Category: News

21 Reads for Pride 2021

Get ready for pride with this mix of new releases, and some things from this year you might have missed!




New Releases Spring 2021

LGBTQ Books for Black History Month 2021

Order Your 2021 LGBT Calendars from PAT @ Giovanni’s Room

Look even more forward to 2021 with these LGBT and feminist calendars! Click on any of the links below to order directly through Philly Aids Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room.

It’s Showtime!

Help us celebrate Philly AIDS Thrift’s 15 Year Anniversary with a Drive-In screening of BEETLEJUICE at PSF Drive-In at the Navy Yard!
We couldn’t think of a better way to honor this milestone (AND our favorite holiday…Halloween) than to partner with the folks at the Philadelphia Film Society, to present a fun, safe way to celebrate the years we’ve loved and served the community.

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

Start time: 
7pm (lot opens at 6pm)

$30 Per Car Purchase Tickets Here:

In addition to the film there will be Treats, Food Trucks & Prizes. And you never can tell…maybe even Beetlejuice himself?

We look forward to seeing you there! Xoxo


Can I purchase a ticket on site?
No. ONLINE SALES ONLY. Operations will be check-in only, no box office sales at all will be conducted on site.

When will the lot open?
Drive-In will open 1 hour before listed showtimes.

What should I bring with me?
Please make sure to have a your confirmation email and/or printed ticket – and that of all the passengers in your car – with you for check in.

What about the weather?
All screenings are rain or shine unless weather is determined to be too dangerous by management.

What if the show is cancelled due to weather?
We have a rain-date of Tues, November 10th

Will there be restrooms?The site does have restrooms. Attendees must obey postings at the restroom entrances. Capacity limits must be adhered to.

Can I bring my pet?
No pets or animals of any kind are permitted on site, except certified service animals.

Will there be concessions?
At this time, we are preparing to have Food Trucks on site.

Can I bring my own food?
Yes. But please make sure to keep your food inside your vehicle and respect the grounds of the Navy Yard.

Do I have to wear a mask?
When outside the vehicle, attendees must wear a mask at all times.

How will I hear the movie audio?
Tune to 89.9 FM on your radio for the movie audio.

Audio is also available through the ListenEverywhere app. Guests can log onto the PFS DI wifi to download the app.

Can I sit outside my car?
No. Following the City-approved safety guideline – all attendees are required to remain in their vehicles at all times unless using the restroom.

Is it drive-in only or can I walk in and sit social distance?
This is a cars only drive-in.

How do I get to the Drive-In at the Navy Yard?
For GPS: Input “League Island Blvd & Admiral Peary Way” as the destination, or use the following directions from South Broad Street:
Enter the Navy Yard via Broad Street entrance.
Travel 0.7 mi to the end of Broad Street, then make left onto Admiral Peary Way.
In approx. 0.5 mi, you will see the Drive-In movie theater, just past the intersection of Admiral Peary Way & League Island Blvd.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email !

queerbook is out now!

We are so excited to announce our debut anthology! queerbook is the culmination of Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room’s first-ever writing contest. We are proud to present queerbook as a collection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from members of our store’s community from all over the world.

Featuring over 30 writers, as well as an introduction from one of the founders of Giovanni’s Room, this book reflects our pasts, presents, and futures. It is a snapshot of our current moment — our hopes, dreams and fears in a quickly changing world. Copies are available in store and online at $14.99 + tax

Black Lives Matter – 40 Must Read Books

New Arrivals for You to Check Out

Katharine’s Review of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

My love for Clarissa is so strong it changes the temperature of the air around us — that’s how it feels — which is precisely the thing about losers, the thing that binds us here on Mrs. Vag’s floor, and the thing that will bind us even after we change, grow up, become new people, meet other former and current losers: losers stick together. We recognize one another.

— T Kira Madden, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

There are two ways to write a successful memoir. One is with sheer talent of prose, making even the ordinary moments of our lives shine with their own luster. The other is to recount kind of experiences that make most people go: “Holy crap, I can’t believe that’s been your life.”

Luckily for T Kira Madden, she gets to do both at once. 

