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5 Things You Should Stop Doing Right Now to Improve Your Personal Life

Stop Doing Right now

This article was written by Julie Morris. The views in this blogpost are strictly hers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Pennsylvania Equality Project or its Board of Directors. (Copyright, December, 2020)

We all go through times in our lives when we struggle. But if you find yourself in a personal rut that you just can’t seem to dig your way out of, you need to make some changes in your life. By getting rid of the habits that hinder your growth and happiness, you’ll find your relationships with others will also be much improved.

 

Stop Neglecting Your Health

 

Research from the Journal of Consumer Research shows that Americans associate busyness and stress with prestige and status. However, taking the time to slow down for self-care is extremely important for your emotional, mental, and physical health. Schedule downtime to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body, and be sure to get enough quality sleep. Additionally, you should remove toxic people and other obvious stressors from your life. You should also eat healthfully and exercise regularly to fuel and strengthen your body. Devoting time to yourself is essential for your happiness and overall well-being.

 

In addition to following a good exercise plan, you should also develop a healthy diet. This includes avoiding refined carbs and processed sugars and, instead, focusing on whole and fresh food whenever possible. A major component of health that people often overlook is the state of their home. A cluttered and dark home can lead to its occupants feeling stressed and anxious. By thoroughly cleaning,  removing clutter, and adding natural light, you can reduce the negativity and tension you may be feeling in your home.

 

Stop Looking to Others for Happiness

 

If you expect your romantic partner to make you happy, find it difficult to be alone, or seem to take every little thing anyone says too personally, you need to become more self-reliant and confident in yourself. Without self-reliance, you can never be consistently happy in your life. Instead of waiting for others to make you happy (or wallowing when they don’t), take charge of your life and your emotions. Do things that you truly enjoy every day. Celebrate adversity and learn to face challenges with a positive outlook. Think of obstacles as opportunities to become stronger and more self-reliant. As you become more confident in yourself, you will find your relationships with others will be strengthened as well.

 

Stop Avoiding Uncomfortable Topics

 

When you are in a relationship, don’t avoid conversations that make you uncomfortable. For example, couples should talk about death. You and your spouse should have a will, a living will, and life insurance. Your spouse should know how you feel about life-sustaining treatment and organ donation, and visa-versa. Though it might seem morbid, you can pre-plan and pay for your funeral now. Don’t burden your spouse and family with making funeral arrangements in their time of grief. Handling it now can alleviate their future stress and give you peace of mind.

 

Differing opinions and problems concerning child-rearing, finances, and intimacy are also uncomfortable topics that many couples try to avoid. However, according to the American Psychology Association, open honest communication — even when it’s difficult — is key to a happy, successful relationship.

 

Stop Waiting for the Perfect Time

 

No time is going to be perfect to get married, change your career path, go back to school, or have a baby. If you keep putting off the things you want to do, you are never going to reach your goals. If you want to do something, instead of making excuses why it can’t happen, devise a plan to make it happen. Life is too short to wait around for perfect timing.

 

Stop Dwelling on the Past

 

Don’t get stuck in the past. All of us have had situations in our lives where we could have done something differently. But don’t get so hung up on those moments that you can’t find happiness in the present or look toward the future. Spend less time reflecting on things that you can’t change. Instead, learn from your failures and mistakes, and consider them as valuable lessons for future endeavors.

 

Negative habits and tendencies in your thinking can seriously diminish your overall quality of life. By making simple changes and getting away from bad habits, you can become the best version of yourself. And when you are happy and confident in yourself, you will attract positive people and healthy relationships in your life.

 

Photo via Unsplash

Equality Act

As President of the Pennsylvania Equality Project, I signed onto this letter calling on the US House and Senate to pass the Equality Act. Presently, Pennsylvania lacks cohesive, statewide law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The LGBTQ+ community should have the same protections from discrimination under the law. We have joined a coalition of other organizations, listed below, who seek an end to discrimination for housing, credit, education, lodging, and all other public accommodations.

