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PA to allow gender designation ‘X’ on driver’s licenses

PA to allow gender designation ‘X’ on driver’s licenses

Victoria Brownworth    July 31, 2019

PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will offer a gender designation of X on driver’s licenses beginning in 2020. Erin Waters-Trasatt, Communications Director for PennDOT told PGN that the agency “plans...

Mark My Words

Some Palestinians: Don’t forget to kill …

Mark Segal    August 22, 2019

No matter which side of the Israeli-Palestinian divide you’re on, and there are many, you might ask what is the responsibility of the LGBT community in this debate?

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Media Trail - 8/23/19

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Media Trail - 8/23/19

PGN Staff    August 22, 2019

More than 7,000 U.S. residents now have gender designation “X” on their IDs

Conference for LGBT women physicians and medical students held in Philly

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Conference for LGBT women physicians and medical students held in Philly

Michele Zipkin    August 22, 2019

This year, Philadelphia was home to a conference centering women’s health issues, as well as issues for LGBT physicians and members of the queer community. 

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DOJ files brief saying trans people can be discriminated against

Victoria Brownworth    August 22, 2019

The Trump administration’s Department of Justice filed a brief August 16 asking the Supreme Court to set a legal precedent allowing employers to fire transgender employees.

Trump rule protects contractors who discriminate against LGBT workers

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Trump rule protects contractors who discriminate against LGBT workers

Victoria Brownworth    August 22, 2019

The Trump administration proposed a rule change on August 14 that would allow government contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees based on a company’s religious beliefs. The Labor Department proposal...

Rutgers study reveals increased depression in pregnant trans men

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Rutgers study reveals increased depression in pregnant trans men

Laura Smythe    August 22, 2019

A lack of gender-affirming knowledge among health care providers and difficulties accessing medical care places pregnant trans men at a higher risk of experiencing depression and avoiding care, a new...

News Analysis: Biden and Buttigieg top donor lists for PA

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News Analysis: Biden and Buttigieg top donor lists for PA

Victoria Brownworth    August 22, 2019

    In a primary that is increasingly being decided by donors, former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg top the list of candidates with big money...

Out candidate’s name removed from general election ballot

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Out candidate’s name removed from general election ballot

Tim Cwiek    August 22, 2019

A Philadelphia judge has disqualified Sherrie Cohen from running for a seat on City Council as an Independent candidate in the general election after having relinquished her primary run as...

Trans  litigant continues push for anonymity

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Trans litigant continues push for anonymity

Tim Cwiek    August 22, 2019

A trans woman who’s suing the University of Pennsylvania and its hospital for medical malpractice, wrongful termination and other wrongdoing continues to fight for the right to remain anonymous as a...

Advocacy and action for and by LGBT

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Individuals and communities alike are working across the Commonwealth to better focus on awareness of and access to services for LGBTQ older adults and their caregivers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s October 2018 LGBTQ Aging Summit was planned to be a catalyst to connect the aging services network with the LGBTQ senior community to help drive many needed changes at the local and state levels to better address the needs of our diverse LGBTQ seniors.

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At the summit, Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders) outlined a number of issues and shared a call to action with this statement, “Recognizing that you are advocates, and that we are all advocates, we must work together to advance the policies that improve the lives of LGBTQ older adults.” Adams went on to outline five key advocacy issues:

Pass the Fairness Act. Currently in Pennsylvania, we have a patchwork of legal protections for LGBT residents rather than a uniform anti-discrimination law. Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast without such a law protecting the LGBTQ community. The Fairness Act needs to pass to provide protections across the Commonwealth.

Designate LGBT older adults and those living with HIV as greatest social needs populations in the Older Americans Act. The term “greatest social need” refers to the need caused by noneconomic factors, which can include discrimination, social isolation, disproportionate poverty and health disparities, and a lack of access to culturally competent providers. Being designated “greatest social needs population” would improve access to supports and services, including needed funding.

Provide protections in long term care settings. Pennsylvania can follow the lead of Massachusetts and California in advancing an LGBT Long-Term Care Facility Residents Bill of Rights, which protects people from discrimination on basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status in long-term care settings.

Require cultural competency training for the Aging Services Network.  Pennsylvania can follow the lead of California and Massachusetts to require LGBT cultural-awareness training as part of certification for long-term care providers.

Gather Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Data. Collecting SOGI data is essential to providing high quality, patient-centered care to LGBT people across their lifecycle. We understand that the Department of Aging has the ability to begin to gather data on their funded programs (i.e., through the AAA and LINK networks).

Advocacy in 2019

Advocacy is happening locally with the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs and its Elder Advisory Committee, chaired by Gigi Nikpour. The committee meets monthly and has forged partnership with strong national advocacy organizations such as AARP, SAGE and CARIE (Center for Advocacy for the Rights & Interests of the Elderly). We welcome community advocates to join our efforts to advance the needs of LGBT older adults and their caregivers in Pennsylvania. For more information, please contact Gigi Nikpour via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the Office of LGBT Affairs at 215-686-0330.


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