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mjcatl2

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didn't someone post something last week on here about Pittsburgh not being gay freindly enough...

Yes but I think they meant the subarbanites. Those that actually don't live in the city.

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From what I have heard there is a world of difference between Pittsburgh's city and suburbs when it comes to being gay-friendly. Of course, there are many other differences too! But one thing that worries me about it is that out-of-town visitors who stay in the suburbs might get a much different impression of Pittsburgh than if they stayed in town. And when I say different I mean worse.

Not to insult any suburbanites, but on the whole the city is way more progressive.

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I consider myself pretty open minded and I like the way Pittsburgh is accepting of all peoples but there is a limit to how gay friendly I'd like to see the 'burgh, politics aside I don't think that going SF around here (marriages at the City/County building, curriculum in the middle and elementary schools etc.) is all that great IMHO.

I really believe this city has to be a light for people of all persuasions but I also have seen excesses by some groups in the guise of "gaining acceptance".

The article was a good find, lots of great info there :thumbsup:

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I consider myself pretty open minded and I like the way Pittsburgh is accepting of all peoples but there is a limit to how gay friendly I'd like to see the 'burgh, politics aside I don't think that going SF around here (marriages at the City/County building, curriculum in the middle and elementary schools etc.) is all that great IMHO.

I really believe this city has to be a light for people of all persuasions but I also have seen excesses by some groups in the guise of "gaining acceptance".

I think that you are really jumping the gun. By anything that I have read, Pgh's gay population is hardly of a significant (major) amount.

I think (this will never happen) that the mayor should make a statement welcoming anyone and everyone to the city. I know that people like to bash Richard Florida as being shallow in his thoughts of what makes growing cities grow, but I think that he gets it, part of it anyway. Attracting very diverse, open people to a city, breeds ideas and businesses, and creates an atmosphere of perpetual growth.

With all do respect PghUSA, the stories of curriculum etc are blown way out of proportion. It's like O'Reilly's war on Christmas, it's mostly contrived. Yes, there - gasp- might be more vocal groups if they gay population were to be larger, but that's good for Pittsburgh.

The other option is being the city that doesn't welcome anyone and in turn, welcomes the folks with the white hoods.

I mean, look at Cincinnati, they really shot themselves in the foot with the whole musuem thing, and before that, with the Larry Flynt fiasco. Not to mention the riots a few years ago. Cincy is saying to the country, you have to fit a certain mold and value system to be welcome there.

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^^Mj I think your overall point is correct, but calm down, (talk about jumping the gun) I think as a city our policy of welcoming everyone is doing very well, could use some tweaking on some things such as incentives, metrowise we could be doing a better job (hows that consolidation thing going).

As far as the political points you make Mj, overblown or not we grow as a metro by comparing and contrasting ourselves to others, SF and Boston serve as lessons. Oh and I wouldn't be making points out of xmas and hoods unless you were advocating for them--or asking others if you should. ;).

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With all do respect PghUSA, the stories of curriculum etc are blown way out of proportion. It's like O'Reilly's war on Christmas, it's mostly contrived. Yes, there - gasp- might be more vocal groups if they gay population were to be larger, but that's good for Pittsburgh.

Agreed completely. Just look at how this type of silliness was made manifest in the Upper St. Clair school board. They dropped the highly touted International Baccalaureate because some right-wing nutcases claimed the IB program "goes against traditional Judeo-Christian values, could be considered anti-American and is associated with groups that support Marxism." Now students in that area are denied some great educational opportunities due to paranoid adults who are worried they can't filter every piece of information that comes in contact with their children. Bill O'Reilley would be proud.

Pittsburgh needs to prove itself as a city of diversity... that welcomes... embraces... and cherishes all.

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I very much hope the gay community continues to grow and grow here! The more, the better IMO!

You go Pittsburgh! I'm ashamed Rick Santorum is from here, and I can't wait to see him bite the dust in '06 BABY!

I'll march with ya!

