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By all accounts, Barbra Casbar Siperstein was funny, smart and unafraid.

She was a champion of transgender rights and a towering figure in local trans history. Everyone called her “Babs.”

Siperstein died Feb. 3 of cancer at RWJBarnabas Health in New Brunswick, N.J., announced Garden State Equality. She was 76.


Daniel “Duke” Orsino, 32, a blue-collar worker and LGBT advocate, has jumped into the race for a seat on Philadelphia City Council.

Orsino, who joins the growing crop of LGBT candidates for council, hopes to not only be the first openly gay man to hold a seat, but is also looking to bring a healthy change to the city.

Within the next five years, all public-school students in New Jersey will learn about the contributions of LGBTQ pioneers like Barbara Gittings and Harvey Milk as part of their regular social-studies curricula.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation that requires all public middle- and high-school teachers and boards of education to update curriculum to “accurately reflect the political, economic and social contributions” of gay, lesbian and transgender citizens.

Most people know about the Mariel Boatlift in 1980. But many don’t realize that large number of the more-than 120,000 Cuban refugees that made the dramatic trek to Florida that year were gay.

The stories of how these gay Cuban refugees made their way to this country, and what happened to them once they got here, are the focus of a new exhibition at William Way LGBT Community Center called “With Open Heart and Open Arms.”


Planned Parenthood has long been known as a provider of reproductive healthcare and education for women. Recently, however, the organization has expanded its mission, inaugurating programs specifically for gay men and trans people.

Newer programs for gay men involve PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a therapy regimen of medication that serves as a preventative to HIV infection.


There’s a petition to recognize the LGBT community by repainting the Walt Whitman Bridge in rainbow colors in honor of its namesake’s 200th birthday.

Meanwhile, the rainbows painted onto an intersection of the Gayborhood are fading, with no plan to refresh their stripes.

After nearly 10 years of service, R Perry Monastero, the notable go-to on all things Mazzoni Center and its chief advancement officer, is leaving his post.

His departure comes at a time when the LGBTQ wellness center is still trying to rebound from the leadership changes and personnel losses of 2017 and 2018.

Jussie Smollett, one of the stars of Philadelphian Lee Daniels’ hit Fox TV series “Empire,” was the victim of what police are calling a racial and homophobia-based assault and battery in Chicago on Tuesday.

Smollett was attacked by two people who yelled homophobic and racist slurs at him, put a noose over his neck and poured a chemical on him, which the actor thought was bleach. Smollett said the attackers yelled President Trump’s phrase, “Make America Great Again” and the phrase, “MAGA country” during the assault.

A former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who didn’t serve in that role long – but will be remembered for fighting for civil rights since the segregation era, and in LGBTQ circles for his same-sex marriage – has died.

Harris Wofford spent 1991 to 1995 in the Senate, but had a remarkable history of civil rights accomplishments before. He is thought by some to have helped elect two presidents, served as president of the women’s Bryn Mawr College for most of the 1970s, and then late in life as a widower, he married his male partner.

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