Area History for 2010's
Please note that this is a work in process. Contact us for corrections, additions and etc.
Dec 13 - Rev. Steve Aschmann of UUCE Announces Retirement Rev. Steve Aschmann of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie (UUCE) has announced that he will be retiring. Rev. Steve is retiring from the UUCE, where he has served since 2005. His last Sunday at the UUCE will be Jan. 18. Steve has been an ardent and loving supporter of the Erie area's LGBTQ comnunity. He was one of the speakers at this year's celebration of the marriage equality ruling in Perry Square. See related article. See photos.
Nov 19 - 2014 Lake Erie Gala The Erie Sisters annual Lake Erie Gala took place at the Avalon Hotel in Erie. The event had a better than average attendance, despite a heavy snowstorm in nearby Buffalo, and many said that it was the best Lake Erie Gala yet! See related article. See photos.
Oct 2 - General Election Candidate Night About 30 people attended the General Election "Meet the Candidates" night organized by NW PA Pride Alliance. Candidates attended included Patrick Harkins (PA State House District 1 D-Incumbent), Juanita Shutsa (PA State House District 6 - D) and Chris Mitchell, representing Curt Smith (PA State House District 4 - D.) See related article. See photos.
Aug 23 - Erie Pride Fest NW PA Pride Alliance held a well-attended Erie Pride Fest. The day began with the Pride parade from the zone down to Perry square. About 150 people participated in the parade. Parade units included Erie Gay News, NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc., ACLU NW PA, Amisha Tribal Belly Dance, Marriage Equality for PA, Erie Sisters & Transgender Alliance of Western NY, Glass Growers Gallery, PFLAG Erie and Crawford Counties, PFLAG Butler, M & J's Lounge, Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie, Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville, LBT Women of Erie, Jamestown Pride Society, and Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition. See related article. See photos.
Aug 22 - REUNITED Show at Dramashop Lovin Heart & DJ Tony G-Spot produced a joint fundraiser for Dramashop and NW PA Pride Alliance at Dramashop. REUNITED was the first time in a while Lovin & DJ Tony G-Spot hosted a show together or that the performers had shared a stage. The show featured performances by Erie and Buffalo favorites Sasha Alexander, Jill Jamison, Britney Shea-Lace, Keeghan Getit, Cece Deshawn, Spike Flor, Diva D'Vyne-Island, Buffy Lynn Hayes, Fly Guy Shawn, Derion D'Vyne-Island, Mr. Manny, and Miss Erie 2014 Veronica Lace. Over $200 was raised for the two organizations. The evening also featured Lovin Heart, Veronica Lace, and Stephen Wells accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and issuing challenges of their own. See related article. See photos.
Aug 2 - LGBT table at Blues and Jazz Fest NW PA Pride Alliance was proud to once again staff an LGBT info table at the Annual Blues and Jazz Fest in Frontier Park. The Blues and Jazz Fest is organized by Erie Art Museum and other organizations and is attended by over 20,000 people. The table also had info from Erie Sisters and Mental Health Association of NW PA, as well as cards from Equality PA in support of HB 300/SB 300 for Equality PAs campaign to pass anti-discrimination legislation at the state level. Thanks go out to Brian Davies, Johauna, Melanie Shubitowski, Julie Flagella, Alex Sphon, Daniel Thomas, Will Koehler and Rex Apps. See related article. See photos.
Jul 27 - 4th Annual Afternoon for Equality The Greater Erie Alliance for Equality held its 4th Annual Afternoon for Equality at 21 la rue dix, 21 W 10th St, Erie PA. This is the major fundraising event for the group. About 70 people attended. Major donors ($1,000+) included Erie Insurance, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the McCain Foundation. In addition to the major donor gifts, approximately $9,000 more was donated through sponsorships and individual ticket sales for the fundraiser itself. Plans announced for the remainder of 2014 include a national speaker for the fall (November 30), Cleve Jones, who is the founder of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and was an associate of Harvey Milk before his assassination. GEAE also announced that they will be hosting a health workshop this fall with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield; they will also provide a national LGBT youth specialist for an Erie Public School District teacher/administrator in-service (November 4); continue their monthly third Wednesday service project at Calamari's; and pending final fundraising for the year, make a $10,000 LGBT educational gift back to the larger Erie community. See related article. See photos.
