Earlier this month I attended the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) TOY 2021, it’s an annual holiday fundraising event to benefit DVLF. Guestsbuy tickets to attend, and bring an unwrapped toy for the children who will spend the holidays in the hospital. This years event was hosted by merriest of couples Miguel Martinez-Valle and Raymond Smeriglio with the very entertaining Varla Jean Merman who kept us in stitches for her entire set, including the very brave Ric Harris, President & General Manager, NBC10/Telemundo who didn’t cover his eyes or ears once,
even though I may have with Varla’s real take on LGBTQ life, hook ups and relationships especially in Covid times…. She is a must see in any season.
The event also featured a hearty brunch buffet, open bar and a silent auction to raise additional funds.
TOY is DVLF’s annual fundraising event that edifies the organization’s ability to provide for the emerging needs of the LGBTQ+ community in the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley metropolitan area.At TOY, DVLF will deliver annual grant recipients with grant checks. Additionally, because DVLF was not able to provide an in-person event at the time, they will also honor annual HEROES award recipients who have contributed to activism and growth within the Philadelphia LGBTQ+ community.
All eight locations will feature a special-colored cocktail that matches up with the eight colors of the Philadelphia Gay Pride Flag. All eight cocktails to match the eight colors in the Philly-specific and inclusive rainbow flag will raise money for four different charities. One dollar from all eight cocktails during the 30 days of June will go to support William Way LGBT Community Center,Attic Youth Center, Philly Asian Queer and Galaei. This stance in social solidarity hopes to shine light to the various communities that the celebration of national Pride month helps represent, being mindful to include all groups that help make Philadelphia the amazing, diverse community it is. FCM Hospitality will compile donations from all venues and equally divide them between the organizations which were selected for their dedicated work and ongoing efforts to focus on intersectional populations. Additionally, FCM Hospitality will host the first-ever Philly Gay Pride Day at Parks on Tap at Trail’s End on Saturday, June 12, 2021, from 12:00pm to 6:00pm.
#loveislove Gay Pride Month Special Beer Release (also, Philly Beer Week) Available at the Lab at Evil Genius and through GoPuff starting June 1st Evil Genius Beer Company Love who you want to, drink what you want to! Evil Genius Beer Companyy celebrates June as Philly Gay Pride Month with a special limited edition beer release #loveislove. This brand-new Strawberry Blonde Ale (6% ABV) is crisp with a hint of natural strawberry flavor. A portion from all sales will be donated to The Trevor Project, a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQIA+ youth. Starting June 1st, #loveislove is available in Evil Genius’ new 12 ounce cans at the Lab in Fishtown – and for exclusive delivery to your front door through a Pride partnership with GoPuff. The beer will also be available on limited release in drafts at the Lab and Evil Genius Beer Garden. Limited supplies of #loveislove will also be available at retailers and restaurants in Harrisburg and York, PA.
Philadelphia, get ready to dance again! Timed with the reopening of Philadelphia bars and dance floors, BOS Philly will take over Concourse Dance Bar with Pride Night featuring DJ K!RK. Get ready for the first big party of the year! Celebrate Pride Month with the team that brought you Primal, Goldlust, Fairydust, and more! Concourse has become known for its Instagram-famous ball pit, this massive underground nightclub in Center City is decked out with eclectic, retro flair. Get ready to dance for the first time in a year and a half! This event is presented by BOS Philly at venue Concourse Dance Bar. Tickets are $25 or save $5 when tickets are bought in advance with promo code BOS2021. Tickets are available at: http://bosphilly.com.
Northern Liberties, the years of waiting are over and Philly’s hottest food neighborhood finally will get its bagel shop! Glu Hospitality debuts its first-ever breakfast and lunch concept Bagels and Co (1001 N 2nd St) with a grand opening celebration between Friday, June 4 and Sunday, June 13, 2021. On June 12th, Bagels and Co. will celebrate their grand opening with festivities all day with a free cup of coffee with any bagel or sandwich purchase. Bagels and Co. will stay open that day for a Grand Opening Public Party in conjunction with Northern Liberties Second Saturday and Artists at Work, with a DJ, featured artist at work, samples, giveaways – plus a local offer for the neighborhood with 10% off for any locals who show identification, mail or anything that says they are from No Libs and 19123 zip code – or from anyone that works in the neighborhood. More happening in the Northern Liberties Business Improvement District presents Artists at Work Celebrate Pride. On Saturday, June 12th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, head to various businesses in Northern Liberties for a celebration that features local artists showcasing and making their wares, including several featured LGBTQ artists.
Saturday, June 12, 2021 | 9:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
On Saturday, June 12, 2021, Come Alive 215 and Meet Philadelphia present a Pride Workout, Drag Show and Picnic Brunch – to benefit two essential local gay charities.
