Philly Pride’s OutFest is the largest National Coming-Out Day event in the world. The idea for NCOD grew from the second march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality, held Oct. 11, 1987 and, three years later, Philadelphia became one of the first cities to organize around NCOD on a large scale. Philly Pride’s block party quickly grew into OutFest, held annually the Sunday before Columbus Day.
OutFest, which attracts nearly 40,000 people, is popular because it has the feel of an old-fashioned block party, it’s free and it’s in the Gayborhood. All local bars, restaurants and businesses have an outdoor presence, local talent and all community organizations can be showcased and guests can take part in activities like carnival games and a massive flea market. There is always something new and unique at OutFest.
Delaware Valley Legacy Fund is honored and floored that TOY was named Best LGBT Fundraiser. Folks who attend TOY are contributing money to help DVLF provide funding to organizations that serve the LGBTI community and scholarships to LGBTI students. Plus, it collects more than 1,000 toys for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s HIV/AIDS Unit.
This year, TOY will be held 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Reading Terminal Market, complete with bartenders from the Greater Philadelphia Flag Football League, an open bar, treats from the Market and pictures with Santa.
Tickets can be purchased on the DVLF website at www.dvlf.org. Ticket prices increase Nov. 19, so don’t be naughty and delay!
21 S. 12th St.
Regardless of your insurance status or income, you can count on Mazzoni Center to offer sensitive and knowledgeable health, wellness and legal services. For more than 30 years, Mazzoni Center has been the leading healthcare provider in the Philadelphia region specifically targeting the unique health-care needs of LGBT communities. Its mission is to provide quality comprehensive health and wellness services in an LGBT-focused environment, while preserving the dignity and improving the quality of life of the individuals it serves.
Mazzoni Center offers a full array of services from three locations in the heart of the Gayborhood: a primary-care practice at 809 Locust St.; free, walk-in HIV/STD testing at the Washington West Project, 12th and Locust streets; and, at its offices at 21 S. 12th St., counseling, support groups, food-bank and housing programs for people with HIV, as well as outreach and education programs and legal services.
LGBT Sports League
City of Brotherly Love Softball League
The City of Brotherly Love Softball League is a slow-pitch league that will celebrate its 30th season next year. CBLSL has come a long way from the one field and five teams it started with in 1984. The league now utilizes six fields and has approximately 700 members and more than 30 teams in its Women’s and Open Co-Ed Divisions.
CBLSL seeks to support the overall community while providing social alternatives to its members. The league has been tearing down stereotypes that LGBT individuals are not athletic while providing a safe and comfortable environment for all. It welcomes players of varying skill levels, from beginner to experienced.
Most CBLSL members have developed bonds that will last a lifetime; players are not only teammates but family, and find camaraderie both on and off the field with year-round social events. CBLSL has established its name in Philadelphia and abroad, as many teams travel to — and have come out on top — in national tournaments.
CBLSL maintains its humble roots and close-knit family feel while continuously expanding its dimensions.
Dan Mangini is a very active member of the local LGBT community as an educator, advocate and public speaker for his passion: the fight against HIV/AIDS.
After nearly succumbing to his AIDS diagnosis back in 2005, he went on to dedicate his time and energies to be the voice and face for this cause. He was compelled by the fact that many cannot “come out” with their diagnosis due to the stigma and prejudice surrounding this virus, even in the LGBT community.
Mangini is a volunteer with Siloam, which offers a mind/body/spirit approach to wellness for those infected/affected. He also works as a recruitment consultant with University of Pennsylvania’s HIV Prevention Research Division, where he recruits participants for HIV vaccine trials.
“I’m so very honored to be recognized for my work by all those who have voted for me,” Mangini said. “This is a win for the fight against HIV/AIDS, which has been swept under the rug in the past few years and needs to be brought front and center again. Philadelphia has twice the new infection rate of New York City and five times the national average. Until it’s over, I’m determined to be out there in the community trying to make a difference. Thank you to all who voted!”
