Pride Month is always a celebration in Philadelphia.
Last year marked the historic 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots for gay rights in New York City.
It also saw the first television broadcast of Philadelphia's Gay Pride Parade and Festival on 6abc.
This year the Pride event went virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the LGBTQ community is used to challenges and they are using that resilience and inclusiveness to continue to fight for social justice.
The pioneers behind the revitalization of 13th street in the Gayborhood
Partners in life and business, Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran are a local lesbian couple known for revitalizing 13th Street in Midtown Village in Philadelphia from a once desolate avenue into the trendy area it is today.
And they aren't letting a pandemic stop them.
Philadelphia restaurant and bars got the green light for outdoor dining on in early June and the duo, who currently own nine restaurants and boutiques, most of them on 13th street, were among the first to serve customers.
The meals began with dining at Barbuzzo, the couple's Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar.
Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran | Barbuzzo | Instagram
110 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Chef McDuffie is Philly's caterer to the stars, proud ambassador of 'My Gay Philly'
From a young age, Chef Kenneth J. McDuffie knew he wanted to cook. The North Philly native learned how to cook from his grandmother and great grandmother and has gone on to cook for celebrities like Patti Labelle.
After working in Hawaii for Norwegian Cruise Lines, he moved back home to start Young & Hungry Catering. He caters events large and small and serves as chapter President of the National Black Chefs Association and brand ambassador for My Gay Philly.
Young & Hungry Catering | Instagram Facebook
TrueLove Seeds sells seeds with a slice of history and culture
Owen Taylor is a seed keeper who was raised around farming and now owns Truelove Seeds.
He operates on private land in Newtown Square, and packs orders from his home office, then sells the seeds via his website.
Taylor specializes in hard-to-find and 'culturally important' seeds, many of which come from small farms around the country - who he supports by giving them half the selling price of their seeds.
He believes in the 'stories of the seeds', connecting them to their cultural history.
Truelove Seeds | Instagram Facebook Podcast
P.O. Box 19775, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Fashion designer Prajjé Oscar Jean-Baptiste fights for gay rights
Philadelphian fashion designer Prajjé Oscar Jean Baptiste's career accolades include prominent runways, high-profile red carpets, and well-known fashion publications.
Now, after a small hiatus, Prajjé is offering a new line of luxury masks with vibrant prints and quality fabrics. There will be four different versions available: Ready to wear, couture, sportswear, and the basic cotton mask.
The Haitian-born designer is a community activist, working largely for gay rights, especially in Haiti. When Prajje's birth parents tragically passed away at a young age, he was raised by his grandmother, who was an herbal medicinist. At the age of 13, Prajje was adopted by a white mother and moved to Boston.
A trip to Haiti as an adult inspired Prajjé to incorporate his traditions into the foundation of his brand.
The limited edition "Revolution 1804" silk scarf and mask is a good example of that. The matching set commemorates the Haitian Revolution and features the leader of the free slaves Toussaint L'ouverture. The print also features "Maitresse" by world-renowned Haitian artist Philippe Dodard.
Metamorphosis: an organization for youth by youth
Metamorphosis was founded by 21- year old Kayla Wilson.
Kayla saw the need for an organization that could understand through lived experience. Metamoprhosis started as a clothing swap and has grown into a mobile boutique offering free clothes to the LGBTQ youth and their allies.
They also offer hygiene products and have started to create a space for emotional support. All of the members of Kayla's team are under 30.They hope to make an impact through affirming clothes and providing a safe space for marginalized youth.
Metamorphosis Mobile Boutique & Collective | Facebook | Instagram
Two Minds Press creates positivity you can wear
Felicia Blow learned the art of screen printing in 2017 at a Parks & Recreation program.
The simple DIY program became a passion and now a career. She uses familiar quotes and images for inspiration and puts a positive twist then puts her work on shirts, bags, wall art and other products in her basement studio.
She uses her LGBTQ community and the Black Lives Matter movement as inspiration for many of her pieces.
Her positive messages often revolve around inclusion and kindness and she hopes when you buy her product you can help spread that message.
Two Minds Press | Instagram
Dottie's Serenade Service provides sidewalk concerts for COVID-19 celebrations
Dottie Levine is a professional musician and music teacher, but both career endeavors have been put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So Dottie decided to start a new gig: sidewalk concerts for people you love.
It's a singing telegram with a little more panache. Levine is open to singing any song anywhere in Philadelphia and even a bit outside the city.
The service is meant to provide a little hope and joy to loved ones on their birthday, anniversary or if you just want to say hi during these difficult times.
Levine has a bunch of instruments and hits the road with a sign that provides a special message during the sidewalk concert.
Dottie's Serenade Service | Facebook | Instagram
Taking Pride in creating community during COVID-19
Making new connections during a socially distanced pandemic can be challenging.
But this is a time when creativity shines, bringing out the best in people in the worst of times.
Local artist Brad Carney started COVER-19%, an online call-to-action campaign, connecting artists and small business owners with something to sell and charitable organizations that could benefit by getting 19% of those sales.
Deja Lynn Alvarez works for the nonprofit, World Healthcare Infrastructures.
When she saw the agency's immigrant and undocumented clients were at risk of going hungry during the pandemic, she did a callout on social media for donations and she's now delivering dairy and produce boxes twice a week to nearly 1000 families.
COVER-19 % | Facebook |Instagram
COVID-19 Food Program | Program Info
112 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102