Local LGBT-owned business-championing organization Independence Business Alliance (IBA) and its Board of Directors hosted its annual holiday celebration at the Hilton Garden Inn Philadelphia last night. Many in our community and our allies of business owners, professionals, corporate and community partners were on hand to toast Greater Philadelphia’s vibrant and successful LGBT business community and chat about what the future holds for them.
The festively dressed guests enjoyed an abundant—and delicious—selection of hors d’oeuvres and light bites at food stations and the cash bar on the 10th floor of the hotel, where guests got a killer view of Philly’s twinkling lights.
Bill Good, Christopher Whibley, Eric Knox and Monika Kruemmling
Metro Men's Clothing owner Tom Longo, Chris Catarino and Pat Wright
IBA's Paul LeGendre and Tom Cavanaugh
Marc Coleman and Gail Ruopp
Prab Sandhm, Jen Johnson and Greg Dennis
Jonathan Weinhold, Dan Clifford, and Rich Horrow
Scott Silber and Al Drulis (aka My high school science partner at Paul VI High. He was a lady killer in high school.)
Claretta Lles, Sun Campbell and Christine Hahn-Profitt
Liz Dykie, Jim Grimmer and Pat Rambo
Mark Lenard, Carly Meyer, Rosalind Sutch and Bill Stewart
Patrick Mullen, Laura Burkhardt and Bill Donahue
Claire Kelly, Gary Morreale and Kathleen Paul
Joan Rivera and Matt Clifford
Paul Nye and Jerome V. Hofer
Mr. SEXO 2015 Marcous Marchese with last year’s winner Syfr Gavriel, Elicia Gonzales and host Cyannie Famouz. Photo by Freedom G Photography
Last week I told you about the 2015 Mr. SEXO winner, Marcous Marchese, who was crowned (or, err, sashed) at Woody’s on Thursday night. I was a little surprised by the news, considering Marchese is white and the competition was billed as a search for a “gay/queer Latino who is the epitome of sexy.”
The event, now in its second year, is sponsored by PhillyGayCalendar and Philly queer Latin social justice organization GALAEI, so I reached out to Executive Director Elicia Gonzales to see why a white dude took the prize. She told me that, “GALAEI is a queer Latin@ social justice organization. Latinadad is not who we serve but how we serve, so we treat everyone like familia. And we feel the new Mr. SEXO embodies this.”
When I shared the post on Facebook, however, a few readers voiced their opinions about the win. One commenter said, “Not to be rude … but why was a white guy even allowed to enter this competition designed specifically for the Queer Latino community? I’m confused … ”
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Philly dancer/choreographer/Instinct model (but we had him first!) Gunnar Montana has released his 2014 FringeArts hit Resurrection Room online. It’s a shame if you didn’t see it in person. The electric, at times unsettling performance was, in my opinion, Montana’s best work yet. It follows a young woman (played by dancer Stephi Lyniece) as she stumbles upon “a world with no rules, no life, no death.” Along the way she meets a series of characters, like robots, demon geishas and a mohawked, hot pink-bearded Montana doing one of the most deliciously twisted pieces of choreography I’ve ever seen. (That starts at around 29:20.)
While the video, made by Nicole Patriarca, doesn’t compare to seeing all this unfold directly in front of you, it’s a worthy next-best option. Check it out above. Revel in the sexy nightmares later.
Every year, the Warwick Rowers release a racy calendar that benefits Sport Allies, an organization that fights homophobia in sports. Filled with pages of the athletes doing various things in the nude, the page-turner is obviously a big hit in the gay world, and this year they’re doing their gay fans a solid with the release of a new behind-the-scenes video that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination.
It’s 6-plus minutes of the guys talking about what it’s like to make the calendar—from doing naked headstands on a dock to carrying their birthday suited teammates on their shoulders. Check out the NSFW video here, then get your good-karma fix by purchasing it, here.
Every hump day a Philly person shares their local picks for Woman Crush Wednesday. Today, Tara Lessard, active volunteer in the LGBT community and owner of Freedom G Photography.
