Rocker Melissa Etheridge has said she is looking for a balance in how she portrays being gay.

The 51-year-old Etheridge will take the stage Saturday at Pittsburgh Pride 2012, titled Pride in the Name of Love. It is the first time the singer-songwriter has taken part in a Pride event of any kind.

“You know, I never wanted to come off as being too gay or never want to be pretending to be straight – there's this kind of Midwestern balance I can walk here. We can know I'm gay, but I don't have to get up there and be all gay you know? I can just be me,” Etheridge told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Etheridge came out as a lesbian in 1993 – both officially and musically with the release of her fourth studio album Yes I Am – and has since been a vocal advocate for gay rights.

“I have often been asked to come to this pride thing or that pride thing, but Pittsburgh was the first time that there was an actual offer of the kind of money I'm used to getting,” Etheridge said. “They said, 'We will pay your fee; come and be the headliner at the Pittsburgh Pride event,' and I thought, 'Wow that's going to be so much fun.'”

“I'm really looking forward to this show. I really am,” she added.