Peoples Pride March 2k17 Pittsburgh

Change and evolution are afoot in Pittsburgh with the emergence of (at least) three new events that are alternatives to the mainstream Pittsburgh Pridefest and EQT Equality March.  

I have been to Pride events dating back to the mid-90s and was personally involved as a volunteer in the early 2000s for multiple years. This is personal for me.  I write about Pride on a regular basis. I was a witness to the impact of RootsPride in 2015 and 2016 - I've said many times that they struck a blow to the 'foundation' of the modern incarnation of Pride, a blow that is now leading to all sorts of new efforts. 

One of those events is the Peoples Pride March 2K17 organized by SisTers PGH, an organization led by a trans woman of color named Ciora Thomas. I plan to raise $1,000 to support this march. 

The funds will be used to pay for promotional materials, basic supplies like batteries for the megaphones and safety vests for the parade mobilizers, the thousand little behind the scenes expenses - including sign materials, Facebook advertising to reach people, stipends needed, transportation needs, etc. Any  unused funds will be directed to the SisTers PGH coffers to support homeless trans women of color. 

Why should you donate?

This event is organized and led by trans women of color and other QTPOC much like the historical leadership we know from Stonewall and other significant LGBTQ movements. Pittsburgh's LGBTQ history has not been receptive to or nuturing of leadership by QTPOC, especially with regard to Pride and legacy organizations in the community. 

This event is an active form of dissent and protest that is open to the entire community (and allies) without cost. No one pays a cent to have an official organizational contingent or march with their friends. Families are welcome.  We are not being charged to participate, but we all know there are costs to organize. If you can't be there in person, you can donate to be there in spirit. 

This event belongs to the LGBTQ community, to the people. It is about our pride which is not for sale. And neither should be our water or land. The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh​​ ​sold​ ​naming​ ​rights​ ​for​ ​this​ ​year’s​ ​Pride​ ​Parade​ ​to​ ​EQT Corporation​,​ ​a​ ​conglomeration​ ​of​ ​fracking​ ​companies​ ​across​ ​PA​ ​which​ ​pollute​ ​our​ ​land,​ ​water,​ ​and people.​ ​Fracking​ ​and​ ​environmental​ ​pollution​ ​disproportionately​ ​affects​ ​marginalized​ ​communities and​ ​we​ ​can’t​ ​stand​ ​by​ ​as​ ​Delta​ ​hosts​ ​extravagant​ ​parties​ ​with​ ​fracking​ ​money. The EQT Equality March is receiving a lot of crticism from not just queer people.

This is purely my opinion. I am asking you to donate to this effort as a culmination of the years and years of blog posts I've been writing about Pride in Pittsburgh and around the world. A long time ago, a community elder named Jim Fischerkeller told me his theory that Pride moves in phases. We've been in a street party/concert phase for quite awhile. I've often wondered what the next phase would look like.

Maybe the next phase in Pittsburgh will build on RootsPride and the Peoples Pride and look like the vision of trans people of color? 

Let's find out. Invest this year. 

The Peoples Pride March 2k17 will be Sunday, June 11 at 1 PM. People are gathering at the Greyhound Station and then marching down Liberty Avenue to Market Square. This is a peaceful, non-violent act of resistance. 

Groups can register by June 5. Individuals can just show up. Learn more about sign making parties and more  via the Facebook event

Organizer and beneficiary

Sue Kerr
Pittsburgh, PA
Ciora Thomas

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