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 minimize 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.
Bee responded to a post on a local email list. I think her’s in particular is a post everyone should read.
Preferred Pronouns: None
County of Residence: Westmoreland
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? When you are a female athlete, you kind of just “run into” all kinds of people living their lives. The same goes when you’re a teen that plays music. You tend to have people flow into your life. I never questioned anyone’s anything. It’s always been my gig to live and let live.
How do you describe your identity? I am simply she who exist simply
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? The internet.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character in television, film or literature? Everybody wants to be part of the club now. I am still old school. One of my favorite books is Six of One.
How would you describe yourself in terms of “being out”? I’m out. I have a set of quadruplets that attend the local high school. They know me well.
Tell me about your local or regional LGBTQ community. Well, there’s me and hmmmm. Let me see. Did I say me? That’s one for sure. I don’t know of any more.
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. No.
Describe your community in terms of being LGBTQ friendly (or not.) No. Horribly homophobic in Westmoreland County and especially the little community that I live in. It is just horrendous the number of times I have to correct the adults in this area. You know if the adults are saying these things aloud to other adults they don’t know, what are they saying to their kids and friends?
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? ?
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Make life easier for those of us living non-traditional families
Please share any anecdotes about life as a LGBTQ person in your community that might help outsiders better understand. ?
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Support
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? None.
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Demise
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Growth
What motivated you to take part in this project? I don’t understand what the survey is trying to ascertain. My needs are different as a single parent to a set of quadruplets. Their other mother passed in March 2015 and we can’t access her Social Security benefits. So, on top of grieving we are also financially strapped. Where do I fit in our community 🙁
Thank you for answering our questions, Bee.
If you would like to participate in this Q&A series, please visit our online form. You can also email pghlesbian at gmail dot com to participate. We welcome voices from across the community – everyone has a story to tell.