January 26, 2015 |
Rachel Levine stood tall in the doorway, offered a polite handshake, and took a seat at the L-shaped desk in her drab, blank slate of an office. The room, with its empty bookshelves, dual computer screens, and not much else, seemed appropriately open to possibility as the headquarters for a woman about to chart new territory. Levine, who has just been named Pennsylvania's physician general, spent most of her 57 years - at least outwardly - as a man. If the state Senate confirms her appointment, the doctor, who until a few years ago was known as Richard Levine, will become one of the nation's very few, openly transgender people in public office.
November 1, 2014 |
They've become some of Pennsylvania's biggest out-of-state political contributors: a small group of multimillionaires - most of them gay - who want every state to allow same-sex marriage and to pass laws protecting LGBT rights. Since the mid-2000s, they have poured more than $1 million in campaign contributions into the commonwealth through Democratic organizations, buoying campaigns here for governor, attorney general, and seats in the General Assembly. The biggest donors include Tim Gill, a Colorado software entrepreneur; David Bohnett, a California technology tycoon; and Jon Stryker, heir to a medical-device fortune who lives in Michigan.
October 21, 2014 |
Gloria Casarez, 42, the city's first director of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender affairs, died Sunday after a five-year battle with metastatic breast cancer. Even as her conditioned worsened, Ms. Casarez participated in a media event at City Hall two weeks ago to celebrate LGBT History Month. She died on her own terms at sunrise, said her wife, Tricia Dressel. Dressel was with her at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and they listened to Ms. Casarez's favorite music, U2, 10,000 Maniacs, and Bjork.
October 10, 2014 |
DAWN MUNRO wants to do everything she can to assure that transgender children won't have to experience the horror she did. "I told my parents around [age] 5, 6 that there was a problem," said Munro, who was born male. Her family consulted with doctors, and, at one point, Munro was sent to a mental institution, where she was given electroconvulsive therapy. Munro will be the recipient of this year's Jaci Adams OutProud Transgender Award, at Outfest 2014, on Sunday. In its 24th year, the event in Center City's Gayborhood will feature music, vendors, food, a flea market, dancing and more.
October 3, 2014
I MAKE NO secret of the fact that I'm (an imperfect) Catholic. That makes for interesting conversations with strangers who know me only by what I've written, particularly former Catholics who still can't believe I go to Mass. So many of them wonder why I don't speak out against the horrible scourge of child abuse that became one of the preferred media obsessions over the past decade and a half. I understand why they ask, because to people whose only knowledge of the church was gleaned from the Baltimore Catechism back in the 1960s - before they abandoned the pews (and the Colts abandoned Baltimore)
September 26, 2014 |
FOLLOWING THE pummeling of a gay couple in Rittenhouse Square two weeks ago, City Council is stepping up its efforts to stop hate-fueled attacks on members of the LGBT community. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and Councilman Jim Kenney today will introduce a bill that they say will close a gaping loophole in the Philadelphia Code. The bill would add a new chapter to the city code, providing stricter penalties for hate crimes fueled by racism and bigotry and that target members of the LGBT community.
September 24, 2014 |
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said Monday that the department has concluded its investigation into a Center City assault that left a gay couple seriously injured - and that the District Attorney's Office is now reviewing the case. "We feel that there is sufficient evidence to have charges placed against some of the individuals there," Ramsey said in an interview. As prosecutors review differing accounts of the Sept. 11 incident, the case has spurred calls for changes to the state's hate-crime statute, which does not cover crimes motivated by sexual orientation.
September 23, 2014
OVER THE PAST 15 years in the U.S. Congress, I have been representing the citizens of the city of Philadelphia with pride and honor. I have been fortunate to see how our city has grown to respect and promote diversity. The LGBT community in our city has worked hard and been very lucky to have some great political leaders to ensure their acceptance and a place at the table. This recent gay bashing in downtown Philadelphia, in what I consider to be a hate crime, has no place in our fine City of Brotherly Love.
September 21, 2014 |
Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf joined a growing chorus Friday calling for expanded state hate-crime laws after a Center City assault that left a gay couple seriously injured. In a statement, Wolf described the Sept. 11 incident near Rittenhouse Square as "vicious" and "incomprehensible. " "No one, no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation, should ever have to live in fear of walking down the street," Wolf said of the assault, in which two men said they were attacked by a group of 10 to 12 people hurling antigay slurs.
June 18, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - In a quest to get its historically gay vibe back, Atlantic City's first openly gay mayor on Monday designated an official gay beach. It's a familiar spot: Park Place, the site of the original gay beach in Atlantic City, the iconic second-most-valuable spot on the Monopoly board, and, now, a beach with a rainbow flag flying at its entrance off the Boardwalk. "It represents Atlantic City coming of age," Mayor Don Guardian, 61, said after placing the rainbow flag on the wooden archway.