For today’s #30Over30PHL, we are featuring Elicia Gonzales. This transformative leader embodies integrity and dedication to the many communities she serves in our city. In the fall of 2013, G Philly named her the Gayborhood’s Best Hero for her work at galaei, a queer social justice organization for the Latin@ community.

Elicia Gonzales | Femme & Fortune | 30 Over 30

Name: Elicia Gonzales

Age: 40

1) What neighborhood in Philadelphia do you call home? Kensington/Fishtown

2) Tell us about what you do professionally: Executive Director of galaei: a queer Latin@ social justice organization 

3) What makes you happy? Dreaming and making dreams come to fruition, being in love, hanging out with my boo and friends and family, my galaei familia, good food, music, and nice smells 🙂

4) Who inspires you and why? I cannot choose one person, per se. I find inspiration in everyday things like seeing someone be nice to a stranger. watching galaei staff interacting with our community. hearing someone singing with headphones on. listening to my boo share stories of her students overcoming obstacles. thinking of how my parents have beaten all the odds and have been married for 41 years. I am inspired by people who are visionary, kind, honest, passionate, funny, compassionate, and selfless. 

5) What’s your biggest regret and why? I have no regrets. I see everything as a lesson that makes me a better me. 

6) What is your life motto? I am a work in progress. or Live Out Loud.

7) Name a guilty pleasure: Pleasure is never guilt-ridden. We need MORE pleasure in our lives and should have no shame about it. Live. 

8) On what occasion do you lie? On occasions when telling the truth would do more harm than good.

9) What’s in your purse right now? It’s not technically a purse- it’s my galaei tote :). But things like lipstick, gum, headphones, and other things to help me transition from day to night and meeting to meeting.

10) What is your greatest extravagance? I live a pretty simple life but full of all the riches a girl could ask for. 

11) Where is your favorite travel destination? To date- Madrid. Hands down. 

12) How do you take your coffee? Lots of deliciously flavored creamer.

13) What is your most treasured possession? My phone. Duh. 

14) What is your favorite magazine? I don’t look at magazines. (but I do get “O” and “real simple” if I’m going on a plane)

15) What advice would you give your 20-something self? You are enough. Keep going. Trust your instincts. 

16) Where can we find you on a Friday night? With my boo. Ideally chillin in our back yard with some wine and nice music. 

17) What motivates you? Knowing that this work is important and needed. My boo who believes in me- even when I doubt myself. the galaei familia who continue going above and beyond. my friends who love me and let me love them just as we are.

18) What’s something unique that we can find on your desk or around your workspace? a lot of little toys and what not. I have this toy that came out a kinder chocolate egg. if you don’t know what I mean- you should Google it. 

19) What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever gotten? be with someone who celebrates you, not just tolerates you 

20) What’s your favorite thing about Philadelphia right now? “my friends hanging out in our backyard being ridiculous. the great energy from the queer community. galaei‘s new home in north philly. ”

21) If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why? I don’t wanna be a superhero. Too much pressure. 🙂 

22) Do you have a fashion icon? Not so much. BUT I was recently turned on by, I mean TO Nina Sky & dig them a ton.  

23) If you could go back to one decade in history, which one would it be and why? 1930s. Just seems like I was actually FROM that era. The music, the fashion, the gin, the sex and sensuality. All of that.

24) Where’s your favorite place to eat? House of Tecate

25) How do you stay sane balancing your life and career? I don’t. 🙂

26) What’s your favorite drink or cocktail? beefeaters gin martini, dirty. real dirty. 

27) What is your favorite movie? Rocky 2. Or The Outsiders. Or Silence of the Lambs. 

28) Tell us about an embarrassing moment you recently had: Nope. 🙂

29) What’s your favorite app right now? It’s always Phonto.

30) If you could, what would you say to yourself fives years from now? I told you that moving here would be a great idea.


#30Over30PHL is a month-long series highlighting Philadelphia’s most ambitious women. Created in collaboration with Melissa Alam of Femme & Fortune and Alex Kacala of Fayme Problems. #30Over3PHL is being presented with support from Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia.