County of Residence: Allegheny
Preferred Pronouns: n/a
How do you describe your identity? I am Kay…I am a tall stout masculine woahman!👌💯…I’m not a lady…I’m not a man…I’m me….according to society I’d be considered a soft stud…I am black, irish, and indian. I’m originally from Bloomfield 👏👏😂
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I came out at the age of 14 to my mom she was pretty much in denial about it but I had a few best friends that knew. I’m sure she caught on when she realized I never had many male friends or never really like to hang around males too much. I personally always subconsciously admired the gay community without knowing anything about it. At age 16 I came out to the whole family it was actually 3 of my cousins we all came out at the same time at a big family gathering LOL end I felt confident. I faced challenges with my grandmother because I was raised in a church since she was kind of totally against it ,we fell out for a little bit of time but then she realized that; I was in my own skin I was comfortable and I think she was able to make peace with it before she passed away. Some people in my family were uncomfortable with me dressing in male clothing. .but they got over it eventually.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I consider myself a stud I am very confident and happy with being out …myself and my partner enjoy life and explore the city and we don’t hide anything about our love for each other. I really don’t give a damn about how the world feels I’m just glad to be the person that I am not ashamed of the reality of me.
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 gay male and we were in high school. He was in the closet at the time so I was pretty naive and always confused when we first met.. his conversations about being with other women as actually being with other women and not men in my mind lol. He was very shy and their was a lot of discrimination against him and our kind at our school he actually experience a violent situation where several members of the high school basketball team decided to jump him just because he was gay. From that point on I realized that I would no longer label myself as a bisexual woman for I never had it that deep sexual attraction for a man ….I’ve always appreciated a mans style. It gave me confidence to step out in the world and not give a damn about what people think and be proud of who I am and support anyone else that’s like me or in the lgbtq family.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Dred Miller the main character from the webseries “Between Women”…I appreciated her style and ambition…her professional leadership.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Facebook
Describe your geographical community. North side…..pretty urban as u know….most men aren’t lgbtq friendly to studs BC they feel threatened… My hometown Bloomfield was more gay friendly…but some racist as we’ll ..that’s life…
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. Pgh Black Pride, Aunt D, Femz wit a Twist, Laronda Page, Pittsburgh Pride, GLCC
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. All the time….usually from men…yes I definitely have experienced discrimination at several jobs I used to work for…public mostly….people don’t know how to take me…. But I’m used to people calling me sir I find it funny…I look like my dad who is 6’5″ so I take it as a compliment. Lol
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? In Pittsburgh our community it’s pretty different from many other states and cities. You have to have a label in Pittsburgh, there’s also still racial discrimination between black and white within the LGBTQ community. Most of the masculine female lesbians have to deal with men either trying to fight them trying to flirt with them or a woman theyre with. Men are very disrespectful Men Pittsburgh towards masculine lesbian women. I know that within every lgbtq variety there some sort of discrimination or hate against us and here’s my response to that; either they want to be us or they hate themselves either way never let them take you off of your Square 💯👌
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Have more activities, programs, events and fun things to do that supports all Races of the lgbtq community. Everyone is not rich and I get that costs for everything is very expensive but there’s ways around that, put more people out on the street getting people to support giving donations for supporting lgbtq activities and events. Get more sponsoring from different companies or organizations. Start more programs for ages 14-20 they need the most direction. Poetry slams, open mic, jazz sessions, employment support, public encouragement, positive spiritual direction.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. For spiritual support I attend Allegheny Center Alliance they are very diverse and loving and welcoming. [EDITOR’S NOTE: While I respect Kay’s perspective, I am compelled to point out that I have personally witnessed ACA’s homophobia of multiple occasions. I would advise anyone to do a lot of research and be very careful about entrusting them with your spiritual welfare. I did mention this concern to Kay before publishing it. ~ Sue]
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Homelessness, Drug Addiction
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? GLCC, ACA
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That hatred will take over so much that someone will brutally harm or kill one of us, because of their own discrimination choices.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That we all get treated equally no matter, what race or background, and the we take over and educate ourselves and others and inspire the world
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Look into their soul and figure out where that hatred stems from
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? We do gotta stop being bias to our own LGBTQ label….and open our hearts and minds
What motivated you to take part in this project? I am a writer/ journalist /poet of the LGBTQ community….and I am sure you need all of the feedback u can get. I love to support the LGBTQ community of Pittsburgh and we can grow to do so much greater👌💯💞🌈
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. What is your profession? I currently do CSR work for a non profit organization but I have dozens of dreams and ambitions so I’m just moving with each goal
Thank you, Kay.
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.