Jul 20 - 5th Annual PFLAG Butler Rainbow Picnic PFLAG Butler had their 5th Annual Rainbow Picnic at Alameda Park. Attendees enjoyed a delicious potluck, fun games, and great friends! See related article. See photos.
Jul 4 - NW PA Pride Alliance float in Millcreek 4th of July Parade About 17 people rode on NW PA Pride Alliance's float in Millcreek's 4th of July parade. There were about 110 units in the parade and about 20,000 people saw the parade. See related article. See photos.
Jun 14 - 22nd Annual Erie Pride Picnic NW PA Pride Alliance organized the 22nd Annual Erie Pride Picnic at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle State Park. Members of the LGBT community and their friends, family and supporters enjoyed a fun day with a great potluck. See related article. See photos.
Jun 7 - 6th Annual Youngstown Pride Festival Board members of NW PA Pride Alliance traveled to Youngstown OH to join our Ohio friends for the 6th Annual Youngstown Pride Festival. It was a wonderful parade and street fair. Other organizations present included West Side Cats Rescue and Adoption No-Kill Cat Shelter, Brandy Rosine Memorial Page, Youngstown Mineshaft, Equality Ohio, The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown OH, YSUnity LGBTQIA, Blazing River Freedom Band and many more! See related article. See photos.
May 20 - Decision Day Rally in Erie With less than 24 hours' notice, almost 200 people turned out in Perry Square on Tuesday, May 20 to celebrate Judge John E Jones III striking down Pennsylvania's so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Marriage equality is now the rule of the land in Pennsylvania, and Governor Corbett has said that Pennsylvania will NOT appeal the federal ruling. Speakers included Mike Mahler of Erie Gay News and NW PA Pride Alliance; Atty. Richard Ruth, legal director for ACLU NW PA; Kathy and Christina Czarnecki-Smith, who married in New York state; Rich McCarty, senior pastor at Community United Church and president of Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and who also read a supportive statement from State Sen. Sean Wiley; Rev. Steve Aschmann of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie; David Moore, founder and president of Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania; Doris Cipolla, who had lost her partner Char to cancer 9 years and 1 month before and who was glad that other PA couples will not have to have similar experiences; Susan Woodland, President of NW PA NOW, and Joshua Szczesny, secretary and co-founder of Marriage Equality for PA. Also in attendance were Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, proud mother of a gay son and also Erie County Councilmember Jay Breneman. Erie Sisters Transgender Support Group also turned out in support. Kathy Dahlkemper announced that a same sex couple had already applied for a marriage license that day. The couple was Michael Tkach, board member of Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and Bill Lechner, who have been together for 29 years. Also in the crowd were attorneys Jason Owen and Alison Scarpitti. Alison is legal counsel for Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and also served as attorney for Wendy and TJ Titus, who drove to Montgomery County to obtain a marriage license when that county was allowing same sex couples to get licenses earlier this year. See related article. See photos.
Apr 16 - Primary Candidate Forum W PA Pride Alliance and other co-sponsoring groups presented a Candidate Forum at First Niagara Bank Community Room, 27 people attended, including candidates Thomas Tarantella (US Congress PA-3 - D), Michael T Muha (PA State Senate 50 - D), Flo Fabrizio (P State House 2 D-Incumbent), Curt Smith (PA State House 4 - D), Juanita Shutsa (PA State House 6 - D) and Wayne Hanson (PA State House 17 - D,) Additionally, Rob McCord (PA Governor - D) sent Jordan and Graham and Ryan Bizzarro (PA State House 3 - D-Incumbent) sent Linda McCabe. There was also coverage by both local TV news crews. See related article. See photos.
Apr 10 - Drenched Fur 10 Drenched Fur 10 was held April 10-13 at the Clarion Hotel Conference Center in Erie PA. About 250 guys attended. The sub theme this year was Pirates. The charity selected was the John Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation. This year’s events included karaoke, a poolside fashion show, a Bear Bar Night at the Zone, foodie tours, a beer tour, a wine tour, a comedy roast of event coordinator Gary Snyder, and a private after hours event at Splash Lagoon. Drenched Fur 11 will be held April 9-12. More info about current and past events is at www.drenchedfur.com See related article. See photos.