Kenny K. at Tabu
200 S. 12th St.
Kenny’s playful disposition is part of what makes Friday and Sunday afternoons at Tabu such a fun and exciting weekend spot. Kenny’s friends, many of whom know him from his bartending shifts at Phillies games in Citizens Bank Park’s Diamond Club, can always depend on a friendly text, letting them know what fun things they can expect when he gets behind the bar. It’s a memorable afternoon whenever Kenny is around.
Kay Shrader at Salon K
1216 Locust St.
Kay Shrader said she was fortunate as a young child to know what she wanted to do for her career. And, after 23 years and many long hours of studying her craft, said Shrader, “I honestly want all of you to share in this great moment. Many of you I met in the beginning know that I’ve supported the LGBT community by attending numerous benefits like Cha Cha and TOY and visiting many clients infected with HIV at their homes. To this day, I’ve made the most cherished friendships in this business.”
The stylist said she basically grew up in the business with many of her clients. “I made sure that when anyone sat in my chair, they felt like they could be themselves.”
For her part, Shrader was just grateful. “Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this amazing award. I’ll cherish this forever.”
701 Elm St.
“Fitness and nutrition have been a passion of mine as well as a journey for years now,” said Robert Tini.
“I am lucky enough to be working with a great team that shares similar values. We have a great community and foster a supportive group atmosphere.”
So it’s no wonder that enthusiasm travels to his clients at Crossfit Conshohocken. In addition, Tini trains clients privately for more specific health and fitness goals.
Brian Sims was recently elected as the Democratic nominee for the 182nd District of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and in January he’s on track to be sworn in as Pennsylvania’s first-ever openly LGBT state legislator.
His historic community-based campaign was dedicated to expanding civil rights for all Pennsylvanians, strengthening and protecting public education, preserving the environment while investing in alternative energy, creating jobs and cleaning up Harrisburg.
He has distinguished himself as an attorney and civil-rights advocate and served as the staff counsel for policy and planning at the Philadelphia Bar Association. Last year, Sims stepped down as the president of the board of directors of Equality Pennsylvania and as the chairman of Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia.
A former member of the national campaign board of The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Sims lectures about the policy and legal challenges facing the LGBT civil-rights movement and is a regular instructor at the Center for Progressive Leadership.
200 S. 12th St.
“Whoever you are, you belong here.” The owners of Tabu said that when they opened the bar, those were the words you could find proudly displayed on their back chalkboard. Motivated by the knowledge of what it’s like to be the lone gay person in a straight bar and how awkward that can sometimes feel, they wanted to create a place where anyone — gay, straight, black, white, man, woman, trans, etc. — could feel right at home. They cite how important it is to be inclusive, not exclusive.
“We’re very happy that our approach has made us a favorite among the gay community and our straight allies, and we’re glad that our diverse neighborhood has a place it can always call home,” Tabu said.
200 S. 12th St.
There’s a certain electricity in the air when you’re sitting in a bar watching your home team win a game.
Tabu likes putting the sound of the game on so all heads can turn to the TV when the announcer gets excited at every home run, goal or touchdown.
The bar’s basement level is also very popular with out-of-towners who want to watch their teams without facing the wrath of passionate Philly fans.
254 S. 12th St.
The owners of ICandy Nightclub were thrilled to learn that PGN readers prefer to shake their asses on their dance floor over any other floor.
“We take pride in everything we do at ICandy, so it’s an incredible honor to be recognized for doing what we care most about — making our customers happy,” ICandy management said.
The club promises some very exciting events this fall and winter that will continue to deliver that energy to the dance floor.
Resorts Atlantic City
Atlantic City, N.J.
Resorts Casino Hotel was the world’s first casino to offer a full-time LGBT nightclub dedicated to bringing the community a fun, one-of-a-kind venue. Located on the beach and boardwalk, Resorts features non-stop action on the casino floor and in Pro Bar, Atlantic City’s only LGBT nightclub.
