OUTBEAT KICKOFF: The Nation’s First Queer Jazz Festival Opens Tonight with Dena Underwood

Dean Underwood, one of the performers at this year's OutBeat. (via the Dena Underwood Facebook page)

Dena Underwood, via the Dena Underwood Facebook page

It’s been years in the making and tonight it becomes a reality: The nation’s first queer jazz festival, OutBeat, opens, thanks to the efforts of the William Way LGBTQ Community Center. The four-day musical extravaganza takes places all throughout Philly, and features some of the nation’s most renowned jazz players, players who just happen to fall into the LGBTQ spectrum.

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Philly Drag Queen Offends With 9/11-Themed Performance. Did She Go Too Far?

Divine, from the Official Divine Facebook

Divine, from the Official Divine Facebook

When I was an undergrad, I took a feminist art history course as a random elective, and I loved it so much that I almost changed my major. When it came to the 1970s segment of the class, we spent a lengthy amount of time discussing performance artists. The piece I will always remember, not because of the physical performance, but because of the debate in our class surrounding it, was Carolee Schneemann‘s 1975 work “Interior Scroll.” In it, Schneemann posed nude while covering herself with mud. Then, she took a scroll out of her vagina and started reading it.

We were all really torn about whether or not to call Schneemann’s work “art.” That’s not really the point here: Call it whatever you want, but she really wasn’t harming anyone by performing the work, and it’s still considered one of the most provocative feminist “artworks” of the 20th century.

That clearly won’t be said about a performance that took place at last week’s Philadelphia Drag Wars competition that’s caused quite a stir. The show, which took place on September 11th, featured a number by drag queen Ariel Versace. Dressed in Muslim garb, Versace entered the stage adorned with bombs. From a balcony, someone threw dolls and shards of paper. The dolls were supposed to represent people jumping from the Twin Towers on 9/11, and the paper? If you watch footage from the day of the attacks, you can clearly see shards of Xerox copies falling from various offices in the World Trade Center.

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Tie-the-Knot Tuesday: David B. Devan + David A. Dubbeldam

David B. Devan & David A. Dubbeldam (plus guests)

David B. Devan & David A. Dubbeldam (plus guests)

Every Tuesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today, we feature David Devan, Artistic Director of Opera Philadelphia, and his husband, David Dubbeldam, from Philadelphia. Yes, they are a pair of Double-D’s!

Names: David B. Devan and David A. DubbeldamHands cropped

How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: Two years.

When did you get married?: August 4, 2007

Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?: In the summer of 2006 we returned to Victoria, British Columbia, the city we met in and lived in before moving to Philadelphia, to be legally married (marriage equality has been recognized in B.C. since July 2003). Our wedding was the most beautiful day of our lives filled with cherished family and dearest friends (including over 20 from Philadelphia). We were not expecting to be so moved by all the love and support that everyone had for us as a couple—it was so powerful and we will never forget it! 

Want to be featured in a future Tie-the-Knot Tuesday? If you’re a gay or lesbian couple married in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you. Take our brief survey!

Man Crush Monday: Matthew Ray

Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. This week, Chatterblast Creative Director and co-founder Matthew Ray.



Last Five Man Crush Mondays:

10 Dreadful Entertainment-Themed Halloween Costumes That Shouldn’t Exist

‘Tis the season for those pop-up Halloween stores that open at vacant former mega-bookstores or old, abandoned Circuit City locations: they are warehouses of spooky crap that reminds me why I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in ages. Just the other day, I spotted two recently opened locations: one on Chestnut Street between 15th and 16th and another in Cherry Hill across from the mall.

But even worse than these temporary warehouses of inflatable ghost lawn decorations: the costumes.

People, these things aren’t cute. They aren’t funny. And they look like someone with the social IQ of, like, negative ten came up with the ideas.

Below are ten of the absolute worst entertainment-themed costumes you can find at the earlier mentioned Halloween outlets (these all came from Spirit Halloween). Please, proceed with great caution…



 

 

 

Five Fabulous Gay Fall Fashion Finds for $70 Or Less (Gals Edition)

The Relaxed Cardigan from Ann Taylor LOFT

The Relaxed Cardigan from Ann Taylor LOFT.

Last Friday, we featured five great fashion-forward Fall clothing picks for guys at a price point of $70 or less. Today, it’s the ladies’ turn. All of our picks can be purchased locally, are a good value for the price, and are fabulous additions to any wardrobe. In short, you shouldn’t have to break the bank to look good!



 

This May Be the Sexiest HIV/AIDS Fundraiser Ever

Mark MacKillop in "Room XIV."

Mark MacKillop in “Room XIV.”

Imagine being on an international tour of the musical West Side Story and having to wake up in a different hotel room every week. That was reality for Broadway actor/singer/dancer Mark MacKillop for a year when he performed across the globe.

“It really wasn’t all that hard because our schedule was pretty similar in each city,” said MacKillop when I chatted with him. “But the hardest thing was getting used to the pillows in each hotel. It made it hard to sleep sometimes!”

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OutBeat, the Nation’s First Queer Jazz Festival, Heads to Town This Week

Terri Lyne Carrington

Terri Lyne Carrington

Our sister blog, G Philly, has presented lots of coverage on OutBeat, the nation’s first ever LGBTQ jazz festival, that’s playing right here in Philly this upcoming week. However, this event isn’t just for those who fall in the LGBTQ spectrum: it’s a major musical fest for jazz lovers that is bringing some of the best musicians in the genre to our city. Read more »

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