For its celebratory spirit and expansive networking, this week’s LGBTQ event of the week is IBA’s 10th Anniversary Celebration. Enjoy an evening that plans to “celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of the local LGBT business.” IBA will be presenting their seventh annual PNC Bank $10,000 LGBT Business Award and honoring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart. Guests can expect an endless dinner buffet and top-shelf open bar while mingling with members of the LGBT and business communities, local and state government officials, and leaders from the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10th at The Down Town Club, located at 600 Chestnut Street. Tickets are available online. Read more »
GALAEI, a queer Latin@ social justice organization, will celebrate influential LGBTQ leaders at the eighth annual David Acosta Revolutionary Leadership Awards (DARLA). This year’s theme — “Celebrating Queer Latinx Resistance” — highlights how the local queer Latinx community has shown resistance in this adverse political climate.
“With a resurgence of new activists and social justice supporters focused on addressing racist and discriminatory policies from local, state, and federal institutions that have arisen, GALAEI has remained committed to ensuring our work focuses on advocating for our community,” said GALAEI executive director Nikki Lopez. “DARLA honorees exemplify those who have cultivated revolutionary change in the LGBTQ and Latinx communities through activism, education, or a continued commitment to empowering GALAEI.” Read more »
In its 11th year, DVLF Heroes celebrates people whose deeds positively affect the LGBTQ community. “Reading through the community’s submitted nominations, I was struck by all the incredible work by individuals and organizations to build and strengthen our community,” said Samantha Giusti, DVLF’s executive director. “This year’s slate of awardees have been leaders in securing the rights, meeting the needs, and celebrating the lives of LGBTQ people.” Read more »
Last week, Chris Collins, a well-known LGBTQ community advocate, died suddenly at age 37.
Francesca Williams and Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca, two community members who were very close to Collins, sent G Philly this remembrance of his life, impact, and legacy: Read more »
Nikki Lopez is a Latinx queer activist who was recently been appointed the new executive director of GALAEI — A Queer Latin@ Social Justice Organization. We recently chatted with the community leader about her new goals and plans for GALAEI and her perspective on the current discourse surrounding racism in the Gayborhood.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, and moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, as a baby. My mother was a single mom who raised three kids all by herself, in a small town called Holly Hilly. She arrived not knowing any English, and for the most part was alone. I learned a lot about perseverance and resilience from her. Read more »
On Thursday, July 21st, the Gayborhood’s most popular bars are sponsoring a charity event to support the victims of the tragic Pulse Nightclub shootings in Orlando. Philly4Pulse promises to feature local celebrities tending bar, dance parties, drag, Quizzo, karaoke, and more as a way “to bring our community together.” However, some leaders from the Latinx queer community feel that their constituencies have been left out.
According to press releases and interviews, the Philly4Pulse organizing committee began working on the event as early as June 14th. But representatives of both GALAEI and the Gran Varones, two well-known local Latinx queer organizations, say they were invited to participate only a week ago. Read more »
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 »