Featuring the Zagat Award-winning Italian gourmet restaurant Capriccio and mouth-watering steaks at Gallagher’s Steakhouse, Resorts caters to the most discerning taste buds — namely PGN readers. Nightly live entertainment in the lounges, piano bar and the highly praised “Divas Do AC” revue show keep the energy high and the laughs coming.
Next spring, Resorts will add Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville entertainment complex featuring LandShark Bar & Grill, the city’s first and only year-round beach bar, plus a Margaritaville restaurant, 5 O’Clock Somewhere casino bar, retail shops and more.
Place to Grab a Beer Bar Food Lunch
261 S. 13th St.
Westbury is a neighborhood craft-beer/sports pub with 20 taps and an extensive bottle/can list. PGN readers enjoy watching the game on eight large-screen TVs while enjoying great pub food.
The moment you step through the doors of Westbury, heads may turn, but they’re usually smiling at you. The large bar takes up the bulk of the space and the cozy, inviting seating makes Westbury a good place for group conversations.
Westbury also sponsors four softball teams, a team in the Greater Philadelphia Flag Football League and its traveling team.
Place to Meet Women
1320 Chancellor St.
Located in the heart of the Gayborhood, Sisters is open seven days a week and features a variety of entertainment — from karaoke to award-winning DJs to live bands to colorful theme parties.
Sisters, now in its 16th year, offers nightly specials, such as its ever-popular drink-ticket event on Thursdays.
Women of all ages and interests congregate at the venue for its drinks, food and music — making it an excellent spot to meet up with old friends and forge new connections.
Place to Meet Men
202 S. 13th St.
It’s an iconic fixture among several generations of diverse Philadelphia communities, including those far outside of the Gayborhood, and it goes by the name Woody’s.
“We are proud to receive this award, and to be recognized by everyone who voted for Woody’s. Our goal at Woody’s is to make everyone feel welcomed and have a great experience. Whether you are having one of our 32 draft beers in the pub, or if you want to go party on our state-of-the-art dance floor, there is something for everyone and every age group,” management said.
Woody’s has been Philadelphia’s most popular gay bar for the last 30 years.
Pink Pub Crawl
What started five years ago as a way to get friends together for a fun night out has turned into one of Philadelphia’s most recognizable LGBT events.
The event’s success is simple: It’s a great value, it’s fun and it’s diverse said founder Bruce Yelk. The event continues to grow with three different dates in Philadelphia — Thanksgiving Eve, the first Saturday of spring and a summer version in July.
Thanks to patrons’ support, in 2013 the Pink Pub Crawl will make its debut in another city — but Philadelphia will always be its true home.
200 S. 12th St.
The owners of Tabu say their approach to happy hour (daily from 5-7 p.m.) has always been to provide affordable prices.
“Especially in this economy, going to Center City for the evening shouldn’t break your wallet. That’s why we special every single liquor and beer during happy hour,” Tabu said.
Customers can try any draft for $3 — a great way to try something new — or any of the 20 martinis for $5 each. For those who like to get to bed at a decent hour, happy hour is the perfect way to end the work day and still make it home in time to catch the evening news.
Dirty Martini at Knock
225 S. 12th St.
Open for lunch, dinner and brunch, cocktails are served from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. every day at this Gayborhood favorite.
Knock’s Dirty Martini is the perfect fusion of alcohol and flavor and can be enjoyed in any setting. Sipped while people-watching at one of Knock’s many outdoor tables, over dinner at its restaurant or amid the boisterous Saturday night bar crowd, the drink is the perfect accompaniment to a night — or day — out at Knock.
Margarita at El Vez
121 S. 13th St.
This always-busy Mexican restaurant in the Gayborhood is as popular for its people-watching location as it is for food and drink.
The margarita is a must-have for El Vez regulars and a must-try for newcomers. While margaritas are a staple at most Mexican venues, El Vez’s extensive margarita variety allows for a perfect pairing with any of its dishes, and makes it challenging to narrow down your drink choice — and even more challenging to have just one.
