Every year, a group of rebellious local comedians get together to produce an anti-awards show called the WitIns Awards. It’s a chance for them to make fun of the local comedy scene, giving out awards for “Worst Comedian,” and the like. It’s not meant to be mean. Think of it as the Razzies; a funny way to point out some less-than-LOL-worthy moments in comedy throughout the year.
The latest installment happened this Sunday, and last summer’s comedy competition at Tabu, “Last Laugh,” took home the award for “Worst Comedy Competition.”
Comedian and Last Laugh contestant Rachel Fogletto accepted the award, which was a garbage-filled plastic bag with a penis drawn on it. In her acceptance speech, she pretty much zeroed in on the problem with the competition: “I made it through to like week 10, and we all lost to some lady from Atlantic City who missed like eight weeks of the competition, so fuck the Last Laugh.”
Ouch-worthy, yes, but it’s all in good fun, people. I went to a few performances last year, and actually had a nice time—especially watching local legend Needles Jones crack a few zingers about AIDS.
But this isn’t the first criticism I’ve heard of Last Laugh. Even creator Josh Schonewolf agrees. When I asked him if he’d bring it back, he said “Hell no. … That was a bonafide flop.”
See, everyone agrees!
Check out a video of Fogletto’s acceptance speech above. I have it set to start at the right time.
This afternoon, state LGBT advocacy group Equality PA along with 30 other statewide equality groups kicked off a new campaign that seeks to end LGBT discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations.
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Full disclosure: last year when I attended Glamsino Royale, the casino benefit thrown by ActionAIDS, I had a little too much fun. Evidence is provided below …
But in all seriousness, the fundraising evening, which transforms the Hotel Palomar into a high-rolling very gay casino for one night, is one of the best events in the city. This party for a purpose benefits the great work that ActionAIDS does throughout the Philadelphia region: the organization is “committed to creating an AIDS-free generation through a combination of proven strategies,” including “case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention and volunteer services.”
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Pop open that bottle of wine, put the popcorn in the microwave, and get on your favorite PJs: It’s a snow day and a perfect chance to cuddle down to binge watch your favorite movies and television series on Netflix. We sought recommendations from some of our favorite local gays as to what they love to screen during a blizzard (ahem, even if this one was a bust) from the comfort of their own homes and came up with this fabulous list of both gay and “straight” films/shows for your viewing pleasure. They are all available via Netflix streaming or, in one case, via iTunes rental.
From Netflix: "Set in 1950s New Zealand, this chilling true-life drama chronicles an obsessive friendship between two teenage girls that ultimately begets blood." (Recommended by G Philly editor Josh Middleton)
From Netflix: "A woman and her daughter are caught in a game of cat-and-mouse with three burglars in their New York City home and are forced to retreat inside a vault. As the intruders try to breach the room's security, the embattled duo must stay one step ahead." (Recommended by Brett Kali)
From iTunes: "Pride is inspired by an extraordinary true story. It's the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers' families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all…" (Recommended by Stephen Westover and Pete Haas)
From Netflix: "This Emmy-winning original thriller series stars Golden Globe winner Kevin Spacey as ruthless, cunning Congressman Francis Underwood, who will stop at nothing to conquer the halls of power in Washington D.C. His secret weapon: his gorgeous, ambitious, and equally conniving wife Claire, Golden Globe winner Robin Wright." (Recommended by Roy Hage)
From Netflix: "An unapologetically sexy and vulgar romantic comedy based on the best-selling novel by Charlotte Roche. When an embarrassing shaving accident lands rebellious teen Helen (Carla Juri) in the hospital, she develops an unlikely bond with her male nurse (Christoph Letkowski) who she seduces with stories of her sexual adventures while using her illness to reunite her divorced parents." (Recommended by G Philly contributor Justin Nordell)
From Netflix: "Set in 1965, 'Burnt Money' (released in Argentina as 'Plata Quemada') tells the true story of Angel and Sam, gay lovers who turn to crime, bank robbery and murder, holding Argentina and Uruguay in suspense as they lead the authorities on a two-month-long manhunt. Delicately balanced between gripping action and tender romance, director Marcelo Piñeyro's film premiered at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival." (Recommended by Patrick Hagerty)
From Netflix: "The lives and loves of five gay men living in Pittsburgh provide the drama in this American edition of the acclaimed British series. Amid the usual ups and downs of relationships, the friends grapple with everything from health issues to politics." (Recommended by Hugh E Dillon)
From Netlifx: "Caleb has the hots for Gwen, who relates better to gay men than to straight ones. To help his pal attract Gwen's attention, Caleb's roommate persuades him to pretend he's gay. But the plan backfires when Gwen's gay roommate falls for the imposter." (Recommended by Dan Schwartz)
From Netflix: "Determined to fall in love, 15-year-old Adele is focused on boys. But it's a blue-haired girl she meets on the street who really piques her interest. Soon, Adele is exploring her desire for girls as she negotiates her way to becoming a woman." (Recommended by G Philly intern Mel Stevens)
From Netflix: "Still refreshingly caustic at 87, Broadway legend Elaine Stritch looks back on her life and career in this feature-length portrait composed of candid reflections, rare archival footage and testimonials from her dearest friends." (Recommended by the author)
On Tuesdays, we feature a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have recently wed. Today, Thomas Tracy and Elliott Wilson from Sicklerville, New Jersey, who surprised guests with a Celine Dion drag performance at their reception at Top of the Tower (and a costume change). Read more »
Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. Today, Mr. Zach Breeding …
My name is Zach Breeding. I've been a Philadelphia resident for the past 11 years. I am a chef, dietitian, political activist, aspiring handyman, former drag queen, and corgi dad! After all my time here in Philly, I definitely have some crushes ...
