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.
Jeanette is a childhood friend of Ledcat – she and her husband moved to Pgh a few years ago so we get together with them. She’s very open discussing the fact that her brother is gay and how her family has grown. Her mother now lives next-door to him and has become a defacto maternal figure to many of the gay men in his neighborhood. When Jeanette reconnected with Ledcat, she never batted an eye and in fact made a point to state that she knew about our relationship from a family obituary listing. I think one of the best things about Jeanette – beyond her genuine niceness – is that she asks questions. She doesn’t pretend to know the lingo, but she also doesn’t refuse to learn it. She treats us like she treats her other friends, but she takes us seriously when we discuss issues that are unique to being LGBTQ. And I’m glad she took the time to share her thoughts.
Name: Jeanette Miller
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. The first person I met that I know of to be gay is my brother. I remember I was still in high school when he came out so I’m guessing I was 16. At the time I didn’t see why my parents( mainly my mother) were so upset, I didn’t see what the big deal was. 31 years later I still don’t see what the big deal is. All I knew was that I had 1 straight brother and 1 gay brother and it didn’t matter to me, I loved then equally.
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? Through my friends in Pittsburgh and Reading, PA
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? I am sorry to say I don’t know enough about the LGBTQ community to know some of their issues but I was shocked recently to hear of safety issues. While out celebrating my friends birthday recently they thought of safety while walking back to their car. Its sad to say I never gave it a thought even though while my husband and I were walking back to our car we saw a young women walking alone through a rowdy part of Pittsburgh and thought “now why is she walking alone, is she crazy”. I guess its hard for me to believe that there’s people out there still full of hate for the gay community.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? That being gay wouldn’t be an issue at all. that being LGBTQ wouldn’t even be thought of any more of a difference then say being Italian, Irish, German…etc. You get the point.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? 1977 Billy Crystal played Jodie Dallas on the TV series Soap.
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? Stand up for their equal rights. Just like when white people stood along side black people for equal rights, straight people need to stand along side the LGBTQ community to demand equal rights.
Thank you, Jeanette!