June has become known as Pride month, and recently even the President recognized this with a statement. Pride means many different things to many different people.

Historically, Pride gets linked the the Stonewall Riots in New York City from the summer of 1969. Today, Pride celebrations, marches, parades, parties, events, and more happen, all over the globe. Some Pride activities happen in cities where the event is outlawed, as a method of activism. for others, it is common place, and seems more like a cultural “holiday” on the Queer calendar.

One of the things I value about Pride here in Pittsburgh, is the fact that the week of Pride leading up to the big Pride march and PrideFest is full of gatherings, meetings, seminars, and other events sponsored by local organizations. These various events offer gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women and men an opportunity to learn, grow, collaborate, communicate and activate. When anyone ever complains to me that Pride is simply a big useless party, I know immediately, that they don’t really know what’s going on. These Pride week activities can be fun, but they are not about a party! They are about carrying the power of Pride into many other areas of our lives. For me, one of the coolest things about this, is that any group can organize a Pride week activity, so no one person, group or perspective dominates.

So, here are some of the Pride Week events that I’m really looking forward to. More information can be found in the Pride Guide, or on-line on the Pride website.

Monday@ 6:30 PM You Belong: At School, in the Workplace, as a Family, and in Politics

This event is sponsored by the Greater Pittsburgh ACLU and will feature several speakers who will cover your rights and issues across the spectrum of areas from home, to school, to work. This was a fantastic event last year, and very well attended.

Tuesday: Think Investment!

Join area professionals for a seminar discussion on investment and home ownership, retirement and related tax issues. Conversations and break-out sessions with the experts following the presentation. For more information, call 412-363-4000

Wednesday @7:00 PM You Belong (In Your Legislator’s Office)

LGBT issues remain a flashpoint at every level of government, but especially at the state and federal level where legislation that would benefit lesbian, gay. bisexual, and transgender individuals and families is stalled. You can play a key role in changing that! You will leave with step-by-step ideas about how you can make a noticeable difference towards achieving equality.

For more information, contact: Thomas Waters, thomaswaters@mac.com, https://thomascwaters.com, 412-400-8777 or 412-246-4451

This event last year was predominately a training on how to do issue advocacy. This year in addition to the training, we want to have more of a dialogue and forum. There is so much happening around the country and within Washington DC surrounding LGBT Rights! Why are tactics changing, and how can we be the most successful in achieving equality?

These are just a few of the activities listed. I’ll post about more over the coming days.

Photo by See-ming Lee ??? SML used under the Creative Commons License.

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