Wednesday, December 5, 2012

We're So Gay

Add Philadelphia to the top of another list. Mark Segal of the Philadelphia Gay News reported on a recent Human Rights Campaign assessment of America's most gay friendly cities. Of 137 cities, only Philadelphia scored a 100 on the base issues. Not New York. Not San Francisco. Only Philadelphia.

I suppose it's not surprising. The city funded the official recognition of the gay district by branding street signs with rainbows. Hell, most online maps either label the neighborhood near 13th and Walnut as the "Gayborhood," or at the very least a Google or Bing map search for the word will take you directly to Washington Square West. 

While New York City often claims the Gay Rights movement started with the Stonewall Riots in 1969, the first notable events actually began at Independence Mall on the 4th of July, four years prior.

And although Mayor Rizzo spent the following decade making "Atilla the Hun look like a faggot" (yes, he said that), the new century has seen Philadelphia host a cast of civic leaders that are not only tolerant, but embrace the gay community, often as advocates. In fact, it's hard to imagine a Philadelphia independent of Pennsylvania that wouldn't support marriage equality.

Philadelphia will soon be home to the nation's first government subsidized, gay-friendly senior living center. The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation broke barriers with its "Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay" campaign, including commercials that aired on national television.

We're gay, Philadelphia. And that's a very, very good thing.

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