Area History for 2010's

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2013

Dec 17 - Erie Participates in Buffalo LGBT Community Pride Tree In The Loop in Buffalo NY recently announced a first ever LGBT Community Pride Tree, which was open to individuals and organizations in not only Buffalo, NY, but also nearby areas. Several Erie PA area groups chose to participate. NW PA Pride Alliance Vice President Season Crannell made holiday ornaments for NW PA Pride Alliance, Erie Gay News and PFLAG Erie and Crawford Counties, which will be included on Buffalo's tree. See related article. See photos.

Dec 8 - Noodles for Equality fundraiser by Marriage Equality for PA Marriage Equality for PA held its first ever Noodles for Equality event at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 Perry Highway, Erie PA! Authentic Italian food, with homemade sauce was served to guests while a DJ played some classy tunes. Roughly twenty people showed up for the event, which ensured that there was plenty left over for seconds! ME4PA also collected toys for Toys for Tots during the event and received some generous donations at a time of year when they are needed the most. See related article. See photos.

Dec 1 - Erie Awareness Outreach 'This Joy' In The House Erie Awareness Outreach presented "Joy in the House" at the Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA featuring FACE Show cast members Michelle Michaels, Misty Kall, Lovin Heart with special guest appearance by Vernessa Mitchell, who performed live. This was part of the HIV/AIDS prevention & awareness for World AIDS Day See related article. See photos.

Dec 1 - LBT Women Holiday Party LBT Women of Erie held their annual holiday dinner party at Calamari's Squid Row, 1317 State St, Erie PA. About 30 attended the fun-filled event. There was a terrific gift exchange. The event was also a Going Away Party for long time coordinator Laurie Finch and her partner Janice Hanusik, who were preparing to move to Florida. See related article. See photos.

Nov 24 - Erie's First Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil Erie Sisters, TransFamily of Erie Support Group and Persad Center held Erie's first official Transgender Day of Remembrance candle light vigil at the gazebo in Perry Square in Erie PA. Special thanks to Ted Hoover at Persad Center for getting the ball rolling! We had 11 people brave the cold and snow to commemorate the 238+ transgender people who lost their lives over the past year in brutal attacks the world over. This year, we are also saddened that for the first time, an alarming number of deaths occurred in those 20 years and younger. In the first 10 months of the year, there were 22 kids ranging in age from 13 to 20 who were viciously murdered for being who they are. And there are only the ones that were reported. Please pray that these numbers are much smaller next year. You can read the complete 2013 list of names here. See related article. See photos.

Nov 20 - 14th Annual Lake Erie Gala
 The 14th annual Lake Erie Gala, sponsored by the Erie Sisters Transgender Support Group, was held at the Avalon Hotel in downtown Erie. 
This year's Gala saw near record attendance, drawing transgenders and their spouses/significant others from as far as Denver, Colorado. Spousal and first timer attendance was at an all time high. The Gala featured tours to area wineries and other local attractions, fine meals and entertainment. On Wednesday, the ladies went to "All That Glitters" on E. 8th Street for discount shopping, wine and cheese, and a demonstration of various ways to wear scarves and other accessories. After shopping, we had dinner at El Toro Loco. Thursday saw a tour of two wineries and the Erie Brewing Company, and a performance after dinner that evening of "Whose Line is it Anyway" by the local performance group, "In All Seriousness." Friday's tours included more wineries and a tour of the Erie Art Museum. After dinner that evening, entertainment featured local hypnotist, Devin Knight. Dinners at the Avalon Thursday and Friday were themed. Thursday was a Sock Hop, and Friday was biker night, with prizes given to those deemed best dressed for the themes. The Gala attracted many vendors from the region, selling cosmetics, clothing, wigs, and other items. Saturday saw a return of the fashion show, with girls modeling attired in various categories, and our annual Glitter Ball capped off the week's events on Saturday night. See related article. See photos.

Nov 9 - Drag Queen Bingo NW PA Pride Alliance held Drag Queen Bingo at Erie Clown Hall, 512 Kelso Drive in Erie. Many thanks to the Erie Clowns for being so friendly and welcoming, particularly Doodles and Mr. Donut, who prepared yummies. Thanks also to our drag perfomers who gave 110 percent: Michelle Michaels, Velvet Lace, Lovin Heart, and Misty Kall. Thanks to our volunteers, Amy Terrizzi, Erin Moll Terrizzi, Chris Dye, Preston Blood and Christine H! See related article. See photos.

Nov 2 - Intersections of Equality Symposium at Behrend The Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) sponsored "Intersections of Equality: An Educational Symposium" at the Black Conference Center on the campus of Penn State Behrend. The symposium ran from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM. The symposium wss co-sponsored by Penn State Behrend and the D&I Department of Erie Insurance and included several workshops, and a presentation by Pennsylvania's first openly LGBT state legislator, Brian Sims. See related article.

Nov 1 - Meet and Greet with Rep Ryan Bizzarro and Rep Brian Sims PA State Rep Ryan Bizzarro (D-District 3) held a very well attended meet and greet at the Bel Aire/Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, 2800 W 8th St, Erie PA, with PA State Rep Brian Sims (D-District 182), who is the first openly gay elected state legislator in PA. See related article. See photos.

Oct 4 - 8th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend The Zone Dance Club hosted the 8th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend, organized by Michelle Michaels. The event raised $2,008 for this year’s charity, StringsforaCURE™. Performers at the drag show on Sunday, October 6 included Michelle Michaels, Jill Jameson, Celine Dashawn, Mr. Manny, Cammy Seoul, Lovin' Heart, Trista Towers, Velvet Lace, Sascha Alexander, Damone Morris our Akirah Hurricane, Misty Kall & Taylor Morgan. See related article. See photos.

Oct 3 - Candidate Meet and Greet NW PA Pride Alliance and other co-sponsors held a Meet the Candidates Night at the Avalon Hotel and Conference Center, 16 W 10th St, Erie PA. The event was organized as an informal mixer, and about 50 people total attended. Campaigns and candidates attending included Kathy Dahlkemper (D) for County Executive, Andre Horton (D) and Ned Smith (R) for County Council District 1, Eddie Whiteman (R) for Erie County Sheriff, Joe Sinnott (D-Inc) for Erie City Mayor, David Brennan (D-Inc), John Evans (R-Inc) and Kaz Kwitowski (D) for Erie City Council, and Angela Euell-McNair (D) for Erie City School Director. Co-sponsoring groups included NW PA Pride Alliance, Drenched Fur, Erie Gay News, Erie Sisters, LBT Women of Erie, LGBT Erie, Marriage Equality for PA, Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition, Persad Center, PFLAG Erie, TransFamily of Erie Support Group and Trigon. WICU TV 12/WJET TV 24 covered the story for the evening news. See related article. See photos.

