On Tuesday night, in the East Hills Middle School Auditorium, the Bethlehem Area School District board voted unanimously to add “gender identity and gender expression” to its anti-discrimination and unlawful harassment policies.
G Philly presents a new collaboration with youth from The Attic Youth Center to spotlight the creative magic and cultural contributions of Philly’s LGBTQ youth of color. Today, Dalyla gets deep in a discussion about misconceptions within our community, and sounds off about the lack of media coverage of trans* women of color.
What do you imagine for the future of Philadelphia’s LGBT youth of color?
I imagine it getting better. Because, you know, gay isn’t as big as it used to be. In a way, it’s like racism. It’s all just swept under the rug and forgotten about. But it’s still a problem. I just hope that it progresses as time goes on.
How do you imagine that change for trans* women of color and trans* youth of color?
Oh, God. See, that is one of our biggest problems right now. And I’m so brokenhearted by it that I honestly don’t know what to say. All I can do about it is pray that the violence stops—for trans* women of color, for people of color, and for children. I just want it to stop. That’s what I want for the future.
Transgender bodybuilder Aydian Dowling is blowing away the competition in an online model search conducted by Men’s Health looking for a man to grace the cover of an upcoming issue. If he wins, Dowling will be the first transgender man to appear on the cover of the popular men’s fitness magazine.
You may remember Dowling, 27, as the buff chap who recreated Adam Levine’s iconic nude photo that appeared in Cosmo UK. That image spread like crazy across the Internet—which could explain his more than 15,000-point lead in the Men’s Health cover competition. (Tally taken at publish time.)
The contest is seeking “the guy who possesses all of the qualities that make up today’s well-rounded, active, health-conscious and thoughtful guy. … a guy who is fit and fearless; a doer who gives back and leads by example.”
Attic Youth Center
255 South 16th Street
The Attic creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. It provides myriad creative outlets for local youth, such as poetry, print screening, drag, art and more.
1207 Chestnut Street
GALAEI (Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative) is unwavering in its commitment to promote queer Latin@ social justice in the Philadelphia area. It’s outreach projects include everything from promoting sexual health in the Philadelphia Latin@ community to stumping for equal rights. It also fosters a program for trans folks in Philadelphia called the Trans-Health Information Project (TIP).
It appears that Obama administration is making boldly progressive moves to support the LGBT community during the President’s last term in office; today it was announced that a new gender-neutral bathroom was installed at the White House complex.
CNN reports that the restroom “is in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next door to the West Wing, within the White House complex where many employees have meetings and offices. The White House now allows staff and guests to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, including in the West Wing.”
This move is the latest from the Obama administration that attempts to provide protection and support for those in the LGBT community; earlier today, we reported that the President is supporting efforts to end conversation therapy for gay and trans youth. On Wednesday, an executive order to protect LGBT federal employees from discrimination went into effect.
The death of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn, who committed suicide in December after her parents forced her to attend conversion therapy, has initiated a lot of reactions, perhaps the largest of which is a whitehouse.gov petition that calls for an end to conversion therapy on gay and transgender youth. The petition has garnered more than 120,000 signatures—enough for President Obama to make a response and take action to forbid mental health practitioners from working to “repair” LGBT youth.
It’s a big year for Philadelphia and its surrounding regions on the third-annual Trans 100 list. Eight (8!) folks with local ties have been recognized by national groups This Is H.O.W. and We Happy Trans for their achievements in advocacy and progressing transgender rights in our city and beyond.
The 100 honorees were announced Sunday evening at a live-streamed event in Chicago. The names were then shared on Twitter, one by one, which is where I culled my list of 8 locals:
It was just announced that Governor Tom Wolf named Dr. Rachel Levine the first transgender Acting Physician General for PA. The Middletown, Pa. resident is also a Professor at the Penn State College of Medicine, where she serves as chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders, a program she created on her own. She has also worked actively with the school’s Office of Diversity, mentoring LGBT students, faculty and staff, and she sits on the board of Equality PA.
Andrea Bowen, our go-getting sister across the Delaware, is the recently instated Executive Director of Garden State Equality (GSE). Bowen comes to GSE from Washington D.C., where she worked as the social policy organizer with the D.C. Trans Coalition, and policy expert for the National Center for Transgender Equality. In these roles she played an integral part in getting key legislation passed for the LGBT community, including a bill that allows transgender people to change their birth certificates and names, and she helped spearhead a movement that ensured D.C. health insurance policies covered many trans-specific health care needs. Learn more about what she’s got in store for GSE here.
Olympic champion and patriarch of the Kardashian
klan clan Bruce Jenner has been the subject of a lot of headlines lately—many speculating whether or not he’s actually going through gender transformation. So far he’s remained mum, but this weekend, while attending the Justin Bieber Roast on Comedy Central, his 19-year-old daughter Kendall Jenner gave us one of the most definitive answers we have to date: During an interview with Us Weekly, she said:
Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week: the Leeway Foundation, which supports women and trans* artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change.
Who are you? Denise Brown, executive director of the Leeway Foundation. Through grantmaking and other programs, Leeway promotes artistic expression that amplifies the voices of those on the margins, promotes sustainable and healthy communities, and works in the service of movements for economic and social justice. Leeway believes that art can bridge difference, center those who have been on the margins, and challenge and connect communities and individuals to live in peaceful coexistence.
When was Leeway founded? Leeway Foundation began in 1993 as an organization dedicated to supporting women artists in the Philadelphia area. In the late 1990s, Leeway’s leadership grew its commitment to art as a means of helping achieve social change. Over the past ten years, Leeway’s donor family, its Board of Directors, staff, and Advisory Council worked to transform the Foundation in several remarkable ways. They engaged people of color in positions of influence, and committed to a process of dismantling racism in organizational relationships, practices, policies, and programs. They moved decision-making power from a single-family member structure to a board comprised of people from the community, and committed to an active framework of personal and political transformation. They expanded Leeway’s mission to support both women and trans people who make art as a means for transforming individuals and communities.