If you are looking for the AMPLIFY Q&A to submit your own response, click here to go to our online form!

We can’t wait to read your contribution!

AMPLIFY is a storytelling project, a community art project and a historical archive project sharing the lived experiences of LGBTQ neighbors in Western Pennsylvania from 2015-2018. Contributors use an online form to answer questions about their lives and those contributions are published as individual blog posts without being edited, modified or altered.* These are the true stories of our neighbors in their own words.

#AMPLIFY Tee Shirts


The official #AMPLIFY Tee Shirt is here via our partnership with Commonwealth Press. Your purchase support the project and a local business. You also have the option of donating a shirt to a project contributor.


Shortcuts

Click here for the archived contributions, updated 2-3x each week.

Click here for the project FAQ.

Click here to contribute your own story to the project.

Click here to read what people are saying about #AMPLIFY (Press and media page.)

Click here for more information on the 26 county region of Western PA and the LGBTQ neighbors who have ties to those counties.

Click here to donate.

Click here to read Issue #1 of the AMPLIFY zine (Click here for a copy to download and print)

AMPLIFY

The concept is straightforward. Use the Q&A format to amplify the lived experiences of individuals whose lives are not often highlighted in traditional media.

Read the published Q&A’s here

(More are coming every week.)

Goals

  • To explore the realities of our LGBTQ neighbors in their own words so as to better understand how their identities impact their day to day lives.
  • To identify barriers they face in day to day life, including discrimination and bias.
  • To identify how they contribute to a thriving region, including what unique strengths they bring to the table.
  • To connect with all 26 counties in Western Pennsylvania and identify resources, services and supports that may not be widely known, again in the voices and realities of the LGBTQ folks living there.

How to participate

  • You can complete the survey here  Note – the online Q&A uses a google form so you cannot save your answers (without a lengthy convoluted hack explanation.) Be sure to leave the tab open until you are finished.
  • I will send you a printed version of the Q&A if you would prefer to fill it out by hand. Contact me at pghlesbian at gmail.
  • I am speaking to groups and hoping to attend events throughout the 26 counties. Please contact me if you would like a speaker or more information to share with your members. This can include PFLAG, GSA meetings, book clubs, bowling groups, etc.

To learn more about my professional qualifications, please visit my LinkedIn profile.


Read the published Q&A’s here

Support #AMPLIFY with a donation today. Help us continue sharing the stories.

