I’ve been harsh and critical of the Delta Foundation (and probably will be again) but I have to say their community/cooperative installation of painted doors in Market Square for National Coming Out Day was fantastic. Thank you Delta for putting your time, talent and resources towards this project! Delta is best known for Pittsburgh Pride, and like Pride itself, this event helped make lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer  people visible within the larger Pittsburgh community.

I heard plenty of grumblings about this project during August, and so I wasn’t sure what the end result would be. However the end result was outstanding. I made a few photos on my iPhone and they are below. One criticism of Delta that I hear often, is that as an organization, Delta tries to speak for the community, when it doesn’t really represent the whole of the Pittsburgh LGBTQ community, and when no one has asked them to speak for them. But this installation proved that Delta can be so much more than that. Here were doors decorated and created by various organizations such that each and every organization had its own voice and could use that voice to make a statement. “Organization” isn’t the best word, as there were LGBT affinity groups at large corporations and others who also participated. In other words, individuals who are organized in a variety of ways, all brought something that together, made a very powerful statement and everyone’s voice was heard.

National Coming Out Day (NCOD)  is one of those weird yearly events. Unlike Pride, which is so well established as being every June, NCOD seems to sneak up and then pass quickly. If it is just about “coming out” then at some point, there isn’t anything left to do- because many of us are already out. Now, I personally think the day can be more than that, and I’ve written about it herehere and here. But what Delta has done this year is special. Delta invited organizations and groups of folks to “come out” and be visible in a different way, and a different space. Symbolically down at the point may be considered as “Pittsburgh” but here was this art installation right in the middle of where people work, eat and congregate. In other words, Delta brought Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community out in a new way for Pittsburgh. In my opinion, this is part of Delta’s real strengths and why they are so important to the LGBTQ community here. They have a knack for making the LGBT community visible within the whole of the Pittsburgh community. This happens with Pride and it happens with their other major project, the magazine, Equal.  now if they would just start identifying that community as LGBT and Q I’d be very happy.

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By the way, I’m really ashamed of these pics.  To think I used to be a photographer… Here is the P-G’s article on it. Delta gets some things wrong, but they get very many things very right and this was one of those things.  Thanks Delta for a job well done, and looking forward to more great things in the future.


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