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PHI LADELPHIA GAY NEWS

est. 1976 HONESTY . INTEGRITY . PROFESSIONALISM

November 8-14, 2019 V ol. 43 N o. 45 pgn


O U R H I S T O R Y, O U R F U T U R E P h i l l y ’s f i r s t a t t e m p t a t n o n d i s c r i m i n a t i o n PAG E 4

Election brings historic Mayor Kenney signs LGBTQ


change to City Council, ‘inclusivity package’ into law
area races LAURA SMYTHE
laura@epgn.com

Mayor Jim Kenney signed an


“inclusivity package” expanding
protections for trans, nonbinary and
gender-nonconforming Philadel-
phians into law Thursday morning
at City Hall.
The three bills, introduced by
Councilmember Helen Gym,
amend the city’s Fair Practices
Ordinance with modern, inclusive
definitions of “sexual orientation”
and “gender non-conforming”;
require youth organizations to im- M AYO R K E N N E Y, S U R R O U N D E D B Y L E G I S L ATO R S A N D L G B T Q A C T I V I S T S ,
S I G N S T H R E E B I L L S E X PA N D I N G P R OT E C T I O N S F O R T R A N S , N O N B I N A RY
plement policies ensuring nondis-
A N D G E N D E R - N O N C O N F O R M I N G P E O P L E O C T. 3 1 AT C I T Y H A L L .
criminatory treatment of trans and Photo by Laura Smythe
gender-nonconforming youth; and
F R A N K P OTO PA , M I N O R I T Y I N S P E C TO R , A N D E L I Z A B E T H C O F F E Y ensure City and public buildings
W I L L I A M S , T H E F I R S T T R A N S G E N D E R J U D G E O F E L E C T I O N S , AT J O H N C .
“It’s our responsibility as a city recognized, affirmed and have in-
provide accessible, gender-neutral government to continue to fight alienable rights under the law,”
A N D E R S O N A PA R T M E N T S . P h o t o b y K e l l y B u r k h a r d t
bathrooms, including on each of for every member of marginalized Kenney said, adding,
floor of City Hall. page 19
VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH reassignment surgery on Facebook communities to feel safe, be seen, “These bills are a
PGN Contributor last month, citing an anti-LGBTQ

Change was on the ballot in


Pennsylvania on Tuesday and
religious group, held onto his seat
in a close race against Brooks’
WFP running mate Nicolas O’Ro-
Penn claims trans people are not
women, LGBTQ folks and people
of color were the winners as an-
urke. O’Rourke received 43,012
votes to Oh’s 49,700. Republi-
protected under federal antibias law
other blue wave swept through the can Al Taubenberger lost his seat TIMOTHY CWIEK mer employee at HUP who alleges she was illegally fired from her job
state, displacing Republicans in fa- to Brooks but would have beaten timothy@epgn.com at HUP after experiencing se-
vor of progressives. O’Rourke with 44,084 votes. Out vere harassment while a patient
Philadelphia made history Tues- lesbian candidate Sherrie Cohen, The University of Pennsyl- there.
day, electing the first independent who also ran as an independent, vania, widely regarded as a One of her claims is employ-
member of City Council, Kendra lost her bid for an at-large seat but progressive institution, is ar- ment discrimination covered by
Brooks of the Working Families secured 8,354 votes. Republican guing in court documents that Title VII, which bans workplace
Party, a progressive independent candidate and out gay man David transgender individuals in the bias based on sex, race, color,
party. Orsino lost to Mark Squilla in City region aren’t protected from religion or national origin. But
Democrats Allan Domb, Derek Council’s 1st District race. discrimination under Title VII Penn defendants recently filed
Green, Helen Gym, Kathy Rich- The city also elected queer judge of the Civil Rights Act, a federal a legal document claiming that
ardson and Isaiah Thomas won at- attorney Tiffany Palmer to the workplace-antibias law. discrimination based on trans-
F R O N T E N T R A N C E A N D S I LV E R S T E I N
large seats. Court of Common Pleas. Palmer Penn and the Hospital of P A V I L I O N O F T H E H O S P I TA L O F T H E gender status is not actionable
Republican incumbent David received more votes than any of the the University of Pennsylva- U N I V E R S I T Y O F P E N N S Y LV A N I A ( H U P ) . under Title VII in the Third Cir-
Oh, who made a series of contro- other judicial candi- nia were sued in July by “Jane FA C I N G N O R T H . cuit.
versial statements about gender dates with 205,607. page 16 Doe,” a trans woman and for- Photo by Sage Ross The Third Cir- page 19

PA G E 2 PA G E 6 PA G E 8

WILLIAM WAY OPENS NEW TRANS 2ND TRANSWORK JOB FAIR VISIT PHILLY WINS AWARDS FOR
RESOURCE CENTER PARTNERS WITH BLUE CROSS LGBTQ, LATINX CAMPAIGNS
A new resource hub providing services including health care TransWork, an employment initiative for trans, nonbinary A busy year of marketing left Visit Philly walking away
and therapy referrals opened Thursday at the William Way and gender-nonconforming people, held its second job fair with many prestigious awards surrounding diversity and in-
LGBT Community Center. Monday evening in Center City. clusion, from the Inquirer and GayCities, among others.
2 LOCAL
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

RESOURCE LISTINGS
William Way opens new trans
resource center
LEGAL RESOURCES AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION
1211 Chestnut St. #405
PHILADELPHIA COMMISSION ON 215-971-2804; HIVcare.org
HUMAN RELATIONS —
Rue Landau AIDS LIBRARY
215-686-4670 1233 Locust St, aidslibrar y.org

PHILADELPHIA POLICE COLOURS


LIAISON COMMITTEE coloursorganization.org
215-760-3686 215-832-0100
ppd.lgbt@gmail.com
BEBASHI-TRANSITION TO HOPE
SPARC — STATEWIDE 1235 Spring Garden St
PENNSYLVANIA RIGHTS COALITION 215-769-3561; bebashi.org
LAURA SMYTHE is to strengthen a sense of community among
717-920-9537
laura@epgn.com trans folks by offering a safe space for them
CONGRESO DE LATINOS UNIDOS
to connect to services, as well as each other,
ACLU OF PENNSYLVANIA 216 W. Somerset St
The Arcila-Adams Trans Resource Center, a said Celena Morrison, director of programs at
215-592-1513; aclupa.org 215-763-8870
new resource hub providing services including Wiliam Way LGBT Community Center.
health care and therapy referrals, job services “One of the most important things that hap-
AIDS LAW PROJECT OF PA GALAEI and help enrolling in insurance and food assis- pens within our community is the forming of
215-587-9377; aidslawpa.org 149 W. Susquehanna Ave tance programs, opened Thursday at the Wil- chosen families and things of that nature,”
267-457-3912, galaei.org liam Way LGBT Community Center. she said. “That’s more important now than
AIDS LAW PROJECT OF Spanish/English The project, which has been in the works ever before because we see so much violence
SOUTH JERSEY for a year, centralizes information and services directed toward the folks in our community,
856-784-8532; aidslawsnj.org HEALTH CENTER NO. 2 available across the city for trans people. Lo- particularly trans women of color. So having
1720 S. Broad St cated in a newly-renovated space on the fourth a safe space to look for jobs, to apply for ben-
EQUALITY PA 215-685-1821 floor of the building at 1315 Market St., the efits and get connected to all the different re-
equalitypa.org; 215-731-1447 site will offer computers and access to Wil- sources [is important].”
MAZZONI CENTER liam Way staff who can link trans folks to rel- Morrison told PGN the trans resource cen-
OFFICE OF LGBT AFFAIRS — 1348 Bainbridge St evant programs both at the community center ter will also collaborate with TransWork, an
EVAN THORNBURG 215-563-0652 and with external organizations. The initiative employment program for trans, nonbinary and
215-686-0330 mazzonicenter.org stemmed from an “urgent need” for focused gender-nonconforming people that launched
evan.thornburg@phila.gov services for the city’s trans population, said this fall out of the Independence Business
PHILADELPHIA FIGHT Chris Bartlett, executive director of William Alliance, Philadelphia’s LGBT Chamber of
COMMUNITY CENTERS 1233 Locust St.; 215-985-4448 Way LGBT Community Center. Commerce. The initiative held its second job
fight.org “[It’s] so that trans folks can plug into our fair Monday in partnership with health insur-
THE ATTIC YOUTH CENTER services and to those at other agencies and ance organization Independence Blue Cross,
255 S. 16th St.; 215-545-4331 WASHINGTON WEST PROJECT OF have a safe place that’s their own,” he added. coming on the heels of its inaugural Septem-
atticyouthcenter.org MAZZONI CENTER “We felt that at a time with increasing hostili- ber career event produced with Philadelphia
For LGBT and questioning youth 1201 Locust St.; 215-985-9206 ty from both the federal government and from International Airport.
and their friends and allies. other political figures, it was really important The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found
TRANSGENDER HEALTH ACTION for us as the community center to say that we the trans unemployment rate was three times
LGBT CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY COALITION wanted to stand behind our trans communities higher than that of the general population at
OF PENNSYLVANIA 215-732-1207 and provide the best resources to them.” the time of the study. It also states that 27 per-
3907 Spruce St.; 215-898-5044 The new programming venue is the name- cent of trans folks who held or applied for a
center@dolphin.upenn.edu OTHER sake of two late, crucial leaders in the trans job reported being fired, denied a promotion
movement in Philadelphia: Charlene Arcila, or not hired due to their gender identity or ex-
RAINBOW ROOM: BUCKS INDEPENDENCE BRANCH LIBRARY who founded the Mazzoni Center’s Phila- pression.
COUNTY’S LGBTQ AND ALLIES BARBARA GITTINGS GAY AND delphia Trans Health Conference and filed a The project is part of a dedicated effort at
YOUTH CENTER LESBIAN COLLECTION groundbreaking discrimination suit against William Way to step away from a reputation
Salem UCC Education Building 215-685-1633 SEPTA regarding the gender markers the of historically “catering to cis gay white men,”
181 E. Cour t St., Doylestown transportation company once issued on trans- Morrison said, adding she hopes the new re-
215-957-7981 ext. 9065 INDEPENDENCE BUSINESS portation passes, and Jaci Adams, a pioneer- source center can spur similar trans-specific
rainbowroom@ppbucks.org ALLIANCE ing LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activist who men- programming across the city and state.
215-557-0190, independence- tored dozens of young trans women. “I hope that leading by example, that Wil-
WILLIAM WAY businessalliance.com Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room, one liam Way can show other organizations ...
LGBT COMMUNITY CENTER of the first LGBTQ bookstores in the country, what needs to be done or what we could do
1315 Spruce St.; 215-732-2220 LGBT PEER COUNSELING provided the bulk of funding for the resource differently and just start implementing [ser-
www.waygay.org SERVICES hub, Bartlett said. vices],” Morrison said.
215-732-TALK We want to be a visible supporter of the Bartlett envisions a similar ripple effect in
H E A LT H A N D H I V T E S T I N G trans communities of the Delaware Valley, resources for the trans community across the
PFLAG: PARENTS, FAMILIES AND who have contributed so much to our commu- country.
ACTION WELLNESS FRIENDS OF LESBIANS AND GAYS nities’ strength,” Michael Byrne, president of “It’s a city, state and national example for
1216 Arch St.; 215-981-0088 ac- (PHILADELPHIA) nonprofit Philly AIDS Thrift’s board of direc- how at this key time when trans people need
tionwellness.org 215-572-1833 tors, told PGN. “We’re glad that the trans re- safe spaces to come together and work togeth-
source center will be a safe, central sanctuary er to build communities, that the center’s pro-
AIDS TREATMENT FACT LINE PHILLY PRIDE PRESENTS for trans people at a time when they face hos- viding a model that can be used by many other
800-662-6080 215-875-9288 tility and violence on so many levels.” spaces and organizations to provide that safe,
Part of the trans resource center’s mission empowering space,” he said. n
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
PGN
3

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4 NEWS COLUMN
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

OUR HISTORY, OUR FUTURE BY JASON VILLAMEZ

pgn Philly’s first attempt at nondiscrimination


In the Jan.
Publisher 3, 1976 issue
of PGN, Har-
Mark Segal (ext. 204) ry Langhorne
mark@epgn.com
wrote an article
about Bill 1275,
Office Manager/ which was in-
Distribution troduced in City
Don Pignolet (ext. 200) Council in the
don@epgn.com spring of 1974.
The bill sought
Editor to amend the
Jess Bryant (ext. 206) city’s Fair Prac-
editor@epgn.com tices Act to
prohibit sexual
Staff Writers orientation dis-
Laura Smythe (ext. 215) crimination in
laura@epgn.com housing, public
Larry Nichols (ext. 213) accommoda-
larry@epgn.com tions and em-
Timothy Cwiek (ext. 208)
ployment.
timothy@epgn.com The years fol-
lowing Stone-
Photographer wall had seen
both advances
Kelly Burkhardt
burkhardtkelly@gmail.com and setbacks in
LGBT rights.
Art Director By the mid-
’70s, several cit-
Sean Dorn (ext. 211)
sean@epgn.com ies had passed
nondiscrimina-
tion bills, and
Graphic Artist 13 states had
repealed sod-
Ash Cheshire (ext. 210) John Krol, who appeared in full religious have to wait seven more years, until 1982,
ash@epgn.com omy laws, but much of that legislation was
attire. for a nondiscrimination bill to get passed.
repealed after community backlash. Police
Langhorne described the hearings in his During that time, the community was
Advertising Sales were still raiding bars, people were still
original article: “The fundamentalists were forced to debate which tactics worked best
being fired from their jobs, and states had
Joe Bean (ext. 219) joined this time by the Police and Firemen, to help enact pro-LGBT legislation. Some
begun to ban same-sex marriage official-
joe@epgn.com who claimed that their morale was too frag- said that the activists’ groups at the time
ly. Even the various LGBT groups were
Prab Sandhu (ext. 212) ile to hold up if they had to work side by were too small and too male-centric and
torn over whether to fight alongside Afri-
prab@epgn.com side with open Gays. And while the funda- that most laypeople knew nothing about
can-American and women’s’ equality ef-
mentalists had become a little crazier this Bill 1275 — thus had no investment in
forts or to focus exclusively on the LGBT
National Advertising time, Bellis and Schwartz allowed them its outcome. The debate on whether to
community. It was in this back-and-forth
to rant for ten minutes about Gays being use nonviolent or militant protest had ad-
Rivendell Media: climate that Philadelphia activists lobbied
212-242-6863 “possessed by devils” without a murmur of vocates on both sides. And the concept
City Council to pass Bill 1275.
objection. Yet when a gay woman attempt- that ally organizations needed not just to
The Council President at the time
ed to testify about some of the patterns of pledge support for LGBT rights, but also
George X. Schwartz was not friendly to the
social discrimination that we face, which put pressure on politicians to vote for it,
LGBT community, same with Councilman
Phone: 215-625-8501 PGN would not be affected by the bill, she was was expanded.
Fax: 215-925-6437 505 S. Fourth St. Isadore Bellis, whose law and government
E-mail: pgn@epgn.com Philadelphia, PA cut off at once.” It was this debate, and the efforts that
committee was assigned the bill. Gay Ac-
Web: www.epgn.com 19147-1506 After the hearings, some Council mem- came out of it, that led to Philadelphia
tivists Alliance, whose members included
bers persuaded activists to wait on further becoming one of the first cities in the
Langhorne and PGN publisher Mark Segal,
Philadelphia Gay News action for the bill until after the primary country to pass — and keep — a nondis-
is a member of: had secured support from numerous com-
The Associated Press election, which led to a subsequent delay crimination bill. Activists brought on even
munity groups, including the Episcopal
Pennsylvania Newspaper until after the general election. By that more organizational allies, including The
Association Diocese, the United Automobile Workers’
Suburban Newspapers point, it became clear that Council was National Organization for Women, and
Union, the NAACP and the Pennsylvania
of America not going to bring the bill out of commit- focused specifically on recruiting more
Democratic Platform. However, Bellis still
tee and hold a vote. Groups such as GAA diverse lobbyists and drawing new people
The views of PGN are expressed only in the unsigned refused to hold hearings on the bill, with-
“Editorial” col­umn. Opinions expressed in bylined col- and Dyketactics mobilized protests in City to the movement. The work those activists
out which the bill could not be voted on.
umns, stories and letters to the editor are those of the Hall, including a hunger strike and a full did is a road map for activists today, both
writer, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Instead, the bill was passed to the Human
PGN. The appearance of names or pictorial represen- takeover of Council chambers where peo- locally and nationally, on how to navigate
Relations Commission, which enforces the
tations in PGN does not necessarily indicate the sexual ple shouted “Free 1275!” The Civil Dis- the political system and make meaningful
orientation of that named or pictured person or persons. Fair Practices Act. After testimony from
obedience Squad, a group of police officers change. As Mark Segal said in his very
gay rights groups and opposition from
Copyright © 1976 - 2019 Copyright(s) in all materials assigned to break up protests and haul peo- first “Mark My Words” column, ‘Philadel-
in these pages are either owned or licensed by Masco fundamentalist religious organizations,
Communications Inc. or its subsidiaries or affiliate compa- ple away, attacked members of Dyketactics phia’s gay community will be back in full
among others, the Commission endorsed
nies (Philadelphia Gay News, PGN, and its WWW sites.) on several occasions, throwing them to the support of the new bill — this is a dream
All other reproduction, distribution, retransmission, mod- the bill and sent it back to City Council.
ification, public display, and public performance of our floor and beating them. coming true.’ n
materials is prohibited without the prior written consent The conservative leadership could no lon-
But the in-your-face, militant tactics
of Masco Communications. To obtain such consent, email ger postpone hearings. On the day, Council
pgn@epgn.com. Published by Masco Communications Inc. were unsuccessful, and Bill 1275 was To read the original article in full, visit
© 1976-2019 Masco Communications Inc. ISSN-0742-515 President Schwartz brought in Archbishop
never brought to vote. Philadelphia would www.epgn.com
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
PGN
5