Mar 26 - ME4PA Candlelight Vigil for Equality About 20 people braved the cold to take part in a vigil for Marriage Equality inPerry Square in Erie. Similar actions took place around the state. (Ed. Note: Marriage Equality for PA became Pennsylvania Equality Project in late 2014.) See related article. See photos.
Mar 13 - Erie Area for Equality Kickoff meeting Over 20 people gathered to learn more about PA HB 300/SB300. This proposed legislation would amend Pennsylvania's Human Relations Commission to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The event was organized by Shanea Leonard, Western Regional Organizer for Equality PA. See related article. See photos.
Feb 21 - Protest at Post Journal in Jamestown, NY About 50 people weathered cold and high winds to take a stand outside The Post-Journal, protesting what they say is bigotry and bias in that publication. The event was called "Raise Awareness, Community Outcry for Fair and Balanced Reporting." According to the group's mission statement, they demand that The Post-Journal "refrain from publishing editorial and reader-submitted content that includes slurs or insults based upon a person's or group's race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, political views, religious views or physical, mental or socio-economic status." They also demand "that The Post-Journal give equal space to syndicated and reader-submitted editorial content that reflects more moderate- and left-leaning views that may not reflect the views held by The Post-Journal." See related article. See photos.
Feb 14 - Erie County couple applies for marriage license on Valentine's Day On the morning of Valentine's Day, Kathy Czarnecki-Smith and Christina Czarnecki-Smith walked into the Erie County marriage bureau and asked to apply for a license. Tammi Elkin, the Erie County deputy register of wills, apologized but indicated she was bound by state law regarding who could obtain a marriage license. Kathy promised "We'll be back!" and wished them a happy Valentine's Day, as the couple left the office. They knew they would be turned down. The event was part of Marriage Equality for PA's efforts to raise awareness about marriage equality. But even though the couple knew what would happen, it still affected them deeply. [Ed. Note: Marriage Equality for PA became Pennsylvania Equality Project in late 2014.] See related article. See photos.
Feb 3 - PA HB 300/SB300 meeting About a dozen Erie area people met with Shanea Leonard from Equality PA. Shanea is the new western Pennsylvania coordinator for Equality PA, which is a statewide organization focused on LGBT equality. The meeting focused on working for the passage of House Bill 300 and Senate Bill 300, two pieces of legislation that would finally "ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression statewide in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations." Shanea introduced herself and explained some of her own background. Each person attending introduced themselves, and participants were asked to tell a little about themselves and what motivates them to work for LGBT equality. See related article. See photos.
Dec 17 - Erie Participates in Buffalo LGBT Community Pride Tree In The Loop in Buffalo NY 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 were included on Buffalo's tree. See related article. See photos.
Dec 8 - Noodles for Equality Marriage Equality for PA (which became Pennsylvania Equality Project in late 2014) 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. Photos are by Michael Mahler, co-editor for Erie Gay News. See related article. See photos.
Dec 1 - Erie Awareness Outreach Joy In The House FACE Drag Show for World AIDS Day 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.
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 thier 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. Photos are by Deb Spilko, layout editor for Erie Gay News. 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 from November 20-24 at the Avalon Hotel in downtown Erie. See related article. See photos.
Nov 9 - 2013 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 1 - Meet and Greet with Rep Ryan Bizzarro and Rep Brian Sims Rep. Ryan Bizzarro and his staff organized a very successful meet and greet with PA's first openly gay state legislator, Rep. Brian Sims, at the Bel Aire/Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, 2800 W 8th St, Erie PA. There was a terrific turnout and folks had a great night! See related article. See photos.
Nov - ME4PA Thanks for the Giving Food Drive Erie County Chapter of ME4PA (Marriage Equality for Pennsylvania, which became Pennsylvania Equality Project in late 2014) first statewide "Thanks For The Giving" food drive, Nov 1-25 2013, had drop off locations at Starbucks in Erie and collected 205 pounds for the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA. The kick off campaign began in Erie. From left to right, Samantha Sherwin, Special Events Coordinator, Jason C Brendel and Hayley Borgia Co Regional Directors, Erie County Chapter of ME4PA. Please check out www.paequality.org for news, updates, how to volunteer and to donate. See related article. See photos.
