My name’s Kel and though I’m not a player (anymore), I do crush a lot. These powerhouse womenpeople of Philly not only light my heart on fire, they stimulate my mind, they make me giggle, and they make my spirit feel home. Oh – and they’re not bad to look at, either. In no particular order, here are the folks who have it all.
Co-founder of the Girls Justice League and overall Wizard of my Oz, Clarice is the spirithood I aspire to. I’d say she’s my “mentor,” but that just doesn’t cut it. Neither does guru, swami, guiding light, or sage. This woman gently holds the world in her – I love the world she holds, and the hands she holds it in.
I call her Tazer because she's pew!pew! on point. Every time this Trainer at The Bryson Institute of The Attic Youth Center opens her mouth, I become smarter and/or more stylish. We first bonded over the bangin’ leggings at E-Z Pickins. Five minutes later, it was the intersection of white supremacy with the marginalization of trans* youth. If you want to be relevant in the future of the world, pay attention to Tazer – because she’s leading the way.
There is no one who can so gracefully snap me into place while lifting me into her power like Natasha Andrews, executive director of Girls Inc. There is no one who I want so badly to think I’m cool while also knowing in my heart she’s not about that… because Natasha’s cool is that natural. I’d let her take the wheel any day: there is no one whose righteous, badass coattails I’d rather ride on.
Erica embodies the ultimate, fierce Midwestern charm. But don’t get too comfortable… because there’s an emphasis on the fierce. A program supervisor at Youth Service, Inc., Erica is a delicious casserole of delights: a dear friend and a doting mom, but also a powerful writer, a tireless social worker, and an intrepid social justice warrior. She’ll warm you up and give you the low down, all in one bite. Nom!
Samantha Jo Dato
I’ve never seen this woman doing less than 37 things at once or wearing heels under 4 inches. Seriously – go into her office – she’s got a stash. And in those heels, and with that to-do list, the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference coordinator still manages to bring a smile, a sharpness, and a sarcasm that’ll tear down the house every time.
Monique is one of those people (really, the only person) who somehow has it all together and yet remains human. She’s a therapist, a PhD student, and someone who’s going to revolutionize homegrown support networks for queer youth of color. I’m so psyched to know her! She moves through the world with remarkable poise – one hand held, one fist up, one foot down, and one heart open. And, she’s got the BEST jewelry.
When I first met Alyssa, I was an intern perched atop her file cabinet subsisting on canned peas, popcorn, and stress. She looked at me, giggled, and told me everything I’d ever need to know about cultivating support for nonprofits with integrity. Beyond lending her expertise as the development director at The Attic Youth Center, Alyssa gives the world her magic in so many ways: she’ll walk along in protest in the a.m., provide some armchair therapy in the afternoon, and work it out over pizza in the p.m.
Share your Woman Crush Wednesday!
Here are the rules: (1) Name five to 10 ladies you’re crushing on (2) You and all women involved must be from Philadelphia (3) Email your crushes to firstname.lastname@example.org.