 

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LGBTQ State and Local Groups Praise the Introduction of the Equality Act and Call for Its Immediate Passage


We, the undersigned, a coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) state and local organizations, make the following statement in response to the introduction of the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

 

The Equality Act is a significant step forward for the LGBTQ community, and we are committed to mobilizing our communities to urge Congress to swiftly pass this important bill. We’ll be working in these lawmakers’ backyards to make sure they know this is about people, not politics. 

 

The Equality Act, a landmark LGBTQ nondiscrimination and civil rights bill, would update existing federal laws to protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Like all people, LGBTQ Americans need to access legal services and go to the store, bank, hospital, and other public places. The Equality Act would strengthen existing protections for everyone, including women and people of color, by updating the public spaces and services covered in current law. It would also codify the recent Supreme Court decision in Bostock by explicitly stating that existing federal civil rights laws that prohibit sex discrimination also protect LGBTQ people. The Equality Act is a vital next step in ensuring the promise of equal opportunity and freedom is provided to all of us, regardless of what state, city, or town we call home.

 

Although 21 states and more than 330 cities have passed LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections, half of LGBTQ people live in the 29 states that still lack express, comprehensive statewide laws. As organizations working in the states and cities that LGBTQ people call home, we know this patchwork of protections is unsustainable and leaves too many people behind. 

 

This isn’t just about federal politics—it’s about people, including our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and fellow worshippers in cities and states outside of Washington, D.C. We are hearing from Americans in communities across the country, and they are demanding their leaders prioritize passing the Equality Act. America is ready. From California to New York to Alaska to Florida, we, the organizations working directly with the people of this country, remain united in our efforts to finish the job. We compel Congress to act now to protect the people who elected them.

 

The need for comprehensive protections for the LGBTQ community is clear. Including LGBTQ Americans in civil rights protections would mark the most sweeping legislative victory for LGBTQ people in American history. The Equality Act will immeasurably improve the day-to-day lives of LGBTQ community members in every zip code and bring the nation closer to its promise of liberty and justice for all. As state and local organizations, we commit to doing our part to ensure the public’s demand for passage of the Equality Act is heard all across the country.

 

A future is in sight where no American in any part of the country is left vulnerable to discrimination because of who they are or who they love. We stand united to make it so.

 

Affirmations

Alaskans Together for Equality

All Under One Roof LGBT Advocates of Southeastern Idaho

Atlanta Pride Committee

Basic Rights Oregon

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center

Brave Space Alliance

Brooklyn Community Pride Center

Campaign for Southern Equality

CANDLE

Center on Halsted

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Colors+

Compass LGBTQ Community Center

Damien Center

Eastern PA Trans Equity Project

Equal Rights Washington

Equality Arizona

Equality California

Equality Community Center

Equality Delaware

Equality Florida

Equality Illinois

Equality Kansas

Equality Maine

Equality Michigan

Equality Nevada

Equality New Mexico

Equality North Carolina

Equality Ohio Education Fund

Equality South Dakota

Equality Texas

Equality Utah

Equality Virginia

Erie County Democratic Party LGBTQIA+ Caucus

Erie Mayor’s LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council

Erie Sisters and Brothers

Fair Wisconsin

Fairness Alliance and Information Resources of New York, Inc. (FAIRNY)

Fairness Campaign

Fairness West Virginia

Forum for Equality

Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center

Freedom Oklahoma

FreeState Justice

Full Spectrum Health LCC

Garden State Equality

Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center

Georgia Equality

Grand Rapids Pride Center

Great Lakes Bay Pride

Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE)

Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation

Henderson Equality Center

Hillcrest Children’s Center

Hudson Pride Center

Identity, Inc.

Indiana Youth Group

Inside Out Youth Services

Jackson Pride Center

Jacksonville Coalition for Equality 

JASMYN

Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition

LGBT Center of Raleigh

LGBT+ Center Orlando, Inc.

