LGBTQIA+

Events & Discussions

Notable Figures

Kiyoshi Kuromiya

Kuromiya was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He was a Japanese American author and civil rights and anti-war activist. Kuromiya became an aide to Martin Luther King Jr.  He served as an openly gay delegate to the Black Panther Convention that endorsed the gay liberation struggle and was one the founders of America’s Gay Liberation Front/Philadelphia.  He was also the editor of ACT UP’s Standard of Care, the first medical treatment and cultural competency guidelines to be produced for people living with HIV by people living with HIV/AIDS.

Jaci Adams

Was a trailblazer and leader in the Philadelphia transgender community, impacting individuals, organizations, and the city as a whole. Jaci lead numerous efforts to ensure transgender people were treated with dignity and respect by advocating for decent housing and education. Jaci Adams legacy lives on in the many organizations in Philadelphia that serve the trans community to this day.

Gloria Casarez

Gloria Casarez (December 13, 1971 – October 19, 2014) was an American civil rights leader and LGBT activist in Philadelphia. Casarez served as Philadelphia’s first director of Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) affairs. During her tenure as director, Philadelphia ranked as the number one city nationwide for LGBT equality after adopting the broadest LGBT rights protections in the nation, when Mayor Nutter signed Bill No. 130224 into law.

Celena Morrison

Celena Morrison currently serves as the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs. In 2020, she became the first openly transgender person to ever lead an office in the city of Philadelphia.

Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945–July 6, 1992), was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Johnson said the “P” in their name stood for “Pay It No Mind,” which is what Johnson would say in response to questions from people about her gender. Johnson quickly became a prominent fixture in the LGBTQ community serving as a “drag mother” helping homeless and struggling LGBTQ youth. Johnson was an extremely successful drag queen and known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights. Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. One of Johnson’s most  famous quotes was: “No Pride For Some Of Us Without Liberation For All of Us!”

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (October 25, 1940) often referred to as Miss Major, is a trans woman activist and community leader for transgender rights, with a particular focus on women of color. She served as the original Executive Director for the Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project, which aims to assist transgender persons, who are disproportionately incarcerated under the prison-industrial complex. Griffin-Gracy has participated in activism for a wide range of causes throughout her lifetime, including the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City.

Layshia Renee Clarendon

Layshia Renee Clarendon (May 2, 1991), is an American basketball player and is the first WNBA player that openly identifies as transgender and non-binary.  In 2020, when the WNBA announced the upcoming season to be  “Social Justice Season,” Clarendon was a key driver of this work. Clarendon, with the help of other players, and WNBA Director of Player Relations, Jayne Appel-Marinelli, are leading the Social Justice Council. The Social Justice group plans to “educate, amplify and mobilize for action”.  Clarendon has stood out as a figure for transgender and non-binary people and has shifted the path for others that identify as such to be able to play in the WNBA and feel represented in sports.

Fallon Fox

Fallon Fox (November 29, 1975) is the first who is openly transgender American mixed martial artist. As a transgender woman and feminist in a male dominated sport, Fox has been an advocate and trailblazer for trans-inclusion in sports. Fox was born in the industrial city of Toledo, Ohio and grew up the middle child of three. She joined her high school wrestling team her senior year in order to get into shape and have a base for self defense. After high school, Fox served in the United States Navy for 4 years, as an Operations Specialist. Fox later attended the University of Toledo, where she studied transgender/transsexual issues/concepts in order to better understand herself. In addition to MMA, Fox speaks publicly of her story, and how Mixed Martial Arts and other contact sports can empower all women.

Brian Sims

Brian Sims (Sept 16th, 1978) is a Democrat member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives of the 182nd District.  He was elected in 2012 as the First Openly Gay Legislator in the History of Pennsylania. He won Reelection in November 2018. He is 42 years old. Mr. Sims is also a Lawyer, and Gay Rights Acitivist. Mr. Sims has worked tirelessly to push a progressive agenda throughout his tenure as a State Rep.  He is currently considering a run for Lieutenant Governor.

Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934–November 17, 1992) is an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. Lorde was a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” who dedicated her life and her work to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, capitalism, heterosexism, and homophobia. In her novel Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Lorde focuses on how her many different identities shape her life and the different experiences she has because of them. She shows us that personal identity is found within the connections between seemingly different parts of one’s life, based on lived experience, and that one’s authority to speak comes from this lived experience.

