Happy June! There’s no better way to celebrate Pride than by supporting the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community right here in Philadelphia. Not sure where to start? We’ve complied a list of the top 5 ways to celebrate Pride all month long while also advocating for equality for all. Check out our list below!
1. Learn about Pride’s History & LGBTQ+ Rights
Take an Interactive Tour of Stonewall Forever: Learn about the history of the Stonewall Forever monument, and watch the documentary that discusses the past, present, and future of Pride.
Learn more about the American Civil Liberties Union: The ACLU works to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association. Learn more about LGBTQ+ rights here.
Check out The Library of Congress: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. Become educated on the history and traditions of this month!
2. Celebrate at These Philly Events
There are tons of events happening all over the city this year to celebrate Philly Pride Month. We’ve listed just a few below, but you can find even more Pride events on Visit Philly!
On Friday, June 3, The Office of LGBT Affairs will host its annual Flag Raising Event to kick off Philly Gay Pride month! In addition to raising the iconic More Color, More Pride flag, this year’s program theme, Celebrating our Communities, will include speakers from across LGBTQ+ communities who will share their stories and the many ways we can continue to celebrate Pride. This event is free and open to the public.
Check out Sofitel’s Pride Drag Tea with Brittany Lynn’s Drag Mafia: Sofitel Philadelphia will be celebrating Pride with a drag tea show happening every weekend of this month! Sofitel, famous for its classic afternoon tea service, will debut a new Drag Tea featuring Brittany Lynn and the Philly Drag Mafia. Sip tea (or spill it) in the presence of fabulous Drag Queens as you enjoy delicious offerings like scones, tea sandwiches, pastries and more. Five dollars from each purchase will be donated to the William Way LGBT Community Center. Purchase your tickets here!
The PHL Pride March & Festival is happening this Sunday, June 5. This dynamic festival is built with deep intention around the reimagining of Pride and uplifting the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community. Within the larger festival, PHL Pride Collective has worked with community partners to build a variety of fun and safe places for everyone.
Pride in the Park: Pride Day at Parks on Tap is back for a second year! On June 18, Pride in the Park: Pride Day at Parks on Tap is scheduled to return to Fairmont Water Works. Enjoy a lively day of music, cocktails, and camaraderie benefiting LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations like William Way LGBT Community Center, Philly Asian Queer, The Attic Youth Center, and Galaei.
On Saturday, June 25, The Philadelphia Zoo celebrates Philly Gay Pride Month with the return of Pride Day at the Zoo! This is a great opportunity to get outdoors with friends, enjoy the animals, and celebrate the awesome diversity of the LGBTQ community. Local LGBTQ organizations have been invited to give away literature and talk about their services. Guests are invited to show off their Gay Pride by wearing their most colorful rainbow and pride-themed threads for a chance to win Zoo tickets for a future visit! Register here!
3. Explore the Gayborhood
The Gayborhood is an iconic LGBTQ+ community set in the heart of Washington Square West! It’s a Philly hotspot complete with shopping, dining along 13th Street, and everything in between—making it the perfect neighborhood to hang out in this month and all year round.
The area is tucked in the Midtown Village neighborhood and spans Pine Street to Chestnut Street, as well as 11th Street to Broad Street! Map it here.
The restaurant scene is central to the Gayborhood. Check out the Mediterranean-style kitchen and bar Barbuzzo, along with the mid-century-inspired American eatery, Bud and Marilyn’s, owned and operated by local restauranteurs Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran.
Highly acclaimed for its nightlife, the Gayborhood features places like Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar—a staple sports bar, and Cockatoo, a vibrant safe space for Philly’s queer community and allies that services cocktails, wine, beer and delicious Latin street food.
Looking for something sweet? Check out Cake Life Bake Shop, an award-winning small-batch artisanal bakery that’s proudly woman- and trans- owned and operated.
Full of small businesses to support, there’s no shortage of shopping in the Gayborhood!
A highlight of the neighborhood is Philly Aids Thrift at Giovanni’s Room. Originally offering LGBTQ fiction and non-fiction works, Philly Aids Thrift has expanded its selection to music, art, comics, books, and more! It is also the oldest LGBTQ and feminist bookstore in the country. The thrift store has donated over two and a half million dollars to 21 AIDS agencies in the Greater Philadelphia area. Do good while shopping small!
In the market for locally designed apparel? Naturally Queer has you covered! Owner Jourdan Porter designs apparel and merchandise for queer and trans people of color.
Philly is full of creatives! Be sure to explore The South Street Art Mart. Only intended to be a holiday pop-up shop in November 2018, this artist-run retail shop received overwhelming support and was able to stay open. The Art Mart features 100+ Philly-area artists and other creatives.
Support even more queer-owned businesses in Philly with this list from Billy Penn!
- Donate to the Pride Foundation: When you donate to the Pride Foundation, you join thousands of supporters building a better, safer, more equitable world for LGBTQ+ people and families.
- Support the Human Rights Campaign: By donating to HRC, you are helping resist attacks against LGBTQ+ rights and continuing to push equality forward.
- Give to the Morris Home: The Morris Home is the only residential recovery program in the country to offer comprehensive services specifically for the transgender community.
- Donate to GLAAD: GLAAD is a dynamic media force tackling tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love.
5. Support & Stay Engaged From Home
Whether you want to celebrate out-and-about on the streets of Philadelphia or from the comfort of your home, there are plenty of ways to get involved!
- Follow accounts like @lgbt, @pride, @lgtbq, and @lgbt_history on Instagram!
- Join and support fellow activists: Pride salutes every gay activist whose work changed the social landscape for LGBTQ+ people. Get involved and see a list of activists to follow here.
- Listen to podcasts like Making Gay History and Getting Curious with Johnathan Van Ness
- Read books like The Book of Pride by Mason Funk, and see the ultimate book list for Pride Month from Penguin Random House here.
- Watch documentaries like Before Stonewall and State of Pride!