Philadelphia welcomes new 'gaybourhood'

Thirty-six rainbow street signs dedicated by Philly mayor

Duane Wells | April 20, 2007

PHILADELPHIA — When gay and lesbian tourists next visit Philadelphia they’ll find something even more welcoming in the gay friendly city.

In what represents a historic moment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community and the City of Philadelphia, Mayor John F. Street has dedicated 36 new street signs that are permanently affixed with the rainbow flag to designate the 'Gayborhood.'

A dedication ceremony was held on Wednesday at 13th and Locust Streets in Philadelphia, PA where locals sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and shot rainbow confetti into the air. The street signs have been installed in the Gayborhood, defined as Chestnut to Pine Streets between 11th and Broad Streets. The rainbow-branded street signs are an internationally-recognized welcome symbol that demonstrates a city's commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

Philadelphia's 'Gayborhood' is a place where GLBT visitors and regional residents can patronize a concentration of gay-friendly businesses, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops and restaurants. Two years in the planning, the effort to replace existing street signs with the new gay-friendly ones was championed by the members of the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus with support from the City of Philadelphia, Washington Square Civic Association and Philadelphia City Councilman Frank DiCicco. The Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus is a non-profit organization with nearly 100 members who are dedicated to helping Philadelphia get its share of the $54 billion gay travel market.

The rainbow symbol, sometimes called 'the freedom flag,' was created by San Francisco Artist Gilbert Baker. The six colors of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Philadelphia joins a short-list of other North American cities that have erected permanent rainbow installations in gay-friendly districts including San Francisco, Chicago, Montreal, and Toronto. For more information on gay-friendly Philadelphia, visit gophila.com/gay.

For more information on the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus, visit gayphiladelphia.org. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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