DO THIS: “That’s So Gay” Exhibit at the Library Company of Philadelphia

Comic1-227x300Okay, we admit it: public outing might be wrong, but it is oh-so-juicy. The best part? You can forget about going to Perez Hilton to hear the latest rumors about who’s bursting from the closet. Instead, head over to the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Seems like an unlikely place to hear LGBTQ gossip, right? But, if you’re seeking to get your gay history straight, LCP may have just the thing you’re looking for. Starting in February, the company presents “That’s So Gay: Outing Early America,” a free gallery exhibit featuring the Library Company’s “abundance of resources documenting homosexuality.”

According to the exhibit’s website, complete with a dedicated “That’s So Gay” blog, “[Early Americans] took part in same-sex relationships, wrote poems and novels celebrating such relationships, deviated from gender norms, and suffered for transgressive behavior in ways that are well-documented in the historical record.”  Expect to find interesting information on Walt Whitman, Harriet Hosmer, and a very-gay party in Philadelphia attended by Oscar Wilde, along with some very thought-provoking, homoerotic photos of early Philadelphians. (See those in the slideshow below.)

There’s even a Web page connected to the exhibit where you can send gender-bending e-Valentines cards featuring 19th-century artwork. What a unique surprise for your sweetie this Feb. 14, huh?

Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, the Library Company of Philadelphia is the country’s first circulating library. Located at 1314 Locust St., the “That’s So Gay” exhibit runs Feb. 10 through Oct. 17. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.


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  • mondtm

    Why are the gallery hours during working hours!? How are employed people supposed to see this?

  • jodyd

    Fortunately, I work a block away and am looking forward. Is there an opening reception on the 10th?

  • bob

    I don’t get it — you were gay if you posed for a picture with your arm around someone?

    Despite the author’s suggestion, these are hardly “homoerotic.”

    The Gay ATLCP website explains that “The exact nature of the relationships of the various people in these photographs probably will remain forever unknown and unknowable. But it’s tempting to speculate.”

    I still don’t get it . . . but speculate away, I suppose.

  • Karen

    I am also disappointed there are no evening or weekend hours to view this exhibition. I won’t be able to see it.