Below is a reverse chronological list of the AMPLIFY Q&A’s

  1. Helen, 51, Came Out as Bisexual in the Army National Guard
  2. Meg, 28, is Nonbinary, Genderqueer, Polyamorous, and Pansexual
  3. Keith, 48, is a Gay, White Man Using Marriage Equality for Teachable Moments in North Carolina 
  4. Hilary, 44, Works Hard to Boost Pansexual Identity in Erie County
  5. Lisa, 47, is a Bi Woman Trying to Find Community in Pittsburgh
  6. Amy, 46, is Bi in Pittsburgh, But Not Really Out
  7. Alexia, 40, is Bisexual, Transgender, and Loves Pittsburgh
  8. Jez, 50, Came Out As Trans in 1985 in Rural Washington County
  9. Morgan, 31, is a Black, Bisexual, Queer, Polyamorous Woman & Mother
  10. Kelsey, 22, Talks Lesbian Life in Elk County 
  11. Tristan, 28, is Gay, Mexican-American, a Comedian and Writer and Drag Queen 
  12. Pastor Reed, 48, Puts a Face and Name to Being a Gay Christian
  13. Carmen is 42, Bisexual, and Resonates With Genderfluid Identity
  14. Jamaica, 41, is Bisexual and Wants the Pgh Queer Community to Have a Voice
  15. Luna, 25, is a Poly, Gender fluid, Queer Performance Artist 
  16. Bobbi Jo, 63, is a Transgender Lesbian in Indiana County
  17. Roxxie Thunder, 27, is a Glittery Pansexual Femme from Beaver County 
  18. Maya, 20, Identifies as a Black Queer Fat Femme Woman 
  19. Mindy, 42, Lives Semi-Open as Trans in Rural Elk County
  20. Katie, 25, Identifies as Puerto Rican, White, Cis-Female and Lesbian
  21. Dylan, 28, is a Queer, Autistic Transgender Man
  22. Angie, 32: Out, Loud, and Proud Black Pansexual Mom
  23. Krista, 28, Lives in Washington, PA as a Pansexual Woman
  24. August, 46, Feels Separate as a Black Gay Man 
  25. Tanha, 36, is a Queer, Bisexual Woman in Erie 
  26. Joel, 35, is Gay, a Trans Guy, Polyamorous, Christian, Parent, & Husband 
  27. Chrissy, 40, Wants LGBTQ Folks to Educate One Another With a Sense of Humor 
  28. Lora, 33, Talks About Coming Out, Family Support, & LGBTQ Narratives
  29. Selene, 60, is genderfluid, pansexual, femme-presenting, neuroqueer and more
  30. Scott, 53, is a Gay Man Exploring Transition & Identity Anew 
  31. Marcia, 58, is Cisgender, Lesbian & Slightly Gender Nonconforming
  32. Seth, 21, Came Out as Bi and Trans Via Power Point 
  33. Krissy, 34, Talks About Step Parenting as a Bisexual Woman 
  34. Rev Leonard, 37, is a Black same-gender loving freedom fighter – #200
  35. Wendi, 31, Describes Being a Trans Ally in Her Workplace
  36. Chica Discusses Her Bisexuality to Show Solidarity 
  37. Brandon, 23, Identifies as a Pansexual Genderqueer Male
  38. Angela is a Queer Mother & Intersectional Feminist
  39. Tyler, 18, is a Pansexual Trans Man in Erie
  40. Chris, 40, is an Aspie Queer Girl With Some Kinks
  41. Bi and Demi, Kristen Wants You to Get Uncomfortable With Your Privilege 
  42. Caiolin, 56, is Just Another Woman Who Happens To Be Trans
  43. Regina, 33, Finds Comfort in Lesbian Ambiguity
  44. Megan, 22, is a Bisexual Woman Using Her Voice To Grow Her Community
  45. Ally, 20, Describes Her Fluid Sexual Orientation 
  46. Maddy, 23, is Queer and Gender Nonconforming in Allegheny County 
  47. Jason, 42, aka Miss Thea Trix Spreads a Positive Vibe in the Mon Valley
  48. Jesse, 28, Helps To Build New LGBTQ Community Supports in Mercer County 
  49. Sean, 29, Wants to Change the LGBT Climate in Western Pennsylvania 
  50. Emily, 40, Talks About LGBTQ Visibility, Intersectionality & Resiliency 
  51. James, 54, Is a Gay Pittsburgh Dad Living in Texas
  52. Kyle Discusses Privilege & Perception of Gay, White, Cisgender Men
  53. Shari, 57, Wants More Inclusivity & Power for QTPOC
  54. Leo, 42, is a Bi Man in Erie County Who Wants to be Heard
  55. Laura, 44, is a Lesbian Mom in Fayette County 
  56. Dawn, 33, Describes Life as a Trans Woman in Westmoreland County 
  57. Emma, 28, Keeps Her Queer Eyes Open in Pittsburgh
  58. Ravenna, 37, Pansexual Trans Woman Living in the Allegheny County Suburbs 
