LivingTravelPhiladelphia gay pride

Philadelphia gay pride

Philadelphia, one of America’s most politically progressive and LGBT-friendly cities, hosts its Philadelphia LGBT pride parade and festival in mid-June. The same organization also produces OutFest each October, one of the largest National Exit Day events in the world.

Philadelphia has a long tradition of supporting its LGBT community, and the diversity of the city is reflected in the variety of its LGBT celebrations. The Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force, founded in 1978, is one of the oldest groups of its kind in the country. He was instrumental in helping pass one of the first LGBT civil rights bills, the Philadelphia Fair Practices Act of 1982.

Philadelphia Gay Pride Parade Traditional Route

The Philadelphia Gay Pride Parade departs from the intersection of 13th and Locust Sts., Right in the city’s famous gayborhood, and weaves east toward the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.

There are several different venues along the route where the artists perform. Then in the Plaza, artists and some 160 vendors gather to present the annual Philadelphia Gay Pride Festival, which generally runs from noon to 6 p.m., and features dozens of notable artists.

History of gay pride in Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love held its first informal Pride parade in the 1980s, as part of a larger rally with the Lesbian and Gay Task Force. The parade proved so popular that the community started a formal organization to continue the parade annually.

That organization, now known as Philly Pride Presents, oversees what has become the largest LGBT celebration in Pennsylvania, attracting more than 25,000 visitors a year.

OutFest and National Departure Day

Philadelphia is also home to the largest National Exit Day (NCOD) event, known as OutFest. The first NCOD event was observed in Washington DC in 1987, and inspired other cities to create similar block party-style celebrations for their own LGBT communities.

OutFest launched in 1990 and became one of the most popular LGBT events in the Northeast. It’s in a gay-friendly neighborhood, it’s free, and local businesses and artists participate. It is usually celebrated in October, the Sunday before Columbus Day, and draws crowds of 40,000.

Philadelphia Black Gay Pride

The city also hosts an event for LGBT people of color. Philadelphia’s black gay pride evolved from COLORS, a health services organization. In 1999, COLORS hosted the first Philly Black Pride event. Philadelphia Black Gay Pride (PBGP) was formally established as a separate non-profit organization in 2004, and offers year-round programming and services for Philadelphia’s LGBT people of color.

The PBGP is part of Cente for Black Equity, a national organization that supports the LGBT community of color. PBGP’s biggest event is an annual carnival at the University of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Gay Resources

Note that Philadelphia gay bars, as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops, have special events and parties during Pride Week. Check out local gay resources, such as the Philly Gay Calendar and Philadelphia Gay News, as well as the Greater Philadelphia Tourism gay and lesbian site for more details.

For more information on Philadelphia’s LGBT community and events, check out our Philadelphia Gay Guide.

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