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The second in a three-part series

“I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to open a bottle of scotch in the middle of the day and start drinking, but I know I won’t stop.” Julie West, 75, retired three years ago after a 50-year career in social work. “I worked 12 to 15 hour days for decades,” she explained. “I never had enough time. Now time is all I have. It’s a little daunting.”

As Alexander Nicolas grew up, his relationship with his parents became increasingly tumultuous as a result of his LGBTQ identity. In middle school, his parents indicated they wished it was just a phase when their child expressed interest in pursuing a queer relationship. 

It’s been a stressful year, featuring plenty of attacks on the LGBTQ community. With 2019 winding down, we’re heading full force into the 2020 presidential election cycle and wondering what implications it will bring for queer folks. But we here at PGN want to remind readers of the accomplishments that have been made for our community in the Greater Philadelphia area. Sit back, push aside the visions of next week’s Thanksgiving meal and reminisce on these 10 pieces of positive news that rocked Philly’s queer-sphere this year (in no particular order). 

On Nov. 19, U.S. District Judge William Alsup issued an opinion and order in Santa Clara v. Azar, a case against a proposed Trump administration rule that would allow health care workers to deny medical services — such as abortion or gender-affirming surgery — based on personal religious or moral beliefs. 

As part of Transgender Awareness Week, Queer Latinx social justice organization GALAEI announced the launch of a visual campaign that highlights the everyday experiences of 12 trans and gender-nonconforming Philadelphians. 

Across a two-day period last week, two federal trial court judges struck down a proposed Trump administration rule that would allow health care workers — ranging from doctors, nurses and EMTs to janitors and clerical staff — to deny medical services on the grounds of personal religious or moral beliefs. 

Three out LGBTQ Democrats were elected last week to the Upper Darby School Board of Directors in what is being recognized as the first time openly-gay officials have sat on the governing council in the DelCo township.

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