Read the entire AMPLIFY LGBTQ Q&A archive.
AMPLIFY LGBTQ is a new occasional series of blog posts designed to give a “signal boost” to the voices of our LGBTQ neighbors throughout Western Pennsylvania. We are using a Q&A format and will mostly avoid editing their responses. The questions, however, may change as we ask each participant to tell us what we’ve missed asking. It is one of the vibrant elements of a blog format – evolution & growth.
Our intent is to highlight the voices of marginalized members of our community who are not always invited to the table or whose voices are not heard (because “we” are not listening?) Obviously, my choice of questions does shape the conversation, but beyond that – these are glimpses in to the lived experiences of LGBTQ people in Western Pennsylvania as told in their own voices. If you would like to participate, please email me pghlesbian at gmail or visit the online Q&A.
In recognition of Pittsburgh Black Pride’s 20th anniversary, we are highlighting the stories of their volunteers and board members. I’ve known Amber online for a bit, but only met her in person at the Opening Reception of Pittsburgh Black Pride. Her charisma, intelligence and sense of service to others were palpable in her speech. I was thrilled that she took the time to complete our Q&A.
Name: Amber L. Sloan
County of Residence: Allegheny
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? Ann Montgomery. She was a lot older than me but she made feel like it was ok to be who I am and my sexual preference was not a problem and be myself!!!!
How do you describe your identity? lesbian
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? social media, websites, Out Newspaper
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? Ellen
How would you describe yourself in terms of “being out”? I’ve always been proud of being OUT, it allowed me to actually feel comfortable in who I was and am!! When I was coming up it was not acceptable to be OUT. it was hard so as time changed I felt a sense of relief to just be able to be myself at work in my community work and feel free!!!
Describe your geographical community. im from Homewood Brushton which is an urban community!!!
Tell me about your local or regional LGBTQ community. That I’m proud of the barriers that have been broken.
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity in a job setting? How about in terms of being served by a business? Please explain. never.
Describe your community in terms of being LGBTQ friendly (or not.) it’s a very acceptable community as far as the acceptance of lgbtq due to us living in different eras!!!
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? there’s a lot of separation in the lbgtq communities!!!
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? I’d like to see them be more supportive of the different pride events besides the parades!!
Please share any anecdotes about life as a LGBTQ person in your community that might help outsiders better understand. That the people I work alongside no matter their sexual orientation or religion their always very supportive of me and my work!!!
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? separation amongst the lbgtq community!!
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? Jobs, protection, lots of information
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? none
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? that some of the elected officials show more support for us
What motivated you to take part in this project? was open to sharing my experiences and the fact of the barriers that have been broken and has moved us in a new direction
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer what is the lbgtq community doing as far as helping to bridge the gap on separation???
Thank you, Amber. Please be sure to check out the Pittsburgh Black Pride events and turn out to support your community.
If you would like to participate in a future Q&A, please visit our survey or contact us pghlesbian at gmail dot com.
Good news – AMPLIFY is going on the road this summer. We’ll be traveling to some Western PA events where you can meet with us face to face to complete the Q&A or learn more. Upcoming events include:
- July 26 at Pittsburgh Black Pride BBQ
- August 1 Big Summer Chick Picnic
- August 14 at Washington County GSA Summer Picnic
- August 16 at Westmoreland PFLAG Pride Picnic
- August 29 at Erie Pride
- October TBA Johnstown Halloween Parade