Why Pride?

Jim Sheppard. Photo by Mara Rago.

When I was sixteen years old someone tried to out me to my parents. I had begun my coming out journey the year before and, as many LGBTQ folks know, telling friends is usually the first step until you work up the courage to come out to family and parents. This person had found out through our mutual circle and decided to take it upon themself that they would rob me of an important and deeply personal step in the coming out process.

I can only assume that this person believed that I should be ashamed of who I am identifying as a gay man, that my parents would not love me as I am, and that I should hide away. Unfortunately for them I am extremely proud and my parents still very much love me, many years later.

Those feelings of shame and fear of the loss of loved ones are very familiar to every single LGBTQ person. Pride is the remedy to those feelings. And we need Pride now more than ever. Make no mistake, whether you are 10 or 100, you are glorious just the way that you are and you are not dancing on your own. This community is here to support you. Pittsburgh Pride belongs to you.

In this inaugural issue of QBurgh’s Pittsburgh Pride Guide, dear reader, we are going to show you our Pride in Pittsburgh. The people, places, and things that celebrate and make the LGBTQ Community of Pittsburgh shine. You’ll meet Lyndsey. They are a hero to generations of LGBTQ folks in Pittsburgh, always saying “yes” and helping. You’ll meet the Shepherd Wellness Community that for 35 years has provided dignity and support to the HIV-positive community. We’ll introduce or reintroduce you to Pittsburgh royalty, the queens and kings rocking the drag scene of Pittsburgh. And of course, we have all the details on the big Pride celebrations and parties.

So, why Pride? This is why.
Jim Sheppard


Jim Sheppard is a resident of Downtown Pittsburgh. Jim served as a Commissioner on the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission which investigates instances of discrimination in the City of Pittsburgh and recommends necessary protections in our City Code to provide all people in Pittsburgh with equal opportunities. He has worked for Pittsburgh City Council, the Pittsburgh Mayor, and the Allegheny County Controller. For five years he was the President of the Steel City Stonewall Democrats. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (He / Him / His)