Report: Bruce Jenner “Is Transitioning Into a Woman”

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Via Shutterstock.

Bruce Jenner is, once again, “trending” on social media, this time because People magazine is reporting that a source close to Jenner has confirmed that the former olympian and reality show star is, indeed, transgender and transitioning into a woman:

People has confirmed that Bruce Jenner has been quietly making a very personal change. The former Olympian will soon be living life as female. ‘Bruce is transitioning to a woman,’ says a source close to the family. ‘He is finally happy and his family is accepting of what he’s doing. He’s in such a great space. That’s why it’s the perfect time to do something like this.'”

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Yannick Nezet-Seguin Extends Philadelphia Orchestra Contract Through 2022

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

He’s not going anywhere: The Philadelphia Orchestra announced today that everyone’s favorite energetic maestro, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, has signed a contract renewal through 2022.

“The warm embrace of The Philadelphia Orchestra and its audiences has been humbling and exhilarating since I made my debut in 2008. Knowing that this love affair with the Orchestra and the City of Philadelphia will continue is an immense joy. I believe what we are doing artistically is so important, and it’s having a big impact on this community,” said Nezet-Seguin of the announcement. “But to do this work takes time, so I am thrilled that I will continue here as music director for at least another five years. Our work together is in many ways really just beginning, and now being able to settle in and think and plan long-term is really wonderful.”

The Board of Directors also renewed Chairman Richard B. Worley and Orchestra President & CEO Allison Vulgamore.

For a sneak peek of what’s to come out of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2015-16, see our piece on the preview of the season.

In South Jersey, District Instructs Families How to Opt Out of Testing

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Via Shutterstock.

Haddon Township School District isn’t necessarily against PARCC, the highly controversial standardized education assessment that has been adopted by dozens of states nation-wide. But district officials are telling parents how their kids can get out of taking it. And parents opposed to the test are hailing it as a win.

In a letter dated January 26, 2015 (below), District Superintendent Dr. Nancy Ward outlined Haddon Township’s provisions for parents who wish their children to be exempt from the high-stakes exam, which has come under fire by education advocates in other states: Trisha Kocanda, a superintendent outside of Chicago, wrote an open letter on PARCC, which was later published in The Washington Post. In it, Kocanda said she was “wary. We are concerned about the amount of instructional time it will displace, the impact this will have on students, and the usefulness of the results.”

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Opera Diva Deborah Voigt Coming to Free Library

Deborah Voigt Header

Deborah Voigt was fired because she was too fat.

I hate to start a piece about the extraordinarily talented Ms. Voigt by pointing out her weight—this is an artist who has literally had standing ovations that have lasted a half-hour after her iconic performances of Aida and interpretations of Wagner. However, that’s the story everyone knows about the soprano after her very public 2003 termination from the Royal Opera House‘s production of Ariadne auf Naxos. Voigt, who, at the time, weighed in at nearly 330 pounds, literally could not fit into a black dress that designers created for the opera. And this was all a secret, until she told the truth in an interview several months later. Read more »

Philadelphia Zoo Expands Zoo360 Trail to Include Gorilla Treeway

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The Philadelphia Zoo‘s Zoo360 Program is nothing new: The initiative is a one-of-a-kind series of animal trails allowing various species to roam freely throughout the Zoo’s campus to explore a variety of environments and travel longer distances. Last year saw the opening of Big Cat Crossing, but this year the gorillas get their chance at a little extra elbow room. In the spring, the Zoo will revamp its Great Ape Trail to include a Gorilla Treeway, an enclosed network of walkways that allow the beasts the chance to explore the grounds—and animals and spectators—from high up in the trees. A rendering of the project:

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DO THIS: ActionAIDS Fundraiser “Glamsino Royale” Comes to Hotel Palomar

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Via Shutterstock.

Full disclosure: last year when I attended Glamsino Royale, the casino benefit thrown by ActionAIDS, I had a little too much fun. Evidence is provided below …

Glamsino Buttler

But in all seriousness, the fundraising evening, which transforms the Hotel Palomar into a high-rolling very gay casino for one night, is one of the best events in the city. This party for a purpose benefits the great work that ActionAIDS does throughout the Philadelphia region: the organization is “committed to creating an AIDS-free generation through a combination of proven strategies,” including “case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention and volunteer services.”

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Gay Movies to Stream on Netflix During Your Snow Day

Pop open that bottle of wine, put the popcorn in the microwave, and get on your favorite PJs: It’s a snow day and a perfect chance to cuddle down to binge watch your favorite movies and television series on Netflix. We sought recommendations from some of our favorite local gays as to what they love to screen during a blizzard (ahem, even if this one was a bust) from the comfort of their own homes and came up with this fabulous list of both gay and “straight” films/shows for your viewing pleasure. They are all available via Netflix streaming or, in one case, via iTunes rental.



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