Oct 17 - Bread Box Award for NW PA Pride Alliance NW PA Pride Alliance board members Season Crannell, Chris Dye and Michael Mahler attended the 25th Annual Bread Box Awards luncheon at the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA, 1507 Grimm Drive, Erie PA. The luncheon recgnizes schools, churches, organizations, individuals, small businesses and large businesses that donate to the food bank. NW PA Pride Alliance is glad to give back to our community! 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, Damone Morris our Akirah Hurricane, Misty Kall & Taylor Morgan. See related article. See photos.
Oct 3 - General Election Candidate Night 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. NW PA Pride Alliance wants to thanks the wonderful volunteers who made this possible and the people who turned out to support this event. See related article. See photos.
Aug 24 - 2013 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. See related article. See photos.
Jul 4 - 2013 Millcreek 4th 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 now of 8 years, this is the first year that we were all on a float. Many thanks to Ben Heggy from Seven Springs for bringing up his truck and driving it, as well as for help in decorating. Many thanks to Season Crannell for float design and to Season, Chris, Alex, Preston, Melanie, Julie and others for setup and tear down. We had a wonderful time, and the crowd was incredibly supportive and friendly! See related article. See photos.
Jun 26 - Supreme Court Victory Celebration in Perry Square 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 reciving federal benefits. Also, Prop 8 in California 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. These two landmark victories were celebrated by about 30-35 people, who assembled in Perry Square in Erie that evening. Both local 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 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 - LGBT Float in Perry 200 Parade NW PA Pride Alliance participated in the historic Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade with an LGBT float. 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 26 - Marriage Equality for PA Vigil at Gov. Tom Corbett's Erie Office A delegation from Marriage Equality for PA (which became Pennsylvania Equality Project in late 2014) delivered their three petitions to the Governor of Pennsylvania's office located in Erie, PA at 100 State Street. See related article. See photos.
Apr 18 - 2013 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. See related article. See photos.
Apr 12 - 8 performance by Dramashop 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 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.
Mar 26 - Marriage Equality for PA Light the Way to Justice Vigil 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). See related article. See photos.
Dec - Erie Gay News 20th Anniversary In December of 2012, Erie Gay News celebrated its 20th anniversary of serving the LGBT community. EGN also received a congratulatory letter from US Senator Bob Casey (PA-D)! See related article. See photos.
Nov 14 - 2012 Lake Erie Gala The 2012 Lake Erie Gala was held 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. The event is organized by the Erie Sisters Transgender Support Group. See related article. See photos.
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 - 2012 General Election Candidate Forum About 40 people attended the candidate forum co-sponsored by Erie Gay News and NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc 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. See related article. See photos.
Oct 6 - LGBT Unit in Edinboro Homecoming Parade There was an LGBT unit in the Edinboro Homecoming Parade. The unit was organized by NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. and included members from Erie Sisters. The reaction from the spectators was positive and affirming. See related article. See photos.
Aug 25 - 2012 Pride Parade and Rally 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! See related article. See photos.
Aug 24 - Pre-Pride Parade Performance Party at PACA Several drag performers put on a well-received show to a packed house at the Performing Arts Center & Theater, 1505 State St, Erie PA. Performers included Destiny Divine, Rhiannon Angelina, Michelle Michaels, Nicolai Chase featuring Aiden, and Buffy Lynn Hayes. The event was a wonderful kickoff for the Pride Parade and Rally the next day, which was organized by NW PA Pride Alliance. See related article. See photos.
Aug 8 - LGBT Night at the Erie Seawolves Greater Erie Alliance for Equality organized an LGBT Night at the Erie Seawolves. Greater Erie Alliance for Equality and Erie Seawolves organized the event. In addition 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. Photos are by Laurie Finch, coordinator for LBT Women of Erie. See related article. See photos.
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 News, Erie Sisters, Greater 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. Special thanks to Michael Coleman for taking photos. See related article. See photos.
Jun 18 - 20th Annual Erie Pride Picnic 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.
