Yesterday, we published a terrific #AMPLIFY contribution from Chi Chi who is a 47 year queer Latina living in Pittsburgh. Chi Chi is from Panama, but grew up about a mile from where I grew up – we went to different schools and never met. Until #AMPLIFY. We have plans to meet in person next month.
If you grew up or were familiar with the “South” end of West Mifflin in the 1980’s, you will understand why this amazes me – it was (and is) a very, very white suburban neighborhood.
Her post made me realize that Latinx contributors represent a more sizeable percentage of our program than I realized – we have 8 contributors who have self-identified. That’s 12% of our posts. According to a 2015 report in the Tribune-Review, the regional population was about 1.5% in 2015. I’m not sure how much of Western Pennsylvania that represents, but I suspect it might be a little lower overall. But interestingly, more than half of our Latinx contributors (who use various terms to self-identify) are from outside Allegheny County, currently or previously living in Cambria, Washington, Beaver, and Westmoreland counties.
I love that this project is resonating with so many people that I’ve never met before or introducing me to elements of their lives that I didn’t know about. That’s a very broad statement of what I personally gain from the project and hope that you do as well. One of the significant benefits of storytelling is that we get to learn from our peers and neighbors simply because they choose to share with us. It is a gift and investment we must honor by acknowledging their identities within our community and ensuring that we strive to be culturally competent across the board of services, programs, supports, organizing, conversations and more.
Kim’s young adult child is trans and also Mexican-American. Viva’s child is gender fluid and Latinx. Our other contributors may or may not go on to have children, but it is definitely true that there are other Latinx children and youth in Western Pennsylvania who are part of our community and deserve to have their whole identities lifted up and celebrated.
If you would like to share your story, it takes about 30 minutes to answer the questions. We would love to add your voice to this project. The link is here.
Your voice and experiences do matter. Eight people who aren’t necessarily connected took the time to contribute and that results in a significant Latinx perspective in the larger project. And that’s the true power of storytelling.