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

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 2015-2017. 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.

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)

 “This project has been the most proactive in the area to include several ‘invisible’ and / or marginalized folks. You have given a platform for voices not often given any consideration, and that is amazing.” ~ Paula Brewer, co-founder of eBIcenter PittsburghAMPLIFY

 

 

 

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.)

The 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.
  • 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 or contact me pghlesbian at gmail. Note – the online Q&A uses a google form so you cannot save your answers (without a lengthy convoluted hack explanation.)
  • I will send you a printed version of the Q&A if you would prefer to fill it out by hand.
  • 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

Chi Chi, 47, Lives Her Version of Latina, Queer and Spiritual

Jay, 33, Says Stories Are Part of Queer Liberation

Cheryl, 42, Wants Us To See Everyone in the LGBTQ Community

Dave on Coming Out and Being Out in Cambria County

Avery is a Bisexual, Latino Tran Man in Cambria County

Eileen, 52, Reflects on the Awakening of Her LGBTQ Community  (142)

Rach, 36, Loves a Girl in Armstrong County

Kim, 40, Mother, Pansexual and Mexican-American in Washington County

Kay, 27: Not Ashamed of the Reality of Me

Heidi, 28, Learned That It’s Okay To Be A LGBT Christian

Mel, 40: Bi, Queer and Pan Folk Don’t Always Speak in a Gay or Lesbian Voice

Mitch, 52, Believes in The Power of Movies to Create Community

alexis, 29, talks compensation & community for marginalized lgbtq neighbors 

Camellia, 30, is a Lesbian, Soon-to-be Wife, and Momma 

Staci, 52, Wants More Representation for the Bi Community

Rachel, 30, Is In The Process of Coming Out as Bisexual

Bill, 52, is a Gay Man Living in a Small Town in Cambria County

Patricia, 41, Does Not Feel Safe as a Trans Woman in Her Urban Pgh Suburb

Mariah, 38, Wants More Support for Westmoreland LGBTQ Neighbors 

Norman, 67, is a Gay Black Male of African Descent

Wes, 44: Queer Trans Man, Parent Wants You To Know That He Exists

Lisa Believes Being Out and Honest is ‘Like Flying’

Sueno, 33, Adds Her Particular Color of the Rainbow to the #AMPLIFY Narrative

Maggio, 28, is Unapologetically a Bi-sexual Queer Feminist Scholar

Ben, 29, is Proud to be a Queer Pittsburgher

Martha, 52, is a Gay Woman Spending Her Whole Life Coming Out

Naheen, 29, is a Gay Black Male Who Feels Confident in Himself 

Mia Donna Has a Wild Happy Life as a Pansexual Polyamorous Person

RevDrRay, 49, Believes LGBTQ Folks Deserve Strong & Powerful ‘Spiritual’ Life

Sara, 28, Single Mom, Agnostic Jew, and Queer in Ohio

Shain is 32, grew up in Mercer County and now lives in NYC

Bobby, 50, Queer Trans Guy, White Anti-Racism Activist

Diane, 56, Is Asexual With Lesbian Leanings and a Writer

Pixie, 26, is Androgynous, Non-binary, Genderqueer and Lesbian, But Identifies as Pixie

Tylor, 30, is a Pansexual Trans Man Who Wants Better for Young People

Nayck, 50, Identifies as a Black, Gay, Domini-rican in Pittsburgh

Jill, 49, Wants Young LGBTQ People To Have a Safe Place to Go In Cambria County

As a Gay Man, Ryan Wants More Scrutiny of Bath Houses and Non-Profits

Dani Janae, 23, Identifies as a Black Femme Lesbian Poet & Trauma Survivor

Jay, 54, Considers His Gay Identity Both Now and The

Ama, 30, is a Girl Who Likes Girls and Who Likes Guys

Austin, 30, is a Straight Trans Man from Washington County

For Jodi’s Kids, Having Two Mothers Is Just a Fact of Life

Char, 62, is a “Very Late Bloomer” Lesbian in Cambria County

Minion Wants to Talk About What It Means to Be a Queer Black Futch Leathergirl

Kim, 44, Say She Lost Her Job in Beaver County Because She’s a Lesbian

Alissa, 34, is Just Another Girl in the Crowd in Lawrence County

Carina, 18, Identifies as Plus Sized Monogamous Queer and Femme 

John, 38, is a Johnstown Based LGBTQ Activist **#100

Corvus Regrets the Lack of a Sober, Queer, Radical and Disability Friendly Community in Pgh

KK Compares Small Town Michigan to Pittsburgh

De, 49, is Concerned About LGBTQ Youth in Rural Western PA

Joe Was Dragged Out of the Closet As A Young Man

KD is a Gay Woman Who Chooses to be On the Periphery

Sabrina, 50, Found New Friends When She Came Out as Trans

Lela Wants Bisexual Voices To Be Heard

Kevin, 38, Talks About Jack Kerouac, Senior Housing and Gay Crushes 

Jus Hadiya Wants to Spread Education 

Viva Valezz is a Queer Burlesque Performer Parenting a Gender Fluid Child

Alyssa is First Generation Cuban American, Trans, Gender Nonconforming and from Beaver County

Heather Refuses to Marginalize Herself as a Bisexual Woman

As a Lesbian, Shelly Values Her Ties to Rural Indiana County

Elliot is Bi, Trans and Wishes Westmoreland County Was Talking More About Queer Youth

