Baseball fans, take note: This Thursday, July 30th is the 13th Annual Gay Community Night at the Phillies, and even if you aren’t a huge sports fan, you’re invited to take part in the festivities. Read more »
Phillies Annual Gay Community Night
Talks Love, Dating and Religion
“I want him to extend his hand openly”
“I’ve created expectations of myself based on what I imagine others expect of me. Noah was the poster child for black gay hopeless romantics and it just so happened that Darryl desperately wanted to be in love, too. When people were writing to me on social media, asking me how to find a boyfriend like Wade Robinson, I wanted to have answers for them. I wanted to offer them an example of how happy and fulfilled gay men could be if we stopped limiting our sexual encounters to shame-based trysts with strangers.”–Darryl Stephens, Required Reading: How To Get Your Life For Good
It has been a decade since the first episode of Noah’s Arc aired on Logo TV. Darryl Stephens exploded on the scene in 2005 as the lovable, sexy, hopeless romantic Noah. The show, which was the first of its kind, featured the lives of Black gay men living and loving in Los Angeles. Now, almost a decade later, Darryl opens up in his tell-all book that delves into love, loss, dating, sex and acting as an actual gay Black man living in Los Angeles.
Darryl is currently starring in a new film named, From Zero to I Love You, which is set in Philadelphia. Don’t be surprised if you spot Darryl downtown Philly filming this summer, boys! It was nice to catch up with Darryl for a one-on-one interview before the premier of his new show and right after the publication of his new book, Required Reading: How To Get Your Life For Good.
In your book, you talk a lot about dating, which I love! Does your profession as a gay Black actor add a layer of complexity that you wouldn’t necessarily see attached to other professions? For example, do guys have a hard time separating Noah from Darryl? That has been a big issue for me. For years after that show [Noah’s Arc] I was getting, you know, approached very aggressively by men who thought I was going to bend in the same way Noah would.
Like … literally? In a sense, yes! So, I have had to be sort of be on guard a lot. It’s more about negotiating what information people are approaching me with. Are talking to me because you saw me in a coffee shop or is this about something you are assuming based on a character? It does sort of keep you alert. It’s just an added layer due to being visible. Read more »
LGBT groups in America are seeking a meeting with Pope Francis during his trip to America in September.
“In a formal letter sent to Pope Francis at the Vatican, groups representing gay and transgender people, Catholics, and Hispanics said the church in America was in the midst of a ‘pastoral crisis over gay issues and asked to meet with him while he was in the United States,” the New York Times reports. Read more »
Author and artist Rachelle Lee Smith (whose work you’ve, no doubt, noticed on the former luggage-turned-Wawa store on Broad and Walnut) has turned plenty of heads with her acclaimed book Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus. Now, she’s even caught the attention of none other than Rosie O’Donnell, who posed with a copy of Smith’s book on her Instagram account:
Yes, I deleted Grindr, and, yes, I’m single.
It honestly was so freaking cathartic to see that little orange box vanish on my iPhone (and iPad, too) that it got me thinking why I didn’t get rid of the app a long time ago. Like Facebook, Grindr has become almost a prerequisite for gay dudes and I’m not entirely sure why. Sure, there was some novelty when it first came out, but that soon vanished, partially because of the app’s competition (Scruff, etc), and partially because, well…it was just getting old. It felt good to get rid of Grindr, and I came up with five solid reasons why it was so easy for me to kiss the app goodbye.
