As one group after another announces their decision not to participate in Pittsburgh Pride activitiesРat least those sponsored by Delta FoundationРI have to admit, I have mixed feelings. I fully support their decision to stand with Roots Pride Pittsburgh in opposition to the bone-headed and exclusionary choice of Iggy Azalea as headliner for the Pride in the Street  event. I too stand with Roots Pride Pittsburgh in that regard.

But it makes me sad to see the Pride March and the PrideFest also impacted.

I get it. I do. But it still makes me sad.

I think Delta really pulled a blunder selecting Iggy Azalea. But that wasn’t their biggest mistake. Their biggest mistake was in how the responded to the outrage that began regarding that blunder. Arrogant, obtuse, disconnected, even belligerent, are words I heard used to describe their reaction and response, such that the issue was no longer really about Iggy, but rather, it was about Delta’s inability to listen to, and care about the LGBTQ community at large.

And then, as if their first response wasn’t tone-deaf enough, they simply dug in their heels and dismissed any comments made about their choice.

In some regard, the issue was always about two things: (1) The Delta Foundation itself as well as (2) their choice of Iggy. But at first, the way it was about Delta was overshadowed and hidden by the Iggy controversy. Soon however, the Iggy controversy was being overshadowed, and Delta demonstrated what many of us have known all along. That what’s best for the community is never at the center of Delta’s agenda.

Pride really isn’t about the Delta Foundation, Pride is far bigger than that. Many persons will have their first contact with the LGBTQIA community at the Pride March and PrideFest, and those experiences will be lacking because¬†some valuable groups and persons will not be there– those who have chosen to or who have felt forced to withdraw– because of Delta Foundation’s failure to recognize and admit their mistake.

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