Double the trouble, double the fun, double the sweat! Fitness experts Kim Harari and Shannon Brennan of Come Alive 215 just won Best of Philly for Best Virtual Workout Class in 2020 – and the duo are keeping things moving into 2021! Their fitness classes are unlike anything else in the Philadelphia fitness market – and the electric workout experiences have gone viral! Now, the duo are headed back outdoors, with some of the biggest names in town – for Philly Gay Pride Month. For food, the duo get some help from one of the single biggest names in town. James Beard winner Michael Solomonov will be providing brunch bites, along with other complimentary food and drink from the likes of Crystal Head Vodka, Athleta, NY Bagel Butler, Red Bull, Bean2Bean and more. Drag performances will showcase the talents of Vinchelle, Iris Spectre and Poochie, with beats from DJ Kat Bancer. Tickets are on sale now for $65.00 with a portion of proceeds being donated to The Attic Youth Center and William Way LGBT Community Center. For details and tickets visit hellopride.eventbrite.com.
As someone who’s attended nearly 30 years of Philly Gay Pride Parades, this year was the best year. I remember in the beginning the parade consisted of gathering in Washington Square Park, to walking around City Hall to nearly what it is today which is a grand parade starting in the Gayborhood, walking past Independence Hall and a festival to cap the day off.
Sunday felt different, it felt like what we had, what our the gay brothers and sisters fought for all these years. A community that comes together to celebrate our visibility, our diversity, the thread of connection which empowers us to be brave, be out and make a difference. Thank you to Frannie Price and her team bringing us together for the 31st time, in the historic 50th year since the riots of Stonewall.
It’s very simple why we have parades, festivals, and why we shout it from the rooftops. Being invisible allows other people, society to define you. Being visible we define ourselves, and what is best for our community, working towards that living, breathing goal.
Connor Barwin Moves to Fishtown, Babies, Weddings, Pride Day Philadelphia
Happy Father’s Day and Happy Pride Day Philly.
This past weekend former Philadelphia Eagles, now LA Ram’s player Connor Barwin and bride, Laura Barwin, packed up the remaining belongings from their house on Delancey Street in Rittenhouse Square
and headed to their new Philadelphia digs in Fishtown. Connor told me earlier this year that he’d be staying in Philly, but only needed half the house as he’ll only be staying here half the time. Fishtown seems to be on fire, earlier this year Little Pete told me if he were to open up another diner it’d be in Fishtown.
Speaking of Eagles players, artist Perry Milou met up with QB Carson Wentz recently after the 2nd year rising star saw Perry’s work on a friends FB page.
Speaking of Rocking it – Rocky is open again after a refresher. The sidewalk has been widened, and there’s a cute tiny fence installed around the popular statute to keep tourist off the grass, and not cut through the bushes to the side steps that make their way up to the Art Museum and city view.
This shot was taken yesterday afternoon during a drizzle. I hope to see you there today for the Gary Papa Run at 630am, which for me is in 4 hrs, yikes.
Congrats Brett Rosenbloom and Tina Strausser
Congrats to former G Lounge GM, and now Owner/Chef at Masters Bar & Restaurant Waylon Nelson, and Francesca DiDomenico-Nelson on their upcoming baby boy.
Thinking of you today Tara Lessard, longtime photographer of LGTBQ events, and everyday as you battle stage 4 ovarian cancer.
Congrats ladies, and Happy Pride Day
I saw this Saturday , amazing that a small country town like Woodbury, NJ could have rainbow flags on poles, stating Everyone is Welcome.
As many of you know I attended my uncle’s funeral on Friday. My Aunt Mary addressed the crowd at the luncheon and said love one another, tell the people who are in your life that they’re important, and when you are out in public, and you pass people by, strangers you don’t know, smile. A smile, a kind word and acknowledgment goes a long way. You never know how your day or their day is going to end. It’ll make a difference in both your days and a smile says so much.
Fashion Plate of the week
I spotted this guy on Chestnut Street on June 14 – Flag Day.
He wins the day, the week and every holiday this year in the best USA Pride.
Speaking of Pride and Flags….
I hope to see you at Pride today, smiling and waving whichever flag you feel represents you best:
bear flag, leather flag, Transsexual Flag, the black and brown rainbow flag
Today, the Kenney administration announced that Amber Hikes will take the helm of the Office of LGBT Affairs as Executive Director. She will begin this post on March 6th.
“My diverse experiences in the vibrant Philadelphia LGBTQ community first as a student, then as a professional, then as a business owner and finally as a community leader, afford me the unique opportunities to view LGBTQ community work in this city from multiple vantage points,” said Hikes. “I’m eager to serve my community during this pivotal time by increasing the accessibility of the Office, listening to community members and implementing initiatives to serve LGBTQ Philadelphians more efficiently and effectively.”
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Work Program, Hikes has served on the board of the William Way LGBT Community Center from 2011 through 2015, and was an organizer for the Philadelphia Dyke March from 2007-2015. She currently serves full-time as director of Upward Bound, a federally funded student service program at California State Long Beach providing education and resources to low income, underserved students. Hikes has worked with the national organization since 2009, and spearheaded the successful writing of a multimillion-dollar Department of Education grant to refund the Upward Bound program at the University of Pennsylvania for five years.
Additionally, Hikes organized seasonal community service events and fundraisers benefitting LGBTQ organizations such as GALAEI, William Way Community Center, Attic Youth Center, and ACLU-PA among many others.
*I’ve known Amber for several years, and I’m ecstatic for her. She is a great community organizer, and a friend to everyone
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