20050619jhparade014500fk.jpg

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My question is, HOW does the city make it clear that everyone is welcome? Surely it isn't as simple as having the mayor say "everyone is welcome." In fact, such a statement could easily backfire if not done correctly.

I think that with any community, the key is for all kinds of people to come in, and as they become more visible then those who come later feel more welcome. I guess what I am saying is, you could turn it around and say gays need to be more accepting of Pittsburgh. Nothing will make gays feel at home here more than seeing other gays. And that could go for any group, of course.

Know what I mean?

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Unless one truly believes Richard Florida that only gays have the power to work for the new economy, dress well , and remodel an old house, then why should "gay friendlieness" be the de-facto litmus test of a good city thats on the rise?

It's always nice to be friendly to one group or another, but with no deference to Richard Florida (idiot), it's an issue blown way out of proportion. Sure, both sides of the spectrum use it to divide voters and crazy preachers get attention for their datribes about it, but how many cities are there that actually aren't "gay friendly" compared to rural America with it's predominance of terrorist lynch squads? But for cities, what actually constitutes being "gay friendly" and what makes it more important than being "atheist friendly" or "youth friendly," among many other things?

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Unless one truly believes Richard Florida that only gays have the power to work for the new economy, dress well , and remodel an old house, then why should "gay friendlieness" be the de-facto litmus test of a good city thats on the rise?

It's always nice to be friendly to one group or another, but with no deference to Richard Florida (idiot), it's an issue blown way out of proportion. Sure, both sides of the spectrum use it to divide voters and crazy preachers get attention for their datribes about it, but how many cities are there that actually aren't "gay friendly" compared to rural America with it's predominance of terrorist lynch squads? But for cities, what actually constitutes being "gay friendly" and what makes it more important than being "atheist friendly" or "youth friendly," among many other things?

Just on a tangent here, have you ever met Richard Florida? I am just curious if your "idiot" comment is based on actual interaction or your own subjective opinion on your theory. Since he is published professor, I wouldn't entirely discredit his argument.

In any case, simply live and let live, my friend, without the insults.

The reason about being gay friendly is better than youth friendly is that usually members of the gay community, on average, have higher salaries, no children and more of a disposable income. Thus, the growth of economic development.

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SF and Boston serve as lessons
I don't see anything bad with those two cities. Yes, their tolerance irritates some conservatives - maybe it irritates you, I don't know, but these cities are major cosmopolitan cities. If Pittsburgh wants to grow, it needs to recognize what it means to grow.

Unless one truly believes Richard Florida that only gays have the power to work for the new economy, dress well , and remodel an old house, then why should "gay friendlieness" be the de-facto litmus test of a good city thats on the rise?

I think that is a simplification, but at the same time, the pioneers who take back neigborhoods and turn them from blighted slums into high rent areas (which positively impact the entire city) tend to be gays, but not jus gays, but other people who simply don't give a sh!t who their neighbor is, or what they do.

I think that with any community, the key is for all kinds of people to come in, and as they become more visible then those who come later feel more welcome. I guess what I am saying is, you could turn it around and say gays need to be more accepting of Pittsburgh. Nothing will make gays feel at home here more than seeing other gays. And that could go for any group, of course.

Know what I mean?

This is part of my point, Pittsburgh must be welcoming to everyone and it have a multiplying effect

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Just on a tangent here, have you ever met Richard Florida? I am just curious if your "idiot" comment is based on actual interaction or your own subjective opinion on your theory. Since he is published professor, I wouldn't entirely discredit his argument.

In any case, simply live and let live, my friend, without the insults.

He's more of a theorist than a researcher and his theories have been heavily debunked and shown to be inconsistent with the data. Yet he makes his impact not through his professorial duties but through the writing of mass market books and speaking engagements to sympathetic groups. It doesn't bother me at all that he is a professor, that's CMU's problem. There's professors out there at Ivy League schools teaching trickle down economics, too. I presonally think that it's not an insult but an observation. You can't just make anecdotal conjectures in modern economics. Oh and by the way, economics isn't even his field of study yet all his main ideas are based on quasi-economic reasoning.

