GALAEI Issues Response and Apology Over Mr. SEXO Event

Mr. SEXO 2015 Marcous Marchese with last year's winner Syfr Gavriel, Elicia Gonzales and host Cyannie Famouz. Photo by Freedom G Photography

Mr. SEXO 2015 Marcous Marchese with last year’s winner Syfr Gavriel, Elicia Gonzales and host Cyannie Famouz. Photo by Freedom G Photography

In December, we reported on the controversy surrounding the crowning of a white male at this year’s Mr. SEXO competition, a self-proclaimed search for a “gay/queer Latino who is the epitome of sexy,” co-sponsored by GALAEI and PhillyGayCalendar. An open letter from The Gran Varones, which essentially slammed the competition, calling it “a reduction and objectification of brown bodies in a community that does not even acknowledge us as whole people,” added quite a bit of fuel to the fire as to why the contest seemed to have gone astray. Read more »

Sean Verdi Dies of Apparent Drug Overdose

Sean Verdi, who you may remember as one of PhillyGayCalendar’s annual Boys of Summer lifeguards, was pronounced dead this week, succumbing to an apparent drug overdose. He was only 23 years old. The New York Daily News has more:

Verdi is a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology. | Photo from New York Daily News

Verdi is a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology. | Photo from New York Daily News

He was found unconscious Wednesday morning in a bathtub in hotelier Ian Reisner’s penthouse apartment on Central Park South, police sources said.

Sean Verdi, of Bay Ridge, was rushed from 230 Central Park South to Saint Luke’s Hospital after Reisner called 911 about 8:20 a.m., police sources said. He died at 9:03 a.m.

The death appeared to be a drug overdose, a police source said, but the Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy on Thursday.

Investigators do not believe that any criminality was involved, police said. At least one friend who was with Verdi told cops that Verdi had taken cocaine and molly, but no drugs were found at the apartment, a police source said.

Verdi was graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., in May. He majored in bioengineering and was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.

To read more of the piece, go here. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

PHOTOS: Boys of Summer Pool Party at North Shore Beach Club

Friday night about 100 muscle-y souls braved the rain to enjoy PhillyGayCalendar’s Boys of Summer 2014 kickoff pool party at North Shore Beach Club. The affair was the first in a weekend long parade of parties that raised money for the long-running LGBT events calendar. The following day there was a car wash on Camac Street (a video soon to come), followed by the big party at Voyeur nightclub and, on Sunday, an afternoon BBQ to close out the annual event. I’ve got photos of the pool party below.

Man Crush Monday: Meet Your 2014 Boys of Summer Lifeguards

Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. This week we had the Boys of Summer Swimsuit Party give us their favorites.

Last Five Man Crush Mondays:

TONIGHT: Mr. SEXO Competition at Woody’s [UPDATED]

Mr. SEXOIf you can believe it, Latin Night at Woody’s this evening is going to be a little sexier than usual, when GALAEI and PhillyGayCalendar team up to present the first annual Mr. SEXO competition. The pageant, GALAEI Executive Director — and our 2013 Hero honoree — Elicia Gonzales says, doubles “as a way to do a winter event comparable to Boys of Summer” and continue promoting SEXO, a 1992 sex-positive campaign that GALAEI revamped in April.

Men are asked to sign up for the event on-site, so Gonzales doesn’t know how many will participate. “I feel like we’ll have a good number, because there are a lot of guys in the community who like to show off their bodies and who are kind of hams anyway,” she laughs. But those who sign up shouldn’t rest on their muscles alone. “It’s a hot-body contest plus the [Q&A] round of Miss America.” She is hoping for a man who can embody what GALAEI represents, which, in a nutshell, is that everybody — gay, lesbian, trans, HIV-positive — deserves to have a healthy sex life.

More »