The second Philly Family Pride Picnic and Arts Festival at Mount Airy’s Lovett Library on Saturday was filled with vendors, games, food and music.
Icon Ebony Fierce, a professional drag artist and rapper, gave an impromptu performance of “Baby Shark” during children's story time at the event.
Fierce said drag queens are "the face of activism" in the LGBTQ community.
“Drag queens are important because when you think about it, drag is artistic exaggeration to make fun [of] gender roles. Seeing a drag queen is no different from seeing someone at your favorite show. It’s all a character, it’s all artistic expression," Fierce said. "Drag queens are the people that show up and show out, march and participate in activism in the LGBTQ community history.”
Fierce, who has performed in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood for eight years, said it’s important to have events outside of the gay neighborhood. “Why not have an Mount Airy Pride for all ages?” Fierce asked.
Saturday’s festival was sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, Philadelphia Family Pride and the Mount Airy Art Garage (MAAG). Mayor Jim Kenney attended the festival and gave welcoming words to community members, same-sex couples and families.
Angel Brice, a board member of Philadelphia Family Pride and a University City resident, attended the festival with her fiancee, Genea Brown, and their nephews for the first time.
“It’s a space for us to share community and hold hands without feeling uncomfortable,” Brice said. “African Americans aren’t selected enough in the LGBTQ community. Events like this are important because we matter like everybody and we need to know that there’s space for us to come out to events like this.”
According to Arleen Olshan, executive director of MAAG, more than a thousand people signed up on Facebook to attend the event and the library expected to serve 300 guests throughout the day.
“The more of us that come out to these events, the more color that we bring,” Brice said. “It’s a celebration of community.”