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Freda Anderson created the first Queer-Straight alliance at the U School, a North Philadelphia high school where she teaches a community-organizing class.

On May 11, she will be one of 12 educators to receive the Teacher as Hero Award presented by the National Liberty Museum.

Studies show that being social and cultivating an interpersonal support system leads to a healthier lifestyle. Action Wellness, a Philadelphia-based organization serving the needs of those living with chronic illness and HIV, knows this intimately.

“For over 30 years, a particular ‘human connection’ program, known officially as the ‘Buddy Program’ at Action Wellness, has been mutually successful to those who participate in it,” explained Ronald Hoskins, Director of Volunteers.

A former student at Valley Forge Military Academy and College has filed suit against the prestigious Main Line institution, claiming he was sexually assaulted by other male students in a brutal hazing ritual known as “toothpasting.”

On April 17, attorneys for “John Doe” filed a 24-page lawsuit against the school in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.

A Juniata Park man recently filed suit against Woody’s Bar and Voyeur Nightclub claiming he was served excessive amounts of alcohol at the establishments that caused him to sustain “life-altering” injuries, including a permanent injury to his left ankle.

The patron, Joamir Vazquez-Rios, filed a 16-page complaint on April 17 against the Center City venues, seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals this week said city officials acted within their legal rights when they stopped referring children to a Catholic foster-care agency that refuses to certify same-sex couples as foster parents.

In March 2018, city officials stopped referring foster-care children to Catholic Social Services after published reports disclosed the agency wouldn’t place children with same-sex couples.

The Gay Liberation Front has been named one of a few grand marshals for World Pride 2019/Stonewall 50 in New York City. The group represents LGBTQ community past, present and future. 

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Rebellion began. Gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, drag queens and trans people refused to be subjected to one more police raid; one more night of lesbians being strip-searched to see if they were wearing three articles of women’s clothing; one more night of gay men being shoved apart with night sticks; one more night of lesbians and trans women being sexually abused; one more night of the worst verbal abuse and as much physical abuse as the police could get away with.

The nation’s newest culture war played out on the grounds of a Philadelphia library last weekend, marking the first such local demonstration over a Drag Queen Story Time. 

A Christian group from Hanover clashed with community members outside the Free Library’s Lovett Memorial Branch in Mount Airy during an April 20 DQST  reading.

The Attic Youth Center has named an acting executive director and launched two investigations following damaging allegations that a minor was sexually assaulted on its premises and that former employees had experienced racial discrimination while working at the LGBTQ youth-serving nonprofit.

Attic board member Shawnese Givens stepped into the acting executive-director role, replacing Carrie Jacobs, who was immediately relieved of her duties when the accusations surfaced in early March.

Philly Black Pride and Woody’s are at odds this week after PBP claimed that the Gayborhood bar was throwing a PBP block party without the namesake organization’s consent. 

PBP President Le Thomas told PGN that AIDS Healthcare Foundation submitted a special-events permit to close part of 13th Street for a block party April 28 that would conflict with a party PBP is hosting around the corner, at Camac and Fawn streets. 

    On Wednesday, April 17, the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club held its election year endorsement meeting at the William Way Community Center. At that meeting, the LCDC voted on who to endorse in a variety of local races, including city council, city commissioner and various judgeships.
    The LCDC has spent the last several months researching the numerous candidates —a process that that included pouring over questionnaires candidates filled out delineating their positions on many of the issues important to the LGBTQ community. The last couple of weeks, the Club also hosted candidates’ nights, where the political hopefuls were invited to come and make their cases to the LCDC membership directly.
    This year, a record number of openly LGBTQ candidates are running for office, which made for some choices. While the Club perforce prioritizes openly LGBT candidates, being out does not grant a candidate a coveted LCDC endorsement automatically. The slate of issues LCDC inquires about is extensive, and one’s sexual orientation is only one factor considered. Also, prominent local politicians favored by the local Democratic Party organization are frequently passed over when the Club’s membership finds the candidate’s support of the LGBTQ community wanting.
    LCDC’s debate and voting process is private, open only to Club members, and not open to the press.
    One contest closely watched by the LGBTQ community was the battle between incumbent Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and challenger Lauren Vidas. LCDC endorsed Johnson over Vidas, in part, it was said, over concerns with the latter’s background as a paid lobbyist — a controversial decision that lead to a robust conversation among some of the Club's members.
    When asked about the controversial decision, Liberty City Co-Chair Alexander Olson said, “Our endorsement committee puts many, many volunteer hours into choosing who they believe the best candidates are for office in the Philadelphia region, and have decades of experience with this responsibility. After reviewing the record, they chose to recommend that the general body endorse Vidas given her strong credentials and record of service to the community. But our endorsement committee does not have the final say. Given that we are a democratic organization, we make sure all endorsements are reviewed and voted upon by the membership. The membership voted three-to-one to endorse Kenyatta Johnson for the seat.”
    In the crowded City Council-at-large race, endorsements went to Deja Lynn Alvarez who got the nod over out candidate Adrian Rivera Reyes. “Adrian and Deja both have powerful life stories that would empower them to have successful careers in City Council,” said Olson, explaining the rationale behind the decision. “That being said, Deja’s years of impassioned and effective service to the community are what pushed the endorsement committee in her direction,” she said.
     “We loved Adrian, and it was thrilling to have such a difficult decision before us, and are disappointed we did not have the ability to recommend more people. Although the organization did not endorse him, I will personally be voting for him.”
    Finally, for common please judge both out candidates, Henry Sias and Tiffany Palmer, were given endorsements — a decision that came without much controversy.

Here is the full list of Liberty City endorsements:

MAYOR: Jim Kenney

CITY COMMISSIONER: Lisa Deeley and Kahlil Williams

SHERIFF: Rochelle Bilal

COUNCIL AT LARGE: Deja Lynn Alvarez, Helen Gym, Erika Almirón, Derek Green, and Justin DiBerardinis

DISTRICT COUNCIL: Mark Squilla (1st District), Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), and Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez (7th District)

SUPERIOR COURT JUSTICE: Dan McCaffery

COMMON PLEAS JUDGE: Nicola Serianni, Wendi Barish, Anthony Kyriakakis, Henry Sias, and Tiffany Palmer

MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE: David Conroy

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