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Passionate and industrious, she’s a staunch advocate for those whose voices often go unheeded or simply unheard.

That, in a nutshell, describes Jess Bryant — the newest editor of Philadelphia Gay News, according to her former boss and friend.

Bryant joined PGN on April 8, and will replace Denise Fuhs, who has held the position on a temporary basis since January.

Bryant, a 2016 graduate of Eastern Washington University’s MFA program, was managing/assistant editor at the Gettysburg Review, where she worked for two-and-a-half years prior to joining PGN.

 

Before Methodists gathered in St. Louis last month to debate the future of LGBT people in the second-largest denomination of protestant Christians in America, it was the conservatives who were talking about leaving. Now it is the progressive wing of the United Methodist Church that is considering its options.

For years Pennsylvania Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-172nd Dist.) and Rep. Thomas Murt (R-152nd Dist.) have tried but failed to toughen the state’s hate-crime law. Now, they’re hoping their third try will be successful.

Their bipartisan bill, which was inspired by a high profile and vicious attack in 2014 on a young gay couple in Center City, is now in the hands of the State House Judiciary Committee.

 Religion and queerness haven’t really been best of friends. Heck, they don’t even get along most of the time.

But on Feb. 24, author Jeff Chu told the congregation at Broad Street Ministry, 315 S. Broad St., he wrote the book “Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America” after he traveled across the country on a spiritual journey and met members of other denominations.

He may seem like your average, middle-class Asian-American from the Philadelphia suburbs, but Jamie Song is special.

He’s not only the only member of his Chinese family of four to be born in the United States, he also identifies as queer, which often has its own challenges that were more evident and less avoidable during the recently celebrated Lunar New Year.

In a show of unanimous support, members of City Council passed legislation Feb. 14 that would change language in the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to be more gender neutral.

Voters will ultimately decide the issue as a ballot question in the May 21 primary election.

 Many LGBTQ people assume that gay activism began with the Stonewall Riots in 1969. To some extend, that’s true; Stonewall sparked a new level of energy and engagement that eventually coalesced into something resembling a movement. But history tells us there is much more to the story.

There were gay activists working in the wilderness even before World War II, and the roots of the leftist ideology that fueled the early gay movement go back even further, to the mid-19th Century.

In a show of unanimous support, members of City Council passed legislation Thursday that would change language in the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to be more gender neutral.  

Voters will ultimately decide the issue as a ballot question in the May 21 primary election. 

 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.”

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