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Philadelphia Gay News Vol. 34 No. 43

Honesty Integrity Professionalism

Oct. 22 - 28, 2010

Arrests made in Breakfast Club murder

Judge upholds DADT order, gay enlistments commence By Jen Colletta PGN Staff Writer Former Lt. Dan Choi, one of the most visible faces in the fight to repeal the military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers, stood in line at a Times Square Army recruitment office in New York City Tuesday night, hours after a judge in California refused the federal government’s request to keep “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in place. U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips denied the Department of Justice’s request for a stay of the injunction that she handed down earlier this month that ordered the immediate cease of discharges, suspensions and investigations under the ban. On Wednesday, the DOJ filed an appeal to Phillips’ order with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The rulings came in a case filed several years ago by the Log Cabin Republicans that went to trial this past summer. In her verdict, Phillips said “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” violates servicemembers’ constitutional rights to free speech and due process. Although the government is appealing the ruling, the Pentagon announced Tuesday that it had instructed recruiters to allow See DADT, Page 17

Man stabbed in Gayborhood A man was stabbed early Wednesday morning in the Gayborhood, and his alleged attacker now faces attempted murder charges. Police were called to the 200 block of South 13th Street at 2:30 a.m. Oct. 20 for a report of a stabbing. Police spokesperson Officer Jillian Russell said the victim was stabbed in the chest and transported to Jefferson University Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition. Police arrested Eugene Simon, 32, of the 3600 block of North 15th Street, and charged him with attempted murder, aggravated assault and related offenses. Russell said the altercation appears to have been related to an “argument over drugs.” See STABBING, Page 26

By Jen Colletta PGN Staff Writer

SUNDAY STROLL: Participants in the 24th annual Philadelphia AIDS Walk traveled over the Falls Bridge Oct. 17 for the second leg of the course, heading back to the Art Museum. About 15,000 walkers and runners turned out for the event, which raised about $350,000 for AIDS Fund, which distributes the money to area HIV/AIDS service organizations. Photo: Scott A. Drake

Investigation continues in Blahnik murder By Jen Colletta PGN Staff Writer

the overall house mother for House of Blahnik. Blahnik was found Oct. 11 by her boyNo arrests have been made yet in the friend inside their home in the 1800 block murder last week of a transgender woman of Manton Street. Police say Blahnik was strangled to death by a pillowcase. There in South Philadelphia. Police are continuing to investigate the was no sign of forced entry. Police are declining to comment on homicide of 31-year-old Stacey Blahnik, a possible motive for the killing or the description of any suspects yet. The local LGBT community joined together Saturday night to remember Blahnik in a candlelight vigil at Love Park. Following Blahnik’s funeral Tuesday morning, more than 100 people gathered at the William Way LGBT Community Center REMEMBERING STACEY: Stacey Blahnik’s friends, family to pay tribute to her. and House of Blahnik family members gathered Oct. 19 Robert Burns, at the William Way LGBT Community Center after Blahnik’s e x e c u t i v e d i r e c funeral to celebrate her life. The local transwoman was tor of The Colours murdered last week, and the identity of her killer is still Organization Inc. and unknown. A slideshow played throughout the tribute, with photos of Blahnik serving as a backdrop to the gathering. Photo: Scott A. Drake

See BLAHNIK, Page 26

Two women were arrested this week in connection with the killing of a woman outside an LGBT party last month. Police arrested Sharonda Cheeves, 23, and Jesslyn Williams, 22, on Oct. 19. Cheeves was picked up at her house in the 800 block of Foulkrod Street and Williams, of the 7300 block of Buist Avenue, turned herself in to police. As of press time, both were still in police custody. Cheeves and Williams allegedly drove a car repeatedly into a crowd outside Club Motivation in North Philadelphia in the early morning of Sept. 4. Alisha Moore, 27, was killed in the melee. Club Motivation, also known as The Breakfast Club, frequently hosts LGBT ballroom events, and the club was in the midst of such a party when the inci- SHARONDA CHEEVES (TOP) AND JESSLYN dent occurred. WILLIAMS Police spokesperson Lt. Ray Evers said Cheeves and Williams took turns driving the car as they circled the block around the club, at Eighth and Dauphin streets. Cheeves allegedly drove Williams home before returning to the club and driving into the crowd again, killing Moore. Cheeves was charged with murder, vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, leaving the scene, reckless endangerment, seven counts of aggravated assault and related charges. Williams was charged with three counts of aggravated assault, simple assault, leaving the scene, driving under the See MURDER, Page 26



OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010





OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

News Crime Watch 9 Editorial 10 International News 20 Letters/Feedback 11 11 Mark My Words 7 Media Trail 5 News Briefing 7 National News 5 Regional News 11 Street Talk

PGN 505 S. Fourth St. Philadelphia, PA 19147-1506 Phone: (215) 625-8501 Fax: (215) 925-6437 E-mail: Web:

Getting out the LGBT vote

Debunking reparative therapy

The DNC head acknowledges that LGBT community members are frustrated by what they see as a lack of progress on key legislative issues.

Soulforce comes to Philadelphia on a mission to separate fact from fiction.

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Detour Comics Diversions Meeting Place Portraits Q Puzzle Scene In Harrisburg Worth Watching


Mark Segal (ext. 204)

Editor Sarah Blazucki (ext. 206) Art Director Scott A. Drake (ext. 210) Staff Writers Jen Colletta (ext. 215)

37 42 40 36 37 31 41

Larry Nichols (ext. 213) Writer-at-Large Timothy Cwiek (ext. 208)

Perez Hilton is one of several celebrities who will be coming out in Atlantic City this Halloween.

Graphic Artist Sean Dorn (ext. 211)

Where to get spooked

Family Portraits:

Emmanuel Ilarraza

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For advertising inquiries, contact or (215) 625-8501 ext. 218.


Advertising Director Tami Sortman (ext. 218)

Creep of the Week 10 44 Food Review

Advertising Manager Greg Dennis (ext. 201)

Classifieds Directories

46 56


Norma Doesmen



Mark My Words

Westenhoefer comes east

Bringing the boulevard to Society Hill

Continental appeal with local ingredients

Jazz vocalist brings sultry performance

Election cycle recap

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Poll results from our online survey as of Oct. 20:

How do you participate in the Philly AIDS Walk? 35% I walk 17% I volunteer 9% I contribute 5% All of the above 36% I don’t participate

Events: News/story ideas: Letters/Opinions:

Go to to weigh in on this week’s question:


Scene in Harrisburg

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What do you do on behalf of LGBT teens?

Advertising Sales Representatives David Augustine (ext. 219) National Advertising Rivendell Media (212) 242-6863 Office Manager/Classifieds Don Pignolet (ext. 200) Executive Assistant Credit/Billing Manager Carol Giunta (ext. 202) Philadelphia Gay News is a member of: The Associated Press National Gay Newspaper Guild Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Published by Masco Communications Inc. © 2010 Masco Communications Inc. ISSN-0742-5155 The views of PGN are expressed only in the unsigned “Editorial” column. Opinions expressed in bylined columns, stories and letters to the editor are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of PGN. The appearance of names or pictorial representations in PGN does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that named or pictured person or persons.

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010



News Briefing


Weiss sentencing delayed

CAMPUS UNITY: About 150 students and faculty of the University of Pennsylvania gathered outside Penn’s College Hall Oct. 18 as part of “Pennsylvania Night to Live,” a coordinated statewide demonstration in support of LGBT youth. At 8 that night, 25 college campuses across the state hosted similar vigils to honor Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and the countless other LGBT teens who have taken their own lives. The action was coordinated by the Student Network Across Pennsylvania, a program of Equality Pennsylvania, and included participation from other Philadelphia schools, including Temple University, La Salle University, Drexel University and University of the Arts. Penn’s vigil featured addresses by Jason Landau Goodman, Equality PA youth organizer and vice chair for political affairs of Penn’s Lambda Alliance, Vice Provost for University Life Dr. Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, Penn LGBT Center director Bob Schoenberg and several out students and representatives of student agencies. Photos: Scott A. Drake

Protesters to ‘lift luggage’ at NARTH meeting in Philadelphia By Jen Colletta PGN Staff Writer As members of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality convene inside the Renaissance Philadelphia Hotel next month, the LGBT community will host its own gathering outside the venue, using a recent NARTH scandal to speak out against the “ex-gay” group. Organized by national LGBT group Truth Wins Out, the “Lift My Luggage” protest will run from noon-1:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at REKERS the hotel, 500 S t eve n s D r ive near the Philadelphia International Airport. NARTH, which advocates for “reparative” therapy for LGBT individuals, will be in town for its annual convention Nov. 5-7. Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, said his agency has protested NARTH conferences in the past and often selects a unique demonstration theme — such as encouraging protesters to dress in

duck costumes for a NARTH meeting in Orlando to impress that the agency is comprised of “quacks.” Earlier this year, former NARTH board member George Rekers resigned after it was revealed that he hired a male escort to accompany him on a trip to Europe, although Rekers insists he hired the man only to “lift his luggage.” “We wanted to highlight George Rekers because what he stands for and what happened is something that’s much larger and symbolic of NARTH,” Besen said. “These are some very disturbed therapists who don’t publish legitimate studies and who are disreputable doctors. The main thing is that these people shouldn’t be taken seriously. We want to get out the message that these are therapists on the fringe who are just promoting junk science.” TWO is encouraging protesters to bring luggage to the events — preferably pink — and is suggesting decorating the luggage with signs such as “NARTH=Junk Science,” “Ex-gay? No way” or “Rent Boy Rekers.” Besen said the protest has drawn considerable support from Philadelphia-area groups, with sponsors like the William Way LGBT Community Center, Equality Forum and Metropolitan Community Church of Philadelphia. LGBT bloggers Pam Spaulding, Joe Jervis, Jeremy Hooper and

Zack Ford have also signed on to support the event. “I’m really excited that there’s been such a good community response,” Besen said. “Everybody’s stepping up and playing their part to make sure from every angle people understand that NARTH is not a legitimate group and that what they’re putting out there is not in the mainstream but on the extreme.” Besen said that while the protest is meant to communicate to the general public the fallacies put forth by NARTH, he hopes they’re also able to reach those at risk of buying into NARTH’s message. “The most important people are those who are searching for information, those with family and friends who’ve come out and who go on the Internet and read the promises NARTH is making. I think our message defines NARTH and frames what the issue is about, what they stand for, who they are and speaks to their real lack of credibility. We want this protest to be a way to define who they are so they can’t keep defining themselves as scientific experts.” Besen said organizers will run buses from Center City to the protest, and details will be posted at ■ Jen Colletta can be reached at jen@epgn. com.

A judge last month approved a request for continuance in the next phase of the federal tax-fraud case against local gaybar owner Michael Weiss. Weiss was scheduled for sentencing Oct. 15, but Judge Jan DeBois approved a continuance requested by both the defense and the prosecution, and sentencing is now set for 2 p.m. Nov. 15 in Courtroom 12-B at the U.S. District Courthouse, 601 Market St. Weiss, co-owner of Woody’s and president of the board of Voyeur, pleaded guilty in June to corruptly endeavoring to impede the due administration of the tax code and two counts of aiding and abetting the preparation and filing of false tax returns. The charges stemmed from Weiss’ financial dealings with the Palmer Social Club, an after-hours venue on Spring Garden Street. He was charged with underreporting the club’s earnings in its 2004 and 2005 tax filings by more than $1.6 million. Weiss could face 10-16 months in prison.

Final school-violence hearings The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations is hosting its final hearings on inter-group violence within Philadelphia’s public schools in the coming weeks. The last two hearings in the series will be held from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 26 at Woodland Playground, 4740 Woodland Ave., and from 4-6 p.m. Nov. 16 at Columbus Square Playground, 12th and Wharton streets. Students who’ve been victims of violence motivated by their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or other factors are encouraged to testify about their experiences. At the conclusion of the hearings, the commission will issue a report for the school district with recommendations to curb school violence. To testify, contact Naarah’ Crawley at or (215) 6864674. Written testimony can also be submitted to

Midterm cramming In the week preceding the upcoming midterm elections, the National Constitution Center will arm visitors with all the information they need before See NEWS BRIEFING, Page 27



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OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

National LGBT group stages anti-‘ex-gay’ weekend By Jen Colletta PGN Staff Writer LGBT researchers, community leaders and activists will join in Philadelphia next month for a conference to address the damaging effects of so-called “ex-gay” therapy. “Soulforce Symposium: The Truth about Faith, Science, Love and Reparative Therapy” will run from Nov. 5-7 at the Historic Downtown Courtyard by Marriott, 21 N. Juniper St. Soulforce, which works to end religious and political oppression of LGBT individuals, is holding the event the same weekend that the National Association for Research and Therapy for Homosexuals is hosting its annual conference, this year headquartered at the Renaissance Philadelphia Hotel. NARTH seeks to popularize the idea that gays can be “cured,” and Soulforce executive director Dr. Cyndi Love said her organization’s program seeks in part to examine the root cause of such bodies of thought. “We felt that, while dealing with the issue of reparative therapy, we wanted to go even deeper and address specifically what makes another human being believe that it’s OK to insist on imposing this idea on someone else,” Love said. “We wanted to bring people together who are working on the root causes of this, which is the whole definition that the appropriate social structure is one that is guided by white men as opposed to one where everybody has an equal voice and protection. While the conference looks at reparative therapy and its effects, it also has an element addressing the roots within religion of patriarchy, misogyny and sexism that are also at the core of this.” Love said Soulforce was also motivated to act after observing a renewed push with reparativetherapy communities to target younger transgender individuals. “There’s a very deep concern that, because reparative therapy is having less traction among lesbian and gay people, there’s a real push within the movement to go after people who identify as transgender,” she said. “Young people coming out today are more and more defining themselves as gender-fluid, gender-queer and gender-variant, so there’s a very real

concern that if these people are taking great interest in these communities, that puts young people at an even greater risk than they have been in the past.” The weekend’s events will kick off with a Life Rally at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at Love Park, which will bring special attention to recent LGBT youth suicides and encourage the community to celebrate their identities, Love said. Out Christian singer/songwriter Ray Boltz will perform during the rally, and guests are invited to an after-party at Stir. Boltz, who came out to his family about six years ago and publicly in 2008, was married to a woman for more than three decades, as he struggled to suppress his sexuality.

knew they wouldn’t be accepted, and we need to tell them that’s not true,” Boltz said. “These young people are hearing the same doctrine and dogma I heard that you can change from gay to straight, and I want them to be able to hear another voice, one that says that God loves you the way you are. They need to know that there are people out there who believe that God’s just fine with you the way he created you and that life is worth living.” Boltz’s current tour, “Living True,” is taking him around the country alongside Azariah S o u t h wo r t h , a 2 4 - y e a r- o l d Christian television host who made headlines after coming out two years ago, and who will join Boltz at the Life Rally.

CAMPUS COLLECTIVE: Soulforce supporters rallied March 5 at Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, a stop on the 2010 Equality Ride, which sought to raise awareness of LGBT issues on college campuses that have discriminatory policies.

“I spent 30 years of my life trying to be straight and doing everything the fundamentalists told me to do,” Boltz said. “I prayed, I read the Bible, I went to counseling, I did everything. But at the end of those 30 years I came to the realization, I guess I’m a slow learner, that this just didn’t work. You can only pretend for so long, and I came to this point in my life where I just felt so overwhelmed and like there was no way out.” Boltz, who said he considered suicide several times, noted that the recent national attention on LGBT youth suicide makes the timing of the rally and symposium even more appropriate. “This is the time for us to stand up and be heard. These kids feel alone and feel isolated, like there’s no one else like them and if anyone

“It’s great to see people not just like me who struggled for 30 years, but young people like Azariah who stood up in their 20s and made the same decision that I did,” he said. “Sometimes kids don’t want to hear what a grandfather like me has to say, so I think it’s great that this event is going to offer people of all ages standing up together.” LGBT ally and Christian pastor Jay Bakker, son of late televangelists Tammy Faye and Jim Baker, will deliver the plenary address Saturday morning. Workshops will run throughout Saturday at the hotel, and guests will be permitted to leave in the afternoon if they wish to attend the “Lift My Luggage” protest See SOULFORCE, Page 17

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010



Media Trail

DNC chair urges LGBTs to get out the vote By Jen Colletta PGN Staff Writer With just a week left until the midterm elections in a year when Democrats are expected to lose at least a few seats to Republicans, the head of the Democratic National Committee is imploring the LGBT community to turn out in full force at the polls. In an interview with PGN last week, DNC chair Tim Kaine acknowledged that some members of the LGBT community are frustrated by what they see as a lack of progress on key legislative issues, but pledged that change will keep coming — if Democrats can retain their seats. “The Democratic Party — from our platform, from who we are, who our elected officials are, our leadership — works to be very, very inclusive of the LGBT community,” Kaine said. “Not that we don’t have challenges and arguments and questions of if we’re doing enough — we have that with all of our constituencies — but we work hard to be inclusive in our leadership and our policies. The Republican Party is still choosing to make LGBT issues their wedge device to motivate their base.” Locally, Kaine noted that the Senate race between Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey could be significant for LGBT Pennsylvanians. “Joe Sestak has a good record on issues of LGBT equality, but Toomey doesn’t even believe in the hate-crimes notion, which is a rearview-mirror issue for most people,” he said. “[Toomey] thinks hate crimes are criminalizing thought. We see hate crimes all too often; even the bullying case that claimed the life of the student at Rutgers can be looked at in the category of a hate crime. It’s not about thoughts, it’s about actions that you take to marginalize others. There’s a very clear distinction between Sestak and Toomey and that’s not an unusual contrast that just exemplifies the current difference between the two parties in our sensitivity to and appreciation of LGBT Americans.” Kaine, who’s headed the DNC since January 2009, said that, despite public criticism from some LGBT activists, the Obama administration has acquired an important list of LGBT accomplishments. Last fall, the president signed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act into law — incorporating sexual orientation and gender identity into the federal hate-crimes law — and Kaine noted that there have also been “significant wholesale changes in federal personnel rules for LGBT Americans,” such as the extension of some benefits to same-sex partners of


federal employees. Kaine said the Obama administration early on committed itself to four main LGBT legislative measures: the hatecrimes law, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. “The White House has developed a huge list of things, from big-picture legislation to administrative things and has been going through and ticking off a number of them. The legislative priority has been the Shepard Act, ‘DADT,’ ENDA and DOMA, in that order,” Kaine said. “Some of that order came down to prac-


tical politics in the sense of which ones would have less political crosswind to pass and then just climbing the ladder from there.” The Senate last month failed to advance the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but Kaine said he expects action on the measure in the lame-duck session of Congress. “They’re still strategizing about whether the best legislative vehicle is as a stand-alone or if this should be attached to something like the Defense Authorization bill,” he said. “We can’t get rid of ‘DADT’ by an executive order, we can’t tie it up in the courts for years. We need to get rid of it legislatively to get rid of it once and for all, and that’s what the president is focused on.”

