I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been so caught up with my move into the City of Brotherly Love. But my time of being swept up by the busy streets, the homeless asking for change, and the excitement of 24/7 nightlife has come to an end as I came to one powerful conclusion the other night: Philly Gays are the Best Gays – and here’s why:
Cliques aren’t normal “cliques”
We all have our close friends, and whether you’re a group of club rats or a set of weekend movie junkies, there seems to be no shortage of “cross cliqueing.” I’ve traveled to other cities around the country and while visiting some of the local LGBT hot spots, primarily one common theme I find is groups don’t interact with one another!
Here’s a quick story:
I was down in Orlando about two weeks ago with an old friend. While I was with him and his friends at the bar, across the room I spotted Craigery Morgan. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this buff boy, his reenactment of various SNL skits went viral on YouTube about two years ago (I’m a total fan girl). Now if this were Philly, everyone would know who he was even if they didn’t talk to him each weekend when he stopped in for a drink. But my new Orlando friends just shrugged and figured he was just another guy who came to the bar every weekend!
People in most cities won’t take the time to meet and interact with those outside of their own cliques on a regular basis. I find that in Philadelphia cross cliqueing is common because most of the LGBT community and community events are centralized in one specific three or four block radius – the Gayborhood. This makes seeing the same faces and groups very common therefore almost forcing you to interact with others whether at that charity fundraiser for William Way or singing show tunes at Tavern on Camac.
We help one another
This week alone, I have been invited to five charity events around the city. There is no shortage of helping hands all working together to better our community. Unlike many larger cities (it’s almost non-existent in many smaller cities), many of the public figures that stand out within Philadelphia’s LGBT community are not known for the parties they put on, or how prominent they are in nightlife, but by the way they reach out to the community in order to provide a better lifestyle for everyone.
Exhibit A: Rudy Flesher.
As a personal role model of mine, I can honestly say that I feel like at the end of day each day, Rudy goes home, sits down with a glass of wine, and just thinks about what he can do tomorrow to help us all out. This man is ALWAYS pushing charity events though his Social Media sites. He’s also instrumental in community awareness regarding local and national LGBT news. Check out one of his latest articles regarding a public letter from State Representative Brian Sims to Senator Bob Casey entitled: Gay Representative To Anti-Equality Senator Casey: Your Voice Is Silent. And I Am Angry.
The lifestyle is just…different
We all wish we had the abs of Ryan Gosling, the job of Anderson Cooper and the income of of Billy Joel, but in reality for most of us, it’s just not going to happen. Gravity takes over, and work quickly consumes many of our lives. The Philadelphia community as a whole has never seemed get caught up in the whimsical fantasy that some other East and West Coast cities can bring. There are so many LGBT youth and adults that come to this city, not trying to become the next reality superstar or the next national icon (though we do have a few), we come to work and work hard. The reason for this, I believe, is that unlike cities like New York and LA, the pace of life is slightly slower and laid back. The ratio of up and coming freelance models, actors and photographers to full time employed college grads appears to be much lower than other neighboring East Coast cities. Therefore the statement that beauty is only skin deep plays a much more significant role in the lives of LGBT locals.
In many cases, the opportunity for an LGBT couple to have a successful relationship is also higher. I feel the reason for this is because both partners in the relationship feel less compelled to be driven by the idea that something better will come along, or that next big break will soon come. This doesn’t mean that I think a relationship in other cities isn’t possible, I just think it’s more difficult.
To close I’d like to say that while those three above points may not fit into everyone’s lives, I feel as a community we work hard to do things right. I’ve spoken with so many people who moved out of Philadelphia onto to other cities around the country, and after all is said and done, we seem to agree on one thing – Philly Gays really are the Best Gays.