County of Residence: Washington, formerly Allegheny and Westmoreland counties
Preferred Pronouns: I am a human being
How do you describe your identity? I am me. Short and fat and happy. Lol.
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I feel I have always been out. If you ask my mother she will tell you she knew at 2 years old. I have a great network of friends. Straight couples who have see us as equals.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? Always out!!!
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? Meeting many fascinating women at Bloomers in the South side. Yes I am showing my age. I have had to many to list.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Ellen DeGeneres,because she is true to herself and regardless of what happened she stood proud and weathered that storm and helped the advancement for all of us.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Absolutely.
Describe your geographical community. Rural
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. No much.
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. Yes in a job.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? Not sure.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? More housing. Educational programs.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. There is no time like the present. We must teach tolerance and self assurance, it’s our job to continue to keep the positivity of our community and keep pursuing equality for all.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Stupidity
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? No
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Rascism
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Equality
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Educate
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Mentoring
What motivated you to take part in this project? Keep advancement in our community.
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. Not sure. I think this is a great start.
Thank you, Jill.
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.