County of Residence: Washington, formerly Allegheny
Preferred Pronouns: Her, she, etc.
How do you describe your identity? Queer pan female currently in a hetero relationship.
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? The support was friends based. The family still doesn’t entirely know. They have ideas. The challenges are that I need financial assistance from the family so they have to have limited knowledge due to their religious and social beliefs.
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I am out to my friends and husband. As a pan individual, my life is one of love. I have a family but still seek out like-minded individuals. If people don’t like that, i separate myself.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? The first LGBT person i met was in high school. She was in my class. She was nice. Their impact was that i learned i could live authentically and still survive.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Big Boo in OITNB
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Facebook, internet
Describe your geographical community. Rural. And while we have many suspected LGBT+ people, most of the older people are not accepting.
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. The pittsburgh LGBT community has become clique-y but is widely accessible. It is separated between trans and cis communties, and pan people tend to be excluded especially if they have opposite gender partners.
Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. No. Not really.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? The pan community is often excluded, unintentionally bc LGBT+ see the relationships as either hetero, bi or homo sexual and the idea of their being a 4th option is confusing and they try to lump the pans in with already existing bisexual crowd.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Nothing i can think of.
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. My best friend is also pan and we go out to lunch occasionally. People always assume we are a couple. I have actually had to correct a waitress who called us a cute couple, then the waitress was embarrassed. Next time we came in we had her again and it was awkward.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? No.
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? None.
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? You can be fired for anything in Pennsylvania, so being selectively out to your employer can either help or hinder your employment. If they made all jobs safe, that would be great.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? I don’t know really.
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Be accepting of the pan community.
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? See above.
What motivated you to take part in this project? Bored on a monday night. Change is good.
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. Nothing else.
Thank you, Anonymous.
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.