On Friday, the Black and Brown Workers Collective, an LGBTQ/racial justice activist group, organized a public demonstration outside of City Hall, ICandy and Woody’s. Roughly two dozen activists protested perceived racism at Gayborhood bars and what they say is inaction by the city’s Office of LGBT Affairs over the issue. Read more »
Around midnight on Saturday, September 17th, popular Gayborhood performer Kemar Jewel arrived at Woody’s with some friends to celebrate a successful FringeArts gig he’d just finished. To his surprise, for the first time in seven years of regular patronage of the bar, he was rejected at the door — and the reason puzzled him: Jewel was told he could not enter because he was wearing Adidas trackpants and sneakers.
“The bouncer told me that they couldn’t let me in with sweatpants and sneakers because that’s their policy,” Jewel, 25, says. “I was outraged … a place that I’ve called home for years had now flipped the script on me.” Read more »
Metro columnist Ernest Owens‘ piece “Black Not Fetch Enough for Woody’s?” from in May of this year caused quite a heated debate about racial segregation in gay Philly, and when G Philly interviewed him several days after his article came out, he claimed that “separate isn’t always equal” when it comes to gay spaces:
“The inclusive vibe of the space and the respect that takes place is what is lacking. You can put various people of color in one room, but that doesn’t mean they feel as welcomed. Clearly, Woody’s and iCandy had no problem accepting my cash to enter, but after checking in my coat, my experience didn’t match what the white gays experienced. Acceptance and tolerance are two different things.”
Yesterday, Owens launched a Change.org petition that calls for these bars “to deal with their current signs of potential racism and de facto segregation among what should be a safe space for all.” However, after speaking with an attorney for one of the bars, the management at Woody’s is insisting that they have a diverse establishment. Read more »
The Welcoming Committee has taken over all kinds of straight bars since they started in Philly a few years ago, and they’ve even done sold-out runs at the Phillies stadium. But in June they’re going for something a little bigger: Center City!
On June 20th, they’ll set out for an afternoon of day-drinking and glitter-spreading on their Center City Bar Crawl, which will begin at Ladder 15 on 15th and Sansom and conclude at Woody’s, because, well, that’s where the booty’s at.
Mayoral candidate Jim Kenney is stopping by Woody’s this evening for a fundraiser and to chat about his vision for the future of Philly.
A rep from Kenney’s office says that his stop in the Gayborhood is part of his pledge to travel to every neighborhood and community in Philadelphia throughout the course of his campaign. The candidate is also a longtime supporter or LGBT rights in Philly, helping pass 2013’s LGBT Equality Bill and last fall’s LGBT-specific hate-crime bill during his time as city councilman.
Tonight’s event starts at 6 pm. With temperatures expected to be in the high 50s—and given Kenney’s outgoing, off-the-cuff personality—I’m guessing Woody’s will open its front windows to throw a big ol’ festive affair. Tickets are pricey, though, at $100 a pop.
If you’re looking to meet Kenney in a more laidback (read: cheaper) atmosphere, he will be at William Way this Friday at 10:30 am to speak at a free event with Brian Sims and other LGBT leaders.
1003 East Main Street, Norristown
Norristown’s unassuming, beagle-loving gay bar (it was named after the owner’s pooch Timmy) has great drink specials for happy hour and, on Wednesday nights, drag queens Thunder Showers and Summer Clearance stop by to give out blush-worthy prizes at their Kinky Quizzo event. The cozy atmosphere and cheap beer are always a welcome bonus. Best for: Kinky Quizzo, karaoke on Friday nights, and a decent lesbian scene outside Philly.
Bob and Barbara’s
1509 South Street
One of the more fun, worn-in bars that houses our rowdy little community. Plenty of our favorite performers—drag and burlesque alike—have done shows here, and it houses regular performances by queer-centric performance art troupe the Dumpsta Players. Best for: Cheap drinks (go for the Citywide Special), live jazz, and raunchy shows.
1330 Walnut Street
The Gayborhood’s newest addition to the gay-bar scene, this New York City chain stands apart by having its bartenders slinging drinks in nothing but red mesh shorts (Inside tip: it’s rumored that most of them don’t wear undies.) There are pool tables upstairs, and a twice-weekly poker night for those looking for a little game-play in the hood. Best for: Great happy hour prices, unpretentious feel, bartenders in mesh shorts (duh).
The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus (PGMC) are reprising their popular annual bachelor auction, just in time to snag a Valentine.
For its 14th Bachelor Auction, the Chorus will offer up at least five of their songbirds and two mystery bachelors to the highest bidder. The auction takes place on February 7th from 7 to 10 p.m. at Woody’s. The witty Stella D’Oro will play host to an evening of drink specials, raffles, games and eligible men who—if it all works out—can sing you sweet lullabies every night before bed.
Here’s the list of this year’s five confirmed PGMC bachelors. Start saving now; it’s a selection worth forking over some dollars for:
The $10 admission goes a long way: entry to Woody’s upstairs dancefloor when the auction ends, and proceeds benefit PGMC’s upcoming projects, which most recently will include Proud Marys: A Diva Sing-Along. Info on the auction and upcoming shows can be found on PGMC’s website.
If you were out strutting with the Mummers yesterday in the Gayborhood, chances are you saw what appeared to pop up out of nowhere: a new Mexican eatery in the location of the former much-loved frozen yogurt shop Sweet Endings. Read more »
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.
Today, we share images picked from a bin of photos donated to the archives after it was discovered in the basement of late Philadelphia Gay News (PGN) photographer Harry Eberlin‘s longtime partner Richard DeMatt. The photos span the past few decades, and feature some local LGBT notables, like PGN publisher Mark Segal, Philly leather community matriarch Pearl, Woody’s founder and Knock owner Bill Wood, and even a baby-faced Ed Rendell.
We weren’t able to identify everyone, so feel free to comment below or email me if you recognize anyone in the photos.
Have photos from Philly’s LGBT past you’d like to share? Submit them to Josh Middleton at firstname.lastname@example.org.