My name is Tara Lessard, and these are my local picks for Woman Crush Wednesday.
She has a heart as big as her ability to create change. DeAnn Cox created her baby Southern NJ Pride, is the program director for LesBe Real Radio, and writes a column called, "Heels on Wheels," for PhillyGayCalendar. She is a frequent volunteer at Mazzoni Center and William Way events and is the best person in Philly to co-create with, because her knowledge base is so vast. She is a gorgeous person, inside and out.
Miranda Deluxx and Kya MaroonEyes
Miranda and Kya are two of the hottest boi's on the scene! This power-packed duo team up often to promote Philly events. Miranda is a boss, balancing motherhood and a successful DJ career. Kya's day job, working with children she loves, is complemented by the love she pours in to the awesome parties she hosts. They are fantastic human beings I am grateful to call friends.
My partner, and the love of my life. Shanel supports me in every way imaginable. We have such a love of life. Acting in the Philly-based series Crazy, Sexy, Cool, kicking it up with Liberty City Drag King and Burlesque troupe as Rough RydeHer or shooting pictures with me for Freedom G Photography, she puts 100 percent into everything she does day or night. Together, we are such an amazing team and active part of this community. I am so grateful to have this stunning soul by my side.
Erica, or as she is better known "E," has a successful self-made business called E's Tees, volunteers for numerous feed-the-homeless projects, and star-tends at places all around the city. She is the most selfless person I know, and I love how she is so sensitive to the needs of others. Her beauty and style is unmatched.
Ngozi and Stacie
Ngozi is a super talented published writer and spoken-word performer, as well as the founder of Gozi's House Production company. She creates plays, and has expanded to include photography. Stacie is so creative—from hair styling to event planning, there is nothing this girl can't do with style and flair.
Founder of 7th Seed Productions, Danielle Erwin produces and directs the Crazy, Sexy Cool series. Her films promote the LGBT community with topics that sensitively touch on domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse, and infidelity. She is an incredible friend, super fabulous, and one to look out for.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Last Five Woman Crush Wednesdays:
From left: Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott, and Philip Williams in their September 24, 2014, mugshots.
On Tuesday in Courtroom 406 at the Criminal Justice Center on Filbert Street, the three defendants in the Center City gay bashing case — Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott, and Philip Williams — appeared before Judge Charles Hayden for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there was enough evidence to proceed to trial on charges of felony assault and conspiracy, among other counts. And sure enough, Judge Hayden said there is; formal arraignment in Common Pleas Court is scheduled for January 6th. Read more »
Good news for the first ever transgender man to win the title of Mr. Gay Philadelphia: Lou Cutler was named to The Advocate‘s “40 People Who Show 2014 Was a Year for Breaking Gender Rules” list.
Compiled by The Advocate‘s Mitch Kellaway, Cutler was ranked amongst the likes of Laverne Cox, Carmen Carrera, and Janet Mock. According to the magazine, “Winning Mr. Gay Philadelpha as an out trans man allowed Cutler’s audiences and readers across the country to see queer, trans male sexuality in a way they hadn’t before.”
After his June crowning, Cutler shared with us that, “[Winning] means a lot to me. … It’s kind of hard to be a gay trans man sometimes. … But I’m very proud of who I am, and I’ve worked very hard to become who I am. This, in some sense, is a dream come true for me. To be able to be part of this community, and also represent my own community—and to just be visible. It’s important for me to be out and visible as gay and trans, to show the community that not every trans person is the same.”
Congrats to Lou on his national recognition!
Although gay marriage is not yet legal in Japan, it doesn’t mean that couples can’t take part in a spectacular and unique gay wedding ceremony overseas. As a matter of fact, one Buddhist temple has teamed up with a luxury hotel to offer a special same-sex-marriage experience that is utterly unique and quite beautiful.
