Chris Collins’ funeral will be on Tuesday, January 10th.
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. Photograph by Amy Perez
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 »
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 »