Previewing Pride

When I sat down to write this week’s column, I was reflecting on New Hope’s LGBT pride festivities. It was a great weekend with throngs of attendants from Philly, New York, Washington, D.C., and all points in between. For most members of our community, pride celebrations are synonymous with summertime fun. But throughout the Philadelphia region, other East Coast cities and mid-Atlantic beach destinations, gay pride is just the tip of our summer berg. From museum exhibits and film screenings to dance parties and street festivals, there is an incredible variety of innovative and entertaining events on tap in the coming months. So without further delay, here are some recommendations for June.

Over the last several years, many of Philadelphia’s cultural institutions have been fortunate to host highly coveted Egyptian exhibits, which take a close look at the history, architecture, artifacts and personalities that made this part of world history so captivating. The next installment of Egyptian history arrives in Philadelphia on June 5 as The Franklin Institute, 20th Street and the Parkway, presents “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt.” Running through Jan. 2, 2011, the Cleopatra exhibit will feature never-before-seen artifacts and an impressive collection of antiquities that have helped archaeologists piece together the missing elements of Cleopatra’s history. For more information, visit

On June 13, we celebrate the annual LGBT Pride festivities, themed “It’s Always Sunny in Gay Philadelphia,” culminating in the Pride Day parade and festival. Beginning promptly at noon, the parade will step off from 13th and Locust streets, then head east to 10th, north to Market and east again to Second, then over the bridge to Penn’s Landing. The Pride Day festival at Penn’s Landing will run from noon-6 p.m. and feature live entertainers, highlighted by comic genius Jennifer Coolidge. Admission to the festival is $10 per person. More information is available at

After enjoying the Pride Day festival, I invite everyone to stick around Old City for’s fourth annual Triumphant Pride Party at Mad River, 126 Chestnut St. Starting at 4 p.m., guests at Triumphant Pride can enjoy discount drinks, food specials and, most importantly, air conditioning. Following an afternoon in the hot summer sun on Penn’s Landing, there’s no better remedy than an ice-cold cocktail and some fierce AC. Triumphant Pride at Mad River will have both, as well as a bevy of hot boys and luscious ladies for your viewing pleasure. For more information, visit

Fast-forward to mid-July: LGBT Philadelphia will take over Center City for QFest, our local LGBT film festival. From July 8-19, QFest will present more than 100 films, as well as several receptions, parties and tributes commemorating QFest’s 16th anniversary. Visit to get all the details.

In coordination with QFest, Philadelphians will also be treated to “There’s No Place Like Home” — a celebration to commemorate the Gayborhood’s past, present and future. Forty years ago, the section of Center City that was home to many of Philadelphia’s gay and lesbian businesses, community organizations and residents migrated from west of Broad Street, near Rittenhouse Square, to its current location east of Broad.

For the event, July 10-11, there will be a ribbon-cutting, an art show, block parties, dances and discounts at neighborhood merchants.

For more information on “There’s No Place Like Home,” see

That’s about it for this edition, but it’s only a small sampling of upcoming LGBT events. If you have additional recommendations or questions, send them to [email protected]. ’Til next time, get offline and see what your community has to offer.

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