To celebrate the opening of the Philly Radical Faeries exhibit (think a trunk full of drag, lots of mood lighting and a Maypole) at the William Way Center in January, local faeries donned glittery sombreros and a taffeta-laden five-person dress and paraded down Broad Street. They even tried to dazzle their way into the Union League, which, you can imagine, didn’t go over so well.
IT'S BRITTANY BITCH
RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Mimi Imfurst may think her sparkly poop doesn’t stink when she waltzes into Philly from NYC every week to host Voyeur’s Dollhouse Revue, but she was put in her place while guest-judging this year’s Mr. Gay Philly pageant. After Imfurst turned a quick intro into a plug for all the fabulous things she’s doing, emcee and local drag icon Brittany Lynn grabbed her mic and told the on-the-plump-side queen to “Have a few seats.”
In April, 1,700 fans packed the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Grand Stair Hall to see an Art After 5 performance by hairy cabaret legend Martha Graham Cracker. Evening-programs producer Sara Moyn calls it a huge night for the weekly event, which usually draws crowds of around 800. “He’s such a Philadelphia icon. It was amazing to have him in our space.”
PGMC TURNS 30
The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus may be inching over the proverbial hill, but this 90-man-strong gaggle of songbirds can still tweet prettier than any flock of spring chickens.
EXTREME UNCLES MAKEOVER
A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it remodeling sesh this summer turned haggard Gayborhood mainstay Uncles into a must-do weekend-bar-crawl destination. With a slick new wall of windows, “electronic bathrooms” and a juice extractor for fresh-juice cocktails, the space has gotten so pretty they should probably change the name to Aunties.
BARBARA GOT HER WAY
In October, the corner of 13th and Locust streets was proclaimed “Barbara Gittings Way." Named for the late Philadelphia resident known as the “Mother of the LGBT Rights Movement,” the dedication adds sentimentality to a sliver of the Gayborhood most commonly known as a great place to score a hooker.
HOME SWEET HOME
Gays may have more anti-aging secrets than Betty Crocker has recipes, but the truth is — are you sitting? — we get old just like everyone else. Thankfully, we’ll soon have a place to retire with other aging queer brothers and sisters. In November local and state politicians broke ground on what will become Philly’s first LGBT senior housing center, the John C. Anderson Apartments. Keep slathering on that face cream, though; the building isn’t slated to be completed until the end of 2013.
POLITICIANS OUT-GAY ONE ANOTHER
A mere month from being sworn in as the state’s first openly gay legislator, Philly’s Brian Sims (pictured, right) was beat to the punch when G.O.P. state Rep. Mike Fleck pulled a bitch move and outed himself in the Huntingdon Daily News. Oh well, at least Sims — a buff former NCAA football captain — can still claim to be the state’s hottest openly gay legislator.
NEW YEAR'S GAY
For the first time in 100 years, the Philadelphia Mummers — a largely male group that’s made a New Year’s tradition of flitting down Broad Street in heels and boas — have announced they’re inviting a legion of Philadelphia drag queens to form the parade’s first-ever “Drag Brigade.” All we have to say is, those OG Mummers better step up their game.
Special thanks to our nominating committee: Chip Alfred, Paul Blore, Alexander Kacala, Gary M. Kramer, Ian Morrison, Lance Pawling, Rich Rubin and Bruce Yelk.