Street Talk

What does the LGBT community have to be proud of this Pride month?

Steven Florkiewicz
housekeeping manager | Garfield, N.J.
“So many people are coming out in unexpected areas, like professional sports. For many years, homo-sexuality was very taboo in sports. But times are changing. I think it’s great these sports players can finally be themselves, in an environment of their choosing. And they’re leading the way for others to follow their footsteps and come out.”
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Will Philadelphia ever become the most LGBT-friendly city in the country?

Quinton Briggs
student | Pennsauken, N.J.
“Yes. This is a large metropolitan area. The gay community is very organized. With that being said, I can easily see it becoming the most LGBT-friendly city in the United States. Philly’s LGBT community will probably branch out a lot and win that position someday.”
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How will Jason Collins’ coming-out affect his career?

Kristen Buhalo
table-games dealer | Northeast Philadelphia
“Everything I heard on ESPN is negative. It’s going to be tough for him to play with straight players. They don’t want the physical contact with him. I’ve also heard that some players don’t want to be in a locker room with him. I’ve only heard negative things about it. So it might hurt his career. But I don’t know for sure.”
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Are lesbians more accepted in society than gay men?

Austin Litteral
bartender | South Philadelphia
“Yes. Straight men are still more reserved about homo-sexuality. I don’t know why. I’m a straight man. I believe everyone should be free to do as they choose. But apparently, the majority of people don’t agree. Being macho is still very much admired in society.”
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Should there be criminal penalties for anti-LGBT workplace discrimination?

Samantha Hynds
student | Westville, N.J.
“Maybe just have it as a threat but don’t actually enforce it. Anti-LGBT discrimina-tion is very wrong. But I would feel very bad if someone had to go to jail. Even if the person is an asshole, I still wouldn’t want to seem them incarcerated. I don’t like to see anyone go to jail.”
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Could someone who opposes marriage equality be elected president?

Ashley Lozada
cashier | Norristown
“I’m an optimist by nature. I’ll take a leap of faith and say no. I truly hope that, by 2016, there will be a groundswell of support for marriage equality. It will be strong enough to prevent a marriage-equality opponent from being elected. There will always be anti-LGBT people in the world. But I’m hoping they’ll be outnumbered by LGBT supporters in 2016.”
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Should the city’s health plans for city workers cover gender-reassignment surgery?

Frank Hayward
student | South Philadelphia
“First, there needs to be an extensive battery of tests conducted [on the patient] to screen out frivolous requests. If it’s being done for cosmetic reasons, I say no. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot that bill. The surgery costs a lot of money. But, if it’s truly a medical necessity, then the city should cover the procedure. It’s the right thing to do.”
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Is it fair to call opponents of same-sex marriage bigots?

Gigi D’Agostino
bartender | Blackwood, N.J.
“Yes, they’re prejudiced. They shouldn’t be judging other people. It’s not their life. I don’t care if it hurts their feelings. They shouldn’t be prejudiced against people in the first place.”
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