Philadelphia’s director of LGTBQ Affairs plans to leave her position amidst complaints from minority activist groups, according to two sources.
A city source and another source that works on gay issues confirmed that Helen L. Fitzpatrick is resigning, reports Philly.com. Fitzpatrick has been plagued with accusations of not doing enough to solve racial issues from ethnic groups.
Fitzpatrick made the decision on her own to leave her job, which nets her about $90,000 annually, according to a source.
Social groups like the Black and Brown Workers Collective expressed outrage when tape was released in October showing the owner of a gay bar using the n-word. They called for Fitzpatrick to resign, claiming that she was not doing enough to get rid of “racial bias” in the gay community.
The group hosted a protest outside the owner’s bar and wrote a letter to Fitzpatrick demanding she step down and let someone else take her place.
Philadelphia’s mayor has defended Fitzpatrick, saying that she does what she can to fix any issues of racism.
“Nellie’s here. She works very hard. Not one person is responsible for racism in the gayborhood or for fixing racism in the gayborhood, or fixing racism in society, that’s a pretty heavy load for one person to do, so we’re all in this together,” Mayor James Kenney said last month.
The activist groups are pleased with the potential resignation, saying that it could bring about a welcome change to their community.
“This has been a long road. This is coming up on two years since incidents of racial bias have been elevated, community members have spoken out…Nellie’s response to all of this has been slow and steady. That was her rallying cry, slow and steady progress, and we kept saying, ‘no, we don’t have time for slow and steady,'” Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, a co-founder of an activist group, said.
Neither Fitzpatrick nor the mayor could be reached for comment.
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