Queering the Map: Submit your best memories and see Philly faves

Which spots stand out to the region’s LGBTQ community?

Queering the Map

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With the optimal combo of Pride Month and relaxed COVID restrictions, Philly gays are once again hitting up their old haunts. Where does the city’s LGBTQ community congregate for fun? Which places hold the most significance for queer people in the city?

There is, of course, no universal answer. But an international database called Queering the Map is trying to keep track of places where queer people have shared their most memorable moments.

The database was started in Montreal two years ago by Concordia University design student Lucas LaRochelle. They felt a special connection to a park in their neighborhood where they first met their partner, and wanted to immortalize it.

The interactive visualization works like Google Maps — if the Gmaps default color was pink. It’s populated with 120,000+ little black markers all over the world, with info displayed in 23 languages. Click one, and you’ll see a queer person’s story from that spot.

And you can add to it, too. Visit the site, pick your most memorable location and tell your story. All the submissions are reviewed by moderators to ensure hate speech, spam, and breaches of anonymity aren’t published.

Philadelphia is full of submissions. There are coming out stories that ended better than expected. Semi-explicit tales of sexual encounters, and lamentable one-that-got-away moments. Many blurbs detail the tender beginnings or cacophonous endings of LGBTQ love stories.

Many posts are clustered in hotspots like the Gayborhood or University City. But if you zoom out, you’ll see that the stories, like queer people, are everywhere, from Bridesburg to Southwest, and Mount Airy to the stadiums.

We’ve collected some of our favorites from all over the city. Here are screenshots that tell 18 of Philly’s queer stories.

Finding a happy, gay home in Graduate Hospital

Queering the Map

Tears of joy at 48th and Pine

Queering the Map

Love makes the nachos taste better at 20th and Chestnut

Queering the Map

Meeting the man of your dreams in Bridesburg

Queering the Map

LDR bonding at 30th Street Station

Queering the Map

Queer lodging in Southwest Philly

Queering the Map

Not one, not two, but three times the fun at Woody’s

Queering the Map

Your parents still love you in Mount Airy

Queering the Map

Finally being yourself at prom

Queering the Map

Staying at the Homo Hotel at 29th and Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Queering the Map

The historic Annual Reminders protests in Old City

Queering the Map

Culture shock in Olde Kensington

Queering the Map

Deja vu at the Philly airport 

Queering the Map

Coming out… while tailgating

Queering the Map

Rejection and a chipped tooth in North Philly

Queering the Map

Breaking the news on New Year’s Eve

Queering the Map

Living at the Big Gay House at 22nd and Lombard

Queering the Map

Fear and relief at the old Hahnemann Hospital

Queering the Map

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