  59. Vanessa, 31, Describes Her Transition & Life as Pansexual in Washington County
  60. Tara, 29, Describes Life in the Shenango Valley as a Bisexual Woman  ** #175
  61. Lav, 29, a Queer Trans Gender Non Binary Mermaid Witch Warrior 
  62. Vi, 24, Is Very Concerned About Trans Health Issues in Pittsburgh 
  63. Mitch, 27, Describes Life in Butler County as a Gay Man
  64. Kierra Darshell is Pittsburgh’s First Lady of Drag
  65. Alexa, 22, Talks About Acceptance as a Bisexual Woman
  66. Ira, 30, Identifies as Pansexual, Genderqueer and Possibly Agender 
  67. Lavi, 29, is Trans Queer Bi and Wants Your Respect & Support
  68. Ciora, 27, Says Trans People Have the Strength of Two Souls
  69. Anonymous, 30, Wants More Visibility for the Pansexual Community 
  70. Janet, 66, is Bisexual, Cisgender and Gender Nonconforming
  71. Dominic, 18, Is a Bisexual Man Finding His Comfort Zone in College 
  72. Dean Sees Queer Struggles as Stories of Strength
  73. Brian, 29, Wants the LGBTQ Community to Address Social Isolation
  74. Morgan, 21, Hasn’t Met Other Openly Gay Suburban Couples 
  75. Hayley, 46, Wants To Keep That Pride Feeling Year Round #160
  76. Brian, 35, ‘It’s okay to be who you want’ 
  77. Jim, 63, Reminds Us That Environmental Issues Are Queer Issues
  78. Kitteh, 27, ‘The Door Is Open But I’m Still Sitting on the Floor of the Closet’
  79. Samantha, 44, Wants Better Health Choices for the Trans Community
  80. ‘Your Story Can Heal’ Says Rain, 26
  81. Jill, 48, Has Ties to Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland Counties
  82. Caitlyn 51, Lives Her Authentic Self as a Trans Woman in Erie 
  83. Melissa, 23, is Androgymous and Queer in Butler County
  84. Delilah, 31, Finds Trans Community on Twitter
  85. Jamie, 52, Celebrates the Queer Tribe Rising
  86. Jessica, 28, is Resisting Bisexual Erasure in Pittsburgh
  87. Benjamin, 35, is a Cis Gay Man Who Came Out Four Times
  88. Chi Chi, 47, Lives Her Version of Latina, Queer and Spiritual
  89. Jay, 33, Says Stories Are Part of Queer Liberation
  90. Cheryl, 42, Wants Us To See Everyone in the LGBTQ Community
  91. Dave on Coming Out and Being Out in Cambria County
  92. Avery is a Bisexual, Latino Tran Man in Cambria County
  93. Eileen, 52, Reflects on the Awakening of Her LGBTQ Community  (142)
  94. Rach, 36, Loves a Girl in Armstrong County
  95. Kim, 40, Mother, Pansexual and Mexican-American in Washington County
  96. Kay, 27: Not Ashamed of the Reality of Me
  97. Heidi, 28, Learned That It’s Okay To Be A LGBT Christian
  98. Mel, 40: Bi, Queer and Pan Folk Don’t Always Speak in a Gay or Lesbian Voice
  99. Mitch, 52, Believes in The Power of Movies to Create Community
  100. alexis, 29, talks compensation & community for marginalized lgbtq neighbors 
  101. Camellia, 30, is a Lesbian, Soon-to-be Wife, and Momma 
  102. Staci, 52, Wants More Representation for the Bi Community
  103. Rachel, 30, Is In The Process of Coming Out as Bisexual
  104. Bill, 52, is a Gay Man Living in a Small Town in Cambria County
  105. Patricia, 41, Does Not Feel Safe as a Trans Woman in Her Urban Pgh Suburb
  106. Mariah, 38, Wants More Support for Westmoreland LGBTQ Neighbors 
  107. Norman, 67, is a Gay Black Male of African Descent
  108. Wes, 44: Queer Trans Man, Parent Wants You To Know That He Exists
  109. Lisa Believes Being Out and Honest is ‘Like Flying’
  110. Sueno, 33, Adds Her Particular Color of the Rainbow to the #AMPLIFY Narrative
  111. Maggio, 28, is Unapologetically a Bi-sexual Queer Feminist Scholar
  112. Ben, 29, is Proud to be a Queer Pittsburgher
  113. Martha, 52, is a Gay Woman Spending Her Whole Life Coming Out
  114. Naheen, 29, is a Gay Black Male Who Feels Confident in Himself 
  115. Mia Donna Has a Wild Happy Life as a Pansexual Polyamorous Person
  116. RevDrRay, 49, Believes LGBTQ Folks Deserve Strong & Powerful ‘Spiritual’ Life
