Typically, the month of June is packed with events celebrating Pride and is a time full of love, acceptance and togetherness. With the current pandemic situation, however, those in-person events that mean so much to the LGBTQ+ community and beyond have unfortunately had to be postponed, but luckily there is still a way to make this time memorable and meaningful.
A local organization, Beyond the Bell Tours, has found a way to provide a true Pride experience from the comfort of your own home. Being a local company whose mission is to provide tour experiences that share “untold stories of Philadelphia” that also highlight marginalized communities, peoples and histories, it’s very fitting for the organization to be able to launch this initiative. The company’s Pride celebration comes in the form of a series of Pride care boxes, and each week will hold a representation of a different queer personality, plus each box will also come with an exclusive “Drag Me Along With Eric Jaffe” virtual drag performance as well. According to the release, to make it even more meaningful, each purchase of any Pride-in-a-box experience will directly support multiple queer-owned businesses and artists in the area while also bringing a little light, love and joy into your home.
The first box launched on June 13 and was dubbed ‘Club Queer’ with access to Eric Jaffe’s performance on Zoom, a black light bulb, body paint, a Robert Drake playlist, a Koozie designed by Homegrown Designs and a ‘Make Woody’s Gay Again’ designed by Happycrypresents. A second specialty box launches June 15, and this ‘Dyke Box’ is said to be a goodie box for the whole spectrum of girl on girl fun that also features access to a burlesque performance by Sinnamon’s Spice Rack.
The box on June 20 will be themed ‘Quiet Queer’ and features access to Eric Jaffe’s performance at 9 p.m. via Zoom, a scented balm candle by Odabu, a custom cocktail recipe by Sissy, a Beyond the Bell Tours Tote to carry your books and crossword puzzles and a book of poetry from Giovanni’s Room.
Following up on a spicier note on June 27 will be the ‘Horny Queer’ box which features Eric Jaffe Performance at 9 p.m. via Zoom, a custom cocktail recipe by Sissy, a What is Gay Sex sticker by Naturally Queer and sex shop gear. The July 4 box will be dubbed ‘Political Queer’ (also the Day of 1965 Annual Reminder Day) and will feature access to Eric Jaffe’s performance at 9 p.m. via Zoom, a book from Giovanni’s Room, an enamel pride pin from Giovanni’s Room, a limited edition Beyond the Bell x Homoco Pride T-shirt, and access to three-rounds of Queer Quizzo on July 5 @ 2 p.m. via Zoom.
Boxes are priced at $69, and Philadelphians can also purchase singular tickets to all of Eric Jaffe’s performances for $10 as well if they wish to skip the box purchases. The performance on June 13 with Jaffe was a 30-minute dance-a-thon that had all proceeds go directly to the Abolitionist Law Center and Amistad Law Project, a local organization that advocates for the recognition of the human rights of all people and believes in the intersection of movements against systemic oppression.
Jaffe’s upcoming performances include 30 minutes of soothing ukulele music (open to requests) on June 20 for ‘Quiet Queer,’ a show full of raunchy parodies covering everything from glory holes to group sex on June 27 for ‘Horny Queer,’ and a show surrounding why Drag Queens should take over the political sphere and rule the world on July 4 for ‘Political Queer.’ Philadelphians can also purchase an individual ticket for the Sinnamon’s Spice Rack on June 15 at 8:30 p.m. online as well.
For more information on Beyond the Bell Tours and their Pride month celebration, visit beyondthebelltours.com