LGBTQ Center of Bay County

LGBTQ+ Allies Lake County

Louisiana Trans Advocates

Mass Equality

Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

Montana Human Rights Network

Nashville LGBT Chamber

New Hampshire Stonewall Democrats

NEW Pride Agenda

North County LGBTQ Resource Center

North Dakota Human Rights Coalition

Northwest Arkansas Equality, Inc.

NW PA Pride Alliance

Oasis Center Inc

Oklahomans for Equality

One Colorado

ONE Community

One Iowa

One-n-ten

Out Boulder County

OUT MetroWest

OutCenter of Southwest Michigan

OutFront Kalamazoo

OutFront Minnesota

OutNebraska

Panhandle Equality

Pennsylvania Equality Project

Pennsylvania Youth Congress

PFLAG Hastings

PFLAG Nashville

PGH Equality Center

Phoenix Pride

Pride Center of New Jersey

Pride Center of Staten Island

Pride Center West Texas

Pride Community Services Organization

PROMO

Queer Connect, Inc.

QWELL Community Foundation

Rainbow Center

Rainbow Rose Center

Resource Center
Rural Outright

Ryan Sallans, Inc.

Sacramento LGBT Community Center

SAGE Metro Detroit

SAVE

Seacoast Outright

Shippensburg University Pride Center

Silver State Equality

SOJOURN

Southwest Center

Spencer Pride, Inc.

St. Pete Pride

Stonewall Columbus

Tennessee Equality Project

The Alaska Center Education Fund

The DC Center for the LGBT Community

The Human Rights Alliance Santa Fe

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

The LGBT Center of Greater Reading

The LGBTQ+ Community Center of Southern Nevada

The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center

The Pride Center at Equality Park

The Source LGBT+ Center

The Spahr Center

The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative

Time Out Youth

TransAction NH

TransFamily of NWPA

TransFamily Support Services

Transgender Michigan

TransOhio

Triangle Community Center

Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance (UGLA)

Washington County Gay Straight Alliance, Inc.

Waves Ahead Corp

Western Montana LGBTQ+ Community Center

William Way LGBT Community Center

Wyoming Equality

Youth OUTright WNC Inc

 

Coping with Covid 19

Cope with Change COVID

The content that appears in this article was written by Jennifer Scott. We are quite grateful for her to serve as a guest contributor to our blog. If you would like to be a guest contributor to our blog, please email David Moore at info@paequality.com for details. 

How to Cope With Change During COVID-19

As humans evolve as a species, we are inclined to favor stability and consistency. On a primitive level, we are happiest when we can easily predict the world around us. This means that any change can be a major source of anxiety; but when that change is something as world-rocking and stress-inducing as a pandemic, that anxiety can quickly become overwhelming.

 

Moments like these require resources, community, and support. The Pennsylvania Equality Project hopes to be one such resource for the LGBTQ+ community. To that end, here’s a look at how to cope with the changes that the pandemic has brought to our lives:

 

Career Change and Job Loss

 

The pandemic has upended nearly every industry in some form or another, and people from all walks of life have felt the repercussions. For some, this has meant fewer hours, or even a complete loss of income. Searching for a job in the midst of a pandemic can be a serious challenge; however, there are tools you can use to make things easier.

 

For example, starting a freelance career can help you make some extra money while expanding your skills and keeping your resume fresh. This could also be a great opportunity to consider a career change. If your previous career wasn’t satisfying or fulfilling, you might want to consider something like teaching or nursing. Going back to school during a pandemic might not appeal to you at first, but remember: There are plenty of online programs that allow you to learn virtually, from the safety of your own home. For example, if you’ve been inspired to join the ranks of healthcare heroes as a nurse, you can easily pursue a new career while still keeping your day job. Whether you need a master’s or a bachelor’s, there’s a degree program that can help you specialize and become a healthcare professional.

