Update on Pittsburgh Pridest

Events are unfolding at such a dramatic pace that I simply cannot come up with a more original headline.

Iggy Azalea has cancelled her appearance at Pride in the Streets. She was supposed to perform Saturday June 13. She cancelled on June 8. The Delta Foundation promises the replacement entertainment will be announced soon. Rumors swirl, thick and furious, about everyone’s motivations, along with demands for refunds.

Obviously, this is good news, but everything is not fixed. Nothing is fixed.

Delta is holding a super-secret meeting tonight (Tuesday June 9) at their new HQ to do some reconciling, healing, etc. It is mediated/facilitated by the Dignity & Respect campaign. It is invite only, but a whole slew of folks who weren’t invited (including the RootsPride organizers) are in fact planning to attend. According to my sources, the original invitations did NOT include groups like Latino Pride and GLSEN Pittsburgh but they were invited later in the day Monday.  My neighbor who is a cis het white upper middle class man is going ??? I didn’t see any trans women of color on the list, not the families of the six LGBTQ folks who died violent deaths in the past two years, nor the leather community, nor Shepherd Wellness, etc. But my partner who is a trained mediator told me that mediation does typically take place at neutral locations and that ALL parties should be invited to the table. So maybe a step forward, maybe not.

I must add – UPMC as a facilitator for anything? Really? Am I alone in finding that a ludicrous proposition? How can you disregard consent decrees that impact tens of thousands of vulnerable people and then turn around with any credibility to mediate ANYTHING?

The City Paper has a nice piece about RootsPride.  Here’s the quote I find fascinating:

Dan Catanzaro, a Delta board member who recently left the board, says the board tries to be inclusive. “We tried to get all colors and races on that board,” he says. But Pittsburgh is “not a racially diverse city” and “most other boards reflect this.”

Asked about Delta’s funding priorities (just 2 percent of its 2013 spending went to grants), Catanzaro says it’s an “interesting, debatable question.”

And while “everyone might not agree with it,” Catanzaro adds, “Delta brought an amazing amount of awareness of our community to the rest of the Pittsburgh community and to state legislators, and what is that awareness worth?”

Apparently, it is worth $910,000 as that’s about what Delta spent on it last year, right? And board members are supposed to ask “debatable” questions about money BEFORE they leave the board, right? Isn’t that an actual board duty – asking questions about financials?

Anyway, nothing has changed and everything has changed. I hope to see you this weekend at some of the terrific activities lined up. My friend Andy is coming in from NYC to stand with RootsPride, QTPOC and other marginalized folks on Saturday night – I have some awesome friends.

I still have this unofficial Pride Activities calendar up and running. I’ll keep it updated all summer long. And I’ll have more on the big stories, too.



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  • First, Sue, from one journalist to another—terrific, terrific job! Please keep it coming. But I have to say, the story just makes me heartsick. Things are clearly worse than any of us imagined! A secret meeting to heal? By invite only? What about all the division we have all been through? I want a healing for ALL of us…we all need to remember we are still part of the Rainbow no matter who we are or what we feel or think! The only solution…and I’ve said it a million times. Let Delta collapse of its own mistakes, miscalculations and addiction to secrecy and blunders. Lets’ move in a direction that results in a new fund or foundation that has a diverse, open, board that believes in accountability and trust and inclusion–not exclusion…we have so many needs in Pittsburgh and they need to be funded through a clear, understandable, transparent process–and focus ONLY on service.

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