Welcome back! From Rehoboth Beach, Del., to Provincetown, Mass., and Fire Island, N.Y., to Asbury Park, N.J., Northeast gays are trading in sandals for sneakers as they return to city life. But fret not—I’ve got some ideas to help break (up) your “fall.” Philly’s first big event is the 3rd annual Gayborhood Games. Bruce Yelk created this live competition as an alternative to editorial rankings of local artists. These “best of” lists certainly serve a purpose, but the Gayborhood Games is a chance for performers to put up or shut up. A panel of judges, including drag icon Sand Beach and Steve McCann of PhillyGayCalendar.com, will award titles for outstanding singer, comedian, drag performer, bartender and pastry chef. Prizes for several categories include awesome perks. This year’s Outstanding Drag Performer gets the opportunity to perform at the Yelk-produced U.S. Mr. Gay Competition presented by Smirnoff Vodka and OffTo.com on Nov. 18-19. The Outstanding Comedian has the option to open for Hollywood star Alec Mapa when he performs an exclusive, one-night-only standup show this October. The contestants will each have six minutes to perform for the judges and audience. Bartenders invent an original Smirnoff cocktail; pastry chefs prepare a cake in advance and deliver it for judging during the competition. Samples of all cocktail and cake entries are served to the audience during intermission. Philly drag star Brittany Lynn hosts the event which prohibits her from competing, but her opening monologue is sure to be one of the night’s best comedy routines.
Sat., Sept. 17, 9pm. Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 St. James St. 215.735.5772.
Philly Celebrates the Repeal of DADT
One of the nicest things about summertime is taking a break from the nonstop cycle of political pundits and analysts clamoring for attention. With more than 12 months before the 2012 Presidential election, fasten your seatbelts for a bumpy, rabble-rousing ride filled with inflammatory rhetoric about gay rights. Very little public policy will be made or changed in the next year, but we can keep our spirits up by continuing to commemorate our victories. Two outstanding LGBT advocacy organizations, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and Equality PA are hosting a happy hour to celebrate the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” There’s no guest list, no “recommended” (i.e. mandatory) contribution, no rubber chicken dinner, no long-winded speeches and no one vying for your vote. The event is open to all LGBT Philadelphians and allies, and serves no agenda other than to celebrate one of the most important policy victories in the history of gay rights. It’s also a great opportunity for members of the local LGBT community to connect with the passionate staff and volunteers from two of our most impactful advocacy organizations.
Tues., Sept. 20, 5-7pm. Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar, 200 S. 12th St. 215.964.9675. tabuphilly.com
Sunday Brunch Cruise on the Spirit of Philadelphia
Philly was named one of the Top 10 U.S. cities for LGBT travelers in 2010, placing us ahead of several popular gay destinations. In celebration of Philly’s valued reputation amongst LGBT travelers, the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus is hosting a brunch cruise on the Spirit of Philadelphia. It’s open to the public, and an unparalleled opportunity to interact and network with the region’s leaders in LGBT travel and tourism. The two-hour cruise will provide guests with exquisite views of the Delaware River and Philly’s skyline while enjoying an excellent brunch. Get out and enjoy one of the last opportunities to enjoy the Spirit before the temperature drops.
Sun., Sept. 25, noon-2pm. 401 S. Columbus Blvd. 215.575.694. philadelphiagaytourism.com
On the Gaydar’s Word on the Street
Just a tip or two about upcoming gay events: Two real life beauty queens are confirmed to judge the 2011 U.S. Mr. Gay Competition this Nov. 18-19 in Philly. They’ll join two of my favorite openly gay reality TV stars on the judging panel. Any guesses?
Calendar: Sept. 30-Oct. 7