LGBTQ&A: Anthony Mustafa Adair

Anthony Mustafa Adair. Photography by Jacques Jean-Tiziou

Anthony Mustafa Adair. Photography by Jacques Jean-Tiziou

Anthony Mustafa Adair, a 24-year-old rising star in Philadelphia’s theater scene, chats with us about his experiences as an openly gay Afghan performer and his role in Theatre Exile’s Philadelphia premiere of The Invisible Hand.

What inspires you to entertain?
I love storytelling. Although I imagine plenty of it is a need for attention, I truly believe there’s something innately human about telling a story to someone else, and seeing in their eyes that they’re listening and engaged. I also believe that my taste is what drives me to entertain. I know what’s good, I know what’s tired and boring — and I think that alone can be enough for me sometimes. Read more »

TOP PICKS: The Best LGBTQ Events This Weekend

RAISED is a fundraising event to benefit a production in this year's 2016 Fringe Arts Festival.

RAISED is a fundraising event to benefit a production in this year’s 2016 Fringe Arts Festival.

FRIDAY EVENTS

Happy Bear — Memorial Day Kickoff
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street; over 21.

Mingle with Philly’s most intriguing bears, cubs, otters, and salmon at Tabu! Be on the second floor of one of the Gayborhood’s most social bars for bumping musical vibes, drink specials, and a memorable experience. Read more »

LOCAL NEWS: Wawa Welcome America Parade to Have First LGBT Float

Wawa Welcome America logo

The LGBT float for the Wawa Welcome Forth of July Parade will include Mummers, local drag queens, and community leaders.

It’s been roughly 10 years since the LGBTQ community began to be openly included in the annual Wawa Welcome America Fourth of July Parade, but this year we will get our own float. Plans for the inclusion of a float came from Under the Sun Productions, which has worked with Wawa Welcome America in the past. But the most surprising support came from the Mummers — yes, the group that back in January offended a good chunk of the community. “This July 4, it’s even more important that not only do we have the Mummers close by, but that we celebrate inclusion, forgiveness and moving forward together as Philadelphians,” said openly gay Wawa Welcome America head Jeff Guaracino. Although Wawa Welcome America had a 50th Anniversary commemorative float reflecting on the LGBT civil rights movement last year, this is the first official designated float for the community expected to run annually. The float will be included in the “gay section” of the parade, which will feature local drag queen Brittany Lynn, the Lambda Car Club, Hegeman String Band and LGBT members of the networking club Rainbow Alliance. The Wawa Welcome America events are scheduled to run this year from June 27th through July 4th. Read more »

OPINION: GOAL Is the Wrong Choice for Grand Marshal of Pride

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Every year, Philly Pride does something that sours me on our city’s LGBTQ community.

Whether it’s the lack of creativity in venue selection, the disproportionate number of cisgender gay white men dominating the event, or the lack of a queer-cultural embrace that intersects the community, Pride often fails to represent everyone.

But this year, the selection by event organizer Philly Pride Presents of the Greater Philadelphia Gay Officer Action League (GOAL) — a year-old regional law-enforcement organization whose members identify as LGBT — as grand marshals of the Pride parade on June 12th has left me beyond disappointed. Read more »

NATIONAL NEWS: San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Insulted at Padres Game

San Diego Gay Men Chorus (Screenshot)

San Diego Gay Men Chorus (screenshot)

The members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus claim they were insulted with homophobic slurs while trying to perform the National Anthem.

Saturday night “turned into a nightmare” for the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, according to a recent statement from the organization. The Padres, which sponsors an annual “Out at the Park” event geared toward LGBTQ patrons, invited the chorus to perform the National Anthem. However, once the 100 volunteer gay vocalists reached the field, their microphones were turned off and a recording of a female voice was played. The chorus also claims its members were subjected to homophobic slurs as they left the podium. “No attempt was made to stop the recording and start over,” the chorus remarked in a public statement on Saturday night. “No announcement of apology was made to the singers or their friends and families in the stands.” Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Stro Kyle

Stro Kyle

Stro Kyle

By day, Stro Kyle, 30, works at the Attic Youth Center as a program specialist. But after sundown, he’s an emerging black queer-events promoter. Ahead of his all-inclusive Beards N Queers celebration this weekend, Kyle chatted with us about navigating the events scene in the Gayborhood and confronting racial conflicts as a way of bringing more inclusion into Philly’s LGBTQ community.

What made you interested in producing queer events in the city?
Philly is so diverse — it’s a city that thrives on individuality. I was born and molded to be unique and to never see myself as a follower — to find my true identity. The queer community holds these values, and I can identify with the scene. It’s literally a melting pot. I grew up with so many different art forms and musical styles. So for me, I believe my imagination is large enough to inspire the queer community. I’ve always dreamed of holding huge festivals and events that push boundaries. Contrary to what people believe, Philly is a breeding ground, an event promoter’s dream. Going to the Made in America festival confirmed that for me. Read more »

Gay-Bashing Victims Sue Attackers for Assault and Battery

From left: Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott and Philip Williams.

From left: Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott and Philip Williams.

The victims of the September 2014 gay-bashing assault in Center City are taking their attackers to court.

Earlier this week, Zachary Hesse and Andrew Haught filed a civil suit against Kathryn Knott, Kevin Harrigan and Philip Williams for their roles in the attack. Read more »

TOP PICKS: The Best LGBTQ Events This Weekend

Stro Productionz is back with another installment of Beards N Queers this Friday night.

Stro Productionz is back with another installment of Beards N Queers this Friday night.

FRIDAY EVENTS

Beards N Queers Celebration
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street; over 21.

Stro Productionz returns with another all-inclusive event, hosted by Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca, that celebrates beard culture, fresh cuts, unique styles, fashion, and individuality in the Gayborhood. Don’t miss the giveaways and best beard contest. Please note that free entry will be given to anyone wearing Timberland boots, so no need to worry whether you’ll be able to get in. More details at stroproductionz.com. Read more »

Philly Drag Queens Weren’t Allowed to Take Photos With Empire Actor at Anti-Hate Walk

Left: Some of the Philly drag queens who performed at the ADL event strike a pose, as they are wont to do (photo via Facebook). Right: Rapper Yazz the Greatest at the event (Photo via Hugh E Dillon).

Left: Some of the Philly drag queens who performed at the ADL event strike a pose, as they are wont to do (photo via Facebook). Right: Rapper Yazz the Greatest at the event (photo by Hugh E Dillon).

The worlds of drag culture and hip-hop do not often converge, but converge they did on Sunday morning when a bevy of Philadelphia drag queens from collective Philly Drag Mafia opened up for rapper Yazz the Greatest at the Anti-Defamation League’s Walk Against Hate at the Navy Yard. The performances went off without a hitch, but afterward, things didn’t go quite as smoothly. Read more »

PHOTOS: 2016 IBA Business Leaders Luncheon

Philly AIDS Thrift Board Members with IBA leadership. JPG Photography

Philly AIDS Thrift Board Members with IBA leadership. JPG Photography

The Independence Business Alliance (IBA) held its sixth-annual business luncheon at Sofitel Hotel on May 13th, with remarks from Mayor Jim Kenney and a keynote address by Julie Coker Graham, the recently appointed president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. Notable highlights included Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room receiving a $10,000 PNC LGBT Business Award and IBA revealing its brand refresh. Read more »

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