Brian Sims: Mike Pence’s Anti-LGBT Views Would Further Divide Us

Brian Sims, Mike Pence

Brian Sims, Mike Pence

This is an opinion piece by Pennsylvania Representative Brian Sims.

No Gays Allowed.”

Governor Mike Pence proudly signed into law legislation that allowed business to refuse service or discriminated against LGBT Americans. Yes — the Mike Pence who is Donald Trump’s running mate and the most extreme pick for vice president in a generation.

As Governor, Mike Pence used his leadership to alienate businesses and divide communities with his spiteful actions against the LGBT community when he spearheaded this discriminatory legislation. The law allowed people to continue spreading hatred, deny services and discriminate against LGBT Americans.  Read more »

TOP PICKS: The Best LGBTQ Events This Weekend

The Tinder Show returns with a comedic take on the popular gay app, Grinder.

The Tinder Show returns with a comedic take on the popular gay app, Grindr.

FRIDAY EVENTS

FurFloat 2016!
11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Bucks County River Country, 2 Walters Lane, Point Pleasant, Pa.; over 21.

The Philly Regional Bears plan to meet at Bucks Country River Country and want you to spend the afternoon with them floating back! For those gays who love their men hairier than ever, this bear-filled event is up your ally. Read more »

Latinx Queer Community Leaders Air Concerns Over Philly4Pulse

Gayborhood sign

On Thursday, July 21st, the Gayborhood’s most popular bars are sponsoring a charity event to support the victims of the tragic Pulse Nightclub shootings in Orlando. Philly4Pulse promises to feature local celebrities tending bar, dance parties, drag, Quizzo, karaoke, and more as a way “to bring our community together.” However, some leaders from the Latinx queer community feel that their constituencies have been left out.

According to press releases and interviews, the Philly4Pulse organizing committee began working on the event as early as June 14th. But representatives of both GALAEI and the Gran Varones, two well-known local Latinx queer organizations, say they were invited to participate only a week ago. Read more »

NATIONAL NEWS: Trans Murder Victim Deeniquia “Dee Dee” Dodds Remembered

Dee Dee Dodds, courtesy of Facebook.

Dee Dee Dodds, via Facebook.

Deeniquia “Dee Dee” Dodds’s murder brings this year’s toll of reported trans women’s deaths to 15.

On Saturday, friends and family paid their respects to the life of black trans woman Deeiquia “Dee Dee” Dodds who was murdered in Washington, D.C. Dodds, 22, was shot on July 4th near her home and died after spending nine days on life support. “This is Dee Dee neighborhood … everyone knew her,” Janiyah Littman, one of Dodd’s friends, told the press during the vigil. “Like, she always went somewhere, like she didn’t go too far.” It was also made known during the vigil that Dodd was a sex worker, a common occupation for working-class trans women who face employment discrimination. It is currently unknown whether her profession was connected to her murder; no suspects have been announced. Police are still investigating what exactly happened and whether she was the victim of a hate crime. The rate of murders of trans women has risen alarmingly this year. Even more disturbing is that there seems to be a particular trend of them being of color, with many of the reported 15 murdered so far have been identified as either black or Latina. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca

Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca

Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca

Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca is an afro-Latinx activist and creator of The Gran Varones storytelling project. We got to chat with him about founding the project, combatting racism in the Gayborhood, and once living with the legendary Gloria Casarez.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a huge Mariah fan. She reminds me not to take life too seriously. She gets a lot of flak for being “wacky,” but I love it. I guess my fandom for her is evident when I am asked to tell you about me but I start talking about Mariah.

