Philadelphia will make history with the nation’s first parade and festival in honor of National Coming Out Day, and the Free Library is honored to take part! Named OURfest, the weekend-long celebration October 6–8 was launched by Pride 365, an initiative of Galaei, the sponsors of this past June’s Philadelphia Pride Parade.
Like the Pride celebration, OURfest will again feature a parade, resource fair, and the return of one spectacularly fabulous 200-foot rainbow-colored Pride flag. So what makes this different from Pride?
“Pride in June has roots that were in protest and a stand for justice and equality for our larger LGBTQ+ community,” explains Galaei executive director and community organizer Tyrell Brown (they/them). “For National Coming Out, we see this is a key opportunity to share and celebrate our collective and individual stories of coming out.”
OURfest stands for Our Uniting Resilience, and the name is a tribute to those individual journeys within a broader and more diverse collective community.
Both happenings, Brown adds, “are crucial opportunities for our communities to join together in celebration and reflection, to find family and togetherness, to have access to resources, and to share the love, art, and joy that are hallmarks of our community.”
The three-day celebration will be held in Gayborhood, beginning with a ticketed kick-off event on Friday, October 6, from 6–8 p.m. The first-of-its-kind parade will take place on Saturday, October 7 from 4–6 p.m. (traveling from 5th and Market to Broad and Locust). On Sunday, October 8 from 12–7 p.m., the festival and resource fair will bring the community together, with offerings for families, grassroots organizations and community resource providers, food vendors, art exhibits, music and dance performances, the awarding of the first annual "Mx, Ms, Mr, OURfest 2023," and more! The festival and resource fair will take place on 13th Street between Walnut and Locust, on Locust between 12th and 13th Streets, and on 12th from Locust to Spruce.
Look for the Free Library’s table and stop by to say hello!
For more details, visit Galilea’s website, or check out Visit Philadelphia's guide to the three-day celebration. We hope to see you there!