Portraits

Raise your hand if you’ve been to William Way LGBT Community Center. All those with hands down, please pass your gay cards to the front.

But seriously, if you haven’t been to the center, you’re missing out on a lot. Founded in 1974 as the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Philadelphia, William Way has morphed and moved and grown throughout the years. (Some of you older radicals may remember when it was known as Penguin Place.) It has been at 1315 Spruce St. since 1997 and offers something for everyone in the community.

These days, we could all use a good belly laugh. Add a little music to it — even better. Throw in a few pumpkins and you have “The Halloween Comedy Show Gates” with impresario Joe Gates.

I love Eastern State Penitentiary, not just at Halloween but all year. The staff does a lot of work educating people about prison reform and the history of incarceration in the United States and around the world. They work with artists and activists and contribute a lot to the community. Through this column, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many cool people who work there, usually around this time of year when ESP flips to Terror Behind the Walls. One of the top-rated haunted attractions in the country, it’s set in the massive, castle-like former prison where outlaws like Al Capone were incarcerated.

You may have heard about it — local clubs being called out for discriminating against people of color in the Gayborhood. A community divided, up in arms, and a group formed to try to get a handle on the situation. The year was not 2013 — it was 1981, and the organization was called Black and White Men Together (BWMT).

All you divas and fashionistas, gather ’round! It’s almost time for Philly Fashion Week, when designers convene in our fair city to get a jump on the hottest trends and coolest fashions. Beautiful models will present exquisite garments alongside luxury products and world-class entertainment.

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