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6 LOCAL
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

2nd TransWork job fair partners


with Independence Blue Cross

V A L E N T I N A R O S A R I O , A N A F R O - L AT I N X T R A N S W O M A N , S P E A K S W I T H A N I N D E P E N -
D E N C E B L U E C R O S S R E P R E S E N TAT I V E AT T H E S E C O N D T R A N S W O R K J O B FA I R O N N O V. 4 .
Photo by Laura Smythe

LAURA SMYTHE the Philadelphia International Airport,


laura@epgn.com which follows the city’s LGBTQ nondis-
crimination ordinance as an official de-
TransWork, an employment initiative partment of the City of Philadelphia. Col-
for trans, nonbinary and gender-noncon- laborating with major corporations for the
forming people, held its second job fair events encourages other employers to get
Monday evening in Center City. on board with squashing the barriers that
The event, which took place at Inde- trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconform-
pendence Live on Market Street near ing folks face during a job hunt, Iannozzi
19th, was hosted in collaboration with added.
health insurance organization Indepen- Before partnering with an organiza-
dence Blue Cross, which is among the tion, TransWork assesses the inclusivity
largest employers in the region. About 25 of the company’s policies and practices.
people attended the event to give resumes TransWork then educates employers on
to recruiters and learn about recruitment how to improve their work environments
and hiring at the company, along with di- to ensure safety for trans, nonbinary and
versity and inclusion efforts. gender-nonconforming job candidates.
TransWork is a program that launched “Now they don’t have this worry or
this fall out of the Independence Business this burden, this cloud hanging over their
Alliance, Philadelphia’s LGBT Cham- head because they know that they’ve been
ber of Commerce. The endeavor has two cleared to go to this place,” said Jone Ma-
arms: one focused on employment and the gagna, TransWork co-chair.
other on entrepreneurship, said Marcus Two years of focus groups revealed
Iannozzi, a trans man and Transwork’s many trans folks are “skittish” about ap-
founder and co-chair. The program is first plying to jobs in person, she added, which
focusing on developing the employment prompted TransWork to establish resume
branch, and then will turn more attention and interview workshops. To further re-
to the entrepreneurship side. move anxiety from the application pro-
“There are many trans folks out there cess, TransWork launched an online job
with job experience, with skill, with ed- bank in mid-October that lists open posi-
ucation, and they are unable to find em- tions with pre-screened companies.
ployment simply because they’re trans- The program now aims to launch a re-
gender or there are issues with their sume bank so employers can search for
documentation [or] they may be visi- ideal job candidates.
bly trans and just being discriminated Valentina Rosario, an Afro-Latinx trans
against,” Iannozzi added. “There are so woman, attended the TransWork fair
many reasons why they are unable to ob- to look for a position with more career
tain employment and these job fairs and growth opportunities. Trans people are
the TransWork program, in general, is just often overlooked for employment oppor-
designed to remove that barrier and say, tunities, she said.
‘This is an employer who wants to hire “There’s already a lot of misconcep-
trans people and whoever is right for the tions about trans individuals, so we’re
job.’” kind of pushed to the back burner,” add-
The inaugural TransWork job fair took ed Rosario, who works at a
place in September in partnership with nonprofit. “There’s still a lot page 20
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
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“Our”
A L I C I A S I M M O N S P h o t o : O f f i c e o f L G B T A f f a i r s Fa c e b o o k
Family Plumber
BY LAURA SMYTHE yet another devastating loss for us all.” for over 30 years
laura@epgn.com Later in the day, Alvarez and the LGBT
Police Liaison Committee shared an update
The Philadelphia Police Department has on Facebook that the investigation is ongo-
confirmed to Philadelphia Gay News the ing, but “preliminary investigations have
death of trans woman of color Alicia Sim- found no signs of foul play.”
mons in West Philadelphia. “The PPD has met with the family mem-
The cause of death has not yet been de- bers who found Alicia in her apartment,”
termined. It is not immediately clear if there the update reads. “Checked the apartment
was any foul play. Police found Simmons and surroundings. Looked for any signs that
on the 4900 block of Walnut Street on Nov. would indicate foul play and none have been
3 at approximately 8:54 p.m., according to found at this time. The exact cause of death
police. is still unknown until the medical examiner
“At this point, it is too early to determine is able to complete their examination.”
exactly what caused her death, and we want Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs re-
to be careful to avoid speculation,” Phila- leased a statement Monday saying the loss
delphia Police Department public affairs of yet another trans woman of color “hits
staff said. our community hard — no matter the cir-
The Southwest Detective Division is in- cumstances.”
vestigating Simmons’ death. At least 22 trans or gender-noncon-
Deja Alvarez, trans activist and co-chair forming people have been violently killed
of Philadelphia’s LGBT Police Liaison in 2019, according to the Human Rights
Committee, posted on Facebook on Mon- Campaign. The majority of the victims,
day morning that the “devastating loss of which include Philadelphia’s own Tameka
another one of our sisters Alicia Simmons “Michelle” Washington are trans women of
is difficult for us to understand” and that the color.
community mourns the loss of another trans “We extend our deepest sympathies to
woman of color. Alicia’s loved ones and all members of our
“I know in these moments we want, need, LGBTQ+ community who have been im-
and deserve answers as to how and why,” pacted by this devastating loss,” the Office
Alvarez wrote. “We will be working close- of LGBT Affairs stated. “The City’s Office
ly with the PPD to thoroughly, respectfully, of LGBT Affairs is always available for
responsibly and compassionately get those community to connect anyone who may
answers for Alicia and her family both born be in need to resources and support. Let us
and chosen as well as our community. As hold one another in light and love today,
soon as we have all the facts and after the and all days.”
investigation is complete we will share the A community grief session will be held at
information with the community so we can William Way LGBT Community Center on
start the long hard process of healing from Nov. 7 from 7-8:30 p.m. n
8 PGN
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

Visit Philadelphia wins awards for LGBTQ, Latinx campaigns


JESS BRYANT said Jeff Guaracino, president and CEO of
jess@epgn.com Visit Philly, Philadelphia’s official tourism
marketing agency, adding, “Our history has
This year marks the 50th anniversary of never been told before that way.”
the Stonewall riots in New York City. While An out gay man, Guaracino has an emo-
celebrations, honorariums and memorials tional investment in remembering the riots
have been rooted in the Big Apple, the world that spurred LGBTQ equal rights and orga-
also took notice — from news organizations, nizing. But as an innovative businessman, he
corporations and the film industry to tourism also sees the economic importance of cele-
agencies. brating diversity during a historic year.
“The impact of Stonewall was for the first “Diversity and inclusion is a core value
time ever LGBTQ history was authoritative- of not only Visit Philadelphia, but for me
ly told to the world through mass media,” personally,” Guracino said. With a budget of
$1.25 million put
behind a mar-
keting campaign
rooted in diver-
sity, Guaracino
added he feels P E N N S TAT I O N M O R E C O L O R M O R E P R I D E S TA I R S . P h o t o C o u r t e s y V i s i t P h i l a d e l p h i a
“proud to have
this platform on year of marketing left Visit Philly walking Along with the Outstanding Association
which to educate away with many prestigious awards. The Award, Visit Philly won the Innovator of
people about not Philadelphia Inquirer’s 2019 Diversity & In- the Year Award, the highest honor given by
only the impor- clusion Awards Gala will recognize the local GayCities, a gay travel website, for putting
tance, but the tourism agency with the Outstanding Asso- Philadelphia on the LGBTQ travel map.
economic good ciation Award, alongside PHL Diversity and That process began 15 years ago with the
business deci- Prospanica Philadelphia. queer marketing campaign “Get your his-
sions to market The award is given to organizations that tory straight and your nightlife gay,” and
and warmly in- create awareness about the importance of continued this year with the Road to Stone-
vite travelers of diversity. Visit Philadelphia staff said its wall campaign — which also won gold in
all backgrounds entry highlighted the LGBTQ-focused cam- the 2019 HSMAI Adrian Awards competi-
to Philadelphia.” paign “Philadelphia Pioneers on the Road tion. Finally, Visit Philly was
P H I L A D E L P H I A P I O N E E R S O N T H E ROA D TO S TO N E WA L L .
Photo by Laura Smythe
And educate to Stonewall” and its Latinx-oriented cam- awarded two of the top indus- page 9
he did. A busy paign “Filadelfia, You Gotta Feel It.” try awards this year from the
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
PGN
9
VISIT PHILLY AWARD
from page 8

U.S. Travel Association.


The Road to Stonewall campaign, specifi-
cally the float that appeared in both Philadel-
phia’s Pride Parade and World Pride 2019 in
New York, was funded in partnership with
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and
dmhFund. Dan Anders, board member of
dmhFund, said of the award-winning float’s
conception, “It was important to recognize
that although Stonewall is a very important
moment in the LGBTQ movement, there
were many other moments that were import-
ant that preceded it, including the annual Re-
minder Days in front of Independence Hall
in Philadelphia, as well as some other events
in Washington, D.C., where Frank Kameny,
among others, were protesting treatment of
LGBT individuals, and so our concept …
was to show that there were things on the
way to Stonewall.”
The most important aspect of the float
were those pioneers riding it, he said, “in-
cluding [LGBTQ pioneer] John James and
others who had participated in the earliest
of protests.”
Guaracino said the float centered on Phil-
adelphia’s contributions to the movements
before and after Stonewall. “It was incredi-
bly moving and touching for us as a compa-
ny” to present the Pioneers float, Guaracino
added, “because we knew that was our part
to make sure, in the midst of all the parties
and celebrations, that we can contribute to
reminding people about the pioneers them-
selves.”
Philadelphia had 45 million visitors in
2018, a record for the five-county region,
Guaracino said. He said he believes the way
to continue growing that number is by con-
tinuing to attract diverse populations.
Along with the Road to Stonewall float,
Visit Philadelphia took over Penn Station
during World Pride 2019 by displaying im-
ages of LGBTQ couples and painting stairs
in the colors of Philadelphia’s More Color
More Pride flag. Additionally, the “You Got-
ta Feel It” campaign kicked off its three-year
$1.5 million campaign at Penn Station with
a takeover of its own.
“We know that LGBTQ is a complete
rainbow, including Black and Brown and
every color and background. By very defi-
nition, LGBTQ is multicultural,” Guaracino
said. “Also we know that especially Phila-
delphia is a very attractive destination for
LGBTQ travelers. We are well known on the
map for being a popular and welcoming city,
and we do it all year long. It’s not just during
Pride month or Hispanic heritage months.”
Guaracino spoke tenderly about a short
film Visit Philadelphia produced called “I
Am Stonewall: Ribbons of Hope.” It showed
local and regional people decorating the Pi-
oneers float.
One family arrived with a transgender
child, and the experience was emotional for
all members of the group, Guaracino said.
“That’s what we do here at Visit Philadel-
phia,” he added. “We have people making
memories through travel, and our job is to
tell the world how great Philadelphia and
the region is.” n
10 EDITORIAL
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

EDITORIAL BY JESS BRYANT


of a minority party and typ- firming surgeries and asked his released a 31-page vision of the
ELECTION VICTORIES FOR LGBTQ CANDIDATES ically held by Republicans, Facebook followers whether they future for Philadelphia and never
Brooks secured 55,599 were aware that the City of Phil- mentioned the LGBTQ commu-
Tuesday’s elections proved suc- offices in greater numbers tomor- votes — more than any other at- adelphia provides its employees nity. Democratic newcomers Isa-
cessful for LGBTQ candidates. Of row,” said Mayor Annise Parker, large candidate. Brooks told PGN with insurance that covers the pro- iah Thomas and Katherine Gilmore
the 200 known LGBTQ candidates President and CEO of LGBTQ Vic- in October that her 20-year-old, cedures. Oh’s post referenced how Richardson also prevailed in the at-
running in elections, 99 were de- tory Fund. gender-nonconforming child who he opposed the law that guaranteed large race.
clared winners by Wednesday eve- Locally, out judicial candidate came out as a young teen inspires this coverage to trans individuals, The only out candidate in the
ning. Those endorsed by the Vic- Palmer secured 205,607 votes — her to champion LGBTQ rights. which City Council passed in 2013 City Council at-large race, Inde-
tory Fund included four mayors, more than the other six candidates “Everyone deserves equality, after it was introduced by Mayor pendent Sherrie Cohen, was de-
five state legislators, one judge — on the ballot. The outpour of sup- equal rights and to love who you Jim Kenney, who was a coun- feated. Cohen ran a grassroots cam-
Philadelphia’s own Tiffany Palmer port weighed in at 15.01 percent of love and be who you are,” Brooks cilmember at the time. paign and received 8,354 votes.
— and 73 local candidates, seven the vote. Sitting gay judge Dan An- said at the time. Councilmember At-Large Helen Overall, last night was a victory
of which hail from Pennsylvania. ders also won retention. Incumbent David Oh won the Gym, who introduced the three for LGBTQ folks across the nation
“We are building a pipeline of The most surprising victory of the other at-large seat. In October, the bills giving protections to trans and and locally, but Philadelphia has
out LGBTQ leaders at every level night was that of Kendra Brooks, Republican shared a link to a reli- nonbinary folks that Major Kenney yet to have an out LGBTQ City
of government so we can advance the Independent Working Families gious news outlet’s article about signed into law last week, won re- Councilmember. Let’s celebrate —
equality today, and so we are po- Party. Earning one of the two at- Elizabeth Warren’s support of election along with Derek Green but also remember we have work to
sitioned to run for higher-level large seats reserved for members health care coverage for gender-af- and Allan Domb. Notably, Domb do. n

