#Philadelphia

Gay Man With US Birth Certificate Held For Deportation To Jamaica For Three Weeks

50-year-old Peter Sean Brown was almost deported by a Florida Sheriff’s office and ICE, but he is a native-born American citizen.

According to the Mercury News, Key West resident Brown got himself into trouble when he tested positive for marijuana in April. Brown was then sent to jail, but his situation soon got much worse.

One day into his arrest by the Munroe County Sheriff’s Office, Brown received a form from Immigration and Customs Enforcement saying that he was to be held for removal from the US. The vague reason being unspecified “biometric information” contained in his fingerprint scans. Brown, who was born in Philadelphia in 1968, was instantly panicking.

“I am, and have always been, a citizen of the United States,” says Brown the video below which was created by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after they heard his story.

Brown was told that ICE was preparing to deport him to Jamaica, a country that he’s never been to and has no social ties to. Even worse, Brown is gay and feared he would become a victim of a hate crime, like the man who was attacked by his own cousins while at a funeral.

Brown tried to tell the sheriff’s department that he was a U.S. citizen who could produce his birth certificate. A lawsuit filed against the Munroe County Sheriff’s Office states that several officers ignored Brown.

“It’s particularly stark just how many indications the sheriff had that Peter Brown was a U.S. citizen,” The ACLU told The Washington Post. “It doesn’t happen in every case that not only is the person telling everybody he can find and filing written complaints, but the sheriff’s own records have his citizenship and birthplace. Peter was very assiduous.”

The filed complaint states that Brown was not only ignored by jail employees at Munroe County, but mocked by them. One man sang the theme song to 90’s comedy Fresh Prince of Bel Air, one spoke in a fake Jamaican accent while Brown was transferred to the Krome Detention Center in Miami and allegedly said, “Yeah, whatever mon, everything’s gonna be alright,” and another allegedly commented that Brown would remain detained despite what his birth certificate said.

Brown eventually was released after he was transferred to Maimi and again pleaded that he was a US citizen. Thankfully, some officer at the Detention Center listened to Brown and allowed his roommate to email the Birth Certificate. Brown’s release was then scheduled.

Once released three weeks after his arrest, Brown was stranded in Miami, hours away from his home, and had lost his job. It took Brown two weeks to find another job.

Now, the ACLU is representing Brown in a lawsuit against Richard Ramsey, the sheriff for Monroe County. They accuse Ramsey and his employees of willingly detaining Brown in order to receive compensation from ICE through the “Basic Ordering Agreements” arrangement, which pays the police for extending detention of “criminal aliens.”

“Nobody should have to endure what he endured,” the complaint maintains. “He was kept in jail – away from his family, friends, and work- solely to facilitate his illegal deportation from the United States. The Sheriff’s Office ignored his pleas for weeks, mocked him, and led him to believe that he would soon find himself in a Jamaican prison. He suffered severe anxiety, fear, and trauma in the process.”

h/t: The Mercury News, the Washington Post

Philadelphia Police Increase Patrols After Two Gay Bars Receive Warning Of Gun Violence

Philadelphia police have increased patrols and security after two popular gay bars in the city’s Gayborhood were threatened with gun violence.

According to CBS Philly, the threat came from a recent online post that suggested a possible shooting at popular gay bar Woody’s and late-night club Voyeur.

More information about the incident was shared through Woody’s and Voyeur’s social media accounts. Due to a joint effort to inform patrons, the separate businesses released similar public statements. Both statements shared that the “hollow threat” came from a former customer.

Then yesterday, both clubs released a second statement with more details about the man who had threatened gun violence. 

That statement shares that an ex-boyfriend of the suspect was the one to inform police of the threat. The police then contacted the two clubs. 

After a thorough investigation, the clubs and the police decided that the threat wasn't credible. Sadly, the rumor mill had already spread to social media, but has now been quieted down. Both businesses are now open and running as usual.

You can read the full statement below:

"FACTS: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS

On Monday evening, November 12th, 2018, the management of Woody’s were notified by Philadelphia Police that an individual walked into the Philadelphia Central Detectives Unit to report a threat made by his ex-boyfriend.

The ex-boyfriend was a customer at Woody’s and Voyeur that was banned from both establishments for rude, disruptive, and inappropriate behavior. During the exchange, the 22 year old male threatened to “Shoot the place up”. Woody’s closed immediately to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

On Tuesday morning, November 13th, 2018, The management of Woody’s was working with Philadelphia Police and Homeland Security. It was determined through a preliminary investigation that the individual in question was not in possession of firearms, had no family in the area, an out of state license, and was not an immediate threat to the community. Based on this information Woody’s and Voyeur were advised to remain open and conduct business as usual, with one exception, the 13th Street Corridor was under police surveillance and patrolled by undercover officers as an All Points Bulletin was issued for the ex-boyfriend.