O n c e “ D o n ’t A s k , D o n ’t Te l l ” is repealed, Kaine said he expects Democratic leadership to turn its attention to ENDA, although he was unsure of a timeline. Earlier this month, the Department of Justice filed an appeal to stay an injunction ordered by a judge in California that would have immediately lifted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The DOJ also recently appealed two decisions in Massachusetts that found part of DOMA to be unconstitutional. Kaine said the appeals, however, do not preclude the administration’s support for repealing both laws. “It’s a tough one. The Justice Department is under legal obligation to defend laws of the United States. We had Congress pass a lot of civil-rights laws, especially during the civil-rights era, and there were state courts and lower courts ignoring them, but it was important for the Justice Department to go into places like Mississippi or Arkansas and defend the law of the United States. We have a president who believes it’s important for the Justice Department to continue that very traditional role, but he also believes very strongly that there is a right solution to these issues and that’s getting legislation passed.” Kaine said the frustration expressed by LGBT community members about the stalled effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the DOJ appeals is common among many constituent groups but should not prevent Democratic voters from continuing to support their party. “I don’t mind impatience. I think impatience can be a driver. And whether it’s the LGBT community, labor, environmental issues — we run into similar questions when we’ve gotten a lot done but there’s still a lot more to do. And the president is more impatient than anybody. There’s not a single area where the president says, ‘OK, I’m checking this off my list because we’ve gotten done everything we need to.’ He’s proud of our accomplishments across the board but in every area there’s a to-do list, and the ability to get that to-do list done depends on the quality of his partners,” Kaine said. “If folks are choosing to not participate until we have more action, if you don’t pick your own leader, somebody else is going to pick for you. Why let your enemy pick your leader? You need to pick your leaders, pick those who are most likely to support you, hold them accountable and push them but don’t allow your enemies to pick for you because you’re not engaged.” ■ Jen Colletta can be reached at jen@epgn. com.

Facebook works to remove hate speech The San Francisco Chronicle reports Facebook is working with a gay-advocacy group to reduce hate speech and bullying on the online social hub. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said it reached out to Facebook after Internet bullies flooded a page set up to honor teens who recently killed themselves in response to antigay hate. Facebook said that its policies prohibit hateful content and that it has systems in place to take down such posts as soon as possible. But the company also said it wants its users to be able to express unpopular opinions and as such must strike a careful balance between removing harmful content and letting people speak freely. “Facebook has taken an important first step in making social media a place where antigay violence is not allowed,” said Jarrett Barrios, the president of GLAAD.

Students rally after gay shirt assault The Chicago Tribune reports students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater rallied after a woman was punched in the face while wearing a T-shirt that said “legalize gay.” Between 50-100 people gathered Oct. 15 to raise awareness of hate crimes. The victim is a UW-Whitewater student. Campus police say late last month she was approached by two men she didn’t know. She says one called her a homophobic slur and punched her, bruising her face. Police released profiles of the two suspects shortly after the alleged attack. A police lieutenant said that no arrests have been made.

Wal-Mart sells ex-gay kids’ book reports more than 100 WalMart stores are selling a book for kids and parents that suggests gay people can overcome “sin” and convert to heterosexuality with the help of counseling. “Chased by an Elephant: The Gospel Truth About Today’s Stampeding Sexuality” is written by Janice Barrett Graham, whose husband, Stephen, runs the antigay group Standard of Liberty. In the book’s introduction, Graham says she wrote the book to “help shed the clear light of truth on today’s dark and tangled ideas about male and female, proper gender roles, the law of chastity and the God-given sexual appetite.” Graham’s son Andrew claims he successfully changed his sexual orientation and is now a happily married man. ■ — Larry Nichols


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OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

PECO offers trans panel By Jen Colletta PGN Staff Writer About 250 employees of the Philadelphia Electric Company packed into Energy Hall at the company’s Center City headquarters Oct. 18 for a panel discussion about transgender issues. Exelon, the parent company of PECO, recently rolled out a comprehensive guide with information and resources for transgender employees undergoing a transition. Martha Phan, manager of internal communications at PECO, said this week’s event was spurred in part by the new policy and also by two employee groups — PECO Voices of Diversity & Inclusion and Exelon Pride. “PECO has a very strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a lot of our employee groups produce programs and meetings to address diversity topics. And in the past for some of the more meaty and difficult subjects to talk about, they’ve held these panel presentations,” Phan said. “When Exelon introduced the new transgender policy this past year to help employees and managers navigate the transition process, the groups thought this might be a good time for the organization to come together and talk about these issues together.” The panel was moderated by Stephen Glassman, chair of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and featured pan-

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TALKING ABOUT TRANS: The Philadelphia Electric Company hosted a panel discussion Oct. 18 to raise awareness about transgender issues in the workplace, drawing some 250 employees. Sitting on the panel were Mazzoni Center executive director Nurit Shein (from left), PECO employee Tre Heptig, Exelon employee Bara Jay Hellman, moderator Stephen Glassman, chair of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling. Photo: Scott A. Drake

elists Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality; Nurit Shein, executive director of Mazzoni Center; and PECO employee Tre Heptig and Exelon employee Bara Jay Hellman. Heptig, a trans-masculine West Philadelphia resident, has worked as a transmission and substation maintenance mechanic-in-progression since 2007. Hellman, a transwoman, began her transition in 2007 shortly after arriving at Exelon as a nuclear equipment operator. Glassman said the personal stories the pair shared during the discussion were key to the crowd’s understanding of the topic. “Their personal stories really moved the audience and helped them to relate to the issue being discussed,” he said. “And I think it also made it particularly relevant to the employees at PECO because two of their own were able to share with them their personal experiences, the challenges, the difficulties that they faced, as well as the support they saw at PECO, and to help evoke empathy and understanding in the workforce at their own company.” Attendance was not required, and Pham noted that many employees traveled from around the five-county region to attend. Shein applauded the response from the company and the

employees. “I think it went extremely well,” she said. “The room was packed, which was very, very impressive. It seems like PECO really has a culture of inclusiveness. People were really listening and open to hearing what the barriers and issues might be for individuals trying to transition on the job or gain employment as transgender people.” Glassman said the success of the program exemplifies the broader culture at Exelon, which currently has a perfect 100 rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and is one of very few corporations that covers the entire cost of genderreassignment surgery for trans employees. “They set a very high bar that other members of corporate America should emulate,” Glassman said. “They have not only put extremely strong and inclusive policies in place, but they’re actually acting on them and advocating for their workforce to become more culturally competent and improve the way they respond to differences and diversity in the workplace. I think that’s very impressive and they are a model for other Fortune 500 companies and even smaller and medium-sized employers here in the Philadelphia region.” ■ Jen Colletta can be reached at

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010



Gayborhood Crime Watch The following incidents in the Midtown Village and Washington Square West areas were reported to the Sixth Police District between Oct. 4-10. Information is courtesy of Sixth District Capt. Brian Korn; Stacy Irving, senior director, Crime Prevention Service; Center City District; the Police Liaison Committee and Midtown Village Merchants Association. REPORT: Between 9:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. Oct. 4, a laptop was discovered missing from complainant’s apartment in the 300 block of South 11th Street. There was no forced entry into the property and nothing else was reported missing. 6th District Officer Sweeney was unable to lift fingerprints. REPORT: Between 5 p.m. Sept. 30 and 4 p.m. Oct. 4, complainant’s bicycle was stolen from the 1000 block of Waverly Street. REPORT: Between noon Oct. 3 and noon Oct. 6 (incident reported Oct. 9), out-of-town complainant’s 1997 BMW, parked in the 1000 block of Pine Street, was entered without force and a Glock 30-caliber handgun was taken. No fingerprints were lifted; due to lengthy delay in reporting the incident, scene was contaminated. REPORT: Between 2:35-4 p.m. Oct. 4, complainant’s secured bicycle was stolen from the 200 block of South 12th Street. REPORT: On Oct. 6, the loss prevention supervisor of the Marriott Courtyard Hotel, 21 N. Juniper St., discovered numerous brass

water-pipe covers were missing from the stairwells of the property. Each cover was valued at approximately $100. ARREST: At 12:10 p.m. Oct. 6, complainant was in an argument with another male at 13th and Locust streets when the other male pulled out a knife and threatened the complainant. Sixth District Officer Trautz detained the 40-year-old suspect with a Frankford address, but the complainant refused to press charges when taken to Central Detective Division to make a statement. REPORT: At 6:30 p.m. Oct. 6, complainant’s unattended iPhone was taken from a table inside Aki Japanese Fusion Restaurant, 1210 Walnut St. Security video showed the offender to be a black male, 20 years old, 5-foot-8, 160 pounds, wearing a dark grey hoodie, jeans and white sneakers. ARRESTS: At 7:40 p.m. Oct. 6, complainant was walking past a group of five to six males outside 233 S. 13th St. when one of the males stated, “What are you looking at?” At that, the group started punching and kicking the complainant. Sixth District officers Duncan and Burrell responded to a 911 call and arrested two of the male offenders after being positively identified by a witness. The 19-year-old suspect with a South Philadelphia address and a 20-year-old suspect with a local Washington Square West address were charged with aggravated assault and related offenses.

ARRESTS: On Oct. 7, 6th District plainclothes officers arrested two males for prostitution between 10:20-11 p.m. at 1200 Locust St. and 400 S. 12th St. ARRESTS: At 4 p.m. Oct. 7, complainant was walking on Locust Street at Broad when he was confronted by two males and a female, one of whom produced a knife and demanded money. The three walked away with some cash and the complainant called 911. 6th District Officers Gable and Gillespie and Center City District Officer Cain stopped all three in the 200 block of South 13th Street and they were positively identified. Two 25-year-old males and a 22-year-old female, all with Washington Square West addresses, were charged with robbery and related offenses. ARREST: At 4:40 p.m. Oct. 7, complainant was in the 1200 block of Market Street and was surrounded and punched by a group of four to six young males who took his cell phone. Center City District Officers Netterville and Moore stopped one of the offenders in the 100 block of Market Street and he was positively identified. The 17-year-old offender with a West Philadelphia address was charged with robbery and related offenses.

ers were described as black males, both thin and wearing masks and all-black clothing. One was 5foot-11, the other was 5-foot-8. Complainant refused to cooperate any further in the investigation after surveying the area for suspects. REPORT: Between 4 p.m. Oct. 5 and 1:30 p.m. Oct. 8, complainant’s secured bicycle was stolen from the 100 block of South 12th Street. REPORT: Between 6:45 a.m.7:30 p.m. Oct. 8, complainant’s secured bicycle was stolen from the 800 block of Spruce Street. REPORT: Between 2-6 a.m. Oct. 10, out-of-town complainant’s 2000 Nissan, parked on South

11th Street, was stolen. ARREST: At 9:10 p.m. Oct. 10, complainant was walking on South 11th Street when a male pushed her and snatched her iPhone. Sixth District Officers Ferrero and Blackburn apprehended a suspect at Ninth and Filbert streets after a short foot pursuit. The male allegedly threw the phone in a sewer, but he was positively identified by the complainant. The 15-yearold alleged offender with a Logan address was charged with robbery and related offenses. REPORT: Between 7:15-10:30 p.m. Oct. 10, complainant’s secured bicycle was stolen from the 1300 block of Chancellor Street. ■

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REPORT: At 8:30 p.m. Oct. 7, out-of-town complainant was confronted at Camac and Latimer streets by two males, one of whom showed a handgun and demanded money. The males took cash and fled east on Latimer. The offend-


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OCT. 22 - 28, 2010


Don’t wait, do tell On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips denied the government’s request for a stay on her ruling overturning the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers. That same day, the Pentagon confirmed it had issued guidance to recruiting commands that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” had been suspended, but that the 9th Circuit ruling could be reversed at any point. Because of the legal uncertainties, advocacy groups for gay and lesbian servicemembers are urging them not to come out and for recruits to use caution in signing up, as they say the law can be triggered by any statement of homosexuality made at any time and to anyone. But wait. Wouldn’t it be a more effective strategy if all gay and lesbian servicemembers came out right now? Consider: It’s estimated that there are 65,000 activeduty gay and lesbian servicemembers, and an additional 1 million gay veterans. As of August, there were approximately 1.48 million active-duty troops, meaning about 4 percent of the active military is gay or lesbian. While it doesn’t seem like a large percentage, in a time when the United States has hundreds of thousands of troops overseas and resources are already stretched thin, it would be nigh impossible for the Pentagon to pursue some 65,000 individual cases of homosexuality — especially when the law is currently suspended. Another way to think of it: Before President Obama announced the troop increase earlier this year, there were 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Polls have shown that at least two-thirds of Americans support gays serving openly and 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with gays and lesbians. Moreover, polls have indicated 57-67 percent of servicemembers know or suspect that someone is gay or lesbian in their unit. Since the ban was enacted in 1993, more than 13,500 servicemembers have been discharged under the policy — and that’s not counting gays and lesbians who opted not to go into the military, cut their military careers short or lied about their orientation during their service. While it’s true that repealing the ban will result in a change in the military — investigations will no longer be conducted into personal lives, policies will have to be rewritten and training may have to occur — acting like the ban has no negative effects on costs, unit cohesion, military and family readiness or human capital is preposterous and disingenuous. For servicemembers, throwing caution to the wind and coming out en masse is a risk to be sure. But there is a certain safety in numbers — and in knowing that history, the president, the majority of Congress, the majority of the military and the majority of Americans support the right to serve openly. ■

Creep of the Week D’Anne Witkowski Saline School Board I think we can all agree that bullying is bad. No one likes to be bullied and no one wants their kids to get taunted and harassed at school. But if there’s one thing worse than bullying, it’s antibullying. Because everybody knows that “antibullying” is really just code for “promo-homo” and is an attempt to indoctrinate children to hate Jesus and love leather daddies and bull dykes. So congratulations to the Saline School Board for voting against adding “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” to the school district’s nondiscrimination policy. And double congratulations for holding this historic vote just days after a 19-year-old killed himself after attending a city council meeting in Oklahoma, where several stood up to say how terrible gay people were. Why did the Saline School Board vote 4-3 to keep LGBTs out of their nondiscrimination policy? Well, they already have an antibullying policy, which supposedly covers that. “We already have a policy in place,” said board member Paul Hynek, who also acknowledged that “we don’t live in a tolerant society.” Late in September, Hynek claimed, “The root of the problem is bullying; we need to get that under control.” Surely getting bullying under control

couldn’t possibly start with adding “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” to the nondiscrimination policy. I mean, to teach kids not to bully LGBT students, it couldn’t possibly matter whether the school district is willing to acknowledge that LGBT students not only exist but are also worthy of protection against discrimination. “I do feel that people have been bullied and harassed,” Hynek told “But I’m thinking they’re not the only group in the high school that gets bullied and harassed.” It is well known that a group cannot receive protection until it is the only group being discriminated against. Board member Chuck Lesch said that since Michigan doesn’t include LGBT folks in its nondiscrimination laws, Saline shouldn’t have to either. High-school science teacher Tom Frederick boldly spoke out against the change, worrying that banning discrimination against gays would “lead to future cases of discrimination.” Pow! That’s the sound of Frederick blowing your mind. Think about it: Fight fire with fire, right? In other words, fight discrimination with discrimination. As Dan Savage wrote, “If you ban discrimination against LGBT students then you’re going to wind up discriminat-

ing against the people who want to discriminate against LGBT students.” And those people usually claim that it’s a God-given right to think homosexuals are disgusting, awful people and to treat them as such. As Superintendent Scot Graden told, without changing the policy, LGBT students could technically be discriminated against by school employees without recourse. He gave the hypothetical example of a student getting cut from the volleyball team for being a lesbian. But come on, it’s one thing to put “no ass kicking” in an antibullying policy. It’s another to put into writing that LGBT folks will get a fair shake in your school district. It’s like putting out a welcome mat for the queers. Next thing you know, LGBT riff-raff will infiltrate the school. And as more schools adopt inclusive nondiscrimination policies, people are going to expect more from principals and school-board members who don’t do a damn thing to help LGBT kids until it’s time to say, “So sorry for your loss” at a kid’s funeral. Thank you, Saline board members, for standing up against such a world. ■

D’Anne Witkowski is a Detroit-based freelance writer and poet (believe it!).


OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

Mark My Words Mark Segal Election cycle recap During this election cycle, the news has been focused on the Republican tea party candidates. They are a fun-loving bunch: Let’s look them over. In Delaware, the Senate candidate doesn’t know the First Amendment and says she used to be a witch. In Alaska, the security team for the Senatorial candidate handcuffed a reporter for asking a question. In Nevada, a Republican ad on Univision urged Hispanics not to vote. In Kentucky, the Senate candidate said if he could, he would vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Pennsylvania, the Senate candidate would outlaw abortions and put doctors who perform them on trial. In New York, the gubernatorial candidate offered to punch a reporter and sent racist and sexist e-mails. A little more than a week to go and the general election of 2010 will be history — and, if you feel as I do, hurrah. While we can’t wait to get this over with, it is still very important to remember that this year your vote is crucial. The LGBT vote can make the difference between a Democratic Congress or a Republican Congress. If the latter doesn’t scare you, I’m not sure what will. In any case, while we might debate on if we care about Congress, there is one congressional race we can all agree on. Pat Murphy is the Democratic incumbent for Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District. If you

need any reminders, he’s the Iraq War vet who has fought “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” from his days teaching at West Point to the halls of Congress. And while most ran from the issue this year, he picked up the flag and became the standard bearer for repeal in Congress. His opponent is running the same old tired Republican scare-tactic race. It’s a nail-biter. And this is a swing district in a difficult year. His district stretches from Northeast Philadelphia through Bucks County. Pat needs your help. Donate, volunteer and, most importantly, if you’re in his district, vote. During the presidential primary season in 2008, a friend and I had a discussion with the premise, is this country more racist or more sexist? It was an easy subject to discuss since, for the first time in history, the two major candidates for president in one party were an African American and a woman. It’s an interesting debate, and you can see some of this -ism playing now in this mid-term election. For the first time in American history, we have an African-American president and a woman as Speaker of the House. And what has been the battlecry of the right and the tea party activists? Blame all the problems of the country on Obama and Pelosi. Yeah, blame the black guy and the woman. Getting back to the tea party and the standard bearer in Delaware, Christine O’Donnell: Her name was misspelled on her own website until this week. ■ Mark Segal is PGN publisher. He is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media, having just received the 2010 Columnist of the Year Award from the 2,000-member Suburban Newspapers of America. He can be reached at mark@epgn. com.


Street Talk Is it fair to label someone homophobic?

Peter DiOrio business owner Bella Vista

Wanjiko Horling administrative coordinator South Philadelphia

“Yes, but [it’s] unnecessary. Labels make the labeler feel better, but they’re not always valid or accurate. And they can interfere with helpful dialogue and understanding. You don’t want to be oblivious to the threats of violence out there, but you also don’t want to resort to namecalling.”

“In the circle I run in, I don’t really encounter that type of person very often. But if I happen to observe someone saying or doing something negative towards homosexuals, I would definitely use that term to describe the person. It’s fair, because I’m just stating a fact.”

Natalie Owens office manager West Philadelphia

Wesley Reid stage manager Queen Village

“If the shoe fits, wear it. There are people who are so objectionable in their views against gays, they deserve that label. But as gays, we shouldn’t be so offended by someone else’s opinion. I personally never use that word.”

“Yes, because some people are so extreme in their distaste for gays, there’s really no better word [for them]. I’ve seen people on the news who behaved in a way that caused me to label them homophobic.”

Letters and Feedback In response to “Blahnik house mother murdered,” Oct. 15-21: Stacey, you will be dearly missed; your beautiful smile, your laughter. I remember the first time I met you in Baltimore when you just graduated high school. Seems just like yesterday. Our prayers to your family. — Alvernian Prestige So beautiful in many eyes, you will be dearly missed all over, Stacey. — Rameeka 007 Why the hell does it matter what her birth name was? That wasn’t her name! You identified her as transgender. That was enough. That other name wasn’t her name any more. It was irrelevant and disrespectful to even mention it. If the trans community can’t get respectful treatment from the gay media, especially in an article that specifically talks about the disastrous mainstream media reports, how can we expect it from anyone? — Arizona_Abby

I agree with Abby on this one. Even if she had not legally changed her name (hence her ID still had her birth name), it is very inappropriate for any publication, especially a GLBT publication, to disclose the birth name. I am a transwoman who has already legally changed my name and very few people know my “birth” name, but with some research, it can be found. I definitely would not want it released in a publication. This is bad and somewhat sensational journalism. This coming from the GLBT media is setting a disastrous example to the mainstream media that the GLBT community accepts this type of writing. I have news for you: We don’t! We may be the last letter, but we are just as important as the first three ... somehow, people in the GLBT community seem to forget this. My thoughts go out to her friends and family. — Michiko Ota

This is a very sad story. To Abby and Michiko, it could be that the writer of this story just didn’t know that it would be offensive to our trans brothers and sisters to mention her birth name. Let’s face it, we still have much to learn about each other, and sometimes (on either side) we make mistakes that just need courteous correction to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. I don’t believe the author meant to be disrespectful or sensational by printing her birth name. Being a writer myself, I didn’t know that it would be considered that way because that’s how news is reported with regards to given names and chosen names — you state both, and in this case stating that she’s trans signifies what her chosen name was at the time of death — it doesn’t change who she was born as, it just states the fact. I know now, however. We have to be patient with one another because our community is complex. May she rest in peace. — Cheril N. Clarke



OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

In state races, gay marriage resurfaces as issue By David Crary The Associated Press This election will be the first since the 1990s without a measure to ban gay marriage on any state ballot, yet the divisive issue is roiling races across the country during a time of tumult for the gay-rights movement. In Minnesota, New Hampshire, California and New York, gubernatorial campaigns have become battlegrounds for rival sides in the debate, with the Democratic candidates supporting same-sex marriage and the Republicans opposed. In Iowa, voters will decide whether to oust three state Supreme Court justices who joined last year’s unanimous decision making the state one of five where gay marriage is legal. And in Rhode Island and California, Democratic candidates are seeking to become the fourth and fifth openly gay members of Congress. The Californian, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, has a husband and 4-year-old twins, and would be Congress’ first openly gay parent. The races are unfolding on a

rapidly shifting gay-rights landscape, with activists elated by important court rulings, irked at setbacks in Washington and jolted by high-profile cases of antigay violence and bullying-provoked suicides. The mixed emotions have been evident in recent days as a federal judge ordered a halt to enforcement of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The Obama administration says it agrees with the judge that gays should be allowed to serve openly. Yet to the frustration of gay activists, the administration appealed the ruling, saying it preferred that Congress repeal the policy. “It’s the best of times and worst of times,” said Richard Socarides, a former Clinton White House adviser on gay rights. “Culturally you see a huge increase in acceptance of gays and lesbians, and in the federal courts you see for the first time a willingness to embrace the Constitution as a vehicle for securing equality for gay people,” Socarides said. “Yet in our nation’s politics, we see essentially the opposite.” He said President Obama has failed to deliver on his pledges to

gays regarding marriage recognition and repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “The president made a conscious decision coming in that these were second- and third-tier issues,” Socarides said. “People were very excited by him. But he overpromised and underdelivered.” Obama said last week that the military policy “will end and it will end on my watch,” but he acknowledged the constraints of the legal process. Republicans have not emphasized social issues as much as in recent elections, calculating that dismay over the economy and frustration with the Democratic agenda will be enough to post big gains. The GOP’s recent “Pledge to America” did not call for a federal ban on gay marriage or broach the issue of gays in the military. “Even the most conservative Republicans understand that these issues don’t work on their behalf nearly as effectively as they did a few years ago,” said Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay-rights group. Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, a

major financial backer of campaigns opposing same-sex marriage, said the GOP would be unwise to soften its stance on the issue. “We’re not saying the No. 1 issue in every state is same-sex marriage,” he said. “We are saying it’s an important issue, and Republicans abandon it at their peril.” A look at some of the notable races: CALIFORNIA The high-profile races for governor and Senate coincide with legal wrangling over Proposition 8, the ballot measure approved by California voters in 2008 that banned same-sex marriage. A federal judge ruled in August that the ban is unconstitutional. The case will be heard before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in December. Attorney General Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate for governor, supports samesex marriage and has refused to defend Prop. 8 in court. His GOP opponent, Meg Whitman, opposes gay marriage and has pledged to defend the ban. The Senate race has a simi-

lar split: Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer supports same-sex marriage and Republican challenger Carly Fiorina opposes it. Prop. 8 supporters organized a bus tour across the state intended to rally Latino support for Fiorina based on the marriage issue. They also released a TV ad in Spanish highlighting Boxer’s support for abortion rights and same-sex marriage. NEW HAMPSHIRE Last year, Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who said he opposed gay marriage, signed a bill legalizing it after lawmakers approved provisions affirming religious rights. Ly n c h i s u p f o r r e - e l e ction, facing a Republican who opposes same-sex marriage, and the National Organization for Marriage is running ads against the governor depicting his signing of the bill as a betrayal of voters. Andy Smith of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center said Lynch has a solid lead over GOP nominee John Stephen in the center’s latest poll, while voters seem relatively at ease with legalSee MARRIAGE, Page 18

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SOULFORCE From Page 6 outside the NARTH conference. The conference discussions will focus on such topics as the intersection of faith and sexual identity, nonviolent resistance, reparative therapy in international public policy and specific tactics used by reparative-therapy agencies. Panelists include local LGBT figures the Rev. Jeffrey Jordan, Gloria Casarez, J. Mason and Kevin Trimmel Jones, as well as national LGBT advocates. Several survivors of “ex-gay” therapy will also be in attendance to share their personal stories, which Love said may provide the most impactful moments of the weekend. “Unless you’ve been through it, you don’t actually know the cost of that experience,” Love said. “I think their voices are going to be extremely important because they’ll show the pain and the loss that they’ve been through, but they can also talk about the healthy, effective ways they’ve learned to deal with that and build up their own resistance.” Love said the messages put forth by the survivors are especially integral for the younger program participants, especially in light of the contrary messages being proclaimed by NARTH several miles

DADT From Page 1 openly gay servicemembers to enlist. LGBT organizations, however, are urging caution, as there is still a possibility the appeals court could overturn Phillips’ order and require the military to again enforce the law. “By the judge keeping the injunction in place, lesbian and gay servicemembers are protected another day, but the uncertainty has not gone away,” said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, in a statement Tuesday night. “We’re talking about the careers of patriots, people who are on the frontlines serving our country — some of whom are highly decorated — and the court needs to keep the injunction in place. During this interim period of uncertainty, servicemembers must not come out. Our servicemembers need finality.” Sarvis said such finality can be achieved through Congressional repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Senate last month failed to advance a bill that would repeal the


away. “The most important thing is for us to teach our youth and our young adults that they absolutely do not need to agree to participate in something so destructive. When these people tell you that you’re going to lose your family, your home, your church, your community, your friends and, on top of all that, you’re going to hell, that’s a lot for a young person to deal with. They need to see people who’ve not only survived reparative therapy but who were told they had to do it and made that choice to walk away for themselves. Whenever NARTH is in town, they get a tremendous amount of media exposure, and if youth are going to be hearing this message that clearly says it’s not OK for them to be who they are, we must have a countermessage and a space where they can be with people who can show them that they are OK.” The weekend will wrap up with a dinner featuring out comedian Peterson Toscano. Tickets to the dinner are $35, which also include admission to the workshops. Guests just attending the workshops will be charged $10, and Soulforce is offering free admission for those who can’t afford the tickets. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.soulforce. org. ■

law after a successful Republican filibuster led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The Obama administration has said that while it supports the full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it believes repeal should be taken up in Congress, not the courts. The Senate has a small window of opportunity in the lame-duck session after the midterm elections to again try to pass the bill. Robin McGehee, director of GetEqual, which has staged several public actions calling for the repeal of the law, urged the administration to follow Phillips’ lead. “Judge Phillips has once again shown the courage and leadership that has evaded so many of our political leaders, including President Obama,” she said. “We applaud Judge Phillips for this fairminded, common-sense ruling and continue to urge President Obama and the Department of Justice to immediately cease their unnecessary appeal of the federal court’s ruling.” ■ Jen Colletta can be reached at




MARRIAGE From Page 12 ized gay marriage. “When the economy is bad, it tends to blow social issues out the door,” Smith said. “Voters are more concerned about what’s on the table than what their neighbor is doing.”

MINNESOTA There’s a similar dynamic in the race to succeed Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. GOP candidate Tom Emmer opposes samesex marriage, while Democrat Mark Dayton and independent Tom Horner support it. The National Organization for Marriage has run TV ads for

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

Emmer, highlighting the trio’s stances on marriage. The ads infuriated some gay-rights groups because they used the image of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs says Dayton appears to be leading, but the race is up for grabs. According

to Jacobs, few voters consider gay marriage a vital issue, and Emmer has not emphasized it. “In past years Republicans have used gay marriage as an issue to mobilize their base, to bring out conservatives,” Jacobs said. “This year they don’t need it.” Brown, the National

Organization for Marriage’s president, disagreed. “When marriage becomes an issue, as it has in Minnesota, people understand what’s at stake,” he said. “This could be a decisive factor in the governor’s race.” NEW YORK The Republican candidate for governor, Carl Paladino, was considered an underdog from the outset in his race against Democrat Andrew Cuomo. Now Paladino’s task may be even harder after his recent entanglement in gay-related controversies. He railed against gay marriage in a speech to Orthodox Jewish leaders, then called the bumping-and-grinding at gay pride parades disgusting. Under fire from gay-rights advocates, including the Cuomo campaign, he apologized, costing him his support from a leading rabbi. Meanwhile, news reports surfaced that Paladino was once landlord of two gay clubs in Buffalo. IOWA Polls show Iowa voters evenly split on whether to oust three Supreme Court justices who were part of the decision legalizing gay marriage. If the effort succeeds, it would be the first time since Iowa adopted its current system for appointing judges in 1962 that voters opted to remove a Supreme Court justice. The targets include Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, who said the three wouldn’t undertake a counter-campaign because they don’t want to set a questionable example for judges by campaigning and raising money. Brown said removal of any of the justices would be a “gamechanger” with national impact. “Judges will have to sit up and take notice that they can’t just arbitrarily make up the law,” he said. ■





OCT. 22 - 28, 2010



Experts say gang taboos fueled NYC gay bias attacks By Colleen Long The Associated Press NEW YORK CITY — Late one Saturday, members of a gang in a Bronx neighborhood spotted one of their recruits coming out of an apartment around the corner from their hangout. Most people in this Bronx enclave know one another, and this particular apartment was the home of a gay man known by neighbors as “La Reina” — the queen. The members of the loosely organized street crew known as the Latin King Goonies wanted to know why their 17-year-old wannabe was there — and when they found out, they snapped, authorities said, setting off a weekend rampage that officials call one of the worst antigay attacks in recent city history. It included the beatings and torture of three others, including the man thought to have had a sexual encounter with the teen, authorities say. Eleven people have been arrested so far. Experts say such attacks, however shocking, were driven by the ultra-macho world of gangs, where homosexuality is a strict taboo. “The gang culture, it’s the epitome of bravado, of masculinity,” said Sergio Argueta, a former gang member who left the life and is now an advocate for troubled youths. “It’s just not really acceptable to be gay, and especially not when you’re trying to join a gang and they don’t know it, and find out.” In this case, the 17-year-old recruit was spotted by the suspected ringleader, Idelfonzo

Mendez, and other members of the crew outside the 30-year-old man’s apartment, authorities say. Most people in the neighborhood knew the man was gay. Xavier Pena, who works at El Tio grocery, the bodega at the foot of the man’s building, said he was friendly and well-liked. “He was very nice,” he said. “I just can’t believe what happened.” Others, like the cousin of suspect Bryan Almonte, say the man was dangerous because he solicited sex from teens. “Whatever happened to him was wrong, but what he was doing was wrong, too. It was wrong, but he brought it upon himself,” Marisol Almonte said last week. The attacks are the markings of angry amateurs, experts said. In established gangs like the actual Latin Kings, there’s a smaller chance of this type of assault because the members are often already under heavy law-enforcement scrutiny, said Robert Hart, a former FBI agent with the Long Island Gang Task Force who is now in private security. “If they weren’t the real Latin Kings, if they were wannabes, they would be worried they’d never get taken on as real members, they’d have to show they don’t tolerate this,” Hart said. Whether the Latin King Goonies aspired to join the real Latin Kings — one of the largest gangs in the United States — is unknown. Some established gangs allow gay members, and others employ a military-style “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, but most have strict rules on sexual orientation, experts said.

