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
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.
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.
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.
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.