State of independence

June, the traditional month of Gay Pride celebrations across the nation, ended on one hell of a high note this year: the end of DOMA and the fall of Prop. 8, both major advances for our community. I always believed that I would see advances like these in my lifetime, but I never dreamed they would happen so quickly.

So here it is, July Fourth weekend, and the freedom to marry in the tri-state region is in surprisingly good shape: There’s a dynamic new state legislator, Brian Sims, who’s leading the charge to get the ball rolling in Pennsylvania; there’s legislative and public support in New Jersey but a roadblock in the governor’s house; and a few days ago, they started issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Delaware.

June is not only Pride Month, but it also happens to be the most popular month for weddings. Coincidence? Not in my book. Give it a year or two and trust my words: Same-sex church bells will be ringing like crazy in the Philadelphia region!

Starstruck

Celebrate red-carpet glamour with a kinky twist at 8 p.m. July 6 at Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 S. 12th St. Join MC the Notorious OMG along with the Liberty City Kings and special guests Icon Ebony Fierce and Saline Storm as they put their own personal, perverted, delicious and demented spin on Hollywood.

Doors open at 8 and show starts at 9. Cover charge is $10 if in drag, kink or costume, $12 if not. Proceeds benefit Philadelphia QFest.

Gryphons First Saturday

Meet the men of Philly’s gay rugby team at 9 p.m. July 6 on the second floor of The Bike Stop, 206 S. Quince St. These hot guys will have ice-cold beer on tap and Jell-O shots to help fuel the mayhem. All proceeds benefit the Gryphons Bingham Cup Fund to send the boys to the 2014 tournament in Sydney, Australia.

OurNightOut and Team Philadelphia

Join the folks from ONO and their host this month, Team Philadelphia, from 6-8 p.m. July 9 at the Waterworks, 1 Boathouse Row. They’ll have drink specials and nibbly bits for you to enjoy along with spectacular views of the river.

Star Whorez

Bored with all the mainstream drag shows in town? Then join the Dumpsta Players at 10 p.m. July 17 at Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South St. The gang will be presenting a whacked-out space-themed extravaganza guaranteed to blow your mind. Cover charge is $1.99 for 21 and up only. Proceeds benefit InLiquid, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities and exposure for visual artists in the Philadelphia area.

QFest

It’s time once again for Philadelphia’s annual gay and lesbian film festival, celebrating its 19th incredible year! This year they have over 150 movies spanning every genre imaginable and dozens of special guests from both in front of and behind the camera, not to mention loads and loads of parties. Opening night is July 11, and the festival runs all the way through July 22. For complete information about films, parties and of course tickets, check out www.qfest.com. And don’t forget to clip and save this handy guide to the parties during the first half of the festival:

Opening Night Party: 9:30 p.m. July 11 at Lit Ultrabar, 460 N. 2nd St., with special guests from opening-night film “G.B.F.” and with performances by Brittany Lynn and the Drag Mafia.

“Where I Am” Reception: 9-11 p.m. July 12 at Knock, 225 S. 12th St., featuring documentary subject and Philadelphia author Robert Drake and Butch Cordora.

“Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf” — The V Party: 10 p.m. July 13 at Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 St. James St., presented by Arouse and featuring the film’s director, Anna Margarita Albelo, who will have some of her vagina costumes from the movie that you can jump into for a photo op!

“Romeo Romeo”/“Tumbledown” Joint After Party: 9 p.m. July 18 at Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St., featuring stars, directors and producers from both films, and performances by home-town favorites, our very own Liberty City Kings.

Official bars for the run of the festival are Tavern on Camac, at 243 S. Camac St. in the Gayborhood, and Mac’s Tavern, owned by Rob McElhenny of “It’s Always Sunny,” at 226 Market St. in Old City. Stop in any time and you’re sure to bump into actors, filmmakers and fellow film enthusiasts.

Questions, comments, ready for your close up? Contact Jim at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook for links to back articles and totally bitchin’ music videos!