“The very nature of a gang is built upon its reputation, power and status in the neighborhood, how they’re perceived,” Argueta said. “They would never want to be associated with anyone who would diminish how they’re viewed in the eyes of others, their masculinity. And being a gay man often means you’re seen as effeminate; to them that translates to weak.” The crew used an abandoned brick house on a quiet slope across from an elementary school as their headquarters. Neighbors said the guys were a nuisance, partying there at night, but weren’t initially threatening. They were nice to the neighborhood kids, buying them ice cream and even setting up a makeshift basketball hoop at the curb where they’d all play. But the space was used the weekend of Oct. 3 as a torture chamber to attack the men, authorities say. Mendez and three others — Nelson Falu, David Rivera and Jose Dominguez — brought the teen to the house and attacked him until he confessed to having had a sexual encounter with the 30-year-old, police said. Through their interrogation, they also found out about a second teen thought to have done the same. Mendez shoved the wooden handle of a plunger into the first teen’s rectum, authorities said. “Are you a faggot?” he asked, according to the criminal complaint. “Do you like this?” It was nearly 5 a.m. Sunday by the time the teen was let go, bloody and bruised. “If you snitch, your family is gonna get it,” they said, according

to prosecutors. The teen told no one for days. After that, two others were attacked at the apartment — the second 17-year-old and the 30year-old, who was also sodomized. The 30-year-old’s brother was also attacked when the group took his keys and opened his apartment. The men then spent hours cleaning up the scene, whitewashing the walls and bleaching the floors, police said. But enough DNA evidence survived to make arrests. Robbery detectives investigating the break-in at the brother’s home started to suspect there was more to the story and pushed the brother for details. He eventually revealed the men who robbed him had a cell phone with his brother live on the other end, pleading to give them whatever they wanted. The cops knew the brother was also assaulted, though he said it was a random jumping — and from there pieced together the attacks. The suspects face charges including sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and assault, all as hate crimes. Their attorneys and families insist they are innocent and say they are not members of a gang. They say the men have not been allowed to tell their side of the story and that the 30-year-old was paying boys for sex. The age of consent in New York is 16. Ten of the suspects appeared in court last Thursday. An 11th suspect was arraigned Oct. 15 in the Bronx on charges including assault as a hate crime. Luis Garcia, 26, is accused of punching one of the victims twice with a chain wrapped around his

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fist. There was no number at the address police gave for Garcia. The alleged attacks, while vicious, were specific, and police do not believe there is an imminent threat of additional attacks against gays — or anyone else — in the area. But they have still deeply affected residents. “We are moving now away from here,” said 18-year-old Pedro Gomez, who lives two doors down from the gang’s headquarters and was on his way to college last Wednesday. “My parents do not feel it’s safe anymore for me or my two sisters.” Ten days after the attacks, a fresh bouquet of flowers sat at the steps of the home. A loose strand of police tape hung across the whitewashed garage. A pair of old, black roller-skates hung from an electrical wire above. ■



International News Transgender activists on trial in Turkey International human-rights groups are calling on officials in Turkey to drop charges against five transgender-rights activists on trial for resisting arrest. The organizations, including the New York-based Human Rights Watch, said on Oct. 18 that Turkey should instead investigate police for allegedly attacking the activists. The five activists were pulled from a car in May and accused of soliciting sex work and beaten. The five, scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 21, face charges of resisting police and a maximum three years in prison. Buse Kilickaya, one of the five activists, said they refused to get out of the car when police stopped them, insisting they had “done nothing wrong.” “[Police] then sprayed the inside of the car with pepper gas and dragged us out, pulling us by the hair,” Kilickaya said. “We were slapped and kicked and forced into a police van.” She said they were kept at a police station overnight and charged. Activists called for an end to violence against transvestites and transsexuals in Turkey and asked that the government enact laws to protect gays and lesbians against

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

Larry Nichols discrimination. Human-rights advocates say gays and lesbians suffer frequent discrimination and abuse despite human-rights reforms enacted in line with Turkey’s bid to join the European Union. Many transgender people escape Turkey’s conservative towns and villages for more tolerant cities like Istanbul and Ankara. But many still encounter hostility and discrimination and, unable to get jobs, turn to prostitution. About a dozen transgender people, most of them sex workers, have been killed in Turkey over the past few years in attacks activists have described as hate crimes. They claim authorities and police remain unsympathetic and fail to adequately investigate the murders. Police deny the accusations, insisting that most of the deaths result from disputes between the victims and their clients, and say most of the culprits are caught and prosecuted.

Saudi prince faces death penalty for gay charge A Saudi prince accused of murdering his servant in a London hotel room could face the death penalty at home for being gay. Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, 34,

was accused of murdering Bandar Abdulaziz, 32, in a “sexually motivated” attack last February. The court recently heard “conclusive evidence” that he is gay and two male escorts are alleged to have performed sex acts on him. Al Saud denies he is gay and his lawyer, John Kelsey-Fry, says the pair were not in a relationship. On Oct. 15, the court AWAITING SENTENCING: In this CCTV handout image heard that Saudi Arabia issued by the Metropolitan Police, Saudi Arabian Prince has strict laws against Saud (right), attacks his servant, Bandar Abdulaziz, in a lift. homosexuality and that al The prince, convicted in Britain of murdering his servant, Saud, whose mother is one could face the death sentence at home for homosexuality. of King Abdullah’s daugh- A jury in London’s Old Bailey criminal court found Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud guilty Oct. 19 of murters, could be executed. “Homosexuality is ille- dering Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz in a frenzied attack in a gal in Saudi Arabia and hotel. The 34-year-old prince faces a possible life sentence carries the death pen- in Britain. AP Photo: Metropolitan Police alty, which is still applied victim’s family. in some cases,” said prosecutor Bobbie Kelsey-Fry said the law would only apply Cheema. “The country in which any alleged if his client had been in a gay relationship. acts took place would have little bearing on Abdulaziz was found beaten and strangled the likelihood of prosecution as the Saudi in bed at the pair’s room at the Landmark legal system is based on the Sharia law Hotel on Feb. 15. which is considered to be universal.” Al Saud denies murder and one count of She added that he could be at risk from grievous bodily harm with intent. his own family and from members of the The case continues.

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010


U.K. channels work for better trans representation Senior managers at the U.K.’s BBC and Channel 4 recently admitted that transgender storylines can be inaccurate and are frequently lacking in breadth and substance. The admission came as Tim Davie, who chairs the BBC’s working group on the portrayal and inclusion of lesbian, gay and bisexual audiences, and Stuart Cosgrove, director of creative diversity at Channel 4, addressed a Westminster Media Forum on the portrayal of LGBT people in broadcasting. A recent BBC report about LGB representation did not take trans people into account, although the corporation said it would carry out research in due course. Change is in the air, however, as newly formed advocacy group Trans Media Watch says it is talking to representatives of both channels, with the aim of fostering positive and more wide-ranging representations of trans people as well as putting in place guidelines to combat negative stereotypes. According to Cosgrove, transgender is the “big single absence in broadcasting.” “I don’t think there is a single broadcaster in the U.K. who can say that is something they are in the

process of resolving,” he added. In a follow-up interview, he admitted that “people are confused by it” and that there are “high levels of inaccuracy in the way it is reported.” When television programs do show transgender people, the focus tends to be on “the operative moment, when someone is moving from male to female.” They fail to consider the “diversity of this society,” Cosgrove said. TMW has been working quietly behind the scenes with Channel 4 and the BBC to put together simple guidelines that would help broadcasters avoid giving unintended offense to their transgender audience. Sarah Lake of TMW said: “As soon as we began comparing the way trans people are stereotyped in the media with that of LGB people and other minorities, both Stuart and Amanda Rice of the BBC Diversity Unit got it immediately. We do not believe most of the constant casual abuse and ridicule of trans people in broadcasting is deliberately intended to be malicious. In our meetings so far we’ve not come across a single broadcaster who had ever consciously had a meaningful conversation with a trans man or woman.” Recent research presented to broadcasters by TMW suggests that some 78 percent of the transgender community felt that the media portrayals they saw were either inaccurate or highly inaccu-



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rate, with only 3 percent considering them accurate.

Gay foe may run for French prez Former actress and singer turned animal-rights activist Brigitte Bardot, who has written derogatory comments about gay people in the past, is considering running for president of France after an offer from the Independent Ecology Alliance. Bardot, 76, wrote a letter to French president Nicolas Sarkozy that read, “Because you do the opposite of what you say, I am studying a proposition from the Independent Ecology Alliance to be their presidential candidate in 2012.” Bardot’s statement was a reaction to Sarkozy’s reneging on a promise to outlaw Muslim animal slaughter practices that she considers inhumane. In her book “Un Cri Dans le Silence (A Cry in the Silence),” which was published in 2003, Bardot wrote in reference to gay people: “They jiggle their bottoms, put their little fingers in the air and with their little castrato voices moan about what those ghastly heteros put them through.” She has since denied any accusations of homophobia. ■ Larry Nichols can be reached at Facebook – Dignity Philadelphia Join us at St. Luke & the Epiphany Church 330 S. 13th Street, between Spruce and Pine streets, Philadelphia, PA

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OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

BLAHNIK From Page 1 a member of the House of Blahnik, said the community gatherings have provided an emotional outlet for those coping with Blahnik’s death. “The community is mourning the loss of Stacey Blahnik and, at the same time, trying to celebrate her life and the lives she touched during the time she was with us,” Burns said. “These were opportunities to come together as a community to really support one another as we deal with this tragic loss.” Alvernian Prestige of the House of Prestige met Blahnik in the late 1990s, shortly after she graduated high school. He said her personality made her a natural for a leadership position in the ballroom community. “She was a loving, fun person and just a real people’s person,” Prestige said. “I knew her before she transitioned when she was in Baltimore, and I took her under my wing and that was before she got into the House of Blahnik and the whole ballroom scene. We’d been friends since that time. I called her my niece, and she called me her uncle.” Blahnik served as a mentor to dozens of local youth and house members throughout the country. Burns said the young people are finding ways to cope with their grief.

STABBING From Page 1 An employee in the area who requested anonimity due to fear of retaliation, witnessed the attack and said he saw the victim surrounded by nine or 10 local residents. “It looked to be a Caucasian male walking through a group of people who are notorious for drug activity in the neighborhood, and it looked like they were pushing him around at first,” he said. “And

MURDER From Page 1 influence and related offenses. Cheeves had to be extricated from the car after the incident and both women were detained shortly afterward, but Evers said arrest warrants weren’t issued immediately because investigators needed to sort out which woman was driving at which time. Evers could not comment on

“They’re adjusting,” he said. “They’re trying to move through the sadness and the pain and looking to one another for support. Particularly in the ballroom community, the youth oftentimes look to their leaders for support, so I think there’s now this even greater understanding of how great a person and a leader that we lost. And I think the young people are just trying to deal with all of the questions.” Burns said that, while an arrest in the case would be progress, the community would still be grappling with the broader issues that Blahnik’s murder represents. “It would provide some level of closure for those concerned about why her life was taken so early from her, but it still wouldn’t completely address the issue of how and why so many LGBT folks are lost to violence in our community.” Franny Price, chair of the LGBT Police Liaison Committee, said she and the committeemembers are planning to press police for answers in the case. A tribute to Blahnik will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at the center, 1315 Spruce St. The event will feature performances by dancers from Bodies in Motion Dance School, local singers, poets and spoken-word artists, and will include a period of reflection, during which Blahnik’s friends and family members will be invited to share personal stories. ■ then I noticed a female yelling and encouraging them, saying, ‘Get him, get him.’ She yelled it probably four or five times, and then I heard somebody say, ‘He stabbed him.’ I saw he was being hit in the upper torso, but I didn’t realize at first it was actually a knife being driven into him.” The employee called 911 and said police responded within one minute, by which time most of the crowd had dispersed. — Jen Colletta whether the two women knew the victim. Witnesses at the scene said Cheeves and Williams were prevented from entering the club because they were intoxicated and carrying alcohol, and returned a short time later in the car. Neither woman has a prior arrest record. ■ Jen Colletta can be reached at

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010



NEWS BRIEFING From Page 5 heading to the polls. The NCC, 525 Arch St., will host “Elections: 101” from Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The interactive program will allow guests to learn about the election process and the history of midterm elections, as well as the candidates running in next month’s election and the top issues they’re debating. Visitors can participate in the “Capitol Hill Game Show,” and the NCC will also have craft tables set up for kids to make their own campaign buttons and other election-related items. Once they’ve learned about the candidates, guests are invited to cast their votes for their favorite politicos at an outdoor election exhibit. The exhibit is free with admission to the museum. For more information, visit or call (215) 409-6700.

HIV vaccine talk at Tavern The University of Pennsylvania’s HIV Vaccine Trials Unit will host a conversation about HIV vaccine research from 67:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St. The unit seeks HIV-negative gay and bisexual men and transgender women to volunteer for an HIV vaccine study. The first 25 guests who arrive for the presentation will receive a $10 coupon redeemable at Tavern on Camac. Community members who are not eligible for the trial are still encouraged to attend in order to spread the word and learn how they can support such efforts. For more information, visit ■ — Jen Colletta


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OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

Freakin’ ‘Out’ in



A departure from the ordinary

LGBT-friendly entertainers converge on Atlantic City for Halloween By Larry Nichols PGN Staff Writer Atlantic City will host a massive influx of gay and gay-friendly entertainment for Halloween when Harrah’s Entertainment presents “Out in AC,” a weekend full of LGBT parties and events Oct. 2931. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton will host one of his “One Night In” parties 8 p.m. Oct. 29 at the House of Blues, 801 Boardwalk, featuring performances from La Roux and Kelis, as well as surprise guests. A powerhouse lineup of comedy featuring Margaret Cho, Sandra Bernhard and Whitney Cummings takes the stage at 8 p.m. Oct. 30 at Caesars Circus Maximus Theater,

2100 Pacific Ave. There will also be no shortage of dance-oriented events, after-parties and morningafter brunches to fill out the weekend and make absolutely sure no one leaves the city well rested. Both Cho, fresh off her alltoo-brief stint on “Dancing with the Stars” and the release of new album “Cho Dependent,” and Hilton, fresh off verbally sparring with rapper 50 Cent in the press, took a few moments to answer some questions about Halloweens past and present. PGN: For your current tour, are you focusing on the music, comedy or both? MARGARET CHO: It’s mostly comedy and some comedy songs.

But I am always and forever a standup comic.

MC: I love “My Girl Likes to Party All the Time”!

PGN: Your new album, “Cho Dependent,” is amazing. There, we said it. Anyway ... Does being known for comedy make it easier or harder to get people to take musical projects seriously? MC: Thank you! I think it does make it harder when you are known for standup comedy to do something else, but then again, my album is still a comedy album, but just in music form. And I wanted it to sound beautiful, which it does!

PGN: Which guest artist on your album were you most excited to work with? MC: Jon Brion. He taught me so much. I wanted to do the album because of him. He is my favorite and he lifted me up to his level as a musician. I am forever grateful.

PGN: Did Eddie Murphy fuck it

up for any comedian who wants to launch a music project?

PGN: Is there another musical album in the future for you and, if so, what musicians/performers are on your wish list to work with? MC: Yes! I would love to do something with Linda Perry, Nile Rodgers and David Bowie. That’s my dream!

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010



candy did you hate to see land in your bag when trick-or-treating? MC: Bit-o-Honey! But I kind of like that kind of nougat now. It’s really adult candy. PGN: Besides your show, will you be

attending any other events in Atlantic City for Out in AC? MC: I will be all out and about!

PGN: If you were to take over the DJ

booth at the after-party for an hour, what songs would you play? MC: Lots of Gaga, lots of Madonna, lots of MIA, maybe some Janet in there. And, of course, Tegan and Sara. PGN: Besides the next season of “Drop

PGN: Seeing as both you and Sandra Bernhard have put out music albums recently, is there any chance the two of you will bust out a duet at your upcoming show in Atlantic City? MC: That would be amazing. Sandra is my idol and has a killer voice and is so hilarious. I am honored to do a show with her and would love, love, love to sing with her! PGN: In your opinion, now that the news media is more focused than ever on the issue of antigay bullying, what needs to be done in order to get the schools and the parents to take the issue more seriously? MC: We need to talk about it. The gay community also needs to reach out to our

Dead Diva,” do you have any other TV or film projects on the horizon? MC: Not right now. Just back to standup and making music.

