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 David in 2006, soon after I launched my blog. I offered to pick him up to attend a political event and we had a delightful conversation. He’s incredibly bright, persistent and – perhaps best of all – fair. When I feel off-the-wall angst about any particular issue, David is my go to guy for a bit of perspective tempered with respect and empathy. And I’ve always admired his joy in life – for his trumpet, for his beloved Dr. Who and for his “lovely wife” (of whom I am also a big fan.) David is one of the few male bloggers in this City who consistently shows up for women when it matters. Because it is the fair thing to do. He’s one of my blogging heroes. And David helps me to believe in myself.
Name: David DeAngelo
Affiliation: Blogger at 2 Political Junkies
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. I’ll have to answer this question in two ways as there are people I’ve known for a very long time but I didn’t know their LGBTQ status until recently and then those I’ve met more recently whose status was known more quickly.
For example, I attended Elementary, Jr High and High School with Emmett McCarthy (season 2 Project Runway) but I didn’t know that he was gay then. We probably met in kindergarten (in 1968 – oh God am I THAT OLD??). Looking back, I don’t think I had much of a definition about sexual orientation at all. The main thing I remember about Emmett is that he’s very tall. I think he was 6′ 2″ by the time he was in 4th grade. When I learned he was gay I think my immediate response was, “Um, ok…” and then I went thinking about something else. It was a new piece of information that didn’t change any of the old information so it wasn’t a big shocker.
I started college early 80s and got a degree in music in 1985 and by that time I’d met more than a few LGBTQ folks. And again, it wasn’t a big deal either way. Whether someone played well or sang well or was on time to rehearsals, that was important. Who they had a crush on, not so much. I will tell a story I remember from my freshman year. I wasn’t far enough along in my studies to be a part of the orchestra (that would be a few years away) and so I really looked up to the guys who were then sitting in the trumpet section. Great players. Story that I heard about one of them is that he refused to sit next to one of the others because that guy was gay. I remember an feeling immensely disappointed in that first guy. What a silly thing to do. I mean I can understand not wanting to sit next to someone who hit on your partner or someone your partner dumped you for and so on, but refusing to make music with someone because they’re gay? Because you think they might hit on you?? Silly and stupid all rolled into one. And bad for the music as well.
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? There’s lotsa places – there’s a “Gay Voices” tab over at the HuffingtonPost, for example. In researching for a blog post that might overlap onto an LGBTQ issue, I’ll usually find myself over at The Advocate or The Washington Blade.
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? I’d have to say the lack of fairness. Regardless of what our friends on the religious right might believe, a fundamental principle of any free society is fairness – that everyone be treated the same as everyone else. That all the laws apply to everyone equally. It’s only fair. That’s at the heart of marriage equality, for instance. A straight couple has any number of law enforced rights (hospital visitation rights, equal property rights and so on) that any gay couple should also have access to – it’s only fair.
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change about Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community? As for an answer to the question, I have to admit I have no idea. Greater access to City Hall and County Council? Being a political junkie, the more diverse the group of people that’s involved in all aspects of the political process, the better it is for everyone.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? That’s a tough question – though as a HUGE Doctor Who fan I couldn’t omit River Song from any list of fictional LGBTQ characters I’d make. In interviews with the show’s writers, she’s conceived of as bisexual – a female version, as it were, of Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood. I always admired Greg Kinnear’s work as Simon Bishop in As Good As It Gets and anything Stephen Fry does (he was Gordon Dietrich in V for Vendetta) is worth watching. For that matter the story within a story in V For Vendetta between Valerie and Ruth was unbelievably moving for me.
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? Stay informed and remember that fairness demands equality.
Thank you David! If you have a nominee for LGBTQ&A, send us an email at pghlesbian at gmail