For years, I have had the honor of DJing on Gay Christmas (aka Halloween, aka the holiday that gives masculine fellas the excuse to put on heels). The most fun part for me is bringing out some of my favorite classic spooky tunes to create the perfect soundtrack for the night of all nights.
Here are just a few of the songs to add to your Halloween party playlist, or to blare in the car on your way to your favorite nightclub or party. Merry Gay Christmas!
You can find the playlist on Spotify, or enjoy each track in the videos and playlist after the jump.
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Every Friday Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative more affectionately known as GALAEI. (Pronounced “gal-āy.”)
Who are you? Elicia Gonzales, executive director of GALAEI. We are a queer Latin@ social justice organization. “Queer” acknowledges and represents the mosaic of sexual and gender identities within our communities. “Latin@” represents the multiracial, multicultural experience of Latinidad. GALAEI embodies the common history of resistance and resilience of Latin@ and queer people. We are unwavering in our commitment to the advancement de nuestra familia through leadership and economic development, sexual empowerment, and grassroots organizing.
When was GALAEI founded? GALAEI was founded in 1989 by David Acosta and other queer, Latin@ activists to respond to the lack of support and resources for our Queer Latin@ community during the HIV epidemic.
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“A little up and down and all around, it’s all about survival,” coos Madonna on slinky boudoir groove “Survival,” the opening number of her just-turned-20 work Bedtime Stories. And, as all of us true Madonna queens know, prior to the release of this celebrated record, the Material Girl’s career at this point was indeed a little up and down and all around, and in definite need of survival.
Her previous studio set, the S&M-beat-blessed Erotica, ruffled the feathers of a lot of critics—and even some fans with its overt sexuality. Around the same time, her provocatively titled coffee-table book Sex prompted those same critics to throw up their hands. Had the queen of WTF moments reached her shock-value limits? Was America tired of her attention-getting ways? Many said yes. But those who doubted were eating their words after her infamous 1994 interview on Late Show With David Letterman, where she dropped F-bombs like they were going out of style. It was too much for a nation that was increasingly more conservative following Desert Storm and in the midst of a wallet-clenching recession. Girlfriend needed to reel it in.
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The day has finally come, Boxers, the New York gay bar franchise with locations in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, will open its doors this afternoon in the Gayborhood.
Director of Marketing George Maestre tells me that the bar will open at 1330 Walnut Street at 4 p.m. today, but it’s only a soft opening. “We are just opening the doors, and in a couple weeks we will have a grand-opening weekend.”
More from a press release sent out this afternoon:
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Philadelphia City Council today unanimously passed a hate crimes bill that adds additional penalties for criminal conduct motivated by hate for someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The bill was introduced after the assault on a gay couple in Center City last month.
Pennsylvania does not include sexual orientation in its hate crimes law.
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Sean Verdi, who you may remember as one of PhillyGayCalendar’s annual Boys of Summer lifeguards, was pronounced dead this week, succumbing to an apparent drug overdose. He was only 23 years old. The New York Daily News has more:
Verdi is a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology. | Photo from New York Daily News
He was found unconscious Wednesday morning in a bathtub in hotelier Ian Reisner’s penthouse apartment on Central Park South, police sources said.
Sean Verdi, of Bay Ridge, was rushed from 230 Central Park South to Saint Luke’s Hospital after Reisner called 911 about 8:20 a.m., police sources said. He died at 9:03 a.m.
The death appeared to be a drug overdose, a police source said, but the Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy on Thursday.
Investigators do not believe that any criminality was involved, police said. At least one friend who was with Verdi told cops that Verdi had taken cocaine and molly, but no drugs were found at the apartment, a police source said.
Verdi was graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., in May. He majored in bioengineering and was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.
To read more of the piece, go here. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.
Apple CEO Tim Cook came out publicly in an essay published this morning in Businessweek. In the essay he writes:
For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.
While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.
The announcement came a few days after Cook publicly chastised him hometown state of Alabama for moving too slow on marriage equality.
To read his entire essay, go here.
Every hump day a Philly person shares their local picks for Woman Crush Wednesday. Today, Megan Slattery, development assistant at Women Against Abuse, a local nonprofit that seeks use advocacy and community education to put a nix on domestic violence.
My name is Megan Slattery. Please allow me to introduce some of Philadelphia's most influential, committed, and crush-worthy people I have been privileged to have in my life.
A medical case manager for the Mazzoni Center and a powerful spirit. I met this fierce derby skater at Penn Jersey Roller Derby. She's brilliant, exciting, and one of the most kind-hearted people I have been lucky to get to know.
Discovering the gem that is 12 Steps Down in Philadelphia, my very own Cheers, made this city worth my stay. Discovering that its owner is a beautiful, derby-fierce, self-made success stole my heart. With such a vibrant, charismatic woman pouring your drinks you'll find it difficult to walk away from her bar without a warm heart.
Not only do they have a fantastic energy and kind soul, they also inspire me with their dedication. Despite being a core member of Philly Survivor Support Collective, a challenging internship at Philadelphia FIGHT’s Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP), and getting their dual Masters in social work and human sexuality education, they always make time for the people they care about. With their fiery spirit, thoughtful personality, and easy humor I just can't help but swoon a little.
One of the most vibrant, intelligently hilarious women I know. With a lust for life that is admirable, she is driven, adventurous and altruistic. When she is not social-working to get people access to healthcare she can be found joining Put People First, a group working to bring universal healthcare to Pennsylvania. The city is lucky to have her and I feel honored to call her my friend.
From my very first day meeting this amazingly intelligent, charismatic woman my intelligence-crush heart was stolen. As the director of education and training at Women Against Abuse, her passion extends far beyond just educating Philadelphians on intimate partner violence as she works to insure all domestic-violence services are safe and affirming places for the LGBTQ+ community.
Share your Woman Crush Wednesday!
Here are the rules: (1) Name five to 10 ladies you’re crushing on (2) You and all women involved must be from Philadelphia (3) Email your crushes to email@example.com.
The It Gets Better Project has become a household name. Created in September 2010 by columnist Dan Savage as a simple YouTube video encouraging LGBTQ youth that high school harassment and bullying will cease and that life will “get better,” the initiative has turned into a world-wide movement. Over 50,000 users have created video messages for LGBTQ teenagers, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ke$ha, and Ellen DeGeneres, amongst many others. Now, the project is fittingly on it’s way to the City of Brotherly Love.
The It Gets Better Project engagement at the Kimmel Center kicks off next week with a weeklong long residency that includes a series of free events leading up to a Saturday evening multimedia concert at the Perelman Theatre. Read more »