TOP PICKS: The Best LGBTQ Events This Weekend

"Time Is On Our Side" is a new play by R. Eric Thomas.

“Time Is on Our Side,” a new play by R. Eric Thomas.

FRIDAY EVENTS

World Premiere: “Time Is on Our Side”
8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 1512 Spruce Street; all ages.

Local playwright R. Eric Thomas debuts a new play that creatively transcends LGBTQ history and pop culture with a smart and humorous cast. Starring Brandi Burgess, Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Kristen Norine, and Ryan Walter. Tickets Read more »

BOOK REVIEW: Love Wins Is a Historical Artifact in Its Own Right

"Love Wins" cover art.

“Love Wins” cover art.

Today marks the first day of LGBT Pride Month. And later this month comes the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that allowed same-sex marriage to become the law of the land.

I will never forget where I was on June 26, 2015, when I heard the news and saw the rainbow Facebook filters and the hashtag #LoveWins flood my social media feeds. Little did I know that I would also develop a growing respect for the lead plaintiff of that case, who would inspire millions and symbolize an important moment not just in LGBTQ history, but for American progress. Read more »

LGBTQ Community Divided After GOAL Steps Down as Pride Marshals

Image of crest via GOAL official Facebook page.

Image of crest via GOAL Facebook page.

Amid a controversy that has been brewing since April, the Greater Philadelphia Gay Officer Action League (GOAL) announced Friday that it was withdrawing as one of the grand marshals of this year’s Philly Pride parade. “GOAL will not accept this honor until the community, loudly and proudly, decides we have earned it,” said Jo Mason, president of GOAL, in an official statement. “But rest assured, we will be there June 12th, as LGBT community members, and we will be there for the weeks, months, and years to come, listening, and working, for the betterment of all of us.” Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Anthony Mustafa Adair

Anthony Mustafa Adair. Photography by Jacques Jean-Tiziou

Anthony Mustafa Adair. Photography by Jacques Jean-Tiziou

Anthony Mustafa Adair, a 24-year-old rising star in Philadelphia’s theater scene, chats with us about his experiences as an openly gay Afghan performer and his role in Theatre Exile’s Philadelphia premiere of The Invisible Hand.

What inspires you to entertain?
I love storytelling. Although I imagine plenty of it is a need for attention, I truly believe there’s something innately human about telling a story to someone else, and seeing in their eyes that they’re listening and engaged. I also believe that my taste is what drives me to entertain. I know what’s good, I know what’s tired and boring — and I think that alone can be enough for me sometimes. Read more »

TOP PICKS: The Best LGBTQ Events This Weekend

RAISED is a fundraising event to benefit a production in this year's 2016 Fringe Arts Festival.

RAISED is a fundraising event to benefit a production in this year’s 2016 Fringe Arts Festival.

FRIDAY EVENTS

Happy Bear — Memorial Day Kickoff
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street; over 21.

Mingle with Philly’s most intriguing bears, cubs, otters, and salmon at Tabu! Be on the second floor of one of the Gayborhood’s most social bars for bumping musical vibes, drink specials, and a memorable experience. Read more »

LOCAL NEWS: Wawa Welcome America Parade to Have First LGBT Float

Wawa Welcome America logo

The LGBT float for the Wawa Welcome Forth of July Parade will include Mummers, local drag queens, and community leaders.

It’s been roughly 10 years since the LGBTQ community began to be openly included in the annual Wawa Welcome America Fourth of July Parade, but this year we will get our own float. Plans for the inclusion of a float came from Under the Sun Productions, which has worked with Wawa Welcome America in the past. But the most surprising support came from the Mummers — yes, the group that back in January offended a good chunk of the community. “This July 4, it’s even more important that not only do we have the Mummers close by, but that we celebrate inclusion, forgiveness and moving forward together as Philadelphians,” said openly gay Wawa Welcome America head Jeff Guaracino. Although Wawa Welcome America had a 50th Anniversary commemorative float reflecting on the LGBT civil rights movement last year, this is the first official designated float for the community expected to run annually. The float will be included in the “gay section” of the parade, which will feature local drag queen Brittany Lynn, the Lambda Car Club, Hegeman String Band and LGBT members of the networking club Rainbow Alliance. The Wawa Welcome America events are scheduled to run this year from June 27th through July 4th. Read more »

OPINION: GOAL Is the Wrong Choice for Grand Marshal of Pride

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Every year, Philly Pride does something that sours me on our city’s LGBTQ community.

Whether it’s the lack of creativity in venue selection, the disproportionate number of cisgender gay white men dominating the event, or the lack of a queer-cultural embrace that intersects the community, Pride often fails to represent everyone.

But this year, the selection by event organizer Philly Pride Presents of the Greater Philadelphia Gay Officer Action League (GOAL) — a year-old regional law-enforcement organization whose members identify as LGBT — as grand marshals of the Pride parade on June 12th has left me beyond disappointed. Read more »

NATIONAL NEWS: San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Insulted at Padres Game

San Diego Gay Men Chorus (Screenshot)

San Diego Gay Men Chorus (screenshot)

The members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus claim they were insulted with homophobic slurs while trying to perform the National Anthem.

Saturday night “turned into a nightmare” for the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, according to a recent statement from the organization. The Padres, which sponsors an annual “Out at the Park” event geared toward LGBTQ patrons, invited the chorus to perform the National Anthem. However, once the 100 volunteer gay vocalists reached the field, their microphones were turned off and a recording of a female voice was played. The chorus also claims its members were subjected to homophobic slurs as they left the podium. “No attempt was made to stop the recording and start over,” the chorus remarked in a public statement on Saturday night. “No announcement of apology was made to the singers or their friends and families in the stands.” Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Stro Kyle

Stro Kyle

Stro Kyle

By day, Stro Kyle, 30, works at the Attic Youth Center as a program specialist. But after sundown, he’s an emerging black queer-events promoter. Ahead of his all-inclusive Beards N Queers celebration this weekend, Kyle chatted with us about navigating the events scene in the Gayborhood and confronting racial conflicts as a way of bringing more inclusion into Philly’s LGBTQ community.

What made you interested in producing queer events in the city?
Philly is so diverse — it’s a city that thrives on individuality. I was born and molded to be unique and to never see myself as a follower — to find my true identity. The queer community holds these values, and I can identify with the scene. It’s literally a melting pot. I grew up with so many different art forms and musical styles. So for me, I believe my imagination is large enough to inspire the queer community. I’ve always dreamed of holding huge festivals and events that push boundaries. Contrary to what people believe, Philly is a breeding ground, an event promoter’s dream. Going to the Made in America festival confirmed that for me. Read more »

Gay-Bashing Victims Sue Attackers for Assault and Battery

From left: Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott and Philip Williams.

From left: Kevin Harrigan, Kathryn Knott and Philip Williams.

The victims of the September 2014 gay-bashing assault in Center City are taking their attackers to court.

Earlier this week, Zachary Hesse and Andrew Haught filed a civil suit against Kathryn Knott, Kevin Harrigan and Philip Williams for their roles in the attack. Read more »

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