May 19 - 2012 Drag Queen Bingo 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 The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA helped raise money for the fight against leukemia and lymphoma and Kristen Bailey was behind it. We raised over $1,700 and within 10 weeks Kristen raised 22,000 and became Woman of the Year. Thanks go out to Alaska Thunderfuck, Michelle Michaels, Celine Dashawn, Misty Kall, Velvet Lace, Buffy Lynn Hayes, and the Erie crowd for making this happen! Alaska, the headline performer, later went on to win RuPaul's Drag Race. See related article. See photos.
Mar 29 - Drenched Fur 8 The bears of Drenched Fur 8 enjoyed a great weekend at the end of March for fun and good times. On Thursday, early arrivals for a bar night outing at The Zone Dance Club to kicked off the run events. Then on Friday run registrants gathered together for an indoor pool party at the Bel Aire Hotel followed by a musical performance with the return of vocal/guitarist Jeff RockCub. The fun continued the following night, on Saturday with a Gilligan's Island Themed Buffet Dinner and Comedy Game Show Combo at the Bel Aire Hotel. And of course, that night was the exclusive event at the Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort where over 200 guys from around the USA had the entire facility to themselves! The event weekend also included a winery tour, casino visits, charity auction, vendor mall, and other activities. The Drenched Fur 8 Committee hosted one of the biggest events for Erie's GLBTQA community and thanks all the individuals and businesses that helped make this year a success. To find out more about Drenched Fur and to review our photo gallery from over the years, you can visit our website at www.drenchedfur.com. See related article. See photos.
Feb 15 - Bob Langley sworn in to Meadville City Council Bob Langley was appointed to Meadville PA City Council in early 2012 to fill a vacancy. Bob applied for the position with a number of other candidates. Bob's partner, John Despo, was also at the swearing in ceremony on February 15. Bob joined openly gay Leroy Stearns on Meadville City Council. 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.
Nov 16 - 12th Annual Lake Erie Gala The 12th annual Lake Erie Gala, sponsored by the Erie Sisters Transgender Support Group, was held Nov.16-20 at the Avalon Hotel in Erie. Registration opened Wednesday, and the attendees present then had dinner together at the Plymouth on State Street. See related article. See photos.
Nov 5 - Out In The Silence Screening at Jamestown Community College Film makers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer presented a screening of their documentary, Out In The Silence, at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown NY. The primary organizer of the event was Richard Baer, through AIDS Community Services of Western NY, Southern Tier Services in Jamestown. About 125-150 people attended. There were groups and inidividuals from Jamestown, Buffalo NY, Erie PA, Bradford PA and other areas. Greg Rabb, openly gay Jamestown NY City Council President and Jamestown Community College faculty member, spoke after the film, and there was also a lively community discussion on working together to achive progress for the LGBT community. See related article. See photos.
Oct 26 - Bread Box Award from Erie Food Bank for Picnic donation Members of the Pride Planning Committee attended the 2011 Bread Box Awards at the Second Harvest Food Bank of NW Pennsylvania at 1507 Grimm Drive, Erie PA. Donations had been collected at the 19th annual Erie Pride Picnic held on June 11. This was the 8th year that donations had been collected at the Pride Picnic. See related article. See photos.
Oct 8 - Erie GLBT Contingent in Edinboro Homecoming Parade Several members of Erie's GLBT community marched as a unit in the Edinboro University Homecoming Parade. This was the first time for the LGBT community to participate, and we had been invited to march by the University. The parade went through the campus and also through the streets of Edinboro PA. The crowds were friendly, and we got quite a few smiles and waves. See related article. See photos.
Oct 2 - 5th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend at the Zone The weekend of September 30-October 2 was the 5th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Benefit put on by Michelle Michaels at the Zone Dance Club. At the end of the week, we raised $1,530! See related article. See photos.
Aug 27 - 2011 Pride Parade and Rally About 230 people participated in the Erie Pride Parade & Rally. This year’s Pride events were organized by the Pride Planning committee, which is an informal coalition of groups and individuals. The informal coalition later beame NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. in March, 2012. See related article. See photos.
Aug 14 - Zone Diva Benefit for Erie Pride 2011 The divas of The Zone Dance Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA, put on a special benefit FACE drag show to support Erie Pride 2011 events. Over $250 was raised, and the Pride Planning Committee is very grateful to all of the performers and volunteers who gave of their time to help make Pride events in Erie possible! See related article. See photos.
