Friday, March 27, 2015

Cherry's Femme Fatale Party

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 1:03 PM

This month's Cherry party, billed as a "lezzie shindig," has a Femme Fatale theme celebrating "all the bad girls that make life worth living," according to host Julie Wheeler.

They'll have the usual burlesque and drag show, but this time, there will also be a belly dancing performance. The party starts at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28th, at Earnestine & Hazel's.

The show will star the current reigning Miss American National Star Jade Porchett (of RuPaul's Drag Race fame), plus drag performers Shannon "WillRyder" Herrada and Akasha Cassadine. The burlesque performance will include a Cherry debut by Fatima Fox. The belly dancers will be from Pyramid Dancers. There will be live music by Gina Sposto, and as always, Cherry will be hosted by singer/comedian Wheeler, who just returned from LGBTComedyfest in Michigan.

Since Earnestine & Hazel's only sells beer, guests are invited to BYOB for free. But beer and set-ups will be sold.

There will be two shows, and they begin at 9:30 and 11 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $20 for VIP.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Love Doesn't Hurt" Benefit

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 1:27 PM

The Shelby County Family Safety Center has a special emergency fund for victims of same-sex domestic violence, and this weekend, the organizers of the "Love Doesn't Hurt" fund will be holding its third annual benefit event. It will be held on Friday, March 27th at Club Spectrum at 7:30 p.m.
The benefit includes live entertainment and guest speakers from the district attorney's office, as well as speeches from victims of domestic violence. The cover charge is $7.

Funds raised this weekend will be used for LGBT victims of domestic violence to provide emergency shelter, transportation, food, clothing, and relocation. In 2012, Phyllis Lewis, a domestic violence witness coordinator for the Shelby County District Attorney's Office, started the "Love Doesn't Hurt" fund.

"In the first case we dealt with, the person had completely left the home and needed somewhere to go," Lewis said. "We housed that person in a hotel for a week, and then they decided they wanted to leave Memphis. So we helped that person get out of town. We want them safe from violence. The last thing we need is another homicide."

They also collect hygiene products to hand out to victims.

"When you're running from your wife, you're not going to think about grabbing some deodorant," Lewis said.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gay-Straight Alliance Mixer

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 3:51 PM

GenQ, the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center's (MGLCC) group for college-age LGBT young adults and their straight allies, will begin hosting a series of mixers for students from local Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). 

Many colleges have LGBT/straight ally social clubs, and the GSA mixers are designed to help members of various GSAs meet and socialize over snacks.

The GSA mixers will be held on the third Friday of each month at the MGLCC (892 S. Cooper), and the first one will be held on Friday, March 20th.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

LGBT Theater Weekend Round-Up

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 4:56 PM

There are a couple of LGBT plays scheduled for this weekend and next:

* Emerald Theatre Company, the city's LGBT theater troupe, will perform Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays at TheatreWorks from March 13th-22nd. The show is actually performed in nine mini-plays — some about wedding ceremonies, one from the perspective of a right-wing conservative who has new gay neighbors, and another about a Jewish mom who wants her gay son to hurry up and tie the knot with a successful man, among others.

The show starts on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door or $15 in advance. For more information, go here.


* Friends of George's will present DragNificent at Evergreen Theatre from March 13th-22nd. The show features sketch comedy and musical productions and features special guests Sister Myotis and CazaTeatro Bilingual.

The cast includes Allysun Wunderland, Camille Collins, Gina Lola Jupiter, Coco Collins, Bruce Bui, Diane Thornton, Monica Sanchez, Bella Duballe, Misty Meanor, Will Ryder, Freak Nasty, Chris topher Cox, JR Stone, Courtland LeNeill, Dorimar Ferrer, Lucero Cardenas, Angel J. Otero, Hortenzzia Arbza, and Louis Arismendi.

The show begins at 8 p.m. For more information, go here.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Oral Arguments in Tennessee Marriage Equality Case Set for April

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 11:23 AM


The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in marriage equality cases from Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio on April 28th.

These cases, which include a couple from Memphis as plaintiffs, are expected to possibly end discriminatory marriage laws across the country. If the high court rules that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, such bans would be overturned in states that still have them in place. The court is expected to issues its decision by the end of June 2015.

The case is being taken up by the Supreme Court following a November 6th, 2014, decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold marriage bans in Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. That decision was in conflict with four other appeals courts across the country which invalidated marriage bans in other states.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cherry's "Love Or Lack Thereof" Burlesque Party

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 12:32 PM

Whether you spent Valentine's Day cuddling with your SO or cuddling a pint of Ben & Jerry's, the monthly Cherry party for lesbians and their friends is offering a Valentine's-themed do-over. And this time, everyone, single or not, will get to see some skin.

