New Leather Club Starting in Philadelphia

qla.1jpgAlways been sort of tempted by the leather community, but felt too intimidated to reach out? There’s a new leather club starting in Philadelphia that may offer just the baby-bear-step approach you’ve been looking for.

The Queer Leather Alliance (QLA) recently kicked off with a mission that co-founder Damon Stango says “offers a space for people like me that I haven’t found in any other club.”

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Superintendent Stands Up for New Jersey Trans Teen Who Was Told She Had to Enroll in School as a Boy

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Yesterday I told you about Rachel Pepe, the 13-year-old transitioning transgender student who was told she would not be able to enroll at Thorne Middle School as female. In a shameful turn of events, the school told her that she would have to dress as and answer to her birth name, Brian.

Thankfully the school district’s superintendent, William O. George, is stepping in to make the transition easier for Pepe. Yesterday evening he announced that he would work with staff to ensure she could attend school as Rachel, and do what he could to create a safe environment for her. This includes having the staff undergo LGBT sensitivity training.

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Smithsonian Adding LGBT Exhibit That Includes Pieces From Will and Grace

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I’m so excited to have another reason besides “The First Ladies” exhibit to visit Washington’s Smithsonian Institution: a brand new LGBT exhibition.

The museum is curating a collection of historical gay and lesbian artifacts in an effort to document and better understand LGBT history in our country. More from Huff Post Gay:

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99-Year-Old Ida Keeling Breaks 100-Meter Record at Gay Games

She’s 99 years old, 4 feet 6 inches, 83 pounds, and Ida Keeling has endurance that defies the ages. The great-great grandmother from the Bronx competed in the Gay Games last week, finishing the 100-meter race in 59.8 seconds—a time that her coach and daughter Shelly says is the fastest that’s ever been recorded in a internationally certified race by someone her age.

Huffington Post reports that this is Keeling’s first Gay Games, and she took up running after two of her sons were killed 30 years ago in drug-related instances.

Her secret to staying in shape?

“Do what you need to do, not what you want to do and don’t leave out your daily exercise. Love yourself.”

See her in action in the video above.

14 #GayPhilly Instagrams You Should See This Week: This is How We Ride



Gold Medals for Anna Aagenes, Honeybadgers, Mudhillun MuQaribu at the Gay Games in Ohio

Reports from Gay Games in Cleveland and Akron are pouring in, and Team Philadelphia continues to haul in the medals—golds, silvers, bronzes, you name it. Here’s a recap of today’s winners, reported to me from Team Philadelphia Chair Bob Szwajkos  and GO! Athletes Executive Director Anna Aagenes.

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Team Philadelphia is now a triple winner in softball. City of Brotherly Love Softball League (CBLSL)’s Honeybadgers (pictured) took gold this afternoon at Firestone Park in Akron. I told you yesterday that CBLSL’s men’s team, and the Fairmount Fillies also took gold in their respective tournaments.

Anna Aagenes continues to kick ass in track and field. She won first place in today’s 800m—in her age group (18-29) and overall. She also won gold in yesterday’s 5K.

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Fredia Hurdle, Plaintiff in PA Marriage Equality Case, Dies Before Marrying Her Partner

Devastating news in a week already riddled with loss. Fredia Hurdle, one of the plaintiffs in Whitewood v. Wolf, the marriage equality case that won us the right to marry in Pennsylvania, passed away last week before having the chance to officially marry her partner, Lynn. More from the Pittsburgh Gazette.

fredia hurdleThe ruling meant that the Hurdles, who were together for 24 years, who were united in a commitment ceremony five years ago, and who had supported each other through sickness and child-rearing, could have their union recognized by the state they considered home.

Maybe they could get officially married in July, Lynn Hurdle thought, to mark the fifth anniversary of their original wedding ceremony. But her daughter planned to marry in October, and Fredia Hurdle said they should wait until after her wedding. It was her year, her “moment in the sun,” she told the woman she had long considered her wife.

“It’s legal. We have time,” she said.

But Thursday, Fredia Hurdle died from a stroke. She was 50 years old.

“I was looking for the next 25 or 50 years together,” Lynn Hurdle said. “It’s been shell shock.”

 

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Jim McGreevey Reflects on 10th Anniversary of Coming Out

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It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey made his “I am a gay American” speech—unless you look at how far he’s (and we’ve) come since his scandal-ridden term as governor. In a new article published this weekend in The Courier-Post, McGreevey and other politicians reflect on how his revelation influenced younger generations of politicians, and shines a spotlight on McGreevey’s unlikely career change.

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