What we do
The Office of LGBT Affairs works to foster equal working and living conditions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and to advocate for LGBTQ issues in all areas of City government. Created in 2008 by mayoral executive order, the Office of LGBT Affairs became a permanent part of the City’s charter in 2015. The office aims to:
- Develop City policy regarding civil rights issues affecting LGBTQ people.
- Help enact policies and programs to meet the City’s diversity and equality goals.
- Coordinate among City departments, agencies, and offices to improve LGBTQ access to services, and to promote equality and safety for LGBTQ people.
- Support the growth and development of the City’s LGBTQ communities and serve as liaison between the area’s LGBTQ communities and the City.
- Provide education about the needs of the LGBTQ community.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 686-0330
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Amber Hikes is the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia, where she develops policy and serves as the principal advisor to Mayor Kenney on issues that affect the LGBTQ community. A graduate of the University of Delaware and University of Pennsylvania, Hikes joined the Office of LGBT Affairs after 8 years of college access work for low income students of color in West Philadelphia and Long Beach, California.
At the Mayor’s Office, Amber has set her sights on fighting and advocating for the most vulnerable populations within the LGBTQ community – specifically youth, elders, transgender people, and people of color. In her first year leading the office, Amber has advocated for anti-discrimination legislation at the municipal level, launched a citywide LGBTQ Community Conversations initiative and helped facilitate an international conversation about race and discrimination in the LGBTQ community with the addition of black and brown stripes to the rainbow flag.
Amber has been recognized nationally by OUT Magazine as one of the 2018 OUT100 and by Business Equality Pride as one of the 40 LGBTQ Leaders Under 40. Locally, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine and named Philadelphia Gay News’ 2017 Person of the Year. Hikes believes in employing an intersectional lens in all aspects of community work and leans daily on the words of sister Audre Lorde: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives.”
|Name||Job Title||Phone #||Social|
|Evan Thornburg||Deputy Director for Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs||Evan.Thornburg@phila.gov|