Philly Pride Permanently Dissolves, Canceling Both Pride & OutFest
Philly Pride Presents, the organization responsible for both the city's Pride and OutFest celebrations has apparently disbanded after 28 years.
Philadelphia Pride came under fire for problematic social media posts in recent weeks, following years of criticism from the community for not reflecting the views of Philadelphia's diverse population. But, honestly, their issues date much further back than this spring.
The organization appears to have deactivated its Facebook page moments after they allegedly posted that they had completely disbanded.
For 2021, the organization was planning on holding this year's Pride celebration over Labor Day Weekend, as it was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
They had already canceled this year's OutFest celebration, which normally takes place in October, and marks the nation's largest celebration for National Coming Out Day.
Over Labor Day weekend, the organization shared an image of a "thin-blue line" American flag, with a rainbow. The post drew criticism as that flag is often seen a symbol of police solidarity and it's sometimes associated with white supremacy. After receiving hundreds of comments, the post was ultimately removed.
The organization came under even more criticism on June 10 with a Facebook post about the Stonewall Riots. It told the story from the perspective of the police officers, who were the very ones oppressing the queer community in June 1969.
PhillyMag called their telling of the story a "revisionist, racist and transphobic" account of the Stonewall Riots, which birthed the modern gay rights movement. Protests were planned for later this week, and I was hoping to attend.
Earlier this afternoon, however, the organization posted on Facebook that after 28 years, they had completely disbanded and were canceling all events. The group's Facebook has since been removed.
So I am relieved to hear that today's news. The group's lack of diversity amongst is leadership does not reflect the Gayborhood that I know and love.
In fact, Philadelphia has lagged behind other cities for many years. The entertainment lineup has been pitiful and the organizations presence in the city has been a joke.
Most importantly, in a time when we should be uniting to have our voices heard, the organization seemingly turned its back on the trans community and persons of color -- those who were and are at the very forefront of the gay rights movement and represent everything that I love about Philadelphia's queer community.