Street Talk

What's your favorite winter getaway?

Ashish Ahlawat
hairstylist | Society Hill
"Mazzu Picchu. The geography is beautiful, and the climate is great in the winter. You'll have a wonderful time explor-ing ancient ruins. The Amazon Rain Forest is nearby. That's an added attraction. You'll get to see magnificent wildlife."
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Will statewide LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes protections pass in Pennsylvania in 2016?

Michelle Cohen
pet groomer | Bella Vista
"No, I don't think the state legislature is inclined to do that. I also don't think we need it. I'm for LGBT rights, but just enforce what's already on the books. We have enough laws to protect the LGBT community and everyone else. We don't need to be politically correct to that extent."
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Who's the LGBT person of the year for 2015?

Jessica Berman
nanny | Northeast Philadelphia
"Daniel Kaufman. He saved four lives during the San Bernadino shootings. Anyone who will sacrifice their life so that others can live has my utmost admiration. The shootings really made an impression on me. Terrorism is becoming rampant, and a daily concern."
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What's the top LGBT news story of 2015?

King Malachi
painter | Old City

"Michael Boticelli coming out. He's President Obama's drug czar. I saw him on ‘60 Minutes,’ discussing his new approach to the war on drugs. He's giving a new perspective to drug addiction and LGBT rights. He was very cool, speaking out as a gay man."
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What's your favorite holiday tradition?

Colleen Nowicki
student | Gayborhood
"Secret Santa with a group of 15 close friends. We set a $10 maximum so nobody spends too much. We do it a few days before Christmas, and we also have a chocolate-milk party. My friend Courteny's family owns a farm that's famous for the chocolate milk it produces. We use it for the party."
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Can Charlie Sheen be useful as an AIDS educator?

Lyndsey Hochler
student | Gayborhood
"Yes. Charlie Sheen has a lot to offer, even though he's made some mistakes. We're all human and there's good in all of us. I think it would be wonderful if he wants to raise public awareness about such a big issue."
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Should Kathryn Knott's anti-LGBT tweets be presented to jurors at her upcoming trial?

Kelly Dzioba
studio manager | South Philadelphia
"Yes. They show she's bigoted in her views and inclined to physically assault a gay couple, if she feels bold enough. I'm not saying she walks around assaulting gay men, but she certainly didn't seem to be provoked. She was emboldened by her friends."

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What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Emily Azbell
student | West Philadelphia
"My sobriety. I've been clean and sober for two years and 47 days. I was an out-of-control heroin addict. I'm so appreciative that my life is being put back together. The support of family and peers has been a true blessing in my life."

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Should domestic-partnership benefits be repealed, now that marriage equality is the law of the land?

Catherine Bouvier
software specialist | Old City
"No. Relationships are very complicated. We shouldn't be too rigid on allocating benefits. It would be fine with me if a family member like a sibling could be designated as a beneficiary of health benefits — just as long as you establish a tie with that person."
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Should the next Philadelphia police commissioner be selected from within the department?

Daniel Bowles
personal trainer | Bridesburg
"No, someone from outside the department should get the job. There's an issue with acceptance of diversity and lack of proper training in the Philadelphia Police Department. Given this history and track record, it's better to go outside for the commissioner."
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