When the virus took Gay Pride from us this year, I was sad. When it took our October block party Outfest away, it saddened me even more. Then I watched a Facebook meeting where our queer and Black performers, people who bring joy into our clubs and community events, addressed racism and discrimination in Philly’s nightlife community. Hearing about the discrimination outraged me, but as in all things in my life, from Stonewall to building the John C. Anderson senior affordable living building, it made me want to listen and find a way for us as a community to find some common ground.
I began to speak with people from the clubs, performers, our non profits like William Way Community Center, Philadelphia FIGHT, Galaei, The Attic Youth Center, dmhFUND and many more, and together we came up with a way to celebrate our community and, for at least one evening, have unity and pride in what we’ve built thus far and have hope for the changes needed in the future.
So on Saturday night, October 10th, we’re celebrating our community with a livestream that we’re calling “Outfest party for community unity.” We’ll have performances, shout outs, and calls to action.
We all know there are issues that need to be addressed. We all still have a lot of listening and hard work to do, but for one night we’re going to celebrate our performers, and hear from our community as it builds for a brighter day.
So party and celebrate with us online on Saturday, October 10th, and then join the livestream that Philly Pride will be doing on Sunday the 11th.
We are living in some of the toughest times we’ve ever faced, and we are all now dealing with a multitude of issues. But for one night, we will raise our voices, remember how far we’ve come, have hope for the future, and celebrate our LGBT community.