Natalie Hope McDonald

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Natalie Hope McDonald is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. You can reach her at www.nataliehopemcdonald.com and on Twitter @NatalieMcD.

November 14, 2020

U.S. Supreme Court

With Fulton v. Philadelphia, U.S. Supreme Court is poised to decide a new LGBT rights issue

Legal arguments have taken place in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The case raises questions about whether the archdiocesan adoption agency, Catholic Social Services, in Philadelphia can legally be permitted to discriminate against potential adoptive and/or foster parents on the basis of their sexual orientation. As the first case to come before Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the implications could be long-lasting for both LGBT rights and religious freedom advocates.

October 16, 2020

Public Art

What will happen to the Gayborhood mural honoring LGBT activist Gloria Casarez?

When it was announced that the site of the 12th Street Gym had been sold to a New York City developer, not only was the community shocked to see the 30-year-old Gayborhood gym close, a big question loomed about what would happen to the mural of LGBT icon Gloria Casarez painted on the building's facade. For nearly three years since the gym closed, that uncertainty lingered, but now for the first time there is hope the memorial to Casarez could be preserved – in some way.

September 11, 2020

Mental Health

From 9/11 to father's fatal plane crash, New Jersey paramedic has learned lessons in coping with tragedy

Scott Coppolo got the call that clear and sunny morning when he arrived to work in Newark. It was an all-hands-on-deck situation at the Jersey City pier just across from Lower Manhattan. Coppolo, then 20, was new to the EMS job in North Jersey. "All you saw was smoke," remembers Coppolo, who heard the first World Trade Center building collapse in a matter of minutes. After that, it was havoc. Injured people covered in dust and debris were being brought in on ferries that usually transported tourists and commuters. "I remember feeling apprehension, but going into a kind of autopilot," he says. "We got inundated with people."

June 15, 2020

Business

Economic questions linger as Philly begins gradual reopening process

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe effect on the Philadelphia economy. The retail, real estate, tourism, hospitality and entertainment industries are all hurting as Philly begins its reopening process. Consumers are saving instead of spending, business experts say.

June 12, 2020

LGBTQ

Death of transgender woman ruled a homicide; gruesome slaying shakes community

The body of Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells was pulled from the water near Bartram’s Garden Dock & Community Boathouse earlier this week and on Friday her death was ruled a homicide. Fells, a 27-year-old transgender woman, suffered trauma to her face and head, and her legs were severed mid-thigh, according to Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. The gruesomeness of the crime has shaken the LGBT community during the usually celebratory Pride Month. Deja Lynn Alvarez, a trans activist who first shared the news of Fells’ death on social media, said, “We need to come together and keep our focus on yet another black trans woman murdered.”

May 6, 2020

Memorials

Remembering George Ross: Photographer, partner, brother and father

George Ross, a New Jersey native, was 60 years old when he died from COVID-19 last month. He had built a successful career as a commercial photographer and had the creative eye of a fine artist. He saw things differently, a friend said, whether he was shooting interiors for IKEA and House Beautiful or sleek new designs from big names like Bergdorf Goodman and Sakes Fifth Avenue.

March 18, 2020

Entertainment

The best apocalyptic books and movies to check out while observing social distancing

During this unusual time of the coronavirus and COVID-19, you can go one of two ways with your entertainment choices. You can become an escapist, delving into the stuff that transports you out of this reality, or you can face your fears and go deep into the films and books inspired by end times, apocalypses and plagues.

February 11, 2020

Theater

LGBTQ productions take center stage during 2020 Philly Theatre Week

The 2020 Philly Theater Week is underway. This year, LGBTQ+ productions account for an important cross section of the event's performances. Among those are Ants on a Log, The Hum’n’bards and the Bearded Ladies Cabaret.

November 12, 2019

LGBTQ

New Arcila-Adams Trans Resource Center connects community in 'much needed safe space'

The Arcila-Adams Trans Resource Center officially opened its doors inside the William Way LGBT Center, 1315 Spruce St. in Philadelphia. Designed as a community hub on the fourth floor of the center on Spruce Street, it provides healthcare referrals and job services, as well assistance accessing community services specific to the transgender community. The comfortable new space, a kind of center within a center, is named for two formidable leaders within Philadelphia's trans community.

September 16, 2019

Films

New film chronicles the story of a transgender gamer

For the past two-and-a-half years, Jane M. Wagner filmed more than 100 hours of footage of Narcissa Wright, one of the first-ever out transgender video gamers for the documentary, Break the Game. As a former associate producer on Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Wagner, who lives in Brooklyn, actually stumbled upon Wright’s story by accident about four years ago.

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