It was a gorgeous night to celebrate Mazzoni Center‘s 5th annual Elixir: Cure for the Common Gala, which took place at the Mill House Deck of the Fairmount Water Works Restaurant. The event featured live dance music by EBE, food and dessert, an open bar, a silent auction and special live performances by Rainere Martin as Donna Summer and Philadelphia Voices of Pride.
CBS3’s Jim Donovan was master of ceremonies, announcing this year’s honorees: Franny Price, executive director of Philly Pride Presents and longtime community activist and advocate, who was honored with the Gloria Casarez Activist Award; and Michael Tambón, aka drag queen “Cherry Pop,” was honored for his advocacy work for people living with HIV. Check out photos of the evening below:
Elad Strohmayer, Oren Ben-Yosef, Mazzoni Center Executive Director Nurit Shein, and Philly Pride Presents' Franny Price.
Elaine Tambón with son Michael Tambón aka “Cherry Pop.” (Photobomb by sister Erika.)
Jim Donovan, CBS3, and Mandy Blumenthal
Kenneth Hu and Christopher Stanley stand in front of a Perry Milou work of Tina Turner, which was part of the silent auction.
Wayne, Tony, Mark and Scott
Rudy Raya and Albert Watson
Juan Baez, Will Lee, Josh Moore and Sean Patrick Doan
Anh Dang, Judge Dan Anders, Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of the Mayor's Office of LGBT Affairs, and Tracie Palmer.
Philly AIDS Thrift's Bob Koptcho and John Cote
Kory Olson, Lorin Martin and Matt Bald
Diane W, Yuel Geraldo, Jeff Shablin and Dana S.
Attic Youth Center
255 South 16th Street
The Attic creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. It provides myriad creative outlets for local youth, such as poetry, print screening, drag, art and more.
1207 Chestnut Street
GALAEI (Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative) is unwavering in its commitment to promote queer Latin@ social justice in the Philadelphia area. It’s outreach projects include everything from promoting sexual health in the Philadelphia Latin@ community to stumping for equal rights. It also fosters a program for trans folks in Philadelphia called the Trans-Health Information Project (TIP).
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Group from AccessMatters.
1700 Market Street, 18th Floor
AccessMatters, which works to promote sexual health resources in Philadelphia’s underserved communities, maintains an LGBT health resource center called SafeGuards.
The Attic Youth Center
255 South 16th Street
The Attic creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults. The Attic offers myriad wellness benefits—from meditation classes and safe-sex workshops to being a resource for finding out about other LGBT-specific health and wellness organizations in Philadelphia.
Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative (GALAEI)
1207 Chestnut Street
GALAEI is unwavering in its commitment to promote queer Latin@ social justice in the Philadelphia area. It’s outreach projects include everything from promoting sexual health in the Philadelphia Latin@ community to stumping for equal rights.
Linda Creed: Rainbow Circle
P.O. Box 40607
Linda Creed’s Rainbow Circle provides breast health information for lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender persons.
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Drag diva Cherry Pop (aka Michael Tambón) to be honored at 2015 Elixr Gala.
There are so many big gay birthdays this year: As you’ve probably heard, the first LGBT protest, which took place right here in Philadelphia, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer, the William Way Community Center is turning 40, and the Mazzoni Center, Philly’s only health and wellness center dedicated solely to the LGBT community, will be celebrating the big 3-5 at its annual Elixir gala in May.
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Photo via Mazzoni Center
After years of looking for a place where they could consolidate two of their Center City offices, the Mazzoni Center has signed a lease to move their medical, mental health, legal and social service operations to a larger space at 1328-1338 Bainbridge Street.
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Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, Nurit Shein on the Mazzoni Center, the hard-working local organization that aims to “provide quality comprehensive health and wellness services in an LGBT-focused environment.”
Nurit Shein, CEO of Mazzoni Center.
Who are you? I’m Mazzoni Center CEO Nurit Shein, and I’ve been with the organization since 1995. We are Philadelphia’s home for LGBT health, legal, and wellness services. After nearly 20 years I am still excited to get up and go to work every day, because there’s always something new and interesting to dive into. I’m proud of my dynamic and talented staff, who provide caring, quality services and programs to our clients and patients, and have an impact on 35,000 people each year.
When was Mazzoni founded? 1979
What’s Mazzoni’s shining moment, to date? There are so many individual moments that stand out over my tenure here, many of them simple but powerful interactions between staff and clients. But in terms of major milestones, something I am especially proud of was the opportunity we had in February 2012 to partner with The White House Office of Public Engagement (OPE) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) in presenting the first White House LGBT Conference on Health. The daylong symposium featured remarks by Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management John Berry, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, among others. It was the inaugural event in a series of conferences around the country specifically focused on LGBT Americans. It was truly a watershed moment, in terms of recognizing the importance of LGBT health. More than 300 health care professionals, community organizers, medical students, and community members from at least 22 states traveled to Philadelphia to attend the conference.
