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.
Sam is curating the current art show at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, Super! We met via the GLCC Facebook group as he was posting updated about the show. If you visit the Facebook event, you’ll get a glimpse into the various images he’s pulled from to explore the “homoerotic subtext of comics.” As I read his answers, I couldn’t help but think of Joe Wos from The Toonseum who shares Sam’s view about “cliques” coming together. Thanks for participating in LGBTQ&A Sam!
Name: Sam Thorp
Affiliation: Visual Artist. I organize and curate art shows in Pittsburgh, as well as how artwork world wide.
Tell us about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you. I met a lot of people in school and then LATER found out they were LGBTQ after they came out. So I’m not sure if that counts. The first OUT people I ever met were campus activist who would loudly challenge the street preachers on their hypocrisy. So my first impression of what it meant to be out was that you had to know your laws, history, philosophy, and religions and you had to be ready to use them in a fight.
How do you stay informed on LGBTQ issues? The internet. Twitter is a great replacement for cable news networks, it’s free, fast and probably more reliable.
What is the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community today? Anything that involves physical violence. It’s disturbingly sad that there still are physical attacks against LGBTQ people that still happen in schools, streets, and in the home. It’s the 21st century, we’re supposed to be enlightened and educated.
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community, what would it be? Maybe open a few channels between the cliques. I know how much everyone wants “their own space”; but we still need to interact and work together from time to time.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? I just put together an art show at the GLCC about gay characters in comic books and superhero. Based on that show, Robin (of Batman & Robin) seems to be everyone’s favorite twink. I suppose he’s mine too.
What is one simple thing a reader can do to support the LGBTQ community? Volunteer. Whatever time and skills you have are needed by somebody. “Pride in the Streets” will feature groups that would be happy to have you.
You can find Sam’s portfolio of art at this link.