Just over 40 years ago, mainstream American psychiatrists considered being LGBT a mental illness.

Today, same sex marriage is a constitutional right in our country.

A lot has happened very quickly over the past few decades, and every October we recognize that during LGBT History Month.

A closed off street filled with celebrants and vendors with a drag queen dressed in white with outstretched arms and a happy countenance.
Local drag artist Salotta Tea strikes a pose during one of Philadelphia’s many LGBT festivals. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia).

LGBT History Month is a 31-day period that’s both a celebration of community and triumph as well as a somber reflection on the oppression and tragedy endured in the past – and in far too many cases still to this day — by members of the LGBT community.

That’s why Philadelphia’s commitment to LGBT issues is so important; and, it’s why we prioritize the LGBT community, diversity, and inclusion every month.

Check out some of the events happening during LGBT History Month — the perfect time to come out together!

October 8, 2016, 6th Annual Philly Trans March, 3:00 p.m.

Come out and proudly march as a member of the transgender community — or show your support as an ally! The transgender pride flag will be flying at City Hall to demonstrate the City’s commitment to transgender people. This is the third time this year the transgender pride flag will fly at City Hall.

October 9, 2016, Official City of Philadelphia LGBT Pride Flag Raising Ceremony, 11:00 a.m.

Every year, the City of Philadelphia proudly flies the rainbow flag alongside the American flag in celebration and recognition of LGBT History Month. This event is welcome to all — and happening just a short walk from the Gayborhood at the Mayor’s Reception Room in City Hall, it’s a perfect way to kickoff Outfest!

October 9, 2016, Outfest, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The largest LGBT event of the year in Philadelphia, Outfest is a street and neighborhood festival that closes the Gayborhood’s streets to cars and opens them up to vendors, pedestrians, and all those looking to celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community!

October 11, 2016, National Coming Out Day
A street is closed to cars and filled with pedestrians and vendor booths in the city's Gayborhood.
Every October, thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender celebrants gather in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood for OutFest. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia).

A nationwide celebration, National Coming Out Day observes the joyful freedom that comes from having the privilege of being out and proudly LGBT. It also serves as a day to reflect on those LGBT community members who are still unable to come out because of oppressive life circumstances.

October 16, 2016, 30th Annual AIDS Walk/Philly 5K, 9:00 a.m.

Now in its third decade, the Annual AIDS Walk/Philly 5K isn’t just a great way to spend time outdoors enjoying fall — it’s also the largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser in the Philadelphia metropolitan region! Participants can choose to support the event by either walking or running.

October 20, 2016, Spirit Day 

A yearly observance, Spirit Day supports LGBT youth by asking everyone to take a stand against bullying! Members of the LGBT community and allies can show solidarity by wearing purple and tagging social media posts using #SpiritDay.

October 29, 2016, Zombie Homecoming Dance GayBINGO!, 7:00 p.m.

Everybody’s favorite regular HIV/AIDS fundraiser gets into the Halloween spirit with its zombie homecoming dance edition! Be sure to buy your tickets online ahead of time — tickets often sell out early! Play starts at 7:00 p.m., doors open at 6:00 p.m. at the Gershman Y at Broad and Pine streets.

October 30, 2016, Henri David Presents: Halloween the Ball, 9:00 p.m.

2016 marks Philadelphia icon Henri David’s 48th year presenting his dazzling tribute to October’s most famous holiday, Halloween the Ball! Held at the Sheraton at 201 North 17th Street, this year’s ball features all the usual trappings as in years past: fantasy, horror, originality, and, of course, complete decadence. Festive feelings are rewarded, too, as tickets are $25 for those in costume and $65 for voyeurs.

Still want more autumnal happenings? Check out this roundup of fall LGBT events in and around Philadelphia!

Do you want to stay updated on the latest LGBT events and news? Be sure to follow the Office of LGBT Affairs on Twitter!
You can reach Director of LGBT Affairs Nellie Fitzpatrick via email, too, at helen.fitzpatrick@phila.gov.