 

You may also be struggling with the transition to remote work. Although working from home is great for many, it’s not a one-size-fits-all work solution. If you’re not thriving, take some time to make sure you’re using good remote work habits like getting dressed each day and having a consistent morning routine.

 

Loss of Community

 

Since the start of the pandemic, loneliness has reached unprecedented levels. Social gatherings have lost their simplicity and spontaneity, and even the most low-risk in-person gatherings can come with a miasma of guilt. In the balancing game between isolation and sickness, it can feel like there are no favorable outcomes.

 

That’s why it’s so important, now more than ever, to find a community willing to overcome these challenges and provide support. For example, you might consider talking to friends about forming a bubble. Be sure to have a frank conversation about rules and expectations in order to ensure everyone’s on the same page when bubbling up.

 

If you’re spiritually or religiously inclined, now could be a good time to seek out some sort of faith-based community. Many people in the LGBTQ+ community have a challenging history with religion, but would like to find an outlet for their spiritual needs where they are welcomed and accepted without reservation. If you’re in this position, take a look at our list of affirming churches. Many offer virtual services and other socially-distanced ways to find support during the pandemic.

 

Slowing Down

 

Finally, the pandemic has changed the ways we think about our plans and the future. For example, if you had been thinking about taking a long trip somewhere or moving cross-country, you might have put that plan on hold. However, there are many positives to plans being put on hold – even if it wouldn’t have been your first choice.

 

This may give you the time you need to fully think the idea out. After some time you might refine your idea, come up with something better, or come to the conclusion that it wasn’t the right call to begin with. If the plan was time-sensitive, it’s easy to feel robbed – give yourself room to grieve, and then practice acceptance. This pandemic has taken many things from us too intangible to properly name – but that doesn’t make them any less real, or their loss any less painful.

 

Although we’re still figuring out the best techniques for vaccine distribution, the finish line is in sight. Soon, this will be behind us and we can move forward into our post-pandemic lives. Give yourself grace as you navigate life in the meantime: You deserve it.

 

Are you a member of the LGBTQ+ community in need of support? Check out our resources page.

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

Ways to De-stress

Ways to Destress

Many people decide to take their hobbies to the next level by turning them into a legitimate business. However, it’s important to remember that starting a business isn’t as simple as stating, “I’m going to start a business!”

Julie Morris

4 Hobbies to Take Up to Learn New Skills and De-Stress

 

Hobbies are a great way to unwind and de-stress after a long day. It’s important to find an activity that you genuinely enjoy doing for the sake of doing it. However, finding the right hobby can sometimes feel impossible. Check out some hobbies you can try below.

 

1. Spend Time With Animals

 

If you are an animal lover, consider volunteering at an animal shelter. Volunteering is a proven wayto boost your mental health. You’ll also see instant results through the change in an animal’s personality as you spend time with them. You can even take it a step further and dedicate time to helping train dogs.

 

Dog training requires a certain amount of patience and dedication but can be extremely rewarding, especially when your furry friend masters a difficult trick. You’ll feel like a proud parent. Remember to start with basic commands, then build into more complicated tricks. Rover.com, a pet care services site, notes some basic command terms to boost your dog-training skills.

 

“Useful in so many situations, “sit” is often the first command dogs learn,” the site advises. “In fact, most dogs “sit” on their own, so all you have to do is connect the command to the behavior.” You can practice on your dog or work with clients.

 

 

2. Pick Up an Instrument

 

Few things are as satisfying as mastering a song you have been practicing for days. Playing music is a great way to build confidence and relax. Learning an instrument even leads to asharper memory and improved cognitive functions. You may want to start with some formal lessons to learn the basics. However, once you’re feeling comfortable there are plenty of online resources and videos to help you build your skills.

