PHOTOS: IBA’s Annual Holiday Fete

Local LGBT-owned business-championing organization Independence Business Alliance (IBA)  and its Board of Directors hosted its annual holiday celebration at the Hilton Garden Inn Philadelphia last night. Many in our community and our allies of business owners, professionals, corporate and community partners were on hand to toast Greater Philadelphia’s vibrant and successful LGBT business community and chat about what the future holds for them.

The festively dressed guests enjoyed an abundant—and delicious—selection of hors d’oeuvres and light bites at food stations and the cash bar on the 10th floor of the hotel, where guests got a killer view of Philly’s twinkling lights.



Questions Raised After White Guy Wins Mr. SEXO, GALAEI Responds

Mr. SEXO 2015 Marcous Marchese with last year's winner Syfr Gavriel, Elicia Gonzales and host Cyannie Famouz. Photo by Freedom G Photography

Mr. SEXO 2015 Marcous Marchese with last year’s winner Syfr Gavriel, Elicia Gonzales and host Cyannie Famouz. Photo by Freedom G Photography

Last week I told you about the 2015 Mr. SEXO winner, Marcous Marchese, who was crowned (or, err, sashed) at Woody’s on Thursday night. I was a little surprised by the  news, considering Marchese is white and the competition was billed as a search for a “gay/queer Latino who is the epitome of sexy.”

The event, now in its second year, is sponsored by PhillyGayCalendar and Philly queer Latin social justice organization GALAEI, so I reached out to Executive Director Elicia Gonzales to see why a white dude took the prize. She told me that, “GALAEI is a queer Latin@ social justice organization. Latinadad is not who we serve but how we serve, so we treat everyone like familia. And we feel the new Mr. SEXO embodies this.”

When I shared the post on Facebook, however, a few readers voiced their opinions about the win. One commenter said, “Not to be rude … but why was a white guy even allowed to enter this competition designed specifically for the Queer Latino community? I’m confused … ”

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WATCH: Gunnar Montana’s Resurrection Room

Philly dancer/choreographer/Instinct model (but we had him first!) Gunnar Montana has released his 2014 FringeArts hit Resurrection Room online. It’s a shame if you didn’t see it in person. The electric, at times unsettling performance was, in my opinion, Montana’s best work yet. It follows a young woman (played by dancer Stephi Lyniece) as she stumbles upon “a world with no rules, no life, no death.” Along the way she meets a series of characters, like robots, demon geishas and a mohawked, hot pink-bearded Montana doing one of the most deliciously twisted pieces of choreography I’ve ever seen. (That starts at around 29:20.)

While the video, made by Nicole Patriarca, doesn’t compare to seeing all this unfold directly in front of you, it’s a worthy next-best option. Check it out above. Revel in the sexy nightmares later.

WATCH: Warwick Rowers Leave Nothing to the Imagine In NSFW Calendar Bonus Video

warwick rowers bonus film

Every year, the Warwick Rowers release a racy calendar that benefits Sport Allies, an organization that fights homophobia in sports. Filled with pages of the athletes doing various things in the nude, the page-turner is obviously a big hit in the gay world, and this year they’re doing their gay fans a solid with the release of a new behind-the-scenes video that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination.

It’s 6-plus minutes of the guys talking about what it’s like to make the calendar—from doing naked headstands on a dock to carrying their birthday suited teammates on their shoulders. Check out the NSFW video here, then get your good-karma fix by purchasing it, here.

Woman Crush Wednesday: Tara Lessard

Every hump day a Philly person shares their local picks for Woman Crush Wednesday. Today, Tara Lessard, active volunteer in the LGBT community and owner of Freedom G Photography.



Our Last Five Woman Crush Wednesdays:

14 Gay Things to Do This Week: NSFW Dance Party Gets Hung, Santaland at Boxers PHL, Drag Wars 5 Finale and More



Gay-Bashing Suspects Held on All Charges

gay-bashing-suspects-harrigan-knott-williams-940x540

From left: Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott, and Philip Williams in their September 24, 2014, mugshots.

On Tuesday in Courtroom 406 at the Criminal Justice Center on Filbert Street, the three defendants in the Center City gay bashing case — Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott, and Philip Williams — appeared before Judge Charles Hayden for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there was enough evidence to proceed to trial on charges of felony assault and conspiracy, among other counts. And sure enough, Judge Hayden said there is; formal arraignment in Common Pleas Court is scheduled for January 6th. Read more »

Mr. Gay Philadelphia, Lou Cutler, Named to The Advocate’s 40 People Who Broke Gender Rules

lou cutler mr gay philadelphiaGood news for the first ever transgender man to win the title of Mr. Gay Philadelphia: Lou Cutler was named to The Advocate‘s “40 People Who Show 2014 Was a Year for Breaking Gender Rules” list.

Compiled by The Advocate‘s Mitch Kellaway, Cutler was ranked amongst the likes of Laverne Cox, Carmen Carrera, and Janet Mock. According to the magazine, “Winning Mr. Gay Philadelpha as an out trans man allowed Cutler’s audiences and readers across the country to see queer, trans male sexuality in a way they hadn’t before.”

After his June crowning, Cutler shared with us that, “[Winning] means a lot to me. … It’s kind of hard to be a gay trans man sometimes. … But I’m very proud of who I am, and I’ve worked very hard to become who I am. This, in some sense, is a dream come true for me. To be able to be part of this community, and also represent my own community—and to just be visible. It’s important for me to be out and visible as gay and trans, to show the community that not every trans person is the same.”

Congrats to Lou on his national recognition!

Tie-the-Knot Tuesday: You Can Get Married at a Buddhist Temple in Japan

Although gay marriage is not yet legal in Japan, it doesn’t mean that couples can’t take part in a spectacular and unique gay wedding ceremony overseas. As a matter of fact, one Buddhist temple has teamed up with a luxury hotel to offer a special same-sex-marriage experience that is utterly unique and quite beautiful.

Hotel Granvia Kyoto is offering a four-day gay wedding package that includes a Buddhist “spiritual union” at a historic temple, traditional wedding attire, accommodations, and even a pink cake. The hotel claims that “gorgeous Japanese traditional kimono wedding attire, a customized floral bouquet with that special touch of Japanese elegance, and the mystique of exchanging vows at a historical Japanese temple…will be the most memorable and romantic day of your lives together.”

Couples will take their vows at Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto, Japan, which offers English-language Buddhist spiritual unions in traditionally-appointed ceremony rooms. Of note, the Temple’s website makes it clear that they “welcome all couples regardless of faith or sexual orientation.” I just love the pictures of the ceremony rooms and how peaceful and inviting the setting is:



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Man Crush Monday: Brandon Robert

Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. Today, Bradon Robert who works retail by day and produces events at night. He is also the former editor of phillydragopolis.com and co-creator of Drag Wars with Mimi Imfurst.



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