Based on the news cycle, you’d think LGBT people all lived in a sparkly version of hell. It’s true that in many ways, being queer can suck, but besides dealing with a whole lot of crap, LGBT people are living beautiful, diverse lives in a variety of cities across the world. Our photo column “Being Gay Is Beautiful in…” explores this idea, showcasing photos of a different city’s LGBT community every week to display how being queer is fucking awesome.
This week, we look at the lives of Matthew Krebs and Gian Paul Graziosi in the City of Brotherly Love. Both students at UPenn, which was this year named by Playboy #1 party school in America, these two have only lived in Philadelphia for a year. So, these are pictures of a couple finding out how being gay in Philly can be beautiful. So far, they’ve noticed a divide between the school’s community and the city at large, and have discovered that urban agricultural projects are a huge draw for the queer community.
“As an individual, being gay in Philadelphia is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in constructive and creative ways, coupled with a modern form of ‘living off the land,'” Krebs, who works with UPenn’s Urban Nutrition Initiative, told VICE. “The urban gardens, bike lanes and trails, parks, the rivers, free art galleries, museums, street fairs and festivals, and of course the summer pop-up parks are all a part of this, and are hugely trafficked by the LGBT community.”
Matthew and Gian Paul decided to submit photos to this column after seeing an earlier installment on St. Louis. Their friend Bonnie Arbittier, a local photographer who also went to UPenn, took some photos of them for this article.