The Much Anticipated Pride Post

PrideFest is almost here.  There are a few specific events which I would like to highlight.  Here's the full schedule of partner events.

Your Rights, Our Rights, Human Rights: An ACLU Forum
Issues and Answers on Law, Marriage, Money and Family Matters

Presented in Partnership with Allies at CMU, Delta Foundation and Pittsburgh Pride 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009
7:00 pm

University Center, CMU Campus

Featuring “The Experts’ Corners” – individual and small group conversations with local legal experts on non-discrimination, civil partnerships, tax issues, healthcare decisions and more.

Larry Frankel, State Legislative Counsel, ACLU of PA

Sue Frietsche, Senior Staff Attorney, Women’s Law Project

Maureen Cohon, Family Law and Mediation Counsel, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Anthony Infanti, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

This event is free and open to the public

For more information, call 412-681-7736

I've not met Larry Frankel in person so I'm very interested in this event.  I also have some very practical questions and appreciate the opportunity to seek out answers.  It is good to see an attorney in private practice participating as well.

GLTBQ Civil rights: How you can change government for your rights. A town hall forum and training session.

Wednesday June 10, 2009
7:00 – 9:00pm

A groundswell of activity is happening across the country to provide GLBTQ Americans with their civil rights ranging from hate crimes and nondiscrimination legislation to marriage equality battles. There have been successes, setbacks, and many big hurdles to come. Allegheny County and Pennsylvania are in the middle of such battles, and your rights may be placed in jeopardy! If we are not successful now, it may be a long time before we have basic civil rights in employment, housing and public accommodations.

It is easy to think about democracy being about the right to cast a vote, but there are other ways that you can assure passage of needed nondiscrimination legislation like PA HB 300 and the local county ordinance. Democracy is a participation activity! In this town hall forum, learn about the status of pending legislation and the things you can do to assure passage of these critical protections. You will leave with step-by-step ideas about how you can make a noticeable difference towards achieving equality.

This event is co-sponsored by Equality Advocates PA, Pittsburgh PFLAG, Steel City Stonewall Democrats,, and the Women’s Law Project.

St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church
304 Morewood Ave, Pgh, PA 15213

Contact: Thomas Waters

This could be useful for new-to-advocay persons.  Equality Advocates has conducted similar sessions in the past. My frustration with these events is that they gear people up for an activity which can be very difficult to pursue – face to face meetings with elected officials.  There's also the historical lack of follow through.  These organizations are all very strapped for resources and do not (for various reasons) utilize new social media very well to mobilize the troops.  If you are a tech person, perhaps that's how you can volunteer!  Set up a FB page with frequent status updates, get wall discussions going and send out email blasts profiling different legislators.  So go into this trainings with a very open mind as to how you can get involved.  Make your own opportunity .

Might I also add blogging as an opportunity?  There are not enough queer voices in the Burghosphere and, with all due respect, two out of three are white gay men.  Minority voices within the community should seize this opportunity to speak out loud.

Of course, there is PrideFest itself.  Be sure to check ou the “official” launch of the Dykes on Bikes – Pittsburgh Chapter.

Friday night, Outrage opens at The Harris brought to you by the Pgh Filmmakers.  The Film Society is working to put together a discussion panel the following week, hoping to bring back some of the region's most powerful organizers who are a rich part of our history as well as the new generation of organizers.  I'll definitely have the announcement on that one.



4th Annual Pittsburgh Dyke March!

Creating celebratory & political space for dykes for its fourth year
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Meet @ 2:00 pm
March @ 3:00 pm
CMU lawn @ 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh 15213

This is one of the most up and coming events in the region, even though it is not formally affiliated with Pride.  It is great fun, political and welcoming.  I'll be speaking for 5 minutes about women's voices on the Internet and through new social media.  La'Tasha Mayes of New Voice Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice will also be speaking and she's great.  I've invited tons of women, including many who are closeted to some degree.  It is one of the most political-feeling/nice energies in town.

There's a little bit going on for all tastes.  Focus on what speaks to you and leave the rest. 

ps:  the GLCC will have all sorts of greatness as they unveil their new downtown space (yes, downtown — now that's visibility that translate into action). 



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