On Friday morning, November 16th, 2018, the individual in question, arrived at the Philadelphia Central Detectives Unit with his lawyer to face questioning. It was then the threat was deemed non-creditable.

By Friday afternoon, the man who made the threat was returning back to Colorado and the all clear was given. In the interim, a family member of someone involved in the investigation, posted information regarding the threat and this case. We requested the information be removed to prevent the possibility of copycats but the rumor mill spread quickly throughout social media. There were comments made that members of the right wing rally held today (Saturday) in Center City was responsible for the threat. This is false and at this time, there is no immediate threats to Woody’s or Voyeur.

We want to thank all of our staff and customers for the support and want to ensure everyone that our top priority is to the community and creating a safe space for LGBTQ and allies to gather. We continue to go above and beyond by hiring close to 50 security guards on the weekend and are the only gay bar that hires a Philadelphia Police detail every weekend."

This incident comes just a week after two Boston gay bars were similarly threatened with gun violence. Though in that situation, the threat was shared through anonymous phone calls.

Stars Of 'Philadelpia' Explore Impact Of The 1993 Oscar-Winning Film On AIDS

In advance of this year’s World AIDS Day (December 1), and as a long-standing supporter of HIV/AIDS awareness and research, Coca-Cola is partnering with (RED) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking film, Philadelphia, with a new documentary titled, The Last Mile.

Inspired by the progress made in HIV/AIDS since the 1993 release of Philadelphia, The Last Mile features cast members Tom Hanks, Mary Steenburgen and Denzel Washington along with writer, Ron Nyswaner, discussing director Jonathan Demme’s sensitive vision for the film.

The illustrious group also discusses how the film changed perceptions about HIV/AIDS from fear to compassion, from stigma to empathy.

“It’s hard for people now to realize how intense that moment in time was,’ Steenburgen says in the newly-released trailer. “There was a tremendous amount of fear and a lack of knowledge.”

“I remember the different scarred faces – people with scars on their faces; I remember the sadness,” says Washington.

“Going in and out of New York City, you ended up seeing it all over the place ― men were pushing other men around in wheelchairs,” adds Hanks, who would go on to win the Academy Award for 'Best Actor' for his powerful performance of a Philadelphia lawyer diagnosed with AIDS.

The documentary short is produced by Coca-Cola as part of the beverage giant’s social initiative Project Last Mile, which works to improve availability of life-saving medications to more and more regions of Africa.

The film shares the work of dedicated healthcare workers in Africa who are changing the face of the AIDS epidemic.

“The strides, they’re extraordinary,” says Hanks of the work being done there. “But, there is still a massive amount of need for attention that something like the pandemic of AIDS is going to require.”

“We have come a long way,” adds Steenburgen. “I think it’s time to continue to be inspired.”

In terms of progress, there are nearly 22 million people living with HIV who now have access to treatment. But in 2017, nearly 1 million people around the world died from AIDS - a disease that is both preventable and treatable.

The new documentary hopes to help empower those on the front lines of the epidemic by reinforcing continued awareness and support.

The Last Mile will be available on November 15 at red.org/cocacola.

Watch the trailer below.

 

 

(h/t Gay Star News)

Travel Thursday: Why Philly is Fabulous in the Fall for Our Community

Philadelphia happens to be one of those places that is great to visit all year round. There's always something super exciting going on in the City of Brotherly Love, especially when it comes to activities that are LGBTQ specific.

The fall season in Philly has no shortage of these events for our community, which should only enhance your desire to want to visit as what they have in store in the upcoming months there is nothing short of spectacular. 

Take a look at 5 great reasons why you should Visit Philly and experience this incredible area for yourself.

Outfest

An event that can only be described as simply fabulous coincides with National Coming Out Day on October 7th. Stellar drag performances, food, dance parties and more will be happening in less than two weeks in Philly's spectacular Gayborhood that is encompassed by some iconic gay bars (more of that below). 

Food, Food, and More Food

Philly is known for their, wait for it, cheesesteaks, but there’s so much more to this city when it comes to the assortment of cuisines you can experience. If you are looking for seasonal American fare that includes some of the tastiest sandwiches I’ve ever had, then try The Love. on S. 18th Street. If you are jonesing for that cheesesteak, which is par for the course, then Jim’s on South Street is iconic beyond words. People actually take photos of the wonderful men and women working there who serve them some of the tastiest cheesesteaks in the area (and possibly the world). Also, if you are looking for a great dessert with a twist, then Sweet Charlie’s will do the trick as they hand roll all the ice cream they make. It ends up looking like something out of an art exhibit with flavors bursting out of every spoon-filled bite you take.

