LGBTQ&A: Laura Horowitz Puts the “A” in Ally

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 met Laura through her brother, Andrew. I think the first occasion was an anti-war rally in Squirrel Hill, but since we’ve connected on Facebook – I’ve found her to be one of the most delightful, thought-provoking, intellectually consisten people I’ve ever known. She is a fierce warrior for  people – her family, her neighbors, her community, all of us. She’s been on the front lines at reproductive health clinics and organizes Persad’s Art for Change fundraiser. When Laura calls me out on something, I stop to listen because she’s always fair even if she disagrees.

Laura (l) was bundled up for the marriage equality rally in March.
Laura (l) was bundled up for the marriage equality rally in March.

If there’s one thing to be said for Laura, it is that she is present – as I write this, she’s being certified in CPR to volunteer at Pride. She’s at rallies on the coldest, snowiest of days. She’s making the calls and writing the letters to the editor. She is NOT someone who simply posts on Facebook and moves on – she sees it through and that’s a true ally.

Name: Laura Horowitz

Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. In the early 1970’s I had a friend who went through a lot of anguish over his sexuality, something that was utterly beyond my experience at the time (we were both a couple of years out of high school). He once tried to come out to me, but I couldn’t make sense of what he was saying. He never tried again, and shortly thereafter, moved out of town. I lost track of him, but I never forgot the way I failed him when he needed a friend.

How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? I read the Post-Gazette every day, and I’m signed up for a number of LGBTQ newsletter and advocacy alerts.

What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? As a straight person, it’s not really for me to say, but if I had to answer, I think maybe larger questions of gender are matters we all could benefit from thinking and talking about.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? I’d like to find a way to make LGBTQ people outside the East End more visible-every neighborhood has gay people, whether they know it or not.

Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? I have to name a couple-Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, my OTP!

What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? Call out hate speech every time you hear it-people need to know that allies are also everywhere and we won’t tolerate the hatred.

Thank you, Laura!

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