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

chelsea manning

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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LISTEN: Neil Patrick Harris Chats With Terry Gross About Playing Hedwig, Escaping Doogie Howser and Coming Out in Press Release in 2006

In the latest episode of Philly-produced podcast Fresh Air, host Terry Gross conducts an interview with triple-threat talent and one of today’s shiniest gay stars, Neil Patrick Harris.

Harris was there to chat about his new memoir Choose Your Own Autobiography, which is structured like one of those choose-your-own-adventure books you probably read as a kid. Throughout the course of interview he and Gross cover everything from escaping the Doogie Howser label and playing a transgender dynamo in his Tony-winning role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch to his decision to reveal he was gay via press release in 2006 when bloggers like Perez Hilton were putting pressure on him to come out.

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Weekend Roundup: Same-Sex Wedding Expo, Aiden James, Pissi Myles, OutFest, and More

Radisson Blu LGBT 10-12HIGHLIGHT: We’re all waiting on pins and needles for this weekend’s 24th annual OutFest celebration. The event is one of gay Philly’s best, a reliable afternoon of good times, high spirits and A-plus entertainment from drag queens and LGBT arts groups across the city. The formula has stayed pretty much the same over the years, and it’s worked, but this year we have a little something extra to celebrate: marriage!

Thanks to Pennsylvania’s marriage equality ruling in May, this year’s OutFest will see more married and affianced couples than ever before. And I bet we’ll see a few engagements, too. With that in mind, local wedding expo organizer Bouche Productions is teaming with Wired 96.5 for a complementary Same-Sex Wedding Showcase happening from noon to 4 p.m. at the nearby Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel. They’re inviting lovebirds to stop by before, after or during OutFest to get to know some of the local vendors who are biting at the chomp to help put together a gay wedding.

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Suddenly Fem Donates $5K Worth of Male-to-Female Trans Fashions to Mazzoni Center

Catalog-cover-2014Suddenly Fem, a fashion and lifestyle catalog that sells clothes and accessories to the cross-dresser and male-to-female transgender community, is all up in Philly this weekend. Not only will it be participating in tomorrow’s fourth annual Philly Trans* March, but the retailer has donated $5,000 worth of clothing to the Mazzoni Center—everything from dresses and heels to jackets and lingerie that are made to fit the male-to-female figure. 

The donation will go to the Center’s Sisterly Love Trans* Wellness Project, which, among other things, seeks to help trans women succeed in the workforce. The trans community has a high rate of unemployed people and many struggle to find the right professional outfit,” says the Mazzoni Center’s Samantha Jo-Dato. “We will make the clothing accessible to women in the trans community who are looking for jobs. We welcome them to stop by and pick out a couple amazing things for their wardrobes.”

That’s one of the goals of Suddenly Fem, too.

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Throwback Thursdsay: Remembering Lesbian Trailblazer Barbara Gittings

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, I met with archivist—and author of The Gayborhood Guru—Bob Skiba, who shared these photos of one of gay Philly’s biggest legends, the Mother of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement herself, Ms. Barbara Gittings, who you may be more familiar with as the woman who has her name on the street sign at 13th and Locust streets



WATCH: Bradley Cooper Imitates NY Accent, Tells You How to Shut Up a Giants Fan in New #FlyEaglesFly Video

The Philadelphia Eagles released their latest #FlyEaglesFly video and this may be the best one yet. Just in time for this weekend’s face-off between longtime rivals the New York Giants, the ad features a voiceover by a pumped-up Bradley Cooper. “This is more than a mid-season matchup,” he says. “This is a street fight—Wall Street against Broad Street.”

He goes on to have a little fun with the piece, imitating a New York accent and offering advice on how to shut up a smack-talking Giants fan. Penn alum John Legend and Philly’s The Roots provide the background sounds. Give it a watch above.

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