Amber Hikes became the leading voice for LGBTQ people in Philadelphia government at a time of turmoil. Her predecessor had been fired, and the community was reeling over what some saw as the city’s failure to address deeply entrenched racism in the Gayborhood and beyond.

So, over the last two years, Hikes, a black queer woman, spent her time as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs focused on connecting the community’s most marginalized with city services — and each other.

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