If you are looking for the AMPLIFY Q&A to contribute your own story,

click here to go to our online form!

Every story raises the visibility of LGBTQ experiences in Western PA. 

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 2015-2020. 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. Madi Scull, 20, Identifies as a Nonbinary, Asexual Lesbian 
  2. Lange, 41, is a Queer Single-Parent in Pittsburgh 
  3. Hansen, 20, is an Unapologetic Queer Filmmaker 
  4. Kyle, 22, is a Bisexual, Vegetarian from Crawford County
  5. Jess, 22, is a Poly, Bisexual Woman in Pittsburgh
  6. Madison, 40, is a Pansexual, Trans Woman Who Loves Pittsburgh
  7. Rae, 48, is a Pansexual Trans Woman Living in Allegheny County
  8. Mahogany LaPiranHa, 38, is a 6‘4“ androgynous African-American badass 
  9. Rain, 42, is a Gay Woman in Pittsburgh
  10. He’s a cisgender polyamorous bisexual guy, but nobody asks
  11. Joseph, 28, is a HIV+ queer and gay man in Pittsburgh
  12. Winter, 18, Identifies as a Genderquestioning Bisexual Person
  13. Dezmanian, 28, is a Black Man Who Happens to be Gay 
  14. Dakota, 27, Wants You to Support Queer Activists & Queer Art 
  15. Lissa, 28, Identifies as Genderfluid, Grey Ace, and Poly
  16. Kool Kase, 32, is a Black Lesbian at Peace With Herself
  17. Sam, 28, is a Genderqueer Artist in Pittsburgh 
  18. Jennifer is 40, Bisexual, and a Fan of Sara Lance 
  19. Reece, 31, Grew up in Southern Virginia, but Found LGBTQ Connections in Pittsburgh
  20. Tara, 24, is a Femme, Queer Human 
  21. Michael, 50, is a Gay Man Who Lives Without Shame 
  22. Dan, 36, is a Bisexual Man in Pittsburgh Who Wants to Build a Better World 
  23. Ben, 30, Wants All Gay White Men to Learn To Take a Step Back 
  24. Rachel, 24, Asks Where Are Our Out, Queer Women Role Models in Pittsburgh? 
  25. Laura, 42, is a Bisexual Mom in Pittsburgh 
  26. Brad, 33, is a Gay, Black Man Who Does Charity Work as a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence 
  27. Tracey, 58, is a Queer Mother Parenting Nonbinary Children 
  28. Bebe Beretta, 27, is Nonbinary, Genderfluid, and Wants More LGBTQ Folks to Connect
  29. Dave, 33, Identifies as a Queer, recovering Gay White Man 
  30. Helen, 51, Came Out as Bisexual in the Army National Guard
  31. Meg, 28, is Nonbinary, Genderqueer, Polyamorous, and Pansexual
  32. Keith, 48, is a Gay, White Man Using Marriage Equality for Teachable Moments in North Carolina 
  33. Hilary, 44, Works Hard to Boost Pansexual Identity in Erie County
  34. Lisa, 47, is a Bi Woman Trying to Find Community in Pittsburgh
  35. Amy, 46, is Bi in Pittsburgh, But Not Really Out
  36. Alexia, 40, is Bisexual, Transgender, and Loves Pittsburgh
  37. Jez, 50, Came Out As Trans in 1985 in Rural Washington County
  38. Morgan, 31, is a Black, Bisexual, Queer, Polyamorous Woman & Mother
  39. Kelsey, 22, Talks Lesbian Life in Elk County 
  40. Tristan, 28, is Gay, Mexican-American, a Comedian and Writer and Drag Queen 
  41. Pastor Reed, 48, Puts a Face and Name to Being a Gay Christian
  42. Carmen is 42, Bisexual, and Resonates With Genderfluid Identity
  43. Jamaica, 41, is Bisexual and Wants the Pgh Queer Community to Have a Voice
  44. Luna, 25, is a Poly, Gender fluid, Queer Performance Artist 
  45. Bobbi Jo, 63, is a Transgender Lesbian in Indiana County
  46. Roxxie Thunder, 27, is a Glittery Pansexual Femme from Beaver County 
  47. Maya, 20, Identifies as a Black Queer Fat Femme Woman 
  48. Mindy, 42, Lives Semi-Open as Trans in Rural Elk County
  49. Katie, 25, Identifies as Puerto Rican, White, Cis-Female and Lesbian
