Travel Thursday: Why Philly is Fabulous in the Fall for Our Community

Philadelphia happens to be one of those places that is great to visit all year round. There's always something super exciting going on in the City of Brotherly Love, especially when it comes to activities that are LGBTQ specific.

The fall season in Philly has no shortage of these events for our community, which should only enhance your desire to want to visit as what they have in store in the upcoming months there is nothing short of spectacular. 

Take a look at 5 great reasons why you should Visit Philly and experience this incredible area for yourself.


An event that can only be described as simply fabulous coincides with National Coming Out Day on October 7th. Stellar drag performances, food, dance parties and more will be happening in less than two weeks in Philly's spectacular Gayborhood that is encompassed by some iconic gay bars (more of that below). 

Food, Food, and More Food

Philly is known for their, wait for it, cheesesteaks, but there’s so much more to this city when it comes to the assortment of cuisines you can experience. If you are looking for seasonal American fare that includes some of the tastiest sandwiches I’ve ever had, then try The Love. on S. 18th Street. If you are jonesing for that cheesesteak, which is par for the course, then Jim’s on South Street is iconic beyond words. People actually take photos of the wonderful men and women working there who serve them some of the tastiest cheesesteaks in the area (and possibly the world). Also, if you are looking for a great dessert with a twist, then Sweet Charlie’s will do the trick as they hand roll all the ice cream they make. It ends up looking like something out of an art exhibit with flavors bursting out of every spoon-filled bite you take.

The Laramie Project

The popular staged retelling of the story of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay college student who died in October 1998 after being severely beaten in rural Wyoming, is something that all generations needs to see as it played a big part in our LGBTQ history and movement towards securing better rights for us. The play, which debuted two years after Matthew's death, eventually became a major television movie starring Christina Ricci and Steve Buscemi. It will take place this coming weekend, September 28th through the 30th, at 401 Dekalb Street in Norristown, More info here.

Opera Philadelphia’s O Festival

Opera Philadelphia's O Festival has returned for its second year. It started on September 20th and will close this coming Sunday. Two of the shows that they are putting on have a big LGBTQ theme to them that encompasses the world of fashion, art, gender-bending and more. More info on both here.

Bar Central

Philly’s gay bar scene rivals many cities like New York and Boston as one of the best in the Northeast. There are a variety of great spots to hit up while there, including Woody’s, The Bike Stop, U Bar and Boxers, all of which are very inviting and will make you feel welcome the instance you walk in.

For more information on all things Philadelphia, please check out their official website

Philadephia-Based Rapper Steve Cizzle Looks Amazing Naked

UPDATE:  Unfortunately OMG Blog took down the picture, but if you look around the internet, like someone did in the comments section, you may find what we were OMGGING about. 

Thanks to OMG Blog, we now have now have a nude pic of Steve Cizzle, and all we can say right now is Woah.

A full-frontal and totally NSFW mirror selfie of the too-adorable Philadelphia-based queer rapper has leaked, and it’s impressive for all kinds of reasons.

For one, he’s a total cutie with a killer smile and a rocking body. There’s more, though. See for yourself.

To see a totally naked NSFW Steve Cizzle head over to OMG Blog.

Also, check out Cizzle’s cover of Beyoncé’s “Partition” here.

You can hear even more on his SoundCloud page here.


Two Friends Were Kicked Out By A Philly Cab Driver For Being Gay

Many people are applauding the Philadelphia Parking Authority for it’s quick action in supporting two gay men.

On the night of March 16, friends Joel Bautista and Michael Rios were riding home after a night at a sports bar on Broad and Walnut Streets.

The two briefly talked about their love lives before moving on to conversation about Lasik surgery. It was then that their cab driver, Daman Sacko, pulled over and told them to get out.

“We asked him why, and he said, ‘I don’t want that gay sh** in my car,’ ” Rios explained to the Inquirer.  “I said, ‘But we’re talking about Lasik surgery!’”

After taking a photo of Sacko’s driver certificate and calling the PPA, Sacko was immediately brought in for questioning.

“We received his complaint at 10 a.m. and by 2:30, we had the cabbie in here for an interview,” said Christine Kirlin, the head of the PPA’s Taxi and Limousine Division.

