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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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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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. Dubbeldam
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!
Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. This week, Chatterblast Creative Director and co-founder Matthew Ray.
Hi! I'm queer South Philly boy Matthew Ray, the Creative Director and co-founder of ChatterBlast Media. I am doing this under cures; I hate to limit my love. But, I hope this truncated list bring some attention to a few fantastic boys we have in Philadelphia, and…please donate to my MS City to Shore ride! I'm trying to raise a bundle to help fight Multiple Sclerosis in our region. Donate $1, $10, $100…it all helps! Okay, enough philanthropy: here's the BEEF, with special music to listen to during your social media stalking of them!
Popular, adorable, amazing. The official “godfather” of my business, “Brauny” is one of the sweetest, kindest, friendliest men I’ve ever met. It helps that his beautiful eyes and wide smile remind me of my favorite television star, Kermit the Frog. Just like a Muppet, Michael is cuddly and cute and is devoted to his pack.
Music to stalk him by: I Wanna Get Better, The Bleachers
Christian William Myers IV
Local boy and Penn grad (one of several on this list) Christian is a HUNK. I now that’s a dated term, but he is so freakin’ hot. Stylish to a fault, friendly and funny – I’ve had a crush on Christian since we got blasted on a party bus to Vermont. Or was it New Hampshire. Connecticut? Where we went to exactly is unclear, but I didn’t care ‘cause he was there.
Music to stalk him by: King Of The World, Rising Young Sons
This highly sought after consultant spends his week jetting across the country, and his weekend brunching at some of the city’s most select spots. If you happen to make the cut as one of his pieces of arm candy, then you’re in for a fun ride. Champagne for everyone! David is suave, dreamy, and the only man who makes he laugh so hard my sides hurt. Mama always said: “Marry a man who makes you giggle.”
Music to stalk him by: Automatic, Pointer Sisters
Geoff Kees Thompson
While incredibly handsome and masculine, Geoff’s sexiest quality is his unswerving love for Philadelphia and his devotion to making it a better city. One of the best bloggers (check out This Old City) in the region, Geoff’s intelligence and empathy are so attractive you can’t help yourself but want to learn everything this guy knows… MORE PLEASE.
Music to stalk him by: Feels Like Summer, Panama Wedding
Perfect body, great dancer, spiritual guy – Gavin’s knockout looks might seem intimidating but he’s really a big softy. FYI: Boys who build businesses are boys who we should date, and Gavin has built a health and wellness biz to beat the best. Truth be told, he’s a bit to much of an aggressive/dominant… ahh… cuddler… for me– but if that’s your kink, he’s your dream.
Music to stalk him by: Simply The Best (RMX), Tina Turner
Ian Michael Crumm
Most self-proclaimed fashionistas are vapid, vain and vicious. Ian’ is none of the above. He’s warm, personable, cute, and impeccably dressed, ALWAYS. Transcending twink, Ian is a spirited and witty young man with the brightest future possible. He has a no pretense approach to fashion that makes him classy even when he gives you a devilish little smirk. Check out his blog, and look at those eyes! >> Sigh <<
Music to stalk him by: Donatella, Lady Gaga
Jeff almost got booted from this list since he is now commuting to New York, leaving us without his magnificence. I adore Jeff and think he is a beautiful man inside and out. I don’t give a flying fig about kickball, but I followed his team this year like I had money on it. Every appearance Jeff makes on the ‘book is a “BRAVO!” I’ll let you make up any puns about his last name. (Wink-wink)
Music to stalk by: My Friend Has A Swimming Pool, Mausi
Dr. Nick France
British. Ginger. Doctor…. Covers most of the bases in my sexual fantasies. Aren’t all of us white trash kids from the sticks suckers for handsome fellas with accents? When people say, “The world is broken.” I agree, mostly because Nick is still single. This sassy lad is honest to a fault, but when he tells you that your too fat for your Speedo – that accent makes you blush and giggle. Well, at least it did for me.
Music to stalk him by: London Calling, The Clash
Dr. Scott Grossman
Jewish. Lacrosse God. Doctor…. Again, covering the bases. Strong but sensitive, sweet but can be tart, Scott is fascinating mystery. I would marry him and even convert. (Jesus will forgive me.) It makes me sob to think he’ll be leaving Philly in less then a year for an amazing position in New York’s medical community. Such a keeper. The buffet line to gobble up this sweetheart begins behind ME, ladies.
Music to stalk him by: All Eyes On You, St. Lucia
I met Dan in the wave pool of Typhoon Lagoon during a mad-mad-MAD Gay Days Disney. I was a wacky Temple undergrad with bleach blond hair; he was a debonair and direct Center City socialite. Fast forward a few decades later and he still makes my head spin. He also still has a thing for Temple undergrads. ZING!
