Pittsburgh’s many LGBT-friendly resources

The ALLIES' office is located in the third floor of the University Center. (credit: Christina Chen | Photo Staff) The ALLIES' office is located in the third floor of the University Center. (credit: Christina Chen | Photo Staff)

When one thinks of Pittsburgh, “gay-friendly” might not necessarily be the first phrase that comes to mind. However, the city has an abundance of gay-friendly shops, sports teams, and restaurants, as well as plenty of LGBT organizations and resources available to provide community and support.


Dozen Bake Shop
The well-known and loved pastry shop, Dozen Bake Shop, is gay-owned. The bakery is famous for its cupcakes as well as various other fine desserts and artisan breads. The headquarters for the shop is in Lawrenceville on Butler Street, and Dozen also has an additional branch in Oakland on Craig Street, which opened in August of this year.

Gertrude Stein Memorial Bookshop and Saint Elmo’s Outwords
These two bookstores have a grand selection of LGBT-related reading material to pique anyone’s interest. Both shops are located in the South Side on Carson Street, with Saint Elmo’s being closer to the Birmingham Bridge and the Gertrude Stein Bookshop being further west. Either shop can be accessed from the 54C bus route that stops at Craig Street.

Eons Fashion Antique
If you enjoy fashion and all things vintage, this place may appeal to you. Its unique selection of designer clothing is hard to come by. Whatever your tastes may be, Eons probably has what you’re looking for. Comparable to Avalon Exchange, this gay-owned storefront is a gem located in Shadyside on Ellsworth Avenue.

Community organizations

Delta Foundation: www.pittsburghpride.org<
The Delta Foundation is responsible for organizing Pittsburgh Pride every summer in June. The foundation holds events like the Pittsburgh Pride Parade, Splash! (a summer party on Mt. Washington), and a gay pub crawl.

Lambda Foundation: www.lambda-pgh.org
Located between Squirrel Hill and Point Breeze on Wilkins Avenue, the Lambda Foundation focuses on raising funds and sponsoring various organizations in Pittsburgh for the LGBT cause. It also funds a scholarship program for college students and Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers, focused on raising awareness of hate crimes in Pittsburgh.

Gay and Lesbian Community Center: www.glccpgh.org
This organization strives to provide a resource for LGBT people and their families with opportunities to increase visibility, understanding, and equality for the LGBT community. The center also holds events for students under 21, as there are a limited number venues in Pittsburgh available to underaged people. It recently moved from Squirrel Hill to a new location downtown on Grant Street.

Persad Center: www.persadcenter.org
The Persad Center offers psychological counseling for LGBT individuals and is the second-oldest organization to provide these specialized services in the United States. The center is located on Penn Avenue in Friendship.

Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN): chapters.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/pittsburgh/home.html
Pittsburgh’s GLSEN is located downtown on Grant Street. This organization focuses on educating students about the issues surrounding the LGBT community. It also works to ensure a safe learning environment for all students in schools regardless of their sexual orientation. The Pittsburgh organization is a chapter of the national GLSEN organization.

Gay and Lesbian Neighborhood Development Association (GLENDA): www.glenda.org
GLENDA is a Pittsburgh-based organization with the goal of providing volunteer services with a message of diversity and inclusion. The group, made up of LGBT and straight individuals, is located on Grant Street downtown.

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG): pflagpgh.org
PFLAG provides anonymous and free group counseling for LGBT individuals and their families. It holds monthly meetings where anyone is invited to participate and gain support or create a network.

Steel City Stonewall Democrats: stonewalldemocrats.org/steel-city/chapter_news
The Stonewall Democrats publicly endorse candidates and act as a resource for gay and lesbian Democrats in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Renaissance City Choirs: www.rccpittsburgh.org
The Renaissance City Choirs includes the historic men’s choir as well as the equally fantastic women’s choir. The choirs hold seasonal concerts throughout Pittsburgh and include LGBT and straight members of all ages. For more information, visit the group’s website.


Steel City Softball League: www.steelcitysoftball.org
The longest-running sports organization in Pittsburgh, the Steel City Softball League holds its season from April to August.

Steel City Volleyball League: www.steelcityvolleyball.org
The Steel City Volleyball League is an all-inclusive group for volleyball enthusiasts and players in the Pittsburgh area. The league has two seasons: one in the fall from September to December and another in the spring from January to April.

Pittsburgh Frontrunners: www.pittsburghfrontrunners.org
Frontrunners is a gay-friendly running club in Pittsburgh that runs a course through Schenley Park. It is a year-round organization that also holds various social events throughout the year.

Restaurants and bars

There are a number of gay-friendly restaurants and bars in the Pittsburgh area. Many of them have an age requirement of 21. Some favorites are Spin Bartini/Ultra Lounge and 5801 Video Lounge and Cafe, both located on Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside. The only 18+ (and historically well-known) gay-friendly club in Pittsburgh is Pegasus, formerly located downtown, now located north of the city near Brighton Heights. Some other places of interest include:

Cattivo Lounge. 146 44th St. in Lawrenceville
Real Luck Café. 1519 Penn Ave. in the Strip
Images Bar. 965 Liberty Ave. downtown
Sidekicks. 931 Liberty Ave. downtown
Pittsburgh Eagle. 1740 Eckert St. near Brighton Heights

These venues are all 21+; however, some places that are open during the day have no age restriction during certain hours.

Campus organizations

There is also a wealth of resources on our own campus. SOHO, Carnegie Mellon’s primary LGBT resource center, is located in Room 325 in the University Center (just above Skibo Cafe). The room includes a collection of LGBT books and magazines, as well as other resources regarding personal well-being. More information about SOHO can be found on the group’s Student Life website, www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/student-life/glbt/soho.

ALLIES: https://allies.andrew.cmu.edu
ALLIES is the campus-wide LGBT and straight organization that aims to promote diversity on Carnegie Mellon’s campus. The group also holds various social and activist events both on campus and in the Pittsburgh community. The largest events include Pride Month in October and “Gaypril” in April.

Out@Heinz: www.heinz.cmu.edu/student-activities/student-life/student-organizations/outheinz
The Heinz School has its own graduate student organization with the purpose of creating an open and welcoming environment for the community in the school. It also seeks to promote awareness of LGBT issues and to provide professional development tools for Carnegie Mellon students.

Out@Tepper: tepper.cmu.edu/current-students/current-graduate-students/student-clubs/outtepper
The Tepper School has a similar organization to Out@Heinz that, in addition to promoting diversity and awareness, holds educational and social events for its members and the students in Tepper.