The Laramie Project

The popular staged retelling of the story of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay college student who died in October 1998 after being severely beaten in rural Wyoming, is something that all generations needs to see as it played a big part in our LGBTQ history and movement towards securing better rights for us. The play, which debuted two years after Matthew's death, eventually became a major television movie starring Christina Ricci and Steve Buscemi. It will take place this coming weekend, September 28th through the 30th, at 401 Dekalb Street in Norristown, More info here.

Opera Philadelphia’s O Festival

Opera Philadelphia's O Festival has returned for its second year. It started on September 20th and will close this coming Sunday. Two of the shows that they are putting on have a big LGBTQ theme to them that encompasses the world of fashion, art, gender-bending and more. More info on both here.

Bar Central

Philly’s gay bar scene rivals many cities like New York and Boston as one of the best in the Northeast. There are a variety of great spots to hit up while there, including Woody’s, The Bike Stop, U Bar and Boxers, all of which are very inviting and will make you feel welcome the instance you walk in.

For more information on all things Philadelphia, please check out their official website


If you have travel ideas, places we should visit, or work for a PR company and are looking for writers to visit, please reach out to customerservice@instinctmagazine.com and address your comments to the Managing Editor.


 

Philadephia-Based Rapper Steve Cizzle Looks Amazing Naked

UPDATE:  Unfortunately OMG Blog took down the picture, but if you look around the internet, like someone did in the comments section, you may find what we were OMGGING about. 


Thanks to OMG Blog, we now have now have a nude pic of Steve Cizzle, and all we can say right now is Woah.

A full-frontal and totally NSFW mirror selfie of the too-adorable Philadelphia-based queer rapper has leaked, and it’s impressive for all kinds of reasons.

For one, he’s a total cutie with a killer smile and a rocking body. There’s more, though. See for yourself.

To see a totally naked NSFW Steve Cizzle head over to OMG Blog.

Also, check out Cizzle’s cover of Beyoncé’s “Partition” here.

You can hear even more on his SoundCloud page here.

 

Two Friends Were Kicked Out By A Philly Cab Driver For Being Gay

Many people are applauding the Philadelphia Parking Authority for it’s quick action in supporting two gay men.

On the night of March 16, friends Joel Bautista and Michael Rios were riding home after a night at a sports bar on Broad and Walnut Streets.

The two briefly talked about their love lives before moving on to conversation about Lasik surgery. It was then that their cab driver, Daman Sacko, pulled over and told them to get out.

“We asked him why, and he said, ‘I don’t want that gay sh** in my car,’ ” Rios explained to the Inquirer.  “I said, ‘But we’re talking about Lasik surgery!’”

After taking a photo of Sacko’s driver certificate and calling the PPA, Sacko was immediately brought in for questioning.

“We received his complaint at 10 a.m. and by 2:30, we had the cabbie in here for an interview,” said Christine Kirlin, the head of the PPA’s Taxi and Limousine Division.

Bautista and Rios said they never intended to go for Sacko’s job. They just wanted to make sure he knew that what he did to them wasn’t ok.

That said, Sacko changed his story several times during the interview, according ot the Inquirer. He allegedly said the two had “talked dirty” in the cab before shifting his story to saying they propositioned him. Then, he resorted to the stoyr that they had him pull over early, but refused to pay their fare.

Once the two men heard that, they decided to take Sacko to court and the PPA supported them completely.

The PPA issued Sacko a citation on March 19, which he appealed. Then he lost his July 12 administrative hearing and was fined $175 and had his driver’s certificate suspended for 30 days.

 

 

The PPA shares that it plans to have Daman Sacko go through anti-discrimination training before they let him drive for them again. If he goes through another situation like this, they’ll then look into canceling his driver certification permanently.

This is another incident when a ride-share driver has kicked out LGBTQ people.

In late June, a Washington D.C. man was kicked out by his Uber driver for the way that he spoke and saying the word "Darling." Then earlier that month, a New York City man was kicked out of a cab after the driver directly asked him, "Are you gay?" Then in May, an Indiana couple was kicked out of their Lyft after sharing a chaste kiss.


h/t: The Inquirer

Man Who Murdered 3 Philly Gay Men in the 1980s Was Found Dead In Prison

A man who killed gay men in Philadelphia during the 1980s has been found dead in prison.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, 50-year-old Arnold Mulholland’s unresponsive body was found in his cell at the State Correctional Institution-Mahanoy in Frackville, Pennsylvania around 6:17 Friday morning.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections later announced that Mulholland was pronounced dead around 7am, but they would not disclose the cause of death.

In 1990, Mulholland pleaded guilty to killing three gay men, Alexander Munchweiler, Tracy Griffin, and David Johnson. Each man differed in age with ages ranging from 24 to 61. This led to Mulholland being sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.