Aug 6 - LGBT Table at Blues and Jazz Fest On August 6 & 7, Erie Gay News and LBT Women of Erie for the 3rd year staffed a local LGBT community info table at the 19th Annual Blues and Jazz Fest in Frontier Park in Erie PA. This was a great opportunity to reach out to those not aleady in touch with the community. The Blues and Jazz Fest is organized by the Erie Art Museum and other resources. See related article. See photos.
Aug 5 - Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition Holds First-ever Statewide LGBTQ Youth Convention The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) held its first convention August 5-7, 2011 in Harrisburg. The groundbreaking network of Pennsylvania LGBTQ youth met over three days to draft and adopt a constitution for statewide organizing as a youth-led LGBTQ movement. Over 30 Presidents and leaders of youth-led LGBTQ organizations from colleges, universities, and high schools across Pennsylvania were in attendance. See related article. See photos.
Jul 24 - Butler Rainbow Community Picnic The Butler Rainbow Picnic, hosted by PFLAG Butler County and Persad Center's Community Safe Zone project and lasted from 2pm to 6pm and hosted over 60 people. Also attending were representatives from PFLAG Erie and Crawford Counties and Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition. See related article. See photos.
Jul 16 - PFLAG Ashtabula Picnic PFLAG Ashtabula held their third annual family picnic at Geneva State Park. The event was attended by people from three states, and was the group's most successful picnic yet. DJ Nrr Radio's Greg Mack was on hand, there were several raffle items, including baskets from The Coupon Queen of Unionville, PFLAG's Crisis Coordinator, Steven Stoltz, and several donated paintings from a local artist. See related article. See photos.
Jul 4 - Millcreek 4th of July Parade About 20 people marched in the LGBT contingent of the Millcreek 4th of July Parade. The parade is one of the largest in Erie County, PA and the spectactors were overall friendly and supportive. This is the 6th year that there has been such a contingent, and it ties with previous year's record. Marchers included both individuals and groups including Erie Gay News, Erie Sisters. LBT Women of Erie, and PFLAG of Erie and Crawford Counties. See related article. See photos.
Jun 11 - 19th Annual Erie Pride Picnic The 19th Annual Erie Gay News Family Pride Picnic, held at the Rotary Pavilion was a great success! This year, Pride events are being coordinated by the Pride Planning committee, which is a coalition of groups and individuals. See related article. See photos.
May 22 - Stonewall Potluck Picnic Friends of John Daly Kin gathered for a celebratory Stonewall Potluck Picnic at Pleasant Ridge Manor in Girard PA. Many friends from the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie (UUCE) and PFLAG of Erie/Crawford Counties, as well as others, had a wonderful time celebrating LGBT history and community. Rev. Steve Aschmann of UUCE acted as the MC. The event was also a farewell for Reid McFarlane and AnnDrea Benson, who had helped with enacting the LGBT-inclusive Erie County Human Relations Commission ordinance in 2002. Reid and AnnDrea shortly afterward moved out of the area. See related article. See photos.
May 21 - Jeremy and Eric's Handfasting Jeremy Snyder and Eric Linster celebrated their Handfasting at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 New Perry Highway, Erie PA. Jeremy has been a volunteer chef for the annual Pride Picnic and is active with the Covenant of Brighid's Haven. Eric is originally from Aurora Illinois and is an avid Dagorhir fighter. The ceremony took place on the same day that Harold Camping had predicted as the date of the Rapture. Apparently, a gay Pagan wedding wasn't enough to trigger it. When marriage equality became legal in Pennsylvania on May 20, 2011, Jeremy and Eric applied for their legal marriage license on the 3rd anniversary of their handfasting and were the 3rd same-sex couple to apply in Erie County. They were subsequently legally married. See related article. See photos.
May 16 - Tim Dahle and Rex Young Wed Rex Young and Timothy Dahle were married in White River Junction, Vermont.. The couple lives in Edinboro PA. Tim was a subject in the documentary Out in the Silence. See related article. See photos.