Sep 14 - Rainbow Pride Conference Featured Workshops and Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus Returning after a hiatus of 2 years for a final event, the Rainbow Pride Conference held a successful event at the Chautauqua Institute. See related article.

Aug 24 - Pride Parade and Rally About 300 people attended the Pride Parade and Rally put on by NW PA Pride Alliance. Delta Foundation sent up a bus from Pittsburgh with about 40 people, who marched as a parade unit. Parade units included Erie Gay News, NW PA Pride Alliance, Erie Sisters, Community United Church, Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition, Amisha Tribal Belly Dance, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE), Delta Foundation, Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania, PFLAG Erie and Crawford Counties, Persad Center and LBT Women. There were about 170 people in the parade. The rally was emceed by Mark Tanenbaum of PACA. Speakers and performers at the rally included Michael Mahler for NW PA Pride Alliance, drag performers Lovin' Heart and Eva Destruction, Ted Martin of Equality PA, singer/guitarist Bob Bearfield, Caitlyn Strohmeyer of TransFamily of Erie Support Group and GEAE, drag performer Velvet Lace, PFLAG Erie and Crawford Counties President Jayne May, Amisha Tribal Dance. Leann Romitti of Persad Center‘s REAL TIME LGBTQ youth suicide's prevention program, drag perfomer Cammy Seoul, Kim Conti of LBT Women of Erie and drag performer Misty Kall. Info tables and vendors included American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), NWPA Chapter, Cocktails and Cream Puffs, Community Health Net, Community United Church, Equality PA, Erie County Human Relations Commission, Erie County Suicide Prevention Task Force, Erie Sisters, Erie Summer Festival of the Arts, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE), Keystone Progress, Lake Erie Counseling Associates, Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania, National Organization for Women, NWPA Chapter (NWPANOW), Northstar Equine Foundation, Northwestern Mutual, Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition, Persad Center, PFLAG Erie and Crawford Counties, Safe Harbor Behavioral Health, SafeNet Center, Steadman Law Office, TransFamily of Erie Support Group; Just Pride, Lion's Den Adult Super Store, and Rainbow Creations. NW PA Pride Alliance also gave away goodie bags to registrants. We collected 30 pounds of food for the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA. The weekend also included a kick-off drag show at PACA the night before the parade, lesbian comedian Kristen Becker from Buffalo NY at PACA the night of the rally (presented by Equality PA) and the Lake Erie States Progressive Summit the following day (organized by Keystone Progress, with participation from Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.) See related article. See photos.

Aug 14 - Tiffany and Wendy Titus Wedding - A First for Erie County Tiffany and Wendy Titus become the first same-sex couple to wed in Erie County with a license from the state of Pennsylvania See related article.

Aug 3 - Bob Langley and John Despo wed Openly gay Meadville City Councilmember Bob Langley married John Despo at St. Peter's Episcopal CHurch in Westfield NY. The Meadville Tribune article about the wedding was very positive and upbear. See related article.

Aug 3 - LGBT table at Blues and Jazz Fest Sponsored by NW PA Pride Alliance, the LGBT community continued a tradition of several years of having an info table at the Blues and Jazz Fest, which draws thousands of people. See related article.

Jul 4 - LGBT Float in Millcreek Fourth of July Parade About 15 people rode on the float that NW PA Pride Alliance had in the Millcreek 4th of July Parade, which drew around 20,000 people. Although there has been an LGBT contingent for a total of 8 years, this is the first year that we were all on a float. We had a wonderful time, and the crowd was incredibly supportive and friendly! See related article. See photos.

Jun 26 - Semi Impromptu Celebration in Perry Square of Supreme Court Victories Two landmark victories for marriage equality were celebrated in Perry Square. Earlier that day, the US Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a 5-4 decision, which prohibited same-sex couples legally married in their own state from receiving federal benefits. Also, Prop 8 in Cliforniz was dismissed for lack of standing, effectively setting the stage for marriage equality to return to California. The Supreme Court did not rule on the substance of whether same-sex couples could be singled out by state law. About 30-35 people assembled in Perry Square in Erie that evening, joining countless others acrross the country who celebrated the victories. In Erie, both local TV news crews and also a photographer from the Erie Times-News stopped by to cover the event. See related article. See photos.

Jun 15 - 21st Annual Erie Pride Picnic Organized by NW PA Pride Alliance, about 215 people got together for food, folks and fun at the 21st Annual Erie Pride Picnic Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle State Park. New this year was ox roast to go with the traditional hot dogs. See related article. See photos.

May 25 - NW PA Pride float in Perry 200 Parade NW PA Pride Alliance participated in the historic Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade. The parade marked the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie, which was part of the War of 1812. There were about 10-12 people on the float, and the spectators were friendly and supportive! There were tens of thousands of spectators and 10,000 people participated in the parade. See related article. See photos.

Apr 28 - TransFamily of Erie Transgender support group sponsored a wlaking team in the March for Babies The TransFamily of Erie Transgender support group sponsored a walking team for the 2013 March for Babies taking place at Presque Isle. See related article.

Apr 26 - Marriage Equality for PA Vigil at Gov. Tom Corbett's Erie Ofc A delegation from Marriage Equality for PA delivered three petitions to the Governor of Pennsylvania's office located in Erie, PA at 100 State Street. See related article. See photos.

Apr 18 - Primary Election Candidate Forum NW PA Pride Alliance held a candidate forum at the Avalon Hotel & Conference Center, 16 W 10th St, Erie PA for candidates for Erie County Executive, Erie County Council (Districts 2, 4 and 6), Erie City Mayor and Erie City Council. Candidates from both major party were invited. WICU TV 12 covered the event as part of their broadcast that night. About 70 people attended overall. Candidates from covered races attending included both Democratic candidates for Erie County Executive, Kathy Dahlkemper (D) and Barry Grossman (D-Incumbent); All candidates from both parties for County Council District 2, Lisa Austin (D), Joe Giles (D-Incumbent), Renee Vendetti (D), Andre Horton (D), Dave Pamula (D), and Ned Smith (R); County Council District 4 included Jay Breneman (D); and Erie City Council candidates attended included Casimir ‘Caz’ Kwitowski (D), Dave Brennan (D) and Kathy Fatica, who represented Selena King (D). Also attending were candidate and representatives for races that were not covered, including Erie County Judge Candidates Joe Walsh and Bill Kelly Jr, and Erie School Director candidates Angela Euell-McNair and John Dundon. Co-sponsoring organizations attending the event included NW PA Pride Alliance, Erie Gay News, Erie Sisters, Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, LBT Women, LGBT Erie, Persad Center, PFLAG Erie and Crawford Counties and TransFamily of Erie Support Group. See related article. See photos.

