PHILLY PRIDE PRESENTS, Inc. (PPP) is a group of volunteer coordinators under the leadership of an Executive Director and Senior Advisor which organizes “PrideDay” in June, “OutFest” in October. These are the only two events during which the Philadelphia Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community joins together and celebrates as a whole. PHILLY PRIDE PRESENTS is proud to be co-sponsors of the Phila. DYKE March and the Alternative Prom.
The purpose of our pride events shall be the advancement of LGBT rights through the visibility and awareness that our parades and festivals create. This purpose is to be achieved through our annual PrideDay parade and festival, our annual National Coming Out Day Block Party (OutFest) and other forms of community outreach as may be appropriate. “Coming Out” marks the beginning of the gay self-realization process, “Pride” marks its culmination. In addition to celebrating our uniqueness, our events help thousands discover the breadth of the LGBT community in the Delaware Valley, provide avenues for education, growth and self-realization, and increase the visibility and diversity of the LGBT community.
The first official Pride Parade was organized in an impromptu fashion at the end of the 1980s and was intended to coincide with rally planned by the Lesbian and Gay Task Force at Love Park. It was so successful that community members met and started an organization (Lesbian & Gay Pride of the Delaware Valley, Inc.) whose goal was to produce a parade and festival at Penn’s Landing each year to continue the community outreach and visibility that was achieved with that one rally. That organization evolved into what we know today as Philly Pride Presents. And that first rally grew into the largest celebration of LGBT pride in the region, now attracting over 25,000 people each year.
OUTFEST is the largest National Coming Out Day (NCOD) event in the world. The idea for a NCOD grew from the second march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality on October 11, 1987. The idea quickly took hold in the LGBT community, spawning celebrations in numerous cities around the country. Philadelphia and Philly Pride was one of the first cities to organize around NCOD on a large scale by creating a block party to showcase the many facets of our community in 1990. Our event quickly grew into what the greater Philadelphia region now uniquely celebrates as “OutFest.” Held the Sunday prior to Columbus Day every October, OutFest attracts nearly 40,000 people.
OutFest is hugely popular because: (1) it had the feel of an old-fashioned block party, (2) it’s free, (3) it’s in the gayborhood, (4) all local bars, restaurants, and businesses do something outside, (5) entertainment showcases local talent, (6) all community organizations participate, (7) there are carnival attractions, (8) there is always something new and unique, and (9) everybody is there!
Pride is the foundation of our community, and on this foundation we build a better tomorrow for us all.
Philly Pride Presents is as about as grassroots of an organization as you can get, and duly proud of it. Philly Pride is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its meetings are usually Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. at the William Way Community Center and are open to the public. It makes a public accounting of its funds to the community after each event. Its coordinators are elected by all community members present at their meetings. The organization has registered trade names of Philly Pride Presents and OutFest.