PGN: If money and availability were not

an issue and you could get anyone you wanted to perform at one of your events, who would you get? PEREZ HILTON:If I could get anyone to perform, I would get Madonna and Lady Gaga to perform at the same event. Gaga has actually performed at one of my parties in 2008 but Madonna has never performed for me. Although she did make me a video once which was very, very cool. In my dream world, to be able to have a joint concert between Madonna and Gaga would be out of this world. PGN: What can people attending your

party expect? PH: People can expect a lot of divas and a super-fun time. Plus, it’s free! I can’t think of a better way to kick off Halloween weekend.

PGN: What is the wildest party you have ever thrown? PH: The wildest party I’ve ever thrown was my birthday party this year. I had Leona Lewis perform. I had Eve perform. I had Liza Minnelli perform and I had Katy Perry arrive on top of an elephant and sing me “Happy Birthday.” It was epic.

youth. We need to have more discussion about it, to protect our kids and prevent it from happening again.

MC: The best was Brigitte Lin from

PGN: Usually rappers beef with other rappers. Why is 50 Cent feuding with you? PH: 50 Cent is feuding with me because he’s homophobic and desperate for attention. And, unfortunately, his ploy for publicity seems to have worked.

PGN: As a kid — or even now — what

PGN: In your opinion, now that the news media is more focused than ever on the issue of antigay bullying, what needs to be done in order to get the schools and

PGN: What was your best and/or worst

Halloween costume ever?

“Chungking Express” and Bjork from “Dancer in the Dark.” Worst was me not even trying to be anything.

FREAKS COME OUT AT NIGHT: Kelis (clockwise from upper left), Perez Hilton and La Roux. Opposite: Margaret Cho, Kelis and Hilton in inset.

the parents to take the issue more seriously? PH: I think what needs to be done to really address the recent suicides is to talk about it — to talk about suicide, depression, not being welcome in school and being made to feel like an outsider. It’s important for the adults to initiate these conversations: the parents, the teachers, the guidance counselors, the neighbors. Anyone who thinks a young child is going through a difficult time should reach out to them because kids just want to know that someone is there for them, that someone is listening and that they are not alone.

bag when trick-or-treating?

PH: I’ve never been much into Sour

Patches or sour-type candies. I like anything with chocolate. PGN: Besides your party, will you be attending any other events in Atlantic City for Out in AC? PH: I definitely am. You can expect to see me all over the place. It seems like such a fun weekend.

Halloween costume ever?

PGN: If you were to take over the DJ booth at the after-party for an hour, what songs would you play? PH: Right now I’m obsessed with Willow Smith’s “Whip It” and Cee-Lo’s “Fuck You.” Both those songs are on heavy rotation in my iTunes.

I went dressed as Lady Gaga and I had the people that make her outfits make mine as well, so it was very authentic. This Halloween, I’m looking forward to bringing two costumes to Atlantic City, so it’s going to be doubly exciting.

For more information about Margaret Cho or Perez Hilton, visit or For more information and a detailed schedule for “Out in AC,” visit getoutinac. ■

PGN: As a kid — or even now — what

Larry Nichols can

PGN: What was your best and/or worst PH: My best costume ever was last year.

candy did you hate to see land in your






OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

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OCT. 22 - 28, 2010



Hollywood classic gets twisted on stage By Larry Nichols PGN Staff Writer

sic film, much of it is ripe for lampooning — hence the transformation of Desmond into “a A vintage classic Hollywood schizophrenic multi-personality film gets a farcical drag makeover character that’s into everything as Society Hill Playhouse pres- from S&M to women’s clothes.” You can stop right there. We’re ents “Norma Doesmen” through sold. Nov. 7. “Today, that melodrama that The play is a comedic spoof of “Sunset Boulevard,” a clas- was known as realism in the early sic 1950s movie that the play’s 1950s is so over the top that it can writer and director, Stephen be viewed as comic at this point,” Stahl said. “Audiences that see it Stahl, adores. “It was about as dark as you the first time really don’t comprecan get about Hollywood in that hend the drama of what the film particular era,” he said. “To me, it is bringing out. They look at it as was amazing. From the very first if it’s camp, and it has become time I saw it, I was attracted to it. camp. So that allowed me to go I was attracted to that dark feel- ahead and move forward in the ing and, of course, the underbelly style that I’m doing it.” Not everyone sees it that way. of the story itself.” The original story follows the Stahl said that “Norma Doesmen,” slow decline of Norma Desmond, which was well received when a faded silent-film star who draws it ran off-Broadway, did have its fair share of those around her detractors. But into her fantasy he expected that. world, where she “When I wrote still sees herself this piece, I made a star primed to it clear. I called make a comeit a miscarriage back. of theater in two How on earth acts,” he said. will today’s audi“It’s everything ences relate to a that theater is not fading star who supposed to be. has lost touch But that is what with reality? m a ke s i t f u n . Oh, right. That’s I broke every V H - 1 ’s e n t i r e guideline and programming rule that makes schedule these good theater days. Anyway ... good theater. I Garrett Longo, made no qualms who stars in the about that. What stage role of I g o t i n N ew Desmond, was York is critics S t a h l ’s i n s p i that absolutely ration for this got it and loved twisted version of the iconic GARRETT LONGO AS it, or critics that character. NORMA DOESMEN (TOP) thought it was a “Garrett had AND STEPHEN STAHL huge insult and the worst thing always felt that Norma lived within him,” Stahl they’ve ever seen on the stage. “It’s dangerous waters. I’m taksaid. “Up in New Hope, where we both live, we do the gay pride ing a classic and I’m destroying festival every year. Dan Brooks it. I’m destroying what it really came to me and said, ‘Why don’t was. But that’s also what makes you do something for the pride it funny.” “Norma Doesmen” runs festival with Garrett as Norma? Just write a small, 20-minute through Nov. 7 at Society Hill play.’ The next thing I know, the Playhouse’s Red Room, 507 S. Bridge Theater Company was Eighth St. For more information, interested in producing it as a visit www.societyhillplayhouse. full-length play. So that’s what I org or call (215) 923-0210. ■ did.” Stahl said even though “Sunset Larry Nichols can be reached at Boulevard” is revered as a clas-





OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

Spanish singer to make Philly debut By Larry Nichols PGN Staff Writer Acclaimed bisexual Spanish singer Concha Buika will perform in Philadelphia for the first time on her latest North American tour. If that announcement doesn’t get you excited, then you’ve never heard her music. Recently hailed as one of NPR’s “50 Great Voices,” Buika grew up in Spain, the daughter of political exiles from Equatorial Guinea. Her family members were the only people of African descent living in a community of gypsies. Buika got her start performing at clubs in Ibiza and, later, Las Vegas, where she performed as a Tina Turner lookalike. Almost a decade later, Buika is known internationally for her powerful and sultry voice, as well as her unique blend of jazz, funk, flamenco, copla and soul. Her latest album, “El Ultimo Trago” [The Last Drink], was nominated for two Latin Grammys this year. Before her Oct. 26 Philly Debut at Kimmel’s Perleman Theater, Buika answered some of PGN’s burning questions about her music and career thus far. PGN: Will your upcoming show in Philadelphia be your first time visiting the city? B: Yes. I’ve never been there. It is one of the few cities where I have a day off, so I plan to take a look around. PGN: What singers do you draw inspira-

tion from? B: Many of them: Chavela Vargas, Nina Simone, Queen Latifah, Billie Holiday. And also many instrumental players inspire me: Coltrane, Bill Evans, etc. PGN: How did your upbringing influence your style of music? B: I don’t think I have a style of music. I just recognize music as a total. I prefer not to choose between jazz, flamenco, copla, R&B. I can use all of them and it is much more fun for me. PGN: How would you describe your experiences early in your career when you worked as a Tina Turner impersonator in Las Vegas? B: That was a very strange thing. I used to works in hotels in Palma de Mallorca [Spain] during the summer season. One day, a friend of mine told me that in Las Vegas there were a lot of hotels and casinos. I did not even know that place before arriving. I took the father of my child and my baby and we arrive in a very strange city: Las Vegas. And because I did not have a U.S. work permit, the only job I found was singing covers of Tina Turner. And I did it. It was very strange ... I thought before arriving there that someone would hear me and would help me with a musical career. But of course, musical managers or record companies never went to those kinds of places. PGN: You’re highly regarded for bringing a wide range of musical styles into your music. Is that fusion something that is rare

to hear from Spanish/ Latin musicians? B: I don’t think so. I think that all musicians make fusion. Life is fusion indeed! PGN: In the United States, the press is almost always interested to know about the sexuality of its entertainers. Are international audiences as concerned about sexuality? B: No. And I did not know that it was interesting in the U.S. Why is that? Who cares about that?


PGN: Do you ever address political or social issues in your lyrics? B: Not at all. I think that politics have nothing to do with music. And I am a musician. PGN: Is the issue of gay marriage any more or less complex in Spain than it is in the United States? B: I don’t know how it is in the U.S. In Spain, there is a new law from a few years ago that recognizes gay marriage. PGN: Do you have any interest in recording an English-language album and, if so, what style of music would it be?

B: Yes, of course, I am interested in recording in English. In fact, I just recorded a duo with Seal in English from a beautiful song. Styles of music? I don’t recognize them. PGN: What artist(s) would you most like to collaborate with in the future? B: Chick Corea, Queen Latifah, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis ... thousands of artists ... Buika performs at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Kimmel’s Perelman Theater, 260 S. Broad St. For more information, visit www.buika. net or call (215) 790-5847. ■ L a r r y N i ch o l s c a n b e re a ch e d a t

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OCT. 22 - 28, 2010



The things that are exciting us this Halloween By Larry Nichols PGN Staff Writer Halloween is right around the corner and, if the prospect of hanging around in a bar dressed up in a clever costume and drinking doesn’t grease the ol’ coffin hinges like it used to, you are not alone. Don’t get us wrong, we love us some Halloween. We think. Sometimes we just get bored with it. But luckily, there is more than enough going on this year to keep things from being ordinary. So here it is, our 10 best bets to make this year’s Halloween more interesting: Probably the most exciting thing going on in the city Halloween night will be (1) Liberty City Drag and Burlesque Four Year Anniversary Show, 9 p.m. at Tritone, 1508 South St. The event features performances by the Liberty City Kings, guest appearances by former Kings like Lance Fennig, Roi Ovarian and Miss Yvette, and music by DJ Evil V. If you want to get your throwback glamrock fix, look no further than BCKSEET Productions’ performance of (2) Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars, 7 p.m. Oct. 31 at Creative Co-Op, 535 South St. This tribute performance of the iconic David Bowie album is sure to blow the doors off the place in fine glittery fashion. If you’re seeking a little more romance and elegance in your Halloween activities, catch (3) Brandywine Ballet’s “Dracula,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22-24 at Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, 600 S. High St., West Chester. Think of it as “Twilight” with a lot more talent, charisma and better acting. If you’re looking for music to set the proper mood for some Halloween action, may we suggest some macabre hard rock in the form of (4) Rob Zombie’s “Hellbilly Deluxe 2 Special Edition” and the Murderdolls’ “Women and Children Last.” Zombie takes his B-movie-fueled sonic fury to ass-shaking, bone-rattling heights with tracks like “Sick Bubblegum,” “Jesus Frankenstein” and “Mars Needs Women.” The Murderdolls are no slouches either, with their aggressive eyeliner-laced goth-rock anthems like “Chapel of Blood,” “My Dark Place Alone” and “Drug Me to Hell.” (We are not responsible for anything antisocial you might do while listening to these records.) The (5) Dresden Dolls are back together, just in time for their 10th anniversary after bisexual singer Amanda Palmer took a break from the duo for the last couple of years to record and perform solo. The closest the tour gets to Philadelphia is the Halloween night show at Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place in New York City (which has probably sold out in advance) but we’re not above hauling ass up there and

paying ticket-broker prices for this show. For sheer people-watching fun, it’s impossible to beat (6) Henri David’s Halloween 2010, which kicks off at 9 p.m. Oct. 31 at Sheraton Center City, 17th and Race streets. The annual Halloween ball is known for the most outrageous costumes to be found anywhere in the city. The costume contest starts at midnight. It bears repeating that (7) “Out in AC,” a weekend of LGBT entertainment Oct. 2931 at Harrah’s Atlantic City, 777 Harrah’s Blvd., is a top pick. The weekend features performances by Margaret Cho and Sandra Bernhard, as well as club events hosted by Perez Hilton and DJ Tracy Young. Barnstorm Theater brings (8) “The Rocky Horror Show” to the stage through Oct. 30, 402 Tome St., Ridley Park. It’s got to be more fun than watching the film in a half-empty movie theater, right? Why visit the traditional haunted house when you can roam the corridors of a bigass gothic haunted prison? (9) Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, 22nd and Fairmount Ave., remains a favorite because that guy you see shambling out of the darkened cell could actually be an apparition from the institution’s spooky storied past. Last but not least, a fun time is almost a guarantee at (10) Witches of GayBINGO, 6-9 p.m. Oct. 30 at Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St. The event is another long-running Philadelphia tradition and, seriously, how can you top drag witches working the room while you play bingo and raise money for local HIV/AIDS charities? If all else fails, stay home or go out and watch a scary, horror or sci-fi movie. Classics like “Halloween” or “Hellraiser” never go out of style, but if you want some fresh thrills, pick up one or two of the more recent classics “District 9” or “The Descent.” If you must go to the theater, skip the latest editions of “Saw” and “Paranormal Activity” and try to find one of the lim-

ited screening of the promising new British sci-fi film “Monsters” (, due out Oct. 29. That is all. Have fun. Save us some candy. ■ Larry Nichols can be reached at




Family Portraits

Suzi Nash

Emmanuel Ilarraza, aka Alexis Cartier, wears many crowns — the most recent being Miss Philly Pride and Miss Philadelphia Black Gay Pride. A performer and designer extraordinaire, Miss Cartier will entertain at Henri David’s Halloween ball Oct. 31, a must-attend event for all Philadelphians. PGN: Tell me about the fam. EI: My mom and dad are from Puerto Rico, but I was born and raised in New York — Queens, to be specific. My mother was always a stay-at-home mom and my father’s retired now, but he was an architect. They’ve been together forever. PGN: I understand you’re very close to your mother. Tell me something about her. EI: She is literally my eyes: I see the world through her perspective. She’s a strong woman who was born and raised in the Pentecostal Church. She’s not a fanatic though. In fact, growing up, she would let us listen to secular music, learn the latest dances and go to parties. She figured that if we grew up and decided not to be part of the church, she didn’t want us out there with two left feet. She’s funny: She doesn’t smoke or drink, or dance, wear makeup or fancy clothes, but she loves to go to parties. She loves to just go and watch people have a good time. She’s a people person and really good at reading people. She’ll meet a new person and tell me, “Listen Manny, you should know this about them ... ” I love her so much, the day that she’s no longer with me, I think I would die or go blind. PGN: Any siblings? EI: Two older brothers, two younger sisters. One of my sisters is gay also. PGN: Is your father religious? EI: That’s a funny story. My dad was originally my uncle’s best friend. When he met my mother and fell in love, my uncle told him that he could never marry his sister if he wasn’t a part of the church, so my dad joined the church. Once they got married, he left the church. PGN: What was Queens like? EI: It was great. It’s diverse, but it’s all in different sections. Like the section I lived in, Forest Hills, was all Jewish. So basically it was me — the little Puerto Rican boy — and a million Jews. It was fun. I love Manhattan too, but what’s nice about Queens is that there’s a lot of greenery — tree-lined streets and beautiful parks. PGN: Where did you go to school? EI: I went to a Catholic school, St. Paul’s of the Cross. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I had one brother, Ray, who was really a terror so when I went to class, the teachers that had him first were always like, “You’re not anything like your brother!” I was a really good student.

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

PGN: When did you come to Philly? EI: My older brother and younger sister moved here a while back. My mom had gotten tired of New York, so she and my dad moved back to Puerto Rico, then they decided to move back, so they decided to give Philadelphia a try. About nine years ago, my dad had a stroke and, since I’m not married with kids, I was the best choice to help my mom take care of him, so I moved here too. I fell in love with the city.

her as the “Dolly Parton of Puerto Rico.” What was your craziest mishap as Alexis? EI: The most recent one was when I forgot my boobs! I really like to look perfect, so there’s no stuffing tissue into a bra for me: I use real imitation breasts like the kind they use for women who have had breast cancer. They’re very realistic and have an authentic look and feel. Since I didn’t want to just stick a pair of socks in my shirt, I opted to go for this long wig with the hair in front covering my chest.