That's because the monthly party features a burlesque show with Kitty Wompas, Requi Emma, Macc Onner, Spyke Styletto, Vivi Ven Detta, and Gypsy Magnolia. Catch the action at the 5 Spot inside Earnestine & Hazel's on Saturday, February 28th. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and there are two burlesque shows — one at 9:30 p.m. and another 11 p.m. Admission is $10 for general admission and $20 for VIP.

The 5 Spot should have their liquor license by then, so drink specials are planned. For food, they'll be offering Soulburgers, oysters on the half shell, Thai sandwiches, and BLT's.


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Friday, February 13, 2015

"Relationships Unleashed" To Host LGBTQ Empowerment Workshop

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 2:55 PM

"Relationships Unleashed," the new LGBTQ radio talk show on KWAM990, will host the first annual #IAmUnleashed LGBTQ Life Empowerment Workshop on Saturday, March 28th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 325 Wagner St. in downtown Memphis.

The workshop will include presentations on healing your inner child, discovering the meaning of your gift, and empowering your inner self. There will also be an open discussion about HIV/AIDS awareness. The workshop includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

Although the workshop will be in March, the hosts, Davin and Gwendolyn Clemons, are asking those interested to register online as soon as possible because seating is limited. Attendance is free. 


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

TEP Gumbo Contest & Mardi Gras Party

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 2:34 PM

The Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) will hold its fifth annual Gumbo Contest and Mardi Gras party this Sunday, February 8th at Bridges.

Each year, gumbo teams from across the city come together to compete in this fund-raiser for TEP. This year, there are 15 teams but 16 gumbos (because one team has paid to enter two different recipes). A panel of judges sample and rate each gumbo, but the public also gets a chance to rate their favorites through the People's Choice Awards.

Local and regional breweries High Cotton, Yazoo, and Memphis Made will be offering craft beer at the event, and the Hot Memphis 4 will perform live New Orleans-style jazz.

Also at the event, TEP will honor its "Champions of Equality" — Chef Kelly English (for standing up to Senator Brian Kelsey last year when Kelsey sponsored the "Turn the Gays Away" bill), Memphis City Councilmember Janis Fullilove (for sponsoring the city-wide non-discrimination ordinance), Senator Lee Harris (for sponsoring the city-wide non-discrimination ordinance when he was on the city council), and Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham (for ensuring that all sheriff's deputies received LGBT Cultural Competency training last year).

Tickets are $25 for 21 and older and $15 for under 21. They may be purchased online here.

(Full disclosure: The Flyer's LGBT reporter Bianca Phillips is competing in the contest with a vegan gumbo.)

Left to right: Chef Kelly English, Memphis City Councilmember Janis Fullilove, Senator Lee Harris, and Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham
  • Left to right: Chef Kelly English, Memphis City Councilmember Janis Fullilove, Senator Lee Harris, and Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tennessee Scores Low On New HRC State Equality Index

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 10:55 AM


Tennessee is one of 32 states lacking state-level workplace protections for all LGBT employees, and it's one of 14 states that still doesn't allow same-sex marriage. Those issues led to Tennessee ranking in the lowest-performing category on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) inaugural State Equality Index.

The national report, the first of its kind, looked at each state's LGBT-related legislation, and it highlights the fact that, although marriage equality is progressing nationally, many states still lack basic non-discrimination protections.

“Despite historic progress on issues like marriage equality, a majority of states still struggle to reach even a basic level of equality for LGBT people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Most states lack statewide non-discrimination laws to protect LGBT people - putting countless individuals and families at risk, and creating inequalities in adoption and surrogacy, employments benefits, and youth safety and well-being.”

“Even worse,” Griffin said, “equality opponents continue to push deeply harmful laws forward, including those seeking to undermine critical protections in the guise of "religious liberty.”

The index assessed state legislation in the areas of relationship recognition, parenting laws and policies, non-discrimination laws, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying laws, and health and safety laws and policies. Based on that review, the index assigns states to one of four categories, and Tennessee, along with 29 other states, fell into the "High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality" category, the lowest-performing category in the study.

Tennessee scored well in the areas of joint adoption, hate crimes protection (but only for sexual orientation, not gender identity), and cyberbulling laws. The state received negative scores for its ban on same-sex marriage, the state religious freedom restoration act, restrictions on municipal protections for LGBT employees, HIV/AIDS criminalization laws, transgender exceptions in state Medicaid, and the fact that transgender citizens are not permitted to change their gender on state IDs (Tennessee is the only state that bans that).

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Friday, January 16, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Tennessee Same-Sex Marriage Case

Posted By on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 4:51 PM

  • Thom Kostura and Ijpe DeKoe
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take on same-sex marriages cases from Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio, and what they decide may resolve the same-sex marriage debate for good.

