January 22, 1996 |
Flash back to 1980 and the Mariel boatlift of Cuban refugees. Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News, gets a tip that one group of refugees - Cuban gays - is being detained by the U.S. government at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. He decides that PGN should investigate. "I gained entrance with my photographer and a reporter. I was dressed as a priest - Father Segal," Segal gleefully recalls. "And they bought it. " Entering the barracks, "Father" Segal and his entourage encountered "hundreds of these Cuban drag queens," and they set to work interviewing and taking pictures.
July 6, 1992 |
John Mandes, ex Avon man, former goatherder, one of the last hand bookbinders in the United States of America, is sitting in the airless basement cell at 11th and Locust where he puts out the Philadelphia Gay News. He's trying to find a blank check so he can pay his lone staff copy editor, as the office guys upstairs keep buzzing him on the other line. Actually, they don't buzz him. They assault him. The phone system at PGN, as the respected weekly Mandes is in the process of remaking is known, announces an incoming call with a blast like the air guns they shoot off at Sixers games.
October 11, 2007 |
He's here, he's queer, call him Your Honor. Backed by a lone bagpiper, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Daniel Anders will take the oath of office today at City Hall - the first openly gay man to don the (judicial) robe in city history. Today? National Coming Out Day? Isn't that a tad over the top, even for the City of Brotherly Love? Anders, a serious poker player, says it's no bluff that the timing is purely coincidental. He didn't even know the significance of the date until a friend pointed it out, he says.
June 4, 2005 |
As a Center City real estate investor and businessman of 40 years, Mel Heifetz is no stranger to mortgages, but he still breaks into a grin when he tells you he's been "mortgage-free for 15 years. " Yesterday, Heifetz shared that feeling in a big way with the community where he has been a quiet but forceful presence for decades - giving $274,000 to pay off the mortgage on the William Way Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center. "This is not our mortgage, this is your mortgage," Heifetz, 69, told a crowd of about 100 gathered for a mortgage-burning ceremony at the center, at 1315 Spruce St. Heifetz noted that everyone in the the crowd, a cross-section of the city's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (or GLBT)
April 9, 2003 |
JOURNALISM is an art. But it parades its words as a science at times. We in the news business take printed words and give them to what we hope is an eager public wanting facts. We try to do that in an interesting way without being sensationalistic. When the news is something completely new, like the recent SARS epidemic, we give as much information as possible and as many viewpoints. I learned this from Daily News editor Zack Stalberg and former editorial page editor Richard Aregood.
May 10, 1991 |
City Councilmen Francis Rafferty and Angel Ortiz, fighting for their political lives in the upcoming Democratic primary, did a little verbal sparring yesterday in Council. Council was discussing a bill sponsored by Ortiz that would have banned assault weapons in the city when Rafferty suddenly took a detour to talk about gays. "These people are killing more people than the guys with the guns," Rafferty said. "They're spreading the most dangerous disease in the world . . . Hey, but what do we do?
October 13, 2011 |
SOME DAYS, Mark Segal writes about gay history. Other days, he makes it. As leader of the "Gay Raiders" activist group in 1973, Segal forced the gay-rights movement into the national spotlight by running in front of the cameras during a live broadcast of "CBS Evening News" with Walter Cronkite. Two years later, he founded the Philadelphia Gay News, a weekly newspaper targeting the area's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population. He still publishes it. So when Segal heard some tea-party types on TV last year saying the Founding Fathers didn't have homosexuals in mind when they formed the United States, he started plotting a response.
December 31, 1988 |
Joseph F. Beam, a writer and a leading spokesman for the black gay community, was found dead Tuesday at his Center City home, three days before his 34th birthday. He had been ill for the last year with respiratory and stomach ailments, his family said. A conclusion in the case has not been reached by the Medical Examiner's Office, but he is believed to have died of natural causes, a spokesman said. Mr. Beam was noted for editing In the Life, an 1986 anthology of work by black gay writers.
October 30, 1986 |
As a leather-lunged, gay-rights activist, Mark Segal was sort of a cross between Ralph Nader and Ethel Merman. Starting Saturday, he takes a shot at being Larry King. Segal will host "Gay Talk," believed to be America's first call-in, gay talk show on a commercial radio station. The two-hour, weekly show premieres Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on WDVT (900/AM). "As far as hosting a show, I've never done it in my life. I'm as green as the fields in New Jersey," said Segal, the former Gay Raider, founder and publisher of the weekly Philadelphia Gay News.
April 22, 2003
TWO MEN who were part of the heartbeat of Philadelphia have died. Each, though completely apart in lifestyle, provided to our city a legacy to remember. Thacher Longstreth, the tall councilman, the man from Chestnut Hill. He was the symbolic picture of a Philadelphia long gone. His manner, his style of clothing, his familiar walk and smile. He was a man who loved to laugh and make others laugh. Like the cobblestone streets of upper Germantown Avenue that led one to Chestnut Hill, he was a foundation and a fighter for our city.