Gloria a Happy Black Lesbian

Moira Describes the Toll of Gatekeeping on the Trans Community

Sara, 35, On Her Reality as a Lesbian in Western Pennsylvania 

Mark, 29, Talks About Gay Stereotypes in Pittsburgh

Ade is Pansexual, Androgynous and Finds Comfort in Their UU Community

Dinah Denmark: Lesbian, Jewish, Buddhist

Jazmine, 46, Has Advice for LGB Allies to the Trans Community

Niki Talks About Living as a Gender Queer Trans Woman in Pittsburgh

Cavanaugh, 25, Talks About Genderflux Identify and the Value of Self-Care

Jean Came Out as Bisexual After Retirement

Kathi Wants To Connect with LGBTQ Elders in Rural Communities

Casey, 38, Honors One Year Since Coming Out As a Gay Woman

Roman Knows to the Depths of His Soul That He Is a Man #AMPLIFY

Erin Answered These Questions to Challenge Bisexual Erasure

Mair, 55, Came Out the Same Week As Ellen DeGeneres #AMPLIFY

Derek On Life As a Gay Man With Asperger’s Syndrome #AMPLIFY

Kaley is Trans, Queer and a Fan of Gender Outlaws

Shaquanna Wants Families to Have Positive Conversations With LGBTQ Relatives

Raven Has Not Told Anyone That She’s Pansexual Because She’s Afraid

Walter Wants Western PA to Be More Vibrant, Tolerant and Diverse

Janie From Brackenridge: Being Trans Limits Many Things

Cat is Queer, Genderflued and Fully Out #AMPLIFY

Jeff Hopes the LGBTQ Community Will Embrace a Common Queer Identity

Jesse Talks About Living as a Trans Woman in a Culture of Fear

Jess is a Lesbian Mother Who Wants More Family Friendly Resources

Saintly Sinner is a Cisgender Lesbi Not So Flexible Black Biological Womyn

Diane Discusses Being Belligerently Out in Pittsburgh

Jaime From The ReelQ Film Festival Says Yep I’m Gay

Scott Describes Life as a Gay Bear in Rural Armstrong County

Claudette is a Non-Binary Queer Who Wants Us To See Beyond the L and the G #AMPLIFY

Taylor Wants More LGBTQ Resources and Community Unity #AMPLIFY

Alexandria is a Lesbian Artist Trying To Get Her Bearings

Anonymous Grieves How Pittsburgh’s Gay and Lesbian Community Treats Bisexuals

Erik Is a Cis White Working-Class Queer from Clearfield County

Maria Wants You To Know a Family Like Hers #AMPLIFY

Lyndsey Identifies as a Queer Genderfluid Lipstuck Butch

Alex is a Black Trans Man Who Doesn’t Apologize For His Existence

Mario Identifies As Queer Rustbelt Genderfluid Artist #AMPLIFY

PJ Identifies as a Cis White Gay Man With a Twist of Genderqueer

Ashe Believes To Be Queer Is To Be Yourself #AMPLIFY

DJ Scott Is a Gay Black Man Full of Positive Vibes #AMPLIFY

Kitty Is Out and Open as a Bisexual Trans Woman in Erie County #AMPLIFY

Shawna on Her Unique Experience as a Lesbian in Indiana County #AMPLIFY

Miss Erie Pride 2015: Embrace Who We Are Meant To Be #AMPLIFY

Daniel Wants to See More Diverse Employers in Western Pennsylvania

 Alex Describes Erie’s LGBTQ Community as Live and Let Live

 David Talks About the State of Equality in Erie

For Kristina, Being Out is Her Normal

Bee Asks Where Single Parents Fit Into the LGBTQ Community

Jessi is a Trans Lesbian Who Asks Questions

Larry Traces His Coming Out to JFK and a Frat Brother

Jesse Believes in the Power of [Trans]cendence

Vic Lives Closeted in Westmoreland County

Kayden Wants to Be Safe Holding Her Partner’s Hand in Pittsburgh

Tony Believes Everyone in the LGBTQ Community Matters

Brandon Believes Pittsburgh Should Have Better Trans Health Resources

Cindy Has Been Fundraising for the GLCC for 14 Years

Coley Claims to Be Invisible in Plain Sight

Carmen is a Queer Black Womyn From Pittsburgh

Darcell Hopes Everyone Will Find Love

Sivynn Acknowledges That Some People Just Don’t Pay Attention to His Transition

Amber Has Always Been Proud of Being OUT

Shell is Proud of the Positive Impact of Pittsburgh Black Pride

Gary Has Lived in Northwest and Southwest PA As An Openly Gay Man

Patrouious Describes His Fears & Frustrations as a Trans Man in McKean County #AMPLIFY

John is a Geeky, White, Cisgender, Queer, Pagan, Proletariat Hippie #AMPLIFY

Skip Believes The Act of Coming Out Is a Continuous Process

Sam Prefers the Ambiguity of Queer Identity to a Specific Label

Jan Offers an Older Perspective on LGBTQ Pittsburgh

Meg Is a Country Queer

CJ Describes Living Stealth As A Trans Man

Bob Is the First Openly Gay Elected Official In Northwestern PA

Paula Speaks Out About Bi-Erasure and Bisexual Exclusion

Joy KMT Values Intersectional Healing Spaces

Katie-Anne Speaks As Two Spirited Bi Gendered Resident of Johnstown

Twist Shares Their Life as Neuroqueer

kelly emphasizes that ‘gay is not the totality of me’

Gina Shares Her Truth With Those Who Deserve To Know

Donna Met a Female Impersonator Who Made a Lasting Impression

Joyce Believes Tolerance Is Not Acceptance

Mike Talks About the Privileges of Living in Erie as a Gay Man

Rashod Is An Unapologetic Trans Man of Color

Tara Wants Us To Talk About Intersectionality