Music to stalk him by: The Promise, When In Rome
The Alpha and Omega: Evan Urbania
Evan is my best friend, my business partner, my rock and handsome, helpful, hysterical homosexual. Confident and cool with perfect features, Evan’s touch of grey reminds you he is a professional even when he lets his whimsy walkabout. I love him.
Music to stalk him by: Harbor Lights, A Silent Film
Submit your Man Crush Monday!
Here are the rules: (1) Name five to 10 guys you’re crushing on, and tell us why they have your heart aflutter (2) You and all men involved have to be from Philadelphia (3) Email your crushes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Five Man Crush Mondays:
Bill Cosby (via Shutterstock)
The legendary Bill Cosby has agreed to loan his personal art collection to the Smithsonian Museum according to a new report from CBS News. Read more »
‘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…
Michael Jackson Child Costume
Michael Jackson. As a boy. Do I need to say anything more?
Duck Dynstay Child's Costume
While we're on children's costumes…hee-haw! Let's teach our youngins to be homophobic backwoods hicks before they're even ten years old!
"Adult" Big Bird
Umm…wait a minute. Since when did Big Bird become a girl? And since when did Big Bird become some sort of reject Miss America contestant? This costume is brought to you by the letter "F," as in FAIL.
Spongbob Squarepants: Patrick as a Sexy Woman
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Apparently this thing, which looks like vintage Britney Spears had a child with Patrick the Starfish. There is nothing sexy about Patrick, unless fictional marine invertebrates turn you on.
I ain't scared of no ghost, but I'm sorry: if girlfriend showed up to fight the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in this number, I think we'd be in trouble. And with all of that exposed skin, she better hope no ectoplasm splashes!
Angry Bird as Luke Star Wars Fighter
Guys, I am SO confused. It's a man dressed as an Angry Bird dressed as Luke from Star Wars. What just happened?
Disney's Toy Story Woody Boxers
Disney, you cannot market this as a costume! And Woody, on underwear, of all characters? The jokes write themselves...
You need to buy a costume to be Nicki Minaj? Wait, I thought all you needed to do to be Nicki Minaj is run around in a bikini and curse...
Miley Cyrus as Twerking Teddy
Do we really need to relive the performance that killed Hannah Montana, especially via a piece of clothing that looks like you purchased at a Victoria's Secret outlet store?
There is nothing more romantic to go dressed as Mister Blurred Lines himself along with your significant other as the earlier featured twerking bear. I mean, seriously: this is what Halloween is all about, people.
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!
Wavelength Skirt, Madewell
Madewell, one of the new staples of Walnut Street shopping, has been a popular haven for casual, but refined, looks. This wavelength skirt is a perfect example of how the brand's style is functional yet flirty, and at a price range from $49.99 to $59.50, this piece can be an affordable staple. (Madewell, 1716 Walnut Street, Philadelphia)
Glitter Is Always An Option Graphic Tank, Nordstrom
We are loving that the graphic t-shirt is a fashionable feature this Fall, and we are especially loving this "Glitter is Always an Option" print by Recycled Karma. Available at Nordstrom, this fun $22.00 tank won't break your budget. At this price, getting two is always an option! (Nordstrom, 2000 Rte. 38, Cherry Hill; 190 N. Gulf Road, King of Prussia)
Moonchime Pendant Necklace, Anthropologie
A girl's got to have some accessories, right? This Moonchime Pendant Necklace is a stunning piece from Anthropologie that is an instant conversation piece, and we love the price, too: $48.00. (Anthropologie, 1801 Walnut Street, Philadelphia)
Always Skinny Black Jeans, Gap
Gap constantly re-brands itself, but one thing is always true: it's a great place for long-lasting basics. These Always Skinny black jeans from their new "Black is a Color" campaign have a little bit of stretch and are always in style. They barely made the list at $69.95, but always look out for special online promotions! (Gap, 1510 Walnut Street, Philadelphia; 3401 Walnut Street, Philadelphia)
Ann Taylor LOFT
Relaxed Caridgan, Ann Taylor LOFT
Who doesn't love a good cardigan, especially when the weather fluctuates in early Fall? Ann Taylor LOFT's Relaxed Cardigan is the perfect seasonal transition sweater: it comes in a ton of colors, and at $49.50, you can afford to pick up a few of them. (Ann Taylor LOFT, 1625 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia; 1729 Walnut Street, Philadelphia; 133 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia)
The Academy of Vocal Arts, widely regarded as the country’s most esteemed training institutions for professional singers, is holding a fancy-dancy party this Friday evening for young professionals who are interested in opera, music, and Philadelphia culture. Read more »
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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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 »