PBGP will kick off April 24 and run through May 1, with workshops, fundraisers and parties for the LGBT people of color community and its supporters.
For the first time, the Doubletree Hotel sold out the block of rooms booked for the event months in advance, which Chris Alston, PBGP president, said is indicative of the substantial crowd he expects throughout the week.
Alston said guests are coming from as far west as California, as well as throughout the Philadelphia region.
New to this year’s lineup is the first-ever The White Affair, a night of live entertainment to benefit local LGBT youth.
A portion of the proceeds from the event, held from 6-10 p.m. April 30 at the Doubletree, 237 S. Broad St., will benefit the PBGP’s newly created LGBTQ Youth Scholarship Fund.
Alston said the development of the fund grew out of PBGP’s commitment to community and also the dearth of scholarship opportunities for LGBT youth.
“There isn’t enough scholarship funding available to assist struggling youth, especially LGBTQ youth, and we wanted to expand the ways that we help the development of our future, which is definitely our young people,” he said.
Details on the scholarship and applications will be available at The White Affair.
The party will feature entertainment from singers such as South Philly’s Carol Reddick, as well as food, a cash bar and a fashion show.
While The White Affair will have a decidedly social and celebratory nature, earlier in the day the community is invited to a series of free workshops that will look at a number of issues impacting the LGBT of color community.
Workshops, held between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the hotel, will cover topics such as transition-related healthcare for transgender individuals, dating and relationships and the impact of homophobia on black LGBTs, as well as “In My Day,” an interactive discussion among community members of different generations.
Leading up to Saturday’s activities are a number of other community-building opportunities.
The Mr. and Miss Philadelphia Black Gay Pride Pageant will kick off at 6 p.m. April 24 at the Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St., with tickets $15 in advance or $20 at the door. The following day, guests are encouraged to participate in a town-hall meeting on violence in the black LGBT community at 6 p.m. at Colours, 112 N. Broad St.
The fourth-annual One Night Stand open-mic competition will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 28 at Marathon Grill, 1818 Spruce St., and guests can also attend the opening reception that night for the archival exhibit on the Trans-Health Conference at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St., which runs from 6-8 p.m.
Alston said that, while this year’s event features several new additions, they’re the product of the organization’s long-standing commitment to enhancing the LGBT of color community.
“I am as proud of our past as I am of our future. PBGP is an organization that understands our symbiotic relationship with our community, individuals and allies. As PBGP works to serve the public, to build stronger allies in positioning PBGP to be the formidable LGBTIQ organization of Philadelphia and surrounding areas, we must keep at the forefront of our minds the individual struggles of bullying, the community struggle of creating better resources and hold our city and state to their responsibilities in ensuring equality for us all.”
For a full list of events or to purchase tickets for PBGP events, visit www.phillyblackpride.org.
Jen Colletta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.