborhood racism as a Philly transplant. Read more »

Police Searching for Suspects Wanted in Drive-by Paintball Attacks

paintball

Philadelphia police are searching for suspects who are believed to have targeted transgender people in a drive-by paintball attack.

Police say the incident happened around 4:20 p.m. Thursday in West Philadelphia. According to reports, the suspects, who were driving a a silver Infiniti M35 sedan, stopped outside the Morris Home, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for trans and gender variant people. They allegedly fired paintballs from inside the vehicle at people sitting on the porch of the facility, which is located near 50th Street and Woodland Avenue in Kingsessing.  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: 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 »

“It Was an Ambush”: Behind the Vote That Ousted Sharron Cooks as LGBT Commission Chair

Sharron Cooks | Photo taken by Kelly Burkhardt

The Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs, a 23-member advisory board announced in October 2016 after several intense months of revelations about racial discrimination in the Gayborhood, convened its first meeting on March 16th at City Hall. This inaugural gathering served as the formal introduction of Amber Hikes, a black queer woman newly appointed as the executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, to the diverse body of volunteers who would help her advise Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration on the pressing needs of Philadelphia’s LGBT community.

It was during this meeting, which kicked off with commission members taking the floor for two minutes apiece to present overviews of their lives and work, that Sharron Cooks, a black transgender advocate and new member herself, noticed something potentially troubling. She felt that another member, a white cisgender woman, was “taking up too much space” — essentially framing discussion of diversity and inclusion around her own experience rather than that of people of color. Cooks said nothing, but noted that, unlike other members, the woman eventually spoke for five minutes longer than the allotted time. Read more »

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