So Mariah is definitely your fave … what about you?
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, and I grew up Mormon. When I was baptized at age 15, all my queer friends attended. The Elders loved them, though. They kept saying “Louie, this is the greatest baptism ever!” I quit the church after a friend of mine, who was also a young queer Mormon, overheard the leader’s daughter call us “faggots.” He begged me to keep quiet but I couldn’t. So in the middle of service, I stood up and said “Did you call me a faggot, bitch?” Lawd, everyone in that church clutched their pearls. I was reprimanded and no one ever addressed her calling us “faggots.” That was my last day at church. So yeah, I was pretty much always an outspoken queen. Of course, my tactics and style have changed — a little — but I was always that friend who you tell anything to because I’d go the hell off. Read more »

LOCAL NEWS: Jim Kenney, Other Celebs to Guest-Bartend at Philly4Pulse Event

Philly4Pulse is Thursday, July 21, 2016 in the Gayborhood.

Philly4Pulse is Thursday, July 21, 2016 in the Gayborhood.

Philadelphia’s Gayborhood unites with public figures to support the victims of the Orlando Pulse shootings.

Since June 14th, owners and representatives from the Gayborhood’s most popular bars have joined forces to help host an event to support the victims of the tragic Orlando shootings at Pulse Nightclub. Called “Philly4Pulse,” these bar owners (including Tabu, ICandy, Knock, Woody’s, Tavern on Camac, and more) are putting on a huge one-night-only fundraiser with funds going directly to Equality Florida. “With 14 established bars coming together and pooling our contacts, resources, and energy, we have seen an unprecedented response from vendors, suppliers, volunteers,” said Tabu owner Jeffrey Sotland. “We have come together to support the community in ways we never imagined.” The July 21st event is slated to have participating bars feature over 30 local celebrity/public figure guest bartenders including Mayor Jim Kenney, Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley of Fox29, Rue Landau, and District Attorney Seth Williams. Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith, who helped organized the 1993 March on Washington, will also be at the event in support. In addition to the bar crawls, participating nightclubs will hold Latino-themed evenings as a way of recognizing the majority of the victims of the shooting. “This event is more about just raising money and bringing customers into the bars, Sotland said. “This event is about engagement and the bar owners are bringing Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida, to Philadelphia to meet and engage with our community…she was 100% on board, when asked.” For more information on this upcoming event, check out the official Facebook event page. Read more »

NATIONAL NEWS: A Transgender Bathroom Ad Causes Big Buzz

Screenshot from the controversial bathroom ad.

Screenshot from the controversial bathroom ad.

A national TV ad depicting transgender bathroom discrimination will premiere during the Republican National Convention.

A new ad spotlighting the bathroom discrimination struggles faced by transgender people will make its national television debut on the FOX News channel on Thursday, July 21st, during the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The 60-second ad, now available to watch at www.FairnessUSA.org, features a transgender woman from North Carolina, where HB2 passed earlier this year, discussing how the lack of state and federal nondiscrimination protections affects her every day. HB2 makes it illegal for transgender people to use restrooms in public buildings that match the gender they live, making them susceptible to even higher levels of harassment and violence. The ad has had thousands of views since its online release on Monday. After the RNC, the ad will run again run nationally on MSNBC during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia the following week. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: R. Eric Thomas

R. Eric Thomas

R. Eric Thomas

R. Eric Thomas is a local playwright, “dramedian,” and creative writer who still makes time to work at the William Way Center. We got to talk with the renaissance man on what inspires his various talents and what it’s like to go viral online.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I don’t know where to start. That’s not true. Yes, I do. I’m working with a life coach to get better at owning my power. And by that I mean I follow a lot of inspirational Instagrams. Okay, it’s just two inspirational Instagrams. And a lot of thirst traps. Anyway, I’m a lot of things right now: Read more »

TOP PICKS: The Best LGBTQ Events This Weekend

Zaddy returns for a special "Summer Vibes" edition.

Zaddy returns for a special “Summer Vibes” edition.

FRIDAY EVENTS

DTF: Darryl and Timaree Fun Hour
8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Franky Bradley’s, 1320 Chancellor Street; over 21.

“The greatest sex ed/comedy/game show in the known universe” is back with Gayborhood favorite Dr. Timaree and popular comedian Darryl Charles as they chat about sex and everything under the covers. Read more »

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