An occasional series where we pose some questions to local LGBTQ (and Allies) to learn more about their personal experiences with LGBTQ culture.
Bram Reichbaum is a highly respected political blogger in the Pittsburgh region. His hallmark is producing well-researched thoughtful reflections on the larger threads that run through the political scene. Bram has contributed several posts to this blog, most notably debunking the myth that “not everything is a gay emergency.” He has a real skill for infusing a detailed fact-based approach to his blogging while also being true to relationships. You’ll see what I mean when you read one of his answers below – first time someone has made me cry in awhile. We need more of this honesty.
Name: Bram Reichbaum
Affiliation: The Pittsburgh Comet. Blogger and political problem-solver. East Deutschtown
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. A friend of ours in our circle of peers acted very sterotypicaly gay. He insisted he was NOT gay. He had girlfriends. We made fun of him. When he went bowling, particularly, the way he’d pout and flounce over his gutter balls was hysterical. We considered ourselves liberal. We among us dozen or so in the extended clique all had varying degrees of gay-aversion or homophobia, (at least one of us much later in life also turned out to identify as gay), and sometimes we even asked him, no, seriously, are you gay, we would understand. And he would get really upset at why people thought he was gay and said no. But when his “gayness” amused us, we laughed.
Then a couple years after high school it turned out he was gay, and he avoided us. After a while he and the other individuals arrange make coffee dates to “catch up” and be friendly, but the spark of friendship (which for at least most of us was real, in varying degrees, in my case fairly deep) never rekindled.
We’re Facebook friends who don’t interact, and I can’t remember the last time he appeared in my feed. To the best I gather he’s happily gay and much more comfortable in his skin
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? Mostly through the mainstream media and twitter. I follow several LGBT and/or Q bloggers and activists, and I’m in a political circle.
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? Good question. I would have to say cracking, breaching the “country” mindset, whatever that is.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? More harmony and unity amongst themselves. More involvement with other civil rights movement out of explicit solidarity.
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? Retweet with value-added content.