Bautista and Rios said they never intended to go for Sacko’s job. They just wanted to make sure he knew that what he did to them wasn’t ok.

That said, Sacko changed his story several times during the interview, according ot the Inquirer. He allegedly said the two had “talked dirty” in the cab before shifting his story to saying they propositioned him. Then, he resorted to the stoyr that they had him pull over early, but refused to pay their fare.

Once the two men heard that, they decided to take Sacko to court and the PPA supported them completely.

The PPA issued Sacko a citation on March 19, which he appealed. Then he lost his July 12 administrative hearing and was fined $175 and had his driver’s certificate suspended for 30 days.



The PPA shares that it plans to have Daman Sacko go through anti-discrimination training before they let him drive for them again. If he goes through another situation like this, they’ll then look into canceling his driver certification permanently.

This is another incident when a ride-share driver has kicked out LGBTQ people.

In late June, a Washington D.C. man was kicked out by his Uber driver for the way that he spoke and saying the word "Darling." Then earlier that month, a New York City man was kicked out of a cab after the driver directly asked him, "Are you gay?" Then in May, an Indiana couple was kicked out of their Lyft after sharing a chaste kiss.

h/t: The Inquirer

Man Who Murdered 3 Philly Gay Men in the 1980s Was Found Dead In Prison

A man who killed gay men in Philadelphia during the 1980s has been found dead in prison.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, 50-year-old Arnold Mulholland’s unresponsive body was found in his cell at the State Correctional Institution-Mahanoy in Frackville, Pennsylvania around 6:17 Friday morning.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections later announced that Mulholland was pronounced dead around 7am, but they would not disclose the cause of death.

In 1990, Mulholland pleaded guilty to killing three gay men, Alexander Munchweiler, Tracy Griffin, and David Johnson. Each man differed in age with ages ranging from 24 to 61. This led to Mulholland being sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.

During this time, five other gay men were murdered in Philadelphia, which caused a frenzy in the gay community. Around 250 people marched around Center City for a “Save Our Streets” rally.

Investigators say that Mulholland, who was 22 at the time, targeted gay men because he thought of them as “sick.” He chose to rob them and stab them in their apartments after being invited in for sex.

That said, Mulholland later told the Inquirer in a previously published article from 1993, “I feel for the people. I regret it.” But he admitted to not remembering the men’s names, faces, or the fact that they had families.

A Married Gay Man From Philadelphia Has Been Detained By Ice Since January

The American Civil Liberties Union is trying to get an undocumented gay man from Pennsylvania freed from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s clutches.

Back in January, Jose “Ivan” Nuñez was captured by ICE officials while he was in a meeting with his husband, who’s a U.S. citizen, to talk to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) about obtaining a visa.

Ice officials apparently, “stormed into the room” and detained Nuñez. He’s been in their custody ever since.

Last Week, the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a legal complaint in federal district court. That complaint asked that Nuñez be released from the York County Prison, about 90 miles west of Philadelphia.

“I am very worried for his wellbeing,” Nuñez’s husband Paul Frame said in the ACLU’s release. “The level of anxiety and sadness that I feel when I think about him at the detention center or when I visit him is unreal, so I can only imagine the toll it has taken on him personally. No human being should be torn apart from their loved ones in this manner.”

Part of ICE’s argument against Nuñez is that he has illegally entered the U.S. three times now. First, he initially entered the country. He then left to return to Mexico in 2010 to see to his sick mother. Afterwards, he was apprehended by border patrol agents and ordered to leave the country. Though he did at the time, he then later unlawfully re-entered and had stayed until his arrest earlier this year.

Despite this, Nuñez and ACLU lawyers are looking for him to be released because of the ICE’s “withholding of removal.”

This is because in February, an asylum officer interviewed Nuñez with USCIS. Together, they approved Nuñez’s “fear of return” credibility, which then sent his case to immigration court.

At that point, Nuñez’s lawyer filed to have ICE release Nuñez while his case was going through the motions… She never heard back from ICE.

