On the Gaydar: May LGBT Events

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted May. 2, 2012

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Musician Ryan Cassata will speak at this month's Trans-Health Conference.


This month, the Wilma Theater teams up with the American Foundation for Equal Rights to present a one-night-only staged reading of Dustin Lance Black’s riveting courtroom drama 8. Using original transcripts and interviews with key participants, the play chronicles the historic trial that overturned Proposition 8 and led to the reinstatement of marriage equality in California. The Academy Award-winning writer of Milk and a leading activist in promoting LGBT rights, Black says he was compelled to write the play when video of the trial was sealed from public view. “People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter,” Black explains. The Wilma’s staging features four Tony Award-nominated actors—including UArts faculty member Forrest McClendon from The Scottsboro Boys —as well as Queer as Folk cutie Randy Harrison, Smash ’s Philip Spaeth and local Barrymore Award-winning performers Grace Gonglewski and Mary Martello (who, earlier this season, were sensational playing a lesbian couple in the Wilma’s production of Body Awareness ). Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights. (J. Cooper Robb) Mon/7, 7:30pm. $20. 265 S. Broad St. 215.546.7824. wilmatheater.org

ADL’s WALK Against Hate

While being the “City of Neighborhoods” is such a huge part of Philly’s character, far too many of our communities are plagued by bigotry, hatred and violence. So for one afternoon, the Anti-Defamation League is inviting locals of all ages and backgrounds to come together and embrace diversity while taking a scenic 5K stroll down Martin Luther King Drive. The second annual event will feature various activities to entertain the young and old alike, and all of the funds raised will be used to support the ADL’s mission and the development of programming such as No Place for Hate and Bearing Witness. Participants have the option of walking independently, forming a team or joining an existing one. (Nicole Finkbiner) Sun/20, 2pm. $5-$10. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Ben Franklin Blvd. walkagainsthate.org

Trans-Health Conference

The Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference features three full days of workshops and cultural events designed to empower transgendered people, their loved ones and their allies. Started in 2002 by local activists, the conference draws participants from around the globe. The conference will hold more than 180 different sessions on topics ranging from emergency medical care for transgender patients to getting the most pleasure out of your strap-on. Minister Louis Mitchell, an African-American transman, kicks off the proceedings Thursday morning connecting transpeople’s struggles to the larger fight for social justice. On Friday, activist Mya Vazquez and musician Ryan Cassata will address issues of importance to transgendered youth. And make sure to catch the staging of Tara’s Crossing , a play dramatizing the plight of a transgender woman who fled persecution in Guyana, only to wind up in a U.S. government detention center. Of course, nonstop workshops will grind down even the most ardent activist, so check out the Foundation Ball on Friday night. The Gershman Y will be transformed into a Harlem drag competition circa 1977; whether you fancy shy schoolboys or tough thugs, be sure to cheer on everyone fierce enough to strut down the runway. Everything comes to a close Saturday evening with “Blender!” an after party showcasing transgender musicians and burlesque artists. (Raymond Simon) Thurs/30, Through June 2. Free. Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. trans-health.org

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