County of Residence: Allegheny, formerly Westmoreland
How do you describe your identity? Bi
Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I was kind of out in mid 70s in Massachusetts. But officially came out at 16 when I moved to San Francisco in late 1977 and met Harvey Milk. It was hard in Massachusetts took a lot of verbal sht and a few fights. Life completely changed when I got to San Francisco and was in a world of people just like me 🏳️🌈😁
How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? 100 % out people either except me for who I am. If they don’t that’s their problem not mine.
Tell me about the first LGBTQ person whom you met. What impact did they have on your life? There has been a few. But one encouraged me to go to San Francisco was the one who brought me to the realization that I was I was ok. He has since past RIP Don.
Past or present, favorite LGBTQ character or creator in television, film or literature? Please tell us why. Armistead Maupin’s. Tales of the City all 9 books. On the 3rd book now. Lol I read them every couple years.
How do you stay informed about LGBTQ issues? Friends and internet.
Describe your geographical community. Well in Massachusetts it was hard. In San Francisco it was great. In Pittsburgh so far it has been real good. Great people here in Pittsburgh!
Describe your local or regional LGBTQ community. I moved to Pittsburgh in 2006. And enjoy clubs and bars occasionally. And pride week. Also keep up on what’s happening in the community online. I have had medical problems of late and I’m disabled so I am not as active as I used to be.
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Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. As young teenager in Massachusetts I did. And fought against it in San Francisco. I have no problem standing up against it if happens in my presence 🏳️🌈
Have you experienced microagressions based on your identity? Think everyday indignities & slights that you experience, but would not characterize as discrimination. Please describe in your own words. Most likely I have but just SMH and move on. Little things people say in public places about the community in general. If it’s really offensive I’ll say something.
Tell us about your access to health care in Western PA. Has it been LGBTQ competent (or not?) I use UPMC and have had a very good experience with them.
Are there issues impacting your LGBTQ neighbors that aren’t visible or part of the local dialogue? There probably is but. But none that I directly know of.
What would you like to see elected officials do to improve life for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians? Except us as human. With all the rights afforded to everyone else…
Please share a lived experience, anecdote or fact about life as an LGBTQ person in your community. I guess it was when I met Harvey Milk and he taught me it was ok to be me. And the countless marches on City Hall for our rights and freedom.
Beyond discrimination, what other barriers create challenges for your LGBTQ neighbors? Religion. Stop conversion therapy. Ect.
What LGBTQ friendly resources are available for your neighbors? From what I have seen online the are centers and group in and around Pittsburgh. I personally have not visited any of the LGBTQ centers but do have friends involved. Something I should put on my to-do list!
What is your greatest fear for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? Loss of rights and freedoms.
What is your greatest hope for the LGBTQ community in Western Pennsylvania? To be excepted without prejudice. And have the same rights and freedom afforded to all.
What can allies do to support your LGBTQ community? Keep fighting for our rights and freedom. We are all human.
How can gay men and lesbians support the bisexual, transgender and queer members of our community? Personally we should just be all supporting each other. No matter were you fall in the LGBTQ acronym 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈
What motivated you to take part in this project? I want to inspire the young generation to keep up the hard work we before them put in to get to where we are now. We have come a long way but still have miles to go.
Finally, what question should I have asked? Please also share your answer. IDK lol
Thank you, Hutch.
Read the entire AMPLIFY LGBTQ Q&A archive.
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AMPLIFY LGBTQ is a series of blog posts designed to give a “signal boost” to the voices of our LGBTQ neighbors throughout Western Pennsylvania. These are glimpses in to the lived experiences of LGBTQ people in Western Pennsylvania as told in their own voices.