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 »
Councilman David Oh proposed a bill that will consider LGBT companies as another category of disadvantaged business enterprises to help give them a better shot at landing city contracts.
Republican Councilman David Oh introduced Bill 160152 last week as a method of “finding ways to expand access and encourage local small business owners of all minority groups to apply to be prioritized for city contracts.” With the LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill being blocked by Republicans at the state level despite increasing public support, there is currently no guarantee that local LGBT businesses will be able to receive proper consideration for city contracts. The bill would also expand protection to those who have experienced “religious prejudice.” Nationally, progress for LGBT businesses and owners has not matched the rapid policy advancements for their individual rights. Read more »
GALAEI’s Trans-Health Information Project has issued a statement about this weekend’s Papal visit and their concerns regarding “the historical and present trauma caused by the Pope and his predecessors.” Read more »
GALAEI, Philadelphia’s Queer Latin@ Social Justice organization, has new digs, and they’re rolling out the welcome mat next week for a community open house on Tuesday, August 25. Read more »
This past Friday, GALAEI held it’s 20th annual Alternative Prom, which they claim is the longest consecutive running event of its kind in the country. LGBTQ and allied youth from across the region danced the night away at the William Way Community Center in a safe, inclusive environment. Freedom G Photography (a team of Shanel Sherese and myself) was on hand to capture some of the great moments.
Who’s Your Daddy? at Tabu later this month.
Sure, all of those pride celebrations may be done, but that doesn’t mean that there are aren’t tons of great activities, parties, lectures, and events in LGBTQ Philly for the rest of June. We rounded up a calendar that should keep you super busy until the start of July.
Through the End of the Month
- Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene: Award-winning photographer Gerard Gaskin gives visitors an inside peek of ballroom culture at this exciting exhibit. Through August 16th, various times, free after museum admission, African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street
- Speaking Out for Equality: This groundbreaking exhibit at the National Constitution Center profiles the Constitution, gay rights, and the Supreme Court. Through January 3rd, various times, free after museum admission, National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street
Read more »
One of the most beautiful things about Pride is that, no matter where in Philly you celebrate, it’s an annual reminder that it really is a full community of so many different types: Every gender, sexuality, color, and social status come together for the same reason. Sure, at first glance, there’s a heck of a lot of half-naked dudes strutting on stages, but when you pull back the layers, you can see the faces of Pride are so varied and so beautiful, that it’s hard to ignore. We were keeping a close eye on your Instagram pictures today and selected a collection to share with you that we think captures that essence of variety, and what Pride is all about. Read more »
Photo courtesy of Philly Bricks.
In anticipation of Pride month, consumer advocacy site NerdWallet has pulled together a variety of statistics and data to come up with their third annual list of America’s most LGBT-friendly cities. To get their results, they collected data from recent Gallup polls on LGBT population, FBI hate crime statistics, the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Municipal Equality Index, and HRC rankings on hospitals leading the way in LGBT health care equality.
After everything was tallied and crunched, Philadelphia found itself at No. 6 on the list, just behind Baltimore and ahead of Seattle and Salt Lake City. The top 10 are represented in this nifty infographic:
Philadelphia scored particularly high in the municipal equality index part, with a score of 116. That number, NerdWallet says, tied San Francisco for the highest in its study. “Philadelphia scored high for its nondiscrimination and relationship recognition policies, LGBT services and relationship with the community.” More on their Philadelphia findings:
In the Philadelphia metro area, nearly 4% of the population identifies as LGBT. The FBI didn’t receive any reports of hate crimes related to gender identity or sexual orientation in the city for 2013. Philadelphia also tied for the highest score in the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index. In Philadelphia, the heart of LGBT nightlife is centered in what is nicknamed “The Gayborhood.” This year, Philadelphia is marking the 50th anniversary of the LGBT civil rights movement with a four-day celebration beginning July 2. The city is home to several civil rights, advocacy and LGBT youth organizations including the Bread & Roses Community Fund, the Spruce Foundation and the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative (GALAEI).
What do you think? Did we get a fair score? Explore more data from the study, which details Philly and other cities, here.
The Attic Youth Center
255 South 16th Street
The Attic creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. It “offers various support and educational groups that promote safer sex messages and practices. The Attic also offers free, confidential, HIV testing and access to safer sex supplies.”
AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania
1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 600
Founded in 1988, this nonprofit law firm provides free legal help to those with HIV/AIDS and those affected by the epidemic. AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania provides legal assistance with HIV/AIDS discrimination, health confidentiality, HIV testing protocols, housing, and more, with an emphasis on “breaking the physical and linguistic barriers that often impede access to legal services.”
1216 Arch Street, 6th Floor
ActionAIDS provides medical case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention, and volunteer services so that no one in the Philadelphia region has to face AIDS alone.
Bebashi-Transition of Hope
1217 Spring Garden Street
Bebashi-Transition of Hope works to provide healthcare information, direct services, education, research and technical assistance to reduce and eliminate HIV/AIDS and other health disparities within the urban community of Philadelphia and its vicinity.
Read more »
Attic Youth Center
255 South 16th Street
The Attic creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. It provides myriad creative outlets for local youth, such as poetry, print screening, drag, art and more.
1207 Chestnut Street
GALAEI (Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative) is unwavering in its commitment to promote queer Latin@ social justice in the Philadelphia area. It’s outreach projects include everything from promoting sexual health in the Philadelphia Latin@ community to stumping for equal rights. It also fosters a program for trans folks in Philadelphia called the Trans-Health Information Project (TIP).
Read more »