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 »
Stro Productionz is back with another installment of Beards N Queers this Friday night.
Beards N Queers Celebration
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar, 200 South 12th Street; over 21.
Stro Productionz returns with another all-inclusive event, hosted by Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca, that celebrates beard culture, fresh cuts, unique styles, fashion, and individuality in the Gayborhood. Don’t miss the giveaways and best beard contest. Please note that free entry will be given to anyone wearing Timberland boots, so no need to worry whether you’ll be able to get in. More details at stroproductionz.com. Read more »
Deja Lynn Alvarez
Deja Lynn Alvarez is a trans woman who has provided LGBTQ youth wellness and service training throughout Philadelphia for years. She previously worked at GALAEI pursuing trans activism within the larger community, and later became director of the Divine Light LGBTQ Wellness Center. Alvarez was recently hired as the assistant prevention navigator for the city’s Department of Public Health, where she addresses HIV/AIDS prevention for LGBTQ youth of color. Read more »
The Reunion Project is a free daylong program for long-term survivors of HIV.
2016 IBA Business Leaders Luncheon – “Open for Business”
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Sofitel Philadelphia, 120 South 17th Street; all ages.
The Independence Business Alliance (IBA) is hosting its sixth annual business luncheon, with remarks from Mayor Jim Kenney and a keynote address by Julie Coker Graham, the recently appointed president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tickets can be purchased online and include special registration offers and details. Read more »
Josh Schonewolf (center) is the creator of “Bearlesque” which is celebrating its three-year anniversary tonight.
Bearlesque, a monthly burlesque revue that features proud, plus-size LGBTQ performers, celebrates three years of drag shows, vocal battles and gay thrills tonight at Tabu with a special evening dedicated to divas. We caught up with the bear-licious evening’s founder, Josh Schonewolf, who turned 35 today, to talk about what makes bears great, why critics of his event are wrong, and the continued need for body positivity in the LGBTQ community.
Bearlesque is 3 years old today. How has the event evolved in the Gayborhood?
Bearlesque has been a hit show from the beginning, because it’s completely unique and an absolute blast. It’s evolved over the three years in many different ways. Most importantly, people know our show now. And it’s like an old faithful, whereas in the beginning we had to sell people on the idea that they should come to our crazy little show. It’s established and the show has a lot of big name performers, and we’re very proud of it. Read more »
Franky’s Foxes is throwing an anniversary party Friday night.
Roger Lee Dance Hollywood
8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street; all ages.
The award-winning Roger Lee Dance Company is back with a phenomenal show that spotlights the highs and lows of Hollywood through modern contemporary choreography. Tickets can be purchased online and include other special registration offers and details. Read more »
Marek+Richard’s controversial tank.
I couldn’t help but find myself annoyed this week to find out that a term I thought was going to fade out eventually just went viral.
Thanks to the gay clothing brand Marek+Richard, members of our community can now rip the runway wearing “No Fats, No Fems” tanks in broad daylight. There has been plenty of backlash about the now-sold-out apparel, and the company tried to clean up after the debacle by saying it was all in the name of “satire,” but no one was buying it. Read more »
Photograph by Ernest Owens
A series of incidents at the door of popular Gayborhood nightclub ICandy in recent weeks has some black LGBT community members wondering whether the club’s apparent ban on patrons wearing Timberland boots — a brand long associated with black hip-hop fashion — is racially motivated.
The controversy began when Stro Kyle, a black queer-events promoter, posted a series of Facebook messages on the night of April 18th after a friend said he had been refused entrance: Read more »
Philly Black Pride runs April 28th through May 2nd.
The 17th Annual Philly Black Pride Celebration
April 28th through May 2nd
Philly Black Pride is finally here and bigger than ever with a lineup of parties, expos, and socials that encourage all walks of life to come out to empower the city’s black LGBTQ community. Tickets can be purchased online and include other special registration offers and details. Read more »
COLOURS’ 25th Anniversary Opening Reception
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street; all ages.
To kick off its 25th anniversary, LGBTQ advocacy organization COLOURS is hosting a free reception at the William Way Center. Guests can visit a special exhibit spotlighting the stories, art, and culture behind the work the group has been doing in the community over the years. Read more »