14th Annual Gay and Lesbian Art Exhibit
Vuth Lyno, this year’s featured artist, is a force gaining momentum out of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He is one of the founding six members of Stiev Selapak, (Art Rebels) a supportive art collective formed in 2007, which has opened the Sa Sa Art Projects, a communal art space/gallery designed to interact with its community in Cambodia. Lyno has also curated an LGBT art exhibition at Cambodian Pride 2010. Lyno’s Thoamada, which will be on display, exposes the broad similarities between queer and straight culture, showing the normal, habitual nature in all of us. Lyno will discuss his work at UArts on Thursday; his work will be displayed all week. Weekdays, 9am-10pm. Weekends, 11am-7pm. Free. William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. 215.732.2220. waygay.org
National Transgender Panel
In the U.S., there is no federal law protecting transgendered individuals from discrimination; states like Texas, Florida and Louisiana have no laws shielding them from workplace or housing discrimination. A panel featuring Ryan Sallans, a national speaker advocating for increased rights, and Dana Beyer, the executive director of Gender Rights Maryland, will discuss transgender civil rights on Thursday. Thurs., May 2. 8:30pm. Free. UArts Connelly Auditorium, 211 S. Broad St.
Shakespeare R + J
Romeo and Juliet heads to an all-male boarding school, sinking its teeth into the Bible with relish. Four young men will discover Shakespeare and their sexuality while inhabiting the legendary characters in this modified classic that manages to pick up pointed criticism about religion in the rewrite. Peter Reynolds will direct this youthful lust-fest over a two-day period. An oversized paper fan will be given to attendees attempting to cool down their desires. May 3-4. 8pm. $15/adults; $10/students and seniors. UArts Caplan Theatre, 211 S. Broad St.
Drag Show & Party
Nothing screams equality like a good drag show. A bunch of men and women will get their collective undergarments in a twist before raising hell at Tabu, a fun lounge and sports club in Midtown known for its big, gay heart. Fri., May 3. 8pm. $5. Tabu, 200 S. 12th St. 215.964.9675
National Legal Panel
There are court cases being decided by the Supreme Court with huge implications for the LGBT community in the U.S. right now. Many people are waiting for the Defense of Marriage Act to be struck down, relieving an unfair tax burden on those wishing to be married. And while this does not mark the end of the struggle in any regard, it is definitely worth discussion on what it means and what comes next. A panel made up of people well versed in the letter of the law will discuss these implications and future hurdles set before the LGBT community. Sat., May 4. 1pm. Free. UArts Connelly Auditorium, 211 S. Broad St.
15th Annual James Wheeler National Youth Panel
James Wheeler was a gay high school student in Lebanon, Pa., who showed an affinity for poetry and painting. In 1997, he committed suicide due to the relentless harassment of his peers. This panel is dedicated to his memory. Three of the youngest elected gay officials in the U.S. will talk of their experiences, showing change and growth can occur. Katherine Miller, the last West Point cadet discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” will moderate the panel. Sat., May 4, 2:30pm. Free. UArts Board Room, 211 S. Broad St.
Providing Opportunites for LGBT-Owned Businesses in Corporate America
Representatives from the Independence Business Alliance, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce for the Philadelphia area, and Exelon, one of the largest energy providers in the country, will lead a discussion on how to use the Supplier Diversity Initiative, which help promotes LGBT businesses for more opportunities with large, corporate companies. Sat., May 4. 1pm. UArts Terra Hall, 211 S. Broad St.
Featured Nation: Cuba
LGBT rights in Cuba have changed dramatically over the past 50 years. During the ‘60s and ‘70s, the sentiment of the general population in Cuba toward the queer community averaged to a basic antagonism that managed to flare in the ‘80s and beyond. People were deported, harassed and arrested by police, all because of their sexual orientation. And yet now, as of 2012, Cuba has its first transgendered public official in the form of Adela Hernandez. But the country still does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions of any kind. A three-person panel will analyze the current LGBT civil rights situation in Cuba, which includes Ada Bello, a Cuban native who helped found the Philadelphia chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis. Sat., May 4. 2:30pm. Free. UArts Connelly Auditorium, 211 S. Broad St.
SundayOUT! at The Piazza
Talented DJs, gifted singers and frenetic dancers will lead the way at the all-out Cinco De Mayo celebration taking place at the Piazza at Schmidt’s in NoLibs. Numerous food vendors on site will sate your base need for sustenance so you can enjoy the more flighty choices surrounding you. The Fuego Dance Company, out of Delaware County, has performed for the mercurial Tyra Banks, so you know they can handle anything once they get started with their sultry salsa dance moves. Osher Sabag, the classically trained vocalist drag queen from Tel Aviv, will also be making an appearance. Sun., May 5. Noon. $10. Piazza at Schmidt’s, North 2nd Street and Germantown Avenue.
SundayOUT! Tea Dance
Tea dances sprung out of English tea rituals in the late 1800s and involved formal dancing, food and, uh, tea. If you take out all the unnecessary posturing, you have the tea dances we all, of course, enjoy. Sisters Nightclub will be hosting the most auspicious of tea dances, featuring a cavalcade of well drinks, a plethora of stroboscopic lamps and a multitudinous array of gyration-based music. Kerli, of “Fizz Superstar” (sort of like “American Idol”) fame, will bring her fantastic, Estonian self to Sisters for a very special meet and greet, so bring your copy of Love is Dead and try not to turn into a blubbering mess. Sun., May 5. 6pm.
The United States’ Jewish community is well-known as one of the most progressive in the world. But that Leviticus quote anti-gay activists like to throw around: It’s totally from the Old Testament. We got in touch with Rabbi Denise Eger, an openly gay Jewish leader, for some answers.
The Very Rev. Gary Hall has been the dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., since the beginning of the year, and he’s already made some big changes. Most notably: America’s national church now allows same-sex marriages.
Berman, a Philly native who lived most of his childhood in South Jersey, realized young that there was a ton of liberation to be found in speculative literature—science fiction, fantasy and horror, that is—for queer kids.
City Hall wasn’t always so LGBT-friendly. In 1975, a lesbian activist group called the Dyketactics got kicked out of the building—literally—and helped set the stage for the gay-rights progress that followed.