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If you’re a vegetarian, like me, you don’t really look forward to the centerpiece on the big ole’ Turkey Day meal (but, I’d be willing to bet that you do overload on mashed potatoes and that green bean casserole thingie). Instead, you’re plotting out your Thanksgiving week, which is notorious for parties, events, and festivities that you simply can’t pass up (just like that cranberry sauce in a can). We here at G Philly came up with our best bets of everything going on in gay Philly during the week of Thanksgiving, broken up in a day-by-day, easy to follow guide. Consider it your recipe for a holiday well-done. Read more »
Every hump day a Philly person shares their local picks for Woman Crush Wednesday. Today, local mover and shaker Samantha Jo Dato, who works at the Mazzoni Center to organize the annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. She will soon publish a testimonial journal called Sami Jo Shattered Perfect, which she “hopes will reach trans* people near and far and inspire them to transform their narratives of struggle into stories of major success.”
Samantha Jo Dato
My name is Samantha, and these are my local picks for #WCW:
Dawn is and elder in the community who moves through the world without prejudices. She has been knocking on doors for her sisters and brothers for over 2o years, and has been a humble, stern fixture in the trans movement of Philadelphia for many people.
Tatyana Ali Woodard
Tatyana is the next generation of activism that moves with intent and purpose while being fashionable at the same time. She started her own fashion house, Xistence, in 2010, and joined Mazzoni Center's Trans* Wellness Project (TWP) in 2014 . Tatyana is a trans women of color to keep an eye on. She has only just begun.
This California transplant delivers real and straight-to-the-point facts to everyone she comes in contact with. Starting with TWP, she has quickly moved up the ladder at Mazzoni Center, where she recently began a new, amazing position in the Legal Department. This is the go-to girl for support and direction in legal matters.
With her enough-is-enough attitude, Deja will get to the bottom of whatever she puts her mind to. As a recent member of the LGBT Police Liaison, she continues to speak on behalf of trans women, dedicated to letting people know that their lives matter.
This GALAEI Trans* Health Information Project (TIP) co-coordinator is one trans women who has—and continues—to give her all, including the shirt off her back to help her sisters make it. With countless years in the field, she has become a safety net to local women in need of service and care.
Cashmere is a writer and peace-maker who is full of laughter, knowledge and compassion. She is telling her story in a book called Thoughts of a Tainted Heart, which will be published by 2015. Check her out on Facebook at Author Cashmere.
Share your Woman Crush Wednesday!
Here are the rules: (1) Name five to 10 ladies you’re crushing on (2) You and all women involved must be from Philadelphia (3) Email your crushes to email@example.com.
Our Last Five Woman Crush Wednesdays:
Mazzoni Center‘s Ally Safe Schools program has distilled its wealth of knowledge into a book, so educators and students alike can learn how to create or strengthen a Gay/Queer-Straight Alliance at their schools. These student-run clubs help raise awareness of LGBTQ issues, organize activities, provide support for each other, and/or create a safe space for LGBTQ students.
How to Build a FIERCE GSA is 22-pages in length, and filled with all kinds of tips that the Center hopes will help inspire healthy, vibrant GSAs across the region and nation. The small 4-by-6 guide is portable, so readers can keep it on hand for meetings and events. It’s so tiny—and adorable—it will fit in your pocket.
You may have seen Mazzoni handing out some of these at OutFest yesterday, but you can still get a free copy by downloading it here as a PDF or requesting a hard copy.
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Suddenly Fem, a fashion and lifestyle catalog that sells clothes and accessories to the cross-dresser and male-to-female transgender community, is all up in Philly this weekend. Not only will it be participating in tomorrow’s fourth annual Philly Trans* March, but the retailer has donated $5,000 worth of clothing to the Mazzoni Center—everything from dresses and heels to jackets and lingerie that are made to fit the male-to-female figure.
The donation will go to the Center’s Sisterly Love Trans* Wellness Project, which, among other things, seeks to help trans women succeed in the workforce. “The trans community has a high rate of unemployed people and many struggle to find the right professional outfit,” says the Mazzoni Center’s Samantha Jo-Dato. “We will make the clothing accessible to women in the trans community who are looking for jobs. We welcome them to stop by and pick out a couple amazing things for their wardrobes.”
That’s one of the goals of Suddenly Fem, too.
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