8 Gay Things to Do in Philly This Week
The Book of Mormon opens, a zombie wedding, Phreak N Queer, and More
Lesbian Bar at 13th and Locust?
Former Sisters manager Denise Cohen is raising funds for an unnamed location.
William Way Gets Into Sports
The community center launches OPAL, an umbrella organization for Philly LGBT sports leagues.
PHOTOS: IndiGoGo Was a Huge Success
Please make it a regular thing.
The latest episode of Philly-produced radio talk show Fresh Air finds host Terry Gross chatting with legendary gay advocate George Takei. It’s a good listen. The Star Trek alum delves into his reasons for not coming out until he was 68 years old, his years in a Japanese internment camp, and how he transitioned into becoming one of our most outspoken celebrity champions for gay rights. A blip about his coming out:
Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. This week we had the Boys of Summer Swimsuit Party give us their favorites.
It only takes a scroll down your Instagram feed to realize that Philly is rife with LGBT sports. Whether it be kickball, dodgeball, or flag football, leagues are abounding, but, with little support from the City, many are struggling to find reliable playing venues and resources to keep them running efficiently.
Enter the next evolution of Philly LGBT sports: William Way’s newly formed Out Philadelphia Athletic League (OPAL)
Last week board members of the William Way voted to take on OPAL, an initiative created by six local sports enthusiasts that aims to establish a 501c3-eligible umbrella organization for all Philly LGBT sports teams.
William Way Community Center‘s IndiGoGo party was everything I hoped it would be. For the first time, the annual fundraiser brought together 11 Philly party producers who put on a hell of a shindig Saturday night at Underground Arts. The affair took up five (Six? I lost count) rooms within the Loft District venue—each featuring DJs, circus performers, go-go dancers, and there was even one where you could get spanked by porn star Colby Keller.
It truly is Christmas in July for eight local LGBT non-profits who will benefit from a $32,000 grant from Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF.) The money will be divided between each organization, and used to fund a specific program within each group. DVLF Executive Director Samantha Giusti tells me the money comes from the organization’s 2014 LGBTQ Emerging Needs Grant. Benefactors are chosen by a panel of community members “who have a diverse array of lived experience and professional knowledge in a variety areas” based on best practices, benchmarks, outcomes, and financials, she says.
This year’s recipients are:
- American Civil Liberties Union of PA: LGBT Equality and African American Communities Project
- Attic Youth Center: Mental Health Program for LGBT Youth and their Families
- College of Physicians of Philadelphia: Out4Stem Program
- GO! Athletes: Strategic Plan for Pilot Mentorship Program
- Kimmel Center, Inc: It Gets Better Project
- LGBT Elder Initiative: LGBTEI Conversation Series
- Mazzoni Center: Sisterly L.O.V.E
- Valley Youth House: Pride Housing
“Every year I am more impressed by the ingenuity displayed by our community members at creating innovative programming to meet emerging needs faced by LGBTQ people in our region,” says Giusti. “Less than .3 percent of the over 50 billion given annually by U.S. foundations goes to LGBTQ issues. It’s a grave statistic as it is neither representative of the size of our community nor it’s need. With these grants we hope that we can be responsive to the the emerging needs in our community.”
This week Equality Pennsylvania kicked off a six-week tour across the state—from Lancaster to State College to Springfield—to drum up support for house and senate bills 300, legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or identity.
The tour launch comes during an important week in LGBT history. On Monday, President Obama signed a kickass executive order that protects LGBT federal workers across the country against discrimination. It’s high time we do the same thing to all workers in Pennsylvania.