Ah, summertime – the living is easy. We toss our cares to the wind, head for a little R&R and, for many, that great summer vacation. So, it should be a time to relax, lay back, and enjoy the sunshine. But wait, we’re five months from an election. Here’s where I can envision you saying, “Mark, why are you bringing this up now?” Here’s the point: We can’t rest until we do something to put a check on the madness that is Donald Trump, and the harm already done to this country in just 18 months. At this point you’re […]
The LGBT medical clinic in Philadelphia, Mazzoni Center, which serves more than 35,000 clients, announced that the board had appointed a new CEO. Lydia Gonzalez Scirarrino, it turns out, is not LGBT, and that seemed to distress some people in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. How could a non-LGBT person head an organization that has a majority of its clients from the LGBT community? There seems to be a way to find common ground on this issue, and it’s possible that the answer is already out there. Take Washington, DC, as an example. The LGBT community clinic […]
Just saying that I am humbled is not enough: It is an honor of a lifetime. By the title of this column, I’m not talking about my age, but something that I’m still processing. There have been many honors over the last few years, but this is something that happens to few Americans, and I never expected it to happen to me. My personal papers of the last 50 years will soon be alongside people like Benjamin Franklin, George Washington LGBT pioneer Frank Kameny and even Judy Garland’s ruby-red slippers. It seems strange to say, but I’ve been asked by […]
For our family at Philadelphia Gay News, this has been what you might call a mixed couple of weeks. It started with the death of one of our extended family members, Mike Petty, the husband of Don Pignolet, who has been with this paper since its beginning. Naturally our hearts and first concerns were with Don. It also gave us each a time to reflect. As we saw the love they shared, we were able to look into our own relationships and see joy. Don, the trooper he has always been, has kept up his PGN schedule. It has been […]
This week I had a great honor. While we in the US are concerned with the state of our struggle for equality and worry each day how the Trump administration wants to dismantle the gains we’ve made, I had the opportunity to meet this week as part of a program from the US State Department called the International Visitor Leadership Program. Seventeen future leaders from central and South America visit the United States, and what the program does is try to show young future leaders of various countries how the US political system operates. Part of that is community involvement, […]
Is Vice President Mike Pence a closeted, deep-in-self-hate raging homo? Is that self-hate so intolerable for him that he’s become the commander in chief at the White House in pushing the most homophobic agenda since McCarthy’s un-American hearings in the 1950s and the George W. Bush anti gay-marriage reelection bid? When they witness a rabid homophobe, many people in our community believe that they’re acting out due to their own sexuality issues. I’ve never subscribed to that point of view, but Mike Pence is about to change my position. Like you, I’ve heard the rumors that he went through conversion […]
The current presidential administration does not understand spousal abuse or sexual harassment. Most are saying that the person at fault stops at the door of the chief of staff but, no, it stops in the Oval Office at the desk of President Donald Trump. Former President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk stating, “The buck stops here.” He took responsibility. Trump runs and hides from it like a bad bully. This column isn’t about Trump, but it is about sexual harassment and abuse that we don’t talk about much in our community. Several years ago, Philadelphia Gay New […]
The national obsession with where Amazon will plant itself reached new absurdity last week when numerous media outlets published a report that a group of gay activists were going to run ads suggesting that many of the 20 finalist cities should be disqualified based on LGBT equality criteria. One of those 20 was my own Philadelphia. As an LGBT activist for almost 50 years and a proud Philadelphian, the misrepresentation of facts can’t be ignored, and while I’m sure the 19 other cities are scratching their heads as well, I’ll take the privilege of using my own city as an […]
With the North Korea situation being in front of the news, the answer to that question is simple: No. But it gives us an opportunity as a community to look at how the US and our community are dealing with other nations and their LGBT policies. The best examples from the last few years are in the Middle East, Africa, and Chechnya.
Okay, someone has to say it. We’ve survived the first year of the Trump administration, but it has done damage to both the country’s reputation and our community. And if you feel that way, 2018 is your year to correct that path.