Editorials

Yo! Don’t you know what Pride stands for? Well, some revisionists or people who just want attention are once again complaining. So sit down, disenchanted and folks who don’t know our history, and learn why Philly’s Pride is not only a success, but stays true to our history.

Its overall vision is inclusion. Every stripe of our community is represented — this includes people who make some in our community feel uncomfortable. That in itself is what Pride is about: inclusion and diversity in our community.

As an organizer and marshal in that very first Pride in 1970, then known as Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day, we made it a point to be inclusive of people and organizations we personally didn’t approve of. The debate of that era was LGBT oppression by religious organizations —  and, for 2,000 years, by religion in general. But we decided that if you had pride in yourself and were willing to show it to the world, and if you wanted a day that unites the community, you were welcomed to march.

That is why today in New York City, the home of Pride, you see gay police officers marching — with pride. Saying that police should not have a place in our Pride parade makes those policing all other opinions exclusionist, attempting to censor our community. And it also makes them guilty of what the right-wing Republicans do to our community — stereotype a complete class of people.

Out police should be honored, as should out judges, elected officials, doctors, teachers and almost anyone. No class should be discriminated against in a Pride parade.

Philadelphia Pride has done an impeccable job of picking an inclusive and impressive list of honorees. They cross all lines, from out high-school student Cici Griffin, who advocates for the rights of LGBTQ youth of color; John James, one of the earliest protesters for gay rights, back in 1965; Heshie Zinman, one of the first in Philly to fundraise for HIV/AIDS who now fights for LGBT seniors and Dante Austin and Roberto Valdes, who represent as a couple the very rights we have been fighting for. 

Austin organized a food drive for homeless trans people and Valdes, who works for the City Solicitor’s office, is not only out but serves on numerous LGBT nonprofit boards. Paige Aikens volunteers at The Attic Youth Center and helps to organize Trans Walk. These are people to honor  — and it clearly shows pride in our community’s past and honors our youth, who are already working to build a stronger community in the future. 

These are people who continue to build a community, and don’t go out of their way to shine attention on themselves. Maybe those who are disenchanted could learn from them, and maybe have a little pride and unite with your community on Pride Day. That is the message of Pride — a day for all of us to celebrate our amazing achievement at building community. 

— Mark Segal, Publisher

 

The LGBT State of the Union brought together local leaders of the city’s most active and well-respected organizations to engage in candid conversation. Perhaps more importantly, the large-scale community meeting, opened by Mayor Jim Kenney, got people off-line and interacting in person. That might be one of the reasons the event was a hit.

Montgomery County’s Hatboro City Council passed an ordinance this week that ensures residents are protected from discrimination based not only on their sexual and gender identities, but also on their race, physical ability, age and religion.

Malcolm Kenyatta earned an overwhelming victory late Tuesday in the primary race to represent North Philadelphia and, by all accounts, it was because of his years as a steadfast community advocate and organizer with an inclusive, progressive platform. Kenyatta also happens to be gay.

This is not a secret, but it became fodder for a last-ditch smear campaign early Tuesday when fliers began appearing across North Philadelphia showing a photo of Kenyatta with his former husband on their wedding day crossed out in red with the text SAY NO!!!!! Kenyatta told PGN Tuesday, the day he should be focusing on getting elected, he was out pulling the fliers off cars and other areas of the 181st District.

The voters weren’t buying it. Kenyatta, whose distant cousin held the seat for 15 terms and is now retiring, won by a landslide 42 percent. Lewis C. Nash, a North Philadelphia pastor who finished second, earned 27 percent of the vote.

Kenyatta is the grandson of political pioneer Muhammad Kenyatta, who ran for Philadelphia mayor in 1975. But young Kenyatta grew up in the projects with a belief that the future for his home district could be better. It’s not a question of possibility; it’s a question of resources, he says. To that end, he has spent his 20s organizing protests, speaking out for the marginalized, attending block cleanups and vigils. He earned his victory.

PGN spoke with nearly half a dozen voters across North Philadelphia, all of whom said that Kenyatta was a man of the community, for the community. We couldn’t agree more. 

PGN’s endorsements for the Democrats in Tuesday’s primary elections include:

Governor: Tom Wolf

Lt. Gov.: No endorsement

Senate: Bob Casey

Congress:
Brendan Boyle, Second District  
Dwight Evans, Third District  
Madeleine Dean, Fourth District
Rich Lazar, Fifth District
Chrissy Houlahan, Sixth District

State Senate:
Tina Tartaglione, Second District
Art Harwood, Fourth District
Tina Davis, Sixth District

State House districts:
181: Malcolm Kenyatta
182: Brian Sims
175: Mike O’Brien
177: Joe Hohenstein
184: Elizabeth Fiedler
188: James Roebuck
191: Joanna McClinton
194: Pam Delissio
197: Danilo Burgos
200: Chris Rabb

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