Celebrate a Big Day for the LGBT Community in Philadelphia

Alice Blezard February 11, 2015

This year Philadelphia is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the city’s first gay rights protests.



FAMOUSLY nicknamed the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia is well-known for its links to the gay community, which stem back to the principles that the city was founded on more than 300 years ago: equality and freedom of expression.

In the 1960s Philadelphia was home to some of the first gay rights protests in the United States, and the city has since gone on to welcome and embrace the gay community.


Today the city has a bustling gay village, which is fondly dubbed the Gayborhood. The area boasts urban cafe-culture as well as vibrant nightlife; it’s cobbled, tree-lined streets are home to coffee shops, bookshops, restaurants as well as many lively gay bars and clubs.

LGBT visitors from all over the world are encouraged to visit the city which is so embracing and celebratory of LGBT culture – and 2015 is a great year to visit.

The 50th anniversary celebrations taking place this year, are in honour of the 1965 picketing that took place at the city’s famous Independence Hall.


On Independence Day, gay rights activists gathered outside the hall demanding legislation that would secure the rights of LGBT Americans. 50 years have passed since this marked day of protest, and the LGBT community has a lot to celebrate.

Philadelphia has a full calendar of events to mark the anniversary, as well as the city’s annual Pride, Black Pride and National Coming Out Day celebrations.

Philadelphia Black Pride –  April 22-26, 2015

Five days of celebrations will mark the 16th anniversary of the Philadelphia Black Pride event (formerly Philadelphia Black Gay Pride) featuring everything from a poetry slam and a dance party to creative arts evenings and cocktail parties.

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Philly Pride Day Parade

Philly Pride Parade and Festival – June 14 & July 5 2015

Philly Pride Parade and Festival is one of the largest LGBT pride celebrations in the world, attracting over 25,000 people each year. The 2015 theme is the 50th anniversary of the Annual Reminders picketing of Independence Hall that took place on July 4, 1965. Three weeks after the Pride celebrations, the picketing will be reenacted at Independence Hall on July 4.

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50th Anniversary of One of the First Gay Rights Protests – July 2-5, 2015

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of one of the U.S’s first gay rights demonstrations, the city plays host to many activities across the city centre with the iconic Independence Hall taking centre stage. On July 4, Independence Day, visitors can join a who’s who of LGBT icons and allies in front of Independence Hall for a ceremony commemorating the Gay Pioneers and celebrating 50 years of LGBT civil rights achievements.

Following this, on July 5 in the city’s ‘Gayborhood’ thousands of rainbow flag-wearing visitors are expected, for a huge block party celebration.

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Philadelphia Outfest – October 11, 2015

In true Philadelphia style, the city will welcome the world’s largest National Coming Out Day (NCOD) celebration in the heart of its Gayborhood on October 11 2015. Now in their 24th year, the festivities start at noon and continue until 7pm with over 30,000 people expected.

Visitors will take over the streets, decorating them with a multitude of rainbow flags as the party atmosphere gears up for the annual block party. In 1990, Philadelphia was one of the first cities to organise a large scale event to celebrate NCOD, and each year as the event has grown it has become a mecca in the city’s must-do gay events calendar.

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