Wanda to Wow the Crowd in Philly
Wanda Sykes will be master of ceremonies at the National LGBT 50TH Anniversary Ceremony on July 4
Organizers of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration have announced that award-winning entertainer and advocate Wanda Sykes will MC the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony on July 4th at Independence Hall, Philadelphia.
Sykes is known as an honest, outspoken LGBT advocate and a trusted entertainer who has pioneered a unique brand of humor, which is often infused with a human rights message.
“This historic one-hour ceremony, in front of Independence Hall, commemorates the Gay Pioneers, and celebrates 50 years of LGBT civil rights progress, and addresses future challenges. Wanda is a perfect MC,” said Malcolm Lazin, National LGBT 50th Anniversary Chair.
Wanda Sykes came out publicly in 2008 at a Proposition 8 rally In Las Vegas. In 2010, she was presented with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award by GLAAD for making a significant difference in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community in the media. Sykes was also a 2011 LGBT History Month Icon.
While much media attention has been given to Stonewall as the birth of the modern LGBT movement, the organized LGBT civil rights movement was launched when activists from New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia staged demonstrations for equality at Independence Hall each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969. When 40 activists first picketed in front of Independence Hall on July 4, 1965, it was the largest demonstration for gay equality in world history.
Organized by Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, these “Annual Reminders” laid the groundwork for the Stonewall riot in 1969. After Stonewall, Kameny and Gittings turned their energies to organizing the 1970 march from Greenwich Village to Central Park for the first anniversary of Stonewall.
Now, from July 2 to 5 2015, in Philadelphia, the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration will include panels, screenings, fireworks, daily parties, six LGBT history exhibits, concerts, a national interfaith service, wreath laying at the Gay Pioneers historic marker, and street festival in the ‘gayborhood’ with the highlight the one-hour National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony on a large stage in front of Independence Hall on July 4th.
There is no registration fee and most programs are free.