No Jail for Gay Bashers?

gay bashing suspects

Two of the people connected to the brutal assault against two gay men in Center City just accepted plea deals where they won’t serve any jail time. Instead, they’re going to be on probation, suffer exile from Center City during this period, and have to volunteer at an LGBT organization.

The idea is that mercy and dialogue is better than prison. That idea isn’t just spiritually sound: It’s also endorsed by the victims of the crime.

To be perfectly frank, the sentence doesn’t satisfy my personal desire to see the homophobes in physical or emotional pain. That’s OK, though. Resentment is a crummy fuel to run society’s engine. And, I guess we don’t torture people anymore.

It’s hard to stomach, though. I mean, I’ve been punched for being gay before, too. And, I’ve dealt with casual homophobia on Philly streets my entire life. I want it to stop. But, it’s never going to stop. Bigotry and ignorance can only be mitigated with free speech and dialogue – not eradicated by stomping “enlightened” boots on people’s faces. Read more »

Our Favorite Instagrams From OutFest 2015

The City’s annual OutFest, a celebration of just about everything LGBTQ, rocked the Gayborhood almost all day Sunday. Besides from the vendors and plenty of music (and drink), there were a few sobering moments to the festivities: A new Philadelphia rainbow flag was unveiled at a ceremony at City Hall (see our coverage of that event here) and a special mural was dedicated to the late Gloria Casarez at 12th Street Gym.

However, the day was mostly uninhibited fun, and Instagram was the perfect place to get a taste of all of those who celebrated. We rounded up some of our favorite shots from yesterday’s festivities.

love these men! #outfest2015 A photo posted by @elicia_g on

#couchesdontcount #valleyyouthhouse #phillyouthfest2015 #outfest

A photo posted by Kolby Nelson (@kolbykent) on

Read more »

PHOTOS: Mayor Nutter Helps Raise New Philadelphia LGBT Rainbow Flag This Morning

flag raising

There were a variety of emotions this morning as members from Philadelphia government and the LGBT community met outside of City Hall to raise the City’s brand new LGBT rainbow flag for the first time.

In some regard, it was an event of remembrance for the late Gloria Casarez, the City’s first Director of LGBT Affairs, who was extremely passionate about the flag raising ceremony and carried out the tradition for five years. This year is the first year Ms. Casarez is not present for the celebration of the LGBT community after her untimely death due to cancer. Read more »

Mark Segal’s Book-Signing

John J. "Johnny Doc" Dougherty, Business Manager of Local 98, Chris Bartlett Executive Director of William Way, and David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation. When Cohen took the podium to pay tribute to Segal, he stated that the only person who bought more books for his "workers' was Dougherty. His two biggest fans.

Wednesday night a room full of movers and shakers gathered at the Independence Visitor Center to pay tribute to a national LGBT trailblazer, Mark Segal, who was celebrating the publication of his long-awaited memoir, And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality. The night began for most of us crossing the NBC10 picket line of striking photographers; John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty was a few steps behind me, shaking hands with a few of the protestors — members of his union — and giving them his support. In comes David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast, NBC10’s parent company. No problem. Cohen and Dougherty exchanged a handshake, and the two talked for a long time, even posing for a photo for me. Both then joined the long line of other guests waiting their turn for the man of the hour Mark Segal to sign their books.

Photos after the jump »

North Philly Killing Draws National Attention

Kiesha Jenkins | Facebook

Kiesha Jenkins | Facebook

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today.

The killing of Kiesha Jenkins has quickly become a national story.

Jenkins, a 22-year-old trans woman, was shot and killed early Tuesday in North Philadelphia. Police have said they don’t know if her identity was the reason for her killing, but news outlets like BuzzFeed, Heavy, and the Advocate note her death comes during a year that has seen what they call an “epidemic” of killings of trans people.

“Jenkins becomes the 20th transgender woman confirmed murdered in the U.S. in 2015, highlighting why trans advocates continue to decry an ‘epidemic’ of transphobic violence,” the Advocate reports. “The vast majority of the women killed this year have been transgender women of color. By comparison, 12 transgender women were murdered in all of 2014.” Read more »

22-Year-Old Trans Woman Shot, Killed in North Philadelphia

A 22-year-old Philadelphia trans woman was shot and killed early this morning in North Philadelphia, according to police.

Kiesha Jenkins was attacked by five or six unidentified men at the corner of 13th and Wingohocking Streets according to Sergeant Eric Gripp. The men shot Jenkins in the back. Police were notified of the attack at 2:33 am and Jenkins was pronounced dead at Einstein Hospital at 2:53 am. Read more »

4 Things To Do If Your Workplace Needs LGBT Sensitivity Training

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

How’s this for a scenario: How many of you have been the “token” LGBT person “on staff” and have been the designated go-to person to answer questions on anything LGBT related?

I’ve been there way too many times to list, and I’d be willing to wager that a number of you can relate. Throw in the media circus surrounding Caitlyn Jenner and I am sure there’s been some rather interesting, if not completely inappropriate, water cooler conversation going on in your office. Read more »

LGBT Folks Should Stand With Planned Parenthood

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

I live close enough to the Planned Parenthood location at 12th and Locust here in Philly to have seen one too many protests outside of their doors. In essence, this Planned Parenthood is smack right in the middle of the Gayborhood, and I’d argue that isn’t a mistake. Read more »

Gender Transition to Unfold on Stage in Local Theater Series

Swift Shuker in a video promoting This Damned Body, which will premiere at this year's FringeArts Festival.

Swift Shuker in a video promoting This Damned Body, which will premiere at this year’s FringeArts Festival.

The [redacted] Theater Company will present the first in a series documenting one person’s gender transformation at the FringeArts Festival from August 28th to the 30th. This Damned Body Is Carved Out of Meat is one of three theatrical components to document the life of transgender performer Swift Shuker, who is currently in the beginning stages of transitioning from a male body to an androgynous one (hence our use of the pronoun “they”]. This Damned Body will document Shuker’s life in real-time and chronicle their transformation. “We’re trying to reveal what is happening with Shuker’s body and emotions, the way they are interacting with the world and the way the world interacts with them,” says co-director and website designer Josh McLucas.

Read more »

LGBT Catholics Seek Meeting With Pope


LGBT groups in America are seeking a meeting with Pope Francis during his trip to America in September.

“In a formal letter sent to Pope Francis at the Vatican, groups representing gay and transgender people, Catholics, and Hispanics said the church in America was in the midst of a ‘pastoral crisis over gay issues and asked to meet with him while he was in the United States,” the New York Times reports. Read more »

« Older Posts