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 met Carri through the interwebs – she has an active petition on Change.org asking the regional Boy Scout Council to lift the ban on LGBTQ scouts and leaders. I emailed her after signing and learned that she is also very good friends with a local drag performer and involved in the drag community. I love that this everyday woman took the initiative to ask the Boy Scouts to lift the band – reminds me of Jen. Read on to learn more about Carri and her contributions as an ally.
Name: Carri Finkbeiner
Affiliation: Ally Advocate
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. I spent 8 years in the Catholic Schools, and for 9th grade, I stepped foot into a public school for the first time. I met a boy named Mark, who I knew I loved right away, but for a very special reason. We shared common feelings: feeling “out of place” or “obviously unique” due to our personal styles and attributes. I knew he was gay, and it never once concerned me or made me feel any different about what we talked about or who we had our eyes on. I gained a big brother. When his drag career began, I then gained a sister too. We have been by each other’s side for 20 years, and I proudly wear a tattoo immortalizing my friend and his bravery, marching the front lines of media to make history in our generation.
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? I live with the issues first hand, so I’m usually well informed. Oh, and Facebook, of course. I try to stay on top of national news as it usually impacts Pittsburgh eventually.
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? The fight for equality is peaking higher than ever, there are still too many out there whose voices haven’t yet been heard. Activism is great because it speaks for the masses, but if the masses do not continue to grow, the progress will plateau. One person at a time, we need to speak out and stand up for our neighbors.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? As for any community, not just LGBTQ… unity means being nonjudgmental. I would wish away all social profiling.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? I’d say John Waters is not just a character, but THE character. He broke down so many boundaries through his work. It really put reality in the face of America by portraying: you want obscene? I’ll show you what obscene is!
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? If you agree with the message you hear, pass it on! If you disagree, say something! Doing nothing does just that… nothing. If you don’t share the good things you know, you enable others to breed ignorance and indifference.
To support Carri’s petition via Change.org, click here and sign.