An occasional series where we pose some questions to local LGBTQ (and Allies) to learn more about their personal experiences with LGBTQ culture.
I met Sherry Pasquarello via the Pittsburgh Women’s Blogging Society – she is a staunch ally and avid user of social media. She is a source of eclectic, engaging information and inspires me. I can always count on Sherry to speak out and speak up – she is a fierce ally and I am grateful for her support.
Name: Sherry Pasquarello
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. I think the very first out gay person that i met was a teacher at a beauty school in downtown Pittsburgh. before then, truthfully, i wasn’t quite sure that the kids who talked about gays, “queers” back in the mid-sixties, weren’t just making the whole subject up. i was a fairly sheltered Catholic school kid and I had my doubts about it. My father told me that there were such people, but still i thought, “nah”. Anyway, the guy’s name was Mark and i was 16 and still in high school. He was one of my teachers at the beauty school. He was kind, sweet, (really cute) and just a person. I learned from him that gays are just people. Good, bad, most just average, just like anyone else all over the world. He taught me that, and I am grateful to this day. I might have missed out on meeting some terrific people throughout my life if not for him.
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? I stay informed on issues through the Internet and friends.
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? I’m not sure what the most pressing issue is. i couldn’t speak to that. if i were a part of the community i would say it would be finding ways to change the negative perceptions of people that have never really had an opportunity to get to know anyone from the LGBTO community.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? I wish I had that magic wand. I supposed I’d like the community to be more visible. I think, like me, once you see for yourself that people are people, not a stereotyped caricature, everyone benefits
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? i can’t think of any LGBTO character that i liked because they were in a gay role. I like actors that may or may not be gay in life, but roles? I suppose I’d have to go way back to Billy Crystal in “SOAP”.
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? I think the one thing a reader could do to support the LGBTO community is just to practice equality in their daily lives. My daughter will be 40 next month. We raised her that all people are equal. She grew up knowing that fact. So did her husband and my soon to be 9 year old granddaughter doesn’t understand what the fuss is all about. She’s been to gay weddings with her parents and she and kids like her are my hope for a better future for all of us.
Thanks for answering our questions, Sherry.
You can follow Sherry on Twitter @AfterTheBridge
Visit her blog about poetry, politics and more – After The Bridge
To suggest someone to participate in LGBTQ&A, please email pghlesbian at gmail.