Chester County ‘Comes Out’ to LGBTQ Events Despite Initial Backlash

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people holding LGBTQ support signs
Image via Tyger Williams, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Katrina Nolan, left, and her daughter, Juliet, at West Chester's Outfest.

October’s West Chester Outfest drew 500 people despite what officials refer to as “vitriolic opposition.” In Phoenixville, one thousand attendees came out to Chester County’s fifth Pride fest. These events are part of a large rise in LGBTQ festivals in the county and greater Philadelphia area, writes Erin McCarthy for The Philadelphia Inquirer.   

“It doesn’t matter how old or young the kids are. They should be exposed to diversity of all types,” said Katrina Nolan, who brought her 3-year-old daughter to West Chester’s OutFest. “It’s really important to have these events in all communities, because there aren’t just LGBTQ+ people in cities.” 

Pride organizers like Eddy Foster believe that the increase of LGBTQ events in the suburbs can be attributed to increasing societal acceptance. It’s also due to younger generations moving outside of the city and raising their kids in the suburbs.

“There weren’t gay bars, or even a gay night, or LGBT events that were widespread in a place like West Chester, in a place like Norristown, in a place like Media, until the last couple decades. Now, that’s common,” said Foster.  

Pride events in Chester County makes pride events more accessible to the community without having to make a trip to Philadelphia.  

Read more about LGBTQ events in Chester County in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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