Metro Weekly

Philly cannot get enough of the gays

Ten years after launching the first TV commercial by a U.S. destination for the LGBT travel market, Philadelphia today released a new commercial to mark the anniversary and continue its effort to attract gay visitors.

“Ten years ago, Philadelphia was proud to officially ‘come out’ as a gay-friendly destination when we invited LGBT travelers to visit,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC). “With our new commercial, we’re going beyond our history roots and reiterating our invitation, celebrating both the city’s evolution into a premier destination and the LGBT community’s progress over the last decade.”

In new 30-second spot, Miss Richfield’s Selfie Tour, Miss Richfield 1981, an internationally known drag queen, visits Philadelphia landmarks while snapping photos of herself along the way. Her photo tour starts at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell; takes her to the Rocky steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; has her admiring the views along the Schuylkill River; dining alfresco over food and wine; dancing at a crowded nightclub; and, finally, collapsing onto a hotel-room bed. 

According to GPTMC, this September and October the new commercial will air through Comcast on the Bravo and Style networks in the Philadelphia and D.C. markets, and on Logo TV nationally. Online, the 30-second video will run on, and

“I’ve been very proud of Philly’s LGBT travel marketing,” said Mike DeFlavia, a native Philadelphian who now resides in Washington. “The new Miss Richfield commercial captures the essence of all that is great about the ‘City of Brotherly Love.'”

According to Community Marketing’s 17th Annual Gay and Lesbian Tourism Survey, Philadelphia ranks among the Top 10 most-visited U.S. destinations by gay travelers. Before the city’s gay and lesbian tourism marketing campaign kicked off in 2003, the region ranked outside The top 20 destinations.

More information on visiting gay-friendly Philadelphia is available at

Troy Petenbrink is Metro Weekly's contributing writer for food and travel. He can be reached at