The Midtown Village Festival, Indigo Ball, IndiGoGo, Philly Trans March and Outfest all dominated our weekend. Not only did the LGBT community turn out in full force to support great causes – everything from the William Way LGBT Community Center to local shops, restaurants, bars and businesses – but not even a cold spell and some rain yesterday could keep people from showing their pride.
We’ve rounded up a few highlights – and collected a few photos from our friends – to help celebrate.
On Friday, Mayor Michael Nutter joined with LGBT leaders to raise the rainbow flag at City Hall for LGBT History Month. Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs Gloria Casarez was there, along with other notables, like Mazzoni’s Executive Director Nurit Shein. The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus also provided patriotic music for the event – the third time the flag has been raised at City Hall for the important month.
Later that night, Rep. Babette Josephs, who’s just introduced a bill that would ban conversion therapy for minors in Pennsylvania, was joined by Sherrie Cohen on an LGBT for Obama Bar Crawl that kicked off at Woody’s. Supporters shared information about the campaign and helped people get registered to vote in time for the Nov. 6 election.
On Saturday, the Midtown Village Festival (seven years and counting) was bigger than ever with outdoor booths that spanned from Sansom to 12th Street and down Locust. Many of the gay bars and restaurants also got more involved this year as the party continued well into the evening. We have to hand it to UBar and Tabu for being especially festive – and we’ve never seen so many straight allies in Woody’s!
By 3 p.m., the Philly Trans March started with a rally and moved its way from Love Park down Broad Street. The march brought much-needed attention to gender equality and addressed issues of hate, healthcare and discrimination. The march also celebrated the progress the trans community has made in Philly and was among the most diverse events of the weekend.
Later, the Indigo Ball attracted hundreds to the Franklin Institute on the Parkway were two community leaders were honored by Mayor Nutter – Al Besse as Humanitarian of the Year and Deb Francesco with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Optimal Sport Health Clubs also received an award for Community Partner of the Year with owners Jeff Shablin, Yul Giraldo and Domenic Gallelli in attendance.
William Way volunteer SharRon Cooks also shared her story about why the center is so important to people just like her. And Christopher Bartlett talked about why community centers are so important, especially in challenging economic times. “We’re open 365 days a year to provide a safe haven” he says, “especially on those days such as Thanksgiving and Christmas when many other resources shut down.”
The party continued at IndiGoGo at Voyeur with four DJs spinning diverse playlists. DJ Robert Drake had the Ruby Lounge packed earlier in the evening with friends enjoying the retro tunes, while the go-go dancers had guests dancing until the early morning upstairs with DJ Deejay, Jovi and Kash on deck.
The threat of bad weather didn’t keep anyone from coming out, so to speak, for Outfest on Sunday. G Philly was there to make sure everyone got their hands on our “Best of” issue and to meet new friends and loyal readers alike (thanks to everyone who stopped by), while drag stars, singers and community leaders took to the stage throughout the afternoon. The women of Stimulus kept the party going for eight hours at Voyeur with one of the biggest Outfest after-parties yet.
Congratulations to everyone, all of the community organizations and people who made this weekend memorable!