Street Talk

Is it significant that the White House social secretary is gay?

Caitlin Hoffman
disease-intervention specialist | Society Hill
“Yes, it’s a plus for the gay community. But I don’t think Michelle Obama hired him because he’s gay. He was chosen for his qualifications. I hope the gentleman will use his position to bring about pro-LGBT legislation.”
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How long will it take for national marriage equality?

Christopher Boland
general contractor | South Philadelphia
“Fifteen years. First, people have to learn how to get along. They have to learn how to work together. Then they can address the gay-marriage issue. Right now, there’s too much else to deal with — earthquakes, war, the economy.”
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What LGBT icon should be on a postage stamp?

Colin Higgins
poet | Mayfair
“Freddie Mercury. He had a powerful stage presence. I admired his courage to be flamboyant at a time when it wasn’t as accepted [as today]. His voice was strong, and his music was beautiful. I’ve always been drawn to his music.”
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Is Philadelphia ready for an openly LGBT City Council person?

Ryan Dieringer
musician | South Philadelphia
“Definitely within the next eight years, we’ll have an open lesbian or gay on City Council. But it might take longer to have an open transgender. My impres-sion of the prevailing sentiment of the city is that it’s moving in the right direction — I’m surprised we haven’t had one already.”
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What LGBT achievement would you like to see in 2011?

Enrique Marquez
law student | Washington Square West
“A national anti-bullying law. All the suicides in 2010 really affected me. Something needs to be done. I’ve seen a lot of bullying in Texas, where I used to live. It was quite persistent. I think there should be criminal sanctions because bullying ruins lives.”
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Who had the biggest impact on LGBT rights in 2010?

“Tylynn Carter
student | West Chester
“Oprah Winfrey. She does a lot of good for people. Her show covers LGBT topics in a sensitive way. Whenever she’s asked if she’s gay, she denies it — but also uses that opportunity to explain that being gay is OK. She doesn’t bash gay people to make people believe she’s straight.”
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