  117. Sara, 28, Single Mom, Agnostic Jew, and Queer in Ohio
  118. Shain is 32, grew up in Mercer County and now lives in NYC
  119. Bobby, 50, Queer Trans Guy, White Anti-Racism Activist
  120. Diane, 56, Is Asexual With Lesbian Leanings and a Writer
  121. Pixie, 26, is Androgynous, Non-binary, Genderqueer and Lesbian, But Identifies as Pixie
  122. Tylor, 30, is a Pansexual Trans Man Who Wants Better for Young People
  123. Nayck, 50, Identifies as a Black, Gay, Domini-rican in Pittsburgh
  124. Jill, 49, Wants Young LGBTQ People To Have a Safe Place to Go In Cambria County
  125. As a Gay Man, Ryan Wants More Scrutiny of Bath Houses and Non-Profits
  126. Dani Janae, 23, Identifies as a Black Femme Lesbian Poet & Trauma Survivor
  127. Jay, 54, Considers His Gay Identity Both Now and The
  128. Ama, 30, is a Girl Who Likes Girls and Who Likes Guys
  129. Austin, 30, is a Straight Trans Man from Washington County
  130. For Jodi’s Kids, Having Two Mothers Is Just a Fact of Life
  131. Char, 62, is a “Very Late Bloomer” Lesbian in Cambria County
  132. Minion Wants to Talk About What It Means to Be a Queer Black Futch Leathergirl
  133. Kim, 44, Say She Lost Her Job in Beaver County Because She’s a Lesbian
  134. Alissa, 34, is Just Another Girl in the Crowd in Lawrence County
  135. Carina, 18, Identifies as Plus Sized Monogamous Queer and Femme 
  136. John, 38, is a Johnstown Based LGBTQ Activist **#100
  137. Corvus Regrets the Lack of a Sober, Queer, Radical and Disability Friendly Community in Pgh
  138. KK Compares Small Town Michigan to Pittsburgh
  139. De, 49, is Concerned About LGBTQ Youth in Rural Western PA
  140. Joe Was Dragged Out of the Closet As A Young Man
  141. KD is a Gay Woman Who Chooses to be On the Periphery
  142. Sabrina, 50, Found New Friends When She Came Out as Trans
  143. Lela Wants Bisexual Voices To Be Heard
  144. Kevin, 38, Talks About Jack Kerouac, Senior Housing and Gay Crushes 
  145. Jus Hadiya Wants to Spread Education 
  146. Viva Valezz is a Queer Burlesque Performer Parenting a Gender Fluid Child
  147. Alyssa is First Generation Cuban American, Trans, Gender Nonconforming and from Beaver County
  148. Heather Refuses to Marginalize Herself as a Bisexual Woman
  149. As a Lesbian, Shelly Values Her Ties to Rural Indiana County
  150. Elliot is Bi, Trans and Wishes Westmoreland County Was Talking More About Queer Youth
  151. Gloria a Happy Black Lesbian
  152. Moira Describes the Toll of Gatekeeping on the Trans Community
  153. Sara, 35, On Her Reality as a Lesbian in Western Pennsylvania 
  154. Mark, 29, Talks About Gay Stereotypes in Pittsburgh
  155. Ade is Pansexual, Androgynous and Finds Comfort in Their UU Community
  156. Dinah Denmark: Lesbian, Jewish, Buddhist
  157. Jazmine, 46, Has Advice for LGB Allies to the Trans Community
  158. Niki Talks About Living as a Gender Queer Trans Woman in Pittsburgh
  159. Cavanaugh, 25, Talks About Genderflux Identify and the Value of Self-Care
  160. Jean Came Out as Bisexual After Retirement
  161. Kathi Wants To Connect with LGBTQ Elders in Rural Communities
  162. Casey, 38, Honors One Year Since Coming Out As a Gay Woman
  163. Roman Knows to the Depths of His Soul That He Is a Man #AMPLIFY
  164. Erin Answered These Questions to Challenge Bisexual Erasure
  165. Mair, 55, Came Out the Same Week As Ellen DeGeneres #AMPLIFY
  166. Derek On Life As a Gay Man With Asperger’s Syndrome #AMPLIFY
  167. Kaley is Trans, Queer and a Fan of Gender Outlaws
  168. Shaquanna Wants Families to Have Positive Conversations With LGBTQ Relatives
  169. Raven Has Not Told Anyone That She’s Pansexual Because She’s Afraid
  170. Walter Wants Western PA to Be More Vibrant, Tolerant and Diverse
  171. Janie From Brackenridge: Being Trans Limits Many Things
  172. Cat is Queer, Genderflued and Fully Out #AMPLIFY
  173. Jeff Hopes the LGBTQ Community Will Embrace a Common Queer Identity
