Samantha, 44, Wants Better Trans Health Choices in Pennsylvania #AMPLIFY

Transgender Allegheny County

Name: Samantha

Age: 44

County of Residence: Allegheny

Preferred Pronouns: Her, she, b*tch, LOL

How do you describe your identity? I am a Trans woman questioning my sexual preference.

Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I truly was lucky. I found support everywhere. The biggest challenge was telling my Mom. We are close, but she was the hardest to tell.

How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I am “out” 24/7. Work, play, hangout.

Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? Well I have known other people in the LGBT community always, but the important person was a co-worker in 2011, they got me alone and said” Don’t tell anyone, but I am Trans-.” I said” Really?, Me too.” And they said they were going through the process of transitioning. Before that, I didn’t know it was possible.

Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. I’d have to say Ricky in Boy Meets Girl. First of all she was a clone Immage of Xena Warrior Princess. Second she was so inspirational just being herself, world be damned.

How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Facebook, GLCC Pittsburgh, news stories on my phone.

Describe your geographical community.  Yes Pittsburgh is very friendly in MY EXPERIENCE. The whole Allegheny county has some protections.

Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. There is a Huge community in Pittsburgh. In all letters of the LGBTQ anagram. I am amazed at the size of the Trans community we have.

Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. Yes, At Walmart. I was returning an item at customer services. We did the whole transaction, after we finished the representative said have a nice day sir. I was not sure why they said sir, maybe it was my makeup, or my C cup breasts, or my blouse, or my skirt, or my purse, or my long hair, or maybe just my feminine glasses.

Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? The biggest issue is surgery and insurance not covering it.

What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Make insurance cover surgeries.

Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. You have to just be yourself, and if”they”don’t like it, too bad.

Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Acceptance. 

What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? Persad, GLCC Pittsburgh, Dr Stacy Lane and her Central Outreach Wellness C to name a few.

What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That we will never get the acceptance to just Be

What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? That eventually the acceptance will get to the point that there is no more need/use for a LGBTQ group.

What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Just treat us as your friends.

How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Again just treat us as friends.

What motivated you to take part in this project? My purpose on this earth is to help. If this helps 1person see themselves or someone else in a better way, my job is done.

Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. Not sure

Thank you, Samantha.

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.

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