County of Residence: formerly Allegheny County, now Columbus, Ohio
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
How do you describe your identity? I’m an agnostic Jew. I’m white. I’m queer and a big old dyke. I’m a gold star lesbian. I’m a single mama to two little boys. Just started dating a wonderful woman and couldn’t be happier with every aspect of my life!
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I came out when I was 15, I said I was bi. By the time I was 16 I knew I wasn’t into men and fully accepted being a lesbian.
My parents and friends were always very supportive and we just didn’t talk much about it. Now they just want me to find a nice girl to be with.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I’m super gay! Totally out too! It’s fairly obvious with how I look (although at my most recent job not everyone thought that).
I consider myself queer and couldn’t be happier with my life!
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? It’s hard to remember my first interaction with an LGBT person. I think it was a neighbor two doors down from the house I grew up in. Two women lived there and said they were roommates. Looking back I know they were gay and partners.
They simply showed me two women can love eachother and be together just like anyone else.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Tegan and Sara Quin. Two wonderful music artists, great role models for Young lgbt youth and very well spoken women.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? I read about them. I’m in different queer Facebook groups. I go to different activities put on through out the city of Columbus and chat with friends.
Describe your geographical community. I live in the city. I am a city girl and love it because I feel I can be myself. When I lived in rural Ohio for three years, that was very hard for me. Everyone knew everyone’s business and everyone was very closed minded. Pittsburgh was an amazing place to be a young queer woman!
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. I live in Columbus Ohio. I have a lot of LGBT friends in this city and am Happily making more. I love to go to different activities and fundraisers throughout the city. I go to pride. I’m part of several queer groups on Facebook also.
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. Never. I may not have realized anything in public, but it’s never been an issue in jobs or housing.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? I don’t think so.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Sure!
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. I’m a queer single mama of two little boys! People are constantly amazed by it and ask a lot of questions. Most of my boys friends have straight parents and everyone has been very supportive and accepting.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? I don’t know.
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? Stonewall Columbus. Pride always has lots.?
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? I don’t know
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Happiness and a sense of community where everyone feels accepted and that they can be themselves.
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Donate, let your voices be heard and support in anyway possible.
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Don’t be jerks, don’t discriminate.
What motivated you to take part in this project? I would have loved to have a database or book to read as a kid to know I wasn’t alone. It would have been nice to hear other people’s stories and messages.
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. You did great!
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.