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Philadelphia’s queer people of color have fought racism for years. Now the city is paying attention.

  • When you’ve been shut down, you get loud,“ Amber Hikes, executive director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, said to raucous applause at a crowded town hall meeting in the William Way LGBT Center in May. "I am here for kicking down the door if the door needs to be kicked down.”
  • “Civil disobedience is in our blood,” she added.
  • Hikes was only two months into her new job, and her very first conversation with the city’s LGBTQ community about inclusiveness in LGBTQ spaces was standing room only. 
  • Attendees represented a vast swath of Philadelphia’s LGBTQ residents: Queer and trans people of color were present; some people were in wheelchairs; others had canes.
  • The meeting was more than a simple introduction between Hikes and the community she serves. After a series of racist incidents in Philadelphia’s LGBTQ spaces, Hikes assured those present that her administration would hear their concerns and work to make the queer community’s spaces inclusive.
  • Queer Philadelphians of color had been trying for some time to bring attention to racism in LGBTQ spaces, particularly in the historical Gayborhood. 
  • The area, by some accounts the first official gay enclave in America, is small — only about six blocks by seven blocks — and abuts downtown Philadelphia and its City Hall. Rainbow street signs are mounted at its intersections. Read more (6/28/17)

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KJ WAS JAMMIN OUT TO HIS MUSIC AND COULDNT HEAR WHAT LILI WAS SAYING BUT WHEN HE FINALLY SAW WHAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT (lili got a shirt that said ‘riverdale daddy’ and kj didn’t) THE LOOK ON HIS FACE WAS SO FUNNY, HE LOOKED SO SAD.

daniel james is the tides, his hair is wavy like the currents and words and thoughts change as the days pass. gentle, and can be harsh when need be. waves of change may be slow, and what promise they hold comes and goes. sometimes things are stormy, and sometimes things are calm and clear, and just about all the time the ocean is so unknown. but we are learning a little more about it every day.

phillip michael is the moon. arguably he could also be the sun, but what else could it be that pulls dan to this boy? with pale skin and eyes like the skies, he’s ethereal. never the same from day to night, calm yet shines with a smile so bright. his head and mind is up high in space; we may never know everything about what goes on up there, but we may admire from afar. luminous is he.

daniel is the tides, pulled closer by phillip, the moon. if you try hard to listen, the waves crash in an effort to reach the sky, and the stars twinkle in a soft response.