Philly Trans March to host Nonbinary Celebration
Organizers for the Philly Trans March (PTM) are planning a Nonbinary People’s Day Celebration at West Philly’s Clark Park on July 17 from 1-5 p.m., the first such city-wide celebration. The event will feature a free pop-up picnic, open to all ages, that will prioritize nonbinary, genderqueer, Two-Spirit and gender nonconforming people of color, but welcomes people of all races and genders.
“I’ve always wanted to have something for Nonbinary Awareness Week specifically because we’re still ignored in society, especially within the binary queer and trans community,” said PTM organizer Bri Golphin. “Nonbinary, gender queer, Two-Spirit, anything of that nature is still not taken seriously in government institutions, most definitely medical institutions. While we do have the option in our state to change our gender marker to how we identify, we still need more visibility.”
Attendees of the celebration can enjoy free games, vendors, entertainment, food and other festivities. Almost all vendors are nonbinary artists, as well as some representatives from new trans organizations.
“I also thought that this particular event would be really important in light of all the legislation that has been happening everywhere in the country,” Golphin said. “The overturning of Roe v. Wade and all these other Supreme Court decisions [at risk of] being overturned.”
For more info about the Nonbinary People’s Day Celebration, visit https://phillytransmarch.org/.
Celebration of Trans Joy Block Party
In an effort to keep celebrating transgender people beyond Pride month, staffers from William Way LGBT Community Center and the Office of LGBT Affairs teamed up to create the Summer Vibes: Celebration of Trans Joy block party. Scheduled for July 23 from 5-7 p.m., the event will feature a gaming truck, a photo booth, raffles both free and priced, musical performances by Chef Marcu, the band Daddi, DJ Daisy James, whose moniker is Miss X, and a stage and emcee provided by the Bearded Ladies Cabaret. Attendees can avail themselves of food from Burrito Feliz and Cake Life.
The festivities will take place on Irving Street between Juniper and 13th streets, and on Juniper Street between Irving and Locust streets. Interns from Swarthmore and Villanova helped with the event planning.
“We often say that we should be celebrating outside of Trans Day of Visibility and Remembrance, and the same for Pride Month,” said Darius McLean, director of the Arcila-Adams Trans Resource Center and Empowerment Programs. He pointed out that the block party will take place on the last day of the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference this year. Although the conference will take place virtually, McLean hopes that people will come out to celebrate in person.
The block party also includes trans-identified vendors, representatives from Bebashi, Morris Home, The Attic Youth Center and Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), who will be talking to people and giving out narcan. Children and youth can enjoy tie dying, button-making and entertainment from Quany the Clown. Plus, members of the organization Your Empowered Sexuality (YES!) will be there to have age-appropriate discussions about consent with youth.
“The goal is to have the event be completely free to community,” McLean said. “We tried to figure out something for everyone.”
Paths to Parenthood program
Prospective LGBTQ+ parents can once again take advantage of Philadelphia Family Pride’s (PFP) annual series “Paths to Parenthood,” a free online program that helps parents-to-be navigate starting a family or growing their existing one.
River Nice of Be Intentional Financial will run the first session on Thursday, July 7, which covers “financial planning for LGBTQ prospective parents.” Subsequent sessions will focus on adoption, surrogacy, sperm donation, the legal aspects of starting a family and other topics.
“We want our prospective parents to have all the information — including the emotional, legal, and financial considerations — to make the best decision for themselves,” PFP intern Phoebe Cunningham said in an email. “Paths to Parenthood also strives to create a community of those navigating the many valid options and those who are now raising their children. These connections facilitate sharing experiential knowledge specific to the LGBTQIA+ parent journey and lending support, as being a parent is filled with both joys and challenges.”
Although classes will take place via Zoom for accessibility and safety, attendees can take advantage of two social mixers to meet in person to talk about what they learned in the sessions.
For more details and to register, visit: https://www.philadelphiafamilypride.org/.
Gran Fury: The art of ACT UP
Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room will host an event on July 9 at 6 p.m. featuring authors Jack Lowery and Kristen Martin, who will be celebrating Lowery’s Book “It was Vulgar & it was Beautiful: How AIDS Activists Used Art to Fight a Pandemic.” Lower will discuss his book, which delves into the story of the art collective Gran Fury, born out of the New York-founded group AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP).
After ACT UP formed in the late 1980s, the people behind Gran Fury used visual art and “community-made propaganda” to combat public disinterest and government apathy toward people living with and dying from AIDS — largely LGBTQ people, people who used IV drugs, BIPOC and intersections. In his book, Lowery zooms in on posters that Gran Fury created and erected in New York City like “Kissing Doesn’t Kill: Greed and Indifference Do,” which fought misinformation about the spread of HIV and AIDS; the poster “He Kills Me,” which depicted President Ronald Regan with a smirk on his face and the famous pink triangle, repurposed from the Nazi symbol for homosexuality and accompanied by the words “Silence = Death.”
“Oftentimes political posters or slogans revolved around a specific legislative issue, and Gran Fury didn’t really work that way,” Lowery said in a video clip on Bold Type Books’ website. “Instead, what Gran Fury was doing was trying to get people to think differently about people with AIDS and people who are most at risk of contracting HIV, and particularly the kind of healthcare people deserve. It involves dismantling bias and harmful notions about people with AIDS.”