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A couple walks down one of Philadelphia's tree-lined streets.

LGBTQ+ Friendly Philadelphia

Play Video Photo by Raw But Meaningful LLC
Date May 6, 2024

LGBTQ+ Friendly Philadelphia

A couple walks down one of Philadelphia's tree-lined streets.

Travelers need to know that the destination they’re choosing will be welcoming to everyone from all walks of life.

Built on its historical past and inclusive present, Philadelphia has a history of creating a sense of belonging for travelers visiting the city. The city proudly stands as an LGBTQ+ friendly destination, boasting a welcoming Gayborhood and thriving queer community.

A historical commitment to inclusiveness

One of the first gay rights protests in U.S. history took place at Independence Hall, home to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. In 1965, four years before the Stonewall Riots in New York, a group of protesters began an annual July Fourth Pride March in front of Independence Hall. These demonstrations were started to remind the American people that many citizens were denied the rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” promised in the Declaration of Independence.

A woman wearing a white shirt, coral pants, and blue headphones walks down a rainbow crosswalk. A colorful is shown off to the right in the distance.

Gayborhood, Philadelphia

Philadelphians continued to strive for LGBTQ+ equality, leading to a push for supportive policies and anti-discrimination laws. Today, visitors can feel the city’s commitment to diverse backgrounds and representation. These efforts led Philadelphia to become the largest city in the U.S. to be designated a Certified Welcoming city by Welcoming America. Additionally, the city’s policies have garnered Philadelphia a 100-perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index since 2015.

A warm welcome awaits visitors

Visitors can find Philadelphia’s highly visible LGBTQ+ community throughout the city and steps away from hotels and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Known for its friendly boutique shops and award-winning restaurants, the Gayborhood is marked by rainbow-decorated street signs designated by the city.

A man wearing a rainbow jacket sits on a bench off to the right. A bookshelf is off to the left. Several books are shown on the shelves. A window behind the man is letting in natural light.

Philadelphia’s Gayborhood – Giovanni’s Room bookstore. First LGBTQ+ bookstore in the country.

Just a short walk from the Convention Center is Philly Aids Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room, the country’s first LGBTQ+-focused bookstore. At the Independence Library, a block from the Liberty Bell, is the Barbara Gittings Gay & Lesbian Collection. A Philadelphia native, Gittings was the editor of the first lesbian journal in the country, “The Ladder.”

The city’s sense of inclusivity extends all the way to LGBTQ+-owned restaurants in Philadelphia’s chef-driven culinary scene. Mission Taqueria is a vibe-heavy taco joint that can double as a spacious venue for events and activities. Just below, Sam Mink’s Oyster House serves some of the freshest seafood in the city, complemented by thoughtful cocktails.

Two men are shwon walking down a street while holding hands. A rainbow flag is shown behind them. A tree is off to the right. A red and yellow building is to the left.

Photo by A. Sinagoga.

Philadelphia’s policies, people, and communities are all contribute to the city’s ability to attract diverse conventions and welcome their attendees. Among the events that chose Philadelphia as their host are the Galactic Diversity & Inclusion Convention and the 9th Annual Stonewall Sports National Tournament.

For over 30 years, PHL Diversity has connected planners with local LGBTQ+ leaders to create an inclusive and unforgettable event. Ready to give your attendees a welcoming and inspiring experience? The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau is here to help make your event a major success.