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 Founded on antidiscrimination ideals, cooperatives have a storied history as LGBTQ havens.

“It’s pretty ingrained in the culture. [Co-ops] have been known as safe spaces for queer folks since probably the ’70s,” said Aj Hess, who’s worked in cooperatives since the early aughts.

Mariposa Food Co-op, the 48-year-old West Philadelphia staple, is no different.

Hess, the Co-op’s general manager, estimates Mariposa’s staff is about 30-percent queer, themselves included.

 Philadelphia Councilman-at-Large Bill Greenlee announced that he will not seek reelection, paving the way for another new City Council member.

“After giving it much thought, I have decided this will be my final year serving on City Council,” Greenlee said on Feb. 11. “It has been my honor to have served so long and to have worked with all its members, past and present.”

 As social media has proliferated in recent years, more and more gay men are turning to dating apps like Grindr and Scruff for personal connections, be they casual sexual encounters or more serious romantic possibilities.

But is a reliance on these apps helpful or hurtful to gay men’s long-term sexual and emotional health? This subject was the topic for vigorous discussion at a community meeting held last Sunday, Feb. 10 at Mixxia, a prominent salon in the Gayborhood.

CHECK, PLEASE!: LBGT-specific HIV agencies across the area were recently awarded thousands of dollars from two different contributors. Coca-Cola (left) presented Action Wellness PHL Executive Director Kevin Burns with a $25,000 check Feb. 7 at its Arch Street location. Later that day, Philly AIDS Thrift handed out 23 checks totaling $246,000 to organizations across the tristate area. As the 20th check was presented, there was a pause to announce that total PAT distributions since the organization’s inception hit the $2.5-million mark. More information on the nonprofits can be found at actionwellness.org and phillyaidsthrift.com.

Photos: Scott A. Drake

 

Three student filmmakers last week presented their award-winning documentary at William Way LGBT Community Center. In the short film, entitled “The Gayborhood,” they illustrated Philadelphia’s LGBT-rights movement — from the Dewey’s Lunch Counter sit-in to overall visibility in the neighborhood known as Washington Square West.

The film begins with a voiceover from Finn Giddings, noting the strides made in that neighborhood.

 

More than two years after fatally shooting a man in the face during a home-invasion robbery of a trans woman in West Philadelphia, Matthew J. White was convicted of second-degree murder, attempted murder and robbery and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

White was called “a predator” by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara A. McDermott, who handed down the sentence on Feb. 7.

Philadelphia was inching closer to becoming the first city in the United States to open a safe-injection site to address the city’s opioid crisis. But the project has hit a roadblock — the U.S. Department of Justice.   

Pennsylvania’s top federal prosecutor last week announced he was suing the nonprofit facility called Safehouse — with timing that coincided with an executive director being named and the start of fundraising.  

Choreographer, professor, and mentor Tommie-Waheed Evans kicks off our new OUTPour series called a “A Day in the Life,” celebrating a staple in Philadelphia’s modern dance community.

 

Philadelphia nonprofit Welcome America, Inc., loses one openly gay CEO but gains another with the naming of Michael DelBene as its new president and chief operating officer.

He steps into the role after the departure of Jeff Guaracino, another out man, who became Visit Philadelphia’s new president and CEO last fall. Guaracino had been with the organization since January 2016 and will continue to sit on its board.

On the afternoon of her announcement of a run at Pennsylvania’s 190th District’s special election seat, West Philadelphia’s Pamela Williams — lesbian, community advocate, LGBTQ activist and ordained minister known to her flock as “Pastor Pamm” — was bouncing off the ceiling. That Williams could be the Commonwealth’s first openly lesbian state representative is one thing. To serve her constituency with the credo, “Progress Starts with the People,” as her campaign motto reads, is quite another. With a full and easy laugh, and boundless energy after a long day on the stump, Williams preached the gospel of great works and good political maneuvering.

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