News Briefings

Heroes among us

Twelve years ago, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund established an award designed to recognize and embrace those LGBT community members and allies who have dedicated much time and energy to advance rights, health and legal status of Philadelphians and the region.

LGBTQ foster parenting session scheduled

There are many LGBTQ youth in Philadelphia in need of LGBTQ affirming foster parents as they navigate the road to finding a forever family. To that end, Philadelphia Family Pride is hosting an information session for interested, and even just curious, participants to help them make informed decisions about fostering a young person.

Planning meeting scheduled for Philly Trans March  

Philly Trans March organizers have an open invitiation for anyone who wants to participate in the ninth annual Philly Trans March scheduled for Oct. 12, the day before OutFest. The committee welcomes everyone to join in the planning regardless of gender identity, expression or experience. This year, the direction will be ‘planning starts with U as part of the commUnity.’ 

The demonstration and march target inequities faced by trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals because of hate and social injustices. Organizers frequently refer to the march as “not simply an annual march, but a revolutionary movement.”  

The meeting gets under way 5:30-7 p.m. March 15 at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St., Philadelphia. Refreshments will be served. 

Trans youth workshop at Penn Center 

The Trans Literacy Project and Penn LGBT Center will host a fourth and final trans youth workshop by bringing in researchers, youth activists and educators to discuss research and direction for K-12 school policies and community programming. This workshop will open with brief comments from each panelist followed by the heart of the gathering — discussion and questions. 

Faculty and grad students will learn strategies for designing syllabi using texts from each of the three fields and determining best practices when discussing gender and sexuality across each discipline. Topics may include how collaboration in the community can address barriers, foster youth leadership, and develop ways researchers and educators can increase support for trans and gender-nonconforming youth. 

Trans Literacy Project is a program to assist teachers of feminist, queer and trans theory in the areas of English, communications and politcal science. The meeting is 5:30-7 p.m. March 19 at the Penn LGBT Center, 3907 Spruce St. The workshop is open to everyone. Refreshments will be served. 

Miss New Hope Celebrates Pageant adds a tribute  

The Miss New Hope Celebrates Pageant this year will include a special tribute to Ricky Crosby. Crosby died in October of last year and was a widely known community friend and performer. He also helped bring increased talent and pageantry to the area. All future Miss New Hope Celebrates pageants will also include his name as part of the event.  

The year’s pageant will again showcase some of the region’s top female impersonators in three competitions: evening gown, talent and question-and-answer. The winner will be crowned Miss New Hope Celebrates 2019. Special guests that evening include Miss New Hope Celebrates 2018 Ginger Alley and Miss New Hope Celebrates 2017 Cyannie Lopez. 

Tickets for the event are $55 for general admission and $75 for VIP seating. Both include a catered dinner. The event runs 7-10 p.m. March 16 at Event Center by Cornerstone in New Hope and door open at 6 p.m. 

New Hope Celebrates is a non-profit organization working to highlight the LGBT history and culture of New Hope. For more information, visit www.newhopecelebrates.com. 

Out and proud for International Women’s Day 

 Anna Crusis Women’s Choir will sing out proudly on International Women’s Day with a special concert at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The entire month of March is considered Women’s History Month.  

The concert will be a rousing, joyful celebration of well- and lesser-known women in history. The choir itself made history in 1975 as the first feminist choir in the United States.  

The free performance is 3-5 p.m. March 10 in the Parkway Central Library’s rotunda. All are welcome. 

 

 

N.J. town to honor “Babs” Siperstein

Leaders have organized a day of service in memory of LGBTQ+ matriarch Barbra “Babs” Siperstein. The focus will be for theNew Jersey LGBTQ+ community to carry on her work of helping those who have been left behind. Siperstein died Feb. 3 at age 76.

With the support of the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce and in partnership with Toni’s Kitchen, The Pride Network has launched a service effort to address food insecurity in Montclair, N.J. The first “Babs” Siperstein Day of Service is 10-11:30 a.m. Feb. 24 at Toni’s Kitchen in Montclair.

Siperstein was an advocate who worked to bring hope to those in the LGBTQ community and she worked to progress transgender equality. Her legacy lives on through the Barbra Siperstein Endowed Scholarship at Middlesex County College. The scholarship was created in 2017 by Siperstein and provides transgender students with financial support for higher education.

Check donations can be sent to Barbra Siperstein Endowed Scholarship MCC Foundation at 2600 Woodbridge Ave. Edison, N.J. 

Our Night Out-Philly visits Toasted Walnut this month 

This month’s OurNightOut-Philly — a social and networking event put on by the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund — will be held 6-9 p.m. Feb. 27 at Toasted Walnut, 1316 Walnut St.

