OPINION: Does Fighting Hate Crimes With Hate Speech Really Help?

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

Yes, I’m pleased that the three alleged gay-bashing suspects were finally arrested last week (although they are now out on bail). What they are accused of doing to the two gay men literally in my backyard is atrocious. I hope that, come their trial, they are convicted.

With that said, however, I’m super uncomfortable with the way my social-media feed looked this week in reaction to the capturing of the suspects.  Read more »

Out Baritone Jonathan Beyer Talks About His Gay Take on the Academy of Music’s The Barber of Seville

Jonathan Beyer

Jonathan Beyer

Jonathan Beyer met his boyfriend of eight years, Brandon Cedel, when they were both students at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. They lived in Center City for a good number of years, where, as Beyer gleefully points out, they were once voted the “cutest couple” in their apartment building.

“We beat out these old grandmas,” he says. Read more »

WATCH: CHOP Patients in New Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper Video

Warning: get ready to cry.

Singing sensations Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper teamed up with Today Show‘s Hoda Kotb (a cancer surviver herself) to create a new music video titled “Truly Brave.” The work features Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) pediatric cancer patients sharing a moment of relief from their conditions (and lots and lots of paint). Watch it above.

The video, which is part of Kotb’s “Project Truly Brave,” aims to raise awareness and funds for the fight against pediatric cancer.

The song, which is a melodic fusion of both Lauper’s “True Colors” and Bareilles’ “Brave,” shows just how powerful music can be as a force to heal and celebrate the human spirit.

CHOP patients stopped by the Today Show this morning to debut the video. Check them out below:

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Kathy Griffin to Take Over Joan Rivers’ Spot on E!’s Fashion Police

Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin (via Shutterstock)

Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin (via Shutterstock)

Everyone’s favorite red-headed fag hag Kathy Griffin is in talks to take over the late Joan Rivers’ spot on the popular E! show Fashion Police. According to several reports, Rivers’ daughter, Melissa, has given E! network her graces to continue the half-hour program that takes a no-holds-bar approach to critiquing Hollywood’s fashion choices (or, as Joan would have put it, the “fash-holes”).

Although the program will never be quite the same without Joan’s amazingly abrasive humor, we are quite excited about what Kathy will bring to the table.

As Joan would have said, “Can we talk?”

 

Tie-the-Knot Tuesday: Ethelda Makoid and Wendy Sheppard

Ethelda Makoid and Wendy Sheppard

Ethelda Makoid and Wendy Sheppard

Every Tuesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle. Today, Wendy Sheppard and Ethelda Makoid, a couple from Ambler, Pennsylvania, one of the couples who married last summer when same-sex marriage became legal for a split-second in Montgomery County.

Names: Ethelda Makoid and Wendy Sheppard

How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: 10 years

When did you get married?: Officially on May 10, 2014 in Connecticut; unofficially in Montgomery County on August 8, 2013.

Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?: We got married on our 10-year anniversary in Greenwich, Connecticut. One-hundred of our closest family and friends traveled to be with us from 15 states and two countries. Prior to getting married, our son produced an award winning documentary (see clip below) detailing his experience living with two moms. His film won him the Greenfield Youth Film Festival award for best producer and he was nominated for best documentary at the mid-Atlantic division of the Student Emmy’s. The most memorable part of our wedding is the fact that we got nearly a dozen thank-you notes from guests, thanking us for including them in our celebration.

Read more »

PHOTOS: Scenes From The OutBeat Jazz Festival

outbeat jazz festival

Elliot Levin, Rhenda Fearrington, and Lamont Dixon perform at the OutBeat Jazz Festival.

It was a totally triumphant Friday evening as the William Way Community Center kicked off OutBeat, what’s being billed as the nation’s first queer jazz festival. It was a winners-take-all night of amazing performances at two prestigious venues in the city: Philadelphia Musem of Art (PMA) hosted the Fred Hersch Trio as part of its “Art After Five” series (along with a VIP reception), and the Suzanne Roberts Theatre presented “Lush Lie: Philadelphia Celebrates Billy Strayhorn,” a co-collaboration between OutBeat and the Philadelphia Jazz Project. Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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:

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