Some years, covering the LGBT community for PGN seems like going through the routines of check presentations, awards, fundraisers, galas, parades, festivals and protests — but not this year. Just with marriage equality leaping from the precipice and sticking the dismount, there was a larger-than-usual number of special events in 2014, like the Gay Bowl, the first QFlix, expanded Pride events and more.
We published hundreds of photos during the year and it’s a monumental task just flipping through them all even to pull out the interesting ones, and more to pare them down into a package of favorites. Given that a couple of favorites were in the paper last week accompanying the top stories features, I’ll give them mention here without reprinting the images: The group marriage photo from Pride that spanned the top of page one following the event, and the Love Wins photo from the marriage-equality rally at City Hall are tops in my book.
Here’s what else we have for 2014:
1. I love a parade
I’ll go out on a limb right off the bat and say this photo from the Philadelphia Pride parade in 2014 will garner one or more awards this year. The colors, sense of motion, the depth and composition are on point. Pride garnered me several really good photos from the parade and the performances by Well-Strung and the Village People, but this one wins, hands-down. Others are included in the photo finish at the end.
2. Love is love
Another contender for recognition is a wedding performed by the Hon. Dan Anders in Love Park. It is a nice picture for its composition content and emotional feel. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a big “LOVE” in the shot either. The number of couples getting married in the summer of 2014 was quite impressive, and this one is a fine representation.
3. The decisive moment
Harkening to photos by the master of the decisive moment, Henri Cartier-Bresson, this photo captures a tag made with the runner poised mid-air for the out. It was the final game of the City of Brotherly Love Softball League Fall Ball season in FDR Park and the first, long anticipated, cross-sport gathering staged by Out Philadelphia Athletic League, the city’s new LGBT sports-umbrella organization. Kickball, softball, soccer, runners, flag-football players were among some of those who joined in. I’d put money on this one winning a sports photo award. That’s three I’ve gone out on a limb for this year.
4. Germany vs. Argentina
Philadelphia Falcons soccer players and friends gathered at Westbury bar and restaurant frequently during the World Cup (and at this final game photo) to watch, curse and over-imbibe while cheering for their favorite team. This picture has not only the enthusiasm of the group but a faux trophy also. The Falcons are still around and you can find out more information about them at falcons-soccer.org, but we must retire the Westbury from play. Its unfortunate demise leaves a hole in the heart of the Gayborhood.
5. Welcome back, Giovanni
The community almost lost a jewel this year when Ed Hermance announced his retirement. After a flurry of ideas and rumor-buzzing, and a brief hiatus, we welcomed back an old friend in new-friend clothes. The store soft-opened Sept. 12 and Becky Hanno, Alan Chelak, Dorian Onifer and Haden Reed signed the dollar bill from the first purchase at Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room, located at 12th and Spruce streets in the space previously occupied by Giovanni’s Room, the nation’s oldest LGBT bookstore.
6. Making a wish
I spent a weekend in New Hope this chilly spring to do research for our Bucks County issue. Our home for two nights while we scurried about to restaurants, a wine tasting, museums and just wandering around and kicking back along the canal was The Wishing Well Guesthouse (wishingwellguesthouse.com). The full feature and associated stories and photos are online at issuu.com/philagaynews/docs/pgn051614/1.
7. Hanging in there
State Rep. Brian Sims does a practice rappel down four stories at One Commerce Square to bring attention to the larger rappel event Oct. 24 to raise money for Philadelphia Outward Bound Schools. Besides being an awesome pic, the fun here is leaning out far enough to get the shot while not wearing a safety harness. Oh, and did we mention Sims has a fear of heights?
8. A tribute
Following Gloria Casarez’s funeral Oct. 24, the rainbow flag at City Hall remained at half-mast in her honor. Casarez, the city’s director of LGBT affairs, died Oct. 19.