County of Residence: Butler
Preferred Pronouns: she/her
How do you describe your identity? Trans female (MtF), heterosexual, white.
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I was the first person to come out as Transgender at work. I work in a steel mill and the largest employer in the county. So, the word got out fast (inside and outside the mill). There was no LGBT support at the time when I came out (now there is Butler PFLAG). Some co-workers wouldn’t sit in the same room as me when I came out and the women started a petition to stop me from using the locker room after I had my GRS.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I am totally out.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? Robin was the first Trans person I met and it was for being a member of TransPitt (a Pittsburgh Trans group).
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Carmelita, from Dirty Sexy Money. the first fictional trans character that showed a “normal” person, not the butt of a joke or a sex worker/killer.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? news feed, internet, Butler PFLAG.
Describe your geographical community. Mostly rural. it is not openly LGBT friendly. Their is many people that is are opened minded here though.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. Butler PFLAG, the only LGBT group in Butler County
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. I came out at work (I’m in a union) and still employed there. As stated above, some of my co-worker tried to denied my access to the locker room.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? None
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Pass non-discrimination for employment, housing and public accommodation.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. even though I lost some friends when I came out, I gain just as many new friends for coming out.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? None
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? Butler PFLAG
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? The non-discrimination laws being “gutted” by “religious freedom” laws.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Really Non-discrimination laws to be passed.
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? speak out for LGBT rights
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? to treat use as equals in the community
What motivated you to take part in this project? To help the community
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. Has any other groups in the LGBTQ community ever discriminate against you (your group)
Thank you, Sabrina.
Read the entire AMPLIFY LGBTQ Q&A archive.
AMPLIFY LGBTQ is a 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.
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. 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.