CREEP OF THE WEEK BY D’ANNE WITKOWSKI

CIVILITY
Once upon a time, there was a president so less leader who has been accused of so many trations countless attacks on LGBTQ people,
unpopular with and loathed by the American crimes it’s hard to keep track, but it’s never immigrants, asylum seekers, women, students
people that on the same day he announced the far from my mind that he is an accused rapist and the poor — and expect people to forget all
killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and sexual assaulter. Booing him is the least of that (and more!) when you do something
he was booed when he showed up at the World people can do. that might be praiseworthy.
Series. Booing him at a baseball game isn’t disre- There are those who bemoan the crassness
That was, of course, Donald Trump. specting the office of the President. It’s ex- of political discourse and note that the bar for
Keep in mind that Trump doesn’t make im- pressing loudly, and in the only way Trump what is appropriate has been lowered a great
promptu appearances. He prefers rallies filled can understand, that we do not approve of deal in the last few years. And Trump has been
with supporters and carefully scripted interac- what Trump is doing and that this man doesn’t rightly blamed for lowering that bar. Some
tions. He surrounds himself with yes men and represent us. It’s expressing that the office of say we shouldn’t boo Trump because that is P R E S I D E N T D O N A L D T R U M P AT
yes women. the President should be occupied by a person stooping to his level. But I’d like to remind G A M E 5 O F T H E WO R L D S E R I E S
BETWEEN THE HOUSTON ASTROS AND
So when his name was announced at the who deserves and is qualified to be there. those people that this small-minded and cruel W A S H I N G T O N N AT I O N A L S
World Series game, he was all smiles at first, It’s not sending the wrong signal to the rest man, this man who sees himself as a king and Photo by Associated Press
waving at the crowd. But it quickly dawned on of the world. Someone on Twitter complained has no respect for American institutions and
him that people weren’t cheering, they were that as a result of the booing, “our enemies are laws, is the president. We created and cannot
booing. And the look on his face changed to laughing at us,” as if our enemies didn’t know control this monster. The only power we have D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and co-
a pout, his shoulders slumped. Some videos that millions of Americans voted for this unfit is our vote and our dissent, whether that’s boo- median living in Michigan with her wife and
of the occasion, you can hear crowd members reality TV star garbage monster and our Elec- ing, or putting a “Tuck Frump” sticker on our son. She has been writing about LGBT politics
yelling, “Lock him up!” toral College rules made him the president. If car, or wearing an “Impeach the Motherf--ker” for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @
It’s a beautiful thing. Watch the video. It’ll anything, booing him at a public appearance is T-shirt, and we’re going to use it. n MamaDWitkowski.
give you joy. Or it’ll make you clutch your sending exactly the right message to the rest
pearls and launch into a lecture about civility. of the world: “We hate this guy and wish he
Take “Morning Joe’s” Joe Scarborough, for wasn’t president!”
example. As for chanting “lock him up,” it’s not a
“We are Americans, and we do not do that,” bloodthirsty chant for revenge, it’s turning
Scarborough said. “We do not want the world the language of his supporters against him
hearing us chant ‘lock him up’ to this presi- as a way to say, “Hey, nobody in the U.S. is
dent or to any president.” supposed to be above the law!” Also, it’s im-
And then there was Nate Silver, who portant to note that the people at the baseball
whined on Twitter that liberals were mean and game were chanting this about a sitting pres-
couldn’t let Trump have one good thing. How ident who is accused of actual crimes and is
dare they boo him on a day when the military facing impeachment. When Trump encour-
killed a bad guy? aged his supporters to chant the same thing, it
Some Democrats were upset, too. was directed at his political opponent. There’s
“I have a hard time with the idea of a crowd a goddamn difference.
on a globally televised sporting event chanting As for not letting Trump bask in a glow of
‘lock him up’ about our President,” Delaware adoration for the ISIS operation, baseball fans
Sen. Chris Coons said on CNN. “I frankly didn’t take that from him. Trump took that
think the office of the President deserves re- away from himself. You can’t take kids away
spect, even when the actions of our President and lock them in cages, lie more often than
at times don’t.” you tell the truth, praise murderous dictators,
There are plenty more examples of people fuel and refuse to condemn white supremacist
aghast that the American people would be so violence, continually threaten to take away
uncivil. access to health care from millions of Amer-
And you know what I have to say about icans, declare mainstream media the “enemy
that? F--k civility. What we have is a law- of the people” — not to mention his adminis-
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
OP-ED
11

MARK MY WORDS WITH MARK SEGAL


we
wanna
Why Sen. Mitch McConnell wants impeachment? know

You most likely think where it gets interesting. McConnell literally day, the governor’s race was nationalized. Im- What is your favorite
the headline is a mis- controls the majority of Republican senators, peachment was used to re-elect the Republican
take, but I assure you and Trump only gets removed from office if governor. Republicans even brought Donald LGBTQ+ movie?
it’s not. Let’s face some he gets the votes that McConnell has in his Trump in the night before — Trump who won
interesting facts. McCo- pocket. What I’m saying is that McConnell has the state by 30 points. But the Republicans
nnell is a politician, and a royal flush. lost, therefore Trump lost, and the state elected
every politician likes So imagine, Trump has been dealing with a Democrat governor. That is seismic, and it The Boys in the
power, some for good Mueller and Nancy Pelosi; now he has to de- gets worse for Moscow Mitch. His approval Band (1970)
and some for their own pend on McConnell to save him from removal. in Kentucky as he runs for re-election in 2020
interest. McConnell, Do we not think that McConnell will want is now at 18 percent. And now he knows not
or as he’s known in his something in return. For that kind of favor, only that Trump cannot help him, but contin-
home state of Kentucky Trump would give his firstborn — wait, he’d ued support for Trump might be his downfall.
“Moscow Mitch,” likes power, and he’s about do that for far less. Point is Moscow Mitch is Everything changed with regards to im-
to be one of the most powerful men in Amer- in the driver’s seat once impeachment moves peachment on Tuesday, and Republicans are Kissing Jessica
ica in just a few short weeks — all thanks to to the Senate, and I bet you’ll see a very big now running scared. Moscow Mitch is now Stein (2001)
impeachment. smile on ol’ Mitch’s face. The only real ques- trying to save his own hide and so must all Re-
There is little doubt that President Trump tion is, what does he want. publican senators up for re-election. And the
will be impeached in the House of Repre- Whatever it was, this Tuesday’s election others are in bluer states than Kentucky. A new
sentatives, and the Senate will then put him changed that. McConnell is now fighting for day for McConnell and Trump has arrived. Ex-
on trial for removal from office. Now here’s his political life since in his home state Tues- pect a polite separation. n The Birdcage
(1996)

TRANSMISSIONS BY GWENDOLYN ANN SMITH

Revealing, but not what you think It’s My Party


(1996)
In 2008, a woman named Jenna sion that was felt more than two has accepted her new daughter — offering joint custody and likely
Karvunidis sliced open a cake, re- miles away. but not so for Luna’s father, Jeffrey causing untold harm to Luna. Lu-
vealing pink frosting within the When one examines videos Younger. na’s father will, therefore, still be
layers. With her, the “gender reveal taken at these parties, a pattern Younger — who lived a life allowed to terrorize his daughter,
Rocky Horror
party” entered the popular lexicon. emerges. Blue smoke is treated as formed around a series of lies forcing her to live a life in a gen-
Picture Show
A decade or so later, the gender a success all around, while pink about military service with the der she does not want, and in a way
reveal has gone a long way from smoke can lead men to sorrow or Marines in Iraq, having never been that may unduly harm her. (1975)
those humble beginnings. anger. It is as if a boy is the only previous married, and earning a No amount of gunpowder or col-
The gender reveal has become winning solution, and being re- Ph.D. from the University of Dal- ored smoke will reveal a gender.
the polar opposite of the classic vealed as the father of a little girl las — is unwilling to accept Luna’s All it can do is reveal what genitals
baby shower. It’s an event that has is viewed as some personal failure. reality. your baby has, based on a fairly Call Me by Your
the trappings of toxic masculinity. This view is hardly new. The no- After his divorce from Georgu- grainy picture and the best guess Name (2017)
While cakes and balloons still ex- tion of one’s son “carrying on the las, according to the Dallas Morn- of the technician looking at the im-
ist, hypermasculine ways that re- family name” is embedded deeply ing News, Georgulas received, “the age.
veal a pink or blue cloud of smoke into popular culture. A daughter right to make decisions about the Gender isn’t that easy to pin
are prevalent. is seen as a sign of weakness, not children’s medical and psycholog- down and doesn’t care what you
Of these, an exploding rifle tar- only for her but also for her father. ical treatment, among other issues, see in an ultrasound. For Luna,
get marketed as the “Tannerite Among some men, a girl is a sign provided she notified Younger.” she did reveal her gender, telling Princess Cyd
Gender Reveal Boom Box” seems that a father’s sperm is inferior Younger fought back, creating her truth — but her father, like so (2017)
a common choice. Last year, a Tan- somehow. a website — since removed — many glum-faced fathers lumber-
nerite device led to the Sawmill Only one outcome is worse — that showed his daughter wearing ing awkwardly away from gender
Fire, burning roughly 47,000 acres having a child who is gay or bisex- boys’ clothing and sporting a buzz reveal results not to their liking —
in Arizona. That gender reveal ual or, one step further, transgen- cut that Younger gave his daughter. is unwilling to accept it.
blaze ended up costing $8 million der. It’s worth noting he didn’t give Lu- Now, the courts will allow him Big Eden (2000)
in damage, far above $99 list price This is how it was in my own na’s twin brother the same cut. to continue to cause harm to his
of a “Boom Box.” family. While my father was, per- He claimed that the treatment child for years to prevent her from
In Australia, a 2018 reveal using haps, not outwardly upset when an that Luna would undergo would be living her truth. This is a tragedy,
a car ended up destroying the vehi- ultrasound revealed that the second irreversible, even though — at her and one that reveals far more than
cle after the blue smoke that her- child he would have with his wife age — she would only be allowed any gender. It shows how much our
alded a baby boy burst into flames. was a daughter, he likely felt fortu- to socially transition, and any med- society is willing to fail kids like The Cakemaker
The driver and passengers were nate that he had already preserved ical intervention would start with Luna to preserve a harmful patriar- (2017)
able to escape the burning car with his legacy with his firstborn. He reversible puberty blockers. Of chal system gone mad.
their lives. had the boy who he named after his course, he also had a GoFundMe, Oh, and one more thing: Jenna
Last month, however, a 56-year- deceased friend from high school, raising more than $42,000 for his Karvunidis, who’s pink icing
old Iowa woman was killed when and who he always pushed toward court battle. started all this, repudiated the
shrapnel from a presumably home- masculine pursuits. Initially, Younger’s push to gain concept and celebrates her child’s
made gender reveal device struck In Texas, there is a 7-year-old custody over Luna failed before a self-expression — “a girl who
follow us on instagram
and killed her. Police described the named Luna Younger. At age three, jury in Dallas, but that was before wears suits.” n to participate in our
device as functioning much like a she had her own gender reveal the Governor of Texas, as well as social polls and questions:
@phillygaynews
pipe bomb. party, declaring even then that she Senator Ted Cruz and other law- Gwen Smith revealed her gender
Days after this, in the same state, was a girl. makers, chimed in. Cowed, Judge in 1993. You can find her at www.
a “Boom Box” caused an explo- Her mother, Anne Georgulas, Kim Cooks, overturned the jury, gwensmith.com
12 REGIONAL
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

Community pays Bradbury-


Sullivan Center mortgage
Mazzoni Center
is celebrating

Mazzoni
clinic

Washington
West
Project

years of LGBTQ
health and Well-Being
LGBT Health & Well-Being Since 1979

LGBT HEALTH & WELL-BEING

L A U R I E H A C K E T T, M A N A G E R O F C O M M U N I T Y R E L AT I O N S AT A I R P R O D U C T S , S P E A K S AT
B R A D B U R Y - S U L L I V A N C E N T E R ’ S FA L L G A L A . P h o t o : M e g a n K e l l e r

LAURA SMYTHE remaining $214,000 of the mortgage.


Wellness laura@epgn.com Following the gala, Bradbury-Sullivan
LGBT Community Center is working with
Allentown’s Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT People First Federal Credit Union to carry out
Community Center became one of a small a formal payoff of the mortgage.
number of Pennsylvania LGBTQ community The 2019 Fall Gala and LGBT Community
centers to own its building after community Leadership Awards, attended by 290 people,
members crowdsourced $50,000 to pay off honored labor union IBEW Local 375, King
the nonprofit’s mortgage last week. Spry law firm, Lizabeth Kay Kleintop, Judy
1348 Bainbridge Street The funds were raised by 93 people who Ochs and Bill McGlinn and Mark Mascolini.
215-563-0652 mazzonicenter.org attended the group’s annual fall gala Oct. 30. The event featured Mistress of Ceremonies
LGBTQ HEALTH AND WELL BEING
Air Products, an Allentown-headquartered Elektra Fearce St. James, Live Auctioneer
international chemical industry company and Patrik Gallineaux and keynote speaker Jack
corporate sponsor of Bradbury-Sullivan Cen- Harrison-Quintana, director of Grindr for
ter, fronted $25,000 and challenged attendees Equality.
to contribute the other half of the organiza- According to an LGBT Community Center

LET'S TALK
tion’s remaining mortgage. The funds were Survey Report by data nonprofit Movement
raised during a 15-minute donating blitz, fa- Advancement Project, 27 percent of LGBTQ
cilitated by text-to-give service GiveLively, community centers in the United States own
which provided a live display of donor gifts their buildings. Fewer operate without a mort-
on a screen. gage payment, Shanker told PGN, noting that
On average, each donor contributed $311. William Way LGBT Community Center is

ABOUT
Having the building’s mortgage paid off will the only other such group in Pennsylvania
allow the Bradbury-Sullivan Center to funnel that owns its building mortgage-free.
more resources into the services it offers the Chris Bartlett, executive director of the
region’s LGBTQ community, such as by sup- William Way LGBT Community Center, told
porting youth programming, hiring staff and PGN the Philadelphia nonprofit paid off its
doing additional social media and marketing mortgage in 2005 with a donation from gay
outreach, said Adrian Shanker, executive di-

PrEP, BABY.
rights activist Mel Heifetz. The organization
rector of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Commu- bought its 1315 Spruce St. home in 1996.
nity Center. Laurie Hackett, manager of community re-
“Being a mortgage-free organization means lations at Air Products, said the corporation’s
that we can put even more of our resources $25,000 challenge contribution was among
into programs and services that strengthen the “most meaningful” the company has done
and make a more vibrant LGBT communi- because of how it supports the goals of the
ty here in Lehigh Valley,” he added. “Being “small but mighty” Bradbury-Sullivan Cen-

One pill. Once a day. Prevents HIV.


mortgage-free means that we don’t have to ter.
worry about ever being priced out of down- “This is what matters,” she said. “This is
town Allentown.” our commitment to this community and to
The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community our employees and to diversity and inclu-
Center launched in 2014 and opened its doors sion.”
to the public two years later. The nonprofit Shanker told PGN the crowdsourcing ef-
PrEPdelco.com borrowed a $240,000 mortgage from Peo-
ple First Federal Credit Union to facilitate
fort at the gala was “exhilarating.”
“I was looking out at our community and
Chester: 610.872.9101 its $340,000 building purchase in Septem-
ber 2015. The center’s minimum monthly
feeling such gratitude that our community
was willing to step up,” he said, “and that
payment of about $1,600 deterred program it wasn’t one or two people that could make
Sharon Hill: 610.583.1177 fundraising, Shanker said, prompting the or-
ganization in 2017 to launch the Campaign
very large gifts, but that it’s 93 people who
could make gifts of all sizes. That’s so pow-
for Equity, a fundraising effort to pay off the erful.” n
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
N AT I O N A L
13

Democratic blue wave puts more


LGBTQ folks in office nationally

Photo by Kelly Burkhardt

VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH behalf of their constituents. The success of


