On the Gaydar: May LGBT Events

By Brian Goldthorpe
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted Apr. 27, 2011

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Photo by Matt Petrillo

Heroes 2011

Spring has officially sprung in the City of Brotherly Love, kicking off what I call Pride Season. Most major U.S. cities have one gay pride celebration, but that simply isn’t enough in the birthplace of independence. Beginning with this week’s Equality Forum, Philadelphia has a series of pride events between spring and fall, including the LGBT Pride Parade and Festival (June 12) and Outfest (October). One of the most popular upcoming functions is Heroes 2011, a fundraiser for the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF). DVLF is a grant-maker—it raises money and awards it to LGBT service organizations through a competitive, merit-based proposal process. This month, DVLF will paint the PNC Center with every color of the rainbow at Heroes and announce this year’s “LGBT heroes”—citizens who have led our community to new heights.

Fri., May 6, 6pm. The PNC Center, 1600 Market St. dvlf.org

Dragapalooza: Broadway Divas

“Dragapalooza: Broadway Divas” is coming back for a return engagement. In March, more than 400 exuberant fans came out to witness the debut performance of Bruce Yelk’s masterpiece. Word is, he’s planning some special surprises that are guaranteed to raise the bar, again. The show is a celebration of songs from the Great White Way’s most iconic musicals, including Wicked, Chicago, Hairspray, Dreamgirls, Mary Poppins and Rent. Every step is expertly choreographed by Jason Josephs (aka, Diana Dharling). The cast includes the cream of Philly’s drag-performance crop including Diana Dharling, Isis, Navaya Shay, Joey Josephs and more. Brittany Lynn will reprise her hosting duties, lending a plentiful supply of witty one-liners that will have the audience begging for more.

Sat., May 21, 9pm. Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 St. James St. nightlifegay.com

Lambda Legal Fundraiser

Also taking advantage of increased LGBT visibility at the outset of Pride Season is Philadelphia’s chapter of the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund. Across the spectrum of nonprofit organizations, few have made contributions as impactful in the daily lives of gay people as Lambda Legal. Its staff and volunteers fight to end discrimination in courtrooms, Capitol buildings and boardrooms throughout the country. Philly’s most influential LGBT movers and shakers—lawyers, politicians, civic leaders, media personalities—will be OUT to honor Lambda Legal and enjoy cocktails and a silent auction. There will also be a special viewing of the exhibit “Paris Through the Window: Marc Chagall and His Circle,” to highlight the celebration.

Thurs., May 12, 6pm. Art Museum. lambdalegal.org

12th Street Gym’s 25th Anniversary

A little over 40 years ago, Philly’s Gayborhood relocated from Rittenhouse Square to Washington Square West. For four decades, several proprietors and community leaders have invested their capital and passion to support the area. While many strived to be successful, few have made an impact like Rick Piper, owner of 12th Street Gym. For 25 years, 12th Street Gym has consistently supported the neighborhood and city. It’s far more than a place to exercise; it’s a community gathering spot, a supporter of local non-profit organizations and a company that welcomes diversity in all shapes and sizes. The gym is not an exclusively LGBT facility; 60 percent of its members are not gay. It’s simply a place where absolutely everyone is welcomed with open arms. Piper feels strongly that the health of a city’s residents is paramount to strengthening the city itself. That philosophy pervades every aspect of his business. “Over my desk is a sign I made several years ago: ‘Not one iota of entitlement.’ It reminds me and my team that we earn our stripes with every customer every day,” Piper says. In celebration of 12th Street Gym’s 25th anniversary, Piper will host an event to unveil a commemorative 25th anniversary portrait of the complex. The event marks the official kick-off a month-long celebration at 12th Street Gym, which includes several other gatherings and programs in June.

Fri., May 25, 10am. 12th Street Gym, 204 S. 12th St. 12thstreetgym.com

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COMMENTS

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1. D. Elijah V. said... on Apr 27, 2011 at 12:56PM

“In reference to the article titled "Heroes 2011"
Yet again the media drops the ball, showing an amazing lack of information or is it just plain prejudice? The Pride Season as you like to call it actually kicks off the last week of April with a week long series of events sponsored by an organization known as PBGP (Phila. Black Gay Pride) but it seems to be overlooked for whatever reason this organization has successfully provided entertaining and educational events for over a decade now and still have not received any official acknowledgment of any contributions oh and let's not forget some other organizations considered to be a minority group...yes I do understand the limited space to publish the small article but come on let's be fair at least give kudos all the way around the full spectrum... By the way pardon the grammar I'm typing on my blackberry with one thumb... Thanks for letting me rant for a minute peace! P.S. And thank very much if this get's posted!?!--D. Elijah V.”

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2. D. Elijah V. said... on Apr 27, 2011 at 01:14PM

“Um wow all that ranting and forgot to put the website where you can find the information for PBGP -www.phillyblackpride.org please check it out oh and sorry about the triple post blame the blackberry lol!?! Again check out phillyblackpride.org. You may be pleasantly surprised!?!”

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3. Andrea Lamour-Harrington said... on Apr 27, 2011 at 01:43PM

“Once again our all inclusive news is so exclusive it leaves out all of the hard work that Philadelphia Black Gay Pride has done to ensure that Philadelphia's Pride is shown to the world. It baffles me how you expect African Americans to support our Pride efforts and the only ones that get the credit are from Philly Pride. Are we still in the sixties with the dogs being called on the blacks that dare to represent their Pride or are we in the middle of the 21st century still trying to catch up with Midevil times of, I see you but you don't count. And again I say shame on you. I do not speak for Phlly Black Pride I speak for all blacks who are tired of our efforts being continuously denied and looked over. I am a proud board member of Philadelphia Black Gay Pride and it saddens me that in this day and age predudice is still being thrown in my face and legally there is nothing I can do about it but, pray for you.................I do not patronize”

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4. PhillyGayCalendar said... on Apr 27, 2011 at 05:01PM

“We are proud to have all the events for PBGP listed on out site http://phillygaycalendar.com, and have been promoting the events with a banner ad and emails for awhile now. While many media groups have limited space and do not promote all the events, we strive to be the most inclusive events listing in the region!”

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5. Roberta Gallaway said... on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:41PM

“I pose this question, When talking on a panel about Africa or even African Americans why is the panel White. How can a person who does not look like me represent me. Equality Forum is not my voice, I am not represented in anything they do. Why do the African American population of Philadelphia not support Equality Forum because you do see us unless there is something in it for you. I attend a couple events last year and I could count the African Americans on one hand...How sad it that. The City of Philadelphia has a high percentage of LGBTQ African Americans, but it is know as a white gay male city. I was going to Sunday Out, but instead a group of African American Lesbians decided we are having a FAMILY day out...For US and About US. Equality Forum just a friendly suggestion, maybe you would want to add some "color" to your planning committees, board, or panels and maybe then the word Equality will have the correct meaning. Ashe”

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