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 William Way LGBT Community Center is looking to raise $100,000 at its annual fundraising gala, which this year is honoring LGBTQ seniors.

Indigo Ball, the center’s biggest fundraiser of the year, chose the theme “Golden Years” because “senior programs are a huge focus at the center,” said Chris Bartlett, William Way’s executive director.

The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus is rebranding ahead of its 37th season, with changes to its annual fundraiser, a new logo and a refocused mission to use music as a form of social-justice activism.

PGMC, one of the oldest choruses in the United States, has launched its new logo with a “p” in the center of a square that emits sound vibrations. The new website, meanwhile, displays a much-needed revamp from the “outdated” look, said PGMC president Adam Funck.

It is great to celebrate how far black LGBTQ people have come, but to see us on screen, we must recognize that not all representations are good. Quality, not just quantity, matters, because 84 percent of Americans only learn about black LGBQ folks through the images they see in the media.

Race-equality group looks for new members

Men of All Colors Together-Philadelphia will be hosting its first monthly meeting to introduce its 37th year.

The racial-equality advocacy group will hold its first monthly meeting of the season 7:30 p.m.  Sept. 21 at the William Way LGBT Community Center. The grassroots organization is reintroducing itself to the community after leaning more toward social events and away from political activity for nearly a decade. The event is free and open to the public.

Gary Hines, MACT-Philadelphia’s membership chair, said that the meeting is the first step in engaging new members.

“This meeting will help kick off our fall-membership drive. We’re trying to engage young people and people in the community who want to get politically involved. We’ve reshaped our mission and vision and we’re looking to strengthen our membership as well,” Hines said.

GayBINGO launches a new season

The AIDS Fund’s GayBINGO returns this month at a new location for its 23rd season of raising emergency funds for those living with HIV in the Greater Philadelphia region.

The first GayBINGO of the season — with this month’s theme being “Dynasty”— takes place at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad St. The event is hosted by the Bingo Verifying Divas, a group of drag queens who entertain the crowd.

Along with GayBINGO, AIDS Fund produces a variety of fundraising and awareness programs throughout the year, including AIDS Walk Philly, Black-Tie GayBINGO and Workplace Giving Campaigns.

Robb Reichard, the executive director of AIDS Fund, said the bingo event is a chance for the community to have fun while supporting a good cause.

“GayBINGO has always been a crowd favorite and this year we’re taking it to another level. Participants will still be in store for a fun night of drag queens, laughs and bingo all in an effort that continue to raise awareness and funds for those trying to live a long life with HIV,” said Reichard.

For more information on the new season of GayBINGO and to purchase tickets, visit www.aidsfundphilly.org/gaybingo.

Scholarship fund honors George Michael

Local fans of the late performer George Michael are commemorating his legacy with a fundraising event that will fund a scholarship in honor of the musician.

Roseann Tiralli-Giannone and Diane Kastner will host a meet-and-greet 12:30-4 p.m. Sept. 23 at Dave and Buster’s, 325 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd. Deon Estus, bass player for Michael and WHAM!, will be the event’s special guest. Proceeds from a silent auction will go to the Freedom Scholarship Fund at the Settlement Music School.

The school is one of the country’s largest and oldest community schools of the arts, having taught more than 300,000 students since it was founded in 1908.

Tiralli-Giannone, chairwomen of the event, has been a longtime supporter of the music school. She said that the scholarship is her way of keeping Michael’s legacy alive.

“As a longtime George Michael fan, I knew of his love of music and children and I thought it would be a great idea to start a scholarship fund in his memory. We wanted to reflect [Michael’s] giving nature and support an institution that truly values music education.”

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.reviewsandmorebyrosey.com/deon-estus-meet-greet-philadelphia/. 

— Compiled by Adriana Fraser

LGBT open mic returns to Philly

A local spoken-word poet will host an open mic specifically for LGBTQ musicians, artists, poets and comedians of color.

The OUTSpoken open mic will be held 8-11 p.m. Oct. 6, at the Life Do Grow Farm, 231 N. 11th St. Rienne Scott, creator of OUTSpoken, is reintroducing the open mic to the city after taking the event to Baltimore, where she lived for four years.

Scott created the open mic in 2012 to fill a need for LGBTQ-affirming spaces for spoken-word artists in the city.

“I wanted to create a queer-based performance space as well as a stronger queer network within the city, especially for queer performers of color. We’re lacking spaces that are for us.”

Local bar hosts queer bazaar

Tattooed Mom is hosting the third installment of the Philly queer bazaar in support of local small-business owners.

The bazaar will take place 1-5 p.m. Sept. 29 on the second level of Tattooed Mom, 530 South St. It will feature 13 merchants selling jewelry, crafts, clothing and other handmade products. Tattooed Mom will provide brunch to guests until 4:30 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public. 

This will be the first time the bazaar will have nonprofit organizations — the Starfruit Project and For Brown Bleeders — as featured vendors.

Kisha Robinson, the bazaar’s organizer, created the event because she couldn’t find any specifically for the queer community.

“I attended a few vending events and felt out of place. I wanted to provide a space where people felt comfortable to be themselves and share their products and services with other community members.”

Anderson Apartments snag

gardening award

The John C. Anderson Apartments, an LGBTQ-friendly apartment complex, won the blue ribbon for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s 2018 Gardening and Greening contest, edging out more than 300 applicants.

This is the third win for the “Garden Gang,” the residents who maintain the garden throughout the year. Elizabeth Coffey Williams, a resident of Anderson Apartments, was recognized for her gardening work by the society in the award letter, which thanked her for the “positive impact your efforts have on your community.” 

— Adriana Fraser

A New Jersey hospital has named a trans woman as its new LGBTQ health guide in response to the state’s high demand for specialized primary-healthcare services for the LGBTQ community.

Jackie Baras was appointed as Robert Johnson Wood University Hospital’s first LGBTQ health navigator, a new position that will connect LGBTQ-identified patients and staff to available resources. RJWUH is currently the only hospital in New Jersey that offers healthcare services specifically for the LGBTQ community.

This year’s Philadelphia Family Pride conference is taking a more stridently political tone this year.

The mission: to raise awareness of LGBTQ rights but, more importantly, to rally the troops in protecting those rights. 

A Northampton County nursing assistant is taking action against the Alzheimer’s patient-care facility that recently fired her, citing discrimination because she is a trans woman of color.

“Jane Doe” filed suit Sept. 18 against The Gardens for Memory Care at Easton, seeking an unspecified amount in damages and remedial measures at the facility. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone, who’s based in Philadelphia.

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