200 S. 12th St.
In just two short years, this popular venue has hosted more than 150 fundraisers for many of Philly’s nonprofit organizations and, in the process, has united many segments of the LGBTIQ community.
“We’re happy to see so many exciting changes in our neighborhood and must give thanks to the other bars for doing their part to make our Gayborhood such a great destination. We share this with you,” the bar said.
Bicycle Shop (TIE)
2211 South St.
Bicycle Therapy has been a fixture in the Philadelphia cycling community for more than 20 years. Customer service is the foundation of the shop’s approach.
Lee Rogers opened its doors in 1990 as a small repair shop. Over the years, the business has grown to showcase a wide variety of new bicycles. The service department is staffed by a crew of friendly, professional mechanics who enjoy working on all styles and vintages.
“We take pleasure in serving all customers — from recreational riders and first-time cyclists to daily commuters and avid racers,” said Rogers.
The shop is open seven days a week with extended weeknight hours.
606 S. Ninth St.
Via Bicycle is a full-service bike shop that has been in business since 1982.
Primarily operating as a used-bicycle shop, Via specializes in selling reliable bikes for city commuting.
The store has a fully capable staff that builds wheels and overhauls everything from basic three-speed and coaster brake hubs to exotic turn-of-the-century bicycles.
1300 Market St.
The chain department store’s downtown location is one of its most flocked-to stores in the region.
The store, which often sponsors local LGBT events, offers the latest in designer fashions for men, women and children, as well as a wealth of accessories and home goods.
12th Street Gym
204 S. 12th St.
For more than 26 years, “12th Street” has been the gym of choice for Philadelphia’s gay and lesbian community.
The popular workout venue is “out and proud” and an important anchor of the region’s Gayborhood. The gym’s owners said they plan to continue supporting important progressive causes and institutions.
Located in the heart of Center City, 12th Street Gym covers 120,000 square feet on eight levels and offers more than 30 top-quality personal trainers and 60 group-fitness classes a week, as well as a comprehensive selection of strength-training equipment, a beautiful pool, a landscaped sun deck and much more.
Membership starts at less than $30 a month.
1216 Locust St.
“Receiving this award as an owner gives me the privilege to share this with my team — Harris, Brent and Tiffany,” owner Kay Shrader said.
“As stylists, we have our own individual expertise and style that makes us work so well together. Winning consecutively for the last two years makes me so proud.”
Schrader said she always wanted to open a salon that clients could feel like they were a part of, adding the LGBT community motivated the staff to work even harder. Inclusion is a priority, which is why Salon K offers marriage and civil-union packages.
“We as a team have a strong work ethic and strive to educate our clients on the latest styles and hair products,” said Shrader. “We specialize in men’s barbering, including flat tops and all the latest trends and even color the unwanted gray for men. Shhhhh ... Only we know! We offer a range of women’s styles and provide the latest trends in color, for short to long hair, and specialized services.
Green Eggs Cafe
212 S. 13th St.
Living up to the “green” in its title, this relative newcomer to the Gayborhood has won customers over by serving high-quality food at a low cost.
Green Eggs buys fresh products locally, grows its own herbs and recycles all paper products, aluminum, glass and plastics. Also, all its food and organic waste is composted and not put to waste.
254 S. 12th St.
The owners of the much-beloved ICandy were so happy to win yet another category in PGN’s annual contest, they’re showing their appreciation by offering a Sunday Hangover Brunch, served noon-4 p.m. for just $10. This special is available in combination with ICandy’s weekly Sunday Funday special, where you get $3 off all drinks (excluding beer) all day and night.
1229 Spruce St.
After 12 years in business, Valanni continues to cater to its neighborhood — from cocktail hour to dinner to late night.
