Pgh event will celebrate a half-century of queer media in Pennsylvania

The Oct. 11 celebration is timed to coincide with National Coming Out Day

By: - October 5, 2021 6:30 am

A Pride March in Pittsburgh (Image via Pittsburgh City Paper).

By Jason Phox

To commemorate 50 years of queer media in Pennsylvania, the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University will host an event on Mon., Oct. 11, which coincides with National Coming Out Day.

“50 Years of Coming Out, a celebration of queer media in Pennsylvania” will feature a gallery exhibit of Pittsburgh queer media over the last five decades and a panel discussion with LGBTQ journalists, bloggers, and communicators representing publications across the commonwealth.

The center’s director, Andrew Conte, says he hopes the exhibit and panel will help set the stage for meaningful and thoughtful conversation about the progress made in a half-century, and how much more aware and supportive society has become towards queer issues.

People can attend either in person at the center’s location or virtually on the Center for Media Innovation’s Facebook page.

To help with the cost of the event, the CMI recommends attendees donate $15 for in-person visits and $5 for people watching online. The event will also include an exhibit detailing queer history in the region, and the many publications that have served Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community over the years.

If You Go:

50 Years of Coming Out, a celebration of queer media in Pennsylvania. 5-8:30 p.m. Mon., Oct. 11. Point Park University Center for Media Innovation, 305 Wood St., Downtown. $5 suggestion for virtual viewing, $15 suggestion for in-person attendees. Facebook search “50 Years of Coming Out”

The Queer History exhibit will start at 5 p.m., showcasing Pittsburgh’s queer news dating to 1973.

This includes Pittsburgh news from Gay NewsGay Life Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s OutCue Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pride guides, and Equal magazine. Former publisher of Out Pittsburgh, Tony Molnar-Strejcek, donated a significant amount to the exhibit.

The panel, Future for Queer Media, will start at 7 p.m. and will feature LGBTQ journalists, bloggers, and panelists representing publications from across the state discussing the current state of queer media in Pennsylvania and expectations for the future.

Panelists for the discussion include:

  • Billy Hileman, founder and publisher of Planet Q
  • Stephen Jiwanmall, communications manager at the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
  • Sue Kerr, founder and publisher of Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents
  • Michael Mahler, founder and publisher of Erie Gay News
  • Tony Molnar-Strejcek, former publisher of Out Pittsburgh
  • Maria Montaño, communications specialist at SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
  • Frank Pizzoli, editor and publisher of the Central Voice and an opinion contributor for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star
  • Mark Segal, founder and publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News
  • Jim Sheppard, co-creator of QBurgh

Co-creator of QBurgh, Jeff Freedman, describes the exhibit as a well-documented history for the LGBTQ community in Pennsylvania.

“This was our tie to the community,” Freedman said in a statement about the LGBTQ publications. “We lived in a very straight world. These came out once a month and were like heaven to us. They were a moment in time where we could connect with our community and see people and read about people like us. Then you put it away and went back into the world.”

Jason Phox is a reporter for Pittsburgh City Paper, where this story first appeared

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Special to the Capital-Star
Special to the Capital-Star

The latest and best in state and national coverage from our content partners and sites across the States Newsroom network.