Philly Pride Presents this week announced the individuals who will ride its Grand Marshal float at the June 18 event.
This year’s grand marshals are Henry Sias and the Front-Line Staff at Mazzoni Center.
Sias is a local attorney who ran for Court of Common Pleas. He did not get one of the coveted top-nine spots in the race on Tuesday, putting him out of reach of becoming the nation’s first out trans male judge, though Philly Pride Presents Executive Director Franny Price said the recognition was deserved regardless of the election outcome.
“He is a community activist and had the guts to run to be the first out trans male judge in the country,” Price said.
The Mazzoni contingent is comprised of staffers who have pressed for racial equality and transparency at the organization. Members of the group staged a walk-out last month at a staff training following allegations of sexual impropriety by the organization’s recently resigned medical director, calling on Mazzoni CEO Nurit Shein to also step down; she did so a few days later.
“This group formed due to the issues going on at Mazzoni and they had a real commitment to transparency,” Price said.
There are about 50-75 members of the Mazzoni Front-Line Staff, Price noted.
The Friend of Pride is City Councilwoman Helen Gym, who Price said has demonstrated “support and solidarity for the LGBT community and diversity.” Gym pioneered a city resolution honoring Transgender Day of Visibility this spring, was among the protesters when an anti-trans bus tour visited Philly and has been vocal about racial justice and equality in the LGBT community.
This year’s Youth Grand Marshals are Bruce Bennett and Sekai Stamps, both active participants at The Attic Youth Center.
Bennett is a 10th-grader who is in The Attic’s high-school internship program, in which he writes and produces a radio podcast. He co-authored a story for PGN’s LGBTQ Youth Supplement and intends to pursue a career in writing after college.
Stamps is in the 11th grade and has been home-schooled since age 4. She has taken on more responsibility at The Attic in the last year, including as the stage manager for productions by the center’s drag company, and is planning to major in philosophy in college.