HTJ Schedule: Warming Up Detroit

By Shelby Clark Petkus

Hotter Than July, Detroit's black gay pride festival, continues its 19th anniversary this week with further celebrations.

HTJ's famous Film Festival runs from 5:30 p.m. to 12:20 a.m. on July 24 at Cinema Detroit, 3420 Cass Ave. Featuring the best in black LGBT cinema, the event will run movies like "Friend of Essex," premiering for the first time in Michigan. "Still Black: A Portrait of a Black Transman" is a candid 2008 documentary, "Stud Life" is the story of a British stud lesbian and her gay "pretty boy" best friend and "The Young and Evil" is a short film of a sexually promiscuous black gay teen pursuing HIV through unprotected sex. Other short films will include "Echoes," examining sexual identity and personal power, "On The Low," exploring the emotional consequences of a secret relationship between two African-American high school boys and many more. Tickets are $20 per person.

The Annual Gathering for LGBT Issues runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 25. The event, with suggested registration of $20 and free for students with required ID, features dignitaries, a keynote address, panel discussion, special recognitions, workshops and continental breakfast and lunch. According to KICK Executive Assistant, David Nelson, Jr., this is one of the key highlights of the entire Hotter Than July roster, featuring a gathering of LGBT, young and old, to share their stories and experiences.

The gathering will be at Michigan State University Detroit Center, 3408 Woodward Ave. Friday Night Heat at the Woodward finishes Friday events, beginning at 9 p.m. Woodward Bar & Grill is located at 6426 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Admittance is $10 until 11 p.m.

HTJ's Palmer Park Picnic begins at 9 a.m. on July 26 in Palmer Park, Detroit. The free event attracts many LGBT and allies every year and features a variety of events. Performances include Abigail Stauffer, Natural Muse Agency, Logan Mario, Crystal Grundy and more. Cierra Malone and Ramon Harris host.

A highlight of the picnic is the "Status Sexy Ball." Open during the picnic, the ball features competitions open to anyone (OTA). The categories for the event include, Best Performance, Sex Siren, Runway, Realness which includes "just bringing it!" and Sneaker vs. Sneaker, which is less about labels and more about looks. Additional OTA categories include Face, Best Dressed, Virgin Vogue (wearing white with a touch of red) and Virgin Runway ("bringing it in all black with a touch of red").

Also on Saturday, HTJ will run "Saturday Night Swagg at the Woodward." With $10 admittance until 11 p.m. that day, the event will be at Woodward Bar & Grill, 6426 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

Hotter Than July closes out on July 27, beginning with a special Worship Service at 11 a.m. The free service will be held by WHOSOEVER Ministry at 2940 Woodward Ave., Detroit. At 1 p.m. is Sunday Brunch. The event is $40 per person or $70 per couple and will be held at They Say, 267 Joseph Campau Ave., Detroit. A Tea Dance will be held at the same location and date at 3 p.m.; tickets are $5.

Dates and times are subject to change. To keep tabs on events, or for more information, call 313-285-9733 or visit

http://www.hotterthanjuly.org.

Keep up with all Michigan pride events with BTL's Pride Guide at http://www.pridesource.com/prideguide.html
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