On the Gaydar: Philly Trans March and Outfest

By Raymond Simon
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Oct. 2, 2012

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Sign of the times: The Philly Trans March hopes to raise awareness of transgender issues.

Photo by Christian Axavier Lovehall

Philly Trans March

Members of the local transgender community will take to the streets this week for the second annual Philly Trans March. The event, which starts at Love Park, begins with a rally, continues with a march through Center City and returns to Love Park for performances by local transgender artists. The purpose of the march is to draw attention to both the accomplishments and the challenges of Philadelphia’s transgender, transsexual and gender-variant individuals. According to coordinator Christian Axavier Lovehall, the organization’s recent accomplishments include SEPTA’s decision to eliminate gender stickers on its passes by the spring of 2013, and the opening of Morris Home, a treatment program for transgender men and women struggling with addiction. The event will have a decidedly political tinge, says Lovehall. “The politics is important because this is a community of people who are suffering greatly. There are issues involving education, shelter and housing, to name just three ... our community needs to fight for equality.” After the rally, attendees will take up their placards and bullhorns for a brief march before returning to Love Park for a reading by Gender EDGE, a punk-inspired collective of the trans/queer community. Organizers encourage everyone to continue the discussion by stopping by William Way for TransVibrant, a post-march coffee klatsch where trans people can discuss the importance of spirituality to their personal journeys. Sat., Oct. 6, 3pm. Free. LOVE Park, JFK Plaza. facebook.com/phillytransmarch

Outfest

This Sunday, OutFest will transform the Gayborhood into one big block party. The event, held annually since 1990, celebrates National Coming Out Day and draws more than 40,000 people each year. The main stage is located at the intersection of 13th and Locust, but surrounding streets will be closed to traffic and will also feature vendors and attractions. OutFest has more than 140 sponsors, including major corporations like Wells Fargo, but it’s the involvement of local LGBT stalwarts, like Woody’s and Spruce Street Video, that make the afternoon a true family affair. Locals who’ve made contributions to the community will also be recognized, and the 2012 OutProud Award will be given to Assistant District Attorney Helen “Nellie” Fitzpatrick. Fun is the order of the day, whether it’s watching the high-heeled race, playing beer pong outside of Sisters or watching local talent on the main stage. Brittany Lynn’s Drag Mafia will work it for 30 minutes, and there will be an appearance by Mr. Philly Drag King 2012, Rough RydeHer. Fans of catchy dance pop are in for a special treat when Jade Starling, who sang lead vocals on Pretty Poison’s 1987 hit “Catch Me (I’m Falling),” debuts a few numbers from her upcoming album . Starling, who first played OutFest a decade ago, is delighted to be back. “I’m so excited to be a part of OutFest,” she says. “It’s where I got my start, and the loyalty from my gay fans touches my heart very deeply.” Sun., Oct. 7, noon. Free. 13th and Locust sts. phillypride.org

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