Sylvia Rivera

Sylvia Rivera (July 2, 1951–February 19, 2002) was an American gay liberation, and transgender rights activist who was also a noted community worker in New York. Rivera, who identified as a drag queen,[participated in demonstrations with the Gay Liberation Front. With close friend Marsha P. Johnson, Rivera co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a group dedicated to helping homeless young drag queens, gay youth, and trans women.

Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912–August 24, 1987) Born in West Chater PA Bayard was, American civil rights activist who was an adviser to Martin Luther King, Jr., and who was the main organizer of the March on Washington in 1963. In 1953 Rustin, was arrested in California for being homosexual. He served 50 days in jail. Bayard’s sexuality caused him to have to work behind the scenes, but he was still hugely influential within the civil rights movement.

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox (May 29, 1972) is an American actress and LGBTQ+ advocate. Cox is a trailblazer for the transgender community, and has won numerous awards for her activist approach in spreading awareness. Her impact and prominence in the media has led to a growing conversation about transgender culture, specifically transgender women, and how being transgender intersects with one’s race. She is the first transgender person to be on the cover of Time magazine, be nominated for a Primetime Emmy, have a wax work in Madame Tussauds, as well as the first transgender woman to win a Daytime Emmy as an executive producer. In May 2016, Cox was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The New School in New York City for her progressive work in the fight for gender equality.

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King (November 22, 1943) is an American former World No. 1 professional tennis player. King is an advocate for gender equality and has long been a pioneer for equality and social justice. In 1973, at age 29, she won the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match against men’s tennis champion Bobby Riggs. She was also the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation.

RuPaul Charles

RuPaul Charles (November 17, 1960), known mononymously as RuPaul, is an American drag queen, actor, model, singer, songwriter, television personality, and author. Since 2009, he has produced and hosted the reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race, for which he has received eight Primetime Emmy Awards. He is considered the most commercially successful drag queen in the United States. In 2017, he was included in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 2019, Fortune noted him as “easily the world’s most famous” drag queen.

Harvey Bernard Milk

Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930–November 27, 1978) was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in the history of California. Milk served almost eleven months in office, during which he sponsored a bill banning discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment on the basis of sexual orientation. The Supervisors passed the bill by a vote of 11–1, and it was signed into law by Mayor George Moscone. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Moscone were assassinated by a disgruntled city supervisor.

Malcolm Kenyatta

Malcolm Kenyatta is a Democrat Member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives of the 181st District. He was elected in 2018. He is one of the youngest people ever to be elected to the State Legislature at 28 years old. He is also the First Openly Gay Man of Color ever to be elected to either House of the State Legislature in Pennsylvania History.

Abby Stein

Abby Stein (October 1, 1991) is an American transgender author, activist, blogger, model, speaker, and rabbi. She is the first openly transgender woman raised in a Hasidic community. In 2015, she founded the first support group nationwide for trans people of Orthodox Jewish background. Stein is also the first woman, and the first openly transgender woman, to have been ordained by an Orthodox institution, having received her rabbinical degree in 2011. Stein currently works in many capacities as a rabbi. In 2018, she co-founded Sacred Space, a multi-faith project “which celebrates women and non-binary people of all faith traditions.”

Beverly Glenn-Copeland

Glenn-Copeland is a singer, songwriter, and transgender activist from Philadelphia. In 1961, Glenn-Copeland was one of the first black students to study at McGill University in Montreal. Glenn-Copeland has released acclaimed folk-jazz and synth explorations that are considered ahead-of-their-time masterpieces.

Resources

Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities Learn more

Pride Month Toolkit Learn more
This Toolkit includes a variety of resources, images, sample social media, and publications to support you in amplifying the voices and experiences of LGBTQ youth—this month, and every month!

252 Transgender And Gender Non-conforming Students Learn more
The purpose of this policy is to ensure safety, equity, and justice for all students regardless of gender identity or gender expression so that they can reach their fullest human and intellectual potential.

Attic Youth Center
The Attic Youth Center creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth (ages 13-23) to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community. Offers free counseling and groups.

GALAEI – Gay & Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative
GALAEI is a queer Latin@ social justice organization. Since 1989, the organization has provided social services and referrals around HIV/AIDS and sexual health, organizing, and networking. GALAEI operates the Trans Health Information Project (TIP), a peer-led program designed by and for trans-identified and gender nonconforming people. TIP provides outreach, sexual health counseling, HIV prevention and testing, health and safety workshops, assistance with legal name change, support through transition, and other resources.

