LGBTQ&A: Cory Wade

Cory Wade

Cory Wade

Cory Wade is a gay model, musician and activist best known for appearing on multiple seasons of TV’s America’s Next Top Model. We caught up with the Philly celebrity on his current endeavors and why he still finds it important to speak his mind on social issues.

Years ago when G Philly was a print edition, you graced one of our front covers. How has life been since then?
I look at that cover as if I am gazing into a time warp. I see a more sassy, fiery and perhaps ignorant version of myself, but with sharper eyebrows … I used to get them done ritually. Life has been oh so beautiful since then! I have experienced life for the ebb and flow of highs and lows that it is, and I have stood true to one main objective through it all: to promote free and honest self-expression through multiple artistic mediums. Read more »

TOP PICKS: The Best LGBTQ Events This Weekend

Galaei is hosting Philadelphia’s 21st annual Alternative Prom for LGBTQ youth and allies.

Galaei is hosting Philadelphia’s 21st-annual Alternative Prom for LGBTQ youth and allies.

FRIDAY EVENTS

Ladies of Bounce Reunion — Summer Beach Blast!
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street; over 21.

Miss Bounce 2006 Sierra Feliciano is coming to Tabu to slay your faves as the rest of the girls of the infamous Bounce Nightclub in NJ reunite for an evening of live performances, drink specials, and laughs. Read more »

Pa. Senate Committee Approves LGBT Discrimination Protections Bill

Photo courtesy of Philly Bricks.

Photo courtesy of Philly Bricks.

The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee voted 7-4 Wednesday to pass legislation that would prohibit discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in Pennsylvania.

The bill, Senate Bill 1307, was one of three bills Republican Senator Pat Browneintroduced recently to update the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Browne’s original legislation had sat dormant in committee until he split the bill to encourage more Republicans to support it. Some legislators did not support a section of the original legislation that would’ve allowed transgender men and women the right to access public restrooms that do not identify with their birth sex.

Read more »

OPINION: Allies, It’s Time for You to Advocate for Us Beyond “Love Is Love”

G Philly's Philly Gay Pride Event Round-Up

As LGBTQ Pride Month begins to wind down, there is still so much to consider moving forward. Our community and nation as a whole are still recovering from the traumatic mass shooting in Orlando that made Prides across America this year even more necessary. For the first time in years, I went to Pride and felt a sense of harmony. Philly Gay Pride was on the Sunday afternoon hours after news broke about the massacre at Pulse Nightclub. Going to Philly Gay Pride felt like a moral obligation more than a social one. I wanted to make the point that fear would not win — that no dark cloud could hover over our rainbow. Read more »

LOCAL NEWS: Isaiah Solomon Freeman’s White|Wash Wins Award

A scene from White|Wash.

A scene from White|Wash.

Queer black filmmaker Isaiah Solomon Freeman won the top prize out of over 250 films competing in a regional youth filmmaker competition.

On Monday night, Isaiah Solomon Freeman’s thriller White|Wash won Best Picture at the 2016 Rough Cut Film Fest. The annual film festival for aspiring filmmakers under the age of 25 had more than 250 entries from across the region “It was an experience,” said Solomon, 24, after accepting the grand prize. “Only way to go from here is up — Golden Globes and Oscars, we’ll be seeing you in a few years.” G Philly interviewed Freeman earlier this year on his provocative short film, which explores skin bleaching and colorism within communities of color. Jessie Jordan, the lead in the film, won Best Actress for her performance, and said she was “seriously thankful to be apart of this story that desperately needs to be told. Bleaching is real and it’s killing brown people all over the world on so many levels.” Freeman plans to continue to submit the film to other film festivals and screenings. Read more »

Why Pennsylvania’s Hate Crime Laws Still Lack LGBT Protections

hate crime laws

In the wake of the country’s worst-ever mass shooting, the nation’s cry for change is hard to ignore.

In the early morning of June 12th, a gunman opened fire at a popular LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, killing 49, wounding 53, and leaving a horrific mark on the nation.

The massacre has brought discussions of hate crimes to the forefront of the country. Was the rampage fueled by terrorism and the killer’s professed ties to the Islamic State, or was it ahate crime against the LGBTQ and Latinx communities? President Barack Obama said it was both “an act of terror and an act of hate,” but federal investigators aren’t yet sure what to call it.

In Pennsylvania, members of the LGBTQ community are not covered by the state’s hate crime legislation, meaning crimes committed in the state based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity cannot be charged as hate crimes.  Read more »

NATIONAL NEWS: Westboro Protesters Blocked in Orlando

Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church picketed Penn Campus in 2009.

Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church picketed Penn Campus in 2009.

“Guardian angels” from the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre formed a human shield to block mourners from seeing Westboro Baptist Church protesters at funerals for victims.

On Saturday, more than 200 people formed a human chain around St. James Catholic Cathedral in Orlando as a peaceful response to anti-LGBTQ Westboro Baptist Church protesters outside. The controversial hate group was there to picket the funerals of victims who lost their lives in the June 12th mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub. Priests, bikers, and members from the LGBTQ community carried positive signs that counter-protested the hate speech from Westboro. Orlando Shakespeare Company members wore angel wings and joined many others in signing “Amazing Grace” as they carried signs that said “God is love” and “Orlando strong.” A similar counter-protest tactic was used against Westboro during the 1999 funeral for gay hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Dante Austin

Dante Austin

Dante Austin

Dante Austin, 24, has been an openly gay deputy sheriff officer with the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office for nearly three years. We caught up with him to get his thoughts on being a part of the Greater Philadelphia Gay Officer Action League (GOAL) and on his new role as LGBT liaison for the Sheriff’s Office.

What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you when they first see you in your uniform?
When I was 17 years old, I enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, and was honorably discharged this past February. Having served in the military under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I knew I was not going to allow myself to be closeted in my law-enforcement career. I’ve been open about my sexuality from my very first interview with the Sheriff’s Office, and I made sure to stay “out” throughout my career. With law enforcement and the military being so masculine-driven, it’s not exactly the easiest thing to “come out” for most officers. I know what it’s like to be closeted, and have that fear of “coming out.” I also know what it’s like to take that step out the closet and then be ostracized for it. Although I had a rough time with the military, I’ve felt very comfortable here at the Sheriff’s Office. Being confident in my authentic self is so important, and I hope to see other officers do the same. Read more »

Philly Schools Adopt Policy Protecting Transgender Students’ Rights

Philadelphia school district Superintendent William Hite speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, in Philadelphia. Mayor Michael Nutter discussed efforts by My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia, part of a national initiative created by President Barack Obama to address inequality targeting men and boys of color. Nutter told reporters Wednesday he hopes to build on the momentum of the program and laid plans for it to continue beyond his administration, ending in January. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite. | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission adopted a policy Thursday night that immediately broadened the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming students in the city’s schools. The new guidelines allow students to use their bathroom of choice, be referred to by their names and pronouns of choice, and participate in gender-segregated groups that correspond with their gender identity. Read more »

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