G Philly teammates were out taking in OutFest during three parts of the day. Contributor Bryan Buttler went early, as local organizations were setting up their tents and photographers were wiping off their lenses for a full day of picture-snapping. It was a gorgeous day for a Gayborhood block party.
HIGHLIGHT: We’re all waiting on pins and needles for this weekend’s 24th annual OutFest celebration. The event is one of gay Philly’s best, a reliable afternoon of good times, high spirits and A-plus entertainment from drag queens and LGBT arts groups across the city. The formula has stayed pretty much the same over the years, and it’s worked, but this year we have a little something extra to celebrate: marriage!
Thanks to Pennsylvania’s marriage equality ruling in May, this year’s OutFest will see more married and affianced couples than ever before. And I bet we’ll see a few engagements, too. With that in mind, local wedding expo organizer Bouche Productions is teaming with Wired 96.5 for a complementary Same-Sex Wedding Showcase happening from noon to 4 p.m. at the nearby Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel. They’re inviting lovebirds to stop by before, after or during OutFest to get to know some of the local vendors who are biting at the chomp to help put together a gay wedding.
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This Sunday marks the 24th annual OutFest block party in the Gayborhood. Besides all the fabulous out-and proud-celebrating and gay kiki-ing , there will be plenty of killer performances set to add even more color to an already rainbow-filled afternoon. One of those performers is Philly-bred singer-songwriter J Carson, who is returning to town from Los Angeles, where he is currently working to make a name for himself in the mainstream music business.
I caught up with Mr. Carson this week, and he couldn’t be more excited to be coming back to perform for his Philly brethren. You can catch him on the OutFest mainstage on Sunday at 1:20 p.m., followed by an evening performance at Icandy. Until then, you can catch up with him in our fun little Q&A. Keep reading to hear what he’s been up to since moving to L.A., how being gay in the music industry has been a challenge for him, and why he calls Britney the “S” word. (Gasp!)
THEATER TROUPE: Mauckingbird Theatre Company
There’s a lot of queer theater happening in Philly these days, but no company devotes itself to the art of gayness quite like Mauckingbird. Each production comes with a gay slant, most recently a gender-bending take on Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. In January, the company will take on Douglas Carter Beane’s Tony-nominated The Little Dog Laughed. Mauckingbird.org.
COMEDIAN: Alejandro Morales
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Stan. Stan who? Standup comedian Alejandro Morales is one funny son of a bitch. (Ba-dum-bum.) Catch the “comedian at large” in shows around the Gayborhood and beyond.
NEW DRAG QUEEN: Maddy Milan
Part Kitty Wells, part Joan Collins on too much bubbly, you never know if this ditzy queen is going to dazzle you with a ditty or smack you upside the head with a pair of the lowest hanging titties this side of Shady Pines. If you’re extra lucky, she just might do both.
ANNUAL EVENT: OutFest
As gay Philadelphians, we’re blessed with an array of LGBT goings-on, but only one takes place right in the Gayborhood. This autumn block party continues to grow, this year bringing in more than 20,000 homos to rage in the name of being out and damn fabulous. Phillypride.org/outfest.
WEB SERIES: One of the Guys
Out of the handful of Philly-based LGBT web series that popped up this year, nothing makes us smile as consistently as Michael Busza’s Emmy-nominated (!) One of the Guys. Shot on Temple’s campus, the show concerns three gay men and their straight roomie, tackling all kinds of millennial-focused shenanigans and doling out LOLs by the minute. The last two episodes of the series will air between now and next spring, with the finale promising to find the guys splashing around in … Rehoboth!
ART GALLERY: Bridgette Mayer
Housed in an airy 1799 Old City brownstone, the contemporary collections never get dull, thanks to the glamorous blonde curator, whose drive to showcase quixotic, under-the-radar artists is both passionate and laser sharp. And she’s the gallerist who truly gives back: A recent show turned over 20 percent of proceeds to BalletX, the city’s edgy ballet company. Now that’s creative inspiration. 709 Walnut St., 215-413-8893, bridgettemayergallery.com.
An Internal Affairs investigation has been launched after two men who were arrested at OutFest a few weeks ago claim that officers unnecessarily used excessive force when taking them into custody.
OutFest was amazing this year — one of the best yet. The turnout was immense, the performances were hilarious and sexy and exciting, and each party was better than the next. Enjoy our slideshow of photos, where we focus on some of the fiercest entertainers and a handful of the most-colorful faces in the crowd. We’ll have the rest up on our Facebook page later this evening.
Photos by Ian Watson
There are some who believe OutFest, the annual celebration to mark National Coming Out Day, is the ultimate Philly Pride celebration. Why? Well, unlike other major LGBT events, like Pride or Equality Forum, this one takes place right in the heart of our Gayborhood. It’s also one of the season’s last block parties, where, as Alexander Kacala explains in our Big Gay Fall Guide, “The fiercest of Philadelphia drag queens are represented by performances all day … while cruising becomes an Olympic event in the Bike Stop’s back parking lot, where cheap beers are chilled and the boys treat 12th Street like a runway.”
To help you make the most of your festivities, I’ve rounded up some of the day’s must-do events — from Philly’s largest-ever outdoor drag show to the two lesbian parties that seek to keep the wayward Sisters crowd bumping all day long. Happy Coming Out Day!
Friday, Oct. 5
Celebrate the Third Annual City of Philadelphia LGBT History Month (2 p.m.) at City Hall when Mayor Nutter, the Office of LGBT Affairs and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations raise the rainbow flag.
The Old City Seaport Festival kicks off (5 p.m.) with a week of events at the Independence Seaport Museum.
Kembrel is celebrating its new men’s shop (5 p.m.) with the latest fashions for the fellas in its locally designed and sustainable showroom.
Boyd’s is hosting a Shoe Extravaganza with new men’s and women’s designer footwear (5 p.m.).
Join the LGBT for Obama Bar Crawl with Rep. Babette Josephs and Sherrie Cohen starting at Woody’s (6 p.m.).
Tabu hosts Thank Goddess It’s OMG (9 p.m.) with the Notorious OMG, The Goddess Isis, Miss Mary Wanna, Miss Rose and Serena Starr.