Apr 12 - '8' performance at PACA On Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, there was a performance of '8', by Dustin Lance Black at PACA, 1505 State Street, Erie PA.The staged reading was put on by Dramashop as part of their Erie Reader Staged Reading Series. The performance was directed by Tony Gressley, and the cast included Ted Hallowell, Stephen Wells, Cristin Manion, Casey Conrad-Medvis, Jason Owen, Stephen Salchli, Jerry Brace, JJ Theisen, Matt Crays, Jenn Highfill, Kathleen Cahill, Sarah Sgro, Pat Washington, BJ Waide, Keefer Kopco, Jasse Camacho Vera, Brian Goldenn, Steve Sullivan and Morgan Gore. See related article. See photos.

Apr 4 - Drenched Fur 9 Weekend During the first weekend of April, the Erie community hosted once again to Erie’s Exclusive Bear Weekend known as Drenched Fur. This time the 'Best Little Run for Fun' brought together a record 250+ men from around the tri-state area and as far away as Chicago, Houston, DC, and Toronto. Erie has been hosting Drenched Fur for nine years allowing men to appreciate themselves and each other in their natural masculinity. See related article. See photos.

Apr 4 - John Waters 'This Filthy World' Tour To Edinboro Film Series The Edinboro Film Series, in cooperation with Identity and Edinboro University Student Government Association as part of their Spotlight Filmmaker for spring brought acclaimed writer and director John Waters. Mr. Waters to perform an all-new version of his solo stand-up performance, This Filthy World. See related article.

Apr 4 - Penn State Behrend's Sixth Annual Gender Conference The annual gender conference provides a forum for students, faculty, staff and community members to engage academic work on issues of gender and to hold a campus-wide discussion. No previous conference experience is required, and students from all academic disciplines are welcomed. See related article.

Mar 26 - Light the Way to Justice Vigil by Marriage Equality for PA Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania held a vigil in front of the Federal Courthouse at 6th and State, Erie PA in response to the US Supreme Court hearing arguments about the California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The event was organized in conjunction with the national organization Get Equal, and there were other vigils across Pennsylvania and the nation. Over 100 people attended, and there was coverage by both local TV broadcast outlets. Speakers included Brit Wager and her fiancee Kathy Eads, Heather Burrows, ME4PA founder David Moore and ME4PA co-founder Joshua Szczesny, Democratic candidate for governor John Hanger, and engaged couple Erin Moll and Amy Terrizzi. Local organizations present at the vigil included NW PA Pride Alliance, Erie Gay News, Identity, LBT Women of Erie, Allegheny College Queers & Allies, and Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie. See related article. See photos.

Mar 16 - William David Stanley passes away William David Stanley was the life partner of Dale Allgeier. The couple began Lake Erie Counseling Associates around 1992. See related article.

Mar 14 - Regional GSA meeting Area colleges and universities continued to have regional Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) meetings for students to share ideas, news and also socialize. See related article. See photos.

Feb 8 - Flaming Hearts Dance at Mercyhurst University Mercyhurst University's Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) once again hosted a fun and successful Flaming Hearts Dance for Valentine's Day. See related article. See photos.

Feb 4 - Persad Center launches Safe Spaces/REAL TIME initiative Persad Center launched an initiative, Safe Spaces, later known as REAL TIME. Safe Spaces is a new Leadership Program for Erie's LGBTQ Youth and Allies. It's an opportunity to meet new people, discuss LGBTQ issues, create a youth leadership project for the community and enjoy free snacks and pizza. It is an ongoing project for LGBTQ Youth and Allies to help plan activities for upcoming events. See related article.

Feb 1 - Erie Area Youth participate in State LGBTQ Youth Conference in Pittsburgh The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) hosted the 2013 Youth Action Conference (YAC) at The University of Pittsburgh. This event was the largest statewide gathering of LGBTQ youth in Pennsylvania history. Erie area studentsyouth participated in the event. See related article.

About Feb - LGBT AA chapter begins meeting at Community United Church "Live and Let Live" an LGBT AA meeting began meeting every Sunday at 7 PM at Community United Church, 1011 W 38th St, Erie PA., For more info, contact Charlene Newport at (814) 504-1507 or [email protected]. See related article.

Jan 22 - Presque Isle Gallery Coffeehouse closed Presque Isle Gallery Coffeehouse permanently closed. For several years, it was the regular meeting place for LBT Women of Erie. There were other LGBT events that happened there. See related article.

Jan 4 - Meadville City Councilman attends Victory Celebration Meadville City Council member Bob Langley—the only openly-gay government official in northwestern Pennsylvania—attended the Victory Fund’s Congressional Celebration . The event celebrated the historic gains of the 2012 elections, which nearly doubled the GLBT representation in Congress. The event brought together members of the largest LGBT Equality Caucus in history. Special guest was newly-elected US Senator Tammy Baldwin. See related article.

2012

Dec 18 - Erie Gay News marks 20th anniversary Erie Gay News marked its 20th anniversary with the folding/distributing of the issue cover dated for January 2013. Both local news crews covered the event. See related article.

Dec 12 - Episcopal Diocese of NWPA announces approval for churches to offer same-sex unions The Right Rev. Sean Rowe, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, announced his approval to allow priests in the diocese to conduct blessings of same-sex couples.. The move was approved by the church’s general convention in July, and took effect Dec.2. Priests and congregations who do not favor the measure will not be forced to offer blessings. See related article.

Dec 2 - LBT Women Annual Holiday Dinner  The LBT Women of Erie had a fabulous time celebrating the holidays at Calamari's Squid Row, 1317 State St, Erie PA. Everyone enjoyed wonderful friends, great food, and a terrific gift exchange. See related article. See photos.

Nov 14 - Lake Erie Gala The 2012 Lake Erie Gala was held by the Erie Sisters at the Avalon Hotel November 14th through November 18th. The Gala kicked off Wednesday with the opening of registration, dinner at the BrewErie and a private shopping experience at the Sassy Peacock. The annual event this year included tours of the Dunkirk lighthouse and the Erie Brewing Company with lunch at the Kelley Hotel on Thursday. The lighthouse and Kelley Hotel are both reported to be haunted, and the hotel has been a frequent stop for ghost hunters, as well as a paranormal studies class from the University of Buffalo. Friday’s tours included the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Arrowhead Winery and lunch at the Colony Pub and Grill. Themed dinners were also held with prizes for best themed dress. See related article. See photos.

Nov 11 - Richard J. LaPrice dies Richard J. LaPrice, age 70, of Millcreek Township, passed away S at Saint Vincent Health Center surrounded by his partner, Gary, and his best friends: Tommy, Dafna, and Jean-Marc. He was born in Erie on December 18, 1941 to the late Chester H. and Mary D. LaPrice. See related article.

Nov 10 - LBT Women's Laurie Finch witness at bank robbery Laurie Finch, grand poobah of LBT Women, had the misfortune of walking into the 8th & Pittsburgh Northwest Savings Bank behind the man who was about to rob it. As soon as the robbery occured, she began sending updates on Facebook, never losing her well-known sense of humor. See related article.