The four cases are on appeal after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld marriage bans in the four states last year. The Sixth Circuit's decision was a split from other appellate courts, the rest of which have ruled to overturn marriage bans. The U.S. Supreme Court has been expected to consider the cases, and now that the high court has agreed to do so, marriage equality advocates believe this move will decide the fate of marriage in the country once and for all.

The court will hear two-and-a-half hours of oral arguments in April. They justices are expected to issue a ruling by June of 2015. With regard to the Tennessee case, the court will consider whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and if the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.

The Tennessee case is Tanco Vs. Haslam, which seeks to recognize the same-sex marriages of three couples from Tennessee. One of those couples — Ijpe DeKoe and Thom Kostura — is from Memphis (read more about their story here).

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Year's Eve at Club Spectrum

Posted By on Sun, Dec 28, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Club Spectrum, also known as Drink-N-Drag, opened its doors at 616 Marshall four years ago on New Year's Eve. They'll be celebrating the club's anniversary and the end of 2014 on Wednesday, December 31st with a New Year's Eve Celebration.

The party features music Krutch and DJ Spaceage, and there's a special drag show at 11:30 p.m., following by a champagne toast at midnight. Admission is $10 at the door or $15 for VIP. Doors open at 9 p.m.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cherry's Hoochie Coochie Holiday Burlesque Review

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Christmas will be over by the time the next Cherry party occurs on Saturday, December 27th, but the monthly "lezzie shindig" is promising to "save you from the holiday madness," according to host Julie Wheeler.

As usual, there will be a burlesque show featuring Macc Onner, Kitty Wompas, LadyDoo Moi, Requi Emma, and Kissame Suga. And Wheeler will serve as the MC. The party is at Earnestine & Hazel's, so those who want liquor are encouraged to BYOB. Beer and Soul Burgers will be for sale. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and the shows start at 9:30 and 11 p.m. Admission is $10 for general or $20 for VIP (comes with a saved seat by the stage and a signed Cherry poster.


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center Celebrates 25 Years

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 2:53 PM

On Saturday, December 13th, the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) will host a cocktail party celebrating its 25th anniversary. 

The party runs from 8 to 11 p.m. There will be food and drink, as well as a special presentation on the center's history at 9 p.m. The event is sponsored by RockCares: The Norris-Rocaberte Family Foundation, and although admission is free, donations to keep the center going are encouraged.

From the MGLCC's announcement:
"So much has changed in our lives and in our culture since 1989. MGLCC has played a significant role in helping bring about that positive change in the Mid-South region. We want to take a moment to honor that service and to be grateful for the lives we have impacted just by offering a refuge to our community. ... We remind folks all the time that we are older than the average LGBT community center in the country and STILL one of very few in the South! So let's enjoy some food and drink, reminisce about the old days, celebrate our triumphs and remember our losses, and take just one night to congratulate each other for making MGLCC such a special place."

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Cherry Presents "Rocky Horror Burlesque & Drag Show"

Posted By on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 3:55 PM

It's time for the Time Warp again. November's monthly Cherry party, advertised as a party for lesbians and their friends, will have a Rocky Horror Picture Show theme.

Scheduled for Saturday, November 22nd at Earnestine & Hazel's (531 S. Main), the party will feature a burlesque and drag show with Kitty Wompas, Bella Duballe, Macc Onner, Goldie Davenport, and others. Comedian and signer Julie Wheeler will play host, as always. There are two shows — one at 9:30 p.m. and another at 11 p.m.

Come dressed as a character from <i>Rocky Horror</i>. There will be a costume contest with prizes.

Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and the event is only open to guests ages 21 and up. Tickets are $10 general admission or $20 for VIP, which includes a saved seat near the stage and a signed poster.


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LGBTQ Radio Show Premieres Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Davin and Gwendolyn Clemons
  • Davin and Gwendolyn Clemons
"Relationships Unleashed," a new Memphis-based radio show for the LGBTQ community, will premiere on KWAM 990 on Saturday, November 22nd at 5 p.m.

The hour-long show will be hosted by mother-and-son team Gwendolyn and Davin Clemons. Davin is a Memphis police officer and the department's LGBTQ liaison. He's also the founder of Cathedral of Praise Church of Memphis, Inc., an LGBTQ-affirming church that he founded with his life partner, Pastor Darnell Gooch, in August 2012. Gwendolyn is a minister in the church, a life coach, and a supervisor in the counseling department at the Shelby County Division of Corrections.

"Our topics will range from building healthy relationships to domestic violence issues in the LGBTQ community," said Gwendolyn. "We want to do some AIDS/HIV awareness and bring in guest experts, and we'll talk about the self-esteem of the community. We just want to offer something to a community that we feel like is being overlooked and not represented."

There will be a listening party for the radio show at Side Street Bar & Grill at 31 S. Florence on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.

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