Not only were each of the ten extraordinary Philly entertainers on this truly glowing list born this way, but they were born to entertain you…yas, you.
So, if you see any one of them out tonight or at the Pride festivities tomorrow, show them a lil’ rainbow love…because that’s what it’s all about here.
And of course, unicorns, glitter and what Pride means to each of them. Let’s sparkle it up, kids.
DJ Robert Drake……You all know the name. Plus, he’s an absolute first class weatherman!
“Once Upon A Time … there was the ‘gay community’. Soon it became known as the ‘lesbian and gay community’. Then, as the community grew and stepped out into the sun, folks realized the true diversity and we became the ‘lesbian, gay and bisexual community’, followed soon after by the continuing understanding of trans issues and the embrace of the transgender community; or LGBT. Then we realized that our community was made up of a slew of folks simply questioning their sexuality in some fashion – – LGBTQ.
The recent addition of colors to the city’s rainbow flag has caused some chatter and a little internal controversy. For me, adding colors to a rainbow flag is simply a continued growth of who we are as a larger community of sexual minorities in today’s culture. You don’t have to embrace a newly modified flag – or even fly it.
To me pride is personal. Pride is something you have to nurture from within. So take pride in yourself and fly whatever colors you choose. Life is too short.”
Remember, EVERY day is Pride Day, as long as you’re proud of yourself.”
Zsa Zsa St. James…….One seventh of the oh, so fucking foxy local drag troupe Franky’s Foxes and world known rice enthusiast. (Photo Credit..Garrett Matthew)
“Pride has and always will be the representation of the struggle and progression we’ve made as a community. It represents those that helped paved the way for us to get to where we are at now. Being a drag queen enables me to tell the stories of the struggles in coming out. Suicide was one of these stories I wanted to depict because there are still gay youths out there that take this route due to their fear of coming out. I tell these stories to send the message that they are not alone and that we are here for each other because we are a united community. Pride is a symbol of how strong we are as a whole. The fight for equality and acceptance is still ongoing and I want to continue being at the forefront of it all.”
Eric Jaffe….Executive Glitter director of the ukulele owned Eric Jaffe Show at Tavern on Camac and never, ever goes a day without wearing purple.
“It’s not always easy to love yourself and let your true authenticity shine through. As a kid I often felt that I had to suppress who I was, and keep my queerness to myself. The LGBTQ community of Philadelphia has allowed me to throw on a dress, paint some glitter into my mustache and sing about butts, and honestly, that’s all I’ve ever wanted. I am PROUD of the person that I am, and the work that I put out. Most importantly, I am proud of the Wishbone staff for sometimes giving me a free cookie.”
BEV…..First class comedy kween (get that title, gurl) and resident kray bey-otch of Bev’s Bitchfest at Tabu.. (photo credit Alexander John Photography)
“Pride to me means….being in heels all goddamned weekend…just kidding. Pride now in current day to me means the courage and strength to fully be yourself in the face of so many obstacles. Pride is remembering those that came before us and gave us the power to be out, loud, and proud. Personally, I am proud to be part of such a diverse Philadelphia performance community, where we may not always see eye to eye, but we celebrate our talents and our differences.”
DJ Carl Michaels…. Resident Gayborhood beat maestro…
“To me, pride is about our community raising its voice to make it clear that we are proud and HAPPY despite the constant pressure from an aging, impotent machine that is increasingly irrelevant. Their goal is to scare us into the shadows – Pride lets them know it won’t happen.
As segments of our community enjoy greater acceptance, we must make it clear that we do not just stand for ourselves as individuals but for every person who identifies with the LGBTQIA+. Trans people, people of color, and especially trans people of color face harassment and danger daily, just trying to live their lives.
Pride is our chance to celebrate our strength in living authentically in the face of archaic systems that would rather shut us up. As more of us enjoy acceptance, we need to focus our energy on lifting up our entire community.”
Omyra Lynn….The insatiable of sin at Sinful Sundays at Tabu (the longest running drag show in the Gayborhood, by the way) and like, one bad ass fucking bitch. (photo credit Jonathan Hernandez)
“To me pride is more than a flag or rainbows. It’s more than an attitude or a confidence on stage. Its way more than taking a selfie, kissing your lover in front of so called Christians who have come to the parade to spread hate and self loathing. Pride to me means Freedom…and to quote Nina Simone… “Freedom to me is having no fear!” To live in love! To encourage not just yourself but your community and future generations.” #dontletthebastardsgetyoudown
Honeytree Evil Eye……Your co-hostess at this past Friday night’s Golden Tassel Jawns and Philly Burlesque Queen, honey… (photo credit Jonathan Hernandez)
“When I was growing up, there weren’t any LGBT adults in my life… or at least that were open about it. I knew that I was bisexual, but I legitimately thought I was alone in feeling that way. It seemed like hiding who I was would be the only option. Finding bisexual women in movies and other media saved my life. Even though they were often portrayed in stereotypical ways, knowing that there were awesome, attractive, badass and feminine bisexual women empowered me to rise above the homophobia (and to be fully honest, basic-ness) of a culture that denied my existence.
In a world that has shown so much completely idiotic hatred towards lesbians and gays and erases bisexuals entirely, it’s an act of revolution to be proud of who you are as a queer person. I have so much gratitude to the role models who showed me that I could be out and not just live, but thrive. Thanks to their bravery, we are able to come from internalizing their nonsensical shame all the way to a sense of genuine pride at who we are: a beautiful, diverse community.”
Stro Kyle Creative director/player of StroProductionz and killer beat enthusiast…plus, check this out ..you’ll be glad you did. (photo courtesy of Mr. Patrick Hagerty)
“When it comes to pride and what it means to me. I think of it as a statement of rebellion. I have always viewed myself as out of the box, different and unique. I take so much pride in knowing that my uniqueness is felt in most scenes that I part take in the LGBTQ community. I fight conformity with my pride as much as possible. I encourage others to embrace their own quirks that make them stand out and to pass on that encouragement to others. That keeps our community rooted in my opinion. I am very excited to see what this new generation of queer black and brown youth have to offer when implementing LGBTQ culture and pride. They seem to be very in tune with taking pride in individuality.”
Connor Michalchuk… First class and furry as fuck Burlesque superstar and of course, “Ma” in the lounge running Golden Girls Live, which has pretty much taken over the entire tri-state area. Happy 14, 564 shows, girls!
“I am a proud disco-dancin’, Oscar Wilde readin’, Streisand ticket holdin’ friend of Dorothy who is celebrating his 10th year of being out. Over the last decade, Pride has always been a chance for me to be my outrageous self and celebrate with others, but we should remember that it is also a chance to take pride in our community. It is a chance to get active with organizations, volunteer for events, or simply go to community organizing meetings. So go out and kick up your heels, this is our month. Wear every rainbow and sparkle with pride. And remember that we celebrate Pride in the summer because the Bible tells us that Pride cometh before the Fall. XOXO”
And of course, long-lasting Philly Drag Mafia owner and resident Philly Mixtape Pride Tea table tosser, Mizz Brittany Lynn, is here to tell it ike it is, kiddies….
“You get out of bed, you go through your day with your held held high, and you do whatever you want to do without fear of what others think as you live and love your life-and you embrace who you are. That’s Pride.”