WRITTEN BY: TAYLOR ALLEN
The City of Philadelphia has created a new mayoral LGBT Affairs commission. This announcement came one day after Amber Hikes was named the director of LGBT Affairs.
Mayor Kenney’s administration chose 23 prominent members of the community to be apart of the commission. The members were selected based on an application and review process.
The goal of this commission is to increase diversity after reported incidents of exclusion in the Gayborhood.
Malcolm Kenyatta is a community advocate and one of the appointed members. Kenyatta explains why inclusion is important.
“I don’t think we can do anything until we start looking at things from an intersectional view,” Kenyatta said.
Kenyatta went on to explain that the LGBT community is diverse and that the commission should focus on issues that reflect that. He believes LGBT issues are the world’s issues. Problems such as sexism, racism, etc. affect this community just like any other community.
This focus on intersectionality became a major concern after the owner of ICandy, a popular gay nightclub in the city, was caught on camera using a racial slur. Protests ensued calling for equality. Many protesters and advocates say that this incident was only one example of discrimination in Philadelphia’s gay community.
Heath Fogg Davis, a political science professor at Temple University, is also a member of the new commission. Davis’ focus is to uplift marginalized voices.
“It’s not about me, per se,” Davis said. “It’s about amplifying voices in the larger community.”
The first meeting for the LGBT Affairs Commission is scheduled for March.