The regular social event brings together old friends and helps build new ones while enjoying food and drinks at different area restaurants and bars.

Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.dvlf.org/ournightout-philly for $5, or $10 at the door. Money raised from the event will benefit DVLF.

Event hones in on mental health and the LGBTQ community

A presentation called Headcase: LGBTQ Writers and Artists on Mental Health and Wellness, will be held 6-8 p.m. March 21 at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 S. 22nd St.

A collection of personal reflections and illustrations on the intersection of mental illness, LGBTQ identity and mental wellness will be discussed from various perspectives.

For more information or for tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/headcase-lgbtq-writers-and-artists-on-mental-health-and-wellness-tickets-52420033732.

Central Pa history project announces 2019 effort 

The LGBT Center of Central PA History Project, in collaboration with Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, is creating the first digital trail of history focusing on women in science for 2019.

The digital trail of history will hone in on LGBTQ historic sites throughout the state of Pennsylvania. This project is slated for development in 2020.

PHMC is looking for open suggestions of historic LGBTQ sites from Pennsylvania Historic Network participants.

To suggest a site, visit https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

Forward-thinking fashion: Gender-neutral ties

A New Jersey company has come out with its first collection of gender-neutral ties.

Ty-Amo of Freehold says the ties are available in eight designs and colors: plaid, paisley, holes or writing.

The two signature styles are classic and a wrap-around; which is longer and can be worn as a belt, headscarf or neck scarf.

Prices range from $50 to $70.

Ty-Amo says its mission “strongly lies in encouraging equality and empowerment for women and the LGBTQ community. The brand believes in the right to be accepted for who you are and how you love by breaking through stereotypes and focusing on human connection and tolerance.”

Visit https://ty-amo.com/ for pictures and details on Ty-Amo’s ties.

Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs ED to hold free seminar

A free seminar on LGBTQ+ Cultural Competency will be held 12-3 p.m. March 30 at the Lansdale Public Library, 301 Vine St., Lansdale. The free seminar will be presented by Todd Snovel, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.

The seminar focuses on understanding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning community members and challenges faced. A dialogue will be held on topics including terminology specific to LGBTQ communities and look at what types of barriers faced.

For more information or to register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lgbtq-cultural-compentecy-seminar-tickets-55794468758. 

Dinner series celebrates the 30th anniversary of GALAEI

The Loving the Legacy series event will begin Feb. 9 in honor of the 30th anniversary of the local queer Latinx social justice organization.

Starting Saturday, 30 dinners will be held throughout the city to celebrate 30 years of the organization.

Members of the community can host a dinner at their home or other space.

Fore more information or to register a community dinner, visit www.galaei.org.

 

Workshop gives tips on preserving personal archives

William Way LGBT Community Center will hold a special workshop on Feb. 13 1-4 p.m. focused on addressing the preservation of personal archives, including photographs, sketchbooks and other personal items.

The workshop will provide information on recommended supplies for storing personal collections.

William Way LGBT Community Center is located at 1315 Spruce Street.

For more information on the free workshop, or on William Way, visit www.waygay.org.

 

New Roadmap to Homes board to help implement homeless plan

Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services announced a new board, Jan. 29, and its job will be helping implement a new five-year strategic plan.

The city says Roadmap to Homes “reflects a dramatic shift toward a strategic, system-wide approach that coordinates efforts, reduces duplication and increases efficiency, especially in the use of resources.”

It has five primary goals: expanding homeless housing resources, coordinating across and integrating systems, implementing a transparent and inclusive quality improvement process, communicating more effectively, and connecting people to employment and workforce development.

There are 21 voting board members: 11 appointed, and 10 elected by community members. They each serve for one year.

Among them is Syreeta Vereen, who is housing manager at Action Wellness’ North Branch (Casa Nueva Vida).

The board — including members with firsthand, lived experience with homelessness — will track and report on Philadelphia’s progress and take community input into making decisions.

Go to http://philadelphiaofficeofhomelessservices.org/news/publications/ for details on Roadmap to Homes.

 

Temple unveils inclusivity-focused Pride flag

The Howard Gittis Student Center at Temple University recently added a new flag to its collection of 63 international flags hanging in the building’s atrium. The “Progress Pride” flag, designed by Daniel Quasar, depicts the standard six-striped rainbow Pride flag accompanied by an additional five stripes, representing the black and brown stripes for POC, and the blue, white and pink of the trans pride flag.

Temple is the first university in Philadelphia to display the Progress flag. The university has often stated its commitment to diversity and inclusivity, with its most recent National Coming Out Week theme centered on intersectionality. Temple officials hope the installation of this flag will engage conversations about diversity on campus.

 

Filing deadline for grant money approaching

The Racial & Economic Justice Fund provides grant money each year for groups who take action to make social change, according to a recent news release.

