The ‘Pride’ Feeling

Jeff Freedman. Photo by Mara Rago.

Pride month is by far my favorite time of the year. To me, it is way better than my birthday, New Year’s, and the Fourth of July all combined. I live for Pride.

My first Gay Rights March was in 1979 as a teenager. It was me, my male best friend, and about a dozen and half lesbians walking down the streets of Oakland. As horns honked around us, we kept marching and chanting. It was an exhilarating, terrifying, liberating, and completely empowering experience. It was that cathartic moment when I realized that Pride is an emotion. Pride is felt. You feel Pride. As the years have passed, I have never forgotten how much that moment impacted me. From then when there were less than two dozen people marching to now having a few thousand people parading down the streets has made me appreciate the achievements that we together have accomplished in just my lifetime.

As QBurgh prints our first Pride Guide this year it has been an incredible journey. We are so proud of what QBurgh has accomplished so far and are excited about what QBurgh has yet to become. We launched QBurgh to help provide a sense of Community for our region that hasn’t had a sense of unity in a long time. We know that this Pride Guide is more inclusive and speaks for our Community more than past attempts. When you are actually part of the Community then you can better represent it.

We are proud of what we are featuring in this Pride Guide. Thank you, Lyndsey Sickler, for your tireless service and dedication. You are an inspiration to us all. Congratulations to the Pride Star Award recipients. We never say thank you enough to the volunteers that make our organizations successful.

We hope to see you at a Pride celebration this year. I can honestly say that after all these years I still get that feeling, the “Pride Chills,” each time that I attend a Pride event. I hope you do too.

Together in Pride,
Jeff Freedman


Jeff Freedman (he/him) is a Pittsburgh native and is in his fourth decade of volunteerism for the LGBTQ Community.  Jeff is one of the founding members of the Steel City Softball League in 1981 and has been an active member of the LGBTQ Community ever since.  Jeff is currently a member of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission for LGBTQ Affairs.  He is a past Chair of the Pittsburgh Pride celebrations (’05-’07) and current Pittsburgh Pride March & Parade Co-Chair.  You would recognize him by his voice.  He was the loud one on the megaphone lining up all the March & Parade participants.  Jeff has a lot of great stories to tell and looks forward to sharing the printable ones with the QBurgh Community.