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.
Scott responded to me via Facebook – he noticed I was looking for more people to participate so he graciously shared his time with me. I was very moved by his responses, especially how the loss of his partner to AIDS changed his perspective.
Name: DJ Scott Haynes
County of Residence: Allegheny
Preferred Pronouns: I am full of energy and positive vibes
How do you describe your identity? Gay Black Male
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I am approachable, loving and care about people and their struggles, I help whenever I can and do my best to be a better me.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? The first person that I met was in high school, she wanted to be referred to as a woman but all she got was teased,bullied and alienated from her classmates. We were such good friends because I myself was dealing with the same issues as she was. I learned just to be me and never give up
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. I love Ru Paul for setting the stage for queens to showcase their talent in front of millions of viewers straight and gay.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Facebook and groups of interest like Delta Foundation.
Describe your geographical community. Urban neighborhood grew up on the Northside.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. Small community, where I am I don’t know many gay people in my local community.
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. Being called a fag, let the fag do it were words all too familiar to me, especially in the workplace where people now say it under their breath, or knowing will not do it when a supervisor is around
Describe your community in terms of being LGBTQ friendly (or not) There are always good and bad people in every community, for the most part the community LGBTQ are friendly and welcoming
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? Not where I am, but I know they exists.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Pass laws that prevents discrimination of anyone’s sexual orientation or gender.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. I lived with a lover over 4 years that passed back in 97 when aids was killing so many people, it did not effect me until I was the person grieving over his loss.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? People in the community who fight over what they are passionate about, whether they are right or wrong.
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? None
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That we came all this way to be pushed back to where we were.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? To be accepted without prejudice.
What motivated you to take part in this project? I wanted my voice to be heard without interruption, or misinterpreting what I said.
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. How am I doing now, that these things have changed?
Thank you, Scott.
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.