County of Residence: Allegheny
Preferred Pronouns: she
How do you describe your identity? I am asexual with lesbian leanings. I am white, never married and live with my sister. I also write GLBT romance novels.
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? Did not realize I had lesbian leanings till I was in my late 30s & accepted I was asexual in my mid 40s.
My sisters know. My parents are gone. Really faced no challenges because I’m very private in my life.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I don’t deny it, but I don’t advertise.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? Junior high school. Went to a Catholic grade school, did not even know there were gay people until public school in 8th grade. Harky was what we now call ‘out’, but then didn’t know why she was different.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. JL Langley, Rhys Ford, James Buchanan (Author not Pres.), TA Chase, Andrew Grey. Some of my favorite authors. Buy anything they write.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Thru Huffington post Gay news, facebook, reading GLBT romances
Describe your geographical community. Suburban. Lived on the same street since 1962. One of those families with 4 generations in a 4 block area. I would not say the area in unfriendly, but not that friendly. We have a KKK family in the area.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. Do not take much notice.
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. Not for being LGBT. For being an overweight woman working a ‘man’s’ job. I am a chef by trade. I have always been overweight. That has affected my life more.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? Don’t really know. I’m basically a ‘lone wolf’ for want of a better term.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Keep marriage legalized. Make discrimination illegal. Teach school kids tolerance. (With bullying on the rise, don’t know if this is possible)
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. My family members who do know are very accepting. The ones I don’t believe would be accepting don’t know.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Unknown.
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? Unknown.
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Someone gets elected, appointed, whatever, and manages to change any progress that has been made.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? More acceptance. W. PA is a very old fashioned community in a lot of ways.
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Listen. Learn. Accept.
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Don’t be prejudiced.
What motivated you to take part in this project? Want my opinion out there. Saw it on Huffington Post and was interested.
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. For older respondents, Have you noticed any changes?
Thank you, Diane.
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.