The Fund appropriates $10,000 to groups working to address issues including oppression, violence and injustice. Groups falling into this category and wishing to apply for such money have until March 1.

In order to qualify for grant funding, groups must meet a list of eligibillity criteria, as well as provide a vision for long-term strategies working to improve racial and economic justice and build a local base addressing issues. Groups must also work to change community members involved with decision makers.

An information session regarding this grant funding will be held Feb. 12 in an effort to address and answer any concerns or questions.

For more information on grant funding and the program, or to apply, visit https://breadrosesfund.org/grants-scholarships/racial-economic-justice-fund/. n

Compiled by Brittany M. Wehner and Miranda Lankas

Newtown Township approves antidiscrimination measure

Newtown Township’s board of supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance to protect LGBTQ individuals on issues of housing, employment public and accommodations.

The ordinance was approved with a 4-0 vote, with one supervisor not in attendance. The measure was modeled on the anti-discrimination ordinance enacted in Doylestown last year, and is part of a trend of Pennsylvania municipalities enacting LGBTQ antibias policies in the absence of a statewide law. A Human Relations Commission will be set up in Newtown Township to settle issues on a municipal level without having to go to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Mayor’s inaugural leadership-training program reception

Mayor Jim Kenney welcomed 20 people into the inaugural class of the LGBTQ Community Leadership Pipeline Initiative on Nov. 27.

Penn Medicine’s trans-health symposium

The University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine’s Center for Human Appearance will host a symposium Dec. 1 that will address and educate current and aspiring healthcare professionals on the challenges of transgender healthcare.

The “Transgender Health: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach” seminar will feature aspects of transgender healthcare, including surgical procedures, hormone therapy, insurance policies, dermatology and family dynamics. This multi-disciplinary symposium is open to medical students, healthcare professionals and interested individuals. It will be held at the Smilow Center for Translational Research at 3400 Civic Center Blvd.

Registration for UPenn residents and medical and nursing students is free. Otherwise, registration is $100 and general-admission registration costs $200.

To register for the “Transgender Health: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach,” visit https://www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/125230.

Action Wellness’ social-media campaign for World AIDS Day

Action Wellness has put out a call to action for participants to take part in its “Action Heroes Wear Red” social-media campaign to raise awareness of the continuing stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV.

“Our main goal of [the campaign] is to show that HIV is still prevalent and it is still definitely a risk,” said Sarah DeLaurentis, Action Wellness’ director of development and communications.   

The campaign — in partnership with Amerihealth Caritas —  is Action Wellness’ recognition of World AIDS Day Dec. 1. Family, friends, coworker and pets are encouraged to pose in a photo wearing a red article of clothing with a sign (or a photo caption) about why they are wearing red for AIDS Awareness. The photos will be posted on Action Wellness’ website, Facebook and Instagram pages.

The purpose of the campaign is to spark discussions on “where we’ve come from, the status of HIV now, the importance of knowing your status and to honor those that we’ve lost to AIDS,” DeLaurentis said.

“We have a new group of people growing up who think that HIV isn’t as much of a risk as it was before. If you’re on the right medications and you’re taking it as prescribed, that may be true. However, if you don’t go on medication, it’s a death sentence.”

To take part in “Action Heroes Wear Red,” email photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Nov. 29. Participants must sign a photo release to be included in the campaign.

For more information and to sign the photo release, visit https://www.actionwellness.org/join-us/special-events/world-aids-day.

Fine-arts students to host World AIDS Day art exhibit

In honor of World AIDS Day, the University of Pennsylvania will host an art exhibit Nov. 29 to highlight Philadelphians living with HIV/AIDS.

The exhibit will showcase work by UPenn’s Fine Arts students in an effort to explore issues of health and equality in the community. The art show will be held in the Charles Adams Fine Arts Hall, 200 S. 36th St. 1-3 p.m. It will feature two interactive art displays to encourage participants to think about the issues and challenges of people living with HIV/AIDS. 

— Compiled by Adriana Fraser and Miranda Lankas

HIV/AIDS summit heads to Philly

The Reunion Project will host a one-day summit in Philadelphia Nov. 10 for long-term survivors of HIV and AIDS and their families and friends to engage in conversations on living with the chronic illness.

The summit will be hosted at the William Way LGBT Community Center. The day will consist of a mix of facilitated discussions, panels and presentations led by researchers, advocates and HIV/AIDS survivors. Long-term HIV survivors Matt Sharp and Jeff Berry founded the Reunion Project in 2015. The summit is hosted in different cities across the country including Chicago, Palm Springs, Atlanta, Seattle and Fort Lauderdale. The Philadelphia summit will feature visual artist Gregg Cassin and spoken-word artist and activist Mary Bowman.

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