7 Gay Things to Do in Philly This Week: Sister Outsider Poetry, Kelly Cogswell, Where to Dance and More

Seven super fun, gay things to do in Philly this week: 



For more events happening now through June, check our Philadelphia Event Listings.

Globe-Trotting: Behold the Gardens of France with PHS

Horticultural buffs, rejoice: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has organized the trip of a lifetime to tour the botanical beauties of North France and Paris. Serving as your guide will be PHS’ marquee Francophile himself, Drew Becher, president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. “Traveling with PHS,” he explains, “provides a unique opportunity to visit very special gardens throughout the world.” His most anticipated stop: Brittany. “There, we’ll have access to some extraordinary places — including Kerdalo, which was started by Prince Peter Wolkonsky and is now owned by his daughter, Princess Isabelle. It’s a paradise of rustic, authentic landscapes, as well as incredible formal gardens.”

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GIRL TALK: Dishing Dining Out for Life With Pam Grier

pam grier dining out for life

Screen legend Pam Grier is taking on a new role this spring — as a spokesperson for ActionAIDS‘ annual Dining Out for Life event, which takes place in Philadelphia on April 24th. She called me this week from her home in Colorado to chat about why she decided to team up with DOFL, what it was like working on The L Word, and a new project helmed by Philly Fresh Prince of Bel-Air creator Bennie Richburg.

Q&A after the jump

Metropolitan Community Church of Philadelphia Changes Name, Mission to Reflect LGBT Inclusiveness

Rev. Jordan-Picket (far left) unveils the new church sign with Lay Delegate Renee Williams and Board Vice Moderator Arthur Martin Chester.

Rev. Jordan-Pickett (far left) unveils the new church sign with Lay Delegate Renee Williams and Board Vice Moderator Arthur Martin Chester.

On Easter Sunday Metropolitan Community Church of Philadelphia (MCCP)’s Reverend Jeffrey H. Jordan-Pickett revealed that after 43 years, MCC would be changing its name, goals, and ministry plans to better reflect its LGBT-inclusive teachings.

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Why You Should Dine Out for Life: Ja Mai

Our annual series, “Dine Out for My Life,” features a different local who has been affected by HIV/AIDS every day between now and Dining Out for Life (DOFL), on April 24th.

JaMy name is … Ja Mai

What’s your Philly connection?
I am originally from Burma. I am from an ethnic group called Kachin. Philly area has a sizable community of Burmese ethnic minorities who came here mainly as refugees. I came here for college about 10 years ago. I have been living here ever since. I love this area. We have some wonderful people and places here.

What do you do for work?
I am a therapist working with children and their families.

How has HIV/AIDS affected your life?
Through my previous job as a medical case manager and volunteering in my community, I have come across many people from different backgrounds who are affected by it. Some of them are my own friends.

The biggest thing I have learned from my experience with HIV/AIDS is …
Instead of putting our efforts on questioning why one might be affected by HIV, we should put our efforts on how we can fight against it. Misinformation or lack of information continues to be a problem in our community. Discrimination for those living with HIV/AIDS continues to exist in our community. We should put our energy on learning accurate information about the virus, and how we can support each other in our fight against it. The HIV virus doesn’t discriminate anybody. Why should we?

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Man Crush Monday: Jeremiah Downes

Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. This week, Jeremiah Downes, who you may recognize as the music director and headliner at the Walnut Supper Club.



Last Five Man Crush Mondays: 

GIRL TALK: A Candid Conversation with Courtney Act

Photo of Courtney Act by Magnus Hastings

Photos of by Magnus Hastings

Australian dynamo Courtney Act (aka Shane Jenek) comes to Philly this week to perform with fellow Drag Race contestants in the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 Cast Party at Voyeur. I caught up with the living Barbie doll on the phone this week to see how life’s been treating her post-Drag Race, her thoughts on the “she-male” controversy, and why she’s so damn mean to Joslyn Fox.

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Why You Should Dine Out for Life: Garrod McFadden

Mr. Garrod McFadden is helping kick off our annual series, “Dine Out for My Life,” which features a different local who has been affected by HIV/AIDS every day between now and Dining Out for Life (DOFL), on April 24th.

GarrodMy name is … Garrod McFadden

What’s your Philly connection?
I have lived here for seven years. I grew up in Rochester N.Y., went to undergrad at SUNY Cortland in Cortland N.Y., and decided that Philadelphia was the place I wanted to pursue my Masters in social work, and continue a prominent career in this field

What do you do for work? 
I work at Hahnemann University Hospital as a social worker primarily providing essential discharging planning services for critical intensive cardiac patients, and post-surgical cardiac patients.

How has HIV/AIDS affected your life?
In a positive way. I graduated from SUNY and started working with HIV+ infants and children under the age 10 years old as a child case manager in Rochester N.Y. for over 10 years ago. Seeing the progress and delight on the faces of the parents and children over the positive change in their lives overtime propelled me to move forward in becoming a community advocate. Because of this experience, I am still a community advocate and have worked for HIV/AIDS organizations such as ActionAIDS in the past.

The biggest thing I have learned from my experience with HIV/AIDS is …
How impactful one’s life is with living with this disease. I have learned that it is so important to teach acceptance, because HIV+ people are human beings, too, and the impact of this disease on “everyone’s” lives is no different from any other disease.

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Philly Rep. Mark Cohen to Introduce PA’s First Transgender Rights Bill

Cohen at a recent Capitol news conference.

Cohen at a recent Capitol news conference.

Local trans activist-with-the-mostest Jordan Gwendolyn Davis reached out to let me know about a new transgender rights bill Philly Representative Mark Cohen will introduce in the House. The proposal is a four-bill package that will “address specific concerns faced by members of Pennsylvania’s transgender community involving institutional discrimination.”

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