  174. Jesse Talks About Living as a Trans Woman in a Culture of Fear
  175. Jess is a Lesbian Mother Who Wants More Family Friendly Resources
  176. Saintly Sinner is a Cisgender Lesbi Not So Flexible Black Biological Womyn
  177. Diane Discusses Being Belligerently Out in Pittsburgh
  178. Jaime From The ReelQ Film Festival Says Yep I’m Gay
  179. Scott Describes Life as a Gay Bear in Rural Armstrong County
  180. Claudette is a Non-Binary Queer Who Wants Us To See Beyond the L and the G #AMPLIFY
  181. Taylor Wants More LGBTQ Resources and Community Unity #AMPLIFY
  182. Alexandria is a Lesbian Artist Trying To Get Her Bearings
  183. Anonymous Grieves How Pittsburgh’s Gay and Lesbian Community Treats Bisexuals
  184. Erik Is a Cis White Working-Class Queer from Clearfield County
  185. Maria Wants You To Know a Family Like Hers #AMPLIFY
  186. Lyndsey Identifies as a Queer Genderfluid Lipstuck Butch
  187. Alex is a Black Trans Man Who Doesn’t Apologize For His Existence
  188. Mario Identifies As Queer Rustbelt Genderfluid Artist #AMPLIFY
  189. PJ Identifies as a Cis White Gay Man With a Twist of Genderqueer</a
  190. Ashe Believes To Be Queer Is To Be Yourself #AMPLIFY
  191. DJ Scott Is a Gay Black Man Full of Positive Vibes #AMPLIFY
  192. Kitty Is Out and Open as a Bisexual Trans Woman in Erie County #AMPLIFY
  193. Shawna on Her Unique Experience as a Lesbian in Indiana County #AMPLIFY
  194. Miss Erie Pride 2015: Embrace Who We Are Meant To Be #AMPLIFY
  195. Daniel Wants to See More Diverse Employers in Western Pennsylvania
  196. Alex Describes Erie’s LGBTQ Community as Live and Let Live
  197. David Talks About the State of Equality in Erie
  198. For Kristina, Being Out is Her Normal
  199. Bee Asks Where Single Parents Fit Into the LGBTQ Community
  200. Jessi is a Trans Lesbian Who Asks Questions
  201. Larry Traces His Coming Out to JFK and a Frat Brother
  202. Jesse Believes in the Power of [Trans]cendence
  203. Vic Lives Closeted in Westmoreland County
  204. Kayden Wants to Be Safe Holding Her Partner’s Hand in Pittsburgh
  205. Tony Believes Everyone in the LGBTQ Community Matters
  206. Brandon Believes Pittsburgh Should Have Better Trans Health Resources
  207. Cindy Has Been Fundraising for the GLCC for 14 Years
  208. Coley Claims to Be Invisible in Plain Sight
  209. Carmen is a Queer Black Womyn From Pittsburgh
  210. Darcell Hopes Everyone Will Find Love
  211. Sivynn Acknowledges That Some People Just Don’t Pay Attention to His Transition
  212. Amber Has Always Been Proud of Being OUT
  213. Shell is Proud of the Positive Impact of Pittsburgh Black Pride
  214. Gary Has Lived in Northwest and Southwest PA As An Openly Gay Man
  215. Patrouious Describes His Fears & Frustrations as a Trans Man in McKean County #AMPLIFY
  216. John is a Geeky, White, Cisgender, Queer, Pagan, Proletariat Hippie #AMPLIFY
  217. Skip Believes The Act of Coming Out Is a Continuous Process
  218. Sam Prefers the Ambiguity of Queer Identity to a Specific Label
  219. Jan Offers an Older Perspective on LGBTQ Pittsburgh
  220. Meg Is a Country Queer
  221. CJ Describes Living Stealth As A Trans Man
  222. Bob Is the First Openly Gay Elected Official In Northwestern PA
  223. Paula Speaks Out About Bi-Erasure and Bisexual Exclusion
  224. Joy KMT Values Intersectional Healing Spaces
  225. Katie-Anne Speaks As Two Spirited Bi Gendered Resident of Johnstown
  226. Twist Shares Their Life as Neuroqueer
  227. kelly emphasizes that ‘gay is not the totality of me’
  228. Gina Shares Her Truth With Those Who Deserve To Know
  229. Donna Met a Female Impersonator Who Made a Lasting Impression
  230. Joyce Believes Tolerance Is Not Acceptance
  231. Mike Talks About the Privileges of Living in Erie as a Gay Man
  232. Rashod Is An Unapologetic Trans Man of Color
  233. Tara Wants Us To Talk About Intersectionality
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