  50. Dylan, 28, is a Queer, Autistic Transgender Man
  51. Angie, 32: Out, Loud, and Proud Black Pansexual Mom
  52. Krista, 28, Lives in Washington, PA as a Pansexual Woman
  53. August, 46, Feels Separate as a Black Gay Man 
  54. Tanha, 36, is a Queer, Bisexual Woman in Erie 
  55. Joel, 35, is Gay, a Trans Guy, Polyamorous, Christian, Parent, & Husband 
  56. Chrissy, 40, Wants LGBTQ Folks to Educate One Another With a Sense of Humor 
  57. Lora, 33, Talks About Coming Out, Family Support, & LGBTQ Narratives
  58. Selene, 60, is genderfluid, pansexual, femme-presenting, neuroqueer and more
  59. Scott, 53, is a Gay Man Exploring Transition & Identity Anew 
  60. Marcia, 58, is Cisgender, Lesbian & Slightly Gender Nonconforming
  61. Seth, 21, Came Out as Bi and Trans Via Power Point 
  62. Krissy, 34, Talks About Step Parenting as a Bisexual Woman 
  63. Rev Leonard, 37, is a Black same-gender loving freedom fighter – #200
  64. Wendi, 31, Describes Being a Trans Ally in Her Workplace
  65. Chica Discusses Her Bisexuality to Show Solidarity 
  66. Brandon, 23, Identifies as a Pansexual Genderqueer Male
  67. Angela is a Queer Mother & Intersectional Feminist
  68. Tyler, 18, is a Pansexual Trans Man in Erie
  69. Chris, 40, is an Aspie Queer Girl With Some Kinks
  70. Bi and Demi, Kristen Wants You to Get Uncomfortable With Your Privilege 
  71. Caiolin, 56, is Just Another Woman Who Happens To Be Trans
  72. Regina, 33, Finds Comfort in Lesbian Ambiguity
  73. Megan, 22, is a Bisexual Woman Using Her Voice To Grow Her Community
  74. Ally, 20, Describes Her Fluid Sexual Orientation 
  75. Maddy, 23, is Queer and Gender Nonconforming in Allegheny County 
  76. Jason, 42, aka Miss Thea Trix Spreads a Positive Vibe in the Mon Valley
  77. Jesse, 28, Helps To Build New LGBTQ Community Supports in Mercer County 
  78. Sean, 29, Wants to Change the LGBT Climate in Western Pennsylvania 
  79. Emily, 40, Talks About LGBTQ Visibility, Intersectionality & Resiliency 
  80. James, 54, Is a Gay Pittsburgh Dad Living in Texas
  81. Kyle Discusses Privilege & Perception of Gay, White, Cisgender Men
  82. Shari, 57, Wants More Inclusivity & Power for QTPOC
  83. Leo, 42, is a Bi Man in Erie County Who Wants to be Heard
  84. Laura, 44, is a Lesbian Mom in Fayette County 
  85. Dawn, 33, Describes Life as a Trans Woman in Westmoreland County 
  86. Emma, 28, Keeps Her Queer Eyes Open in Pittsburgh
  87. Ravenna, 37, Pansexual Trans Woman Living in the Allegheny County Suburbs 
  88. Vanessa, 31, Describes Her Transition & Life as Pansexual in Washington County
  89. Tara, 29, Describes Life in the Shenango Valley as a Bisexual Woman  ** #175
  90. Lav, 29, a Queer Trans Gender Non Binary Mermaid Witch Warrior 
  91. Vi, 24, Is Very Concerned About Trans Health Issues in Pittsburgh 
  92. Mitch, 27, Describes Life in Butler County as a Gay Man
  93. Kierra Darshell is Pittsburgh’s First Lady of Drag
  94. Alexa, 22, Talks About Acceptance as a Bisexual Woman
  95. Ira, 30, Identifies as Pansexual, Genderqueer and Possibly Agender 
  96. Lavi, 29, is Trans Queer Bi and Wants Your Respect & Support
  97. Ciora, 27, Says Trans People Have the Strength of Two Souls
  98. Anonymous, 30, Wants More Visibility for the Pansexual Community 
  99. Janet, 66, is Bisexual, Cisgender and Gender Nonconforming
  100. Dominic, 18, Is a Bisexual Man Finding His Comfort Zone in College 
  101. Dean Sees Queer Struggles as Stories of Strength
  102. Brian, 29, Wants the LGBTQ Community to Address Social Isolation
