Weekend Roundup: Same-Sex Wedding Expo, Aiden James, Pissi Myles, OutFest, and More

Radisson Blu LGBT 10-12HIGHLIGHT: We’re all waiting on pins and needles for this weekend’s 24th annual OutFest celebration. The event is one of gay Philly’s best, a reliable afternoon of good times, high spirits and A-plus entertainment from drag queens and LGBT arts groups across the city. The formula has stayed pretty much the same over the years, and it’s worked, but this year we have a little something extra to celebrate: marriage!

Thanks to Pennsylvania’s marriage equality ruling in May, this year’s OutFest will see more married and affianced couples than ever before. And I bet we’ll see a few engagements, too. With that in mind, local wedding expo organizer Bouche Productions is teaming with Wired 96.5 for a complementary Same-Sex Wedding Showcase happening from noon to 4 p.m. at the nearby Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel. They’re inviting lovebirds to stop by before, after or during OutFest to get to know some of the local vendors who are biting at the chomp to help put together a gay wedding.

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Pop Artist J Carson on Coming Out, and Coming Back to Philly to Perform at OutFest

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This Sunday marks the 24th annual OutFest block party in the Gayborhood. Besides all the fabulous out-and proud-celebrating and gay kiki-ing , there will be plenty of killer performances set to add even more color to an already rainbow-filled afternoon. One of those performers is Philly-bred singer-songwriter J Carson, who is returning to town from Los Angeles, where he is currently working to make a name for himself in the mainstream music business.

I caught up with Mr. Carson this week, and he couldn’t be more excited to be coming back to perform for his Philly brethren. You can catch him on the OutFest mainstage on Sunday at 1:20 p.m., followed by an evening performance at Icandy. Until then, you can catch up with him in our fun little Q&A. Keep reading to hear what he’s been up to since moving to L.A., how being gay in the music industry has been a challenge for him, and why he calls Britney the “S” word. (Gasp!)

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Suddenly Fem Donates $5K Worth of Male-to-Female Trans Fashions to Mazzoni Center

Catalog-cover-2014Suddenly Fem, a fashion and lifestyle catalog that sells clothes and accessories to the cross-dresser and male-to-female transgender community, is all up in Philly this weekend. Not only will it be participating in tomorrow’s fourth annual Philly Trans* March, but the retailer has donated $5,000 worth of clothing to the Mazzoni Center—everything from dresses and heels to jackets and lingerie that are made to fit the male-to-female figure. 

The donation will go to the Center’s Sisterly Love Trans* Wellness Project, which, among other things, seeks to help trans women succeed in the workforce. The trans community has a high rate of unemployed people and many struggle to find the right professional outfit,” says the Mazzoni Center’s Samantha Jo-Dato. “We will make the clothing accessible to women in the trans community who are looking for jobs. We welcome them to stop by and pick out a couple amazing things for their wardrobes.”

That’s one of the goals of Suddenly Fem, too.

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Cate Blanchett to Star in Tim Burton Remake of Mary Poppins?

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 12.12.42 PMJust a spoonful of sugar made us say “OMG” today when we heard a rumor about a Tim Burton remake of the ever popular film Mary Poppins.

We love us some Julie Andrews, but can you imagine the Blue Jasmine star donning a nanny outfit with a bag full of tricks? Add the fact that Tim Burton would be directing, and we think this might be right up there with all of the hype over Maleficent.

Reports also suggest that Sam Riley would be co-starring as chimney sweep Burt.

Take a look at what appears to be a leaked copy of the movie poster below. Can we say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”?

Philanthropy Friday: William Way LGBT Community Center

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Welcome to Philanthropy Fridays, where Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, Michael Pomante explains the work he does at William Way LGBT Community Center, and (are you sitting?) hints at an winter-themed IndiGoGo party.  

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Michael Pomante at William Way’s Indigo Ball.

I am … Michael Pomante, development director, on behalf of the William Way LGBT Community Center.

William Way was founded in …  1974 as the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Philadelphia

One-sentence mission statement: The William Way LGBT Community Center encourages, supports, and advocates for the well-being and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities in the Greater Philadelphia region through service, recreational, educational, and cultural programming.

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Throwback Thursdsay: Remembering Lesbian Trailblazer Barbara Gittings

Every week I take a trip down memory lane in William Way Community Center’s John J. Wilcox Jr. Archives, a veritable treasure trove of relics from gay Philadelphia’s past. This week, I met with archivist—and author of The Gayborhood Guru—Bob Skiba, who shared these photos of one of gay Philly’s biggest legends, the Mother of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement herself, Ms. Barbara Gittings, who you may be more familiar with as the woman who has her name on the street sign at 13th and Locust streets



Guide to OutFest 2014: Gay DJs at Dilworth Park, a Stimulus and Pulse Mashup Party, Stonewall Kickball’s Pub Crawl, and More

The party is always hoping on Camac Street, between U Bar and Venture Inn. | Photo by Josh Middleton

The party is always hoping on Camac Street, between U Bar and Venture Inn. | Photo by Josh Middleton

The 24th annual OutFest is on Sunday, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t celebrate National Coming Out Day all weekend. To keep you on your gay-game we’ve rounded up the best events so you’ll know how to whoop it up from Thursday night till the sun goes down Sunday.

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Transgender Law Center Kicks Off Campaign to Discourage Homophobic, Racist Halloween Costumes

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The Transgender Law Center hopes you’ll be classy, like these ladies, this Halloween.

Halloween: It’s the spookiest night of the year, but sometimes the fun and games can can turn downright ugly. With that in mind, the Transgender Law Center is hoping that individuals will think twice before they don what may be perceived as offensive costumes on October 31.

The Center, which advocates for policy and law changes to support all gender identities and expressions, has started a campaign aptly titled “Discrimination is Scary,” that discourages folks from wearing Halloween costumes that could be perceived as sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist this October. Read more »

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