 

Do not be discouraged if you have never picked up an instrument before. In fact, learning an instrument as an adult for the first time can be easier than as a child. Plus, you’ll still get the same mental benefits as someone who’s played since childhood after justa few months of playing, according to National Geographic.

 

 

3. Learn a New Language

 

In today’s incredibly globalized world, knowing a second language is incredibly useful. It is an amazing way to connect with other cultures and people you might not otherwise be able to. Not to mention, it looks good ona resume.

 

There are many ways to learn a new language today. Business Insider recommendsdownloading an app or taking classes online. Remember, that language is about communication and you will get more out of actually talking to someone than staying isolated. Try and seek out a fluent speaker to practice conversing. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find someone who’s excited to be able to practice with you.

 

4. Practice Your Photography Skills

 

Photography is a lot more complicated than snapping a quick picture with your phone. Learning to use a real camera is a skill that can impress all your friends. Even if you plan on using aDSLR camera, there will still be a learning curve. You will take a lot of mediocre photos before you capture a winning image.

 

Beginner photographers are encouraged to jump right into it andexperiment with the camera. As you begin to get comfortable with how the camera works, turn towards manuals and tutorials to expand your skills. If you are really looking for a challenge, you can even invest in some editing software and learn to edit your images to create something truly spectacular.

 

Hobbies and Business

 

Many people decide to take their hobbies to the next level by turning them into a legitimate business. However, it’s important to remember that starting a business isn’t as simple as stating, “I’m going to start a business!” You need to make a plan, select a business structure (for example, many people choose to create an LLC), and find funding. Ensure this is something you want to do before you start.

 

Remember to Have Fun

 

Hobbies are a great way to learn a new skill, but remember to choose something you enjoy and are able to relax doing. If you find yourself stressing out over your progress, it may be time to seek out something new.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

How Couples Can Thrive Throughout Major Changes

Cat for PEP Blogpost 041420

Blog post courtesy of Julie Morris

 

Figuring out a new normal? All across the globe, people are adjusting to an entirely different way of life, at least for the short term. Big changes can put a serious strain on relationships, but can couples thrive in this new environment? Here are a few resources you can use to keep your relationship in good shape while social distancing.

 

Talk It Out

 

Open communication is an absolute must. If you spend a ton of time together but constantly hide how you’re feeling, you can easily wind up resenting each other. With that in mind, here are some communication tips to explore.

 

4 Major Relationship Communication Mistakes That Ruin Love

5 Communication Skills Every Couple Should Develop

17 Funny Questions to Get to Know Your Partner Better

 

Focus on Self-Care

 

Major changes can put your mental and physical health in a precarious spot. Focus on self-care measures you can take to keep yourself and your significant other well.

 

Pair Care: 20 Self-Care Activities for Couples

Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19

How to Create Your Home Meditation Room

Easy Immune System Self-Care Tips to Use Every Day

 

Give Each Other Space

 

Staying in place can lead to a ton of time together. Although this can be great, it can also get exhausting. Here’s how to know when you need some downtime, and how to get it without hurting your loved one’s feelings:

 

10 Little Signs That It’s Time to Give Yourself Some ‘You’ Time

How to Give Your Partner Space When There Is None

15 Best Books of 2020

 

Learn Something New Together

 

One great way to strengthen your relationship and make this a productive time is to learn something new together. Here are a few things you can learn as a pair.

10 Tips to Learn Any Language from an Expert

Acroyoga Explained and Tips for Beginners

60 Healthy Dinner Ideas for Two

 

Any major life change can challenge a relationship. With a proactive approach, however, you can take this head-on and grow as a couple. Take the changes as they come and learn how to navigate them as a team.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash

ME4PA in 2014

It Passed

 Editor’s note: This piece was originally located on our website, www.me4pa.org in 2014. The website no longer exists, and the organization’s name has changed. Sometimes it is valuable to look back at where the journey began to have a better understanding of how far we have yet to go.  

