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Pride Month, held each June in commemoration of the Stonewall Uprising, is a time for all people to come together to recognize LGBTQ+ resilience and societal contributions. Explore these local events and resources to celebrate and uplift the community.
LGBTQIA+ focused self-defense training
Tuesday, June 13, 9:30 a.m.-noon
SETpoint is offering a self-defense session geared toward LGBTQIA+ faculty and staff members, but everyone in the Pitt community is welcome. Join Pitt Queer Professionals on the third floor of the Cathedral of Learning for training, lunch and swag. RSVP to pqp [at] pitt.edu.
Read a banned book
Friday, June 16, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
The first 10 participants who register for the virtual Let’s Read It! LGBTQIA+ Banned Book Club will receive a free copy of “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe. Register to attend.
A day of neighborhood pride
Saturday, June 17, various times
There are plenty of opportunities to share and show off your pride no matter your neighborhood. Check out free festivals in Mt. Lebanon, Bellevue and Lawrenceville, which is hosting its first pride event this year.
Celebrate with Pitt organizations
Tuesday, June 20, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Discover departments and resources from across the University at Pride on the Patio. Also enjoy free food and take-away items as you gather on the William Pitt Union patio and lawn. No registration is required for attendees, but there’s still time to reserve a table for your department or organization. You can also sign up to volunteer by emailing pqp [at] pitt.edu.
Shop and connect in Millvale
Saturday, June 24, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
This year marks the third annual Pride Millvale, a free event in the Pittsburgh neighborhood. The volunteer-led festival will host community partners, nonprofits, health and wellness resources and a variety of vendors.
A pride parade for the people
Sunday, June 25, 10 a.m.
March through Pittsburgh’s Swissvale neighborhood with SisTers PGH during the nonprofit’s annual People’s Pride event. The march will conclude at Dickson Elementary School, where an outdoor festival will showcase five local artists as well as headliner Durand Bernarr. Event programming this year is focused around improving housing access in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
Monday, June 26, 7-9 p.m.
Pittsburgh drag queen Alora Chateaux will host an evening of performance, banter and several rounds of bingo in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room. Registration is forthcoming, but you can note your interest by writing pqp [at] pitt.edu
— Nora Smith, photography by Aimee Obidzinski
The meaning of Pride
Fifty-four years ago, something important happened that changed the way people think about LGBTQIA+ rights. It started at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The police used to arrest LGBTQIA+ people there just for being themselves. One day, the community fought back. They had enough of the discrimination and unfair treatment.
These protests, known as the Stonewall Riots, lasted for several days. People like Marsha P. Johnson stood up against the arrests and fought for equality. Johnson became a leader and worked hard to bring attention to the issues faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. In the many years after the riots, she helped create organizations and policies that support LGBTQIA+ rights.
Today, we celebrate this movement every June during Pride Month. Pride is not just about parades and celebrations. It's about recognizing the power and resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community. Pride is about family, community, accepting ourselves, being visible and embracing who we are. It reminds us that everyone has the right to be themselves and be treated with respect.
At the University of Pittsburgh and beyond, being able to express our true selves is important. It allows us to be innovative, relevant and sustainable. When we can be our authentic selves, it brings diversity to our workspaces, enables us to ask important questions, speak up and make positive changes.
Pride encourages us to break free from the stereotypes and biases that limit us. It reminds us that our identities are complex and should be celebrated. Sometimes society tries to make us fit into one narrow box, but Pride encourages us to be who we are meant to be — not just survive but thrive.
Pride is for everyone, not just LGBTQIA+ individuals. Stretch yourself to come together, support one another and work towards a world where everyone is treated equally. How can you do this in your space and place of work? While we should practice LGBTQIA+ inclusion throughout the year, June offers many opportunities at Pitt and in the region to get involved and show support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Learn more about Pride Month
If you’re unfamiliar with the history behind Pride celebrations and LGBTQ+ liberation, June is an excellent time to learn. These resources can help:
- LGBTQIA+ at Pitt
- Pitt’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Pitt Queer Professionals and Transgender Working Group
- The Human Rights Campaign
— Bee Schindler, assistant director and Social Justice Fellowship manager in the Office of Health Sciences Diversity, Equity and Inclusion