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I don't see anything bad with those two cities. Yes, their tolerance irritates some conservatives - maybe it irritates you, I don't know, but these cities are major cosmopolitan cities. If Pittsburgh wants to grow, it needs to recognize what it means to grow.

Which is why it's important to note that the Creative Class just doesn't hold any water. If you put any reasonably acceptable ranking of Creative cities alongside actual economic growth data, there is absolutely no correlation.

I think that is a simplification, but at the same time, the pioneers who take back neigborhoods and turn them from blighted slums into high rent areas (which positively impact the entire city) tend to be gays, but not jus gays, but other people who simply don't give a sh!t who their neighbor is, or what they do.

I think this is completely made up. Gays aren't any different than anyone else with their income distribution unless there is clear evidence of it, and there isn't. You have to prove that it's actually an endogenous quality of being gay and show that it still holds true against a control group. Even if gays concentrate in dilapidated city neighborhoods, it may have more to do with discrimination from the rest of their economic class that keeps them out more established communities. So if America as a whole actually became gay friendly, as it should, then any pattern that isn't endogenous to being gay would completely disappear. That is the Floridian paradox. You might as well preach that it's a great thing for cities when red state conservatives go out and destroy the lives of gays in their own communities.

Moreover, anyone in the workforce who isn't supporting any dependants can make their money stretch a lot further towards rehabbing old neighborhoods. It's not tied to being gay, and quite frankly there aren't enough gay people out there to lift up every bad neighborhood. It's not like once their street becomes hot real estate gays natually move out to another dilapidated neighborhood and start over because that's what they love to do. Calling them pioneers is a very big stretch.

Being educated by itself means that people are more likely to marry later and have less kids, and therefore have more disposable income and more social mobility. Attracting all people who are bound to be upwardly mobile is going to have cornucopia-like effects. Again, what does that have to do with being gay? In this respect, being gay friendly is much less important than being youth friendly. Especially if those people are young students from working class families who will start out in low end housing and work their way up, bringing their neighborhoods up with them so long as they stay. Along the same exact line of thought, atheists, agnostics, and other non-believers have the highest relative levels of education in society, lowest crime rates, highest income, lowest divorce rates, and there are more of them than gays. So why is it still the case that even in the most progressive of cities it's easier to walk around in drag than to say you don't believe in god?

And you know, if there is any reason to be tolerant of others, it's because that's the right thing to do. It shouldn't be an economic exploit, even if such exploits exist.

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Which is why it's important to note that the Creative Class just doesn't hold any water. If you put any reasonably acceptable ranking of Creative cities alongside actual economic growth data, there is absolutely no correlation.

I think this is completely made up. Gays aren't any different than anyone else with their income distribution unless there is clear evidence of it, and there isn't. You have to prove that it's actually an endogenous quality of being gay and show that it still holds true against a control group. Even if gays concentrate in dilapidated city neighborhoods, it may have more to do with discrimination from the rest of their economic class that keeps them out more established communities. So if America as a whole actually became gay friendly, as it should, then any pattern that isn't endogenous to being gay would completely disappear. That is the Floridian paradox. You might as well preach that it's a great thing for cities when red state conservatives go out and destroy the lives of gays in their own communities.

Moreover, anyone in the workforce who isn't supporting any dependants can make their money stretch a lot further towards rehabbing old neighborhoods. It's not tied to being gay, and quite frankly there aren't enough gay people out there to lift up every bad neighborhood. It's not like once their street becomes hot real estate gays natually move out to another dilapidated neighborhood and start over because that's what they love to do. Calling them pioneers is a very big stretch.