PGN: And apparently Philly fell in love with you too, being named Miss Philadelphia Black Gay Pride. EI: I know, I’m super-blessed this year. I won that and I’m also Miss Philly Pride. It’s been quite a ride. PGN: When did you come out? EI: Hmmn, I don’t know that I’ve ever “come out” per se. I know that my parents know, but we’ve never had a formal conversation about it. But one time way back when, my mom was arguing with one of my brothers and I took his side in the fight, and told her she was wrong. And she said, “Manny, don’t say that, I never say anything about your funny friends.” It was a riot, so I know she knows. It’s not anything that I hide, but I don’t necessarily broadcast it, I’m just me. PGN: How did you get into drag? EI: A good friend of mine is a pretty wellknown clothing designer and he made these Las Vegas-style showgirl dresses for Halloween. He had a falling out with his friend and so he had an extra costume. He talked me into wearing it and shaving, etc. — everything to make it work. It was so grand! I was 18 and skinny and people were going crazy over me. I fell in love with it and a drag queen was born that Halloween night. PGN: What makes you good at it? EI: It’s been a long journey, but I think I’ve mastered the art of female impersonation. I’m good at lip-synching and I put on a whole show, dancing and performing. I do a lot of Latin music because there aren’t a lot of girls out there doing Latin stuff. When I get out there and do the merengue and salsa and shake my maracas, the crowd goes crazy and everyone starts to dance. I try to channel Iris Chacon, who is one of my idols. She’s super sexual, super sexy, the epitome of sensuality. PGN: I heard David Letterman describe


PGN: That would be funny conversation to overhear: “Help, I left my boobs on the dresser!” EI: I know. When I have them on, people really think I have breasts, and I’m like, “Nooo” and I’ll whip them out and show them. I don’t care. PGN: Is that your best asset? EI: No, that would be my legs. I stop traffic with these babies. I get guys whistling and I laugh, “You don’t want me. I’m a boy.” PGN: Crazy fans? EI: Uh, yes. More like obsessed, but I love it. It feels great, it’s like being a celebrity, but then I go home and remind myself, that was fun, but you are not a celebrity. PGN: What’s the hardest part about being a woman? EI: The heels! I love ’em — the higher the better — but oh my God, it’s a sacrifice. PGN: Do you speak Spanish? EI: Yes, fluently. But it’s interesting: There’s a big difference between people who are natives of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans who live in the U.S. — the attitude, the looks, the culture, everything. We’re supposed to be the same people, but it’s

day and night. PGN: I went there ages ago when I first came out. There were some great clubs. EI: Unfortunately, a lot of them closed. There’s starting to be a resurgence and they recently celebrated Pride Day, but it’s a very machismo type of place. The boys don’t play that. Well, maybe when no one’s looking. PGN: Did your dad pressure you to be macho? EI: Not really, but he did try to make sure I was a “boy.” He made sure I kept my nails and hair short. He loved sports and all my brothers played Little League. They were all-star players and my father encouraged them to be first basemen, so they’d be right in the thick of the action. So when I had to play, I tried to get put in the outfield where the ball would not touch me. My dad came to practice and said to the coach, “Why is Manny in the outfield? Put him on first base!” The coach was really cool; I think he knew. He said to my dad, “He’s not like his brothers, Manny’s special.” My father was like, “What do you mean he’s special? Blah, blah, blah.” He didn’t push me to the point that I felt uncomfortable, but every once in a while, he’d try the boy thing. PGN: Was that your only sport? EI: No, I played football and basketball too. I think basketball stretched me! I used to be short and chubby, then I started playing ball and got tall and skinny. PGN: What’s your day job? EI: I’m a phone operator at the Kimmel Center and I design clothes. PGN: How did you get into designing? EI: When I first went to Puerto Rico, I didn’t know anybody. My aunt was a seamstress, so I used to hang out with her. After observing her for a while, I started picking up, picking up, picking up. I started by cutting threads for her and little pieces. Then I asked her to cut out a shirt and let me put it together. When I got back to the States, a friend of mine, Gustavo Gustos, who is a well-known designer, let me work with him. Again, by observing, I was able to pick up the skills. Nowadays, I can do it in my sleep. I rarely even have to measure people, I can just look at them and tell what size they are and whip something up. PGN: What do you mostly do? EI: In Philly, I do mostly dresses for a lot of the trans women and drag queens. I have a lot of clients from Bob and Barbara’s. I also have a lot of straight customers, especially in New York. I do prom dresses and wedding gowns. PGN: Would you do “Project Runway”? EI: Everyone asks me that. Maybe if the

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010


show was different. There’s too much drama: It seems like they want a clown or the most outrageous/obnoxious person to get through. You could have someone on there who’s extremely talented, but the ones who’s acting like an evil bitch or whatever is the one that goes through to the next round. I’ve seen really talented people who are into the designing but not the drama get kicked off. PGN: What’s the worst outfit you ever made? EI: Oh my God! If my cousin were here right now, he’d die laughing. I saw this material once, the fabric was covered with flowers and, for some reason, I thought I should make a jumpsuit out of it. I figured, I’d do all these little embellishments and hook it up. I tried it on in front of him and he fell on the floor laughing. It was ugly, it was like Celia Cruz meets rodeo clown. PGN: Any hobbies? EI: I love to sketch. I went to school for civil engineering. PGN: Civil engineering? EI: Well, when I was a kid, as I said, I went to Catholic school, but all my cousins went to public school. I really wanted

Q Puzzle On Your Knees Across

1. Sex at the end of a date, in slang 8. Appoints 15. Barney Frank, frequently 16. Bear’s fur? 17. Church with the country’s largest gay congregation 19. Baseball great Mel 20. “Put roses on the piano and tulips on the ___” 21. Nonvulgar swearing 22. Get straight 25. Canon camera 26. Nobel physicist Bohr 28. Painter of ballerinas 30. Painter Matisse 31. Location of 17 Across 35. Part of a Stein line 37. Airborne Amelia 38. Stud site 41. Where they yell “Cut!” 43. Fag hag on a date, perhaps 44. Start fishing 45. Sheila of the California State Assembly 47. Hawk-chicken difference 48. Blow job and more 49. BB propellant 51. Third word of Katharine Lee Bates’ “America” 52. Designer of 17 Across 59. Color purple 60. Dinah of a golf classic 61. Sphincter opening? 63. Infatuated with Mr. Right Now 64. What hangs over and sometimes drips on you 65. The sound of music

to go to school with them, so my father told me that if I got straight A’s, he’d let me switch. So I made sure I got all A’s that year. My cousin was taking drafting and I thought that was really cool. Since my dad was an architect I figured I’d follow in his steps, but the class I wanted was full, so civil engineering was the next best thing. I studied for a while at Polytechnic Institute of New York University but later on I had a falling out with my dad and changed my mind. PGN: What happened? EI: Well, my mother was the enforcer in the house. With five kids, she didn’t hesitate to whack us to keep us in line. I’m not talking anything extreme, just mom justice. Then I had a falling out with my dad and he smacked me. It was like the end of the world to me, because my father never did anything like that. I got upset and dropped out of the civil-engineering track. PGN: Did you ever see any of the buildings your father designed? EI: Yes, I saw a lot of them. It was really amazing. There’s one in particular in Puerto Rico in a little town named Luquillo. They literally built these two towers on top of a rock. Over the years,

66 Tommy’s gun 67. Ancient erection 68. Poet Kitty


1. Furnishings 2. Tickled pink 3. Prepare to become wife and wife 4. Univ. 5. Hot time for Colette 6. What “let” means to Mauresmo 7. ___ Haute, Indiana 8. Charles, who could make you a man 9. Shakespeare’s “anon” updated 10. Sunblock letters 11. First person in Berlin 12. Take a trip with your first mate? 13. Seaport of Italia 14. Places for commercial intercourse 18. In days past 23. Eastern title 24. “Show Boat” bundle 26. Barber’s cry

they’ve had hurricanes and storms and, at one point, had to tie one building to the other, but they’re still standing. PGN: What’s the most you ever spent on a piece of clothing? EI: Not much. Maybe $100. Usually, I’ll look at something and think, hmm, I can make that. It has to be pretty amazing for me to spend money on it. PGN: Do you think you had a past life? EI: I do, I really do. I think I was a woman in a past life. I think between that and being gay, it allows me to really relate to being a woman, which helps my act. PGN: What was your favorite cartoon as a kid? EI: “The Flintstones.” I still watch them sometimes. PGN: Pet peeve? EI: I love creativity — drawing or sewing or carpentry. I’m super-handy, and most of it is self-taught. So when I meet someone and they can’t even sew on a button, who doesn’t show any interest in learning any type of skills, that drives me insane. PGN: What’s the most dramatic weather

27. One-million link 29. Big piece of meat 30. Crowd at the gay rodeo? 32. Field of study 33. Ball or chase balls 34. Conveyance weight 35. Same kind 36. Coin of Foucault 39. Part of DADT 40. ACLU concern 42. “Hairspray” scorer Marc 44. Impressionist Mary 46. Adjective for Abner 48. Metal container 50. Gets up 51. “If ___ Walls Could Talk” 52. Dreadlocks feature 53. Likely to break the condom, perhaps 54. Excellent, in slang 55. Zeus, to Romans 56. Hurler Hershiser 57. Bottoms’ description of tops? 58. When doubled, Mork’s goodbye 59. Mag. leafs 62. Non-Judy garland

See SOLUTION, Page 41


event you’ve been in? EI: A hurricane. I went to Puerto Rico to visit my mother. I wanted to surprise her so I didn’t tell her I was coming. When I showed up, she was like, “What are you doing here?” and I said, “What’s the matter, aren’t you happy to see me?” She said, “But there’s a hurricane coming,” and I told her, “Yeah, they say that all the time, it’ll never come.” It did come. It was amazing to witness Mother Nature’s force. I saw houses being ripped apart. The wind roared and made a loud whistling sound I’d never heard before. Being in the middle of a hurricane was the most amazing thing. PGN: What’s your favorite conversation piece? EI: I have an octopus bracelet made from rhinestones. It’s big and the tentacles hang down the side. It’s so heavy, I rarely wear it, but when I do everyone wants to look at it. PGN: Celebrity encounter? EI: Living in New York, they pop up everywhere. I’ve seen folks in elevators, shopping, etc. — Madonna, Cindy See PORTRAIT, Page 39



OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010


PORTRAIT From Page 37

named John. He was really nice to me. I was wondering why he was being so friendly and then I found out he knew my brothers.

Crawford, even my hero Iris Chacon. I’ll be standing next to someone and just ignore them: Though I have to admit, inside I’m like, “Oh my God, it’s Madonna!”

PGN: Favorite song at the moment? EI: “I Hope You Dance” by LeAnn Rimes.

PGN: My first crush? EI: I still have it! When I first went to P.R., I met this guy

PGN: What’s your favorite genre of books? EI: I just got finished reading

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a number of different vampire books; I love vampires. I’m bummed that “True Blood” ended for the season. PGN: Any phobias? EI: I’m really claustrophobic. The longest flight I ever took was to Las Vegas and I could barely stand it. If I get on an elevator and too many other people get on, I have to get off at the first available floor and wait for the next one. When I


go to New York to buy fabrics, if I’m on the subway and it gets too crowded, I get off, whatever stop it is, go out and get some air, and then go back to continue on my way. It’s crazy. PGN: Who would be your dream client? EI: Well, a friend of mine and I designed a gown for Miss Universe 2006. She was Miss Puerto Rico at the time and we designed the national costume

for her. But my dream client would be Jennifer Lopez; I would love to design something for her. For a guy, it would have to be David Schwimmer from “Friends.” What can I say, I love nerds. Tall, handsome nerds ... ■ To suggest a community member for “Family Portraits,” write to: Family Portraits, 505 S. Fourth St., Philadelphia, PA 19147 or

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Meeting Place A community bulletin board of activities, facilities and organizations

Community centers

Professional groups ■ Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia GALLOP holds board meetings at 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month at 100 S. Broad St., Suite 1810; GALLOP also provides a free referral service; (215) 627-9090;

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

12-step programs and support groups Adult Children of Alcoholics

Meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the William Way Center. ■ Rainbow Adult Children of Alcoholics and Alcoholics Anonymous meet at 7 p.m. Saturdays at Limestone Presbyterian Church, 3201 Limestone Road, Wilmington, Del.; (302) 456-9129. ■


Gay Al-Anon meets at 8 p.m. Fridays at St. Andrew’s Church, 50 York St., Lambertville, N.J.; (215) 986-1029. ■

■ The Attic Youth Center: For LGBT and questioning youth and their friends and allies. Groups meet and activities are held from 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; case management, HIV testing and smoking cessation are available Monday through Friday. See the Youth section for more events. 255 S. 16th St.; (215) 545-4331 ■ Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center at the University of Pennsylvania 3907 Spruce St.; (215) 898-5044;, Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday ■ Rainbow Room — Bucks County’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Allies Youth Center: 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays: Doylestown Planned Parenthood, The Atrium, Suite 2E, 301 S. Main St., Doylestown; (215) 348-0558 ext. 65; ■ William Way Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center: 1315 Spruce St.; (215) 732-2220; Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Peer counseling: 6-9 p.m. Monday through Friday Library hours: 3-9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 3-6 p.m. Tuesday; noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers: New Orientation: First Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m.

Health Anonymous, free, confidential HIV testing Spanish/English counselors offer testing 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday at Congreso de Latinos Unidos, 166 W. Lehigh Ave.; (215) 763-8870 ext. 6000. AIDS Services In Asian Communities Provides HIV-related services to Asians and Pacific Islanders at 340 N. 12th St., suite 205; (215) 536-2424. Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative Free, anonymous HIV testing from 9:30 a.m.4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays at 1207 Chestnut St., fifth floor; (215) 851-1822 or (866) 222-3871. Spanish/English. HIV treatment Free HIV/AIDS diagnosis and treatment for Philadelphia residents are available from 9 a.m.-noon Mondays and 5-8 p.m. Thursdays at Health Center No. 2, 1720 S. Broad St.; (215) 685-1803.

Key numbers

HIV health insurance help Access to free medications, confidential HIV testing available at 17 MacDade Blvd., suite 108, Collingdale; Medical Office Building, 722 Church Lane, Yeadon; and 630 S. 60th St.; (610) 586-9077. Mazzoni Center Free, anonymous HIV testing; HIV/AIDS care and treatment, case management and support groups; 21 S. 12th St., eighth floor; (215) 5630652. Mazzoni Center Family & Community Medicine Comprehensive primary health care, preventive health services, gynecology, sexual-health services and chronic-disease management, including comprehensive HIV care; 809 Locust St.; (215) 563-0658. Washington West Project Free, anonymous HIV testing. Walk-ins welcome 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday; 1201 Locust St.; (215) 985-9206.

■ AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania: (215) 587-9377

■ Mazzoni Center: (215) 563-0652; www. Legal Services: (215) 563-0657, (866) LGBT-LAW; legalservices@m

■ AIDS Law Project of Southern New Jersey: (856) 933-9500 ext. 221

■ Mazzoni Center Family & Community Medicine: (215) 563-0658

■ AIDS Library: (215) 985-4851 ■ ACLU of Pennsylvania: (215) 592-1513

■ Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (Philadelphia): (215) 572-1833

■ AIDS Treatment hot line: (215) 5452212

■ Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations: (215) 686-4670

■ Barbara Gittings Gay and Lesbian Collection at the Independence Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library: (215) 685-1633

■ Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force: (215) 772-2000

■ The COLOURS Organization Inc.: 112 N. Broad St., third floor; (215) 496-0330 ■ Equality Pennsylvania: (215) 731-1447; ■ Equality Forum: (215) 732-3378 ■ Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Peer Counseling Services: (215) 732-TALK ■ Mayor’s Director of LGBT Affairs: Gloria Casarez, (215) 686-2194; Gloria.; Fax: (215) 686-2555

■ Philadelphia Police Department liaison — Deputy Commissioner Stephen Johnson: (215) 683-2840 ■ Philadelphia Police Liaison Committee: (267) 216-6606; ■ Philly Pride Presents: (215) 875-9288 ■ SPARC — Statewide Pennsylvania Rights Coalition: (717) 920-9537 ■ Transgender Health Action Coalition: (215) 732-1207 (staffed 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays, and 6-9 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays)

■ Greater Philadelphia Professional Network Networking group for area business professionals, self-employed and business owners meets monthly in a different location throughout the city, invites speakers on various topics, partners with other nonprofits and maintains a Web site where everyone is invited to sign up for e-mail notices for activities and events.; ■ Independence Business Alliance Greater Philadelphia’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, providing networking, business development, marketing, educational and advocacy opportunities for LGBT and LGBT-friendly businesses and professionals. Visit www.IndependenceBusinessAlliance. com for information about events, programs and membership; (215) 557-0190; 1717 Arch St., Suite 3370. ■ National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association The Philadelphia chapter of NLGJA, open to professionals and students, meets for social and networking events; ■ Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus A regional organization dedicated to promoting gay and lesbian tourism to the Greater Philadelphia Region, holds meetings every other month on the fourth Thursday (January, March, May, July, September and the third Thursday in November), open to the public; P.O. Box 58143, Philadelphia, PA 19102; ■ Philly OutGoing Professionals Social group for gay, lesbian and bisexual professionals meets for social and cultural activities; (856) 857-9283;

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Acceptance meets at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays at Episcopal Church, 22nd and Spruce streets. ■ Beginnings meets at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at 1201 Locust St.; (215) 563-0663 ext. 282. ■ Community meets at 8 p.m. on Thursdays at Holy Communion Church, 2111 Sansom St. Gay and lesbian but all are welcome. ■ GLBT Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 7 p.m. on Sundays and 8 p.m. on Wednesdays at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 100 W. Windsor St., Reading; (484) 529-9504. ■ Living In Sobriety meets at 10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. Sundays at the William Way Center. ■ Night Owl meets at 11:30 p.m. Sunday through Saturday at the William Way Center. ■ Philadelphia Gay & Lesbian Beginners meets at 7:30 p.m. Mondays at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2212 Spruce St. ■ Sober and Gay meets at 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Friday at the William Way Center. ■ Stepping Stone meets at 2:30 p.m. Mondays at the Mazzoni Center. ■ Ties That Bind Us is a12-step Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for the BDSM, leather and alternative sexuality community. Meetings are held from 7:30-9 p.m. in South Philadelphia. For location, call (800) 581-7883. ■ Way Gay Young Peoples meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the William Way Center. ■

Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA)

Meets at 7 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the William Way Center.

safer-sex and HIV/AIDS information at 10 a.m. on second Tuesday of the month at the Independence Branch of the the Free Library, 18 S. Seventh St.; (215) 685-1633. ■ A support group for HIV-positive men and women meets from 1:30-3 p.m. at BEBASHI — Transition to Hope, 1217 Spring Garden St., first floor; (215) 769-3561. ■ Encuentros Positivos, a group for HIV-positive Latino men who have sex with men, meets on first and third Tuesday of the month at 1205 Chestnut St.; (215) 985-3382. ■ “Feast Incarnate,” a weekly ministry for people affected by HIV/AIDS, begins at 5 p.m. at University Lutheran Church, 3637 Chestnut St. Bible study follows at 6 p.m.; (215) 387-2885. ■ A support group for people recently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS will meet from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Mazzoni Center. ■ Youth Outreach Adolescent Community Awareness Program’s Voice It Sistah, a support group for HIV-positive women, meets at 11 a.m. every first and third Tuesday at YOACAP, 1207 Chestnut St., Suite 315; (215) 851-1898.