Hotel Granvia Kyoto is offering a four-day gay wedding package that includes a Buddhist “spiritual union” at a historic temple, traditional wedding attire, accommodations, and even a pink cake. The hotel claims that “gorgeous Japanese traditional kimono wedding attire, a customized floral bouquet with that special touch of Japanese elegance, and the mystique of exchanging vows at a historical Japanese temple…will be the most memorable and romantic day of your lives together.”
Couples will take their vows at Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto, Japan, which offers English-language Buddhist spiritual unions in traditionally-appointed ceremony rooms. Of note, the Temple’s website makes it clear that they “welcome all couples regardless of faith or sexual orientation.” I just love the pictures of the ceremony rooms and how peaceful and inviting the setting is:
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Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. Today, Bradon Robert who works retail by day and produces events at night. He is also the former editor of phillydragopolis.com and co-creator of Drag Wars with Mimi Imfurst.
This was actually a lot harder than I thought! There are so many beautiful men in Philadelphia—beautiful in so many different ways that it was quite hard to narrow then down. I'll give it a shot ...
Ever since I spotted this boy shooting pictures "just for fun" from the back row of the Dollhouse Revue a couple years ago I have been crushing on this geek-alicious boy who is incredibly talented. Many people may not know this but on top of being the photographer for Dragaholics he actually owns his own computer repair business. An arty entrepreneur?! Sign me up!
Chris Balbi and Frankie Rowles
These were going to be separate picks but since they are a couple I figured I would put them together! One is a talented writer and the other is an amazing singer / acor. Together they make one super adorable gay power couple. Chris is probably one of the sweetest guys you'll ever meet. When I hear Frankie sing I just (pardon the old expression) swoon! He's a Broadway boy and I love that.
He has the body and mind for sin and a heart as pure as gold. All you need to do is head downstairs at The Bike Stop any weekend night to see why he is one of my choices for MCM. But once you talk to this guy you start to realize he is more than just walking sex, he is quite intelligent and such a sweet guy! I love that anytime you see him walking around the city or in a coffee shop he has a book in hand. Mysterious, sexy, smart and sweet ... my favorite type of guy!
Jon A Thon : Champagne Showers
You know I had to put a drag queen on here somewhere. Mix one-part quirky cat-loving boy who likes being naked with one-part destructive badass drag queen and you get the elusive Jon A Thon! It is so much fun watching this artist grow as a performer week after week at Philly Drag Wars.
This South Philly native and resident DJ of Tavern on Camac makes me weak every time I see him smile from behind the decks. The coolest thing about this guy is that he is the lead singer of an amazing doo-wop group. You don't find that very often from a guy in his early '20s. He has such a passion for music. I had the pleasure of listening to him sing and his velvet voice makes my heart melt. Another fun fact: He has been a DJ since his teens.
I once overheard a customer at Knock say that this "kid" has the face and body meant for porn. Well you can be the judge of that but what I find so hot about Trevor is his mind. No seriously! He has such a passion for politics and social issues. Yes he is adorably cute, yes he has a smile that lights up a room, and yes he works out but give me a boy with a brain and I am hooked. So next time you are in Knock strike up a conversation with this guy ... you may just learn something!
This is the boy next door fantasy. I actually don't know him too well but I would love too! I absolutely love a guy in glasses. He caught my attention one night when I saw him for the first time at a show at Bob and Barbaras. I don't know what it is about him, but every time I see him I smile. So he needed to be on the list.
I could not do a MCM without featuring my all-time favorite sexy straight man: Mr. Famelust. Not only does he make all the party goers in Philly nightlife look amazing in his photos, but he melts the hearts of all the gay boys in the city. My friends and I used to drop everything on a Thursday night to head to Woody's so we could drool over Mario as he shot amazing pictures of us. Come back to the Gayborhood, Mario!
Submit your Man Crush Monday!
Here are the rules: (1) Name five to 10 guys you’re crushing on, and tell us why they have your heart aflutter (2) You and all men involved have to be from Philadelphia (3) Email your crushes to email@example.com.
Last Five Man Crush Mondays (clockwise, from top left)