MSNBC picked up a little blurb on plans to make Pittsburgh a gay tourist mecca. gay and lesbian, excuse me.
Of course, the story quotes two white gay male business owners. Both of whom are nice enough fellows and do good things. But if I were an out of town lesbian picking a spot to drop my travel $$, I might like to see that women are in leadership positions, too. The Vice-Chair of the GLCC is a woman. Why not quote her? There are several local businesses owned by women who would love to get some women (and men) tourist dollars. A researcher at Pitt is a transwoman with a significant presence on the national level in her field and in the trans community.
Nothing personal against these particular gentleman. I understand they have two slots open on their board of directors and here's hoping they put diversity high on the list of attributes. Filling both slots with talented, experienced individuals that don't look like the traditional Pittsburgh bar owner will go a long way in sending a message both internally and externally about the value men in our community have for women, queers of color, bisexual men and women, transgender men and women, and so forth.
If we are going to change the perception that Pittsburgh is not a progressive or modern city, we must start right here and make changes in how we share power and leadership. Sharing the power is the key to a true partnership.
Here's hoping for a new refrain.