During this time, five other gay men were murdered in Philadelphia, which caused a frenzy in the gay community. Around 250 people marched around Center City for a “Save Our Streets” rally.

Investigators say that Mulholland, who was 22 at the time, targeted gay men because he thought of them as “sick.” He chose to rob them and stab them in their apartments after being invited in for sex.

That said, Mulholland later told the Inquirer in a previously published article from 1993, “I feel for the people. I regret it.” But he admitted to not remembering the men’s names, faces, or the fact that they had families.

A Married Gay Man From Philadelphia Has Been Detained By Ice Since January

The American Civil Liberties Union is trying to get an undocumented gay man from Pennsylvania freed from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s clutches.

Back in January, Jose “Ivan” Nuñez was captured by ICE officials while he was in a meeting with his husband, who’s a U.S. citizen, to talk to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) about obtaining a visa.

Ice officials apparently, “stormed into the room” and detained Nuñez. He’s been in their custody ever since.

Last Week, the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a legal complaint in federal district court. That complaint asked that Nuñez be released from the York County Prison, about 90 miles west of Philadelphia.

“I am very worried for his wellbeing,” Nuñez’s husband Paul Frame said in the ACLU’s release. “The level of anxiety and sadness that I feel when I think about him at the detention center or when I visit him is unreal, so I can only imagine the toll it has taken on him personally. No human being should be torn apart from their loved ones in this manner.”

Part of ICE’s argument against Nuñez is that he has illegally entered the U.S. three times now. First, he initially entered the country. He then left to return to Mexico in 2010 to see to his sick mother. Afterwards, he was apprehended by border patrol agents and ordered to leave the country. Though he did at the time, he then later unlawfully re-entered and had stayed until his arrest earlier this year.

Despite this, Nuñez and ACLU lawyers are looking for him to be released because of the ICE’s “withholding of removal.”

This is because in February, an asylum officer interviewed Nuñez with USCIS. Together, they approved Nuñez’s “fear of return” credibility, which then sent his case to immigration court.

At that point, Nuñez’s lawyer filed to have ICE release Nuñez while his case was going through the motions… She never heard back from ICE.

The next hearing for Nuñez’s case is in August. The ACLU is adamant in getting Nuñez released before that saying that “he poses no danger to the community and is not a flight risk.”

h/t: HuffPost

Black And Gay Politician Malcolm Kenyatta Won The Democratic Primary For Pennsylvania's House of Reps.

Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are celebrating after the first openly gay man of color won the state house primary.

27-year-old Malcolm Kenyatta is a North Philadelphia native who’s been a part of politics for 15 years now. At the age of 12, he ran for junior block captain.

Then after graduating from Temple University, Kenyatta worked as the campaign manager for lesbian community advocate Sherrie Cohen. He’s also served as a DNC delegate, served on the boards of Equality Pennsylvania, Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club, and more.

Now, its time for Kenyatta to move on up as he’s won the Democratic primary bid for state House representative for the 181th District in Pennsylvania. He’s actually trying to win the seat that used to belong to his cousin W. Curtis Thomas who announced his retirement in the spring.

Many people and organizations have been endorsing Kenyatta such as Philly for Change, the Victory Fund, and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

That said, not everyone was in support of Malcolm Kenyatta as someone put up anti-gay posters of Kenyatta and his ex-husband around the district during election time.

Despite that aggression, Kenyatta won the Democratic primary bid and will now go on to the general election in November. Due to Philadelphia being majority Democratic, Kenyatta and openly gay state Rep. Brian Sims (who also won his primary) are expected to win in the fall.

Actress Lena Waithe Stunned The Met Gala With Her Philadelphia Inspired Pride Cape

Actress and comedian Lena Waithe stunned at the Met Gala last night.

If you were on Twitter at any point last night, you probably saw a few tweets about the Met Gala. The annual event is like a fashion paradise where celebrities pay thousands or millions to look as amazing as possible in front of photographers.

The theme for this year was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” While many celebrities like Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, and Game of Thrones’s Emilia Clarke stunned in British themed gowns that emphasized the Catholic theme, Waithe decided on a more colorful option.

Just dressing in a tailored tuxedo would have been a nice choice for the actress, but she took it one step further. Waithe graced the floor, and our eyes, by wearing a grand silk rainbow cape.

Not only did Lena Waithe use the gown as a comment on the Catholic Church’s attitudes towards homosexuality and gay marriage, but she also included the additional colors introduced by the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affair.

Last year, LGBTQ people exploded after Philadelphia, a city that’s had several racial issues within its Gayborhood, proposed adding black and brown to the Pride flag as a symbol for racial inclusion.

Many people on Twitter celebrated Waithe’s choice of outfit, and colors, and felt proud by the her fashion statements.

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