Executive chef John Strain’s innovative Medi-Latin menu continually changes and features fresh, seasonal ingredients in small plates and entrées — such as butter-poached lobster and octopus salad, spicy pulled-chicken empanadas, duck and foie gras flatbread, meat and seafood paella and veal osso buco. And, an array of house-made dessert tapas satisfies a sweet tooth of any kind.
On weekends, Valanni opens at 11 a.m. for its award-winning brunch and signature brunch cocktails. Join Valanni in a cozy booth in Social, its newly added lounge, or dine al fresco on Spruce Street.
More Than Just Ice Cream
1119 Locust St.
For almost four decades, More Than Just Ice Cream has served the entire city from the heart of the Gayborhood. The iconic restaurant and ice-cream bar opened in 1975 and, ever since, has specialized in comfort food, especially homestyle desserts and, of course, ice cream.
All desserts are made from scratch. Among the most decadent are the mile-high apple pie, deep-dish pumpkin pie and red velvet cupcakes, which won twice at the Gayborhood Games.
722 N. Second St.
The dessert boutique is known far and wide for its cakes, cupcakes and other treats that are perfect for special events — or for just brightening up one’s day.
212 S. 12th St.
This popular Washington Square West coffee shop draws a big LGBT crowd.
Open seven days a week, the venue offers indoor and outdoor seating, a wealth of caffeinated and non-caffeinated drink choices and an array of baked goods and sandwiches.
With good prices and great service, Café 12 is a true respite from the bustle of the Gayborhood.
225 S. 12th St.
Knock’s restaurant menu is as diverse as its clientele.
The venue offers brunch, lunch and dinner.
From battered asparagus fries to lobster rolls to filet di Knock, this reader favorite offers dishes to satisfy any taste.
Travis Luvermore began performing as a drag king/male illusionist in 2008, and currently holds the title of Mr. South Carolina USofA MI, first alternate.
Luvermore performs classic drag and comedic celebrity impersonations, such as Tim McGraw, Larry the Cable Guy, Garth Brooks, Sir Elton John and Neil Diamond. People come to the show out of curiosity and are amazed at the transformation.
“I get many questions about how I am able to hide my breasts and about the realistic facial hair,” Luverore said. “I have been mistaken as a transgender man, but I am all-female. I love the meaning of songs and try to connect to the audience.”
Luvermore performs with the Bro-lesque group.
Shelita Buffet said she’s very proud to be part of a growing West Chester gay community that has embraced drag.
Buffet hosts several drag events at Jazmine Thai in West Chester, “so come check out the growing gay scene in our area and leave the drama for elsewhere,” she said.
Tuesday nights are “GLBT Nite” with guest DJs every week. Thursdays feature karaoke with special guest host Kirby Shadowes in a fun, intimate setting. The second Sunday of each month features the sold-out “Drag Cabaret,” spotlighting favorite Broadway shows and movies. The fourth Sunday is Bingo with special guest host Gio Michaels.
Philadelphia Freedom Band
The Philadelphia Freedom Band is a volunteer community band for LGBT and ally musicians to perform in a relaxed, friendly environment. The group does not hold auditions and welcomes all adults 18 or older.
Membership is comprised of a diverse range of backgrounds, ages, experience and skill levels. Musicians of all levels are welcome, as well as non-musicians who would like to be involved. The band’s mission is based on the principles of commitment, volunteerism, respect for others and, of course, fun!
The band includes concert, marching and jazz sections and a brass ensemble.
This reader favorite has been getting the party started for close to 25 years.
“It has been the thrill of my life,” said Salotta Tee. “I have been a DJ since the age of 5, when I received my first record player, and I have played music for family and friends since.
“DJs in general are fabulous people. We are the ones who get the party started. I love playing feel-good music. When people are on my dance floor singing and dancing with smiles on their faces, I know I did my job.”
Tee credits DJ Reenie Kane for her guidance, as well as nightclubs ICandy, Venture Inn, Tavern on Camac, Bob & Barbara’s, Q Lounge, 12th Air Command, Woody’s, Key West, MSA and all the other supportive venues.
