Philly Pride organizers have snagged a familiar face — from both the silver and small screens — to headline the main stage at this year’s event.
The famously funny Fran Drescher, a comedian and actor best known as the star of the CBS sitcom “The Nanny,” will entertain the approximately 10,000 people who will gather at Penn’s Landing June 14.
“Fran is someone that every generation knows,” said Philly Pride Presents executive director Franny Price. “She’s funny. She’s smart. It’s going to be very entertaining.”
Joining Drescher on the entertainment lineup is Alex Newel, who plays the character “Unique” on Fox’s “Glee,” as well as musician Cary Nokey and band Puddles Pity Party.
Pride will have a dual theme this year: commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Annual Reminder Days and recognizing the transgender community.
“We wanted to help kick off the 50th-anniversary celebration, which will be taking place just a few weeks after Pride,” said Price. “We also want to salute and recognize the trans community. It’s 2015 and the last thing we want to do is keep the trans community in a ‘community closet.’ It’s time to open the door and say, ‘Come out. We’re here because of you.’”
Pride organizers also unveiled the locals who will lead the parade.
This year’s grand marshals will be Nellie Fitzpatrick, the city’s new director of LGBT affairs, and Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s acting physician general and the highest public office-holding transgender woman in the state.
“Nellie has been doing a lot of training with the Police Academy over the past year and was another key person involved with Directive 152,” Price said, referring to the new police policy guiding interactions with the trans community. “Dr. Levine’s accomplishment of holding the highest level of public office as a transgender woman is a historic feat.”
There will also be two grand-marshal floats this year, one of which will be named the Charlene J. Arcila Gender Equality Grand Marshal Float, in honor of Arcila, a trans woman whose complaint against SEPTA ultimately led to the elimination of “male” and “female” stickers on transpasses, which critics said discriminated against trans and gender-nonconforming riders.
The Friend of Pride designation will go to Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel, the department’s LGBT liaison, who Price noted has worked closely with the Police LGBT Liaison Committee.
“He is our liaison, and he really listens to us,” said Price. “He started the work on Directive 152, which helped make 2014 a tremendous year for advancing trans equality in the city.”
More details of the festival will become available as the date approaches, including selections for youth grand marshals.
Price said the parade route will largely stay the same, though it will start a half-hour earlier. Tickets for the festival will remain $15.
For more information, visit www.phillygaypride.org.
From our media partner PGN