Being educated by itself means that people are more likely to marry later and have less kids, and therefore have more disposable income and more social mobility. Attracting all people who are bound to be upwardly mobile is going to have cornucopia-like effects. Again, what does that have to do with being gay? In this respect, being gay friendly is much less important than being youth friendly. Especially if those people are young students from working class families who will start out in low end housing and work their way up, bringing their neighborhoods up with them so long as they stay. Along the same exact line of thought, atheists, agnostics, and other non-believers have the highest relative levels of education in society, lowest crime rates, highest income, lowest divorce rates, and there are more of them than gays. So why is it still the case that even in the most progressive of cities it's easier to walk around in drag than to say you don't believe in god?

And you know, if there is any reason to be tolerant of others, it's because that's the right thing to do. It shouldn't be an economic exploit, even if such exploits exist.

I think you totally missed my point.

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No one is advocating we shut out any one group from the city, to infer that is counterproductive to the discussion. As far as my comment to Boston and SF, SF has been the lesson to many cities on what not to do--not always directly tied to this issue. Job losses, tax disincentives, freefall of property values, etc. It's increasing radicalization is something that makes my heart heavy, it is a beautiful city with some great folks. I think the SF model in more then just the gayrights issue but almost all very liberal issues has made the city lose several opportunities. The revelvance to Pittsburgh is not that we should hide from being gay friendly but that we need to be careful about what kind of city we want. A decade ago many people in SF would never have thought of the elementary schools or city hall marriages. To say that is not a legit question is taking cover from the issue in many ways. My only concern with our race to embrace something is that we take into account the ramifications of it from the Cincys to the SFs. If we did that with the Mellon Arena consruction or skybus I think we would be a better city because of it. True this is a human rights question but it is also a question on the rights of others in the city, just as the Mellon Arena and skybus were. The city exists to protect the rights of all, not as a vehicle for a minority, as cruel as that sounds thats part of the reason the majority of the world are trying to become Americans, we let anyone make a living and persue their dreams with minimal interference.

~~~

I would hope we could tone down some of the harsher insults to public figures (O'Reilly and Florida among others) and keep in mind that what makes this board great is that its a place to learn and share freely.

To Blue, I tend to agree with some of your views on this but there is no reason to dilute some of your stronger points with an insult. I'd love to focus just on ideas!

To Mj, I love your pathos man but keep in mind that almost half the state has a different approach to this, it might very well be wrong, but it shouldn't be discounted in any way, especially in discussing how open we are to be to a minority.

Looking forward to some great discussion of ideas, remember we are all really here to learn and share when it gets right down to it.

:thumbsup:

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didn't someone post something last week on here about Pittsburgh not being gay freindly enough...

It was I who posted the comment on Pittsburgh not being gay friendly enough. It is somewhat gay friendly, but not as much so as man of the big metros. As someone who is gay, I can speak from experience about that issue. Many gay people who have been here there whole lives are still very closeted and have been treated as if they are somehow "inferior" and so they still live a very secretive lifestyle. I'm not saying that its really anybodys business who does what in the bedroom, but it makes it very hard to live a complete life when you are lying to yourself and others.

As far as us being urban pioneers, I would say that we definitely are. We can usually afford to be since many of us don't have any children that have to be placed in good schools. So we generally settle in walkable neighborhoods with established "character" in urban areas where folks are open minded, creative, and forward thinking. We do have more disposable income to spend fixing up our homes, or it is just more of a priority to many of us. What I have seen happen, as in the case of Washington, D.C., we take a blighted neighborhood, make it fabulous. The straights then want to live there because its now nice, then the neighborhood becomes a little less tolerant, or artsy, or whatever, so we move on. For example Dupont Circle, then to Logan Circle.

I think we gravitate towards these open areas because we experience so much hostility both outright and subtle towards us growing up, that we don't want to be subject to this anymore, so we build our own communities. But the difference is we generally create a friendly, tolerant environment for everyone. Not in every case mind you, but generally.

