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View Article  Happy Pridefest, Johnstown!

Today marks the 1st Pridefest for Johnstown!   Congratulations.


The event is sponsored by the Highlands Community College Allies Club and the Keystone Alliance/Gaylife Newsletter. 

Lots of good stuff happening in Pennsylvania. 

View Article  Dreams of Hope - Summer Qamp
Dreams of Hope has a summer camp week that sounds awesome.

Dreams of Hope

Summer Arts QAMP!

August 16 - 20th


Dreams of Hope is hosting an overnight camp from August 16 - 20th for LGBTA youth ages 13-17. The camp will be held at the Emma Kaufmann Camp on Cheat Lake near Morgantown, West Virginia. Please submit your forms by July 1, 2011 to secure your place!




In addition to Special Workshops designed specifically for Dreams of Hope on Drumming, Spoken Word, and LGBT and Allies Support and Education, camp will include:


 High and Low Ropes Course; Athletics; Instruction and Recreational Swimming; Water     Skiing; Canoeing and kayaking; Knee Boarding; Tubing; Arts & Crafts; Hiking; Ceramics;     Campfires; Karaoke


Participants will:

Grow their artistic abilities and talents.

Improve their self confidence and self-esteem.

Participate in fun and challenging activities.

Develop friendships with young people from other geographic areas, ethnicity, and socio-economic and racial backgrounds.

Explore issues they face in their schools and neighborhoods, and learn how to combat the obstacles they face.

Have a space where they can relax and be themselves!


Cost is $500 per camper, which includes: Three meals a day plus snacks, all camp activities, round-trip transportation from Pittsburgh to camp and memories that will last a lifetime. Need based scholarships available. Please submit a scholarship form.


FORMS DUE:   July 1, 2011 - to secure a place at camp

        After July 1, applications will be considered if there is space.


Space is limited to 24 campers, so go on our web site, call, mail, or email to request your registration packet. (Please include your name, address, phone and email.)


Dreams of Hope?www.dreamsofhope.org/camp? info@dreamsofhope.org?(412) 361-2065

Summer Arts QAMP!?P.O. Box 4912?Pittsburgh PA 15206

View Article  "Fagbug" is back in the region

I first learned about this story at Pridefest a few years ago.  Erin Davies has her vehicle vandalized, including homophobic graffiti and the always original tag "Fag."  Erin took action and began driving the vehicle around the nation to educate people about homophobia.  Sure enough, she drove in the Pride March that year. 

Erin is back in the region, speaking in Fayette County and showing the documentary she made during her journey around the nation.  She speaks on Thursday, February 24, 2011.

Instead of letting the incident deter her, Davies decided to take her car on a 58-day road trip. Her goal was to capture people's reactions to her car on film and turn it into a documentary titled "Fagbug."

Davies' presentation will include a viewing of the documentary and the telling of the story of her transformation from hate crime victim to hate crime activist. People will also have the opportunity to see the "Fagbug" automobile at the campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I love that she claims the title activist, too. 


View Article  Dreams of Hope to perform at August Wilson Center

If you are seeking something interesting to do on Sunday ...

Dreams of Hope's Performance Troupe presents:
Bully Me - Season Preview
Sunday, Jan 30th, 2011
August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh
Dreams of Hope's Performance Troupe will open its 2010-2011 season
with a preview of 'Bully Me', an original show consisting of spoken
word, movement, drama, percussion, and song exploring bullying and its
horrific impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.
Dreams of Hope is a creative and performing arts organization for
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and supportive youth. Through the
arts, Dreams of Hope develops youth leader who educate audiences
through the creation of new works based on their lives.
www.dreamsofhope.org 412.361.2065


View Article  GLCC to offer free legal seminars

A few upcoming events and activities that might interest you ...

