alexis, 29, talks compensation & community for marginalized lgbtq neighbors #AMPLIFY

Pittsburgh

Name: Alexis

Age: 29

County of Residence: Allegheny

Preferred Pronouns: she/her

How do you describe your identity? I am jewish white stealth non binary transsexual poly bisexual genderfucked intersex who experiences transmisogyny

Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I began publicly ID as bisexual age 7 or 8. I did not know the word trans to me the word bi included all of that. I was called a sissy, a girl, a faggot, a tranny by classmates and sexually assaulted at school numerous times with no support or recourse. My parents thought i was being difficult and noncompliant and put me into therapy with heavy medication to the point where i was unable to complete high school due to the side effects. I went to the GLCC age 15 with some friends and found no trans resources, was misgendered and misunderstood there.

How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I do not hide who or what i am.

Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life?  My father’s older sister. I participated in her commencement ceremony as a child. She and her wife received the first marriage certificate in the state of CT and were on the cover of New York Times. She showed me that pride always wins and is always worth fighting for.

Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. I avoid media because the stereotypical representations of ppl like me make me sick to my stomach

How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Friends, tumblr

Describe your geographical community.  I get catcalled sometimes but nobody i see on a daily basis gives me any trouble.

Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. There are many overlapping circles very clique oriented some very homonormative some very radical I try not to focus on the idea of Community because that has led to me feeling very burned out making myself available to help ppl who do not help me in return

Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. I have lost jobs for being myself. I have been refused access to medical care and coverage i was legally entitled to for being myself. When does who i am Not effect how i am treated?

Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? We need General Assistance program again cause not all of us have kids or meet ssi disability which is quite transphobic and callous to our situation. We need specific healthcare riders to accomodate All of our transition needs medicially indicated or not. We need to divest from Metro and Persad because they have hurt so many more of my friends than they have helped.

What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? We need to be specified protected class in PA already!

Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. I learned to only offer education or emotional labor when the return on investment is in my favor. And that teachable moments are a big part of a respectability politic that puts the burden on the marginalized party.

Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Let’s deal with discrimination first then we can talk.

What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? East end communty health center is an informed consent clinic. Unlike metro and persad they are attentive and responsive to patient needs.

What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Homonormativity

What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? I have low expectations so that whenever something good happens i am pleasantly surprised.

What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Listen, support, stand up and don’t back down until We say so

How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Listen, support, stand up and don’t back down until We say so

What motivated you to take part in this project? Facebook

Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. Compensation for our time and energy. Too often we are asked to work for free for the community or cause and this creates inevitable burnout. Compensation prevents this scenario.

 

Thank you, lxs.

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.

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

AMPLIFY

 

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