The next hearing for Nuñez’s case is in August. The ACLU is adamant in getting Nuñez released before that saying that “he poses no danger to the community and is not a flight risk.”

h/t: HuffPost

Black And Gay Politician Malcolm Kenyatta Won The Democratic Primary For Pennsylvania's House of Reps.

Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are celebrating after the first openly gay man of color won the state house primary.

27-year-old Malcolm Kenyatta is a North Philadelphia native who’s been a part of politics for 15 years now. At the age of 12, he ran for junior block captain.

Then after graduating from Temple University, Kenyatta worked as the campaign manager for lesbian community advocate Sherrie Cohen. He’s also served as a DNC delegate, served on the boards of Equality Pennsylvania, Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club, and more.

Now, its time for Kenyatta to move on up as he’s won the Democratic primary bid for state House representative for the 181th District in Pennsylvania. He’s actually trying to win the seat that used to belong to his cousin W. Curtis Thomas who announced his retirement in the spring.

Many people and organizations have been endorsing Kenyatta such as Philly for Change, the Victory Fund, and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

That said, not everyone was in support of Malcolm Kenyatta as someone put up anti-gay posters of Kenyatta and his ex-husband around the district during election time.

Despite that aggression, Kenyatta won the Democratic primary bid and will now go on to the general election in November. Due to Philadelphia being majority Democratic, Kenyatta and openly gay state Rep. Brian Sims (who also won his primary) are expected to win in the fall.

Actress Lena Waithe Stunned The Met Gala With Her Philadelphia Inspired Pride Cape

Actress and comedian Lena Waithe stunned at the Met Gala last night.

If you were on Twitter at any point last night, you probably saw a few tweets about the Met Gala. The annual event is like a fashion paradise where celebrities pay thousands or millions to look as amazing as possible in front of photographers.

The theme for this year was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” While many celebrities like Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, and Game of Thrones’s Emilia Clarke stunned in British themed gowns that emphasized the Catholic theme, Waithe decided on a more colorful option.

Just dressing in a tailored tuxedo would have been a nice choice for the actress, but she took it one step further. Waithe graced the floor, and our eyes, by wearing a grand silk rainbow cape.

Not only did Lena Waithe use the gown as a comment on the Catholic Church’s attitudes towards homosexuality and gay marriage, but she also included the additional colors introduced by the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affair.

Last year, LGBTQ people exploded after Philadelphia, a city that’s had several racial issues within its Gayborhood, proposed adding black and brown to the Pride flag as a symbol for racial inclusion.

Many people on Twitter celebrated Waithe’s choice of outfit, and colors, and felt proud by the her fashion statements.

Philadelphia's Pride Parade Is Honoring A Gay Politician Couple

Philadelphia Pride has announced the names for its Grand Marshal panel, and for the first year ever it’s introducing a couple to the mix.

Every year, Philadelphia Pride Presents releases a list of people who will carry the title of grand marshal. Philly likes to celebrate several grand marshals with different titles and categories including youth grand marshals. This years, they’re even including a Grand Marshal Couple.

The couple gaining the inaugural honor are Dante Austin and Robert “Tito” Valdez. Austin is the LGBT liaison to the Sherriff’s Office and Valdez is an assistant city solicitor in the Child Welfare Department.

The two met back in 2016 while participating at the “Future of the Movement” panel during the Democratic National Convention. As they talked about politics and criminal-justice reform, they realized there was a level of respect and understanding forming between them. They then exchanged numbers and became important parts of each other’s lives from that point on.

Speaking to Philadelphia Gay News, the two commented on juggling their relationship and their busy political careers.

“Being in a relationship is work,” said Valdez. “It requires the capacity to prioritize another person’s feelings and needs as a key component of your decision-making. It requires you to be compassionate, to understand that not every day will be sunshine and flowers, and be able to count on your partner to love you.”

“I like to think of it like most things in life — you get out of it what you put into it,” added Austin. “Tito and I live pretty busy lives but we make sure to always make time for one another. It may sound cliché, but he really is my best friend and so much more. Life certainly throws challenges our way, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we can tackle anything.”

The two stated that they were honored to be chosen for the new Grand Marshal category and will try to live up to the title.

