A Wedding With Several Gay City News Alum Sightings

Phil Velez Jimmy Van Bramer Joe Craven
Phil Velez places a ring on the finger of his new husband Joe Craven on September 26, as City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, their officiant, looked on.
Courtesy of Jimmy Van Bramer

On a still-summerish Saturday, September 26, Phil Velez and Joe Craven, who met five years ago at the Nowhere Bar on East 14th Street, took to the rooftop terrace of their Manhattan apartment building to exchange wedding vows. Velez’s wedding caught our attention not only because he is a longtime LGBTQ activist and former chair of Latino Gay Men of New York — and a terrifically nice guy — but also because two decades ago he was a contributor to Lesbian and Gay New York (LGNY), the predecessor title to Gay City News.

It also happens that the officiant at the wedding was Queens City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, also a contributor to LGNY during that same era.

In fact, Velez and Van Bramer have been fast friends ever since meeting at an LGNY holiday party back in a day when Donald Trump was still scrambling to work his way out of one casino bankruptcy or another.

As for the day’s other groom — Craven — he works as a hardwood flooring purchasing agent. He never wrote for LGNY or Gay City News, but we are working hard to win him over, at least, as a reader!

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