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. During Pride 2013, we are trying to feature someone each day.
I only “know” Dwayne through Twitter – he’s very good about retweeting and sharing information with his followers. As host of the GYRL show, he’s invested in staying on top of information, events and activities. He’s very involved in the community. What struck me about his response was the story of his childhood friend – how many of us grew up with an LGBTQ friend or playmate? That’s a true reflection of how far we’ve come as a society.
Name: DJ Wiggins
-Gay and Lesbian Community Center
-Community Advisory Council (Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh
-GayLifeTelevision.com (Host for GYRL Show, Gay Youth, Real Life)
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. The very first LGBTQ person that I can remember was my friend Jordan whose mom used to babysit me. He’s a year older and we used to really connect as kids. We would play with dolls but also would play sports. He was big into The Wizard of Oz and used to quote Dorothy all the time. We didn’t know what it was but we knew we were different from other boys and we both were okay with that.
Fast forwarding to now, I’ve actually reconnected with him after sooooo many years (we’re talking since I was in kindergarten and first grade), and he’s doing great. He’s obviously gay and he’s still very secure with himself just like when we were kids!
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? Usually via twitter, Facebook, etc. The usual hotspots. But I follow the Huffington Post Gay Voices as well as Homorazzi.com (a canadian online Mag) for entertainment.
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? Gay marriage is obviously the biggest and its soon to be decided. I don’t consider it an end all, however. Equal protection is definitely necessary and I would consider that the next step. We have to protect our children in schools, gay and straight, and social exposure, I think, is the best way to go about it.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? The level of diversity is definitely awry. I love Pittsburgh to pieces. Coming from Baltimore, this is my second home hands down. However, there are still times where it definitely feels like I’ve gone back in time. This could be changed with more exposure about community events and involving more inclusion.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? Oooh a tough one!! I would have to say..I don’t have one! However, as a Gaymer, (a gay person who looooooooves video games) I love any game that lets you decide your gender and sexuality. It’s a nice breath of fresh air that you can make your own choices in a game and you’re not judged in them. One of my favorite LGBTQ characters is Reaver from Fable 2/3. He’s bisexual and is a dirty selfish snake, but he also can love forever and you can’t really beat that. Haha.
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? Get involved. Plain and simple. If you wanna support your community then you have to help your community. Get involved with you local Pride event or in your community center. Or both!
You can follow him on Twitter @DwayneWJ