With a limited budget and a little under four weeks to plan and execute, Pittsburgh Pride returned this past weekend with a bang. Early estimates are that over 10,000 people participated in the events over the weekend, with 8,000 participating and attending the Pittsburgh Pride Revolution march and festival on Saturday, June 5.
Pittsburgh Pride Group, the newly formed consortium of local LGBTQ organizations, was responsible for the planning and coordination of the weekend’s events. Centering Trans and POC communities was the important theme and message of the weekend’s festivities.
“Pride started as a riot. A rising up by two trans women of color who were fed up and tired of all the hate, bigotry, ignorance, and the killing of our people. That fight for equality, that fight for our civil rights is what we’re still fighting for today,” said Dena Stanley, member of the Pittsburgh Pride Group and founder of Trans Youniting.
The festivities had a more community and grassroots feel than in previous years.
“I really see Pride as being bigger than just an event held by one organization so that’s why we chose to collaborate so heavily,” said Dalen Hooks.
Among the 8,000 marchers were Penguins President Of Hockey Operations Brian Burke, Lt. Governor John Fetterman, Congressman Connor Lamb, State Representative and Mayor-apparent Ed Gainey, State Senator Jay Costa, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, County Controller Chelsa Wagner, County Council members Bethany Hallam and Liv Bennet and many more.
The Pridefest held at Allegheny Commons Park West, by the National Aviary and Lake Elizabeth, featured booths from LGBTQ+ and supportive organizations and venders, concessions, and a community catwalk where all could strut their stuff to cheers and applause. Mother Oak hosted the festivities which also featured a ballroom showcase and a Rocky Horror Picture Show sing-along with the Junior Chamber of Commerce Players. Central Outreach Wellness Center was also on hand for free STD testing and COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Pride festivities continued on Sunday with a mini festival in Bloomfield at Trace Brewing. S&S Productions assisted with the planning of the day’s festivities which included music, dancing, a drag brunch, a drag queen storytime with Akasha L Van-Cartier, and a virtual showcase featuring 30 acts that viewers could watch from anywhere in the world.
Pride weekend also featured a kick-off party at Brewer’s on Friday, Three Rivers Leather Club hosted a leather and gear night at P Town, the Manos Gallery in Tarentum held the opening of the Art Equality exhibit on display all month long, a Pride Ball at Brewer’s, drag brunches and bingos galore, and closing parties at 5801, Blue Moon, P Town, and Brewer’s on Sunday night to close out the weekend.
Pride month continues this weekend with many more celebrations including events at 5801 in Shadyside.