Thom Cardwell to Host Benefit in Philly on St. Patrick's Day

Thom Cardwell with publicist Nicole Cashman at an event this week

Thom Cardwell is one of the architects of Philly’s modern-day gay scene. Along with his own website,, Cardwell has written for the Philadelphia Gay News and as executive director of the Philadelphia Film Society, has shepherded nearly every LGBTQ-related film and film fest in the city. This weekend, he’s hosting the 4th annual "Kiss Me, I'm Irish & Gay" benefit for, now a nonprofit, along with partner beneficiary, City of Hope on St. Patrick's Day, Sunday, March 17, at U Bar (Camac Street between 12th and 13th) from 2-5 PM.

“Why celebrate St. Patrick's Day and the wearing of the green?” asks Cardwell. “I know everyone doesn't look so great in green so go for Kelly green or chartreuse, or just an accessory, you don't have to wear green from head to toe to look like a ridiculous Jolly Green Giant. The real point is that throwing this event gives us all a chance to party together, momentarily be a Citizen of the World, and adopt being of Irish decent, even if you've not.”

In Cardwell’s mind, there is of course LGBTQ politics involved in the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. “Despite the fact that gay people can march in St. Patrick's Day parades in Dublin - a very gay-friendly city - we're still barred from doing the same thing in cities like Philadelphia, and shockingly, New York City.” Speak to the Mummers for a recommendation about how festive gays are as participants at parades.

At “Kiss Me I’m Irish & Gay” muscle boys, drag queens, Cardwell’s Jewish friends (“they told me that they weren't gay or Irish, but we're all-inclusive, no problem”) and straights are welcome. The only thing missing is the gross green beer. There will be cool prizes from a pair of tickets to The Addams Family from the Academy of Music's Broadway series, to a $100 dinner gift certificate from the swanky The Prime Rib, and an excursion to 'DO/AC--Gay or Otherwise”, as well as a kissing booth where all of the proceeds go the City of Hope.

As for Thom, the St. Patrick’s Day event is also a pre-celebration of his 68th birthday, a “party that’s ultimately, all about ME,” he laughs. “I look as good as I do because I'm a vampire, and being Irish, Welsh and Italian helps - my favorite drink of choice these days is TRUE BLOOD." Not green beer.

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Photo ©A.D. Amorosi for Glamorosi

Posted on Friday, March 15, 2012