     On June 21, 2011, while sitting at my desk and congratulating the folks in New York for their hard fought battle to win marriage equality, I realized that Pennsylvania lacked a similar organization that existed on Facebook to reach out to everyday people. Sure, Equality PA existed, and so too Keystone Progress, but to me they seemed like lobbying groups on the other side of PA. I wanted to bring the voices of average people to the table in our fight for LGBT equality. I defined the mission of this new Facebook page as seeking marriage equality. Thus, Gay Marriage for Pennsylvania was born.
     After ongoing dialog on our page and the recommendation of several fans, I added seeking a ban on discrimination for all public accommodations, and putting an end to bullying against LGBT children in Pennsylvania’s schools. Suddenly, the simple Facebook page grew. We merged with the group Equal Rights for All Pennsylvanians, and changed our name to Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania.
     Since our founding, we participated in the parade and rally in August 2012. That was the first of many rallies and other events in 2013. In March, we held the Candlelight Vigils across Pennsylvania in honor of the oral arguments at the US Supreme Court for the US v. Windsor (DOMA), and Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8) cases. Over 100 people attended the rally on a cold March evening, including candidate for Governor, John Hanger.
     We followed that event on April 26 with the delivery of 3 petitions to the Governor’s representative in Erie, PA. The petitions dealt with marriage equality, ending conversion therapy, and ending legal discrimination against LGBT people in all public accommodations in PA.
     In June, we attended the Pride Picnic at Presque Isle, Erie, PA.  A few weeks later, we marched on the capitol in Harrisburg with our friends from the Philadelphia Summit, Equality PA, and the ACLU.  We spoke at the Day of Decision rally in Pittsburgh with our friends from the Delta Foundation and the ACLU. We attended a GEAE Summit in Erie that dealt with marriage equality. In July, Josh Szczesny held a rally in Erie and a benefit concert in Scranton. Three different SKA bands performed, and everyone had a good time.

In August, we attended the Erie Pride Parade and Rally for a second year in a row. We had a table at the rally, and even raffled a gift basket donated by our local coordinator in Erie, Jason Brendel. Also in August, we held our own gathering at Market Square in Pittsburgh, where Mayor John Fetterman of Braddock, PA was awarded the ME4PA Equality Award.
     In September, the ME4PA leadership team packed up their gear and drove to Philadelphia. Our rally at Logan Circle attracted over 100 attendees, including Representatives Mark Cohen and Brian Sims. Also at our rally was John Hanger, who has repeatedly shown his commitment to LGBT equality. At the rally, hosted by our Philadelphia Regional Organizer Tom Hall, ME4PA proudly awarded Brian Sims and D. Bruce Hanes the ME4PA Equality Award. Coincidentally, the Parade of Chariots was happening at the same time as our rally, and as a result, the rally was briefly interrupted by a very colorful parade of people. ME4PA not to be outdone, joined the parade, and wished our new friends all the best.
     In October. Central West ME4PA Regional Organizer Sara Campbell held the Equality Picnic on the grounds of the Courthouse in Mercer, PA. Along with the canned goods food drive for their local food bank, the regional group brought together vendors and leaders from groups as diverse as YSUnity, PFLAG of New Castle, Workplace Opportunity of Pittsburgh, and others. Michael Muha, candidate for the PA 50th Senate district also attended and spoke passionately to the crowd about the need for workplace protections for all in the LGBT community. Steve Glassman, the first openly gay man appointed to the Human Relations Commission under Governor Ed Rendell reiterated those points.
     As October ended, we signed a partnership agreement with our friends at Marriage Equality USA. In November, our regional organizers across Pennsylvania, collected donated canned goods and household items for the needy in communities from Erie to Philadelphia and everywhere in between. In December, Joshua Szczesny and Daisy Smith put together Noodles for Equality in Erie, an event to draw from members of the community to give to Toys for Tots, and to gather people together to showcase the organization.
     Now that we are into 2014, we have already held several events. On February 14, couples across Pennsylvania teamed up with ME4PA and MEUSA in the “License our Love” campaign and attempted to get married at their local courthouses. On February 27 & 28, we held an online event in which we encouraged people to call or email their legislators. On March 26, we held our first rally in Erie to kick off the 2014 Rally Season. The calendar is already filled with events for this year, and we will keep on fighting for equality throughout every event.
     Our future is incredibly bright. With the support of the legislature and the people, we will work alongside other LGBT organizations to push for passage of PA House Bill and Senate Bill 300 which will ban discrimination in all public accommodations. We are pushing for passage of PA Senate Bill 719, which will allow marriage for same-sex couples, and for Senate Bill 872 which will ban conversion therapy. My many thanks to all who have supported our efforts and continue to do so. In solidarity,
David E. Moore
Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania
Founder and President