1. The Absurd Amount of Fake Profiles: Yes, there were always fake profiles, but since the turn of the year, the abundance of obvious fraud schemes was out of control. Sure, I was getting messages all of the time…from bots that were 2,583 miles away and used profile pictures from porn websites circa 2001. Speaking of profile pics…
2. They Didn’t Approve One of my Profile Shots: The Grindr admin didn’t like a picture of me wearing gym shorts doing a downward facing dog. But, they’ll approve someone’s pic wearing neon pink assless Andrew Christian briefs…
3. You Nasty: The total and complete pig nature of people started to get uncomfortably freaky. Okay, sure, tell me I’m sexy, but, um, newsflash: Introducing yourself by saying, “I want you to come over so I can f*ck you til your dead” isn’t quite the best way to start things. (And you wonder why you got blocked…)
4. Point Blank: I Just Wasn’t Meeting Good People: Before you start to freak out, I’m not saying that there aren’t good people on Grindr, and I have heard stories about future husbands meeting on there, yadda yadda yadda. However, for me, I was having a prolonged bad streak, and I’m not quite sure that the app provides the best way to meet people, even for a one-night stand. When it’s just as common as Facebook, everyone is on there. In short, its uniqueness factor has worn off.
5. The Awkwardness! It Burns!: I was so sick of all of the strange social situations that Grindr was causing, and I don’t think these are terribly unique to me. Case in point: at my old apartment complex, the man who lived across the hall from me with his wife would constantly message me. The day after the first time he Grindr’d me, the three of us got in an elevator together. #awkward
Friday evening marked the opening of a one-of-a-kind exhibit at the William Way LGBT Community Center: “Defiant Archives” features a curated collection of hundreds of trans-related memorabilia, including artwork, letters, newspaper clippings, and a giant Spiral Q puppet head. Guests to the exhibit also have the opportunity to watch movie clips from the Trans Oral History Project, as well as video from the documentary Transpass. We were on hand to capture some of the unique collection and the visitors who took in the exhibit. You can visit “Defiant Archives” through September 20 during normal center hours. For more information, click here.
GLAAD has re-released it’s extremely insightful (and, to be honest, pretty common sense) “tip sheet” on how to discuss transgender individuals in writing, conversation, and social media. The sheet has been custom-tailored around Caitlyn Jenner surrounding the I Am Cait television series that debuted tonight on E! Network.
The full tip sheet can be found here, but some of the basics outlined include the following:
“DO refer to her as Caitlyn Jenner. DON’T refer to her by her former name. She has changed it, and should be accorded the same respect received by anyone who has changed their name. Since Caitlyn Jenner was known to the public by her prior name, it may be necessary initially to say ‘Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner…’ However, once the public has learned Jenner’s new name, do not continually refer to it in stories.
DO use female pronouns (she, her, hers) when referring to Caitlyn Jenner.
DO avoid male pronouns and Caitlyn’s prior name, even when referring to events in her past. For example, ‘Prior to her transition, Caitlyn Jenner won the gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the Summer Olympics held in Montreal in 1976.’
DO refer to Caitlyn Jenner’s female identity as her gender identity, not her sexual orientation. Gender identity is one’s own internal, deeply held sense of being male or female. Sexual orientation is who one is attracted to. They are not the same thing and should not be conflated or confused.”
As much as many of the above items appear to be “common sense,” no doubt that we’ve all seen some poor examples of transphobic rhetoric spewed on social media. It’s a good time to remind our “friends” of how to properly refer to all trans individuals to give them the appropriate respect they deserve.
Rapper Eminem, who is no stranger to controversy through the years, recently released a freestyle rap for the Sway radio program that calls Caitlyn Jenner a “bitch,” amongst other things. Read more »
This is huge news for LGBTQ Philadelphians and visitors to our city: Center City Crime Victim Services (CCCVS) has announced that they are creating a full-time Victim Advocate position that will serve LGBTQ crime victims within Philadelphia.
According to press materials from CCCVS:
“Understanding the varied concerns facing LGBT crime victims, the LGBTQ Victim Advocate will serve to foster a sense of safety and support for victims that face complex barriers to reporting crime and participating in the criminal justice process. In addition to serving individual victims, the LGBTQ Victim Advocate will work to establish greater awareness and education surrounding the rights of all crime victims in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania…We are critically aware of the impact crime has on the LGBT community…Through community outreach and education in conjunction with individual services, we are seeking to educate and empower LGBT victims of crime.”