An occasional series where we pose some questions to local LGBTQ folks (and Allies) to learn more about their personal experiences with LGBTQ culture. Click here for a complete list of all LGBTQ&A profiles.
I first met Kathi around 2000 when I was a newly out social worker and she was the director of a regional human services program – I had no idea she was a lesbian (why would I?) until I bumped into her a few years later with her partner, Betty Hill. Kathi is the recently retired Executive Director at the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. Now she’s volunteering part-time (no supervision duties!) for Persad Center and POWER. Kathi has been educating me about the plight of aging LGBTQ folks in this region and I hope to blog on that topic soon.
Name. Kathi Boyle
Affiliation: Retired but: Part-time at both POWER Halfway House, and Persad SAGE Program
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. Her name was Vi. I had never known anyone who was open about their “gayness” before her. And she was a really kind and generous woman who also had kids. It was my first awareness that I could name my lesbian self and still have a life.
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? News, Internet, Facebook.
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? Protecting our young people from cruelty and assuring our elders are cared for by folks who do not judge them or the people they love.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? More dances/ fun events that are smoke and alcohol free and affordable. I’d like to see a lot more fun with all the “letters”(LGBTQ) welcomed and participating.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? I LOVE Lily Tomlin! She is a “character” who makes up her own brilliant stories with many wonderful parts – and she plays them all.
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? Be out. Let folks know who you are. Be proud.