PGN Contributor trans candidates this Election Night — in
states red and blue — is a warning to those
The wave of Democratic upsets that be- using cynical campaign tactics to divide
gan with the 2018 midterm elections a year communities for their own political gain.”
ago and put more openly LGBTQ people Vice President Mike Pence has a history of
in Congress than ever before continued in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and legislation in both
Tuesday’s off-year election. In addition to Congress and as governor of Indiana. Pence’s
flipping the governorship of Kentucky and efforts made LGBTQ wins in the vice pres-
the entire Virginia state legislature Demo- ident’s home state particularly exciting for
cratic, the historic election put nearly 100 Indiana queers. Indianapolis voters tripled
new LGBTQ candidates into office nation- LGBTQ representation on its City-Coun-
wide in state and local seats. ty Council, reelecting Zach Adamson and
More openly LGBTQ candidates won electing first-time council candidates Alison
elected office in 2019 than in any other Brown and Keith Potts. Brown, who is now
odd-numbered election year in U.S. history the first openly LGBTQ woman elected to
with a total of 144 wins as of Nov. 6 and 99 the council, was victimized by an anti-gay
of those in Tuesday’s elections. attack ad by her Republican challenger.
Among the LGBTQ wins are six openly These wins are notable as Indiana cur-
trans candidates, including four incumbents. rently has only nine openly LGBTQ elected
In January 2020, there will be 23 out trans officials. The Victory Fund’s Parker spoke
elected officials nationwide. Virginia Del- directly to Pence in her comments on the
egate Danica Roem, the first out trans per- Indianapolis wins, saying, “A rainbow wave
son to win and serve in a state legislature, came crashing into Mike Pence’s backyard
defeated her anti-LGBTQ opponent whose Tuesday night, with voters sending three
allies launched an anti-trans attack ad in the openly LGBTQ candidates to the Indianap-
final weeks of the campaign. These victories olis City-County Council. While LGBTQ
for trans candidates are crucial as the Trump people continue to be severely underrepre-
administration and their Republican cohort sented in the state, these victories will inspire
have been pushing an anti-trans agenda, more LGBTQ Hoosiers to consider a run for
which has included Trump’s trans military office and make change in a state that lags
ban, religious freedom policies that discrim- much of the country in LGBTQ protections.”
inate against trans and gay people and puni- Parker also addressed the attacks on
tive restrictions on the rights of trans and gay Brown, adding, “For too long, openly
students as promoted by Secretary of Educa- LGBTQ candidates were defeated by oppo-
tion Betsy DeVos. nents who appealed to bigotry in a desperate
“While bigoted political operatives are attempt to win tight races. But Indianapolis
planning to use trans people as a wedge is- voters have rejected the personal attacks in
sue for 2020, voters across the country are favor of a bisexual leader who put forward a
rejecting the scare tactics and electing trans positive vision for her community, ensuring
people to represent them in office,” said future candidates think twice before target-
Mayor Annise Parker, President and CEO of ing an opponent’s sexual orientation or gen-
LGBTQ Victory Fund. der identity.”
The Victory Fund works to achieve equal- LGBTQ people are vastly underrepresent-
ity for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the ed nationally in every area of political office.
number of openly LGBTQ officials at all Among the LGBTQ wins, significant is
levels of government through endorsements the large percentage of people of color who
and fundraising. were elected as well as women candidates.
Parker said, “Nothing disrupts [the Trump While men represented the majority of
administration’s] hateful narrative more than LGBTQ candidates who ran
out trans elected officials working hard on for office, women won more
page 19
14 LOCAL
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

Local universities expand


LGBT networks
MICHELE ZIPKIN I should be at an Ivy League, as a freshman.’
PGN Contributor Being out there for myself, I was able to reas-
sure her that she’s going to find her way, and
Resources for LGBTQ+ college students it’s going to be OK.”
are continuously expanding. Some U.S. col- Dr. Oswaldo Nieves is an instructor in
leges and universities, such as Emory and Penn’s School of Dental Medicine, as well as
the University of Maryland, have made lists the faculty advisor for the LGBT club in the
of out LGBT faculty members visible on- dental school. Nieves pointed out that dentist-
line. Locally, the University of Pennsylvania ry is still a fairly conservative field in many
LGBT Center announced the publication of ways, and that alternative forms of presenting
its Faculty Out List on Oct. 31, closing out oneself may not be as readily accepted as in
LGBT History Month. other health professions, like nursing, for ex-
“We’d been talking about making sure that ample.
our students and other folks have a lot of peo- “I don’t really think that even though we
ple to look up to and see that there are people are health professionals, we are all the way
in their community who are faculty here,” out there the same way that nursing and medi-
said Erin Cross, director of Penn’s LGBT cine are,” he said. “Not so long ago we actual-
Center. “It was great to see folks we didn’t ly had to shave, if you were a man, in order to
know who’d heard about it and wanted to be see patients. I don’t think that there’s so many
added to the list.” dentists that would have a sleeve [of] tattoos.
Joao Campos, an undergraduate studying In nursing, that’s totally OK and normalized,
international relations at Penn, identifies as but in dentistry, it’s not. You’re not a typical
gay and works in the LGBT Center. dentist if you have tattoos, you’re not a typi-
“I think it’s really great just to see how cal dentist if you’re transitioning.”
many professors identify as queer and are For him, like other faculty members and
really just being out about it,” Campos said. students, the list facilitates conversations
“Working [in the LGBT Center], I meet a lot about LGBT ways of being.
of professors who come around, and it’s al- “We can actually educate people; we can
ways nice to talk to them, and to know that talk about the unknown, so people don’t feel
there’s the possibility of having a connec- that resistance or that fear,” Nieves said. “In
tion.” dentistry, we need a lot of work.”
The Perelman School of Medicine had its The list serves as a powerful resource not
faculty out list for quite a while, Cross point- only for students but for faculty as well.
ed out, but this is the first university-wide list “I’m just personally happy to see that there
of roughly 80 people, with at least one name are colleagues that I perhaps don’t have much
from every school. interaction [with] on a day to day basis,” said
Dr. Dennis Flores is an assistant profes- Dr. Hsiao-wen Cheng, assistant professor of
sor in the family and community health de- East Asian studies. “It’s a large campus. A
partment in the School of Nursing. Being an lot of the schools at Penn are quite separated
out queer man plays a significant role in his from each other. But at one point, if I run into
current research in HIV prevention. When he one of them, I can say ‘I also saw you on the
worked as an HIV/AIDS nurse about 10 years list,’ and that’s a way for us to make another
ago, LGBT identities were not discussed connection.”
among his colleagues or teachers. Although the university-wide Out List is
“Coming of age as a gay man and starting new to local schools, and Penn is one of the
to develop a professional identity at the same first in the area to utilize the concept, Drexel
time, I’ve had to, in different places, almost University has developed new initiatives to
censor myself where I wasn’t highlighting a foster resources and awareness for its LGBT
particular aspect of my personality,” Flores students, faculty and staff.
said. “There were no such messages out there In addition to several student and faculty
that it was OK to be out as a gay nurse, even resources, including the Student Center for
if my field was highly specialized and high- Diversity and Inclusion, and the LGBTQA+
ly equated with the population. It was never Faculty and Professional Staff Network,
covered in our curriculum. I didn’t have out Drexel now has an LGBTQA+ alumni group,
faculty then.” the Committee for a Gender Inclusive Drex-
As a professor at Penn, Flores has served el, as well as the Preferred First Name initia-
as a resource for students who may need help tive, which allows students, faculty and staff
navigating the field of nursing as LGBT-iden- to have their preferred first name listed on
tified individuals. After giving a guest lecture public-facing information if they so desire.
at Penn a couple of weeks ago, he met with Another project in the works is developing
a student from the class who identifies as a alumni scholarships for LGBT students.
member of the LGBTQ community. “We’re trying to think about positioning
“Even before I could get back to my of- ourselves with Campus Pride in the future
fice, I had an email from her wanting to set to think about having us established as an
up an appointment,” Flores said. “Essentially, LGBTQA-friendly campus,” said Giuseppe
it was about just how much she appreciated Salomone, Ph.D. student and president of
my being out as an Asian American because Drexel’s LGBTQA+ Faculty and Profession-
she comes from similar backgrounds. She al Staff Network. “We really
was able to say, ‘I didn’t know just how out want to make sure we have the page 19
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
COLUMN
15
OUTLAW BY ANGELA D. GIAMPOLO
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Your Money…
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neering states, including Wash- ent or guardian to change their announced the change in July Counts
ington, Arkansas, Nevada and birth identification. of 2019 and will implement it
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holders to choose from three progressive regarding LGBTQ of Pennsylvania by January for over a decade.
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X as a term used to encompass state to permit gender-inclusive should reflect objective facts, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ • POWER OF ATTORNEY •
“[a] gender that is not exclu- IDs for transgender, nonbina- like biological sex. The group
sively male or female, includ- ry and intersex residents, and also objects to the fact that no 856-452-0060 • PRE-NUP AGREEMENTS•
ing, but not limited to, intersex, they didn’t stop there. In 2016, documentation is needed in jeremy.gussick@lpl.com 215-627-8200 PA
agender, amalgagender, androg- the Nevada Department of order to prove gender identity. 302-777-2201 DE
ynous, bigender, demigender, Public and Behavioral Health The group’s (unfounded) fear 521 S. 2ND ST., PHILA., PA
female-to-male, genderfluid, announced it would begin al- is that if Pennsylvania starts A Registered Investment Advisor Member FINRA/SIPC
APPT. ALSO AVAIL IN DE & NJ
genderqueer, male-to-female, lowing transgender people to discarding biological sex from
neutrois, nonbinary, pangender, update their birth certificates identity documents, it will
third sex, transgender, transsex- from male to female or vice make it more difficult for police
ual, Two-Spirit, and unspeci- versa by submitting a sworn af- to relay identifying informa- Small businesses
fied.” fidavit testifying to their gender tion, potential health insurance
Today, more than 7,000 peo- identity — waiving the surgical fraud, cause medical care com-
can afford special
ple in the U.S. currently have requirement common in other plications and create problems attention in our PGN
gender X markers on official states. The affidavit can also in complying with the federal directories.
identification, though not all be written on their behalf by REAL ID requirements.
states allow the marker on all someone who knows them. PennDOT has made assur-
legal forms. It may seem common-sense ances that all IDs, regardless
And, while we’ve seen light- to some, but all states should let of gender marker, will comply Spaces this size are
ning-speed progress in the last people self-identify. As it stands with federal REAL ID require-
few years, the U.S. has been now, the process is daunting, ments, and ultimately Penn- only $50 per week
lagging other countries for over to say the least, inaccessible DOT does not need any agency when you run for a
a decade. Nepal was the first to those who need it most and or legislative approval as they
country to recognize a third expensive as you typically need have the authority to adopt this
minimum of 8 weeks.
gender option in 2007. Pakistan, an attorney to help navigate the change under the state vehicle
Bangladesh, Australia, New legal terrain. With that said, code.
Zealand, Germany and Canada studies show that transgender If you’re on the fence about
also legally recognize nonbina- individuals are twice as likely the upcoming changes in Penn-

pgn
ry or “third gender” people. as the average American to live sylvania, try to think about
The District of Columbia in poverty and that only 11 per- what it’s like to live in a society
and Oregon in mid-2017 were cent of transgender individuals where you must present a basic
among the first to add a third have their preferred name and form of ID —which doesn’t
option for gender on driver’s gender on all IDs. reflect who you are — to do
licenses. Since then, the trend Having to present an ID that anything, from checking into a
has grown considerably despite doesn’t conform with a person’s hotel, to enjoying a martini at
the political climate and all the gender presentation often re- happy hour, flying, picking up
anti-transgender policies the sults in mistreatment, and even a package at USPS to walking
SEE PAGE 4 FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES
Trump Administration has put if it doesn’t, the person giving into the skyscraper where you
forth. In just over two years, the ID is constantly alert and work. Now, imagine if doing
Pennsylvania will bring the cautious. In a 2015 survey with any of those things potential-
number up to 14 states allowing 28,000 transgender respon- ly placed you in physical dan-

pgn
either third-gender identifica- dents, over 32 percent reported ger? Maybe, just maybe, you
tion and/or self-identification of that they experienced denial of wouldn’t be as active in society
gender. benefits or services, verbal and — and that is the reality of so
In 2018, Washington state physical harassment and were many of our transgender and
began allowing a third gender asked (or forced) to leave an es- nonbinary community mem-
option on birth certificates, tablishment when they present- bers. No one should have to
and adults seeking to change a ed an ID with a name or gender navigate daily life afraid and
birth certificate no longer need that didn’t match their outward fearing for their safety in Penn-
a doctor’s letter to do so. Since appearance. sylvania. Life is about to get a
that rule took effect, 59 people PennDOT has been monitor- just little easier for transgender
have requested a gender X des- ing the progressive moves by and gender nonbinary individ-
ignation on their birth certifi- other states and not only heard uals. n
16 PGN
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS tention in the Court of Common Pleas, over- person. But we have proven that this is our now hold citywide office in Philadelphia.”
from page 1 whelmingly secured his position for another movement and our moment. This is just the Outside Philadelphia, Newtown elected
10 years. start. We’re bringing our movement to City its first out gay member of Borough Coun-
Palmer’s law practice Jerner and Palmer, P.C. Anders said, “I am gratified for the strong Hall, and we’re not going to stop until we cil since 1684, Robert Szwajkos. He and his
released a statement announcing Palmer will support from across Philadelphia and espe- build the city we deserve.” running mate Susan Turner join four other
step down in December and a name change cially from the LGBTQ community. I look Brooks told PGN in October that her child Democrats to form the all Blue Wave Coun-
to Jerner Law Group, P.C. The practice said, forward to another 10 years of public ser- is gender non-conforming and has inspired cil.
“While the Jerner & Palmer, P.C. family will vice.” her to champion LGBTQ rights. Szwajkos has been a longtime counsel for
miss Attorney Palmer, we are confident that Mayor Jim Kenney was re-elected in a In her statement on the election, Gym, LGBTQ rights organizations and serves on
she will prove to be an excellent jurist and landslide with 82 percent of the vote. In who put forward three critical LGBTQ bills the Human Relations Committee in New-
bring her experience, integrity and empathy his acceptance speech Kenney, a longtime in June, congratulated Brooks on her win. town. He said he is “an attorney by profes-
to the bench.” LGBTQ ally, reinforced his dedication to She also spoke to the diversification of both sion and a community activist by avocation”
Palmer has been a longtime LGBTQ-rights fighting the Trump agenda, maintaining Phil- Council and citywide offices. and said of his approach going forward, “I
and family law attorney. She and Benjamin adelphia as an inclusive city dedicated to its Gym said, “I firmly believe that our City’s tell people I don’t fight for equality, because
Jerner began Jerner & Palmer, P.C. in 2003, diverse citizenry and protecting immigrants Democratic Party is stronger when we diver- we are all already equal. What I do is I fight
where Palmer has been counsel on many as a sanctuary city. sify and strengthen our political systems. I’m against intolerance. I’m going to keep doing
groundbreaking trial and appellate cases. The City Council shake-up was Phila- proud to have the support of both the Work- that.”
Palmer was counsel in the Sherri Shep- delphia’s most significant election news. In ing Families Party (WFP) and the Democrat- Szwajkos will serve a four-year term start-
herd surrogacy case (In Re Baby S) in 2015, a statement, Brooks, from Nicetown, said ic Party. I hope Philadelphia’s Democratic ing January 6, 2020.
which held for the first time that surrogacy voters and the WFP made history. “For the party can now work with WFP to build an Delaware County made history as well
contracts are legally enforceable in Pennsyl- first time in seven decades, Philadelphia agenda that supports Philadelphians from ev- as Democrats won every seat on Delaware
vania. In 2018, she argued before the Penn- said enough is enough. We broke the GOP, ery neighborhood and community.” County Council, marking the first time since
sylvania Supreme Court (C.G. v. J.H.) on we beat the Democratic establishment, and Gym said the addition of more women the Civil War that Democrats will be in con-
issues related to expanding the definition of we’re bringing real working-class power into citywide was significant, adding that “four trol. Democrats also won a majority of the
legal parent to protect the rights of same-sex City Council.” years ago, only one female incumbent was legislative body in Chester County and Bucks
co-parents. Brooks said, “They said a black, single in the race for 19 citywide offices” and that County and captured the Board of Commis-
Dan Anders, an out gay judge up for re- mom from North Philly wasn’t the right Tuesday’s election meant “seven women sioners for the first time since 1983. n

Wedding Services Directory Food and Drink Directory

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PGN
17

MEDIA TRAIL

Kentucky Supreme Court their time at the school to graduate.


