A large parade went through the heart of Downtown recently; three blocks of Liberty Avenue were blocked off for a massive street festival with two stages, vendors and thousands of people wandering about. Politicians including Dan Frankel and Dan Onorato gave speeches to massive applause; grandmothers led small children about having their pictures taken. There was music, dancing and all the trappings of a wonderful human interest story. Pittsburgh truly had cause to be proud.
I'm talking about the recent LGBT Pride parade.
In the spirit of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary, we stop and reflect on the great things Pittsburgh has achieved and on the wonderful things that continue to grow. One of these needs to be the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community and its contribution to the civil rights movement. Forty years after the Stonewall riots, pride is not only about the "gay" movement, but the rights of all Americans to conduct their lives according to their own consciences. Forty years ago, we asserted that we would not live in a police state, that we would not live double lives, and that American society would be a wonderful blend of differences.
Pride celebrates, supports and welcomes all people, not only the ones under the LGBT banner. Pittsburgh should be proud that it has cultivated and grown such a robust community dedicated to this fundamentally American ideal.