Jess is a Lesbian Mother Who Wants More Family Friendly Resources #AMPLIFY

Lesbian Pittsburgh

Name:  Jess

Age: 25

County of Residence:  Allegheny

Pronouns:  Mrs.

How do you describe your identity? I am white, a lesbian, and mother.

Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I told my parents and they were accepting. My friends didn’t care and my extended family came around.

How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I am a mother of two married, and we have one on the way. We do not hide who we are you either like us or don’t.

Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? I don’t remember

Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. I watch tons of lgbt movies and read tons of books but have yet to find a true favorite. I do like Alice off off the L word.

How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? I look to the news Facebook and other community members.

Describe your geographical community. We live in a suburb of Pittsburgh.

Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. I have no clue, never been to the community center, just go to pride.

Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. Yes all the time, its a daily event unfortunately.

Describe your community in terms of being LGBTQ friendly (or not)  not accepting of our family, but that is what we are used to.

Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? No.

What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? We need better resources for LGBT parents that is open and accepting so kids can make friends.

Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. In my community my kids have very few friends as a result of discrimination and hate the parents show not the kids.

Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Not being able to go out and have fun do to not knowing gay people or people that are LGBT friendly with kids.

What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? I have no clue

What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? The hate we are expressed and our kids see on a daily basis.

What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That we can be accepted.

What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Bring gays together.

How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? love and support

What motivated you to take part in this project? I was asked to fill out the questionnaire.

Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer.  None. 

Thank you, Jess.

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.

You can read the other Q&A responses here.  AMPLIFY! LGBTQ is a project of Most Wanted Fine Art and Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents.

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