When I was an undergrad, I took a feminist art history course as a random elective, and I loved it so much that I almost changed my major. When it came to the 1970s segment of the class, we spent a lengthy amount of time discussing performance artists. The piece I will always remember, not because of the physical performance, but because of the debate in our class surrounding it, was Carolee Schneemann‘s 1975 work “Interior Scroll.” In it, Schneemann posed nude while covering herself with mud. Then, she took a scroll out of her vagina and started reading it.
We were all really torn about whether or not to call Schneemann’s work “art.” That’s not really the point here: Call it whatever you want, but she really wasn’t harming anyone by performing the work, and it’s still considered one of the most provocative feminist “artworks” of the 20th century.
That clearly won’t be said about a performance that took place at last week’s Philadelphia Drag Wars competition that’s caused quite a stir. The show, which took place on September 11th, featured a number by drag queen Ariel Versace. Dressed in Muslim garb, Versace entered the stage adorned with bombs. From a balcony, someone threw dolls and shards of paper. The dolls were supposed to represent people jumping from the Twin Towers on 9/11, and the paper? If you watch footage from the day of the attacks, you can clearly see shards of Xerox copies falling from various offices in the World Trade Center.
UPDATE, 10:11 p.m. Are These the Gay Beating Suspects Having Dinner at La Viola?
I just got word from Penn 6 co-owner Tim Adams that his business partners, the folks who run Penn 6, City Tap House, and Field House, want to offer a $10,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the people who attacked the two gay men last week in Center City.
Foobooz has the scoop on Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s plans for their space at 13th and Locust streets, the location formerly known as Bump and Q. Unlike Little Nonna’s, which was inspired by Marcie’s Italian grandmother, the new space gets new life courtesy of Turney’s heritage.
The restaurant will be called Bud & Marilyn’s in honor of Turney’s grandparents who ran a restaurant in Wisconsin for forty years. Turney’s Instagram feed contains several clues for what’s planned. There’s a photo of what her grand parents’ restaurant looked like back on its opening day in 1950 (right), the epitome of mid-Century diner. Her Instagram avatar also shows what could very well be a rendering of what’s planned for Bud & Marilyn’s. This all jives with what we’ve heard whispered for the concept, something like throwback American or classic American-diner.
So I guess this pretty much squashes my suspicion that they were working with former Sisters manager Denise Cohen to open a lesbian bar.
There were a lot of questions surrounding the announcement that Giovanni’s Room, the famed LGBTQ bookstore on the corner of 12th and Pine, would be operated by Philly AIDS Thrift: would the store maintain the same kind of merchandise? Would it feel the same as it did when it operated as a bookstore? The answer to both of these question is pretty clearly “No.” Read more »
Fruit flies, also known as fag hags, queen bees, homo honey, fruit loops, Goldilocks, flame dames, fairy princesses, gabes (a sweet combo of “gay” and “babes”) and cherry fairies, are frequent companions of gay men and visitors to the Gayborhood. Historically, these are the girls who surround themselves with gay men, usually only associating with gay men. They’re everywhere, they love us, and I want them to get the hell away from me.
Over the past month former Sisters manager Denise Cohen has been working to raise funds for a new Gayborhood lesbian bar. She was seeking to crowdsource donations from Indiegogo, but it didn’t quite seem to pan out. The campaign ended on August 23rd, and she was only able to generate $7,275 of her lofty $50,000 goal. That’s a mere 15 percent.
5 Gay Things to Do in Philly This Week: Gay Speed-Dating, Stoli Guy Contest, Animated Drag, and More
You may have seen some action happening around Sisters lately. The shuttered lesbian bar on Chancellor Street is being prepped to open as … are you ready for this? A straight bar.
Real estate mogul—and gay rights champion—Mel Heifetz says he sold the building to Lord Chancellor, LLC for $750,000 on November 4th of last year. “It will reopen in a few weeks, totally redone as a straight bar and restaurant, catering to a new clientele,” he told Philadelphia Gay News. “It will welcome gay business, but not be oriented to our community.”
There are few details being released about what the space will look like. PGN suggests that renovation is taking place under the hand of Silk City Diner and N. 3rd owner Mark Bee, whose company, Justaplumber, received a liquor license transfer on the Sisters location from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in December.
Three years ago, if you’d told me that I would spend every weekend being called “Fat Butt” by the local drag queens, I would have said, “Uh, no way. I’m afraid of drag queens.”
It wasn’t the “guy in a dress” thing. It was the clown thing. I’m terrified of them. The bright makeup, the colorful costumes, being able to fit seven or eight of them in a single cab—you know, the typical clown fear. And I had a hard time disassociating the two.
However, in the nearly two years I’ve been hanging out in the Gayborhood, I’ve lost my clown-based fear of queens, only to have it replaced by an appreciation for the art. Lately, though, there’s a boredom creeping in. I’m tired of seeing essentially the same show week after week. Similar costumes. The same songs. Between Top 40 radio and weekly drag shows, I’m getting a double dose of the already-repetitive songs the music industry pushes on us.