GLSEN Philly – Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
GLSEN Philly is a chapter of GLSEN, a national organization fighting for every student’s right to a safe, supportive education. GLSEN Philly is a grassroots initiative, working locally in our community to ensure safe schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lutheran Settlement House
Lutheran Settlement House is a non-profit, community based social service organization that serves over 14,000 women, men, and children each year through four program areas: Adult Education and Employment, Domestic Violence, Senior Services, and Homeless Services.

Mazzoni Center
Mazzoni Center provides comprehensive health and wellness services for youth and adults; services include primary medical care, mental health counseling, substance abuse services, HIV counseling and testing, support groups, case management, legal, health education, and outreach.

Morris Home
Morris Home supports trans and gender variant individuals as they develop the knowledge, skills and supports necessary to promote sobriety, manage emotional and behavioral difficulties, choose and maintain safe and healthy lifestyles, and develop healthy relationships.

Office of LGBT Affairs
The Office of LGBT Affairs works to foster equitable working and living conditions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and to advocate for LGBTQ issues in all areas of City government.

Philadelphia FIGHT
Philadelphia FIGHT is a comprehensive health services organization providing primary care, consumer education, research, and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high risk.

Project H.O.M.E.
Project HOME empowers people to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty through affordable housing, employment, healthcare, and education.

The Support Center for Child Advocates
Child Advocates rallies for victims of child abuse and neglect with the goal of securing safety, justice, well-being and a permanent, nurturing environment for every child. They house a special LGBTQ Youth Project that provides access to justice, representation, safety and hope to youth of all ages who are in the Philadelphia child welfare system and who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

UpLift Philly
Uplift Center for Grieving Children (formerly The Center for Grieving Children) was founded in 1995 by the Bereavement Program at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and incorporated as an independent nonprofit in 2000. Our main office is located in East Falls. Uplift is supported through individual donations, public and private grants, government funding, and corporate sponsorships. Uplift has special groups and call center hours for students in the LGBTQIA+ community.

William Way LGBT Community Center
The William Way Community Center seeks to encourage, support, and advocate for the wellbeing and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities through services, recreational, educational, and cultural programming.

PFLAG – provides confidential peer support, education, and advocacy to LGBTQ+ people, their parents and families, and allies.

Students

Name/gender change requests pursuant to Policy 252 Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students.

To see if this policy is applicable please review HERE.

Please note name/gender change requests pursuant to Policy 252 can be submitted on behalf of the student by staff, a parent or guardian, or by the student themselves. It is important that whoever is submitting this form understands all safety concerns. that may be associated with the display of a requested name or gender change in the SIS and/or Google platform.

Please complete your request HERE

If you have any questions or concerns, please email policy252@philasd.org.

How to report bullying to the District:

Safe2Say Something  – 1-844-723-2729 or download the app
Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something” BEFORE it is too late. With Safe2Say Something, it’s easy and confidential to report safety concerns to help prevent violence and tragedies.

What is a GSA?
A Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club, which provides a safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and work to end homophobia and transphobia. GSAs have evolved beyond their traditional role to serve as safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in middle schools and high schools, and have emerged as vehicles for deep social change related to racial, gender, and educational justice.

Interested in being part of a district-wide GSA complete the form HERE.

Download the GSA Facilitator’s Handbook.

GLSEN Philly – Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
GLSEN Philly is a chapter of GLSEN, a national organization fighting for every student’s right to a safe, supportive education. GLSEN Philly is a grassroots initiative, working locally in our community to ensure safe schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Hopeline1-833-PHL-HOPE
The Philly HopeLine is free and open to all students, families, and staff of the School District. Call or text 1-833-PHL-HOPE, Monday- Friday 10am to 8pm to speak to a Masters’s level clinician.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Trevor Project1-866-488-7386
A non-judgmental hotline for those 25 years old and below with LGBTQ-sensitive trained counselors you can contact through a call, text, or chat during a mental health crisis and/or suicidal thoughts.

Trans Lifeline1-877-565-8860
A 24/7 hotline available in the U.S. and Canada staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline is primarily for transgender people in a crisis, from struggling with gender identity to thoughts of self-harm.

Read and learn about diverse people and perspectives from our LGBTQ+ Book List created in collaboration with the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Many people are confused by the ever growing vocabulary in the LGBTQIA+ community. Knowing these vocabulary terms is important for everyone and can help us better understand how diverse individuals want  to be identified.

Expand your working knowledge about LGBTQIA+ vocabulary and terms by studying this Glossary of LGBTQIA+ Vocabulary and Terms.