Welcome to our weekly column, News is Good, where we feature positive news about the LGBTQ+ community. Too much of what we see in mainstream media coverage focuses on the challenges we face and not the celebrations. Here are a few things we’re excited about this week.
LGBTQ+ bookstore Giovanni’s Room celebrates 50 years in business. In honor of 50 years of serving the Philadelphia area, Giovanni’s Room is hosting Queerapalooza, a new music festival and celebration, June 10. The event will include several queer and trans musicians, drag performers, books, and other merchandise from Giovanni’s Room.
City Councils in Chicago and Philly get a lot more LGBTQ+. More good news out of Philly! Rue Landau, who was elected earlier this week, will be the first LGBTQ+ member to serve on the City Council in Philadelphia. Landau is the former executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and Fair Housing Commission. Landau and her wife Kerry were the first couple to receive a marriage license when same-sex marriage became legal in Pennsylvania in 2014.
In Chicago, four newly elected LGBTQ+ city council members–Jessie Fuentes, Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, Bennett Lawson and Lamont Robinson–join Maria Hadden, Timmy Knudsen, Raymond Lopez, Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. The additions now make Chicago the city with the most LGBTQ+ identifying city council members in the U.S.
“Dykes to Watch Out For” gets an Audible adaptation with an all-star cast. Cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s “Dykes to Watch Out For” strip was a staple in queer papers for over 25 years. Now the series is heading to Audible where Carrie Brownstein, Roberta Colindrez, Roxane Gay, Jenn Colella and Jane Lynch will all voice Bechdel’s beloved LGBTQ+ characters. Adapted for Audible by Madeleine Georg and directed by Leigh Silverman, the audiobook version will include an original score by Alana Davis, Faith Soloway and Bitch, and music by lesbian and queer icons, Ferron, Holly Near, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Cris Williamson. Audible does not include an official release date, but the site says it will be ready for Pride.
Hollywood Fringe to include LGBTQ+ plays and shows. Kicking off June 8, the Hollywood Fringe Festival features several LGBTQ+ themed or inclusive shows this season. The festival, an “annual, open-access, community-derived event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community,” gives 100% of profits to the artists participating in the event. One of those shows is “The Importance of Being Anxious,” directed by U.K.-based actor Ralph Bogard and starring actor/writer Hal Cantor. Described as a “coming of middle-age comedy,” Cantor, who is bisexual, shares his experience of beginning to date men in his middle age. The play also features the voice of LGBTQ+ ally Ricki Lake.
Hulu will broadcast Pride events around the country. As part of its “Pride Never Stops” campaign, Hulu will include live airings of Los Angeles Pride, Houston Pride and “Pride Across America,” featuring Prides in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. In addition, Hulu’s Pride Hub will feature LGBTQ+ content including premieres of “Drag Me to Dinner,” “Jagged Mind” and “The Full Monty.”
Frameline announces full lineup for 47th season. The San Fransisco-based queer film festival kicks off June 14 at venues across the Bay. It will feature dozens of LGBTQ+ films from around the world, including the highly anticipated “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” “Bottoms” and “Lie With Me.”