PGN Special Edition Coverage

In June, Philadelphia raised its already-sky-high support for the LGBTQ community: The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program unveiled its latest project, “Showing Face,” a series of photograph portraits to appear on billboards across the region and on citywide bus shelters, showcasing the product of a yearlong collaboration among Philadelphia LGBTQ youth and seniors.

“Unapologetic” is the word that activist CeCe McDonald used over and over again in her speech at Rutgers University-Camden for the International Transgender Day of Visibility. McDonald arrived to the event, unapologetically wearing a black cap, a leather jacket and a high pair of black heels, and spoke about her upbringing in Chicago, her history with activism and the violent experience that she faced as a black trans woman.

The Caitlyn Jenner story has been making headlines everywhere, to put it mildly. Everyone from celebrities to media outlets to everyone in between have praised, rightfully so, Jenner’s message of acceptance, which is still a message that needs to be conveyed. However, one thing that has been rarely talked about is Jenner’s politics, which contradict what many would assume to be the politics of a transgender person. Jenner is a self-described “conservative Republican.” Most who carry that title have acted against transgender and other LGBT goals. While some Republicans thought Jenner’s coming out could be a step forward towards more acceptance within the Republican Party, others like Rush Limbaugh (no surprise there) were less than accepting.

Over the past year, I had the esteemed pleasure of working with Andrew Robbles and many other young LGBT community members in organizing Philadelphia’s first-ever Youth Pride, which took place July 5 as part of the city’s massive celebration of the 50 years since LGBT activists first championed equality here in the city. The decision behind a youth-focused Pride event came from the fact that most Prides feature older, and often drunk, LGBT people. Instead, this was a zone for the youth to be able to celebrate being out with people their own age. I was one of the performers at the festival, in which many gave awesome and fierce performances with lip synching and singing. There were interesting and educational workshops, food, drinks and more!

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