Photos: Faces at the Equality Forum 2013 VIP Kickoff Party

Last nights party was attended by a veritable who's who of Philadelphia A-list LGBTQers.

Equality Forum board member Stephen Masso, Ben Haney and Equality Forum Executive Director Malcolm Lazin.

The 21st annual Equality Forum got off to a delightful start last night in a ballroom in the Hotel Monaco in Old City. The guest list boasted a fascinating list of Philly LGBTQ A-listers — from politicians and educators to artists and activists.

While most of the evening was about mingling, there was a small welcome ceremony in the middle led by Equality Forum Executive Director Malcolm Lazin. His speech was short and sweet, and included the presentation of an ally award to Arlen Specter, which was accepted on the late senator’s behalf by his wife and son, Joan and Shanin. Lazin touted Specter’s unwavering support for LGBTQ rights, specifically pointing out the politician’s co-sponsorship of ENDA and his championing of HIV awareness. After that, the meeting and greeting resumed in full force. You can see photos of many of the attendees below.

The Equality Forum event schedule begins tonight with the National Religious and National Transgender panels. Later, it’s time to slip back into festive mode with the Welcome Party at Mixto in Wash West. For time and location information and to see a schedule of all this year’s events, check out And be sure to follow G Philly throughout the weekend for more in-depth coverage, including live-tweeting of panels, party pics and reviews.


Local author Tom Nickels and writer/artist Natalie Hope McDonald
Victoria Wyeth, granddaughter of artist Andrew Wyeth, and Attic Youth Center board member Tami Sortman.
Councilman Jim Kenney, attorney Anthony Forte and ACLU Pennsylvania Executive Director Reggie Shuford.
Michael Wolf and National Museum of American Jewish History’s Robert H. Levin
Local attorney and Equality Forum board member Angela Giampolo and former out City Council candidate Sherrie Cohen.
Performance artist Tobin Rothlein, Roger Nelson and photographer Lyno.

Equality Forum Communications Director Chip Alfred and board member Stephen Masso.

Councilman Mark Squilla flanked by Equality Forum volunteers (and partners) Chris Hayes and Alfredo Sosa.

State Representative Brian Sims deep in chat with NMAJHs Robert H. Levin and another fellow whose name I couldn't get. Can anyone help?

Attorney Angela Giampolo smooching her partner, and the evening's winner for best name, Dileimys Franco.

The party-starters: Natalie Hope McDonald, Lyno and UArts exhibit curator Jordan Rockford.