Under the new guidelines at Hollins
dismisses gay pride T-shirt University in Roanoke, enrolled students
case who transition to men will no longer be
required to transfer to another institution.
The Courier-Journal reported the Ken- And applicants transitioning from men to
tucky Supreme Court has sided with a women will no longer have to complete a
print shop owner who refused to make a full surgical transition to be admitted.
gay pride T-shirt because he says it was Chairwoman Alexandra Trower said the
against his religious beliefs. changes were adopted Oct. 26.
The state’s high court dismissed the The university says it’ll consider admis-
claim after two lower courts also ruled in sion for any “applicants who consistently
favor of Lexington print shop Hands-On live and identify as women, regardless of
Originals. The company declined a T-shirt the gender assigned to them at birth.”
order from Lexington’s Gay and Lesbian
Services Organization for the city’s 2012 Libertee Belle, Alabama
Gay Pride Festival. The design said “Lex-
ington Pride Festival” on the front. LGBTQ activist, dies
The high court ruled Oct. 31 that the
gay advocacy group lacked standing to The Tri-City Herald reported a drag
make a claim against shop owner Blaine queen who was an early advocate of
Adamson because the city’s gay rights LGBTQ rights in Alabama has died.
law was written to protect individuals. The performer known as Libertee Belle
Justices wrote that the “wrong party” filed was among the organizers of Central Al-
the complaint, making a determination of abama Pride in the 1980s and served as
discrimination “almost impossible to con- grand marshal of Birmingham’s gay pride
duct.” parade at least once.
She often performed at shows to benefit
gay rights organizations and was among
Virginia women’s college the highest-profile members of the state’s
updates transgender LGBTQ community.
Simoneau was found dead in his apart-
student policy ment on Oct. 24. A cause of death hasn’t
been released.
The Roanoke Times reported a private His sister said a memorial service is be-
women’s university in Virginia has an- ing planned for November. n
nounced a new policy allowing students
who transition from women to men during Reporting via Associated Press

NEWS
BRIEF
State Rep. secures grant to
help community kitchen Wishing Well B&B
State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta announced D-Phila., said in a release. “I secured this
144 Old York Road, New Hope
on Oct. 31 that Philabundance Community funding because I am committed to helping
Kitchen in North Philadelphia will receive
a $76,101 grant to fight hunger.
the nonprofit be successful and ensure the
new Philabundance Community Kitchen is
~ Accommodating
The North Philadelphia location of Phila-
bundance broke ground in May of this year.
able to offer free job training opportunities
for low-income families and produce meals
wishes is our
PCK has distributed over 4 million meals
and has helped more than 850 graduates
for our most vulnerable neighbors.”
The Department of Economic and Com-
specialty ~
your hosts,
enter the workforce. The new facility, set munity Development’s Local Share Ac-
to open in 2020, will allow for twice as count awarded the grant, which will be
many students and quadruple the amount used to purchase a new generator.
of meals made, among other expansions.
According to Feeding America, one out
DCED’s Local Share Account comes
from slot machine license operation fees Scott and Micheal
of five Philadelphians suffer from food in- paid by casinos operating within the City
security.
“Philabundance plays an integral role
of Philadelphia. A portion of the funds are
used for economic development, neighbor- wishingwellbnb.com
in eliminating food insecurities and lifting
communities out of poverty,” Kenyatta,
hood revitalization, community improve-
ment and other projects. n 267.736.6743
18 I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

S A L E S R E P R E S E N TAT I V E AT P G N

Philadelphia Gay News (PGN) currently has immediate opening for advertising

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Police arrest 2 people for Uribe acknowledged his party’s setback,
stating on Twitter that “I recognize the
must beating man they thought defeat with humility.’’
Salary/Benefits: Competitive Salary based on your past experience, plus commis-
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Serbian police said they have arrested
vacation and a casual work environment. two people for beating up a man because Slovenia capital attacked,
Qualified individuals interested in applying are encouraged to send their
they thought he was gay. no injuries
Police said Nov. 2 the two are suspect-
résumé. to mark@epgn.com ed of hitting the 39-year-old man on the Police in Slovenia said unknown assail-
head after calling him gay in a restaurant ants have attacked a popular LGBT club
in central Belgrade. in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana.
Ilija Vucevic said he was attacked Nov. Police said they are treating the inci-
1 because he was carrying a pink dog dent as a hate crime. Slovenia’s Prime
transporter bag that the attackers viewed Minister Marjan Sarec and LGBT rights
as proof he was homosexual. Vucevic said groups have condemned the attack.
he lost three teeth in the attack and suf- The Tiffany Club said the attack took
fered cuts and bruises. place around 4 p.m. Nov. 1, after clos-
He has written on Facebook that “de- ing time. They said attackers stormed the
spite not being a homosexual, tonight I building where the club is located, smash-
am proud to ‘be’ one of them.” ing the entrance door and the windows
Members of Serbia’s LGBT commu- and prompting those still there to barri-
*PGN is an equal opportunity employer nity often face harassment and violence. cade themselves in the club interior.
The country has pledged to boost LGBT The attackers threatened the staff and
rights as it seeks membership in the Euro- visitors and fled the scene once police ar-
pean Union. rived. No one was injured.
The club is located in a former army
Health and Wellness Directory
Colombia’s capital city of barracks that has been turned into an al-
ternative culture venue.
Bogota elects first female
mayor Tate Modern aims to take
Colombia’s capital city elected its first ‘personal’ look at Andy
female mayor Oct. 27 in what is being Warhol
hailed as an important advancement for
both women and LGBT rights. Andy Warhol’s portraits of New York
Claudia Lopez won the race for may- drag queens and trans women are going
15 2 8 W A L N U T S T • S U I T E 14 10 • P H I L A D E L P H I A or of Bogota on a platform promising on display at London’s Tate Modern in
to combat corruption and advance equal a show that aims to find new angles on
Addiction Treatment with Results! rights for minority communities.
The Alianza Verde candidate captured
the iconic American artist.
Tate Modern director Frances Morris
MOST INSURANCE CARRIERS ACCEPTED. over 1.1 million votes, or about 35 per- said Oct. 27 the exhibition will take “a
cent of the vote, defeating runner-up Car- more human and personal look” at War-
los Galan by 2.7 percentage points.
LGBTQ Recovery Support Group With her victory, Lopez also becomes
hol, who died in 1987. The gallery said
the exhibition highlights his private be-
Every Thursday at 6 pm the first openly lesbian mayor of a capital liefs and background as a “shy, gay man
city in Latin America. from a religious, migrant, low-income
C A L L T O D AY F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N : “This is the day of the woman,” she household.”
said to a jubilant crowd. “We knew that The exhibition includes many of War-
8 6 6 • 2 4 7• 3 3 0 7 only by uniting could we win. We did
that. We united, we won and we made
hol’s best-known images, including
Coke bottles, soup cans and celebrities
O R V I S I T O U R W E B S I T E AT : history!” including Marylin Monroe, Dolly Par-
WWW. PROVIDENCETREATMENT. COM She vowed to continue uniting Colom-
bians across the political spectrum and
ton and Debbie Harry.
It also features 25 paintings from the
work to improve daily life issues like less well-known 1970s series “Ladies
public transportation. and Gentlemen,” featuring drag and
Many in the LGBT community praised transgender performers.
Lopez’s victory as an important step for- The exhibition runs from March 12 to
ward in a country where gay and lesbians Sept. 6, 2020. n
still confront harassment.
Conservative former President Alvaro Reporting via Associated Press
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
PGN
19
MAYOR SIGNS INCLUSIVITY BILLS The policy package has been in the works Fifty-four Pennsylvania municipalities, in- Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, Thursday’s
from page 1 since June. The bills take the city’s anti-dis- cluding Philadelphia, Scranton, Lancaster and bill signing symbolized “immense pride and
crimination law even further in protecting Harrisburg, have local ordinances prohibiting joy” in a time when much hostility exists on a
testament to the city’s continued commitment queer residents, Gym said. discrimination based on sexual orientation national and global level, she said.
to celebrating the experience and safety of “Trans rights are human rights, and in Phil- and gender identity in private employment, “Philadelphia has a longstanding history
transgender and gender-nonconforming peo- adelphia, everyone should feel welcome and housing and public accommodations, accord- of pulling people in the direction of progress
ple.” supported in the place that we call the Sanctu- ing to data nonprofit Movement Advancement by decidedly saying, ‘We are going to be an
Itzela, a 10-year-old nonbinary youth advo- ary City,” she added. Project. inclusive space, we are going to be a space
cate who testified in support of the bills last No statewide legislation explicitly barring Sanchez, 36, told PGN that Gym’s bills to understand, we’re going to be a space that
month at a City Council Law and Government discrimination against the LGTBQ communi- being signed into law is important because learns about each other,’” Thornburg added.
Committee hearing, said Thursday they sup- ty exists in Pennsylvania. The 1955 Pennsyl- it provides youth “with some kind of policy “And we’re going to be a space that encourag-
port the “inclusivity package” because of how vania Human Relations Act states that it pro- legislation to protect them so that they can es growth and encourages that progression no
LGBTQ-positive environments can impact hibits discrimination in employment, housing live their truth” — protections she would have matter what anybody else is doing or saying
kids’ experiences at school and extracurricu- and public accommodations based on “race, liked to have during her childhood. on a larger scale.”
lar spaces like camps. color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, na- “Now, the next step is ... to educate people Kenney echoed the importance of ensuring
They said they have attended camps “where tional origin, handicap or disability.” But the and try to get people to understand the inter- a city environment in which people are treated
the staff had training and support and created definition of “sex” is often left up to interpre- sectionality of our identities so we’re not just “with respect and dignity all the time.”
an inclusive and affirming environment, and it tation in the courts, said Naiymah Sanchez, a trans or nonbinary, but we also are Catholic, “To have to go to school or work or wher-
made a really big difference in my and other trans woman and the trans justice coordinator we’re Latinx, we’re Black,” Sanchez added. ever and feel that you’re being marginalized
kids’ experiences. But it is important to my of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “We have all these other intersecting identi- or being isolated because of who you are
family and other families in Philadelphia to Legislation currently in the state Senate ties that make us the same.” is a terrible, terrible feeling,” Kenney said.
have affordable options for kids to go [to], and and state House, known as the Pennsylvania Sanchez also stressed the importance of “We should make that feeling less and less.
they need to be inclusive and affirming, too.” Fairness Act, would amend the state’s nondis- folks reporting discrimination they experi- We have a responsibility to make sure we in-
The new laws “will make other children crimination law to include sexual orientation ence to help ensure accountability and over- clude everybody, that we embrace everybody
[feel] safe and welcome even if they are not and gender identity or expression, to ensure sight of LGBTQ protections. and respect everybody. That’s what the city’s
out to their family or school,” Itzela added. LGBTQ protections. For Evan Thornburg, deputy director of the about, what the city will always be about.” n

HUP TRANS LAWSUIT has considered the question in the Title VII Third Circuit have recognized that gender Neither side had a comment for this story.
from page 1 context has found that transgendered [sic] in- stereotyping is a form of sex discrimination. Justin F. Robinette, a local civil-rights at-
dividuals are not a protected class under Title “Defendants’ argument with regard to Ti- torney who’s following the Doe case, said he
cuit covers Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Dela- VII,” and noted that the Third Circuit had not tle VII ignores the difference between the was disappointed with Penn’s legal stance.
ware and the Virgin Islands. addressed the issue, according to Penn’s fil- claims in the cases before the Supreme Court, “It’s disappointing that an Ivy League school
“While the United States Supreme Court ing. and Doe’s claims,” Chovanes’ filing states. like Penn chooses to take such a regressive,
is currently considering the issue of wheth- Therefore, according to Penn, Doe’s Title “Gender stereotyping claims under Title VII anti-trans position in a legal filing,” Robi-
er Title VII protection should extend to gay VII claim should be dismissed under the cur- -- which transphobic behavior is -- are well nette said. “Legal precedent is pretty clear
and transgender employees, the Third Circuit rent state of the law in the Third Circuit. in line with Third Circuit precedent, as this that trans people are protected under Title
does not currently recognize such protec- The U.S. Supreme Court is currently con- court recently acknowledged in a very recent VII in our circuit. Penn [defendants] cited a
tions,” Penn defendants state, in a legal filing. sidering three LGBT discrimination cases opinion by Judge [Joel] Slomsky, Doe v. Parx four-year-old ‘bathroom’ case to justify their
To justify their position, Penn defendants and whether Title VII covers them. Casino.” position. There have been many court rulings
rely on a four-year-old case known as John- Julie Chovanes, an attorney for Doe, dis- Jane Doe’s case is assigned to U.S. District since 2015 that affirm protections for trans
ston v. University of Pittsburgh. The case in- tanced Doe’s case from the cases currently Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg. He recently told individuals under Title VII. Rather than argu-
volved a trans student at Pitt who was denied under review by the Supreme Court. Cho- Penn defendants they have until Nov. 7 to file ing the merits of the case, Penn is taking an
access to a gender-appropriate locker room vanes argues in a rebuttal filing that her cli- a formal “motion to dismiss” if they want anti-trans position — which is at odds with
and restroom facilities. The judge in the case ent experienced gender stereotyping by Penn to pursue their objections to Doe’s Title VII its reputation as a liberal, progressive insti-
stated that “nearly every federal court that defendants. Chovanes notes that judges in the claim and other claims made by Doe. tution.” n

UNIVERSITY LGBTQ NETWORKS ed,” said Nu’Rodney Prad, Director of Stu- ulty with Safe Zone certifications has grown viewpoints.
from page 14 dent Engagement at Temple’s Institution- over the years, and currently, over 1,000 cer- “We are always about promoting the vis-
al Diversity office. “But there’s this other tificate-holders are on a listserv that enables ibility and awareness for the community,”
services to support LGBTQ students in gen- school of thought too that obviously it’s great them to collaborate with the diversity office. Prad said. “[An out list] would help align the
eral in terms of when they’re looking to shop for the representation, that having an out list “Once you’re certified, it doesn’t mean that visibility factor for us. We’re trying to see a
around for colleges.” will serve the purpose of allowing students to it’s the end of the road, it also means that you full circle of how this will impact the cam-
Staffers in the Office of Institutional Di- identify or connect with faculty and staff.” are continuously engaged in LGBT support pus.”
versity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership at Temple has had a Safe Zone program for or resources,” Prad said. Even in the absence of a definitive list of
Temple University have been having conver- the last “10 years or so,” that allows faculty Prad and the team in the Institutional Di- out faculty and staff, local colleges and uni-
sations about the possibility of developing and students to take a five-hour certification versity Office want to be strategic about of- versities are working to show prospective and
a list of out faculty at the school. However, course and receive a placard indicating that fering an out list. The office is planning to current students, faculty and staff that their
some viewpoints are conflicting. they are either members or allies of the LGBT hold focus groups with LGBT faculty mem- campuses are welcoming and accepting plac-
“Folks may feel that they could be target- community. The number of students and fac- bers to assess their needs and hear differing es for people of all LGBT backgrounds. n

NATIONAL ELECTION RESULTS elections, but the LGBTQ candidates who el of government so we can advance equality state to ratify the ERA in January.
from page 13 won will arguably have a greater impact on today, and so we are positioned to run for The battle to pass the ERA has been on-
the everyday lives of their constituents.” higher-level offices in greater numbers to- going for nearly a century but ramped up in
of their races. Nearly 30 percent of LGBTQ Parker noted that local elections propel morrow.” the 1970s, when it was attacked by the right
candidates who ran were people of color, candidates into higher office later. She said, Another key issue in the election was the with anti-gay narratives.
and of those, 35 percent won — a critical “The LGBTQ candidates who were elected ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, The wording of the ERA is simple:
expansion of diversity. to school boards are our future state legis- an effort that has been revived in recent years “Equality of rights under the law shall not
Parker contextualized the import of lators. And those who won state legislative and which has received increased efforts be denied or abridged by the United States
the wins, saying in a statement on Nov. 6, races are our future U.S. Congressmembers since the 2016 election. The Democratic win or by any State on account of sex.” The ERA
“Americans are understandably focused and our future governors. We are building a in Virginia is seen as key to facilitating the would be a legal preventative to all sex dis-
on the 2020 presidential and congressional pipeline of out LGBTQ leaders at every lev- ratification — Virginia can become the final crimination for all genders. n
ESS DIRECTORY
20 PGN
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

TRANSWORK JOB FAIR


from page 6
Health and Wellness Directory of stigma around trans individ-
uals and work ethics.”
Rosario once attended a
group interview alongside two
cisgender people for a job at a
chain restaurant. After meet-
ing Rosario, the hiring manag-
er told her the company wasn’t
hiring, though the employer
continued speaking with the
other candidates as she left,
Rosario said.
After that, Rosario began
looking for work through temp
agencies because it makes it
easier to obtain a job, she said,
in a process that makes trans
folks feel uncomfortable, less
motivated and stigmatized.
“At points like that, you
feel like sometimes, ‘I’m bet-
ter off sex working than go-
ing through this constantly
and constantly getting reject-
ed from jobs,’” Rosario ex-
plained.
Extreme poverty and un-
employment lead one in eight
trans folks to engage in “un-
derground economies” like
survival sex or drug work, ac-

Retirement is a Journey, cording to the National Cen-


ter for Transgender Equality.