  103. Morgan, 21, Hasn’t Met Other Openly Gay Suburban Couples 
  104. Hayley, 46, Wants To Keep That Pride Feeling Year Round #160
  105. Brian, 35, ‘It’s okay to be who you want’ 
  106. Jim, 63, Reminds Us That Environmental Issues Are Queer Issues
  107. Kitteh, 27, ‘The Door Is Open But I’m Still Sitting on the Floor of the Closet’
  108. Samantha, 44, Wants Better Health Choices for the Trans Community
  109. ‘Your Story Can Heal’ Says Rain, 26
  110. Jill, 48, Has Ties to Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland Counties
  111. Caitlyn 51, Lives Her Authentic Self as a Trans Woman in Erie 
  112. Melissa, 23, is Androgymous and Queer in Butler County
  113. Delilah, 31, Finds Trans Community on Twitter
  114. Jamie, 52, Celebrates the Queer Tribe Rising
  115. Jessica, 28, is Resisting Bisexual Erasure in Pittsburgh
  116. Benjamin, 35, is a Cis Gay Man Who Came Out Four Times
  117. Chi Chi, 47, Lives Her Version of Latina, Queer and Spiritual
  118. Jay, 33, Says Stories Are Part of Queer Liberation
  119. Cheryl, 42, Wants Us To See Everyone in the LGBTQ Community
  120. Dave on Coming Out and Being Out in Cambria County
  121. Avery is a Bisexual, Latino Tran Man in Cambria County
  122. Eileen, 52, Reflects on the Awakening of Her LGBTQ Community  (142)
  123. Rach, 36, Loves a Girl in Armstrong County
  124. Kim, 40, Mother, Pansexual and Mexican-American in Washington County
  125. Kay, 27: Not Ashamed of the Reality of Me
  126. Heidi, 28, Learned That It’s Okay To Be A LGBT Christian
  127. Mel, 40: Bi, Queer and Pan Folk Don’t Always Speak in a Gay or Lesbian Voice
  128. Mitch, 52, Believes in The Power of Movies to Create Community
  129. alexis, 29, talks compensation & community for marginalized lgbtq neighbors 
  130. Camellia, 30, is a Lesbian, Soon-to-be Wife, and Momma 
  131. Staci, 52, Wants More Representation for the Bi Community
  132. Rachel, 30, Is In The Process of Coming Out as Bisexual
  133. Bill, 52, is a Gay Man Living in a Small Town in Cambria County
  134. Patricia, 41, Does Not Feel Safe as a Trans Woman in Her Urban Pgh Suburb
  135. Mariah, 38, Wants More Support for Westmoreland LGBTQ Neighbors 
  136. Norman, 67, is a Gay Black Male of African Descent
  137. Wes, 44: Queer Trans Man, Parent Wants You To Know That He Exists
  138. Lisa Believes Being Out and Honest is ‘Like Flying’
  139. Sueno, 33, Adds Her Particular Color of the Rainbow to the #AMPLIFY Narrative
  140. Maggio, 28, is Unapologetically a Bi-sexual Queer Feminist Scholar
  141. Ben, 29, is Proud to be a Queer Pittsburgher
  142. Martha, 52, is a Gay Woman Spending Her Whole Life Coming Out
  143. Naheen, 29, is a Gay Black Male Who Feels Confident in Himself 
  144. Mia Donna Has a Wild Happy Life as a Pansexual Polyamorous Person
  145. RevDrRay, 49, Believes LGBTQ Folks Deserve Strong & Powerful ‘Spiritual’ Life
  146. Sara, 28, Single Mom, Agnostic Jew, and Queer in Ohio
  147. Shain is 32, grew up in Mercer County and now lives in NYC
  148. Bobby, 50, Queer Trans Guy, White Anti-Racism Activist
  149. Diane, 56, Is Asexual With Lesbian Leanings and a Writer
  150. Pixie, 26, is Androgynous, Non-binary, Genderqueer and Lesbian, But Identifies as Pixie
  151. Tylor, 30, is a Pansexual Trans Man Who Wants Better for Young People
  152. Nayck, 50, Identifies as a Black, Gay, Domini-rican in Pittsburgh
  153. Jill, 49, Wants Young LGBTQ People To Have a Safe Place to Go In Cambria County
  154. As a Gay Man, Ryan Wants More Scrutiny of Bath Houses and Non-Profits
