(Photo by Samantha Madera for the City of Philadelphia)
Office of LGBT Affairs Director Amber Hikes is getting some national exposure this week.
She’s featured in the latest episode of queer stand-up comedian and actress Cameron Esposito’s Queery podcast, on which Esposito interviews “some of the brightest luminaries in the LGBTQ+ family.” Past guests have included actress Lea DeLaria, activist Blair Imani and writer Roxane Gay.
The hour-long interview discusses Hikes’ role with the city, the importance of diverse leadership in the LGBTQ community and Philadelphia’s year-old Pride flag with black and brown stripes.
One of Esposito’s first questions is whether Hikes feels a sense of hope while doing her work. Hikes’ answer frames the urgency she felt in response to Donald Trump’s election: She got a call from Mayor Jim Kenney on inauguration day, asking her return from California, where she’d taken a job the year before after working in Philadelphia for over a decade.
“He says, ‘Are you watching this crap?’ And I said,’ You know, sir, I am,'” Hikes recalls. “We had a fairly quick interview, and he ended it with, ‘You gotta get your butt back here, and we need to do this work.’ And I had no intention of really ever being involved in politics; I’m more of an activist, front-lines person, and I hadn’t seen somebody who looks like me doing this kind of work, so I didn’t see myself doing that work. But there were no more sidelines after that election.”
In sum: The work is “more hopeful than I expected it to be.”
Fam, this is surreal. I’m blown away by the opportunity to appear on @queerycast (1 of the largest LGBTQ podcasts in the country) & talk w/ @cameronesposito about Philly’s incredible intersectional justice work, solidarity from positions of privilege & so much more 🙌🏾🌈✊🏾✊🏿 https://t.co/cktuXEoULN
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— Amber Hikes (@AmberHikes) July 23, 2018
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