1003 Arch St.
The Trocadero hosts a variety of events, including live concerts, comedy shows, film screenings, burlesque shows and more.
The fall season kicks off this month with DJ Robert Drake’s annual Zombie Prom Sept. 29, hailed as the official kick-off of the Halloween season. Other fall highlights include Adam Ant on Oct. 5, followed by the five-year anniversary of Karaoke Gong Show hosted by Skeletor (Carmen Martella), Interpol frontman and guitarist Paul Bank’s solo show Nov. 10 and John Water’s critically acclaimed one-man show Nov. 29.
Joseph Hallman is a Philadelphia composer who has worked with some of today’s most talented musicians and artists.
He teaches at Drexel University and privately, and has given master classes and lectures and served as an adjudicator at home and abroad. He is the composer-in-residence of the Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival, a position previously held at the Rosenbach Museum, Traverse Arts Project and Strings Music Festival.
Hallman also has collaborated with poet and screenwriter Antwone Fisher and had his works performed by Michel Gondry, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic musicians, the Avian Ensemble, Chamber Music Now, Network for New Music, Dolce Suono and others. He has worked locally and internationally as a pop producer, arranger, remixer and performer.
Hallman has worked with Philadelphia bands and musicians such as Gemini Wolf, Megan “Pandar” Cauley, Attia Taylor, Johnell Lawrence, DJ Carl Michaels, DJ Jamie Johnson and Tiffany “BFly” Belton. Most recently, he led an international collaboration on a remix single of his acclaimed song “Summer,” featuring Japanese beatboxer Dokaka, flute virtuoso FluterScooter, producer Drew Taurisano and vocalist BFly.
Hallman’s classical and pop works can be found on iTunes.
“I know where I’m from: I’m only here through God and my supporters,” Tony Enos said of his accomplishments as an internationally selling pop artist.
That attitude is just one reason for the love affair between Philadelphia and Enos.
“I know what my Philly fans want. I’ll always remain a true-blue Philly boy. Philly won’t have it otherwise,” he said.
The 28-year-old South Philly native has been hailed as “the most exciting performer to come out Philadelphia since Patti LaBelle” by gbmnews.com. His debut album “Did it Rite” and new album “The Heat” have sold units around the world via iTunes. His electrifying performances make him one of the most sought-after out entertainers.
Enos opens “The Heat Tour 2012” in Las Vegas in October, and “The Heat” hits stores nationwide this fall.
Bruce Yelk takes this category for the second year in a row.
“It is truly my passion to bring new and exciting events to the city I love, and nothing pleases me more than to see everyone enjoying themselves at a NightlifeGay.com event,” he said.
Yelk’s 2012-13 event schedule kicks off Nov. 17 with a circus-themed event called “The Kidd Show.”
He credits his event team, performers, partners, sponsors and venues with helping to create such high-quality entertainment.
Theater Group (TIE)
Liberty City Kings Drag & Burlesque
What started off with a couple of queers, a scary politician and the desire to produce fun, sexy and fabulous performance art that blends, bends and blurs gender lines has turned into a multi-award-winning and seasoned troupe of 15 performers, a full support staff and eight (and counting) regular shows a year.
Liberty City Kings also stage dozens of appearances and performances as Philly’s only queer drag and burlesque performance troupe. Their diverse fans love them because they showcase different genders and body types on stage and celebrate them all through fun, kinky and titillating drag, burlesque and gender-performance art.
Their performance home is Tabu, with sponsor Passional Boutique & Sexploratorium.
Plays & Players Theater
1714 Delancey Place
Plays & Players Theater began in 1911 as a social club devoted to expanding and developing new theater experiences for and by its membership.
During its more-than 100 years of performing, Plays & Players has produced innumerable notable performances, such as the world premiere of the acclaimed Broadway play “Stalag 17” in 1949.
Over the years, the company has grown into a professional, quality theater devoted to supporting established and emerging local artists in practicing and performing their crafts.