Did you know that years before the first Pride Parades in Philadelphia there were several marches and rallies?
One of the organizers of the very first Pride March in Philly, Tommi Avicolli Mecca, was interviewed by the Inquirer earlier this month. When asked if he feels that Philadelphians have forgotten the activism that started pride, this was how Avicolli Mecca responded:
“When I’m out speaking, especially at colleges, people don’t realize how much we did. They might have some little sense of, ‘Oh yeah, those old folks got this whole thing started,’ but they don’t really understand that we were the ones who started Pride. There was no concept of Pride as a movement.”
This year the Pride Parade celebrated it’s 30th anniversary, but, like Tommi, I believe that the queer community in Philly has largely forgotten there was anything before the parades. In order to get deeper into the spirit of action, because there is certainly still work to be done, I have been collecting joyful, educational, and productive events to keep Pride going all month long. This is last week’s part one
Here is Part 2 of our Community Picks for Alternative Pride Events:
Lovett Library, 6945 Germantown Avenue
Monday, June 11th @ 7:30pm
“Gender matters to many of us personally and socially. But, is gender something we should use in the policies that govern institutions such as government-issued ID documents, public restrooms, college admissions, and sports? If so, why and how? In Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? Temple professor Davis explores these questions.”
Independence Library, 18 S. 7th Street
Tuesday, June 12th @ 10:30am
“Celebrate families and gender diversity with a “Rainbow” storytime filled with stories, songs, and a “make-and-take” unicorn craft!”
Thomas F. Donatucci, Sr. Library, 1935 Shunk Street
Tuesday, June 12th @ 2pm
“Discover the history of pride and celebrate diversity—yours and others’—by designing and making your own button that represents and celebrates you.”
Family Library, 2437 South Broad Street
Tuesday, June 12th @ 4:30pm
“Hear Brittany Lynn read stories about tolerance and diversity.”
City Hall Courtyard, 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Tuesday, June 12th, 4pm-7pm
“Join us from 4–7 p.m. for the exhibition, and listen to youth testimony about the juvenile justice system from 5–6:30 p.m. Imagining Justice looks to youth affected by the system as the experts that our city needs most, using art, storytelling, and dialogue to educate the public and to advocate for programs and policies to make our communities safe, whole, and just.”
Fumo Family Library, 2437 South Broad Street
Wednesday, June 13th @ 12:30pm
“A video store clerk and fledgling filmmaker becomes obsessed with the “most beautiful mammy,” a character in a 1930s movie.”
Philadelphia City Institute, 1905 Locust Street
Wednesday, June 13th @ 2pm
William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St.
Wednesday, June 13th, 5pm-8pm
“Philly Trans March is not simply an annual march, it is a revolutionary movement. Open to people of all gender identities, expressions, and experiences, Philly Trans March welcomes EVERYONE to join in the planning for the 8th annual Philly Trans March, a community organized march, demonstration and protest against the hate, social injustice, and inequity faced by trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals and communities.”
Lovett Library, 6945 Germantown Ave
Wednesday, June 13th, 5:30pm-8:00pm
“Join us for a screening of Philadelphia, a drama based on a true story. Fearing it would compromise his career, lawyer Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) hides his homosexuality and HIV status at a powerful Philadelphia law firm. But his secret is exposed when a colleague spots the illnesses telltale lesions. Fired shortly afterwards, Beckett resolves to sue for discrimination, teaming up with Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), the only lawyer willing to help. In court, they face one of his ex-employer’s top litigators, Belinda Conine (Mary Steenburgen).
This is the 25th anniversary of this film, which was shot entirely in Philadelphia. A talk-back with members of Philly AIDS Law Project will follow the screening.”
Ramonita G. de Rodriguez Library, 600 West Girard Avenue
Wednesday, June 13th @ 5:30pm
“The June meeting of the Rodriguez book discussion group for adults and teens will feature a title by an author from the LGBTQ+ community.
Lovett Library, 6945 Germantown Ave
Wednesday, June 13th @ 6pm
“Join us for Rainbow Storytime! We’ll read, dance, sing, and play, all while exploring LGBTQ+ themes!”
Tacony Library, 6742 Torresdale Avenue
Wednesday, June 13th @ 6:30pm
“No book has been used to such controversial effect as the Bible. Are you or someone you care about confused about what the Bible does or does not have to say about being LGBTQ? Are you tired of people misquoting and misapplying Scripture just to support their own point of view? Have you often wondered what the authors of the Bible really had in mind when they wrote those often infamous passages?
Join us for this open exploration and discussion, led by Tacony Branch Librarian, Suzin Weber.”
A-space Community Center, 4722 Baltimore Ave.
Wednesday, June 13th, 7pm-9pm
“The Philly Poetry Workshop was started out of a need for a free poetry workshop in Philadelphia, accessible to all. Bring your poetry! Your feedback! But mostly yourself- we’re excited to meet you!”
Germantown Jewish Center, 400 W Ellet St.
Friday, June 15th, 6pm-9pm
“Join us for the kickoff event to GJC’s first Pride Shabbat, and celebrate the vibrant queer thread that runs through this beautiful tapestry of our community! Advance RSVP is greatly appreciated so we know what we need for the grill! Bring your blankets and chairs. We can’t wait to see you there!”
National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St
Saturday, June 16th, 10am-4pm
“The Office of People with Disabilities and Disability Pride have collaborated to include an LGBTQIA+ section in the Disability Pride Parade on June 16th. Come out and support our LGBTQIA+ siblings and neighbors with disabilities as they proudly march to City Hall and celebrate their intersecting identities!”
Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 South 52nd Street
Saturday, June 16th @ 2pm
“A video store clerk and fledgling filmmaker becomes obsessed with the “most beautiful mammy,” a character in a 1930s movie”
Clark Park, 4300 Baltimore Ave
Saturday, June 16th, 6pm-9:30pm
“Come meet queer cuties of all ages (18+) looking for dates and relationships. Lawn Games, Cute getting-to-know-you activities, + Chill hang times”
2nd floor of the Front St. Dive, 10 S Front St.
Sunday, June 17th, 12pm-3:30pm
“Sunday is the Lord’s day, and with that we take a step away from our busy lives of sin to reconnect to our heavenly Father. Come commune and drink the blood and body of Christ as we celebrate our Holy Father in a praise dance called Burlesque. It’s time to do the Lord’s work. This Fathers day we praise the names of all the Holy Fathers. The Sugar Daddies, Daddy Doms, Femme Daddies, Leather Daddies, Daddy Dykes, and those dealing with Daddy issues. Catch the Holy Spirit, Drink a few Bloody Marys, and come get your knees to pray at Raspberry Royale Presents: CHURCH a Burlesque Brunch.”
Saint Lazarus Bar, 102 W Girard Ave.
Sunday, June 17th @ 10pm
safer space to move and mingle for those seeking an alternative queer option for dancing, drinks, djs, dinner.”
There you have it! As promised I will continue posting weekly roundups of LGBTQ+ events for this month, so keep your eyes peeled next Monday for Part 3!
I’ve been doing some research to create list of people, places, and things that are inspirational, educational, or just fun, so that we can tap into the true meaning of pride; remembrance, celebration, and meaningful action. Let me know if there’s an event coming up that can’t be missed OR if you have educational resources to highlight in my growing list: email@example.com
(The images on this page were found in this collection of pictures from the first Pride march and rally in Philadelphia in 1972)