Some of the rhetoric surrounding the recent controversy engulfing Pittsburgh Pride organizer, the Delta Foundation, might suggest that the scuffle is simply identity politics. Delta itself suggested that this effort was merely part of a larger national dialogue about race and privilege. Indeed, race and privilege are, a part of the issue. But, it would be fallacious to say that’s all there is to it.

As I went out to get my lunch today, I ran into an old friend who is recently retired. He fits well into the demographic of “gay white male” that some of the protesters claim Pride caters to. Boy, did I get an earful from him! His outrage at Delta illustrates that many who fall across a wide spectrum of gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, cis, white, black, brown… you name it– are fed up with Delta Foundation, and are demanding change. Opposition to Delta is not limited to TQPOC, to use an acronym that has become popular during this situation. Yes, certainly trans and queer persons of color (TQPOC) are out front, giving voice to their outrage, but with them stand many from all parts of the rainbow coalition that we call the LGBTQIA community.

Last evening over coffee a different friend, asked me why I felt some were so heatedly angry at Delta Foundation. ‘Is what they’ve done, really all that bad,’ he asked. His question is a valid one to consider. What has Delta done that is so bad?

My answer is that Delta has set itself up as the leading LGBT expert organization in Western PA. They have deemed themselves spokesperson for the LGBT community. (Delta doesn’t even recognize the “Q”) By naming themselves the leaders, they have commandeered the agenda and dialogue and by doing that, have silenced all other voices within the LGBTQIA community through their inability to adequately and respectfully represent everyone. This silencing of others has no place within a modern-day Equality-oriented organization.

An organization can set itself up to be representative of the whole of the LGBTQIA community, but with that responsibility comes a terrific amount of hard work, which Delta seems loathe to do. They can’t even get the easy stuff like having a diverse board of directors– a board with is 90% male and 100% white.To becomes fully inclusive and more representative, requires becomes expert at listening, and empowering others to have a voice.

Many of all ages, races, genders, orientations and ideologies (and every other way people may identify) are angry at the Delta Foundation, not only TQPOC’s.

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