The Latest Updates on the Big Queer Rally, the Hearing and other stuff

Big Queer Rally — 6 days away.  Are you ready?  Got your signs?  Pulled out your long johns in case it is chilly?  Got your chant ready to go? 

Latest updates:  Unfortunately, Lynn Cullen cannot attend but she sends her best wishes.  On a bright note, State Representative Chelsa Wagner (and newlywed spouse of longtime LGBT ally Khari Mosely) is attending.  Chelsa is a co-sponsor of HB 1400 which takes anti-discrimination protection to the state level.  Other speakers to be announced.  I also had word from a group of local women that they are planning some advocacy efforts during the event, so that's all exciting. 

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People are asking about the hearing.  ANYONE can speak at the hearing if you register in advance.  You do not need to get approval from anyone in the LGBT community.  You are a resident  – you get to talk.  To do that, In order to speak at that hearing, one must register with the County Clerk, John Mascio: via e-mail(JMascio@alleghenycounty.us),  or  by  phone (412-350-6495)

It is great that people are interested.  Make the call and get on the agenda.  Share your story by all means.

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Speaking of stories, I received this via email today in the promotional materials for the Delta Foundation's Spark fundraiser set for Friday night.

The work of the Foundation has grown this celebration of diversity from a short parade through the blocks of Shadyside to a week of events throughout Pittsburgh that culminates downtown. Liberty Avenue is shut down for the weekend for the now annual outdoor concert and celebration PRIDE IN THE STREETS on Saturday evening, followed by the PRIDE PARADE and festival on Sunday.

This is at best an exaggeration and at worst … well, you know. Pittsburgh's original PrideFests were actuallly held downtown along with the parade.  The rallies were at Point State Park.  They moved up to Mellon Park, to Schenley Park and then to Shadyside.  Then, under the leadership of the GLCC, the event was held on the North Shore for several years during which time the parade moved right back downtown and through the heart of the Three Rivers Arts Festival. 

I was dismayed when I read this.  PrideFest is the culmination of the hardwork of many, many people over the past 30 odd years. No one person or institution can lay sole claim to that rich heritage. Delta should be more careful and accurate when describing our activist legacy in order to raise money for their future projects.  It is fine to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before, but it is ill-advised to take credit for their successes. 

I hope Delta will issue a statement clarifying the very hard work of hundreds of anonymous volunteeers that have dedicated themselves to PrideFest in the years before Delta took it over.  To acknowledge their triumphs takes nothing away from the accomplishment of the Delta Foundation and to do otherwise, tarnishes the organization's credibility. 

So when you are being thankful for PrideFest's current level of success with your LGBTQ donations, be sure to thank the GLCC, the Lambda Foundation, the Pittsburgh Leathermen, the Softball League, GLENDA and many, many other organizations that have been part of our Pride history.

Here's to the next phase of PrideFest.  And a thanks to all of those who have made it possible.

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