The GLCC has a series of legal seminars that cover topics you very much should understand

Legal Series Schedule
Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families 2/26 1:30 pm

Nursing Home Costs?How Much, Who Pays, With What Money 3/26 1:30 pm

Guardian Versus POA 4/26 7:30 pm

What Does Being An Executor of Someone's Estate Involve? 5/24 7:30 pm

Veterans' Benefits 6/18 1:30 pm

How Should the Deed and Joint Accounts Be Titled? 7/26 7:30 pm

Seminars will be held at the GLCC located at 210 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 412-422-0144

The seminars are free and open to the public.  The presenter is attorney Lynn Costa.

View Article  Rethinking Lesbian Spaces in Pittsburgh

Impulse Pittsburgh bills itself as a new monthly women's social event.  "The Girls are takin' back the 'Burgh!"

With the holidays over, the upcoming winter months may prove to be quiet and somber. The weather may bring a storm or two, and we'll naturally want to stay within the safety of the indoors. However, that doesn't mean we can't have some fun and be within the company of the most diverse and beautiful group of women in Pittsburgh! The burgh's newest monthly girl party is coming: January 15! and will prove to lift your spirits. Hence why our first theme will be: Winter Wonderland! Whether you're trying to get out of the house, love meeting new people, or just want to celebrate with your fellow LGBTQ crowd, you won't want to miss out! Impulse: Winter WonderlandDate and Time: January 15 from 9PM-2AM
Location: Tonic Bar @ Downtown! 971 Liberty Ave.
Door Fee: $5
Drink Specials: From 9-11PM!
Parking: Plenty of parking on the street or across the street at the David L Lawrence center for only $5 the entire night! 

Get ready for: 

-2 Floors will be all ours, and each will be decorated with winter splendor!
-Not 1, not 2, but 3 DJs from the Operation Sappho Crew! A warm intro to mary mack, drop that, and square peg, who will be spinning the beats all night.
-Drink Specials from 9-11PM - Dollar off all drinks in the bar, $2 off all speciality drinks!
-Photographers to capture the moments (of course, they will ask first!)
-Raffle Giveaways and Contests. Proceeds will go to The Trevor Project!

There is no dress code- come as you are. No pressure- only a good time! 

An RSVP is not necessary but appreciated! RSVP at our event group here: 

"When Winter wages her war
Don't show her mercy
Instead, act on your Impulses
And Dance the night away!"


Interesting development.  Pittsburgh is already home to Lez Liquor Hour which is more of Happy Hour held on a monthly basis, complete with some of the most erotic written imagery demonstrating the intense creative power of the organizer.

Both events circulate among Pittsburgh's bars which may be an interesting indicator of the future of the "lesbian bar" scene.  We aren't going to have a bar specifically for lesbians, but more of a lesbian contingent drawn by events like these and staff who are gay friendly such as Cattivo and the Blue Moon, both in Lawrenceville. 


The idea that there is no lesbian scene is factually inaccurate, but the lack of a lesbian space is a bit troubling.  The GLCC hasn't been successful in creating a vibrant presence Downtown, but they are still new to the location so that could change.  The events above do require some disposable income and a desire to be part of a certain scene.  Ledcat and I are not bar people.  We attend more when there's a cause we support than for the socialization. Still, we could attend whereas some women cannot because of child care, income and recovery.  Monthly child-friendly potlucks, also rotating, fill some of those needs. 


So this emergent moving scene is an interesting phenom and one we should appreciate for adding some flavor to the local lesbian community.  It should lead us to rethink the concept of claiming a lesbian space within the mainstream community and recognize that this is about embracing our identity within that space, not necessarily assimilating. 

View Article  Frst Time at Voluto Coffee

This is a shameful admission, but I've never made it to Voluto until this morning.  I pride myself on not being neighborhood bound, but we just never made it over here.  This morning, I had some time to spend while Ledcat went to another commitment so I popped in and was delightfully surprised and incredibly remorseful at my tardiness within the same second.


