Community Briefs: April 1, 2022

Illustration by Ash Cheshire.

Philadelphia bar associations to hold name change clinic

To continue to provide resources for trans Philadelphians, the Philadelphia Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Committee and the Philadelphia LGBTQ Bar Association will hold a pro bono name change clinic via Zoom on Saturday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to 4p.m. The two entities are seeking clients and volunteer attorneys to populate the clinic, which welcomes trans, gender nonconforming and nonbinary Philadelphians who face barriers to accessing legal services to change their name. 

Those who wish to avail themselves of the clinic’s services will be able to sign up for a time to meet with a volunteer attorney, who will represent the client to have their name changed through the Philadelphia court system. If clients qualify for waivers of court fees required for name changes, the attorney will also help clients navigate that process. 

“For many members of the trans, nonbinary, and gendernonconforming community, a legal name change is not merely a choice; it’s a necessity,” Ian Evans, co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Committee, said in a press release. “Presenting identification documents that do not match an individual’s identity can lead to confusion, shaming, discrimination, harassment and even violence.”

Potential clients should submit an online intake form by April 6. They must have copies of a photo ID, social security card, birth certificate and a fingerprint card on hand at their appointments. Volunteer attorneys will take part in a Bar Association continuing legal education (CLE) program on April 6 to learn about the name-change process and how to ensure cultural competence when representing clients. Volunteer attorneys can register for the CLE on the Philadelphia Bar Association website, and should sign up by April 6.

Larry Benjamin named Lambda Literary finalist 

Mazzoni Center’s Larry Benjamin is a Lambda Literary Award finalist for his fourth novel,  “Excellent Sons: A Love Story in Three Acts,” released in November of 2021. Benjamin’s second book, “Unbroken,” was named a Lammy finalist in 2014. 

“I am truly honored to be named a finalist, especially given the competition,” Benjamin said in a press release. “‘Excellent Sons’ was such a labor of love. I wanted to write a book that I wish I’d been able to read as a young adult. I’m so grateful to my publisher and readers for always supporting my work even when I presented them a gay romance centered around an erotic retelling of Pinocchio, complete with a talking dildo!”

Described as a contemporary gay romance meets an erotic retelling of a classic fairy tale, “Excellent Sons” follows Asian-American high school students Tristan and Max who fall in love in post-Columbine America. The two seventeen-year-old men must navigate their different worlds while keeping themselves out of harm’s way. The couple looks forward to going to prom together and planning a trip the summer before college, but an act of homophobic violence upends their lives. 

The heart of the novel illuminates “what it means to be an excellent son, the relationship between lovers and parents, and parents and children, and what we as children owe our parents, and ourselves.”

LGBTQ History Project scores Pogue Award

The LGBT Center of Central PA History Project will receive the Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region’s (OHMAR) 2022 Pogue Award. Created in 2012, the History Project’s mission is, “to engage people in discovering, documenting, collecting, preserving and presenting the history of the LGBTQ+ community in central Pennsylvania through oral histories and material culture,” according to a press release. 

Barry Loveland and Malinda Triller Doran will accept the Pogue Award on behalf of the project on April 29, 2022 at OHMAR’s annual conference, which will take place virtually. 

The History Project consists of oral history interviews with over 150 people and spans over 120 linear feet of collections of documents, images and artifacts. The History Project works in tandem with Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections, which houses the collection. The Project has generated many temporary, traveling and digital exhibits, sponsored symposia and lectures, forged partnerships with over a dozen history, art and community organizations and worked with over 20 college interns. 

The LGBT Center of Central PA uses social, educational and cultural engagement to cultivate inclusive communities and holistic well-being for LGBTQ communities.  

A nonprofit that promotes and improves oral history, OHMAR serves as a forum for sharing information about oral history techniques and application, pushes for quality standards and assists people interested in oral history. 

Allentown LGBTQ community center appoints interim executive director

Bill McGlinn, a leader in the Lehigh Valley LGBTQ+ community with a background in development, will serve as interim executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. He takes the place of founding executive director Adrian Shanker, who took on a new position at the Spahr Center in California.  

“I am deeply honored to join Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center’s team in this role,” McGlinn said in a press release. “I have truly enjoyed working with the center as a community member for many years, and now, I am excited to lead the organization during this executive transition.”

After retiring from his job as director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations at Muhlenberg College, McGlinn became a volunteer leader at Bradbury-Sullivan Center. As such, he chaired the gala committee and the capital campaign that served to eliminate the center’s mortgage. He also previously worked as director of Development and Community Relations at Da Vinci Science Center, and holds degrees in theater, nonprofit management and English. 

“Bill’s demonstrated excellence in community relations and development make him an excellent choice,” Bradbury-Sullivan Center Board Chair Claire Ippoliti said in a press release. “We are excited to welcome him to the team.”