UPDATED INFO: Equality Forum: LGBTQ Youth Event on Saturday, May 3, 2008

April 29, 2008

LGBTQ youth ages 13-23: Join us on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at the Attic Youth Center for a fun and information-filled day! Drop in between 11am-7pm at the Attic at 255 South 16th Street in Philadelphia. Food will be provided!

As part of Equality Forum, the Attic Youth Center is hosting a day of activities, speakers and information for LGBTQ youth. Katie Stewart, Youth Law Project Attorney, will be presenting a workshop about LGBTQ youth legal rights and advocacy. In addition, there will be workshops about student rights, HIV 101, strengthening your GSA, and much more!  The workshops will begin around 1:30pm or 2:00 pm.

Come & learn about your rights! Come & ask Katie (and the other lawyers, social workers and activists) your questions! Or just come & grab some food and meet other LGBTQ youth! But don’t miss the fun.

If you have any questions or want to know more about Saturday’s event, contact Katie Stewart at kstewart@equalitypa.org.


NEW! Youth Law Project

October 12, 2007

In September 2007, Equality Advocates launched a new project — the Youth Law Project. This project provides direct legal services, advocacy, education and outreach to children and youth affected by anti-LGBT bias in Pennsylvania. The Project Attorney, Katie Stewart, received funding from the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP to implement this project.

The Youth Law Project serves both LGBTQ youth (up to age 25) and LGBT families with children across Pennsylvania. This project will provide a whole range of legal services and education to LGBTQ youth and families.

Here are some examples of our services: (1) Legal advice to LGBTQ youth in schools who are facing harassment or discrimination; (2) Legal representation (as a child advocate) for LGBTQ youth in foster care in Philadelphia; (3) Helping LGBT parents secure second-parent adoptions of their partners’ children; (4) Legal workshops for LGBTQ youth at community centers or Gay Straight Alliances; (5) Legal education for allies who support LGBTQ youth and families; (6) Advocacy for policy reform on issues affecting children and youth in the LGBT community; AND much, much more!

Are you an LGBTQ youth or family? We can give you free, sensitive legal help if you are facing anti-LGBT bias, harassment, abuse or discrimination at home, in school, in foster care, at work, or in your community.

Are you an ally or service provider for LGBTQ youth and families? We can give you legal advice and information to help you better support children and youth in the LGBT community. We also welcome your ideas about how we can collaborate to improve the lives of LGBT youth and families.

Just call our legal hotline at:

(215) 731-1447 ext. 15 or (866) LGBT-LAW

Hope to hear from you soon!


SEPTA TransPass Gender Markers

June 29, 2007

SEPTA requires passengers to affix a gender marker to all monthly and weekly TransPasses, allegedly to prevent sharing of TransPasses.   As trans activists have observed for years, this policy predictably leads to harassment of transgender passengers and of other gender non-conforming passengers, in violation of Philadelphia’s Human Relations Ordinance.

Equality Advocates is representing a transgender woman who has filed a charge against SEPTA, challenging the gender marker policy.  The case is currently pending before the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

In order to ensure that the complaint is not treated as an isolated incident (i.e., a problem with the driver, not the policy), we want to submit stories from other individuals who have had similar experiences.

If you have been denied the use of a TransPass (or have been harassed when using a TransPass) because of the gender marker policy, we want to hear from you! 

If you contact us, a law student advocate will take down your information and draft an affidavit based on the information.  We will then ask for you to come in to our office to sign and notarize the affidavit.  Please note that this does not create an attorney/client relationship, and will not result in a formal complaint being filed on your behalf. If you want to file a complaint of your own, please ask us about this, and we can discuss how you can do so.

Please contact me (Katie Eyer) at (215) 731-1447, Ext. 12, if you are willing to share your story!  If you receive voicemail, please list your name, telephone contact information, a good time to call, and indicate that you are calling about the SEPTA lawsuit.