This Arctic weather insanity has left us just in time for the weekend. Thanks, Polar Vortex! Here’s our weekly roundup of what’s happening in gay Philly over the weekend, kicked off by a must-see exhibit at William Way:
Tonight, Philly’s LGBT community center is hosting the opening reception of “First Comes Love,” a collection of photos by UArts professor Barbara Proud that shines a light on long-lasting gay relationships. Proud says the images — all black-and-white — aim to avoid the typical rainbow-covered representations that are shown in mainstream media to show what being in a queer relationship is all about. The answer? It’s just as beautiful, pure and simple as any other amorous pairing in the world.
Proud was inspired to start the project after Prop 8 was passed. “I decided to use my voice, my art, and my photography to make a statement that would celebrate my [20-year] relationship and the others in the LGBTQ community who were already together for many years.” Proud says she has photographed over 70 couples, an experience she says has been touching and emotional. But the exhibit has already started to have more far-reaching impacts, too. Proud shared this email she received from a supporter: “I’m from a really small town with absolutely no LGBTQ community whatsoever, and your show was my first real experience with anything related to that world, to my world. Words cannot express how amazing it was to me—in a way, it felt like coming home. I was reminded that there really is such a thing as love, and one day, maybe I’ll be as lucky as any of the folks in your photographs.”
Tonight’s opening reception will feature a song and documentary inspired by the project. Opening reception, Fri., Jan. 10, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; exhibit runs through Feb. 28, William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce St.