KindieComm is a convention for artists in the family music genre that will help aspiring “Kindie” (kids indie) musicians network with and learn from some big names in the biz. Rookies and veterans of the industry are excited to see a comeback for the event after the Brooklyn version fell apart.
Billboard has some behind-the-scenes footage of LGBT ally Janelle Monae’s recent romp down Sesame Street, where she danced and sang an original song with Bert, Cookie, Big Bird and the rest of the gang.
The song she contributed is “Power of Yet,” which she describes as a musical version of the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” “I’m here because I am teaching everybody on Sesame Street the importance and the power of ‘yet,’” she says. “Never, ever, ever give up because there’s so much power in ‘yet.’” Aw.
Check out Billboard’s video below.
Now that the holidays are officially upon us, we here at Shoppist are in full gifting mode. Each day this month, we’ll unveil our 25 top gifts to buy in Philly this season. (Trust us: We’ve shopped everywhere to bring you the best of the best.)
Most toys and games out now are plastic, electronic, all bells and whistles and AA batteries, which makes finding hand-crafted wooden toys all the more refreshing. Philly-based company Mama May i, founded by mom-of-three Jessica Perkins, makes smart, thoughtful, sensory-based toys for babies, toddlers and small children that get them engaged, keep their attention, and nurture development and imagination. The Make A Match game—a pouch of small wood disks printed with different hand-drawn illustrations (we’re fans of the non-cheesy Philly version, naturally—recalls the old-school Memory game, and we’re obsessed. Original hand-drawn illustrations in the 50-piece Philly set include the Liberty Bell, Art Museum, Independence Hall, a soft pretzel, Reading Terminal Market, Ben Franklin, City Hall, a cheesesteak and Boathouse Row. Oh, and SEPTA. Because it’s never too early to prepare your children for the harsh realities of adulthood.
The Details: Mama May i ‘Make A Match Philadelphia’ game, $27 at mamamayishop.com.
Give To: Your preschooler.
MISSED PREVIOUS GIFTS? SEE WHAT YOU MISSED HERE.
Day 1: A weekender for him.
Day 2: A geometric ring for her.
Day 3: A posh nail polish set for your teenager.
Day 4: A tabletop speaker for dad.
Day 5: A made-in-Philly skateboard for your little brother.
Day 6: A set of Narberth-made essential oils for mom.
Day 7: A bag of made-in-Philly gifts for out-of-town pals.
Day 8: A cool pair of diamond studs for your girlfriend.
Day 9: A metallic bag for your sister.
Day 10: A fleece hoodie for your dog.
Day 11: A wishbone necklace for your best friend.
Day 12: A rugged camping cocktail kit for your boyfriend.
Philadelphia FIGHT‘s Institute for Community Justice — which works “to reduce not only the number of people in prison living with HIV, but also the lasting effects of mass imprisonment on communities most affected” — is teaming with Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) for its annual toy drive benefitting children of incarcerated or recently released parents. Now through Dec. 15, any visitor to ESP who donates a new toy or children’s book that’s still in its original package will receive a second admission free of charge. Don’t feel like a stroll through the prison? Folks can make donations during regular business hours even if they don’t plan on taking the tour.
In the latest episode of YouTube web series Kids React, filmmakers Benny and Rafi Fine video children as they watch same-sex marriage proposals. The kids, aged 5 to 13, offer up a variety of reactions — from one girl who is elated to a little boy who says “gay is bad for you.” The Rafi’s hope this can shed some light on where we are as a society when it comes to gay marriage. In the beginning of the episode, the filmmakers share their intention behind the project:
I’m at that age when many of my friends are either talking about having kids or they already have a couple of wee ones in their designer strollers. Before reaching my mid-thirties, I even knew a few folks who started early (one friend my age has a daughter in college!).
By most accounts they all seem to be happy parents who like to share their photos of the kids on Facebook almost as much as I post about my dog or the new restaurant that opened down the street. But as my own biological clock ticks and tocks, I’ve come to a conclusion that doesn’t always make the rest of the world quite so happy: I just don’t want to become a parent.
