City Announces New Leadership for Office of LGBT Affairs

Today, the Kenney administration announced that Amber Hikes will take the helm of the Office of LGBT Affairs as Executive Director.  She will begin this post on March 6th.

Office “My diverse experiences in the vibrant Philadelphia LGBTQ community first as a student, then as a professional, then as a business owner and finally as a community leader, afford me the unique opportunities to view LGBTQ community work in this city from multiple vantage points,” said Hikes.  “I’m eager to serve my community during this pivotal time by increasing the accessibility of the Office, listening to community members and implementing initiatives to serve LGBTQ Philadelphians more efficiently and effectively.”

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Work Program, Hikes has served on the board of the William Way LGBT Community Center from 2011 through 2015, and was an organizer for the Philadelphia Dyke March from 2007-2015. She currently serves full-time as director of Upward Bound, a federally funded student service program at California State Long Beach providing education and resources to low income, underserved students. Hikes has worked with the national organization since 2009, and spearheaded the successful writing of a multimillion-dollar Department of Education grant to refund the Upward Bound program at the University of Pennsylvania for five years.

Additionally, Hikes organized seasonal community service events and fundraisers benefitting LGBTQ organizations such as GALAEI, William Way Community Center, Attic Youth Center, and ACLU-PA among many others.

*I’ve known Amber for several years, and I’m ecstatic for her. She is a great community organizer, and a friend to everyone
Congrats Amber


Party Pixs: Speaking Out for Equality: The Supreme Court, Gay Rights, and the Constitution

Opening last week in time to coincide with Gay Pride Month in June and the 50th Anniversary of the gay rights movement in Philadelphia, Speaking Out for Equality: The Supreme Court, Gay Rights, and the Constitution  explores the gay-rights movement through the constitutional “conversations” that have framed the struggle for equality opened at the National Constitution Center (525 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106). On Wednesday I attended the press preview, and Thursday night I swung by by the opening gala which was attended by over 600 people. (BTW Some of these photos may appear in my party photo column in the August issue of Philly Mag, so pick it up.)
Daniel Bernstein, Visit Philly, Meryl Levitz,  president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia, Emily Golomb, National Constitution Center and Michael Newmuis, Visit Philly.
Geno Vento, Geno’s steaks and Antoine Johnson I caught them on their way out to see the new Dave & Buster’s Dockside Bar , which features a gorgeous mural by Philly’s own, Alloyius McIlwaine.

Gunnar Montana,Visual/Physical Artist , Mike DelBene, Vice President of Development at The Mann Music Center (The Mann welcomes a Philadelphia favorite, Tchaikovsky with Fireworks to start the residency of The Philadelphia Orchestra on June 23) , Laura Burkhardt, Where Magazine, Daniel Briones, ACE Conference Center and Nonnie Cyd, artist.
Gunnar Montana’s video is #Everything (If you’re following me on twitter you know I’m over using this word but it pretty much sums up well, everything.)
Mesopotamia, AIDS law Project and Judge Dan Anders. The AIDS Law Project is celebrating their Summer Movie Party’s Sweet Sixteen, with the showing of “Hot Rods to Hell,”  on Friday, July 31st at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 6PM $20.
Robert Drake, WXPN, Alan Chelak, Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou, ‎Co-Founder/Manager at Philly AIDS Thrift, and John Stanley
Jen Smith, Amber Hikes, Dileimys Franco, Stacey Salter Moore,  Angela D. Giampolo, Esq., Tracy Buchholz and Katie Hinchey.
The Speaking Out For Equality Opening Party, included
food, cocktails and live performances by the Philadelphia Voices of
Pride and the Bearded Ladies Cabaret. Above John Jarboe performed the first drag show at the Convention Center. 
Thanks to Josh Middleton who captured the moment on video.
Renee Gilinger  Director, East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District, Bill Wood, Knock, Fergus Carey, Fegie’s Pub and Rue Landau, Esquire is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and the Fair Housing Commission (FHC).
Rudy Flesher (went to the inaugural fetish contest, Philadelphia Fetish and Bootblack 2015! on Saturday returning to his showgirl days for charity.) and Mark Aufdemberge, Assistant Director, Management Reports & Analysis at University of Pennsylvania, Development & Alumni Relations
Jamie Larkin and his dad Ward “Ben Franklin” Larkin.
Diane Snipas, Chris Tadeo and Wayne Marquargt. Chris and Wayne participated in some of the early gay rights protests and are featured in the exhibit.
Louie Alvarado, Accenture and Scott Barnes, who recently took a position with the Philadelphia Film Society. They’re so lucky.
Congrats Alyssa Mutryn and Shay Selden on their recent wedding.
Allison Cassidy and B Proud, photographer of First Comes Love, the book on GLBT couples together. Recently B Proud sent a few books to the Supreme Court inviting them to check out the exhibit. (See A.D. Amorosi’s column in the Metro Wednesday to see what happened.)
Tameka Johnson and E. Darlene Rogers.
Chris Helker, Director, Clinical Data Management at University of Pennsylvania and Sharif Pendleton,  Multimedia Developer at Capital One
John James points to his 20 something self at one of the first gay rights march in Philadelphia in a photographed displayed at the  “Speaking Out for Equality” exhibit at the National Constitution Center.
Kathy Simon, Rick Lombardo, Franni Price, John Brady and Sharon Corrado.

Harvey Hurdle and Kevin Yoder, celebrated their 25th year together by getting married 2 years ago.
Chris Bartlett,  ‎Executive Director at William Way Community Center, Ronda B. Goldfein, Esq., executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Philadelphia, Bill Heinzen, Hudson River Park Trust.