Not a Destination.
More than 25 percent of trans
people have lost a job because
of bias, and more than 75 per-
cent have experienced work-
place discrimination.
Joey M., a freelance coder
and trans woman who attended
the job fair, told PGN she’s ex-
perienced job discrimination
because of her gender identity
while searching for a full-time
coding position. She said she’s
encountered rude interview-
• Spacious Studio, 1, and • 3 Meals Per Day ers and fewer inquiries from
2 Bedroom Apartments • Maintenance-free Living employers involved with her
• 24 Hour Security • Beautiful Gardens and school’s career services pro-
gram than cisgender students
• Engaging Activities/Events Courtyards
she studied with.
• Wellness Center • Private Parking “I feel like I have to fight
twice as hard,” said Joey M.,
215-624-7575 8301 Roosevelt Blvd, 39. “So any opportunity I see
www.deer-meadows.org Philadelphia, PA 19152 like this, I’m there.”
For Julie Dillon, a 27-year-
old West Philadelphia trans-
plant from Louisiana, Tran-
sWork partnering with large
companies like Independence
rev. dr. Nadine Rosechild Sullivan, ph.d. Blue Cross and Philadelphia
International Airport seems
Spiritual Counseling likely to encourage smaller or-
ganizations to do the same.
drsullivan@rosechild.org “One voice isn’t going to
215.704.4264 change anything, so having
www.rosechild.org people in power make the
decision that we need to start
Spirituality • Sexuality • Relationships • Self-Esteem changing things shows that
we’re not alone,” said Dillon,
a trans woman of color. “Peo-
ple are listening. People care
about our livelihood.” n
Arts & Culture
Q PUZZLE : PA G E 2 6 ARTS : P A G E 23 FILM : PA G E 2 7 EVENTS : PA G E 2 2 SCENE IN PHLLY : PA G E 2 5 pgn
F A M I LY P O R T R A I T K a i Yo h m a n : Ta k i n g c a r e o f b u s i n e s s PAG E 2 4

Sasha Velour
brings
autobiographical
drag to
Philly stage
SASHA VELOUR IN “SMOKE & MIRRORS”
P h o t o by L a u r e n Wo o d a r d ( K C M a r ke t i n g )

GARY M. KRAMER some theatrically driven numbers, with visual She observed, “It’s something that’s been bold colors and strong graphic designs. Her
PGN Contributor aids and multimedia interaction, but some around for so long, and I was drawn to it, but costumes begin as a simple sketch; she then
segments of the show feature what the per- I didn’t understand it as a place of self-ex- adds detail that indicates fabric, how the outfit
Sasha Velour, who won the crown on former called, “stripped-down confessional pression. I realized I misunderstood this should move and what embellishments to add.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” in Season 9, will numbers, which stand in opposition to the amazing art form. That’s why I’m trying to Moreover, Velour uses color to communicate
present her new show, “Smoke & Mirrors,” dramatic performances.” She likened these look backward at the drag of the past. I want different emotions, so the costumes comple-
on Nov. 12 at the Merriam Theater. The pro- more intimate moments to her performances to stay true to that tradition.” ment her song choices.
duction combines drag, video and magic as in gay bars, where she would talk honestly Working on a larger scale takes time and The performer claimed when choosing
the performer lip-syncs to songs, including and openly about her life and then perform planning, but Velour acknowledged that this songs, she looks for amazing singers —
Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional,” Judy a number. She called it, “putting myself into has always been her approach to doing drag. “someone who can give it their all with their
Garland’s “Come Rain or Come Shine” — the drag.” “I would plan elaborate numbers on the sub- voice and has enormous range. I feel I’m pro-
with real rain no less — and Celine Dion’s “My show is similar to what I did when way during my commute to my day job. Once viding the emotion and breath for the song.
“I’m Alive.” She was touched to have her act I was doing drag in bare club spaces. I was I had an idea fully formed, I’d bring it to life. As long as there is emotion in the voice, it’s
described as, “being like bringing paintings playing with the tools provided — a bare I was economical.” easy to give a drag interpretation. I make the
to life.” stage, a projection screen, and simple light- With “Smoke & Mirrors,” Velour goes songs about something other than what they
In a recent phone interview, the Brooklyn- ing. It’s that idea translated into a huge vaude- big and gives her ideas deserved attention to are about. Romance is the least interesting
based performer described her show as “its ville.” detail. Creating the show required careful cos- narrative. I make the words metaphors and
own specific genre. It’s lip-synch perfor- Velour’s origins as a drag queen began tume planning for video segments, prop selec- more about self-discovery, which is what drag
mance, and through these performances, I’m when she was very young. She would dress tion, and even managing electric fans to keep is always scratching at.”
trying to tell the audience something real. So, up in drag as a kid and put on shows as dif- things cool under the hot, bright lights. That said, when asked about singing her-
it’s fantasy and over the top, but it has a lot ferent characters. Velour came to learn about In the show, Velour models, as expected, self, Velour confessed she does not even do
of provocative imagery to stick in people’s and appreciate the history and culture of some dazzling outfits in her performance. karaoke, “From lip-synching, I should be bet-
minds for them to latch onto emotionally.” drag when she was in college and saw doc- She works with costumer Diego Montoya, ter at doing vocal imitations. But no one pub-
Velour also explained that “Smoke & umentaries such as “Pageant,” and “Paris Is who considers what a design might look like licly gets to hear my Celine
Mirrors” is “autobiographical.” She may do Burning.” from a distance. Velour, therefore, favors Dion.” page 30
22 EVENTS
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

events
T H E AT E R & A R T S A SMALL FIRE TENTH ANNUAL PHILLY BEAUTY BALL
Tony and Emmy Award winner Bebe Neu- Philadelphia’s premier amateur drag
BLACK VIOLIN: IMPOSSIBLE TOUR wirth stars in the play about a woman who event, 8 p.m. Nov. 9 ay Voyeur Nightclub,
The musical duo combining classical and mysteriously starts losing her senses, through 1221 Saint James St.; 215-735-5772.
hip-hop music performs 8 p.m. Nov. 8 Nov. 10 at Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S.
at Kimmel’s Academy of Music, 250 S. Broad St.; 215-985-0420. GQ KINGS BAG O’ SNACKS
Broad St.; 215-790-5800. Philly’s hottest kings perform, 9 p.m.
SUNSET BABY Nov. 9 at Tabu, 200 S. 12th St.; 215-964-
CLASS WOMEN & NON-BINARY WRIT- Azuka Theatre presents a drama about the 9675.
ING reunion of a former Black revolutionary and
Learn comedy writing and collabora- political prisoner with his estranged daughter, CELEBRATING VISIBILITY: A BENEFIT
tion skills in a comfortable, encouraging through Nov. 24 at Louis Bluver Theatre at CABARET FOR HRC
space, Wednesdays through Nov. 20 at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks St.; 215-563-1100. Comedy duo Ruth and Estelle host a ben-
Good Good Comedy Theater, 215 N. 11th efit cabaret in partnership with Nightcap
St.; https://goodgoodcomedy.com/wom- SUSAN ORLEAN Cabaret and Mauckingbird Theatre Com-
ennonbinary/. The New Yorker staff writer and author dis- pany, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at L’Etage, 624
cusses her book, “The Library Book,” 7:30 S. Sixth St.; 215-592-0656.
ELF: THE MUSICAL p.m. Nov. 14 at Central Library, 1901 Vine
Media Theatre Company presents the St.; 215-686-5322. RABBIT PUNCH
stage adaptation of the holiday comedy A night of short theater productions from
film, Nov. 13-Jan. 12, 104 E. State St., Philly’s best theater-makers, Nov. 14-15
Media; 610-891-0100. at Franky Bradley’s, 1320 Chancellor St.;
MUSIC REFLECTING & 215-735-0735.
GOLDEN GIRLS…DRAG DIVA BRUNCH AFFECTING:
Mimi Imfurst and special guests thank ELTON JOHN GET PEGGED CABARET FEAT. MORGAN
you for being a friend with a themed drag The iconic out singer-songwriter performs Gender-fluid drag performer BASSICHIS AND GIRL POOP
show, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 9 at Punch Line Nov. 8-9 at Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. and visual artist, Sasha Velour, An evening of sexy, satirical, daring, de-
Philly, 33 E. Laurel St.; 215-606-6555. Broad St.; 215-389-9543. brings her first one-queen lightful, queer and dangerous performers,
10:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at Fringe Arts, 140 N.
HAMILTON POPS ROCKS ABBEY ROAD theatre tour, “Smoke & Mirrors,” Columbus St.; 215-413-1318.
The smash-hit blockbuster musical makes The Philly POPS performs the classic Beat- blending drag, visual art and
its Philly debut, through Nov. 17 at Kim- le’s album, Nov. 8-10 at Kimmel’s Verizon magic for an evening of fun,
mel’s Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St. Hall, 300 S. Broad St.; 215-893-1999. 8 p.m. Nov. 12 at Merriam
St.; 215- 923-1515. Theater, 250 S. Broad St. For O U T TA T O W N
REBIRTH BRASS BAND more information or tickets, call
HERBERT FERBER: FORM INTO SPACE A New Orleans-based brass band performs 215-790-5800. THE O’JAYS
Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an Nov. 8-9 at Underground Arts, 1200 Cal- The R&B group performs 9 p.m. Nov. 8
exhibition featuring sculptures and related lowhill St.; 215-627-1332. at Ovation Hall, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic
drawings that Herbert Ferber (1906-91) City; 609 225-9898.
created during the 1950s — the artist’s THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
most creative period, through Jan. 5, 26th The indie rock band performs 8:30 p.m. SKID ROW & GREAT WHITE
Street and the Parkway; 215-763-8100. Nov. 8 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Gar- The rock bands perform 9 p.m. Nov. 8 at
den St.; 215-232-2100. the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa Music
JANELLE JAMES American indie/folk rock group, Big Box, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, N.J.;
The comedian seen on Netflix performs STEELY DAN Thief, featuring out singer, Adrianne 609-317-1000.
8:30 and 10 p.m. Nov. 9 at Good Good The classic rock band performs through Lanker, comes to Philly in support of
Comedy Theater, 215 N. 11th St.; https:// Nov. 9 at The Met, 858 N. Broad St.; info@ their new album, “Two Hands,” 8:30 BEST IN SHOW
goodgoodcomedy.com/womennonbina- TheMetPhilly.com. p.m. Nov. 9 at Union Transfer, 1026
The comedy film is screened, 4 p.m. Nov.
ry/. 9 at The Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge
THIRD EYE BLIND Spring Garden St. For more informa- St., Phoenixville; 610-917-1228.
THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY: LGBTQ The rock band performs 8 p.m. Nov. 9 at tion or tickets, call 215-232-2100.
POLITICS AND THE RADICAL LEFT, Xcite Center, 2999 Street Road, Bensalem; PHILADELPHIA
1969-1999 888-588-7279. The award-winning drama film is
William Way Community Center pres- screened, 1:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at The Co-
ents an exhibit telling the hidden history TODRICK HALL: THE HAUS PARTY TOUR lonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., Phoenix-
of LGBTQ politics and the radical left in The out singer performs 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11 ville; 610-917-1228.
the three decades following Stonewall, at The Fillmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen
through Dec. 27, 1315 Spruce St.; 215- St.; 215-309-0150. STRANGELOVE
732-2220. The Depeche Mode tribute band per-
TAKING BACK SUNDAY forms 8 p.m. Nov. 15 at The Queen, 500
SAEED JONES The punk band performs 8 p.m. Nov. 13 & N. Market St., Wilmington, Del.; 202-
The Stonewall Award-winning out author 14 at Franklin Music Hall, 421 N. Seventh 730-3331.
discusses his book, “How We Fight For St.; 215-627-1332.
Our Lives,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at Central PAUL ANKA
Library, 1901 Vine St.; 215-686-5322. The singer performs 9 p.m. Nov. 15 at
Ovation Hall, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic
SHREK: THE MUSICAL NIGHTLIFE City; 609 225-9898.
Walnut Street Theatre presents the stage
adaptation of the hit animated film about THE WIG BALL GALAXY QUEST
an ogre on a quest to rescue a princess, Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus presents its first The sci-fi comedy film is screened, 9:45
through Jan. 5, 825 Walnut St.; 215-574- annual dance party and wig competition, 9 p.m. p.m. Nov. 15 at The Colonial Theatre, 227
3550. Nov. 8 at Tabu, 200 S. 12th St.; 215-964-9675. Bridge St., Phoenixville; 610-917-1228.
STOLEN MOMENTS

NOTICES: Send notices at least one week in advance to: Out & About Listings, PGN, 505 S. Fourth St., Philadelphia, PA 19147 fax: 215-925-6437 or e-mail: listings@epgn.com. Notices cannot be taken over the phone.
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
A RT S
23

Allentown community center hosts Health and Wellness Directory


queer coloring book creator
10/11 Advertise your business
in our directories
for only $25 per week
when you run for
a minimum of 8
weeks.

Cour tesy of Queer Book Committee

LARRY NICHOLS retailers is essential to reach the books’ intended


larry@epgn.com audiences.
“We know that a lot of times, these books are hard
The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Cen- to find,” Shanker said. “They’re not always in places
ter in Allentown is hosting out coloring book artist where people go to find books. Sometimes it’s hard
Jacinta Bunnell as part of its artist-in-residence to access these materials. That’s why we make sure
series, Nov. 11-12. that our library has books like Jacinta’s but also goes
Bunnell is an artist and author from New York’s further and creates community programs that engage
Hudson Valley. She has created coloring books that our population with the artists themselves.”
challenge readers to look differently at notions of “A lot of GSAs will buy [my books], along with
gender and sexuality with titles like “Girls Will Be LGBTQ centers and homeless shelters and schools,”
Boys Will Be Girls Will Be …” and “Sometimes Bunnell said. “I hope the children will finally be able
the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon.” to see a reflection of themselves in media because
Adrian Shanker, founder and executive direc- so much media ignores queer families or tokenizes
tor of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community them. Much of the children’s literature that is made
Center, said “Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community for queer youth is very didactic in that it’s a teaching
Center brought Jacinta Bunnell to our organization tool. Like, ‘This is what a lesbian family looks like,’
last year to do an exhibit of her coloring book pag- as opposed to normalizing it and weaving it into the
es in our art galleries, where people were able to story.”
color on the walls,” Shanker said. “This year, we’re Books created for queer children and their families
bringing her back as an artist-in-residence to teach draw some criticism from people outside of the
people how to make coloring books that are, what community. Bunnell said she tries to insulate herself
she calls, ‘gender liberating,’ and also have a com- from any criticism that anyone might have about her
munity coloring party with the pages of her books. books.
It so important that people be able to express them- “It’s wonderful to have a publisher who creates
selves, and coloring is one way to do that.” a buffer for me from that,” she said. “I don’t get a
Bunnell said she draws from her experience as lot of direct feedback because they handle commu-
a teacher for her books but also seeks advice and nication around the books. I feel strongly that what
ideas from the queer communities she wants to I do is right, and there’s nothing wrong. If there is
engage. pushback, we’ve all dealt with that our whole lives
“My own experience would not feel broad-spec- as queer people. I feel strong in who I am and have a
trum enough, so I always get feedback from as strong foundation of support from my publisher and
many people as possible before publishing a book. my community.” n
Usually, a small committee of people read the book
and give feedback,” she said. “Then I’ll go back to Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center’s
the drawing board and change things beyond that.” artist-in-residence series presents Jacinta Bun-
While queer families are far more visible now, nell, 6 p.m. Nov. 11. Attendees can create coloring
inclusive coloring books and other LGBT-centered books and at 6 p.m. on Nov. 12, join a commu-
amusements for queer children, youth and families nity coloring party, 522 W. Maple St. at Bayard
are difficult to find and often not available in main- Rustin Way, Allentown. For more information, visit
stream retail spaces. Both Bunnell and Shanker bradburysullivancenter.org, jacintabunnell.com or
said that the support of LGBTQ organizations and queerbookcommittee.com.
24 PROFILE
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

FAMILY PORTRAIT WITH SUZI NASH

Kai Yohman: Taking care of business


Are you a business owner? Would you Going back a little, I want to know also very supportive. So my twin is not not something that anyone ever spoke
like to start a business? Do you enjoy about having a twin sister. Any weird gay, but two of us out of four is pretty about there. It wasn’t super strict, but
talking about business? Basically, what twin things? When we were very little, good! queerness was never mentioned as an iden-
I’m trying to say is that the IBA, the In- my mom says we had a secret language tity or option. I didn’t really date in high
dependence Business Alliance has a little that we spoke in that no one else could When you were a kid, what was your school and didn’t really think much about
something for everyone. Also known as understand. Other than that, we were very favorite part of school? As I said, I my sexuality. I had a little secret relation-
the LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the different growing up, and, to this day, was very quiet, so I enjoyed anything ship with the head cheerleader, but my
mission of the IBA is to promote diver- she is a lot more extroverted than I am. having to do with reading and writing. I first real girlfriend was in college. It was
sity, support LGBTQ businesses, develop She’s the type of person who walks in and read voraciously; I would read the back very natural; it was a friendship that just
leadership and collaborations and advocate immediately commands the room. She’s of a shampoo bottle, whatever I could grew into a romantic relationship. At first,
for positive change for the LGBT business extremely loving and open and sweet, and put my hands on. my family and friends wanted me to sort
community. Through PGN, I am a mem- you can sense that right away. So grow- of choose and label my identity — was I
ber and have been to a number of great ing up, she was definitely more outgoing, What was your favorite book? I loved a lesbian, was I bisexual, but I resisted it;
events and workshops held by the IBA. I where I was the quieter introvert who The Boxcar Children books — the scrap- I just was who I was. But now, I’m more
took time this week to say hello to the new would spend my time hiding in bathrooms piness of the kids and the idea of being cognizant about queer identity and what it
operations coordinator for the Chamber of reading a book. able to be on their own and explore. means, so I now strongly identify as queer
Commerce, Kai Yohman. and a dyke.

