17 #GayPhilly Instagrams You Should See This Week: Drag Performers Marry Under a Shower of Glitter at Voyeur and Other Snaps to Warm Your Heart

In a week weighed down with sad news, I thought it would be fun to focus this week’s #GayPhilly Instagram roundup on some of the more heart-warming snaps I saw throughout the week. It all started Sunday with what may have been the gayest wedding ever.

Ryan and Foster, also known as popular Philly drag performers Lili St. Queer and Mistor Fahrenheit, were the happy couple. Here they are the morning before their wedding at Voyeur Nightclub.

A photo posted by Mr. F (@mistorfahrenheit) on

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Sam Smith Sells out Madison Square Garden in Minutes, Tickets Still Available at Philly’s Much-Smaller Liacouras Center

It only took minutes for out British singing sensation Sam Smith to sell out his upcoming shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden and The Forum in Los Angeles. On top of that, his monthlong tour has also sold out Atlanta, Boston, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Washington D.C. and Vancouver. Know where there are still tickets available? Philly’s little ol’ Liacouras Center down at Temple.

He’s hitting North America for a month starting January 9th, singing songs from his No. 1 album In The Lonely Hour. To snag up a ticket or two for his stint in Philadelphia go here. I’d hurry if I were you.

Philanthropy Friday: Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA)

MANNA headquarters | Photo by Alan Brian Nilsen

MANNA headquarters | Photo by Alan Brian Nilsen

Every Friday Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA), which works to feed people with terminal diseases like HIV in the Philadelphia area.

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Weekend Roundup: Gay Halloween Parties Begin, Sword Fights, and An Especially Busy Sunday Funday

FRIDAY

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Out Norristown Actress Maria Bello Lends Her Voice to Lisa Scottoline’s New Novel

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A match made in local-celebrity heaven: Norristown native and Hollywood actress Maria Bello will narrate the audiobook for bestselling author Lisa Scottoline‘s upcoming novel Betrayed

Known for her work on TV’s ER and films like A History of Violence and The Cooler, Bello grew up in Norristown and graduated from Villanova University. You may remember that she came out in a much-talked-about New York Times piece in 2013.

Scottoline is a Philadelphia lawyer and author who has penned over 20 novels, two of which have reached No. 2 on the New York Times bestseller list.

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PA Legislative Session Ends With No LGBT Hate Crimes Law

The Pennsylvania legislative session has come to a close for the season and, much to the chagrin of PA LGBT advocates, there has been no action taken to include LGBT people in state hate crime laws. Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director Ted Martin, for instance, is none too pleased with the lack of progress. The organization sent out this message from him earlier today:

Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director Ted Martin.

Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director Ted Martin.

In spite of overwhelming support in both chambers of the legislature for nondiscrimination protections and a massive outcry for including LGBT people in hate crimes protections followed by a strongly bipartisan committee vote, the state legislature took absolutely NO action to protect LGBT people from discrimination over the past two years.

Legislators will now go home to focus on elections. While they are campaigning, we are sure that they will realize that voters care deeply about LGBT equality. Attitudes toward LGBT equality have only been growing stronger in recent years. Polls repeatedly show that a clear majority of voters support marriage equality and nondiscrimination. And when the legislature returns in January we expect them to live up to promises made to constituents and LGBT voters and take action for LGBT equality.

The next step, Martin says, is to elect the right leaders. Equality Pennsylvania has put together a voting guide for the entire state, which can be found here. We have a few weeks till election day, people. Let’s make this right.

Out NFL Star Wade Davis to Speak at Philadelphia FIGHT’s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala

wade davis football

Here’s something to consider when you start making your holiday plans: Local nonprofit Philadelphia FIGHT is hosting the 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala fundraiser to raise money for its mission to fight HIV in Philly and beyond.

The evening will include a special guest appearance  and speech from Wade Davis, the former Washington Redskins player who came out publicly in 2012. These days Davis is an advocate, writer and public speaker who addresses issues ranging from gender and race to equal rights and HIV/AIDS prevention. He serves as Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization that works to end homophobia in professional sports.

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Timberland Opens Saturday With a Surprisingly Good Selection of Clothes for Fashion-Forward Folk

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Tis the season for revamping your wardrobe. Fall’s chillier temperatures are moving in, and giving us the chance to layer up in sweaters, knits and jackets (I hear parkas are big this year!) and throw on some chunky, weather-defying footwear.

Lucky for us, Philly has also seen an influx of new fashion retailers moving in. Just last night I was a guest at a sneak-peek opening of New York discount megastore Century 21 in the old Strawbridges Building (which, let me tell you, brought out the gays in full force), and this weekend will see the opening of Nordstrom Rack (1700 Chestnut Street) and Timberland.

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Q&HEYYY: Bev On the Art of Tucking, Her Homegirl Jesus and, Her Dream Philly Drag Queen Girl Group

Photo by David Ayllon

Photo by David Ayllon

My name is … Bev: Philadelphia’s Premiere Christian Drag Queen. Bev was the “mommest” name I could think of.

Jesus … is my homegirl, my baby daddy, the reason for the season, and a biscuit who will on occasion sop you up if you let him.

Drag is … embracing your creativity, and the ability to get away with murder.

Tucking is … just a good set of Spanx and three pairs of tights.

Before I go on stage … I try to get feel for the attitude of the audience—and have a cocktail to loosen up.

If I could start over with a new drag name it would be … Sarah Belle Palsey.

If I could only do one song for the rest of my life … it would be my “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia/Julia Sugarbaker” mix.

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