Weekend Roundup: Same-Sex Wedding Expo, Aiden James, Pissi Myles, OutFest, and More

HIGHLIGHT: We’re all waiting on pins and needles for this weekend’s 24th annual OutFest celebration. The event is one of gay Philly’s best, a reliable afternoon of good times, high spirits and A-plus entertainment from drag queens and LGBT arts groups across the city. The formula has stayed pretty much the same over the years, and it’s worked, but this year we have a little something extra to celebrate: marriage!

Thanks to Pennsylvania’s marriage equality ruling in May, this year’s OutFest will see more married and affianced couples than ever before. And I bet we’ll see a few engagements, too. With that in mind, local wedding expo organizer Bouche Productions is teaming with Wired 96.5 for a complementary Same-Sex Wedding Showcase happening from noon to 4 p.m. at the nearby Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel. They’re inviting lovebirds to stop by before, after or during OutFest to get to know some of the local vendors who are biting at the chomp to help put together a gay wedding.

There will be more than 50 vendors holding down the house–everything from photographers and DJs to florists and dress boutiques. There will also be a panel of wedding experts and enthusiasts—including yours truly and my Philadelphia Wedding colleague Carrie Denny—to answer any burning questions guests may have prior to their big days.

Tickets are $5, and they can be purchased here, or at the door. The price includes free cocktails, entry in raffle giveaways, food and swag bags. The Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel is located at 220 South 17th Street. See you there with wedding bells on!


Out singer-songwriter Aiden James performs at World Café Live Friday night.

Out singer-songwriter Aiden James performs at World Café Live Friday night.

Celebrate the release of Rachelle Lee Smith‘s photographic essay book, Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus, which features young people telling stories about their coming-out experiences. Look out for performances from the Attic Youth Center, a photo art gallery, a book signing, and more. —Aubrey Nagle

Philly (and world) favorite Aiden James is back from touring around the country to treat his hometown to a pre-OutFest show at World Café Live. He’ll perform his greatest hits, maybe (hopefully) his cover of Whitney’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and his latest single “Last Reminder.” See the video here.

Mama’s back. Lascivious Jane presents Philly’s tastiest all-female cabaret, featuring a handful of femme-fabulous drag, burlesque, circus, sideshow, and live vocal acts, like Alannah Caldwell, Lobstar Bisque, Kim Infiniti. 

Mimi Imfurst is kicking off a new tradition of holding the Miss Philly Gay Pride pageant on the Friday before OutFest. Imfurst will take over hosting duties, while judges Jay McCarroll, Cory Wade of America’s Next Top Model, and more pick the lady who will don the crown at next year’s Gay Pride parade. —Aubrey Nagle


pissi myles

Pissi Myles hosts a variety show Saturday night at L’Etage.

Get Saturday started early by raising money for the Mazzoni Center and Philly AIDS Thrift at Stonewall  Kickball’s Philly Charity Pub Crawl. Folks will have a chance to drink, mingle, and take part in a variety of activities as they wind their way through bars like Field HouseTabu, and Woody’s. See the full crawl list here, and be sure to register here to get in on the drunken fun.

March for equality and to protest against the hate, injustice, and inequality faced by trans*, gender variant, gender queer and gender non-conforming communities in the fourth annual Philly Trans* March 2014. This march is not only a demonstration on issues like hate violence and social discrimination. It is also a celebration of the progress Philadelphia has made and a means of raising visibility for the trans* community. The March leaves LOVE Park at 4 p.m. —Aubrey Nagle

Schlap on your Lipschtick for a variety hour with Drag Wars Season 4 winner Pissi Myles at L’Etage, presented by Philly’s most-prolific presenter, Josh Schonewolf.

Not enough drag for you? Mimi Imfurst hosts Monthly Visit: Night of the Living Drag at Voyeur with Satine Harlow, Ariel Versace, Navaya Shay and more.

The place to dance on Saturday night is The Bike Stop—in costume, of course— at Gear Up, Get Out. Put on your best sport, military, uniform, rubber, or leather gear and end your night with a (dress code-enforced) dance party. Jam to tunes by Dave Huge on Bike Stop’s top floor, all hosted by Philadelphians M.C. —Aubrey Nagle

Too leather-y? Do the Transylvanian twist at Venture Inn’s Halloween-themed Nitty Gritty dance party.


Love is Love Project at OutFest 2013 | Photo by Ian Watson

Love is Love Project at OutFest 2013 | Photo by Ian Watson

Duh, it’s the OutFest Block Party. The best Gayborhood block party of the year takes over about 10 blocks, and will go all day long with 160 different groups and vendors in the largest National Coming Out Day event in the world. The Main Stage, at 13th and Locust streets, plays host to live entertainment all day, plus look out for the Official OUTFest Women’s/Queer Block PartyBazaar on Quince, and Back 2 Basics and Pulse’s after-parties at Tabu and Voyeur. See our complete rundown here.

If you have any energy left after your OutFest-ing festivities, check out R. Eric Thomas’ one-man rom-com, Always the Bridesmaid at L’Etage. We saw the performance last Tuesday night and can tell you you’ll be in for a thoughtful evening of gut laughs from one of Philly’s funniest, quick-witted storytellers.