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.


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)


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.)


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