Meanwhile, the two will be joined by many other grand marshalls including John James, a Philadelphia citizen who’s participated in the Annual Reminder Days march since the mid-1960s; Heshie Zinman, the co-founder of the AIDS Library;  David Fair, a member of the Elder Initiative; Barbara McLean, a dedicated LGBTQ health advocate who’s worked with Philadelphia FIGHT and the Philadelphia AIDS Consortium; and Deborah Johnson, the visitor-services director at the African-American Museum of Philadelphia.

All of these people and more, like comedian Margaret Cho who's headlining, will be honored and celebrated at Philadelphia’s 30th annual Pride Parade on June 10.

h/t: PGN

Local Philly Drag Queen Aloe Vera Recovering After Being Assaulted, Held At Knife Point



A local Philadelphia drag queen was attacked and had to go through surgery.

Aloe Vera, real name Anthony Veltre, was assaulted late last week. The attack by a 34-year-old man named Carmelo Villanueva was so serious that it prompted the need for jaw surgery.

As a police report states, Vera was attacked by Villanueva around 10:30 pm on April 29. Vera was walking around the 2000 block of Tasker Street when Villaneuva approached. He then punched her in the face multiple times and threatened to use a knife.

While Villanueva escaped from the scene of the crime, he was later found and apprehended by police the following night. Then Villanueva was charged with aggravated assault and lesser offenses in connection to the crime.



That said, Villanueva got released on bail later that day. Though, he still has to go to a preliminary hearing on May 15 at the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia.

Ben Waxman, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, said that Villanueva will be thoroughly tried for his crimes.

“Obviously, this is a serious crime and we’re going to pursue justice in this case as aggressively as possible,” Waxman told Philadelphia Gay News.

As for Aloe Vera, she underwent jaw surgery at Jefferson University Hospital on May 1. That said, Vera is in need of financial help to pay off that surgery. A fundraiser is being held for Vera at the ICandy Nightclub in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood later tonight (May 7).

If you can’t make that event, there’s also a GoFundMe page where you can donate to support Aloe Vera.



h/t: PGN

Philadelphia's Annual Black Pride Week Was Honored With A March At City Hall

Last week, Philadelphia celebrated Philly Black Pride and its first Black Pride March.

A group of 35 people gathered at Philadelphia’s City Hall to express the need for inclusion in the city in terms of race and LGBTQ acceptance.

Openly gay Philadelphia man Romaine Gibbs started the event by asking participants to join arms.

“When we bind and unite like this,” Gibbs said, “people cannot destroy us.”

Mayor Kenney also spoke at the event and shared the mentality that LGBTQ people of color deserve respect.

“You are my brothers and sisters,” Kenney told the crowd. “You are human beings who deserve dignity.”

From there, those who gathered marched around the building with a police escort.

In a time when two black men can be arrested for sitting in a Starbucks for less than 10 minutes (and later take the high road by settling with the city for $1 each and $200,000 for youth programs), Black people in the city are compelled to express their dissatisfaction with the current situation.

But what happens when you’re a minority within a minority? Even worse, what if you’re a minority within two different minorities?

Besides the race issues between Black people and the general populace, there is a specific concern for race problems within Philadelphia’s Gayborhood.

From the owner of a popular gay club being caught saying the N word to controversy over the inclusion of black and brown stripes to the Rainbow flag, racially charged conflict has been especially prevalent in the LGBTQ sections of the city.

Things have gotten so bad that the city legally stepped in to introduce inclusivity training in the Gayborhood.

Despite the government's involvement, Black LGBTQ people and LGBTQ people of color still feel the need for acknowledgement, protections, and a voice in the city. This exactly mirrors why Philadelphia Black Pride was founded back in August of 1999.

Each year since, Black people living in the city and living around it join together for a week of charity, protesting, and partying. Then last week, 35 people gathered to march the Center City streets, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“This is a chance to just have something of our own, even though we welcome our white brothers and sisters in solidarity,” said Antar Bush, an LGBT community organizer who planned the march with the help of the city’s LGBT Affairs Office. “It’s not about exclusively. It’s about being more inclusive.”

The Inquirer also asked March participants how much progress they thinik Philadelphia has made in terms of racism in the Gayborhood and the LGBTQ community at large. The responses varied.

h/t: The Philadelphia Inquirer