The It Gets Better Project has become a household name. Created in September 2010 by columnist Dan Savage as a simple YouTube video encouraging LGBTQ youth that high school harassment and bullying will cease and that life will “get better,” the initiative has turned into a world-wide movement. Over 50,000 users have created video messages for LGBTQ teenagers, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ke$ha, and Ellen DeGeneres, amongst many others. Now, the project is fittingly on it’s way to the City of Brotherly Love.
The It Gets Better Project engagement at the Kimmel Center kicks off next week with a weeklong long residency that includes a series of free events leading up to a Saturday evening multimedia concert at the Perelman Theatre. Read more »
The Star-Ledger reports: “A total of 2,955 gay couples were married in New Jersey from Oct. 21, when same-sex weddings began under the orders of a state judge, through the end of March, according to the state health department. At the same time, 43,619 heterosexual couples were wed. That means about one of 15 marriages performed in the state during that period were for same-sex couples.”
The paper adds: “Activists said they expect the pace will increase as the wedding season begins next month. One observer said gay marriages could bring up to $94 million to New Jersey’s economy over the next three years. She suspects many couples from Pennsylvania, which does not allow gay marriage, will also cross the border to get hitched.”
Last spring when I was covering Jim Kenney’s LGBT Equality Bill, I visited the councilman’s office in City Hall to learn more about it. During our conversation, I noticed he kept deferring to his young assistant in the corner, particularly when I asked about the many components extending rights to Philly’s transgender community. The assistant’s name was Chris Goy, 26, and what I later found out is that he was the driving force behind creating the bill, the person who hit the streets to talk to locals about ways to make Philadelphia better when it comes to offering all-inclusive LGBT rights, the person who wrote the entire thing — all 35 pages of it.
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The Allentown Morning Call reports: “Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey broke with the majority of his party Monday evening by voting to move forward with legislation that would ban workplace discrimination against gay employees. … The vote underscores a narrative Toomey is building ahead of his re-election campaign: He’s bullish on economic issues but is softer on social issues like guns and gay rights.”
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In August, NJ governor Chris Christie signed legislation banning “gay conversion therapy” for use on minors. Now parents in the state are challenging the ban in federal court.
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On Friday morning, I saw the unsurprising headlines exploding all over social media: “Governor Corbett compared gay marriage to incest!!!”
I was about to share one such story on Facebook, along with a comment to the effect of: “Just one more reason for us to hate on Governor Corbett.” I’m not a fan of the 46th leader of our state.
But then I decided to watch the video for myself. And it’s just not that simple. Read more »
The Press of Atlantic City reports:
The 2013 Miss’d America competition will be held at 8 p.m. (Saturday) at the House of the Blues at Showboat Casino Hotel. This year’s event, which has a circus theme, is presented by the Greater Atlantic City Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Alliance and the Schultz-Hill Scholarship Foundation.
The event draws female and celebrity impersonators from throughout the country to compete in a night designed for fun and to raise money for local charitable organizations, Miss’d America co-founder Gary Hill said.
“It’s a different kind of venue and show,” Hill said. “It’s a lot of fun and has a lot of energy. It works with the Do AC (promotion) of having something different in Atlantic City during the off- season.”
AC Weekly fills in the history:
During Miss’d America’s early years, there were rumors that the Miss America Organization — then led by local attorney Leonard C. Horn — was considering legal action to prevent the drag show from taking place, or at the very least force it to find another name.
Cross-dressing gay men poking good-natured fun at the gold standard of beauty pageants? On the very same day that pictures and television footage of the newly crowned real queen were being printed and aired?
Not in their backyard.
But some attorneys said that little apostrophe probably made a big difference in creating enough of a separation between the names that the public wasn’t likely to confuse them.
Our G-Philly friends are all over this story:
In a press conference this afternoon at the Attic Youth Center, Philly State Rep. Brian Sims and Luzerne Rep. Gerald Mullery announced plans to introduce a bi-partisan bill that will make it illegal for Pennsylvania mental health providers to perform gay conversion therapy on minors. The bill is similar to one recently introduced in the State Senate by Anthony H. Williams. If passed, Pennsylvania would become the third state to pass such a law, following in the footsteps of New Jersey and California.
During the conference, Sims said:
“It’s been 40 years since the American Psychological Association excluded homosexuality from being classified as a mental disorder, and the APA has published studies showing that patients younger than 18 suffer from a multitude of harmful effects associated with this so-called therapy, including withdrawal and suicidal thoughts. It’s time to protect Pennsylvania children from this quackery that can inflict years of harm for those who manage to survive it.”
You’ve no doubt seen adaptations and derivations of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet many times, both on screen and on film. But you’ve probably never seen it done the way that Philadelphia’s Curio Theatre Company is set to do it: with Romeo and Juliet as lesbian lovers. Read more »