Ravenna, 37, Pansexual Trans Woman Living in the Allegheny County Suburbs #AMPLIFY

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Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I came out at 26 years old. It was tough. I was on the verge of suicide and I had a 2-year-old son depending on my existence.

I dropped a bomb on my life. On relationships. It was the only way. I had no friends. Nowhere to really start. I just got myself out into the queer community. My personality aided greatly in forming my initial friendship and support base. Those early days were very lonely though.

How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? Been living openly as a pansexual trans woman for 10 years. I’ve gone through all of the legalities and am quite open in my personal life. I do like to maintain my anonymity in my daily life. I still work where I did through my transition. Work was tough but I fought and survived the experience.

Vanessa, 31, Describes Her Transition & Life as Pansexual in Washington County #AMPLIFY

Trans Pansexual Washington County

How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I carry myself allot better that i ever have before, my confidence is much greater and have gained a better sense of living. Being happy that I’m now who i am and not pretending to be someone i never was has lifted a great deal of weight off of my shoulders and has given me hope and something to look forward to.

Lav, 29, a Queer Trans Gender Non Binary Mermaid Witch Warrior #AMPLIFY

trans queer Allegheny County

Being trans is hard for me because while I feel very much male I also feel like a woman. I also feel like neither. At times I want to transition and other times I am completely happy being in this body. At this point I have accepted that my gender fluctuates and i have stopped doubting myself but it can be hard to be visible. Sometimes I have guilt for feeling safe in my female body. Sometimes I resent not being able to be seen as the person I am unless people really get to know me. I think I still have some growing to do in terms of my gender identity. I’m not really sure but I think that trans people who have paved the path for me to feel these feelings and know I can be supported is incredible and brave and revolutionary.

Mitch, 27, Describes Life in Butler County as a Gay Man #AMPLIFY

Butler County Gay

Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your identity? Specifically, in a job setting, when applying for housing or while in public. While living in Butler, whether past or present, it is not safe to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community or perceived to be a member. When living in Butler, I received threats, was harassed, had my car vandalized and have been physically harmed as a result of being gay and prior to coming out, for being perceived as a gay person. I think a mistake is being made if people deny a problem exists. Just because someone says something does not exists, doesn’t mean it doesn’t.

Alexa, 22, Talks About Acceptance as a Bisexual Woman #AMPLIFY

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How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? I wouldn’t say I’m fully out but I’m working on it. If I’m talking to people and they ask if I’m seeing anyone I am nervous at first to say I have a girlfriend but I do and I am proud of myself after. I need to get past my concerns on what other people think of me. I need to work on what I think of me. We are “official” on social media and both our families know also.

Lavi, 29, is Trans Queer Bi and Wants Your Respect & Support #AMPLIFY

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Name: Lavi

Age: 29

County of Residence: I grew up in Greene county. I moved to Allegheny County when i was 18. Ive lived in Pittsburgh the past 11 years

Preferred Pronouns: She, her

How do you describe your identity? trans queer bi white

Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? I started coming out when I was about 15 I think. At that time I found support online. There was an online community of mostly other teenage trans kids we helped each other out with what we could.

I didn’t have support from my family and local community. I felt isolated and alone. I was. I tried to run away but it didn’t work.

I came out more finally when I turned 18 and moved to Pittsburgh. It was finally a time when I could start to be myself and figure out who I am.

I still had trouble finding support. I went to transpitt but felt a big generational gap. I learned a lot tho from Nancy. I always remember her.

Anonymous, 30, Wants More Visibility for the Pansexual Community #AMPLIFY

Name: Anonymous

Age: 30

County of Residence:  Washington, formerly Allegheny

Preferred Pronouns: Her, she, etc.

UPDATED! How To Sign Up for Toys for Tots in Western Pennsylvania – 2016 Edition

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Here’s my annual roundup of toy distribution resources for Western Pennsylvania. Many Toys for Tots enrollment deadlines are right around the corner while other sites have not yet posted. Please share this information with anyone you know who may need assistance with toys this holiday season.

I will update this post as more information becomes available.

Dean Sees Queer Struggles as Stories of Strength #AMPLIFY

Gay Asexual Polyamorous Pittsburgh

Name: Dean

Age: 31

County of Residence: Allegheny

Preferred Pronouns: Male, He, Gay.

How do you describe your identity? Gay male with asexual tendencies in a polyamourus relationship

Please describe your coming out experience. Where did you find support? What challenges did you face? Coming out was a matter of lie, deny or try. I was outed by a female friend that had a crush on me in 8th grade. She decided to tell the only out gay male in our class / school – which led to everyone soon bringing the question up to me & family members. At the time I was seeing a fellow classmate on the wrestling team. He denied and I chose to try and not lie.

How would you describe yourself NOW in terms of “being out”? After experiencing much in the strictly male “gay world” I now prefer to be associated with a queer community than just men. There has been more open arms, plus understanding amongst a community made up of all genders + sexualities & identifications. Not just one orientation alienating my personal views.

Morgan, 21, Hasn’t Met Other Openly Gay Suburban Couples #AMPLIFY

Lesbian Pittsburgh

Name:  Morgan Age: 21 County of Residence: Allegheny, Butler county for a couple months when I first moved to PA. I’m originally from a small town in Michigan. Preferred Pronouns: I’m a girl and a Morgan, but call me whatever you want. How do you describe your identity? I’m just me. I’m a lesbian but that’s not all I am. […]