Oct 25 - Night of Life Vigil at Penn State Behrend Trigon members and supporters at Penn State Behrend held a Night of Life Vigil in remembrance of youth lost to suicide. This was part of a statewide observance by Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition. Participants read names written on balloons and a short biography. There was also a balloon for participants to write names of other people. It was a deeply moving and reverent event.  See related article. See photos.

Oct 14 - Candidate Forum About 40 people attended the candidate forum co-sponsored by Erie Gay News and NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc on Sunday, October 14 at the Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA. Joshua Atkinson moderated the presentation. Candidates present included Pat Harkins, PA State Rep - 3 (D);Sean Wiley, candidate for PA State Senate 49 (D);Missa Eaton, candidate for US Congress PA-3 (D);Jason Owen, candidate for PA State Rep District 3 (R) & Kathy Fatica, representing Ryan Bizzarro, candidate for PA State Rep District 3 (D); and Jason White, candidate for PA State Rep District 5 (D). Both local news crews covered the event. Thanks to Joe Totleben, VJ for the Zone, Michael Morrill of Keystone Progress who took video of the event, Michael Coleman for taking photos and NW PA Pride Alliance board members Season, Chris, Amy and Erin. See related article. See photos.

Oct 5 - Michelle Michaels Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend breaks record The 6th annual Breast Cancer Awareness weekend held at the Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA set an all time record of about $3,400, which is almost twice last year’s total. Donors included David and Mama Reese, Jared, Grace Watson, Michelle Michaels, Annelle (Brenda’s mom), Sherry Edkin, Lorie’s Wildwood Restaurant, Shawn Coverdale, Brenda Dugan, NWPA Pride Alliance, Erie Gay News, Furhman’s, Robert Eckendorf, Gene Seigworth, Mom Crandall (Elaine), Watson Family, Derek McCance/ Celine DaShawn, Josh and Marty, respectively), Melissa Irwin, Drenched Fur, Season Crannell, Karen from Cookie Lee, Rich Hayford, and Kevin Schultz. Volunteers included TJ Knight, Wendy, Rich, Chris Dye and Josh Atkinson, Josh Maleno and Timmy Crandall. Performers at the show on Sunday included Michelle Michaels, Celine Dashawn, Rhiannon Angelina, Taylor Morgan, Misty Kall, Damone, Velvet Lace, T J Knight + Bodyguard, Buffy Lynn Hayes, Jill Jameson, Destiny Divine and Jade Jette (in from Buffalo.) Thanks to the volunteers, performers, donors and attendees who made this success possible! See related article.

Sep 7 - Water and Wheels Weekend This year's Water and Wheels Weekend was a milestone or mile marker if you prefer. Although it was not celebrated, this year was the 5th year that members of the Allegheny Region of Lambda Car Club International have converged on Erie, PA for a weekend of events and friendship and a common love of cars. It is hard to believe that we have been able to find things to do for 5 years in a row seeing as how Erie is not exactly the hotbed of automobile history. But the few members here in the Erie area have managed to plan probably the best Erie weekend so far. See related article. See photos.

Aug 25 - Pride Parade and Rally, also Pre-Pride Parade Performance Party Over 250 people attended the Pride Parade and Rally. The day's events were organized by NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. There were three floats and about 14 units in the parade, which stepped off from the Zone Dance Club, went down State Street to Perry Square. The rally in Perry Square had 23 info tables and vendors. Speakers and performers included Rhiannon Angelina, current reigning Miss Erie; Laurie Finch of LBT Women of Erie, who was also celebrating her 11th anniversary with her wife Janice Hanusik that day, Michelle Michaels, local drag icon; singer Collis Allen; Melanie Shubitowski, President of Erie Sisters; Misty Kall, 2011 Miss Erie; Ebony Davis, board member of Greater Erie Alliance for Equality; Lake Erie Belly Dance; Michael Mahler, for NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. and Erie Gay News; singer/guitarist Bob Bearfield; Rich McCarty, board member of Equality PA; and singer/guitarist Jay Bones. Once again, the Dunk a Drag booth was a crowd favorite. NW PA Pride Alliance thanks all of the donors and volunteers who made the event such a success! A special thanks to Ben from Seven Springs, PA for providing and driving the lead float in the Parade! The weekend opened with a Pre-Pride Parade Performance Party at the Performing Arts Center and Theatre the night before. See related article. See photos.

Aug 18 - 4th Annual LBT Women Picnic The LBT Women of Erie (AKA The Beans) held their 4th Annual Picnic at Kim and Andrea's home. It was a fun event, and there was a lot of great food and great friends! At one point, several folks lined up for photos referring to Grant Wood's famous painting, American Gothic, which was redubbed American Gaythic. See related article. See photos.

Aug 8 - LGBT Night at the Erie Seawolves Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and Erie Seawolves organized the event. In additions to the opening pitch being thrown by and the national anthem being sung by members of the LGBT community, several organizations had info tables, including Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, Persad Center, PFLAG of Erie/Crawford Counties, Erie Gay News and NW PA Pride Alliance. See related article. See photos.

Jul 29 - 2nd Annual Afternoon for Equality Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) presented its 2nd Annual Afternoon for Equalityat 21 La Rue Dix (21 West 10th Street) They celebrated equality with straight and gay friends and supporters; the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; GEAE accomplishments in 2011-2012; and announced GEAE’s plans for future events. See related article.

Jul 29 - TransFamily Support Group begins meeting TransFamily of Erie is a support group that was created to serve the transgender community in western PA and eastern OH and their loved ones. It provides a safe space for all who fit somewhere in the gender spectrum, or are searching. This includes all transgender subcategories (e.g. FTM, MTF, cross dresser, genderqueer, questioning, etc.). Family members of all ages, friends, parents and spouses are welcome at the meetings See related article.

Jul 15 - 3rd Annual Butler PFLAG Rainbow Community Picnic  PFLAG Butler and Persad Center held the 3rd Annual Rainbow Community Picnic in Alameda Park in Butler PA. Everyone had a wonderful time. Approximately 60 people attended. See related article. See photos.

Jul 4 - LGBT contingent in Millcreek 4th of July Parade For the 7th year in a row, there was an LGBT contingent in the Millcreek 4th of July parade. The parade typically draws around 20,000 spectators and is one of the largest in the region. NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc was the principal organizer. Other groups participating included Erie Gay NewsErie SistersGreater Erie Alliance for Equality and PFLAG -Erie/Crawford County. There were also a number of individuals who marched with us who weren't particularly affiliated with a group, including openly gay Jamestown NY City Council President Greg Rabb, Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus co-founder Michael Bardo, Mike & Merideth Paff, a young straight couple who brought their 2 sons in a stroller, and LGBT friends from Oil City. About 25 people marched in the LGBT contingent, and the response was quite positive. See related article. See photos.