As more women opt to work outside the home (or in my case, in the home doing outside work – confusing, I know), this shouldn’t be such a surprising statement. Plenty of people wait longer to have kids if they ever decide to have them at all.
For a long time, being surrounded by gay people usually guaranteed that this conversation never came up. Picture it: a table at happy hour outside of Knock. The drinks are flowing and no one – no one – mentions anything that might not require at least a PG-13 rating.
But things are changing. And they’re changing fast.
Friday, June 15
If you like Tori Amos, you’ll love Theresa Anderson. She plays the Tin Angel (7:30 p.m.).
Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus celebrates 30 years at the Prince Music Theatre (8 p.m.) with shows through the weekend. The concert features the world premiere of “Raise Our Voice,” a commissioned work by PGMC member Chip Alfred and Michael Djupstom that’s based on interviews with fellow chorus members.
Fierce!, an international queer burlesque festival, plays Tabu (8 p.m.) with Liberty City Kings and more.
Philly isn’t the only place where the debate is heating up over whether to reconsider the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) rule to banning gay and lesbian scouts and leaders from serving. But as we reported last week, the scouts are expected to decide whether it’s time to retire the discriminatory practices after one LGBT activist – a scout and the son of two lesbian moms – Zach Wahls delivered a petition to headquarters asking the board to vote for a new policy to include gay and lesbian families.
This also comes after lesbian mom Jennifer Tyrrell started her own petition after she was kicked out as den mother of her son’s Cub Scout troop – simply for being gay.
CNBC reports today that Ernst & Young CEO James Turley – a board member for BSA – issued a statement that bodes well for the LGBT community.
“As CEO, I know that having an inclusive culture produces the best results, is the right thing for our people and makes us a better organization,” says Turley. “My experience has led me to believe that an inclusive environment is important throughout our society and I am proud to be a leader on this issue. I support the meaningful work of the Boy Scouts in preparing young people for adventure, leadership, learning and service, however the membership policy is not one I would personally endorse. As I have done in leading Ernst & Young to being a most inclusive organization, I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.”
Not only does Turley express a sentiment that seems to be shared by the majority of Fortune 500 companies today (all 100 firms on the Fortune Best Companies to Work For list offer non-discrimination policies for LGBT employees), but his statement is expected to carry some serious clout as the board debates the issue this year.
What do you think? Will the Boy Scouts finally allow gay and lesbian leaders to serve?
In an interview recently during his campaign tour, GOP candidate for president Mitt Romney asserted that “gay adoption is legal in all of the states but one.” But according to the HRC, Romney is having a little trouble with the facts.
In reality, same-sex couples are banned from adopting in states including Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio and Utah. And for couples who are interested in second-parent adoptions, that’s illegal in 26 states in the country, while join adoption is illegal in 18 states and Washington D.C.
“Mitt Romney’s remarks last week regarding same-sex adoption are wrong and, worse, they trivialize the very real and persistent obstacles qualified LGBT individuals and couples face in adopting and starting families,” says HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “Every year, there are hundreds of thousands of kids who desperately need their forever family. LGBT individuals and families are perfectly qualified to provide that loving home. Leading medical, mental health and child welfare organizations have said time and again that sexual orientation and gender identity have absolutely nothing to do with the ability to be a parent to a child in need of a loving home. Governor Romney should clarify his muddled position and embrace adoption by loving and committed gay and lesbian parents.”
Worse, even in states that allow LGBT people to adopt, many still face discrimination. In fact, in 29 states, there’s no protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation (in 34 states there’s no protection for gender identity), including Pennsylvania.
Last month, In the Life released “Becoming Me,” a look at real-life experiences of eight families with transgender and gender-nonconforming children. While mainstream media coverage can sometimes portray transgender children as a spectacle, a new web exclusive takes a hard look at the transphobic sensationalism that can create even bigger problems for trans kids in broadcast television today.
Check it out: