After 30 years, the annual June PrideFest celebration of Pittsburgh's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community has morphed into a more-than-month-long slate of activities that includes several firsts: a visit by a bike tour promoting same-sex marriage rights, and Pride Day at a Pirates game at PNC Park.
PrideFest itself, on June 19, has moved to the North Shore's Great Lawn (next to the Fort Duquesne Bridge) and along the river walkway. "It's a street fair without the street," says event Chairman Robert Sette of Regent Square, offering vendors, information booths, entertainment (to be announced) and a children's area for the second year in a row, thanks to the increasing number of gay couples starting families.
The month concludes with the July 1 visit of the Rainbow Ride: a couple of lesbian grandmothers, Carrie and Elisia Ross-Stone, cycling from San Francisco through the middle of America to promote marriage rights for gay couples (see rainbowlaw.com/newrainbow/html/Rbowride.htm). They're stopping here at The Andy Warhol Museum both to join speakers for their cause and because Carrie is a Pittsburgh native.
Other events include a showing of the movie Eating Out on June 20, a Father's Day pancake brunch, seminars, "Standing Together With Pride" on June 13 (a pageant of local drag and leather titleholders benefiting The Seven Project, a black gay support group, at the Hill House), and more.
When the Pirates face the Seattle Mariners on the night of June 19, PrideFest Chair Robert Sette is hoping local members of the gay community will fill all 500 seats Fest organizers have purchased as a bloc. Several members of the glbt community will throw out the honorary first pitch. It's an interleague game, Sette notes: "It's sure to be a nice big crowd there to see us."