Jul - Made In America! Where are My Rights? forms Brian Fijal started working on “Made in America! Where are My Rights?” when the idea came to him and another photographer to create a Facebook page showcasing gay couples. Their first event was taking photos at the August 25 Pride Rally put on by NW PA Pride Alliance. See related article.

Jun 16 - 20th Annual Pride Picnic sets a record for attendance. The NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. presented the 20th Annual Erie Pride Picnic at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle, The event drew over 400 attendees, which sets an all-time record. WICU/WSEE news covered the event. The weather was wonderful and it was a great time for visiting with friends old and new.. Thanks to everyone who made the day such a success! See related article. See photos.

Jun 8 - Miss Erie Pageant at the Zone. See related article.

May 30 - LGBT Community Safe Zone Training Greater Erie Alliance for Equality (GEAE) sponsored an "LGBT Community Safe Zone Training" at 21 la rue dix, 21 W 10th St, Erie PA. The training featured Special Agent Denise Holtz (FBI), Ted Hoover of the Persad Center Pittsburgh, and Joe Aguglia, the executive director of the Erie County Human Relations Committee. The event was free and open to the public. See related article.

May 19 - First Drag Queen Bingo event by NW PA Pride Alliance The NW PA Pride Alliance held a very successful Drag Queen Bingo at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie to raise money for Pride events. About 72 people attended, and everyone had a great time! Over $1,000 was raised. Our drag performers included Michelle Michaels, Rhiannon Angelina, Misty Kall and Velvet Lace. Thanks go out to our volunteers: Jeff, JR Snyder, Ryan McKane, Eric Linster, Ivy for kitchen duty; Erin Moll, Amy Terrizzi, Mark Hoovler, Preston Blood, Eric Rogers, Shakira Nakelle, DJ Lunchbox, Season Crannell, Chris Dye, Ernie Staaf and Kristen for running the event. See related article. See photos.

May 9 - Leukemia/Lymphoma Benefit at the Zone Organized by Erie drag icon Michelle Michaels, this event helped raise money for the fight against leukemia and lymphoma and Kristen Bailey was behind it. The event raised over $1,700 and within 10 weeks Kristen raised 22,000 and became Woman of the Year. Thanks go out to Alaska Thunderfuck (later a competitor in season 5 of RuPaul's Drag Race), Michelle Michaels, Celine Dashawn, Misty Kall, Velvet Lace, Buffy Lynn Hayes, and the Erie crowd for making the event such a success. Coincidentally, this was also the same night that President Barack Obama announced his personal support for marriage equality. See related article. See photos.

Mar 29 - Drenched Fur 8 Drenched Fur held a very successful 8th annual event. See related article. See photos.

Mar 26 - Karen DeCarolis passes away Karen DeCarolis, age 62, passed away at UPMC Hamot. She was preceded in death by her partner, Diedra "Dee" Hoyt on October 5, 2010. We know that Karen is truly happy to be back together with her beloved Dee, whom she had missed so much. Karen was a kind and caring soul who touched the lives of many See related article.

Mar 5 - NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. officially incorporates as a non-profit NW PA Pride Alliance Inc., which had expanded the previous year to handle all Pride events in the Erie PA region, officially incorporated as non-profit in Pennsylvania.

Feb 15 - Openly gay Bob Langley sworn in to Meadville City Council Openly gay Bob Langley was appointed to Meadville PA City Council to fill a vacancy. Bob applied for the position with a number of other candidates. The link to the Meadville Tribune article is here. Bob's partner, John Despo, was also at the swearing in ceremony on February 15. See related article. See photos.

Feb 8 - Donor Unknown Screening at Mercyhurst The Mercyhurst Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics & Society held a screening of Donor Unknown, a documentary about JoEllen Marsh—a native of Warren County with two moms— as she goes in search of the sperm donor father she only knows as Donor 150. JoEllen, now a senior at Mercyhurst, managed to track down a half-sister in New York. The New York Times picked up the story, and over time 13 more half-siblings and her sperm donor emerged across the U.S. The documentary tracks JoEllen's journey as she finds her biological connections, and gives audiences a unique perspective on a 21st century family. See related article. See photos.

Feb 8 - Worn This Way Fashion Show Benefit for It Gets Better Project at Mercyhurst The Mercyhurst Fashion Club put on a Fashion show benefiting the It Gets Better Project. Through attendance and donations they hoped to raise awareness and prevent bullying and suicide among the gay and lesbian community or anyone in general who is being bullied. See related article. See photos.

Jan 20 - Mayor Joe Sinnott and Mayors for Freedom to Marry campaign Freedom to Marry launched a national campaign for Mayors for Freedom to Mayor. Initially, over 80 Republican, Democratic and Independent mayors across the US had signed on. It was initially reported that Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott had signed on. It was later discovered that some mayors on the list had not agreed to be on the list, and so Sinnott was removed. Unfortunately, after lobbying by the local LGBT community and a petition signed by well over 500 people, Mayor Sinnott has still not signed on to the campaign.

Jan 13 - Drenched Fur begins holding Bear Bar Nights On the Friday night of 2012's first winter storm, The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA hosted a Bear Bar Night where dozens of bears, cubs and their friends defied the snow to enjoy fun times with the local community and staff at the bar. The guys that put on Drenched Fur are grateful for everyone that came out to join us for bringing together Erie's GLBTQA community and thanks all the individuals that helped make January's Bear Bar Night a success. The event continues on a monthly basis. See related article. See photos.

2011

Dec 25 - Local Gay Man Honored in Erie Times-News feature on Inspiring Tales Michael Day was profiled in Erie Times-News' feature "Inspiring tales: Some took remarkable journeys this year in Erie: (December 25, 2011.) Day was an emergency medical technician for the New York Fire Department, and responded to the scene on September 11, 2001. The horrors of that day have left him struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Erie Times-News recognizes Michael's efforts to help make a reality of a memorial using a steel beam recovered from the World Trade Center site. Michael says his work with the memorial have helped him in his healing journey. You can read more at http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011312259917. Day was one of the participants in the Erie GLBT contingent in the Edinboro Homecoming Parade this past October. See related article.

Dec 12 - Openly gay Greg Rabb continues for 3rd term as Jamestown NY City Council President Rabb initially ran for office as openly gay.

Nov 20 - Former PA State Rep Linda Bebko-Jones dies Linda was first elected in 1992 after her opponent, Republican Jerry Knight attacked her for GLBT-supportive responses in the League of Gay and Lesbian Voters published a Voters Guide. See related article.

Nov 16 - Lake Erie Gala See related article. See photos.

