Philadelphia, October 1, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter declared the month of October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month in the City of Philadelphia. In recognition of LGBT History Month, the rainbow flag will be flown next to the United States flag and the City flag throughout the month beginning today.
“Each year, LGBT History Month highlights the historical contributions of the LGBT community and draws attention to the continued fight for civil rights. I am proud that Philadelphia has such a strong LGBT community and that it has been recognized as being the best big city in the country for LGBT equality. I am a lifelong advocate and supporter of Philadelphia’s LGBT citizens and will continue to fight for just and equal treatment of LGBT individuals,” said Mayor Nutter. “I want to encourage every Philadelphian to come out and participate in flag raising ceremony on October 11 and show your support to our LGBT community members.”
The Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony, which typically signifies the kick-off of LGBT History Month, will be held on Sunday, October 11 at City Hall. At this year’s flag raising ceremony, the City will honor Gloria Casarez, the first Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, and spotlight the 50th Anniversary of the first Annual Reminders demonstration, the William Way Community Center, celebrating its 40th anniversary and Philadelphia FIGHT, marking its 25th anniversary. It will feature performances by the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and participation by the LGBT Veteran Color Guard.
“October is our month to celebrate the LGBT community’s complete history. Some of that history is painful and some remains in the shadows, but this celebration serves as an incredible testament to the resilient spirit of the many diverse individuals that make up the LGBT community,” said Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs. “From bringing Defiant Archives to City Hall to an open invitation to every member of and ally to our LGBT communities to attend the ceremonial flag raising, we hope that this LGBT History month allows our LGBT communities and city the time to reflect on our collective past, the struggles and difficulties so many have faced, the resiliency and beauty of our people and the hope we must carry within and for each other as we move forward.”
Additionally, throughout the month of October, a series of events highlighting the contributions of LGBT peoples to the City, nation and world will be held around the City. These events include:
- Defiant Archives: Trans Histories of Existence, Resistance, and Brilliance Art in City Hall Exhibit – The Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, will feature a collection of archival and personal items with a focus on the history of transgender activism in Philadelphia as part of its Art in City Hall program. The exhibit, organized by members of the William Way Community Center with materials from the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives, the Trans Oral History Project and private collections, will be displayed in City Hall through December 4. For more information, log on to http://creativephl.org/post/129284863474/defiantarchiveswilliamwayartincityhall.
- Gloria Casarez Mural Dedication – In conjunction with the Mural Arts Program, the City will host a mural dedication ceremony on October 11 at 1 p.m. at 204 S. 12th Street for a new mural honoring the legacy and contributions of Gloria Casarez to the LGBT movement and Philadelphia. The mural, which was sponsored by the Mayor’s Fund and painted by Gloria’s family, friends, co-workers, community members and individuals she served, was created by artist Michelle Angela Ortiz. Additional information is available here: http://muralarts.org/event/mural-dedication-tribute-gloria-casarez.
Please note: The Gloria Casarez Mural Dedication will coincide with Outfest, the largest “coming out” festival in the world, which will be held in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood neighborhood from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. This year is the 25th anniversary of Outfest. http://www.phillygaypride.org/.
To learn more about the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, log on to https://lgbtphilly.wordpress.com/ or follow it on Twitter @PhillyLGBTgov