Op-Ed

I have been actively involved in, and at times considered a leader of, the Philadelphia LGBTQA community for many years. I have helped to form and lead numerous organizations meant to advance the interests of the LGBTQA community, including several long-existing HIV-related organizations and organizations aimed at enhancing the political influence of the community. In all of these activities, I have made the particular point that LGBTQA people come in all sorts and conditions, and that our community fails to be as strong and effective as it can be because we have allowed ourselves to be defined as white, male and middle to upper-middle class. This made me particularly unpopular, especially in the 1980s, when the media portrayed the typical person with HIV as a middle-class white gay male and I was among those pointing out that, since the beginning, LGBT people with HIV in Philadelphia have been predominately poor people of color.

Read more ...

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) is the state agency with the statutory responsibility to address unlawful discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, educational opportunities and public accommodations. I’ve served as a commissioner since 1999, and I was named interim chairperson in April 2016 by Gov. Tom Wolf. I consider it a great honor and a great responsibility.

Read more ...

In response to the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando; the deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota; and the deaths of five police officers in Dallas, Men of All Colors Together-Philadelphia felt compelled to release our thoughts on these tragedies that affected all Americans: gay or straight; black, white or Latino; police or non-police.

Read more ...

On Sunday, Philly Pride was aware of the unfolding of events in Orlando, but certainly none of the specifics. Our volunteers and coordinators were on the street as early as 5:30 a.m. and continued our PrideDay parade and festival with an overwhelming presence from the Philadelphia Police Department, unaware of the grisly details that would emerge over the next several days.

Read more ...

Last week, in response to a derisory letter from the board of the Liberty City Democratic Club (LCDC), a meandering change.org petition concocted by one of said board members that garnered only 350 signatures, and the divisive rhetoric of fringe activists, the Philadelphia chapter of the Gay Officer Action League (GOAL) nobly removed themselves from serving as Grand Marshals of this year’s Pride parade. As much as their withdrawal reflected GOAL’s standing as understanding and responsive member of Philadelphia’s LGBTQ community, their decision was also a disappointment for many.

Read more ...

I was appalled and embarrassed to read that activists had bullied our gay and transgender police officers into stepping down from their formal role as grand marshals of Philly Pride. After the Greater Philadelphia Gay Officer Action League was invited to lead the parade, a Change.org petition circulated protesting the “impact” that inviting the group will have on the “accessibility and safety” at Pride — as if the gay and trans cops are going to drop their banners and start bashing skulls. Because we all know that simply being a police officer means you can never be trusted not to commit arbitrary acts of violence. The Liberty City LGBT Democrats piled on: due to the “important conversation” going on about police violence, “the invitation to GOAL sends the wrong message.” I’m sure Liberty City Democrats did feel quite “important” chiming in on this “conversation,” though it’s clear that they’ve drawn a conclusion on the matter far and away from that of most LGBT people in the city — and probably not even representative of most LGBT Democrats, a group of which I am not a part.

Read more ...
Find us on Facebook
Follow Us
Find Us on YouTube
Find Us on Instagram
Sign Up for Our Newsletter