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.
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Amber Hikes is the executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia, where she develops policy and serves as the principal advisor to Mayor Jim Kenney on issues that affect the LGBTQ community. Hikes joined the Office of LGBT Affairs in March 2017 and has set her sights on fighting and advocating for the most vulnerable populations within the LGBTQ community—specifically youth, transgender people, and people of color. Her personal philosophy guides the Office’s mission and approach: when we fight for the lives of the most marginalized, we, in turn, liberate ourselves.
Hikes previously served as director of the Upward Bound Program, both at California State University, Long Beach and the University of Pennsylvania, where she directed a federally funded program to bring education and resources to low-income, underserved students.
Deeply rooted in the Philadelphia LGBTQ community, she has served on the boards of the William Way LGBT Community Center, Identity Kit Project, Mountain Meadow Camp, and was a long-time organizer for the Philadelphia Dyke March. She organized numerous events to benefit LGBTQ organizations including GALAEI, Mazzoni Center, Equality PA, Equality Forum, Attic Youth Center, and ACLU-PA, among many others. Hikes received numerous awards, including the William Way Community Center Corporate Partner of the Year Award (2015), Philadelphia Magazine Best of Philly (2014), Philadelphia Pride Grand Marshal (2013), and Delaware Valley Legacy Fund Heroes Award (2012).
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|