Pittsburgh Pride 2015
Dreams of Hope stands in solidarity with Roots Pride Pittsburgh and the many people and organizations who are opposed to the decision of the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh to book Iggy Azalea as the headline performer of Pittsburgh Pride 2015. As an organization for queer and allied youth of intersectional identities, Dreams of Hope works to connect people and foster inclusive community dialogue. We believe it was wrong for Delta Foundation to choose a headliner whose past actions and statements express positions that are abhorrent to many members of our community. And we are further dismayed by Delta’s failure to consider the needs and opinions of the entire queer community in making their decision.
Delta Foundation holds itself out as “the leading Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) organization in Western Pennsylvania,” and boasts its mission is “to be a vigilant catalyst for change that produces increased opportunities and a high quality of life for the LGBT community.” But their process for selecting a headliner, and refusal to validate or be moved by the uproar their selection has brought from many members of the queer community, stand as a stark denial of those claims. When the largest and most visible LGBTQIA+ organization in our region turns its back on many of the constituents it is supposed to serve, it can only result in distrust and anger.
We call for Delta Foundation to enter an honest, constructive dialogue with all members of the queer community – to listen, to hear, to change. Let us all remember the roots of Pride, which are deeply anchored in the struggles of lesbian, queer, and trans people of color, and work together for future Pittsburgh Pride events that represent our entire community, and not only those of privilege.
After lengthy deliberation by Dreams of Hope youth leaders, board of directors, and staff, we have decided the best way we can affect the change we seek is to use the visibility of PrideFest to share our vision of what Pride should be. We will march, we will staff our information table, our theatriQ youth performance ensemble will take the stage – and we will use all of these platforms to express our displeasure with the current state of Pittsburgh Pride, as well as share our hopes and dreams for future Pride events where all can feel respected and included.