When Gloria Casarez became Director of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia in July 2008, she brought with her over 14 years of service to the LGBT community. A few highlights from her impressive resume include serving as one of the founding organizers of the Philadelphia Dyke March and
a decade as the Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative. Casarez says her original passion was anti-poverty organizing in the Philadelphia neighborhood where she grew up, which eventually led to HIV/AIDS work and LGBT advocacy. “All of these seemingly distinct issues are connected so it is just as easy for me to say that I’ve worked mostly on LGBT issues as it is for me to say that these issues are about people of color or are issues relating to socioeconomic status,” Casarez says. “A driving force for me is to be a part of efforts that are pushing the bounds of what we think we know. I also believe that we are right…which helps sometimes.” -CB
Remember, these are in no particular order because we love them all!