A support group for HIV-positive women will meet from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad St.; (215) 387-6055. ■ AIDS Services in Asian Communities’ weekly volunteer work group will meet from 6-8 p.m. at 340 N. 12th St., Suite 205; (215) 563-2424. ■ Project Teach, a peer-education and empowerment program for people living with HIV/ AIDS, will meet from 3-5 p.m. at Philadelphia Fight, 1233 Locust St. ■ Positive Effect, for HIV-positive people 18 and over, meets from 5-7 p.m. at Camden AHEC, 514 Cooper St., Camden, N.J.; (856) 963-2432. ■


A support group for HIV-positive men and women will meet from 6-8 p.m. at BEBASHI — Transition to Hope, 1217 Spring Garden St.; (215) 769-3561. ■ Diversity, an HIV/AIDS support group for all infected or affected, meets from 7-9 p.m. at Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55. N. Broad St.; call Zak, (215) 848-4380, or Paul, (215) 307-0347. ■


AIDS Delaware’s You’re Not Alone youth support group meets at 11 a.m. at AIDS Delaware, 100 W. 10th St., Suite 315, Wilmington; a social session will follow at 12:30 p.m.; (302) 652-6776. ■

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

Emotional Support

Healing After Loss has monthly activities in South Jersey and surrounding area; www.lsn. ■ NJ LGBT Cancer Support Group Discussion/support group for LGBT cancer survivors, patients and caregivers meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Friday of every month at the Pride Center, 85 Raritan Avenue, Room 3, Highland Park, N.J.; (609) 217-8697; ■ Pink and Blues is a free depression and bipolar support group for sexual minorities and meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Luke and The Epiphany Church, 330 S. 13th St.; (215) 627-0424. ■ Pink and Blues Main Line, a peer-run mental health support group, meets 6 p.m. Thursdays at Bryn Mawr Consumer Center, 1001 W. Lancaster Ave.; (610) 527-1511. ■ Survivors of Suicide Inc. meets at 7:30 p.m. on first Tuesday of the month at 3535 Market St., Room 2037; (215) 545-2242; www.phillysos. ■ Survivors of Suicide Inc., Chester County meets at 7:30 p.m. on second Wednesday of the month at Paoli Memorial Hospital, Willistown Room, Medical Office Building; (215) 545-2242; www. ■


Strength In Numbers Visit SINPhiladelphia.

Meetings are at 2 p.m. Sunday through Saturday and at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the William Way Center. ■

Overeaters Anonymous (OA)

Open meeting, Tuesdays, beginners meet at 5:30 p.m., regular meeting at 6 p.m., and 6 p.m. Friday, at Hahnemann University Hospital, 245 N. 15th St., third floor; call Troy, (215) 514-3065.


Substance Abuse – Risk Assessment; day and evening hours; (215) 563-0663 ext. 282. ■

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous

Mondays, 7 p.m. at the William Way Center. ■ Mondays, 7:30 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 20 N. Route 9, Marmora, N.J.; (609) 675-1998. ■ Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. at All Saints Church, 18 Olive Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del.; (302) 542-3279. ■ Fridays, 7:30 p.m. at the Ocean View Lodge, Metropolitan Community Church, 521 Glade Road, Rehoboth Beach, Del.; (302) 945-5982. ■ Saturdays, 8:30 p.m. at the William Way Center. ■


■ Safe space to meet and discuss substance abuse problems with office in William Way Center; (215) 340-9995.

Meeting Place rotates listings on a four week schedule.


Positive Brothers, a support group for men of color living with HIV/AIDS, meets from 6-8 p.m. at 112 N. Broad St., 11th floor; (215) 496-0330. ■

Smoking Cessation

FreshOUT!, Mazzoni Center’s free quitsmoking program, hosts individual sessions, classes and support groups and offers Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patches, gum and lozenges); (215) 563-0652 ext. 228 or e-mail ■

Tuesdays: ■

AIDS Services in Asian Community offers

Send submissions to or fax (215) 925-6437 PGN Meeting Place, 505 S. Fourth St., Philadelphia, PA 19147

Meeting Place is a public service. Submissions must include a phone number for publication. Complete Meeting Place listings of all Parent/Family, Professional, Recovery, Recreation, Religion, Sports, Men, Women, Trans, Youth groups can be found online @ and


OCT. 22 - 28, 2010


worth watching: The Ellen DeGeneres Show Monday-Friday, 3 p.m. on NBC.

artist Frida Kahlo in this biopic. 9 p.m. on INDIE.

The Rachel Maddow Show Monday-Friday, 9 p.m. on MSNBC. FRIDAY To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar Three drag queens get stranded in a small town after their car breaks down on a cross-country trip. 4:20 p.m. on Cinemax. Brüno Sacha Baron Cohen assumes the persona of a gay fashionista in this satirical comedy. 10 p.m. on HBO2.

SUNDAY Desperate Housewives Emma puts on a cabaret show featuring out saxophonist Dave Koz. 9 p.m. on ABC. Brothers and Sisters Look for out characters Kevin and Scotty. 10 p.m. on ABC. MONDAY How I Met Your Mother Out actor Neil Patrick Harris stars as the womanizing Barney. 8 p.m. on CBS. Dancing with the Stars It’s week six of the competition. 8 p.m. on ABC.

Real Time with Bill Maher The talk show hosted by the outspoken comedian and guest panelists. 10 p.m. on HBO.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta Look for bisexual cast member Kim. 9 p.m. on Bravo.

Fashion Police Joan Rivers discusses the week’s notable fashions. 10:30 p.m. on E!

The A-List: New York The lives of New York’s gay elite are the center of this new reality series. 10 p.m. on Logo.

SATURDAY Fashion in Film An examination of the connection between fashion and motion pictures. 8 p.m. on Logo.

Thintervention Out fitness guru Jackie Warner weighs in her clients one last time. 10 p.m. on Bravo.

Frida Selma Hayek stars as bisexual

The Arrangement A reality show about flower arranging. 11 p.m. on Logo.

TUESDAY Biggest Loser Look for out trainer Jillian Michaels. 8 p.m. on NBC. Glee Out actress Jane Lynch stars in the acclaimed series. This week, the kids take on “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” 8 p.m. on Fox. WEDNESDAY America’s Next Top Model Look for out fashion experts J. Alexander and Jay Hernandez in this reality modeling competition. 8 p.m. on CW. Modern Family Look for gay couple Mitchell and Cameron, who are both struggling with Halloween issues this episode. 9 p.m. on ABC.

READY FOR THEIR CLOSE-UP: A documentary film crew visits the hospital six months after the shooting to follow the doctors, including out Callie (Sara Ramirez, right), with out surgeon Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), as they ambitiously perform a rare arm transplant surgery, 9 p.m. Oct. 28 on “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC. Photo: ABC/Danny Field

Top Chef: Just Desserts There is plenty of gay talent in this spin-off of the cooking-competition show, this one focused on desserts. 10 p.m. on Bravo.

SOLUTION From page 37

THURSDAY Grey’s Anatomy Look for out doctor Callie Torres. 9 p.m. on ABC. Project Runway Openly gay Tim Gunn hosts this reality fashion competition. This week is part two of the season finale. 9 p.m. on Lifetime.

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OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

Your guide to arts and entertainment


Carrie Brat Productions presents out actor Erik Ranson playing the titular role in the stage version of this horror classic, through Nov. 7 at Underground Arts at the Wolf Building, 340 N. 12th St.; (215) 627-2577.

Monty Python’s Spamalot PNC Arts Alive presents the popular and zany medieval comedy, through Nov. 20, 915 White Horse Pike, Haddon Township, N.J.; (856) 858-5230.

Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom Azuka Theatre presents Curtains the story of parents who The Walnut Street Theatre discover their teenagers are presents the murder addicted to an online horror whodunit set against the video game too realistic backdrop of a musical for comfort, through Oct. theater production circa 1959, through Oct. 24, 825 31, 525 S. Fourth St.; (215) Walnut St.; (215) 574-3550. 733-0255. Far Away The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presents the story of a woman searching for human connection as a way to escape an all-consuming war raging throughout the world, Oct. 28-30 at Harold Prince Theatre, 3680 Walnut St.; (215) 898-3900. Ghost-Writer Arden Theatre Company presents the story of a dead novelist and his secretary, who is still taking dictation from him, through Nov. 7, 40 N. Second St.; (215) 922-1122. Jersey Boys The Kimmel Center’s Broadway series presents the award-winning musical about Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, through Dec. 12 at Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St.; (215) 790-5847. Little Shop of Horrors New Candlelight Theatre presents the musical about a large talking plant with the taste for human blood, through Oct. 30, 2208 Millers Road, Ardentown, Del.; (302) 475-2313.

Norma Doesmen Society Hill Playhouse presents a gender-bent, comedic take on “Sunset Boulevard,” through Nov. 7, 507 S. Eighth St.; (215) 923-0210. Office Politics Quince Productions presents four short plays set in offices, Oct. 28-Nov. 13 at Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5, 825 Walnut St.; (215) 627-1088. Philly Fan The Kimmel Center presents the one-man show that takes the audience on a journey through Philadelphia sports history of the last 50 years, through Oct. 31 at Innovation Studio, 260 S. Broad St.; (215) 790-5847. Run, Mourner, Run Flashpoint Theatre Company and out playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney present the story of a poor young man from a rural community in North Carolina who is suddenly thrust into a power struggle between the two richest men in town, Oct. 27-Nov. 20 at Second Stage at The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St.; (215) 568-8077.

Silverhill InterAct Theatre Company presents a new drama about a self-supporting utopian community whose wellbeing is challenged by capitalism, through Nov. 14, on the Mainstage of The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St.; (215) 568-8077. The Threepenny Opera Arden Theatre Company presents the outrageous musical in which whores and thieves prowl the streets of London, through Nov. 7, 40 N. Second St.; (215) 922-1122. Uncle Vanya Lantern Theater Company presents its first-ever production of a full-length Anton Chekhov work, through Nov. 21 at St. Stephen’s Theater, 923 Ludlow St.; (215) 829-0395. Why I’m Scared of Dance 1812 Productions presents a self-effacing comedy written and performed by Jen Childs, through Oct. 31 at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey St.; (215) 592-9560.


Catie Curtis The singer-songwriter performs at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at Tin Angel, 20 N. Second St.; (215) 928-0770. Dvorák Symphony No. 8 The Philadelphia Orchestra presents Russian-born conductor Semyon Bychkov and French violinist Renaud Capuçon celebrating the music of the great French composer Henri Dutilleux, Oct. 22-23 at Kimmel’s Verizon Hall, 260 S. Broad St.; (215) 790-5847. Shawn Colvin The singer-songwriter performs at 6 and 9 p.m. Oct. 23 at Sellersville

DISTILLATION OF A DECADE: Out singer-songwriter Erin McKeown celebrates the 10th anniversary of her debut album “Distillation” with a tour backed by a full band and performing the album in its entirety, along with other favorites spanning her career. The high-proof performance hits Philadelphia at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. For more information, visit www.erinmckeown. com or call (215) 222-1400. Photo: Nancy Palmieri

Theater, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville; (215) 2575808.

impressionist, through Oct. 31, 9 W. Mechanic St., New Hope; (215) 862-8292.

Christine Havrilla The out singer-songwriter performs at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Tin Angel. 20 N. Second St.; (215) 928-0770.

Art of the American Soldier The National Constitution Center presents the world debut exhibition of over 15,000 paintings and sketches created by 1,300 American soldiers in the line of duty, through Jan. 10, 525 Arch St.; (215) 4096895.

David Cassidy and Danny Bonaduce Come on, get happy at 8 p.m. Oct. 23 at Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside; (215) 5727650. Buika The bisexual Spanish singer performs at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Kimmel’s Perelman Theater, 260 S. Broad St.; (215) 790-5847.

The Big Sea ArtStar Gallery presents an exhibition of works from artist Andrew Zangerle, through Nov. 21, 623 N. Second St.; (215) 238-1557.

Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Dave Brubeck Egypt The jazz and classical The Franklin Institute musician performs at 8 p.m. presents an exhibition of Oct. 26 at Kimmel’s Verizon 150 artifacts from Egypt, Hall, 260 S. Broad St.; through Jan. 2, 20th Street (215) 790-5847. and the Parkway; (215) 4481200. Janis Ian Eakins on Paper: The out singer-songwriter performs at 7:30 p.m. Oct. Drawings and 27 at World Cafe Live, 3025 Watercolors from the Walnut St.; (215) 222-1400. Collection Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an exhibition of 10 rarely seen drawings Andre Gisson and watercolors that survey BOI’s of New Hope the early work of Thomas Art Gallery presents an Eakins, through December, 26th Street and the exhibition of works by the French-American Parkway; (215) 763-8100.


400 Same-Sex Couples: Facing Inequality Bucks County Community College hosts an exhibition of photos by Liz Bradbury of gay and lesbian couples as a public reminder that same-sex couples in Pennsylvania cannot marry, gain rights through civil unions and have no legal recognition, through Nov. 6 at Hicks Art Center Gallery, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown; (215) 968-8000. A Glimpse of Paradise: Gold in Islamic Art Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an exhibition exploring the unique status of gold in Islam through a small group of objects drawn from the museum’s collection, through April 2011, 26th Street and the Parkway; (215) 763-8100. Grew Up & Blew Up: Character Rehab SALT Art Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by Thomas Buildmore, Scott Chasse, Chris Clark, Dan King, Kenji Nakayama and Morgan Thomas, through Oct. 22, 212 Race St.; (215) 939-7426. Passing Evidence AxD Gallery presents an exhibition of works by Christine Stoughton and Nancy Sophy, through Nov. 6, 265 S. 10th St.; (215)

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010




by a live score by Philadelphia composer Gene Coleman, 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at Ibrahim Theater, 3701 Chestnut St.; (215) 387-5125. Philadelphia Film Festival The Philadelphia Film Society presents the 19th-annual celebration of cinema, through Oct. 24 at various locations throughout the city; www. MST3K: Warrior of the Lost World The cheesy sci-fi movies as lampooned by robots, 9:45 p.m. Oct. 22 at The Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville; (610) 917-0223. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang The kids’ classic film is screened at 2 p.m. Oct. 23 at The Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville; (610) 917-0223. black./womyn.: conversations with lesbians of African descent. The documentary is screened followed by a Q&A with director Tiona McClodden, 68 p.m. Oct. 25 at The Colours Organization Inc., 112 N. Broad St., first floor conference room;

Out comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer brings her “Totally Inappropriate” tour back for what is sure to be a raucous show at 8 p.m. Oct. 23 at The Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville. The tour promises new material every night inspired by her experiences in each city, with some on-the-spot improvisation. For more information, visit www. or call (610) 917-0223.

627-6250. Pleasures and Pastimes in Japanese Art Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an exhibition of costumes, masks and poetry exploring the ways in which leisure time was interpreted across all social classes in Japanese art, through January, 26th Street and the Parkway; (215) 763-8100.