Long Live The Tribe of Fatherless Girls is Madden’s account of growing up queer and hapa in Boca Rotan, Florida. Awkward and alien even among similarly nouveau riche classmates (her uncle is Steve Madden of the shoe empire, just to give you a sense of the tax bracket), Madden was caught in the crux of both being the Other and having immense privilege. Her language is deeply creative and visceral, and she appreciates the surreal amidst the superficial; it’s Welcome to the Dollhouse as envisioned by Francesca Lia Block. 

Another movie comparison: the book reads like the flip narrative to The Wolf of Wall Street — what all that excess and drug abuse looked like when it wasn’t cinematic enough to be adapted by Scorsese, the effects on family members and daily life. That’s not so much a comparison, however, as the actual truth. Madden’s father was good buddies with Jordan Belfort, and we’re left to assume he made a lot of his money the same way. Madden’s account is quite the palate-cleansing contrast to the movie — she talks about the house rules where she was effectively locked inside her room at night when “company” came over, the sex and drug parties she glimpsed when she managed to sneak out, how she was babysat by some of the shadiest characters you’d ever think to trust with a preteen. And that’s when she isn’t digging into the real darkness, such as her parents cycling in and out of rehab, or how her father, high as a kite, once chased Madden and her mother into a locked bedroom and beat the door with a baseball bat until it splintered. He didn’t remember the incident afterward, claimed his little girl must have broken the bat herself.

One of the striking elements of the book is Madden’s lack of anger, or accusation, toward either of her parents. She has anger, but she focuses it squarely on their dealers. When it comes to the adults directly responsible for her — the ones who lied to her, neglected her, once forgot about her entirely and left her at a baseball game — Madden spends a lot of time trying to contextualize their behavior, if not excuse it. Madden clearly loves them both, and the book’s overarching narrative (if it can be said to have one, more on that later) is about attempting to incorporate that love into her adult understanding of her trauma. She unpicks her mother’s past and insists she did the best she could. But it’s her father whom Madden really labors over, sifting through her memories like they contain precious grains of wheat, even as she acknowledges the growing excess of chaff. Madden’s father is alive for most of the book, which might seem to contradict its title — but as one character in a similar situation points out, your father doesn’t have to be literally dead in order to grow up fatherless. (He’s the one who left her at a baseball game.) 

It’s Madden’s strained connection to her father, or lack thereof, which guides her choices in most of the relationships she chronicles in the book. Madden now identifies as gay, and her book touches on queer desire, but her overwhelming hunger for adult, or at least older, male attention dominates the narrative. Toxic boyfriends, abusers, predators — they all find their way into her life, and as Madden tells it, they’re all connected back to that initial disconnect. It was the first really big, really damaging crack in the foundation of her life.

And Madden’s own life contains considerable damage: eating disorder, assault, addiction. There is a lot of ugliness couched in the book’s beautiful prose. Details in the later chapters make it clear that Madden eventually overcame these obstacles: marriage to a supportive partner, repaired relationships with her parents, getting clean. But the book itself isn’t interested in the resolutions, or with much of the process of reaching them. Instead Madden seems to fixate on the worst parts, such as the more bigoted reactions to her coming out among an otherwise accepting family, or her teenaged partying and its excesses instead of how she came to be a lauded nonficition writer. Arguably, that’s because these things make for a more interesting story. It can still be frustrating, to feel like Madden doesn’t acknowledge how lucky, ultimately, she has been — especially how much of her family’s money contributed to that luck. For instance, after she all but flunks out of high school, Madden is sent to a Manhattan fashion school with her tuition and expenses paid. In these chapters she talks about her ongoing emotional turmoil, her struggles with queer identity — all of which is valid. But it’s hard to ignore how much better she had it than most with similar sorrows. 

In fact many of the narrative threads of Long Live The Tribe of Fatherless Girls feel incomplete, and often we’re given endings and beginnings with no details of what happens between. Even in the very end, where the audience might finally believe Madden has reached a place of balance and perhaps emotional wholeness, a revelation in the last pages lands like a sucker punch. The book won’t give you any sense of resolution, and those in search of it should look elsewhere. But if you’re more inclined towards intensity, or a nostalgic look back at the weirdest aughts-era adolescence you never really lived, let T Kira Madden tell you stories of her tribe.