A Tribute to Gloria Casarez

A Tribute to Gloria Casarez by Michelle Angela Ortiz. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Artist Michelle Angela Ortiz working on the mural. Photo by Steve Weinik.

About the Project 

Gloria Casarez was the City of Philadelphia’s first director of LGBT affairs, appointed in 2008. During her tenure as director, Philadelphia adopted the broadest LGBT rights protection in the nation and ranked as the number one city nationwide for LGBT equality. Prior to that, Casarez was the executive director of GALAEI from 1999-2008, as well as a founding member of the Philly Dyke March and a long-time activist for marginalized communities. She married her long-time partner Tricia Dressel in 2011 in New York City. Casarez passed away on October 19, 2014, at the age of 42, after a valiant battle with breast cancer.

I am so grateful to Mayor Nutter, Everett Gillison, and Jane Golden for making this project happen. It’s our hope that this mural will serve as a place for friends and colleagues to celebrate Gloria’s life and legacy, and also a point of inspiration for community members and especially young people.

- Tricia Dressel


City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Fund