Apr 26 - Lundi 'Lee' Verdoni passes on Lundy "Lee" Verdoni passed away after 14 years of illness due to HIV disease. He is survived by his partner of 19 years, Jack, and his four children, Lundy Jr., Dawn, Jennifer, and Joshua, a brother Dominic. See related article. See photos.
Apr 7 - Drenched Fur 7 Erie was once again the host for Erie's Exclusive Bear Weekend known as Drenched Fur. This time the run of incredible fun for over 200 men hailing from around the tri-state area and as far away as Texas, Indiana, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Toronto. See related article. See photos.
Apr 3 - Tom Goss and Jeremiah Clark at the Latonia On Sunday, April 3, musicians Tom Goss and Jeremiah Clark performed at the Latonia Ballroom and Event Center, 1 East First Street, Oil City PA. See related article. See photos.
Jan 26 - Erie Town Hall Meeting & Equality on the Rocks Equality Pennsylvania, ACLU PA and Human Rights Campaign (HRC) organized an LGBT Town Hall meeting and social for about 65 area people. This was part of a statewide series of events. Representatives from area groups and individuals attended to learn more about being active in state and federal politics. The event was held at Matthew's Trattoria, 153 E 13th St, Erie. The organizers were pleased with the interest and excitement shown from by the local community and look forward to working more in Erie. They also were thankful to Rich McCarty, Equality PA Board Member & Mercyhurst Professor, for his help in making this event go so successfully. Also in attendance & helping to host was new Equality PA board member, Kevin Bennett. See related article. See photos.
Jan 16 - Johnny Weir Book Signing U.S. figure skating champion Johnny Weir had a book signing at the Erie Book Store. Some of the folks at the Pride planning meeting headed over after the meeting for autographs and browsing. Weir's book-a memoir- is entitled "Welcome to My World." See related article. See photos.
Jan 16 - Pride Planning Meeting About 16 people attended the first planning meeting for 2011 Pride events. The group was enthusiastic and a lot of groups and individuals were represented. In 2012, the Pride Planning committee incorporated as NW PA Pride Alliance. See related article. See photos.
Dec 19 - FACE Show: Toys for Tots Benefit Zone Night Club, 133 W 18th St, Erie PA devoted their monthly FACE Drag Show to benefiting Toys for Tots. $365 and about 20 toys were collected. Fundraising efforts included performers and support staff auctioning Barbie Dolls to look themselves. Performers included show organizer Michelle Michaels, Buffy Lynn Hayes, Mistress Vanitay, Celine Dashawn, Jill Jamison, Diva D'Vyne, Angelica Redd, and Siren, Lady of the Lake. In addition, stage manager Season auctioned a Barbie doll that included her signature clipboard with spikes and a riding crop. See related article. See photos.
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 19 - 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, 1011 W 38th St, Erie PA, held a Diversity Worship Service to celebrate the worth and dignity of all of God's children, including LGBT. The service was led by Rich McCarty, assistant pastor and who also leads the Spirituality and Sexuality Discussion Group that meets at the church. You can read a member's experiences at the service here. See related article. See photos.
Oct 11 - Candlelight Vigil for Tyler Clementi and other GLBT suicide victims at EUP 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 Silence 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 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. Thanks go out to Ed for help with set up. 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 seven childen. A benefit was later held on July 30 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 legislator's 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 - 4th of July Parade sets record 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 Pride Picnic The 18th Annual Erie Gay News Family Pride Picnic, held at the Rotary Pavilion was a great success! 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 In addition to the photos normally taken at the Pride Picnic, there was a special station for taking mugshots for the Love is Not a Crime project. See related article. See photos.
Jun 11 - 11th Annual Miss Erie Pageant The Zone Dance Club in Erie PA held the 11th Annual Miss Erie Pageant. The theme was Fairy Tales. The winner was Buffy Lynn Hayes and 1st runner up was Paris Mann. Other contestants included Rhiannon Angelina and Misty Kall. See related article. See photos.
Jun - Scholarship Recipient JoEllen Marsh, Daughter 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 at UU 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 J 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. She was unfailingly kind, cheerful and selfless. 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. Photos are by Laurie Finch, coordinator for the LBT Women, with editing by Deb Spilko of Erie Gay News. 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 ban 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.