OK, I admit that I have made people cry (à la Barbara Walters) during the course of these interviews, but this week was a first: The interviewee made me cry like a baby.

Brian Strachan wears many hats. And they’re sometimes big pink ones atop towering wigs. He fills his daytime hours as a teacher, inspiring the next generation at the University of the Arts, but once a month he dons a themed costume and teases, taunts and tickles the crowd as a Bingo Verifying Diva at Philadelphia’s popular GayBINGO. Now entering its 14th year, GayBINGO has raised thousands of smiles and more than $2 million for people in the Delaware Valley living with HIV/AIDS.

“I’m not the spitfire activist I once was, but I still get out there.” That’s what you’d call an understatement. If this is her slow mode, I can see why Dionne Stallworth has been hailed as a pioneer in the LGBT movement. As one of the founding members of GenderPAC, the first transgender political action committee, a founding member and original co-chair of the Transgender Health Action Coalition and a former officer and board member of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association, Stallworth has been on the frontlines. Currently, she is the resident activities coordinator for Project H.O.M.E.’s In Community, a housing program. Her responsibilities include developing educational and entertainment activities for program residents. She is also a part-time hostess at Project H.O.M.E.’s Home Page Café and a public grant reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health and the Centers for Disease Control. She recently has designed and is working on funding a transgender-specific shelter project. She’s definitely still out there.

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