WATCH: Did You See Patti LaBelle’s Debut on American Horror Story: Freak Show This Week?

Philly soul queen Patti LaBelle made her debut on American Horror Story: Freak Show this week, playing a maid to Frances Conroy’s Gloria Mott and her bratty son Dandy (Finn Wittrock.)

LaBelle’s character is classic Patti: sassy and straight-talking all the way. While she hasn’t made any big moves yet, early reports about the show suggest she will appear in four episodes, where she will work to solve the mystery of Twisty the Clown Killer (played so creepily by John Carroll Lynch.)

Check out her entrance above.

Throwback Thursday: Early Transgender Activist and Co-Founder of William Way Tommi Avicolli Mecca

Every week I take a trip down memory lane in William Way Community Center’s John J. Wilcox Jr. Archives, a veritable treasure trove of relics from gay Philadelphia’s past. This week, archivist—and author of The Gayborhood Guru—Bob Skiba shares photos of Tommi Avicolli Mecca taken in the 1970s and 1980s. Skiba tells me that “Tommi was an early activist here, one of the founders of the Gay Community Center (which later became William Way) and the Archives, and a trans activist.”



David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Being Turned Into a Novel

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Right on the heels of news that David Lynch’s Twin Peaks will return to television in 2016, Flatiron Books has released information that the eery serial drama is being turned into a novel.

According to AP, the book, titled The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks, will delve into what has happened to the show’s characters since it went off the air in 1991.

The work is being written by the show’s co-creator and executive producer, Mark Frost, and will be published just before the sequel returns to TV.

Four Penn Medicine Hospitals Named Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality

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Ever wonder where you’d go if you came down with a sudden case of the ills?

Four hospitals in the Penn Medicine network—Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and Chester County Hospital—were named 2014 Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

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DO THIS: National Book Award Finalist John Lahr at Free Library Tonight

John LahrWe have a very timely guest appearance happening at the Free Library tonight. Author and longtime The New Yorker drama critic John Lahr will come to town with his latest, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, for a reading and discussion this evening.

He’s arriving on the heels of being named one of the five finalists in the 2014 National Book Award non-fiction category for his biography of celebrated playwright Tennessee Williams. The work was created using Williams’s writings and a collection of diary entries, letters, and interviews with friends and lovers (because he had quite a few of those) that had never been transcribed. NPR calls the book “both gossipy—it features unhappy love affairs, binge-drinking actresses and a drug-addicted Williams—and aesthetically serious.”

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9 Gay Things to Do in Philly This Week: A Celebration of Gay Black Art and Culture, QOTA at Noir, the Dumpsta Players Latest, and More



Philly Artist Paints Only Authorized Portrait of Chelsea Manning

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You’ve likely seen the above image of Chelsea Manning that’s accompanied nearly every story of her since it was announced that she was transitioning. Manning was never happy with the image and the way it portrayed her, so she and supporters set out to find an alternative, something to send to the media that reflects her in a better, more realistic light.

The answer? A portrait by a relatively unknown Philadelphia artist and UArts grad named Alicia Neal. But it wasn’t going to be an easy job. A detailed article on theverge.com explains:

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