PHOTOS: Community Leaders Remember AIDS Victims at Ceremony in LOVE Park

G Philly and I were honored to be included in an event hosted by ActionAIDS yesterday, where community leaders gathered to read aloud 5,000 names of local people (and a few celebrities like Rock Hudson and Liberace), who lost their lives to AIDS. Among those speaking were ActionAIDS Executive Director Kevin Burns, ACLU of PA Executive Director Reggie Shuford, William Way Executive Director Christopher Bartlett. and WXPN host DJ Robert Drake.

A group of about 30 spectators showed up to listen to the touching tribute, despite the fact that it fell on a day winter just so happened to return to Philly. (It was so cold!) We toughed it out though, and I feel comfortable speaking for everyone else when I say we’re damn glad we did. Check out photos from the event below:



The event took place exactly a week from ActionAIDS annual fundraiser Dining Out for Life. If you haven’t made your reservations yet, now’s the time. Check out the full list of restaurants here, and be sure to stop by the Gayborhood, along Locust between 13th and Broad streets, from 11 am to 2:30 pm on April 30th for the DOFL Food Truck roundup.

Top Resources for Transgender People in Philadelphia

Attic Youth Center

255 South 16th Street
215-545-4331, atticyouthcenter.org
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.

GALAEI

1207 Chestnut Street
215-851-1822, galaei.org
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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William Way to Host Exhibit at National Constitution Center

Photo courtesy of Samantha Giusti

Photo courtesy of Samantha Giusti

The National Constitution Center (NCC) rolled out the rainbow carpet this morning to announce a new exhibit in partnership with William Way Community Center that will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the nation’s first LGBT protests—which took place right here in Philadelphia.

William Way Executive Director Christopher Bartlett was at NCC to share details about “Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court,” and the significance of the protests, which were started by Barbara Gittings and a team of freedom fighters and called Annual Reminders.

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DO THIS: Wing Bowl for Drag Queens to Kick Off Pride Weekend in Philly

wigs_and_wings_logo

Logo design by David Ayllon.

This year’s Wing Bowl seemed to stir up a particularly hefty amount of criticism, mostly concerning its objectification of women. This didn’t escape Alexander Kacala, socialite, a former contributor to G Philly and, full disclosure, a personal friend of mine. So he decided to do something to turn the whole thing on its head: compete in 2016 as his long-retired drag persona Tammy Faymous.

“I think we can all agree that the annual Wing Bowl in Philadelphia reeks of misogyny and homophobia,” he tells me. “So I took to social media to tell people I would compete as Tammy, and it was well received.” But then he thought he’d take it a step further: “Why not bring a bunch of drag queens together for a good cause and have them do what they do best, eat.”

His idea evolved into Wigs & Wings, where drag queens sponsored by Gayborhood businesses will pull up to a table and stuff their faces with chicken wings to raise funds for the William Way Community Center and MANNA, a local nonprofit that works to feed people in Philadelphia with life-debilitating diseases such as HIV and cancer.

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Your Big Gay Guide to Thanksgiving Week in Philly

Thanksgiving Week

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 »

Throwback Thursday: Chris Bartlett Remembers Philly In the Heat of 1990s AIDS Protests

Gay Riot 1990s_1

Outside City Hall in 1990, Chris Bartlett (left) and Dominic Piccirelli (right) hold a stretcher with a body at an ACT UP die-in. ACT UP die-ins were used to highlight the huge numbers of gay men still dying from AIDS due to government inaction. (Photo by David Acosta)

From time to time William Way Executive Director Chris Bartlett and I meet for a rummage through the John J. Wilcox Jr. Archives, a veritable treasure trove of relics from gay Philadelphia’s past. This week we opened a box of photos from one of Philadelphia’s first gay news weeklies, Au Courant, to find a host of photos of Philadelphia in the midst of AIDS protests in the early- to mid-1990s. The above photo from the era, showing a young Bartlett protesting outside City Hall in 1990, hangs in the Archives. It’s one of Bartlett’s prized possessions. (Seriously, you should see him beam when he talks about it.)

Check out some of our favorite snaps from the bunch, with captions by Chris Bartlett.

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How to Find a Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil Near You

transgender

Today is the last day of Transgender Awareness Week. Beginning on November 12th, the occasion was established to celebrate our transgender community, take action to improve the lives of trans people, and to remember those who have lost their lives to acts of anti-trans violence. That is what November 20th is all about, actually: Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day, as the Human Rights Campaign points out, that serves as a “solemn tribute to those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice and also raises awareness of the constant threat of brutality faced by the transgender community.”

In an email sent out this morning, HRC laid out a handful of reasons why it’s important for us to take part in days like this.

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Throwback Thursday: William Way’s Fantastic Collection of Gay Pulp Fiction Novels

Every week William Way Executive Director Chris Bartlett and I meet for a rummage through the LGBT community center’s John J. Wilcox Jr. Archives, a veritable treasure trove of relics from gay Philadelphia’s past. This week, I got sidetracked by the the Archives’ fantastic collection of gay pulp fiction novels. These gems, with erotic, albeit kind of hilarious covers, and even better cover lines, were donated from community members over the years. Check out some of my favorites—or at least the ones that I could show—below: 



 

PHOTOS: Indigo Ball 2014

On Saturday night, the William Way Community Center hosted its annual, oh-so-stylish fundraiser Indigo Ball at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). As always, it brought out Philly’s best-dressed LGBTers for a night of dancing, cocktailing and mingling. Philly photographer Sammy Munsch was in the house, and she was kind enough to share some of her best shots from the evening.



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