Nov 5 - Out in the Silence Screening at Jamestown Community College Organized by Richard Baer of AIDS Community Services of WNY - Southern Ties, about 125 people attended a screening of Out in the Silence with filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer. See related article. See photos.

Nov 3 - 5th Annual Drag Show at Behrend by Trigon See related article. See photos.

Nov 2 - Greater Erie Alliance for Equality screening of documentary Lead With Love See related article.

Nov - Ebony Davis was appointed as a board member to Erie County Human Relations commission by County Executive Barry Grossman Grossman had specifically looking for an openly GLBT person to serve on the board. PFLAG of Erie & Crawford Counties President Mark Hoovler continues to serve as HRC chair. See related article.

Oct 28 - Meadville LGBTQ mixer Social event sponsored by the Pride Alliance at Allegheny College and Erie Gay News. See related article.

Oct 23 - Diversity Worship Service at Community United Church See related article.

Oct 8 - Erie GLBT Contingent in Edinboro Homecoming Parade Several members of Erie's LGBT community marched in the Edinboro Homecoming Parade, after having been invited to participate by Edinboro University. See related article. See photos.

Oct - Donor Unknown released in the USA The documentary tells the story of Warren county native JoEllen Marsh, as she tries to connect with her sperm donor father. (JoEllen is the daughter of Lucinda Marsh, first openly-lesbian mom in Erie county). The documentary aired on PBS in October See related article.

Sep 30 - 5th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Benefit at the Zone Michelle Michaels and others raised over $1,530 over the weekend for Breast Cancer Awareness See related article. See photos.

Sep - Persad Center, the nation's second oldest licensed gay counseling center, opens offices in Erie, PA See related article.

Aug 27 - Erie Pride Parade and Rally After a year's hiatus and with a change in management, the Erie Pride Parade and Rally returned. About 230 people attended. See related article. See photos.

Aug 20 - LBT Women of Erie 3rd Annual Picnic See related article. See photos.

Aug 5 - Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition Holds First-ever Statewide LGBTQ Youth Convention Representatives from Edinboro University and Penn State Behrend attended the convention. See related article. See photos.

Aug 4 - GLBT table at the Erie Art Museum's Annual Blues & Jazz Festival See related article. See photos.

Jul 24 - Butler Rainbow Community Picnic Butler PFLAG had another very successful picnic that was enjoyed by all. See related article. See photos.

Jul 16 - Ashtabula PFLAG Picnic Ashtabula's PFLAG chapter had a very nice picnic. See related article. See photos.

Jul 4 - GLBT Contingent in Millcreek 4th of July Parade About 20 people marched in the Millcreek 4th of July Parade. This was the 6th year to be in the parade and our first year as an independent unit. See related article. See photos.

About Jul - Erie Gay Pride, Inc, which had previously organized the Parade and Rally, changes their name to Greater Erie Alliance for Equality, Inc See related article.

Jun 11 - 19th Annual Erie Pride Picnic About 290 people attended the 19th Annual Erie Pride Picnic at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle State Park. See related article. See photos.

May 22 - Stonewall potluck picnic in honor of long time activist John Daly King Friends of long time LGBT activist John Daly King held a potluck picnic in his honor at Pleasant Ridge Manor. John was the first-ever Grand Marshal of the Erie Pride Parade later that year in August. See related article. See photos.

May 21 - Jeremy Snyder and Eric Linster handfasted at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie See related article. See photos.

May 16 - Rex Young, Tim Dahle Wed in Vermont Tim was one of the subjects in the documentary Out in the Silence. See related article. See photos.

May - Reid McFarlane and AnnDrea Benson move to Minnesota Reid McFarlane and AnnDrea Benson had been instrumental the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in Erie Co. Human Relations Commission ordinance in 2002.

Apr 26 - Dining Out For Life in Western NY See related article.

Apr 26 - Lundy "Lee" Verdoni passes on See related article. See photos.

Apr 7 - Drenched Fur 7 Erie's annual Bear run welcomed over 200 men for a fun weekend. See related article. See photos.

Mar 4 - HIV/AIDS Benefit raises $1,000 for Ryan White Program at Community Health Net of Erie See related article.

Jan 26 - Erie Town Hall Meeting & Equality on the Rocks Equality PA, American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Campaign held a Town Hall Meeting and "Equality on the Rocks" event at Matthew's Trattoria See related article. See photos.

Jan 16 - Johnny Weir Book Signing at Erie Book Store Openly gay skater came to Erie for a signing of his new book. The Erie Book Store donated a copy of Weir's book to Pride. See related article. See photos.

Jan 16 - Pride Planning committee expands to include Parade and Rally The Pride Planning committee, which had been organizing the annual Pride Picnic in June, met to begin also organizing for the Pride Parade and Rally. There had been only a picnic in 2010. See related article. See photos.

2010

Nov 21 - November FACE show at Zone and other activities benefit Food Bank The monthly Michelle Michaels' FACE drag show at the Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA, raised money and food for the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA. Between the drag show and other activities throughout November, $527 was raised to help provide food for the less fortunate. Drag performers included Jill Jamison, Trista Towers, Celine Dashawn, Mistress Vanitay, Glow Sorceror Buddy Dobson, and Michelle Michaels. See related article. See photos.

Nov 14 - Lake Erie Gala The 2010 Lake Erie Gala was held the week of November 14 at the Avalon Hotel.  The event is organized by the Erie Sisters. Events began Wednesday the 17th with registration opening and dinner and game night at Calimari’s.  Tours began the following day, featuring excursions to Arrowhead winery, Peak n Peek resort for lunch, a tour of the Environmental center and a winery in Findlay Lake New York.  A first time out to an such an event can be an ordeal for girls not having ventured out before, so first timer’s to the Lake Erie Gala were welcomed each day with a meeting to help answer their questions and ensure their comfort.  Thursday night saw a Moroccan themed dinner at the Avalon to coincide with Belly Dancing and instructions from the Fleming School of Dance. See related article. See photos.

Nov 11 - New Ashtabula group forms Initally called Let's Go Be Alive, the group later changes its name to Alive with Pride. See related article.

Oct 24 - Diversity Worship Service at Community United Church Community United Church, an officially Open and Welcoming congregation of the United Church of Christ, held their annual Diversity Worship Service. See related article. See photos.

Oct 23 - Latonia Theatre reopens with Halloween event About 80 people came to The Latonia for a Halloween party, called The Night of the Living La Las II. See related article. See photos.