As far as the gay marriage issue that you seem to be concerned with PGHUSA, there are many of us who don't care weather or not that is passed. We don't need anyones approval or validation to recognize loving relationships. A peice of paper is really meaningless when it comes to a commitment between two people to create a loving relationship. I don't think the hetero "model" of a relationship works for all relationships both gay and straight and in between. We do ask for equal rights and protection under the law including taxation, and survivor benefits.

I know this is not really a forum for this type of discussion, but I just wanted to add another perspective to the conversation. Really we all love city life, and we think that Pittsburgh is a great urban center with so much potential. I think its getting better all the time!

One last bit. Many gays don't settle here because we love great restaurants and a good night life and social scene. While many restaurants are good here, many of them are lacking in inventiveness, or can't serve alcohol even wine. Its really a bit backwards, and I think the liquor laws prevent many restaurants from opening up here, since so much profit in restaurants is from the sale of alcoholic beverages. Also I think this prevents a lot of nightclubs from opening as well. Thus my previous link to my online petition!

http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/EndPALiquorControl/

Thanks everyone for such a great discussion on this subject. I admire you just for discussing it. Oh and the post with the pic from gay pride is fantastic.

:shades:

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To Merc,

Great thoughts there, I readily admit that there are some basic everyday things we can do to make Pittsburgh more inviting to all groups. I couldn't agree more with you on the outdated liquor laws hampering night life and tourist industries in this state. My hope for the future is that we can welcome all groups in an intelligent way that makes this city better for all, avoiding some of the polarizing and radical paths taken by some metros, liberal or conservative. I don't want Pittsburgh signing up for something that will take us back in time nor do I want us committed to a minority cause if it impacts others unduly (middle/elementary schools, marriage as just 2 examples). On marriage, your correct, traditional marriage is not held as a sacred thing by many (to society's detrement), the local gay community has been very accomodating on this, I just don't want to see the city radicalized by either camp in the future, would rather not open doors to it either. Maybe that is the wrong approach but that is what we all come here for, to see what ideas work best.

Blue, from what I can remember Florida left for metro DC b/c he could get closer to the funding and "expert opinion" calls by congress and national foundations. I never agreed with Florida all the way, I think he does a great job in making people think deeper though, and he did do some to bring attention to Pittsburgh, though not always the kind we'd like. He's currently at George Mason U.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04074/285684.stm

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To Mj, I love your pathos man but keep in mind that almost half the state has a different approach to this, it might very well be wrong, but it shouldn't be discounted in any way, especially in discussing how open we are to be to a minority.
I'm sure that attitudes are differenet in the small towns that are inbetween Pittsburgh and Philly, but then again I'm talking about them, but what the city of Pittsburgh needs to do.

I would hope we could tone down some of the harsher insults to public figures (O'Reilly and Florida among others) and keep in mind that what makes this board great is that its a place to learn and share freely.

I felt that my reference to O'Reilly was necessary as an analogy. I don't mind the criticism of Florida. I knew someone would do it, that's why I prefaced my statement the way I did when I first mentioned him.

I want to stress that my points weren't based on Florida, but I do think that he touches on something. Cities look for grand schemes to get them going again. They don't work. At the same time, if a city manages to create atmosphere of innovation, then it will only attract more innovating people, more creative - yes creative people, gay or straight.

I'm not gay, but I can see that diverse cities thrive, cities with decent size gay populations thrive. I don't say this is the one and only key to Pittsburgh's success. I say this as an observation.

On marriage, your correct, traditional marriage is not held as a sacred thing by many (to society's detrement), the local gay community has been very accomodating on this, I just don't want to see the city radicalized by either camp in the future, would rather not open doors to it either. Maybe that is the wrong approach but that is what we all come here for, to see what ideas work best.

I don't want this to turn into a negative political/social thread and I know that you don't Pgh, but what exactly do you think will happen if some group was vocal about gay marriage in Pittsburgh? Do you think it would be bad for business or that it would be such an ojectionable concept that many straights would move out of the city and even the region?

Or is this case of finding personally objectionable and don't want it on the evening news. Please don't take offense to this, I just want to get a sense of the impact.

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It was I who posted the comment on Pittsburgh not being gay friendly enough.

I wasn't meaning to call anyone out...I was just pointing out the irony of us talking about it right before its was published in NY.

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