Madonna’s Bedtime Stories Turns 20: A Look Back At Its Career-Defining Legacy

madonna bedtime stories“A little up and down and all around, it’s all about survival,” coos Madonna on slinky boudoir groove “Survival,” the opening number of her just-turned-20 work Bedtime Stories. And, as all of us true Madonna queens know, prior to the release of this celebrated record, the Material Girl’s career at this point was indeed a little up and down and all around, and in definite need of survival.

Her previous studio set, the S&M-beat-blessed Erotica, ruffled the feathers of a lot of critics—and even some fans with its overt sexuality. Around the same time, her provocatively titled coffee-table book Sex prompted those same critics to throw up their hands. Had the queen of WTF moments reached her shock-value limits? Was America tired of her attention-getting ways? Many said yes. But those who doubted were eating their words after her infamous 1994 interview on Late Show With David Letterman, where she dropped F-bombs like they were going out of style. It was too much for a nation that was increasingly more conservative following Desert Storm and in the midst of a wallet-clenching recession. Girlfriend needed to reel it in.

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New Gay Bar Boxers Opening Today in the Gayborhood

Boxers PHL

The day has finally come, Boxers, the New York gay bar franchise with locations in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, will open its doors this afternoon in the Gayborhood.

Director of  Marketing George Maestre tells me that the bar will open at 1330 Walnut Street at 4 p.m. today, but it’s only a soft opening. “We are just opening the doors, and in a couple weeks we will have a grand-opening weekend.”

More from a press release sent out this afternoon:

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Philadelphia City Council Passes Hate Crimes Bill

Philadelphia City Council today unanimously passed a hate crimes bill that adds additional penalties for criminal conduct motivated by hate for someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The bill was introduced after the assault on a gay couple in Center City last month.

Pennsylvania does not include sexual orientation in its hate crimes law.

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Sean Verdi Dies of Apparent Drug Overdose

Sean Verdi, who you may remember as one of PhillyGayCalendar’s annual Boys of Summer lifeguards, was pronounced dead this week, succumbing to an apparent drug overdose. He was only 23 years old. The New York Daily News has more:

Verdi is a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology. | Photo from New York Daily News

Verdi is a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology. | Photo from New York Daily News

He was found unconscious Wednesday morning in a bathtub in hotelier Ian Reisner’s penthouse apartment on Central Park South, police sources said.

Sean Verdi, of Bay Ridge, was rushed from 230 Central Park South to Saint Luke’s Hospital after Reisner called 911 about 8:20 a.m., police sources said. He died at 9:03 a.m.

The death appeared to be a drug overdose, a police source said, but the Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy on Thursday.

Investigators do not believe that any criminality was involved, police said. At least one friend who was with Verdi told cops that Verdi had taken cocaine and molly, but no drugs were found at the apartment, a police source said.

Verdi was graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., in May. He majored in bioengineering and was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.

To read more of the piece, go here. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Comes Out As Gay

Apple CEO Tim Cook came out publicly in an essay published this morning in Businessweek. In the essay he writes:

Tim CookFor years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.

While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

The announcement came a few days after Cook publicly chastised him hometown state of Alabama for moving too slow on marriage equality.

To read his entire essay, go here.

 

Woman Crush Wednesday: Megan Slattery

Every hump day a Philly person shares their local picks for Woman Crush Wednesday. Today, Megan Slattery, development assistant at Women Against Abuse, a local nonprofit that seeks use advocacy and community education to put a nix on domestic violence. 



Kimmel Center Teams With Local LGBT Nonprofits For the Weeklong It Gets Better Project

It Gets Better Header

The It Gets Better Project has become a household name. Created in September 2010 by columnist Dan Savage as a simple YouTube video encouraging LGBTQ youth that high school harassment and bullying will cease and that life will “get better,” the initiative has turned into a world-wide movement. Over 50,000 users have created video messages for LGBTQ teenagers, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ke$ha, and Ellen DeGeneres, amongst many others. Now, the project is fittingly on it’s way to the City of Brotherly Love.

The It Gets Better Project engagement at the Kimmel Center kicks off next week with a weeklong long residency that includes a series of free events leading up to a Saturday evening multimedia concert at the Perelman Theatre. Read more »

Hate Speech Messages On Swarthmore Campus Target LGBT and Asexual Communities

swarthmore sidewalk chalk

Photo from Swarthmore’s “Daily Gazette”

This Monday night, in honor of LGBT History Month, some students at Swarthmore College got together to write some pro-gay messages on sidewalks around campus. The writings comprised funny little sayings, like “Queers eat here,” scribbled outside popular dining spot Sharples, and “George and Molly are queer,” was written outside Clothier in reference to two dogs who call the bookstore home.

It was all fun and games, meant to spread a message and put a smile on people’s faces the following morning, but things turned ugly before the sun came up. Around 2 a.m., students found the original markings replaced with hate speech, phrases like “Gays can’t make kids w/o a petri dish,” “For true equality let the women rape the men.”

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Q&A: Out Singer-Songwriter Jo Stones

Jo Stones

Jo Stones

When you hear out singer-songwriter Jo Stones make some sweet love to a keyboard, you know the guy has got talent: The Philly Gayborhood favorite recently released his first single, “The Letter,” on iTunes, and will be spooking out listeners this Halloween at a free noontime concert at LOVE Park. We threw Jo some rapid-fire questions about his music, his performances, and his guilty pleasures. Read more »

9 Gay Things to Do in Philly This Week: Drag Queens Do Hocus Pocus, a Spooky Run Through West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Thom Nickels and More



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