Oct 11 - Candlelight Vigil for Tyler Clementi and other GLBT suicide victims at Edinboro University About 150 to 200 people gathered at the Edinboro University Pogue Student Center for a candlelight vigil in memory of nine victims of suicide that occurred in the month of September due to anti-gay bullying:Billy Lucas (15) September 9, 2010. Indiana; Cody J. Barker (17) September 13, 2010. Wisconsin; Seth Walsh (13) September 19, 2010. California; Tyler Clementi (18) September 22, 2010. New Jersey; Asher Brown (13) September 23, 2010. Texas; Harrison Chase Brown (15) September, 25 2010. Colorado; Raymond Chase (19) September 29, 2010. Rhode Island; Felix Sacco (17) September 29, 2010. Massachusetts; and Caleb Nolt (14) September 30, 2010. Indiana. These boys and young men were either gay or perceived to be gay. WICU TV 12 and WJET TV 24 both did stories. This was also for National Coming Out Day and part of the month long LGBTQIA Heritage Month events that Identity (Edinboro University’s GSA) and the President’s LGBTQIA Commission sponsored. Speakers/performers included Jamie Lutz, President, EUSGA, Inc.; Rev. Dr. Rich McCarty, Mercyhurst College; Elizabeth Meade, Vice-President, Identity (GSA) and Member of the President’s Commission on the Status of Gay Men, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgendered People and Allies; Dr. Philip Ginnetti, Provost of Edinboro University; Dr. Rhonda Matthews, Sociology/Honors College; Ondi Timoner, Two-Time Winner of Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival; Sue , Alumna, Edinboro University; Michael Mahler, co-editor and webmaster for Erie Gay News; Poem written and read by Edinboro Student Marc ; and Dr. Daniel Burdick, co-chair, PASSHE LGBTQIA Consortium, with comments and a solo tuba performance of, “Gabriel’s Oboe,” by Ennio Morricone. Representatives from all of Erie’s LGBTQIA community organizations attended the event or sent their regards including the Erie Gay News, the LBT Women of Erie, Erie Gay Pride, Penn State - The Behrend College’s GSA, and PFLAG Erie. See related article. See photos.

Oct 6 - Fran Reinsel dies Fran worked for Gaudenzia/SHOUT Outreach and before that, the Erie County Department of Health. She was a terrific advocate for the GLBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS. See related article.

Oct 2 - 2nd Annual GLBT Conference by Rainbow Pride Connection The Rainbow Pride Connection held their 2nd annual GLBT conference at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua NY. More than 70 people attended. A panel presentation/discussion was held before lunch discussing the unique points of view of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities while emphasizing the commonalities that unite us. After lunch, workshops were presented that included titles such as, “Gay & Lesbian History,” “Increasing Intimacy with your Partner,” “Trans 101 and Why did they stick the T to the LGB’s?” and “Queer Eye for the Bible,” presented by keynote speaker Rev. Rich McCarty. A full listing of the other workshops and workshop presenters can be found on the Rainbow Pride Connection’s website. See related article. See photos.

Oct 2 - Zone Dance Club's Pink Weekend raises $1500 for Breast Cancer Awareness The 2010 Pink Weekend was phenomenally succesful and raised $1500 for Breast Cancer Awareness. The weekend included a Pink Party, featuring a Chinese auction and bake sale on Saturday, October 2, and a special edition of FACE on Sunday, October 3. The Zone is located at 133 W 18th St, Erie PA. Their web site is http://www.TheZoneDanceClub.com. See related article.

Sep 30 - LGBT Parent Support Group starts meeting Will Koehler and others from Family United Counseling, headquartered at Community United Church, begin a support group for LGBT parents. See related article.

Sep 13 - Oil City Council Proclaims Day of Recognition for "Fair and Equal Treatment for All People" City council members signed a proclamation that designated September 13 as Joe Wilson Day. The tribute refers to former Oil City resident Joe Wilson who with his partner Dean Hamer, directed and produced the award winning film “Out in the Silence.” See related article.

Aug 25 - So-called Bible Believing response to Out in the Silnce at Coudersport Filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer attended a so-called "Bible Believing Response" to the earlier screening of Out in the Silence at the Coudersport Public Library. Diane Gramley sat peacefully behind Robert Wagner in the Coudersport Public Library as the retired physician shared his views on transgender individuals with the assembled audience. "I'm gonna put a ball bat in my car," he said, "and if I ever see a guy [Wagner refuses to use proper pronouns] coming out of a bathroom that my granddaughter's in, I'm gonna use the ball bat on him." See related article.

Aug 7 - GLBT Table at Erie Blues and Jazz Festival For the second year, Erie’s GLBT community had a table at the Erie Art Museum’s Blues and Jazz Fest.Among the people helping to staff the table were Laurie Finch, Robert, Jerry McCumber, Paul, Mags, Will Koehler and Charlene Newport. Available at the table were copies of Erie Gay News, as well as info about LBT Women of Erie, Family United Counseling, and the new GLBT Parents group being started, A few people also stopped by to have face photos taken. Virtually all of the interaction was positive and friendly! See related article. See photos.

Jul 28 - Out in the Silence screening in Coudersport (Potter County) causes local controvery Although it turned out well, several groups, including the Potter County Tea Party, objected to the screening and threatened the funding for the local library. See related article.

Jul 25 - Gwyneth Henry and Tyreesha Richardson die in an early morning fire An early morning fire in their West 18th Street apartment claimed the lives of Gwyneth Henry, 44, and Tyreesha Richardson, 31. Gwyn and Tyreesha were a devoted couple, and left behind sevon childen. A benefit was later held for the children. See related article. See photos.

Jul 18 - Butler County PFLAG holds first LGBT picnic at Alameda Park About 80 people, including friends and organizations from Pittsburgh and Erie, enjoyed a very successful Rainbow Pride picnic. See related article. See photos.

Jul 17 - Ashtabula Pride Picnic
The Ashtabula GLBT Outreach Alliance held a delightful and friendly picnic in Saybrook Township Park. The potluck picnic featured games, fun, prizes and good times for all. This was the second year that the group had a picnic. About 30-40 people attended the event.
See related article. See photos.

Jul 8 - You Belong (in your legislatorís office!): A Town Hall Forum and Training Session held at Craze Night Club Jason Crighton, Field Organizer for Eqaulity Partners of Western Pennsylvania, holds a foum and training session at Craze Night Club. See related article.

Jul 3 - Record number of GLBT community and supporters march in Millcreek 4th of July Parade Over 20 people marched as a part of the GLBT community in the Millcreek 4th of July Parade, which was held on Saturday, July 3. Although this was the fifth year that there was a GLBT presence, previously, we had marched as part of the peace and justice contingent. The organizers for the parade were unfailingly gracious and supportive. Quite a few groups were represented, including Erie Gay News, LBT Women of Erie, PFLAG - Erie and Crawford Counties, Erie Gay Pride, and members, friends and supporters of the community. See related article. See photos.

Jun 12 - 18th Annual Erie Gay News Family Pride Picnic held About 330 people, equal to last year's all time record, enjoyed a day of friends, food and fun. We also collected 127 pounds of food and $30 for the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA. See related article. See photos.

