The rain came down in sheets yesterday starting around 5 pm, but, as if Glinda the Good Witch was overlooking the National Constitution Center, the storm ceased at the start of last evening’s Our Night Out and held off until, ironically, the end of the event. The break in the weather certainly helped produce a robust crowd to support the William Way Community Center and Delaware Valley Legacy Fund. Guests were treated to lots of tasty nibbles, plus free admission to Speaking Out for Equality. We were on hand to capture some of the evening’s festivities.
Philly Pride isn’t quite over yet: A brand new celebration, Philly Youth Pride, will be rolling into town on July 5th, and it’s a whole different type of party aimed towards LGBTQ young people age 24 and below.
The Mazzoni Center is sponsoring the day-long event that is being built by, and for, youth, and is planned in connection with the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration that takes place throughout Philly from July 2nd through the 5th. The idea came to the organization after Mazzoni’s Student Leadership Board attended the National GSA Conference a year ago, and learned about a similar event in Washington, D.C. Mazzoni Education Manager Louie Ortiz couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity. Read more »
This past Friday, GALAEI held it’s 20th annual Alternative Prom, which they claim is the longest consecutive running event of its kind in the country. LGBTQ and allied youth from across the region danced the night away at the William Way Community Center in a safe, inclusive environment. Freedom G Photography (a team of Shanel Sherese and myself) was on hand to capture some of the great moments.
Next Wednesday, June 24th, Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program will dedicate a project a year in the making called Showing Face at the John C. Anderson Apartments. However, this isn’t just another art show: It’s a collaboration between youth from The Attic Youth Center and seniors from the Anderson Apartments, along with participants from William Way Community Center, that tries to bridge the cross-generational gap in the LGBTQ community. Read more »
William Way’s Homecoming is one of those events smack in the middle of Philadelphia Pride that you simply cannot miss. It is extremely inclusive and feels like a cozy, catered neighborhood gathering. On Saturday evening, June 13th, guests were welcomed to the John C. Anderson Apartments for a night of entertainment (provided by the fantastic jazz musician Dena Underwood), delicious food by Giorgio on Pine, and an open bar. The apartment courtyard, which was adorned with pictures, candles, and flowers, served as the centerpiece of the event. We were there to capture the heartfelt festivities, which were also part of the William Way Center’s 40th Anniversary celebration.
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.
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).
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.
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.