I wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of major national profile on PHL Pride Collective, the group that performed a coup d’état of sorts to create a more welcoming and inclusive Pride experience in Philadelphia.
The group’s first-ever Philly Pride March and Festival was a roaring success, drawing thousands of people to the streets to demand more visibility for overlooked LGBTQ+ groups. PHL Pride Collective should be held up as a model on how to create a successful, inclusive Pride for cities across the globe that are struggling to carve out a new path.
The March and Festival happened the second weekend of June, but Philly Pride celebrations aren’t over yet. The fun continues in a variety of formats throughout June — from drag queen teas, story times and brunches to trivia nights, art exhibits and Pride Nights at local attractions like the Franklin Institute.
Keep scrolling for details on all those things and more — including local cafés, bars and restaurants that are hosting Pride month specials and benefits.
Philly Pride events to get into this month
Local artist Alex Stadler curated “Gone and For Ever,” a special exhibition at the William Way LGBT Community Center that honors those Philadelphians who lost their lives early in the AIDS pandemic — particularly those who were abandoned in their dying process and when family and funeral directors were too afraid to be in contact with the bodies of AIDS victims. The exhibit itself takes on the image of a funeral for those who never got a proper send off, with elegies, shrouds, music, costumes and urns reminiscent of the funereal process. The exhibition will be on view for five days, June 21 to 25, ending with an actual memorial ceremony and procession of the urns to The Church of Saint Luck & The Epiphany, where blessings will be cast over the memories of those we lost. That happens June 25 at 3pm. 1315 Spruce Street, free.
Beyond the Bell, a local tour outfit focusing on the history of underrepresented groups in Philly, is embarking on a sober version of its two-hour City of Pride Trolley Tours, which cart guests beyond the Gayborhood to show how queer history has shaped this city from way back. To make it extra gay, riders will be treated to live performances from local queer entertainers between stops. Friday, June 24, 5pm. Tour begins and ends at The Bourse, 111 S. Independence Mall East, $39.
Themed “Summer Ball,” this Month’s Science After Hours at the Franklin Institute is all about Pride, with drag performances, dancing, an exploration of ballroom culture with vogueing guru Kemar Jewel and bangers from DJ Electric Honey. The following day, the Franklin Institute a tamer Family Pride Day for LGBTQ+ parents and their little ones. Friday, June 24, 7:30 to 11pm. 222 N. 20th Street, $40–$45.
Philly drag legend Brittany Lynn hosts a not-so-proper drag tea at Sofitel this Saturday inside the hotel’s Chez Colette Brasserie. Proceeds from the events will benefit William Way LGBT Community Center. June 25, 2 to 4pm. 120 S. 17th Street, $75–$85.
South Philly watering hole Devil’s Den is hosting its popular Drag Me to the Den drag show during Pride Month to benefit LGBTQ nonprofit True Colors United. Sunday, June 26, 2pm. 1148 S. 11th Street, $10–$60.
What’s better way to cap off a month of revelry than a good exercise class to close out Pride / get your ass back in shape for the rest of Fire Island / Rehoboth / Asbury Park season? City Fitness is teaming up with William Way on a pride party / fitness class featuring pumped-up jams by DJ Carl Michaels and a variety of workouts led by a host of City Fitness trainers. The class is free, but donations are welcome. All proceeds benefit William Way. Oh, and rainbow-clad workout gear is encouraged! Thursday, June 30, 6pm. City Fitness East Market, 11 S. 12th Street, free.
Out Jewish artist Jonathan Horowitz curated “The Future Will Follow the Past,” a new months-long exhibition at The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History that brings together artworks that speak to LGBTQ+ causes. Among the items on display is one of Horowitzes glittery rainbow flag paintings that deserves space on your IG feed pronto. While you’re there, take notice of the cool “OY/YO” sculpture out front. It was created by Brooklyn-based Jewish lesbian artist Deborah Kass. Through December 2022. 101 S. Independence Mall East, free.
Want to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride with the kiddos? Follow Brittany Lynn on Facebook to find out when her next Drag Queen Story Time is happening. She’s got a bunch lined up for Pride Month at Free Libraries all around town. Various dates and times. Various locations, always free.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK TO BENEFIT LGBTQ CAUSES
Local bars and restaurants are debuting food and drink specials during Pride month that benefit local and national LGBTQ organizations. Here are some things to add to your must-try list this month.
The Mattachine 76 cocktail — a purple-hued riff on the French 76 — at Charlie was a sinner. pays tribute to The Mattachine Society, one of the first gay rights organizations in the country. $1 from every sale will be donated to William Way.
Try the limited-edition #loveislove strawberry blonde ale at Evil Genius Beer Company in June. Proceeds will benefit The Trevor Project, a national nonprofit providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth.
Throughout the month of June, five percent of all sales of The Love Shake — a strawberry shake with rainbow sprinkles and a rainbow straw — at HipCityVeg will be donated to local organizations directly supporting LGBTQ+ communities.
The Pride Month Flight at the vibrant Jet Wine Garden comprises six colorful wines inspired by the rainbow flag. For every flight sold — at $30 — Jet Wine Bar will donate $5 to the William Way LGBT Community Center.Header photo by the Hon. Daniel J. Anders