This is AMPLIFY post #92. We plan to publish continuously through the beginning of the week to reach #100 in time for our tenth blogaversary on December 29, 2015. Stay tuned!
County of Residence: Allegheny, grew up in Oklahoma
Preferred Pronouns: He
How do you describe your identity? White gay male.
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I grew up in a religious family in Oklahoma, so my friends have always been my support system.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? Married and working for a LGBTQ film festival, so I would say that I live my life as an openly gay male.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? The first LGBTQ person I met was a handsome bi-sexual male who was in his twenties, I was still in high-school around the age of 15. He worked at a bookstore and was very much into the Beat Generation, so I spent countless hours reading Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, anthologies ect. so that I would have something to talk with him about the next time I saw him. He also taught me about alternative music (now called indie rock). We never got the chance to hook-up (make-out) but it was a very intense crush on my end.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Daniel Ribeir – Writer/Director of the 2014 Brazilian movie “The Way He Looks”. I think he wrote the most honest coming-of-age movie I have seen in a long time.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Movies, internet, books
Describe your geographical community. I believe Pittsburgh is LGBTQ friendly. I don’t know much about outside Pittsburgh though.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. I still feel too new to Pittsburgh to fully understand the LGBTQ community of Pittsburgh but it seems very diverse and supportive.
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. Not that I know of, and I am aware how lucky I am.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? N/A
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Provide affordable housing for LGBTQ seniors.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. I live a peaceful life with my husband in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. I do not know many other LGBTQ people except those who are involved with Reel Q.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? n/a
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? GLCC?
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? n/a
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Affordable housing for LGBTQ seniors
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Attend our movies and events!
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Attend meetings, work collaboratively on projects together
What motivated you to take part in this project? I am a fan of Sue Kerr!
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. n/a
Thank you, Kevin.
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.