  155. Dani Janae, 23, Identifies as a Black Femme Lesbian Poet & Trauma Survivor
  156. Jay, 54, Considers His Gay Identity Both Now and The
  157. Ama, 30, is a Girl Who Likes Girls and Who Likes Guys
  158. Austin, 30, is a Straight Trans Man from Washington County
  159. For Jodi’s Kids, Having Two Mothers Is Just a Fact of Life
  160. Char, 62, is a “Very Late Bloomer” Lesbian in Cambria County
  161. Minion Wants to Talk About What It Means to Be a Queer Black Futch Leathergirl
  162. Kim, 44, Say She Lost Her Job in Beaver County Because She’s a Lesbian
  163. Alissa, 34, is Just Another Girl in the Crowd in Lawrence County
  164. Carina, 18, Identifies as Plus Sized Monogamous Queer and Femme 
  165. John, 38, is a Johnstown Based LGBTQ Activist **#100
  166. Corvus Regrets the Lack of a Sober, Queer, Radical and Disability Friendly Community in Pgh
  167. KK Compares Small Town Michigan to Pittsburgh
  168. De, 49, is Concerned About LGBTQ Youth in Rural Western PA
  169. Joe Was Dragged Out of the Closet As A Young Man
  170. KD is a Gay Woman Who Chooses to be On the Periphery
  171. Sabrina, 50, Found New Friends When She Came Out as Trans
  172. Lela Wants Bisexual Voices To Be Heard
  173. Kevin, 38, Talks About Jack Kerouac, Senior Housing and Gay Crushes 
  174. Jus Hadiya Wants to Spread Education 
  175. Viva Valezz is a Queer Burlesque Performer Parenting a Gender Fluid Child
  176. Alyssa is First Generation Cuban American, Trans, Gender Nonconforming and from Beaver County
  177. Heather Refuses to Marginalize Herself as a Bisexual Woman
  178. As a Lesbian, Shelly Values Her Ties to Rural Indiana County
  179. Elliot is Bi, Trans and Wishes Westmoreland County Was Talking More About Queer Youth
  180. Gloria a Happy Black Lesbian
  181. Moira Describes the Toll of Gatekeeping on the Trans Community
  182. Sara, 35, On Her Reality as a Lesbian in Western Pennsylvania 
  183. Mark, 29, Talks About Gay Stereotypes in Pittsburgh
  184. Ade is Pansexual, Androgynous and Finds Comfort in Their UU Community
  185. Dinah Denmark: Lesbian, Jewish, Buddhist
  186. Jazmine, 46, Has Advice for LGB Allies to the Trans Community
  187. Niki Talks About Living as a Gender Queer Trans Woman in Pittsburgh
  188. Cavanaugh, 25, Talks About Genderflux Identify and the Value of Self-Care
  189. Jean Came Out as Bisexual After Retirement
  190. Kathi Wants To Connect with LGBTQ Elders in Rural Communities
  191. Casey, 38, Honors One Year Since Coming Out As a Gay Woman
  192. Roman Knows to the Depths of His Soul That He Is a Man #AMPLIFY
  193. Erin Answered These Questions to Challenge Bisexual Erasure
  194. Mair, 55, Came Out the Same Week As Ellen DeGeneres #AMPLIFY
  195. Derek On Life As a Gay Man With Asperger’s Syndrome #AMPLIFY
  196. Kaley is Trans, Queer and a Fan of Gender Outlaws
  197. Shaquanna Wants Families to Have Positive Conversations With LGBTQ Relatives
  198. Raven Has Not Told Anyone That She’s Pansexual Because She’s Afraid
  199. Walter Wants Western PA to Be More Vibrant, Tolerant and Diverse
  200. Janie From Brackenridge: Being Trans Limits Many Things
  201. Cat is Queer, Genderflued and Fully Out #AMPLIFY
  202. Jeff Hopes the LGBTQ Community Will Embrace a Common Queer Identity
  203. Jesse Talks About Living as a Trans Woman in a Culture of Fear
  204. Jess is a Lesbian Mother Who Wants More Family Friendly Resources
  205. Saintly Sinner is a Cisgender Lesbi Not So Flexible Black Biological Womyn
  206. Diane Discusses Being Belligerently Out in Pittsburgh
  207. Jaime From The ReelQ Film Festival Says Yep I’m Gay