The location is great, right along Penn Avenue and the space is great, too.  It is actually warm in here, even near my window seat.  Decor is modern and sleek without being too smooth.  I've had a cup of the the dark roast house blend which really perked me up, followed by a decaf Americano (I still don't know what this is).  Both were flavorful and rich.  I love strong coffee, even when I drink decaf. I love the cups ...


Voluto serves 49th parallel coffees from Vancouver. I'm not sure of the source of the pastries, but I'm dropping crumbs from a delicious cranberry orange scone into my laptop as I type this (don't tell Robert Blackwell).  And very grateful Ledcat gave me this treat. 

Voluto's homepage features an interesting blog which is a great idea to keep the page fresh and people coming back, both virtually and literally.  You can follow them on Facebook.  They keep mostly daylight hours, but they are open on Sundays which is an advantage.  It can be tough on a working person to find coffee outside of Squirrel Hill during non-work hours so the Sunday open is very appealing. 

And service.  The owners were very friendly and helpful, even when I was wandering around seeking a good spot to see my computer screen.  I'm sure I looked foolish, but we must sacrifice in the name of blogging. 

I regret that life got in the way of venturing this way from the beginning.  I won't make that mistake again.

Voluto is high on my list of places to which I plan to return soon.  I encourage you to do the same. 

View Article  Steel City Hoop Union

Does this not sound like big fun?

Hello Friends and Neighbors,

It has come to my attention that some folks don't know that the Steel City Hoop Union still meets every Tuesday evening at the Union Project.  Just bring yourself (and your mom, your dad, your grandma, your uncle, your girlfriend, your boyfriend . . . . ) and we'll bring hula hoops, music, and instruction if you'd like some.  It's so much fun you'll forget it's exercise.  If it's hot, bring some water.  We hoop outside in nice weather, indoors if it rains.

Hoop Union Tuesdays
6:30 to 7:30 pm, Rain or Shine
Union Project
Corner of Stanton and Negley
$5 for grown-ups, $2.50 for kids under 12

If you hoop, we want to meet you, if you don't we want to teach you!

Hoop Union Tuesdays are brought to you by the Union Project and Steel City Hoop Union.  Visit us on Facebook!

I do the hula hoop on Wii Fit Plus and its a hoot (hoop?).  I seriously debating trying it in real life with only the fear of utter embarrassment holding me back --- hips, don't fail me now?


View Article  Pgh Dyke March 2010

I am tired after a long day so I'll save my Dyke March 2010 reflections for Sunday.

I have posted photos on my Facebook page if you'd like to check them out.

Overall, the event was great. The move to Bloomfield was genius for visibility ... tons of people came out on the streets and stoops to watch us march by.  There were very few problems and a good job on the part of the Pittsburgh Police.

There is some inaccurate information floating around about street closures and so forth. I submitted the permit and spoke with the officer in charge so I will clarify tomorrow.  Trust me that Bloomfield's grid was not permanently destroyed by dyke visibility.

Congrats to Eli Kuti, Miranda Vey and the dozens of volunteers who organized a great event.  Best.Dyke.March.Ever. 

View Article  Pride!

Gosh, I've been so caught up in DADT, work and wrestling with my bike that I haven't given very much attention to Pittsburgh PrideFest. 

It is right around the corner. 

This coming week, we'll see a political rally with Cleve Jones, the Dyke March and the GLENDA Diva's for Diversity.

The official pride site.

The official Pride Guide 2010. I like that its up now so you can check it out before the event. 

Perspective?  Moscow Pride is thrilled they managed to march for five to ten minutes.  Pride is illegal in Moscow.

Love, love the guy using his smart phone while marching!  Such a me thing to do.  I usually live tweet the Dyke March and inevitably trip over something. 

I'm curious which politicians show up.  Onorato, I'm betting.  Sestak, I'm hoping (especially because protocol dictates he goes first, eh?).  State folks are trickier because "GET THE BUDGET DONE"  Ahem. 

Any thoughts?

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The Correspondents