Live in Philly: OutFest


Philadelphia’s Gayborhood erupted into celebration Oct. 9 for OutFest 2016. The event, now in its 26th year, heralded National Coming Out Day with 12 closed-off blocks of dance floors, food trucks, outdoor bars and festivities. Brian Welch and Michael Wright attended OutFest for the first time since moving to Philadelphia a year ago. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate advancements in LGBTQ visibility,” Welch said. “We live in the neighborhood so it’s great to see everyone out having fun.” Despite major strides for equality, the LGBTQ community still faces persecution today. OutFest serves as a safe space for the queer community and queer allies to celebrate together and support friends and family who have come out recently. Serena Rosa, another first-time attendee, was impressed by the inclusivity of OutFest. “Nobody is judged here,” she said. “You can just make friends and chill.” Raechel Jones came to celebrate her friend Paul McEntegart’s coming out. “OutFest is about being able to celebrate who you are and how you were born,” Jones said. “There’s just so much love and energy,” McEntegart said. “It’s about uniting and loving each other. We’re all human beings.”

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