Philadelphia, PA

How to celebrate Pride Month in Philly

Nick Fiorellini

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Pride flags waiving in the air.Daniel James/Unsplash

It’s almost time to party like it’s not 2020.

LGBTQ Pride Month begins June 1 — and although many local and regional events, including the Philly Pride Parade, are postponed and cancelled for extra pandemic precaution, that’s not stopping the LGBTQ Philadelphians from celebrating.

“Pride is one of my favorite times of the year, and I've especially been looking forward to it this year, considering how distant we've felt as a community,” says Jonathan Lovitz, a special advisor to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). “Even if several events are still online, rekindling that sense of community is particularly important right now.”

LGBTQ people might not be able to fully convene with each other until September 4, when the Philly Pride Parade is now scheduled, but there are still plenty of ways you can show your Pride this month. Here’s how:

Support small LGBTQ businesses.

Did you know that there are 1.4 LGBT-owned businesses in the United States? According to the latest NGLCC America’s LGBT Economy Report from 2017, these businesses contribute approximately $1.7 trillion to America’s economy — that’s enough to be the 10th wealthiest economy in the world.

In Philadelphia, there are plenty of LGBTQ businesses; the city just doesn’t keep track of them. However, whether you’re looking for a clothing boutique or a coffee shop, there’s likely an LGBTQ-owned business somewhere in the city for you. Check out this business guide from Billy Penn to get started. If you still can’t find what you need, search the Philly Gay Calendar blog to see if there’s a business that recently opened up that’s perfect for you.

Find a smaller in-person event.

The main celebration may be cancelled, but there are still plenty of fun LGBTQ events you can attend in a smaller group throughout the month in Philly. There’s a lot to mention — and, again, you can keep up with all the changes over at Philly Gay Calendar — but here are some favorites creating a lot of buzz in the city right now:

Attend a virtual celebration.

Don’t delete Zoom just yet! There are still plenty of fun things going online that you can watch from your bed. qFLIX is launching “PrideFLIX; The Virtual Pride Film Festival”, featuring five weeks of LGBTQ documentaries, feature films, short films, and web series from the comfort of your home as you celebrate Pride. Ticket prices will range from $7 - $10 per viewing, with $1 of each viewing going towards local LGBTQ nonprofits. The William Way LGBT Center will also be hosting both an art show and their annual Philly Pride Run 5K virtually this year. Registration is not needed for the art show but is required for the 5K, which has same-day registration.

Put your money where your mouth is.

It doesn’t matter if we’re in a pandemic or not, Pride Month consistently remains one of the best times for LGBTQ people to show up for their own community. There are always dozens of local fundraising events every year; if you pick a cause close to your heart, there will always be a non-profit you can donate to. (This year, you can even donate to a group looking to bring a Lil Nas X mural to Philadelphia!)

If money is an issue, you should check out volunteer opportunities at organizations like LGBT Elder Initiative, Mazzoni Center, The Trevor Project, The Human Rights Campaign, and Philadelphia FIGHT.

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Nick Fiorellini is a freelancer writer from the Philadelphia area.

Philadelphia, PA
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