36 Rainbow Street Signs Dedicated by Philadelphia Mayor in 'Gayborhood'
City Street Signs Symbolize Diversity, Inclusiveness and Invitation
PHILADELPHIA, April 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It is a historic moment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community as the City of Philadelphia and Mayor John F. Street dedicated 36 new street signs that are permanently affixed with the rainbow flag to designate the "Gayborhood" today. The dedication ceremony was held at 13th and Locust Streets, Philadelphia, PA. 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.