Jun 12 - Love is Not a Crime: Project Mugshot at Pride Picnic In addition to the photos normally taken at the Pride Picnic, there was a speical station for taking mugshots for the Love is Not a Crime project. See related article. See photos.

Jun 11 - 11th Annual Miss Erie Pageant Buffy Lyn Hayes and Paris Mann are chosen as Miss Erie 2010 and runner up in a pageant held at the Zone Dance Club. See related article. See photos.

Jun - Scholarship Recipient JoEllen Marsh, Duaghter of first out lesbian mom in NW PA, Visits Rep. Dahlkemper in Washington JoEllen Marsh, a student at Mercyhurst College and a native of Russell, Pa. in Warren County, visited Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper in her office in Washington. Marsh was awarded the Boren Scholarship from the National Security Education Program to study Arabic in Amann, Jordan for one year. The Mercyhurst junior was in town for a formal award ceremony for the scholarship recipients and paid a visit to her congresswoman, Rep. Dahlkemper. In December 2002, JoEllen's mother, Lucinda Ann Marsh, became the first out lesbian and the first out GLBT parent in the region in a 3 part series that WSEE's Randy McIlwain did entitled "Erie's Gay 90's." Read the original article here. JoEllen and her sister, with their mother were also in the first ever Family Portrait taken on the steps of the Erie County Courthouse on October 28, 1995. You can see that photo and read more here. ] See related article.

May 23 - Stonewall Celebration Service at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 New Perry Highway, Erie PA held a Stonewall Celebration service in support of equality for LGBT people. Rev. Steve Aschmann led the service, which included performing and speaking by Pat Collins of Rainbow Pride Connection in Chautauqua County, NY, signing of a closet door, lighting of candles and a delightful coffeehour afterward. See related article. See photos.

May 17 - Delta Foundation starts Western Pennsylvania Advocacy Alliance (later known as Equality Partners of Western PA), hires Jason Crighton as Field Organizer Delta Foundation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, forms a an advocacy alliance for LGBT issues in Western Pennsylvania and hires Jason Crighton as staff. This is a first for the region. See related article.

May 16 - Memorial for Abbey Atkinson at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie Friends and family gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 New Perry Highway, Erie PA to celebrate the life and memory of Abbey Atkinson, who died on April 19, 2010 at the age of 32. Abbey had been president of Trigon, the Penn State Behrend LGBT student group and had organized many events, including the hugely successful 2002 and 2003 Pride Weekends. She was preparing to take her bar exam in Florida after having graduated law school. See related article. See photos.

Apr 19 - Abbey Atkinson dies In 2002, Abbey Atkinson organized Erie's first Pride Weekend as part of Trigon, the GLBT and ally student group at Penstate Behrend. She was a kind, cheerful and selfless woman who was always thinking of others

Apr 11 - Tom Goss and Jeremiah Clark perform at Presque Isle Gallery Coffeehouse Openly gay singer/songwriters Tom Goss and Jeremiah Clark performed at the Presque Isle Gallery Coffeehouse as part of their spring tour.Many members of the community attended to enjoy the music, including members of the LBT Women of Erie. Be sure to check out Tom's new project, The Politics of Love, which deals with marriage equality. See related article. See photos.

Apr 8 - Behrend Gender Conference Penn State Behrend, Erie PA, hosted its annual Gender Conference. This was a forum for educational exchange on issues of gender between students, staff, faculty and community members. See related article.

Mar 26 - Drenched Fur 6 Drenched Fur, Erie PA's Annual Bear event, held yet another fun-filled run! About 200 guys attended. The weekend included performances by Bearapalooza at Craze Night Club, a night out at the Zone Dance Club, a trip to Presque Isle Downs Casino, a winery tour, a buffet dinner with a performance by comedian William Brown, a private party at Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park, after parties and great times with friends! See related article. See photos.

Mar 22 - Mercyhurst Birthday Party for Fatimaah Several people got together to celebrate Fatimaah's birthday. Fatimaah had been through some tough times, and a surprise birthday party that including skating, cake, Wii games and friends was very fun. Kudos to all who made this happen, especially Dr. Marnie Sullivan, coordinator for the Mercyhurst GSA. Fatimaah and her girlfriend, Nicole, had a fun time. (There was some horseplay with frosting at the end. ;) ) See related article. See photos.

Mar 16 - PA SB 707 tabled/voted down in Judiciary Committee PA SB 707, which would have amended Pennsylvania's consitution to bad same sex marriage was killed in the PA Senate Judiciary Committee. Voting to table it (position favorable to the LGBT community) were Sen. Jame Earll (R) and Mary Jo White (R) See related article.

Mar 16 - Spirituality and Sexuality Discussion Group begins meeting Rich McCarty, assistant pastor at Community United Church, begins holding meetings of a Spirituality and Sexuality discussion group. See related article.

Mar 15 - Mark M Pacheco dies as a result of injuries from an assault Local gay man Mark M Pacheco was assaulted in Jamestown and died a few days later at Hamot Medical Center in Erie PA. Benefits were held at Skybar in Jamestown and The Zone Dance Club in Erie PA See related article.

Feb 19 - Out in the Silence screening in Westfield NY There was a screening of the documentary, Out in the Silence at Patterson Library in Westfield New York, and attended by about 65 people. During the discussion period after the film, Lynn Johnson thanked panel member and Jamestown NY City Council President Greg Rabb for providing a safe space for GLBT students 18 years ago when she was a student at Jamestown Community College. See related article. See photos.

Feb 18 - GLBT Legislation and Legislative Advocacy meet-up at Craze About 30 people attended a GLBT legislation and legislative advocacy meeting at Craze Night Club. Presenters included Jesse Salazar, who heads Senator Bob Casey's statewide LGBT and Latino affairs, Gary van Horn and Thomas C. Waters from Delta Foundation in Pittsburgh, Mary Styn the aide from Senator Arlen Specters's Erie office and Kyle Hannon from Senator Casey's Erie office. See related article. See photos.

Feb 6 - Emma's Revolution concert at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie There was a delightful concert by folk duo emma's revolution at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 New Perry Highway, Erie PA. Many in the local peace activist and progressive communities, as well as members of the LGBT community, had a great time enjoying the wonderful music. See related article. See photos.

Jan 4 - Greg Rabb continues as Jamestown Council President The Democratic caucus in a 7 to 2 majority asked Greg Rabb to continue as President of the Jamestown NY City Council for the 2010-2011 City Council, with swearing in on January 4. Rabb is Jamestown's first openly-gay councilmember. See related article.

About Jan - HIV Testing at Lucille's in Jamestown From Keystone Alliance/GayLife Newsletter: Recently in our community, a series of multisponsored, free and confidential HIV tests took place at Lucille's, 520 Washington St., Johnstown, on Wednesday evenings in January and early February. See related article.