Kimmel’s Perelman Theater, 260 S. Broad St.; (215) 790-5847. Paul Taylor Dance Company The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presents Taylor’s views on the human condition, using his dancers to illuminate spirituality, sexuality, morality and mortality, through Oct. 23 at Zellerbach Theatre, 3680 Walnut St.; (215) 898-3900.

Recent Work Twenty-Two Gallery presents an exhibition of mixed media works by Karen S. Davies, through Nov. 7, 236 S. 22nd St.; (215) 7721911.

Revelations SHARP Dance Company premieres five new works, through Oct. 24 at Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St.; (215) 569-4060.



Carmen Triple Bill The Pennsylvania Ballet presents a world-premiere work based on the classic story, through Oct. 24 at

A Page of Madness International House Philadelphia hosts the world premiere of a silent Japanese film accompanied

Zombieland The horror comedy is screened at 8 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Trocadero Theatre, 1003 Arch St.; (215) 922-6888.


Alex Ross The New Yorker music critic discusses his book, “The Rest is Noise,” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Central Library, 1901 Vine St.; (215) 686-5322.



Scandalous DJs Just Jess and Klem provide the music at Tabu, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 23, 200 S. 12th St.; (215) 964-9675. Scene The LGBTQ dance party features DJ Kit, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. at Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 St. James St.: www. Wait, Wait ... Don’t Tell Me! Peter Sagal hosts a live taping of NPR’s current-events show, featuring a line-up of witty panelists, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Kimmel’s Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.; (215) 790-5847. ■

Notices Send notices at least one week in advance to: Diversions, PGN, 505 S. Fourth St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147; fax them to (215) 925-6437; or e-mail them to Notices cannot be taken over the phone.



OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

Fork: World-class dishes from local ingredients By Larry Nichols PGN Staff Writer


NOW, THERE’S MORE OF MAMMA TO LOVE! Introducing Mamma Maria’s NEW A La Carte Menu! Served Mon. to Thurs.

Design your own amazing meal with Mamma’s new, exquisite dishes like Savory Veal Buongustaio & Fettuccine alla Papalina! 1637 East Passyunk Avenue


Private dining rooms & catering available!

215.463.6884 Join us on facebook at MAMMA MARIA RESTAURANT

With an impeccably attentive wait staff and a seasonal and sustainable local menu, Fork, 306 Market St., impresses on all fronts with its expertly crafted New American cuisine. On a recent visit, things got off to a niceenough start with the charcuterie platter ($18), which was super-rich in its selection of meats. But it was the housemade gnocchi ($14) that hinted at the greatness to come. Cooked with local chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms, the sauce was tempered with garlic, Parmesan and brown butter for a deliciously savory result. The entrées were nothing short of extraordinary. The smoked duck breast ($28) was a pleasant surprise: It was so well cooked and light that it didn’t have the rich heaviness usually expected with such a dish. The pan-roasted pork chop ($26) was another winner. The dish took the makings of a traditional family dinner — pork chops, applesauce, potatoes and sauerkraut — and refined and elevated each element to stellar elegance. The sides were every bit as impor-

tant to the perfectly cooked chop. The apple mostarda had all the hearty sweetness of grandma’s fresh apple pie filling. The braised shredded cabbage was crisp, tangy and far above anything you would dare drape across a hot dog. The fingerling potatoes were crisp on the outside while remaining hot and soft on the inside. The seared Viking village sea scallops ($28), also cooked to perfection, raised the bar considerably, thanks to some effective accompaniments like a spicy tomato jam, piquillo peppers and lemon-coriander vinaigrette. In our experience, when a restaurant is super meticulous and high quality with its entrées, something on the dessert menu fails to impress. We’ve had more than one stellar dinner end on ho-hum note when the desserts rolled out. But that definitely was not the case at Fork. The small-bites dessert platter accommodates a sampling of two to five of the dessert offerings ($8 for two, $11 for three, $13 for four, all five for $16). Do yourself a favor and get all five.


OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

Just so we’re clear, we’re going to say it again: We don’t care what havoc it wreaks on your finances or diet. Modesty be damned. Order all five of the small dessert plates. We expected one or two of them to be so-so, but all of the sweets were phenomenal. The rosemary semifreddo was a delicate frozen treat punctuated by pine nuts. The mint pots de crème struck a perfectly even and silky balance of mint and chocolatey mousse goodness. The chocolate brioche was truly decadent bread pudding. The pumpkin pie with ginger cream crushes the hopes and dreams of any pie that hopes to come close on your family’s dinner table this Thanksgiving. The apple galette with cranberry sauce will bring a freaking tear to your eye. No doubt, the level of talent behind the food at Fork is top-notch. ■


Food & Drink

Larry Nichols can be reached at

If you go Fork 306 Market St. (215) 625-9425 Open for dinner nightly, for lunch Monday-Friday and brunch Sunday

Happy Hour Mon-Fri 5:30-7:30 $2.50 Domestics $3.50 Imports $3.50 Well Drinks $2.50 PBR and Miller High Life bottles all day every day

Rainbow Award Best Bar and Bartender 2008, 2009 Fox Philly Best Gay and Lesbian Bar 2008, 2009

DINNER SERVED NIGHTLY 255 S. Camac St., Philadelphia, Pa. (215) 545-8731

Serving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Pick-up! We Deliver!

(215) 751-0777 Catering Available

The Philadelphia Inquirer: “The best Italian roasted vegetable sandwich in the city.” -Rick Nichols

11 North Juniper Street

Across from City Hall between The Marriott Residence and Marriott Courtyard Hours: 8am-8pm Mon.-Fri., Closed Sat. & Sun.




OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

With Real Estate, Help Wanted, Services and Personals

Fed plan for short-term fix brings long-term risks By Jeannine Aversa The Associated Press

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is balancing a shortterm fix for the economy with a long-term gamble: His plan to buy Treasury bonds to fight high unemployment and super-low inflation now could ignite inflation later. But Bernanke is signaling that doing nothing would pose the biggest risk of all. The Fed chief last Friday made his strongest case yet for injecting billions more dollars into the economy. Purchasing the bonds could further drive down rates on mortgages, corporate debt and other loans. Lower rates could lead people and companies to borrow and spend. And higher spending might help ease unemployment and invigorate the economy. The Treasury purchases would have another aim, too: to dispel any notion that consumer prices will stay flat and might even fall. In his speech last Friday in Boston,

Bernanke indicated that Fed policymakers favor raising inflation, which has all but vanished. And more inflation could help the economy. Here’s how: Companies would feel more inclined to increase prices. And shoppers who thought prices were headed up would be more likely to buy now rather than wait. Their higher spending could embolden employers to step up hiring. It would also help lift inflation. But overhanging the Fed’s plan is the risk that it would trigger runaway inflation months or years from now. Once investors began to fear approaching inflation, they would demand higher rates on bonds. Banks, too, would raise loan rates to compensate for the higher inflation they expect. Workers would demand higher pay. Any strength the economy had managed to gather could dissolve. Bernanke made clear he’s mindful of the gamble. But he also indicated he feels that short-term needs take priority.

“There would appear — all else being equal — to be a case for further action,” Bernanke said, building on the case he first laid out in an August speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Fed is returning to unorthodox steps like buying government bonds to aid the economy because it’s already sliced its key interest rate to a record low near zero. Some economists say the Treasury purchases might not work because interest rates already are so low that the benefit of driving them lower would be scant. And lower rates won’t help if businesses and individuals can’t afford to borrow, don’t want to borrow or cannot qualify for loans. To buy Treasury debt, the Fed in effect prints money. As the Fed snaps up Treasury bonds, the rates on those bonds will fall. Rates on mortgages, corporate debt and other loans pegged to Treasury securities will drop, too. It comes down to supply and demand: Higher demand for bonds lowers their rates, or yields. And it

drives up their prices. Fed policymakers are expected to announce their Treasury buying program at their next meeting Nov. 2-3. Bernanke indicated that a big issue remains unresolved: How big should the Treasury purchases be and how fast should they be carried out? During the recession, the Fed launched a $1.7-trillion program of buying mortgage securities and government debt. That effort was credited with forcing down mortgages rates, which helped prop up the housing market. The Fed’s new program is likely to be much smaller. One Fed official has suggested a $500-billion program. Another has hinted that it be $100 billion or less. Still, even purchases of that size risk feeding inflation and, most dangerously, setting off a wave of speculative buying that could inflate the prices of stocks, bonds or other assets. Low mortgage rates after the 2001 recession were blamed for the housing bubble that burst and led to a severe recession

starting in late 2007. Yet another worry: The extra dollars flowing from the Fed’s Treasury purchases might send the dollar’s falling value even lower and incite a panic. If China and other investors dumped dollardenominated assets, for instance, interest rates would soar. And if tougher economic conditions forced the Treasury to sell more bonds to raise money, the national debt, already at $14 trillion, would swell. The economy is growing at a pace “less vigorous than we would like,” Bernanke acknowledged. And inflation is running too low for a healthy economy, he said. Unemployment, now at 9.6 percent, has been stuck near double digits for more than a year. Bernanke indicated concern that economic growth will remain lackluster and that unemployment will decline only slowly next year. High unemployment would keep consumers cautious in their spending, Bernanke said. ■

Location! Location! Location! This week’s featured property

Society Hill – McCall’s School Catchment

Beds: 4 Baths: 2.5 Cost: $719,000 Square footage: 1,836 Age of property: 44 years Realtor: Travis Rodgers Real-estate co.: Prudential Fox Roach Phone: (215) 790-5234 Direct: (267) 901-2154 Website:

Check your ad

PLACING ADS Using voicemail? Please be sure to have the following information ready when you call: • Your ad copy • The type of style you want • Desired abbreviations • American Express, Discover, MasterCard or VISA information • Your name and mailing

Mid-century modern townhome with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and 1-car deeded parking. Thoughtful floor plan, dramatic living room with 11-foot ceilings, spacious dining room with separate kitchen, large garden and sun deck. Located in McCall’s school catchment area.

address • Daytime telephone number Having all this information ready will speed your order and help to avoid errors. Phone calls can only be returned during business hours. For more information, see the coupon page in this section.

Philadelphia Gay News assumes responsibility for errors in classified ads only when notified by noon the Tuesday after the ad first appears. To receive credit for errors, please notify PGN by then. Credit only will be extended in the form of additional advertising space. Any cash refunds, for any reason, are subject to a $10 service charge. PGN will publish no classified ad — in any category — that contains sexually explicit language. Obviously excluded are traditional four-letter words that relate to sexual activity. Other words may be excluded at the discretion of the publisher, who reserves the right to edit or rewrite any ad that, in his opinion, violates this policy or its intent.

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010






OCT. 22 - 28, 2010




REHOBOTH BEACH 2 bed, 2 bath 1st fl. condo, walk out back porch. 1 mi. Poodle Beach. W/pool/tennis. $240K. Call 267-221-8067. _______________________________34-46

VENTNOR, NJ, FACING THE BAY House and Adjacent Lot (inground swimming pool). 1st floor 3 bedrooms, bath, living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry room and deck. 2nd floor 2 bedrooms, bath, efficiency kitchen, living room, dining area and deck. Central Air. Corner Property. Call 215-468-9166 evenings only. $675,000.00. Also property for rent1500.00 month plus utilities. _______________________________34-49

IT’S HERE!! NYS FALL LAND SALE Oneida, Oswego, Madison, Chenango, & Lewis Counties. Over 150 Properties! 7 Acres Riverfront- $29,995. Cranberry Lake Woods42 Acres on Water. WAS: $229,995. NOW: $139,995. Adirondack River- 16 Acres on Water. WAS: $129,995. NOW: $79,995. Tug Hill- Montague- Hunting Land 25 Acres w/ Timber: $34,995. Free Closing Costs. Call NOW! 800-229-7843 _______________________________45-43





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Mike McKeown Senior Loan Officer NMLS 65922

(609) 206-1973


Licensed by the Department of Banking in NJ, DE, PA & NY. NMLS # 14045

Open Houses Sunday Oct 24, 2010



Noon - 1:00 PM

Colonial Single home. 6 6367����������� Woodbine Ave. Overbrook Farms. Large Dutch ����������� bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths. Totally updated but with lots of original details. This is a must see .$399,000.00 on charming�block close to CC, train and City Line Ave. ................Reduced �



927 Spruce St. Unit 2R. Deluxe Junior 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath with new kitchen. Unit contains a queens size Murphy bed. (parking available for just $20,000) .........$199,900.00 1109 Spruce St. Unit 1R Deluxe bi-level 2 bedroom, 2 bath with garden and possible parking spot. This unit has been totally rehabbed with wood floors and Granite and S/S kitchen. Located in the heart of Wash. Sq. West with low taxes and condo fees. ................ ..........................................................................................................................$299,000.000 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

��������������������������������������� 1109 Spruce St. Units 2R and 3R. your choice of two lovely��������������������������� 1 bedroom, 1 bath units. 2R has been totally rehabbed with new deluxe granite and S/S kitchen. 3R has a �������� ������������������ white modern kitchen, is newly painted and in move-in condition........................................ ...............................................................................................$225,000.00 and $189,000.00 �����������������������������������������������������

���������������������������������������������������������� 2155 Montrose St. NEW Construction. Large����������������������������� (2,400 Sq. Ft.) corner home across ����������������������������� from park. Open first floor plan with custom granite and S/S gourmet kitchen and rear ������������� garden. Bright ����������������� and light filled finished lower level with 1/2 bath. Second floor has 2 huge ���������������������������������������������������� bedrooms with large closets and deluxe hall bath. The huge Master Suite and marble spa �������������������������������������������������������� bath covers the entire third level. All rooms have���������������������������������������� “Dark Oak Bruce” hardwood floors. Enjoy ��������������������������� 360 degree views of the city from the huge roof deck. 10 year ������������������ Tax abatement applied for. .........................................................................................................a must see, $425,000.00 ������������ �������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������� 255 S. Hutchinson St. (between 9th and 10th off Spruce St.) NEW LISTING Historic, ������������������������������������������������ 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath on charming cobblestone street in heart of��������������� Washington Sq. West. ����������������������������������������������� ............................................................................................................................$250,000.00 ���������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� 1109 Spruce St. Unit #4. NEW LISTING. Totally rehabbed loft style condo. Deluxe �������������������������������������������� granite and S/S kitchen. Wood floors, tile bath, �������������������� great views. Low condo fees and taxes, ���������������������������������������������������������� ............................................................................................................................$185,000.00 ��������������� ����������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������� ������ Search all Philadelphia area listings ����������������������������������������������� @

Dan Tobey


The Curtis Center

�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 1401 Walnut St. 8th Floor ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Philadelphia, PA 19102 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 215.546.2700 Business • 267.238.1061 Direct ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 215.432.7151 Cell • 215.546.7728 Fax ��������������������������������������������������������������������� • ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������

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������������������������ ������������������� ���������������������������� �������������������

Former Bank Branch building for rent

Let your imagination run wild


E-mail us:


Commerical zone

422 Cooper Street ������������������������������ Beverly, N.J. �����������


���������������������. Furness Flats. Large 2 bed, 1 bath. last unit left in this highly desirable building. Close to all Center City Hospitals. Low fees and taxes ................................�������������

ROOMMATES PGN WILL NOT PUBLISH RACIAL DISTINCTIONS IN ROOMMATE ADS. SUCH NOTATIONS WILL BE EDITED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION. ___________________________________ GREATER NE PHILA. Have your own bedroom in a beautiful split level home with 2 gay men. House is 4 BR, 2 full baths, W/D, upper and lower decks, use of kitchen. Property is by Welsh & the Boulevard, 1 min. to 58 bus. We ask only that you be at least reasonably neat and employed. Rent is $600 + 1/3 utils. Contact Dave at 215-698-0215. _______________________________34-49 NORRISTOWN Single Gay Man Has a 2-Story / 3-Bedroom Townhouse To Share With Another Gay Man. Available 10/01/10. $ 600.00 Security Deposit and $ 600.00 Monthly Which Includes Utilities. Call or Text Bill at 610-539-5745 OR email me at _______________________________43-44

Moorestown, NJ. This is $59,700 under the assessed value. Exceptionally gracious 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath end unit townhome is located on one of the best lots in Blason Woods. Low maintenance, tastefully decorated and easy access to Philadelphia and the surrounding area makes this a must see. For floor plans and additional pictures visit

Naoji Moriuchi

Realtor Associate Cell: 609-781-0080 Office: 856-235-0101 x211 To learn more about my client satisfaction rating view this independent research & award as seen in Philadelphia Magazine: http://video.fivestarprofessional. com/philre2010/naojimoriuchi

B.T. Edgar & Son Realtors

Your Local Realtor since 1923 27 East Main Street Moorestown, NJ 08057 Find your next home or commercial property by using

OCT. 22 - 28, 2010





OCT. 22 - 28, 2010

PGN Oct. 22-28, 2010 edition  

The Philadelphia Gay News covers news and entertainment serving the LGBT community in the greater Philadelphia region and beyond.

PGN Oct. 22-28, 2010 edition  

The Philadelphia Gay News covers news and entertainment serving the LGBT community in the greater Philadelphia region and beyond.