Nightlife LGBT
Gayborhood Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

The heart of the Gayborhood, at 12th and Manning streets.

July 18, 2016

Your guide to the Gayborhood's massive Orlando fundraiser, Philly4Pulse

What to do during the Gayborhood-wide fundraiser

Typically, it's only twice a year — Outfest in October, Pride in June — that the Gayborhood comes together for a big ol' shindig in celebration of all things queer. But in the wake of the horrendous events in Orlando last month, for the most unfortunate of reasons, this year's a little different.

So, on the evening of Thursday, July 21, every single LGBT-identifying bar in the Gayborhood — along with a few proud-ally outliers (lookin' at you, Bob & Barbara's & Charlie was a Sinner) — will team up to raise funds for Equality Florida, which will then divvy raised funds to victim assistance organizations in Florida. Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, will fly to Philadelphia to attend the "Philly4Pulse" event, and William Way LGBT Community Center will present her with raised funds from the event.

Moreover, public officials have practically lined up around the corner to partake as guest bartenders for the event. Confirmed bartenders among those officials, along with a few new public-figure additions, include: 

• Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney

• Councilman Mark Squilla

• Councilwoman Helen Gym

• Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown

• Congressman Bob Brady

• State Rep. Dwight Evans

• State Rep. Brian Sims

• Senator Larry Farnese

• Captain Jack Ryan of the Sixth District

• Director of LGBT Affairs Nellie Fitzpatrick

• PGN Publisher Mark Segal

• Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley of FOX 29

Connor Barwin, defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles

All guest bartenders will donate 100 percent of their tips to Equality Florida. Though the event is operating under suggested donations — meaning yes, attendees can technically attend for free — a donation of $10 is strongly suggested. To eliminate the pressures of donating at every stop, attendees can purchase a wristband for $10 that gains them easy admittance into every bar. You can also purchase a Philly4Pulse T-shirt for $20 (all sales go to the fund), or buy a pass and a T-shirt for $25.  

Bars and their employees will be individually deciding how much of their food & drink sales and tips go toward the cause. (Ask at the door, if you're particular about that sort of thing.)

Below, find what's happening at each location during the event — organized so that every bar offers entertainment for a different niche. Of note, guest-bartenders commence their duties Gayborhood-wide at 7 p..m., though event times and drink specials will vary by bar.


For burlesque fans: Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar

The sports-themed bar will, fittingly, be host to Philadelphia Eagles player Connor Barwin from 7 to 8 p.m. as its marquee guest bartender. Then, at 9 p.m., doors open upstairs to a queer femme burlesque show hosted and produced by Jezabelle Von Jane, featuring performances by HoneyTree Evil Eye (aka, Timaree Schmit), Connor Micalchuk, Ginger Leigh and Velvet Kensington, among others. Also on the events lineup is a lightning round of speed dating, which promises to include Gayborhood notables like event producer Josh Schonewolf. A dinner for two will also be raffled off, with tickets handed out at the door.

200 S. 12th St.

For just a general audience: Valanni Social

Folks, this is the one to watch: A stage will be set up outside for an "Artpop 4 Pulse" event that features a fashion show, artists painting live, a StreetSide art installation, a "kinky quizzo" with drag queens Brittany Lynn and Aloe Vera, and a cabaret dinner. The event kicks off earlier than most of the other Gayborhood events, at 5 p.m., and runs through midnight. Special guests include Brooklyn Ford and Satine Harlow — and Mayor Kenney. Twenty-five percent of all food & drink purchases during the event will be donated to Equality Florida.

1229 Spruce St.

NoneThom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The upper level of Voyeur's main dance hall.

For drag queen followers: Voyeur Nightclub 

Local drag personalities Bev and Vinchelle will host a drag show featuring a long list of performers (12 so far) that includes Cleo Phatra, Ariel Versace, Sutton Fearce, Pissi Myles, Astala Vista, Avada Kadavra, Iris Spectre and more. All tips and drink sales from the night will go to Equality Florida. Doors open at 10 p.m., and the show starts at 11 p.m. A donation of $10 is suggested. 

1221 Saint James St.

For anyone craving a booty-shake to Latin music: Woody's

Fittingly, Woody's throws a Latin dance party every Thursday anyway. (Pulse Nightclub was hosting a Latin dance party the night of the shooting.) Per usual, the city's staple gay bar will fill that niche, with cover charges going to Equality Florida. 

202 S. 13th St.

For those who want to sing 'Let It Go' on loop: Tavern

Tavern OnCamac moved around its regular Thursday programming (GayBill, which was moved to July 20) to put the spotlight on what the bar's best known for: showtunes. Performers will be at the piano, but you'll also have the chance to come up and sing a song yourself. If you dare.

243 S. Camac St.

NoneThom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The exterior of Stir Lounge, located right outside of Rittenhouse Square.

For the disco-nostalgic: Stir Lounge

Keeping it pretty simple, Stir will be hosting a 1980s-themed dance party in its back lounge. Dancing starts at 9 p.m.

1705 Chancellor St.

For the guy who just wants a beer: U Bar

Consider this the no-nonsense bar to go to if you're looking to show support but not feel too involved. Wide-ranging craft beer specials will be available all night.

1220 Locust St.

For the under-agers: ICandy

Here's where all youse young'ns can come to show support. ICandy will be throwing an all-ages dance party starting at  9 p.m. — bringing back the 18-plus festivities many gays of yesteryears so fondly remember.

254 S. 12th St.

NoneDarien Sutton/for PhillyVoice

Butch Cordora will host a poker game as part of Philly4Pulse at Boxer's.

For poker faces: Boxer's

Butch Cordora is hosting a special edition of his regular Texas Hold 'Em tournament upstairs at 8 p.m. You'll also catch a "bachelor auction" downstairs at 8 p.m.

1330 Walnut St.

For the Whitney and Mariah crooners: Knock

Starting at 9 p.m., the low-key restaurant and cocktail lounge will host a silent auction, alongside karaoke. 

225 S. 12th St.

For those craving an alternative drag show: Franky Bradley's

The Gayborhood's house of weird will host a special performance upstairs from Franky's Foxes, the bar's in-house seven-drag-queen troupe.

1320 Chancellor St.

NoneThom Carroll/PhillyVoice

William Way LGBT Community Center, located at 1315 Spruce St.


For the sober: William Way

Recognizing that not everyone drinks, William Way LGBT Community Center will kick off its Philly4Pulse festivities at 7 p.m. with a march around the Gayborhood that passes by every participating bar. Upon arrival back at William Way, the center promises food and "intergenerational" entertainment options through midnight, in partnership with a litany of local LGBT-related organizations. 

1315 Spruce St.

For fetishists: The Bike Stop

The city's only leather bar will host — you guessed it — a leather party for the fundraiser, with appearances by Mr. Philadelphia Leather 2015 Jason Hall, as well as the current Mr. Philadelphia Leather, Rudy Flesher. JELL-O shot sales kick off at 9 p.m., along with sales from a donated keg. One-hundred percent of sales from those two libations will go to Equality Florida. 

206 S. Quince St.

For the activists: The Wilma Theater

The notoriously alternative theater will host a "Queer Riot!" benefit from 5 to 7 p.m. that encourages people to come out and sing, shout and dance in the lobby, as well as interact with politically themed craft tables. Cabaret group The Bearded Ladies and "Going Down Mount Moriah" singer Emily Bate will perform, with food provided by the Community Supported Kitchen.

265 S. Broad St.