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Maria Gonzalez spent the last 15 years of her life as a woman. Her dying wish was to be buried in a pretty dress while wearing red lipstick and matching nail polish, according to a relative who was her primary caregiver.

But on the day of her funeral, family and friends said goodbye to her ashes, which were placed in a wooden box adorned with white and blue flowers. A blue ribbon wrapped around the flowers next to a metal pendant that read: “Dad.”

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.

Jane Hinkle, a noted educator and the spouse of Common Pleas Judge Abbe Fletman, died Oct. 21 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 67 and lived in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.

“My father always said …” You’ve heard or maybe even said this one, right? And how many times have you said, “Who gives a shit what your father says? Who the fuck is he to know?”

Probably not a whole lot, because the reality is that people tend to believe the words of their father.

In my last column, I discussed physical custody. The second form of child custody is legal custody, which considers the following question: Who has the authority to make major decisions for a child? 

Religion, education, healthcare and relocation are usually the big topics in legal-custody matters.

Parents may separate or divorce without having to file a custody-related complaint. Things can change, though, and quickly.

Consider the following:

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