October Queer Opportunities

Fall is upon, and it bring with it the various wonderful sights and colors of the changing landscape and of course FOOTBALL! But my favorite Fall treat has to be the Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks, wouldn’t you agree? Hahaha…jk, but you should get ready to participate in some pretty awesome Fall events, especially in October. First up is Outfest, Sunday, October 9th beginning from 11am to the late…crack of dawn. Outfest is the celebration of National Coming Out Day, the day men and women recall professing their sexuality to public. This Sunday event has been sponsored by Philly Pride Presents, and Old First will once again participate in this annual event in solidarity with our LGBTQ members of Old First and for those in our community of Philadelphia.

It’s a brave decision to stand against the norm; the act of ‘coming out’…or the act of being truthful is a difficult choice to make because we have to examine ourselves from within. As humans, we struggle to find a balance between self-preservation and compliance; yet as history has shown us from the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Equality, evolving Immigration policies, Marriage Equality, improving Veteran benefits, and much more, we can preserve our authentic selves with loud united voices, marches, dedicated campaigns, and passionate devoted leaders. Our purpose in participating at Outfest is proudly echoed through our commitment to diversity on Old First’s website:

“At Old First we believe that each individual reflects aspects of God’s image, for example: the female image, the Black image, the gay image, the youthful image, the immigrant image, the poor image, the otherly-abled image… Only together in our diversity and service, do we begin to resemble the full glory of God”.

Second, the 29th annual Aids Run5K/Walk is Sunday, October 16th at the Philadelphia Art Museum. AIDS FUND Philadelphia has been educating and increasing public awareness of, HIV/AIDS and to provide emergency financial assistance to people living with HIV disease and organizations providing HIV services in our communities. Philadelphia’s first AIDS Walk raised $33,000. Since then, thousands of fundraising walkers have gathered each year to participate in the region’s largest annual HIV/AIDS public awareness and fundraising event. To date, the regional AIDS Walk has raised almost $16.7 million for HIV/AIDS public awareness, prevention, and care services for people living with HIV disease. There are tons of opportunities for you to get involved, including: the monthly GayBINGO fundraiser, Black-Tie GayBINGO affair, and the Holiday Toy Drive, which collects toys to kids infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

If you’d like to join me in running or maybe you’d like to walk instead, please email John via programassistant@oldfirstucc.org. Like I mentioned before, there’s more ways to participate with AIDS FUND Philly. AIDS FUND, like the Mazzoni Center, Philly Fight, and other similar organizations are important to Philadelphia’s increasing number of HIV infections. Remember, everyone has an HIV status, we are all HIV equal.

And if you’d like to participate in tabling for Outfest, please email John as well. Sadly, due to the cost of tabling on Sunday, we are graciously asking for angel gifts to help finance the tabling. Your support is greatly appreciated.


JohnPeter Owens, Program Assistant