Portraits

Throughout October, PGN is celebrating LGBT History Month, so I thought I’d shed a little light on some history that’s recently come to light. “Bandstand Diaries: The Philadelphia Years” is a fun book filled with stories, facts and figures about the groundbreaking show. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the opening song, and our older readers will remember Dick Clark and the cast of regular dancers while millennials will at least know the host’s name from the New Year’s Eve celebration that still bears his name. What many won’t know is that the show had a definite queer bent even before the word was reclaimed.

Once upon a time, “AIDS” was a word that was feared by all, from the general population to health practitioners to emergency-service providers. Since the first AIDS case was diagnosed in 1981, more than 600,000 Americans have died of AIDS — more than all the U.S. combat deaths since the beginning of World War I.

“The point in history at which we stand is full of promise and danger. The world will either move forward toward unity and widely shared prosperity, or it will move apart.”     — Franklin D. Roosevelt

These days, the country seems to be in a bizarre world in which everyone is at each other’s throats for the slightest difference of opinion. We need a break from that with an oasis where we can find respect and patience. Luckily, there’s a group of young folks dedicated to creating space here in Philadelphia that is open to all.

Sing with me! “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” OK, as much as I love the holidays, I do tend to cringe at seeing Christmas displays before I’ve had a chance to celebrate Halloween, but this holiday tradition is such a great event, we want to get the word out as soon as possible.

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