Let’s start with the 411 on Kai I think labels help us identify each other
Yohman. I was raised in a suburb just and find community, but that’s just me!
outside of Cleveland. I grew up with a I actually have a button with a gay bar
twin sister and a single mom, and I had a code that I sometimes wear. That’s so
pretty great childhood, but it was in a very
sheltered and homogeneous community.
“...WHAT I WANTED TO DO, funny. Yeah, now I feel so connected to the
label “queer,” though I do know that lan-
The demographic was mostly white folks.
I ended up going to a small-sized liberal
BOTH IN MY CAREER AND IN guage can sometimes be divisive or limiting,
but I believe in the power of love and care
arts school where I had my eyes opened a
little bit. When I was 25, I moved to New
MY LIFE IN GENERAL, WAS TO that you can receive when you find ways to
understand and embrace your identity.
York. I didn’t totally know what I wanted SUPPORT AND UPLIFT AND
to do with my life as I was just beginning
to explore my queer identity. In New York, GIVE POWER TO FOLKS WHO Where did you go to college, and for
what? I went to a small school called Wit-
I started working at the LGBTQ health
center where, for four years, I worked with ARE NOT ABLE TO EASILY tenberg University that no one’s ever heard
of and majored in sociology. There I had
HIV positive folks who were experienc-
ing severe barriers to access the support ACCESS THOSE THINGS...” a teacher, Dr. Broh, who really helped me
figure out what I wanted to do. It may sound
and care they needed to maintain, not only corny, but she helped me embrace that what
their physical health but also their mental, I really wanted to do was help people. I
social and emotional health as well. That graduated in 2008 when the market crashed
experience was also very eye-opening and and was told immediately that I had to get
helped me realize that what I wanted to do, a master’s degree, because jobs that used to
both in my career and in my life in general, only require an undergrad degree were now
was to support and uplift and give power Are you identical or fraternal? Frater- That’s why I liked “Pippi Longstock- going to require a master’s. So I went and
to folks who are not able to easily access nal. We don’t look anything alike. If you ing” and “One Was Johnny,” which enrolled at Cleveland State and
those things because they’re members of looked closely at us, you could tell we was also about a kid living alone. Yeah, got a masters in sociology
communities that experience oppression were related, but that’s about it. there were a lot of stories like that avail- there.
and harm at disproportionate rates. That able that I also enjoyed. I was always curi-
work now has looked like a lot of differ- Well, that erases some of the twin ous about people who lived different lives.
ent things for me, from direct service to mystique! No parent trap action, I
HIV positive people, to management of a guess. So is your twin also part of the When did you start to figure out your
drop-in center for folks who had been in- LGBTQ community? She is straight sexual orientation? I went to
carcerated and then on to more operational but a wonderful ally. She and the rest of Catholic school from kinder-
positions to support nonprofits, which all my family have really come a long way, garten through 12th
leads to where I am right now as the op- and I’m very close to all of them. grade. Being
erations coordinator at the local LGBTQ I feel extreme gratitude for that because queer was
Chamber of Commerce where we pro- I know that many queer folks do not have just
vide opportunities, access and resources a relationship with their families because
to LGBTQ professionals and allies in the of their identities. I’m so lucky because
Greater Philadelphia area. My job is to not only have they supported me as an
manage a lot of areas, including member- individual, they have grown to be active
ship, event planning, finance and facilita- in their support for the larger LGBTQ
tion and collaboration with other minority community. They’ve taken the time to be
chambers of commerce that have similar aware of the members of our community
mandates, ethics or missions. who experience harm at disproportionate
rates, such as communities of color and
Whew! I think that was the most con- specifically trans women of color. I have
cise and condensed history I’ve ever a lot of love for my family being so open
been given! [Laughing] I tend to try to be to that. I also have two half-sisters, one
intentional with the way I use my words. of whom is queer and the other who is page 26
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
S C E N E I N P H I L LY
25

H E N R I D AV I D P R E S E N T S :
H A L L O W E E N T H E B A L L 2 0 1 9 AT
PHILADELPHIA 201 HOTEL PHOTOS BY KELLY BURKHARDT
26 Q PUZZLE Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

FAMILY PORTRAIT works to end economic disparity in the


from page 24 trans community by connecting employers
and job seekers, as well as having work-
It seems that you’ve either worked at shops and events like our recent job fair for
or participated in some interesting trans-identified people. On Nov. 12, we’re
places since then, like the Institute having one of our Lunch & Learn mem-
for Community Justice (ICJ). What bers’ events. This one highlights commu-
and how was that? I managed a drop-in nication techniques for businesses. We do
center for those who’ve been incarcerated breakfast business workshops too. We also
or affected by the criminal justice system. have a scholarship program and a ton of
I loved that job. I’ve had a lot of different collaborations with groups like PHLDiver-
positions and dipped into a lot of differ- sity.
ent things, but the underlying mission is
always the same. There’s a Toni Morrison You have a lot going on with work.
quote I love, which basically says, “When What else occupies your time? Moving to
you get these jobs that you’ve been so Philly has provided me with a much better
brilliantly trained for, just remember that work/life balance. With that time has come
your real job is that if you’re free, you need the ability to focus on and navigate some
to free somebody else. If you have some of the personal pain and trauma I’ve gone
power, then your job is to empower some- through, as well as an awareness of the hurt
one else.” It’s something I try to prioritize, that participating in those cycles has caused.
no matter what I’m doing. Philadelphia has a very strong community
of queer people in recovery from different
I saw an ICJ event that seemed in- addictions and trauma responses. The steps
teresting. The organization holds a I’ve been able to take here to continue to
holiday party for families of those who be the best version of myself have been
are incarcerated. People forget that transformative. I am constantly inspired and
it’s not only about the people behind blown away by how folks in recovery of all
bars, but also families are affected. kinds lift up, respect and love one another.
Yes, it affects everyone. Their parents, their
children, their friends, their co-workers and What things do you like to do for fun
communities, and as someone who has had outside of work? I like to nest! I’m a Can-
family members and allies who have been cer rising, so I love to just stay home and
incarcerated, I can appreciate the burdens. enjoy the quiet. I can be extroverted outside,
Kids especially are often not supported so when I’m home, I like to just turn it all
52 Invite from bot- vin’ That Man Of mond’s shot when their caretakers are taken away, so off and do some self-care. But on the other
Q Puzzle toms to tops?
53 The life of Riley
___”
13 Asks from one’s
43 Baseball great
Ralph
this program was really appreciated. hand, I do love to be spontaneous and have
off the cuff adventures.
54 Tickle a funny knees 44 “Getting to What brought you to Philadelphia? I
FRIENDS OF bone 19 Just not done Know ___”
JESSICA JONES lived in New York for four years, and as What’s a recent adventure? I went to Las
57 Skipper’s spot 21 Tallulah’s home, 46 Amsterdam
59 “Dancing for short transport someone who grew up in the Midwest, my Vegas for two days with no notice. The best
Across Queen” band 24 Cut 47 “Till There ___ eyes were really opened in New York. It part was going to the desert outside of Vegas
1 Easy putt for Patty 63 TV show with 26 One with limbs You” was a really important experience learning and exploring the beauty of it.
Sheehan Alex Danvers, big spread wide 48 In the world about life and how big it is. But I would
6 Bunch of stallions sister of one from 27 Legal conclusion 50 Casual top come to Philly to relax, and at some point, What is the worst hairstyle you’ve had?
10 Mary’s pet Krypton beginning 54 Sailing the Pa-
14 Best possible 65 Katrina Law 28 Gridiron kicks cific I realized, you know, I could live here and [Laughing] OK, I think, at one time, the
15 1847 Melville plays Nyssa on this 29 Stones’ song cov- 55 Bitch without have a more sustainable way of life. I like mushroom cut was kind of in style, and
travel book program ered by Tori Amos papers, e.g. that it’s on the East Coast and fast-paced, I thought that it was working for me, but
16 Steinbeck mi- 66 Penetrating 31 Siege site of 56 Capable of per- but more manageable than New York. I looking back at pictures of that time, it re-
grant question? 1836 forming also like how significant and involved the ally wasn’t.
17 With 18-Across, 67 Shirley Ma- 32 ___ T. Lardbot- 58 “At Wit’s End”
first Black lesbian cLaine’s la Douce tom of “Kudzu” author Bombeck queer community is here. I’ve felt very
superhero on TV role 33 Pundit Alexan- 60 Soft cheese welcomed and supported. Your most unusual possession? I recently
18 See 17-Across 68 Moonshine der 61 Cheeky got a lava lamp. It has glitter in it and is
20 B in Leviticus maker 35 Where to stick 62 They poke What are some of the things happen- amazingly soothing.
21 Memory unit 69 Straddling your salami around in leather ing with IBA? We do monthly networking
22 Endora por- 70 Dog owner of 39 Navigator with 64 Bunkmates on
trayer “South Park” a strait named for base events called ConnX that have become What is the origin of your name — first
23 “___ no idea!” 71 Where to stick him 65 Tammy Bald- really popular. The next one coming up is and/or last? I chose my first name, Kai,
25 “Queen of Coun- your tools 42 Norma Des- win’s party symbol on Nov. 19, 5:30 p.m. at WeWork located when I was 25 because I connected to it
try” McEntire at 1430 Walnut St. (2nd floor). The event is more and felt it was less gender-specific. My
27 Rio beach of D ow n also going to be a clothing drive to benefit last name now is Yohman, but it was Joch-
song 1 Bee Gees family
30 “Rainbows name the nonprofit Career Wardrobe and is free mann when my ancestors came over from
Reign” and more 2 Laying out to all. We are strongly encouraging attend- Austria to the U.S. in 1890. They changed
34 Hulu program 3 Sexual partners, ees to bring a piece of clothing to donate. it to Yohman then because no one was pro-
with a teen lesbian inelegantly Our sponsor, KASHIYAMA the Smart nouncing Jochmann correctly. So techni-
36 Bread 4 Deus ex ___ Tailor, will be graciously providing beer cally, anyone with the last name of Yohman
37 Elton John’s 5 Antlered beast
lang. 6 Easter, Passover, and wine. is someone I’m related to, and there aren’t
38 Bottom line and Bette Midler’s Our holiday party on Dec. 17 is always a many of us.
40 Queer ___ birthday? big gala. It’s actually become the largest
three-dollar bill 7 Do a nocturnal LGBTQ+ holiday gathering of its kind in What genre of music would people be
41 Like a porn activity the Greater Philadelphia region, and this surprised to know you listen to? I don’t
facial 8 Mister with a
45 Title role for neighborhood year it will be held at the Curtis Cen- know about surprising, but I was raised on
Ruby Rose on the 9 Homer’s outburst ter. We also have a subcommittee called Stevie Nicks, Bruce Springsteen and the
CW 10 Once upon a TransWork, which is made up of trans and Goo Goo Dolls. Not long ago, I went to a
49 “Cats” inspirer time... gender non-conforming IBA board mem- Goo Goo Dolls concert with my mother,
51 It may be eaten 11 Similar (to) bers and community members. The group and it was everything and more. n
in a bar 12 “Can’t Help Lo-
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
FILM
27

Gay filmmaker’s latest drama is pretty but flimsy


GARY M. KRAMER elephant in the room seems to freight
PGN Contributor every aphorism — “Find it before you
look for it” — and every moment with
Out gay writer and director Ira Sachs’ meaning. The drama and the characters
new drama, “Frankie,” is lovely but also nearly buckle under the weight of it all.
a pretentious concoction of Europudding. Frankie stumbles upon a birthday party
Opening Nov. 8 at the Landmark Ritz and forces a smile as she sits next to an
at the Bourse, the film is set in in Sintra 88-year old stranger blowing out candles.
— a backdrop as beautiful as the interna- As Frankie becomes forlorn, silently ac-
tional cast of actors. “Frankie”’s elegiac knowledging to herself that she probably
tone suggests Sachs has been listening to won’t have any more birthdays to cele-
melancholic Portuguese fado music. brate, it feels obvious and contrived. At
The film concerns the title character least Huppert’s expressive performance
(Isabelle Huppert), an actress, gathering here elicits sympathy for Frankie.
her extended family plus a close friend, However, this slight film barely gives
Ilene (Marisa Tomei), for a vacation. viewers enough time to get to know the
Frankie does not have long to live, a fact characters. The first act of “Frankie”
that is only briefly discussed. But this quickly — and didactically — introduces
all the characters V I N E T T E R O B I N S O N A S S Y LV I A A N D O H A N D
A R I YO N B A K A R E A S I A N A N D O H
and their situa- © Guy Ferrandis / SBSProductions. Cour tesy
Sony Pictures Classics
tions. Frankie’s
step-daughter
Sylvia (Vinette
Robinson) is
looking to leave her
husband Ian (Ari- husband; Michel (out actor Pascal Greg- she gives him her ornate gold-and-dia-
yon Bakare) and gory) is Frankie’s gay ex-husband. Ilene, mond bracelet. Paul takes this literally
asks their teenage her friend, arrives with her beau, Gary heavy-handed symbol that represents
daughter Maya (Greg Kinnear). Gary proposes to Ilene love, wealth, and legacy, to magnify the
(Sennia Nanua) to in Sintra, but her response is non-com- tensions between mother and son. There
keep quiet about mittal. are also two warm and tender scenes of
her plans. Frankie’s The characters all talk and talk about Frankie and Jimmy together. One where
son Paul (Jérémie love — having faith in love, not confus- he crawls into bed to hug and kiss her,
Renier) is prepar- ing money and love, and even expressing and another where she plays the piano as
ing to move to ideas about eternal love. One character, he sits beside her. These silent moments
New York, and his Thiago (Carloto Cotta), a tour guide, of the loving couple just being together
mother says that describes his wife as being “like the convey more emotion than any dialogue
he should find the police,” to define his relationship. Maya in this talky drama.
right woman. (She finds a potential boyfriend on a day trip “Frankie” should have featured more
MARISA TOMEI AS ILENE BIANCHI has one in mind: to the beach, hinting at young love. Even scenes like these. The subplot about Syl-
Photo by Rui Poças. Cour tesy Sony Pictures Classics via and Ian feels superfluous, and Maya’s
Ilene). Jimmy a myth about an ancient fountain where
(Brendan Gleeson) women drink to find a good husband is romance feels underwritten. These char-
included. All these observations about
is Frankie’s current acters are not quite developed enough to
romance and rela- care about; they seemed designed to echo
tionships suggest the how love can break down or blossom.
importance of love and Also, a strange exchange occurs between
the fragility of it. Sachs Ilene and Paul, where he tells her a rather
makes his points in a inappropriate story that could be read as
gentle fashion that al- his effort to rebel against his mother’s
lows viewers to absorb matchmaking wishes.
them. Even though Sachs suggests more than he tells,
Frankie tries to play an approach that can be worthwhile for
cupid setting up Paul viewers who like to fill in the narra-
and Ilene, the film is tive gaps and backstories, but it can
not really a comedy. At also muddle more than illuminate. The
least two scenes feature film offers beautiful piano music and
the characters discuss- gorgeous shots of Sintra as breathers be-
ing inheritance tax. tween the dramatic scenes, but it is hard
The best moments not to want more from the characters or
show Frankie in con- the story.
trol. Her unexpected The ensemble cast benefits from Hup-
encounter with Gary pert’s knack for conveying Frankie’s cal-
has her sizing him up culated thoughts and emotions through
and dismissing him. her tone of voice or body language. In
MARISA TOMEI AS ILENE BIANCHI AND ISABELLE When she and Paul support, Jérémie Renier and Marisa
HUPPERT AS FRANÇOISE CRÉMONT (FRANKIE)
© Guy Ferrandis / SBSProductions. Cour tesy take a long walk down Tomei stand out because they each get
Sony Pictures Classics a country lane, they meaty parts.
each communicate “Frankie” is perhaps too subtle a film
a subtext that comes to be truly satisfying, but the few strong
to the surface when moments are worth savoring. n
28 FILM
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

