The story of Philadelphia’s gay history, which began when it was a haven for homosexuals in the late 1800s and early 1900s, has been a fixture in the city’s culture ever since.
But it’s time for the city to celebrate the city and its gay community, too, and celebrate the stories of those who made it all happen.
“Philadelphia is the most inclusive place on the face of the earth,” said Ben DeGale, who grew up in the neighborhood of Kensington and moved to Philadelphia in the 1980s to work in marketing.
“It’s where we went to school, where we played sports, where the first gay bar was founded, where it all started.”
DeGale started the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAD, in 1997 and began to build the organization’s reputation for fighting for gay rights.
In 2002, the organization became the first national organization dedicated to defending LGBTQ people and families.
GLAD has fought to ban the use of the slur “faggot” in the workplace and the passage of anti-discrimination protections for transgender people.
GLAAD also fought against a proposed state law in North Carolina that would have legalized gay marriage and forced local officials to ban anti-gay discrimination.GLAD is also an advocate for anti-violence, and last year, the group partnered with the city of Philadelphia to launch a $15,000 scholarship program to help students and young adults from marginalized communities get a college education.
Glad’s biggest mission is fighting for the “legacy of gay people in Philly,” DeGales said.
He said Philadelphia is a big place for gay people to live and have friends, and there are plenty of gay bars, clubs and restaurants in the heart of the city.
“We have a very good history of being a gay city, a very diverse city,” he said.
“We have very diverse people, and so it’s not surprising that we have a lot of LGBT people.
I think we have enough diversity to make Philadelphia a really good place to be.”
For some, Philadelphia has long been a beacon of tolerance.
Gay bars are common in the gayborhood, but there’s also a thriving gay culture in the South Philly neighborhoods of North and South Broad Street and South Fourth Street.
Gay bars have long been part of the fabric of the community.
It was a tradition that started in the 1920s, when gay men and women were first allowed to serve at Philadelphia’s first gay tavern, called The Stonewall Inn, which was located on the edge of the South End neighborhood.
The Stonewalls became a destination for the first wave of gay men who traveled to New York City in the early 1900.
Gay couples would sit on the sidewalk and dance together, and people would often come to see who was the best dancer in the area, DeGalle said.
There were other gay bars in Philadelphia, too.
But those began to fade as the city became a hotbed of racism, discrimination and crime.
Gay bar culture began to decline in the 1970s and 1980s.
But gay bars remained open in the ’90s, thanks to a resurgence of gay activism and activism against anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
Philadelphia’s gay community has been through a lot, said Robert “Randy” Guglielmi, who founded GLAad in 1999 and is the organization chief executive.
Gugelman was one of the first Philadelphia officials to fight for the repeal of the state’s ban on gay marriage in 2004.
Gugelman, who is gay and runs GLAAd’s National Gay Task Force, has worked with DeGalgales on the fight for LGBTQ equality.
He’s also been working on a new program called the Philadelphia LGBTQ Pride Month, which is designed to highlight LGBTQ Pride month themes and events.GLAad is also working on its first national campaign to celebrate LGBTQ people, said DeGaly, who started GLAads campaign for the 2019 Pride month.
He called Philadelphia’s LGBTQ Pride celebration “a great opportunity to bring back some of the pride and pride in our community that we lost in the 20th century.”GLAAD has also launched a series of events to celebrate Philadelphia’s LGBT history and events, such as the Philly Pride festival, the Philadelphia Pride Film Festival, the Pride Week Festival and the Philly Gay Pride Parade.