Philly LGBTQ History

1200px-Arch_Street_Meetinghouse_from_front
Independence Hall Philly

Arch Street Meeting House, Philadelphia, PA (Photo courtesy of: WikiData, Searched October 1, 2019)

Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA (Photo courtesy of: National Park Service, Searched October 1, 2019)

With the start of LGBTQ History Month, it is appropriate for our new blog posts to feature historical locations, people, and events. Today, we examine the Arch Street Meeting House and Independence Mall in Philadelphia. These buildings served as host to some of the earliest LGBTQ civil rights activism organizing in the United States. On July 4, 1965, some four years before the Stonewall Riots in New York City, activists met in front of Independence Hall to demand legislation to protect the LGBTQ community and provide rights as a minority group.

 

According to back2stonewall.com, inspired by Frank Kameny’s White House picket protest in Washington DC on April 17, 1965, Craig Rodwell, a New York City advocate and activist organized members of the Mattachine Society, the Janus Society, and the Daughters of Billitis to gather in front of Liberty Hall. In all, 40 protesters attended for what was then the largest organized gathering to demand rights for the LGBTQ community. The protest was called “Reminder Day” and reoccurred for the next five consecutive years. After having lived through the Lavender Scare of the 1950s, Frank Kameny insisted that protesters in Washington DC dress in proper business attire to portray the homosexuals as “presentable and employable.” Signs at the Philadelphia protest had slogans such as “Homosexual Bill of Rights” and “15 MILLION HOMOSEXUAL AMERICANS ASK FOR EQUALITY, OPPORTUNITY, AND DIGNITY.

 

On October 14, 1979, approximately 100,000 protesters participated in the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Planning for this massive protest began in earnest between February 23 – 25, 1979 when 300 LGBT activists and advocates from across the country gathered in Philadelphia. Most meeting places denied LGBTQ people the opportunity to use their space to discuss the upcoming March, but the Quaker Arch Street Meeting House opened their doors. According to equalityforum.com, the planners of the March were inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington in 1963, and advocates such as Harvey Milk of San Francisco. The 1979 March, and those that would follow in 1987, 1993, and 2000 have played an integral role in raising awareness of the demand for equal treatment under the law for the entire LGBTQ community.

 

Editor’s note: During October, we will feature a new blog post each day about the historical significance of LGBTQ events and people. If you would like to contribute story ideas for this blog page, please email: dmoore@paequality.com.

 

Welcome

Welcome to the new blog for the Pennsylvania Equality Project. The comments expressed on these posts come from the President of the Pennsylvania Equality Project, unless specifically stated otherwise. They represent the president’s position, and not necessarily the views of the entire board. While we do not endorse candidates for political office, we will critique actions taken by current officeholders, and comment about policy.

This organization serves the LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities of Pennsylvania. We work in conjunction with other local and state organizations to build a fairer, more equitable Pennsylvania for all people. We welcome constructive feedback, and encourage you to check back frequently for polls, new blog posts, our business services page, and other information.

In Solidarity,

David