As we wrap up Women’s History Month 2012, we are reminded to celebrate women in the LGBTQ community today and all throughout the year. PSEC youth have selected 12 women in Pennsylvania who are making it better for LGBTQ youth in our state for this two-part series. Thank you to all of the courageous women below to have made our communities better places for all people!
Lyndsey is the current Board President of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh. A native of Western Pennsylvania, Lyndsey has become a central heart of the Pittsburgh LGBTQ community. At the GLCC, she oversees all programming, education and advocacy components to the center. In this volunteer position she advocates every day to strengthen LGBTQA Pittsburgh. Lyndsey is also the Director of Youth Services for the PERSAD Center, the region’s first and largest provider of LGBTQ health services. She works with youth daily to improve the welfare of LGBTQ young people.
Debra McClain (Harrisburg)
President of the Central Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Deb McClain is in the business of getting business done. A veteran business executive, Deb is the new leader of Central PA’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce. In this position she has become a meaningful role model for women business leaders in Central PA. She has helped lead incredible developments with the Chamber in community outreach with LGBTQA-owned businesses, as well as helping have grown the Chamber to even have a member as far as Erie, Pennsylvania. We look forward to the work ahead for Deb in the Chamber. Deb has a positive light which draws those she works with together. We are very thankful for her leadership and support in Central PA!
Roxanne Hitchcock (Oil City)
Main subject in Out in the Silence
Proprietor of the Latonia Ballroom and Event Center
Taking her journey into the public sphere, Roxanne is one of the central characters in the groundbreaking 2009 documentary “Out in the Silence.” The film captures her life being an out lesbian and has been shared with thousands of people on PBS and film screenings across the nation and around the world. She continues to be the main proprietor of the Latonia Ballroom and Event Center. Her dedication to supporting the rural NWPA LGBTQ community shows through her leadership of LBT Women of Erie and various programming in the region, including events through the Latonia. She is a community force for good and supports youth in her work.
Carrie Jacobs (Philadelphia)
Founding Executive Director of the Attic Youth Center
Carrie is the founding Executive Director of the Attic Youth Center, Philadelphia’s LGBTQ youth community center. Carrie has been instrumental in improving the lives of thousands of LGBTQ youth throughout the city. She helped create a safe space for queer youth in an ‘attic’ nearly 20 years ago and has since led the Attic Youth Center to become one of the most comprehensive LGBTQ youth centers in the nation. For those of us who have met Carrie, we know she is incredibly modest about her work. We must commend her for helping so many of us youth through her groundbreaking support with the Attic. While the journey to make it better for LGBTQ youth continues, we are ever thankful and proud that Carrie is at the helm at the Attic.
Jeanine Rusham and Kristy Snow (Central PA)
President and Vice-President of TransCentral PA
Jeanine and Kristy are the President and Vice-President of TransCentral PA. The regional organization is a nexus of support and community for transgender people in Central PA and their allies. Through their many programs, meetings and outreach efforts, TransCentral PA has become a national model of regional support for transgender and gender-variant people. TransCentral PA annually hosts an International Transgender Day of Remember event on the steps of the Pennsylvania capitol and the Keystone Conference in Harrisburg, which has become the third largest transgender focused conference in the nation. The Keystone Conference is currently underway in Harrisburg! They have a strong commitment to supporting transgender youth including outreach for the Keystone Conference and their events throughout the year.
Gloria Casarez (Philadelphia)
Director of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia
Gloria Casarez is the first Director of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia. A highly effective community leader – she represents LGBTQA Philadelphians in the Mayor’s office with outreach and policy. Before her appointment to the Mayor’s administration, Gloria was the Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative (GALAEI), a founding organizer of the Philadelphia Dyke March, a former Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Prevention Point Philadelphia, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Bread and Roses Community Fund. She regularly speaks to young people across the city about the importance of advocacy, community, and empowerment through multiple identities. Gloria is a person who we believe represents the best of Philadelphia in our government and is a true inspiration to so many of us youth. We are proud of Gloria for her leadership in City Hall!