"Pride is very near and dear to my heart," said Kim Harari, who is a member of the LGBTQ community. "We just want people to appreciate each other for who they are."
Harari co-founded Come Alive 215 with fellow exercise guru Shannon Brennan. What started as a boot camp on the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps has turned into its own brand of traveling workout events. Today, they partnered with the organization, Meet Philadelphia, to bring a pride celebration to Park Towne Place in Center City.
"We think there's something very magical and powerful that occurs when you're sweating three feet away from somebody else you don't know," said Harari. "You don't know if they're gay, you don't know if they're straight, you don't know their religion, their career, you don't know anything about them, but you're both working hard, celebrating together."
Roughly 160 participants sprawled across the lawn for a 45-minute regiment led by Harari and Brennan. Rainbow-colored decorations brought a pop of color to every corner. Over 20 local vendors donated food, drinks, face painting, and more to contribute to the lively festival atmosphere.
"You know, last year pride was canceled," said Christopher Palu from Center City. "This year, pride is like amped up."
Palu continues to be mesmerized by the sense of community that permeates every pride event he attends, big or small.
"We have been bullied and pushed down for so long. We've all shared certain struggles and triumphs together," he noted. "I feel like we're finally comfortable in our skin and we're here."
Also present was Dr. John-Paul Regan, who uses his talents to help patients become confident and comfortable in their skin at Modern Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
"Just like the rainbow, we include every color of the spectrum," he said. "We'll always welcome you with open arms and support who you want to be."
There will be more chances to celebrate Pride Month in the Philadelphia area over the next few weeks. Philly Gay Calendar has created a webpage to explore events on every day during June. Later this year, an event dubbed, "Pride Lite," will take place on Sunday, September 4, as a substitute for the 2021 parade. To learn more, visit the official Facebook page.
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