PA State Human Relations Commission Expands Discrimination Classes to Include Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

Pennsylvania discrimination

This is a pretty significant move, but please note that this is NOT the same thing as the General Assembly passing legislation. Like the other two statewide rights (marriage equality and second parent adoption) for LGBTQ people, this has not come from our elected officials in the General Assembly. The Commission issued a guidance that […]

Back to School Q&A with Trans Activist Daniel, 16, of Lakeview School District

We’ve blogged earlier in the year about the decision of Lakeview School District in Mercer County to expand their nondiscrimination policies to explicitly address needs of transgender students. This was a rule change to better comply with existing policy, not a new policy altogether. When the School Board met in May, one student – Daniel […]

The Grand Jury Report on Sexual Abuse in Pennsylvania Catholic Dioceses: First Thoughts

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office released a redacted version of the Grand Jury Report on a two-year investigation into six Roman Catholic Dioceses in Pennsylvania investigating wide-spread sexual abuse of children and the institutional cover-up by the dioceses and the Vatican. I’ve discussed my history with Catholicism many times on this blog, […]

Local LGBTQ Links We Are Reading – August 10, 2018

This is an occasional feature we run, curating news links related to the LGBTQ community and the Pittsburgh region. One of the ugliest examples of local white hate and bigotry I’ve found in the Letters to the Editor section in a long time was published on July 14 via the TribLive. Kathleen Bollinger of Fawn […]

Programming Note: We are at a conference!

Pgh Lesbian Correspondents

There will be no #AMPLIFY posts this week because Laura and I are in New Orleans for the Netroots Nation 2018 Conference. We arrived a day early to enjoy some sightseeing and will be immersed in progressive goodness until Saturday. Our petsitter is billeted with the critters at home, sending us regular updates and photos. […]

My InGear Backpack is Now 20 Years Old and Going Strong ( Sort of)

It was August 1998 and I was starting the MSW program at the University of Pittsburgh, with a concentration in Community Organizing. I had been out of school for 3 or 4 years, but as a commuter in a graduate program I was pretty sure that I needed a sturdy backpack. I think I bought […]

Further Adventures in Being Cat Ladies: Part Deux

When we last visited with our dynamic feline duo, Maylee and Mamma Mia, they had recently been reunited in our second bedroom after a seven week separation. Reunification went a little more quickly than we planned when Mamma Mia escaped our crate, dashed about the room, and landed under the red chair where Maylee had […]

Diamond Stephens, 39, is the 16th Trans Person Reported Murdered in 2018

Diamond Stephens Transgender

Diamond Stephens was 39 years old when she was shot in the back of the head while driving in Meridian, Mississippi. That was on June 18, 2018. Misgendering and deadnaming kept the community unaware of her death until friends and family set the record straight, a month later. Monica Roberts at TransGriot corrected the original […]

A Trans Woman Was Sexually Assaulted in Allegheny County Jail

Transgender Woman Allegheny County Jail

CN: sexual assault, institutional violence A trans woman incarcerated at the Allegheny County Jail reported that she had been sexually assaulted by her cellmate. He is now facing sexual assault charges after reportedly admitting the crime to ACJ officials. On Saturday morning, Amie Downs, communications director for Allegheny County Chief Executive’s office confirmed for me […]

Sasha Garden, 27, is the 15th Trans Person Murdered in the US During 2018

Horrifying news out of Orange County, Florida where 27-year-old Sasha Garden is the 4th trans woman of color to be violently murdered in Florida this year. Sasha is also the 15th trans person in the United States known to die a violent death in 2018. Sasha was originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She had relocated to […]