Philadelphia FIGHT‘s Institute for Community Justice — which works “to reduce not only the number of people in prison living with HIV, but also the lasting effects of mass imprisonment on communities most affected” — is teaming with Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) for its annual toy drive benefitting children of incarcerated or recently released parents. Now through Dec. 15, any visitor to ESP who donates a new toy or children’s book that’s still in its original package will receive a second admission free of charge. Don’t feel like a stroll through the prison? Folks can make donations during regular business hours even if they don’t plan on taking the tour.
TONIGHT: Mr. SEXO Contest at Woody’s
Latin heartthrobs will abound.
Meet Chris Goy
The optimistic millennial behind Philly's LGBT Equality Bill.
PHOTOS: Gays Came Out in Droves for 2013
Our snaps from the annual DVLF fundraiser.
STUDY: 5 Percent of American Males Are Gay
Millions in the closet.
If you can believe it, Latin Night at Woody’s this evening is going to be a little sexier than usual, when GALAEI and PhillyGayCalendar team up to present the first annual Mr. SEXO competition. The pageant, GALAEI Executive Director — and our 2013 Hero honoree — Elicia Gonzales says, doubles “as a way to do a winter event comparable to Boys of Summer” and continue promoting SEXO, a 1992 sex-positive campaign that GALAEI revamped in April.
Men are asked to sign up for the event on-site, so Gonzales doesn’t know how many will participate. “I feel like we’ll have a good number, because there are a lot of guys in the community who like to show off their bodies and who are kind of hams anyway,” she laughs. But those who sign up shouldn’t rest on their muscles alone. “It’s a hot-body contest plus the [Q&A] round of Miss America.” She is hoping for a man who can embody what GALAEI represents, which, in a nutshell, is that everybody — gay, lesbian, trans, HIV-positive — deserves to have a healthy sex life.
Dear Sexy Santa,
I’m going to go out on a limb and ask that you bring every gay man and woman in Philadelphia this rainbow tree. It’s been a big year for us LGBTQers, so what better way to recognize it than to end 2013 with one of these bad boys sitting proudly in our living room windows?
The seven-foot beauty is available at Treetopia for (oh look, it’s on sale, Santa) $228. There’s even a mini version for those living in smaller abodes. It’s only three-feet-tall and available for $48.
It will truly be the most fabulous holiday tree in town.
Love, G Philly
P.S. Can we send Daryl Metcalfe and Governor Corbett one, too?
You can groan all you want about how you hate holiday music, but I dare you to sit in a room where Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is cranking and not get touched — at least a little — by the Christmas spirit. From the opening jingle bells to the reindeer-prancing beats, the song is undoubtedly one of the catchiest holiday tunes to come out of our generation — and a bona-fide greatest hit in Mimi’s catalog (61,342,438 YouTubers agree.)
In May Franklin and Marshall released poll results saying that 53 percent of Pennsylvanians support the right of same-sex couples to get married, but you’d never know it. Here we are, lagging on as the only Northeast state that hasn’t allowed gay couples to walk down the aisle. And as we saw this week, the mere mention that you’re applying for a marriage license can cost you your job.
To help turn around our miserable fate, gay-rights activist groups American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) and Freedom to Marry joined forces to launch a new campaign/website that hopes to, ”begin a dialogue with Pennsylvanian residents about why marriage is important to same-sex couples and their families.” Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson explains the idea behind “Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania“:
Marriage equality has only been legal in New Jersey since Oct. 21, but by Dec. 6, the State Department of Health reports, 709 same-sex couples have either married or renewed their vows in the state. (That’s more than 100 a week!) AP breaks down that number, saying that 461 of those couples already had civil unions or domestic partnerships in New Jersey, and 30 were “married legally out-of-state renewing their vows.”
In the January 2014 issue of Esquire U.K., 52-year-old Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney addresses accusations that he’s a closeted homosexual. It all started, he told the magazine, when he responded to a headline that read, “George Clooney is Gay-Gay-Gay.” His response? “I’m gay-gay, the third one’s pushing it.”
Fire was added to the speculation in 2011, when ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis told People that she and Clooney had a “father-daughter” relationship, saying that their relationship ended because of their “personal needs.” Hmmm …
In the Esquire interview, he said “[I'm] not going [to deny it], because that’s flat out insulting to the gay community.” The statement mirrored a similar one he gave to The Advocate last year:
Looks like we may have a new Material Girl on our hands. The web is abuzz with news that Madonna’s daughter, 17-year-old Lourdes Leon, is wowing audiences in a high school production of Grease. And wouldn’t you know she’s playing the bad girl of the bunch, Rizzo. Us Weekly reports on the performance:
On Monday I shared that TIME was mulling over its shortlist of 2013 notables to decide who it would name “Person of the Year,” and our girl, the DOMA-fighting diva Edie Windsor made the cut. Today, the magazine announced that Pope Francis ultimately took the prize, because, as TIME writes:
“He makes masterly use of 21st century tools to perform his 1st century office. He is photographed washing the feet of female convicts, posing for selfies with young visitors to the Vatican, embracing a man with a deformed face. He is quoted saying of women who consider abortion because of poverty or rape, ‘Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?’ Of gay people: ‘If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.’ To divorced and remarried Catholics who are, by rule, forbidden from taking Communion, he says that this crucial rite ‘is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.’”
Philly drag amazon Martha Graham Cracker just posted an update on her Facebook page that this Sunday’s ”The Martha Graham Cracker Not Very Christmasy Christmas Party” at L’etage will double as a fundraiser for Nick Forte, the 27-year-old man who was severely beaten in the Gayborhood on Nov. 10.