Crowds expected at LGBTQ+ events this weekend

Marchers during the 2023 Philly Pride Parade.
Marchers during the 2023 Philly Pride Parade. (Credit: Cody Aldrich Photography and Aversa PR)

Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ community will come out in full force this weekend during two major events — OURfest and the Philly Trans March. PGN spoke to organizers ahead of both events.

OURfest (Oct. 6-8)

For the first time since 2019, Philadelphia will celebrate National Coming Out Day when Pride 365: A Program of Galaei presents the inaugural Philadelphia OURfest: National Coming Out Parade and Festival/Resource Fair. Saturday’s parade marks the first of its kind in the country and will feature a 200-foot rainbow flag, floats, live entertainment, business leaders, community organizers, marching bands, cheerleaders, and more.

Additionally, six grand marshals for the inaugural parade were announced last week: Giselle Fetterman, the second lady of Pennsylvania; Celena Morrison-McLean, the executive director of the city’s Office of LGBT Affairs; Rue Landau, a City Council candidate who could become the first openly LGBTQ+ person to hold such a position in Philadelphia; José de Marco, a community activist; Legendary, a TikTok personality; and Robert Drake, a DJ and host of WXPN.

“We wanted to highlight people that have made big strides, through their work, in their career and throughout their lifetimes, and [we wanted to] really put a spotlight on what they contribute every single day,” said Tyrell Brown, the executive director of Galaei.

OURfest weekend officially begins with a kick-off party 6-8 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. and continues the following day with the parade 4-6 p.m. beginning at 5th and Market and continuing to Broad and Arch. The weekend will then conclude 12-7 p.m. Oct. 8 with the resource fair and festival, which will spread from 13th and Walnut down to 13th and Locust, across Locust to 12th St. and then from there to 12th and Spruce. Other select roads will be closed around the festival, which will include vendors, food trucks, family zones, entertainment, and the crowning of Mx. OURfest 2023. The latter honor will go to Princex Aimis, who successfully won the pageant earlier this week at Franky Bradley’s as part of the OURfest activities. Brown said they are “excited” about the crowning of the first winner.

“[If we’re not] highlighting people that often don’t get their stories told, then we’re really not truly celebrating National Coming Out Day,” they said. “We want to celebrate National Coming Out Day every single year because we want to make sure we give people an opportunity to share their coming out story.”

Brown noted the importance of “celebrating ourselves and celebrating our community” at OURfest, which they see as an extension of the Pride events Galaei orchestrated earlier this year.

“We love music,” Brown said. “We love stages. We love having a good time, having a good cocktail. Those things are all really important and fun. But there is a deeper meaning to this. OUR [in OURfest] is an acronym. It’s “Our Uniting Resilience.” And that’s what coming out is. It’s a uniting resilience for our community. When someone comes out, no matter who they are, the call is to embrace them as family, and to build solidarity with them and the community.”

OURfest will take place Oct. 6-8. Visit for more information.

Philly Trans March (Oct. 7)

Breighton Golphin, who is an organizer for the Oct. 7 Philly Trans March, was quick to voice their thoughts on conservative politicians going after trans health care.

“Let’s just be real,” they said. “This is the beginning stages of genocide. If you really want to take down people, you’re going to go after their health care.”

Golphin also noted previous comments they made about legislators going after trans rights and how they — unfortunately — came true.

“I said that these legislators attacking trans sports is just the beginning and I [said] the next thing you know, they’re going to come for us when it comes to our health care,” they said. “And it’s unfortunate, but that has already transpired.”

PTM’s theme for the Oct. 7 march is ““Health, Healing, and Harm Reduction” and it serves as a response to Philadelphia City Council’s vote last month to prohibit overdose prevention sites in nine of the city’s 10 districts. Golphin said that individuals struggling with addiction can often intersect with the trans community.

“Banning overdose prevention sites is not a good thing at all,” they said. “I really feel like it’s going to lead to more folks just dying from addiction. And I’m not going to lie. There is this feeling of anger not just from me, but from other folks within the community about this decision.”

Golphin feels that politicians across the country have not addressed previous drug epidemics appropriately.

“The solution that I keep hearing from politicians is, ‘We need more mental health support. We need more rehabilitation centers,’” Golphin said. “But nothing’s really happening. I don’t see anything happening.”

For safety purposes, Golphin said the list of speakers for the march will not be made available to the public until the day of the event. They also said this is not the last the city will hear from PTM. In the future, organizers are planning other events, with the Oct. 7 march being designated as “Part I” of a larger conversation. Golphin said to keep an eye out on PTM’s social media feeds for more information regarding these initiatives.

“The work does not just stop at the march,” they said.The Philly Trans March will take place 12 p.m. Oct. 7 at Mifflin Square Park (6th & Ritner). For more information, visit @phillytransmarch on Facebook and Instagram.

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