Chet Catherine Pancake lives with their ideas. I was also surrounded by a number of est in “Queer Genius” and also Barbara Ham- much more identified as female then and
partner and child at Black Oak House — Baltimore artists — Laure Drogoul, Blaster mer and Eileen Myles. When I turned 40, I endured very intense street harassment for
also the art gallery Pancake curates. The Al Ackerman, Neil Feather — who kept al- assessed my life and determined that I needed years as well as all the other things that come
quaint but roomy West Philadelphia row ternative archives of their lives and worked to make my creative life central to all my with appearing in the range of desirable for
home is across the street from Malcolm X largely outside the mainstream art world, endeavors. I accepted that this may mean less cis straight men. My “softness” may also
Park and often adorned with drawings from and that resonated with me. I would con- economic success for me, which was very be due to caring for a child and also my
Pancake’s daughter. sider alternative culture and queer culture hard to do as I’ve never had financial support embracing of my trans-masculine identi-
Pancake moved from rural West Virginia my social/emotional/intellectual context, from family or external benefactors. I then ty, which feels much more peaceful to my
to Baltimore, Maryland, body. I found that Barbara
when they were a teenag- and Eileen were much more
er and immersed themself in the present, working and
in various art scenes. active than almost any artists
They built community I know. It was extremely
that uplifted women, gratifying to document
people of color and queer and learn from them. Also,
voices in music, visual Barbara, in particular, has
art and performance. been in and out of favor in
“In 1999 I said: no more the art world, so looking at
white guys,” Pancake someone’s history in terms
ruminated. of working through obscurity
After moving to to fame back to obscurity
Philadelphia, Pancake and back to fame, etc., is
found another well of an ocean that I think many
artists with whom to form “successful” artists swim in. I
community — those ge- don’t feel in between genera-
nius inventors who were tions, but I do feel over time,
creating and preserving the urgent pressure to more
queer art. Enter “Queer intensely address constantly
Genius,” a film that unlearning racism and the
explores the visionary gap between pushing very
work of Barbara Hamer, hard to be inclusive over the
Black Quantum Futurism, years or devoting lots of time
Jibz Cameron and Eileen to it and the awkwardness
Myles. Billed as “a cine- of being asked to step aside
matic exploration of four when others need a certain
visionary queer artists space. I recognize in myself
breaking down barriers the “good feeling” of fighting
in their creative fields as for equality and then the
they confront fame, fail- stress of being decentralized
ure, censorship, family, or not “the diversity hero”
gender and sexuality,” when that is achieved. It’s a
“Queer Genius” captures thing about white privilege
artists in their element, on the left that is not talked
like capturing a dream. about that much and should
PGN talked with Chet be more explored openly

Queer director talks


Pancake about the film, with empathy. The Leeway
as well as art, community, Foundation has taught me a
futurity and genius. lot about this process.

genius film
Your film explores the Do you feel most fulfilled
history of queer art as a curator or artist? I feel
and literature by way equally fulfilled by both, but
of Eileen Myles and I work most currently as an
Barbara Hammer spe- artist and less as a curator.
cifically. How import- “Queer Genius” is a synthesis
ant is preserving and ALEX SMITH | PGN Contributor of both, and I think a sort
documenting history to of capstone of 15 years of
you? As a younger queer volunteer curating and DIY
artist arriving in Balti- organizing to create and
more, Maryland in the diversify independent art
‘90s out of the Appala- spaces.
chian mountains where F R O M “ Q U E E R G E N I U S ,” J I B Z C A M E R O N , A . K . A . DY N A S T Y H A N D B A G , P E R F O R M I N G O N S TA G E
many queer people were What moments were the
pulling up stakes and saddest, most awkward
moving to cities in search and empowering during
of jobs and a new way of life, I was deeply and I do think it’s very important to honor became deeply curious about what it means the making of “Queer Genius”? Great
influenced by books, movies and music and document one’s “family” of choice to make queer art into one’s later years, and question. The saddest A: Losing Barbara
that spoke to a new way of cultural life. I — as well as biological family if you have to me, it seemed a life choice that came with Hammer from this world as a living active
was essentially mentored by these complex one — regardless of the dominant culture’s a sort of dignity that was not the case in the force. I’m still sorting out my complicat-
artworks in a world that felt pretty extreme- acknowledgment. corporate world where I had been working for ed grief. The saddest B: The utter lack of
ly alienating. I saw Hammer’s “Nitrate about 11 years. I actually see myself as more interest from the larger art world institutions
Kisses” around this time, along with films Queer timelines seem altered, different and more childlike, curious and hopeful as I in terms of funding or supporting this film
like “Step Across the Border” and “W.R.: than normative timelines — more fluid. get older, which has been a big surprise. in Philadelphia besides The Leeway Foun-
Mysteries of the Organism” that presented How do you see your art, generationally? When I was younger, I was much, much dation, Bree Pickering, Kate
deep dives into intriguing alternate cultural This is one of the key motivators of my inter- more cynical, ironic, and “hard.” I was also Kraczon and Amanda Sroka. page 30
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
FILM
29

Out director’s new film tackles the church abuse


scandal in France

FRANÇOIS OZON

M E LV I N P O U P A U D ( L E F T )
DENIS MÉNOCHET (CENTER)
E R I C C A R AVAC A ( R I G H T )
FRANÇOIS OZON

GARY M. KRAMER is a ticking time bomb. Their [trauma] affects came out and spoke out. I know some new nity; they came to see it. Many Catholics are
PGN Contributor everyone in the family. The parents, the broth- victims spoke for the first time. When you upset by the situation, and they thanked me.
ers and sisters, and even their children feel are abused, you think you are alone, and They want things to change.
Out gay director François Ozon’s excep- guilty. The film is about the repercussions of when you share your suffering and fight to-
tional drama, “By the Grace of God,” re- abuse for all members of the family. gether, you realize you are not alone. In the What has changed? Many things. After
counts the church’s recent child abuse scandal film, Emmanuel is reborn. This [activism] the release of the film, [Cardinal] Barbarin
in Lyon. The film, which opens Nov. 8 at the You have a striking scene of Alexandre helps him survive. was condemned, and the priest [Preynat]
Landmark Ritz at the Bourse, chronicles the (Melvin Poupaud) recounting the story of was defrocked. People realize how much pe-
efforts of several victims of pedophile priest his abuse. Other scenes depict the young How was your film received in France dophilia can be a crime. Change is slow, but
Bernard Preynat (Bernard Verley), bringing Bernard Preynat on a camping trip with and/or by the church? The church was it is happening.
the situation to light and demanding account- the children in the film. Can you talk afraid before the release, but when they saw
ability from the Catholic church. about the decision to both tell and show the film, they were nice to me because they Do you think it’s possible for victims to
Ozon decided to make the film after dis- the abuse? We were deciding if we needed understood I respected the faith. I was ear- find closure or healing? It takes time. It’s
covering the testimonies of abused children. flashbacks or not. Talking with the survivors, nest. The film shows the point of view of the a long fight, but some are able. It depends
He met with victims, and his film depicts how it was important to show the abuse and the victims, and the [church] discovered how on social background. For some, it destroys
they found the courage to speak out and orga- circumstances of that — where it happened, much these men suffered. In the end, the them for their entire life, and some victims
nize to create change. “By the Grace of God” how it could happen, etc. The children were film was supported by the Catholic commu- commit suicide. n
also illustrates the ripple effect child abuse paralyzed at the time. They don’t understand
has on each’s man’s family. what is happening. They are like the lamb in

Daniel Gioioso
Ozon’s concerned approach thankfully nev- front of the wolf. I wanted these flashbacks to
er allows “By the Grace of God” to become show the tragedy of the child in front of the

THE CONNIE BERG TEAM


too melodramatic or histrionic. In a recent in- adult who is abusing him.
terview, the director spoke with PGN about
his absorbing film. You take an interesting approach to tell-
www.connieberg.com
ing the story, first through letters, then
Did you grow up with a strong connec- through actions, documenting how the
tion to the church? I had a Catholic edu- cases each unfolded. Can you discuss
cation as a child. It was a good education. I your approach to the sensitive material? v Proudly Serving Philadelphia
enjoyed it because I learned many things. But The approach was suitable for each charac- and the Surrounding Suburbs
I lost my faith during my adolescence when ter. Alexandre was sober and very polite;
I saw how the church could be hypocritical François (Denis Ménochet) is looking to v Devoted to assist with all your
about sexuality. fight; Emmanuel (Swann Arlaud) is suffering.
The “mise-en-scène” is close to the soul of real estate needs
It is difficult for people who have been
abused to share stories. It’s more than
each character. I wanted to be with each man
and share his emotions. When I introduce a v Daniel Gets It Done!
just shame; it’s a loss of trust and faith; new character, I give audiences two minutes
it’s about feeling weak and vulnerable. with him to create an emotional link.
What are your observations about the im- 267-971-7839 Cell
pact of this? When I met the victims, it was
moving to hear the survivors telling me the in-
“By the Grace of God” encourages vic-
tims to speak out. Can you talk about
215-887-0400 Office
timate stories of their families when they de- that? I hope it does. In France, the film was Fox & Roach, REALTORS® dgioioso@gmail.com Email
cided to speak out. I saw that an abused child successful and had a big influence. People
30 PGN
Philadelphia Gay News . epgn.com

QUEER DIRECTOR Frequently they are described by white SASHA VELOUR physically, and sometimes we forget
from page 28 critics as “angry,” and I disagree with that, from page 21 about that. There’s a lot of — I’ll say it
but it is a deeper and very rich range of — masochism in drag, but there is a bit of
The most awkward moments of the film abjection at times. Within this abjection and “Smoke & Mirrors” does not rely heav- empowerment in that, too. We take charge
were working with so many amazing melancholia are also the frequent tender ily on camp; Velour focuses on appearance of our bodies that we are told are ugly or
musicians, cinematographers and people moments of care that they extend to each and aesthetics. “One element of camp undesirable. Putting ourselves through
on the film and having to leave some of other and the community, so complex and I play with are moments of failure, and something intense can be empowering.”
those folks’ work out in the final edit, i.e., very radical. challenging that, and presenting it as suc- Stressing the importance of self-care,
getting people excited for the film, and then I originally was trying to impose a tone on cess,” she insisted. “Instead of focusing on Velour said that she deals with her
not being able to include commissioned the film by using expert testimony from a the tension of body, and my experiences, “self-destructive spirit and ways I have put
music, visuals or ideas brought to me with lot of art world big-wigs. This was a more and society’s programmed ideas and narra- my career or relationship or health in jeop-
total enthusiasm and generosity. I found the analytical approach. However, frankly, tives of gender, I’m interested in creating ardy,” through performance “where I’m
Kickstarter process and finding so much Barbara Hammer rejected this tone and nonbinary and fluid ideas of gender. I have an evil magician and an innocent assistant
grassroots support for the film to be very approach, and I think, in the end, she had success with that. That may be why sawing myself in half to a Lana Del Rey
heartening and exciting. Also, bringing my was right. I then worked with an editorial [my show] feels less ‘classic drag camp,’ song. That’s how I tell it truthfully. It’s
7-year-old gender-expansive child to the consultant, Fiona Otway, who helped me but it speaks to what people are craving not just creating something beautiful,
Castro Theater in San Francisco for the find the core tone in each portrait and also — something beyond the binary. It’s about expensive or entertaining, but sharing the
premiere, and having her see the film on the story arc toward each artist’s personal trying that out through fantasy, then onto uncomfortable side and bringing that to
the big screen and seeing her name at the genius and expression of that. I had asked the street into reality.” the surface to connect with people.”
end in the dedication. She sacrificed a lot of each one specifically about “genius” in our As Velour enters this new chapter of As for breaking through and becoming
time with me as I worked on the film, and core interviews, so that was then easy to her career, she admitted that it was the a household name and pop culture per-
it was very hard to endure for both of us. I build around that core concept. visibility of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” that former, Velour demurred, “A mainstream
basically worked on the film every single enabled her to move more into the public pop star removes the queerness, and the
day for months, and she wasn’t sure why. What’s next for Chet Catherine Pan- eye. She indicated, “I see ‘Drag Race’ as drag becomes an aesthetic phenomenon.
Then she understood it was a “real movie,” cake? I am currently [working] on a short this great trick where queer people proved The spirit of drag requires it to be more of
and she was super psyched. fictional film in West Virginia addressing what great success we have in mainstream a commentary on pop culture using and
family dynamics and addiction as another entertainment in how we talk, and think, collaging something outside of yourself.
The film has quite a few tonal shifts, aspect of my “Bloodland” fine artwork and present ourselves. It’s so good for so I think queer people are celebrities across
the kind of reserved playful madness of series. I’m also working on a larger video many individuals. I want to use my suc- the board, and I hope that’s the change,
Hammer, the irreverent chaos of Jibz installation regarding the emotional and cess and share with a national platform regardless of drag or flamboyantly fluid,
Cameron, rugged lifestylism of Myles somatic resonances of ecological activism, and also shift it back — that I come from or nonbinary or trans.” n
and the intense, truth-to-power mel- landscape and labor around fossil fuel a community where people have long been
ancholia of Black Quantum Futurism. extraction on the East Coast of the United doing this.” Sasha Velour performs “Smoke &
Did these tonal shifts influence your States. n Velour hopes that her work will inspire Mirrors” at the Merriam Theater on
vision for the film or was it the result people to go and create and paint or even Nov. 12 at 8:00 pm. For tickets and more
of editing, interviewing and process? The next showing for “Queer Genius” will perform. information, visit www.kimmelcenter.org/
Yes … However, I am now pondering the be in Baltimore, MD, Nov. 21. For more in- But she also reflected on the difficul- events-and-tickets/201920/kcp/sasha-ve-
melancholia of Black Quantum Futurism. formation, visit facebook.com/queergenius. ties of drag. She said, “It is quite intense lour/
NOVEMBER 8-14, 2019
PGN
31

CLASSIFIEDS
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of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended. Title VIII of the Civil Rights PGN does not accept advertising that is unlawful, false, misleading,
Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, prohibits discrimination harmful, threatening, abusive, invasive of another’s privacy, harassing,
in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings, and in other housing- defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful or racially or otherwise
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parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any applicable
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ONLINE Attention Contractors! We are looking for guys who would paint. No pets. $865. 215-384-3456.
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AND roofing. Call for more info. 724-815-9681. GWM, North Wales. 215-699-8481, ask for James O’Neill.
IN ________________________________________43-45 _____________________________________________43-46

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John Wissinger Inc.


HARDWOOD FLOORS
Old Floors, Sanded & Finished
Floors Stained
New Floors Laid
Steps Scraped
(215) 335-4472
(215) 887-2899
Cell: (215) 816-4472
Free Estimates

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