News Briefing: Oct.12-18, 2018

32nd Annual AIDS Walk Philly

AIDS Walk Philly will hold its 32nd annual AIDS Walk Oct. 21 on Martin Luther King Drive with an anticipated 5,000 participants. The total distance of the walk is 5 kilometers, beginning at Eakins Oval in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The walk was created by AIDS Fund, a charity to end both stigma and new infections while providing financial support for those currently infected. Proceeds benefit HIV/AIDS services in the Philadelphia area. There will also be 25 squares from the AIDS Memorial Quilt on display, which is an ongoing project that memorializes the lives of those lost to AIDS.

Memorial for photographer Joe Bowman

The William Way LGBT Community Center will host a memorial cocktail party to honor the recent death of gay photographer and artist Joe Bowman, who died last December at the age 72. In lieu of a somber affair, Bowman’s friend Jennifer Lynne said he would have preferred the festive celebration organizers have planned. Bowman’s photography captured the Philadelphia gay scene in the 1980s, and he later became a sought-after fitness photographer a decade later. Known for being daring and risqué, Bowman’s work was featured in numerous city art galleries. In accordance with his wishes, most of Bowman’s portfolio has been donated to the archives of the William Way LGBT Community Center. Memorial host Bill Geftman said Bowman “wanted to be sure his life’s work would be a snapshot of Philadelphia’s gay history.”

CCP opens LGBTQ center

The Community College of Philadelphia held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the MarcDavid LGBTQ Center on Oct. 5. Students and staff filled the center located in the Winnet Student Life Building on CCP’s main campus as the president and vice president of the newly reinstated LGBTQ+ Club performed the official opening honors.

Oak Triose, the LGBTQ+ Club president who identifies as nonbinary, said the center is a welcome addition.

“I think it’s amazing the campus now has an LGBT center. We have a safe space for LGBTQ-identified students to come start the process of creating changes in policies that will benefit students,” Triose said.

CCP President Dr. Donald Generals expressed support for LGBTQ students at the ceremony. “We’re coming out full blast and letting the community know that we’re very serious about supporting our LGBTQ students,” he said. “I think it’s really important that we support unrepresented, marginalized students so that they feel empowered and, in turn, that empowerment will help them to become better students and better citizens.”

9th annual Family Matters LGBTQ conference

More than 150 LGBTQ families and prospective parents participated in the 9th annual Family Matters Conference, hosted by Philadelphia Family Pride Oct. 6 at the McNeil Science and Technology Center at the University of the Sciences.

The event featured breakout workshops throughout the day such as “Finding and Maintaining Safe Spaces for Our Families,” “Talking to Kids About Sexuality and Gender” and a “Trans and Genderqueer Parent Conversation Hour.” Naomi Washington-Leapheart, faith-work director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, delivered a keynote speech on religion and spirituality in the LGBTQ community.

Malcolm Kenyatta, the Democratic candidate running for state representative in the 181st District, urged parents to run for office during the “Political Advocacy for the LGBTQ Parent” workshop session.

“To have people with a variety of different experiences in the room and apart of conversation when decisions are being made has a more direct impact on what policy should look like,” he said.

Ruby Augustus, PFP’s board secretary, said the conference helps parents like her to learn more about LGBTQ parenting.

“Spaces like this are needed for LGBTQ families and prospective parents to know that there’s a community of likeminded people out there ,” Augustus said.

Dickinson College reception for LGBT history exhibit

Dickinson College in Carlisle will be hosting an opening reception for its exhibit “History Comes Out” in the Waidner-Spahr Library Oct. 14 from 1:30-5 p.m. The exhibit will include displays, tours of the archives, and oral histories of LGBT individuals who lived in central Pennsylvania, provided by LGBT Center of Central PA in Harrisburg.

A demonstration of the center’s Google mapping system will allow guests to look at the geographic locations of historically significant LGBT events in central Pennsylvania.

Attendees can also contribute their own oral histories to the archives, which may either be posted to the website of the LGBT Center of Central PA or made into themed story compilations to be accessed by the public. 

— compiled by Adriana Fraser and Miranda Lankas