Philly Pride Dissolves

Pride Dissolved
Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Roiled by community backlash, the organization behind Philadelphia’s largest annual LGBTQ Pride parade and festival for the last 28 years has abruptly dissolved and canceled its forthcoming Pride festivities, The Inquirer has learned.

The organizers behind Philly Pride Presents did not respond to multiple phone calls, voice mails, emails, and Facebook messages — which were shown as having been read before the group took down its Facebook page late last week.

The disbanding of the decades-old LGBTQ organization and cancellation of its September “Pride Lite” festival — moved from the typical date in June, Pride month, due to coronavirus restrictions — is the latest chapter in a tumultuous saga for Philly Pride Presents.

The most recent controversy began with a Facebook post from the nonprofit group on June 10, which drew swift castigation from some members of the community for using transphobic language to describe patrons of New York City’s Stonewall Inn, whose actions during an uprising against police on June 28, 1969, are widely attributed as the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. The post also drew scrutiny for casting police officers as victims, when LGBTQ people were subject to police abuse. Within hours, the post, and others regarding Pride month, vanished from the group’s page without explanation.

The most recent controversy began with a Facebook post from the nonprofit group on June 10, which drew swift castigation from some members of the community for using transphobic language to describe patrons of New York City’s Stonewall Inn, whose actions during an uprising against police on June 28, 1969, are widely attributed as the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. The post also drew scrutiny for casting police officers as victims, when LGBTQ people were subject to police abuse. Within hours, the post, and others regarding Pride month, vanished from the group’s page without explanation.

By Monday, Philly Pride Presents’ phone line was disconnected.

“While this recent development is still unfolding, we understand the community’s need for a new vision of what LGBTQ+ Pride looks like here in Philadelphia. The Office of LGBT Affairs has been in conversation with community leaders and activists as they prepare to reimagine Pride, and we look forward to supporting the many celebrations, rallies, protests, and programming already happening across the city, as the future of Pride in Philadelphia emerges — one that is reflective of the many diverse experiences of our city’s LGBTQ+ communities.”
Celena Morrison
Celena Morrison
executive director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs

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