Joey and I are new friends who have grown really close in a short period of time. He has been a local boy all of his life—and with a name like his, you know he knows where to get a good pizza in the city. Whether it's dancing at the Dolphin, playing Super Smash Bros., or talking out drama, Joey is a decent guy and a good friend.
Someone I know I can always count on being real is Kevin. This kid throws no shade, has a great heart, and is one real b****. Seeing him smile always brightens my day. He's the kind of vegan that will scarf down a plate of fries and beer with you and not think twice. Kevin's the perfect mix between hipster and metrosexual with legs for days. No kidding; he is an avid marathon runner! I love him for all of this, and the fact that he can go hiking then tell you which top to wear to the club.
Those who know me know why I have a crush on Toby. He is bird-watcher, poet, actor, dog-lover, and philanthropist. If that wasn't enough, he spends his time tending to a year-round garden of lush greenery. He may not be the life of the party, but he is someone who everyone misses when he isn't around. The best thing about Toby is that he is always there when you need someone to lean on. Can't really beat that.
Mike and I have become recent friends through a Welcoming Committee gathering. He is boisterous as I am, so we get along pretty well (just don't try to get a word in edgewise). If you need someone to give you great restaurant advice, he is the guy. He's got a great man, a sick apartment, an awesome job, and a killer smile. Most of all, he's always down for a good time.
I actually have known Mike for about five years now. We met at New York University, where we both went to grad school. He is one of the most interesting dudes you will ever meet. He studied neuroscience during the day and was a male burlesque dancer at night. His makeup designs are something you have never seen before. He actually makes neuroscience enjoyable to listen to. If you have ever seen Mike out at Woody's dancing, you would know exactly who he is ... because you were definitely watching him. He is one of the smartest people you might ever meet and never actually know it. He has a sick body with hardly any effort and a beautiful personality to prove it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Five Man Crush Mondays:
This weekend at the Vatican, Pope Francis met with a Spanish transgender man, Diego Neria Lejárraga, after he wrote a letter to the Pope complaining that his church discriminated against him following his gender-reassignment surgery. The Washington Blade says Lejárraga complained about the rejection he felt from his fellow congregants, who even went so far as to abuse him with verbal attacks, calling him names like “the devil’s daughter.”
“After hearing him on many occasions, I felt that he would listen to me,” Neria told a newspaper publisher in Spain.
Human rights groups are applauding the Pope’s move, calling it a historic, forward-thinking move for the papacy. Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of LGBT Catholics group Dignity USA told the Blade that the meeting is a “very significant event.”
“For the Pope to meet with a transgender man about to be married, and for that meeting to result in this man feeling more hopeful about his place in the Church, shows a concern for those at the very margins of our church,” she said. “I hope the Pope listened carefully to this man’s experience, and will speak about what he heard.”
Kevin Killian is a multi-talented writer who uses his novels, poetry, plays, and stories to talk about LGBT issues from the past and the present. I got a chance to interview him before his reading at Temple’s Tyler School of Art on Thursday, January 29th. I highly recommend going to this event if you enjoy a reading that is “queer and weird.” You can buy copies of his publications here.
How would you define your style of poetry for someone who isn’t familiar with your work?
I am from the East Coast and grew up listening to the poetry of folks like Frank O’Hara and Amiri Baraka, so I have a conversational, some might say musical rhythm to my poems, even down to the level of the line itself, and when later in life I moved to San Francisco I became bitten by the Jack Spicer bug, the theory of poetry as coming from some force outside the lyric self I had spent the first half of my life trying to get to. So I’m like a two-way street, and the two ways of the street don’t even see each other most of the time, they just drive on by.
LGBT themes play a role in the majority of your work. Why did you decide to stick so closely to that genre?
Maybe that was the priority of my generation, men and women born in the 1950s? Our sexualities were completely, or nearly completely, suppressed by the heteronormative majority. When, here and there, we could say something, we did, and resolved never to shut up about it, come hell or high water. I don’t even know that I’d call them “themes,” but they’re formal qualities perhaps.
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New Jersey governor Chris Christie was much ballyhooed over the weekend at the Iowa Freedom Summit, with much of his applause generated over his movement to stop same-sex marriage in our neighboring state. More from Time:
At the gathering of Republican leaders, which is regarded as the unofficial start of the presidential primary, Rep. Steve King introduced Christie with a list of the New Jersey governor’s conservative credentials. Among them was his past obstruction of same-sex marriage in the Garden State.
“He vetoed the gay marriage bill in New Jersey,” King said, inremarks reported by Time. “He is pro-life.”
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