How colonial Philly’s same-sex secrets pointed toward the future of gay rights

It was practically bacchanalian on the streets of Philadelphia in the 18th century. Men drifted from tavern to tavern, soaking up strong harvest ales, while loose women walked the streets looking for action by last call—or at least enough to pay the “room for let” in Old City for the evening—as the smell of horses pinched the air, mingling with the pungent fresh fish being pulled from the river and lugged across cobblestone streets in wobbly carts.

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