The Christopher Street Liberation Day March took place one year after the Stonewall riots in New York City. Exactly 50 years later, the LGBTQIA+ community is still marching to celebrate Pride and bring attention to civil rights injustice around the world. This year, Pride looks a little different in Philadelphia because the annual Pride march and all associated events were canceled due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. Ever resilient, the Philly LGBTQ+ population started a range of virtual events as well as campaigns to support queer-owned restaurants and businesses.
Philly Pride Goes Online
Global Pride 2020
Since they can’t hold their own Pride march this year, Philly Pride Presents is encouraging Philadelphia residents to participate in Global Pride 2020. True to its name, this 24-hour celebration will be streamed around the world. Those that tune in can expect to hear speeches from LGBTQ+ community leaders from across the globe, watch streamed performances, and take a look back at the worldwide history of gay rights. The free event begins on June 27th and viewers can sign up to watch live on Facebook.
Virtual Pride Happy Hour
Even though Philadelphia’s vibrant gay bar scene has been closed due to the coronavirus restrictions, that doesn’t mean happy hour has been canceled. Join Lili St. Queer on Thursdays at 5 p.m. for Virtual Happy Hour presented by the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Free Library Culinary Center supplies happy hour attendees with a cocktail or mocktail recipe to make at home. Then, get comfy and enjoy your libation while Lili St. Queer takes you on a journey via entertaining retellings of LGBTQ+ historical events. The event is free and advanced registration is preferred via Crowdcast.
Virtual Pride Group Paint
Group painting classes have been all the rage for the last few years and the National Liberty Museum is getting in on the fun for Pride. They’re hosing a group paint with Emily Mullin. Attendees to this free event can follow along with Emily and paint their own Pride flag at home. During the Bob Ross-esque session, learn more about the history of the flag, what each color represents, and why the rainbow is such an important symbol for the LGBTQ+ community.
Queer Owned Restaurants
Arguably, no two people have had more of a hand in transforming a neighborhood than Chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran. 13th Street used to be a stark area, but they’ve turned it into a trendy midtown mecca by opening more than eight restaurants and boutiques. Lolita, the couple’s Mexican eatery, is open for delivery and takeout. Outdoor tables on their patio are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Check their Instagram (@lolitaphilly) for daily menu offerings and updated hours. If the cherry mango margarita or the pork carnitas are on the menu, don’t hesitate; they’re to die for.
Flow State Coffeebar
Flow State Coffeebar is a lesbian-owned cafe named for the state of mind most conducive to creative productivity. They’re currently open for takeout and delivery on the weekends. Costumers have the option of advanced preordering or order for immediate pickup. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Philadelphians can order lunch box assortments of paninis, pastry boxes, cakes, and of course, delicious coffee. Their website also gives guests the option to donate to buy treats for health care workers. 100% of the donations go to providing pastry boxes and coffee to local hospitals.
LGBTQ Businesses to Support
Founder/owner Jourdan Porter created Naturally Queer to provide affirming apparel for queer and trans people of color. In her own words this grad student, “with only a few entrepreneurial bones in my body,” created a line of shirts, accessories, and more intended to raise up the Black queer community. She even has merch specifically for trans people. Her first and most popular shirt reads: Straight hair was a phase. So was being straight.
Giovanni's Room, run by Philly AIDS Thrift, is the oldest gay and feminist bookstore in the country still in operation. Named after James Baldwin’s gay novel Giovanni’s Room, this historic shop opened its doors in 1973. Although it is currently closed, orders can be placed online and delivered anywhere in the U.S. Their website is incredibly thorough giving visitors the option to browse by what’s new, staff picks, or by category.