  208. Scott Describes Life as a Gay Bear in Rural Armstrong County
  209. Claudette is a Non-Binary Queer Who Wants Us To See Beyond the L and the G #AMPLIFY
  210. Taylor Wants More LGBTQ Resources and Community Unity
  211. Alexandria is a Lesbian Artist Trying To Get Her Bearings
  212. Anonymous Grieves How Pittsburgh’s Gay and Lesbian Community Treats Bisexuals
  213. Erik Is a Cis White Working-Class Queer from Clearfield County
  214. Maria Wants You To Know a Family Like Hers #AMPLIFY
  215. Lyndsey Identifies as a Queer Genderfluid Lipstuck Butch
  216. Alex is a Black Trans Man Who Doesn’t Apologize For His Existence
  217. Mario Identifies As Queer Rustbelt Genderfluid Artist #AMPLIFY
  218. PJ Identifies as a Cis White Gay Man With a Twist of Genderqueer</a
  219. Ashe Believes To Be Queer Is To Be Yourself #AMPLIFY
  220. DJ Scott Is a Gay Black Man Full of Positive Vibes #AMPLIFY
  221. Kitty Is Out and Open as a Bisexual Trans Woman in Erie County #AMPLIFY
  222. Shawna on Her Unique Experience as a Lesbian in Indiana County #AMPLIFY
  223. Miss Erie Pride 2015: Embrace Who We Are Meant To Be #AMPLIFY
  224. Daniel Wants to See More Diverse Employers in Western Pennsylvania
  225. Alex Describes Erie’s LGBTQ Community as Live and Let Live
  226. David Talks About the State of Equality in Erie
  227. For Kristina, Being Out is Her Normal
  228. Bee Asks Where Single Parents Fit Into the LGBTQ Community
  229. Jessi is a Trans Lesbian Who Asks Questions
  230. Larry Traces His Coming Out to JFK and a Frat Brother
  231. Jesse Believes in the Power of [Trans]cendence
  232. Vic Lives Closeted in Westmoreland County
  233. Kayden Wants to Be Safe Holding Her Partner’s Hand in Pittsburgh
  234. Tony Believes Everyone in the LGBTQ Community Matters
  235. Brandon Believes Pittsburgh Should Have Better Trans Health Resources
  236. Cindy Has Been Fundraising for the GLCC for 14 Years
  237. Coley Claims to Be Invisible in Plain Sight
  238. Carmen is a Queer Black Womyn From Pittsburgh
  239. Darcell Hopes Everyone Will Find Love
  240. Sivynn Acknowledges That Some People Just Don’t Pay Attention to His Transition
  241. Amber Has Always Been Proud of Being OUT
  242. Shell is Proud of the Positive Impact of Pittsburgh Black Pride
  243. Gary Has Lived in Northwest and Southwest PA As An Openly Gay Man
  244. Patrouious Describes His Fears & Frustrations as a Trans Man in McKean County #AMPLIFY
  245. John is a Geeky, White, Cisgender, Queer, Pagan, Proletariat Hippie #AMPLIFY
  246. Skip Believes The Act of Coming Out Is a Continuous Process
  247. Sam Prefers the Ambiguity of Queer Identity to a Specific Label
  248. Jan Offers an Older Perspective on LGBTQ Pittsburgh
  249. Meg Is a Country Queer
  250. CJ Describes Living Stealth As A Trans Man
  251. Bob Is the First Openly Gay Elected Official In Northwestern PA
  252. Paula Speaks Out About Bi-Erasure and Bisexual Exclusion
  253. Joy KMT Values Intersectional Healing Spaces
  254. Katie-Anne Speaks As Two Spirited Bi Gendered Resident of Johnstown
  255. Twist Shares Their Life as Neuroqueer
  256. kelly emphasizes that ‘gay is not the totality of me’
  257. Gina Shares Her Truth With Those Who Deserve To Know
  258. Donna Met a Female Impersonator Who Made a Lasting Impression
  259. Joyce Believes Tolerance Is Not Acceptance
  260. Mike Talks About the Privileges of Living in Erie as a Gay Man
  261. Rashod Is An Unapologetic Trans Man of Color
  262. Tara Wants Us To Talk About Intersectionality

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